The People Before the Park by Keith Josef Adkins. Painting by Robert S. Duncanson "A Dream of Italy."
Meet the Cast of The People Before the Park
Branden Shaw headshot

Stephan Van Cleef | BRANDEN SHAW

Branden Shaw is a third-year MFA acting candidate. You may have seen him as The Boatman in Sunday in the Park with George and Brucie in Sweat. He is graduating this year and is very grateful for his time here in the University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts. He hopes you enjoy the show and will continue to support your local artists.

Steven Willis headshot


Twenty-eight-year-old Steven Antoine Willis uses poetry and theatre to embark on the daunting task of articulating African American culture. Willis is a contributing writer to the Breakbeat Poets Anthology, NYU’s National Council for Teacher of English Journal, and is a 3-time individual World Poetry Slam finalist. Willis is currently an MFA acting candidate at the University of Iowa where his acting credits include Lynn Nottage’s Sweat and Ike Holter’s Hit the Wall.

Kate Anderson headshot

Bridget Donnely | KATE ANDERSON

Kate Anderson is a third-year undergraduate student from Minneapolis studying theatre arts, anthropology, and Arabic. While at the University of Iow,a she has appeared in Love and Information and Three Sisters, and she recently starred as Lisa in the 2020 Iowa Film Festival selection Dinner with George. Kate is thrilled to be telling this story with such a talented group of artists.

Britny Horton headshot

Phoebe Fernandes Lewis | BRITNY J. HORTON

Britny J. Horton's most recent credits include Breath Behind the MaskHit the Wall, Sweat , Men on Boats, Too Heavy for Your Pocket, and films Incensed and Lights On. She recently completed production for her first film YesToday, for which she received a grant from the University of Iowa. In 2019, Britny won the Best Actress in a Play Award from Broadway World Des Moines. Thank you to Jade and this beautiful cast. Happy Graduation! 

Octavius Lanier headshot


Octavius Lanier from Brownsville, TN, has a drive for stories that are diverse and highlight underrepresented facets of life. He’s currently in his final year at UI pursuing his MFA in Acting (’21). His acting credits include Three Sisters, SweatSeven Spots on the Sun, and Eurydice. His goals as an artist are to use his passions for creating and embodying work that will move the culture forward for the betterment of the Black American.

Aaron Kruger headshot

Mathius Frackenhinger | AARON KRUGER

Aaron Kruger is a third-year student at the University of Iowa double majoring in theatre arts and history. This is Aaron's third time performing in a University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts production. He previously performed in Seven Neos On The Brink Of Mediocracy last year, and the 2020 Ten-Minute Play Festival. Aaron would like to thank his friends and family for supporting his theater career.