Meet the Cast & Creative Team of Some People Hear Thunder

A Musical by Gerson Smoger and Jeffrey Sorkin

Starring and Directed by Kevin McGuire

Joan Hess Headshot
Joan Hess (Angelique Der Kaloustian)
JOAN HESS - TV: Jessica (the "Leggy Blonde") in HBO's Flight of the Conchords. Broadway credits: Mamma Mia (Tanya), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Sophia), Kiss Me Kate (Edie), Bells Are Ringing (Bridgette) and Crazy For You (Patsy). She was also seen as Betty in Sunset Boulevard and as Polly in Crazy For You in the Original National Tours. Favorite Regional: Bridges of Madison County (Francesca), Dessa Rose (Lincoln Center), Same Time, Next Year (Doris - Best Actress Nom), Chapter Two (Jennie), Born Yesterday (Bille Dawn), The 39 Steps (Annabelle/Pamela, Asst Director/Choreographer), and Shakespeare's Winter's Tale (Hermione). Joan headlines with symphon.
Kevin McGuire Headshot
Kevin McGuire* (Zoravar Der Kaloustian)
KEVIN MCGUIRE* played lead roles on Broadway, National and International tours of Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, Jane Eyre and the The National Company of The Secret Garden, traveling 80,000 miles to 69 cities internationally. Off Broadway, he has appeared in Forbidden Broadway, Big Maggie, Romeo and Juliet (New York Shakespeare Festival), Hamlet, The Seagull, Much Ado About Nothing, and Midsummer Night's Dream. His regional theater credits include the Denver Center Theatre Company, the Shakespeare Theater Company in D.C., Hartford Stage Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Julliard Acting Company. This will be his sixth performance at the Capital Repertory Theatre, having previously performed in Man of La Mancha, Red, Christmas Carol, Other Desert Cities and Camelot. Last year Kevin received a Broadway World Award nomination for his role as Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th Street. He was born in Cambridge, New York and raised in Hoosick Falls, New York.
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Alex Prakken* (Jason Karras)
ALEX PRAKKEN* is thrilled to be a part of Some People Hear Thunder. National Tour: Newsies. Regional credits include: Les Miserables (The MUNY), Next to Normal (Farmers Alley Theatre). Training: BFA University of Michigan, LAMDA. Thanks for the creative team, CGF, Broho and as always, my loving family. Instagram: @alprakken.
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Rachel Rhodes-Devey* (Carole Chapin)
RACHEL RHODES-DEVEY* is thrilled to be performing in her hometown of Albany with this fantastic new musical. She has performed across the country with the national tours of White Christmas and South Pacific. Her NYC credits include The Most Happy Fella (City Center Encores!), Carousel (Avery Fisher Hall, PBS Live from Lincoln Center), and Merrily We Roll Along (APAC, NY Innovative Theatre Award Nominee). Regionally seen at Goodspeed Opera House, Maine State Music Theatre, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, John Engeman Theatre, and Gateway Playhouse. OCU Alum. Many thanks for Kevin, Gerson, Stephanie Klapper Casting, the women of Judy Boals, Inc, her supportive family and fiancé, Peter. Proud AEA member!
Brianna Barnes (Ensemble)
BRIANNA BARNES is a recent graduate of The University of Cincinnati - College Conservatory of Music (CCM) where she earned her BFA Degree in Musical Theater. At CCM, Brianna played lead roles in Blood Brothers (Mrs. Lyons), 110 in the Shade (Lizzie Curry) and Carousel (Nettie Fowler). She was nominated for Best Actress by the League of Cincinnati for her performance in Gypsy (Louise). Upon graduating, Brianna spent the summer at the Theatre Aspen in Mamma Mia. She is now enjoying auditioning and newlywed life in New York with her husband, Dylan.
Michael Berry Headshot
Michael Berry (Dikran Andreasian)
MICHAEL BERRY is thrilled to be a part of this exciting new production! National Tour: Patsy in Monty Python's Spamalot. Recent regional credits include the world premiere of Orpheus In The Underworld, Plano, and Poster Boy at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, along with the premiere reading of Huzzah! by Nell Benjamin and Lawrence O'Keefe. Other credits include Orgon in Tartuffe, Romero in Romeo and Juliet, and Razor in The Provoked Wife. MA: London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, BFA: Boston University. [NOTE THAT HIS AUNT AND UNCLE LIVE IN ALBANY]
Shayne David Headshot
Shayne David Cameris (Daniel Der Kaloustian)
SHAYNE DAVID CAMERIS is absolutely ecstatic to be a part of this truly exciting adventure. Some of his credits include: Capital Repertory Theatre: Camelot (Gulliam/Percussionist) and The Blue Sky Boys (CJ Caldwell), Saratoga Shakespeare Company: Love's Labour's Lost (Dull) and The Comedy of Errors (Antonio), Siena College: Endgame (Hamm), Godspell (We Beseech Thee Soloist), The Drowsy Chaperone (Aldolpo) and Measure For Measure (Duke). A huge thank you to all of his family and friends, old and new, for their unending support. He would not be where he is today without them. Especially his wife.
Grace Experience Headshot
Grace Experience (Anoush Andreasian)
GRACE EXPERIENCE is honored to be working on this show as the descendent of two survivors of the Armenian Genocide. Off Broadway: Molasses in January (Gloria, The Davenport). Regional: Our Town (Emily Webb, Heartwood Regional Theatre), Cinderella (Cinderella, Saint Michael's Playhouse), Dial M for Murder (Margot, The Millbrook Playhouse). She is an award-winning narrator for Penguin Random House Audio and is a proud member of the Screen Actor's Guild. Love to Mom, Dad and Stephen, and a giant thank you to Kevin and Gerson. For Levon Bohjalian and Haigoui Sherinian.
Steve Hassmer Headshot
Steve Hassmer (Reverend Nokhoudian)
STEVE HASSMER is proud to be a part of this production at Capital Repertory Theatre and honored to play a small role in shedding light on a historical event that has received far too little recognition. Recent credits include: My Fair Lady (Colonel Pickering) and South Pacific (Emile de Becque) at the Mac-Haydn Theatre. Other: Forever Plaid (Sparky), Ragtime (Harry Houdini), Damn Yankees (Joe Hardy). National Tour: My Fair Lady. Recent classical performances include Madama Butterfly (Berkshire Opera Festival) and Carmina Burana - featured soloist (Princeton University). Originally from Virginia, Steve resides in the Berkshires with his wife Casey and their two young children Noah and Lilly.
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James Occhio* (Charles Chapin, Effendi)
JAMES OCCHIO* is an actor, writer and producer who took a three-decade hiatus from theater as an elementary school teacher, chef and stock broker. Early theater work: improvisational theater and classics, working in London, Greece, New York and L.A., performing off-Broadway, regional theater, film and television. More recently: The End Times Salon (his own piece), the early work of Tenneseee Williams, Hudson Valley's Blue Horse Repertory Theater; "The Writer" in an independent film version of Williams' The Lady of Larkspur Lotion (honorable mention, 2014, Chatham Film Festival); In Praise of Elephants (U.S. Premier). Passions: reading new plays throughout the Capital District, voice over work, writing fiction. He lives in feline-infused rural serenity in the Upper Hudson Valley.
Freddy Ramirez Headshot
Freddy Ramirez* (Dance Captain)
FREDDY RAMIREZ* is a Bronx, NY born and raised Performer, Choreographer and Teacher. He began dancing at Broadway Dance Center & STEPS in NYC where he focused his energy on studying all aspects of dance, including Latin, Contemporary, Street Jazz, Ballet & Modern. His training led him to begin his professional career as a core member and eventually a principle dancer for In Forward Motion modern dance company which debuted works from Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor and Colin Connor to name a few. He has performed in music videos and industrials in the U.S. and was featured in Tango! in Italy. In the musical theatre world, Freddy performed on Broadway, toured Europe and the United States. His performances include productions of West Side Story as Bernardo (including two 50th Anniversary Producti
Matthew Winning Headshot
Matthew Winning (Ensemble)
MATTHEW WINNING is a director, actor and theatre educator. He is proud to be working with the talented cast and creative team on this important project. Notable acting credits: Thomas Jefferson/1776 (Theatrix Productions), Riff/West Side Story (Park Playhouse), Puck/Midsummer Night's Dream (North Carolina Stage Company). Notable director credits: Co-Director They Built America (Capital Rep. On the Go), Asst Director Camelot (Capital Rep.) As You Like It, Two Gentlemen of Verona (Uncovered Theatre Company), Jane Eyre, The Glass Menagerie, South Pacific, Medea, The Hobbit, Godspell (Sterling College). MFA in Acting, Regent University 2010.
Jessica Wockenfuss* (Ensemble)
JESSICA WOCKENFUSS - National Tour: Irving Berlin's White Christmas (u/s Judy, Ens.), The Little Mermaid (Adella), Monty Python's Spamalot (Asst. Dance Captain, Ens.). Regional credits include: Paper Mill Playhouse, Sacramento Music Circus, TUTS, PCLO, Kansas City Starlight, Theatre By the Sea. Other: Hair, Enlightened Theatrics (Choreographer); Holland America Cruise Line. BFA Elon. Endless love and light to Todd, family - both Wockenfi and Pod - and most importantly, my rockstar Nick. #resist.
Kevin McGuire (Director)
KEVIN MCGUIRE has a wide-ranging experience directing plays and musicals throughout the country. He was the founding Artistic Director of the award-winning Theatre Company at Hubbard Hall, where he acted and directed in over 50 productions. He also served as Artistic Director for Proctors' Theatre in Schenectady, where he curated and developed ten New Works/New Plays. Most recently he directed Hamlet at the Capital Rep in 2015, as well as the original production of "Some People Hear Thunder" in San Francisco the same year. Kevin trained at The Juilliard School and Circle in the Square Theatre School. He was born in Cambridge, New York and raised in Hoosick Falls.
Gerson Smoger
GERSON SMOGER first became involved with the tragedy of the Armenian Genocide while working in Geneva with the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. He has maintained his interest in international human rights, now serving as Secretary of the Board of Physicians for Human Rights. Committed to social justice, he also serves on the boards of non-profits Public Citizen and Public Justice. He hopes that this play will help shed light on the often forgotten suffering of the Armenian people, as well as the horrors of genocides that have occurred all too frequently over the past century.