CENTER STAGE - More cast biographies
Zoë Saldana (Eva) was born in New Jersey and raised in Queens, New York. At the age of ten, she moved with her family to the Dominican Republic. After winning a dance scholarship to a prestigious dance school, Saldana studied all forms of dance, including ballet, jazz, modern and Latin dance. After her sophomore year of high school, Saldana moved back to the States and continued to study dance and voice. While studying in New York, she joined a theatre group called FACES Theater Co. The group performs improvisational skits for teenagers that teach them how to deal with problems such as sexual, domestic and substance abuse, violence and teen truancy.
Her enjoyment of singing and dancing led Saldana to the New York Youth Theatre where her sister was a member. The company put on a production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" with Saldana in the chorus. During a performance of the show, Saldana was discovered by her manager.
Saldana has appeared on television in the WB's KEEPING IT REAL and NBC's LAW & ORDER.
Susan May Pratt (Maureen) was most recently seen in the 20th Century Fox romantic comedy DRIVE ME CRAZY and opposite Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger in Touchstone's 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU.
Susan played the role of Annie in Edward Burns' NO LOOKING BACK and also starred in the HBO movie THE SUBSTITUTE II. She also made a guest appearance on the hit television drama LAW & ORDER.
Pratt lives in New York City.
Peter Gallagher (Jonathan Reeves), one of America's most respected actors, grew up in Armonk, New York and developed an interest for acting as a teenager starring in school plays and musicals. After graduating from Tufts University, he made his professional debut in the 1977 Broadway revival of "Hair," followed by a starring role in "Grease."
Gallagher made his film debut in 1980 in Taylor Hackford's THE IDOLMAKER. Many films followed, including DREAMCHILD, LATE FOR DINNER, TUNE IN TOMORROW, BOB ROBERTS, MALICE, WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING, LAST DANCE, "TO GILLIAN ON HER 37TH BIRTHDAY, Showtime's JOHNNY SKIDMARKS and THE MAN WHO KNEW TO LITTLE.
Gallagher has worked extensively with the filmmakers Robert Altman and Steven Soderbergh, receiving international acclaim for his performance in Soderbergh's 1989 film SEX, LIES & VIDEOTAPE. Most recently, Gallagher starred in the writer/director's THE UNDERNEATH in a role that was expressly written for him. For Altman, Gallagher appeared in the director's acclaimed THE PLAYER followed by SHORT CUTS. He also played a role in MRS PARKER AND THE VICIOUS CIRCLE, produced by Altman and directed by Alan Rudolph.
On stage, Gallagher wowed Broadway audiences with his performance in the hit revival of "Guys and Dolls." In 1986, he was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance opposite Jack Lemmon in Eugene O'Neill's "Long Day's Journey Into Night." He received a Theater World Award for the Harold Prince production of "A Doll's House" and a Clarence Derwent Award for Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing," directed by Mike Nichols.
Gallagher's television appearances include HBO's PATH TO PARADISE, Showtime's THE FRIGHTENING FRAMMIS, directed by Tom Cruise; THE QUIET ROOM, in which Gallagher collaborated with Steven Soderbergh; THE MURDER OF MARY PHAGEN, THE CAINE MUTINY COURT MARTIAL and several others. For PBS, he starred in Clifford Odets' THE BIG KNIFE and in Peter Sellars' silent film THE CABINET OF DR RAMIREZ.
Gallagher's most recent film is AMERICAN BEAUTY, 2000 Academy Award winner for Best Picture, in which he plays a featured role opposite Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening.
Donna Murphy (Juliette) is a two-time Tony Award winner as Best Actress in a Musical for her performances as 'Anna' in the highly acclaimed revival of "The King and I" and as 'Fosca' in Stephen Sondheim's and James Lapine's "Passion," for which she also received a Drama Desk Award. She recreated that performance for PBS's "American Playhouse."
On screen, Murphy co-starred with Patrick Stewart in STAR TREK: INSURRECTION and was featured in THE ASTRONAUTS WIFE, with Johnny Depp, and JADE, directed by William Freidkin.
Her television work includes SOMEONE HAD TO BE BENNY for HBO's LIFE STORIES, which earned her a CableAce Award as Best Actress in a Drama Special or Series as well as a Daytime Emmy Award. Other television credits include 'Mary Todd Lincoln' in THE DAY LINCOLN WAS SHOT (TNT), Stephen Bochco's MURDER ONE, LIBERTY! (PBS) and guest appearances on LAW & ORDER, ALLY McBEAL and THE PRACTICE.
Her numerous Broadway and off-Broadway performances include her Drama Desk-nominated portrayals in "Twelve Dreams" and "Hello Again" (Lincoln Center), "Song of Singapore" (Drama Desk nomination, Outer Critics Circle nomination), "Privates on Parade" (Roundabout Theater Company) and the title role in Rupert Holmes' "The Mystery of Edwin Drood."
Murphy can be heard on a number of recordings, including "Leonard Bernstein's New York," "The King and I" and the Grammy Award-winning "Passion."
Debra Monk (Nancy) is a 1999 Emmy Award winner for her recurring role as Katie Sipowicz on NYPD BLUE and a Tony Award winner for Broadway's "Redwood Curtain." One of the stage and screen's most distinguished actresses, Monk's film credits include THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE, IN & OUT, EXTREME MEASURES, FEARLESS, THE FIRST WIVES CLUB, SUBSTANCE OF FIRE and BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY.
Earlier credits include JEFFREY, BED OF ROSES, RECKLESS, QUIZ SHOW, FOR LOVE OR MONEY, MRS WINTERBOURNE and PRELUDE TO A KISS.
A native of Maryland, Monk received her MFA from Southern Methodist University. In 1982, she made her Broadway debut in the musical "Pump Boys and Dinettes," which she co-wrote. Among Monk's many theater credits are Tony-nominated Broadway performances in "Steel Pier" and "Picnic" as well as appearances on and off-Broadway in Stephen Sondheim's "Assassins," "Death Defying Acts," John Robin Baitz's "Three Hotels," "Company" and "Oil City Symphony."
She is currently starring in a revival of Arthur Laurents' hit play "The Time of the Cuckoo" at New York's Lincoln Center.
Ethan Stiefel (Cooper) has been hailed as "the most advanced male dancer in the world."
A principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre who began his career with New York City Ballet, Stiefel is one of ballet's biggest and brightest stars. This season, he will appear in American Ballet Theatre's new production of "Swan Lake" at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, among many other roles-several of which were created specifically for him. He also danced the title role in ABT's television production of the 19th century classic LE CORSAIRE, one of two roles he dances in the ballet. The performance is now available on videotape.
Stiefel's ballet repertory includes dance works of every style, from the great 19th-century Russian classics "Swan Lake" and "Sleeping Beauty," to great contemporary classics by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, to works by modern masters such as Kenneth MacMillan and Twyla Tharp.
Stiefel was born in Tyrone, Pennsylvania and grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, where he studied with Paul Sutherland and Ted Kivitt. Returning with his family to Pennsylvania, Stiefel trained at Marcia Dale Weary's Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. He spent a summer at the School of American Ballet, the official school of the New York City Ballet, where he returned the following year on a full scholarship. Stiefel also studied with Mikhail Baryshnikov at his School of Classic Ballet.
At the age of 16, while still finishing high school at the Professional Children's School, Stiefel was offered a place in New York City Ballet.
Stiefel makes his motion picture debut in CENTER STAGE.
Sascha Radetsky (Charlie), since joining American Ballet Theatre in 1996, has been noted for his exceptional strength as a dancer and his dramatic ability to portray a variety of characters. His repertoire includes leading roles in "Bruch Violin Concerto," "La Bayadere," "Swan Lake," "Don Quixote," "The Snow Maiden," "Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes," "Push Comes to Shove," "Le Corsaire" and "Romeo and Juliet." He has been a frequent guest artist with ballet companies across the United States, where he has performed leading roles such as the 'Cavalier' in "The Nutcracker." He has danced the works of such acclaimed choreographers as Balanchine, Petipa, Morris, Lubovitch, MacMillan, Tharp, Tudor and DeMille. He has performed throughout the world with American Ballet Theatre and has been selected as ABT's representative in the prestigious Princess Grace Awards for Dance competition.
Born in Santa Cruz, California, Radetsky began his ballet studies in the San Francisco Bay Area with Damara Bennett and Ayako Takahashi. At the age of 15, he was invited to study in Moscow at the Bolshoi Academy under world renowned men's teacher Pytor Pestov. After a year in Moscow, he studied on scholarship at the Kirov Academy in Washington, D.C., under Rudolph Kharatian. He toured with the Kirov Ballet throughout the United States and internationally. He also studied on scholarship at the summer programs of several prestigious ballet schools.
In December 1999, Radetsky appeared on PBS's GREAT PERFORMANCES/DANCE IN AMERICA, in ABT's LE CORSAIRE. He also previously appeared on the show performing in ABT's City Center repertory program.
Radetsky is in demand as a model and has appeared in commercials, as well as in starring roles in the PBS movie "Home at Last" and on the NBC television series "Midnight Caller."
Ilia Kulik (Sergei) made history in 1998 when, at the age of 20, he became the first figure skater ever to win the Olympics with a quadruple jump and the first man to land eight triple jumps, including a triple-triple combination. He is the first male skater since Dick Button in 1948 to medal at the Olympics in his first Olympic appearance.
Born in Moscow, Kulik began skating at the age of six. His skating accomplishments include a variety of medals, including World Juniors Champion in 1995 and Russian National Champion in 1998.
Poised to take his place at the pinnacle of men's figure skating, Kulik is athletic, handsome and dramatic in his footwork, reminding audiences of the deep romantic tradition of the sport. Kulik is currently touring with the premiere skating show "Target Stars on Ice," along with Scott Hamilton, Kristi Yamaguchi, Tara Lipinski, Lu Chen and Ekaterina Gordeeva, among others.
When he is not touring, Kulik lives in the San Fernando Valley with his family.
Eion Bailey (Jim) played a featured role in David Fincher's FIGHT CLUB, starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton.
He appears in the upcoming THE YOUNG UNKNOWNS, as well as in Cameron Crowe's untitled film about a rock 'n' roll band, playing Jann Wenner. He also appears in the independent film SEVEN AND A MATCH.
Bailey was a series regular on Fox-TV's SIGNIFICANT OTHERS and had a recurring role on DAWSON'S CREEK. His stage credits include, among others, leading roles in "Equus" at the Pasadena Playhouse, "Street Scene," "Dinner at Eight" and "Annie."
Bailey attended Santa Barbara City College. He studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York and also trained with Jay Goldenberg and Howard Fine.
Bailey is currently filming "Band of Brothers," the HBO miniseries from Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks.
Shakiem Evans (Erik) makes his motion picture debut in CENTER STAGE.
Graduating with honors from Carnegie Mellon University, Evans received his BFA in Drama, studying acting, movement, voice, dance and speech. He also trained with the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre and the Premiere Dance Theatre.
At the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, Evans performed in several productions, including "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," "Loves Labour's Lost," "Our Town" and "Romeo and Juliet." He also appeared in many regional theatre productions, including as 'The Scarecrow' in "The Wiz," directed by Billy Porter at the Byham Theater.
Evans was seen as Tito Jackson in the ABC mini series THE JACKSONS: AN AMERICAN DREAM, as well as in numerous national commercials.