The Artists

Ruff Yeager  |  Founding Member

Directing: She-Rantulas from Outer Space – in 3D!, Bent, Friends of Dorothy (Diversionary Theatre); [sic], Bronze (Sledgehammer Theatre); American Buffalo, Medea, Come Back to the 5-and Dime, Jimmy Dean (Compass Theatre); The Threepenny Opera, Cuatro Corridos (UCSD School of Music); Brooklyn Boy, The Sunshine Boys (Scripps Ranch Theatre); The Man Who Came to Dinner (Coronado Playhouse); Prom Night, Trevor, A Man of His Word (Playwrights Project); Macbeth, Night of the Iguana, The Laramie Project, RENT, Balm in Gilead, Twelve Angry Men, You Can’t Take it With You (Southwestern College). Produced Plays: She-Rantulas from Outer Space – in 3D! (New York International Fringe Festival), Bronze (San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award), Friends of Dorothy, Oedipus in the Tragicomic Bathtub, Cool as We Fly, Dance on the Sun, Come to Life! Not-So-Tiny Tim’s Great Big Musical.

Will Cooper  |  Founding Member

Will Cooper is a playwright based in San Diego and Chicago. His plays Book of Leaves and Jade Heart received acclaim from critics and audiences alike. Jade Heart was last produced at San Diego’s Moxie Theatre in 2014. Will is a member of the Dramatists Guild and has been a Network Playwright at Chicago Dramatists since 2006.  A founding partner of The Roustabouts, his drama Margin of Error opened for previews on April 19th and ran through May 7th, 2017.

Phil Johnson  Founding Member

Phil Johnson is a proud partner in The Roustabouts Theatre Co. As an actor/ writer, his latest solo show, A Jewish Joke (co-written with Marni Freedman, directed by David Ellenstein) won Best Drama at last fall’s United Solo Festival NYC, and has been on tour this year regionally: Chicago’s Victory Gardens, New Haven, St. Louis and San Diego’s Lipinsky Jewish Festival ( His two-man comedy Withering Heights written and performed with Omri Schein and directed by Ellenstein, produced last year by TRTC, starts travelling the Fringe circuit next year. He is a two-time winner of the San Diego Critics Circle Craig Noel Award for acting, for Midsummer Night’s Dream at Intrepid Theatre Company, and The Man Who Came to Dinner. Two years ago he performed in his She-Rantulas from Outer Space in 3D!, co-written with Ruff Yeager, at the NY Fringe Festival; it has since been published by Stage Rights LA. He played in Les Miserables on Broadway and on tour; the Canadian production of Sunset Boulevard; and the 1st National Co. of Miss Saigon. So. California theatres also include: North Coast Rep (Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Spelling Bee), Old Globe (How the Grinch...), Cygnet Theatre (Mistakes Were Made, Pageant) and Diversionary Theatre (The New Century).

TRTC Artists

David Ellenstein


(Director) Born into a theatrical family, David has worked in theatres across the country. Before joining North Coast Rep in 2003, he served as Artistic Director for the Los Angeles Repertory Company and the Arizona Jewish Theatre Company (AJTC). A veteran of over 250 theatrical productions including over 100 productions at North Coast Rep. Directorial favorites at NCRT include: Travels with My Aunt, The Illusion, Hedda Gabler (World Premiere Translation), Way Downriver: William Faulkner’s ‘Old Man’(West Coast Premiere), Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Great Nome Gold Rush (World Premiere), Freud’s Last Session, Side by Side By Sondheim, Words By Ira Gershwin, Faded Glory (World Premiere), Mandate Memories (World Premiere), Becoming Cuba (World Premiere), Time Stands Still, Words by: Ira Gershwin and the Great American Songbook (World Premiere). Other theatres: Coconut Grove Playhouse, Paper Mill Playhouse, Portland Stage. Renaissance Theatre, Actor’s Theatre of Phoenix, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Laguna Playhouse, Southwest Shakespeare Company, AJTC, Meadow Brook Theatre, Portland Rep and Gaslamp Quarter Theatre.

Marni Freedman


Marni Freedman (BFA, LMFT) is a produced, published, and award-winning writer. After graduating as an award-winning student from the USC School of Filmic Writing, Marni began her career with her play, Two Goldsteins on Acid, which was produced in Los Angeles. She worked as a script doctor for top film companies and worked as a script agent for the Mary Sue Seymour Agency. One of her plays was made into a film, Playing Mona Lisa, and was produced by Disney. Marni has written for Tony Award-Winning Harvey Fierstein, Academy Award-nominee Elliot Gould and Emmy Award-winner, Johnny Galecki. Marni teaches at San Diego Writers Ink, UCSD Extension, The Center for Creative Aging, runs the successful San Diego Writers Network and produces a yearly theatrical Memoir Showcase. Last year, Marni and her husband Carlos edited the Anthology, The Literary Vine, which was published by Wolfheart Press. This year they will be editing and publishing the First Annual Memoir Showcase Anthology, published by MCM Press. Marni is also a therapist for artists and writers. Her welcoming, easy-going nature and solid background are the underpinnings of what makes her such a popular writing coach across the country. Marni is a unique writing coach because she has a tool for almost everything. She has a way of taking complicated information and translating it into easy-to-grasp, step-by-step information. Her character worksheets and plotting devices have been met with rave reviews. Her first book on writing, 7 Essential Writing Tools: That Will Absolutely Make Your Writing Better (And Enliven the Soul) is an Amazon Bestseller. Her next two books, Permission to Roar, A Handbook for Thought Leaders Who Want to Write and The Memoir Map will be out in 2018. You can also find Marni on Facebook or at, a writing hub to help writers find and believe in their authentic voice.

Brian Mackey

Brian was last seen in The Explorers Club at Lamb’s Players Theatre. He’s also appeared in Silent Sky, The Angel's Arms, Equivocation, Dinner with Marlene, The Nerd, An American Christmas and Twelfth Night at Lamb’s. Elsewhere: The Importance of Being Earnest, Travesties, The Glass Menagerie, History Boys, Chistmas Carol (Cygnet – Resident Artist); Abundance (Backyard Renaissance Theatre); All My Sons, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream: The Musical, An Enemy of the People (Intrepid Theatre); In the Heat of the Night, The Woolgatherer, Bash: Latter-Day Plays, Jack Goes Boating, All in the Timing, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Grapes of Wrath (ion theatre); In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play (San Diego Rep); The Pride, The Little Dog Laughed, Baby with the Bathwater, As Much As You Can, Corpus Christi (Diversionary); A Christmas Carol (’07, ’08, ’09), Little Women (North Coast Rep); Born Yesterday (AVO Playhouse); Night Sky (Mo’olelo); The Heidi Chronicles, Julius Caesar (New Village Arts); Side Man (BANG!). Brian was awarded the 2011 Craig Noel Award for Actor of the Year. Brian has also appeared in the readings of The Little Foxes and Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge with The Roustabouts Theatre Co.

Michelle Marie Trester

Michelle is thrilled to be making her The Roustabouts Theatre Co. debut! San Diego credits include: The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds at Cygnet Theatre, 4000 Miles at ion theatre, Hand to God (u/s) at San Diego Repertory Theatre,  Hackathon with Playwrights Project at The Old Globe, Same Time, Next Year at Oceanside Theatre Company, Noises Off with Premiere Productions at Welk Resort, and Flemming (An American Thriller) and On Air at Scripps Ranch Theatre. Elsewhere: Fight Dreams (Williamstown Theatre Festival), The XYZ Files (Off-Broadway), Little Piece of You (NYC International Fringe Festival), and the title role in Henry VI (The New School for Drama). She has also toured with her solo theatrical clowning show TO DO: to various festivals including the NYC International Fringe Festival. Film/Television credits include: Deadly Devotion (Discovery ID), Mary Pillard 2016 (Safe Circle Productions). Michelle has also served as a teaching artist at San Dieguito Academy. MFA, The New School for Drama.

Michael Silberblatt

Michael is excited to return to his hometown to make his San Diego theatre debut! Regional: King Lear (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), The Barber of Seville (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Six Americans (The Kennedy Center), The Exonerated (Next Theatre). TV: Time After Time (ABC), Shadow of Doubt (Investigation Discovery). Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University and graduate of the Coronado School of the Arts. Many thanks to Kim, Phil, and Ruff. | Instagram: @MichaelSilberblatt

Kim Strassburger

Directing credits include: 8 Songs For A Mad King (2017 Best of Festival-San Diego International Fringe Festival/Bodhi Tree Productions); The Woman In Black with Jason Heil (CSU San Marcos): Sunday In The Park With George with Glenn Paris (2017 Craig Noel Award-Best Direction of a Musical), Master Class, Passion (Nomination-2014 Craig Noel Award-Best Direction of a Musical), Grey Gardens, Gypsy with Claudio Raygoza (Nomination-2011 Craig Noel Award-Best Direction of a Musical) and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (Ion Theatre); A Civil War Christmas, A New Brain (Diversionary Theatre); Gutenberg, The Musical! (Backyard Renaissance Theatre Company) Seascape (New Village Arts Theatre). Recent acting credits include The Moors at Diversionary Theatre and The Normal Heart at Ion Theatre (2017 Craig Noel Award-Best Featured Actress in a Play). Kim is a graduate of Catholic University of America, studied at LAMDA, and is a 2014 member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. She also teaches Drama at the Coronado School of the Arts.

Omri Schein

Omri Schein is a bicoastal writer and performer. With James Olmstead he has written the scores for Gary Goldfarb: Master Escapist (NYMF 2013 Winner for Excellence in Lyric Writing), the upcoming Mambo Italiano based on the film of the same name, and Bed Fellas!. Omri also wrote the lyrics for The Toxic Avenger: Christmas Chaos, a spin off of the off-broadway hit. As a performer Omri was most recently seen playing numerous roles for Jason Alexander in When You’re In Love, The Whole World Is Jewish, and as Barfee for Intrepid Theatre Company's production of...Spelling Bee. MFA in Musical Theatre, SDSU. For more information:

Rosina Reynolds

Directing Credits: North Coast Repertory Theatre: Fallen Angels; Broken Glass; Educating Rita; Glorious; Don’t Dress For Dinner; Relatively Speaking; Importance of Being Earnest; Travesties; An American Daughter; The Sum of Us; Blithe Spirit; Corpse; Rough Crossing; Chekov in Yalta. San Diego Repertory Theatre: Bad Dates. Cygnet Theatre: Atwater, Fixin’ to Die. Renaissance Theatre: Caretaker (San Diego Critics Circle Award). Compass Theatre: Three Days of Rain. Fritz Theatre: Vigil. Hahn Cosmopolitan Theatre: Marvin's Room. Diversionary Theatre: Marriage Bed; Happy Endings are Extra; Twilight of the Golds; Beautiful Thing; Wrinkles; Another American; Asking and Telling; Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde; Breaking The Code; Lot's Daughters. Chequamegon Children’s Theatre: Founding Artistic Director. 28 years of  Broadway musicals with more than 60 kids annually, rehearsed and presented in 3 weeks.

Kate Reynolds

Kate Rose Reynolds is pleased to be returning to the San Diego stage. Locally, she was last seen in Arcadia at the Cygnet Theatre, and Lot’s Daughters at the Diversionary Theatre. Recent New York City credits include MindFlood (Torrent Theater Company) and Mario Fratti’s The Academy (Theatre for the New City). Regional credits include PlayOffs! (Playwright’s Center of San Francisco); Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Black Comedy, Mary’s Wedding, Private Lives, and the world premiere of The Cookie Fight (Bristol Valley Theatre); Noises Off! (Cohoes Music Hall). She also stars in the independent horror film Soul To Keep, currently in post-production. She is a member of the acclaimed San Francisco sketch comedy group Killing My Lobster. You can find her at

Joel Miller

Joel Miller is honored to be a part of the Roustabout’s inaugural production of this World Premier play. Regional credits include San Diego Repertory Theatre: Sex With Strangers (u/s Ethan), Violet (Ensemble, swing); Ion Theatre: The Normal Heart (Bruce). Other credits include local TV spots for Kearny Mesa Infinity and KPTV News (Portland, OR); Ocean Beach Theatre Co: Avenue Q (Nicky), Godspell in Concert (Jesus), Next to Normal (Dan). Many thanks to the amazingly talented cast, crew, and production team for making this work of art come to life on the beautiful Lyceum stage.

Roxane Carrasco

Credits include Broadway; Chicago (Velma Kelly) international and national tours; West Side Story (Consuelo), Chicago (Velma, Dance Captain), A Chorus Line (Morales, Cassie, Sheila, Val), Broadway workshops:  Poet Matador (Alma), Like Water For Chocolate (Gertrudis) at Sundance Institute at White Oak; REGIONAL THEATRE: Manifest Destinitis, In The Heights, The Women, Real Women Have Curves at The San Diego REP, El Henry, The Who’s Tommy, Figaro Gets A Divorce  at The La Jolla Playhouse, Dames At Sea, Fox On The Fairway At North Coast Rep; TV: Recurring Role on As The World Turns (Chardonnay), Law And Order : SVU (Featured) - NBC, Broadway On Broadway - CBS,  Good Morning America, CBS Morning Show. Roxane has an M.F.A. specializing In Musical Theatre from San Diego State University, Is a teacher at The San Diego School Of Creative and Performing Arts, and the proud Mom of Lucas.

Melanie Chen

Melanie Chen is a San Diego based freelance sound designer who has designed over 70 productions in San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. This past summer, she assisted sound designer Sten Severson at The Old Globe in San Diego on Love’s Labor’s Lost and Macbeth on the Festival Stage. Recent regional credits include: Plays by Young Writers Festival 2015 with The Playwrights Projection at The Old Globe; Our Lady of Kibeho at Moxie Theatre; Now You See It, Way Downriver, Hedda Gabler, Ain't Misbehavin' and The Cocktail Hour at North Coast Repertory Theatre. Coming up, she will design The Cherry Orchard at Pomona College in Claremont, as well as returning to Cygnet Theatre for August Wilson’s Seven Guitars and King Hedley II. Later in the fall, she will be designing The Two Gentlemen of Verona with the USD/Old Globe MFA program, and La Jolla Playhouse's POP Tour in 2017. Melanie holds an M.F.A. in Sound Design for Theatre & Dance from UC San Diego.

Sean Fanning

Sean Fanning is a San Diego-based set designer specializing in scenic design for the stage. Current & upcoming work: The Boy Who Danced on Air (Diversionary Theatre), Gypsy (Cygnet Theatre Company), The Little Mermaid, Rock of Ages, Titanic (Rocky Mountain Repertory), and Manifest Destinitis (San Diego Repertory Theatre). Recent designs: Full Gallop (The Old Globe), My Mañana Comes (Marin Theatre Company), The Oldest Boy (San Diego Repertory Theatre), Brownsville Song (b-side for tray) (Moxie Theatre), Hay Fever, The Vortex, The Whale, and Sons of the Prophet (Cygnet Theatre), Honky (San Diego Repertory Theatre, Onstage in America PBS Airing & 2014 Craig Noel Award Nomination), Menopause the Musical (Harrah's Las Vegas)

Sean is a member of USA Local 829. He has taught at UC San Diego, and holds an MFA in Scenic Design for Theatre, Television, and Film from San Diego State University, as well as a B.A. in Technical Theatre from Sonoma State University.

Charmaine Reed

Charmaine Reed (Production Stage Manager) started her love affair with theater over 30 years ago as an actor, but found her penchant for Stage Management in 2013. She has a B.A. in History, is a graduate of CSUSM’s College of Education, and earned her Theatre Arts degree at Palomar College. In 2013 she completed a Stage Manager Internship at The Old Globe for How the Grinch Stole Christmas. SM credits include: Diversionary Theatre; Amazons and Their Men and Tru. Scripps Ranch Theatre; Beau Jest, The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, Murder at the Howard Johnson's, and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. CSUSM; Twilight: Los Angeles 1992, Seussical the Musical, Good Kids, Stop Kiss. And Fiddler on the Roof with Pacco Arts.  Charmaine is looking forward to being a part of Playwright's Project as PSM for their Plays by Young Writers festival which will return this January to the Old Globe's White Theatre.


Phil Johnson, Development

P. O. Box 222

1286 University Avenue

San Diego CA 92103-3312

Call: 619-728-7820

Copyright 2017

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The Artists
TRTC Artists
The Artists TRTC Artists
The Artists TRTC Artists