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Q&A with the cast of The Nerd

Dan Ruiz Salvatura

Dan Ruiz Salvatura is a New Orleans native who recently relocated to Bellingham with his husband, Paul, after living as a nomad in several cities including Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, Portland, and Seattle. Local credits: The Carrion Man, Clown Bar, and a few 48 Hour Plays at Idiom Theater. Favorite roles: Father Flynn in Doubt at Houma Little Theatre in Houma, LA; Sagot in Picasso at the Lapin Agile at the Marjorie Lyons Playhouse in Shreveport, LA; Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Portland Actor’s Ensemble and Friar Laurence in Romeo & Juliet for Northwest Children’s Theater, both in Portland, OR. Dan holds a BA in Theatre from Louisiana State University and an MFA in Directing from University of Portland. Special thanks to Paul for his tolerance and endurance.

What’s Your Favorite Locally-Sourced Thing? My favorite locally sourced thing is honey. There’s a guy in the Birchwood neighborhood who sells it from a stand outside his house where he keeps thousands of bees onsite. The honey is just straight from the comb and is chock full of pollen to help you fight off allergies. I’d tell you where it is but I don’t want all of his honey bought up by MBT fans. I’m like Winnie the Pooh and do not like to share my honey.

What’s The Nerdiest Thing You’ve Ever Done? The nerdiest thing I’ve done is sat through a PhD level modern theory class (in my failed attempt at getting a doctorate) which was nothing more than a bunch of posturing and preening while pretending to have read the 800 pages of the weekly assigned redundant obscure thought written in the nerdiest possible language that only academics can possibly understand (or pretend to) while spouting off words like intersectionality, hegemony, teleological, performativity, liminality, simulacrum, and other gobbledygook of that ilk.

Jennifer Ewing

Jennifer Ewing is an actress and artist recently returned to her roots in the Pacific Northwest after five years studying and performing classical theatre in New York City. An avid traveller, she also has training and credits in the United Kingdom and Los Angeles. Jennifer moonlights as a fine artist and set painter; her work recently featured locally in Sound Theatre Co’s Indian Ink and Theatre22’s The Lisbon Traviata. She is thrilled to return to MBT after performing last year in The Underpants (Louise) and The 39 Steps (Annabella/Pamela/Margaret) in 2014. Recent Northwest acting credits include As You Like It (Rosalind) with Ghost Light Theatricals, The Two Noble Kinsmen (Emilia) for GreenStage, The Hours of Life (Anna) with Theatre22, and A Chorus Line (Valerie) at Bainbridge Performing Arts. Other credits include: Twelfth Night (Viola), Much Ado About Nothing (Beatrice/Don John/Leonato), Othello (Desdemona), and Henry V (King of France).

What’s Your Favorite Locally-Sourced Thing? Locally sourced honey is my favorite. It’s like liquid gold. Otherwise? Apples. For sure. Local, organic food in general, really.

What’s The Nerdiest Thing You’ve Ever Done? Too many to count. However, I have always been nerdy for ancient civilizations, Egypt and Central/South America in particular. One year when I was living in NYC, I found a workbook on how to read Mayan Hieroglyphics. Oh man, it was so cool. I went on a date with a young man who took me to the Natural History Museum, and I spent a solid (and very enthusiastic) 25 minutes in the Central American wing talking about this book and showing him what the glyphs mean and explaining why they are harder to decipher than Egyptian heiroglyphics or cuneiform, and and and! I think it was too much for him; he never called for a second date. Ah, youth.

Christopher Cariker

Christopher C. Cariker—an actor, poet, filmmaker, and teaching artist—is beyond pleased to be returning to the Mount Baker Theatre. Christopher’s work can be seen on the stage, TV, the internet, and in print. For a list of Christopher’s credits, please visit chriscariker.com. HUGE THANKS to the cast, crew, and production staff of the MBT as well as my students at MBH Drama, and all the Hammers: AW-C, HJC, LC, CWC, EWIII, DW, CL, KD, ABH, LK, TM, DP, BH, AM, JE, AF, DF, AT, and Hooker the Cat!

What’s Your Favorite Locally-Sourced Thing? My new Son and the Bellingham Breweries – Both locally grown.

What’s The Nerdiest Thing You’ve Ever Done? Programming a “Choose Your Own Adventure” Narrative on an Apple IIe Machine in 1988 with every outcome giving you some kind of pie. I like pie.

Corey McDaniel, Director

Corey D. McDaniel is a producer, director, actor, and teaching artist based in Seattle. His most recent director credits include Wizzer Pizzer: Getting over the Rainbow and The Hours of Life for Theatre22; Bonnie and Clyde for Cornish College of the Arts; The Wild Party (4 Gregory Award nominations and recipient of the Gregory for Outstanding Musical Production and the Gypsy Rose Lee Award for Excellence in Production of a Musical) for Sound Theatre Company; Hairspray at Shoreline CC; and Fallen Angels at Theater Schmeater. Corey has spent numerous years overseas performing and sharing American arts educational programs with foreign countries. He has directed, performed, and taught in Mexico, Canada, Italy, Japan, and Brazil. Since moving to Seattle, he has also worked with several local companies on stage and in PR, education, development, and marketing. He served as the education director for GreenStage prior to stepping into the role of interim artistic director at SecondStory Rep in 2011. He is also a co-founder of the TPS Gregory Awards and serves on the selection committee for the 14/48 Projects. Corey is the co-founder and producing artistic director of Theatre22. www.theatre22.org

What’s Your Favorite Locally-Sourced Thing? My friends and I LOVE to head up to Bellingham on a Sunday and to catch shows at MBT but not before we hit Bayou on Bay for brunch and those crazy fantastic bloody marys.

What’s The Nerdiest Thing You’ve Ever Done? Um…have you met me? Half the things I say are the nerdiest thing I’ve ever done!

Andre Nelson

Andre Nelson is an actor, sound designer, and musician residing in Seattle. Recent Seattle theatre credits include Bunnies at Annex Theatre and Jack and the Beanstalk with Thistle Theatre. He has also worked with Book-It Repertory Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, West of Lenin, Engaged Theatre, and Seattle Public Theatre, among others, as both an actor and sound designer. Andre teaches acting to adults at Freehold Theatre and to preschoolers at Sweet Pea Cottage Preschool for the Arts. He has a BFA in Theatre from Cornish College of the Arts.

What’s Your Favorite Locally-Sourced Thing? I’m a big fan of Chuckanut Brewery up in Bellingham. I visited the brewpub a few years ago and their beers were a refreshing change from all the hop heavy trends of the west coast beer scene.

What’s The Nerdiest Thing You’ve Ever Done? When I was a young teenager I had a phase in which I was a part of an online role playing pro wrestling league. Ugh… It basically meant creating my own pro wrestlers and writing little storylines involving them feuding with other people’s wrestler creations. Whoever ran the league would post match results based on how often we posted our written pieces and the quality of the writing. I wish I could have those hours back!

Daniel Wood

Daniel Wood is thrilled to be making his debut at MBT Rep in The Nerd, a longtime favorite play of his. He is a longtime veteran of acting in Seattle; some favorite roles include Max in Lend Me a Tenor (Centerstage), Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing (SecondStory Rep), and the title role in The American Pilot (Theater Schmeater). Other theatres he has performed with include Book-It Rep, Seattle Public Theater, Wooden O, GreenStage, Annex Theatre, Balagan Theatre, Sound Theatre Company, the Seattle Opera, and many, many more. He is also the artistic director of the Rogues Gallery, a theatre company dedicated to producing plays with geek themes. Much love to his beautiful and gifted wife, Julia Evanovich, who puts up with him with far more patience than he deserves.

What’s Your Favorite Locally-Sourced Thing? Support your local comic shop! The Comics Place is the best comic store in Bellingham.

What’s The Nerdiest Thing You’ve Ever Done? As a self proclaimed nerd how about the nerdiest things I’m doing? First, I just started my own theater company called The Rogues Gallery, dedicated to producing plays with geek themes. Our first show was a CTHULHU adventure comedy spoofing on Indiana Jones. I am a fan of science fiction (Star Trek in particular) and fantasy (I’ve been reading Game of Thrones since it came out in the ’90’s); of comic books (The Sandman and Transmetropolitan being my favorites); and I play a lot of nerdy boardgames with the occasional Dungeons & Dragons game when time allows.

Megan Ahiers

Megan Ahiers is happy to making her Bellingham debut! Megan is a Seattle-based actor and producer. In Seattle, she has appeared in productions at Live Girls! Theater, Balagan Theater, Athena Theatre Project, the Paradise Theatre School, Annex Theatre, Macha Monkey Productions, Theater Schmeater, Sandbox Radio Live, Theatre22, and Pony World Theater. She is a member of the Sandbox Artists Collective and is the operations director for the 14/48 Projects, which produces 14/48: The World’s Quickest Theater Festival and Theater Anonymous. Megan has performed with the 14/48 Projects in New York, Texas, and England. Thanks to Corey and Mount Baker Theatre for this opportunity. Thanks to Shawn for securing her next endeavor, coming in May 2016.

What’s Your Favorite Locally-Sourced Thing? Seattle: Market Spice teas are my favorite!

What’s The Nerdiest Thing You’ve Ever Done? I was on the Academic Decathalon team when I was younger. And Jeopardy is my favorite TV Show.

Zane Barrett

Zane Barrett is proud to be a part of this production of Larry Shue’s The Nerd. The role of Thor has been so much fun to play and rehearse. This is Zane’s first performance at the Mount Baker Theatre. Zane has been part of the community at Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth since January of 2015. He was inspired to try theatre arts after watching a production of The Nightmare Before Christmas in December 2014.  Since beginning with BAAY, Zane has been in The Jungle Book, The Muppets Take Manhattan, and most recently in Labyrinth as the dog Ambrosius. This role was perfect for Zane, as he is an animal lover and advocate for animal rescue. Zane also loves for the water—he is a member of the Bellingham Bay Swim Team, and swimming brings him great joy. Zane would like to thank Lisa Markowitz for believing in him, as well as his parents for their chauffeur services and for always supporting him.

What’s Your Favorite Locally-Sourced Thing? Zane’s favorite locally sourced places are Leaf and Ladle. He loves their soups and gluten free options. Mallard Ice Cream! Ironically his favorite flavor is NERDS in vanilla.

What’s The Nerdiest Thing You’ve Ever Done? Ate NERDS candy!



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