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"There are two kinds of friends in this life.  Those you choose and those who choose you.  When the choice is mutual, it's family."

Butch-Colin Walker
Josie-Amy Stewart
Red-Anthony Michael Jones

Production Photos by Logan Alexander

North Beach Opening Receives Enthusiastic Response

Audience Cheers Triumphant World Premiere!
The World premiere of North Beach, an original two-act drama written by Bill Swadley and directed by Taylor Nichols, brought the house down Friday night.  Audiences were enthusiastic in their response and praise of the ensemble production.  North Beach is about the endurance and fragility of friendship, and how the randomness of life can teach us in an instant what many of us spend years trying to learn.   The story is told with a healthy dose of humor throughout, even as a darker underlying truth is slowly revealed. 

"...the play is quite successful."
"...an engrossing story, well-directed by Taylor Nichols."
"...the principals are talented and well-cast."
"...all participants are adept at their craft."
"...a fine showcase for this capable ensemble."

For the complete review, click HERE




Patrick-Wolfgang Bodison
Butch-Colin Walker
Red-Anthony Michael Jones

Production Photos by Logan Alexander

North Beach is the story of three men, friends since childhood, who find themselves at odds with one-another when the only girl of their group comes back into their lives unexpectedly many years later.  The play opens during the teenage years of four friends: Red, Patrick, Butch and Josie. They find their world shattered when Josie announces that her family is moving to another state. The three boys remain close friends after Josie's departure, and we join them in the present as adults on the day she returns to town. What follows is a life-drama that exposes each character to the bone as they work through the old rivalries and emotions that were lost in the gap during which Josie was gone. The drama of the play is well-offset by humor throughout, and a twist in the end completes this story of friendship, family, love, and how easy it is to forget that the most basic human experience is also the most important.

Red-Anthony Michael Jones
Ingrid-Blair Besten
Patrick-Wolfgang Bodison

Production Photos by Logan Alexander

Grace-Nassim Sanani
Carlisle-Ralph P. Martin

Production Photos by Logan Alexander

City of Santa Monica employees, ask about our special discount tickets.

Call about special rates for groups!

Schools and youth organizations may qualify for free performances

Young Josie-Lauren Emmmel
Young Patrick-Thomas Hobson
Young Butch-Larry Sands
Young Red-Zack Bennett

Production Photos by Logan Alexander

Young Butch-Larry Sands
Young Patrick-Thomas Hobson
Young Red - Zack Bennett
O'Reilly-Dennis Delsing

Production Photos by Logan Alexander




TrapDoor Ensemble is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.  All net proceed from this and all events go to benefit our Youth Outreach Program.  Tax deductible donations are gratefull accepted.

Patrick-Wolfgang Bodison
Terrin-Cindy Dolenc

Production Photos by Logan Alexander

Taylor Nichols - Director

Taylor Nichols is an award winning short film maker having directed Two Heterosexual Men Get ready to Go Out (One Has a Girlfriend), and Last Train.   He has also directed one-act plays for Los Angeles’ Ensemble Studio Theatre.  Other directing credits include Sunday Funnies sketch comedy and as a producer his credits include Santa’s Little helper and the Vanguard theatrical release, The Next Step.  Taylor is known to most audiences as an actor, having performed in Boy Gets Girl at the Geffen Playhouse, The Lonely Planet with Phillip Anglim and Plunge at Playwrights Horizon in New York.  Film credits include Barcelona, the Sex Monster, Boiler Room and Jurassic Park III.  Television work includes HBO’s The Mind of the Married Man, CSI, Without a Trace, The Practice, E.R. and Grey’s Anatomy.  He is currently working on a project about marriage and writing a children’s book titled Lofty and Sir Knight.  Taylor is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the co-founder of A.C. Tryworks, an acting/writing workshop in Los Angeles.

                                                          Bill Swadley - Playwright

Bill Swadley has been writing since his teens. He was first bitten by the theatre bug many years ago in the classroom of the acclaimed English professor, Homer "Murph" Swander, who's passion for Shakespeare and the theater inspired Bill's imagination and sowed the seed for his lifelong ambition to become a worthy playwright and start his own theater company. In the interim between budding dream and blooming realization, Bill has been an integral member of the teams that opened two legit theaters in Santa Barbara and was part of the original staff that opened the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Downtown L.A. In addition to his plays, Bill is a prolific screenwriter with 12 screenplays to his credit, three of which are under option with an independent producer. 

Amy Macnow - Producer

Amy Macnow is a Los Angeles native with a long and extensive background in the entertainment industry. She has worked with many influential management companies, casting companies and talent agencies including Triad Artists Agency and Shapiro/West & Associates where she was involved in the TV series Seinfeld. Amy currently works as a talent manager for the firm Envoy Entertainment where she is involved in planning the careers of many well-known actors and is responsible for the developing careers of new actors and writers.  

Anthony Michael Jones  (Red)

Anthony Michael Jones comes from a strong theatre background in New York.  While there he played leading roles in several independent films, three of which appeared at the Sundance Film Festival, most notably, The Pigeon Egg Strategy which was a festival favorite.  Since moving to Los Angeles, Anthony has guest-starred in many television series such as NBC's Three Sisters.  He has had recurring roles on Cold Feet (NBC) and TNT's first original series Bull.  Most recently, Anthony debuted in the Art Share Los Angeles theatre production of Advice from a Caterpillar and plays a leading role in the independent feature Welcome to the Neighborhood.

                                                         Wolfgang Bodison (Patrick)

Wolfgang is best remembered for his performance as Lance Corporal Harold Dawson in A Few Good Men directed by Rob Reiner.  Joe Somebody, Freeway, and Most Wanted are just a few of his ever-growing film credits. His television work includes recurring roles on Family Law and Nothing Sacred as well as many guest starring roles on shows such as ER and Charmed.  In theater, Wolfgang received a NAACP Image Award nomination for Best Actor in The Letter, written by Rodney Nugent.  He’s originally from Rockville, MD, and graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Fine Arts. 

Colin Walker (Butch)

Colin Walker, a native of New Orleans, made his feature debut in Warner Bros’ Wyatt Earp as a young wayward cowboy.    His most recent television appearance on Comedy Central’s “Crossballs” as a feisty French waiter coupled with his mastery of Cajun and Creole cooking have him poised and ready to play the loveable restaurant owner Butch..  He can be seen next in a supporting role in the Steven Soderberg produced independent feature Abel Edwards .  In the past few months he starred in three shorts, Callie’s Rhythm ,The Coma Ward, and On Monday the Movers Came, all headed for the festival circuit .Other TV and film credits include supporting and featured roles in Lightning Jack, Dry Ice, Pacific Blue, The Outlaw, and It’s a Miracle.     His theater credits include the leads in Cowboy Mouth, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, Dancing at Lughnasa, Stoop Slumming, Welcome to the Moon and the award winning Only His Knees.    Colin holds a BA in film and theater from the College of Santa Fe, is TrapDoor Ensemble’s Youth Outreach Director and a member of the board.  In his spare time Colin is an accomplished tri-athlete and marathon runner. Colin dedicates his performance to his grandmother Isabel McGhee Johnson.

                                                       Amy Stewart  (Josie)

Fresh from memorable guest appearances on The West Wing and Las Vegas, Amy Stewart makes her Los Angeles theatre debut in North Beach. Stewart began performing in the San Francisco Bay Area at a young age, and learned the ropes of a professional acting career at Theatreworks in Palo Alto.  She then attended UC San Diego where she received a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She continued to involve herself in theater, by studying at the La Jolla Playhouse and appearing in several productions, including Top Girls and The Servant of Two Masters.  After college, she set her sights on Hollywood, landing various guest starring roles on shows like ER, The Practice, Crossing Jordan, and Jag. She then temporarily relocated to Vancouver, Canada to be a series regular on the WB drama Glory Days.  Stewart starred in two films that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival: Conquering Space and Maid of Honor.  She also stars opposite Jeremy Renner, Seamus Dever and William Sanderson in the soon to be released romantic comedy Monkey Love. Amy is thrilled to be a part of North Beach and dedicates her performance to the memory of her beloved dad, Jim.

Blair Besten (Ingrid)

Blair Besten, a Louisville, Kentucky native, began her theater experience at Actors' Theater of Louisville in A Christmas Carol, where she was asked back the following year to play the same role.  She also participated in American Tropical, in the Actor’s Shorts Festival.   She spent two years in the BFA Program at Rutgers University, and transferred to Indiana University where she graduated with a BA in Theater and Spanish.   After moving to Los Angeles, she continued her training, and has landed some supporting and leading roles in several independent films.  One of her more memorable roles was opposite the Southpark guys in BASEketball, a Zucker Production. Most recently she starred in Liz Lachman’s comedy feature, Getting to Know You, with Elizabeth Keener.  Her last theater production was the acclaimed original play, Order My Steps, with Cornerstone Theater.  Blair is also an accomplished singer and bass player.

                                                                     Cindy Dolenc (Terrin)

Cindy Dolenc started acting in Toronto, Ontario where she was born and raised. However, her first paid acting role came when she was studying in London, England, where she was cast by Stanley Kubrick in Eyes Wide Shut. Yes she had lines! And yes she had her clothes on throughout her scenes with Tom Cruise. Upon returning to her native land of Canada, Cindy worked in various roles in film, television and theater. This included a Recurring role on the popular USA TV series, La Femme Nikita, playing the British spy, Kate Quinn. After 8 episodes she became a series regular for the 5th and final season of the show. Cindy now resides in sunny California and is happy to be working in the original production of North Beach where she believes her intention to work with the best is already being realized.

Dennis Delsing (O'Reilly)

Dennis Delsing, a native of Chicago, holds a BA in Communication from Loyola Marymount University.  A veteran of the Los Angeles theatre scene, Dennis has appeared in over 40 play during the past 10 years.  He has been nominated many times for drama awards including Best Featured Actor Ovation Award for his work in Twelve Angry People.  Dennis would like to thank everyone connected with the production of North Beach for the opportunity of working with them, especially his fellow cast members. 
As always, he dedicates this performance to his daughter, Amanda, "who makes it all worthwhile."

                                                          Nassim Sanani (Grace)

Nassim Sanani was born in Buffalo, NY and moved to Los Angeles with her family at a young age.  She was part of many productions throughout her schooling including Twelve Angry People (Juror 3), Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap (Mollie Ralston) and Accommodations (Pat).  She spent some time studying theatre at Boston University where she played Nina in Jonathan Marc Sherman's Women and Wallace. Nassim returned to Los Angeles after getting her degree from UCSB, where she majored in Psychology and minored in English. She now studies voice work with David Farkas and is thrilled to make her Los Angeles stage debut in North Beach.

Ralph P. Martin (Carlisle)

Ralph P. Martin most recently appeared in Mario Van Peebles' BAADASSSSS! as well as Pirates of the Caribbean.  On television, Ralph can be seen in recent episodes of CSI, The Gilmore Girls and ER.  He can also be caught in reruns of NYPD Blue, Early Edition, Northern Exposure and Who's the Boss?

                                                          Zack Bennett (Young Red)

Born and raised in Grass Valley, California, Zack Bennett has wanted to act professionally since the age of 8.  Zack performed in community theatre in his home town and starred in his first film, Hey Baby, which was accepted to the Tiburon International Film Festival. Zack competed in the National Forensics League, won numerous awards and qualified for the California state competition. His dream of a professional acting career began to materialize when he had a chance to read for a small role in the upcoming feature film, Coldwater and received an offer for representation. Shortly thereafter, at the age of 16, Zack decided to pack his bags for Los Angeles. He was cast in North Beach not long after arriving in the City of Angels.

Lauren Emmel (Young Josie)
Lauren Emmel a California native, has been involved in theater since high school where she performed in plays and competed in the National Forensic League, winning many awards.  Recently she has branched out into film and television doing short and independent films as well as commercial work. The Meisner technique which she has been studying has grounded her into the craft and blossomed Lauren into a versatile actress. Her passion for the art is accelerating her into new and exciting ventures. She plans to attend UCLA in the fall to explore their theater program. Lauren is grateful for the opportunity to work with such a talented group of artists.

                                                        Larry Sands (Young Butch)

Larry Sands, originally from San Antonio Texas, has been in LA for nearly six years.  In that time he has appeared in many plays and has made several appearances in film and television.  In addition to acting, Larry is a musician, singer, dancer and all-around athlete.  One of his main goals is to have a “colorful acting career” (like Johnny Depp).  Having recently done numerous commercials for V8, Splash, Pop Tarts and Sega, he is thrilled to be back on stage and working with such a talented group of people. 

Thomas Hobson (Young Patrick)

Thomas Hobson began acting at the age of six.  Since that time he has appeared in countless television shows, films, commercials and plays.  His credits include leading roles in
Clubhouse Detectives and Fox Family Channel's Michael Jordan: An American Hero, and recurring roles on television shows such as Disney's Movie Surfers, Step-by-Step, and A Different World.  After graduating from high school, Thomas attended Yale University and graduated in May 2004 with a B.A. in Theatre Studies.  While attending Yale, he worked in both the undergraduate and graduate theatre programs, playing such roles as Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar, Aaron the Moor in Titus Andronicus,  Jon in Stephen Belber's Tape, and Eddie in Sam Shepard's Fool for Love.  Thomas also sang with one of Yale University's most popular a-capella groups, Shades, and was a three-time recipient of the Excellence in Artistry Award, voted on by both the faculty and his fellow students.  Thomas is beyond thrilled to be back home in Southern California and wishes to thank his Mom and Dad for letting him follow his dreams and being the best parents ever, and his brother and sister for putting up with his random dramatics.

Logan Alexander (u/s Patrick)

Logan Alexander is a Los Angeles native. He most recently finished a production of "Hair" at the Knightsbridge theatre and is currently auditioning.   Some of Logan's more notable television appearances are 24, The District, 10-8, The Shield, and a recurring role on Dr. Vegas. In addition to acting, Logan is a professional photographer his duties as a TrapDoor Ensemble member include production and publicity photographs.  He is very pleased to be a part of this riveting production. 

                                                           Wilson Bell (u/s Carlisle)

Wilson Bell is a former member of Metro Theater Circus, a professional multi-disciplinary children's touring company based in St. Louis, Missouri.  Before leaving Missouri, he completed all the course work for a Master's degree in Dramatic Literature at Washington University.  While in Los Angeles, Wilson has performed in commercials and on television including: Frazier, NYPD Blue, and Angel.  Wilson has performed at many of the local Equity-waiver theaters and has directed and produced at many of them. 

Jennifer Pagan (u/s Ingrid, Terrin)

Jennifer Pagan, a native of New Orleans and new to Los Angeles, made her California theater debut as the lead in playwright Monica Palacios’ award winning Sweet Peace at Center Stage in Santa Barbara.  She has worked in theater, film, and television in New York, New Orleans, and now, Los Angeles.  She most recently appeared on Comedy Central’s Crossballs and in a spot for IHOP.  Look for her next in Clock this summer at the Ford Amphitheater and at several theaters around Los Angeles in the workshop production of her one woman show Shoe Box Lounge.  Jennifer has studied and performed at Second City Los Angeles, Shakespeare & CO, and the Gene Frankel Theatre in NYC.  NYC theater credits include the leads in Butterflies are Free, Crimes of the Heart, and A Winter’s Tale. In New Orleans, she starred in the award-winning ensemble in the regional premiere of The Laramie Project. She has also played several lead and supporting roles at the Tennessee Williams’ Festival.  In addition she is a children’s theater teacher, professional storyteller, and an award winning children’s theater performer who toured with Young Audiences, a national Arts-in-Education organization, throughout the southeastern United States.  She developed Trapdoor Ensemble’s Youth Outreach Curriculum and is the lead teacher of the Outreach Program.  In honor of surviving her first year in L.A. (no serious car accidents or earthquakes), she completed the 2005 L.A. marathon and took up surfing!

                                     Tania Verafield (u/s Grace, Young Josie)

Tania Verafield's most recent Los Angeles theatre credits include the two LA Times Critics' Choice plays, A Flea In Her Ear and Cornerstone's Center of the Star.  Tania completed the Professional Internship Program at A Noise Within this past fall and can be seen in two upcoming films: Henry Jaglom's Hollywood Dreams and David Ayer's Harsh Times. She is “totally stoked” to be involved with North Beach

Adam Coulter (u/s Young Red, Young Butch)

Adam Coulter has been acting in theatre for the last five years.  He attended the MCTC School of Drama in San Diego where he acquired his AA, and San Francisco State where he received a BA in Theatre.  His most exciting role was playing Alan Strang in Peter Shaffer’s, Equus.  He has also played Daniel Wolf in Closer, and Joe in Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.  Adam moved to LA a little over a year ago and has performed a few independent films such as The Perfect Pair.  He has also done some  commercial work.  Adam is happy to be a part of this project and excited to be involved in theater again.

Diana Laufer - Set Design

Diana Laufer is a native of Los Angeles where she currently resides with her husband and two children. As an artist, Diana works in various media including assemblage, painting, and sculpture.  As a graphic designer in the entertainment industry s, Diana has designed album covers and film advertising & packaging.   She is the author and illustrator of 2 children’s books published by Putnum Press which won the Parent’s Choice Award.  Diana earned her BA in design from U.C. Berkeley.  This is her first set design.

Rob Laufer - Composer

As a songwriter, singer or instrumentalist, Rob has worked with artists such as Johnny Cash, Fiona Apple, Frank Black, Sir George Martin, Shawn Colvin, BB King, Veruca Salt and Robin Zander.  His songs have appeared in film and television including:  American Wedding, Max Keeble's Big Move, George B, Almost Salinas, America's Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story, A Little Inside, Felicity, Melrose Place, and The Young and the Restless.  Rob's music has also been used in advertising for major clients such as Sears, Del Taco, Ford, Yamaha, Jet Blue and Arby's.  As a music producer, Rob has worked with Melissa Ferrick, Wendie Colter and the Get Set.  As a solo artist he has had 2 albums released (Wonderwood on Warner/Discovery and Swimming Lesson on Eye Records). Recently, Rob was a featured vocalist in groundbreaking Japanese film Survive Style 5 and along with collaborator Eric Drew Feldman, he scored the award winning indie film Buttleman.  s a lad, Rob attended Dick Grove School of Music.  Rob resides in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.

Cabbot Laroux - Tech Director/Lighting Design

Cabbot Laroux is the resident lighting designer at the Los Angeles Museum of Modern Art.  Before joining LACMA, he spent many, many years in theatre designing sets and lights. Cabbot is an artful set builder and a masterful finish carpenter.   

Joan Dean-Edwards - Stage Manager

Naoko Inada - Assistant Stage Manager

Gleb Savelev - Sound Tech

Vinnie Droughton - Lighting Tech

Angie Droughton - Lighting Tech

Kent Woker - Assistant to the Tech Director/Tech Crew

Bud Pruett - Set Crew

Teddy Pruett - Set Crew

Justin Yoffe - Playhouse Director

Christopher A. Hall - Playhouse Assistant Director

Allegra Allison - Publicity Artwork

Logan Alexander - Photographer

Roy Rogers Oldenkamp for the original painting hung in the restaurant

David Andriole
Bonnie Bennett
James Gregan
Josh DiBianca
Shanah Blevins
Wayne & Suzie Emmel

Henry & Ellie Laufer
Mary Lindquist
Maria Martone
Margarita Nichols
Alexandra & Lee Nichols
Bud Pruett
Ted, Steven & Alex Pruett

Al & Shirlee Swadley
Alicia & Andre Swadley
John C. Walker
Marcus Watkins
Miki Watters

RoseMary Aguayo
Bonni Allen
Woody Allen
Catherine Asche
Chris Bava
Mark Bava
Wilson Bell
David Blanchard
Patty Booker
Jeffrey Bowman
Alisa Collins
Thomas Cook
Eddie Conna
Lou Fabale
Barbara Gale
Daisy Gonzales
Natalie Karp
Raegan Klein
Jason Peirce
Istelle Petra
Schoen Smith
Gary Steinberg
Homer Swander
Moris Tepper
Uncle Gerhard
Jamie Wax

Art Players Studios
Arksyd Props, Sun Valley
City of Santa Monica 
Envoy Entertainment
Fine Mess
Hamburger Mary's
Kor Realty Group
Legendary Bingo
Lions Gate Entertainment
Little Pedro's Blue Bongo Cafe'
Massimo's Restaurant
Print & Copy Factory
Some Party
Ye Olde King's Head