Everyone has a monster. But Tom’s gets out of hand. He’s in danger, and so is everyone he loves. He takes to the road and arrives near death in a graveyard, where a pair of identical (?) brother/sister (?) twins (?) help him find strength, love, and a professional monster hunter.
Working from the prompt, “Write me a Victorian roadtrip bromance, with puppets”* Harrisonburg playwright Pam Mandigo has created a compelling, inventive, and hilarious story about facing our monsters and discovering the power of our own paths.
This project is made possible, in part, through a grant from Arts Council of the Valley.
Images by Tiffany Showalter Photography
About the creative team
- Tom: Robby Gotschall
- Amelia: Heidi Jablonski
- Sambai: Amber James
- Nezzar: Jacob Laitinen
- Ronni: Nina Alabanza
- Jebediah: Ethan Goodmansen
Aili Huber has been directing for over 20 years, specializing in text-driven, audience-connected, actor-centered work. She holds an MFA from Mary Baldwin College/American Shakespeare Center, and is the co-author, with Toby Malone, of Cutting Plays for Performance, published by Routledge Press. She also has developed Take 5, a framework to reduce trauma for theater workers.
Favorite directing credits include TJ Young’s Sperm Donor Wanted with Slow Your Role Theater Co.,The Duchess of Malfi, Antony and Cleopatra, and Richard III with Pigeon Creek Shakespeare, and Merry Wives of Windsor at Quill Theatre.
Movement artist, costume designer, educator, MFA (Case Western Reserve University). Holly has been collaborating with theatre artists in the Shenandoah Valley since 2005. She has
worked with Bridgewater College, Eastern Mennonite University, Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center, Wanderlust Theatre Company and Unreal City Theatre on a variety of
productions, including two productions that traveled to DC Capital Fringe Festivals. Additionally, her work has received both regional and national recognition by the Kennedy Center American
College Theater Festival.
Percussionist, composer, facilitator. Michael has been involved with many projects that have changed our community for the better, including co-founding Our Community Place, working on the Gus Bus, providing leadership at
the Furious Flower Creativity Camp, and founding The Growing Space in Dayton.
Playwright, educator, and director Pam Mandigo creates stage magic in Harrisonburg and across the country. Her plays include Butchering Crows, Othello Remixed, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (with Ninjas), As You(r Mom) Likes It, Washed, and Armor on My Shoulders. Pam is a 2012 MacDowell Fellow, co-founder of The Great American Theater Company, and the new Head of School at Belle Meade Montessori School.
Design & Technical
Costume design by Heidi Jablonski. Construction assistance by Dallas Hetrick and Makayla Baker Paxton
Wound makeup by Erin Newman
Fight choreography by Robby Gotschall and Jacob Laitinen
Props design and sourcing by Amber James and Jacob Laitinen
Nina Alabanza is a senior at Harrisonburg High school, where they have participated extensively in the theatre program. Some of their roles include Deirdre in Good Kids, Inspector Carter in The One-Act Play That Goes Wrong, and the Judge in Chicago. Nina is also trying their hand at directing their original play Prussian Blue, set to perform at HHS this spring. After high school, Nina plans to attend college to study film production with a focus in directing.
Ethan Goodmansen is an actor/singer from Hagerstown, Maryland. He is a first year student in Mary Baldwin University’s Shakespeare and Performance program and recent graduate of Southern Virginia University. He recently performed as Duke Senior in Four County Players’ production of As You Like It and as Nick Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at SVU. In addition to acting, Ethan has performed with several choral and operatic ensembles around the country. Ethan enjoys watching old movies, baking pizza, and reading.
Robert Gotschall is a Staunton-based actor. A recent MFA graduate of the Mary Baldwin University Shakespeare and Performance program, his most recent credits include Richmond Shakespeare Festival as Master Ford in “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” and Polaris Shakespeare Company as Coriolanus in “Coriolanus.”
Heidi Jablonski is delighted to be playing Amelia in Silk Moth Stage’s production of Give Us Good. Heidi has been acting with Inside Out Playback Theater for the last 7 years. She studied Peacebuilding, Theater, and Gender Studies at Eastern Mennonite University. Some favorite roles at EMU include Phoebe in As You Like It, Florinda in Into the Woods, and Miss Prism in The Importance of Being Earnest. Heidi was also seen in the Valley Playhouse’s productions of If There’s A Rock n’ Roll Heaven and The One More Last Chance Diner. Heidi is often found crafting fantastical stories with her husband, Caleb, and going for walks in downtown Harrisonburg with their 2 and 4-year-old daughters.
AMBER JAMES (she/her) is an Arizona girl turned Richmond-based actor, director, teacher, and international dog-spotter. She received her BFA in Classical Acting from Southern Utah University and her MLitt and MFA in Shakespeare and Performance from Mary Baldwin University. Her selected credits include MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR with Quill Theatre, THE GREENSHOW with Utah Shakespeare Festival, AS YOU LIKE IT with Prince George’s Shakespeare in the Parks, TARTUFFE with Perisphere Theater, THE CHERRY ORCHARD with Faction of Fools, THE SEAGULL with The Wheel Theatre Company, THE REVENGER’S TRAGEDY with Polaris Shakespeare Company, and THE FOREIGNER with SimonFest Theatre Co. Website: http://www.amberjames.art
Jacob Laitinen is an actor from the upper peninsula of Michigan. Jacob graduated from Northern Michigan University with a degree in Theatre Performance, and now attends Mary Baldwin University as a graduate student in the Shakespeare & Performance program. He is very excited to be working with this talented crew to bring you this original piece of theatre, and hope everyone in the audience enjoys the show.