CAST BIOS

Shohom Basuthakur (Donkey) 

Shoshone is excited to be in his first-ever show with SALT! He is especially thrilled to be playing Donkey because he really identifies with the character, given their shared love of parfaits and gift shop t-shirts. Previous credits include Little Women (Laurie), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Clopin), and Beauty and the Beast (Beast). Shohom would like to thank his wife, parents, and brother for always supporting his love of theater—from encouraging him to return to the stage to tolerating his shower singing. He is also grateful to the entire SALT community for welcoming him with open arms.

 

Ally Borgstrom (Fiona)

Ally is a musical theater graduate from DeSales University, is thrilled to be making her SALT debut in her favorite musical Shrek!  Regional credits include Hitler’s Tasters (Margo) and Turning (Mary) at Centenary Stage Co, Cinderella (Cinderella) and Beauty & the Beast (Babette) at The Growing Stage, as well as numerous productions at The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival: Taming of the Shrew (Bianca), The Little Mermaid (The Little Mermaid), Les Miserables (Ensemble) and many more. She would like to thank her family, friends, and partner Ryan for all their love and support, the production staff for their incredible creativity, dedication, and direction, and everyone involved in Shrek for helping to bring her favorite fairytale to life. “This is how a dream comes true!”

 

Neala Carroll (Teen Fiona, Ugly Duckling, Tapping Rat, Knight) 

Neala is a 16-year-old junior at Garnet Valley High School. Her most recent shows include Newsies (Specs), The Music Man, (Marian Paroo), and Annie (Annie). Neala has been performing on stage since she was 8 years old and would like to thank everyone who has helped and supported her for all these years. She is so grateful to have such a wonderful and talented cast and crew to help commemorate her first show at SALT. 


Reece Dixon (Little Shrek/Prince)

Reece is a 9-year-old (by show open he will be ten) who has a tremendous love for life, theater, and sharks. His love for theater began as an audience member and as his sister’s biggest fan. His first role was a comedy in the youth production of Chivalry Me Timbers (Pirate Intern). Since then he has taken the stage in Billy Elliot (Small Boy), Elf The Musical (The Littlest Elf), Alice in Wonderland, Jr. (Doorknob and Ensemble), and Jungle Book, Jr. (Mowgli). Since moving to PA he has participated in SALT’s amazing Stagelight Plus programs and performed in Shrek Jr. (Captain of the Guards) and Aladdin Kids (Ensemble). He is always so thankful for almost everything in this world but mostly his mom and dad, sissy, the menagerie of pets, and the AMAZING creative team behind this production. He feels honored to share the stage with such incredible talent and is so thankful to always have felt love and care from each and every person involved. He hopes that you enjoy the show and come back to see it at least 4 times. 


Jack Dungan (Bishop/Guard)

Jack is 14 and will be starting 9th grade at Downingtown East High School in the fall. Recent credits include Into the Woods (Cinderella’s Prince), Newsies (Mush, Oscar Delancey), Bye Bye Birdie (Conrad Birdie),  42nd Street (Julian Marsh), and Sweeney Todd (Anthony understudy, ensemble). Jack wants to thank Lauren, Jeff, Dave, Matt, and Lauren B for all of their expertise in making this show amazing, and wants to thank Sandi and the cast and crew for making it so fun! Thanks and cheers also to Mike Toolan for his vocal help! Jack is so excited to be back on the SALT Mainstage after more than a year, and is so grateful for this opportunity!

 

Mark Dungan ((Big Bad Wolf/Greeter/Shrek understudy)

This is Mark’s first show with SALT, but not his first show.  Mark is very excited to have been cast in Shrek, one of his favorite shows. Mark’s last show (a decade ago) was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Levi/Potipher). Some other favorite roles include Aida (Zoser) and A Christmas Carol (Mr. Fezziwig). Mark would like to thank his family for all their support and his nephew Jack Dungan for re-igniting his interest in performing.

 

Alessandra Fanelli (Dragon/Mama Ogre) 

Ále cannot wait to unchain her heart and wave her Freak Flag alongside this tremendously talented cast, led by such a sweet and driven production staff. Recent credits include Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey), Matilda (Mrs. Wormwood), Mamma Mia! (Sophie), Avenue Q (Lucy), and The Marvelous Wonderettes (Cindy Lou). Love and gratitude to all who have supported her even after she was 7 years old, and continue to for what seems like for...ever, ever, ever.


Shamus Halloran (Farquaad)

Seamus is from Chester County, PA. In 2011 he received a BA in Performing Arts, from East Stroudsburg University. Shamus has been singing and acting since early childhood. This is Shamus' 7th show with SALT Performing Arts and he is thrilled to be a part of the SALT Family. Previous shows with salt include Disney's Beauty and the Beast (Maurice), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Potiphar/Naphtali), Titanic the Musical (Pitman/The Major), Newsie (Synder), Godspell (Ensemble), Willy Wonka (Phineous Trout), and last fall he was the Co-Host for The O'l Fashioned Variety Show. Shamus was also in Sweeny Todd (ensemble) at Steel River Playhouse. Throughout his acting career, some of Shamus' favorite performances have been Blythe Spirit (Dr. Bradman), Funny Thing...Forum (Marcus Lyocs), Little Shop of Horrors (The Dentist), and Oliver! (Fagan).  He would like to thank his wife, friends, and family for all their love and support. Thanks to the cast and crew, truly amazing creatures and freaks who made this experience incredible.  

Ronnie Hernandez (Papa Bear, Donkey US) 

Ronnie has the honor of being in Shrek the musical at SALT for the second time. They are 19 years old and currently studying Theatre Arts at West Chester University. Some of their credits include Sister Act (Mother Superior), Secret Garden (Martha), Guys and Dolls (Big Jule), and Teen Ensemble (Matilda). They can’t wait to help show everyone the big bright beautiful world this production has created on this stage!

 

Nella Hilden (Young Fiona/Baby Bear) 

Nella is a 10-year-old rising fifth-grader at Garnet Valley Elementary School.  This spring, Nella performed in Annie (Molly) at SALT. She also recently placed as runner-up in the youth version of The STAR: A New Vocal Competition at the Kelly Center. In her spare time, Nella loves to swim, fish, and take care of her two dogs, one box turtle, and three hermit crabs.  Nella would like to thank her vocal teacher, Lauryn Morgan Thomas, for helping her grow as a vocalist and performer. She would also like to thank Ms. Lauren and Mr. Jeffrey for this amazing opportunity!

 

Matilyn Houpt (young Fiona u/s)

Matilyn is an eight-year-old from West Chester. This is her first Main Stage performance at SALT and is thrilled to learn from this talented and experienced cast. Prior credits include several Stagelight productions including Annie (Tessie), Mary Poppins (Michael Banks), The Little Mermaid (Ursula), Emperor’s New Clothes (Minister of Style), Beauty and the Beast (Tink), and Music Man (Ensemble). Matilyn enjoys dancing in the Nutcracker and yearly recitals at Chester Valley Dance Academy and when she isn’t singing or dancing, she is often found taking an adventure in a good book! Matilyn would like to thank Skyler Shields for the influence to pursue singing and acting, Ms. Lauren McComas for believing in her and inspiring her, and Ms. Chelsea Barnett for helping with acting and dancing in the Stagelight productions. She would also like to give a HUGE thank Mr. Mike Toolan for pushing her to take her singing to the next level, his extra care to help her personally and theatrically, and all his encouragement along the way. She would also like to thank her mom, dad, little brother, grandparents, uncles, and aunts for being her biggest fans. 

 

Drew Kalkiewicz (King Harold, Duloc Dancer, Knight, Tapping Rat)

Drew is so excited to be on the SALT stage again! He’s currently majoring in Music Education at West Chester University, while also working at SALT’s sister company Stagelight! Some of his previous credits on the SALT stage include Annie (ensemble) and Les Mis (Enjolras), and he’s also been in Pippin (Pippin) at Steel River Playhouse. Although he’s been performing since he was in 3rd grade, he also enjoys playing video games with his friends. He’d like to thank the entire cast and crew of Shrek for the wonderful experience, and also his family and all of his friends for being so wonderful and supportive!

Heather Kalkiewicz (Mad Hatter, Duloc Dancer, Knight, Tapping Rat) 

Heather is so glad to be a part of this magical production! She is currently a graduate student at West Chester University, an Educator at Elmwood Park Zoo, and a Pet Sitter with Ashley’s Animal Academy. Previous credits include The Secret Garden (Alice), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Ensemble), CATS (Jennyanydots), Titanic (Kate Murphy), and Nice Work If You Can Get It (Billie Bendix). Outside of theatre and work, Heather enjoys spending time with her very own dancing rats and baking up tasty treats for her friends. Heather would like to thank the cast and crew of Shrek for making this production yet another wonderful experience and for being so supportive!

 

Lindsay Kulp (Fairy Godmother & Duloc Dancer) 

Lindsay is so excited to be in her first production at SALT! Some of her past theatre experiences include The Addams Family (Morticia), Mamma Mia (Sophie), Hunchback of Notre Dame (Gargoyle/Gypsy), Joseph (Narrator), Into the Woods (The Bakers Wife), The Little Mermaid (Ariel), and Once Upon a Mattress (Lady Larken). Lindsay would like to thank the production team for giving her this opportunity to work on such a fun show and her castmates for welcoming her with open arms.


 

Lily Lexer (Peter Pan, Teen Fiona U/S)

Lily is 12 years old and a student at Saint Patrick School in Malvern. She is thrilled to be making her SALT debut in Shrek the Musical. Recent credits include Fun Home (Small Alison) and Ragtime (Little Girl) at the Arden Theatre and Our Town (Rebecca Gibbs) and A Christmas Carol In Concert (Ensemble) at People’s Light Theatre. Lily also enjoys studying dance at the Betsy Daily School of Performing Arts, and theatre at the Upper Main Line YMCA. A big shout out to Nick Harmantzis and Casie Girvin for their unending support and encouragement. Lily would like to thank Ms. Lauren and the entire SALT team for bringing theatre back and allowing her to be part of the magic.

 

Jordan McAndrew (Pinocchio/Knight/Tapping Rat) 

Jordan is a recent graduate of Coventry Christian Schools and is excited to be back on the Salt Performing Arts stage. Jordan has been singing and acting since she was 8 and currently studies voice with Julie Eurillo. Past performances include Moses (Little Miriam) at Sight and Sound Theatre; Pippin (Catherine), Newsies (Katherine), The Sound of Music (Brigitta), A Christmas Carol (Fan), Shrek the Musical (Little Fiona), Mermaid (Flotsam), Shrek the Musical (Little Fiona), all at Steel River Playhouse; and Les Miserables (Cosette), The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (Lucy), Christmas Spectacular, and Wizard of Oz at SALT. 

Jordan would like to thank her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for giving her a joyful heart and the opportunities and people He has put in her life. She would also like to thank her parents for always driving her around and supporting her, and her friends for always being so loving and caring; they all deserve the world. In Jordan’s next chapter of life, she will be going to Hawaii for a program called Youth With A Mission where she will train for four months to be a missionary in a developing world country. After that, she hopes to continue missions and eventually start an orphanage in Haiti.

 

Emily Peterson Merow (Gingy, Sugarplum Fairy, Bluebird, Fiona US) 

Emily is tickled to be performing in this fabulous show, and her 8th SALT production! Emily’s SALT credits include Matilda (Miss Honey), The Secret Garden (Lily), CATS (Grizabella), and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Gargoyle). She has also served on the production side of things by running lights, assisting with music direction and conducting, and is excited to Music Direct Singing in the Rain at SALT in October! Along with performing on stage, Emily enjoys leading worship at Mission Community Church, teaching private voice and piano lessons, and watching Star Trek with her magical husband. Thanks to Jeff, Dave, Sandi, the whole production staff, and the cast: this has been such a positive and joyful experience! Special thanks to Sara Helmers, Lauren & Matt: you are the most patient and uplifting friends and choreographers, and you’ve inspired me to achieve more than I ever thought I could!! I appreciate and love you all! To all Petersons and Merows: what I do is crazy - thank you for celebrating and supporting me through it! To Mike Toolan: my love for you weighs 400,000,000lbs. To Robbie Merow: you are my favorite forever. To Jesus be all glory! Psalm 103

 

Lorelei Miller (Jr. Production Assistant/Queen Lillian/Fiona Body Double) 

Lorelei is a freshman at Downingtown East High School. Recent credits include Annie (Annie) at Salt Performing Arts, Newsies (Albert) at Stagelight and the Milton Hershey School’s commercial Be Your Greatest Self (Lead student speaker). Lorelei would like to especially thank Ms. Lauren and Mr. Jeff for the opportunity to work behind the scenes and to perform in the show! When not singing, acting, and dancing Lorelei loves to spend time with her friends. A huge thank you to Mom, Dad, Evan, and Ms. Monica for always supporting her dreams.

 

Leslie Monaco (Featured Dancer)

Leslie is ecstatic to finally be making her SALT stage debut! After almost performing in Evita (Ensemble, Teen Eva U/S), Leslie was seen in the Cooped Up Cabaret, the Beyond the Walls Drive-In Concert, and A Good Ol' Fashioned Variety Show, and has loved every minute she's been a part of the SALT family! Leslie is currently a senior at West Chester University majoring in Theatre with a Musical Theatre Concentration and minoring in Dance and American Sign Language. Her most notable WCU credit is Unmute Yourself (Elizabeth, herself), which was performed for and received 5 National Achievement Awards at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. She also performs and works over the summer at Upper Darby Summer Stage, with her last performance credit being Big Fish (Ensemble). Leslie wants to thank her mega-talented cast and crew, her loving boyfriend Myles, and her amazing parents and little sister Kelly for making my first SALT show a dream come true!

 

Maddie Novak (Pig/Blind Mouse/Duloc Dancer) 

Maddie is a 17-year-old senior at Rustin High School. She is super excited to perform for the first time on SALT's mainstage! Some of her favorite performance credits include Seussical (Mrs. Mayor), Matilda (Trunchbull), Godspell (Anna Maria), and Newsies (Medda Larkin). Maddie also loves to play guitar, write music, and produce music in her free time. She would like to thank her parents for always supporting her passions and encouraging her to pursue what she loves. She is so thrilled to work alongside this amazing cast and crew for what is sure to be a fantastic show!


 

Sophia Patriarch (Little Red Riding Hood, Duloc Dancer) 

Sophia is thrilled to be performing in her second SALT show! She is 11 years old and has been singing, acting, and dancing ever since she could talk and walk! She loves doing theatre and is so grateful SALT has given her the best theatre family that anyone could ask for. Sophia has done 7 years of dance and 5 years of piano lessons. Some of her recent credits include Wizard of Oz (Dorothy), Seussical (Sour Kangaroo), A Christmas Carol (Fan), Frozen (Young Elsa), Annie (Molly), and most recently Newsies (Les)! Sophia is very excited to be back on the SALT stage and bring back the joy of live theatre.

 

Autumn Phillips (Wicked Witch, Dulac Dancer, Dragon US) 

Autumn is 22 years old and a recent graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville with a BA in theatre. She is beyond ecstatic to be back on the SALT stage after a four-year hiatus. Some favorite theatre credits include Sense and Sensibility (Elinor), The Crucible (Abigail Williams), The Visit (Professor), The Miracle Worker (Kate), 42nd Street (Anytime Annie), and Joseph…Dreamcoat (Ensemble). She would like to thank the entire production team for this incredible and super fun opportunity. Being a part of this wonderful show is a true dream.

Evan Sykes (Captain of the Guard)

Evan is a senior at Drexel University studying Animation and Visual Effects. Previous SALT credits include The Crucible (Hopkins), Cats (Macavity/Rumpuscat), Shrek Jr. (Captain of the Guard), and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Benjamin). He has also performed in many new works over the past year, including Essential (Jerry) and Vamp (Max). Evan is also a writer, having written a feature-length horror screenplay titled The Séance, and is currently writing his first novel. After the past year and a half, Evan is excited to finally be back on stage and make live theater again with a fun and talented group of people and an amazing production team. Enjoy the show!

 

AJ Tantala (Shrek)

AJ will be graduating this spring from Rider University with a degree in arts/entertainment industry management.  Some of his favorite SALT credits include The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Quasimodo), You're a Good Man: Charlie Brown (Charlie Brown), and Footloose (Willard Hewitt).  AJ would like to thank everyone involved with this production for making it such a blast to be a part of, and he hopes you have just as much fun experiencing it!

 

Elizabeth Tozer (Mama Bear, Pied Piper, Knight) 

Elizabeth, or “Tozer” as she is lovingly known at SALT, is excited to be back on the stage for Shrek. Audiences don’t usually get to see her face on the stage as she is usually behind the scenes working on the production staff in some capacity at SALT. She is beyond excited for this opportunity to join her daughter on stage for their second show together here at SALT after performing together in Willy Wonka, where Tozer portrayed the role of Mrs. Beaureguard. She would like to thank her fellow castmates and production team for this truly magical ride that they have been on together! Another HUGE thank you goes out to her daughter Keyaira, who is always willing to go on this crazy ride with her and is always willing to help without complaints! This Mama Bear is so very, very proud of you! Above all, she would like to thank her ever-devoted and caring husband Jon, who is always willing to help with whatever is needed without question and who supports her need to get away to her “Circus.” Thank you for choosing to take this adventure with me!

 

Keyaira Tozer (Elf, Dwarf, Knight, Duloc dancer, rat)

Keyaira is an upcoming sophomore at the Center for Performing and Fine Arts in West Chester. Performance highlights include Newsies (Race) and Bye Bye Birdie (Mama Mae). She is very excited to be a part of this production with her mom and would like to thank everyone for making this a wonderful experience.

 

Kaitlin Wilkin (Tinkerbell & Dancing Duloc)

Kaitlin is thrilled to be part of her second production at SALT Performing Arts. Her performing highlights include Annie (Tessie), The Wizard of Oz (Munchkin Barrister & Ensemble), Matilda (Upper School Ensemble), Seussical (Seuss Soloist), Newsies (Scab & Children's Ensemble), Oliver (Children's Ensemble), and Beauty & The Beast (Children's Ensemble). Kaitlin also enjoys dancing in the company with the Betsy Daily School of Performing Arts and taking voice and piano lessons with Nick Harmantzis. She would like to thank her parents for supporting her dream of being on stage and the cast and crew of this production, especially Jeff, Dave, Matt, and Lauren for the incredible opportunity to do what she loves and for creating an amazing production of Shrek!

 

Dakota Yates (Pig / Blind Mouse / Duloc Dancer / Gingy US)

Dakota is 15 years old and is going into 10th grade at Neshaminy High School. She has been dancing since the age of 2 and has been trained in various styles. Her favorite past credits include Legally Blonde Jr. (Kate), Once On This Island Jr. (Asaka), Seussical (Mayzie La Bird), Shrek the Musical Jr. (Fiona), Willy Wonka Jr. (Veruca Salt), Dear Edwina (Aphrodite). Dakota would like to thank her family and friends, and her vocal coach Jennine Babo, for all of their support. She is so excited that this is her first SALT show! 

 

Ragan Yates (Pig / Blind Mouse / Duloc Dancer / Gingy US)

Ragan is 19 years old and is in the process of earning a business degree. She has been dancing since the age of 3 and has been trained in various styles. Her favorite past credits include The Lion King Jr. (Nala), Murder by Indecision (Penelope Biggles), Class Action (Danielle), and James and the Giant Peach (Ladybug). Ragan also had the amazing opportunity to choreograph Poquessing Middle School’s production of Shrek Jr. last year. Ragan would like to thank all of her family and friends, and her vocal coach Jennine Babo, for all of their support. She is so excited that this is her first show at SALT, and to be back to theater after a year off!