Meet the 2023 Professional Company
THE SCOUTS: DIRECTOR
Gaby Rodriguez: Community Engagement Associate at Asolo Rep
Gaby is a director, dramaturg, teacher, and storyteller from Santiago de Cuba. She has directed at Asolo Repertory Theatre, Theatre Nuevo and The Center of Creative Arts in St. Louis, TheatreWorks USA, The University of Oklahoma, Webster Conservatory, and Shakespeare Festival STL. As an Assistant Director, she has worked at Great River Shakespeare Festival in Minnesota, at The Repertory Theatre of STL, and at Theatre Under the Stars in Houston, TX. She has also worked as a translator and educator in multiple theatres, including the MUNY, Asolo Rep, and Metro Theatre Company. Her work focuses on adapting classic stories for today and she has a passion for bringing more Latin representation to the stage.
Ryan David Jacobs
THE SCOUTS: COMPOSER + WRITER
PETER PAN: JOHN
Ryan Jacobs is a writer/performer from Kansas City studying musical theatre writing at Berklee College of Music in Boston ('24). He’s also pursuing a minor in dance at Boston Conservatory. He is so incredibly thankful and excited to start his career as a musical theatre writer with a literal dream team of collaborators at Piknik! Some writing highlights include winning the National Association for Music Education’s 2019 Young Composer’s Competition with his original choir piece “When All Are Singing” and being a two-time winner of Berklee’s musical theatre writing competition “Curtain Up!”. Performance highlights include touring the US for two summers with the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps as a brass player (and keytar soloist) and singing with the 2018 NAfME All-National High School Choir.
THE SCOUTS: MUSIC DIRECTOR
PETER PAN: COMPOSER
Jeremy Jacobs could not be more excited to return to Piknik Theatre after working on A Year With Frog And Toad and Twelfth Night last year! Jeremy is a New York City-based music director, teaching artist, and pianist. Selected regional credits include Jersey Boys, Always... Patsy Cline (STAGES St. Louis), the pilot production of Alice by Heart (The Beacon School), Driven: A New Song Cycle (54Below), Noise (The Tank), and Urinetown, A New Brain (The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University). Alongside music directing, Jeremy is an active teaching artist at various educational theatre programs across the country like TADA! Youth Theatre (New York City) and Piknik Theatre (Steamboat Springs); he also serves as the Music Director of the choral ensembles and theatre department at The Beacon School in Manhattan. BM: Music Direction for Musical Theatre (Webster University).
THE SCOUTS: JULIA
PETER PAN: WENDY
Maddie Robert she/her is thrilled to make her Piknik debut! Her most recent credits include Gypsy (Goodspeed), Zag Zurka in Hip Hop Cinderella (Off Broadway at The New Victory); Maggie in A Chorus Line (Weathervane Theatre NH), A Christmas Story (The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina), and Singin’ in the Rain (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma). She graduated with a BFA from the University of Oklahoma in 2021.
THE SCOUTS: OZZY
PETER PAN: TINK/CROC/SHADOW/NANA
Shelly Verden is thrilled to be back for his second season at Piknik Theatre! Shelly was last seen as Toad in last year’s production of A Year With Frog and Toad. He has been seen in the 1st National Tour of An Officer and a Gentleman, as well as several productions from New Jersey to Kansas City: Edward Bloom (Big Fish), Bob Wallace (White Christmas), Jesus (Reefer Madness), Cousin Kevin (The Who’s Tommy), and Henry (Next to Normal). Keep an eye out for his first original project as a composer “H.O.T. The Musical”! Shelly can’t wait to get back to the Valley!
THE SCOUTS: WILL
PETER PAN: HOOK/MR.DARLING
John Leggett (he/him/his); John is excited to join the Professional Acting Company at Piknik! From Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, John graduated from The South Carolina School of The Arts in 2019 with a BFA in Acting. He is currently pursing his MFA in Acting with FSU’s Asolo Conservatory for Classical Actor Training, in residence with the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, FL. John is a Certified Actor Combatant with The Society of American Fight Directors and hopes to pursue certified teaching of stage combat following grad school. Much love to my family, my brothers Orlando & Carter, and The Piknik team for the opportunity! @johnnyleggs
THE SCOUTS: ETHAN
PETER PAN: PETER PAN
Stefan Schallack is a multidisciplinary artist and 2019 Northwestern graduate based in New York City. New York: NOISE (Drew, The Tank; Emerging Artists Theatre); THE CLOCKMAKER’S DAUGHTER (Henry, Emergent TheaterWorks, Producers Club); THE LAST IBEX (Marco, The Tank) A STITCH IN TIME (Taylor, Theater for the New City) International: LEGACY: A MOTHER’S SONG (Ensemble, Edinburgh Fringe); Chicago: MOBY DICK (Flask, Chicago Musical Theatre Festival), WINNIE THE POOH (Tigger, Citadel Theater), AS YOU LIKE IT (Orlando, CenterStage). @stefanyourface - stefanschallack.com
Vivienne Claire Luthin
PETER PAN: DIRECTOR
THE SCOUTS: AURORA/FRANK/TROOP MASTER
Vivienne Claire Luthin is a professional actor and teaching artist based in NYC. A 2019 graduate from Webster University with departmental honors, a BFA in Acting, and a Minor in Music, Vivienne has worked with the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and Piknik Theatre. (for more information on Vivienne as Artistic Director-please visit our Board and Staff page.)