Hannah Briggs, actor

A native of Sunset, Louisiana, has been part of the local theatre scene for nearly twelve years earning her Bachelor of Performing Arts at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2003.  As a member of Acting Up, she has performed in numerous productions including Twelfth NightThe Complete Works of William Shakespeare: AbridgedMacbeth, the original cast of Sustained Winds, and Play.Music.Heal.  She made her dance debut in Simplicated Complified last spring.  Since December of 2005, Briggs has been one of the original members of the sketch comedy group Skit Happens.  She is excited about participating in her seventh year with the Summer Youth Shakespeare Ensemble.  She enjoys working with young children and teaches drama at a local elementary school for the arts where she recently received the honor of 2011 Teacher of the Year.  Briggs also served on the Elementary School Theatre Arts Committee to write the official arts curriculum for the state of Louisiana.


Ricky Briggs, actor/writer

Ricky has over ten years of experience in standup and sketch comedy, stage, film and television.  He has entertained nationally in New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Austin, New Orleans, and Orlando. Locally, he has performed at the AcA, 307 Downtown, Cite’ des Arts, AOC, Artmosphere, Grantstreet and Bella Notte.  Briggs has also performed with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on Correct Usage & Common ErrorsPicasso at the Lapin Agile and The Tempest.  Since 2003, Briggs has been involved with Acting Up as both an actor and writer. He has been seen in Angels in AmericaTwelfth NightThe Complete Works of William Shakespeare: AbridgedMacbeth, the original cast of Sustained Winds, and Play.Music.Heal. He co-founded the sketch comedy group Skit Happens in December of 2005. Briggs has been an Acting Coach for Summer Youth Shakespeare Ensemble for 7 years.


Lian Cheramie, actor/writer

is originally from Lafayette, Louisiana. Lian received her BFA in Performing Arts at ULL and has been involved with Acting Up!(in Acadiana) since its beginnings. Some of Lian’s favorite roles have been Brett in Sarah Schulman’s Correct Usage and Common Errors, Trinculo in The Tempest, and Viola in Twelfth Night. She has also been in the original works Sustained Winds, Play.Music.Heal, and Unbearably Lo[ ]ely. With the help of Acting Up!, Lian created and performed her first one woman show in 2008. She continues to train in her summers. For two years, she trained at Chicago’s Second City in improv and sketch writing. This summer, Lian was accepted to take part in the 3 week intensive training session with the multi-award winning Philadelphia based company Pig Iron. Over the course, she trained in mask (5 different types of masks) and clown work. Lian loves being a talented theatre teacher in a variety of schools for Lafayette Parish. Her students have aided in writing, collaborating, and developing their own original works, such as Cirrco EccentricoAll the World’s a Stage: A Shakespearean Mash-upTaking it to the Streets: An Afternoon of Street Theatreand more.


Brian Crutchfield, actor/production designer

Brian is from Jeanerette, Louisiana. He has received an associate’s degree from South Louisiana Community College in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Digital Media and Production, and is currently enrolled at ULL. Aside from his involvement with Acting Up. Brian has performed in local community theater, independent and studio films, as well production designer for a number of local independent films.


David Guarisco, actor

David, lawyer turned physical therapist assistant, was first cast as the father in a local community theatre production of TONY AND TINA'S WEDDING.  He then began working with Acting Up where he has been seen in THE BAR PLAYS, THE PATRIOT ACTS, MACBETH, SUSTAINED WINDS, UNBEARABLY LO[ ]ELY AND TWELFTH NIGHT. David has also performed in productions of HAPPY DAYS and THE FAT MAN'S WIFE. He has also appeared in local television commercials and independent film works including Tom Krueger's film "The Daisy Chain" and Zack Godshall's film "Absolute".


Kara Guarisco, actor/writer

Kara has been working with Acting Up in Acadiana for the past eight years, where she began as a student of the first ever Summer Youth Shakespeare Ensemble. Student turned company member and teacher, she assists private theatre classes during the year and is thrilled to serve as acting coach with SYSE once again this summer. Notable shows as a student include A Midsummer Night's DreamMuch Ado About Nothing, and As You Like It. As a company member, MacbethSustained WindsPLAY.MUSIC.HEAL. and Unbearably Lo[ ]ely are among her favorites. Kara was accepted as a young creative artist to serve as a part of an international delegation at the Festival TransAmèriques in Montréal. She was also a recipient of the Hill-Bonin PASA scholarship which gave her the opportunity to study with SITI company in Chicago. Most recently, Kara performed in an original dance piece entitled I've Stopped Having That Dream I've Been Having as a dancer. She is currently studying English and French at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.


George Saucier, actor/musician

George was born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana and is a full-time student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He’s played and been around music his entire life. He began acting in 2006 when he joined the Summer Youth Shakespeare Ensemble. Piquing an interest, he began to take lessons in exchange for assisting in teaching younger students in acting classes during the school year, under Amy Waguespack and has continued to do so for the past five years. When S.Y.S.E. needed an assistant music director, George jumped on the opportunity. Now a full company member of Acting Up, he has performed in numerous performances with Acting Up including PLAY.MUSIC.HEAL. and UNBEARABLY LO_ELY.


Cissy Whipp, actor, dancer, choreographer

has been working as a performer, choreographer and dance educator for over 30 years.  She received her BFA in Choreographic Design from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and her MA in Performing Arts: Dance from the American University in Washington, DC.  She founded Louisiana’s first professional modern dance company, Moving South Dance, Inc.  She toured for several years with Young Audiences of New Orleans and performed in France and Belgium with La Compagnie Louisianaise.  She has taught for university dance programs at American University, George Washington University, Potsdam State University of New York, and most recently at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she directed the Children’s Dance Guild and choreographed for the State of LA Danse Concert series.  Ms. Whipp has been active with the Acadiana Arts Council’s Bright New Worlds program which brings professional artists into the classroom, in their Arts Grants for Teachers program which brings artists and teachers together in collaborative programs and mini-residencies and in their Professional Development for Teacher’s programs for which she has created numerous workshops on integrating dance into the curriculum.  She has been on the Louisiana State Artists Roster since 1986.  In 1997, she was honored with the Acadiana Arts Award for outstanding contributions to the arts in Acadiana.  In 1999 she was invited to join the John F. Kennedy Center’s roster of Teaching Artists and presents workshops nationally for teachers on various topics of arts integration.  She has served on the committee for developing arts assessment standards for the Louisiana Department of Education and for the revision of the state arts content standards and benchmarks. She served as Middle School Dance chair for the committee to write the official arts curriculum for the state of Louisiana. She is currently teaching dance at the J. Wallace James Elementary School for Arts & Technology and mentors emerging performing artists who are entering the Teaching Artist field.  Ms. Whipp is a member of Acting Up (in Acadiana) and continues to choreograph and perform as an independent artist, working collaboratively with a variety of musicians, actors, poets, and dancers.


Kelly Clayton, actor/writer

Kelly is a Louisiana Creole whose roots on both sides of the family reach back to 1778. She recently moved home after twenty years in New York City, where she studied acting at The Neighborhood Playhouse. Kelly writes poetry full time, and home schools her nine-year old son.


Copyright © 2017 Acting Up (in Acadiana) - Lafayette, La. All Rights Reserved.