Armand Akbari (Patroclus), is delighted to be a part of Aristos. This marks Armand’s 32nd overall production, with past roles including: Monty Navarro in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, Tommy in The Who’s Tommy, Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (CMTSJ), Pepe in West Side Story (Hillbarn Theatre), and Billy Flynn in Chicago (SHP). He is the recipient of the Frank Frye Award for Singing and a nominee for the Brian Alfred King Award for Acting
(CMTSJ), and was recently featured in BroadwayWorld’s Next on Stage Competition. He is currently pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre from USC.
Sage Spiker (Achilles) is thrilled to play Achilles in the album Aristos: the Musical. Sage is an Iowa native, who moved to the NYC area recently to pursue a career as a performer. Favorite past roles include Curly (Oklahoma), Berger (Hair), and Tunny (American Idiot). Sage recently filmed an indie movie, and will be playing Elvis for an upcoming tour. Since being an artist is particularly challenging at this moment in time, he is fortunate and grateful to still have opportunities to do what he loves. He is proud to be a part of this project, and thankful to everyone involved.
Eli Villanueva (Odysseus), a talented and passionate musician, director, and educator, brings his magic to every project he works on. He has performed operatic roles throughout the country and internationally with such noted companies as the San Francisco Opera Center, Los Angeles Opera, and Opera A La Carte. Eli directs young people all across the nation, inspiring joy, and love for performing. As Resident Stage Director and teaching artist of LA Opera Connects, Eli teaches and directs as many as 2,000 students annually in original productions including the acclaimed In-School Operas, Opera Camp Summer Intensive, and LA Opera’s Off Grand Cathedral Project conducted by Music Director, James Conlon.
His compositions are praised for their appeal to audiences and performers alike. His commissioned works of One-Act operas include Then I Stood Up which premiered in 2017, The White Bird of Poston, Friedl and The Festival Play of Daniel, an adaptation of the 13th-century liturgical play, Play of Daniel. In addition, music ranging from solo to choral works can be found through publishing companies, Fred Bock Music, Laurendale Associates, and Cherry Lane Music.
Sarah Yung (Thetis) is a soprano and pianist from the Bay Area. She is an incoming freshman at Northwestern University, an engineering major with a potential music minor. In high school, she sang in choir and built a diverse repertoire encompassing opera, Broadway, and folk music.
Nowadays, she is teaching herself ukulele and learning how to jazz it up on piano. Outside of music, Sarah enjoys learning and teaching math and science, playing softball, and writing poetry. She also loves spending time with her friends and family, watching Avatar: The Last Airbender, and cuddling with her dog Yuki.
Hannah Verduzco (Briseis) is a San Diego native with a passion for singing. She will be a senior this fall and is entering her fourth year performing with San Diego Academy’s select Chorale Ensemble that has been featured in numerous choral festivals, non-profit fundraisers, and KUSI Channel 51. Outside of school, Hannah performs with the San Diego Children’s Choir, in collaboration with the San Diego Master Chorale and the San Diego Symphony. Hannah is also a member of the Bonita Valley Worship Team. In the past few months, she has also participated in virtual choirs with SDSU and Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir 6.
Cora Lopez (Phoenix) is thrilled to make her return to musical theatre with Tartarus Production Co. Favorite credits include The Music Man (Mrs. Paroo) and The 25th Annual
Putnam County Spelling Bee (Mitch Mahoney) at Rowland Hall Upper School, as well as I Hate Hamlet (Lillian Troy) with Isidore Newman Upper School. She is an experienced choral artist, participating in numerous selective choirs at the state and national level, in addition to participation in school, community, and college choirs. She has also received accolades for solo performance at the state level. She is a student at Oberlin College.
Even Johnson (Ajax), 21, is a 2017 graduate of the Classical Voice Conservatory at Orange County School of the Arts, where they participated in Opera Scenes and Chamber Choir. Even is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music Degree in vocal performance with a minor in LGBTQ+ Studies at Chapman University. Honors include: performing with South Coast Symphony for Young Stars of the Future, being a Spotlight Awards semifinalist, first-place winner of the Center Stage Opera Vocal Competition, and three-time winner of the SCVA Vocal Competition. Performances include: Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Gossip in Noye’s Fludde, Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte, and Nancy in Albert Herring.
Patrick van Rhedenborg (Priam) is a classical bass and flautist based in the Netherlands. He taught flute at Verenigde Muzieklycea Hilversum for 26 years. In addition to his pedagogical work, he sang in oratorios, operas, and other performances throughout the Netherlands during the eighties and the early nineties, including solos with the choir of the internationally renowned Het Nederlands Dans Theater (The Netherlands Dance Theatre). These days, Patrick continues to sing in recital, singing repertoire that encompasses a wide emotional range. In selecting his pieces, he tends mainly towards the lyrical, more dramatic 19th-century German art songs, alongside the works of late Romantic and Modernistic Russian composers, which lean more towards expressionism.
Paul Stephenson (Agamemnon) has taught choral music at Westridge School for Girls for 27 years where he developed the music program for the fourth grade through twelfth grade. He is the director of three choral ensembles: the Westridge Glee Club, Madrigals, and Dulces Voces. Paul graduated with a MA in choral conducting from California State University, Los Angeles where he studied with Dr. Tom Miyake and Dr. William Belan. He studied voice with the late Pollyanne Baxter and with Dale Moore. Paul sang with the Los Angeles Master Chorale for ten years under the direction of Paul Salamunovich. Paul was the baritone soloist at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles for three years where he performed as soloist in the Los Angeles Bach Festival. He was the bass soloist/section leader at All Saints Episcopal Church, Pasadena and he has sung opera roles with various companies in the Los Angeles area. Paul has served as Music
Director at Altadena United Methodist Church, Trinity Lutheran Church in Pasadena, and currently at The Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration in Arcadia. He is a member of
the American Guild of Organists where he earned a Colleague Certification in Organ Performance. He studied organ with Edward Murray. Paul enjoys spending time with his wife of over thirty years, and their nineteen-year old son. In his spare time, Paul loves to garden and ponder social justice issues of equality, diversity, and poverty.
Ruby Cullen (Young Achilles) is a high school junior from Houston, Texas. She discovered her love of musical theatre two years ago while performing in her school’s production of Mamma Mia! and is beyond thrilled to be a part of Aristos. Aside from singing & acting, Ruby also trains in ballet, modern, contemporary, and aerial dance with the dance-theater company Open Dance Project. She would like to thank her family for their support & encouragement!
Chester Wooldridge (Automedon) has been in love with Aristos since he was first asked to record some early demos as Achilles for the Olympus cast, and he is ecstatic to be a part of the show again! His most recent theatre credits include Mr. Body in Clue and Ezekiel Cheever in The Crucible. In his free time, Chester enjoys drawing cartoons, singing tenor in his high school choir, and playing with his cat, Rasputin. He will attend college in the fall and plans to study Biology and Art at the University of Chicago.
Julia Stewart (Iphis) is excited to take on her first acting role with Aristos! She is a sophomore at the University of California, Santa Cruz studying astrophysics, and she has done theater tech for seven high school productions (Our Town, Hair, Once Upon A Mattress, Working, Godspell, Cabaret, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying). She also sings for fun and participated in her high school’s choir. In her spare time, Julia reads fiction, does creative writing, and hangs out with her sister and her dog.
Sydney Cook (Young Patroclus) is a high school student from the California Bay Area. She first got involved in Aristos: the Musical during its production with HaoExpression as Patroclus and is so excited to continue working on the show for its album! Some of her other roles include Rosie in Bye Bye Birdie, Heather McNamara in Heathers, Mrs. Gloop in Willy Wonka, and Oaken in Frozen Jr. Her most recent production was Romeo and Juliet. She’s also been studying voice for 4 years and recently taken up dance again.
Allison Hurley (Pyrrhus) is thrilled to be a part of the Aristos cast album! Previously, she played Achilles in the HaoExpressions production of Aristos and has been in many other community theatre and school theatre productions. She also recently represented Hillview Middle School at the 2020 CMEA Honors Festival in choir. Allison is also a part of the National Charity League.
Laurent J.L. Hall (Adolescent Achilles) has been with this show since the original reading last summer, and he is very excited to be a part of this newest venture. He is currently attending American River College, as well as pursuing a certificate in Performing Arts Essentials with NYU Tisch. His recent credits include Tristan Grantaire in All That’s Left of Us, a web-series adaptation of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, Merriman in The Importance of Being Earnest with 4th Wall Entertainment Troupe, Professor Callahan in Legally Blonde with Bret Harte High School, and Doctor Rank in A Doll’s House with Bret Harte High School. In his two years with ARISTOS, he has played half of the Achaean army as well as working as Technical Associate on the production team.
Muse Lee (Adolescent Patroclus) is the writer of Aristos: the Musical. An artist and educator, he taught at the juvenile justice facility Margaret J. Kemp Camp and taught writing and performance in San Francisco County Jail #2 as a member of the Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women/HIV Circle. In 2019, Muse graduated with a B.A. in English from Stanford University, where he served for three years as a teaching assistant in the Theatre and Performance Studies Department. He is currently writing the textbook Acting for Non-Majors with noted Stanford theatre lecturer Kay Kostopoulos. Muse is profoundly grateful for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to collaborate with artists around the world in telling Achilles and Patroclus’ story.
Abigail Bobkowski is a student at The University of Sydney, Australia. She loves anything to do with language, linguistics, and the creative arts. She was the senior female vocalist for her school’s Jazz Ensemble from 2016 to 2019 and performed in the Sydney Drama Festival 2018. Her passions in the performing and fine arts include live theatre, ballet, visual arts, costume design, and Classical and Romantic poetry. She is incredibly fond of traveling and has lived in L.A., Atlanta, and Sydney. This is her first professional production.
Audrey Portela is so excited to be a part of this project! She’s from Fresno, CA, and is going to Marymount Manhattan College in the Fall as a MT major. She’s had the opportunity to play many amazing roles in local musicals, such as Fiona in Shrek, Ursula in The Little Mermaid, Rosie in Mamma Mia, and others.
Bailey Hoffman is very excited to join in on this adventure. She is a sophomore at Columbia College. Although she is a STEM student, performing is something she loves to do in her free time. She has previously been seen most recently in the first public performance of Aristos (Briseis) at the NorCal Regional Latin Convention, Beauty and The Beast (Plumette) with Calaveras Sings Theatre Arts Repertory for Kids, The Importance of Being Earnest (Cecily) with the 4th Wall Entertainment Troupe, and The Addams Family (Grandma Addams) with Bret Harte High School.
Charlotte Magowan is a UK based actor and performer. She has done work with Carley Stenson, RTDA, Shakespeare of the North, LHK and Stagecoach. Charlotte has starred in multiple shows including, ‘FAME’ (acting student), ‘High School Musical’ (Jock), ‘Macbeth’ (Banquo), ‘Hairspray’ (Cindy Watkins), ‘Alice’ (Alice), ‘The Sound of Music’ (Louisa Von Trapp) and ‘The Addams Family musical’ (Wednesday Addams). Charlotte has also worked backstage on ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. Charlotte has a passion for classics and theatre and is really excited to be working with everyone!
Claire Zimmeth is a multimedia artist and performer based in Detroit. A recent graduate of the University of Michigan’s Interarts Performance program, Claire fears commitment to one artistic form. She works sculpting parade floats and making costumes by day, and acts by night. A giant nerd for history and literature, this project is a dream come true to be a part of.
Ella Mizera is extremely honored to be a part of the ARISTOS team! She is a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh, where she plans to study Political Science and Theater, as well as co-founder of the Youth Shakespeare Society of Pittsburgh, with whom she has played Claudius in Hamlet and Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her dog, Tessa, writing, and crying over poetry. Ella would like to thank her family, friends, and eighth grade Latin teacher for leading her here.
Faith Howard will be a part of the female ensemble in the Ithaka Cast Album. She is sixteen years old and from the United Kingdom, and so is particularly thankful for the opportunity to take part in this wonderful production. Though she has not been involved in theatre for long, she has recently appeared in a production of Hairspray, primarily singing. She loves performing vocally and cannot wait to be a part of this cast album.
Grace Connallon is an actor, singer and voice teacher hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area. She has studied classical and musical theatre voice under Erica Maier D’ambrosio for 11 years, and Vocal Music and Acting at Oakland School for the Arts. She is the recipient of the 2019 Berkeley Schmidt Vocal Broadway Bound award and was a part of the Advanced Shakespeare Workshop at San Francisco Shakespeare. Favorite acting credits include: Zoe in All Summer in a Day (Shotgun Players), Ernie Lally in A Man of No Importance (Youth Musical Theatre Company), Soloist in A Solstice Journey Through Time (California Revels), Theatre Bay Area award-winning Fiddler on the Roof (Berkeley Playhouse) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Woodminster Summer Musicals). Grace will next appear as
Mona (Then) in Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean at Altarena Playhouse in Summer 2021.
Marta Mormone is an Italian 19-year-old. She’s been singing since she was 7, performing on stage with live music/orchestra. In 2016 (high school freshman year) she won her high school music contest against her whole school. In the same year Andrea Bocelli heard her singing and told her to pursue her musical dream and to keep studying because she has “ a nice voice”. In 2017-2018 she attended a theatre and voice-dubbing school. Marta has an acoustic band called “AYON” with whom she performs covers during special events. “AYON” was featured on two Italian television news. This is her first professional project.
Perseus Rebelo is so excited to be a part of the Aristos cast album! Don’t let the BFA in Film Screenwriting fool you, his heart belongs to the theatre. He has worked as a Costume Designer on shows including Legally Blonde the Musical, 7 Stories (Vanier College Productions), and Next to Normal (On Its Way Musical Productions). Performance credits include Shrek the Musical, Alterations (VCP), and a number of short films.
Raquel Zeledon is 13 years old. She is going to be an 8th grader at Peterson Middle School. She loves to be on stage and act. She has been with HaoExpression for 2 years and been in a few plays. This is her first play with Muse and Ruby, but she enjoys working with them and is really excited.
Valentina Kuzmina is a Liberal Arts senior from Russia, who recently went to the US as an exchange student and is crazy about musical theater. She has never starred in a musical before, although was cast in one before the pandemic. Her hobbies also include playing guitar, songwriting, and traveling, and she is deeply (at least as much as Russian laws allow) involved in feminist and LGBT activism. She is extremely excited to be a part of this production.
Victor Balmana is a Winnipeg-based artist who has recently graduated and will attend the University of Winnipeg as a theatre major. In his high school career, he’s been involved in the boy’s concert choir, mass concert choir, and yearly theatrical productions including A Midsummer’s Night Fever! and Journey to Kalcedon Island. Outside of school, he’s participated in numerous productions and programs with the Manitoba Theatre for Young People (Urinetown), Royal Manitoba Theatre, Winnipeg Fringe Festival (Peter and the Starcatcher, The Right to Breathe), and Theatre Dance Centre (Newsies). He’s happy to be bouncing around in his local theatre scene, and even happier to be part of Aristos.