Our People

Anna Miles is the founder of Beating of Wings. Anna is an actor, director, playwright, and theater maker based in the OC/LA area; she has been creating feminist theater professionally since 2013 and on an amateur level since high school. Some of her most recent projects include Daddy Long Legs: The Musical (Director) and Think of Me, Fred Weasley (Writer, Director, Performer). Her plays have been performed at the Chance Theater in Anaheim and her nonfiction and fiction writing has been published in Prompt Magazine and Z Publishing's "California's Emerging Writers" series. Her flash play Girls and Boys, When They Sit in Trees and Share Their Toys was recently published in the Santa Ana River Review. Favorite acting credits include Frozen: Live at the Hyperion at Disneyland (Young Anna/Young Elsa), The Heidi Chronicles with Trinity Repertory Company (Fran/Lisa/Denise), The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant with Brown/Trinity (Karin Thimm), 9 to 5: The Musical and Present Laughter with Summer Repertory Theatre (Roz Keith/Liz Essendine), and The Anatomy of Love with the Chance Theater's OTR Series (Tana Spencer). Anna is also a new ensemble member with "The Imagination Machine," which travels to local elementary schools and performs student-written stories. Anna holds a BA in Theater and Creative Writing from Northwestern University (where she developed and directed her play It Was the Nightingale: Persephone's Play under the tutelage of Lookingglass Theater's founding member, David Catlin), and an MFA in Acting from Brown University/Trinity Repertory Company's MFA Programs in Acting and Directing.  

Anna Miles

Founding 

Artistic Director

Charlie Marie McGrath

Co Associate Artistic Director

Audience Outreach Director

Charlie Marie McGrath is thrilled to join Beating of Wings as a woman who makes art in support of other women making art. Charlie Marie is a director who primarily reimagines the classics to make them immediate and relevant for contemporary audiences, infusing them with stylized movement, music, magical realism, occasional circus arts, and always realistic, diverse characters that you might meet walking down a familiar neighborhood street.   An alumnus of Directors Lab North, Northwestern University and AMDA (NY), she’s been awarded two SDCF Observerships and a Directing Fellowship with the Shakespeare Theatre Company. BROADWAY: SDCF Observer, A Time to Kill (dir. Ethan McSweeny). REGIONAL: Director, Birmingham Children’s Theatre: The Jungle Book; Charlotte's Eb: Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC): God Is Dead and April Is Getting Married: Island Shakespeare Festival: Sense and Sensibility. Assistant Director, STC; South Coast Repertory; Goodman Theatre; Court Theatre; Northlight Theatre. DC: Director, Pointless Theatre: Imogen (Washington Post Critics’ Pick). CHICAGO: The Side Project: Lysistrata; AstonRep Theatre Company: Les Liaisons Dangereuses; Dead Writers Theatre Collective: Game of Love and Chance [Remount], House of Mirth; Proud Kate Theatre Project: The Ruby Sunrise, November, Dumb Waiter; G&S Opera Company: HMS Pinafore.

Val Larsen

Associate Artistic Director

Co Producing Director

Facilitator, Flock Gatherings

Valerie ("Val") Larsen grew up in Salt Lake City, UT in a musical family; she grew up studying voice, acting, dance, piano, harp, beginning to write her own music and participating in local and regional theater. She then went on to attend The Boston Conservatory and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Musical Theater.  Valerie is currently represented by Todd Eskin and Robert Miller Jr. at Across The Board Talent and is a member of the AEA and AGVA unions. Recent LA theater credits include Frozen: Live at the Hyperion at Disneyland, The Women at The Group Rep, and Mutt House: The Musical at the Kirk Douglas Theater. She also recently performed a solo songwriting concert with Breaking Sound, and was a co-creator and performer with Beating of Wings' first production, Thinking of Monkeys, in 2017. Val currently lives in Los Angeles with her cat Petra and her many musical instruments.  She is a self-taught guitar, ukulele and bass player, and continues to write music and perform locally.  Her favorite color is green, she can't handle horror films and loves to journal.

Helen Jane Planchet

Diversity Development Director

Head of Ensemble Outreach and Recruitment

Helen Jane Planchet is a proud member of Beating of Wings. Helen is a musical theatre actress from New Orleans, LA, now based in Los Angeles. Her most recent projects include Musical Theatre West's Guys and Dolls (Agatha) and understudying A Noise Within's 2018 and 2017 productions of Man of La Mancha (Antonia u/s). She also enjoys performing at the Disneyland Resort as a vocalist during the holidays. Some of her New Orleans credits include Jefferson Performing Arts Society's productions of Aida (Aida), Fiddler on the Roof (Tzeitel u/s), and the Rocky Horror Show (Columbia u/s), Theatre 13's production of Legally Blonde (Kate/Chutney), and the National WWII Museum's production of On the Air (Dorothy u/s).

Megan Ruble

Co Producing Director

Megan Ruble is so excited to be performing with this group of talented group of go-getters!  Megan's credits range from Sondheim to Shakespeare and include companies such as Sierra Repertory Theatre, Chase What Flies, and New Musicals, Inc. Whether acting, singing, or producing, she is committed to the art of storytelling and the change it can elicit in the world.  Keep up with all her projects at: megan-ruble.com and aquafox.tv.  Joshua 1:7-9

Katie DesShan

Co Marketing Director

Social Media Director

Katie can currently be seen performing at schools all over Southern California with The Imagination Machine (with whom she also served as Community Outreach Coordinator), as well as onstage at Disney’s California Adventure in Frozen: Live at the Hyperion. She has appeared as Jane in TARZAN (3D-Theatricals,) Frauelin Kost in CABARET (Crown City Theatre Co.,) Suzy in THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES (Sierra Rep and Candlelight Pavilion,) Amber in HAIRSPRAY (Sierra Rep,) a Silly Girl in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (3D-Theatricals,) and most recently she spent her holiday season performing with the Troubadour Theatre Company in THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOWIE (The Falcon Theatre.) She has performed over/on the seas for Disney in Tokyo and as an original cast member aboard The Disney Fantasy. Film and Television credits include Disney’s The Parent Trap and NBC’s Brave New World. Proud member, SAG/AFTRA/AEA

Christine Tucker

Co Marketing Director

Christine Tucker is a native Texan but so happy to call Los Angeles her home away from home where she lives with her crazy Australian Shepherd, Tex, and her astronaut-aspiring husband, Eric (in order of importance, of course). Christine has a degree in musical theatre from Texas State University and has lived on both coasts pursuing her love for the arts. With many musicals behind her belt (Mrs. Darling/Older Wendy in Cathy Rigby's Peter Pan, Penny in Hairspray, Sandy in Grease, Laurey in Oklahoma!, Inga in Young Frankenstein, Frozen Live At The Hyperion, etc), this past year, Christine has discovered a greater love for comedy and telling stories in all mediums. She studies with Annie Grindlay and UCB, has an indie feature currently streaming on Amazon (Will & Liz), plays zany Disney villains on a kids YouTube Channel (TotallyTV) and has written her own comedic short film with hopes to have an all female creative team; women film festivals here we come! Christine is ecstatic that Anna asked her to be apart of Beating of Wings as there's nothing better than surrounding yourself with creative women who all share a passion for the arts and its impact on our community. 2019, get ready for us! 1 Corinth 16:13-14 (MSG)

Melissa Dunham

Director of Finance and Fundraising

Melissa Dunham is an actor, singer, and producer and is excited to bring her skills and passion to Beating of Wings. Melissa has produced several past productions, both of which she has also starred in, including Daddy Long Legs: The Musical, which raised thousands of dollars for Shriners Hospitals for Children, and the recent Beating of Wings production Think of Me, Fred Weasley, which performed to sold-out houses at both the The Little Victory Theater in Burbank and the Chance Theater in Anaheim.  Recent acting credits include: Jerusha Abbott in Daddy Long Legs: The Musical, Self in Think of Me, Fred Weasley, Ensemble in the concert version of West Side Story with the South Coast Symphony, Antonia in Man of La Mancha, Anne in The Diary of Anne Frank, Laurey in Oklahoma! and Jasmine in Disney's Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular. Melissa is currently a member of the ensemble of Frozen: Live at the Hyperion and a performer at Universal Studios: Hollywood. She holds a BFA in Musical Theater from the University of California, Irvine (Zot zot!).

Lucia Joyce

Ensemble Member

Lucia Joyce is thrilled to be joining Beating of Wings for the female-driven Shakespeare-hybrid experience: A Sad Tale’s Best For Winter. Lucia brings a decade’s experience of touring the world as a dancer and musical theatre actor. Favorite credits include: Sweet Charity with Laura Bell Bundy (Carmen), Sweet Charity National Tour (Helene), 42nd Street National Tour (Phyllis/Lorraine), and iLuminate’s Off Broadway Artist of Light (Jacob/Crony) at New World Stages and on tour. Lucia recently debuted in Paris By Night and can be seen playing several troubled female heroes in three short films by Daniel Fes. Her thanks go out to mentor Greg Sims, Shane and Mom.

Kit Meyering

Ensemble Member

Kit is an LA based gender non-conforming actor who recently placed in the top 3 of LA's Next Great Stage Star of 2018. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting for the Stage and Screen in 2017 from Azusa Pacific University, and favorite credits include Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet; an ASL love story, (which featured a half deaf cast of Broadway veterans from the Spring Awakening Revival), Flounder in The Little Mermaid in North Hollywood, and Janis Ian in Nice Girls; A Musical Parody, which she co-wrote and starred in. You can also catch her Google Nest commercial currently airing on channels across the U.S. Kit started a production company with her twin sister that strives to features minorities and under-represented individuals in media, and you can check out their work at www.thewild.productions. 

Himerria Wortham

Ensemble Member

Himerria Wortham, Berlin born and Detroit educated, is a dancer, choreographer and actress, who’s been creating and performing for the stage and screen professionally since 2008. She is excited to join the ensemble of Beating of Wings, with whom she co-created the multi-medium performance piece Thinking of Monkeys in 2017. Himerria has worked with a variety of artists including Toni Braxton, Shakira, Carley Rae Jepson, and Aretha Franklin, as well as danced in shows such as Crazy Ex Girlfriend, an Apple Commercial with the band Avalanche, the AMAs, the Academy Awards, and America’s Best Dance Crew. Himerria also joined the Disney family in 2010, performing in such stage shows as “Frozen! Live at the Hyperion” and Disney’s hit TV shows “Shake It Up” and “So Random.” As an artist, she has ventured into choreographing music videos, staged concert shows and film collaborating with artists like Animi Design Production. She has a passion for sharing the unique stories of people from diverse backgrounds: most recently she choreographed a music video for Rachael Cantu’s (which featured dancers all from the LGBTQ community), a music video for Miguel’s “Pineapple,” and movement directed the award-winning short fantasy film “Thistles and Thorns.” Other film credits include directing her own short thriller films “Run” and “Confessions,” which explored the everyday challenges of living with mental illness. Currently you can catch Himerria working on site specific dance performances with the Heidi Duckler Dance Theater, with whom she recently traveled to Chile for the International Ideas Festival (Puerto De Ideas) and taught dance at the Chino Women’s prison. 

Jennifer Foster

Ensemble Member

Jennifer Foster or “JFo” was born in New York and California grown. Her arrangements have been performed all over Los Angeles including venues like The Hollywood Bowl, Walt Disney Concert Hall and The International Ballroom for the Point Honors. She has worked extensively as an actress in film, TV, and theatre including Looking on HBO (series and movie), GLEE, and A Christmas Story Live! on FOX. Off-Broadway: Roundabout’s If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet with Jake Gyllenhaal, Merrily We Roll Along at the Wallis Annenberg (dir. Michael Arden), at the Hollywood Bowl in HAIR (dir. Adam Shankman) and Mamma Mia! (dir. Kathleen Marshall), Carrie the Killer Musical (Los Angeles Theatre), and more. Jennifer is poet and the founder of Foster the Art Live Sessions, a group of artists who collaborate to benefit different charities. Jen loves outer space, science, politics, psychology, and asking questions. She is grateful to be a part of Beating of Wings where she can continue to explore all of those things through art. You can find her music online and follow her @JFoOnTheGo if you find her intriguing.

Miranda Clement

Ensemble Member

Miranda Kelly Macbeth didn’t really choose theatre so much as theatre chose her. Originally majoring in computer engineering at Brigham Young University, she took her first theatre class to fulfill a GE requirement. Soon enough she was swallowed whole by the theatre arts department. Miranda is now graduated with a Bachelor’s in English and Theatre, with an emphasis on directing. She is an award winning director, playwright, poet, and a new business owner. Her company, The Wit Theatre, hopes to open their doors in Long Beach later this year. Miranda is very excited to be drowning herself in theatre while simultaneously learning to fly with other theatre artists like The Beating of Wings Collective. Who knew you could feel such drastically different sensations at the same time!

Kailyn Leilani

Ensemble Member

Kailyn Leilani is a mixed race actor, singer, and dancer based in Los Angeles and Orange County.  Her focus is musical theatre, but she is also looking to branch into commercial, film, and television work. Kailyn is a graduate from UCLA, and recent theater credits include Frozen: Live at the Hyperion at Disneyland's California Adventure Park (Elsa), Man of La Mancha at La Mirada Theater of the Performing Arts (Fermina), and Into the Woods with South Coast Repertory Theater (Cinderella). Kailyn is passionate about expanding diversity of human representation in theater and the entertainment industry as a whole. When she's not working on a project she loves to paint vinyl records, bake anything with chocolate, or research her family history.

Marisa Matthews

Ensemble Member

Marisa has performed for over 25 years and holds a Masters Degree in Acting + Performing from the American Conservatory Theatre. Marisa has performed all over the world at theatres including: The Kirk Douglas, The Laguna Playhouse, Disney California Adventure, CalShakes, A Noise Within, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Billie Holiday Theatre, and Prima del Teatro (San Miniato, Italy), to name a few. Marisa taught singing to 3rd-5th grade students at the Bay Laurel Elementary school in Calabasas, CA where she also served as music director for the after-school musical theatre program, Jaxx Theatricals. While living in New York, Marisa was Program Coordinator of The Creative Arts Team, a division of the City University of New York, where she taught acting and voice lessons to under-privileged youth and college students. 

Lola Kelly

Ensemble Member

Lola Kelly is an actor, writer and director with 10 years of professional experience creating in film, theatre, new media and immersive spaces. Her recent credits include the Witnessingand Heart of Winterfor the Unmarked Door, Hall & Mirror’s immersive bespoke experience for one audience a night YOU and a commission for the City of Santa Monica and Think Tank Gallery The Secret Space. She is the co-founder of Fancy Article, a female driven production and creative agency with a pilot premiering with official selection at ITV Fest. She recently wrote her first feature film California Widow,a queer psycho sexual thriller, which is currently in development. As an actor she has worked at SCR, the Chance, Moving Arts, the Blank, REDCAT, and Circle X. Her favorite role yet was playing the deliciously complicated and unapologetic Countess Bathory in Sofya Levitsky-Weitz’s Ladyat ATA in New York. She has a BA in Theatre Arts from Loyola Marymount University and an MA from RADA/King’s College London in Text Analysis and Performance Studies. 

Rebecca Munley

Ensemble Member

Since being yanked into the world ass-first via C-section, Rebecca has never done things conventionally. Her Jersey Jewish mother and Irish Catholic father decided to raise me as BOTH religions, which means she always felt guilty, if never hungry. She never quite got the hang of either, as breaking Passover with spare ribs and praying to “Chuck-E-Cheesus” for forgiveness. She thought she’d finally gotten onto a conventional (or at least predictable) path when she used my undergraduate theatre degree from Northwestern to tend bar, until the Hell-themed taco joint she worked at burned to the ground. She has used writing and storytelling throughout her life to render these various mishaps productive, and have thus learned not only to accept the unorthodox, but to embrace it, often through a comedic and heartfelt eye. She eventually found her way from short stories to stage plays to screenplays, and pursued her MFA in Writing For Screen And Television at the University of Southern California.

Mazie Rudolph

Ensemble Member

Mazie Rudolph (née Wilson) received her degree in Drama at UC Irvine, where her credits included Frieda and Harriet Pawling in Sunday in the Park With George, Peggy in As It Is in Heaven, Mae in Reefer Madness, and Marmee in Little Women. She has most recently been seen on stage as Diana in Next to Normal, Eponine in Les Misérables, Lindsay in Godspell, and Jo in Little Women. Mazie has been featured as a soloist with the Pacific Symphony under the direction of conductor Carl St. Clair. She also traveled to Washington, D.C. where she was a soloist at the Kennedy Center for their Broadway: Songs of Today and Tomorrow concert series. After graduating from UCI, Mazie became the Music Director at South Orange County School of the Arts, where she worked for 8 years. She vocal directed and conducted over 20 shows during her time there, including Aida, The Secret Garden, Gypsy, West Side Story, and Little Shop of Horrors. Mazie is currently the music director for Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center and is an audition accompanist for Disneyland. Her latest productions include Sister Act, Cabaret, Hairspray, Fiddler on the Roof, In the Heights, and Big Fish. Mazie is an accomplished pianist, having received her Senior Medallion Award from the Certificate of Merit piano program. She also won a StageScene LA Scenie Award for Outstanding Music Direction for In The Heights and was named 2017 Artist of the Year at the Simi Valley Spotlight Awards.

Maisha Grace

Ensemble Member

Growing up in Southern California with her mothers' love of literature, the medium of diverse storytelling is in Maisha’s blood. As a budding theater artist, Maisha spent her summers at Phillips Performing Arts where she made her debut as Miss Hannigan in Annie Jr., and later as Taylor McKessie in High School Musical Jr., under the direction of theater legend Obba Babbatundé. Her training continued under Pamela Shea and John Walcott at Macker Entertainment and under Donna Dubain of the Spolin Player Workshop at The Exposure Studio, then throughout her time at Los Angeles Valley College and the American Musical Dramatic Academy. There Maisha was cast in productions under the direction of Thomas O'Leary, Christopher Coddington, and Cathy Susan Pyles.  After her time in school, Maisha jumped into the world of film, working on the short film ‘Jerky,’ which went on to screen at the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner. She lent her voice to the short film ‘Level Up, ‘ which was an official selection of the DMOFF film festival, and then went on to earn her first Script Supervisor and Asst. Asst. Director credit working on the Amazon Prime series 'Mrs. Fitzgerald is Missing.' Maisha has since started her own production company, completing her first short film 'The Job You Want,' a project that not only marked her writing and directorial debuts, but also boasted an all-female crew, most of whom were women of color. Maisha continues to broaden the mediums through which she tells stories, including being in the chorus of an art-installation piece, ‘The Sable Dragonfly- A Visual Ode to the Black Female Body” which will feature an audio and visual presentation as well as a live art gallery, premiering in May of this year.

Jessica Ward

Ensemble Member

Chloe Cole

Ensemble Member

Chloe Cole received her MFA in fiction from UC Riverside. Her short story "Dark Ages" about the inevitable gentrification of time travel was a Roswell Award finalist. Before that, her writing appeared on Vice, CollegeHumor, Dorkly, The Mary Sue and Reductress. Most importantly, she published a 9-part story on neopets.com when she was 11 years old. Read her story "Knuckle and Nail" on Crag: http://www.crag.dog/knuckle-and-nail

Casey Dean is a local actor and director. Most recently, she was seen in Sockhop on Saturn, an immersive theatre piece by Klubhouse Arts and The Three Muskateers at Palos Verdes Performing Arts. She works with The Imagination Machine, a company who tours around to schools and performs children’s stories. Her most recent directing credits include What Happens in the Dark and References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot. She is currently working on directing a new podcast series coming soon! 

Casey Dean

Ensemble Member

Website photos by Chassey Bennet @chasseyphotography

Stay updated on all our projects!

Sign up for our newsletter

©2019 by Beating of Wings