Elyssa Bjorkman is ecstatic to be participating in The Lilac Players debut cabaret! Elyssa received her degree in Theatre and Voice from Salem State University. Throughout her career, Elyssa has been in numerous productions including Kiss Me Kate (Fred Graham/Petruchio), The Pirates of Penzance (The Pirate Queen), The Mikado (Pitti Sing), Twelfth Night (Feste), HMS Pinafore (Cousin Hebe), and Into The Woods (Rapunzel) to name a few. She would, of course, love to thank her friends, family, and husband for their love and support, and the other talented performers in tonight's event. Elyssa would also like to dedicate her performances to her loved ones who have passed.
Emma Brown (she, her, hers) (President) is thrilled beyond words for the first performance of The Lilac Players, and hopes to see you all at many more! Her recent credits include director of Chess, The Pirates of Penzance, and 1776, stage managing HMS Pinafore (MIT Gilbert & Sullivan Players) and Avenue Q (Musical Theatre Guild), and assistant staging La Zombiata (Wholetone Opera). She is now devoting all of her theatrical energy to getting The Lilac Players going, and knows this is just the first step on a long, exciting road. She would like to thank everyone reading these words for making her dream possible.
Wyn Brown (they, them, theirs) (Treasurer) is super excited to be working with the Lilac Players! Previous theater experience includes assistant stage managing Chess (MIT Gilbert and Sullivan Players), and performing in 1776 (Caesar Rodney, MIT Gilbert and Sullivan Players) and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Chairman, Leading Ladies (now Duct Tape Productions)). By day, they’re a clinical social worker for kids and teens. They would like to thank their spouse, Alex, for being an eternally supportive hero with the Lilac Players and with life!
Tyler Crosby (he, him, his) (Secretary) is honored to serve on the Lilac board and be a part of this debut performance. Past roles include: Harold Hill (The Music Man), The Footlight Club; Captain Corcoran (HMS Pinafore), Anatoly Sergievsky (Chess), Wilfred Shadbolt (Yeomen of the Guard), and John Dickinson (1776), MIT Gilbert & Sullivan Players; Charles Guiteau (Assassins, ArtsImpulse Nominated - Best Supporting Actor in a Musical), MIT Musical Theatre Guild; Tragedian (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, DASH Winner - Best Specialty Ensemble, Best Play), The Longwood Players. He asks that you double-check your voter registration status. <3 to MJ.
Theresa Griffin (she/her/hers) is pleased to be a part of the debut performance of the Lilac Players, and is honored to share the stage with so many talented performers. Theresa’s past roles include Harry Trevor/Baptista Minola (Kiss me Kate), Nurse Ratched (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), Gloriana (The Mouse that Roared), Elaine Harper (Arsenic and Old Lace), Hope Harcourt (Anything Goes), Belinda Blair/Flavia Brent (Noises Off!), Guenevere (Camelot), and Lady Bracknell (The Importance of Being Earnest). Offstage, Theresa works as a medical writer and fosters cats and kittens for Kitty Connection. She would like to thank her husband, Matt, for his continued support of her theatrical endeavors.
Meghan Jolliffe (she, her, hers) (Chairperson of the Board) Meghan Jolliffe (Ralph) is a Graduate of the New England Conservatory, recovering opera snob, and full time angry feminist. Past roles include Ralph Rackstraw (HMS Pinafore, MITGSP) Florence Vassy (Chess, MITGSP) Elsie Maynard (Yeomen of the Guard, MITGSP) Mabel (Pirates of Penzance (MITGSP) Giuseppe Zangara (MIT Musical Theater Guild) Martha Jefferson (1776, MITGSP) Dido (Dido and Aeneas, NEC UGOS) Nancy (Albert Herring, NEC UGOS) Thanks to the incredible friends that have come together to launch the Lilac Players, and all my love to TC and AB.
Marnen E. Laibow-Koser is an eclectic multi-instrumentalist and composer, regularly performing anything from Javanese gamelan music to opera. He received his Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory’s unique Contemporary Improvisation program, where his teachers included Ran Blake, Joe Morris, and Malcolm Peyton. His compositions have been performed and recorded by groups such as Gamelan Son of Lion (Pathetan Pélog, on the CD Bending the Gending) and the Westchester Philharmonic Orchestra, and have also been featured in fiction podcasts (Metamor City; Scouts Remastered) and video games. In 2014, Marnen served as musical director and pianist for Opera Brittenica’s groundbreaking immersive production of The Turn of the Screw (Brookline, Massachusetts); he has also been musical director for theater companies across the U.S., including Festival 56 (Illinois) and Pioneer Arts Center of Easthampton (Massachusetts). Marnen has also toured Europe and the U.S. as violinist with the Renaissance-folk-rock band Blackmore’s Night (led by Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore), and is a founding member of The Flying Romanos, the first English country dance band to perform in Japan since the 1970s. When not playing music, he is often developing software, and has recently started pursuing research projects in the field of computer-generated algorithmic music.
Anna-Constantia Richardson (she/her/hers) (Vice President) is pumped to kick off the Players’ public debut with such a cool crew. Past roles include: Ruth (Pirates of Penzance), Buttercup (HMS Pinafore), and John Adams (1776), MIT Gilbert & Sullivan Players; Sonny (Grease) and Edith Hoopes (Legally Blonde), MIT Musical Theater Guild; Frederick (Pirates of Penzance), Smith College; Jasper (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), Vinnie (Lucky Stiff), Dr. Parker (Bat Boy), and Leading Player (Pippin), Leading Ladies (now Duct Tape Productions). Backstage roles include director, TD, costume designer, set designer, props designer, and hair & makeup artist. Outside of theater, she is a marketing applications analyst. Love to her wife, Julie!
Nick Stevens (he/him/his) is an actor, songwriter, and musician based in Cambridge, MA. Stage credits include Assassins (The Balladeer / Lee Harvey Oswald, MIT MTG), American Idiot (Will, Phoenix Playmakers), The Werewolf (Bertrand, WholeTone Opera), The Pirates of Penzance (Samuel, MIT Gilbert and Sullivan Players), Chess (Walter / Arbiter cover, MIT Gilbert and Sullivan Players), Sunset Boulevard (Morino, Arlington Friends of the Drama), GoreFest: The Thirteenth (Candleface, ImprovBoston), T: An MBTA Musical (Ensemble/u.s. Charlie, ImprovBoston), and Ultimate Things (Max / Roger, Unreliable Narrator). In addition to his stage work, Nick writes and records under the pseudonym Hyde Park. He will next be seen on stage as the Preacher in Violet at Arlington Friends of the Drama.
Special Thanks To:
The Rockwell, for their fabulous accommodations and tech; Marnen Laibow-Koser and Paul Gallagher for lending us their time and their talents; Alex Schaffner for their excellent contract review assistance; fellow (awesome) performance groups Quorum Boston and The Parlor Opera Players for the signal boosts; Julie Henion Richardson for photographing this event and loaning us her keyboard; Nick Stevens for letting us rehearse in his apartment; The Green Room for their rehearsal space; And finally, all of our friends and supporters!