Wonder of the World- Cast and Creative Team


LIZ G headshotElizabeth Glyptis (Cass)- Elizabeth shares her character’s love for travel, finding meaning in the small things in life, being a “sweet little bonbon”, and striking up conversations with strangers. We are sure that final one comes in handy at Elizabeth’s day job in HR at K&L Gates as well as onstage. This is Elizabeth’s fourth show at Little Lake, having appeared as Marela in Anna in the Tropics, Blima in Letters to Sala, and Sissy in Dividing the Estate. Elsewhere, she has performed with Heritage Players (Marianne in Sense and Sensibility), Steel City Shakespeare (Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice), South Park Theatre (Julia in Dilemmas with Dinner) and McKeesport Little Theatre (Frances in 5 Women Wearing the Same Dress), to name a few. Up next, Elizabeth will play Molly in Belfast Girls with Ghostlight Theatre Troupe.

leah headshotLeah Hillgrove* (Lois)- While on a recent vacation, Leah found a Barbie head lying in the sand, which we think is a good sign for this production (or just slightly creepy). But we are sure that it is a sign that Leah had a chance to relax on vacation, having recently pulled double duty at the Lake as both a performer and audience member/ proud mom of Max, one of our apprentices (appearing in Peter and the Starcatcher and Rapunzel). We are also certain that a restful vacation is a good thing since Leah will head right into rehearsals for Clue: The Musical. Previously, Little Lake audiences have seen Leah in many productions including Ala in Letters to Sala, Doris in The Loman Family Picnic, Mom in A Christmas Story, and Mrs. Cratchit in both Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge and A Christmas Carol. Elsewhere, Leah has appeared in over a hundred shows including the title role in Evita with Apple Hill Playhouse (as well as the understudy for Evita at the Pittsburgh CLO) and Sister Mary Leo in Nunsense at the Pittsburgh CLO Cabaret Theatre. She can also be heard as lead vocalist for the band “The Resonators.” *member of Actors’ Equity Association

david h headshotDavid Hoffman (Glen)- Like his character in Wonder of the World, David has also held many odd jobs over the years, including raising parakeets to sell at Elmer’s Pet Shop and dressing as a twelve foot inflatable cell phone named Flippy the Flip Phone. We are certain all of this experience has helped David to become the versatile character actor he is today.  This is David’s second show at Little Lake, having appeared as Sir Rupert Watlington in Jeeves Intervenes. Later this season, David will be taking our stage once again as Gordon Brown in The Audience. David’s additional acting credits include Vic in Funny Money with Theatre Factory, Juror 12 in Twelve Angry Men with McKeesport Little Theatre, Giles in The Mousetrap with Legacy Theatre, and Geoffrey in The Lion in Winter with South Park Theatre.

arjun headshot picArjun Kumar (Captain Mike)- Little Lake is thrilled to welcome Arjun to our stage. When he isn’t busy on stage, this Philly native is an application developer at PNC, an avid basketball player, and a boat captain. Okay, we made up the boat captain part, but he definitely plays a convincing one onstage. This is Arjun’s first time performing at Little Lake. Elsewhere he could be seen as Elliot in Alone Together at South Park Theatre, Harry Roat in Wait Until Dark with Greensburg Civic Theatre, Sol in Lights Out with the Pittsburgh Playwright’s Theatre, and Jaisu in Polish Joke with McKeesport Little Theatre.

renee headshotRenée Ruzzi-Kern (Barbara, Helicopter Pilot, 3 Waitresses, & Janie)- Renée has been in training to play these six roles in this production by taking on a new recreational activity for each character. Renée now plays tennis, pickle ball, golf, teaches pilates, takes piano lessons, and plays volleyball in the (Senior) Olympics. With all of those hobbies and characters to play, we can understand why Renée is looking forward to her vacation to the Pacific Northwest, where we are sure she will be adding rock climbing and sailing to her list of sports. At Little Lake, Renée has appeared in many roles including Blanche in Brighton Beach Memoirs, Charlotte in Moon Over Buffalo, Candy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Miss Shields in A Christmas Carol. Recently, Renée also appeared as Pat Nixon in Tea for Three at South Park Theatre and Greta in Slate Please for “The Bisbee Project.”

marianne headshotMarianne Shaffer (Karla)- Marianne tells us, like her character, she too is “a bit of a dabbler,” though we prefer the term “renaissance woman.” Having recently retired from a very successful thirty plus year career in advertising, Marianne is about to get her second diploma (just 42 years after receiving her first). She also teaches tap dancing to seniors and sings with the Harmony Singers of Pittsburgh. In previous seasons at Little Lake, Marianne could be seen as Mrs. Graves in Enchanted April, Dorothy Tree-Hapgood in Inspecting Carol, Mrs. Patty in Curious Savage, and Barbara in Dead Accounts. Elsewhere, Marianne lists her favorite roles as Nettie Cleary in The Subject was Roses at Theatre Factory,  Miss Tweed in Something’s Afoot, and Judith Bliss in Hay Fever both with South Park Theatre.

jacob headshotJacob Wadsworth (Kip)- Jacob is thrilled to be sharing this production with his real life best friend, Elizabeth Glyptis. He also wants us to assure you that, unlike his character, he has no odd collections in real life and has never owned a Barbie Doll. However, like his character, Jacob has had experience being in a counseling session, but on the other side of the proverbial couch, as he is currently getting his PhD in school psychology. When he isn’t busy in the classroom, he played numerous roles around the Pittsburgh region. His favorite roles include Bernard in Death of a Salesman, Babberly in Charlie’s Aunt, and Robert in Boeing-Boeing. This is Jake’s first show at Little Lake.


jena headshot newJena Oberg (Director)- Jena loves this play, partially because it is quirky and beautifully written and also because it is set in one of her favorite places on earth, Niagara Falls. (The Canadian side is much more beautiful, by the way). Regardless of the reason, Jena is thrilled to direct this production of Wonder of the World. Later this year, Jena will be directing The Crucible and will collaborate on the remounting of A Tuna Christmas. Earlier this year, she played Catherine in Proof and directed Peter and the Starcatcher.  In the past fifteen years, Jena has directed over thirty shows for Little Lake including Outside Mullingar, The 39 Steps, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Farnsworth Invention, The Miracle Worker and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Jared Pfennigwerth, Technical Director
Pam Pasternak, Properties Manager
Katy Connors, Heather Dressel,
Andrew Hunt, and Lindy Spear, Production Run Crew
James Orr, Production Photographer