Shawn Speller is excited for his return to Orpheus Theatre. His debut was in 2012 and appeared as Seaweed J. Stubbs in Hairspray! He very honored to play the role of Jesus Christ. Shawn has participated in choral groups and dramatics since his youth in addition to being a former handbell ringer with Klipknocky Klangers at First United Methodist Church of Oneonta. He has also been involved with many local events such as Ultimate Idol, Regional Fair contests, and most recently, Coast2Coast national talent search. Shawn has also given his time to youth involvement with organizations such as AmeriCorps National Service, United Way, Youth On Their Own and more. Shawn loves to sing as well as dance. He has recently become a certified dance coach with USASF and released his first EP on SoundCloud last year. SoundCloud: Shawn Speller Music
Benjamin Burke has appeared with Orpheus Theatre in Grease! (Roger), Disney's The Little Mermaid (Sebastian), Willy Wonka the Musical (Willy Wonka), Into the Woods (Jack), Cats (Munkustrap), You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Snoopy), Legally Blonde the Musical (Aaron Schultz/Carlos), The Sound of Music (Max Detweiller), Hairspray (Corny Collins), Cabaret (Emcee), Sugar: The 'Some Like it Hot' Musical (Dude), Rent (Mark Cohen), Mame (Junior Babcock), Babes in Arms (Valentine White), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Ephraim Pontipee), South Pacific (Stewpot), Grease! (Teen Angel) and A Christmas Carol (Undertaker's Man). In addition to his on-stage efforts, Benjamin has served Orpheus Theatre as director and scenic designer on productions of Steel Magnolias, Next to Normal, Shrek the Musical JR., Grease!, 13 the Musical, Gypsy, Into the Woods JR., Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie JR., Shrek the Musical, The Rocky Horror Show and Company. Benjamin studied theatre arts at Hartwick College and is a licensed massage therapist.
Micaelina Velardi is delighted to be joining the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar after most recently directing The Addams Family at Norwich High School. Acting credits include: Don Alhambra (The Gondoliers), Lady Ella (Patience), Electra (Gypsy), The Story (Nagamandala), Nadia (Bare: A Pop Opera), Lil Bit (How I Learned To Drive - staged reading), and ensemble/featured dancers in Hair, Carousel, Hairspray, and Cinderella. Film: Madison in Drive, 2017. She has a B.S. degree in Theatre from SUNY Oneonta and is a member of the Actors Equity Association. Micaelina has also worked professionally as a stage manager for Chenango River Theater in Greene, N.Y., and will be working at the West Fulton Puppet Festival this summer as well and choreographing Seussical the Musical. She is also a dance instructor and vocal coach for Otsego School of Dance and Performing Arts in West Burlington.
Fred Ploutz is very excited to be in his third performance with Orpheus Theatre in the production of Jesus Christ Superstar as Pontius Pilate. In previous Orpheus productions he was cast in the role of Vince Fontaine in Grease! and the Winkie General in The Wizard of Oz for Orpheus Theatre. He played the role of Mayor Crane in the play Never Too Late with Stuff of Dreams Productions in January 2017. He is an Oneonta native and self-taught guitarist. Fred is a self-employed landscaper and real estate agent with the Benson Agency in Oneonta; he also enjoys cycling, officiating basketball, and umpiring baseball.