The Gift Teller

THE GIFT TELLER, by Stephen Metcalfe

Nov. 9 – Dec. 8, 2013

Fridays & Saturdays at 8 PM, Sundays at 2 PM

For the second year in a row, we are bringing you a World Premiere. This one is by Stephen Metcalfe, Broadway playwright, Hollywood and television director and screenwriter. Based on O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi,” this is a tale of two young lovers, sacrifices, and happy endings – in other words, the perfect Holiday story. Come share it with a loved one.

• Cast   • Production Staff   • Playwright
• Production Photos   • Press


Todd Blakesley (The Gift Teller) recently appeared in Chekhov’s Platonov at La Jolla Playhouse WOW Festival. He was co-founder and Artistic Director of the Crystal Palace Theatre (Mission Beach 1971-76), where he developed Dream Immersion Theater. He co-founded Women’s Repertory Theatre, is a coordinator for the San Diego Fringe Festival, and is co-creator of TwainFest with Write Out Loud. He was a SD Critics Circle nominee for Best New Play (Cigars & Stripes, 1984) and was the Outstanding Featured Actor in Eurydice (Moxie Theatre, 2010).

Virginia “Ginny” Gregg (Tracy) graduated Magna Cum Laude from University of California, Irvine in 2008 with a BA in Drama. She was last seen in the two-woman show Parallel Lives at The Oceanside Theatre Company. Ginny would like to thank her family, friends and boyfriend for all of their love and support.

Tatiana Mac (Julie), a San Diego native, was last seen in North Coast Repertory Theatre’s Man With a Load of Mischief. She is a graduate of UCLA’s Ray Bolger Musical Theatre program where she appeared in RENT, Cabaret and Happy End. Her other credits include: Hairspray (Hollywood Bowl), The Robber Bridegroom (International City Theatre), originating the role of Mary Weiss in the premiere workshop production of The Boy From New York City, and charity performances for the USO organization and Broadway Comes to Anaheim.

Matt Murphy (Daniel) is excited to be making his SRT debut in The Gift Teller. A Bay Area transplant, Matt graduated from San Diego State University in 2012 with a degree in Theatre. His favorite roles include Billy Einhorn in The House of Blue Leaves and The Lover in Machinal, both produced by SDSU. Matt would like to thank his beautiful girlfriend Megan for alerting him to this audition, as well as being generally awesome.

Eric Parmer (Sebastian) is a recent graduate of University of California, Irvine with a BA in Drama. His credits include: Bemidji (The Playroom Theatre in New York), Body Awareness (Ion Theatre), Speech and Debate, Arcadia, The Rose Tattoo, How I Learned to Drive, Hamlet and Charley’s Aunt. He was co-captain of UC Irvine’s longest running improv team, Live Nude People* With Clothes On. He can be seen next in Intrepid Shakespeare Company’s production of Macbeth.


Production Staff

Lisa Berger (Director) is a director and teacher. Her San Diego directing credits include Car Plays: We Wait (LaJolla Playhouse), A Behanding in Spokane (Cygnet Theatre), Killer Joe (Compass Theatre), Buried Child, Simpatico, Things We Want (New Village Arts) and The Long Christmas Ride Home (Diversionary Theatre). Lisa has worked as a teaching artist for various arts organizations including Broadway’s The Lion King and La Jolla Playhouse. She currently teaches at Mira Costa College, City College and University of San Diego, and is the co-artistic director of Meisner/Chekhov Integrated Training Studio.

Daisy Talley (Production Manager) is producing her fourth show with SRT. She earned her BA in Theatre from University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she interned under Frank Capra Jr. at Screen Gems Studios. She has served as the project manager for Cirque Du Soleil’s mobile marketing tours, and has also headed up casting for Broadway’s Chicago street team. Daisy privately coaches aspiring youth in audition techniques and launched SRT’s Summer Camp program. She is excited to continue to grow with the artistic community in San Diego.

Megan Ames (Stage Manager) is happy to be back at Scripps Ranch Theatre for her fourth production. She previously worked with SRT for An Inspector Calls, Perfect Wedding and California Suite. She is a recent graduate of San Diego State University where she received a BA in Design Technology for Theatre with an emphasis in stage management. Her other credits include Divine Sister, When Last We Flew (Diversionary Theatre), Zanna, Don’t!, Doubt, Symphony of Clouds , A Grand Night for Singing (SDSU) and Dear Harvey (University of San Diego).

Bob Giesick (Guitarist) worked with Lisa Berger last year to provide music for a student play at University of San Diego (Anatomy of Gray). After a 31-year career in the environmental health field, Bob decided he would rather spend more time doing what he loved. He currently plays guitar and mandolin at his church in two worship bands, and plays with members of the San Diego Symphony during holiday events. This past year he also played in a bluegrass band. Bob likes participating in collaborative musical projects as well as playing solo sets on guitar.

Lynne Jennings (Puppeteer) is Executive Director of the San Diego Guild of Puppetry and has built puppets for San Diego Opera, La Jolla Playhouse, Junior Theatre, Diversionary, Mo’olelo, Pt. Loma Nazarene and University of San Diego. The majority of her work is with the Guild, most notably on their Henson Grant production of Goldilocks, the Nursing Home Version, and most recently, Ubu Roi, in partnership with the Max Fischer Players. She is delighted to collaborate with Lisa Berger for a fourth time (previous productions: Long Christmas Ride Home, The Pied Piper, or What is Lost and Corpse Bride).

Molly Maslak (Assistant Director) is very appreciative of this opportunity to study puppetry and assistant direct with the lovely Lisa Berger. Molly is a recent graduate of the University of San Diego where she earned her BA in Theatre Arts and English. She was last seen in Circle Circle dot dot’s original production of DerbyWise. She is currently a teaching artist at Christian Youth Theatre, a student at the MeisnerChekhov Integrated Training Studio, a starving writer and a budding puppeteer.

James Ramirez (Assistant Producer) began his theatre career at MVHS in the production of A Christmas Carol. He continued at MSJC Menifee Lab Theatre, where he acted and did technical work for productions, including The Cherry Orchard and The Real Inspector Hound. He has also worked with the Temecula Valley Players as Stage Manager for The Miracle Worker and Sylvia. James joined San Diego State University in 2011 and has been involved in numerous productions in many capacities. Such productions include The Boy Friend and A Little Night Music. This is his second SRT production.

Keric Rivas (Lighting Assistant) was extensively involved with theatre productions during his high school days. He worked on shows such as Blood Brothers. His previous credits with SRT include Deathtrap and a feminine ending. He has also has worked as a set-construction volunteer with SRT in some previous productions. He is currently attending Grossmont College. When Keric is not doing homework, set construction, or stage crew, he can often be found playing chess on weekends.

Andy Scrimger (Set Design and Construction) has worked on previous SRT productions, including An Inspector Calls, Moonlight and Magnolias and Lettice and Lovage. He has been doing projects all over the West Coast, including the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles. Most recently he worked for Cygnet Theatre and The Old Globe. Andy enjoys design work of all types as President of Volume 11 Graphics, a local sign shop, whose work ranges from window displays to vehicle wraps. He is always focused on using environmentally conscious materials and processes, and is excited to be working again with SRT.

Mitchell Simkovsky (Lighting Design) is a veteran of many SRT productions, including Holiday Spirits, a feminine ending, How the Other Half Loves, Social Security, Painting Churches, Moonlight and Magnolias and most recently, Lettice and Lovage. He also has designed lighting for productions at many other San Diego theaters. An accounting professional by day, Mitchell designed the lighting for three SRT productions last season.

Carol Whaley (Costume Designer) worked with SRT previously as Costume Designer for Moonlight and Magnolias. She earned her MFA in Theatrical Design from San Diego State University, and an MA and BA in Dramatic Arts from University of California, Santa Barbara. She is faculty costume and makeup designer for San Diego City College Saville Theatre. Carol has designed for Coronado Playhouse, where she won the ACT Aubrey Award for Best Costume Design for The Drowsy Chaperone, Lamb’s Players Theatre, OnStage Playhouse, La Jolla Stage Company, The Western Stage, San Jose Stage Company and Santa Barbara Ensemble Theatre.

Angelica Ynfante (Properties Manager) has a BFA in Theatre from Texas State University. She made her way around the U.S. and Mexico, having worked in Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Vermont, New York, Tennessee, Kentucky and Cancún. She finally made it to sunny California where she has been the Props Mistress with San Diego Repertory Theatre for five seasons. She is also the Properties Designer at Cygnet Theatre and is in her third season as PropertiesDesigner/Technical Director at MoxieTheatre. This is Angela’s second season as Properties Manager for SRT.

Taylor McWhorter (Crew/Dresser) is excited to be part of this production at SRT. She is a fresh graduate of San Diego State University, getting her Bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts. At SDSU she worked as wig crew on shows such as Peter Pan & Wendy and The Boyfriend. Earlier this year Taylor also served as a wig assistant at Diversionary Theater for The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler and Birds of a Feather.

Renee Morton (Crew/Dresser) is no stranger to the SRT family; in the fall of 2013 she worked as running crew in addition to being on stage as a tourist in Lettice and Lovage, and was costume designer for Out On A Limb 2 this past summer. You can see her costume design work in an upcoming production of Snapshot: A Dramatic Anthology at Scripps Ranch High School this spring.



Stephen Metcalfe (Playwright) Stage plays include Loves & Hours, Vikings, Strange Snow, Sorrows and Sons, Pilgrims, Half a Lifetime, Emily, White Linen, The Incredibly Famous Willy Rivers, White Man Dancing, A World of Their Own and The Gift Teller. He has been produced in New York and at regional theaters throughout the United States as well as in Europe and Japan. Screen credits include Half a Lifetime, Cousins, Jacknife, Roommates El Abuelo, and Beautiful Joe. He also wrote the production drafts of Pretty Woman, Arachnophobia, It Could Happen to You, Dangerous Minds, The Marrying Man and Mr Holland’s Opus. Other original (and oft-optioned) screenplays include Time Flies, The Old Boy, Jonah, The Infield, The Harrower, Scylla, Passing Fancy, Rock, Paper, Bone and An Innocent Abroad. Stephen is an Associate Artist at The Old Globe Theatre, and has been an adjunct professor in dramatic writing at UCSD, USD and SDSU. His first novel, The Tragic Age, will be published by St. Martin’s Press in the fall of 2014.


Production Photos

[lightbox style=”modern” image_path=”×234.jpg” popup=”” link_to_page=”” target=”” description=”Virginia Gregg, Eric Parmer, Todd Blakesley, Matt Murphy and Tatiana Mac in ‘The Gift Teller'” size=”two_col_large”] Virginia Gregg, Eric Parmer, Todd Blakesley, Matt Murphy and Tatiana Mac in The Gift Teller
[lightbox style=”modern” image_path=”×234.jpg” popup=”” link_to_page=”” target=”” description=”Tatiana Mac, Matt Murphy and Todd Blakesley in ‘The Gift Teller'” size=”two_col_large”] Tatiana Mac, Matt Murphy and Todd Blakesley in The Gift Teller

[lightbox style=”modern” image_path=”×234.jpg” popup=”” link_to_page=”” target=”” description=”Virginia Gregg, Eric Parmer, Matt Murphy and Tatiana Mac in ‘The Gift Teller'” size=”two_col_large”] Virginia Gregg, Eric Parmer, Matt Murphy and Tatiana Mac in The Gift Teller
[lightbox style=”modern” image_path=”×234.jpg” popup=”” link_to_page=”” target=”” description=”Todd Blakesley, Tatiana Mac and Matt Murphy in ‘The Gift Teller'” size=”two_col_large”] Todd Blakesley, Tatiana Mac and Matt Murphy in The Gift Teller

[lightbox style=”modern” image_path=”×234.jpg” popup=”” link_to_page=”” target=”” description=”Tatiana Mac, Eric Parmer and Virginia Gregg in ‘The Gift Teller'” size=”two_col_large”] Tatiana Mac, Eric Parmer and Virginia Gregg in The Gift Teller

Photos by Ken Jacques

[lightbox style=”modern” image_path=”×355.jpg” popup=”” link_to_page=”” target=”” description=”Todd Blakesley and Matt Murphy in ‘The Gift Teller'” size=”portrait_thumb”] Todd Blakesley and Matt Murphy in The Gift Teller



‘Teller’ says plenty, with charm; New Metcalfe play at Scripps Ranch Theatre puts fresh spin on ‘Magi’ tale – James HebertNov. 10, 2013