Meet the Creative Action Touring Company
Laura Brignull (Our Now) is a resident of Albany and very happy to be collaborating on this production of Our Now with this talented and inspirational group of women. Laura holds an MFA in Theatre Design from UNC Greensboro and a BFA in Design/Technical Theatre from Syracuse University. She has designed and painted scenery for theaters across the country, most recently as the Charge Scenic Artist for Capital Repertory Theatre. She enjoys swing dancing and caring about social justice issues and is a member of Artists Take Action.
Carol Charniga (Carry Your Heart) has appeared on stages all over the Capital District for the past 25 years, from Cohoes Music Hall and NYSTI to MacHaydn and the Theater Barn. NYC credits: A Murder is Announced (Queens Theater in the Park); regional credits: James Joyce’s The Dead, The Crucible, and A Christmas Carol at Capital Repertory Theatre. In addition to The Arts, Carol has a long history in environmental activism, councelling nursing mothers and teaching. Employed as lab manager for the Neural Stem Cell Institute, her current research project involves isolating and growing adult human stem cells for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. Carol is an identical twin, mother of three, grandmother of 5 and very proud to be a part of the unique and wonderful work of Creative Action Unlimited!
Rachel Jenack (Any Addict, Taken In) , a transplant from Potsdam NY, found her calling in Acting 101 at SUNY Potsdam. Always a social butterfly and active in many extracurriculars, acting fit right in to her life. She got her start in theater and, upon moving to the Capital Region in 2012, has performed with several local theater companies (Creative Action Unlimited, Confetti Stage Inc.). She has also furthered her acting career in film/television, namely as the spokesperson for Curtis Lumber and the Guthrie Clinic as well as having worked on several feature films and television shows. Rachel is so grateful to have the opportunity to work with Michael Kennedy and Creative Action Unlimited to bring awareness to the local community on tough topics that need to be brought to light.
Frederick Jones (Carry Your Heart, Taken In) has been involved in Community Theater in the Capital Region since 2011. Theatre experience includes: Ira Aldridge Theatre Ensemble Trane Trax & MayaRhythms, Classic Theatre Guild's A Soldier’s Play, Our Own Productions' Periphery, Soul Rebel Performance Troupe's Camp Logan & Fences. He has worked with Michael Kennedy in Any Addict, D&M Productions' Incommunicado, Theater Voices' I & You and Carry Your Heart. Frederick has also done historical performances for Schuyler Mansion and Grants Cottage. Frederick is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Program Manager of the Equinox Inc PROS Program. He also has a private practice through Albany Psychological Associates.
Angela Kaufman (Our Now) is delighted to be a part of Our Now. She is an Intuitive Coach and author of Queen Up! Reclaim Your Crown When Life Knocks You Down. Angela uses writing as a vehicle to inspire change. She is a member of Artists Take Action.
Angela Lewin (Our Now) is the founder and president of Albany Behavioral Health Services, working with healthcare organizations in NY in their efforts to redesign the healthcare system. Angela says, "Although I have never before been on the stage as an artist, I have been on the activist stage of life seeking to advance health and social justice for individuals, marginalized and at times voiceless."
Gary Maggio (Carry Your Heart), retired from a lifetime of unsuitable jobs, gratefully works, part-time, as a standardized patient at Albany Medical Center, and otherwise pursues his other passions, including creating pastels and oil paintings, acting in projects with clever and creative collaborators, tinkling just a bit on his digital piano, striving now and then for that unattainable sublime poem, cooking edible dinners most nights, and dreaming of warm evenings in a beachside shack, supported always and believed in by his courageous wife Barbara.
Linda McKenney (Our Now), is a Senior Wellness Coach, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Theatre and Theatre Therapy. A perpetual student, she’s on a never-ending journey of self-discovery. Her exceptional teachers are her seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild, who continually remind her that life is unpredictable, joyous and a great adventure.
Patty O'Toole (Taken In) has appeared in Forbidden to Protect, a stage show that depicts the true stories compiled by Patrice Lenowitz and Lundy Bancroft from across the U.S where family courts have taken children away from non-violent mothers to give them to violent batterers and child molesters. She has appeared on camera for St. Peter's Hospital, Re-Bath, Walden Savings Bank, Montecello Gaming and Raceway, and done voiceovers for Neimith Motors, Cohoes House of Pizza, The Boathouse, and Winternest.
Tony Pallone (Any Addict) is an Albany-based actor, director, graphic designer and writer. He has worked as an acting teacher with the New York State Theatre Institute, Drama Kids International and Proctors; done role play-based training with Albany Medical College and the New York State Defenders Institute; and serves as a board member for Theater Voices, Collar City Players and NorthEast Theatre Ensemble. Numerous area acting credits include Capital Repertory Theatre, Barrington Stage Company, Hubbard Hall and the Theater Barn, among others. Tony spent nearly a decade working with the Pentimento Playback Theatre company, and also trained at the International School of Playback Theatre.
Eleah Jayne Peal (Any Addict) has worked all over the capital region as an Actor, Director, and Fight Choreographer. Earning a B.F.A. in Acting (SUNY Fredonia), she also has studied with Shakes & Co and the Moscow Art Theatre. Eleah can be found teaching at Steamer No. 10 Theatre, as well as the Academy of Holy Names. With certifications in 9 weapons (SAFD), Eleah hopes to show the consequences of violence through representation on stage. She is always eager to raise social questions/inspire change, and is grateful to share that through Michael’s direction. www.eleahjaynepeal.net
Debra Plaskin (Playback Theater) began her acting career at the age of eleven as Baby June in Gypsy. Since then, in addition to acting she’s been an impersonator, trainer, facilitator and educator. She’s done role play training in Industrial videos, with medical students at Albany Medical College, as well as Forensic Interview training on Child Sexual Abuse. She has performed in numerous roles and venues including children’s theatre, comedy improv, as Roseann Roseannadanna on behalf of Gilda’s Club, Theatre Voices, NYSTI, a featured extra in “Aftermath” and a lottery commercial (no-- she didn’t win!) She’s thrilled to be part of the work of Creative Action Unlimited.
Maghen Ryan (SRO: Single Room Occupancy) Maghen's past on-stage performances include The Rejection Project (518), Wedding Secrets (Soul Rebel Performance Troupe), and Drinking Habits (Highlight Action Troupe). She is also a current student in Acting Class with Patrick White.
Siobhan Shea (Playback Theater) is a beauty school dropout who is taking this time to really focus in on her acting career. As an actress she has been featured in various shows throughout the Capital Region; including shows such as The Importance of Being Earnest (Gwendolyn) and The Crucible (Mary Warren) with the Circle Theater Players and Spreading the News (Mrs. Fallon) with a grant through the Irish American Heritage Museum. When Siobhan isn’t acting, you can find her with her head in the clouds. For more musings or to contact her follow her on Twitter @Saybeeon.
William Spillane (Any Addict, Taken In) has performed as an actor, singer, dancer and musician on stages around the world and in film, television and radio. Theater credits include Jesus Christ Superstar (Peter), Falsettos (Whizzer Brown), Jeffrey (Darius), Evita (Che Guevara), The Who's Tommy (Narrator/Adult Tommy), Danny Kaye: Supreme Court Jester (Danny Kaye), The Timekeepers and Any Addict. Dance credits include The Nutcracker, Cinderella and Swan Lake with NYCB. He currently sings lead vocal for an all original, modern progressive rock band called "Circuline" (circulinemusic.com).
Josy Smith (SRO: Single Room Occupancy, Our Now) has performed in various local productions, including "An Inspector Calls" (SCP), "A Comedy of Errors" (Confetti Stage), "SRO" (Creative Action Unlimited), and "Our Now" (Creative Action Unlimited). Theatre is one of her many passions, and into each person, she puts her heart and soul.
Marsha Smith (Playback) lives and works as nurse practitioner in the Capital District. In 1997 she took an improv class which led her to be an active Playback performer for over 20 years. Her interests are expressive arts, psychodrama, psychodramtic bodywork, healthy living, travel and life.
Michelle Smith-Carrigan (SRO: Single Room Occupancy, Our Now, Playback Theater) Favorite roles have included: Blanche, Streetcar, Martha, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf; Yelena, Uncle Vanya; Helene , 84 Charring Cross Road; Sylvia , Broken Glass. Co-founder and Artistic Director of The Puppet People, a professional touring puppet company: www.thepuppetpeople.org and professional Voice Over Artist.
John Stevenson (Any Addict, Playback Theater, Carry Your Heart) studied Playback Theatre with Jonathan Fox and other members of the original Playback Company. He was a founding member of Pentimento Playback Theatre (Albany, NY), with whom he performed for seventeen years. He is a 1995 graduate of the International School of Playback Theatre. John has a background in professional theater and is a widely published poet. He currently serves as the managing editor of The Heron’s Nest. His writing has been translated into over forty languages and he has been invited to speak about poetry at the United Nations on three occasions.
Stephanie Weber-Remmert (Any Addict, Carry Your Heart, Taken In, Playback Theater) is a graduate from the American Musical Dramatic Academy and holds a B.A. in Theatre from Russell Sage College. Stephanie has worked in many capacities at many local theatres including NYS Theatre Institute, Capital Repertory Theatre, Theatre Voices and Steamer 10. She is currently working for Albany Medical College as a Standardized Patient and for the NYS Department of Health as an actress in mental health training for NYS Trooper recruits. Stephanie is the Program Director of Composite, the devised theatre program at Creative Action Unlimited, where she has directed The Knot, a devised theatre performance about hope. “Passion tells the future.” Unknown