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Cast & Crew

Jeff Christian
Prospero & Producing Director

Jeff is a founding member of Lakeside Shakespeare and directed the inaugural production, A Midsummer Night’s Dream -- as well as writing the music and playing Bottom, Oberon and Theseus.  He has directed six other shows for the company and has performed such roles as Richard III, Claudius, Macduff, Kent, Falstaff, Brutus, Aufidius, Belarius, Proteus, Malvolio and Hamlet (in his two-person adaptation, 50 Minute Hamlet).  Jeff has acted and directed on stage in Chicago and throughout the country, and has appeared on screen in Batman Begins, Witches’ Night, The Express, The Poker House,  Showtime’s Shameless and NBC’s Chicago Fire and Chicago PD.   He also writes and directs for production companies, plays in the band Ingenious Whittler, was the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award as a faculty member in Cinema and Television Arts at Columbia College, and has kissed the Stanley Cup.

Danni Smith

Danni is ECSTATIC to reunite with her dear Lakeside cohorts and the wonderful Frankfort community. Past shows with LST include The Rover, Two Gentlewomen of Verona, Henry VIII, Richard III, Twelfth Night, Comedy of Errors, and Romeo & Juliet. Danni also had a blast making music last summer at Stormcloud Brewery and the Elberta Farmers Market with Jeff Christian and her partner Martin. She dedicates this performance to her father who passed away last year - “Of his bones are coral made / Those are the pearls that were his eyes / Nothing of him that doth fade…”. Wishing everyone safety, love, and healing. Let’s do this!!

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Danny Taylor
Trinculo & Education Director

Danny is thrilled to be returning to Lakeside for a thirteenth season!  Previous roles with Lakeside include Puck, A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Witch, MacBeth; Balthazar, Much Ado About Nothing and Osric/Player Queen, Hamlet; Paris, Romeo and Juliet; Angelo, The Comedy of Errors; Gremio/Widow, The Taming of the Shrew; and Andrew Aguecheek, Twelfth Night.  In addition to performing with Lakeside, Danny is entering his third year as Education Director for LST.    Regional acting credits include: Cincinnati Shakespeare Company; Utah Shakespeare Festival; Chanhassen Dinner Theatre.  Chicago credits include: Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, The New Colony, Strawdog Theatre & Griffin Theatre. Thank you Benzie County for making us feel at home during the summer months so we can share the joy of Shakespeare!

Jillian Rafa

Jillian is overjoyed to be back in Benzie County with Lakeside! A Chicago native, Jillian has been an artistic associate with Lakeside since 2006. You may remember her from such roles as, Valentine (The Two Gentlewomen of Verona), Helena (The Rover), Norfolk (Henry VIII), Clown (The Winter’s Tale), Julia (The Rivals), Lady Anne (Richard III), Fabian (Twelfth Night), Juliet (Romeo and Juliet), Emilia (The Comedy of Errors), Guildenstern (Hamlet), Hero (Much Ado About Nothing), Cordelia (King Lear), Le Beau/Audrey (As You Like It), and many others. She would like to thank the people of Frankfort and Benzie County for your continued support over the years. 

Michael Holding

Michael Holding is thrilled to be back with Lakeside Shakespeare where his previous credits include Two Gentlewomen of Verona, The Rover, Henry VIII, The Winter’s Tale, and The Rivals. Chicago Credits include: Rutherford and Son (Timeline Theatre), We Are Proud to Present…(Steppenwolf Theatre), Koalas (16th Street Theatre), Truth and Reconciliation (Sideshow Theatre Company), Posh (Steep Theatre, Jeff Award Winner Best Ensemble), Really Really (Interrobang Theatre), Shining City (Irish Theatre of Chicago), The Diviners (Organic Theater Company), and The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe (First Folio). Regional: 4000 Miles (Theatresquared). TV: Chicago Med (NBC), Southside (Comedy Central). Film: Vampirus, Finn and the Sea of Noise.  

Siddhartha Rajan

This is Siddhartha's third year of Lakeside Shakespeare and he couldn't be more pleased to be back. Previously being seen in THE RIVALS, THE WINTERS TALE, and HENRY VIII. In Chicago Siddhartha focuses more on film having been in EASY (Netflix), BONG ZOMBIES (YouTube), and the upcoming feature THE UNDEAD AND THE GRIMOIRE. He would like to thank his family and friends for their everlasting support. 

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Ian R.Q. Slater

Ian R. Q. Slater (They/She) is a Chicago based actor, musician, juggler, and dialect coach. They hold a BFA in acting from the Chicago College of Performing Arts. Ian is thrilled to be returning to Benzie county with Lakeside after last working on Two Gentlewomen of Verona and The Rover in 2019! Offstage, you can find Ian teaching Social Emotional Learning and circus at CircEsteem, riding her bike through the streets of Chicago, or recording audiobooks and making music with friends.

Hannah Rhode

This is Hannah's first production with Lakeside Shakespeare! She is a senior acting major at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. Recent credits include Boeing Boeing (Dunes Summer Theatre), Romeo and Juliet, and Shakespeare in Love (Electric Company Theatre). She is thrilled to be a part of this incredible company and would like to thank Christy for this opportunity.

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Justin Duggan

Justin is beyond excited to be performing with Lakeside Shakespeare for the first time! He's an incoming senior at Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA) pursuing a BFA in Acting. Previous credits include Harold in "Master Harold and the Boys"  with Austin Shakespeare, Loring in Gloria with CCPA, and the world premiere of Me, Myself, and Shirley with Cindy Williams at The Wick Theatre.

Christy Arington
Director & Artistic Director

Christy Arington has been an actor, director and teaching artist for over 25 years. A founding member and current Artistic Director of Lakeside Shakespeare, she was the education director for 13 years, building a vibrant and continually growing educational program. As an actor, Christy has been seen in numerous productions of Lakeside Shakespeare, including Hamlet, Richard III, Henry V, Romeo and Juliet and many others. Christy's first foray into directing with Lakeside was All's Well That Ends Well and has since directed several productions including, The Merchant of Venice, Henry VIII, The Rover and others. Christy received her Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance from the University of Georgia and in 2001 was awarded The Mark Twain Comedic Acting award at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Mikaley Lane
Stage Manager

Mikaley is thrilled to be joining Lakeside Shakespeare Theatre to Stage Manage The Tempest. Originally from East Bend, North Carolina, Mikaley is an actor and stage manager going into her Junior Year at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. 

Previous Stage Management credits include Bright Star, She Loves Me, Spongebob The Musical, Running Up that Hill: A Kate Bush Review, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged. She would love to give a huge shoutout 

to her Mom, Lori, for her endless support! 

Alexandria Bressette
Assistant Stage Manager

Alexandria is so excited to be involved with Lakeside! She is currently entering her sophomore year at Roosevelt University Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA), as a BFA Acting major. Her recent assistant stage manager credits include: TEN 2023 (The Gift Theatre), Spunk (CCPA), and Votes for Women (CCPA). Thanks to Mom, Dad, and Sophianna for their support.

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