PLAYERS

Biographies

Meet the players at Rock the Ground Theater Company. Our actors, directors and crew are committed to captivating audiences and making memorable shows together.

The Cast

Emily Anthony

Veronica Novak in God of Carnage
Vanda in Venus in Fur

Emily has come to Mendocino from Newport, Oregon where she has been involved in theater for 10 years. Her favorite musical theater roles include, Charity in Sweet Charity (Porthole Players), and Lulu in Cabaret (Red Octopus Theater Co.), among others. She has performed for Teatro Mundo (Newport, OR) as Olga in Three Sisters, Cressida in Troilus and Cressida, Mariah in Twelfth Night, Peasblossom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Helen in Cymbeline. Emily has also been involved in dance throughout her life, with a focus on ballet. She toured two seasons with The Eugene Ballet Co.’s Nutcracker and received training at The Joffrey Ballet School (New York, NY), Ballet West (Salt Lake, UT), and The North Carolina School of the Arts (Winston-Salem, NC), as well as from many talented teachers throughout the country. Emily is currently enjoying a hiatus from her 15-year career as an RN, is delighting in her time in the beautiful village of Mendocino and the great experience working with Rock the Ground Theater Company.

Bruce Cole

Michael Novak in God of Carnage
Thomas in Venus In Fur

Bruce returns to the North Coast where he was born and raised. He could last be seen in the area in Rock the Ground’s production of Hamlet as Horatio. As both an actor and a theatrical fight director his work has taken him all over California and beyond. Favorite roles include: Horatio in Hamlet, Tony in Faithful (Murphy’s Creek Theatre), Carson Beaumont in the independent film A River of Skulls and Badger in the film, Flea. Bruce received his actors training from the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Santa Maria, CA, where he first worked with Hugh Dignon. Hugh and Bruce have done many productions together over the years including BetrayalMuch Ado About NothingDracula: A Musical NightmareHamlet and Romeo & Juliet. Bruce is thrilled to be back in Mendocino and hopes to continue the exceptional theatrical tradition exemplified by Hugh and Rock the Ground Theater productions. Enjoy the show!

Jacqueline Goehner

Annette Raleigh, God of Carnage

Jacqueline is a native to Lodi, CA and has studied acting as well as dance and vocals singer her childhood. She studied acting at Tokay High School under Dominee Muller-Kimbal. After high school, Jacqueline attended San Joaquin Delta College where she studied costume design and theater. She enrolled and graduated in the Acting Training Program studying under Jeff Wentworth, Harvey Jordan, John White and Barbara Crocker. She has appeared in many productions such as Our TownA Streetcar Named DesireAnything GoesGuys & DollsThe Importance of Being ErnestThe Author’s NoteLong Ago & Far AwayAntigoneLysistrataThe Taming of the ShrewRomeo & JulietHamletMacbeth, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (as Titania). She was last seen locally in Rock the Ground Theater Company’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as Helena. Her T.V. and film credits include NUMB3rs, Boston Legal, Ford Motors, Nintendo, Cartoon Network, VideoGamesLive and Target as well as work on a web-series called “PTA”.

The Directors

Hugh Dignon

Director, Venus in Fur

Hugh is the Artistic Director of Rock the Ground Theater Company and is an actor, director and producer. He was last seen as Oberon in the Company’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the title roles in Uncle Vanya and Hamlet. Hugh has performed on the stages of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Foothill Theater Company, California Shakespeare Company, PCPA Theater Festival, Kern Shakespeare Festival, San Jose Stage Company, Wyoming Shakespeare Company, Central Works in Berkeley, Wichita Center for the Arts, The French Institute and Target Margin Theater in New York City. He has also performed locally at Mendocino Theater Company and the Warehouse Repertory Theater. As a director: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (with Hillary Spector), Hamlet, and The Rocky Horror Show (Rock the Ground Theater Company); The Underpants and One Shoe Off (Mendocino Theater Company); Dracula (Foothill Theater Company); Romeo and Juliet, The Cripple of InishmaanA Midsummer Night’s DreamMuch Ado About Nothing and The Taming of the Shrew (Wyoming Shakespeare Company); Our Town and A Christmas Carol (The Warehouse Repertory Theater). Favorite roles include: Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, Johnny Pateen in The Cripple of Inishmaan, Valere in La Bete, the title role in Tamburlaine, Lord of the Underworld in Eurydice, Chandel and Poche in A Flea in her Ear, Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Melersh in Enchanted April, and the title roles in Richard II and Hamlet. He is a graduate of Vassar College and the American Conservatory Theater Advanced Training Program.

Jonathan Haugen

Director, God of Carnage

As an actor, Mr. Haugen has worked on and off again for fifteen seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Roles include Lovborg in Hedda Gabler, Brutus in Julius Caesar, the title role in Dr. Faustus, Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, among others. Mr. Haugen has also performed at A.C.T. (San Francisco, CA), Berkeley Rep, Cal Shakes, and others. He has been seen locally in Rock the Ground Theater Company’s productions of The Rocky Horror Show, where he played Riff-Raff, as well as Laertes and the Ghost in Hamlet. As a director, Mr. Haugen staged Uncle Vanya for Rock the Ground, You Never Can Tell and The Philadelphia Story for Hillside Repertory (Los Angeles, CA). Other projects include, Pelleas and Melisande at the French Academy (New York, NY), and his original play, Saint Thais for Damn Fool Productions (Memphis, TN). Mr. Haugen was also the Artistic Director for Water Street Theater for three years (Port Townsend, WA).

About the Playwrights

Yasmina Reza

Playwright, God of Carnage

Yasmina Reza is a French dramatist, novelist and actress best known for her brief, satiric plays which speak to contemporary anxieties. She wrote God of Carnage after a similar situation occurred with her own son. She had been asked by a German theater director for a commissioned work. Feeling overwhelmed and uninspired, she turned him down until she experienced a verbal encounter with the mother of the child whom her son had fought with. She returned to the German with a new, universal theme, and enthusiasm. She finished the script in three months, intensely tackling an overarching social theme. Her award-winning career began in 1987 and her plays continue to gain acclaim; these include ArtThe Unexpected Man and Life X 3.

David Ives

Playwright, Venus in Fur

David Ives is perhaps best known for his evening of one-act plays, All In The Timing (he has been included in the “Best Short Plays” series seven time), and for his drama Venus In Fur, which was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play. His plays include New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch De SpinozaThe School For Lies(adapted from Moliere’s The Misanthrope); The Liar (adapted from Corneille), Time Flies and Is He Dead? (adapted from Mark Twain). He has also translated Feydeau’s A Flea In Her Ear and Yasmina Reza’s A Spanish Play. A former Guggenheim Fellow in playwriting and a graduate of The Yale School of Drama, he lives in New York City. He is also the author of three young-adult novels: Monsieur EekScrib, and Voss, and has adapted 32 American musicals for New York City’s beloved Encores! Series.