MEET THE CAST
OF THE FUNNIEST SHOW IN AUSTIN
Known as the Mom of the Follies, Shannon manages to produce the show, wrangle the writer's meeting and meet/greet every audience member coming and going through Esther's doors. Her favorite characters are strong political ladies, like Ann Richards, Hillary Clinton, and her all-time front runner, Patsy Cline. Keeping an eye on downtown politics is her secondary career, as Chair of the 6ixth Street Austin and President of the Old Pecan Street Association. Shannon thinks it's almost criminal that she's able to make a living doing what she loves.
Ray Anderson, the featured performer in the show, has blended illusion, comedy, and audience participation into one of the most carefully constructed performances in the magic world. There isn't a dull moment when Anderson is onstage. Performing immaculate and inventive large-scale illusions, or parodying the genre, his talent shines as a Follies treasure.
Shaun is a 22 year veteran of the Follies- he is the resident prop maker and the director of the Esthers Follies school of comedy. When he isn’t down on sixth street, he’s designing and building puppets, most notably for ‘Fragile Rock,’ the world's greatest emo puppet band.
Douglas is the Musical Director of Esther’s Follies. He’s directed music for The Second City International Tour, ComedySportz, The Improv Olympic, Lonestar Comedy, and countless theater and comedy troupes across the US. He was the Artistic Director for Dallas’ West End Comedy Theater, produced the 2005 Dallas Comedy Festival, and currently produces/directs The Arena improv comedy show in Branson, Missouri. Also, the creator of the interactive theater productions Bubba and Babe’s Backwoods Texas Wedding and The Texcentric Radio Hour and founder of the four piece female vocal group, Buster Park and the founder of the Austin based hokum band, Hillbilly Honey.
Dallas-born Ted Meredith graduated with a BFA in acting from Southwestern University and continued heading down I-35 to Austin. He’s been a cast member at Esther’s Follies for over a decade portraying iconic American heroes such as Donald Trump, Honey Boo-boo, and Vladimir Putin. From improv to Shakespeare, Ted enjoys flexing all of his acting muscles, even though his personal trainer constantly insists that acting muscles “don’t count.”
Billy is an Austin native who followed his dream to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Hollywood. He spent 8 years in Los Angeles, doing national commercials, TV guest-starring roles, and musical comedy roadshows. In Austin, Billy has done improv and stand up comedy shows, and is thrilled to be at Esther's doing what he loves best.
Beckijo Neill was born and raised in Kansas City. She attended Kansas State University to study Theatre. After several years performing in theatre, she took a hiatus to make films all over the world. She is absolutely thrilled to be back on stage, performing with this incredibly talented cast.
Chelsee is filled with excitement to be back on the Esthers stage after what has felt like an eternity! She grew up in Houston, Texas and has been performing on stage for the last 20 years in musical theater. Some popular shows including The Wedding Singer, Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma, and Chicago. Chelsee hit the film scene in Austin and performed in several films and a few commercials. In November of 2018 Chelsee Joined the Follies and has been laughing with joy ever since. In her spare time she likes to write, dance, practice her high C, and wax her upper lip while eating a hot dog.
Ellana Kelter is a long time Follies veteran and always happy to back on the iconic Sixth Street stage. Originally from small town Wisconsin, she received a BFA from Western Michigan University and MAM from Columbia College. She co-founded the School of Comedy and continues to teach and work with kids all around Austin. Ellana dabbles in wellness as a facilitator for sound healing, massage therapy and reiki. Take care of yourselves y’all! Most of all Ellana loves the magic that Esther’s provides. Sit back and enjoy! There truly is nothing else like it.
Behind the Scenes
The man behind the scenes, Michael has built the theatre form top to bottom with its colorful lobby, stage in the windows, and two arenas for comedy, Esther's Follies, and the Velveeta Room. He used his architectural chops designing and creating Austin’s Liberty Lunch, The Tavern at 12th and Lamar, and Patsy's Cowgirl Cafe. Michael remodels East Austin homes during the week and moves the most dilapidated ones to the Follies Art Farm, on 50 acres in far east Austin. You can follow the progress on www.thefarmatx.com or on Facebook & Instagram below.
Steven has been the lead writer for Esther's Follies for four years. He has contributed countless jokes and gags to the show. A New York transplant, Steve is also a guitarist, singer/songwriter, and guitar instructor.