Mary Candler, Founder & Artistic Director
Hedgepig: Mary Stuart (Mary/Producer), All’s Well that Ends Well (Producer), The Secret in the Wings (Various/Musical Director); A Taste of Shakespeare (Producer), The Women of Williams County (Producer), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Mistress Ford), Interior: Panic (Grace)
Mary is passionate about building communities, fostering relationships, and creating thrilling theatre. It is only natural that after too many cocktails on a blustery night (Hurricane Sandy), she would set off to create a theatre company based on deep trust, long-held artistic relationships, and excellent theatre. Mary received her MFA in Classical Acting at The Shakespeare Company's Academy for Classical Acting in Washington DC and her BA in music from Duke University. Favorite non-Hedgepig roles include Armande/The Learned Ladies (Texas Shakespeare Festival), Viola/Twelfth Night (Austin Shakespeare), Anne/Diary of Anne Frank (Monmouth Theatre), Audrey/Little Shop of Horrors (Quest Ensemble), Juliet/Romeo and Juliet (Texas Shakespeare Festival), Amalia/She Loves Me (Texas Shakespeare Festival), and Emily/Our Town (Great Plains Theater). While not on stage, Mary can be found teaching voice lessons (joyful-singing.com) or helping arts organizations fundraise.
Emily Lyon, Associate Artistic Director
Hedgepig: Mary Stuart (director), All’s Well That Ends Well (director), Secret in the Wings (director), Taste of Shakespeare (director, adaptor), The Women of Williams County (director), Interior: Panic (director)
With torn home-state allegiances, Emily was born in Indiana, raised near DC, and received her BFA from University of Michigan. (Go Hoosiers/Vikings/Blue!) Her directing career began in 2009 with Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. While she still loves the classics, her work has expanded to include new work and devised work. As well as directing various Hedgepig projects, she has won awards for directing world premieres of The Summoning and Some of the Side Effects; directed Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival's fall tour; created and curated BEDLAM's MadLAB program; participated in two Royal Shakespeare Company residencies; Assistant Directed at The Folger, The Old Globe, LaMama, and The Pearl; was awarded the Drama League Directing Fellowship and Geva Directing Fellowship; and assisted Michael Grief with text work for Shakespeare in the Park (SDCF). She now works as a freelance director, audition coach, and dramaturg. EmilyALyon.com
Hedgepig: All’s Well That Ends Well (LaFeu), Escapism: An Evening With Noel Coward
Andy hails from the Midwest. His stage debut in the fourth grade – playing a cricket named ‘Harvey’ in an existential children’s musical – really set the ball rolling. In the intervening years, Andy has tried out comedy and tragedy, classical and modern, plays, musicals, and <gasp> operas… and firmly settled on D) all of the above. Places: Off and Off-Off Broadway; Chicago storefronts; and regional from Utah to Connecticut. Productions in which he has performed multiple times: Romeo and Juliet, The Crucible, Camelot, and The Fantasticks. A role he would like to play again: Macbeth. Union: AEA. Andy owns tap shoes, bowling shoes, and a National Parks Passport. He is grateful for Hedgepig and its people, who challenge him. (In a good way!)
Hedgepig: All’s Well That Ends Well (Countess)
Desirée thrives in the collective. Her spirit animal is the Border collie, eagerly rallying the herd, nipping heels as necessary and loyal to a fault. It’s to be expected, she is the oldest of six siblings. A twelfth generation Chesapeake Bay Virginian, she is genetically incapable of going more than a year without inhaling salt air and wiggling her toes in the sand. She has embraced a hyphenated life as an actor-director-singer, delving into great works and exploring new ones. Roles include Parent/Lear in Lear with Shakespeare Forum, Gertrude in Hamlet, Ranevskya in The Cherry Orchard, Grace in Roman Fever, and Sarah in Quilters. She has served as assistant director for dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, Queen’s College Opera Studio, Bronx Opera and North Shore Music Festival. A classically trained mezzo-soprano, she has performed in operas, oratorios and concerts in the U.S. and Europe, and premiered works by several North American composers. Desirée is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and the American Guild of Musical Artists. desireebaxter.com
Hedgepig: Secret in the Wings (Danielle), The Women of Williams County (Laura Wingfield)
Having lived half her life in the heart of New York City and the other half in a suburb of Los Angeles, Danielle likes to think that she has both the no-nonsense intellectualism of a New Yorker and the sunny optimism of a Californian (though perhaps all she truly inherited was a great love of both pizza and oceans). She received her BFA in Acting from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), and has been “doing the thing” ever since. She is a current proud member of Broad Comedy, a feisty, feminist sketch comedy group, and a co-artistic director of the Really-Really Theatre Group. Selected credits include: Helen of Troy/The Trojan Women (Hudson Warehouse), Duke Vincentio/Measure for Measure (Scranton Shakespeare Festival), Sister/Damn Yankees (Scranton Shakespeare Festival), Morgan/The Summoning (Fat Knight Theatre, NYC Premiere), Dorine/Tartuffe (Santa Rosa’s Summer Rep Theatre Festival). http://daniellecohn.wix.com/actress
Hedgepig: Secret in the Wings (The Ogre), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Master Page), Interior: Panic (Telephone Man), World's Fastest Hamlet
Andrew grew up in Houston, Texas, but often claims to have grown up in Austin, Texas, because he’s desperate to fit in and wants people to think he’s “cool”. He did, however, live in Austin for several years while earning his BA in Theatre & Dance from the University of Texas. Despite the name of the degree, Andrew is not only untrained in “dance” but in fact grows terrified if someone even says the word out loud (in any context.) One of his greatest passions is Shakespeare: studying him, performing him, marveling at how amazing normal thought sounds the way he puts it, etc. Andrew’s been performing Shakespeare—various other things—around the country for the past ten years or so. He received his MFA from the Old Globe/USD program in San Diego and tries to bring it up as much as possible because it’s like this really prestigious program. As a Shakespeare nerd one of his biggest thrills was getting his name in the latest edition of the Arden Shakespeare’s Richard III (pg. 120) from a unique NYC production where he co-played the title role. He’s incredibly excited to be a part of Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre—a passionate, professional and creative theatre company with a very bright future.
Hedgepig: All’s Well That Ends Well (Helena), Secret in the Wings (Various), The Women of Williams County (Stella)
Once Lebron, Chrissie Hynde, and the Black Keys cleared up some space for her, Sara burst from Akron, Ohio and onto the professional theatre scene! Well, first Sara earned her BFA in Musical Theatre from Kent State University before moving on to study classical rotating repertory theatre in Detroit with Wayne State University's Hilberry Theatre, where she earned her MFA in Acting. While there, Sara co-produced the Michigan premiere of Rajiv Joseph's "Gruesome Playground Injuries" while also performing the classics at the Hilberry, and spending a summer in Russia studying at the Moscow Art Theatre School. More recently, Sara worked as a company member with Great Lakes Theatre Company and NYC's Random Access Theatre Company before becoming a resident actor and education artist for two seasons with the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia. In January of 2016, she co-founded Runamuck Theatre Company with fellow artists from the developing project, "Believe None Of Us". Currently, some of Sara's happy places include her cozy new Brooklyn apartment (usually filled with Shakespeare monologues and dogs on vacation), wherever and whenever she is working with Seven Stages Shakespeare Company, and especially when she is playing and creating with her fellow pigs at Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre. www.SaraHymes.com
Hedgepig: Taste of Shakespeare
Jamal is a native of Centreville,VA. Raised in the suburbs and always running around through highways and creeks (despite his mother's best intentions to keep him on the sidewalk) Jamal found the magic of acting at the age of 13 and was then cast in his first play at the age of 16. The bug fully caught on then and he's been pursuing it ever since. Graduating with a B.F.A in Acting from Emory & Henry College, he's toured around the country and worked at many places near and dear to his heart. A proud member of Actor's Equity and the Hedgepig Ensemble, some of Jamal's credits include The Barter Theatre, The Barter Players, The National Theatre for Children, The Lost Colony, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, The Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center, Bright Star Touring Theatre, Round Barn of Amish Acres, American Actors Theatre, 54 Below, Theatre for the New City, Walt Disney World, Sharon Playhouse, and the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre.
All the thanks to God. Catch him at thejamaljames.com
Gwendolyn Kelso, Founder
Hedgepig: The Women of Williams County (Blanche), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Mistress Quickly), Interior:Panic (Blanche)
Born in sunny Austin, Texas, Gwendolyn left her homestate to attend the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University in Saint Louis where she received a BFA in Acting. After working regionally in Saint Louis, Chicago and Pennsylvania, Gwendolyn attended the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Academy of Classical Acting where she earned an MFA in Classical Acting. Gwendolyn has worked with the Repertory Theatre of Saint Louis, the Saint Louis Shakespeare Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Austin Shakespeare, Saint Louis Shakespeare Company, Gamut Classic Theatre and Austin Playhouse. Favorite roles include include Mistress Quickly/Merry Wives of Windsor (Saint Louis Shakespeare Company), Portia/Merchant of Venice (Gamut Classic Theatre), Helena/Midsummer Night's Dream (Austin Shakespeare), Kate/Taming of the Shrew (Austin Shakespeare) and Princess/Love's Labors Lost (ACA)When not acting, Gwendolyn is a teaching artist specializing in acting and movement. Gwendolyn is a founding member of Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre. gwendolynkelso.com
Hedgepig: Mary Stuart (Fight Director), Taste of Shakespeare (Various)
Mike hails from Pittsburgh, the birthplace of Andy Warhol, August Wilson, and Heinz Ketchup. He had no idea he wanted to act until he was halfway through a biology major at the University of Pittsburgh, but since then he hasn’t looked back. It was here that he also discovered his love of playing with swords and now works as a fight choreographer and instructor of stage combat. Mike has worked regionally with Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, City Theatre Company, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Florida Repertory Theatre, and Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks, and is a proud member of both the Society of American Fight Directors and Actors Equity Association. mikemagliocca.com
Hedgepig: Mary Stuart (Davison/Melville), All’s Well That Ends Well (Captain Dumaine), A Taste of Shakespeare (Various)
Jory grew up in Arlington, Texas, where his overactive imagination and athletic ineptitude quickly landed him in children’s community theatre. He received his BA in Communication and Theatre from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and his MFA in Acting from the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training in Sarasota, Florida. After jumping into the company of A Taste of Shakespeare in the summer of 2017, he fell in love with the Pigs and officially joined the ensemble shortly after. He has also performed with Asolo Repertory Theatre, New York Deaf Theatre, IRT Theater, Undiscovered Countries, ASL Cabaret NYC, and the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center’s Shadow Interpreted Theater Program. He is thrilled to be a part of such a caring, motivated, and passionate ensemble. jorymurphy.com
Gregory Jon Phelps
Hedgepig: All’s Well That Ends Well (Parolles), Secret in the Wings (Various)
Having spent his formative years in the rural mountains of Vermont, Gregory spent many a dark and wintry night shoveling the driveway, and many a sweltering summer day swatting at mosquitoes. Upon coming to the stark realization that his passion had far outgrown his skill when it came to playing basketball, he turned from the court to the other place he felt like he belonged: the stage. He went on earn a BA in Theatre Arts with a minor in English from the University of Vermont, which helped to foster his love for Shakespeare. Not long after he graduated, he was fortunate enough to be hired by the American Shakespeare Center, where over the course of 12 years, he performed in over 80 productions, including 32 plays from Shakespeare’s canon. Some select credits include: Oliver/As You Like It (Snorks and Pins), Macbeth/Macbeth (Excellent Motion), King Henry V/Henry V, Proteus/Two Gentlemen of Verona, Troilus/Troilus and Cressida, Pericles/Pericles, Marc Antony/Julius Caesar, Bassanio/Merchant of Venice, Ariel/The Tempest, Lavatch/All’s Well that Ends Well, Posthumus/Cymbeline, and Mercutio/Romeo and Juliet (American Shakespeare Center). He’s very excited to now get to play with such a wonderful and welcoming group of artists as the Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre. gregoryjonphelps.com
Hedgepig: A Taste of Shakespeare (various), All’s Well that Ends Well (King)
A native of Washington, D.C., Basil’s first foray into the biz of show was as a singer & songwriter in New York’s mid 90’s house music scene. After seven singles, some rotation on the “mid-day mix” airwaves, some good reviews in Billboard (where he even once charted), his voice teacher implored him to “get serious, that stuff’s for kids.” Ever suggestible, he began studying acting then jumped into musicals. After a review of his nearly non-singing, nearly wordless triumph as the Kralahome in “The King and I” mentioned he’d be “great on the Shakespearean stage,” he enrolled as a student of John Basil at the American Globe Conservatory Theatre. That seemed to stick; he continued as an AGT company member for a decade. His favorite roles there include, Don Pedro (Much Ado About Nothing), Ghost (Hamlet), Lord Capulet (Romeo & Juliet), and Iago (Othello). He has also worked with The Negro Ensemble Theater, A.D. Nixon, “Martin: A New Road to Freedom,” UnShout the Noise, Othello, “Divinity of Hell” (director, Ron Canada, Tricia Mancuso Parks) and won Best Actor in the West Village Music Theater Festival (Patrick Wickham) for his portrayal of the Green Pig, in “Angry Birds, The Musical. BasilRodericks.com
Hedgepig: Taste of Shakespeare
Rachel is a Wisconsin woman with an addiction to travel and theatre; growing up near Milwaukee, she trained with First Stage Theatre Academy and appeared on their professional stage many times as a young performer. Rachel went on to receive her BFA in Acting from Missouri Stage University, and then took a quick jaunt to Glasgow, where she got her MA in Classical and Contemporary Text from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Rachel has worked with Hedgepig, Titan Theatre Company, The Public Theater, New Jersey Repertory Company, and premiered her one woman show about her anxiety last year in the city. Besides a passion for the classics, Rachel is a yoga teacher and facilitates a women’s moon circle every month (@thecelestialsisterhood). She enjoys playing with every dog she comes across and belting her face off in the shower. More at: www.rachelschmeling.com, perhaps follow on Instagram @rachelmschmeling
Hedgepig: Secret in the Wings (Various), World’s Fastest Hamlet
Alex hails from the weird and wonderful Richmond, Virginia, where his acting debut was George Washington in the 4th grade spring play. Alex then fell for the Bard at countless productions by the Richmond Shakespeare company, eventually performing and teaching with them though their education department led by the brilliant Cynde Liffick. Cynde’s mentorship inspired Alex to pursue his dream in New York, where he graduated with a B.F.A. in Acting from NYU Tisch. Alex also minored there in Applied Theatre, and became passionate about arts education work as well. Since graduating, Alex’s professional credits include his twisted namesake, Alex in A Clockwork Orange (Hubris Theatre), Macbeth starring Kenneth Branagh (Park Ave. Armory), Cymbeline (Wyrd Theatre), and Aristophanes’ The Frogs (La Mama ETC). As a Teaching Artist, Alex has worked with students in all five boroughs of NYC, his hometown Richmond, and even at-risk youth in Madagascar. Alex also directs Camp Half-Blood in Prospect Park, a mythological adventure camp that inspires kids to become their own legendary heroes.
Being a part of Hedgepig reminds Alex how important being part of an ensemble and artist community is these days, and he could not ask for a better one than this fun and talented bunch of open-hearted folks.
Finally and most importantly, Alex is on a permanent quest to find the world’s greatest cheeseburger. Tell him if you find it: alextissiere.com
Hedgepig: Mary Stuart (Mortimer), All’s Well that Ends Well (Second Lord)
Thomas was born and raised in the great state of Texas splitting his time between baseball and theatre in his hometown of Houston. After receiving his BA in Theatre from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Thomas got the opportunity to premier CLEO, written by Lawrence Wright, at the Alley Theatre in Houston. As soon as the curtain fell he hopped on a plane to to start his acting journey in New York where he thankfully found some pigs! Thomas believes that world peace can be achieved with cold beer and conversation and hopes to ‘cheers’ anyone and everyone!
Hedgepig: Mary Stuart (Queen Elizabeth), Secret in the Wings (Various), Taste of Shakespeare, The Women of Williams County (Maggie)
Olivia is a native born Texan and wild woman. She received her BFA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and her MFA from the FSU/ Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training in Sarasota, Florida. She has previously been seen on the stages at Theater at Monmouth, Asolo Repertory Theater, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Ten Chimneys, Banyan Theater, Hanger Theatre, Empire Stage, Florida Repertory Theater, and Palm Beach’s Shakespeare by the Sea.
"If you obey all the rules, you'll miss all the fun." -Katharine Hepburn
Olivia advocates for misbehavior and as much fun as possible. She is really happy to be a part of Hedgepig and have the opportunity to amplify the voice of women in theatre.
#sisters4life #sparkles4life #loveyoupoophead www.oliviacwilliamson.com
Interested in playing an active role in shaping a young theatre company's future? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for information about Board membership.