A Fierce Kind of Love, a project of Visionary Voices
Institute on Disabilities at Temple University

Meet the cast.

More Bios: Artists and Designers, Partners, Advisors

Shawn Aleong | Actor

PHOTO of Shawn AleongShawn Aleong, actor, is excited and humbled to be making his debut with A Fierce Kind of Love. Shawn is a graduate of Davison Highschool, where he was the Valedictorian of his class. While at school, he was very involved in the music program, playing the xylophone for school concerts and performing with the school choir. Shawn currently attends Temple University, where he is studying law. He is involved with many campus organizations including Temple Student Government, Temple Black Law Association, and the NAACP where he serves on the State Board as Juvenile Justice Chair. He also serves on the board of the Philadelphia ARC. He is passionate about advocating for the rights of people with disabilities.
 VIDEO: Brief interview with Shawn.

Charlie DelMarcelle | Actor

PHOTO of Charlie DelMarcelleCharlie DelMarcelle, actor has appeared at: The Walnut Street Theatre, The Arden Theatre Co., Theater Horizon, Delaware Theatre Co., Inis Nua, The Lantern Theatre, Azuka Theatre Collective, EgoPo Classic Theatre, Commonwealth Classic Theatre, Delaware Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare in Clark Park, White Box Theatre, and Amaryllis.

Lee Ann Etzold | Actor

PHOTOLee Ann Etzold, actor, is a Philadelphia-based theatre artist who has worked in the UK, Spain, France, Czech Republic, and regionally in the US. She is a founding member of OBIE award-winning physical theatre company, New Paradise Laboratories, and has also created original work independently, and with Pig Iron Theatre Company, Headlong Dance Theatre, Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental, Charlotte Ford, and Tony Award winner, Bill Irwin (Barrymore Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play).  A VA Tech grad, she studied clown in Paris, completed the Lincoln Center Theatre’s, Director’s Lab, in New York, and is a member of the Young Vic Directors Programme in London. She is a teaching artist and has also directed new works for Philly Young Playwrights, 1812 Productions, Brat Productions, Brian Sanders’ JUNK, and is creating neighborhood art in South Philadelphia.
 VIDEO: Brief interview with Lee Ann and Erin.

Lori McFarland | Actor

PHOTO of Lori McFarlandLori McFarland, actor, is looking forward to making her debut in A Fierce Kind of Love. As a self-advocate, Lori is excited to be part of a play that explores the diversity of the disability community. Lori wears many different hats when advocating for herself and others. She serves on the Futures Planning Committee of the Office of Developmental Programs; she advocates with The Pennsylvania Partnership through Vision for Equality; and she is a member of Self-advocates United as One. Lori’s advocacy takes her to Harrisburg frequently.

When not advocating or performing, Lori keeps busy with needlepoint, shopping and reading. She also works at APS Day Program and belongs to the Handicap Crusaders club of Levittown.

Michael McLendon | Actor

PHOTO of Michael McLendonMichael McLendon, actor, is excited to be making his debut with A Fierce Kind of Love.  Michael is a graduate of Furness High School and Temple University’s Academy for Adult Learning. While attending the Academy, Michael took an acting class, which is when his interest in performing began.

When not performing, Michael works as an office assistant for the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University. He enjoys relaxing at home and watching NetFlix with his fiancé Charlene.
 VIDEO: A brief interview with Michael.

Erin McNulty | Actor

PHOTO of Erin McNultyErin McNulty, actor, is delighted to be making her debut with A Fierce Kind of Love. While attending St. Katherine Day School/Archbishop Carroll HS, Erin performed in 12 plays, including Beauty & the Beast, Aida, Seussical and West Side Story.

Erin is a 2013 graduate of Temple University Academy for Adult Learning where her interests included public speaking, interpretive dance and an acting class. While enrolled at Temple, Erin became involved with A Fierce Kind of Love as a cast member from its inception.

When not performing, Erin also works at Giant and TJ Maxx where she works as a customer service associate and an inventory clerk. Erin enjoys Special Olympics, music, bowling, spending time with her girlfriends, watching Project Runway and numerous other activities.
 VIDEO: Brief interview with Erin and Lee Ann.

Marcia Saunders | Actor

PHOTO of Marcia SaundersMarcia Saunders, actor, has been an active member of the acting company with The People’s Light and Theater since 1976 appearing in over 85 productions. Most recently as Mrs. Jennings in SENSE & SENSIBILITY. Over the past four years Marcia’s immensely enjoyed participating in the many workshops that have helped to shape and create this final production of A FIERCE KIND OF LOVE.

Cathy Simpson | Actor

PHOTO of Cathy SimpsonCathy Simpson, actor, is a company member of People’s Light and the “Freedom Rising” Company at the National Constitution Center. Her work in some local theatres include InterAct, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Philly Shakes, Hedgerow Theatre, Arden Theatre, Wilma Theater, Flashpoint Theatre and Theatre Horizon. Regional theater credits include, Arena Stage, The Kennedy Center, Studio Theatre, Source Theatre, Wooly Mammoth, Olney Theatre Center, St. Louis Black Rep, St. Louis Rep., Indiana Rep.

A three time Barrymore nominee and a winner for the Freedom Theatre production of The Old Settler, and a Kevin Kline Award winner for St. Louis Black Rep’s production of, A Song for Coretta. She has also been nominated twice for the Helen Hayes Awards in Washington D.C. and won the Best Performer Award in Toyama, Japan. Her film and television credits include, local television commercials, PBS Educational Series, Indy films as well as 1st Run Films.
 VIDEO: Brief interview with Cathy.

Brian Anthony Wilson | Actor

PHOTO of Brian Anthony WilsonBrian Anthony Wilson, actor, is honored to have been a member of this diverse & wonderful Cast from the beginning! Recent Theater: "Driving Miss Daisy" (Act II Playhouse), "All My Sons" (People's Light), "The Last Jimmy" (Grand Performances, L.A.), "Hand's Up (Flashpoint), "Rage of Achilles" (Commonwealth Classic) & "A Midsummer's Night Dream" (Phila. Shakespeare Co.). Film/TV credits include: CREED, The Benefactor, Crooked & Narrow, When The Moon Was Twice As Big, Zombie Killers: E.G., Assumption of Risk, Limitless / Blue Bloods, Broad City, Do No Harm, Law & Order: S.V.U., The Sopranos & The Wire.


John Flak | Production Manager

John Flak is excited to be working on such an inspirational production and to being a part of this amazing company. John has been a theater professional for over 26 years in Chicago, Vermont, New York and Philadelphia. John is also a photographer and he loves to cook. Much love and thanks to my family – Jenny, Rainey and Harper.

Chelsea Sanz | Stage Manager

Chelsea is ecstatic to be a part of this production. Chelsea's recent stage management credits include: G4 Productions (Menopause the Musical and Motherhood the Musical), Theatre Horizon (Lobby Hero, In The Blood, Holiday Show, Complete Works Abridged), The Lantern Theater Company (Arcadia), White Pines Productions (Luckiest Kid/The Music You Remember), Act II Playhouse/Society Hill Playhouse (ASM for RESPECT: The Musical Journey of Women & On Golden Pond). Up Next: Fully Committed with Theatre Horizon. Chelsea is a proud member of Actors' Equity. Love to Mia.

Betsy Pierce | Assistant Stage Manager

Betsy is thrilled to be working on this production. Past shows include: Lantern Theatre Co: Oscar Wilde: From the Depths (Board Op), Taming of the Shrew (Board Op), Arcadia (Run Crew). People's Light: My Mother Has 4 Noses (ASM), Dear Elizabeth (ASM), Pride & Prejudice (ASM), Cinderella: A Musical Panto (ASM), Noises Off (ASM).

Chris Sannio | Audio Engineer

Chris is a Philadelphia based sound designer, composer, and engineer. Proud to be working with this group of artists, Chris also heads up the audio department at FringeArts and is the audio engineer for Jazz it Up Philly. Recent engineering credits include Daniel Wohl’s Holographic, Adam Rudolph's Go Organic Guitar Orchestra, and ALT/MODE by Anonymous Bodies featuring Chuck Treece and Ryat. Favorite design credits include Audi Feastival 2015 (FringeArts), Revolution and a Sandwich (Shakedown Project), Listen to Me (Bryn Mawr College), and The Bald Soprano (Curio Theatre Company).


Liz Green | Community Engagement Specialist

Liz designs audience engagement and community performance programs with her company Arts Approach. She is the director for the documentary theater company OnStage Seniors at McCarter Theatre and a frequent Audience Experience Manager for Team Sunshine Performance Corporation. Past partners include JJ Tiziou Photography's How Philly Moves, FringeArts' presentation of Rimini Protokoll's 100% Philadelphia, Shakespeare in Clark Park's Henry IV: Your Prince and Mine, and The Mendelssohn Club's TURBINE. She studied performance and civic dialogue with Sojourn Theatre, documentary theater with Ping Chong and Company, and is earning her Masters in Social Work at Temple University.

Nick Jonczak | Box Office Manager

Nick is a freelance creative producer and production manager of artistic projects and events ranging in scale and timeline. A 2015 graduate of the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training, Nick also performs and produces work with Almanac Dance Circus Theatre (www.thealmanac.us). He serves as the production manager for the non-profit INVISIBLE RIVER (www.invisibleriver.org), which hosts an annual all-day community event culminating in a live aerialist dance performance on the Schuylkill River with more than 1,000 participants and spectators in attendance. Recently he founded Seven Engines (www.sevenengines.com), which provides administrative and production support for independent artists and events.

LOGO: The PEW Center for Arts & Heritage logo

A Fierce Kind of Love has been supported
by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

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