R. O’Donnell (Artistic Director/Executive Producer) is a founding member of SJCT, and has written the book, music & lyrics for all their musical comedies including Mr. Scrooge, Alice Isn’t All There, Kreepy Hollow, Twist, and Orchard of Hide & Seek. At 14 years old, he ran away with the Sells and Grey traveling tent circus. He co-wrote the off-Broadway musical comedy One & One for which he received 3 ASCAP awards. On Broadway, he co-wrote Radio City Music Hall’s critically acclaimed Manhattan Showboat. As a choreographer, O’Donnell staged Dick Hyman’s Joan And The Devil, and Walter/McDowell’s Rapunzel And The Dragons at the famed Greenwich Village institutions 13th Street Repertory Company, and Actors’ Playhouse, respectively. In New York, he has workshopped with multiple Tony award-winning choreographer/directors Michael Bennet (A Chorus Line/Dreaam Girls), Ron Field (Cabaret), and Tommy Tune (Will Rogers Follies). In Chicago, he co-founded both the New Variety cabaret and the professional theater company New Age Vaudeville. At New Age Vaudeville O’Donnell wrote two of its biggest cult hits: An Evening With Elmore & Gwendolyn Putts –The Neighbors Next Door, and The TV Dinner Hour (featuring improv guru Del Close). O’Donnell worked as Executive Producer and host (hence the title) of the variety/comedy television show R. Rated on Fox, Chicago. Widely regarded as a brilliant slice of the Chicago comedy scene, R. Rated featured, among others, Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live), Mick Napier (Annoyance Theater), and Stephnie Weir (MADtv). O’Donnell also produced and directed comedy segments featuring Matt Besser (Upright Citizens Brigade) for Fox, Chicago’s variety special Twisted. Additionally, he directed a series of improvised commercials (featuring Besser in a stylistic homage to Ernie Kovacs) for McDonald’s, Toyota, Jiffy Lube, and Ameritech. O’Donnell’s stand-up comedy work has seen him featuring for celebrated comics Chris Rock, Bill Maher, Brian Regan, Rick Overton, and the late great Bill Hicks.
Angela Conzone Dwyer (Executive Music Director/Choreographer) is one of the founding members of SJCT and has starred in all of our productions to date. Angela has a Bachelor’s Degree from SUNY Fredonia and a Master’s Degree from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, both in Music Education. She teaches K-6 Vocal/General Music in the Ogdensburg City School District, is the Choir Master at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Assistant Choreographer at Julie’s Dance Studio, and is a private piano/voice teacher. She has been the Musical Director of Nunsense (Fulton, NY), and Choreographer of both Peter Pan (Oswego, NY) and Once Upon a Mattress (Potsdam, NY). Some of her acting credits include Once Upon a Mattress, Camelot, The Music Man, Nunsense, The King and I, Annie, and Beauty and the Beast. Having met during summer theater, Angela and Christopher are excited to be working together both on the production team and on stage. The couple lives in Ogdensburg with their daughters, Rozalyn and Eliana.
Christopher Dwyer (Technical Director/Production Coordinator) is one of the founding members of SJCT and has been involved in theater since the 8th grade. His acting credits include three plays and eighteen musicals. Christopher also co-directed the Hermon-DeKalb Drama Club for 4 years, has run both sound and light boards, served as Stage Manager, and wrote a play for 2nd graders when he was student teaching. Currently, he lives in Ogdensburg, NY with his wife Angela and daughters Rozalyn and Eliana and is thrilled to still be so involved in SJCT and to see the company growing as time goes on.
Stephen Chambers (Props/Set Dressings) is a founding member of SJCT and is a nationally recognized, award-winning fine artist who has successfully worked in a wide variety of mediums. From mass-produced commercial sculptures to oil paintings, this versatile artist is comfortable creating whatever the artistic vision requires. Mr. Chambers has brought life to all of the St. John’s Conservatory Theater productions with his beautifully crafted props and set designs.
Ryan C. McNally (Arrangements/Orchestrations) has digitally orchestrated the original and revised productions of A Christmas Carol and Orchard of Hide and Seek, as well as Kreepy Hollow, Twist, and the revised production of Alice Isn’t All There. Outside of the theater, he has orchestrated for shows including OFA’s production of Steel Magnolias and Lisbon Central School’s productions of Orphans in Candyland and The Big Bad Musical. His interests in music and songwriting began when he was 9 years old, when he play songs by ear on the upright piano in his house. Seeing his musical interests, his parents saw that he took piano lessons. In 4th grade, he began playing saxophone in band and from then on his ability to play both excelled. His compositions were at first written solely for piano until his uncles, Tom and Mark McNally spurred his interest in playing music with others and he began incorporating other instruments and lyrics into his pieces. In the summers of 2013, 2014, and 2015, he, his uncles and brother recorded albums together with the band name “Camp Jammers.” With the stimuli of one recording session a year not enough, he began to write and record music on his own. From 2014 to today, he has recorded and produced 6 albums and counting, and in 2015 he formed a musical group “The Band Room Band” to bring his music to life live. He and the group recently put on a show “The Voyage”, which consisted of 20 of Ryan’s compositions. He has also recently written and conducted a concert band piece “Theme 2017”, which was a piece dedicated to all of his years in the OFA music program. He intends to further his musical career at Onondaga Community College this fall, to pursue an Associate’s Degree in music.
Richard Patton (Sound Designer) has lent his expertise as Sound to the St. John’s Conservatory Theater for Orchard of Hide & Seek, Kreepy Hollow & Mr. Scrooge at the OFA stage. He graduated in 2010 from the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam with Bachelor’s of Music degrees in both Music Education and Euphonium Performance. In 2012 he graduated with his Master’s of Music degree in Music Education. He worked three years as the 4th through 12th grade Band Director for the Morristown Central School District and is currently the Middle School Band and General Music Teacher at the Ogdensburg Free Academy.
Barry Pratt (Lighting Designer) has lent his expertise as lighting designer to the St. John’s Conservatory Theater for Orchard of Hide & Seek, Kreepy Hollow & Mr. Scrooge at the OFA stage. With over 40 years of theater experience under his belt, Barry is an incredible asset to our theater. Once bitten, you must feed the “bug,” and Barry is thrilled to be feeding it as the Lighting Designer for the St. Johns Conservancy yet again.
Karen Fischbeck (Costume and Makeup Designer) is a dietitian currently working with children at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center. She is a Registered Dietitian, and has the professional credentials of R.D., CD/N. Karen has been the costumer and makeup designer for Kreepy Hollow, Orchard of Hide and Seek, Twist, Alice Isn’t All There, B. R. Kreep’s Christmas Carol and is an invaluable member of the St. John’s Conservatory Theater.
Heron Hetzler (Senior Costumer) is a recent graduate of St. Lawrence University with a degree in studio art. During the course of her studies, she worked in the theater department, designing and constructing costumes for plays and dance recitals. Heron enjoys making art from many different materials and combining them in new and interesting ways. Her passion for the wearable arts has led her to create such varied pieces as gloves, jewelry, hats, and masks.
Ann Losurdo (Costumes) is a retired middle school Spanish teacher who has been sewing since the age of 13. In addition to fashioning everyday wear, Ann is the queen of Halloween costumes, prom gowns, and bridesmaids’ gowns. In her copious free time, she enjoys quilting, singing with Concinnity (an all-women a cappella ensemble), and traveling the world.
Harlee Downey (Senior Makeup/Hair Assistant) is currently a senior at OFA and loves anything having to do with art. This is her sixth SJCT production, having helped with the makeup for Kreepy Hollow, Orchard of Hide and seek, Alice Isn’t All There, Christmas Carol, and Kreepy Hallow. We are very happy to have Harlee back to lend her makeup expertise to our cast.
Tonya Ott (Props Master) was born and raised in Ogdensburg and still lives here with her husband and daughter. This is her fifth production with SJCT, having served as Props Master for Kreepy Hollow, Orchard of Hide and Seek, Christmas Carol, and Twist. She is thrilled to be sharing this experience with her daughter, Gabi.
Ashley Toppin (Production Stage Manager) is a senior at Gouverneur High School and has taken part in backstage in the high school musical since eighth grade. She has been the head costumer for the middle school musical since ninth grade and has also been part of stage crew and helped in directing for both the last two years. Ashley has been the assistant manager for winter-guard for two years and has been a part of Key Club for all of high school. She has been in the hospitality and the color guard since sixth grade, is the current president of CODA, Vice President for Thespian Society, secretary for the high school musical, and treasurer for Key Club, all at Gouverneur High School.
Sadie Smith (Stage Manager) is returning as stage manager, having done so for Kreepy Hallow and The Orchard of Hide and Seek. Sadie’s acting credits include American Idle, Ax of Murder, The Principal’s Apprentice, Night Chills, and Seusspeare: Meet the MacBeths. She recently finished a two-year Liberal Arts degree at SUNY Canton and is currently attending SUNY Potsdam to complete her Bachelors. She is very proud to be involved in her third show with JCT.
Ryan Woodard (Sponsorship Director/Assistant Technical Director) is a founding member of SJCT and has appeared in all of our productions except one. No stranger to the arts, Ryan has written several original songs, been featured in a locally-produced film, and has appeared in two episodes of a yet-to-be-released television show being produced by Mark Valley. He has also written his own screenplay and musical and plans to begin filming his own movie early this coming year.
Bill LaMere (General Manager) is a native of Ogdensburg and graduated from Ogdensburg Free Academy in 1967. He married his childhood sweetheart Sheila Murray in 1968. Bill entered the US Army in 1968 and was trained as a combat medic. He spent 20 years in the military, was educated as a nurse, and attended Southern Illinois University for healthcare administration. His military assignments included Vietnam, Texas, Washington, Washington, D.C., and Germany. After the military, Bill worked as an operations manager for a pharmacy company in Maryland, and as a regional operations manager for a respiratory infusion company in Rochester, NY. In 2000 he relocated to Heuvelton and was employed for the past 14 years at United Helpers River Ledge as a nurse, and staff development educator. Sheila and Bill have five children (one deceased) and three grandchildren (all girls).
Sheila Murray LaMere (House/ Box Office Manager) was born in Ogdensburg, NY, and graduated from Ogdensburg Free Academy. After high school, she attended a nursing program and obtained her license as a practical nurse. Sheila married her childhood sweetheart Bill LaMere in 1968 and had five children. She has dedicated the majority of her life to raising her family and attending to numerous foster children. Sheila is an active leader at St. John’s Church, assisting ushers, greeters, lay readers, and Christian Education (Sunday school and vacation bible school).