Department of Theatre and Film

Blood at the Root by DOMINIQUe morrisseau

Content disclosure for Language, Imagery, Topics.


Raylynn                       Dayonna Embry

Toria                             Grace Mulinix

Asha                             Tevy Dembski

Justin                           Jason Klotz

Colin                             Zach Harris

De’Andre                     Emile Wheeler


“Blood at the Root” was commissioned by the Penn State School of Theatre, and was first produced by Penn State Centre Stage, Dan Carter, Producing Artistic Director.

The New York Premiere of “Blood at the Root” was produced by Penn State Centre Stage and presented by Hi-ARTS and the National Black Theatre, Inc.

“Blood at the Root” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.



Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women


Producer:  Holly Monsos

Director:  Carlos Washington

Director Consultant:  Edmund Lingan

Choreographer:  Alexandria Rayford-West

Production Design Coordinator:  Stephen Sakowski

Scenic Designer:  Daniel Thobias

Assistant Scenic Designer:  Karson Palmer

Assistant Scenic Designer:  Charlotte Vaughan

Prop Head:  Madileine Chase

Technical Director/Scene Shop Manager:  Nate White

Stage Construction:  Madileine Chase, Students of THR2050

Stage Crew:  Leonardo Hernandez, Aaron Smith

Scene Shop Staff:  Eric Huffman, Students of THR1030 & THR2050

Lighting Designer:  Stephen Sakowski

Assistant Lighting Designer:  Marissa McCoy

Light Board Operator:  David Steffin

Sound Designer:  Jeffery Enck

Sound Board Operator:  Breeanne Stouffer                                   

Lighting & Sound Shop Staff:  Jeffery Enck, Hazel Penrose, Students of THR1040 & THR2050

Costume Designer:  Holly Monsos

Costumes/Hair Crew:  I’yana Awls, Abby Papenfus

Costume Shop Manager:  Kelly McBane

Costume Shop Staff:  Grace Mulinix, Students of THR1050 & THR2050

Theatre Manager:  Christopher Montpetit

Box Office:  Brianna Seaman

House Management:  Seth Camiscione, Oliver Marconi

Lobby Window Displays:  Madileine Chase


Madi Chase (She/They) - is a junior Speech Language Pathology major and Theatre minor. Madi loves to work both onstage and on tech; Princess (Festival), Assistant Props Master (Hamlet), Logianne (The 25th Annual Spelling Bee), and Stage Crew (Elkshire). They love to balance working towards SLP masters and working in the prop/scene shop.

Tevy Dembski (They/Them/Theirs) - is a sophomore theatre major. They have worked on several shows at UT including: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Hamlet, the 2023 Festival of New Student Work, and now Blood at the Root. They cannot wait to see what the future holds for them!

Dayonna Embry (She/Her/Hers) - is a third-year theater/performance major from Ypsilanti, Michigan. This will be her third performance with the department, having been in Year of the Living Dead, the 2023 Festival of New Student Work as a performer and director, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as an assistant choreographer. She plans to move to Georgia to pursue acting after graduating.

Cadence Enck (She/Her/Hers) - is a freshman Theatre major and a Psychology minor from Toledo, Ohio. She has worked with Peanuts at Cedar Point in the live entertainment department and will again this upcoming summer. She helped with the 2023 Festival of New Student Work on the costume crew. She is excited to contribute to making great experiences here in the theater world!

Jeffery “JJ” Enck (He/Him/His) - is a senior Theatre Design & Technology major from Toledo, OH. Previous credits include: Festival of New Student Work ‘23 (Director, Playwright, Light Designer, & Sound Designer), Hamlet (Sound Designer), The Midnight Hour with Midnight Syndicate (Audio Engineer), The Celebrate Cedar Point Parade (Technician), The SwellTones (Audio Engineer), 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Assistant Director & Sound Engineer), Elkshire (Sound Designer). Festival of New Student Work ‘21 (Director, Playwright, & Sound Designer).

Zach Harris (He/Him/His) - is a first year Nursing major and a Stage and Screen Performance minor from Findlay, OH. This will be his second time performing with the department, having been in the 2023 Festival of New Student Work. He plans to move to Los Angeles after graduating college.

Jason Klotz (He/Him/His) - is a Sophomore Theatre/Performance and Economics double major. This is his second time performing with the department, after performing in this semester's Festival of New Student Work (Detective Aside).

Ed Lingan Ph.D. (He/Him/His) - is Professor of Theatre in the Department of Theatre and Film and Interim Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Letters. Lingan has served as a consultant to the director of Blood at the Root. Since coming to the University of Toledo in 2007, Lingan has directed eleven productions for the Department of Theatre and Film and taught courses in script analysis, playwriting, theatre history, acting, and theatre studies.

Kelly McBane(She/Her/Hers) - Costume Shop Manager – Kelly is a faculty member at UToledo. She has designed and built the costumes for many shows at the University, most recently The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. When she's not at work she can be found tending to and talking about her dogs and chickens.

Marrissa McCoy (She/Her/Hers) - is a second year Theatre Arts/Psychology double major. She graduated high school with an honors diploma in theatre arts and has worked as stage crew for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and played Merek in student written play Elkshire, as well as various parts in the 2023 Festival of New Student Work.

Holly Monsos (She/Her/Hers) - is Professor/Chair of the Department of Theatre and Film. She first joined the UT faculty in 1991, served as Chair from 2005 - 2011, and spent 9 years as Associate Dean of the college. Prior to coming to UToledo, she spent several years as a cutter/draper in professional theatre including extensive work with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, and the San Francisco Opera. Since moving to Toledo, she has designed for the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Toledo Opera, Toledo Repertoire Theatre, Montana Rep, Glacity Theatre Collective and Ms. Unseen Productions in New Zealand, among others. Holly is active regionally and nationally in her professional organization, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), having served two terms as the Vice President for Members, Sections & Chapters in addition to holding several positions including Chair of the regional section, USITT/Ohio Valley. Holly also serves as the Executive Director of Glacity Theatre Collective here in Toledo.

Chris Montpetit (He/Him/His) - is originally from Niagara Falls, NY, where he received a Bachelors of Arts Degree in English/Theater from Niagara University. He continued his studies at Columbia University in New York City, where he earned a Masters of Fine Arts Degree in Theater Management. Professionally, Mr. Montpetit has worked at such companies and institutions as Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Publishing, The Kathryn Bache Miller Theatre, The Alma Schapiro Theatre, Artpark Theatre, ABC Television, Showtime Networks Inc., Genesee Community College Center for the Arts, SummerTide Theatre, and The University of Alabama. Academically, Mr. Montpetit is currently Associate Lecturer and Theatre Manager for the University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film. Mr. Montpetit is the author of "What is Theatre? An Introduction to Theatre", published by Kendall Hunt Publishing in January 2016, with a revised edition published in August 2020.

Grace Mulinix (She/Her/Hers) - is a senior theatre major with a concentration in performance. After graduation, she’ll spend the summer as the Area Performance Supervisor for Peanuts at Cedar Point! Some of her previous performance credits at UToledo include Hamlet (Hamlet), Worldbuilder (20k Leagues Under the Sea), Agent/Freddie (The Jungle), and Katurian (The Pillowman). Previous production credits include Production Stage Manager (Festival of New Student Work ‘23), Assistant Costume Designer (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Stage Manager (Elkshire), and Director/Costume Designer (Festival of New Student Work ‘21).

Karson Palmer(He/They) - is a 2nd year double major in English and Theatre with a concentration in Design Tech, and Creative Writing. Previous credits at UT include Scenic Artist on The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Hamlet, Elkshire, and the 2021 and 2023 Festival of New Student Work. Karson also appeared as an actor in Elkshire, Hamlet, and the ‘21 Festival of New Student Work, and was the playwright of Detective Aside in the ‘23 Festival of New Student Work.

Hazel Penrose (She/Her/Hers) - Hazel is a third year Theatre major with a concentration in Design & Technology and a minor in Music Technology. Previous credits include: Assistant Stage Manager (Hamlet, The 2023 Festival of New Student Work, Celebrate Cedar Point Spectacular Parade), Henrietta/Radolf (Elkshire), Sound Board Operator (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Production Assistant (Sons of Toledo). She plans on continuing her theatre/writing career in Milwaukee upon graduation.

Alexandria Rayford West (She/Her/Hers) - is a UToledo Alum. This will be her second time choreographing a show, her previous being 20k Leagues Under the Sea. Alexandria will be moving to Chicago where she plans on expanding her knowledge as both a dancer and theatre maker.

Stephen Sakowski (He/Him/His) - is a Lighting Designer and Production & Design Coordinator- Stephen is an Associate Professor at the University of Toledo and has been happy to collaborate on many productions since starting in the Department of Theatre & Film in 2015. He has his BFA from Otterbein University and his MFA from the University of California San Diego. His lighting design of All Quiet on the Western Front received the 2020 Jeff Award (Chicago's Top Theatre Prize) Congratulations to everyone involved with the production on a project well done!

Daniel Thobias (He/Him/His) - Scenic Designer – Daniel joined The University of Toledo Department of Theatre & Film faculty in 2012. He received his MFA in Scene Design from North Carolina School of the Arts, 2005. He has a wealth of experience with summer stock and festival theaters including Mount Washington Valley Theatre, Festival Stage of Winston Salem, North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, Opera Santa Barbara, and the Cuttingball Theater. He has an impressive portfolio of work which can be viewed on his web site:

Charlotte Vaughan (She/Her/Hers) - from the Cleveland area, is a senior majoring in Theatre with a concentration in Design and Technology. Previous credits are Year Of Living Dead, 20k Leagues Under The Sea, The Flick, The Jungle, Elkshire, and Hamlet. Charlotte is one of the Assistant Scenic Designers on Blood At The Root, and she hopes to continue working in scenic design and painting.

Carlos Washington (He/Him/His) - is an emerging director/actor/writer and 2021 University of Toledo alum. His Heuer-published 20K Leagues Under the Sea received the Kennedy Center’s National Citizen Artist Award, where he was later a Playwrighting Intensive fellow (2021). Recipient of the On The Page Boxe/Killebrew Scholarship (2021) and two-time Screencraft Finalist (2022), Blood At The Root by Dominique Morriseau will be his directorial debut. Starting this fall, Carlos will join the 2025 Acting MFA Cohort at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. 

Emile Wheeler IV (He/Him/His) - is a second year Theatre Acting major and an English Creative Writing minor from Detroit, MI. He recently wrote a play, Cheater Feeder, for the 2023 Festival of New Student Work. This is his first time acting in a show here at UToledo.

Nate White(He/Him/His) - Nate joined the University of Toledo as the Technical Director in 2016. He received his MFA in Technical Production from the University of Alabama and his BA in Design and Technical Theater from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Last Updated: 4/13/23