jolt’s creative team

LAUREN ANASTASI*: FOUNDER AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF JOLT PRODUCTIONS

Lauren received her BFA in Drama and Musical Theatre from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. During her years at NYU she studied at The Lee Strasberg Studio and Cap 21. She also received high quality training at Carnegie Mellon University and by Terry Scrieber of the T. Schrieber Studio in NYC. A proud member of Actor’s Equity Association, Lauren has performed on stage as well as in commercials and on film. As a teacher and director Lauren has created several children’s drama programs and ran a high school drama department. She has worked as a director, acting coach and vocal coach. She is excited to be bringing more quality productions and professional creative arts training to South Florida! 

Contact Lauren at:

 954-994-JOLT                                                                                                      Lauren@JoltProductionCompany.com

MEET THE TOTALLY TUBULAR TEAM BEHIND

DIRECTED BY:  LAUREN ANASTASI

MUSICAL DIRECTOR: JAMES W. WEBER

Upon arriving in South Florida eight years ago Jim has worked with The Plaza Theatre, Saladino Dance Productions, North Broward Prep School, Spanish River High School, Chicken Coop Productions, The Animated Theatre Company, The Broward Stage Door Theatre and Nadine Shapiro’s Broadway Bound Studios.  Previously he has worked in Regional and Summer Stock Theatres all over the Northeast. He and his partner owned their own production company for 30 years that produced full scale productions for a 1000 seat dinner theater in the Philadelphia area. They still operate their company, WP Show Services, specializing in show tracks and scenic and event design. Jim has also written numerous off Broadway cabaret shows with friend and lyricist: Joyce Hill Stoner that have played at the New York Fringe Festival, Don’t Tell Mama and The Triad Theatre in New York City.

 CHOREOGRAPHER: SARA BENEVENTANO

Sara was born and raised in South Florida, and has been performing in Broadway and regional theatre productions and touring companies since the age of six. Sara earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre from the University of Miami Conservatory Program, thereafter attending Nova Southeastern University for her MS in Education. Sara worked for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as the lead vocalist in their main stage productions, and has toured Europe and the United States for many years in various productions. Some favorites include TOMMY the Musical, Grease, Crazy for You, 42nd Street, and The Radio City Christmas Spectacular in New York City. Sara works professionally as a choreographer, director and musical director throughout the South Florida area. She served as the resident choreographer for Olympic Heights High School in Boca Raton for the last 9 years and served as an adjunct professor of Dance at Lynn University.

PRODUCTION MANAGER: ANDREW SCHULTZ

Andrew Shultz is a local professional actor and a Carbonell nominee for his most recent performance of Patsy in “Spamalot” at the Kravis Center. He has been performing since the age of six. Andrew founded the Marquee Theater Company in 2012 which was housed in Boca Raton with the intention of bringing premier entertainment to South Florida. He has performed in over 50 musicals, and he has directed numerous productions. Andrew attends Lynn University, and is pursuing a degree in Business Administration. Some of his favorite performing credits include Patsy in “Spamalot”, Mark in “RENT”, Leo Bloom in “The Producers”, Tulsa in Gypsy, and Seymour in “Little Shop of Horrors”. He is absolutely elated to be joining the Jolt Production team! 

STAGE MANAGER: NANCY CLAY

Nancy earned her degree in Speech and Theatre from Newberry College in South Carolina and did graduate work at the University of Georgia. She has worked for many theatres in this area but spent over 20 years at Stage Door Theatre as resident Stage Manager where she was involved with more than 150 productions where she held positions of Stage manager, Props Master, Sound Engineer and House Manager.  Nancy is grateful to have worked with so many wonderful directors and talented actors and looks forward to collaborating with Jolt Productions on THE WEDDING SINGER! When not working in the theatre, Nancy is an enthusiastic cast member at Disney’s Character Warehouse.  

TECHNICAL DIRECTOR: CONNOR HADEL

Connor’s technical credits include Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime- Olympic Heights Theater Department (Lighting Designer, Sound Engineer), Rent- Olympic Heights Theater Department (Lighting Designer, Sound Engineer)  Next to Normal- Olympic Heights Theater Department (Lighting Designer, Sound Engineer), The Children’s Hour- Florida Atlantic University (Master Electrician), The Nutcracker- Boca Ballet (Light Board operator, Lighting Assistant). He is from Saint James, New York and is pursuing his degree in Theater Design from Florida Atlantic University.

Book by: Chad Beguelin & Tim Herlihy

TIM HERLIHY has written or co-written the films Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy, Big Daddy, Little Nicky and Mr.Deeds and was an executive producer of Anger Management and The Longest Yard. These nine films have grossed more than one billion dollars inworldwide box office revenue. From 1994 to 1999, he serves as writer, head writer and ultimately producer of the television series “Saturday Night Live,” for which he recieved an Emmy nomination.

Music by: Matthew Sklar

MATTHEW SKLAR is a Tony®, Emmy®, and Drama Desk Award-nominated composer. His works include the Broadway musicals Elf and The Wedding Singer (Tony Award Nomination for Best Original Score, Drama Desk Award Nomination for Outstanding Music). He also wrote the music for The Rhythm Club (Signature Theatre), Judas & Me, and Wicked City (American Stage Company). Matthew reunited with Elf collaborators Chad Beguelin and Bob Martin to create the new musical The Prom, now playing on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre.

Matthew received a 2015 Primetime Emmy® Award Nomination for Outstanding Music Direction for the critically-acclaimed NBC stop-motion animated TV special “Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas”, starring Jim Parsons. He adapted and arranged the music of Marvin Hamlisch for the Emmy Award-winning documentary film Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love, seen on PBS/American Masters. Matthew has contributed original songs/music to Sesame Street, Wonder Pets!, and the NBC Broadcast of The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

As an 18-year-old freshman at New York University, Matthew began playing keyboards for the Broadway production of Les Miserables, eventually conducting the show at 21. He has also been a keyboardist, conductor, and/or arranger for many Broadway productions including Shrek, Caroline, or Change, Nine, Oklahoma, 42nd Street, Putting It Together, Annie Get Your Gun, On the Town, Titanic, Guys and Dolls, Sunset Boulevard, and Miss Saigon. Matthew also appeared onstage as Oscar in the Broadway revival of 42nd Street.

Awards include the ASCAP Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award, the Gilman/Gonzalez-Falla Theatre Award, and the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award.

Matthew is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild, ASCAP, and the American Federation of Musicians, Local 802. His music is published by Warner/Chappell Music. Matthew was educated at The Juilliard School of Music (Pre-College Division), the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and New York University.

Lyrics by: Chad Beguelin

CHAD BEGUELIN is a four-time Tony Nominee whose works include Disney’s Aladdin (Tony Award Nomination for Best Book and Best Original Score, Drama Desk Award Nomination for Outstanding Lyrics and Best Book) and The Wedding Singer (Tony Award Nomination for Best Book and Best Original Score, Drama Desk Award Nomination for Outstanding Lyrics). He also wrote the lyrics for the Broadway musical Elf, which broke several box office records at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. His play HARBOR premiered off-Broadway at Primary Stages. Chad also wrote the book and lyrics for Judas & Me (NYMF Award for Excellence in Lyric Writing), The Rhythm Club (Signature Theater) and Wicked City(American Stage Company). Chad reunited with Elf collaborators Matthew Sklar and Bob Martin to create the new musical The Prom, now playing on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre. He is the recipient of the Edward Kleban Award for Outstanding Lyric Writing, the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award, the Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Musical Theater Award and the ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award. Chad is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Dramatic Writing Program.