Stage Talk Preview: Christmas Cabaret

The temperature is dropping, colored lights are popping up all around the neighborhoods, and Christmas music fills the air. No where is that more apparent than at the Charleston Performing Arts Center on James Island, where their talented troupe of performers is staging a Christmas Cabaret. Once again, Straight Talk with Steve has a backstage look at this fantastic show!

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The show runs on Thursdays through Sundays until December 20th, so get your tickets now at the Charleston Performing Arts Center.

Bios

CAST

HAMPTON KEITH BISHOP (guest artist) is excited to be a part of the C-PAC family for the first time this Holiday Season! After graduating from Belmont University, located in the heart of Nashville, he traveled to the mountains of East Tennessee to team up with Dolly Parton. Working as a Penguin Player within Ms. Dolly’s famously charitable Imagination Library Literacy Program, he played several roles, most notably the well-known wacky cat Skippyjon Jones. During his tenure, he played in DollyWood’s IAAPA award-winning summer and winter shows, dancing and singing in both Dreamland Drive-In (The Nerd) and Christmas In The Smokies (Lead Male/Swing). While Tennessee is where the heart is, the mountains couldn’t contain Hampton! He moved to New York City and began working for RWS and Associates both on and off stage, in Rockin’ County (Lead Vocalist) and, more recently, as a vocal studio recording artist, where his voice was recorded to be used for various RWS projects around the world. With ample stage voice experience (Les Miserables, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Hello Dolly, The Drowsy Chaperone, and background vocals for Trisha Yearwood, Rita Collage and Iarrnel Harris) Hampton is ecstatic to be spending the Holidays in one of his favorite cities! He is so thankful for the support of his family and friends and wishes everyone a great winter season. Happy Holidays Charleston!

CHANBRIELLE BEASON (dancer, apprentice) is thrilled to join the cast of the Christmas Cabaret in her Charleston performance debut! Originally from Bowling Green, Kentucky, Chanbrielle expressed a love for the performing arts at a very young age. She grew up singing in the church choir, competing in pageants, and taking dance classes. She has appeared in several musicals with various community theatres, to include Footloose, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and The Wiz. She is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this production, and thanks Kirk and Scott for their vision and commitment. She also thanks her mother who has always been her biggest cheerleader, and her family and friends for their unwavering support.

HARMONY CANADAY (Table Tootsie) grew up singing in the church choir, dancing, and cheerleading.  While taking time to raise her family, she never let go of her love for all things performance. Before joining C-PAC, she rekindled her passion for music and dance by taking classes, and eventually added African & Tribal Fusion Belly Dance to her practice. She facilitates the healing art of Ecstatic dance, and made her debut at Three Days of Light Festival. C-PAC credits: Summer Lovin’, summer camp production of Annie (Miss Hannigam), and DUKE: King of Jazz.

JOY DUCREE GREGORY (company member, vocalist) is pleased to perform in her fourth CPAC production and is thrilled to work with such a talented cast and crew. Joy recently moved to Charleston from Wilmington, NC, where she was the founder/ artistic director of True 2 You Productions Theatre Company. She has performed on numerous Southeast stages and has received several Wilmington Theater Awards for her performances and her theatre company’s productions.  Some favorite past roles include the Witch (Into the Woods), Sofia (The Color Purple), Dolly (Hello, Dolly!), Joanne (Rent), and Motormouth Maybelle (Hairspray). Joy received critical acclaim for her direction of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play Clybourne Park, and was featured in Wilmington’s SALT Magazine (June 2015) as the “Muse of Music” for the Port City. Although Joy has a Masters in Counseling Psychology and is a Certified Life Coach, her passion lies in ministry and the performing arts.  Joy wishes to thank God for His unmerited grace and mercy, Kirk and Scott for the opportunity to be a part of such a beautiful production, and her family for their unyielding support.

JENNIFER ROBINSON (Table Tootsie) is an 18 year old dancer, vocalist and singer/songwriter from Charleston. She has studied tap, jazz, and ballet for 11 years throughout the Charleston area, including Broadway Dance Academy (under the direction of Kirk Sprinkles). She spent four years in honors choir as an alto/mezzo-soprano where she found her passion for singing. She is honored to be a part of this production.

CHRISTINA SLATON (partial-season company member, dancer) is a native of Charleston. She is currently based out of Manhattan, NY, where she graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in 2012. In her past, Christina studied and performed with the Charleston Ballet Theatre and Company. Professional credits include Anything Goes and 42nd Street with the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina in Hilton Head, SC; and Charleston, The Musical! , C-PAC’s original dance musical featured in the 2014 Piccolo Spoleto Festival. She most recently has signed off of a fifteen-month contract at sea with Stiletto Entertainment and Holland America Line, and was last seen in C-PAC’s DUKE: King of Jazz. Thanks to Kirk and Scott, the technical team, and the company!

BRITTANY SILVER (guest artist) is elated to join the C-PAC family for her first time this Christmas 2015 season! She was most recently seen causing acres of mischief as evil stepsister Florinda in Into the Woods at Saint Vincent’s Summer Theatre, (as well as Baker’s Wife u/s). She also has spent the past two summers as part of the Lead Entertainment Staff for RWS & Associates; (her favorite role being your favorite elusive fairy, Tinker Bell)! Off-Broadway: Jay Alan Zimmerman’s Incredibly DEAF Musical (Artsy); New York/Regional: Agatha Christie’s The Unexpected Guest (Laura); Don’t Dress for Dinner (Suzanne); Why Do Fools Fall in Love? (Sally); When God Comes to Breakfast… (Beatrice); Linda Her (Janet.). TV Credits include: Scorned 360 (Discovery ID), Would You Fall for That? (ABC). Come visit the fun! www.BrittanySilver.com. Thank you Madam Samaras for your constant love & perfect heart. It’s all because of you. For my superhero, Mom.

TIFFANY WEST (company member, dance captain) hails from the Outer Banks of North Carolina and has been dancing for nearly 20 years. Trained in ballet, pointe, contemporary, jazz, tap and modern, she has attended three Radio City Rockette Summer Intensives, as well as, C-PAC’s Broadway Training Program in NYC. Tiffany has studied Acting, Voice, Dance, and Musical Theatre history with C-PAC’s South Carolina Musical Theatre Conservatory. She sits on The Board of Directors for C-PAC and holds the first title of Dance Captain and Assistant to Choreographer. In her second year as a C-PAC company member, her C-PAC credits include: Santa’s Naughty & Nice Burlesque (2013, originated the role of Fay, a Holy City Harlette); The Charleston (featured in the 2014 Piccolo Spoleto Festival); Santa’s Fancy Femmes & Follies, FEVER, Charleston, The Musical (Mrs. Harriett McCoy; featured in the 2015 Piccolo Spoleto Festival); Summer Lovin’, and DUKE: King of Jazz. Combining her passion for dance, musical theatre and serving on the board for C-PAC, Tiffany has high hopes and expectations for The Charleston Performing Arts Center. She would like to thank her family, friends, and co-workers for their unwavering support through her journey of pursuing her dreams of being on stage, and most of all Kirk and Scott for the opportunity to do so!

BACKSTAGE

CAITLIN CARTER (Artistic Director, Honorarius), whether on stage, back stage, as part of the creative staff or as an instructor and lecturer, is known for her commitment to excellence and her dedication to the final product – a memorable performance. In San Francisco at the age of eight, she began her training in acting, voice and dance. Following her love of ballet, she trained at the SAN FRANCISCO BALLET, THE SCHOOL OF AMERICAN BALLET and, in her high school years, at the NORTH CAROLINA SCHOOL OF THE ARTS. It was at SAB, at the age of fourteen, where Caitlin had a chance meeting with BOB FOSSE. When she introduced herself, he replied “Caitlin Carter…that name would look good in lights.” The seed had been planted. After performing with SAN ANTONIO BALLET, she moved to Houston, Texas where, while simultaneously acquiring double-major degrees at prestigious RICE UNIVERSITY, Caitlin was active in film, print, commercials, television and theatre. These theatrical endeavors allowed her to work with ascending directors, ROB MARSHALL and SUSAN STROMAN. Upon the suggestion of Mr. Marshall, Caitlin boarded a plane and set off for a Long Beach production of Chicago, choreographed by ANN REINKING. Time and again, these, and other, pillars of the industry encouraged Caitlin to bring her talents to New York City. Once in New York, Caitlin quickly established a career, exceptional for its continuous performing and longevity. Her first of five Broadway shows, Ain’t Broadway Grand, came only two months after her move. The following productions – Victor/Victoria, Chicago, Swing!, Bells Are Ringing – range almost 10 years. Other endeavors in commercials, television and film occurred throughout. Well-known for her keen intellect and uncompromising work ethic, Caitlin has extended her talents into Choreography, Directing, Stage Managing and Producing. Her voluntary activities as board member of the non-profit organization, Career Transition For Dancers provides a rewarding service to her peers. However, Caitlin’s lectures and master classes provide a special satisfaction – encouraging young performers and, hopefully, planting seeds for the future. Caitlin continues her work in all areas of the entertainment business as a performer, director, choreographer, instructor and consultant.

KIRK SPRINKLES (Artistic & Program Director, C-PAC; choreographer, director, costume designer) is a Broadway veteran performer and has toured both nationally and internationally. His choreography and theatre directing have been presented in numerous equity regional theatres, cruise lines, industrials, and dance companies. He serves as the Honorary Chairman on the Program Development Committee for the national organization, Career Transition For Dancers (2012 Tony Award recipient). Performing credits include: Tap Dogs, Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular, A Chorus Line, Grease, Oklahoma, Fame, Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies, 1776, in addition to numerous cruise lines. At an early age, Kirk transitioned into choreography and has choreographed for professional theatres throughout the Southeast, as well as cruise lines and dance companies. He served as the resident choreographer and general manager of the Centennial Station Dinner Theatre in High Point, NC, and as managing director for Dances Patrelle Ballet Company in New York City. Kirk is the producer and founder of the new web series Final Bow, What Now? which features interviews from celebrity performers (Chita Rivera, Marni Nixon, Donna McKechnie, Angela Lansbury, Anne Reinking, to name a few) who have transitioned in their career and now share their story, giving advice to today’s young performers. He now shares his experience, passion, and industry connections with the CPAC conservatory students and cast members.

STEPHANIE SAMARAS (Musical Director) has traveled widely, lecturing and presenting masterclasses on teaching pop singers. She has been a pioneer in applying healthy classical technique to the training of voices in the pop field. In 2006 Stephanie was honored to be one of four teachers in the country to earn the title of MASTER TEACHER by the NATS organizations. Her lecture and DVD, Classical Training Applied to the Pop Voice has been presented at the First International Congress of Voice Teachers in Strasbourg, France, and also at the National NATS convention in Los Angeles. She was a presenter at the NATS Music Theater Workshop in Dallas, the Voice Foundation in Philadelphia, as well as at many NATS events, both national and local, and college campuses across the country. Currently Stephanie teaches both privately in New York City, at The CUNY-Doctoral program, and at Montclair State U. Her studio is constantly represented on and off Broadway, on national tours, and on recordings. Her students have included Tony Award winners Scott Wise (who acknowledged Stephanie in his acceptance speech), Andy Blankenbuehler (Choreographer of Spring Awakening), and Nikki James (Book of Mormon); Broadway performer Evan Pappas (star of My Favorite Year and Parade); Patrick Swayze and his wife, actress Lisa Niemi, Jennifer Garner, soap star Ricky Paull-Goldin, Krysta Rodgriguez (Addams Family Values, and Smash,First Date) and others whose faces are familiar from the TV screen.

SCOTT PFEIFFER (CEO, C-PAC) grew up in northern California performing with various companies in such classics as The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, You Can’t Take it With You, Oliver!, The Music Man, Annie Get Your Gun, Cabaret, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas among others. While his last professional stage appearance was nearly twenty years ago, he has maintained a connection to the theatrical community, and was seen as the EmCee in C-PAC’s Charleston, The Musical. For 25 years, Scott worked in the fashion industry in executive corporate operations positions with national American and international brands, including Gap Inc., French Connection, Club Monaco, and Ralph Lauren. His skills in project management, leadership, financial planning, and communication and training, along with his love of writing, sense of humor, and passion for artistic expression, have been put to great use as both the CEO of Charleston Performing Arts Center, and book writer and co-director of C-PAC productions. He is the department head of C-PAC’s Acting curriculum, and is mentored by Los Angeles actor, director, and teacher, Don Eitner. He was honored to be the first acting instructor on the East Coach to teach Eitner’s acting method. In his spare time, Scott fills his blog with musings of his life and thoughts, and dotes on his two fur-children, Victor and Rhoda. He is grateful for this new adventure in creative expression, work, and life. Scott thanks the cast for their hard work and dedication to this production, and their parents, friends, significant others, and spouses who have seen much less of them during this time.

Steve is the founder of Straight Talk Entertainment and currently produces and writes for the audio drama Aural Traditions, recently voted Charleston City Paper’s Best Local Podcast. He’s also an Information Security professional and avid shark tooth hunter.

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