Meet the Cast of A Christmas Carol – 2023!

Scrooge  – Eric Fletcher
Bob Cratchit  – Randy Kessenich
Mrs. Cratchit/Belle – Lexie Showalter
Marley/Digs/Caroler – Luke Surretsky
Midge/Caroler/Dancer – Shea Coughlin
Mrs. Fezzi/Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come/Poor Nora – Courtney Hansen
Older Young Scrooge/Caroler – Maximilian Johnsson
Fred/Mr Fezziwig – Aidan Kirby
Solicitor/Mrs. Holly – Sue-Ellen Mandell
Ghost of Christmas Past/Franny – Andrea Woodbridge
Patricia Cratchit/Fan – Amanda Sweeney
Paper Boy/Young Scrooge/Turkey Girl – Avery Ilardi
Caroler/John/Scrooge u/s – Maxwell Davis Swangel
Agy/Ghost of Christmas Present – Brenda Bell
Caroler/Ensemble Roles – Ameerah Muhammad
Caroler/Ensemble Roles – Celeste Vandermillan
Sara Horiuchi – Dancer
Jessica Lausell – u/s
Dog – Bravo Bell
Tiny Tim -Owen Corrigan, Nicholas Crocco, Rosie Ilardi,
Manuel Lausell, Wallace Wu
Youth Ensemble – Ella Anderson, Clara Burke, Rose Davis, Jasper Durgin-Bruce,
Sadie Lewinter, Vivien Oh, Hannah Rosenstrock

Directed by: Brenda Bell

Eric Fletcher (Scrooge/Vocal Director)
Eric is very pleased to return to the role of Scrooge for the thirteenth year. His Off-Broadway credits include Frankenstein (Victor Frankenstein), Hollow (Henry and Van Ripper), Phantom of the Opera (The Phantom), Beauty and the Beast (Papa), The Little Mermaid (Fish Witch), Cinderella (Madame), Alice in Wonderland (Queen of Hearts), The Selfish Giant (Giant) and Treasure Island (Ben Gunn). Eric earned a BFA in theatre per-formance form Virginia Commonwealth University. He can also be seen around New York as his drag persona Sparkle Monster. Thanks to friends, family and Michael Capecci.

Randy Kessenich (Bob Cratchit)
Randy Kessenich is beyond excited to be in A Christmas Carol here at The Players Theater! He recently moved to New York City from his hometown in southern Wisconsin after receiving his BFA from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point last spring. A special thank you to Mom & Dad, brother Sam, and the many friends and family members who continue to support his artistic endeavors! Enjoy the show!

Lexie Showalter (Mrs. Cratchit/Belle)
Lexie Showalter (Mrs Cratchit, Belle) is thrilled to return to The Players Theater for A Christmas Carol! Recent theater credits include Elizabeth in Anonymous (Spit&Vigor), Doris in The Stranger (Players Theater) Hero/Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing (SITW), Helena in Midsummer Nights Dream (Players Theater) and Barb in Hope and Gravity (Circle Theater). She’s also a proud cast member and writer of a monthly live sketch show Our Bar in NYC. BFA MT from TCU.

Luke Surretsky (Marley/Digs) Luke Surretsky is a New York City based actor born in New Jersey. Theatre credits include: Swan Lake Rock Opera (Off-Broadway), Santa’s Sing-A-Long (Off-Broadway), Rent (Area Stage Company), Sweeney Todd (Area Stage Company), Be More Chill (Area Stage Company), This Is Our Youth (Area Stage Company), American Idiot (Area Stage Company), The Little Mermaid (Area Stage Company), Beauty & The Beast (Area Stage Company), Pinkalicious The Musical (Vital Theatre Company). TV credits include: Evil Lives Here (ID Channel), and Broadway Workshop (Broadway On Demand). @luke_surretsky

Shea Coughlin (Midge, Caroler, Dancer)
Shea is thrilled to be returning to the company of A Christmas Carol! Previous Players Theater Credits include Frankenstein, and Sleepy Hollow. Other Credits include Jesus Christ Superstar and Nickel Mines (ACT of CT) and Mamma Mia! (CT Repertory Theater.) Instagram: @Shea_Coughlin.

Courtney Hansen (Mrs. Fezziwig, Ghost of Christmas Future, Poor Nora)
Courtney is thrilled to be back haunting Scrooge in this production of A Christmas Carol. She has been part of The Players Theatre, Literally Alive, & Be Bold! teams for over a decade. Love to her niblings and mechanic.

Maximilian Johnsson (Older Young Scrooge/Caroler)
Maximilian Johnsson is a Swedish actor and theatremaker based Brooklyn. He graduated from Stella Adler Professional Conservatory in 2022. Some of his recent credits include Literally Alive’s Off-Broadway adaptation of the Little Mermaid (2023), Malvolio in Screwdriver Studio’s production of Twelfth Night (2023), Birk in Ronia The Robber’s Daughter (2023) and Romeo in The Richmond Hill Park Players’ production of Romeo and Juliet (2022). Maximilian is super excited to get to be a part of this timeless Christmas spectacle!

Aidan Kirby (Fred/Mr Fezziwig)
Aidan Kirby is an Actor, Singer, Dancer from Williamsburg, VA. He’s a graduate of The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Since graduating Aidan has been working on student films, plays, and musicals throughout New York City. You may have seen him in Purpose (2022) Violet (NxtGenerationTheatrics) and Cyrano de Bergerac (Neap Tide Productions). He is very excited to be coming back to work with the players theatre. Aidan dedicates everything he does to his family, whose constant support means everything to him, love you guys.

Sue-Ellen Mandell (Solicitor, Mrs. Holly)
Sue-Ellen Mandell has appeared in many Off-off Broadway and Off Broadway productions. Roles include: Blanche: Streetcar Named Desire, Martha: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Ouisa: Six Degrees of Separation, Escalus: Measure for Measure. Television work has included Celebrity Ghost Stories, Investigation Discovery and commercials. She enjoyed working for Comedy Central and collaborating to produce several Mini Mocks on their website. This is her 15th production at The Players Theatre, When not acting, she enjoys teasing her granddaughters and sailing with her “boatman”, Jack! [email protected]

Andrea Woodbridge (Ghost of Christmas Past, Franny)
Andrea Woodbridge is a NY-based actor and writer working in theater and film. Recent onstage credits include the roles of Enid in The Stranger and Ms. Prism in The Importance of Being Earnest. This is Andrea’s fifth role at The Players Theatre, and she is thrilled to be returning to haunt the stage as the Ghost of Christmas Past., @andrea_m_woodbridge

Amanda Sweeney (Caroler/Ensemble Roles)
Amanda Sweeney is overjoyed to be in A Christmas Carol at The Players Theatre. Previous performances include Grease (Sandy), Spring Awakening (Thea), The Wizard of Oz (Dorothy Gale) & Alice in Wonderland (Alice u/s, Ensemble). She has also performed solo performances at Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, was in the MYO choir at Carnegie Hall, and in the Walt Disney World Cast Choir for the 2022 Holiday Season. Amanda is thankful for her family, friends, and the wonderful cast and team of A Christmas Carol. IG: @amanda.sweeneyy

Avery Ilardi Paper Boy/Young Scrooge/Turkey Girl
Avery is super excited to be back on stage at The Player’s Theatre to bring this amazing story to life. She could not think of a better way to spend her FAVORITE time of year than being in A Christmas Carol. She can be seen in the Kars4Kids commercial, Impractical Jokers, and The Elevator movie with Eric Roberts. Over the summer she filmed her first horror movie, The Undead. Thank you, Mother, Father, Rosie, and Giulia for all your continued love and support. Happy Holidays @averyilardi

(Maxwell Davis Swangel/Caroler/John/Scrooge u/s)
Maxwell has been seen this past year in PINKALICIOUS THE MUSICAL (Mr. Pinkerton, Vital Theatre), MY FAIR LADY ON THE RIVER (Henry Higgins, JWM Theatricals), OH, SOLEDAD (Paul, OH, Soledad LLC), and in the premier reading of ILLUSION, A NEW MUSICAL. Many thanks to his long suffering partner, Kia.

Brenda Bell (Agy/Ghost of Christmas Present/Book & Lyrics/Director)
Brenda founded Literally Alive Theatre in 1999 and Be Bold! Productions in 2009. She has written the book and lyrics for each pro-duction, including 12 with composer Michael Sgouros. Her adaptations of A Christmas Carol and original musical Tico Tales were featured in Costa Rica at Teatro Jaco. Rumor has it that she wrote, produced and directed her first show at age six when the summer proved to be too boring. Her first love has always been dance and Bell is committed to increasing the role of dance in Off-Broadway musicals. As the owner of the Showboat Theatre, she wrote and produced shows for theatre legends including Mickey Rooney, Jamie Farr, Van Johnson, Mimi Hines and Frank Gorshin. Her writing credits also include Reading Is Cool for Reading is Fundamental and Chasing Phantom, a travelogue that traced the novel of Phantom of the Opera through Paris. She would like to thank this talented cast and creative team for bringing the Dickens classic to life and The Players Theatre for providing the perfect home for her whimsy and always encourag-ing her to be bold! Special thanks to Michael Sgouros for his unending support and trust.

Ameerah Muhammad (Caroler/Ensemble Roles)
Ameerah Muhammad is a vocalist and percussionist based in NYC. She studied music performance at Hunter College (CUNY), with a concentration in voice. This is her second performance with The Players Theater. She is excited to return and thanks her family and friends for their support.

Celeste Vandermillen (Caroler/Ensemble Roles
Celeste is excited to be back at The Players Theatre! Off-Broadway and New York: Alice in Wonderland (The Players Theatre); House of Eerie Figures (reading at The Cell); Tinytanic (SoHo Playhouse); Ships: A Musical Trilogy (The Tank). Regional: Seussical (Argyle Theatre); Sleeping Beauty: A Traditional English Panto (Winnipesaukee Playhouse). Educational: The Sea Does Not Reach Naples, The Tempest (Columbia University); Into the Woods, Macbeth (New York University). Celeste is a 2022 graduate of NYU Steinhardt’s Music Theatre program. @celestevandermillen

Sara Horiuchi (Dancer)
Sara Horiuchi is grateful to be making her Off-Broadway debut! She is also astonished because it is her favorite piece, Christmas Carol. A native of Tokyo, Japan, she is a recent graduate from Western Wyoming Community College. Company’s joined: CityDanceNY “Coppelia” (Ensamble/Swanilda’s friends), AT dance Company Instagram: @sarita___3104

Jessica Lausell (u/s)
Jessica graduated with an Associates in Theater Arts from BMCC. She is co-owner of Screwdriver Studio. Previous roles include Viola (Twelfth Night) at The Players Theatre, Juliet (Romeo and Juliet) with the Richmond Hill Park Players, Olivia (Twelfth Night) at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Miss Sandra (All Shook Up) at Royal Star theater, and Rose (Bye Bye Birdie) with the Broadway Blockbusters. She will be playing Lady M in February at The Players Theater! Special thanks to MJ, Mommy loves you! Follow her @jessicalausell and on instagram for upcoming projects!

Bravo Bell (The Dog)
Bravo is a 14-year-old rescue dog from NYC.  PreFURRing to work behind the scenes as the Players Theatre guest relations manager, Bravo only trots his paws upon the wicked stage once a year to perform in A Christmas Carol.  At other times you can meet Bravo in the halls of theatre where he is busy spreading good cheer to those who need it most.  Previously, Bravo was inTreasure Island as the Pirate Pup and Play Date as Pete.  He made his music video debut in Scrooge and the Ghostettes which can be seen on:  Bravo is donating his actor salary, except for the biscuits, to Bideawee as thanks for rescuing him thirteen years ago.