CAPTIVATING! A high-quality production with superb acting.
— Los Altos Town Crier
FIZZES AND DIZZIES! Blazes with talent. Whet your inner Hercule Poirot.
— San Francisco Chronicle
Clever enough to share the Christie name... this is a show that everyone will enjoy
— Theater by the Bay

Mrs. Christie

OcT 2023

By HEIDI ARMBRUSTER
Directed by GIOVANNA SARDELLI

In 1926 Agatha Christie vanished, then reappeared eleven days later without explanation. It was a tabloid sensation—a mystery that, nearly a century later, remains unsolved. Fast forward to today: More than a little lost herself, a Christie superfan named Lucy makes the pilgrimage to the author’s estate. When she happens upon an unpublished diary written in Christie’s own hand, Lucy resolves to crack the case once and for all. In parallel storylines that blend past, present, and Poirot, Mrs. Christie proves that sometimes you need to disappear in order to find yourself.


Mrs. Christie
was first produced by Dorset Theatre Festival, Dorset, VT, under Dina Janis, Artistic Director.

 

 

Mrs. Christie was developed, in part, with assistance from the Orchard Project, Ari Edelson, Artistic Director.

Photos: Kevin Berne, 2023

Special Events & Accessible Performances 

  • Wednesday, October 25, 2023 @ 7:30pm
  • Saturday, October 28, 2023 @ 8pm
  • Sunday, October 29, 2023 @ 2pm
  • Sunday, October 22, 2023 @ 2pm
  • Sunday, October 22, 2023 @ 7pm
  • Wednesday, October 25, 2023 @ 2pm
  • Tuesday, October 17, 2023 @ 7:30pm
  • Friday, October 13, 2023 @ 8pm
  • Saturday, October 14, 2023 @ 2pm
  • Sunday, October 22, 2023 @ 2pm

Cast

ALDO BILLINGSLEA*

ALDO BILLINGSLEA (Col. Archie Christie) previously performed at TheatreWorks in The Elephant Man, Radio Golf, Fallen Angels, and The Old Settler.  He’s performed at a number of theatres regionally and nationally, serves on the board of the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, and teaches Acting at Santa Clara University.

LUCINDA HITCHCOCK CONE*

LUCINDA HITCHCOCK CONE (Jane) appeared at TheatreWorks in Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Tuck Everlasting, Outside Mullingar, Big River, Clean House, Ragtime, and Cabaret. She played Linda Loman in Death Of A Salesman and Nancy in Grand Horizons at San Jose Stage Company. She was seen as Hattie in Follies at SF Playhouse. She appeared in the National Tour of Big River. Her regional credits include Hartford Stage, Arizona Theater Company, Indiana Rep., Portland Stage, Syracuse Stage, the Geva, St. Louis Rep., Folger Theater, Coconut Grove Playhouse, American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Rep., San Jose Rep., Sacramento Music Circus, Capital Stage, B Street Theater, Aurora Theater, Marin Theater Co., American Musical Theatre of San Jose, 42nd Street Moon, Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts among others. She has four Bay Area Critics Circle Awards and a DramaLogue Award. She studied Mime in Paris with Etienne Decroux.

WILLIAM THOMAS HODGSON*

WILLIAM THOMAS HODGSON (Le Detective) has performed with TheatreWorks in Calligraphy (Eamon Jameson), and recently choreographed Little Shop of Horrors (dir. Jeffrey Lo). His regional credits include four seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, It Can’t Happen Here (Berkeley Rep), El Henry and Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame (La Jolla Playhouse), An Octoroon (Mixed Blood Theatre), Cyrano (Aurora Theater Company), and I Am My Own Wife and Every Brilliant Thing (Oakland Theater Project). Recent directing projects include Passing Strange (Shotgun Players), Is God Is (Oakland Theater Project), and Ragtime, FunHome, and  Kinky Boots (Berkeley Playhouse). He received his MFA from UC San Diego, and is co-artistic director of the Oakland Theater Project.

NICOLE JAVIER*

NICOLE JAVIER (Lucy) has performed with TheatreWorks in tokyo fish story (Ama/Woman) as well as several seasons of the New Works Festival. She recently appeared in the world-premiere of The Heart Sellers as Luna at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. Other regional credits include South Coast Repertory, La Jolla Playhouse, Shakespeare Orange County, Aurora Theatre Company, Crowded Fire, and A Noise Within, where she was a recipient of an LA Drama Critics Circle Award. Her television, film, and audio series appearances include Bosch: Legacy, Curtain Call, We’re All Gonna Die, and Your Horror Show. Ms. Javier earned her BFA from Chapman University and MFA from UC Diego, and is currently a resident artist at A Noise Within and facilitator with Red Ladder Theatre Company. Maraming salamat. 

KINA KANTOR*

KINA KANTOR (Nancy Neele / Chloe) is an actor, artist, cellist based in the Bay Area. She has previously performed in TheatreWorks' New Works Festival and is thrilled to be working on the main stage for the first time. She has also worked extensively with the San Francisco Playhouse (The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin - Sheila, The Great Khan - Gao Ming) The Magic Theatre, as well as with Berkeley Rep (The Great Wave - U/S Reiko), Crowded Fire, Word for Word, PlayGround SF and the San Francisco Mime Troupe.

Kina is also a company member of the Actor’s Reading Collective (ARC) and has taught at the Academy of Art University in SF.

JENNIFER LE BLANC*

JENIFER LE BLANC (Agatha Christie, she/her/hers) is grateful to return to TheatreWorks where she acted in Silent Sky (Margaret), 33 Variations (Clara), Sense and Sensibility (Elinor), and Opus (Grace).  Jennifer’s credits include working with Prague Shakespeare Company in Romeo and Juliet (Lady Capulet), Perspective Theatre Company and The Pear Theatre in Richard II (Aumerle), SPARC in Much Ado About Nothing (Beatrice), San Jose Stage Company in Meet John Doe (Ann Mitchell), Pacific Rep in School for Lies (Celimene), Capital Stage in The Thanksgiving Play (Logan), Denver Center for the Performing Arts in Book of Will (Alice), and Aurora Theatre Company in Fifth of July (June).  She received her MFA from the National Theatre Conservatory.  Jennifer is an associate artist with SPARC and Prague Shakespeare Company, and she is in PlayGround’s Writers Pool.  www.jenniferleblanc.com

ELISSA BETH STEBBINS*

ELISSA BETH STEBBINS (Charlotte (Carlo) / Mary, she/they) played the title character in TheatreWorks’ Nan and the Lower Body, and also appeared in several New Works Festival readings and two TheatreWorks Education school tours. Recent regional credits include Colonialism is Terrible but Pho is Delicious (Aurora), Becky Nurse of Salem (Berkeley Rep), Kings, Kiss, The Village Bike, and Caught (Shotgun Players), In Braunau (San Francisco Playhouse Sandbox Series), Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again., and You For Me For You for which she won a Theatre Bay Area award (Crowded Fire Theatre). Elissa is a Teaching Artist, and a co-founder of Analog Theatre, where she produces and devises physical theatre. Elissa graduated with honors from Santa Clara University, and is a lifelong student, continuing their training with Shakespeare and Company, Atelier Matteo Destro, and more.

JOMAR TAGATAC*

JOMAR TAGATAC (Male Understudy)

MAX TACHIS

MAX TACHIS (William / Collins, he/him) has performed with TheatreWorks in The SantaLand Diaries (David/Crumpet) and as part of the 2018 New Works Festival in Something to Say: New Plays by Women (Various). His most recent Bay Area credits include Laughter on the 23rd Floor (Ira) at Hillbarn Theatre, Taking Steps (Tristram) at The Pear Theatre, and the world premiere of Waiting for Next (Marcus) at City Lights Theater Company. His voice can also be heard as part of the audience laugh track in Conan Without Borders: Greenland.

AMANDA PULCINI

AMANDA PULCINI (Female Understudy) is thrilled to make her Bay Area debut at TheatreWorks. Recently she performed in Boeing, Boeing (Gretchen) at Third Avenue Playworks. Regional credits include Legally Blonde (Chutney), Cats (Jennyanydots), Boeing, Boeing (Gloria) at Pittsburgh CLO, Titus Andronicus (Tamora/Ensemble) at The Shakespeare Forum, and Show Boat (Ellie Mae Chipley), Fiddler on the Roof (Female Swing/Ensemble) at Westchester Broadway Theatre. Educational credits include the U.S. premiere of Robert Icke’s Oresteia (Klytemnestra), Oedipus (Jocasta), and Twelfth Night (Olivia). TV credits include Chicago PD and The Big Leap. Film credits include Hey, I’m Home, Cheaters and The Source. She holds an MFA from DePaul University, BFA from Shenandoah Conservatory, as well as being a Certified Intimacy Coordinator through Intimacy Directors and Coordinators. AmandaPulcini.com

CREATIVE TEAM

HEIDI ARMBRUSTER, Playwright

HEIDI ARMBRUSTER (Playwright) is a writer whose works include Mrs. Christie (TheatreWorks, Dorset Theatre Festival, Primary Stages [workshop], Orchard Project [residency]); Dairyland (Playmakers Rep, Chautauqua Theater Festival, and workshops at Playhouse on Park, Primary Stages, The Lark, Luna Stage);  Scarecrow (Dorset Theatre Festival, Vermont Public Theater, Next Act [2024], Weidner Center [2024];  and Murder Girl (workshops at TAP, Kansas City Rep). Heidi was commissioned by Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival to adapt Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. Heidi was a member of the Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm, Page 73 Interstate Writers, and a founding member of Dorset Theatre Festival’s Women Artists Writing Group. As an actress, Heidi has extensive theatre, film, and TV credits, most notably recurring as Noelle on Manifest, Karen on Partner Track, and Michelle on Younger. 

GIOVANNA SARDELLI, Director

GIOVANNA SARDELLI (Director) took the helm as TheatreWorks’ Artistic Director in July, after having served as the company’s Director of New Works since 2014. TheatreWorks directing credits include A Distinct Society, Nan and the Lower Body, It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, They Promised Her the Moon, Archduke, Crimes of the Heart, The North Pool, and Somewhere. Other directing credits include Describe the Night (Obie Award Best New Play, TW NWF 2014) at Atlantic Theater Co., the World Premiere of Archduke (TW NWF 2016) at Mark Taper Forum, and An Entomologist’s Love Story (TW NWF 2014) at San Francisco Playhouse. She has directed and developed plays around the country.

CHRISTOPHER FITZER, Scenic Design

CHRISTOPHER FITZER (Scenic Design) is currently TheatreWorks’ Properties Director and an award-winning freelance scenic designer in the Bay Area. He previously designed Little Shop of HorrorsIt’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, They Promised Her the Moon, The Santaland Diaries, and Marie and Rosetta for TheatreWorks. His other design credits include productions at American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco Playhouse, Aspen Opera Theater Center, World Literature Today’s Puterbaugh Festival, Capital Stage, San Jose Stage Company, Hillbarn Theatre, Woodminster Summer Musicals, Oklahoma City Theatre Company, Flat Rock Playhouse, Los Altos Stage Company, Douglas Morrisson Theatre, Palo Alto Players, and Foothill Music Theatre. He has held production and artistic positions at Aspen Music Festival, Curtis Opera Theatre, Sanguine Theatre Company, and Dallas Summer Musicals. He holds a BFA in theatrical design from the University of Oklahoma.

CATHLEEN EDWARDS, Costume Design

CATHLEEN EDWARDS (Costume Design) has designed TheatreWorks productions of Nan and the Lower Body, It’s a Wonderful Life, The 39 Steps (2019), Frost/Nixon, Crimes of the Heart, Somewhere, Grey Gardens, Triangle, Once on This Island, The Elephant Man, and more. She is well-established in the Bay Area, having designed for many of the regional theatres. When not designing for the live stage she works in film, television, and commercials. Among her awards are two Dramalogue and two Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards. A member of both United Scenic Artists and Theatrical Wardrobe Unions, she strongly believes in guiding those who are learning their craft, preparing them for careers and enabling them to pass this knowledge on to future generations.

WEN-LING LIAO, Lighting Design

WEN-LING LIAO (Lighting Design) made her TheatreWorks debut with Little Shop of Horrors last season. Selected credits: The Headlands, Gloria and Vietgone with American Conservatory Theater, True West with People’s Light Theater,  A Christmas Carol with Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Ah, Wilderness! at Hartford Stage; Quixote Nuevo, House of Joy, and The Winter’s Tale with California Shakespeare Theater; 44th Humana Festival (Are you There?, Nicole Clark is Having a Baby, and Flex) with Actors Theatre of Louisville; The Catastrophist and The Wickhams Christmas at Pemberley at Marin Theatre Company; Chinglish, Indecent, Dance Nation, Significant Other and King of the Yees with San Francisco Playhouse; In the Height and Native Gardens with Center REP.   Education: She earned her MFA from University of California, San Diego.

JAMES ARD, Sound Design

JAMES ARD (Sound Design) is a noisemaker with a focus on new works, live experiences, and immersive stage productions. Recent theatrical Sound Design credits include Our Country (Octopus Theatricals / Under The Radar Festival / The Public Theater), This Much I Know, Exit Strategy, Colonialism is Terrible but Phở is Delicious, Dry Powder, The Royale (Aurora Theatre Company), This Is Who I Am (Playco / Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company / Guthrie Theater / Oregon Shakespeare Festival / American Repertory Theater), 9 Parts of Desire (Portland Center Stage), Free For All, La Ronde (Cutting Ball Theater), A Small Fire, Wolf Play (Shotgun Players), Our Town (Center Repertory Company), Chinglish, Indecent (San Francisco Playhouse), Time of Change (Joe Goode Performance Group). Ard is a Resident Artist with both Golden Thread Productions and Crowded Fire Theater.

ROXIE JOHNSON, Wig Design

ROXIE JOHNSON (Wig Design) is proud to be collaborating on Mrs Christie with TheatreWorks. Her most recent shows with TheatreWorks are Little Shop of Horrors, They Promised Her the Moon, and Pride & Prejudice. She is currently attending SFSU for theatre graduate studies, and has almost completed her Theatre Studies MA. She has worked on many plays for 6th Street Playhouse, Sonoma Arts Live, Sonoma State University, Los Altos Players, Santa Rosa Junior College, and West Edge Opera designing Wigs, Hair, and Makeup for shows such
as Wedding Singer, Georgia McBride, Sunset Boulevard, Magic Flute, Sunday in the Park with George, The Opera Nightingale, and the Mariachi Opera Cruzar la Cara de la Luna. She currently teaches Special Effects, Makeup, and Wig Styling Classes at SRJC.

KIMBERLY MOHNE HILL, Dialect Coach

KIMBERLY MOHNE HILL (Dialect Coach) has served as Dialect Coach for over 25 years at TheatreWorks, working on such shows as Ragtime, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and  Prejudice, Around the World in 80 Days, Rags, Constellations, Triangle, Sweeney Todd, Water by the Spoonful, 33 Variations, The Pitmen Painters, Snow Falling on Cedars, The North Pool, Doubt, Theophilus North, Arcadia, Jane Eyre, Baby Taj, and Anna in the Tropics. A Professor of Acting and Voice & Speech, and a Patsy Rodenburg Associate, she is currently serving as Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at Santa Clara University. She continues to direct and coach throughout the Bay Area, and most recently directed The Book of Will at SCU. 

JONATHAN RIDER, Fight Director

JONATHAN RIDER (Fight Director) has been choreographing fights nationally and internationally for over 30 years, with 17 productions at TheatreWorks, including Ragtime, Gem of the Ocean, Archduke, Cyrano, Of Mice and Men, The Prince of Egypt, The Four Immigrants, Water by the Spoonful, and Superior Donuts. His 30 credits for American Conservatory Theater include Hamlet, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and The Orphan of Zhao, for which he received a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle award. He was the Resident Fight Director for the San Francisco Opera for 12 years. He has also directed fights for Gran Teatro Del Liceu in Barcelona, Spain (Tristan and Isolde); Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Italy (Faniciulla Del West); and Sante Fe Opera (including Maometto II, Wozzeck, Tosca). He holds a BA from Santa Clara University.

MAYA HERBSMAN, Intimacy Coordinator

MAYA HERBSMAN (Intimacy Coordinator) is an award-winning Middle Eastern Ohlone Land based intimacy professional and educator. Maya has been the first intimacy professional at theaters across Northern California including Berkeley Rep, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, San Francisco Playhouse, Shotgun Players, Golden Thread Productions, Z Space, Cutting Ball Theater, Crowded Fire Theater, San Francisco Opera and more. Her work has been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, J Magazine, and HowlRound. She is currently on faculty at American Conservatory Theater, The Urban School of San Francisco, and Stanford University. Recent TheatreWorks credits include In Every Generation, Gem of the Ocean, Sense and Sensibility, Ragtime, and Nan and the Lower Body.

JUDITH NIHEI, Artist Counselor

JUDITH NIHEI (Artist Counselor) is a San Francisco-based licensed psychotherapist in private practice. She consults for schools, nonprofits and community-based organizations, facilitating the incorporation of stress-reduction and cultural humility as an integral part of trauma-informed services. Clients have included Edgewood Center for Children and Families, Japanese Community Youth Council, and Theatre Communications Group, Inc.  As  a theatre director, dramaturg, writer, actor, and administrator, she worked with Asian American theatre companies in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle, as well as The Seattle Rep, Cornish College of the Arts, and BRAVA.  She began her career in improv with The Committee and currently performs as one of The Bad Aunties.

JEFFREY LO, Casting Director

JEFFREY LO (Casting Director) is TheatreWorks’ Casting Director and Literary Manager, and has previously directed TheatreWorks’ productions of Little Shop of Horrors, The Language Archive, and The Santaland Diaries. A Filipino-American director and playwright, his additional directing credits include Vietgone and The Great Leap at Capital Stage, The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin and Hold These Truths at San Francisco Playhouse, and Between Riverside and Crazy at San Jose Stage Company. He is the first recipient of TheatreWorks’ Susan Fairbrook Playwright Fund for emerging playwrights, the Leigh Weimers Emerging Artist Award, the Arts Council Silicon Valley Emerging Artist Laureate, and Theatre Bay Area Director’s TITAN Award. In addition to his work on stage, Mr. Lo does work nationally promoting equity, diversity, inclusion, and access in the arts. He is a graduate of the Multicultural Arts Leadership Institute and a proud alumnus of the UC Irvine Drama Department. JeffreyWritesAPlay.com

 

 

TAYLOR MCQUESTEN*, Stage Manager

TAYLOR MCQUESTEN (Stage Manager, she/her) works internationally as a stage and tour manager, electrician, and stuntwoman. Select credits include ten seasons at Tony Award-winning TheatreWorks Silicon Valley (Resident Stage Manager), Production Stage Manager for Lizard Boy, Tour Manager for Evan Rachel Wood and Zane Carney’s band EVAN+ZANE, SF Sketchfest (Assistant Technical Director), California Shakespeare Theater (Production Electrician), Presidio Theatre (Interim Company Manager), Legion A/V (Head of Lighting), Playfaire Productions (Swordswoman), The Independent SF (Lighting Designer), Highlander Films (Production Assistant), American Conservatory Theater, Center REP, Cabrillo Stage, Hillbarn Theatre, and Magic Theatre. She also trains historic mêlée weapons at Davenriche European Martial Arts School under master swordsman, Sir Steáphen Fick.

EMILY ANDERSON WOLF*, Assistant Stage Manager

EMILY ANDERSON WOLF (Assistant Stage Manager, she/her) has been the Assistant Stage Manager for TheatreWorks’ Little Shop of Horrors, Archduke, Frost/Nixon, Fun Home, Crimes of the Heart, Jane Austen’s Emma, Triangle, Fire on the Mountain, Peter and the Starcatcher, Sweeney Todd, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Little Women, and Other Desert Cities. She was also the Assistant Stage Manager for threesixty Entertainment’s First National Tour of Peter Pan; Journey to the West at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and with American Musical Theatre of San Jose. Ms. Wolf also works as a stagehand throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and is a proud member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. She holds a BA in Theatre, Cum Laude from Mount Holyoke College. 

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

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