top of page
COLTON.jpg
Elizabeth Chrisman Shurtz-Headshot-modified.jpg
Carrigan-Moon.jpg
Screenshot_20230722_173057_Chrome.jpg
Donna B.JPG
BEB4BE43-C136-4762-B68A-0B159CDE6C16.jpeg
COLTON.jpg
NICOLE.jpg
Screenshot_20230722_173057_Chrome.jpg
Donna B.JPG

BIOS

BLUE CAST LIST:

COLTON BERRY (Sylvia St. Croix) is an East Coast native, but has called Houston home for over a decade. He has been working professionally in theater since childhood and has since performed in hundreds of plays and musicals. As a vocalist, Colton appeared in SHOWTIME! AT THE APOLLO, toured France with the FRENCH-AMERICAN GOSPEL MUSIC WORKSHOP EXCHANGE, sang alongside Thelma Houston and The Temptations, and was a Top 24 Finalist in the Seventh Season of AMERICAN IDOL. In Houston, he has been seen on many stages including performances with TUTS and The Music Box Theatre. In addition to performing, Colton is an accomplished producer and director and is the Founding Artistic Director of Art Factory Houston. Art Factory credits include HAIR (Claude), METAMORPHOSES (Midas and others), PIPPIN (Pippin), BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Beast), XANADU (Sonny Malone), IT'S BRITNEY, B*TCH! (Britney), SWEENEY TODD (Anthony), CABARET (Emcee), COMPANY (Robert), MONSTER (Lady Gaga), GATSBY (Nick), PIPPIN (Pippin), [TITLE OF SHOW] (Hunter), URINETOWN (Bobby Strong), THE LAST FIVE YEARS (Jamie), WIZARD OF OZ (Lion), THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW (Frank’N’Furter), GREASE (Doody/Teen Angel), TUCK EVERLASTING (Miles Tuck), HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH (Hedwig), MURDER BALLAD (Tom), FUNNY GIRL (Nick Arnstein), HEATHERS (J.D.), THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE (William Barfeé), THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (Quasimodo), A NEW BRAIN (Gordon), BROOKLYN (Taylor), JEKYLL & HYDE (Jekyll/Hyde), SWEET CHARITY (Oscar), REEFER MADNESS (Ralph/Jesus), LITTLE SHOW OF HORRORS (Seymour), and SPRING AWAKENING (Moritz). Other favorite credits include JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (Judas), TRIASSIC PARQ (Mime-o-saurus), THE WEDDING SINGER (Robbie), CHICAGO (Mary Sunshine), THE WILD PARTY (Burrs), AIDA (Radames), BIG RIVER (Huckleberry Finn), and BAT BOY (Bat Boy). @colberry

 

ELIZABETH CHRISMAN SHURTZ (Judy Denmark)  is honored to be a part of Art Factory’s Regional Premiere of STRANGER SINGS. Shurtz works full time as a choir director, music director, and voice teacher in Houston. Passionate about working with beginning as well as experienced artists in musical theatre, she has choreographed, directed, and music directed for numerous productions. Favorite Music Directing credits include: STRANGER SINGS, INTO THE WOODS, HAIR, GUYS AND DOLLS, YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN, ALADDIN JR., and XANADU JR. With extensive experience performing in the US and internationally as a choral artist and mezzo soprano soloist, as a dancer, in musical theatre, and in opera, favorite performing experiences have included SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (Milly); LIBERATORS: AN AMERICAN MUSICAL world premiere (Astrid); DIDO AND AENEAS (Sorceress); JOSH GROBAN ALL THAT ECHOES WORLD TOUR (Alto soloist) Houston, TX; and Aaron Copeland’s IN THE BEGINNING (Mezzo Soprano Soloist) for Bachfest Leipzig; and Art Factory’s production of REEFER MADNESS and 9 TO 5 (Candy Striper and Featured Ensemble). Shurtz holds a Master of Music Education in choral music education from University of North Texas, Bachelor of Music in choral music education from University of Houston, and Associate of Arts in music from Lone Star College-Montgomery. She is grateful to God for the immeasurable gift of art, allowing all people to express our feelings, exchange ideas, and preserve our stories. She would like to thank her best friend and husband, Matthew, for his steadfast support, and everyone at Art Factory for welcoming her so warmly this season.

 

CARRIGAN MOON (Tina Denmark) is thrilled to make her Art Factory debut playing one of her dream roles. She is a 4th grade student who fell in love with musical theatre when she was 5 years old and has been singing on stage ever since. Favorite credits include MATILDA (Matilda), GUYS & DOLLS JR. (Sarah Brown), ANNIE JR. (Annie), and GYPSY (Balloon Girl/Newsboy). This year she had the opportunity to attend the 2024 Junior Theatre Festival with her acting academy's production of James and the Giant Peach where the cast earned the prestigious Excellence in Ensemble Work Award! When not at the theatre, Carrigan enjoys teaching herself to play the guitar, drawing, swimming, and spending time with her friends and four dogs. When she grows up, she'd like to be a Broadway star or a veterinarian. She'd like to thank her vocal coach, Jana Ellsworth, and dance teacher, Blake Kelley, for all of their support in preparing for this role. Huge thanks to the entire cast and crew for making RUTHLESS such a welcoming experience!

 

 

DONNA TAYLOR (Louise Lerman) is thrilled to be returning to the Art Factory stage where previously she has been seen in the ensembles of TUCK EVERLASTING, THE WIZARD OF OZ, and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.  She has also appeared at HITS Theatre in CARRIE THE MUSICAL (Carrie) and at the Tribble School at Queensbury Theater in INTO THE WOODS (The Witch), ANNIE (Miss Hannigan) and SHREK JR. (Fiona). Donna trains at Invicta Arts and Training Center.

 

 

JULIA NOBLE (“Eve” Betty Lerman) is a proud Savannah, GA native and a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC. She is truly grateful to be celebrating another stellar Art Factory anniversary and can’t wait to help share what’s in store! Most recently seen in STRANGER SINGS (Ensemble/Eleven Understudy), INTO THE WOODS (Florinda), THE GLASS MENAGERIE (Laura), and REEFER MADNESS (Mary Lane), favorite AF credits include GATSBY The World Premiere Musical (Daisy Buchanan), URINETOWN (Little Sally), 

NINE (Necrophorus / Claudia), GREASE (Patty Simcox), DRACULA (Mina), HAIR (Jeanie), METAMORPHOSES (Myrrha / Hunger), PIPPIN (Catherine), MURDER BALLAD (Sara U/S), DISENCHANTED! (Rapunzel), and THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE (Olive) and the EaDo Playhouse productions of LIZZIE (Alice Russel) and REEFER MADNESS (Mary Lane alt.). Other Art Factory credits include: NINE TO FIVE (Margaret), BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Babette), XANADU (Erato), HEAD OVER HEELS (Ensemble), A NEW BRAIN [2018] (Waitress / Nancy D.) [2022] (Rhoda), CABARET (Helga), COMPANY (Susan), WIZARD OF OZ (Aunt Em / Glinda), ROCKY HORROR SHOW (Eddie / Dr. Scott), JASPER IN DEADLAND (Hel), TUCK EVERLASTING (Betsy Foster), HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH (Puppenkiste), I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE (Woman 1), FUNNY GIRL (Mrs. Strakosh), HEATHERS (Coach Ripper / Ens.), THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (Ens.); the AFonline productions of MISS FIGGY PUDDING’S HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA (Carol), and PIPPIN (Ens.), as well as the EaDo Playhouse productions of BROOKLYN (Female Narrator), JEKYLL AND HYDE (Nellie / General Glossop), and SWEET CHARITY (Rosie) - plus over 15 AF concerts! Select previous credits include THE FANTASTICKS (Luisa), SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL (Gertrude McFuzz), INTO THE WOODS (Little Red), THE OUTSIDERS (Cherry Valence), and THE DIARY OF ADAM AND EVE (Eve). Julia would like to sincerely thank the AF Company, Crew and Creative Team for every single amazing opportunity they have given her, for their dedication to presenting some of the most stunning theatre in the city and for continually re-imagining and re-defining what that looks like! She would also like to thank her English Bulldog, Hattie Pearl, for being the best friend a girl could ever ask for. Follow her on IG: @jewelpop to see her biennial posts.

 

 

DONNA BARNETT (Miss Thorn)  a native of Chicago IL, now Houston’s very own; is thrilled to be making her debut with the Art Factory! Her favorite credits include DonnaB. Presents “BROADWAY MY WAY!”, Aunt Missy in PURLIE, and her most favorite role as Dorothy in SEARCHING FOR THE WIZ! In Chicago, she Attended Curie Performing Arts Center, and trained with Okoro Johnson (Acting), Arnee’ Williams (Dance), and currently trains with Rise’ Peterson for voice here in Houston. She has most recently performed in Art Factory’s production of HAIR. She is a teacher, and she spends her days “Edu-Taining” her middle school Special Education Students as a Dyslexia Interventionist; where she is “Not just a spokesperson, she is also a client!”

 

CARYN FULDA (Lita Encore) is happy to call Houston home after moving around “a lot” as a broadcast journalist. She grew up in and around the New Orleans area, where she made her professional stage debut, and studied voice at LSU. Her most recent credits include THE GLASS MENAGERIE (Amanda), ON BROADWAY (featured soloist), 9 TO 5 (Kathy/Roz us) at Art Factory, and THE LARAMIE PROJECT (Barbara Pitts, Zubaida Ula, Catherine Connelly and seven others)  at  Theatre Suburbia. In 2024 she’ll play opposite Kevin McDonald (Kids in the Hall) in the regional premiere of his comic rock opera, CHEATERS IN LOVE. Among her favorite past productions are INTO THE WOODS (Witch), 42nd STREET (Maggie) and MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Beatrice). Voice acting credits include the animated series NEON LIGHTS (AI) She’s also a composer/writer/producer/director, and is co-founder of the sketch and musical comedy troupe, The 80s Kids. She thanks David and spoiled Rottie Liberty Biberty for their patience, support and love. 

 

 

MATTHEW SHURTZ (Fedrick) is ecstatic to be making his fifth appearance on an Art Factory stage. Born and raised in a small town in New Mexico, Matt moved to the big town of Houston in 2015 and has enjoyed life in the big city. Matt would like to thank Art Factory for giving him the opportunity to be a part of this fun and hysterical production. In his free time, Matt enjoys reading, debating, a good documentary, and attending all of his talented bride's performances.

 

 

 

 

RED CAST LIST:

 

COLTON BERRY (Sylvia St. Croix) is an East Coast native, but has called Houston home for over a decade. He has been working professionally in theater since childhood and has since performed in hundreds of plays and musicals. As a vocalist, Colton appeared in SHOWTIME! AT THE APOLLO, toured France with the FRENCH-AMERICAN GOSPEL MUSIC WORKSHOP EXCHANGE, sang alongside Thelma Houston and The Temptations, and was a Top 24 Finalist in the Seventh Season of AMERICAN IDOL. In Houston, he has been seen on many stages including performances with TUTS and The Music Box Theatre. In addition to performing, Colton is an accomplished producer and director and is the Founding Artistic Director of Art Factory Houston. Art Factory credits include STRANGER SINGS (Steve / Jonathan), INTO THE WOODS (The Baker), REEFER MADNESS (The Lecturer), HAIR (Claude), METAMORPHOSES (Midas and others), PIPPIN (Pippin), BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Beast), XANADU (Sonny Malone), IT'S BRITNEY, B*TCH! (Britney), SWEENEY TODD (Anthony), CABARET (Emcee), COMPANY (Robert), MONSTER (Lady Gaga), GATSBY (Nick), PIPPIN (Pippin), [TITLE OF SHOW] (Hunter), URINETOWN (Bobby Strong), THE LAST FIVE YEARS (Jamie), WIZARD OF OZ (Lion), THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW (Frank’N’Furter), GREASE (Doody/Teen Angel), TUCK EVERLASTING (Miles Tuck), HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH (Hedwig), MURDER BALLAD (Tom), FUNNY GIRL (Nick Arnstein), HEATHERS (J.D.), THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE (William Barfeé), THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (Quasimodo), A NEW BRAIN (Gordon), BROOKLYN (Taylor), JEKYLL & HYDE (Jekyll/Hyde), SWEET CHARITY (Oscar), REEFER MADNESS (Ralph/Jesus), LITTLE SHOW OF HORRORS (Seymour), and SPRING AWAKENING (Moritz). Other favorite credits include JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (Judas), TRIASSIC PARQ (Mime-o-saurus), THE WEDDING SINGER (Robbie), CHICAGO (Mary Sunshine), THE WILD PARTY (Burrs), AIDA (Radames), BIG RIVER (Huckleberry Finn), and BAT BOY (Bat Boy). @colberry

 

 

NICOLE ERCAN (Judy Denmark)  is excited to be a part of Art Factory’s 2023 Season Announcement Celebration.  Nicole has participated in shows with AF since 2019 debuting with NINE as part of the ensemble.  Since then, she has participated in a number of showcases, JASPER IN DEADLAND, COMPANY (April), SWEENEY TODD (Beggar Woman), and A NEW BRAIN (Mimi).  Although Nicole is no longer in the Houston area, she never misses the opportunity to participate and perform with her family at AF Houston!

 

ISABEL ALEXANDER (Tina Denmark) is thrilled to be making her Art Factory debut as Tina! Last seen in “School of Rock” (Marcy) with The Players Theatre Company. Credits also include “Matilda:The Musical” (Alice) and Disney’s “Newsies: The Broadway Musical”  (Apple Vendor/scab #3/Richmond Newsie/Refuge Kid).

She has also performed in “Elf: The Musical” (Cheery the elf) with Stage Right at the Crighton Theater, in addition to “Steel Magnolias” (Annelle), “She Kills Monsters” (Tilly/Farrah), and “Seussical: The Musical” (ensemble) with the Oak Ridge High School theatre department. Isabel is an honor roll student, and a member of Production Theater at Oak Ridge High School. When she’s not performing, she enjoys watching scary movies and spending time with her family and friends.Isabel would like to thank her family for their love, support and constant transportation. “Ruthless” director, Luke, for allowing her the opportunity to be a part of such a great show, and her awesome cast mates! 

 

 

DONNA TAYLOR (Louise Lerman) is thrilled to be returning to the Art Factory stage where previously she has been seen in the ensembles of TUCK EVERLASTING, THE WIZARD OF OZ, and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.  She has also appeared at HITS Theatre in CARRIE THE MUSICAL (Carrie) and at the Tribble School at Queensbury Theater in INTO THE WOODS (The Witch), ANNIE (Miss Hannigan) and SHREK JR. (Fiona). Donna trains at Invicta Arts and Training Center.

 

PARI ZANGARA ("Eve" Betty Lerman ) is ready for RUTHLESS! Originally from Portales, New Mexico, she has called Houston home for the last three years. Pari’s favorite role thus far has been Kira in XANADU. Other previous roles include STRANGER SINGS (Scientist / Joyce Understudy), INTO THE WOODS (Little Red), REEFER MADNESS (Sally), THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL (Pickles), 9 TO 5 (Doralee Rhodes), PIPPIN!(Company Player), HEAD OVER HEELS (Philoclea), NEW BRAIN (Waitress/Nancy D.), SISTER ACT (Sister Mary Robert), NEWSIES (Specs/Katherine Cover), COMPANY (Vocal Minority/Wedding Singer), GATSBY (Ensemble), TARZAN (Mother/Dance Ensemble), FOOTLOOSE (Urleen), THE EFFECT OF GAMMA RAYS ON MAN-IN-THE-MOON- MARIGOLDS (Tillie Hunsdorfer), THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD (Rosa Bud/Deirdre Peregrine), and ALMOST, MAINE (Hope). Pari would like to thank her friends and family for their continued support, both in person and in heart.

 

DONNA BARNETT (Miss Thorn)  a native of Chicago IL, now Houston’s very own; is thrilled to be making her debut with the Art Factory! Her favorite credits include DonnaB. Presents “BROADWAY MY WAY!”, Aunt Missy in PURLIE, and her most favorite role as Dorothy in SEARCHING FOR THE WIZ! In Chicago, she Attended Curie Performing Arts Center, and trained with Okoro Johnson (Acting), Arnee’ Williams (Dance), and currently trains with Rise’ Peterson for voice here in Houston. She has most recently performed in Art Factory’s production of HAIR. She is a teacher, and she spends her days “Edu-Taining” her middle school Special Education Students as a Dyslexia Interventionist; where she is “Not just a spokesperson, she is also a client!”

 

BECKIE COHEN - LITA ENCORE 

 

MATTHEW SHURTZ (Fedrick) is ecstatic to be making his fifth appearance on an Art Factory stage. Born and raised in a small town in New Mexico, Matt moved to the big town of Houston in 2015 and has enjoyed life in the big city. Matt would like to thank Art Factory for giving him the opportunity to be a part of this fun and hysterical production. In his free time, Matt enjoys reading, debating, a good documentary, and attending all of his talented bride's performances.

 



 

MANAGEMENT

LUKE J. HAMILTON (DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER) is the Founding Executive Director of Art Factory. Behind the scenes, he also is the Director for many productions at Art Factory, as well as the Resident Choreographer. Luke has appeared across many Houston stages at the Alley Theatre, TUTS, Houston Grand Opera, Masquerade Theatre, The House of Blues, The Landing Theatre Company, Stages Repertory Theatre, and several other local theaters. Recent Art Factory selected credits include STRANGER SINGS (Mike), INTO THE WOODS (Prince Charming), THE GLASS MENAGERIE, REEFER MADNESS (Jimmy Harker), DRACULA, A COMEDY OF TERRORS (Jonthan Harker), HAIR (Berger), METAMORPHOSES (Vertumnus and others), PIPPIN (Lewis / Director/ Choreographer) BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Gaston), XANADU (Terpsichore and others), HEAD OVER HEELS (Musidorous), A NEW BRAIN (Roger), SWEENEY TODD (Beadle Bamford), CABARET (Cliff Bradshaw), COMPANY (Peter), MONSTER, GATSBY (Gatsby), PIPPIN (Director / Choreographer), [title of show] (Jeff), URINETOWN (Hot Blades Harry), THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW (Rocky), GREASE (Eugene / Director), JASPER IN DEADLAND (Loki), TUCK EVERLASTING (Hugo), I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT NOW CHANGE, MURDER BALLAD, HEATHERS (Kurt Kelly), THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE (Leaf Coneybear), THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (Clopin), JEKYLL AND HYDE (Simon Stride), REEFER MADNESS (Jimmy Harper), and SPRING AWAKENING (Hanschen). Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) credits include ALL SHOOK UP (Featured Soloist / Dancer), OLIVER (Assistant Choreographer / Featured Dancer), A CHRISTMAS STORY, and THE MUSIC MAN. Alley Theatre Credits include four years of their annual production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Apparition / The Ghost of Christmas Future), HUCK FINN (Tom Sawyer), and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. Other favorite credits include TRIASSIC PARQ (Velociraptor of Innocence), NEXT FALL (Luke), OKLAHOMA (Will Parker), THE FANTASTICKS (Matt), GUYS AND DOLLS (Sky Masterson), TARZAN (Tarzan), DOGFIGHT (Boland), METAMORPHOSES, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (Simon Zealotes), LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (Dentist), and THE WILD PARTY (Jackie). Luke attended the BFA Musical Theatre program at Texas State University. He received extensive musical theatre and dance training at the Houston International Ballet Academy, the Tribble School, the Royal Academy for Performing Arts, the Humphrey’s School of Musical Theatre, and he trained privately in dance, voice, and acting for over twelve years. Luke is thrilled to see Art Factory entering its 7th Season, and could not be more proud of the growth this company has made and all of the wonderful, talented, and passionate people involved. Follow him on IG: @lukejhamilton

ASHLEY M. FRYE is a Houston native and a graduate of the Lighting Design program at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. She had been working with Art Factory since its founding before heading off to college, and is thrilled to be returning for this production as Dramaturg and Assistant Stage Manager! Favorite Art Factory credits include Lighting Designer of THE LAST FIVE YEARS, Lighting Designer and Stage Manager of STRANGER SINGS, INTO THE WOODS, REEFER MADNESS! JASPER IN DEADLAND!, TUCK EVERLASTING, DISENCHANTED!, THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH, THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, and Lighting Designer and Stage Manager of the EaDo Playhouse productions of BROOKLYN LIVE!, LIZZIE, JEKYLL AND HYDE, and REEFER MADNESS!. She also worked as Dramaturg for JASPER IN DEADLAND!, LIZZIE, and REEFER MADNESS!. Selected other credits include MR. BURNS: A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY [Lighting Designer, Rutgers Theater Company], MOI MEDUSE [Lighting Designer, Rutgers Theater Company], AMERICAN IDIOT [Assistant Stage Manager, TUTS], A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD [Assistant Stage Manager, TUTS], and SCROOGE! [Assistant Stage Manager, TUTS].


bottom of page