Where Are They Now?
Tiffany Verch discovered her love for acting in Matthews Playhouse's first production, Alice in Wonderland, at age 10. She continued to appear on stage in productions such as The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Babes in Arms.
While acting she took a special interest in the job of costumer. By the age of 14 she was taking care of the costume department and costuming her first show at Matthews Playhouse. This early hands on training inspired her to choose this as her profession. Since graduating from UNC Chapel Hill with a BFA in Dramatic Arts, Tiffany has worked in television and movies. She currently is the Assistant Costume Designer for Showtime's Homeland.
Ali Bayless grew up at Matthews Playhouse. Her first role with us was in our very first production, Alice in Wonderland, as a little singing lobster. Ali created many characters on our stage. Her most memorable role for us came when she touched our hearts as Shelby in Steel Magnolias.
Ali graduated from UNC Greensboro with her BFA in acting and set off to create a career in L.A. She can be seen in independent films as well as on Days of our Lives, and Criminal Minds
When Sam Gooley first started at Matthews Playhouse as a pre-teen, we thought he was a quiet boy who was just happy to help where he could. His first job of working the sound board at the back of the theater grew over the years to leading rooles in such shows as Babes in Arms and Guys and Dolls.
After graduating from East Carolina University with a BFA in professional acting, Sam took the big step of moving to New York. He has thrived in the big city as an actor/writer/director. His work was accepted and performed at the New York International Fringe Festival, the largest multi-arts festival in North America.
If you ever saw Jacob Pinion on stage, you knew he was special. His dance skills, his comedic timing and his ability to connect with the audience were all there, even when he was in elementary school. Jacob was in our first acting ensemble, traveling health play, and productions such as Pinocchio.
Jacob graduated from NYU and continued to develop his gifts by working in various venues. You will now find Jacob where every theatre actor dreams of being ... On Broadway! He plays the role of Pepper in Mama Mia! at the Winter Garden Theater. Plan a trip to see the show next time you are in New York.
Matthew Masten started auditioning for plays at Matthews Playhouse while he was in elementary school. He played many parts including the role of Daddy Warbucks in Annie Junior. While he was comfortable on stage as an actor, he was drawn to what it takes to make a show happen. At age 14, Matthew asked for permission to write and direct a murder mystery to raise money for the Playhouse.
Matthew is now in his 20's and has achieved success as a producer in New York. He is co-owner and producer for Bennu Productions. He and his business partner helped bring Gore Videl's The Best Man to stage. As a producer, he was able to share credit when the play, starring James Earl Jones, Angela Lansbury, John Larroquette, Candice Bergen and Michael McKean was nominated for a Tony in 2012.
If you have been a patron of Matthews Playhouse for a number of years, you have watched Lauren Ballard grow up. She started in our first production of Alice in Wonderland as a little lobster girl. The coming years saw her rise to become a lead in many of our productions such as Babes in Arms, Footloose and Cinderella.
Lauren received her BFA Acting at Greensboro College and her MFA Acting at the University of Houston. She has been a presence on stage at theaters across the country. Currently she is an actress at the historic Allenberry Resort Inn and Playhouse in Boiling Springs, PA.
Sarah Labiner graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts and then went on to earn her Master of Music degree in vocal performance at The Royal College of Music in London.
She now works in London as an opera singer and is currently training with the English National Opera. Sarah has performed in the United States and Europe.
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