BEN SANDOMIR- This incredibly talented triple-threat performer grew up in Long Island, NY and Broward County Florida. After graduating with a B.F.A. from FAU, Ben moved to Texas for four months to perform three musicals at the Granbury Opera House.
After performing in Texas, Ben moved to NYC where he co-wrote and directed a full length feature film called "Fortune Cookies & Glory." Ben also created a one-man comedy web series called "NutshowTV" and a web-series about a dysfunctional marketing company called "Sponsored By."
Ben recently moved back to Florida and has been performing non-stop. Recent credits include Jekyll & Hyde with Marquee Theatre Company, Big Fish & Dogfight with Slow Burn Theatre Company, The Last 5 Years with Evening Star Productions, Undo with Parade Productions, US Drag with The Project Theatre and Les Miserables with PPTOPA.
JUANITA DILIA OLIVO- Born in the Dominican Republic, Juanita graduated with a BFA in Theatre Performance from FIU in Miami, FL. She has worked on numerous live theatre performances, most recently Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona as Julia, and is working with What If Works in conjunction with Gablestage on a production of Taming of the Shrew. Musical productions include In the Heights with the Miami Acting Company. Juanita has also found time to develop directorial skills as an organizer of talent and shows for the Miami-Dade Bar Association and their charitable events. Always ready for challenges, the small screen will be new waters for her to test.
SHALIA SAKONA- Shalia prides herself on her double life as an "actress at law"--- by day, she works as a commercial litigator at a top Miami law firm; by night/weekend, she is a singer/actor/dancer, strutting her stuff on stages across South Florida. Shalia holds a musical theater degree from American University and a law degree from Boston College Law School. Favorite past credits include Mary in Mary Poppins, Cinderella in Into the Woods, Louise in Gypsy, Cosette in Les Miserables, and Phoebe in the original cast recording of Smooth Sailing.
Watch Shalia's cast interview below:
JANUARY 21, 2017 7pm- While the entire planet was moving en masse to defend the gains of the past 8 years through the Women's Marches, the cast of D.o.P.E.45 was hard at work to help that movement along with their first table read of the Pilot script.
MELANIE LEE- This Los Angeles actress was born in Cleveland and was on stage by the age of six. She spent her teen years working in community and professional theater. Her move to Chicago at 21 gave her the opportunity to teach, choreograph and compete for the Arthur Murray Dance Company and work in theaters such as the Apollo Theater Chicago. She was able to continue her career in Los Angeles and work in many commercials, TV shows and films. She has spent the past 6 years commuting to Panama where she was working in professional theater, TV and film. Melanie is the owner of Triple Threat Pros, and is excited to be the Assistant Director and cast member of D.o.P.E. 45.
CHRISTOPHER DREESON- Chris has played several lead roles for the Miami Acting Company including Brick in Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, the Pirate King in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance, and the Black Stache in Rick Elice's Peter and the Starcatcher. He has also played Dirty Joe McGuiness in Mrs. McThing, Grandpa Pennypacker in The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker, Malvolio in Twelfth Night, the Writer in The Good Doctor, Prince Carl in The Student Prince, Peter in The Diary of Anne Frank, Stephen (Jesus) in Godspell, Lars Andersson in The Portable Pioneer and Prairie Show, and Lurch in Los Locos Addams (The Addams Family). Chris is on the faculty of Miami Beach Senior High School where he serves a dual role teaching junior and senior Honors English classes as well as a self-created elective, Communications Methodology. At Miami-Dade College, Chris has taught freshmen composition and was invited as a guest lecturer in Interpretation and Performance of Literature for the Governor's Program. Chris is also an accomplished musician.
MURPHY HAYES- Murphy grew up in a small town in upstate NY where he was involved in high school theater. He never pursued his dream of becoming an actor but put it on the back burner. He moved to South Florida in the 80's and earned his Bachelor's in Computer Animation, a second degree in Multimedia, and has worked as a Graphic Designer since.
The acting bug never went away and about 6 years ago Murphy found his way to The Actors Workshop of South Florida and its director Jane Kelly. He became an ongoing member, started auditioning, obtained representation and is not looking back. Murphy has earned SAG eligibility for film and screen work, but the past few years have found the versatile actor working non-stop in professional theater. Some recent credits include Murdered To Death & The Addams Family with Evening Star Productions, Fiddler On The Roof & Jekyll & Hyde with Marquee Theatre Company, The Mystery Of Edwin Drood & The Christmas Carol with Sol Children Theatre, and Parade with Slow Burn Theatre Company. Murphy's motto is "It is NEVER too late to follow your dreams!"
LITO BECERRA- Lito is a South Florida stage actor and is excited to join the DOPE45 team. Previous credits include favorite roles Perchik in Fiddler on the Roof, Shang in Mulan, Bert in Mary Poppins, and Usnavi in In the Heights. Spanish credits include Arlecchino in Chisme de las Mujeres, and Gomez in Los Locos Addams, el Musical (Addams Family, the musical). Aside from acting, Lito holds a degree in Information Technology and a Masters in MIS, and also practices martial arts, guitar, and salsa dancing. He is grateful to his friends, family, and the cast and crew of this production.
Chris Watson is a professional actor based in Miami FL. He has starred in a number of independent feature length films, short films, web series, and local commercials. Since April of 2014 he has trained at the Miami Acting Studio under director Ralph Kinnard to hone his craft. For four years Chris was a competitive Latin and hip-hop dancer and opened for such acts as La India and El Grupo Niche. He also currently works as a professional sales rep for one of the world's largest tech companies and received his MBA from Florida International University.
DREW NEDERPELT- Chosen for the role of Nigel solely for his ability to poorly combine the character's British, Australian and Somalian accents, Drew's single previous acting role was as "The Young Man" in Edward Albee's The Sandbox, in 1986. While Nigel is an outsider to the Department, he carries a secret with him that could change the course of history, and also spoil the holiday office party. You can learn more about Drew at DrewNederpelt dt com.
Documanitarian Sir Nigel Scott's IMDB page. Click to enlarge.
Sir Nigel is interviewed about his strange ability to film his documentaries in the world's most dangerous hot spots.
ALEX "BIGLIP" CHISOLM- A stable on Miami radio CBS' Power 96, Alex has been involved in the entertainment world for decades. This is his first role on the screen.
CRAIG DEARR- Craig has been performing in South Florida theater for almost 20 years. A Miami native, Craig has appeared in many South Florida theaters from The Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale to the Performing Arts Center in the Florida Keys. He is well known for his varied roles such as the smooth-talking lawyer Billy Flynn in Chicago, the scheming Ali Hakim in Oklahoma!, and the slightly deranged Franz Liebkind in The Producers. Craig has also appeared in a variety of roles in comedies and dramas, including Rabbi Michael Wolfe in the interactive comedy Grandma Sylvia’s Funeral and Mr. Franklin, the headmaster, in Children of a Lesser God. Craig is a member of the Florida Bar and U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, and the Principal at Dearr-Perdigon law firm. He is currently President of the Board of Directors of the Miami Acting Company where he also serves as pro bono General Counsel.
FRANCINE BIRNS- Francine has been performing all over South Florida since moving to Miami from New York nine years ago. She most recently appeared as Betty Bumbrake in Peter and the Starcatcher with the Miami Acting Company. Other shows with MAC include Nunsense, Pirates of Penzance, Cat on A Hot Tin Roof, Fiddler On The Roof, Forum, California Suite and Man of La Mancha. Francine appeared as Vi in Footloose with Marquee Theatre in Boca Raton and has also performed in several productions with Main Street Players in Miami Lakes and The Pembroke Pines Theatre of the Arts. Francine was in the New York premier of The Boychick Affair Off Broadway.
MAURICIO NAVARRO- This 23-year-old aspiring playwright is currently studying theatre at Miami-Dade College and has worked on the productions Glengarry Glen Ross and Spring Awakening.
TITO ECHEVARRIA- Tito's involvement in communications and entertainment began in his late teens in his native Puerto Rico, working mostly behind the camera and often as talent. He studied filmmaking and television in Wisconsin, California and Italy, and holds a Masters degree in Film Production. As a seasoned film and television news producer/director, he is the recipient of numerous accolades for his documentary and news investigative reports, including a Peabody, various Overseas Press Club and INTRE awards, as well as an Angel, and Billboard. Currently Tito works as Faculty Professor teaching digital filmmaking and television broadcasting at Miami International University for Art & Design; and co-owns Bodhi Zenz, a yoga and wellness center in South Miami. He is passionate about the arts, culture, writing, nature and health.