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Performance Program

William Shakespeare's 
Much Ado About Nothing

sugar skull version of a sharepearian actorWilliam Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing unfolds in the vibrant tapestry of Veracruz, Mexico during the Dia De Los Muertos festival, intertwining the timeless themes of love, deception, and comedic intrigue against the backdrop of lively celebrations and cultural richness.

Creative Team:

Director - Professor Tim Klein
Set Design – Shawn Hyder
Lighting Design – Professor Kyle Moore
Sound Design – Professor Kyle Moore
Costume Design – Professor Macy Lynn
Cultural Advisors – Dr. Anthony Ramirez, Dr. Albert DeJesus, & The Center for Latino Studies

Cast:

Benedick ___________________________________Shon Brown
Beatrice ____________________________________ San Juana Cortina
Don Pedro__________________________________ Benjamin Payne
Leonato_____________________________________ Ashura Bayyan
Don John___________________________________ Sora Srivastava
Dogberry___________________________________ Trey Worrel
Verges/Messenger___________________________John Bookman
Claudio_____________________________________ Mawue Agbenohevi
Hero________________________________________ Alexandra Marie Clemente
Conrade____________________________________ Michael V. Gonzalez
Borachio____________________________________ Khang Huynh
Margeret____________________________________ Eman Hamid 
Friar Francis_________________________________ Dr. Anthony Ramirez
Friar Francis_________________________________ John Bookman
Watch/Sexton________________________________Bilal Kazmi
Watch_______________________________________ Yulisa Angel
Watch_______________________________________York Von Esqueleto

Technical Crew:

Stage Manager – Dana Estoesta
Board Operator – Fernando Cejudo
First Hand – Annemarie Garcia-Whitten
Scenic Painter – Kim Avina
Carpenter & Board Op (Matinee) – Sarah Ramirez


About the Actors and Crew:

(*) indicates that this Student is recipient of one or more Drama Scholarships.

San Juana Cortina *San Juana Cortina (Beatrice) is a senior BAFA major at UHD. Although this is San Juana’s first lead role on the O’Kane stage, it is certainly not her first time having appeared as Jen in The Book Club Play. San Juana also has worked backstage on The Royale and The Mother Project at The Deluxe Theatre. She would like to thank her family and friends for all their support and her teachers for making her a better performer.


Shown BrownShon Brown (Benedick) sometimes referred to as Dr. Brown by himself, is a senior BAFA major at UHD. After showing up one day not even knowing how to spell “Theatre,” Shon has become a staple to the O’Kane Theatre and has also appeared in or worked on productions in many of the theatres in the Houston Community. With future aspirations of joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a young T’Challa, or perhaps starring as a young Mufasa in a prequal to The Lion King, he knows folks over at Disney Corporation are going to be signing his pay checks. Shon would love to thank everyone who has supported him in any way since he started his theatrical journey at UHD and the O’Kane.


Benjamin Payne Benjamin Payne (Don Pedro) is a freshman at UHD. This is his first performance at the O’Kane and hopefully not his last. Ben is majoring in Computer Science, and hopes to one day become a programmer with impeccable acting skills. He is thankful to all the people attending the show and afterwards he will gladly be signing autographs in the lobby.


Ashura Bayyan-Lovelady Ashura Bayyan-Lovelady (Leonato) is a writer, artist and arts worker. He is a junior at UHD pursuing a bachelor’s in Political Science with a double minor in Public Policy and Arts Administration. His theater life began at Aldine Senior High School under the direction of Walter Lane and his favorite play is The Dutchman by Amiri Baraka.


Sora Srivastava *Sora Srivastava (Don John) is a sophomore BAFA student at UHD. He has most recently appeared at the O’Kane Theatre in the production of The Book Club Play. Before UHD, he worked with the Ovation Theatre on productions of My Friend, The Octopus, Chicago, Cinderella, and many more. After graduation, Sora plans to pursue his MFA in the performing arts and hopes one day to be a full-time actor. Sora would like to thank his professors at UHD for providing him multiple opportunities and his cast and crew mates for working with him. He would also like to extend his gratitude to John Grimmett, his parents, brother, aunt, and cousins for their incredible support throughout the years.


Trey Worrell*Trey Worrell (Dogberry) is a student at UHD with hopes of majoring in Film Design. Having been interested in theatre since the 8th grade, he appeared in a few productions and faced challenges within them. He hopes to have more experience like this and would like to thank the audience and all those involved with the show.


Mawuena Agbenohevi *Mawuena Agbenohevi (Claudio) is his name but to everyone else, he is just Mawue. Mawue was born in Nigeria had moved through several different countries all his life before coming to America. Once here, he decided to advantage of all the opportunities afforded to him. Having previously performed as Fish in The Royale at the O’Kane Theatre, Mawue gives 110% of his passion towards the work he does. Besides Theatre, Mawue also enjoys soccer, dancing, singing and plays multiple musical instruments.


Alexandra Marie Clemente *Alexandra Marie Clemente (Hero) is a 21-year-old junior and BAFA major at UHD. This is her first semester at UHD and is excited to be part of Much Ado. She has appeared on stage before at Lone-Star College-Cy Fair as Horatio in Hamlet, Louise in Private Lives, and Fraternite in The Revolutionist. Alexandra plans to pursue an MFA in Acting after graduation. She would like to thank her family and friends for supporting her in all her endeavors.


Khang Huyuh *Khang Huynh (Borachio) is a 20 year old sophomore, who working towards his pre-nursing requirements at UHD. He is grateful to be working on this production of Much Ado. He has had a lot of fun working with his fellow cast mates and directors. He hopes you enjoy his performance, in particular his wooing of Margret. Amen to it, and to the whole production.


Michael V. Gonzalez *Michael V. Gonzalez (Conrade) is Freshman at UHD. This is first production here on the O’Kane stage and hopes for many more opportunities to show off what he can do best.


Eman Hadid *Eman Hamid (Margaret) is a freshman at UHD majoring in Business. Not having done a play in the past four years, Eman is very excited to make her debut to the O’Kane stage. In the future Eman would like to learn more about performing on stage and continue building friendships with the people around her. Also, one day she would love to start her own clothing line. She would like to thank her family and friends for supporting her.


Anthony R. Ramirez Anthony R. Ramirez PhD (Friar Francis) is an assistant professor of communication at the University of Houston- Downtown. This is his first ever acting role and would like to think Prof. Klein for inviting him to participate in the play as well as all the student and crew for all their support. He would also like to thank his family, Arts and Comm Dept., the Center for Latino Studies, his students, and the city of El Paso, Texas.


Bilal Kazmi Bilal Kazmi (The Watch) is a sophomore communications major attending the University of Houston-Downtown. Before attending UHD, Bilal performed with the Austin Playhouse in Sugarland where he starred in shows such as She Kills Monsters, Once Upon a Mattress, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Bilal would like to thank his professors and UHD for giving him this opportunity. He would also like to deeply thank his family, alongside his wonderful DND group, he couldn’t have done this without them.


Yulisa Angel Yulisa Angel (The Watch) is a Freshman BAFA Major at the University of Houston-Downtown. Much Ado About Nothing is their first time appearing on the O’Kane stage. Before attending UHD, Yulisa performed with Eisenhower HS Troupe 4588 in shows such as The Insanity Of Mary Girard, The Cover Of Life and 10 Ways To Survive The Zombie Apocalypse with their 1st 2 shows being One Act plays. Yulisa would like to thank their current UHD professors for giving them this opportunity. They would also like to thank their former directors, especially their 1st director Crystal Rose along with their loved ones for supporting them throughout their theatre journey.


John Bookman John Bookman (Alt. Friar Francis) is alumni of UHD having graduated in 2021 with Bachelor's of the Arts in Fine Arts, but that has certainly not stopped him from being always present. He has appeared in multiple productions at the O’Kane including Hellcab, Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, and The Stories of Us. John would like to thank all his colleagues for allowing him to participate in the production.


York Von Esqueleto a skeleton in a cowboy hatYork Von Esqueleto
(Hugh Otecake), a Shakespearean virtuoso whose artistry is forged in the crucible of the finest acting schools. With a mastery of iambic pentameter and a magnetic stage presence, York breathes life into Shakespeare's timeless characters, captivating audiences with his skill and passion. Known for his meticulous approach and commitment to emotional truth, York is a consummate professional, earning accolades from peers and directors alike. Offstage, he remains an elusive figure, letting his work speak volumes. In a world enamored with the avant-garde, York stands as a guardian of classical tradition, inviting audiences to join him on a journey through the Bard's tales, guided by a performer whose artistry knows no bounds.


Dana Estoesta *Dana Estoesta (Stage Manager) is a sophomore at UHD majoring in psychology. This is not her first show at the Okane theatre. She has been blessed to be a stage manager twice at Okane theatre and has worked on crew for all the other shows she’s done here. She was one of the stage managers for The Book Club Play. Now still stage managing the play Much Ado About Nothing. She is the backbone of the shows at the O’Kane. In the future, Dana sees herself doing more shows and making the theatre space open for everyone! Dana wants to thank you her family and friends who is seeing her grow! Stage manager D! Thanks, her big sisters! Avianca Palmer and Gaelle Elias!


Annamarie Garcia-Whitten Annamarie Garcia-Whitten is a Marketing major at UHD. This will be her first production she has ever worked on. Although she is not a Fine Arts major, she fell in love with the theatre when she took an acting class with Professor Klein. She is thrilled to assist Professor Macy on the costumes for, Much Ado About Nothing. She plans to work on more productions at O’Kane theatre and cannot wait to see what the future has in store for her. She would like to thank Professor Klein for introducing her to the theatre, along with Professor Macy for giving her this opportunity! Annamarie wanted to also thank the audience for coming to see all the hard work that was put into the production of, Much Ado About Nothing.


Kim Avina Kim Avina (Scenic Painting) is a Senior BAFA major at the University of Houston-Downtown. She specializes in hyper realistic portraiture. After four years of attending UHD she decided to use her artistic talents and help UHD O’Kane Theatre. Kim would like to thank the professors for allowing her to be apart of the team that helps the performances happen. She would also like to thank her boyfriend and her theatre friends for always being supportive.


Fernando Cejudo Fernando Cejudo (Board Operator) is a sophomore political science major. This is his first time helping with productions here at the O’Kane Theatre, but he is not new to the group. Having many friends here in college who are a part of the theatre productions, it was only the next logical step for him to also help. While he doesn’t really see himself as an actor, helping out with the background aspects of production seems like something he could do. He would like to thank Dana Estoesta for pushing him with friendship to help with this production.


Sarah Ramirez Sarah Ramirez is a Fine Arts Major in the midst of her senior year at the University of Houston-Downtown. She started her interest in theater by being part of several productions in high school as scenic designer and part of a makeup crew. Sarah is delighted to work in scenic design for UHD for the first time before graduating next spring. Sarah hopes that her experience in the visual arts translates well into the set. She would like to thank her family for always supporting her artistic ventures.


Theater Scholarship Recipients:

Rockwell Fund, Inc.
This semester’s recipients: Avianca Palmer, San Juana Cortina

The Charles and Betti Saunders Foundation
This semester’s recipients: Sora Srivastava, San Juana Cortina

The Tom Lyttle Endowment
This semester’s recipients: Sora Srivastava, San Juana Cortina

The Bill and Ann Stokes Foundation
This semester’s “Stokies”: Trey Worrel, Eman Hamid, Khang Huynh, Michael Gonzalez, Sora Srivastava

The Maddocks Family Theatre Scholarship
This semester’s recipients is Dana Estoesta

The University Theatre Scholarship
This semester’s recipients: Alexandra Marie Clemente, Shon Brown, Mawue Agbenohevi


Special Thanks:
President Loren J. Blanchard, Dr. Azar Rejaie, Dr. Wendy Burns-Ardolino, Dr. Paul Kintzele, Mark Cervenka, Dr. Deborah E. Bordelon, Kimberly Thomas, Liza Alonzo, Emily Leffler, Dr. Michelle Moosally, Dr. Judith Quander, Cindy Chavez-Wiechec, Dr. Daniel Villanueva, Dr. Lisa Jennings, Dr. Anita Raychawdhuri, Cherilyn Pearson, Dr. Paul Mandel, Antréchelle Dorsey Benito Vasquez, Ramona Thompson, and the Students in the course Costume Design 3313.


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