-Ashes & Ink Team-

Mariah Reilly (Molly) is thrilled to be a part of this world premiere production. She studied theatre at Huntingdon College and has been acting for many years. Her favorite roles have been Elvira in Blithe Spirit and Maggie in Dancing at Lughnasa. She would like to thank her friends and family for their generosity of time and support.

MOLLY, a widow in her 40s, anxious, searching, vulnerable

Chason Marvin(Quinn): “I began acting in freshman year and ever since then I haven’t stopped. I went to Southern Union for training and right now enrolling in AUM to train more in my craft. I plan to take acting as a career and hope to learn more skills in my art. I have performed Macbeth for Young Arts Production and recently done Cloverdale Playhouse’s A Lesson Before Dying. When I’m not acting I’m eating ice cream somewhere, listening to music, or imagining what I would look like with my flower crown. I’m honored to be a part of this and a chance to work with these people and dive into this. Hope you enjoy the show!”

QUINN, Molly’s son, 20, passionate, charismatic, insecure

Michael Buchanan (Leo) is honored to be a part of Nora’s Playhouse and the premiere of this honest and heartfelt play. He first worked with Caroline Reddick Lawson and Mariah Reilly in a production of A Doll’s House at Cloverdale Playhouse. His favorite roles include Max, the faithful lover to a married homicide suspect in Dial M for Murder, Seymour, the disadvantaged florist’s assistant whose ambitions lead him to murder in Little Shop of Horrors, and perhaps his favorite as the ruthless blackmailer Nils Krogstad in A Doll’s House. Michael’s first appearance in community theater was a production of Biloxi Blues portraying the ever complaining Arnold Epstein. He currently works as Event Coordinator at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. 

LEO, a widower, late 40s, attentive, thoughtful, honest

Austin Wendell (Felix) is a naturally inquisitive youngster, which makes this part his perfect debut on the professional stage. He’s ten and in the fifth grade at St. Bede Elementary School. This past summer he attended camp at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, which sparked his love for theater. He can’t wait to share his talent and excitement for this play with you from the stage!

FELIX, Leo’s son, 7, spirited, curious, watchful

Meghan Yapana Ducote (Bree) is a Theatre graduate from Alabama State University. Has appeared in various productions across the River Region. A few of her memorable roles are Desdemona in Othello, Fairy May in The Curious Savage, and Tituba in The Crucible. Thankful for the support of my husband, daughter, and family for encouraging me to return to the stage. And a BIG thank you to Caroline, Martha, and Nora’s Playhouse for the opportunity to bring Bree to life on stage for the first time. “It’s now or never…” =D

BREE, Molly’s sister, 40, level-headed, driven, blind since age 7

Martha Pichey (Playwright) is a playwright who began her career in journalism, writing for publications such as Travel & Leisure and Vanity Fair. She is a member of the Playwrights/Directors Workshop at The Actors Studio, and women’s writing collective, The Beehive. Ashes & Ink is her first play, a semi-finalist for The O’Neill Conference. Its development has had support from the John Drew Theater Lab at Guild Hall in East Hampton, and a residency at SPACE on Ryder Farm.

Caroline Reddick Lawson (Director) is a Founder and the Artistic Director of Nora’s Playhouse. After teaching high school theatre for years in Alabama and in NYC, she retired from teaching at the Booker T. Washington Magnet School for the Arts in Montgomery, Alabama. From 2008-2010, she worked as the Director of Education for New York Theatre Workshop, where she created the Mind the Gap program. After moving back to her home state of Alabama, she implemented an intergenerational playwriting program in Montgomery similar to Mind the Gap, called The Nora Project: Women Write. Her New York directing credits include ROSE, starring Kathleen Chalfant Off-Broadway at The Clurman Theatre, which received nominations for a Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award and a United Solo Special Award. She directed Yasmine Rana’s The Fallen at NYU Gallatin’s Labowitz Theatre, Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House at Wing’s Theatre, Rana’s The War Zone Is My Bed at the Looking Glass Theatre and Vol de Nuit. In Montgomery she directed, in collaboration between Cloverdale Playhouse and Nora’s Playhouse, A Doll’s House at CPH. Her article, “Lloyd Richards: Reflections from the Playwright’s Champion,” was published in The Drama Review. Lawson is a graduate of the NYU Gallatin Graduate Program, where she focused on directing for theatre. For her extensive work in educational theatre in Alabama, she was presented with the Alabama Educational Theatre Hall of Fame Award.

Rita Pearson-Dailey (Scenic Designer) is thrilled to be making her design debut with Nora’s Playhouse. The wonderful Katie Pearson (Costume Designer) raised Rita to be a lifelong lover of the theatric arts. Rita’s first venture into the world of design was as a student at Booker T. Washington Magnet High School, where she has since returned as Technical Theatre Instructor. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Design and Technology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and currently serves as Assistant Technical Director for the Alabama Dance Theatre. You may have seen some of Rita’s recent design work at The Cloverdale Playhouse where she has volunteered periodically for the last decade. Rita would like to thank her spouse–Jacob Tidwell, her friends, family, students, and every inspiring mentor on her journey to the present.

Katie Pearson (Costume and Property Designer, Publicist): Katie has had the privilege of working both on and off stage at the Cloverdale Playhouse and Theatre AUM, where she recently retired as Theatre Coordinator after 20 years. She is thrilled to be part of this production and Nora’s Playhouse. It is truly an honor to work with so many talented women.

Emily Aveldanez (Lighting Designer)

Robert Shimp (Sound Designer) is a record engineer and producer. He was an engineer for Toast Studios in San Francisco from 1996 until they closed their doors. He is known for his work with the West Coast rock band The Donnas, for whom he was a live engineer turned producer, and was an engineer for R.E.M.‘s Up. In 2018, he opened his own recording studio, Technical Earth Recorders, in his hometown, Montgomery, Alabama. He has 1 child, a daughter, named Elena.

Kate Harrington (Assistant Sound Designer): Kate is a new member of the Nora’s Playhouse team and is so excited to be collaborating with the many amazing people on this show. She began dabbling in theatre at Booker T. Washington Magnet High School and then expanded to local theatres around the Montgomery area, such as the Cloverdale Playhouse Community Theatre, The Troy University Davis Theatre, and the Montgomery Performing Arts Center. She has run sound for shows like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Pinnochio, and Sweat. Kate also enjoys lighting, scenic design, and building sets. She has won multiple awards for her designs and is always looking for more opportunities to learn and grow.: 

Amy S. Green (Dramaturg) is Associate Artistic Director of Nora’s Playhouse and Associate Professor of Applied Theatre and Interdisciplinary Studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the CUNY School of Professional Studies in New York, NY. Amy is a director, actor, playwright, and dramaturg. She holds a Kennedy Center Gold Medallion for Lifetime Contribution to the Arts and is the author of The Revisionist Stage: American Directors Reinvent the Classics (Cambridge University Press). She also directed Nora’s critically acclaimed production of Catherine Filloux’s whatdoesfreemean? at The Tank (NYC) in 2018.

Jacqueline Allen Trimble (Dramaturg), Nora’s Playhouse’s Co-Literary Curator, lives and writes in historic Montgomery, Alabama. She is a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellow (Poetry), a Cave Canem Fellow, and an Alabama State Council on the Arts Literary Fellow. Her poetry has appeared in various journals including Poetry Magazine, The Louisville Review, The Offing, and Poet Lore. Published by NewSouth Books, American Happiness, her debut collection, won the 2016 Balcones Poetry Prize. Trimble is Professor of English and chairs the Department of Languages and Literatures at Alabama State University. Her new collection, How to Survive the Apocalypse (NewSouth Books), launched in August.

Trudy Paxton-Mass (General Manager) has followed a career in the theatre arts across the United States for over 28 years. She has a B.A. in theatre from Auburn University at Montgomery as well as experience in several various technical theatre departments including, but not limited to stage management (AEA), lights, sound, run crew, wardrobe, and house management. Trudy has worked for theatres such as the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Texas Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Two River Theatre Company in New Jersey, Southern Rep. Theatre in New Orleans, Davis Theatre here in Montgomery, and the Montgomery Performing Arts Center.

Leigh Owen (Stage Manager) is grateful to work with such a wonderfully talented cast, crew, and director on Ashes & Ink. As an artistic associate with Nora’s Playhouse, she has felt honored to watch the play evolve from Nora’s first reading salon to the world-premiere production. Leigh’s stage management credits include The Crucible, A Doll’s House, Flyin’ West, and Sweat at Cloverdale Playhouse and Winter WonderettesOne Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Home Town Canteen, and Christmas at the Canteen at Wetumpka Depot Players. Leigh is the senior marketing manager at Alabama Shakespeare Festival, a freelance editor, and an esteemed catsitter (although she prefers cat nanny or feline au purr).

Nana Waldrip (Technical Director) started her professional theatre career at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in its last season in Anniston, Alabama as a Production Stage Manager. She then went into education and taught music and theatre at Alabama Southem Community College before moving to Montgomery. In Montgomery she created the technical theatre program at Carver Creative and Performing Arts Center, and carried the program to Booker T. Washington Magnet High School. Her former students now work in theaters across the country in video, sound, lighting, production, and design. She retired from BTW in 2009. She has been primarily in charge of lighting for Troy University’s Davis Theatre for the Performing Arts since 2009. She has been working with Alabama Dance Theatre since 1989.

Cathy Ranieri (Assistant Stage Manager): “I am so thankful to be working on this show. I graduated from AUM with a theatre degree and have been working professionally and at the Cloverdale Playhouse, Wetumpka Depot, and Prattville’s Way Off Broadway for the past six years. I love being present when these shows come alive for the first time and watch them grow and develop into the masterpiece the audience gets to see. 

Lil Martin (Business Manager/Group Sales), a retired CPA, has been involved in theatre since she was 14. Her first job was to work sound for a production of Barefoot in the Park at the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre. Throughout her years in school, she continued to be involved in any way possible. As a working mom she had no time to devote to theatre, so she encouraged her children to do so. Due to her daughter’s pursuit of the craft, she had an opportunity to become a part of Nora’s Playhouse in 2015. Lil began as business manager but has been house manager for the off-Broadway production of Rose, organized salon readings, been a participant in Nora’s Project, and been involved in many of Nora’s fundraising events. Lil believes Nora’s Playhouse is the perfect place for her to engage her love for theater.

Chelsei Martin (Social Media)

Chelsea Joffrion (Graphic Design)

Emily Stuart Thomas (Photography) is an educator and photographer. In June 2022, she started working as the Head of Learning and Programs at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. She is also mother to two amazing daughters. In May, she left the photography instructor position at Booker T. Washington Magnet High School (BTW) after thirteen years. In addition to her teaching and museum experience, she founded a non-profit arts organization and operated her own commercial and fine art photography business. Thank you to Caroline and Nora’s Playhouse for including in this wonderful project and continuing to tell women’s stories.