Jasmine R. Handy; by Shawn Poynter

Produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc. (www.playscripts.com)
Anon(ymous) was originally commissioned and produced by The Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Advisories: Contains mature content and topics. Recommended for age 13+.

Run time: 90 minutes with no intermission


Katie Lupica
Music Director
f Terry D. Alford
Scenic & Projections Designer
Sophie Smrcka
Costume Designer
f Alex Heder
Lighting Designer
f Kenton Yeager
Composer and Sound Designer
f.Amoirie Perteet

Intimacy Director
Casey Sams
Fight Director
f Sam-Claire Bieber
Props Designer
Monica Gardiner
Dramaturg and Directing Assistant
Leah Cleland
Directing Assistant
Sam R. McRary
Stage Manager
Emily Hutton

‡ Represented by United Scenic Artists, local USA-829 of the IATSE.

Katie Lupica

Katie Lupica (Director) is the Associate Artistic Director of Clarence Brown Theatre and Assistant Professor of Directing at UT. Originally from Phoenix, AZ, Katie has directed new plays, classics, and rediscovered canon in Chicago, New York City, and regionally. Most recent: Twelfth Night (Kane Rep), Everybody and Men on Boats (Northwestern U.), Oh Oh You Will Be Sorry (world premiere, Hangar Theatre), Chemistry (Producer’s Pick, Cincy Fringe), Pains of Youth (Access Theatre, NYC), Good Kids (SUNY Brockport), Elektra (Dobama Theatre). She has developed plays by Nick Gandiello, Claire Kiechel, Jacob Marx Rice, and Adrienne Kennedy. Assisting/associate directing includes Broadway (Godspell), Off-Broadway (MCC Theater, The Pearl), and regional credits (Lookingglass, Chicago Shakes, Cleveland Play House, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Geva Theatre Center, Artpark Buffalo, Repertory Theater of St. Louis, Williamstown Theatre Festival). She has worked in literary management at Signature Theater (NY) and Samuel French play publishers. Katie is a Drama League Directing Fellow, a Sir John Gielgud Fellow, and an Associate Member of SDC. MFA, Northwestern. BA, Columbia. More at katielupica.com.

Terry D. Alford

Terry D. Alford (Musical Director) Terry is a Distinguished Lecturer in Theatre and teaches Musical Theatre Performance and Honor’s Introduction to the Theatre and Acting. Prior to joining the UT faculty Mr. Alford held the positions of Director of Musical Theatre at The University of Tulsa, and Director of Musical Theatre at The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. He has worked professionally as a performer, director, musical director, and composer at theaters across the country, including the California Theatre Center, Madison Repertory, Omaha Playhouse, Augusta Barn, Fireside Theatre, Light Opera of Oklahoma, and the Clarence Brown Theatre. Terry has directed or musically directed numerous productions and has created the scores for four original musicals and a variety of chamber and vocal music pieces. He is a member of the Clarence Brown Professional Company and regularly directs and musically directs for the Clarence Brown Theatre. Terry is the director of the CBT Summer Acting Workshop and serves as co-facilitator of Outreach and Education hosting Theatre Tours and Talk Backs.

Sophie Smrcka

Sophie Smrcka (Scenic & Projections Designer) was born and raised in Colorado, and graduated from the University of Denver in 2022, with B.A.s in Theatre and Communications. She is now an MFA candidate in Scenic Design at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. This will be Sophie’s third time designing in the Clarence Brown Lab Theatre. Previously, her work was seen in The Moors and Men on Boats. Most recently her work was seen onstage in Fat Ham at River and Rail Theatre Company. More of her work can be found at smrckadesigns.com. Enjoy the show!

Alex Heder

Alex Heder (Costume Designer) Alex is a second-year graduate student from Northern Utah. He has a BFA in costuming from Utah State University, and also has a robust background in scenic and properties design. He designed the costumes for a film adaptation of Monteverdi’s opera L’incoronazione di Poppea and the world premiere of an original opera based on the book Uncovered by Leah Lax. Anon(ymous) is his sixth realized design. Outside of theatre Alex spends most of his time attending conventions, renaissance fairs, participating in buhurt armored combat, and crafting related things. He is a certified blacksmith and a leather artisan among other things and his work can be viewed at www.alexheder.com

Kenton Yeager

Kenton Yeager (Lighting Designer) Kenton heads the Master’s Program in Entertainment Lighting Design and Technology and is the Director of Graduate Studies here at UTK. Being busy over the past 40 years, Kenton has designed or produced more than 700 events for the Corporate World, Theatre, Dance, Music, Weddings, Industrials, Festivals, and Tours both nationally and internationally. He is also the owner and creator of Yeagerlabs, a classroom theater system used in teaching theatre (yeagerlabs.com). His theatre design credits include work for: Walnut Street Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Denver Theatre Center, Milwaukee Rep, St Louis Rep, Arizona Theatre Company, Riverside Theatre, Pioneer Theatre, Round House Theatre, Folger Shakespeare, The Clarence Brown Theatre, Virginia Stage Co, Arden Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Asolo Theatre, PlayMakers Rep, Great River Shakespeare Festival, Arkansas Rep, Theatre by the Sea, Pennsylvania Stage, National Shakespeare Co, Camden Shakespeare Co, The Flynn Theater for the Performing Arts, and American Music Theatre Festival. Kenton has designed corporate events for IBM, AIG International, The Olympic Ski Team, University of Tennessee, Vermont Fine Wine and Food Festival, and ESPN. Kenton has also designed concerts for Suzanne Vega, Dave Matthews, John Prine, They Might Be Giants, George Winston, The Kronos Quartet, Bobby McFerrin, The Roches Charles Mingus Big Band, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, George Winston, Slide Hampton, Canadian Brass, Johnny Clegg, James Carter, Sweet Honey in the Rock and, Stephane Grappelli. As an educator, he has taught design master classes at more than 40 Universities, taught lighting design at Penn State, and was Chair/Artistic Director of Interlochen Arts Camps’ Department of Theater. He has taught workshops in Berlin, Munich, Salzburg, Prague, Mexico City, Avignon, Mumbai, and Amsterdam.

Amoirie Perteet

Amoirie Perteet (Sound Designer and Composer) is originally from Chicago, Illinois and currently a second-year MFA candidate in Sound & Media Design. She graduated from UT in 2022 with a BA in Music Production & Business. Last summer, she was the assistant sound designer for Romeo & Juliet at the American Players Theatre. Recent credits with the Clarence Brown Theatre include: Blood at the RootTrouble in Mind, and HairShe is excited that Anon(ymous) is her third ever sound design with the Clarence Brown Theatre. To keep up with her, you can find her on Instagram @amoirie. 

Casey Sams

Casey Sams (Intimacy Director) Casey teaches movement for actors, musical theatre, and serves as the Associate Chair for the Theatre department. She regularly directs and choreographs for the CBT, and has served as Intimacy Choreographer for the CBT, River and Rail Theatre Company, First Take Productions, and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. She has had the great good fortune to work as a choreographer or director at such theaters as Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, PlayMakers Repertory Theatre, The Roundhouse Theatre, St. Louis Repertory Theatre, Virginia Stage Company, Vermont Stage, The Utah Shakespearian Festival, Great River Shakespeare Festival, North Carolina Stage, and Knoxville Opera, among others. Her Undergraduate and Graduate degrees are from Penn State, she is a Certified Laban Movement Analyst from the Laban / Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York, and she is a member of the inaugural class of Education Advocates with Theatrical Intimacy Educators.

Sam_Claire Bieber

Sam-Claire Bieber (Fight Director) As an Advanced Actor Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors she has served on staff at workshops across the country including in Dallas, Minneapolis, and the National Stage Combat Workshop in Ruston, Louisiana. Select Fight Direction credits include: Gianni Schicchi, La Cage aux Folles, Silent Night, Fences, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Select performance credits include: Twelfth Night (Viola); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Titania); Hand to God (Jessica); and The Watsons (Emma Watson). When not performing or crafting moments of violence for the stage you can find Sam-Claire demonstrating her stunning impression of a crow.

Leah Cleland

Leah Cleland (Dramaturg / Directing Assistant)  is a junior at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville studying Adaptation Studies as part of the College Scholars Program. This is her second time working with the Clarence Brown Theatre, the first being Murder on the Orient Express. She is extremely excited to make her foray into the world of dramaturgy and directing, and she’d like to thank Katie Lupica for the opportunity to do both. She hopes you all enjoy the journey!

Samuel R. McRary

Sam R. McRary (Directing Assistant) Sam is very excited to be working with the Clarence Brown Theatre on the production of Anon(ymous). He is currently in his third year studying Theatre Technology at the University of Tennessee. He has worked on many productions with other companies in Knoxville including: Godspell, Guys and Dolls, The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, Our Tempest, The Wolves, and The Moors. This experience i s a huge step in helping him pursue a career in theater. He is very appreciative of everyone who’s supported him, and is very thankful for all he’s learned through this production of Anon(ymous).

Monica Gardiner (Props Designer) is a Studio Art major with a focus in 3D art, and a Theatre minor at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She likes to do a little bit of everything in theatre, so Monica is excited to be involved in this production and grateful to the Clarence Brown Theatre for this opportunity.

Emily Hutton

Emily Hutton (Stage Manager) A freshman History major at UT from Arizona, Emily is excited to continue their work with the CBT! This is their second show with UT, with the first being last semester’s A Christmas Carol. With a professional background in stage managing with various Arizona-based dance companies, Emily is excited to break into the world of theatre.

Kenneth Martin

Kenneth Martin (Department Head, Artistic Director) Ken comes from the University of Missouri, at Kansas City, where he was the Patricia Mcllrath Endowed Professor and Chair of the Theatre Division.  His 26-year career in academia also included nearly 18 years serving as chair of the theater departments of Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina and Ashland University in Ohio. Tremendously successful as an administrator at both institutions, Martin navigated curricular revisions and development, managed resources effectively and efficiently, created innovative collaborations, cultivated significant enrollment growth, and forged international partnerships. A member of United Scenic Artists, his designs have been seen at theatres across the country including Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Florida Repertory Theatre, New Theatre, Ohio Light Opera, Cleveland Ensemble Theatre, Ocean State Theatre and many others. He has also designed shows for many colleges and universities including Marquette University, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Coastal Carolina University, Cuyahoga Community College, and The Ohio State University. Martin has actively served his profession as a respondent for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, as a consultant for several regional theaters and through active participation in organizations like the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, Educational Theatre Association and the Southeastern Theatre Conference.

Tom Cervone

Tom Cervone (Managing Director) Tom is grateful and honored to serve the Clarence Brown Theatre as Managing Director. Cervone has also served as executive director for both Dogwood Arts and the Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation, but the CBT/UTK Theatre Department is Tom’s administrative and artistic home. Cervone arrived in Knoxville in 1989 as an MFA candidate in acting and was hired in May of 1993 as the company manager, then promoted to managing director in 1995. And for his brief foray downtown, Tom has been in this chair, blissfully, ever since. Tom is and has been very active within the UTK community, having served as Exempt Staff Council chair for many years, co-chair of the LGBT Commission, a member of the Diversity Council and many other UTK organizations. Cervone is a long-time board member of the WordPlayers and continues to evangelize on behalf of the art and culture community locally and nationally. Tom received the Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Service to the University in 2010. Cervone holds his undergraduate degree in Speech and English Education with an emphasis in Theatre from West Liberty University in West Virginia and a Master of Fine Arts and an MBA from UT. He is a graduate of and was selected as the Class Representative of the Leadership Knoxville class of 2011, the best class ever. Cervone was inducted into his undergraduate alma mater’s class of 2015 Wall of Honor and was appointed by the Governor of WV in 2021 to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees of WLU.

Susan McMillan

Susan L. McMillan (Production Manager) is in her tenth year as Production Manager at the CBT and UT Department of Theatre. In addition, she teaches Stage Management. Prior, Susan was the Production Manager and Stage Management Instructor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, for 6 years. Susan is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, and was a Stage Manager at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for 18 years. Additionally, she has stage managed at the Guthrie Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Portland Center Stage, PCPA, Rogue Valley Opera, Portland Civic Theatre, and has toured to the Kennedy Center. Through science (B.S. degrees in Biochemistry and Biology from Oregon State University) and music (cellist), Susan found her way into theatre (Minor in Theatre from OSU). She is incredibly grateful for all the opportunities and adventures along the way, inspirational mentors, artistic and talented colleagues, amazing students, and the love and support of her family and friends. And very grateful for Molly – woof!

The Cast

Hogan Wayland
Riya Golden
Katelyn Mundt
Mr. Mackus | Strygal
Trevor Schmitt-Ernst
Senator Laius | Mr. Zyclo
Garrett Wright
Mrs. Laius | Zyclo’s Bird
McKenzie Jordan
Laura A. Snyder
Nasreen | Belen
Aliah Mahalati
Ali | Ignacio
Tyler T. Glover
Ritu | Serza
Sarah Wahrmund
Jordan Goskowicz


Tyler T. Glover
Calista / Naja / Nasareen / Belen
Graye Marshall
Mr. Mackus / Strygal
Gary D. Miller
Nemasani / Senator Laius / Mr. Zyclo
Lake Cooney
Mrs. Laius / Zyclo’s Bird / Ritu / Serza
Rebecca Drake
Ali / Ignacio
Marcos Gonzalez

Tyler Glover

Tyler T. Glover (Ali / Ignacio / Understudy Anon) is a junior undergraduate student at UT and is very excited to be returning to the Clarence Brown Theatre in this year’s production of Anon(ymous). Tyler’s previous CBT credits include Murder on the Orient Express (‘22 & ‘23); A Christmas Carol (‘22); and Hair . Other theatre credits of his include Tennessee Stage Company’s Taming of the Shrew; All Campus Theatre’s Twelfth Night; The Wordplayer’s Hello Dolly! and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Riya Golden

Riya Golden (Nemasani) is a sophomore at UT. She is a Political Science Major with a Theatre Minor. This is her first time being on stage for a college production. Previous credits include being on Wardrobe Crew for Murder on the Orient Express and A Christmas Carol, both at the Clarence Brown Theatre. She is a member of the University’s Mock Trial Team and Black Cultural Programming Committee. She is excited to work on this production and so thankful to Katie Lupica and her cast mates for this opportunity. She is thankful for her family for being supportive of the different arts she pursues.

Jordan Goskowicz

Jordan Goskowicz (Pascal) is exited to be a part in this production. This is his first production ever. Jordan is grateful for Katie Lupica because she gave him an opportunity to showcase himself. He dedicates his performance to his family, and to all the refugees out there.

McKenzie Jordan

McKenzie Jordan (Mrs. Laius / Zyclo’s Bird) is a sophomore at the University of Tennessee. She is studying Theatre and Political Science. Previous credits include The Moors at CBT and The Wolves at River and Rail. McKenzie would like to thank her family for their support, and Katie Lupica for the opportunity to be part of such a special story.

Aliah Mahalati

Aliah Mahalati (Nasreen / Belen) is a senior at UT double majoring in Theatre and Political Science. She is excited for this opportunity to perform with the Clarence Brown Theatre again, having been in the cast of their production of Hair last spring. Aliah is actively involved on campus and is a member of All Campus Theatre and the president of Volunteer Short Films. She would like to thank the director, Katie Lupica, for the opportunity to work on this production, her cast mates and the crew for the amazing chance to collaborate and grow together, and her friends, family, and boyfriend Caleb, for their support and encouragement throughout the process of rehearsals. She hopes you enjoy the show!

Katelyn Mundt

Katelyn Mundt (Naja), a senior at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, showcased her acting in All Campus Theatre’s production of The Wolves as the character 46. Thrilled to embark on her first production with the Clarence Brown Theatre, she eagerly embraces the role of Naja in the upcoming performance of Anon(ymous). Grateful for the unwavering support throughout her acting journey, Katelyn extends her heartfelt thanks to all. With anticipation, she invites you to not only enjoy the present performance but also keep an eye out for her future endeavors in the world of theatre.

Trevor Schmitt-Ernst

Trevor Schmitt-Ernst (Mr. Mackus / Strygal) is beyond thrilled to be involved in Anon(ymous)! This is his second time performing for the Clarence Brown Theatre, he was last seen as Steve in She Kills Monsters. Trevor is a junior from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin majoring in Theatre. He is also a resident assistant at Geier Robinson Halls and works for SEC Network. Trevor would like to thank everyone who made this show possible and supported him, especially his family and Katie! He would like to dedicate this performance to his Mormor and everyone with Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. Enjoy the show!

Laura A. Snyder

Laura A. Snyder (Calista) is a senior seeking a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. They are thrilled to be performing in such a pivotal piece and are thankful for the opportunity to have learned from the director and creative teams working on the production. They previously appeared as Martha Cratchit in the Clarence Brown Theatre’s recent production of A Christmas Carol. Her other recent credits include All Campus Theatre’s The Wolves (Understudy #25, #11, #46, and #00) and Knoxville Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 1 (Bardolph and Sir Douglas). They would also like to thank their family and friends for continuously supporting their exploration of the arts.

Sarah Wahrmund

Sarah Wahrmund (Ritu / Serza) is excited to be back in the Lab again for her 4th show at the Clarence Brown Theatre! She is a senior studying Theatre with a minor in Vocal Performance, and has previously been seen in the Lab Theatre’s Adaptive Radiation (Mel), and Men on Boats (O.G. Howland / Tsauwiat). Most recently she was seen in CBT’s A Christmas Carol as Catherine and Mercy Miggot’s understudy. When she’s not acting, she loves to design and produce for All Campus Theatre here at UT. She sends thanks to her family for supporting her and her love of theatre, and CBT for giving her this amazing opportunity!

Hogan Wayland

Hogan Wayland (Anon) is thrilled to be a part of this production! This is his third show at the Clarence Brown Theatre, previously in HAIR (Woof) and A Christmas Carol (Scadger). This will be his first production in the Lab Theatre and he is looking forward to working in such a unique space. He is very grateful for his director Katie Lupica, and for his wonderful family and friends for always supporting him!

Garrett Wright

Garrett Wright (Senator Laius / Mr, Zyclo), an Alum of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville is thrilled to have the opportunity to be in Anon(ymous). Previously at the Clarence Brown Theatre he has appeared in She Kills Monsters (Puppeteer), Hair (Ensemble / Understudy-Margaret Mead) as well as Cato (Marcus) presented by Institute of American Civics and the scholarly resources of the R/18 Collective, along with many University departments.


Rebecca Drake

Rebecca “Drake” (Understudy Mrs. Laius / Zyclo’s Bird / Ritu / Serza) is a sophomore at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she is studying Business Analytics and Theatre. She also currently serves as an Officer for All Campus Theatre, the University’s student theatre organization, to bring theatre opportunities to all. Some of her past works include AnnieInto the Woods, and most notably as Donna in Mamma Mia! back in Nashville. She wants to thank Katie Lupica and the rest of the cast for coming together to bring this moving story that makes you think of home to life.

Lake Cooney

Lake Cooney (Understudy Nemasani / Senator Laius / Mr. Zyclo)  is very excited to be in their first ever Clarence Brown Lab Theatre production! They are an undergraduate Psychology major and Theatre minor with a concentration in acting from Clinton, Tennessee. They were last seen as Mrs. Cratchit and Mrs. Dilber in the latest production of A Christmas Carol. Lake would like to thank their family, friends, and fellow cast members for supporting, uplifting, and believing in them. They hope you enjoy the show!

Marcos Gonzalez

Marcos Gonzalez (Understudy Ali / Ignacio) is a sophomore at UT majoring in Theatre with a concentration in Acting. He is excited to be in his first play ever as an actor and is thrilled to tell stories all over the world in the future. He has participated as a Stage Manager and Assistant Stage Manager for a few exciting plays, such as The Wolves by ACT, A Christmas Carol and The Giver, with the last two being at the Clarence Brown Theatre. He is very thankful for the opportunity he has been given. If you see him, you should ask him about his dream, it’s such a funny story…

Graye Marshall

Graye Marshall (Understudy Calista / Naja / Nasareen / Belen) is a freshman at the University of Tennessee where they are studying Business Analytics and International Business and is planning to minor in Theatre. They are thrilled to be a part of their first production with the Lab Theatre and has enjoyed working with such a great group of people in an amazing environment.

Gary Miller

Gary D. Miller (Understudy Mr. Mackus / Strygal) is a senior Theatre Acting student at the University of Tennessee, whose passion for performance is matched only by his dedication to martial arts. Holding a 1st Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Gary is not only a practitioner, but also the Director of Curriculum Development for the esteemed Campeão United Jiu Jitsu Association. With over 17 years of experience teaching martial arts across the United States and Europe, Gary’s expertise extends far beyond the stage. Prior to his academic pursuits, Gary served in the U.S. Army in the Infantry, where he honed his discipline and commitment to excellence. Now, as he nears graduation, Gary is poised to embark on a new journey westward, driven by his aspiration to conquer the silver screen as a film actor. Beyond his professional pursuits, Gary is an ardent dog lover and staunch advocate for animal welfare, proudly sharing his home with four lovable Aussiedoodles and his loving husband, Branden.

Author of Anon(ymous) Naomi IizukaNaomi Iizuka

Naomi Iizuka's most recent play, 17 Reasons (Why), was produced at Campo Santo + Intersection for the Arts and published by Stage and Screen in the anthology Breaking Ground: Adventurous Plays By Adventurous Theatres, edited by Kent Nicholson. Her other plays include 36 Views; Polaroid Stories; Language of Angels; War of the Worlds (written in collaboration with Anne Bogart and SITI Company); Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls; Tattoo Girl; and Skin. Ms. Iizuka's plays have been produced by Actors Theatre of Louisville; Berkeley Repertory Theatre; Campo Santo + Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco; the Dallas Theatre Center and Undermain Theatre in Dallas; Frontera@Hyde Park in Austin; Printer's Devil and Annex in Seattle; NYSF/Joseph Papp Public Theatre, GeVa Theatre, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Soho Rep, and Tectonic Theatre in New York; San Diego's Sledgehammer Theatre; Northern Light Theatre in Edmonton, Alberta; Alternate Theatre in Montreal; and the Edinburgh Festival. Her plays have been workshopped by San Jose Rep, GeVa Theatre, Bread Loaf, Sundance Theatre Lab, A.S.K. Theatre Projects, the McCarter Theatre, Seattle's A Contemporary Theatre, the Bay Area Playwrights' Festival, Midwest PlayLabs, En Garde Arts/P.S. 122, and New York Theatre Workshop.

Language of Angels was published in TheatreForum; War of the Worlds and Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls were published by Smith and Kraus; Tattoo Girl is included in From The Other Side of the Century, published by Sun and Moon; and Skin is included in Out of the Fringe, published by TCG. Polaroid Stories is published by Dramatic Publishing, and Language of Angels, Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls, Anon(ymous), and Tattoo Girl are published by Playscripts, Inc. 36 Views was published in American Theatre and has since been published by Overlook Press.

Ms. Iizuka is currently working on commissions from the Guthrie Theater, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Kennedy Center, the Children's Theatre of Minneapolis, and the Mark Taper Forum. She is a member of New Dramatists and the recipient of a Whiting Award, a Rockefeller Foundation MAP grant, a Gerbode Foundation Fellowship, an NEA/TCG Artist-in-Residence grant, a McKnight Fellowship, a PEN Center USA West Award for Drama, the Stavis Award from the National Theatre Conference, Princeton University's Hodder Fellowship, and a Jerome Playwriting Fellowship. Ms. Iizuka has taught playwriting at the University of Iowa and the University of Texas, Austin, and currently teaches at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Katie Lupica

Almost ten years ago an image of a tiny boy face down on a Turkish beach flooded news broadcasts, newspapers, and social media feeds all over the world. The image is gut-wrenching and difficult to shake for those who have seen it. The child was two-year-old Alan Kurdi, a Syrian boy who died along with his mother and brother in an attempted escape by boat from Turkey to Greece. Even now, you may share my experience: that recalling the image sparks despair, outrage, hopelessness, and, to say the least, a challenge to optimistic conceptions of what it means to be human.

When I was first trying to imagine the protagonist of Anon(ymous), Kurdi would rise again and again in my mind. But Anon survives his crossing, I thought. Why can’t I stop thinking about someone who did not? The answer came as I continued to research Naomi Iizuka’s sources for the play – both The Odyssey and an ongoing crisis of Anons upon Anons who will not stop making crossings unless something drastic changes in our world. Today, 110 million people (over a tenth of the planet) are experiencing international or internal displacement. In a recent video from the UN commission for refugees, a narrator asks, how do we even begin to conceive a number that large? “Numbers can be overwhelming,” she says, “and 110 million can be hard to imagine. Let’s start then,” she continues, “by counting to three.” The video then shares the faces, names, and stories of three people under UN refugee care. Already, the 110 million figure becomes more human.

Anon(ymous) embarks on a similar task: to give faces to an ongoing history of people fleeing persecution, violence, and war in a world of borders and bureaucratic states. Iizuka does not do so by trying to account for the millions but instead by using a combination of epic allegory and carefully chosen specifics to embrace multiple stories at once. Where Homer’s Odyssey uses archetype and the epic mode to lift up an individual revered war hero, Iizuka’s Anon(ymous) borrows this mode to capture a range of stories of unnamed war victims. She takes the “in medias res” of Homeric storytelling and connects it to the fractured memory of traumatized identity. On the surface, there is one story of a boy named Anon looking for his mother and a woman named Nemasani (though we only hear her Americanized name, “Penny”) who is looking for her son. But Iizuka never specifies, even at the very end, whether the mother and son of each story are indeed the same people. There are other hinted-at links among characters in the play, but again, Iizuka deprives interpreters of clear answers regarding whether the metaphorical dots actually connect, or just seem to.

The efforts of our production team, designers, and cast over the past several weeks have been to tell the surface story of this play as thrillingly, lovingly, and tenaciously as we can—but also to preserve some of the ambiguity and paradox gifted to us by the writer. It is our hope to honor the stories of the Anons who make it, of families who find each other, and of hope and perseverance prevailing in the face of incredible adversity. But we also hold space for those for whom perseverance was not enough, for the families that remain scattered and torn, and for the Anons who do not survive their crossings. For Kurdi, and the many many more whose pictures do not make international news. I believe that Iizuka’s choice to tell this story as an epic—with courage, hope, love, and even humor—is a kindness, an invitation to root for and see ourselves in the characters, and a gateway past hard facts and imperfect politics into wild imagination.

In this space of imagination, we may also be able to learn new things about ourselves. In his monograph What is a Refugee, William Maley writes, “At a time when political figures easily adopt the claim that refugees are entitled to no more than relief from the immediate threat of persecution, it is important not to forget that how we treat those we define as refugees may tell us little about them, but a great deal about ourselves.” This sentiment is not so different from a key theme in The Odyssey—the idea of hospitality as a core necessity to a moral and humane society. It’s not unlike an expression that may be familiar here in East Tennessee: “love your neighbor.” One of hoped for outcomes of holding the many stories within Anon’s journey is to help expand our sense of who our neighbor really is—who is part of our human family and deserving of our attention and care before they are lost.

The dangers Anon faces are not mere plot complications, but symptoms of a troubled world. The trouble in this world is indifference: both the threat of indifference from others and the threat of his own indifference—that he will stop caring, that he will stop seeing himself as care-able about, that he will truly believe he is anonymous. What keeps Anon afloat on this literal and figurative sea of dangers is the hope of finding home: not a place and maybe not even a specific person, but a relationship with others and oneself. Home is being loved. Home is being known. Home is having a name. This is the feeling that it is absolutely heroic of Anon not to lose sight of when so many are trying to invalidate it or worse. This is also the sense that is lost when refugee stories only make their way to us as heartbreaking images of loss. Each loss is a void in a network of love. As you join Anon on his quest, perhaps you might think about what home is to you, how you feel known, and how perhaps we can better extend that dignity to others—whether or not they have been granted such by laws or states, whether they are close by or far away, and whether or not we know their names.

~ Katie Lupica

Bridge Refugee Services logoOur mission is to provide opportunities for refugees (and international protected classes) to rebuild their lives after suffering persecution so that they may become productive, contributing members of the community. As East Tennessee's only refugee and international protected class resettlement agency, one of the first ways Bridge Refugee Services (BRS) interacts with clients is securing affordable housing. Often this work begins even before the client arrives in the BRS service area - which stretches from the Tri-City area to Chattanooga, and without a stable home base and the means to fiscally sustain it, the clients would remain untethered on their path to self-sufficiency.
BRS professionally preserves the Dignity, Hope, and Opportunities of the newest members of our community by:
1. Promoting their rights within their communities, and helping them find peace in their new homeland.2. Stewarding financial donations to help refugees and other protected international classes reach these goals.3. Connecting to employment and social services so they grow and thrive in their new homes.
The three pillars in search of BRS client self-sufficiency concern:
1. Learning English2. Employment3. Community Engagement


Directing Assistant
...Leah Cleland
...Sam R. McRary
Assistant Stage Managers
...Ada Hermoso
...Christian Tadlock


Wardrobe Supervisor
Elizabeth Aaron
Assistant Wardrobe Supervisor
Cathrine York
Wardrobe Crew
Jamie Burnett


Deck Crew
Dylan Miller
Skye Reid


Associate Lighting Designer
Kayla Moore
Light Board Operator / Production Electrician
Samuel McRary


Sound Board Operator
Gabrielle Grigsby


Projection Operator
Xander Ricks


Izzy Fenech


Artistic Director/Department Head - Kenneth Martin
Managing Director - Tom Cervone
Associate Artistic Director - Katie Lupica
Marketing and Communications Director - Mindy Cooper
Business Manager - Tara Halstead
Accounting Specialist - Le Anna Jacobson
Administrative Specialist - Emily Pope
General Manager - Vickie Carter
IT Specialist - Mark Spurlock
Graphic Designer - Julie Anna Summers

Manager of Ticketing and Sales - Sarah Burton
Box Office Manager - Callie Bacon
Audience Experience Manager - David Ratliff
Patron Service Associates -
Faridat Akindele, Kelly Boyle, George Bull,
Desirea Burke, Ty Duncan, Richard Escalante,
Izzy Fenech, Tyler Glover,
Emma Massengill, Faith McManus ,
Joseph Molitor, Emmy Sinclair,
Jalen Smith, Savannah Smith,
Lilly Snead, Marissa Speck,
Justin Spinella
, Allisa Sullinger,
Devon Thompson, Jenna Tiger,
Camden Tripp, Madison Wall,
Sarah Wahrmund, Sierra Woodard
and Jamison Yeager

External Relations Manager - Shelly Payne
Grants, Education, and Outreach Manager - Hana Sherman
Tours, Workshops - David Brian Alley
Summer Acting Workshops, Actor Talk Backs - Terry D. Alford

Production Manager - Susan L. McMillan
Rental Coordinator/Assistant Production Manager - Phyllis Belanger
Production Stage Manager - Patrick Lanczki

Costume Shop Manager - Melissa Caldwell-Weddig
Cutter/Draper - Kyle Andrew Schellinger
Costumers - Elizabeth Aaron, Amber Williams
and Laura Clift
Laundry Crew - Anna Franz

Electrics Shop Manager - Travis Gaboda
Lead Electrician - Jon Mohrman
Lighting Assistants - Rachel Clift

Technical Director - Jason Fogarty
Assistant Technical Director -
George Hairston
Lead Carpenter - Jerry D. Winkle
Senior Carpenter - Kyle L. Hooks
Scene Shop Assistants -
Quinn Tomlinson,
Justice Morris, Mia Eller,
Elaina Przybyszewski,
Didi Vermillion, Ava Bradshaw,
and Emily Kirkman
Scene Shop Volunteer - Grace Bartoo
Scenic Charge Artist - Isabel Isaac

Props Supervisor - Christy Fogarty
Lead Properties Artisan - Sarah Gaboda
Prop Assistants - Catherine Blevins,
Katie DePriest, Ellary Hutsell, 
Olivia Layman, Michaela Lochen,
and Kamran Pickering

Sound and Video Manager - Chris Walters
Sound Assistants - Allison Bucher
...& Amoirie Perteet


Kenneth Martin Department Head, CBT Artistic Director
Casey Sams Movement & Musical Theatre, Associate Department Head
Kenton Yeager Lighting Design, Head of Graduate Studies


Jed Diamond Acting
Joe Payne Sound and Media Design
Christopher Pickart Scenic Design


Kathryn Cunningham Voice and Speech
Gina Di Salvo Theatre History and Dramaturgy
Shinnerrie Jackson Acting
Katie Lupica Directing
Lauren T. Roark Costume Design
Neno Russell Costume Technology


David Brian Alley Senior Lecturer in Acting, Head of Undergraduate Studies
Terry D. Alford Distinguished Lecturer in Music Theatre
Tracy Copeland Halter Acting
Steve Sherman Acting
Laura Beth Wells Acting


Misty Anderson Professor of English and Theatre, English Department, Allen C. Carroll Chair of Teaching
Stanton B. Garner, Jr. Professor of English and Theatre, Chair, Department of English


Bill Black Costume Design & Technology Professor Emeritus
Kate Buckley Directing Professor Emeritus
Marianne Custer Costume Design Professor Emeritus
Calvin MacLean Department Head, CBT Artistic Director, Professor Emeritus
John Sipes Acting, Directing & Movement Professor Emeritus
Terry Weber Acting, Voice Professor Emeritus

Artists Circle

Dr. Meagan Elizabeth Dennison
Mrs. Laura Kimsey Eshbaugh
Pamela and James Given
The Lederer Family
Cynthia Moxley and Alan Carmichael
Jeffrey W. Navel
Linda Brakebill Norris
Townes Lavidge Osborn and Robert S. Marquis
Linda & Terry Tyler

Directors Circle

Jeff and Marilyn Cheek
Joe Hoagland and Vickie Ellis
Donna R. and Randall L. Riggs
Robin C. Turner

Leading Player

Andrea Anderson
Ms. Virginia L. Caperton
Amy Caponetti
Joan A. Clevenger
Michael Combs
Dr. Tim and Pat Ezzell
Mr. Christopher Reed Herbstritt
Julie C. Lohnes
Calvin and Rebecca MacLean
John D North
Bonnie Ownley and Neil Quigley
Janet Parkey
Vladimir Protopopescu
Karen and Brooks Clark
Pedro Tomás and Roger Roark
Dr. Robert N.Trigiano
Georgiana Vines
Deborah and Chris Welsh

Producers Circle

Anne G. Armstrong
Jennifer S. Banner

Dr. John M. and Connie L. Begovich
Dr. Myrwood and Susan Besozzi
Larry and Jeanie Brakebill
Drs. John T. Bushore and Betsy Haughton
Dr. Peter J. Campbell

Bonnie C. Carroll
Elizabeth Carroll
Dr. Jimmy G. and Ileen Cheek
Roy H. Cooper, Jr.
Kenneth T. and Jane Creed

Drs. Joseph C. and Jayne C. De Fiore
Nancy Duckles and Cameron Sears
Dr. Jeffrey Eberting
Dr. Stuart B. Elston
Mrs. Patricia Ann Ezzell
Dr. R. Kent and Susan Farris
Dr. Stanton and Alison Garner
Margie Nichols and John Gill
Rosemary Gilliam
Tara and Scott Halstead
Michael J. Higdon
John and Susan Hoffman
Julie Howard and Ted Flickinger
Susan and Jerry Kornegay
Drs. Theresa Lee Love and Jacob F. Love
Maureen Dunn McBride and Neil G. McBride
Dr. Stanley and Hei Park
Dr. Vaughan and Meredith Peccolo
Dr. Lee Riedinger and Mary Zuhr
Patricia Roux-Sharp
Rev. Susan Sgarlat
Donna Geckler-Solod
John and Delores R. Sorey
Alice Torbett
Capt. Kenneth Stark and Nancy Voith
Donna WertzDr. Dale C. and Wendy Wortham

Rising Star

Jay and Sandra Aldrich
Jeffery and Laura Allen
Will and Rebecca Brewer
John L Butler
Drs. Reid and Olga Crumpton
Leann Dickson
Dr. Howard C. Filston and Sandra K. Stoutt
Dr. Thomas C. Hood
David and Nancy Keith
Dr. Jeffrey D. Kovac
Ms. Mary Clare Long
Sheena McCall
Tom Mercier
Marsha Mitchell
Dr. Samantha Ann Murphy
Sara A. Phillips
James D. and Emily J. Plemmons
Ms. Susan M. Roberts
Carol and Jeffrey Stratton
Alexander Waters

David Andrews
Gayle Burnett
Dennis Bussell
Jeff Cheek
Karen Clapp
Greg Congleton
Deborah Emery
Mardel Fehrenbach
Margie Nichols Gill
Pamela Given
John Hoffman
Julie Howard
Virginia Kerwin
Jerry Kornegay
Susan Kornegay
Sharon Kreis
Steve Krempasky
Stephen LaVie
Karen Lesieur
Angela Masini
Vanessa McAfee
Maureen McBride
Sheena McCall
Marty McCampbell
Jeffrey Navel
Linda Norris
Hei Park
Linda Parsons
James Peterson
Sara Phillips
Elizabeth Pollock
Donna Riggs
Helen Sirett
Robin Smith
Julie Thornburg
Alice Torbett
Linda Tyler
Terry Tyler
Georgiana Vines
Nancy Voith
Donna Wertz
Shelly Wilson
Cheryl Zamora