The Magical Family
We couldn’t bring the magic of theatre into the lives of thousands of children from 23 counties without the help of so many people, both on stage and behind the scenes. Get to know the talented, dedicated professionals that make up our Magical family!
The Keeper of All Things Magical
Holly is extremely proud to have made her living in the theatre for the past 34 years — 30 right here at Magical Theatre Company! She has worked as an actress and/or director in 22 different states and has loved every minute of it. Holly has enjoyed acting in, or directing, such shows as The Elephant Man, Brigadoon, Steel Magnolias, Camelot, Driving Miss Daisy, A Flea In Her Ear, The Music Man and many others. She has been seen locally in commercials and industrial films and has served as an artist-in-residence for several area school districts. When not onstage or in the director’s chair, Holly enjoys cooking, traveling and her guilty pleasure — watching Lifetime movies. Read More (pdf).
The Other Keeper of All Things Magical
Dennis grew up with a fertile imagination pretending to be all manner of characters — some real, such as Daniel Boone and Willie Mays; some created by others such as Huckleberry Finn and Snaggelpuss and others he created and which resembled pirates, gorillas, cowboys, explorers, cheetahs and even elephants. To this day he can’t bypass a cable show about elephants — even if he’s already seen it six times. These characters and others came to life in his backyard, his bedroom and at Hardesty Park, where he roamed with his sister, brothers and neighborhood cronies. Together they played games and invented their own, such as the now-famous Grey Wolf (well, famous to about 12 kids in two square blocks). All that playing led to places where he became more and more immersed in playing – plays at school, plays at local theatres and plays in college. Eventually, his path led him to plays on the road that actually paid him to perform and finally, to Magical Theatre Company, where he has played the last 30 years. Here he has all sorts of wonderful playmates — some kids, some adults — and of course, the best one of all, his wife, Holly. Read More (pdf).
Queen of Clothes
Actor & Funny Man
Adam is always happy to return for another season at Magical Theatre. His favorite magical shows include Cinderella, The Stinky Cheese Man, Beowulf, A Christmas Carol, A Year With Frog and Toad, Romeo and Juliet, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Kidscripts. He’s also been seen at Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Ohio Shakespeare, Porthouse Theatre, Dobama and Cain Park. Adam has written several plays that have been performed at Magical, including Alice In Wonderland, Quoth The Raven, Cinderella, Myths and Monsters, The Monkey’s Paw, Beowulf, The Odyssey and Lincoln: A Man for the Ages. His plays have also been produced at the Hammond Horror Festival, Youngstown State University, Dobama Theatre and the Chagrin Falls Academy for the Performing Arts. Adam has taught theatre and coached young actors at Kent State University, West Side Vocal Academy, Magical Theatre Company, Cain Park, The Rainy Institute and for his own private practice. He has a bachelor of the arts degree in Theatre from Baldwin-Wallace University and an MFA in Acting from Kent State University. He sends his love to family and friends, and most importantly, to his wonderful wife, Wendy, and his magnificent little boy, Maxwell.
Master of All Things Aural
Mark C. Jenks
Mark has worked on special events for The Cleveland Museum of Art, and as a featured artist in Parade the Circle and Festival of Lights for the last twenty years. He co-designed and directed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s opening day parade, as well as productions of Peter and the Wolf and Pictures at an Exhibition with the Cleveland Orchestra. He has recently worked with Cleveland School of the Arts, designing and building sets for their theatre department. Mark has made several creatures for Magical Theatre Company, including The BFG, as well as Beowulf, The Odyssey, Alice in Wonderland and all of those spot-on props in The Cat in the Hat.
Actor & Artisan
Amanda graduated with a bachelor of fine arts degree in Acting from Wright State University. She worked on many new shows while living in Chicago, sketch comedy and stand-up comedy, and also helped found Rogue Theatre. Upon returning to Ohio, she worked with Karamu House. Amanda is the mother of a 4-year-old and is also a stained glass artist. An avid reader and poet, she is thrilled to be back at Magical Theatre Company after having previously appeared in Click, Clack Moo: Cows That Type, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cinderella, Quoth the Raven, Lyle the Crocodile and KidScripts.
Actor & Queen Bee
Deb has worked professionally for over 35 years and as part of the Magical family for the past 12! It’s hard to narrow down, but the list of her favorite roles at Magical includes Mae Tuck in Tuck Everlasting, Sponge/Ladybug in James and the Giant Peach, Mrs. Whatsit in A Wrinkle in Time, Miss Maudie Atkinson in To Kill a Mockingbird and the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella. Deb tours with Magical and also teaches classes. She has her bachelor of fine arts degree in Musical Theatre from Kent State University and Master’s work done at West Virginia University. Through her own production company, queenbeeproductions.com, Deb expands her artistic endeavors with visual arts (specializing in fairy houses and doors), creative marketing and working with students as they prepare auditions for school programs. Deb lives in Cuyahoga Falls with daughter Rachel, husband Russell and the dynamic dog duo of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Ben Needham is excited to be returning for his ninth season with Magical Theatre Company. Ben is the owner and principal designer of Digital Squirrel Studio (digitalsquirrel.net), having designed over 700 theater productions across the country. He has also provided scenic design and concept art for many film and TV projects including Lincoln (Dir. Steven Spielberg), Ithaca (Dir. Meg Ryan), AMC’s TURN: Washington’s Spies, PBS’s Mercy Street and TNT’s drama Monsters of God. Ben also designed a new immersive theatre project produced by the Russo Brothers (multiple Captain America films).
Actor & All Around Good Guy
Mark is delighted to be part of our family and debuted with Magical Theatre more than 20 years ago. His favorite experiences with Magical Theatre include Of Mice and Men, Schoolhouse Rock Live, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dinosaur, Young King Arthur, Zero Tolerance, three endeavors with KidScripts!, three versions of Cinderella and Quoth the Raven. A founding member of New World Performance Lab, Mark’s other local credits include Cleveland Playhouse, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, CATCo, Cleveland Shakespeare Festival, Cleveland Public Theatre, Cleveland Signstage, Ensemble Theatre, Actor’s Summit, Kenley Players and Shakespeare at Stan Hywet. His theatre career has also taken him to the Washington D.C. area, where he’s performed with Shakespeare Theatre Co, Imagination Stage, Washington Shakespeare Co, Theatre of the First Amendment and Taffety Punk. Additional theatrical adventures have taken him to regional theatres such as Theatre L’Homme Dieu (Minnesota), Renaissance Repertory Co (Tennessee) Cumberland Theatre Co (Maryland) and Prop Theatre (Chicago). A proud member of SAG-AFTRA, his work has also included film, TV and radio commercials, trade, sales and industrial videos and educational and live interactive performances. Mark received his master’s of fine arts degree from the Academy for Classical Acting at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in coordination with the George Washington University.
Technical Director, aka Doer & Builder
Stephen is a Theatre artist enjoying over 40 years as a technical director, designer, director, actor and most any other position you’d find in the Theatre. He has built and designed over 200 plays at Cain Park, Cleveland Playhouse and Cleveland Public Theatre, as well as at theatres in Chicago, Indiana and Missouri.
The Lighting Guy
Adam Ditzel (The Lighting Guy) is returning to the world of performing arts after working full-time with a corporate audio-visual company for the past few years; and is happy to be working with Magical Theatre again. Past design credits at Magical include Charlotte’s Web, A Christmas Carol, and The Amazing Lemonade Girl. This fall and winter, Adam’s work can be seen at Near West Theatre, Verb Ballets, and The University of Akron School of Dance. Adam holds a degree in Lighting Design & Technology from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). He is currently based in Cleveland where he just bought a house with his loving girlfriend, Corinne.
Magical Theatre Company Administrative Staff
Magical Theatre Company Board of Trustees
For additional information about Board service, please contact Dennis O’Connell.