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Artistic Leadership, Cast, and Creative Bios for James and the Giant Peach

SYDNEY ABBOTT (Aunt Sponge, Narrator) is a recent graduate of DeSales University. PSF credits include: Little Red (Gretel), Much Ado About Nothing (Watchman 1, u/s Verges), Young Company’s The Taming Of the Shrew (Gremia). DSU Act 1 credits include: The Sound of Music (Mother Abbess), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Congregation), The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Porcelain Princess), Our Town (Townsperson), Pride and Prejudice (u/s Lady Catherine (Performed)), Trojan Women (Greek Chorus).

TREY BRAZEAL (Lighting Designer)  Some of his credits include: Much Ado About Nothing, Fences (The Olney Theatre Center); The Last 5 Years (Third Avenue Playworks); Moulin Rouge! The Musical US tour (2nd Ass’t, Nederlander Theatre); Leonardo! A Wonderful Show About a Terrible Monster tour (Manual Cinema); This Wide Night (Shattered Globe Theatre and Interrobang Theatre Project); Little Shop of Horrors, My Way: A Frank Sinatra Tribute Musical (Metropolis Performing Arts Center).

PATRICK M. BYRNES (Little Old Man, Narrator) (he/him) is a graduating senior from DeSales. PSF: Much Ado (u/s Borachio/Claudio) , Young Company’s The Taming of the Shrew (Biondello/Haberdasher), and Little Red (Prince Jacob).  DSU Act 1: Silent Sky (Peter Shaw), Pride and Prejudice (Bingley), Civil War Christmas (John Wilkes Booth/Lee/Sherman), A Christmas Carol (Bob Cratchit), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Congregation/u/s Phoebus), Spoon River Anthology (various characters), and Sound of Music (Ensemble).

 CHARLIE CALVERT (Set Designer) Other recent credits: Comedy of Tenors, Dial M for Murder and Fickle: A Fancy French Farce (Olney Theatre Center); Blithe Spirit, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Henry VIII, The Learned Ladies, Comedy of Errors (The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey); The Crucible, Moonlight for the Misbegotten (The Warehouse Theatre). Broadway: assistant set designer for In My Life and One Mo’ Time. Off-Broadway: assistant set designer for Well (Public Theater) and Wintertime (Second Stage Theater). Charlie, a member of USA829, received his MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and serves on the faculty at University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Musi.

MEGAN CASTELLANE (Grasshopper, James) is a recent graduate of DeSales University’s Theatre program. PSF: A Chorus Line (Swing), Charlotte’s Web (Charlotte), and A Midsummer’s Night Dream (Ensemble). DeSales Act 1: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Congregation, Dance Captain), Side by Side by Sondheim (Soloist), and Sister Margaretta (The Sound of Music). 

ROALD DAHL (Author) (1916-1990) was a spy, ace fighter pilot, chocolate historian and medical inventor. His first moment of inspiration came when he was at boarding school, when a local chocolate factory invited pupils to trial new chocolate bars. Thirty-five years later, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was published. Dahl went on to write many more stories, including Matilda, James and the Giant Peach and Fantastic Mr. Fox, all from a hut in his back garden in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire. By the time he published The Minpins, he had written a total of 16 stories for children, which have been translated into 68 languages and read all over the world. He remains one of the world’s greatest storytellers.

CASANDRA KAY DANUBIO (Young Company; Ladybug, James) (she/her) is a rising senior Musical Theatre major at DeSales University. DeSales Act 1: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (u/s Esmeralda, Congregation), Crumbs from the Table of Joy (Erminia), Trojan Women (Cassandra). She is beyond excited to be making her PSF debut this summer!

CASEY WILLIAM GALLAGHER (Managing Director) has worked at PSF for 25 seasons. Over the years he was the assistant house manager, box office manager, company manager, assistant producer, and director of development. Since 2004, in his role as general manager and later managing director, he has served as the administrative leader of the Festival, working very closely with the box office, business, development, marketing and production departments. Casey is excited to now serve as co-leader of the Festival with Artistic Director Jason King Jones. Beyond PSF, Casey has also been treasurer for the Shakespeare Theatre Association, director of audience services for The People’s Light & Theatre Company, a board member for Civic Theatre of Allentown, a peer panelist for the New Jersey Council on the Arts and a judge for the Greater Philadelphia Barrymore Awards for excellence in theatre.

BAILEY ROSE GAVIN (Costume Coordinator, James) (she/her) PSF for her 5th season. As a DeSales alumni, past credits include: Costume Designer – Working: A Musical, Pirates!…Weird Beard, The Making of A Christmas Carol (DSU), and Much Ado About Nothing (North Penn HS). Assoc. Designer – Charlotte’s Web (PSF), and Silent Sky (DSU). Select PSF wardrobe credits include Ragtime, A Chorus Line, Much Ado About Nothing, and Crazy For You. She is currently the Wardrobe Head at Bristol Riverside Theatre in Bristol, PA.

RICHARD R. GEORGE (Dramatized, James) is a published adapter and author, best known for his dramatizations of Roald Dahl’s novels, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.

ALAINA HURLEY (Young Company:Spiker, Narrator, James) is a recent graduate of DeSales University with a BA in Acting for the Stage and Screen. DeSales Act 1: Henrietta Leavitt in Silent Sky, Gwendoline Fairfax in The Importance of Being Earnest, and the u/s Stage Manager in Our Town. PSF: Rapunzel and Pig #3 in Little Red and Goose in Charlotte’s Web.

JASON KING JONES (Artistic Director) is excited for his first season at PSF. Prior to moving to the Lehigh Valley with this family, Jason spent ten years at Maryland’s Olney Theatre Center, where he served as Senior Associate Artistic Director and Artistic Director of National Players, America’s longest-running touring theatre company. At Olney, Jason directed over twenty productions, mentored over 200 early-career theatre makers, and established various in-school and summer educational programs. As a freelance director, Jason has worked across the US, including the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles and the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Jason is an Acting Company alumnus, a proud member of the PSF Board, and a member of the Shakespeare Theatre Association’s IDEAA Committee, and Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Nonprofit & Business Partners Council. Jason holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from Missouri State and an MFA in Directing from Boston University.

IYANU JOSHUASVILLE (Young Company; Father, Narrator, James) is a rising senior Acting for Stage and Screen major at Desales University. He is excited to be returning to the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival this summer. His past Festival credits include: Little Red (Narrator), Much Ado About Nothing (Messenger, u/s Benedick ), Young Company’s Taming of the Shrew (Curtis/Pedant), and Fences (u/s Corey).. His recent DeSales credits include, Silent Sky (Peter Shaw), Civil War Christmas (Walker Lewis, Etc), Our Town (Simon Stimson), Crumbs From The Table of Joy (u/s Godfrey Crump), and Chainz/Broken (Tre).

NICOLE LAWRIE (Young Company; Glowworm, James) recently graduated from DeSales University with a BA in Acting and a minor in Philosophy.  She was a member of the Young Company last year, appearing in Little Red (Georgina), Young Company’s Taming of the Shrew (Baptista), and Much Ado (u/s Watchman 1 (performed)).  DeSales Credits include: Silent Sky (Henrietta Leavitt), A Civil War Christmas (Silver), Crumbs from the Table of Joy (Gerte), and The Lower Depths Project.  She also recently served as the costume designer for Act 3’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

GABRIELLE MOSELEY (Young Company; Spider, James) (she/her) is a junior Musical Theatre major. Previous DeSales credits: The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (Esmeralda) and Crumbs From the Table of Joy (Ernestine). Gaby was most recently seen in PSF’s Little Red (Red), Much Ado About Nothing (u/s Hero), and The Young Company’s Taming of the Shrew (Tranio).

JENNA PLACE (Director, James) is a director based in the DC area. Previous DC directing credits include: Dance Nation (Olney Theatre Center); Tuesdays With Morrie (Theater J), The Velveteen Rabbit (Adventure Theatre), The Heidi Chronicles (Rep Stage), Flood City (Theatre Alliance), What Every Girl Should Know (Forum Theatre), Walk Two Moons; The Giver (National Players), The Wolves (Catholic University), Urinetown (Monumental Theatre Company), Lucky Stiff (Imagination Stage), JQA (American University), and others. Jenna is also the resident casting director at Theater J and Olney Theatre Center. Past casting has included work at Imagination Stage, Adventure Theatre MTC, Mosaic Theater Company, Forum Theatre, Studio Theatre, the Lab for Global Performances and Politics, and more.

ABAGAILE RUGER (Young Company; James, James) is a rising senior Musical Theatre major at DeSales University and she is SO excited to be making her PSF debut! Previous DeSales credits: Pride and Prejudice (Elizabeth Bennet), Silent Sky (Annie Cannon), Civil War Christmas (Raz Franklin), and The Importance of Being Earnest (u/s Ms. Prism).

ANJA PATIENCE THOMAS (Young Company; Stage Manager, James) (she/her) is a Junior Theatre Design/Technology major at DeSales University with a concentration in Lighting and Stage Management. This is her second year with the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. Previous experience includes Assistant Stage Managing (A Christmas Carol & The Sound of Music), PSF Carpentry Intern (2022), Head Electrician (A Civil War Christmas), Stage Manager (Silent Sky & DeSales University Dance Ensemble concert 2023), and Assistant Lighting Designer (The Hunchback of Notre Dame). This coming fall, she will be Stage Managing Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella at DeSales University.

CHRISTIAN TUFFY (Young Company; Centipede, James) (he/him) is a junior Musical Theatre major at DeSales University. PSF credits: Little Red (Pig 2), Much Ado About Nothing (u/s Don John, Balthasar), Young Company’s Taming Of the Shrew (Grumio). Recent DSU credits: Pride and Prejudice (Darcy), A Christmas Carol (Fred), Side By Side by Sondheim (Vocalist), A Civil War Christmas (Abraham Lincoln), The Importance of Being Earnest (Jack Worthing), and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Phoebus).

MORIAH FAITH WILT (Young Company; Narrator, James) (She/They) is a rising junior Musical Theatre major at DeSales University. She recently made her DeSales debut this spring as Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest.