Meet the Cast and Crew of Helen!

The Women of the Palace encourage Helen (Judy Tounsi, center) to ask the prophetess about her husband's fate.

 

Judy Tounsi (Helen), a freshman at Montclair State University, is excited to be performing in her first Greek drama ever as Helen of Troy. From Sabina in The Skin of Our Teeth to the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz, she has been performing in theatre all her life. Other roles include: Lady Olivia in Twelfth Night, Arpad Laszlo in She Loves Me, Cinderella in Cinderella, and Margot Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank. In her free time Judy enjoys watching old films and telling jokes. She would write a better bio, but she’s currently taking physics.

 

Julián Omar Morales (Menelaus) graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance and a BA in Spanish. As a dancer, he has performed works by master choreographers such as José Limón, Donald McKayle, Paul Taylor, etc. As an actor, he has performed as Chorus Leader in Iphigenia in Aulis, and Diós (God) in El juicio de Sancho Panza. Julián was recently accepted into the M.F.A. in Performing Arts program at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design). Prior to these artistic endeavors, he went into theatre in Iraq as a U.S. Marine. He wants to dedicate his performance to all Marines. Semper Fi

 

Aminata Sy (Elpis/Hatshepsut) is extremely proud to be in the Spring 2017 production of Helen. She has always had a passion for the creative arts, with interests ranging from baking, to sewing, to singing! Aminata is a highly involved sophomore at Montclair State University, currently serving as the president of 3D Printing Club as well as the secretary for MSU Acappella. She’d like to thank her family and friends for their unconditional love and support, and her directors Jerise Fogel and Jacqueline Knollhuff for their patience and confidence in her abilities. This is her very first speaking role in a play and she is very excited to experience what it’s like to act on the main stage!

 

Ryan Bogie (Theoclymenus), from Delran, NJ, is a Sophomore Theatre Studies major at Montclair State University. He is a writer and performer, having performed The Beast in Beauty and the Beast over the summer. He is grateful for the opportunity Jerise and Jackie has given and wishes everyone to break a leg.

 

 

Blair Ahrendt (Teucer/Arethusa), a sophomore transfer student, is very excited to be performing in her first play at Montclair State University. She is a BFA Filmmaking major and when not at play rehearsal she can be found eating a black bean sandwich at Which Wich. You can also find her at Femvolution meetings or avoiding her homework. She is extremely grateful to be in a play with so many good friends and can’t wait to perform the show.

 

Chyanne Santana (Bastet) is a freshman here at Montclair State University and her major is Justice Studies. She graduated from North Plainfield High School and used to be in Concert Choir and the Drama Club in the school. She plays Bastet, a Chorus member, in the play Helen by Euripides, and she’s happy that she got this chance to be in it.

 

 

Elissa Ditkowsky (Elaphos/Esther) is a freshman at Montclair State. Elissa has been singing and acting for the past 6 years at a performing art school in her town. She has been Peter Pan in Peter Pan Jr, Scrooge in Scrooge, Ms. Callahan in Legally Blonde Jr, and Babette in Beauty and the Beast Jr. She is a Family and Child Studies major and hopes to be a Special Ed teacher some day. Elissa loves theatre and is happy she is continuing her passion at Montclair State. She recently appeared in the MSU Players Production of Twelfth Night as the Singing Clown. She is ecstatic to be in the spring production of Helen with all her talented friends. Shoutout to Jbooty killing it as Helen and Blair, Aminata, Chyanne, Gillian and Rajula for being the best chorus fam an Elissa can ask for. The endless laughs at rehearsals make this experience memorable. Shout out to Ryan and Julián for killing it in this Greek play. This cast has grown so close together and she can’t wait to perform with them. Elissa wants to thank our directors Jackie and Jeri for being so kind and humble and directing a great show. Also she wants to thank Adriana for being a great stage manager and being her friend. Break a leg to me fellow cast members. Enjoy the show!

 

Gillian Vana (Theonoë/Kassandra) is a freshman computer science major from Ridgewood, New Jersey. She loves theater, coding, singing, Piña Coladas and getting caught in the rain. She hopes to pay a lot for a computer science degree, move to Italy, and join a convent.

 

 

Rajula Joshi (Polydamna/Kallirhoë) works in the Montclair State University Sprague Library on campus. This is her second Greek play performance at Montclair; she also performed in last year’s Andromache. She has a background in Library Science and classical Indian dance.

 

 

Kelvin Adjei-Adusei (Phylax) was born and raised in Ghana. He moved here during his junior year of high school. His last play ever was in 4th grade when he acted as the angel in a play about the birth of Jesus. He is now a Computer Science student at Montclair State University. He just joined this play because he wanted to know if he still got it haha.

 

Christian Savino (Production Crew), from Roxbury, NJ, studies psychology at Montclair State University.  Studying to receive a Bachelors degree in psychology, Christian is looking to pursue a career as a police officer following graduating college. Christian is a freshman at Montclair and is currently taking a course on Roman Civilization.

 

 

Christl Stringer (Design and Painting of Tomb, Pillars, Blocks) is a Junior Theatre Studies major with minors in Film and Studio Art & Design. Her play, Michelangelo, Bianca, will be performed at The 5th Annual New Moon Short Play Reading Festival at Luna Stage in West Orange, NJ, on May 16; for more information, http://lunastage.org/calendar.php?id=239

 

Adriana Guerrero (Stage Manager/Phantom Helen)  is a Transfer Junior at Montclair State University pursuing a major in Theatre Studies  with an Acting and Musical Theatre minor. She’s really excited to make her debut as a Stage Manager and wants to thank her Co-directors Jackie and Jerise for this life changing opportunity.  Besides being the Stage Manager, Adriana has a dance duet in which she plays the character of The Phantom Helen. Adriana has been dancing and acting for over 15 years, Theater is her life. Some of her roles include: Ariel in The Little Mermaid, the Wizard in The Wizard of Oz , Belle in Beauty and the Beast Dance Show, and Amber in Hairspray. In her free time you could find her working as an usher in the Alexander Kasser Theater,  reading plays or seeing Broadway shows.  She wants to dedicate this performance to her family for their support and being part of this exciting journey.

Jacqueline Knollhuff (Co-Director – Acting) is currently working toward her Master’s in Theatre Studies at Montclair State. She is a member of the 2016-2017 Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation Observership Program. She has worked at the Burning Coal Theatre Company in North Carolina and the Centenary Stage Company in Hackettstown, where she was the assistant director to Tony Award nominee Lynne Taylor-Corbett. For the 2017-2018 season, she will be an Artistic Resident at the Luna Stage Company in West Orange; she is currently directing a reading for the 5th Annual Short Play Festival at Luna Stage.

Jeri Fogel (Co-Director – Music) is an Adjunct Instructor in Classics and General Humanities at Montclair State. She has performed in and directed Greek plays in Greek and in English since 1987, including  Antigone, Bacchae, and Andromache at Montclair. She’s thrilled and amazed at her wonderful Co-Director, Stage Manager, and incredible Cast and Crew for Helen, and can’t wait to see their magic come to life in the Amphitheater!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *