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Meet Our Greenbelt Maryland Cast


Joy Gerst (Stella Pierce) is happy to be working with GAC and this very talented cast!  Joy was seen this past summer in the MP One Act Festival as “Mom” in Grand Design, at UpCounty Theater in Flowers for Algernon, and at SSS as “Ethel” in the one act Ethel.   In January 2015 Joy played “Momma Ogre” in Har Shalom Players’ production of Shrek, the Musical.  You will also be able to see Joy in the upcoming third season of House of Cards as part of the “White House Press Corps”.  Joy has been performing in community theater for a VERY long .  Favorite roles include: “Mrs. Clackett/Dottie” in Noises Off, “Joanne” in Company, “Marjory” in The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife,  “Sarah” in Quilters, “Jennie Malone” in Chapter Two, “Hodel” and “Frumah Sarah” in Fiddler on the Roof , “Adelaide” in Guys and Dolls, “Chelsea” in On Golden Pond,  “Mother Superior” in Nunsense,  Joy’s most favorite role is being “Bubbe” with 2 year old Danny. 



BJ Bergman Angstadt (Bessie Ryan) is happy to be making her GAC debut and grateful for the privilege of performing in this beautiful new show. Most recently she appeared in My Fair Lady (Mrs. Higgins) with DTC and The Producers (Touch Me Feel Me) for SSTG. Besides stints entertaining aboard the SeaEscape and touring with Looking Glass Entertainment’s productions of Diary of Anne Frank (Edith Frank) and To Kill a Mockingbird (Miss Maudie), her favorite roles include Aldonza in Man of La Mancha, Mona in Best Little Whorehouse, Mama in Lost in Yonkers and M’Lynn in Steel Magnolias. She sends hugs and thanks to Bruce for always believing.



Aref Dajani (Frank Pierce) is a high baritone promoting high quality, live theatre where there is no “fourth wall”.  He is a vocal student of Ana Castrello, and an acting student of Ken Arnold. This is his fourth production at GAC, the first three being "According To Us" (Simon), "Man of La Mancha" (Padre), and "The Graduate" (Mr. Robinson).  Aref praises GAC for theatre that is accessible and affordable. He offers special thanks to Norma Ozur and Jeff Lesniak for their ongoing guidance and encouragement.



TiaJuana (Tia) Rountree (Gardenia Rimi) is thrilled to be making her debut at the Greenbelt Arts Center with this awesome cast and crew.  However, she has been no stranger to local audiences, having won a Best Supporting Actress WATCH Award for her role as Mae Peterson in Bye Bye Birdie with Prince George’s Little Theatre; a Best Lead Actress WATCH nomination for her role as Clemma Diggins in Neil Simon’s Proposals with Bowie Community Theatre; and Maryland Theatre Guide’s Best Actress nomination for her role as The Evil Queen in Rumple Who? with Bay Theatre Company. Tia has been a professional singer since her years in college.  She had the privilege of performing with the world-renown, a-cappella group, “Sweet Honey in the Rock,” and has done several “One-Woman Cabaret shows in Baltimore, MD.  Most of all, she loves ministering in song at her church, Evangel Cathedral in Upper Marlboro, MD, and has been a featured soloist in their annual Christmas Celebration productions.  Tia is presently a Private Vocal Coach and as a Substitute Teacher in PG County Schools. 



MerryRose Howley (Robin Pierce) is a junior at Eleanor Roosevelt High School. She is very excited to perform her first show at GAC. A few previous roles include (at Roosevelt) Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire, Sarai's Mother in Aladdin and the Jinn, Amber in Hairspray, Elizabeth in The Role of Della, and Rapunzel in Into the Woods. She has also performed in TheatreLab in DC as Dream Meredith in Batboy the Musical, Consuela in West Side Story, and Memory Eva in Evita. She also recently concluded her first production at Laurel Mills Playhouse as Nurse Kelly in Harvey. She would like to thank her family, her wonderful cast/crew members, and all of the people that helped the show come together. I now invite you to enjoy our performance of Choking Out the KUDZU.


Cole Sitildes (Adam Pierce) is a twelve year old who loves to act, and has most recently been seen in “Miss Nelson is Missing”, “13”, and “Totally RED”.  He owes most of his accomplishments to his mother, who supports him in all of his theatrical pursuits.  He also wants to thank his father and three brothers for always being there for him.  Cole is glad to be working with this cast and is very excited to be performing in this original show.



Tom Howley (Martin Ryan) Tom is still a wide-eyed rookie to the Metro-area community theater scene, having appeared in HARVEY @ Laurel Mills Playhouse, played in a couple of delightful pit-orchestras, and. . . that's about it!  But he was a stalwart face for many years in the once-thriving Dinner Theater community in our area, having been a regular at Petrucci's, Colony 7, Lazy Susan, and 10-plus years at the West End in Alexandria. . . as well as brief appearances at Toby's and Three Little Bakers (man, what great desserts-!).  Representative roles include Scrooge in CHRISTMAS CAROL, Pirate King in PIRATES OF PENZANCE, Det.Sgt Trotter in MOUSETRAP, Elwood in HARVEY, Migaldi in EVITA, and God in DIVINE MR AVERAGE (DC Fringe Festival).   Presently Tom is the long-standing TD for Theater J in DC.   Many thanks to his lovely daughter for letting him ride her coattails into this production-!


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