Tamela was a proud member of Only Make Believe’s NYC acting company for more than 3 years before moving to Washington D.C. in 2012. Tamela received her BFA from Howard University and completed professional acting program at William Esper Studio.
Jeanette joined OMB in 2013. She received her BA in Theater from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. She has performed with Magic Futurebox Productions, Ars Nova ANT Fest., and Manhattan Theatre Source. Her solo show, "Love. Guts. High School." premiered in the 2012 Midtown International Theatre Festival and won nominations for Best Actress and Best Solo Show. She performs weekly with the Improv troupe National Comedy Theater, and is a licensed NYC tour guide; when not acting, she can be seen introducing newcomers to the joys of New York!
Dan has been with OMB since 2007. Off-Broadway credits include Atlantic Theater, Joe's Pub, LaMAMA, Baruch PAC, HERE and Soho Playhouse. He's worked regionally at Studio Theatre, Cape Playhouse, Weston Playhouse, Long Wharf, Kansas City Rep, Florida Stage, Portland Stage, McCarter Theatre, Pioneer Theatre, Rep of St. Louis, George Street Playhouse, ART. On TV his credits include Royal Pains, Law & Order, Hope and Faith, Third Watch, and As The World Turns. Dan has an MFA from ART/IATT at Harvard and is an associate artist with The Civilians.
Vivia is back again with Only Make Believe after a regional theater hiatus, having started with OMB in 2002. She has worked at The Rattlestick, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Old Globe, Denver Center, Arizona Theater Company, South Coast Repertory, McCarter Theater, Passage Theater, and others. She carries an MFA from The Old Globe, University of San Diego. This is one of her most favorite jobs.
Megan joined Only Make Believe in 2015. Her DC credits include The Little Foxes (Arena Stage); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Second Shepherd’s Play (Folger Theatre); Peter and the Starcatcher (Constellation Theatre Company); Passion Play, Clementine in the Lower 9 (Forum Theatre); Redder Blood (Helen Hayes Nomination, The Hub Theatre); The BFG (Helen Hayes Award), The Night Fairy, The Magic Finger, Inside Out (Imagination Stage); Peter and the Starcatcher (Virginia Repertory Theatre). Megan received her BFA in Theatre from Shenandoah Conservatory. Current: Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook (Adventure Theatre MTC).
ALYSSA WILMOTH KEEGAN
Alyssa is the recent recipient of the Helen Hayes award for Best Lead Actress in a Play for her role as Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, as well as a Best Ensemble and Best Production win for Come From Away, now running on Broadway. Current/Upcoming shows:The Return at Mosaic Theater. Digging up Dessa: Kennedy Center (2018) Botticelli in the Fire: Woolly Mammoth Theater (2018) Other credits include: Fickle: A Fancy French Farce: Olney Theater Center, Bad Dog: (OTC), The Night Fairy: Imagination Stage, Richard III: Folger Theater, Late: A Cowboy Song: No Rules Theater Co., Becky Shaw: Roundhouse Theater, Contractions: Studio Theater, The History Of Invulnerability: Theater J, Stop Kiss: No Rules Theatre Co. Alyssa received her MFA from The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting.
Jobari is a DC native and a Duke Ellington and Howard University alum. He has performed around the country including Five Guys Named Moe here in DC at Arena Stage as well as at the Cleveland Playhouse and the Off-Broadway production of Three Little Birds a Bob Marley Children’s Musical. He is delighted and honored to be a part of the wonderful staff and cast at OMB.
ASHLEY DENISE ROBINSON
Ashley Denise Robinson has been a company member of Only Make Believe since 2008. Off-Broadway: Supernatural (u/s for Kim Coles). Theatre: My First Lady (Metropolitan Playhouse), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (the cell/The Hive), Julius Caesar (The Secret Theatre) Film: Docket 32357, American Dream, If, Becoming Tina, Bizzerk. Web Series: Hard Times, Docket 32357, Anthology. Company member of improv group The LOCO Motives. Actors Theatre of Louisville Apprentice 2007-2008. B.A. Theatre: University of Maryland at College park.
Tia Shearer joined OMB in 2017! Credits include Knuffle Bunny, Mockingbird and From the Mouths of Monsters (Kennedy Center TYA); Twist Your Dickens (Second City); Bunnicula, Wind in the Willows, Anime Momotaro, Night Fairy and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (Imagination Stage); Failure: A Love Story and the one-actor show, The Happiest Place on Earth (Hub Theatre). She is an original company member at Arts on the Horizon, creating nonverbal, interactive theatre for ages 0-6. She has been called “Buster Keaton for babies.”
Joined OMB in 2008. Works as an actor, choreographer, director, teaching artist and producer. Theatres and companies he has worked at include: HERE Arts Center, NAATCO, Prospect Theatre Company, Ma-Yi Theatre Company, Walnut Street Theater, Millbrook Playhouse, McCarter Theater, Gallery Players, PCPA Theaterfest. Favorite shows he has worked on include: Julius Caesar, ...Forum, How To Succeed…, Three Sisters,The Full Monty. Serves as Education Associate for the Vineyard Theatre. Member of Leviathan Lab. Education: BFA Musical Theater, Point Park College; Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts. Recent projects include: associate producing the Career Transition For Dancers Gala, Trade Practices - Andrew (HERE Arts Center), and A Dream Play - Schoolteacher, et al (NAATCO).
Sora joined Only Make Believe as an actor in 2011. Originally from Korea, Sora received her Masters of Fine Arts in acting from the Academy of Art at the University of San Francisco. Her acting credits include Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Odd Couple (Female Version), and A Midsummer Night's Dream. She has worked with Emmy Award-winning directors Joseph Sargent and Robert Butler. Sora has received a Best Actress Award at the Epidemic Film Festival in San Francisco, CA and also at a theater festival in Korea.
REBECCA BLAINE CARTON
Rebecca is so excited to be working with Only Make Believe. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Rebecca earned her BFA at Southwestern University and immediately moved to New York City to continue her acting career. She has studied at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Circle In The Square, Lee Strasberg Institute, and recently graduated from a two-year acting conservatory at The Studio New York. Some of Rebecca's favorite acting credits include, Steven Dietz's Yankee Tavern, Moliere's The Imaginary Invalid, Charles Busch's Psycho Beach Party, Arthur Miller's The Crucible, and Jean Genet's The Maids. Rebecca is a proud SAG/AFTRA and AEA member. www.RebeccaBlaineCarton.com
Ryan comes from the Washington D.C area. He has performed on, off, and off-off Broadway, and in various comedy projects around the city. Regionally he has worked at Long Wharf Theatre (CT), George Street Playhouse (NJ), Adirondack Theatre Festival (NY), Ford’s Theatre (DC), Signature (VA), Studio Theater (DC), 5th Avenue (WA), Good Theater (ME), and Temple Theatre (NC). TV/Film: “He’s With Me”, “Blue Bloods”, “The Bunny Hole”, “FreakMe”, In Stereo, Obits, Stand By, January, Shrek the Musical, The Corsican Dove, among others. He also works as a guest and teaching artist with several companies including TDF and Broadway Classroom, and has volunteered teaching with ASTEP, the IRC, and the African Services Committee. Ryan has a degree in Foreign Language and lives in Harlem.
Mark Friedlander (AEA) has been an OMB company member since 2010. He received his BA in Theatre from the University of Southern Maine and has performed with theatres in NYC and regionally, including Portland Stage Company, People’s Theatre Project, Connecticut Free Shakespeare, American Shakespeare Theatre, and on 4 national tours. He also works with the Department of Justice, training professionals to interview and protect children from abuse.
Jacq is an actor and teaching artist who has performed on stage and television. She has worked with theater companies including The Dream Keeper Theatre Company, The Queen’s Company, Target Margin Theatre, Tiny Mythic Theatre, Westside Repertory Theatre, and Dar a Luz Company under the direction of Reza Abdoh. Past productions include Penang, The Story, A Woman of No Importance, The Duchess of Malfi, The Rover, Much Ado About Nothing, Mamba’s Daughters, Measure for Measure, Macbeth, The Comedy of Errors, The Three Sisters, The Courtesans, Tight White Right, and a hip hop, soul filled production of Hamlet. In the past, Jacqueline has worked with the Creative Arts Team, serving in the capacity of host and commentator for the NYC Student Shakespeare Festival and with The English Speaking Union as a judge for their National Shakespeare Competition. She also works with Theater Development Fund (TDF) and MCC, performing in their student written plays.
Cliff’s favorite regional credits include Hartford Stage, Dallas Theater Center, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Stageworks/Hudson, and Austin Playhouse. NYC credits include: Injunction Granted (Metropolitan Playhouse); Our God’s Brother (The Storm Theatre); The Last Seder by Allan Knee (WorkShop Theatre Company). He also plays harmonica in the NYC-based bluegrass band Homesick Hound Dogs. Education: MFA Acting Program at SMU.
Diego started with OMB in 2010. Born & raised in Washington DC where regional theatre credits include Damn Yankees, Cabaret & Senor Discretion, Himself (Arena Stage), Assassins, Witches of Eastwick & Saving Aimee (Signature Theatre) Willy Wonka, Barrio Grrrl!! & Brand New Kid (Kennedy Center) and he was last seen in Oklahoma City’s critically acclaimed Ragtime. Favorite roles include Sancho – Man…Mancha, Booth - Assassins, Riff Raff - Rocky Horror, and Molina - Spider Woman. Diego is a proud member of Actor’s Equity and loves his Only Make Believe family!
Erika joined the Only Make Believe in Washington D.C. in 2017. Her credits include The Father at Studio Theatre; An Octoroon at Woolly Mammoth Theater; Falling Out of Time at Theater J; Oliverio!, Knuffle Bunny and The Brand New Kid at The Kennedy Center; Pippin and The Book Club Play at Round House Theater; Unexplored Interior at Mosaic Theater Company; Users Guide to Hell: Featuring Bernard Madoff at Project Y (NY); Ruined at Philadelphia Theater Company; In Darfur at Theater J (Helen Hayes Award, Outstanding Lead Actress).
Dave joined OMB in 2007. Theater: Bike America (Ma-Yi), Awake and Sing! and A Dream Play (NAATCO), Dojoji: The Man Inside the Bell (Pan Asian), Hello, Dolly! (NAAP), The Way West (Lark), Crane Story (Playwrights Realm), Honor (Prospect), Sake with the Haiku Geisha (Gotham), Three Sisters and The American Clock (HBPF), The Tempest (Public). Television: “Golden Boy,” “Blue Bloods,” “Are We There Yet?,” “Late Night with Conan O'Brien,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “All My Children,” “As The World Turns.” Film: The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Petunia, Old 37, Saving Face.
Channie is a performing artist, educator and director. She has performed, taught and directed professionally within the United States and abroad. Her most recent project was with ITLP in Rwanda. Channie has received several honors and acknowledgements for her audiobook narrations including Zora and Me and Claudette Colvin Twice Towards Justice. Channie has a M.A. in Applied Theatre from the School of Professional Studies-CUNY.
CRAIG ANTHONY BANNISTER
Anthony started acting with Only Make Believe in 2006. He has performed in shelters, adolescent correctional facilities, Off and Off-Off Broadway houses. Past roles include Jacques Roux in Castillo Theatre's production of Marat Sade and the title role in William Shakespeare's Othello at Studio 4A. He has also danced with performing companies in schools throughout the Tri-State area, as well as, at Symphony Space, Joyce Soho and Jacobs Pillow. Additionally, Anthony has directed plays for National Theater for Arts & Education that toured middle schools throughout the United States.
Ian Anthony Coleman joined OMB in 2015! D.C. Credits include Arena Stage: Oliver!; Round House Theatre: Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3); Olney Theatre Center: My Fair Lady; Imagination Stage: Wiley and The Hairy Man (Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding TYA Production), and Beauty & the Beast; Rep Stage: Dorian’s Closet; Constellation Theatre: Peter &The Starcatcher; Creative Cauldron: Once On This Island (HH Outstanding Musical Nominee); Keegan Theatre: HAIR! (HH Outstanding Ensemble Nominee) & A Few Good Men(Irish National Tour). Ian holds a B.S. from Carnegie Mellon University and completed the Overtures Musical Theatre Institute at Signature Theatre. www.iananthonycoleman.com
Jonathan joined Only Make Believe in 2016. DC stage credits include: The Freshest Snow Whyte (Imagination Stage); Redder Blood (The Hub Theatre); Antigone Project (Rep Stage); As You Like It (Annapolis Shakespeare Company); Flowers Stink (Kennedy Center); The Call (Theater J); Passion Play, The ‘T’ Party, 9 Circles (Forum Theatre); A Few Good Men (Keegan Theatre); A Little House Christmas (Adventure Theatre MTC). He is a graduate of the Academy for Classical Acting at GW. NEXT UP: Jonathan will be music directing Peekaboo! (The Hub Theatre), and appearing in Charlotte’s Web (Imagination Stage).
Natasha Gallop has now been with Only Make Believe for over a year and is glad to still be a part of this magical experience. Her most recent credits include Exeter/Boy in King Henry V with We Happy Few Productions, Patricia Brown in Dog & Pony DC’s Beertown, Calypso in the tour of Aquarium at Imagination Stage, and she is currently playing Grace in Adventure Theatre’s production of Junie B Jones is Not a Crook. Natasha earned her MFA from Catholic University of America and also holds a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical for Black Nativity with Theatre Alliance.
LAURA C. HARRIS
Laura C. Harris joined Only Make Believe in 2017. Her DC-area credits include Cloud 9, Red Speedo, Time Stands Still, and Bachelorette at Studio Theatre, The Flick and Tender Napalm at Signature Theatre, Love and Information, Passion Play, World Builders, and Amazons and Their Men at Forum Theatre, NSFW, Seminar, Young Robin Hood, Amadeus, and 26 Miles at Round House Theatre, Awake and Sing! at Olney Theatre Center, Our Class at Theater J, Vicuña & An Epilogue at Mosaic Theater, and The Winter’s Tale and The School for Scandal at Folger Theatre. Laura graduated from Middlebury College. More information can be found at her website: www.lauracharris.com.
Jack Novak is an actor, playwright, improviser, and teaching artist based in Washington D.C. His credits include Perfect Arrangement (Source Festival) Blue, Aquarium, Brother Bear, and The BFG (Imagination Stage), Pinocchio! (Faction of Fools), Wild Oats and A Christmas Carol (Chesapeake Shakespeare Company), and Stone Tape Party (Nu Sass, Fringe Festival Awards for Best Comedy & Best Overall). He has also performed with Commonwealth and other teams at Washington Improv Theatre.
Lydia can most frequently be seen traveling the world performing with the American Bombshells Patriotic Services striving to serve and honor our nation’s military, veterans, first responders and their families through entertainment and other programs. She has also performed at various regional theatres in shows such as The Sound of Music, Crazy for You, Guys and Dolls and has toured the Hawaiian Islands bringing simplified versions of operas to elementary school children. Lydia has a Bachelor of Music from Indiana University in classical voice. She is also a part-time celebrity hairstylist.
Dorea Schmidt has been a proud company member of OMB since 2012. REGIONAL THEATRE: Shakespeare Theatre Company: The School for Lies; Round House Theatre: Caroline, or Change; Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: Collective Rage (World Premiere; Helen Hayes Award for Best Supporting Actress); Arena Stage: Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver!; Everyman Theatre: Crimes of the Heart, The Beaux’ Stratagem; Olney Theatre Center: Carousel (Helen Hayes nomination for Best Supporting Actress), Mary Poppins; No Rules Theatre Company: Black Comedy, The Fantasticks, The Last 5 Years; Constellation Theatre Company: The Love of the Nightingale; The Cape Playhouse: My Fair Lady. TRAINING: The National Theatre Institute and the William Esper Studio. WEB: www.doreaschmidt.com
KRISTALA POUNCY SMART
Kristala Pouncy Smart holds an MFA from Eastern Michigan University in the Drama and Theatre for the Young program, an MA in Theatre from Northwestern University, and a BA in Theatre from Kalamazoo College. Before moving to the D.C. area she lived, performed, and taught throughout Michigan, Chicago, Los Angeles, Alabama, and Maine. Kristala has also worked as a teaching artist with Theatre Lab, Imagination Stage, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Creative Kids, and Wolf Trap. Most recently, Kristala directed two performances at The Lab School of Washington, D.C.
Chris joined Only Make Believe in 2012 as an actor. He has performed professionally around the D.C. area. Some theaters include: Ford’s Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Imagination Stage, and Round House Theatre. Chris is also an Arts Educator, Director, and Playwright. His works are often devised, and are specifically geared toward giving voice to Elementary-aged youth. Chris holds a degree in Theatre from the University of Maryland at College Park.