Women of Theatre …The MAIN

by | Nov 25, 2019 | Santa Clarita Arts Commission

As seen throughout the pages of this edition of élite Magazine – local women are achieving amazing accomplishments and making a real impact right here in Santa Clarita. That is also true for the women who are contributing their talents to the stage at The MAIN in Old Town Newhall. From acting to directing, producing and stage design – here are some local women who are passionate about the art of live theatre.

Nancy Lantis
Nancy Lantis is a lifelong actress. In 1994, she and her husband, Phil, started Eclipse Theatre, which was dedicated to original works, Greek adaptations and previously produced plays. With Eclipse, she discovered her love of the stage went beyond just acting and began directing and writing. Together, Nancy and Phil have produced three plays in Santa Clarita at The MAIN.
Nancy directed an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None,” as well as Phil’s original play “Appaloosa.” She recently starred in Neil Simon’s “The Gingerbread Lady,” featured at The MAIN in November. Coming in July of 2020, Nancy will direct an original play by Phil Lantis based on a Hans Christian Anderson folktale, “The Sandman.” Nancy will close out her 2020 directing role in December’s production of “The Real Housewives of Troy,” her comedic take on Euripides’ “The Trojan Woman,” at The MAIN.

Calliope has worked as a stage manager in small theaters throughout Los Angeles, including the Lounge Theatre, Knot Free Productions, Big Sandwich Theatre Company, Tavern Brawlers, CrowsNest Productions, Crossroads Theatre and Menagerie Theatre Works. She is proud to be one of the founders of The Old Mask Era Theatre Company with her sister, Denim, as well as the ever-growing Santa Clarita Independent Theatre Alliance. She recently directed “Solopolooza” and “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind (30 Plays in 60 Minutes)” at The MAIN. Calliope received a BA in Theatre with a focus on arts education and stage management from San Diego State University and has worked at College of the Canyons and Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum. Calliope is the director of the LA premiere of the off-Broadway hit, “PUFFS or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic.” “PUFFS” will be featured at The MAIN from January 10, 2020, to January 19, 2020.
All in all, 2020 will bring over 15 shows to The MAIN for the community to enjoy! To purchase tickets to see these incredible women and more in action on The MAIN’s stage, please visit AtTheMAIN.org.

Erin Suarez-Bitar
Bringing stories to life through puppetry is a passion passed down from prior generations to Erin Suarez-Bitar. Inspired by her love of nature, Erin’s work is most often created from the perspective of animals and trees. Puppeteers Peter Schuman, Emmy Hennings and her great grandmother, Betty Williams, had the most significant influence on Erin’s performance art style.
“Grandma Betty was a marionette performer,” explained Erin. “The way she would bring her beautiful little puppets to life fascinated me.”
After relocating to Chicago, Erin learned the art of Bunraku and Marionette puppetry from renowned puppeteers Cynthia Von Orthal and Tiffany Lange and went on to perform at various Chicago art events. In California, Erin became a member of the Los Angeles Puppetry Guild and presented her work, “Joy’s Song,” at The Los Angeles Puppetry Guild’s October 2018 Puppetry Slam. You can see Erin’s puppetry skills on display in her new play, “The Tree’s Dream.” This child-friendly show melds puppetry with masked performers, dancers and experimental music and will be featured at The MAIN from January 26, 2020, to February 2, 2020.



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