Category: Experience

  • The Flatlanders

    It’s the first day of tech at Delaware Theatre Company for “The Flatlanders.” I’m understudying the role of Michael. We open on 4/20.

  • The Show That Got Away!

    It was the first week of March in 2020 and we are rehearsing “Merrily We Roll Along,” my first musical at Villanova University, the last show in Villanova Theatre’s previous home, Vasey Hall. Little did we know that 2 weeks later the world would change forever. We never got to do this show, and Vasey Hall would close with little fanfare. 4 years later and I just closed my second musical as an alumni last week! I’m so glad I have been able to come back and perform on the Villanova stage. …


  • Crazy for You at Villanova University

    Crazy for You at Villanova University

    I just finished playing the role of Eugene Fodor as an alumni in Villanova Theatre’s production of “Crazy for You.” Fodor, was a real life travel writer who also happened to be a spy for what would eventually become the CIA. In “Crazy for You” he is a Brit who travels to Deadrock, Nevada with his wife to write a travel book, “hoping to do a series of them,” which he eventually did in real life.

    This musical features the song “Stiff Upper Lip” which inspired me to write this article about “Sayings Songs.”

    This was an amazing opportunity to be a part of a huge production full of spectacle and excitement. Many heartfelt thanks to the numerous folks making up the cast and crew! We couldn’t have done it without you! Below are some of the photos by Paola Nogueras!


  • Voice Lessons

    I started taking voice lessons when I was 17. I had heard anecdotally from my high school choir teacher that singers could get paid working for churches. Since I had been in virtually every choir that was available to me since I was in 3rd grade, including being in the chorus in musicals, advanced, chamber, and district choirs, I thought this might be something I could do. I opened up the literal yellow pages to “churches” and cold called every church listed there. To my surprise, I received one call back from the very church that housed the nursery school I attended that was, at one time, my family church, St John’s in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.

    I worked there for an entire season, from September until June, singing every Sunday and special church service including Christmas and Easter. I made somewhere around $35 per hour, which at the time, blew my mind despite the fact it was only 4 hours a week. Still I thought I was doing great for a 17 year old!

    I also had heard that one of my favorite singers in my choir took voice lessons, so, once I had a job, singing in the church, I booked my first voice lessons. Again, I opened the yellow pages and looked up music schools. I found Bryn Mawr Conservatory of Music and I gave them a call. I started my voice lessons just a week or two later with Mrs. Kathryn Blum Barone. I stayed there until I started my Freshman year at West Chester University where I ultimately became a music major with voice as my instrument. There I was able to take 3 semesters of voice lessons.

    Unfortunately, I changed my major and ended up getting a degree in IT and didn’t take voice lessons again until I attended Temple University in 2016. There I studied theatre and eventually joined the choir and got access to voice lessons. There I got one semester of voice lessons with grad student, Tyler Tejada.

    Soon, I hope to return to voice lessons and I find them invaluable for building a proper singing technique which has helped me tremendously as a performer, both singing and acting, even understanding how to reproduce different sounds in accents and dialects.

  • I am a Designer!

    I never really set out to be a designer, but once I started making costumes and props for shows, I just couldn’t stop. I use as much of my technical background as possible when it comes to being a designer. I love using technology to solve problems and create automated processes. Below are some pictures of the variety of things I have designed. Also, check out Amanda Playwythe to see the clothing I design making sure to be inclusive for plus sized men!


  • Wig Styling

    Over the course of my time as a drag queen as well as working in theatre, I learned how to style and maintain wigs. Here’s pics from a few different projects compiled here!

  • Amanda Playwythe

    Amanda Playwythe

    At an event called “Prom Trash” Amanda was born.

    I went to my first Dumpsta Players show in the spring of 2003. My friend was dating someone in the cast. He said it was Prom and to dress up, so I did. I wore a tail coat and a top hat, leftover from my goth days, and threw on a purple marabou boa as a finishing touch. I had no idea what I was about to experience. This was a show unlike anything else I’d seen. Drag Queens, Drag Kings, and a variety of other strange characters, in a semi-scripted show with lip synced musical numbers culminating in the crowning of the Prom Trash Queen. I had dressed up so when they asked who wanted to compete, I lined up to go on stage. I didn’t make it past the first round. My look was outrageous enough and showing up in full drag was a guaranteed pleaser.

    Over the next year, I went to every show as I hatched a plan to win. But, first I had to lose. Yup, my first time I lost. I chose to play a Dominatrix with a strap on, my nod to Gen, the lead singer of the Genitorturers, but somehow, I wasn’t trashy enough!

    The following year, Amanda Playwythe was born. This year, the look was blonde hair wearing all Pink except for a black pleather mini skirt. I hadn’t even settled on a name when I arrived at the show. I wanted something with a pun and I always appreciated the joke from the Simpsons where Bart calls Moe’s asking for Amanda Hugginkiss. Well, when it was time to actually go on stage at the beginning of the competition, I just blurted out Amanda Playwith, but when I wrote it on my name tag, I was determined to make it different somehow so I adopted the Olde English Spelling that I still use today, Playwythe!

    For the rest of the night, I gave way to the character and committed myself to the idea that Amanda would have absolutely no idea what was going on around her and her trashiness overwhelmed the audience. I won the following year as Amanda as well.

    When the Dumpsta Players put on “Prom Trash Under the Sea,” I adopted a whole new Character with another pun for a name, MC Urchin, get it Sea Urchin?? But she was a rapper, hence the MC. So, I wrote little rhyming phrases and tried to use them as much as possible. I totally had a folded up piece of paper in my bra cause I did them so last minute I never memorized them. But, I must have been memorable, because I won.

    The last time I won was when we did a musical inspired Prom Trash, I came as Drag Ursula from the Little Mermaid. Oh, those poor unfortunate contestants didn’t stand a chance, mwahahahaha!

    All in all, I spent 12 years performing with the Dumpsta Players. I learned a ton about queer culture, music, and artists from a time when those ideas were less than main stream. I also learned that there’s a lot to be said about commitment. Commitment to character and being in the moment and how sometimes that’s enough to propel you over the top. I maintained that level of commitment to my work and continue to embrace drag and perform as Amanda Playwythe when possible.

    The Dumpsta Players’ live performances sadly came to an end in 2016. However, in addition to performing as Amanda as much as I am able, I started a clothing label using her name. The ads write themselves; get yourself Amanda Playwythe today! I realized there was a serious lack of options for plus size men when it came to underwear and swimwear. I put the very same sewing skill that got me making fun outfits for Amanda, to the test and learned how to design ready to wear clothing.

    You can check out my shop here!

  • Into the Woods

    In summer of 2013 I auditioned for a new community theatre, Avenue Theatre Company, for their production of “Into the Woods” my all time favorite Stephen Sondheim musical. Well, my all time favorite musical, period. This particular staging was designed to be dreamlike and use a child’s bedroom as the set. This way, we relied on the audience to use their childlike imagination to build the complicated sets in the woods, using a ladder and a feather boa to represent Rapunzel in her tower, for example. I was cast as the Wolf in Act I and then double cast as a drag Step-sister. This show is a blast and has many layers to it’s sophisticated story, that’s really for kids at all.

    This is one of the three Sondheim shows I have been able to learn and participate in. The first being “Gypsy” where Sondheim is only the lyricist, yet still gives us the some unforgettable ditties. The other show was Villanova Theatre‘s production of “Merrily We Roll Along” which was ultimately cancelled as a result of the pandemic in 2020. We were returning to the theatre the next day to start tech weekend when the lockdown began.


  • Sketch and Improv at Upright Citizens Brigade

    Sketch and Improv at Upright Citizens Brigade

    After being in the audience at Saturday Night Live, I looked into how performers got the opportunity to audition for SNL. It turns out that SNL finds many of there performers by scouting the various comedy schools such as Second City, Improv Olympics, or the Upright Citizens Brigade. You may remember the Upright Citizens Brigade TV show staring Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh who went on to open the UCB Training Center in 1996.

    Over the course of 2 years, I commuted to New York City, nearly every Saturday or Sunday during the regular school year, I took the entire Improv and most of the Sketch Writing curriculum. I was lucky enough to have such amazing teachers as Phil Augusta Jackson, Kate Wood Riley, Corey Brown, Geoff Garlock, and Nicole Drespel. Here I learned how to perform long form improv and write sketches while performing many wacky characters and attempting many accents and dialects.

    While I was studying, they recommended two books that would help with improv skills. The first is “Truth In Comedy” which describes how the long form Improv Style, “The Harold” came into being. The Second is “Art By Committee” which teaches some more advanced Improv practices and features a DVD with performances by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. By the time I completed my studies in Improv at UCB, they had released their official textbook, “The Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual.” I highly recommend all of these books in you are interested in improv, devised theatre, and collaboration. I even used a few of these as resources for my graduate thesis at Villanova.

    During the pandemic, the school I attended in New York, closed. However, a new location has opened up as well as new online offerings. Go to UCBComedy.com for more information

  • Without A Cue Productions

    I was introduced to Without a Cue by a board member at Beacon Theatre Productions where I had performed in Freud’s Last Session. She had needed a last minute replacement for the role of Jacques in a touring production of “Murder at the Moulin Bleu.” It was so much fun that I asked to be included in the next round of auditions.

    In the fall of 2018, I was cast in three shows with Without a Cue Productions, their Bewitched, Harry Potter, and Charles Dickens parody murder mystery dinner shows. In the Bewitched show, I played Uncle Arthur, inspired by the performance of Paul Lynde! It turns out I have a wonderful Paul Lynde impression! Next, I played professor “O’Donnegal” in their Harry Potter parody show, “Henry Planter,” names changed for copyright reasons. Lastly, I played Tiny Tim, and Sherlock Holmes in “A Dickens of a Murder.”

    Below are just a few pics of my time with Without a Cue! To find out more about Without a Cue check out their website, here! They’ve just recently gotten a new venue and have increased the number of shows available.