October 28, 2021 – November 28, 2021

Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is filled to capacity, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, his door locked from the inside. Isolated, with a killer on the loose, Detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer–before he or she decides to strike again. Ken Ludwig’s clever adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express boasts all the glamour, intrigue, and suspense of Dame Agatha’s celebrated novel, with a healthy dose of humor to quicken the pace.

Adapted for the stage by Ken Ludwig
Based on the novel by Agatha Christie
Scenic Design by Yoon Bae
Costume Design by Lukas Pirmin Wassmann
Lighting Design by Marcella Barbeau
Video Design by Greg Emetaz
Hair & Make-Up Design by Brenda O’Brien
Sound Design by Tatiana Covington-Parra
Dialect Coaching by Kimily Conkle
Original Score by Sean Paxton
Direction by Jerry Lee

Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. www.concordtheatricals.com

Cast

Frederic Heringes

Frederic Heringes *

Hercule Poirot

FREDERIC HERINGES

Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (2021)

After graduating from The Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts in California, where he appeared in over 20 shows, Frederic forged a career path as a classical singer for 30 years in opera and oratorio throughout the United States. Along the way he continued to perform as an actor, featuring a long stint as Ubaldo Piangi in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, in Toronto, and on the U.S. tour. As an actor, favorite roles performed include Malvolio (Twelfth Night), Tito/Beppo (A Comedy of Tenors by Ken Ludwig), Henry (Mud by Maria I. Fornes) and Ko-Ko (The Mikado). As an educator, he has directed opera productions for Concordia College in Minnesota, NDSU, and for the Fargo/ Moorhead Opera. Following a lifelong avocation in Art and Antiques, he also spent several years working at a fine art auction house in New York City as a cataloger and appraiser.

Peter S. Hadres

Peter S. Hadres *

Monsieur Bouc

PETER S. HADRES

Fight & Intimacy Director for Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (2021)

Monsieur Bouc in Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (2021)

Peter has been performing for most of his adult life. He has been in over 40 Shakespearean productions at theaters and festivals around the country in roles such as Brutus, Berowne, Jaques and Puck. For 20 years he was an Associate Artist at the Pacific Conservatory Theater (PCPA), where he was involved in over 100 productions. A few recent roles include Francis Biddle (Trying), Martin Vanderhoff (You Can’t Take It With You), Vanya (Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike), and Henslowe (Shakespeare in Love). He has a small role in the upcoming film Brut Force. He is grateful for each and every opportunity, including this debut here at SRT! As a Fight Director he has staged acts of violence for dozens of stage productions as well as the History Channel series, Deadly Duels.

Gabrielle Smith

Gabrielle Smith

Mary Debenham

GABRIELLE SMITH

The Straw Pig, Blind Mouse in Shrek The Musical; Mary Debenham in Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (2021)

Gabrielle is delighted to be making her SRT debut! She is a 2021 graduate of the University of Kansas, having earned a BA in theatre performance. Her professional credits include La Cage aux Folles (Collette/Cagelle), The Legend of Georgia McBride (Jo) and Chasing Gods (Olivia) all with Kansas Repertory Theatre. She has also performed at the William Inge Theatre Festival, and for GradWorks with Sarah Lawrence College. In 2019, Gabrielle worked as an Education Fellow for NewYorkRep theatre company. In her free time, Gabrielle likes to go thrift shopping, long boarding, and rollerblading! She is so grateful to be in Sonora, and for this opportunity!

Henry J. Flores

Henry J. Flores

Hector MacQueen

HENRY J. FLORES

Hector MacQueen in Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (2021)

Henry returns to the Sierra Repertory stage for the fourth time after being seen in the ensemble of The Wizard of Oz and Beauty and the Beast and for four performances as Doody in Grease (SRT). Favorite roles include Rooster Hannigan in Annie, Robert in Boeing, Boeing, Lefou in Beauty and the Beast, Rolf in The Sound of Music and JJ Peachum in The Threepenny Opera. He worked as the Resident Properties Designer for 4 productions of SRT’s 2019 Season (Ripcord, Cabaret, Grease, The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical). Henry has a BA in Acting from Stanislaus State University. He sends his love and thanks to Scott and Jerry, his parents, and his beautiful fiancé Hannah for their support.

Kevin Heath

Kevin Heath

Michel The Conductor/Head Waiter

Kevin Heath (Grimsby) is grateful to be back at SRT for another production! A transplant actor from New England and New York, he acted in the Bay Area until he created Limelight Actors Theater, generating an award winning/TBA Nominated company under his vision.  Recent productions include Murder on the Orient Express (Michel), The Velocity of Autumn (Christopher), The Outgoing Tide (Jack), and The 39 Steps (Hannay). Off stage, Kevin is the Manager of Development Operations at SRT. He lives in Twain Harte with his husband Alan, and their German Shepard Bodhi.

Laurie Strawn

Laurie Strawn

Princess Dragomiroff

Laurie Strawn is delighted to be back at SRT! Last Fall, she was Princess Dragomiroff in Murder on the Orient Express, and as an SRT Company Member in the early 2000s, favorites include Noises Off, Picnic, Phantom, and Man of La Mancha. Regionally, favorites include Jean Louise Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (Berkeley Playhouse), Miss Shingle in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Davis Shakespeare Festival), and Betty in The Foreigner (Hillbarn Theater). Laurie is a writer and performer in the Bay area and lives happily ever after with Lee Strawn, another SRT alum, and their wonderful daughter, Julia.

Dianne B. Manaster

Dianne B. Manaster

Greta Ohlsson

DIANNE B. MANASTER

Greta Ohlsson in Agatha Chrsitie’s Murder on the Orient Express (2021)

Dianne is delighted to be joining the SRT family again, having played here previously in Hank Williams: Lost Highway and Cabaret! A native of Toronto, Canada, Dianne enjoys work in theatre, film, and television. Favorite roles include Mama Lilly, (SRT) Lady M., (Groundless Shakespeare LA) Fraulein Schneider, (SRT), and Nurse in Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare Orange County). She also writes and performs for Pacific Symphony’s Education Program in Orange County, where she lives with violinist husband Paul and furry kids Vanderbilt and George. She loves spending time in L.A. with human daughter, Stephanie. She is so grateful to have this opportunity to perform in Murder on the Orient Express, by her favourite mystery author of all time!

Courtney Glass

Courtney Glass *

Countess Andrenyi

Courtney Glass is originally from nearby Sacramento, Courtney now calls Sonora home.  In between those locations were years spent in New York City, traveling the American regional circuit, sailing the high seas, and touring through Australia.  Favourite credits include the original Broadway company of THE WOMAN IN WHITE, the Australian tours of SWEENEY TODD and SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, and many shows right here at Sierra Rep, MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, SHREK, and CAMELOT, to name a few. She is honoured to support this extraordinary group of women from the wings and thanks you, our loyal audience, for supporting us from the seats.

Melinda Parrett

Melinda Parrett *

Helen Hubbard

MELINDA PARRETT

Helen Hubbard in Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (2021)

Melinda is joyously returning to SRT after having last appeared as Miss Sandra in All Shook Up! way back in 2008. A California native, she has appeared with theatres all over the country, including Denver Center Theatre, Geva Theatre, Goodspeed Opera House, Santa Cruz State Farm, Bloomington, IL Shakespeare, PCPA Theaterfest, SLO Rep, LonBeach CLO, Capital Stage, B Street Theatre, StageWorks Fresno, Sacramento Theatre Company, Sacramento Music Circus, Oregon Cabaret, Phoenix Theatre, Quintessence Theatre Group, and Utah Shakespeare Festival, where she has spent 7 seasons. Favorite roles include Nora (A Doll’s House: Part Two), Morticia (The Addams Family The Musical), Orlando (Orlando), Reno Sweeney (Anything Goes), Diana (next to normal), Lady Macbeth, Rosalind, and Ariel. A proud mom to her ginger cat Burton, she’s grateful to have this opportunity to return to the stage amongst so many dear friends amidst the fabulous foothills. Thank you for supporting the arts!

Charles Pasternak

Charles Pasternak *

Colonel Arbuthnot/Samuel Ratchett

CHARLES PASTERNAK

Colonel Arbuthnot and Samuel Ratchett in Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (2021)

Previously at SRT: title role in Macbeth, directed by Dennis Jones. Regional: American Players Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Clarence Brown Theatre, The Denver Center, Coachella Valley Repertory, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Shakespeare Center Los Angeles, Ensemble Theatre Santa Barbara, International City Theatre, three seasons with Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, and four seasons with Shakespeare Santa Cruz, among many more. Designate Artistic Director of Santa Cruz Shakespeare, where Charles will take over the role full-time in 2023; Founding Artistic Director of The Porters of Hellsgate Theatre Company. Charles is an actor, director, producer, and teacher.

Artistic Team

Ken Ludwig

Ken Ludwig

Playwright

KEN LUDWIG

Playwright of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (2021)

Ken Ludwig has had six shows on Broadway, seven in London’s West End, and many of his works have become a standard part of the American repertoire. His 28 plays and musicals have been performed in over 30 countries in more than 20 languages and are produced throughout the United States every night of the year.

Lend Me a Tenor won two Tony Awards and was called “one of the classic comedies of the 20th century by The Washington PostCrazy For You was on Broadway for five years and won the Tony and Olivier Awards for Best Musical.

In addition, he has won the Edgar Award for Best Mystery of the Year, two Laurence Olivier Awards, two Helen Hayes Awards, and the Edwin Forrest Award for Contributions to the American Theater. His plays have starred, among others, Alec Baldwin, Carol Burnett, Tony Shaloub, Joan Collins and Hal Holbrook.

His stage version of Murder on the Orient Express was written expressly at the request of the Agatha Christie Estate, and his latest play, Dear Jack, Dear Louise, won the 2020 Charles MacArthur Award for Best New Play of the Year and is optioned for Broadway.

His book How To Teach Your Children Shakespeare, published by Penguin Random House, won the Falstaff Award for Best Shakespeare Book of the Year, and his essays are published in the Yale Review.

He is a graduate of Harvard and Cambridge and is a frequent guest speaker for groups as varied as The Oxford-Cambridge Society, The Jane Austen Society of North America, The Folger Shakespeare Library, and The Baker Street Irregulars.

AGATHA CHRISTIE

Author of Murder on the Orient Express

Born in Torquay in 1890, Agatha Christie became, and remains, the best-selling novelist of all time.

She is best known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, as well as the world’s longest-running play – The Mousetrap. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and a billion in translation.

Jerry Lee

Jerry Lee *

Director

Jerry Lee is SRT’s Associate Artistic Director. He’s appeared in the SRT productions of Shrek The Musical, Camelot, Cabaret, Route 66, Intimate Apparel, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Man of La Mancha, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s State Fair, and The Drowsy Chaperone. As an actor: I Love You…Change, Forbidden Broadway (California Musical Theatre); Life Could Be a Dream, A Christmas Carol (CenterREP); A Little Princess, The Fantasticks (Sacramento Theatre Company); West Side Story (Mountain Play); Orlando, An Iliad, A Tale of Two Cities (SacImpulse Theatre). As a director: Dogfight, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Steel Magnolias, Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka KIDS, I Love You…Change, The Wizard of Oz, Holiday Jukebox, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, The Robber Bridegroom (SRT); I Love You…Change (STC). Lee began his association with Sierra Rep in 2010 when he stepped in as a replacement in Guys and Dolls.

In 2019, Lee created SRT in Schools, a touring program that brings live professional theatre to Tuolumne County schools free of charge.

Sean Paxton

Sean Paxton

Composer

SEAN PAXTON

Music Director for Shrek The Musical; Composer for Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (2021)

Sean is a composer and pianist based in Los Angeles. Originally from Sonora, he attended USC for Jazz Performance studying with Milcho Leviev and Cedar Walton. After finishing his degree, Sean spent a year in Glasgow, Scotland, playing in hotels and working with the Lothian Gaelic Choir. Then, after working in San Francisco with jazz and pop groups, he returned to Los Angeles and a career as a composer and pianist. He has music directed dozens of productions at various theatres including Sierra Rep, Milwaukee Rep, PCPA, The Odyssey, The NoHo Arts Center, Sierra Madre Playhouse, and has played and produced music for Disney and Universal Studios. Sean recently scored the award-winning feature Refuge, SMP’s production of Deathtrap, and received ASCAP’s Harold Arlen Award for film scoring.

Yoon Bae

Yoon Bae

Scenic Designer

YOON BAE

Scenic Designer for Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (2021)

Yoon is an award-winning scenic and costume designer working internationally, including London’s West End, Norway, South Korea, Japan, and the USA. Don Giovanni (Welsh National Opera), Candide (Tokyo), Disconnect (Winner Bay Area Theatre Critics Award for best set design), Closer (Seoul), Once On This Island, The Wolves, Oedipus El Rey, Once, The Great Gatsby, The Importance of Being Earnest, Emma, The Sunshine Boys, Evita, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Magic Flute, Anything Goes, As You Like It, and Private Lives. London’s West End: Gone with the Wind, Birdsong, Skellig, Equus, Three Thousand Troubled Threads (Edinburgh International Festival), the world premiere of Caridad Svich’s Archipelago and Howard Barker’s Wounds to the Face. Yoon directed the installation film (in)VISIBLE 3.12 (6 nominations at Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival) and (in)VISIBLE 365. She is an Assistant Professor of Scenic Design at the University of Kentucky and a member of USA 829.

Lukas Pirmin Wassman

Lukas Pirmin Wassman

Costume Designer

LUKAS PIRMIN WASSMANN

Costume Designer for Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (2021)

Lukas received his BFA at the HAW Hamburg, Germany in 2017 and his MFA in 2021 at NYU Tisch, chair Susan Hilferty. Before studying abroad in 2016 at the California State University Long Beach Lukas assisted in Moscow, Hamburg, Berlin, Vienna, Zurich, and Salzburg in opera, musical, and film. He worked as a costume and scenic designer in Luxembourg, Hamburg, Berlin, New York, and in Chemnitz where he designed My Fair Lady, directed by Erik Petersen, whom he also currently works with on set and costumes for the operetta Viktoria & Her Hussar. This October he opens Hedda Gabler at Columbia University, directed by Rakesh Palisetty.

Marcella Barbeau

Marcella Barbeau

Lighting Designer

MARCELLA BARBEAU

Lighting Designer for Agatha Christie’s Murder onthe Orient Express (2021); and Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play (2021)

Marcella is a New York City based lighting designer. Recent credits include The Threepenny Carmen and The Threepenny Opera (The Atlanta Opera), Sherlock Holmes’ Baskerville, Native Gardens, The Lifespan of a Fact (Gloucester Stage Company), Trayf (New Repertory Theatre). Upcoming projects: Club Hertz Live! (The Alliance), Lucy and Charlie’s Honeymoon (Lookingglass Theatre), La Traviata (Opera Columbus), Cabaret, As One (The Atlanta Opera). Marcella has been an associate for designers at The English National Opera, National Theatre Mannheim, and National Theatre Munich.

Greg Emetaz

Greg Emetaz

Video Designer

GREG EMETAZ

Video Designer for Murder on the Orient Express (2021)

Greg is a filmmaker and video designer based in New York. For stage: Fire Shut Up in My Bones (The Metropolitan Opera), La Clemenza Di Tito (LA Opera), world premieres of Bel Canto  (Chicago Lyric Opera), Dolores Claiborne (San Francisco Opera), Champion, An American Soldier, Shalimar, 27 and The Golden Ticket (Opera Theatre Saint Louis), Enemies a Love Story (Palm Beach Opera). For screen: feature film Camp Wedding (Nevermore audience Award, Jim Thorpe Best Comedy), short films: Bowes Academy, Spell Claire, Get the F K Outta Paris!, Death by Omelette (SNCF Prix Du Polar Finalist) and web series Do it Yourselfie (Friar’s Club special Jury Award, iTVfest Best Director award), co-directed with Amanda DeSimone. He’s also created behind-scenes documentaries for Julie Taymor’s The Tempest, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, and numerous productions at Opera Theatre St. Louis.

Brenda O'Brien

Brenda O’Brien *

Hair & Make-Up Designer

Brenda O’Brien (Ursula; Hair & Make-Up Designer) began her theater career in San Diego, where she was seen as Judas in Godspell, Louise in Gypsy, Nicki in Sweet Charity, and Viola in Twelfth Night (to name a few). She received awards for her roles as Ouisa in Six Degrees of Separation, Joan in Dames at Sea, Aldonza in Man of La Mancha, and Electra in Gypsy. Brenda then went on to perform as Svetlana in the 1st National tour of Chess. Soon after she began portraying Carmen San Diego on the PBS television show and video games. In addition to acting, Brenda is an accomplished make-up artist and hairdresser for TV, Film, and Theater. She received her 25 years on Broadway pin in 2019 for her work on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Les Misérables, Jekyll & Hyde, and Disney’s The Lion King. SRT Audiences might remember her as Tanya in Mamma Mia (2018), or as Tootie in Meet Me in St. Louis (2021). So glad to be back!

Tatiana Covington-Parra (Sound Designer) is thrilled to be diving into another season at Sierra Rep after a whirlwind 2021 return. Beginning as a sound engineer at Modesto Junior College, she is grateful to have found a community and the opportunity to grow as an artist thanks to the guidance and support of the SRT company. Her favorite design work at SRT includes Cabaret, The Wizard of Oz, and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. She would like to thank her Mom, Grandma, family, friends, the MJC Theatre staff, and all her mentors for always allowing her to create, explore, and grow with love.

Peter S. Hadres

Peter S. Hadres *

Fight & Intimacy Director

PETER S. HADRES

Fight & Intimacy Director for Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (2021)

Monsieur Bouc in Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (2021)

Peter has been performing for most of his adult life. He has been in over 40 Shakespearean productions at theaters and festivals around the country in roles such as Brutus, Berowne, Jaques and Puck. For 20 years he was an Associate Artist at the Pacific Conservatory Theater (PCPA), where he was involved in over 100 productions. A few recent roles include Francis Biddle (Trying), Martin Vanderhoff (You Can’t Take It With You), Vanya (Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike), and Henslowe (Shakespeare in Love). He has a small role in the upcoming film Brut Force. He is grateful for each and every opportunity, including this debut here at SRT! As a Fight Director he has staged acts of violence for dozens of stage productions as well as the History Channel series, Deadly Duels.

Kimily Conkle

Kimily Conkle

Dialect Coach

Kimily Conkle (Dialect Coach) recently coached Steel Magnolias for SRT and is delighted to join the creative team once again. She has coached dialects extensively throughout the Bay Area, including 20 shows for TheatreWorks (notably the world premiere of Memphis). Other theatres include Marin Theatre Company, San Jose Stage, South Bay Musical Theatre, Broadway by the Bay, Los Altos Stage, The Mountain Play, Foothill Music Theatre, Palo Alto Players, Tabard Theatre, Dragon Productions, Pear Theatre, Woodside Community Theatre, Hillbarn Theatre, Ross Valley Players, and at Stanford University and Santa Rosa Junior College. Kimily has performed with TheatreWorks, San Jose Stage, PCPA Theaterfest, Western Stage, Los Altos Conservatory Theatre, Empire Plush Room, Palo Alto Players, and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. She is a former member of the Theatre Arts faculty at Foothill College and received her training from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, American Conservatory Theater, and Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.

Maggie Braun

Maggie Braun *

Stage Manager

Maggie Braun (Assistant Stage Manager) is thrilled to be back at her theatre home! SRT: Steel Magnolias, Murder on the Orient Express, Route 66, The Wizard of Oz, Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, and Million Dollar Quartet. With her associate degree in Theater from Modesto Junior College, she is proud to have her dream job here in Sonora. She would like to thank her family, best friends, and Connor for supporting her in her journey of chasing her dreams. “Look ma, I made it!”

* indicates member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA)
† indicates member of United Scenic Artists (USA)
‡ indicates member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC)