The Nether is a virtual wonderland that provides total sensory immersion. Just log in, choose an identity and indulge your every desire. But when a young detective uncovers a disturbing realm called The Hideaway where pedophiles may live out their fantasies, she triggers an interrogation into the darkest corners of the imagination.
Winner - 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize
Voca is making her Actors’ Theatre debut with The Nether. Voca is thrilled to have been cast in this contemporary, thought-provoking production. She has worked on a wide range of stage plays and musicals. Her favorite roles were Alice in Alice in Wonderland and Gingy in Shrek, the Musical. Voca has also done a handful of short films, commercials, and her most widely recognized role in UPTV’s Who Will Stop the Bullying, reaching over 14 million YouTube views. Voca would like to thank Randy and the team at Actors’ Theatre for this amazing opportunity; her former teacher, Mr. Joe Worth, for the recommendation; and her Marching Band teachers, Ryan Schultz and Allison Petriella, for their understanding and scheduling flexibility! Voca hopes that the play will leave you contemplating things to come and that is will #starttheconversation. Voca has just turned 12 years old and is a Freshman and Tri-County High School.
Melissa was last seen in Don’t Mind Me with Ebony Road Players. Her last time on the Actors’ stage was as Mary Jane Hanrahan in Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train (Grand Award winner for Best Play). She’s performed on the Grand Rapids Civic Stage in The Women, You Can’t Take it With You, GRCT’s Traveling Troupe 2 Blue Horses, Harriet the Spy, with Jewish Theatre in Lost in Younkers, Heritage Theatre in Streetcar Named Desire and with Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Melissa received her BA in theatre from GVSU where she performed in Idiot’s Delight (Grand Award nomination), Whoever Said I was a Good Girl (Grand Award nomination), The Laramie Project, Big River, Antigone, No Exit, and The Tempest. Melissa owns Organized by Melissa and is a Professional Organizer. She also loves the out doors, traveling, writing, dancing, running, biking, yoga, kung fu, and just started weight training. Thanks to Actors’ Theatre and Randy for the chance to play such strong
Jake Mate is a recent graduate of Hope College. This is his first production with Actors’ Theatre and he couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to perform on a new stage. At Hope he had the privilege of taking on roles such as Pastor Paul in The Christians, Officer Lockstock in Urinetown, and Ophelia in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. He was also a company member during the 45th Season of Hope Summer Repertory Theatre performing in Hairspray, Oedipus, and Go Dog, Go!
Russell is excited to make his first Actors’ Theatre stage appearance with The Nether. Russ is a founding member of River City Improv, and performs sporadically with other improv teams in the area. His last (scripted) role was Amos Fyodorovich Lyiapkin-Tyiapkin in Calvin College’s Student/Alumni production of The Government Inspector. Russ lives in a house with his lovely wife and goofy-but-endearing greyhound. He is a professional web designer and copywriter, and an amateur classic truck restorer. Despite this role, Russ assures us he is reasonably well-adjusted. Russ was born and raised in rural Iowa, which explains a lot. Russ’ chief assets are his perspicacity, his vocabulary, and his mastery of the “rule of three’s”.
Mike has appeared in more than 65 productions at Civic, Circle, Actors, Heritage, Jewish Theatre, Grand Rapids Opera, and other theatres throughout Michigan. He has been nominated for 7 Grand Awards and won in 2003 and 2005 for his performances in Denial and The Crucible. As a writer, Mike has had several one-act and full-length plays produced in Grand Rapids and as far as Washington State. He co-wrote the award-winning film documentary, The Reckoning. Mike’s most recent stage appearance was in For This Moment Alone with Jewish Theatre.