Cast & Crew

Meet the Cast & Crew of The Little Engine That Could

Sarah Russell (Broken Engine, Inattentive Train)

Sarah Russell (Broken Engine, Inattentive Train) is excited to be returning to the StoryBook stage. She was last seen with StoryBook as Syd in Syd the Solstice Kid, the tortoise in The Tortoise & the Hare, a sheep in The Boy Who Cried Wolf, and as Little Red Riding Hood in LRRH. Favorite past credits include The Odyssey (Seattle Rep), Dreamgirls (Village Theatre), Big Fish (Taproot Theatre) and GREASE (5th Avenue Theatre). When not performing, she is a teaching artist and performs with the 90’s R&B cover band DivaTech. Enjoy the show!

Deonn Ritchie Hunt (Phone Train, Little Engine)

Deonn Ritchie Hunt (Phone Train, Little Engine) is thrilled to be a part of this brand new StoryBook Theater show. She was most recently seen in Syd the Solstice Kid and as Mrs. Piggle Wiggle in Studio East’s Hello Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. The Little Engine That Could marks Deonn’s 22nd production with StoryBook Theater! In addition to performing, she also works as a teacher, director and writer all over the Puget Sound and as a private family tour guide for Seattle by Foot. Deonn thanks her family, Mark, Luke and Clara for their continued support and patience with her crazy schedule and Lani and Sue for the opportunity to do what she loves!

Brad Walker (Bear, Party Train)

Brad Walker (Bear, Party Train) is always pleased to be back with SBT, previously appearing in Pinocchio, The Tortoise and the Hare, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, and Sleeping Beauty, among others. Some more favorites: Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors (Harlequin Productions) and Linus in A Charlie Brown Christmas (Taproot Theatre). Brad has also performed with Book-It Rep and Seattle Children’s Theatre, and directs with Seattle Theatre Group, Studio East, and at Sacajawea Elementary and McDonald International School. For Mason and Kaili.

Andrew Murray (Clown)

Andrew Murray (Clown) is proud to have been involved with StoryBook Theater for many years. Previously seen as the Fox (Pinocchio), Hare (Tortoise & the Hare), Swindler (Emperor’s New Clothes), and Wolf (Little Red), among others. Additional recent credits include Warner (Legally Blonde the Musical) at Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre and Miss Texas (Pageant the Musical) with A Sensible Theatre Co. at ACT. Endless thanks and appreciation to Sue, Lani, Liz, CDM, D and my wonderful family.

Lindsay Merino (Dolly)

Lindsay Merino (Dolly) is proud and excited to be a part of another Storybook Theater season! She grew up taking classes at Studio East, before studying acting in Colorado and eventually performing in New York City. She was last seen as Cat in Storybook’s latest production of Pinocchio. Lindsay would like to thank her family, friends, Jerry, Ruby, and Melanie for their love and support, as well as the wonderful cast and crew of Little Engine!

Shoshauna Mohlman (Swing for Sarah Russell)

Shoshauna Mohlman (Swing for Sarah Russell) has been fortunate enough to perform with StoryBook Theater since 2011, playing several Moms, a Fairy, various animals and a Toymaker. She was also recently seen in Seattle Musical Theater’s Little Women as Marmee. She feels like she has the best job in the world; introducing children to the magic of theater! She is forever grateful for the support of her loving husband, Shawn and their amazing children as she pursues this passion. Enjoy the show!

Sierra Kagen (Swing for Brad Walker)

Sierra Kagen (Swing for Brad Walker) is a local yokel who finally made it to the big-leagues! She began acting when she was about your age at StoryBook’s parent company, Studio East. After training at Circle in the Square in NYC and Brandeis University in Boston, she came home to roost. You may have seen her in such StoryBook classics as The Elves & the Toymakers (Elf), Sleeping Beauty (Bad Fairy), Cinderella (a bad Stepsister), and Snow White (just a bad ham). Now that she has her own little piglet, you can only expect worse mugging from here on out; we hear kids love funny faces.

Lani Brockman (Director)

Lani Brockman (Director) – With 40+ years of experience in the performing arts, Lani brings considerable expertise to the role of Studio East’s Executive Artistic Director. As a teaching artist and director, Lani enjoys challenging youth to make strong and courageous choices both on stage and off. She revels in seeing youth discover their power and independence through the performing arts whether they pursue a career in theater or not. Lani is also the co-creator of StoryBook Theater, the Studio’s Professional Children’s Theater Company. She and her writing partner create musicals for young audiences, each providing life lessons for all ages. Lani is a graduate of Leadership Eastside and is also on the board of directors at the Kirkland Performance Center as well as the Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission. 

Karen Omahen (Choreographer)

Karen Omahen (Choreographer) is excited to be back choreographing for StoryBook Theater’s 21st season! She has had the pleasure of staging pigs, elves, dwarfs, chickens, witches, ducks & other magical creatures for StoryBook Theater’s talented casts & crews for the past 17 plus years. Favorite SBT shows include Little Red, Chicken Little & 3 Pigs. Teaching credits include Studio East, Tap Dance Seattle, the 5th Avenue Theatre, and the University of Washington. Performing credits include local, regional, and Broadway productions.

Liz Clayton (Stage Manager)

Liz Clayton (Stage Manager) has been stage managing for StoryBook Theater since 2009, and she loves working with the StoryBook Theater and Studio East actors, staff, and crew. Liz has a BA in theatre from Notre Dame and an MFA in drama and theatre for the young from Eastern Michigan University. Liz and her husband Noel have two young StoryBook Theater fans of their own: Leo, born in 2014, and Joseph, born in 2016.

Susan Bardsley (Musical Director)

Susan Bardsley (Musical Director), a former high school music teacher, is the co-founder of StoryBook Theater, now in its 21st season, a Kirkland-based adult troupe which performs original musicals for young audiences. Touring with StoryBook as composer, music director and accompanist, Susan plays almost 200 shows per season around the Puget Sound area. Her musicals for young audiences (written with Lani Brockman) have also been performed in theaters around the US and Canada. She also works with teens at Studio East as a music director, teacher, pianist and conductor.  Born and raised in the Seattle area, Susan has a BA in music education and a Master’s in Conducting from the University of Washington.  In addition to her 20+ shows created for StoryBook Theater, she has also written three musicals for young performers, and a multi-generational musical, ‘Twas the Night…, which performs yearly at Studio East.  (