Private Dancer A cinema-inspired performance work through the eyes of Rita Hayworth
About The Production
Cast & Creatives
Actor, Producer & Playwright

Sage Snakechalmer moved to New York from Connecticut as a teenager. She attended Fordham University and the University of Rome. After working as an agent of photographers and in print and film production, Sage began studying acting in 2005. Sage has worked with some of the most reputable coaches in the world, among them her mentor and Meisner coach Robert X. Modica, her "entirely physical" combined techniques of Meisner and method is informed by Ballet and Jazz, and a fifteen year Bikram Yoga practice. In 2011, Sage began acting fulltime with a serendipitous focus on Rita Hayworth. She wrote Private Dancer in 2013 with a goal to make it fashionable to ask for help as well as to help others. Sage dedicates Private Dancer to her Grandfather Ernest DeLucia who, like Rita Hayworth, died of Alzheimer's disease.

Director and Producer

Bob Degus (Director and Producer) has been working as a director and producer for more than two decades. Producer of two Academy Award nominated short films, a two-time CableACE Award nominee and Golden Satellite nominee, Bob directed and produced the award- winning independent feature 9/Tenthsof the Law, starring Gabrielle Anwar and Henry Ian Cusick. For its cultural significance, 9/Tenths was honored by becoming part of the permanent collection of the Library of Congress. His award-winning short film, Another Round was purchased by Showtime. Working with Steven Soderbergh and Jon Kilik, he produced Gary Ross’ triple Academy Award nominated film Pleasantville, where he was instrumental in developing the world’s first digital intermediate – a process now used on virtually every motion picture, worldwide. He is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Alexandra Angélique Leeper
Producer Alexandra Angélique Leeper is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and also attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She is a singer/dancer/actress and enjoys learning about the various aspects of film and theater production. She is originally from Boulder, Co and spent many years living in Los Angeles where she worked in both the film and modeling industries before recently moving back to New York City to re-connect with the theatrical world. Alexandra created a yoga practice called Yoga4Artists and taught it to artists of all kinds for two years in the Downtown LA Arts Community. She has practiced and taught yoga for over a decade. She is also a writer, painter and visionary. She has produced and performed in her own work on multiple occasions.


Francesca Harper started her dance career with The Dance Theatre of Harlem and as principal dancer at William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt. Her choreographed works include for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey 2, and Tanz Graz. In 2013 Francesca received the Living History Award for Black History Month and the Louis Vuitton Innovation and Technology Award, for her original work entitled, ‘digital#connect,’ created for designer Louis Vuitton for Fashion Week.

Brian Ralston
Composer and Musical Score
Brian Ralston is an award-winning, classically-trained, Los Angeles-based film composer with over a decade of composing music for film, television and theater. Film scores include Crooked Arrows, Graduation, Don’t Fade Away, 9/Tenths also directed by Bob Degus, and the television series Angel. Previous theater credits include SnEauX - The SINsational Gothic Figure Skating Musical (starring Kristen Bell, dir. Andy Fickman) that garnered 6 LA Weekly Theatre nominations in Los Angeles.

Hollywood Studio Symphony
Original Score
Hollywood Studio Symphony is a moniker created in 2002 that gives name as a group, to the ensemble session musicians who differ from soundtrack to soundtrack and are behind many of the great movie soundtracks. The musicians, many of whom are Local 47 which since 1897 has supported and protected them, work in the entertainment industry’s birthplace Hollywood. Today Local 47 musicians can be heard in the works of innumerable Emmy and Oscar-winning composers.

Abigail Benavides
Production Designer
Abigail Benavides works as a Production Designer, Art Director and Art Consultant in New York and Los Angeles. Her designs have been featured in Vanity Fair Magazine, New York Fashion Week, and several feature films and television series. Abigail focuses on curating her sets by bringing a strong network of fine artists’ work into her designs through her continued work as an Art Consultant in the New York gallery and auction worlds.

Joshua Rose
Lighting Designer
A lighting designer of many styles, Joshua’s work has been seen around the world from a shopping mall at the top of a mountain in Hong Kong, to a jazz club in Mumbai. From the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing to Lincoln Center in New York City. Architecture, Theater, Dance, Opera, if it needs lighting, Joshua is happy to light it. Thanks to Hansel, Lulu, and Bubba for their love, support, and patience.

Laurie Schechter
Style Director
Laurie Schechter works as a fashion consultant, editor, writer, stylist, and producer in New York City. She has been American Vogue’s first Style Editor, Rolling Stone’s first Fashion Director, the Creative Director who launched Allure magazine, and Director of Visual Presentation for QVC. Her work has appeared in Elle, Interview, Harper’s Bazaar, Town and Country, Departures, Travel & Leisure, and Condé Nast Traveler magazines while consulting for such stalwarts as Bergdorf Goodman and Kenneth Cole.

Lisa Fowle
Sound Designer
Lisa Fowle (Sound Designer) is a sound supervisor and owner of Dragonfly S ound. Her early experience includes an internship at George Lucas’s Skywalker. Lisa’s credits number over 100 titles in live and animated film; television; video games; commercials and movie trailers, for clients including Disney, WB Records, Marvel, Nissan, and the National Resources Defense Council. Having designed and run sound for 11 theatre productions including Macbeth and Hamlet, her passion lies in social and earth-conscious media.

Jessica Paz
Sound System Designer
Broadway: Fela! (Associate Sound Design), she has taken the show to both Europe and Africa (Tony Award- Best Sound Design- 2010). Off-Broadway: Becoming Dr. Ruth (Westside Theater); Looking for the Pony (Vital Theater Co.); Women Beware Women (Red Bull Theater); STRETCH-A Fantasia (New Georges). Regional: Bruce Hornsby’s New Musical SCKBSTD (Virginia Stage Company) ; Shakespeare on the Sound’s Productions of Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, and Much Ado about Nothing.

Melanie Armer
Co-Production Manager
Melanie has a multi-faceted, seasoned career in theatre. Off Broadway she has worked as production stage manager on Woody Harrelson’s Bullet for Adolf at New World Stages, This Is My Office at Chashma, I Forgive You Ronald Reagan at the Beckett Theater, and How Deep is the Ocean for the New York Music Festival 2013. Her production credits include Associate Producer, Lincoln Center Programming; Venue Producer, World Science Festival; Production Manager, Brooklyn Concert Series; and Production Stage Manager, Sequence Events. She is also Creative Director, Cosmic Opera and Artistic Director and Co-founder of The Nerve Tank, New York City.

John Finen
Co-Production Manager
As a production manager and lighting designer he has toured shows in Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South America. Line Producer and SM for a variety of Galas, Concerts and Special Events for Lincoln Center Inc., Site Coordinator for The Dave Matthews Band Concert in Central Park in 2003 and since 2004, production manager for NYC’s largest free summer concert series in Coney Island. Since 2003 has produced and managed the largest parties at sea for Atlantis Events, produced all the entertainment for Summit Series at Sea in 2010 and in 2012, turned the legendary Coachella Music Festival to into S.S. Coachella on the Celebrity Silhouette. Currently, Director of Production for the annual World Science Festival in NYC. He is a founding creative partner and producer of “Cosmic Opera”, a one of a kind dance music experience at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC.

Robert A. Sherrill
General Manager Consultant
Robert A. Sherrill works extensively in professional theatre in various roles. Currently General Manager with Labyrinth Theater Company, New York Stage and Film, Premieres, Robert has worked as Company Manager on numerous productions including My Trip Down The Pink Carpet at the White Plains Performing Arts Center and on "Rags" World AIDS Day Concert. Among his Off-Broadway work, as Production Manager on the 2010, "Inner Voices" Primary Stages 25th Anniversary Celebration, a co-production with Premieres.

Maureen Murtha
Stage Manager
Maureen Murtha has held stage management positions on Off Broadway and repertory and regional theatrical productions. Her production stage manager credits include A Christmas Carol at Philadelphia's Hedgerow Theatre and The Nu.Musical Festival at Penn State Center Stage. She served as Stage Manager on several productions, Marvell Repertory's Night Games among them, and as Assistant Stage Manager on Lawnpeople at the Cherry Lane Theatre and with the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival.

Ashley L Koenig
Assistant Stage Manager
Ashley L Koenig has stage managed for The Cherry Orchard at the Atlantic Stage 2, Dorothy Strelsin Theatre's Sort of Like Julie, Alabama Baggage at the Asylum Theatre LA, and Antigone Unearthed at the New York International Fringe Festival. Her other stage management credits include This Round's On Us at the Gene Frankle Theatre and Hudson Guild's If You Could See. Ashley holds a BFA in Technical Direction from the University of Southern California.

Marishka S. Phillips
Acting Coach/Creative Consultant
Marishka S. Phillips is a native New Yorker, who began her performing career at the age of eight going on to perform on Broadway, in Europe, and across the United States. In 2002, she began focusing her studies on acting with mentor Susan Batson, which has led to a teaching career. Now in her eighth year coaching actors, Marishka works with beginners and celebrities alike.

Jon Can Coskunses
Costume Designer -Dance of the Seven Veils
Jon Can Coskunses is a fashion designer and tailor living in New York City and currently working with Boardwalk Empire.

Ezel is a native of London and began his career working at the legendary 'House of Leonard', and then moved on to work with John Frieda. His talents are considered by many to be in a class with the finest in the world. His departure from London to New York City landed him as Head Consultant of the famed Bumble and Bumble Salon for more than a decade. His work has brought him amazing opportunities to collaborate with some of the world's iconic photographers, models and celebrities.

Life Knyper
Life Knyper of is an internationally published makeup artist serving the fashion, advertising, and entertainment industries. He began his career with makeup on models for his clothing line and quickly developed a love for the craft. He has focused his talents to become a successful makeup artist in New York City and abroad. He has an extensive client list and is the creator of Airbrush NYC, a full service beauty company specializing in airbrush make-up and tanning services

Nik Robalino
Assistant Lighting Designer
Nik Robalino made his way to New York after receiving his BFA in Lighting Design from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. Recent projects have included designing selected works from the "All For One" theatre festival at the Cherry Lane Theatre, lighting design for the Insomniacs 24 hour theatre festival at Theatre 54, and as festival technician for the New York Fringe Festival.

Mary Carter
Assistant Choreographer
Mary Carter is a performing artist in New York City. She attended the Ailey School as a Fellowship Student, performing works by Francesca Harper, Judith Jamison, and Take Ueyama. Mary joined the Francesca Harper Project as Company Member in 2009, while studying acting at the Matthew Corozine Studio Theater. During her time at MCS, she discovered her unique voice and song-writing abilities. Currently she teaches holistic integrative methods for dancers, singers, and actors.