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Vivienne Benesch

Director

Vivienne is in her sixth full season as a company member and Producing Artistic Director at PlayMakers, where she has helmed productions of “The Storyteller,” “Dairyland,” “Life of Galileo,” “Leaving Eden,” “The May Queen,” “Three Sisters,” “Love Alone,” “RED” and “In The Next Room.” In her six seasons with the theatre, she is particularly proud to have produced 10 world-premieres and launched PlayMakers Mobile, a touring production aimed at reaching underserved audiences around the Triangle. For 12 seasons, she served as Artistic Director of the renowned Chautauqua Theater Company and Conservatory, presiding over the company’s transformation into one of the best summer theatres and most competitive summer training programs in the country. Vivienne has also directed for the Folger Shakespeare Theatre (Helen Hayes nomination for best direction 2019), The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Trinity Repertory Company, NY Stage & Film, and Red Bull Theatre, among others. In 2018, she directed the world premiere of Noah Haidle’s “Birthday Candles” for Detroit Public Theatre and will be directing it again on Broadway in 2022, starring Debra Messing.

 

As an actress, Vivienne has worked on and off-Broadway, in film and television, at many of the country’s most celebrated theatres, and received an Obie Award for her performance in Lee Blessing’s “Going to St. Ives.” Vivienne is a graduate of Brown University and NYU’s Graduate Acting Program.

 

As an educator, she has directed for and served on the faculty of some of the nation’s foremost actor training programs, including The Juilliard School, UNC-Chapel Hill’s Professional Actor Training Program, Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Program, and at her alma mater, NYU’s Graduate Acting Program. She is the 2017 recipient of the Zelda Fichandler Award given by the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation.

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Sarah Bowdoin

Dancer

Sarah Bowdoin began her classical ballet training in Houston, Texas. She holds a BFA in Ballet Performance from The University of Oklahoma College of Fine Arts and a graduate degree in Arts and Cultural Management from The College of Charleston. Sarah has danced professionally with Charlotte Ballet, Palmetto City Ballet, Unbound Ballet Project, Holy City Opera, and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, and has taught for numerous studios and schools in the greater Southeast region. She is also certified in Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga and is currently the Director of Development for the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC.  

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Ray Dooley

Actor

Ray Dooley is a Professor of Acting at the UNC Department of Dramatic Art and is a member of the PlayMakers Repertory Company. Dooley has more than 40 years of professional acting experience that has spanned film, television, and stages across the United States and abroad, including Circle in the Square and CSC Repertory in New York; Yale Repertory Theatre; Hartford Stage Company; The Folger Theatre, Washington, D.C.; Seattle Repertory Theatre; Center Stage, Baltimore; Huntington Theatre Company, Boston; Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Alliance Theatre, Atlanta; and the Citadel Theatre, Edmonton, Canada, among many others.

 

He is the recipient of a Village Voice OBIE Award for Distinguished Performance in Peer Gynt at CSC Repertory; he played Father Flynn in the European premiere of Doubt at Vienna’s English Theatre. Dooley is a member of Actors Equity Association, SAG-AFTRA, and Canadian Actors Equity Association.

At UNC, Professor Dooley has taught graduate and undergraduate Acting, and courses in dramatic literature. He served as Chairman of the Department of Dramatic Art from 1999-2005, was Head of the MFA Program in Acting from 2005-2018, and received the C. Knox Massey Award for Unusual, Meritorious, and Superior Service to the University.

Dooley received his M.F.A. in Acting from The American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hamilton College.

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Ron Menzel

Actor

Ron Menzel is a prolific actor with extensive experience both on stage and on screen. His Broadway performances include Les Liaisons Dangereueses (Booth Theatre) and Parisian Woman (Hudson Theatre).

Regional: Guthrie Theatre: 10 productions, including Pericles/Pericles and Vito Marcantonio/The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures (World Premiere), Shakespeare Theatre Company, Studio Theatre, South Coast Rep, Geva Theatre, City Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Mixed Blood Theatre, Ten Thousand Things, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Huldufolk Theatre.

Film/TV: Imprisoned, Cryptos, Anonymous Content, Vernie, Fall into Me, Elementary, Blindspot, Numb3rs.

Menzel
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