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Smitty Chai

Nerissa Hart

Andrew Quilpa (Chris Peralta) is grateful to make his Highwood Theatre debut with the talented creative team of RIOT! He was last seen as Sir Toby Belch in The District Players' "Twelfth Night, or What You Will;" as the voracious Fox and fearful duck Waddle in "The Little Crane and The Long Journey;" and as high school teacher-turned detective Mr. Franklin in Nameless Theater's "Death at the Prom." By day, Andrew is an IT trainer for Byte Back Academy, providing free and affordable IT classes to DC residents in need. Offstage, Andrew is a board game geek and video game nerd. Andrew minored in Drama at The University of Virginia. Much love to his friends and family for dealing with rehearsal schedules and general disorderly conduct; 1 Cor 10:31. Steam Account: ComradeQ; Instagram: @quilpa.ssible

Part of Highwood's Open Source Theatre Project, RIOT is a devised piece where the only constants are six characters, caught in a university coffee shop in the midst of a campus protest-turned-riot. Using audience participation and interactive social media, the show moves to a thrilling and different climax in each performance. Conceptualized by Sue Schaffel, Garrett Schaffel, and Claudia Rosales, and directed by Sue Schaffel, RIOT examines blame, media, and circumstance, keeping the audience involved through its entirety.

Read about the Open Source Theatre ProjectRead the RIOT Press Release

Nerissa Hart (Nicole Frederick)  is an actor, director, and writer based in the DC/Metro region. Since earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts from George Mason University, she has appeared on the television show House of Cards, as well as taking on Pocket Change Theatre Company's Midsummer on a Playground as The Magician's Assistant, Hermia, Snug, and the Fairy. Her writing career recently began with the pilot of the webseries Versus that she served as both the creator and writer of. The pilot has since won four international awards, earning an Official Honoree in the 2015 Webby Awards as well as winning three Cinema in Industry Awards, with one of those being a special achievement in writing. Currently, she works not only with Acting for Young People as a Teaching Artist in the Fairfax area, but she also works in the Video Game Industry with the up and coming story-based company, Wyvern Interactive.

Christopher C. Holbert (Officer Frank Bell) is happy to work with Highwood Theatre. Recent favorite credits:  Friar in R&J: Star Crossed Death Match (LiveArtDc), Luke/Barney in On The Waterfront (American Century Theatre), and Banquo in MacBeth (Impossible Theatre Company). Chris has also appeared in Studio Theatre's A Clockwork Orange and understudied Studio's Invisible Man. Chris appears in PBS's new series Mercy Street. Thanks to Lisa and Gavin for letting him work on Riot. Thanks to cast and crew!

Director: Sue Schaffel

Assistant Director: Garrett Schaffel

Fight Director: Claudia Rosales

Stage Manager: Kelsey Murphy

Set Design: Toly Yarup & Kevin Kearney

Lighting Design: Simon Ellerbe

Sound Design: Orion Stekoll 

Andrew Quilpa

Mollie Goff (Andrea Robichaux) is a recent transplant to the DC theatre scene following her graduation from the University of Southern Mississippi’s theatre program. Credits from USM include Terry (Extremities), Josie (The Skriker), Stenographer (Machinal) and Lucrece (The Liar). DC credits include understudying the role of Helen in The Cripple of Inishmaan with Scena Theatre. To the cast: Break legs!

​The Highwood Theatre Would Like To Extend A Special Thanks To Those Who Have Contributed More Than $100 Since August 2013

Show Sponsors

Opening Night Sponsor: Zed's Cafe

Follow them on Instagram: zedscafesilverspring

Patron (cont.)
Susan Mann
The Moorehead Family
Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza
Kay and Gary Stevens
Pat and Bob Wittie

Harold Bucholtz
Jim and Sharon Lowe
The Middleton Family
Kenneth and Linda Nicola
Matthew Nicola
Alfred Pate
Rick and Joanne Rome
The Starr Family
Richard Stroup
Susan Talarico and Michael Sundermeyer
Missi Tessier

Robert N. Alfandre Foundation
The Community Foundation for The National Capital Region
Valerie Cummings
Joyce Dorris

Frankel PLLC
The Halbreiner Family in memory of Robert N. Alfandre
Doris Kearney in memory of Col. W. M. Kearney
Jayne Letsche
Savills Studley
Wittie, Letsche, & Waldo LLP
Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge, & Rice

United Way of the National Capital Region
Kevin Kearney
Wenger Corporation

Production Sponsor
Karla Letsche
James Kearney
Dave Weadon
The William and Karen Tell Foundation

Season Sponsor
S. Kann Sons Company Foundation
The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery Count

Second Weekend Sponsor: Pete's APizza

Twitter: Petes_NewHaven

Instagram: Petes_NewHaven

The Highwood Theatre wishes to extend a very special thanks to the following people who have contributed extra time and energy to this production:
Toly Yarup, Matthew Nicola, Sarah Scott, Orion Stekoll, Kelsey Murphy, Montgomery College, St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School,
Marcy Ference, Tip Letsche, James Kearney, Zed's Coffee Shop

A special shout out to our neighbor, Roadhouse Oldies, for their support!


Photography and video/audio recording is strictly prohibited.
© The Highwood Theatre Inc., February, 2016

February 19-28, 2016


Claudia Rosales (Fight Director) graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in Performance from the University of Maryland in 2013 and has worked as a teaching artist and actress for the past six years.  As a teaching artist, she works to help students cultivate their distinct and personal voices both as artists and people. She was a member of Izumi Ashizawa Performance with whom she achieved the Director's Choice award in the 2011 D.C. Fringe Festival, performed at the Kennedy Center Millenium Stage and toured throughout Peru July 2012.  She studies historical movement and sword play with master fight director Brad Waller have led her to study in Sweden, as well as become a member of the Art of Combat under such teachers as Jared Kirby and John Lennox. Currently, Claudia teaches middle school theatre at Capital City Public Charter School.  

Garrett Schaffel (Assistant Director) ​is thrilled to be a part of RIOT as his first experience at Highwood after a long break from the theatre world. Past credits include Once Upon a Mattress, High School Musical, and Aladdin, as well as the films The Summer Before and Ricardo. He's also a two-time creative director and host of the charity game show Brainbusters at the University of Pittsburgh.


Smitty Chai (Ryan Park) is ecstatic to make his stage debut with The Highwood Theatre in RIOT. His past stage experiences include the role of Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol with Britches and Hose Shakespeare Company, The Flying Muskrats “Lust Lies and Lesbians” 24 Hour Theatre Festival and the role of Lawrence/Liam in Calendar Girls with Providence Players of Fairfax. He is originally from the Northern Virginia area and started theatre while attending George Mason University. He also has an array of independent film credits. When not involved in acting, Smitty is an avid Break Dancer and a performer in spoken word poetry.

Jennifer Berry (Stacy Jorgensen) is excited to return to Highwood's stage! She was last seen at Highwood as Estelle in No Exit. Other recent credits include Raw and Witches Vanish at Venus Theatre, The Greatest Science Fiction Show That No One’s Ever Seen for Hope Operas,Interconnected at the Capital Fringe Festival, and Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire at Little Theatre of Alexandria. She is a proud graduate of The Theatre Lab's Honors Conservatory in DC and has volunteered with their LifeStories programs.


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Anonymous (6)
The Adelfio Family
The Barker Family
The Callahan Family
Linda and John Corkery
Linda Cartwright and John Dineen
Arlene Donovan
Wendy Dorman
The Emerson Family
Lawrence and Jessica Friedman
David Glietz
Patti and Michael Goldman
Pauline Sobel and Larry Gondelman
The Greene Family
Barbara and Scott Harris
Robert and Phyllis Hoffman
Therese and Neil Intrater
Bryan and Jenny Kearney
Mike and Pam Kearney
Joseph and Bonny Krenz
Maura and Jeffrey Leach Family
Susanne and Richard Leach
Bill and Beth Loizeaux
Amy Duroska and Richard Leidl in honor of the younger generation
Rochelle and Eric Mayer
Liz McLeod
Colleen Meiman
Mosquito Squad
Alfred Pate
The Romanow Family
Liz Russomanno
John and Rosemary Ryan
The Shusterman Family
Sligo Cafe
Barbara, Larry, and Ben Stone
Ginger South
The Wilder/Taff Family
Thomas and Lauren Van Wazer

Anonymous (1)
Pascale, Liz, and Cornelius Bronder
Community Crisis Services, Inc.
Intuit Quickbooks
Bill and Doris Loehning

Jennifer Berry

About The Creators 

Stacy Jorgensen: Jennifer Berry

Ryan Park: Smitty Chai

Andrea Robichaux: Mollie Goff

Nicole Frederick: Nerissa Hart

Officer Frank Bell:  Christopher Holbert

Chris Peralta: Andrew Quilpa

Mollie Goff

Christopher Holbert


Sue Schaffel (Director) is thrilled to be back at The Highwood Theatre, this time in a different role, directing Riot. Stage credits include: Harvey (1st Stage), Interconnected (Capital Fringe 2015); Other Desert Cities (The Highwood Theatre); Crazy Runs in the Family (The Highwood Theatre); The Store (Center Stage); How to Score (Silver Spring Stage); To Gillian on her 37th Birthday (Peter’s Alley); Murder at the Howard Johnson’s (Road Show Productions) . Film credits include: The Summer Before, Ricardo. Television credits include: America’s Most Wanted and numerous commercials for Embassy Suites, Weis Market, Bray & Scarff, Fitzgerald Auto Mall, Tyson’s Watch & Jewelry Exchange and Personal Medical. A member of Community Sauna (Laugh Index Theatre/Short-Form Improv Troupe.