The Team

Dewey Scott-Wiley

Director, Playwright, Ensemble Member

Dewey is extremely grateful to be a participant in the HT@MTC Performance Incubator. Creating Misery is Optional with Christine Hellman has been a profoundly meaningful journey. Dewey is an Associate Professor of Theatre, and heads the performance curriculum at the University of South Carolina Aiken. As a professional actor and director, Dewey has worked extensively up and down the East Coast, from Off-Broadway, to The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C., to the Dock Street Theatre in Charleston, SC, and beyond. She is a long-time company member at Trustus, where she recently served as Artistic Director for three seasons. Trustus directing credits include: Rock of Ages, The Flick, Godspell, Title of Show, Rent, Hair, Bill W. and Dr. Bob; plus the World Premieres of Big City, The Velvet Weapon, Pine and The Palace of the Moorish Kings. Dewey has been recognized multiple times by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for her achievements in directing at USC Aiken, and received the National Faculty Fellowship in directing in 2010. She is the coordinator of Directing Initiatives for KCACTF Region IV. Dewey has also served as Chair of the Professional Division for the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) for six years, and is a Past President of the South Carolina Theatre Association (SCTA). In 2013, Dewey received SCTA’s Founders Award, the highest award given to recognize contributions to theatre in South Carolina. She was the recipient of Jasper Magazine’s Theatre Artist of the Year in 2015.

Christine Hellman

Playwright, Ensemble Member

Christine is a theatre artist originally from Charlotte, NC. Recent credits include: Barbeque (Barbara) and The Flick (Rose) at Trustus Theatre; String of Pearls (Amy, Helen, Cheryle), Don’t Dress for Dinner (Suzette) and Some Girls (Bobbi) at Workshop Theatre; Romeo and Juliet (Juliet) at CCT; and Speech and Debate (Jan/Teacher) at USC. In addition, Christine teaches acting at Workshop Theatre, is a company member at Trustus Theatre, and a member of Full Circle Productions. She graduated from the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. Christine is ever grateful for her artistic home in Columbia, and so thankful for the community that supports her.

Arischa Conner

Ensemble Member

Arischa, pronounced (Ah-rish-sha), is a multi-talented vocal performer, actress, writer, and director. Arischa is an accomplished professional in the education field as an Instructional Coach for Richland One Schools, and divides her busy schedule spending time with her daughter Dyneise and husband Craig. She is currently signed with J. Pervis Talent Agency in Atlanta, GA. I want to say thanks so much to Dewey and Christine for giving me the opportunity to work with such a talented cast and crew. And thank you too, Jason!

Jason Stokes

Ensemble Member

Jason has been performing for almost 30 years. He is a company member at Trustus Theatre where his credits include: Rock of Ages (Stacee Jaxx), Rent (Roger), The Rocky Horror Show (Rocky), and The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told (Adam). Jason has also performed at Workshop Theatre in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Brick), Sleuth (Milo), and The Full Monty (Jerry). This April, Jason, along with Kevin Bush, Terrance Henderson, and Jonathan Jackson, will appear in All or Nothing At All: An Evening with the Columbia Rat Pack at Workshop Theatre. In addition to his theatre work, he has written and directed four independent films, and also had a public reading of his most recent screenplay Composure, about the assassination of The State Newspaper founder Narciso Gonzales by Lt. Governor James H. Tillman. Jason has had the pleasure of working with Dewey Scott-Wiley a number of times, but this experience has truly been one to treasure. He is grateful for the opportunity to work on a show as important as this one.

Ginny Ives

Assistant Director, Stage Manager

Ginny recently graduated from The University of South Carolina Aiken in December 2017 with a major in Fine Arts and a minor in Creative Writing. She assistant directed several shows at USCA, including: Twelfth Night, Spring Awakening, and Our Town. She also had the opportunity to direct several shows at USCA that include: Toil and Trouble, 3 AM Wake Up Call, Congratulations, and The Whole Shebang. Ginny has also stage managed the past three years for JOYE in Aiken. She is extremely grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Misery is Optional, and to work with such a wonderful and talented group of people.

Heather Hawfield

Scenic and Projection Designer

Heather has her MFA in Scenic Design from the University of South Carolina, and currently works in Exhibits at the SC State Museum. Past credits include scenic design for: Barbeque, Appropriate, Bill W. and Dr. Bob, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, House of Blue Leaves, Venus in Fur, and I Am My Own Wife at Trustus Theatre; Hieronymus at La Mama Theatre NYC; Les Sylphides at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts; Macbeth, The Comedy of Errors, Our Country’s Good, and The Arabian Nights at the University of South Carolina. Hawfield has been credited for assistant scenic design for: Into the Woods at The Alliance; Clyborne Park at the Steppenwolf; Red at the Goodman; Pinocchio at Chicago Shakespeare; and MythBusters Explosive Exhibition at The Museum of Science and Industry.