Chris Maikish, Executive Director
Chris is an arts producer and communications professional who has worked with Celebration Theatre since 2010 as a performer, director, designer, and development manager. At CT: Cabaret, Dream Boy, Die Mommie Die, and The Next Fairy Tale, in addition to several readings through "Celebrating New Works". As Executive Director, Chris has stepped away from the stage to help lead a volunteer management team that produces theatrical programs under the guidance of the Board of Directors. He also co-founded LA's popular new musicals concert series A Little New Music, now in partnership with The ASCAP Foundation. A kid from the NY suburbs, Chris arrived here by way of San Francisco and Chicago, where he met his long-time partner, Paul. Chris holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Northwestern University. Member: AEA, SAG-AFTRA, SDC. He thanks you for supporting theatre in Los Angeles and LGBTQ visibility.
Michael A. Shepperd, Artistic Director
Michael A. Shepperd has been Artistic Director or Co-Artistic Director since 2013. Celebration Theatre credits include The Boy from Oz, BootyCandy, The Color Purple, Four, The Women of Brewster Place, Take Me Out, Coffee Will Make You Black, [title of show], and many others. Mr. Shepperd’s Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Regional acting credits include Cathy Rigby is Peter Pan (Starkey), Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey Two), Caroline, or Change (Bus/Dryer), 5 Guys Named Moe (Big Moe), Fences (Troy), Choir Boy (Headmaster), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Fred), and The Whipping Man (Simon). TV credits include “Bosch”, “Curb Your Enthusiasm“, “Hot In Cleveland”, “Wizards of Waverly Place”, “Monk”, “Criminal Minds”, “NCIS”.
As one of just a few Black, Queer, and completely Out Artistic Directors in the country, Mr. Shepperd is committed to carving out space for non-dominant narratives to be seen and heard. In his words, "There is a new Renaissance of BIPOC Queer voices that need to be represented in the stories we tell—and Celebration is that home. Our journey has always been one of celebrating our history while clearly outlining our future of storytelling. We consistently celebrate our past while also pushing the narrative of our changing future to the forefront."
Nathan Frizzell, Associate Artistic Director
Nathan is an actor, writer, and producer who is proud to have been a company member of Celebration Theatre since 2005. During that time, he has appeared onstage in Four, Beautiful Thing and Stupid Kids, as well as appearing in every sketch show with Celebration Theatre's resident sketch comedy troupe. Additionally, Nathan appeared in Celebration Theatre's production of The Bacchae at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. For Celebration, Nathan has produced numerous main stage productions, including BootyCandy, The Boy From Oz, and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. He is also the executive producer of Celebrating New Works, the theatre's new play reading program. Outside of Celebration Theatre, Nathan has appeared on stage throughout Los Angeles and the country. TV and film: "Veronica Mars", "Hot In Cleveland", "Twin Peaks: The Return", and "Alexa & Katie" among others.
Brittney S. Wheeler, Associate Artistic Director
Brittney S. Wheeler is an Ovation Award winner and two-time nominee, born and bred in Los Angeles. A classically-trained singer, seasoned actor, and future college theatre educator, Brittney has been fortunate enough to perform all across Southern California. Since 2012, Celebration Theatre has been a life-changing part of her artistic world, previously and proudly serving as Casting Associate. A proud member of Actors' Equity Association, Brittney holds a BA, Theatre Arts from Concordia University Irvine, and earns her MA in Theatre Arts from California State University, Northridge in Spring 2021. Her work in this position is dedicated in memory of her beloved grandfather, John J. Nelson.
Michael O'Hara, Producing Director
Michael attended his first show at Celebration Theatre in 2001 and never left. As the theatre's resident Properties Designer since 2005, as well as Managing Director from 2013-2020, he has additionally supported the theatre in nearly every facet: producer, stage manager, sound mixer, performer, and more. A highly prolific and sought-after Properties Designer throughout Los Angeles, Michael is also an active volunteer for various events and nonprofits like Outfest, GLAAD, and LA Stage Alliance. In his capacity as Producing Director, he collaborates with creative and executive leadership to staff, plan, and monitor the logistics of our live and digital programs. Michael holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and a J.D. from the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law.
Gina Torrecilla, Associate Producing Director
Gina Torrecilla has been a Celebration Theatre company member since 2009. She is a multi-hyphenate, award-winning entertainment professional known for her acting work on regional stages, network & cable television, and in voiceover. She has additionally produced many theatrical and cabaret works in Los Angeles and San Diego. Most recently at Celebration, Gina produced the world premiere, episodic stage comedy Ravenswood Manor by playwright/performer Justin Sayre, which has since been optioned by Sony as a television series. She holds a BA in Theatre from University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and an MFA in Drama/Musical Theatre from San Diego State University.
Parnell Damone Marcano, Company Manager
Parnell made his first Celebration appearance in the final cast of the long-running global hit, Naked Boys Singing. Other theatre credits include The Babies, BootyCandy, Jerker, Dreamgirls, Hello Dolly, Ragtime, Children of the Night, and Bed, Boys & Beyond. Film credits: Amistad, Confessions of a Self-Hating Jew, and Her. As Company Manager, Parnell helps plan, build consensus, and motivate participation for ongoing member activities and performances for our 30+ Company of queer and allied performers, writers, designers, producers, and artists of every kind. When not at Celebration, Parnell has traveled the world singing with Motown legends like Mary Wilson and Thelma Houston. He is best known as recurring guest star "Carlton Cruise" on the OWN series, "Greenleaf", and the hit web series, "Old Dogs & New Tricks".