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Introducing the new cohort of our MFA in Acting program!

2015 07 Fall MFAs Headshots BW1

Introducing the new cohort of our MFA in Acting program!

Introducing the new cohort of our MFA in Acting program, and the resident ensemble for Swine Palace!

Swine Palace's photo.

Fola Afolayan

Fola Afolayan began her theatre training in high school at The University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Fola also is a graduate of the Midsummer in Oxford program at The British American Drama Academy. Some of her credits include Ruby in On Strivers Row and Mary in On The Verge.

Swine Palace's photo.

Stephen Cramer

Stephen Cramer made his Broadway debut in 2000 in the New York production of Les Miserables, performing the role of Jean Valjean. Before coming to Broadway, Stephen spent 3 years in the U.S. and Canadian national tours of Les Miserables. During a six month stay in Toronto, he had the opportunity to work with Colm Wilkinson. In 2007, Stephen sang the role of Tony in the 50th Anniversary salute to West Side Story produced by Signature Theatre, performed at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Cramer repeated his performance of Jean Valjean this past summer in Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre’s production of Les Miserables. Other regional theatre credits include My Fair Lady at California Music Theatre, Down at the Old Bull and Bush at Arena Stage’s Old Vat, and playing Rev. Shaw Moore in Footloose at Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre. Other roles include Ralph in H.M.S. Pinafore, Tony in West Side Story, and Billy Bigelow in Carousel.

Mr. Cramer is a 6 time Helen Hayes Award nominee. In 1994, he was honored with the Helen Hayes Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance with Interact Theatre at The Lansburg Theatre in Washington D.C. Stephen is no stranger to oratorio and opera as well as musical theatre. Classical roles include Alfredo in La Traviata, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, the tenor soloist in Bruckner’s Te Deum with the Choral Arts Society of Washington, and the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony for The Lawton Philharmonic in Oklahoma.
Stephen entertained national audiences portraying Santa at the National Christmas Tree Lighting in December 2008, and on the stage of the Kennedy Center in 2010 as The Dragon in John Rutter’s operetta, The Reluctant Dragon.

Stephen is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association.

Swine Palace's photo.

Jason Lockhart

Jason Lockhart is a successful Writer/Director, having sold 2 feature films and won Best Director awards for each of them at established film festivals. His first film, Casting Couch, was a “Movie of the Week” on The CW, then saw major airplay on Fox, ABC and Netflix. His second, Silent But Deadly, launched promotion at Comic-Con (2013) and had a limited release in theaters before its worldwide distribution. Jason also Executive Produced the upcoming National Lampoon film, Another Dirty Movie, and has a few screenplays in development with A+ talent.
Having grown up a “child actor” in the industry, Jason has since earned his BA from University of Nevada, Las Vegas, done over 60 plays across the country, and worked on numerous national commercials and indie films, ranging from the original “Click-It or Ticket Kid,” to starring in the cult hit Vampire Boys.

Swine Palace's photo.

Nitin Mane

Nitin Mane is from Mumbai, India where he first received his MA in Theatre from the University of Mumbai. He has previously acted in many theatrical productions both in his native languages of Marathi and Hindi as well as in English. In addition he has appeared on Indian Television and in some Bollywood films. While most of his experience is in contemporary work he has had some experience with classical text including Greek, Roman and Sanskrit. He is also trained in Indian folk dances and Bollywood.

Swine Palace's photo.

Caitlin Morrison

Originally from Romeo, Michigan, Caitlin Morrison graduated in 2011 with her BFA in Acting from Wayne State University in Detroit. She also had the opportunity to spend a month studying at the Moscow Art Theatre School. Upon moving to NYC she continued her studies with John Basil, Austin Pendleton, and Anne Meara. Favorite roles include Mary from Serenading Louie, Mayella Ewell from To Kill a Mockingbird, and Lorna from The Cider House Rules.

Swine Palace's photo.

Maryellen Mulhaire

Maryellen Mulhaire hails from a small village in County Longford, Ireland. Growing up she discovered a love for performing through her stage school, community musical theatre “Scór na n-óg”, and through the Irish language with Gael Linn. Maryellen studied music at Dublin City University during which time she participated in the RTE competition “Fame”. In addition she was a leading member of the Mater Dei Choral and Irish youth choir, and the second place winner of the “Denis O’Sullivan Medal” from the 2013 “Feis Ceoil Festival – Classical Music Competition”. She also continued to develop her drama skills and perform in many theatrical productions as a member of the DCU Drama Society, Independent Youth Theatre and The “Gaiety School of Acting”. During the summer of 2012 she studied at “The Second City” in Chicago. On completion of her degree she was delighted to receive a scholarship to attend a one year advanced preparation course at “Musical Theatre Ireland” a course established in September 2013 by Professor Ross Campbell of London’s Royal Academy of Music.

 Swine Palace's photo.

Michael Pepp

Michael Pepp was born and raised in New Orleans Louisiana. He discovered acting at the age of 14 by entering a citywide theatre competition for local NOLA middle schoolers, entitled ‘The Paul Robeson Acting Competition’. Michael went on to concentrate his passion for theatre at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (Post- Katrina). During that time, he worked with the New York-based nonprofit arts organization ‘Creative Time’ in partnership with The Classical Theatre of Harlem on a production of Waiting for Godot, which sought to socially engage the devastated city of New Orleans by presenting a work that might best give advocacy and reflect the voices of the abandoned community. Influenced heavily by social activism within the theatre, Michael Pepp continued to explore these practices at NORD’s summer camps aimed for inner city children, interning and later seasonally mentoring at The Crescent City Lights Youth Theatre. Pepp recently received his BA in Theatre Performance at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design located in the heart of New Mexico.

Swine Palace's photo.

Lance Rasmussen

Born and raised in Logan, Utah, Lance spent a week every summer attending the Utah Shakespeare Festival. He got involved in theater in every capacity he could, apprenticed at the Old Lyric Repertory Company, and eventually was graduated from the BFA Acting program in the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University. Some of his favorite roles include: Bottom, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Srt. Towers in See How They Run; and Protean in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and two different involvements in the Fusion Theater Project, one culminating in his being a reader for “Playing Shortly: Short Plays on the Radio”, a collection of short plays broadcast over Utah Public Radio.

Lance is married to Sydnee Fullmer, another actress, and has incredible 4 year old daughter, Melody, who lives with her mother in Denver. He has a huge love of collegiate athletics, and cohosted The Front Row Show, a weekly podcast dedicated to covering Utah State athletics, which recently passed the 1.5 million total download mark on iTunes. More information at www.lanceras.com

Swine Palace's photo.

Cara Reid

Originally from Sylva, North Carolina, Cara L. Reid is thrilled to make her home here in Baton Rouge. Cara’s most recent credits include Detroit 67 at African American Repertory Theatre, Mania/Gift at Echo Theatre, On the Eve at Theatre Three, Enron at Theatre Three, and Fiction at Amphibian Stage Productions in Dallas, TX. Other regional theatres she has been privileged to work with are Shakespeare Dallas, Second Thought Theatre, WingSpan, North Carolina Shakespeare Festival and the Cherry Orchard Theatre. Non-regional credits include: Manhattan Repertory and The American Theatre for Actors. Film/Commercial credits include: Two Tickets to Paradise, Just Like the Son, EZ Clear, NYC Taxi TV, and she is the National Spokesperson for Norman Window Fashions. Cara received her BFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and would like to thank her friends and family for their constant support.

Swine Palace's photo.

Josh Stenvick

Josh Stenvick is from Minneapolis, Minnesota where he appeared in regional theatre from Minneapolis to Duluth. He attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he received his BFA in Acting. He has an amazing family and friend support system that includes an amazing brother and sister. He enjoys writing, reading, movies, sports and new adventures. He looks forward to submerging himself in all things Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and the amazing Louisiana culture.