Meet the Moderator and Acting Ensemble of Local Lab 2018

This Year's Talkback Moderator 


Eden Lane (Moderator) is a freelance journalist based in Denver. She is the host and producer of “In Focus with Eden Lane,” on Colorado Public Television and PBS Digital. It is a true one-man-band/MMJ program as she shoots and edits almost every segment on her own. Preparing for the 11th Season, this weekly series has already featured over 350 original episodes spotlighting local and national music, theater and arts. Eden has also served as a producer for CPT 12’s flagship live community affairs program “Studio 12.” After several years as a homemaker and stay-at-home mom Eden re-launched her career focusing on community affairs, and political reporting for the PBS affiliate. Among her awards and recognitions, Eden was named Best Non-Network TV Personality by Westword Best of Denver and a Denver Post Ovation Award.

Acting Ensemble

We are proud to welcome this incredible group of actors to Local Lab 2018, our annual new play festival. Learn more about the festival, and purchase your tickets today, by clicking here


Janae Burris is a comedian, writer and actor. She is a Los Angeles native and a California Institute of the Arts alumna. Janae has been a featured performer at Portland’s Bridgetown Comedy Festival, Limestone Comedy Festival in Indiana, and Denver’s High Plains Comedy Festival. She is the winner of the 2016 Comedy Works New Faces Contest, and a regular performer at both Comedy Works locations in Denver.  See her this summer in Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s production of Cyrano de Bergerac.


Sommer Carbuccia wants to thank Local Theater Company for having him, and is excited to continue exploring the character of Kyle in Paper Cut. In New York, he was most recently seen in the workshop production of the new musical Other World, and the Ridiculous Theatrical Company’s 50th anniversary production of Conquest of the Universe or When Queens Collide. He is also in the upcoming festival film Juvenile and the Nickelodeon cartoon, “Welcome to the Wayne.” Live, love, lake.


Jada Suzanne Dixon is a two-time recipient of the True West Award. She is an associate artist with Local Theater Company, last seen as Gaby in The Firestorm. Jada is also an artistic company member at Curious Theatre, recently seen as Chelle in Detroit ‘67. Curious credits include: White Guy on the Bus, Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet, In The Red and Brown Water, and House with No Walls. Other theater: Metamorphoses, The Color Purple, A Christmas Carol, and Crumbs from the Table of Joy at Aurora Fox Arts Center; Black OdysseyFences, Gem of the Ocean at Denver Center Theatre Company; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest at The Edge Theatre Company, Two Trains Runnin’Waitin’ 2 End Hell, and Macbeth at Shadow Theatre Company; and Doubt at Off Square Theatre Company. Jada is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and The Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard.


Diana Dresser is thrilled to be back at Local Lab. Recent credits include The Wild Party, Sweet & Lucky, Travelers of the Lost Dimension, and All the Way with the Denver Center Theatre Company. She also has worked with the Arvada Center, Buntport Theater, BETC, Curious Theatre, Stories on Stage, Theatre Aspen, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, and Creede Repertory Theatre. She was the resident choreographer at Creede Rep for 10 years and she is currently assistant to the choreographer for Tommy at the DCPA. Diana also works as a teaching artist and she is a Broker Associate with LIV Sotheby’s International Realty.


Peyton Goossen. Local Theater Company debut. Other theater: A Christmas Carol (DCPA Theatre Company); School of Rock, Lion King, and Mary Poppins (Breckenridge Backstage Theatre). Peyton is in fourth grade at Frisco Elementary. She enjoys skiing, singing and relaxing. 



Alex J. Gould is an actor and fight director in NYC. Off-Broadway: BALLS (59E59 Theaters), The Woodsman (New World Stages, 59E59). Other credits: Student BodyThe Mysteries, a cautionary tail, Thomas Bradshaw’s Job, #serials@theflea (Flea Theater), The Radicalization of Rolfe (2016 NYC Fringe Fest Best Overall Play). Regional/international: BALLS (Stages Repertory Theater), Mary’s Wedding (Portland Center Stage), Whaddabloodclot by Katori Hall (Williamstown), and Happily After Ever (Edinburgh Fringe 2015). Readings/workshops: Ensemble Studio Theater, The Lark, 52nd Street Project, McCarter Theatre, Rattlestick Theater, Guild Hall, Jewish Plays Project. Co-creator of upcoming web series Nannies ( Education: AMDA. Instagram: @agouldini.


Meridith C. Grundei is an actor, director, improviser, coach, and voice-over artist. She holds an MFA in contemporary performance from Naropa University and is an associate artist of Local Theater Company. Meridith was recently awarded the 2017 True West Award with her husband, Gary Grundei, and Henry nominated for her work as director on Beowulf, A Thousand Years of Baggage with the Boulder company, The Catamounts. In 2016, she was recognized in Westword as one of Colorado’s 100 Creatives. This fall, she is working on a project as creator and director called Bite-Sized, an evening of micro-theataer with Off-Center at The Denver Center.


Curtiss Johns is thrilled to be a part of Local Lab 2018. Denver area theater credits include: 4000 Miles, My Name is Asher Lev at Miners Alley Playhouse, Dust with Curious Theatre Company, and Wonderbound and Mr. Burns: A Post Electric Play with The Catamounts. Regional credits: Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Six Degrees of Separation, The Heidi Chronicles, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Big Love.


Candace Joice is currently an understudy for the Arvada Center’s Black Box Repertory Company (Sense and Sensibility, The Foreigner). Other credits: Abby in Belleville and Carol in Oleanna (Progressive Theatre); Mother in The Oldest Boy (Vintage Theatre and Theatre Esprit Asia); Olivia in Twelfth Night and Thaisa in Pericles (Hoosier Shakes); Alice in You Can’t Take It With You (Miners Alley Playhouse); Varya in The Cherry Orchard (Sweet Tea Shakespeare); and Mrs. Cratchit in A Christmas Carol (Colorado Shakespeare Festival)Training: University of Central Missouri. You can see her next in District Merchants at Miners Alley Playhouse. 


Cajardo Lindsey previously appeared at Local Theater Company in The Rape of the Sabine Women, By Grace B. Matthias. At the Denver Center Theatre Company, he has been seen in All The WayJust Like Us, and A Raisin in the Sun. Other credits: Wait Until Dark and To Kill a Mockingbird (The Arvada Center); The Whipping ManIn the Red and Brown WaterThe Brothers SizeMarcus; or The Secret of SweetFences (Curious Theatre). TV/film: “Medium,” “Crash,” “In Plain Sight,” “Easy Money,” Silver CityMacGruberForce of ExecutionShot CallerSomnio. Cajardo was the 2014 and 2009 recipient of Colorado Theatre Guild’s Henry Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play, as well as the 2014 recipient of Westword Best of Denver for Best Actor. 


Leslie O’Carroll is making her Local Theater Company debut. She was last seen as Williamina Fleming in BETC’s Silent Sky (Henry Award nomination). Other Boulder credits: Dotty in Noises Off, Maria in Twelfth Night, Nurse in Romeo and Juliet at Colorado Shakespeare Festival (where she’ll tread the boards this summer in You Can’t Take It With You and Richard III). Other theatre: 21 seasons at Denver Center Theatre Company (notably Mrs. Fezziwig in A Christmas Carol), Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Theatreworks, Senior Housing Options, Curious Theatre and Arvada Center. Film/TV: “Breaking Bad,” “Longmire,” Footloose. Awards: Best of Westword, Denver Post Ovation, True West.


Sadieh Rifai is an ensemble member at American Theatre where her credits include the world premiere of The Humans (Jeff Award nomination for Best Ensemble), The Amish Project, Hedwig and the Angry Inch (co-production with About Face Theatre), The Original Grease, Columbinus, Doubt, Agnes of God and Speech and Debate (After Dark Award for Outstanding Performance). Other Chicago credits include Evening at the Talk House (A Red Orchid Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre), Ski Dubai (Steppenwolf First Look) and The Piano Teacher (Next Theatre). Film credits include The Wise Kids, Nate and Margaret, and Olympia. TV credits include "Chicago Med" and Amazon's "Patriot" in which she plays the recurring role of Mahtma El-Mashad. She is a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf and received the Princess Grace Award.


Cesar J. Rosado is a founding member and co-artistic director of the Middle Voice at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. Past works include: The Couches, directed by Caitlin O’Connoll (Colorado New Play Summit at The Denver Center); EL COQUI ESPECTACULAR and the Bottle of Doom, directed by Jose Zayas (Two River Theater); The New York Times Critic Pick The Workshop, directed by Knud Adams (Soft Focus/HB Playwrights); Red Emma and the Mad Monk, directed by Katie Lindsay (Ars Nova); Seven Spots on the Sun, directed by Weyni Mengesha (Rattlestick Playwrights); Dolphins and Sharks, directed by Charlotte Brathwaite (Labyrinth Theater Company); and Henry V, directed by Tim Walker (Shakespeare’s Globe, UK).


Bernadette Sefic is a Denver native working in Chicago and Colorado, and is absolutely thrilled to be involved in Local Lab this year. She is currently touring in Elizabeth I: In Her Own Words with Goddess Here Productions, performing with Golden Mountain Variety at The Crowd, and studying at the Second City Chicago Conservatory. Recent and upcoming credits include: Oil Lamp Theatre’s The Odd Couple, The Wit’s ShakesBeer, company member of Mercury Hamlet Chicago, and Matt & Ben at Dairy Arts Center.


Tiffany Villarin has been seen in Do You Feel Anger? and The Grown up (Actors Theatre Humana Festival), peerless (Yale Repertory Theatre and Marin Theatre—SFBATCC Best Principal Actress and TBA Outstanding Actress Nomination), Ghostwritten (Goodman Theatre), Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West (Timeline Theatre), House Rules (Ma-Yi), peerless (Cherry Lane), Figaro (The Pearl), The Seagull  (NAATCO). Film/TV:  “Instinct,” “Bull,” “The Blacklist,” “Gotham,” Certainty, Shadow. Additional credits: Sundance Theatre Lab: Ghostwritten, Have You Seen Steve Steven? Villarin has a BFA from The Theatre School of DePaul University and is a member of The Actors Center.