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The River Bride

By Marisela Treviño Orta
Co-directed by Ann Brebner and Jeanette Harrison


"a sly delight" --San Francisco Chronicle


"captivating" --Marin Independent Journal


Starring: Livia Demarchi, Nick Garcia, Matt Kizer*, Carla Pauli, Cathleen Riddley*, Adam Roy

Production: Wiljago Cook, Logan Ellis, Courtney Flores, Anna McShea, Madeleine Oldham, Benjamin Privitt, Mina Sohaa Smith, Selina G Young

Inspired by Brazilian folkore about river dolphins who come ashore to seduce women

Once upon a time in a fishing village along the Amazon, two sisters struggle to find their happily ever after. A beautiful new fairy tale about having it all. 

Co-winner of the National Latino Playwriting Award

The Cast & Crew

Co-winner of the 2013 National Latino Playwriting Award, THE RIVER BRIDE was developed in AlterTheater's AlterLab residency. THE RIVER BRIDE is the first in a cycle of Latino fairy tale plays. Marisela is currently working on WOLF AT THE DOOR, the next play in the cycle.

Cathleen Riddley

is so thankful to be a member of this amazing ensemble performing in this beautiful piece.  She has been seen throughout the Bay Area in theaters such as TheaterWorks, Berkeley Playhouse, SF Playhouse, Marin Theatre Company, Central Works, ACT, Lorraine Hansberry Theater and Magic Theatre, to name a few. Cathleen is a member of AEA and TBA, and a PlayGround company member. She is an alumna of The Juilliard School Drama Division, a certified ASL Interpreter and has an MA from UPenn. Cathleen supports emerging playwrights by being involved in as many new play readings as she can.  A current project close to her heart is working with incarcerated men in San Quentin in their violence prevention program called No More Tears/Healing Circle.

Matt Kizer

Matt, a proud member of the Washoe Tribe of California and Nevada, grew up in Nevada, Oregan and Idaho. At the age of 7, he began singing in a boys choir and, after a few years, took a hiatus to "be a boy."  At 15-years-old, on a dare, Matt auditioned for the show choir at Sparks High School.  Within three years, he began dancing tap, jazz and ballet, and toured Europe with his high school choir.  He studied voice under Nevada Opera's founder, Ted Puffer, and as a teenager, sang in the choruses of Carmen and Aida, which starred legendary mezzo-soprano, Delora Zadjick.  Matt  went on to put his song and dance skills to work in leading and ensemble roles in musicals at various bay area theater companies, including:   American Musical Theater of San Jose, Marin Theater Company, Mountain Play Association, Hoochi Doo Productions, and Center REP. Opera credits also include appearances with Golden Gate Opera and Contemporary Opera Marin.  Matt has performed with and choreographed for the Andrea Fulton Chorale at The Bracebridge Dinner, the country's treasured holiday pageant and feast presented yearly at the Awahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park.  He can be heard on original cast recordings and has performed as a soloist for local composers, churches, and fundraisers.  Matt is a member of Actors' Equity Association and is, along with his wife, Karen, the producer and director of a trio of beautiful young daughters:  Lotte, Lavinia and Louisa.

Carla Pauli

is absolutely thrilled to return to AlterTheater for The River Bride. Recent favorite roles include Gabriela in References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot (AlterTheater), Helena in All's Well That Ends Well (Marin Shakespeare Company), Zerbinette in Scapino! (Porchlight Theatre) and Annie in The Real Thing (Pear Avenue Theatre). Carla has performed with other Bay Area theatre companies including Woman's Will, Golden Thread Productions, Cutting Ball Theatre, NCTC's YouthAware, Curtain Theatre and OpenTab Productions. Recent film projects include the feature filmWhite Rabbit (Boxcar Pictures) and the Oakland based TV series Dyke Central. Carla has studied at American Conservatory Theatre Studio and continues to develop her craft through private coaching and workshops. This year she has returned to SFSU to finish her degree in American History and is looking forward to starting a master's program at California Institute of Integral Studies for Drama Therapy. She is theatre arts educator and a winner of the 2012 TBA Titan Awards, as well as an associate artist with AlterTheater.

Livia Demarchi

is thrilled to be making her AlterTheater debut in a play that deals with the beauty and romanticism of her home country of Brazill! Livia is originally from Sao Paulo, where she attended the renowned Macunaima Theater Conservatory and since relocating to the Bay Area, she has trained at American Conservatory Theatre, College of Marin, Seydways Studios, and with several independent coaches. Previous credits include: Hadia in Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo at SF Playhouse, Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, Gertrude in Hamlet both with the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival's Shakespeare on tour; and Desdemona in Othello with the Ninjaz of Drama. She has also worked with Theater Rhinoceros, Ross Valley Players, Sonoma County Rep and Playwright's Center of San Francisco. She dedicates this performance to her husband Lauren, and her "filhos" Giovanna and Luciano.


Nick Garcia

Nick has worked extensively across the country as a teacher, actor, director, and designer. He was recently the Artistic Director of Children’s Theatre Programming for the George Daily Auditorium in Oskaloosa Iowa, where he designed and oversaw the curriculum for the drama school as well as directed their summer season. He has performed, directed, and designed for venues such as the National Conservatory Theatre Center in San Francisco, Pella Shakespeare Festival in Iowa, The Miner’s Union Theatre in Silverton Colorado, The George Daily Auditorium in Oskaloosa Iowa, and both the Iowa New Play and Fringe Festivals. In 2006 he won the IRAN award for best actor for his role as Eben in I am Montana. In 2007 he was a company member in the Iowa Tent Theatre’s critically acclaimed Regional Tour of Standing Tall. Nick has also designed the curriculum for multiple children’s theatres across the country and was nominated for the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award by the University of Iowa student body in 2009. In 2012 he was presented with the Meritorious Achievement Award for Excellence in Program Development at The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and in 2010 he was awarded the Student Club Advisor of the Year Award by the Office of Student Life at Los Medanos College. He currently advises students in the Drama and Improvisation clubs as well as the Los Medanos College Transfer Academy. He is a graduate of Adams State College in Colorado where he received his BA in Theatre. In addition he holds the Master’s of Fine Arts Degree in Acting from the University of Iowa.He is currently the Chair of the Department of Dramatic Arts at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg CA and lives with his wife and child in Novato CA.

Adam Roy


is an actor/singer/clown having worked professionally in the Bay Area for two years.  Recent Bay Area theater credits include Marin Shakespeare Company (The Spanish Tragedy), New Conservatory Theater (The Lisbon Traviata), Berkeley Playhouse (The Sound of Music), Mountain Play Association (The Music Man), and College of Marin (A Streetcar Named Desire).  Adam is a teaching artist with Marin Shakespeare, and is a regular contributor to PlayGround and Playwright’s Center of San Francisco.  








Trained as a director at London’s prestigious Old Vic Theater, she has directed for the stage in England, New Zealand, Rhode Island, New York and the Bay Area. She is the co-founder of the Marin Shakespeare Company, directing frequently for them. Until 1981 she was the president of Brebner Agencies Inc., in San Francisco representing actors and screenwriters in the motion picture industry. She has worked as a casting director, written three screenplays, and authored a book on the skill of living a creative life in a left-brained world, Setting Free the Actor, published in 1991. More recently she has headed the drive to restore the Rafael Film Center in San Rafael as the permanent home of the California Film Institute, which produces the Mill Valley Film Festival.  For the Rafael Film Center Project she was the chair and the project manager. She has completed her second book, All My Mothers, a memoir of those who formed her life. With AlterTheater,  Ann co-directed, with Frances Lee McCain, the Bay Area premiere of Sex Parasite in AlterTheater's Inaugural Season, and directed the West Coast premiere of "Cuddle Time" by Keely Madden in Smorgasbord of Shorts II, and the world premiere of Thirst by Dyke Garrison. More recently, she directed the award-winning production Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage, and Two Sisters and a Piano by Nilo Cruz.She and her writing partner Laurel Graver adapted Anne Lamott's first novel, Hard Laughter, into a play, which premiered with AlterTheater in Spring 2008.

Ann Brebner

Jeanette Harrison

is a co-founder of AlterTheater. She has worked primarily as an actor and a producer, shepherding more than 12 new plays to world premiere productions. She has worked in casting, theater education, and worked onstage, on-camera and off-camera in both the non-profit and commercial entertainment industry. She has worked with Cutting Ball (…and Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi by Marcus Gardley, winner of Best Production and Best Ensemble from the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle), Aurora Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, Magic Theatre, Berkeley Rep, Theatre Rhino, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Sonoma County, Sonoma County Rep, Golden Thread Productions, Woman’s Will, Playhouse West, and Combined Art Form Entertainment (C.A.F.E.), among others. With AlterTheater she appeared onstage in After the Fall, Owners, Intimate Apparel, References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, and in the Bay Area premieres of Sex Parasite, Two Sisters and a Piano, and in the world premieres of Thirst, and A Man, his Wife, and his Hat (one of two finalists for the USA Pen Award, for best new play written west of the Mississippi).

Selina G Young

is an Associate Artist with AlterTheater. Her designs include: American Whupass, Owners, Two Sisters and a Piano, A Man, His Wife, and His Hat, and References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot. She has designed the lighting for many Bay Area Theatre Companies including San Jose Repertory Theatre, TheatreWorks, San Jose Stage Company, and Marin Theatre Company. Some of her recent productions include Cabaret and Avenue Q (both for San Jose Stage), Hanging Georgia (Theatre First), and House of Blue Leaves (Jewel Theatre Company, Santa Cruz). After  working in the entertainment industry in a multitude of positions on and off the stage, Ms Young has had the privilege to work with luminaries such as Eric Bogosian, Whoopi Goldberg, and Patrick Stewart. She is a member of Actor's Equity Association, IATSE Local 134 (stagehands), Theatre Bay Area, and Theatre Communications Group.

Courtney Flores

has been costume designing in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2003. This will be her first production with Alter Theater.  She currently holds an A.A. in Fashion Design and a B.A. in Theater Arts Technical Production with an option in Costume Design.  Currently, Courtney is finishing her M.F.A. studies, in Theater Arts Technical Production, with an emphasis in Costume Design at San Francisco State University.

You will be able to see more of her work in the upcoming productions of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof at Los Altos Stage Company and Medea at African American Shakespeare Company.

Mina Sohaa Smith

is a freelance Stage Manager in the Bay Area as well as the resident stage manager of Crowded Fire Theater Company in San Francisco. Credits include: ROMP! (LeavyDance), The Taming (CFT), 410[Gone] (CFT), The Great Big Also! (Mugwumpin), The Hundred Flowers Project (CFT), Invasion (CFT), Good Goods (CFT), The Bay One Acts Festival 2012, A Lie of the Mind (Boxcar), and A Man, His Wife and His Hat (AlterTheater). This is her second show with AlterTheater and she is very excited to be back doing a show in her home county of Marin.

Wiljago Cook

Wiljago J Cook did sound design for Triple Shot Productions, and space design for References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot with AlterTheater previously. Most recently she has co-curated a short film night series and a gallery show at Research on Subversive Art in Oakland. Her work has been shown at the Boontling Gallery, 21 Grand Gallery, the T-10 Video Festival, and Mills College.

Madeline Oldham

Madeleine Oldham is very happy to be working with AlterTheater for the firsttime. She has designed sound for Crowded Fire, Shotgun Players, JustTheater, the Bay Area One-Act Festival, PlayGround, and Geva Theatre inRochester, NY, among others. She also hosts a program on KALX radio, 90.7fm,where she serves as their Director of Public Affairs.

Logan Ellis

has served as the Artistic Direction Apprentice under Loretta Greco at Magic Theatre, and currently serves as the Producing Artistic Director of Theatre Battery in Kent, WA and Associate Producer of Do It Live! Productions in San Francisco. Directing: The Firefly Project (Magic), dark play or stories for boys (Do It Live), Chatroom, Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom, Dog Sees God (Theatre Battery), Fat Pig and Far Away (Ithaca College). Asst. Directing: Alleluia, the Road (Campo Santo/Cal Shakes), Arcadia (ACT), Waiting for Godot (MTC), Bruja, Any Given Day, Jesus in India (Magic). BA Drama with Directing focus from Ithaca College.

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