Desert Stages Alumni
Desert Stages alumni are starring in theatres, movies and television programs around the world. This page shares brief biographies for some of our alumni stars. If you are a Desert Stages alumni and would like to add your bio to this page, please contact us!
Asher Dov Angel
Asher Dov Angel is a 13 year who has performed in many productions across the Valley. From the over 20 productions he has appeared in, some of his favorite roles include Michael (Mary Poppins) at Phoenix Theater, Oliver (Oliver! – NYA Award Winner for Outstanding Lead Actor) at Mesa Encore Theater,Colin (A Secret Garden) at Arizona Broadway Theater, Jeremy Jacobs (How I Became a Pirate) at Greasepaint Youth Theatre, and Jojo (Seussical Jr. – NYA Award Winner) the Narrator (Into the Woods) and Flounder (The Little Mermaid Jr.) all at Desert Stages Theatre.
Asher was excited and honored to accept the 2015 National Youth Awards for Junior Artist of the Year and Outstanding Lead Actor (Junior Division). These productions have provided Asher both the confidence and experience to pursue his dreams which has led to recent television roles in Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn (2016) and Criminal Minds (2016).
Most recently, Asher has been signed by the Disney Channel to play Jonah Beck on their new show Andi Mack! Check out a recent interview where Asher mentions his time at DST here.
After appearing in over 5 productions at Desert Stages Theatre, including Puppy: A Christmas Tail, Jordann is now working for television, film and print work. She has appeared on One Life to Live and has even been featured in the Gardasil commercial that aired nationwide! Jordann was even featured on a cover for a James Patterson book.
Landry Bender currently stars as Cyd, the gutsy, messy but loveable teen in Disney Channel’s buddy comedy “Best Friends Whenever”, but Landry’s acting career officially began in Arizona at Desert Stages Theatre. Landry’s first show was Peter Pan when she was just 5 years old but she went on to perform in more than a dozen DST productions. Some of her favorite roles were, Gretl, in Sound of Music and Molly in Annie.
At 9, Landry went to Los Angeles and within a year booked a starring role in the feature film, “The Sitter” opposite Jonah Hill. The film shot in NYC, an experience that gave her the chance to see Broadway shows every weekend. Some of Landry’s other acting credits include the role of Cleo on Disney XD’s “Crash and Bernstein” and Dorothy in Amazon’s “Lost in Oz”.
Landry was actually born in Chicago, Illinois but moved to Phoenix when she was two. She loves coming back to Arizona to see all the family and friends.
Landry has so many great memories from DST; tech weeks, drinking water through Sour Punch Straws and just bonding with cast mates – some of who are still her friends today. Landry has always felt a special bond with Miss Laurie, who gave her her first role. Miss Laurie asked her how old she was and when Landry answered “5 years old”, Miss Laurie told her five is also the number of times she would need to rehearse her lines and her songs each night to be ready for the show. It was a great lesson in discipline and focus and advice she still uses to this day.
Daniel Brodie was one of our original cast members of Gerry Cullity’s The Ugly Duckling for DST’s first ever production back in 1995. He later attended Arizona State, where he studied theatre and media design. He is the recipient of the USITT 2011 Rising Star Award and has been a guest lecturer at Yale University.
Daniel is one of the top Projection Artists on Broadway with his most recent production being Aladdin and also is the projection artist for Kanye West’s performances.
Max Crumm is best known for winning the reality television show “Grease: You’re the One That I Want!” and subsequently starring in the Broadway revival as Danny Zuko. Max was recently seen as Matt in The Fantasticks, Scott in Disaster! and in the NY Times Critics’ Pick F#%king Up Everything Off-Broadway, where he played Christian Mohammed Schwartzelberg. Other credits include Jersey Shoresical at the Fringe Festival and the hit film “Easy A”. Also, he has a Labrador named Birdie. @MaxCrumm
Matt was a part of the very first show Desert Stages ever did, The Ugly Duckling. He was also in other Desert Stages shows, like Cinderella: A Ragtime Musical. He is very widely known for his portrayal of Kyle on the hit television show Kyle XY. Some of his other television and film credits include: Babysitter Wanted, The Indian, Shugar Shank, Living the Dream, Wannabe, Entourage, Camp Daze and Way of the Vampire. He has also appeared on the following shows El Hormiguero, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, Dear Santa, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, TV Watercooler and The View.
John, an Arizona native, began acting and modeling at the ripe old age of one and half years old when he was featured in a pharmaceutical advertisement! His true acting career, however, began at Desert Stages Theatre. At DST he performed in seven productions including Grease, Annie Junior, Charlotte’s Web, Big, Beauty and the Beast, the Wizard of Oz and the role of Michael in Peter Pan.
After relocating to the Los Angeles area he performed with the LA Musical Theatre Guild in Finian’s Rainbow. He has appeared in the independent film, Lyla Wolf: Infractus and a Nickelodeon promo. He starred in the movie Bad Ass with Danny Trejo and in the award-winning short film Colored My Mind with Blair Underwood.
John was cast as Roger in the popular webseries, Bite Me and has appeared in commercials for AT&T, Citibank and Best Buy. As a Stand Up Comedian, John also performs regularly at the Hollywood Improv with Standing Tall Comedy Kids and Teens.
Natalie Charle Ellis
Natalie was involved with several shows at DST from the early days of the theatre. Recently she has performed with the cast in the Broadway production of Les Misérables and is now gracing the stage in School of Rock.
Riley performed at DST starting at a very early age. She has been part of many productions including The Wizard of Oz, Beauty & the Beast, the title role in Annie Jr., and many more. She was been selected to portray “Annie Who” in a Broadway tour production of How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Beginning in New York, Riley participated in a five-city tour.
Devon appeared in dozens of shows at DST. Since graduation she has been working as an actress with Disney and is now performing the role of Belle on the Chinese tour of Disney Live.
Nick is an Arizona native who was introduced to Desert Stages Theatre in 2004. While at his little sisters swimming practice he got talking to a mother about performing and she then informed him of DST. Immediately he got tickets to see The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Something about DST’s charm pulled him in and that night he was already at a cast party and had plans to audition for The Wiz. The audition went well and he was cast in his first show at the theatre.
Nick continued to perform back to back in shows such as Aladdin Jr. (Aladdin), Hello Dolly (Ambrose Kemper), Sweet Charity (Charlie), Fable Company, Grease (Danny), and Gilligan’s Island The Musical (Gilligan). In 2006 he made the decision to further his training and attend The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles. Since graduating he’s performed in 42nd Street, Cabrillo Music Theatre (Ensemble), 42nd Street, Moonlight Amphitheatre (Andy Lee), and Cats, Moonlight Amphitheatre (Mungojerrie). Having just finished the Beauty & The Beast national tour, Nick can currently be seen performing in Mary Poppins in Hilton Head, SC.
Favorite Gerry Cullity Musical – Fable Company
Telana is no stranger to Desert Stages Theatre having performed in more than 9 productions! She has also been in over 8 film productions as well including, G. I. Jesus, The Tsunami Beach Club, Tantrum and Downtown. She has also appeared on many television shows, some of her credits include: The Fo Fo Figgily Show, The Tim & Eric Awesome Show and Bony Macaroni. During her time at Desert Stages Telana demonstrated her natural abilities. Her Desert Stages credits include a Royal Child in The King & I, a Lost Boy in Peter Pan, a Duckling in The Ugly Duckling, the Goat in Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, she was in the Orphan Ensemble in Annie and she performed in the ensemble in the following shows Bye Bye Birdie, Grease, In the Kingdom of Clouds and Puppy: A Christmas Tail.
Favorite Gerry Cullity Musical – In The Kingdom of Clouds
Tanner began his career at a very young age at Desert Stages. By the time he was six he had performed in over 5 plays including Puppy…A Christmas Tail, Kingdom of Clouds, and The Ugly Duckling. Since then, Tanner has built a wonderful career that includes the 2011 Summer hit Hangover 2, apprising the role of a young “Phil,” the role played by Bradley Cooper, in a flashback sequence. Other major credits include guest star appearances in popular TV shows such as House, Ghost Whisperer, CSI NY and Eleventh Hour. He has had recurring roles on How I Met Your Mother, Days of Our Lives and Desperate Housewives as well as having appeared on Lost, Hannah Montana, Without a Trace and others. Other feature film credits include the starring role in Letters to God, and Saving Sarah Cain. Tanner has also been successful in commercials, having appeared in more than 20 national spots including a few airing during primetime Super Bowl broadcasts.
Megan Mahoney auditioned for her first show ever at Desert Stages when she was 9. She didn’t get in. BUT a year later she auditioned for The Wiz and the theatre bug had gotten its next victim. Over the years Megan participated in innumerable Desert Stages productions, some of her favorites being Annie, The Wizard of Oz, Grease, and Bye, Bye Birdie. While at Desert Stages, Megan made lasting friends, learned countless skills, and discovered her other passion for teaching children musical theatre from her work as a dance captain on DST’s stage.
Megan is currently living and working in New York City. She attended CAP21 Conservatory where she trained in musical theatre and is finishing her BA in Theatre Management through University of Massachusetts, Amherst’s continuing education program. Megan is currently employed by Holland America Line cruises as a Principle Singer on the MS Westerdam, sailing to Alaska, Hawaii, and the Mexican Riviera. Additionally Megan has worked regionally, some of her favorite credits including Olive in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Louise in Fox on the Fairway, and Janet Weiss in the cult hit The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In addition to performing, Megan is passionate about directing and choreographing for children’s theatre. Her favorite credits include directing School House Rock Live! Jr., assistant directing 13 the Musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Seussical the Musical, choreographing shows such as A Christmas Carol and Treasure Island, and teaching at various camps.
Follow Megan’s adventures in NYC at at sea on her website www.meganshirleymahoney.com.
Max Miller is preparing to perform in the Carnegie Hall production of Guys & Dolls with Nathan Lane and Megan Mullally. He was most recently seen as Henrik in A Little Night Music with Piper Laurie at the Santa Barbara Ensemble Theater. Other credits include Chicago at The Hollywood Bowl, Carousel at Lincoln Center, and Juno and Music in the Air at City Center Encores. He now works in animation and produces web series such as “The Faculty”, “Shirleen Bittersnatch” and “Legends of Quest” which can be seen at www.TheMaxMiller.com.
Alexandra Ncube is now playing the leading role of Nabulungi in The Book of Mormon on its National Tour now in Baltimore. Alexandra is another great talent to pass through our halls on the way to success. Here at DST she was a Doo Wop girl in Little Shop of Horrors, The Acid Queen in The Who’s Tommy, and Mimi in Rent. Her work has graced theatres across the valley and also nationwide with last years touring Rock the Presidents. Alex has also been seen on many a stage singing with several working rock bands locally and regionally.
In his short eleven years, Ross has performed in 14 shows at Desert Stages Theatre. Ross has just been cast as the role of Chip in the National tour of Beauty and the Beast. Make sure to see him and fellow alum Nick Lorenzini when the tour stops by Phoenix and performs at The Orpheum Theatre on Thanksgivings Weekend.
Sam has been involved with many productions at DST from a very young age and even co-directed the youth production of Grease! in 2019. Sam went off to NYC in 2019 and understudied Evan Hansen, Jared Kleinman and Connor Murphy as part of the Broadway cast of Dear Evan Hansen, and alternates Evan as part of the US Tour cast. Sam was cast in the role of “Pugsley Addams” in a Broadway tour production of The Addams Family the Musical. Beginning in New York, he participated in a 50-city tour continuing for several months.
Catherine grew up performing in numerous productions at Desert Stages Theatre, including Beauty and the Beast, Alice in Wonderland, Think it Through Revue, and her favorite, In the Kingdom of Clouds. Through the Desert Stages family, she developed her love for musicals at an early age. Catherine is currently on Broadway performing in Allegiance, sharing the stage with Lea Salonga and George Takei. She also recently originated the role of “Mahi” to critical acclaim in the Broadway production of Honeymoon in Vegas. Other Broadway credits include Mamma Mia! and Cinderella. She also appeared as a featured soloist on NBC’s “The Sing-Off” with The Backbeats, placing in the Top 3. She earned her B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering at the University of Southern California, graduating cum laude. She is very thankful to Gerry and Laurie for sharing their deep love and passion for the arts! www.catherinericafort.com
Kimberly Rose is a recent alumna of Desert Stages Theatre who has gone on to star in commercials for Ipig and ABC Family’s “Ruby and the Rockets,” among others.
Now a resident of Los Angeles, perhaps the most notable achievement since leaving the embrace of Desert Stages Theatre is Kimberly’s new phase in a young professional career: she is a member of the newly formed “girl group” called No More Drama managed by Howie Dorough of the Backstreet Boys.
It’s significant to note the numerous stage roles and activities surrounding her years at Desert Stages Theatre, which taught her a familiar discipline required for professional success.
In 2002, Kimberly launched her theatrical career at Desert Stages Theatre in her first ever play in Gerry Cullity’s “Ugly Duckling” apprising the lead role. She continued building a prolific roster of performances in a wide variety of productions, never missing a performance in the next seven and-a-half years.
Among her many, many leading roles were Jasmine in Disney’s Aladdin; Sharpay in High School The Musical; Alice in Alice in Wonderland-Alice; Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast; Fern in Charlotte’s Web; Wendy in Peter Pan; Duffy in Annie Jr; Dorothy in Wizard of Oz, among others.
She also played the wife as well as Little Eva in the King and I; the Gypsy Moth Queen in A Butterfly’s Day; Cinderella in Gerry Cullity’s Cinderella; Sandy in Grease; Kim McAfee in Bye Bye Birdie; the lead in Tobacco the Musical; Nimbus in the Kingdom of Clouds; and the wife in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat.
Kimberly also has been an avid coach and leader during her time at Desert Stages, serving as Dance Captain, Summer Camp counselor and host of Show Your Stuff.
Kimberly’s success is perhaps quite special, the fertile seeds of which were planted at Arizona’s own Desert Stages Theatre.
Phil is currently living in Hollywood, CA , but traces his roots back to Desert Stages Theatre where he remembers performing in The Think It Through Review. He is now an accomplished actor, singer, dancer, choreographer, director and instructor. Phil has performed in many shows including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Donny and Marie Las Vegas, How to Succeed in Business…, Bye, Bye Birdie. He has also danced on stage in Furious Beat, Tap Worx INC. and the Mini Gaga Tour. Phil has even been seen in the Black Eyed Peas Experience Video Game, Little Women L.A. Booty Bee video and he helped choreograph Alison Irahita’s performance.
Mariah I. Wilson
Mariah began her stage career with Desert Stages Theatre, but now is very widely known for her portrayal of Magic in Dreamgirls. Her other television and film credits include Afterschool, Last Dance, The Good Neighbor Policy, Tyler, Naked Brothers, Lincoln Heights, Homeland Security PSA Medley, Community Health Network, Kick Butts: Anti-Smoking PSA, Slither, and The Ro Show. Her Desert Stages credits include Cindy Lou Who in The Grinch, Skipper in Barbie’s Beach Party, Bog in Wizard of Oz, Babette in Cinderella, an Orphan in Annie, the Singer of Forgotten Songs in Butterfly’s Day, Darla Duck in Ugly Duckling, Pharaoh’s Choir in Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and she was in the ensemble for You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown and Grease.