As a middle schooler, Roy was painfully shy. Practically at gunpoint, his mother forced him to take speech classes to address the issue. The speech class so happened to be taught by the drama teacher. Thanks to that teacher, no one has had much success getting Roy to shut up since then. After 40 years, Roy went back on stage in the role of Sir Thomas More in A Man For All Seasons. All actors dream of a great death scene on stage, and he got his in this role. It remains his favorite today. A close second would be Don Baker in Butterflies Are Free. Roy played a blind guitar singer, but the fun part was watching his poor director work around the fact that Roy could not sing or play the guitar.
Viera began her involvement in theater as the Technical Director at Concordia University at Austin Theater program. In that role, she perfected the art of light design with limited lighting instruments, set design and late-night set construction, actor wrangling, director whispering and stage crew commanding that lead to the remarkable success and national recognition of a small Texas university’s theater. She worked the light board and called every show of the Concordia Players’ celebrated 10-year run. Since her time at Concordia, Viera has stayed active in the arts, particularly working as the stage manager for the Grammy-winning vocal ensemble Conspirare, and has recently stage-managed Conspirare’s PBS production of Considering Mathew Sheppard. When not working with Conspirare, Viera is the managing partner of Buzgova, Meneses, and G. Wellington Smith, LLP, an immigration law firm.
Scot Friedman has suffered for his art. Now it’s your turn. For years, Scot has been delighting and confusing audiences on stage and screen, and through voice-over. Growing up in the theater since age 10, Scot’s first production was the Zilker Hillside’s Texas Hill Country Play, in which he was amazing (his mother said so). He went on to perform in community theater and high school productions, before earning degrees in Geography from The University of Texas at Austin. Today, Scot works as the GIS Manager for a Texas state agency, while also continuing to act in productions around Austin. If you ask Scot his favorite character portrayal, he won’t tell you just one. Instead, he’ll pontificate vociferously about how fabulous he was in a great many of his roles, while at the same time, trying not to take himself too seriously.
Jeff has been involved in theater for over 42 years as an actor, fight choreographer, musician, playwright, and director. For 10 of those years, Jeff served as the Director of Theater at Concordia University at Austin. During his tenure at CUA, the theater produced what was described as “a bold, brash, relentlessly creative 10-year renaissance in collegiate theater in the state of Texas.” As a 7-year-old, Jeff got his start in theater dressed in a long white beard of felt and cotton wearing a big pontiff-like hat playing Saint Nicholas in the second grade Christmas play Santa on Trial. By the following Christmas, Jeff performed the role of Tiny Tim, wearing a frayed and threadbare newsboy cap, in a professional production of A Christmas Carol. Wearing remarkable hats in both productions, how could he not begin a life-long love affair with the stage? Since then Jeff has never not been involved in theater.
Fittingly enough, Larry began his theater career over 20 years ago portraying Doc Gibbs in Our Town, a production put on by the Austin Police Department. This is fitting since Larry is a retired police commander, having served 25 years with the Austin Police Department. It took five more years, however, to bring him back to the stage, when Larry’s boss at APD persuaded him to audition for the role of Greg opposite her Sylvia in the Gaslight Theater’s production of Sylvia in Lockhart Texas. The rest, as they say, is history. Larry has appeared in more 30 theater productions in Wimberley, Lockhart, Round Rock and Austin. And, incidentally, he married his boss and Sylvia costar Bobbie Oliver. Between acting, traveling and fostering dogs, Larry finds time to volunteer as a mediator at the Austin/Travis County Dispute Resolution Center.
Darren’s first appearance on stage was as a gun-slinging outlaw in third grade. After a brilliant performance, he humbly took a 23-year hiatus from acting. But eventually, he succumbed to public pressure and returned to the stage to brilliantly portray a eunuch in Il Teatro Nostro’s Babble for your Soul. Since then, he has put his heart and soul into his performances, both on and off stage, notably including a bug-eyed alien journalist in David Mamet’s Revenge of the Space Pandas; The Sheriff of Nottingham in The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood; Ross the freak show manager in The Elephant Man; and Fritzi, the Nazi dog trainer, in The Brothers Merlin. When he’s not acting, Darren utilizes his brilliance to make films, usually involving time-travel, vampires, and clowns. It should be noted that he is brilliant.
Lerone Williams is an IT consultant with a passion for creative problem solving and dedicated to empowering individuals to achieve success. Lerone was introduced to Water Street near the inception of the project, armed with the proposition to originate an innovative complement to the theater experience. In this endeavor, Lerone draws on a unique blend of consulting and business mentoring from prominent local industry professional devoted to supporting the arts. His favorite performance, and also his theatrical debut, was in Lorraine Vivian Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. At the age of 11, he portrayed Travis Younger in a black theater troupe called The Ensemble based out of Houston, Texas.
Wendy first fell in love with theater and music after listening to her parents recording of “Paint Your Wagon” when she was a little girl. This obsession continued throughout her life starting with in a degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Oklahoma and culminating in a lifelong procession of performances on stages from Dallas, Austin, Georgetown, Fort Worth and even Dayton, OH. Outside of traditional stage and musical performances, Wendy has been a part of a jazz trio, performed with the Dallas Opera and is known to sporadically pop up in feature films and commercials. When not treading the boards, Wendy is a Sales Director in the wireless industry.
Karen Sneed has worked in the theatre as an actress, director, producer, stage manager, dramaturg, fight and dance choreographer, snake wrangler (for Last Chance Production’s Holy Ghosts) and tech operator. She earned her BA in Theatre from the Professional Theatre Training Program (now defunct) at SMU and has worked on many stages in Austin for over 40 years. Despite being a hard-ass, people seem to enjoy working with her. By day, she serves as a sales rep and purchaser for Longhorn Office Products, a locally-owned independent office supply company.
Alexandra is thrilled to be working with The Stage as she has long yearned for sustainable theatre and believes so strongly in Arts as a tool for community growth and education. She began acting at age 6 when she asked her 1st grade teacher why there wasn’t a theatre class for her age. Surprisingly, she was given the opportunity to wrangle her friends and parents into creating one and even managed to have her inaugural acting debut as the wicked stepmother in "Cinderella"much to the delight of her parents, who said she was "a natural at being wicked." She acted and danced all growing up and even has a degree in it from the University of Texas. You might have seen her in "The Imaginary Invalid", directed by, The Stage’s own, Karen Snead, or in “When the Rain Stops Falling” which gave her the opportunity to work alongside, Scot Friedman once again as a dynamic duo, or even in “Into the Woods” when in college, where she played Baker’s wife which was a bucket-list role for her. When not acting or dancing, she wrangles children, luckily they are her own. She also loves working on the silent side of theatre with technical support, marketing and production assistance.
At The Stage, we benefit from not only our Team’s vast experience in lending their talents to local productions, but also from their unique mix of professional backgrounds. Now let’s meet the folks who make up The Stage.