ERIK Presented by Rising Sun Performance Company – New York, NY Written by John Patrick Bray, Directed by Jerrod Bogard A darkly poetic satire of Phantom of the Opera as seen through the iron bars of a carnival freak-show cage. More twisted than a melodrama mustache and twice as greasy, ERIK points and laughs at the real freak show- us.

The Cast:
Matt Pepitone (Detective) is psyched to be working with Jerrod Bogard and The Rising Sun Performance Company.  Matt is a Taurus, he likes collecting records and exploring the cave of the unknown! Shout out to Alaina, his family and friends for being the best!



Destiny Marie Shegstad (Madame Giry) received a BA in Theatre from Hunter College and has spent almost two decades of her life studying various forms of dance and theatre. Originally hailing from Daytona Beach, Florida, she has had a passion for acting, music, and dance since she could walk and talk.   Since moving to New York she has been involved in a couple of Off Broadway companies and has appeared in several plays including  "A Midsummer Night's Dream" as Helena ,  "Spring's Awakening" as Mrs. Bergmann, and in "Slumber" as Beth.  Most recently she has been focusing on film and television, and had the privilege of starring in a new pilot that is currently under works and "hush hush." She is excited to be a part of Erik (her first RSP full length) and would like to thank Christopher Sanchez, her family, and friends for their never ending support.


Montana Lampert Hoover (Christine) is thrilled to be returning to RSP for the third time. In October, she had the pleasure of playing Karen in "Dream Exchange" and was part of RSP's Theatre Mash-Up: Children Are Terrifying. This will be her FRIGID Festival debut! She was last seen in Easy Leap Theatre Company's production of "The Changeling" where she played Diaphanta. Favorite roles include: Vanda (Venus in Fur), Desdemona (Othello), Emma (Contractions), Ophelia (Hamlet), NYC Woman (I Love you because), Gertie (Vendetta Chrome), Alice (You Can’t Take It With You), and Helen Keller (The Miracle Worker). Montana holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and attended the British American Drama Academy. Thank you to Liz and Mari. @fourtyonestate


Christopher Behan (Joseph) has worked with many theatre companies in and around New York City including The Pearl Theatre Company (Pick Your Poison Reading Series, Henry IV pt. 1, Twelfth Night), Hudson Warehouse (Twelfth Night, Love's Labours Lost, As You Like It, The Tempest, Hamlet, Trojan Women, Taming of the Shrew, The Rover, The Cmplte Wrks of Wllim Shkspre Abrdgd, and several others. Chris is also a full time member of Project Theater's Our Bar. Regional theatre work includes New Jersey's The George St. Playhouse (The Sunshine Boys, Doubt, Roger is Dead) and Chicago's Windy City Players (Tom Sawyer). He has an AFA from Middlesex County College and is a graduate of AMDA here in New York.


Kervin Peralta (Erik/Lead Puppeteer) is a Puppeteer/Actor from New York. He has Been involved in many theater productions at theater for the New city, The Puerto Rican travelling theater, Ensemble Studio Theater. He is Currently a part of the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater. He has a B.A. in Theater from Lehman College


Yair Ben-Dor (Barker) Born in Philadelphia and raised both there and in Israel, Yair has been pursuing acting on two fronts in two languages. Yair graduated the Lee Strasberg Film & Theatre Institute in New York in summer 2013 and has appeared in a variety of stage productions such as Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya" & "Three Sisters", Shakespeare's "Macbeth" & "King John" and was nominated for an "outstanding acting" award for his part in "Eddie" in the MITF in 2014. Yair is also an aspiring playwright and comedian. Check out his new play "Hilltops" coming this summer to MITF 2015.


Bryn Packard (Raoul) moved to New York in 2013. A fixture in the Chicago indie film scene he’s now enjoying meeting the talented artists of his new city and finding that New York was the catalyst needed to grow his career across the board. He portrayed field reporter Matt Jennings in "The Onion Weather Center" and also starred in the features “I Don’t Care” (in post-production), “Children Without Parents” and “Red Balls”. New York Theatre: Julián Mesri's "Lisa And Her Things" (Alec) with Sans Commedia, several readings at venues such as New York Theatre Workshop and La Mama. Regional Theatre: Emilio Williams' "Tables and Beds" (Charlie) with Chicago Theater Sweatshop and Teatro Vista's world premiere of Matthew Paul Olmos' "i put the fear of Mexico in 'em" (Jonah).


Samantha DeSimone(Meg) is a New Jersey native who graduated from Wagner College with a B.A in Theatre in 2012.  Samantha has been working with Rising Sun Performance Company since 2012. Shows with RSP include Hotel Suite/Room 128, Erik Staged Reading, Donkey, Henry’s Wives and Hellcab (2013).  Past non RSP credits include Jesus Christ Superstar (Soul Sister) Lysistrata (Lampito) and The Magic Tower (Mrs. O’Fallon) all at Wagner College.  Other favorite credits Bare: A Pop Opera (student) Straphangers: An Original Musical (Sarah) and Rent (Mrs. Davis).  Samantha is also a Volunteer with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, helping to produce and direct numbers cabarets including “Laughter is the Best Medicine I and II”, “All You Need is Love: A Beatles Revue” and “Blackout.”


The Creative & Production Team

John Patrick Bray (Playwright) (PhD, MFA) teaches at the University of Georgia. He has written plays under grants from The N.E.A., Acadiana Center for the Arts, and Acadiana C.A.R.E.S. in Louisiana. His plays have been developed with the Last Frontier Theatre Conference, Axial Theatre, Actors Studio’s Playwrights/Directors Workshop, The New School for Drama’s Alumni Play Project, Epic Rep. Theatre at The Players’ Club, Rose of Athens/No Shame Athens, Dramatists Guild’s Friday Night Footlights-Atlanta Style, and The Platform Group; and produced Off-Off Broadway and in venues around the country. John is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America, Inc. and a Resident Writer with Rising Sun Performance Company.


Jerrod Bogard (Director) began his career as a traveling puppeteer. With Bits N' Pieces Puppet Theatre. He has written, directed and performed productions for children and adults throughout the U.S. and Europe. His plays and musicals have been produced in NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Sri Lanka and Ireland. His musical 'Jack and the Soy Beanstalk' is published with Samuel French and Baker's Plays. Other works published with Smith & Kraus, New York Theatre Experience and Indie Theatre Now. His play Hugging the Shoulder will be published with Original Works Publishers later this year. Alumni of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop. Two­time Semi­finalist for the National Playwrights Conference. Now serving as Literary Manager to The Amoralists theatre company in New York City. Graduate Florida School of the Arts and Brooklyn College.  See more at


Prerna Bhatia (Assistant Director) is a theatre director, stage manager, and playwright living in Brooklyn, NY. She currently works as a Production Coordinator at Animated Storyboards NYC. She graduated from Wagner College with a B.A. in Theatre Studies in 2012. Favorite credits include: The Magic Tower (Director), The Pillowman (Director), Jesus Christ Superstar (Assistant Director), and Life on the Line (playwright). She is thrilled to be working with Rising Sun again and is very thankful for the experience


David Pilchman (Production Stage Manager) is very excited to be involved with the FRIGID Festival this year, alongside the Rising Sun Performance Company. He has recently spent a few years in the Midwest production managing for the Crown Uptown Professional Dinner Theatre. This will be his NYC Debut.  Thanks to friends, family, Akia, and Jerrod.

Akia (Artistic Director/Producer) is an active member of the flourishing Off-Off/Indie & Off Broadway theatre communities having produced, directed, and performed with numerous NYC companies for over 15 years.   She is the Company Manager for the international sensation, Blue Man Group at the Astor Place Theater.   She has received critical praise for her direction of RSP long running hits such as “Hellcab”, “Goodnight Lovin’ Trail” and “The Last Supper”, "Crapshoot" and "Bug". She served as an advisory Board Member for The Paul Butterfield Fund & Society, and is the Company Manager for The New York Innovative Theatre Awards & Foundation, where she serves on their honorary awards committee as Sub-Committee Chairman and as an At-Large Judge. Past notable credits include working on staff at Horse Trade Theatre Group, serving as General Manager for FRIGID New York’s inaugural year, and returning is following years as House Manager, Box Office, Artist Services &  Volunteer Coordinator; she also served as Production Coordinator for nationally acclaimed Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, overseeing the playwrights unit and INSIGHT 13 production series. She is a recipient of the New York Innovative Theatre Awards “Founders Award” for her contributions to the organization and Off Off Broadway Community and Festival Congeniality Award from Planet Connections Theatre Festival.

Jak Prince (Light & Set Design, Technical Director) made his stage debut at age 6 playing the elephant king in the first grade play.  Since then he has been involved with theater either as an actor, director, designer and educator.  Prior credits include ”Hotel Suite” (Rising Sun Performance Co-Designer and Technical Director)  ”Space Captain-Captain of Space” (No Tea Productions-Design Team) “The Kentucky Goblin Siege”  (No Tea Productions – scenic design)  “The Last Supper”  Scenic design- Rising Sun Performance Co,)  “Uncle Nicky”  (Lighting design – Theatre on Five), Vital Signs 8 (Lighting – Vital Theatre Co.), Animals R’ Us (Lighting design – P.A.C.T.)  Richard III (Lighting design – Frog & Peach Theatre Co.), “As You Like It” Much Ado About Nothing” (Scenic & Lighting design, Frog & Peach Theatre Co.), N.Y. Innovative Theatre Awards, (Production Stage Manager) “I Married Wyatt Earp” (Prospect Theatre Co-Technical Director) In addition, he is also a certified teacher of theatre and has served high schools in New Jersey as a director and designer.  His students have named him the Who’s Who among America’s Teacher’s three times.  His daughter, Danielle, is an animal trainer in Austin, Texas.

IAN WEHRLE (Sound Designer) is an active composer, actor and collaborator on various music direction and sound design for theater. He can currently be seen: as Jackie Mason at St. Luke's Theatre; premiering his original work: "Gilgamesh: A Musical Epic"; and as the founder of He is credited at the Food Network, MTV, and FOX and is continually in development of new musicals and television music. He can be reached at

Antonio Consuegra (Costume Design) is thrilled to be joining the "ERIK" design team!!! You might have seen his work on the White Plains Performing Arts Center stage productions of RENT, Legally Blonde and NY regional premier of "Fox on the Fairway". Antonio is a member of the Theatrical Wardrobe Union Local 764 IATSE. you can find Antonio working wardrobe at the "Metropolitan Opera” Antonio’s biggest goal in life is to receive a "TONY" for best costume design!! A big thank you to "Rising Sun Performance Company" for this opportunity 

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