WHO’S WHO IN THE CAST
ALEX AGUILAR (Performer) is one of Charlotte Squawks' newest members. He is a Charlotte-based performer whose face you may recognize on the side of Lance crackers trucks over the past decade. After graduating from UNC Charlotte with his bachelor degrees in biology and dance, he began touring the Southeast performing for Children’s Theatre of Charlotte; he was the dance captain and one of the company’s resident actors before the pandemic hit and now has transitioned into the role of social media maven, managing the company's public relations and social media. Alex is glad to be returning to live theater since the shutdown and joining the dysfunctional family all Charlotteans love.
MIKE COLLINS (Executive Producer, Director, Performer) is back again, for the 16th time, to participate in this theatrical atrocity. But look on the bright side – had it not been for the COVID shutdown, this would have been our 17th outing. Mike used to do legitimate theater but his association with Squawks ended all that, as real theater people want nothing to do with him. But he still has a home – he can be heard on the radio on a program called Charlotte Talks, which is a blatant twist on the name of this show. You can hear that program weekdays at 9 a.m. on 90.7 WFAE. They don’t know of Mike’s involvement with this production, so please don’t tell them.
OLIVIA EDGE (Performer) is thrilled to return for her fourth year as a Squawker. You may have seen Olivia perform in productions at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, such as Madagascar (Maurice), Disney’s Mary Poppins (Ms. Andrews), The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Luanne), Go, Dog, Go! (Red Dog), Elephant and Piggie: We Are in a Play (Squirelle), Pinkalicious (Bluebird), The Secret Garden (Ms. Winthrop), and Seussical (Mrs. Mayor). At Actor's Theatre of Charlotte, she performed in The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical (Linoleum) and Batboy the Musical (Ruthie/Ned). Olivia has frequented the stage at CPCC Summer Theatre, where some of her favorite productions include Legally Blonde, Into the Woods, Cats, Anything Goes, and 42nd Street. She is also a regular cast member of Charlotte Squawks. Olivia is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and teaches theater and English language arts at Westminster Catawba Christian School in Rock Hill, South Carolina, where she lives with the true joys of her life, Eli and Julia. She is so grateful for all the love and support of her family and friends and for the abundant grace she receives daily from above.
RON GIBSON (Performer) is from Charlotte and is pursuing his degree in musical theater from Millikin University. Ron is very excited to be performing in his first production with the Blumenthal production of Charlotte Squawks! He is very appreciative and excited for this chance to use his gift to bring you joy and laughter! Some of his credits include ensemble in Mamma Mia! (Central Piedmont Theatre) and artistic associate for the Broadway Dreams Foundation.
JONATHAN DE JESUS (Performer) is so excited to be joining the cast of Charlotte Squawks for the very first time! Jonathan received his training from the Intune School of the Arts and has most recently worked as a singer/dancer for the Dollywood Theme Park. He is currently based out of the Charlotte and Atlanta areas. Shoutout to my family and friends for all your support! We made it, y'all.
JOHANNA JOWETT (Performer) has appeared in various television shows, films and commercials, and is also an acting coach and casting director with Corrigan and Johnston Casting. She most recently appeared as Selma Davis, starring alongside Melissa Gilbert, in the film When We Last Spoke. Johanna’s mail-order husband, Greg, finally arrived in November 2019 and they celebrated their union in quarantine, power washing groceries, and luxuriating with Purell sponge baths for their first year of marriage. Johanna can next be seen as Hedda Gabler in Belmont Abbey’s production of Hedda Gabler running in mid-October. Being a part of Charlotte Squawks has been an incredible source of joy and inspiration for Johanna, and she is so grateful to be surrounded by such a wonderful group, yet again.
BRIAN KAHN (Producer, Book, Lyrics and PowerPoint Design). When he’s not writing musical parodies, Brian is a litigation partner at the law firm of McGuireWoods, specializing in complex business disputes and financial services litigation. Prior written works include the last 15 Squawks (and a first attempt at this one) and countless legal briefs filed in courts throughout the nation. Brian is not in the show this year because he has 14-year-old triplet boys and a 10-year-old, and he likes to see them on occasion. Brian would like to thank his wife, Raizel, for allowing him to write this year's show and promises to stop telling the waiter “The lady will have chicken fingers” when we go to fancy restaurants.
SUSAN ROBERTS KNOWLSON (Performer) is thrilled to be making people laugh again! She has been seen across the country in national tours, opera, TV and off-Broadway. Charlotte audiences may also recognize Susan from performances at Actor’s Theatre, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, CPCC, Opera Carolina, Theatre Charlotte and The Charlotte Symphony. Favorite roles include Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Maria in The Sound of Music, Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, Marian in The Music Man, Annie in Annie Get Your Gun, and many more. Thank you to my wonderful family for all the love, patience and support!
PATRICK RATCHFORD (Performer) returns to the Squawks family for Charlotte Squawks 16! After experiencing a year like none other, it’s clear that there’s no shortage of material for this year’s show. He has worked throughout the region in a variety of roles and has been recognized locally by Metrolina Theatre Association, Creative Loafing and Charlotte Magazine. Area audiences may recognize him from performances at CP Summer Theatre, Actors Theatre, Charlotte Rep, Opera Carolina, Theatre Charlotte and Blowing Rock Stage Company to name a few. Favorite performances include musical theater classics such as The Music Man (Harold Hill) and The Sound of Music (Capt. Von Trapp) as well as more recent works including Mamma Mia! (Sam), Ragtime (Father), I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Man 2) and Bat Boy (Sheriff/Pan).
JESSICA REBECCA (Performer) is from Palm Beach, Florida. Before the outbreak, Jessica lived in New York City working professionally at different theaters in the U.S. During quarantine, her focus switched more toward creative projects, virtual concerts, and fundraisers. It has been three years since she has been on a stage, and she is very excited to make her debut as part of the Charlotte Squawks family. Jessica Rebecca is grateful to once again be able to continue to share her talents and her passions with the world. “I am following my personal legend.”
JEFF STETSON (Performer) has been a Squawkaholic since 2015 and is thrilled and honored to now be a part of the cast after a decade-and-a-half hiatus from the stage. Back in the early 2000s, he could be found sailing the world in tight pleather pants singing ’90s pop on Norwegian Cruise Lines with his future wife and fellow Squawker, Lucia. After that, he went corporate and really got into mowing the lawn on the weekend, New Balance sneakers and Home Depot. Jeff would like to thank his wonderful children, Izzy and AJ, for supporting his return to the stage and allowing him to perform once again with his sweetheart!
LUCIA STETSON (Performer) is back to “squawk” for the sixth time, having joined the cast in 2015. Every year she sacrifices a little more of her dignity to publicly humiliate herself in front of our adoring audience, all for a cheap laugh and to maintain her fragile ego. Although Lucia trained to be a Broadway performer, her mentors are ashamed that she put her talents to use in this tacky little Queen City variety show. Nevertheless, she is happy to be back onstage where she belongs. Favorite Squawks performances include Lyin' Ted Cruz, Cam Newton's psychotic doctor, the 2nd giraffe, Stormy Daniels, and most notably, drunk #4. This year marks a first for the Squawks family – Lucia and her husband, Jeff, are the first married couple to perform in Charlotte Squawks. We will see if they can survive their 15th anniversary. Love to our children, Izzy and AJ, to my gorgeous and talented husband (yes, he's taken girls ... and boys), and an extra shoutout to any plastic surgeons who offer a discount to a D-list local pseudo-celebrity.
BILL CONGDON (Music Director) was national tours conductor for Matilda: The Musical, Billy Elliot: The Musical and Mamma Mia! (2nd Nat’l, N. American, Las Vegas, and assistant supervisor: RC Cruises); music director at Theatre Charlotte and CPCC Theatre, and for Teen City Stage. Percussion, timpani, keyboard with Charlotte Symphony and Opera Carolina. Principal timpanist – Greensboro Symphony Orchestra. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education from East Carolina University in North Carolina, and a Master of Music and performer’s certificate in percussion from Eastman School of Music, New York. Squawks newbie. So grateful for this opportunity to work with Charlotte’s finest and funniest.
JORDAN ELLIS (Set/Props Designer) is excited to be joining the creative team of Squawks for his second season. Jordan can be seen designing sets and props all over the Charlotte area, specifically at Providence Day School where he is technical director and teaches technical theater. Much love to my students, family and Anne-Marie.
BRENDA FLOYD (Costume Designer) has worked in professional theater for over 22 years and is a proud member of The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. She has taught for Winthrop University in the College of Visual and Performing Arts since 2007, including courses on costume construction, stage makeup, arts administration and nonprofit finance.
JESSIE HULL (Assistant Stage Manager) is tickled pink (and all the other colors) to be joining the production team of Charlotte Squawks! She graduated from High Point University with a bachelor’s in theatre performance … which is WAY more useful than a bachelor’s in English. She is currently the stage manager at Matthews Playhouse, where she managed the productions of Grey Gardens, Mamma Mia!, The Jungle Book, Godspell, It’s a Wonderful Life and Stuart Little. She was also the stage manager for Bel Concertino (2019), Howl O’ Scream’s The Vault: Overtaken (2019) and Sesame Street Forest of Fun (2020) at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, before being rudely interrupted by the pandemic. Jessie would love to thank her parents for feeding and housing her, as well as for their love and support.
DALLAS MORRIS (Stage Manager) is especially pleased to add a fifth year of managing Charlotte Squawks to her resume. Dallas was the resident stage manager for Children’s Theatre of Charlotte for five seasons, managing such productions as The Secret Garden and The Reluctant Dragon. Other productions for Blumenthal Performing Arts include PostSecret: The Show, A Gala Musical Tribute to William Ivey Long (featuring Christine Ebersole, Bebe Winans, Laura Osnes and Andy Karl), and the 25th Season Kick-off featuring Leslie Odom Jr. Regionally, Dallas has worked with The Boston Conservatory, Cincinnati Public Theatre, North Shore Music Theatre, PCPA Theatrefest and Virginia Opera. All my love and gratitude to my two loves, Terry and Kai.
GORDON OLSON (Lighting Designer) is senior lecturer in lighting design at UNCC. Designs in the Charlotte area include: The Producers, The Addams Family, Spring Awakening, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Footloose at Theatre Charlotte. Grease!, Side by Side, and Our Town with Providence Day. Spamalot, Annie, Chicago and Don’t Dress for Dinner with Davidson Community Players. Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Spring Awakening, The Seagull, Colored Museum, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and over 40 music and dance concerts at UNCC. Before assisting on the Broadway productions of Good People (world premiere) and Jerusalem (Tony nominated, Best Lighting Design), Gordon was resident lighting designer with Florida Grand Opera, where his designs won critical praise. Gordon also served as lighting supervisor for Houston Grand Opera, designing for a world premiere production of Hansel and Gretel. Other designs include Pagliacci with San Antonio Opera and Into the Woods with the Renaissance Theatre. To date, Gordon has been involved with the lighting of over 120 productions. Gordon received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Arizona and his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Texas – Austin.