'Clown Bar'

BY Adam Szymkowicz



Coming Soon

Performances at GATSBY'S PUB, 1157 BURKE ST.,   WINSTON-SALEM, NC 27101



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Michael Ackerman

Michael is a founding member of Spirit Gum. He directed their production of Smudge last fall. In the past, he has been a geek, a douchebag, and an overweening doofus (onstage in Proof, Fat Pig, and Seminar respectively). He's excited to add mobster clown to that list. Michael would like to thank ringleader Nick and this gang of beer-swilling, trigger-happy miscreants for accepting him as one of their own. 


Ken Ashford

Ken is returning to Spirit Gum, having last played in Stop Kiss. You may have seen Ken recently in Chicago at Theatre Alliance (Mr. Cellophane) or in Blood Brothers at Theatre Alliance. Or maybe you saw him performing with The Bunker Dogs (the best improv troupe in the world!) or playing drums in local celtic band Banna. 


Eric Dowdy

Eric is proud to be making his debut with Spirit Gum Theatre Co! He has been doing Theatre in the Triad since 2001. His favorite show is Guys and Dolls where he met the Love of his life and #1 Hot Box Girl, Missie. He is a proud member of Bunker Dogs Improv and thrilled so many members of that group are part of this cast. Go to bunkerdogsimprov.com for upcoming shows. Enjoy the show!


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Mark studied acting at The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in both New York and LA and at ACT in San Francisco. Local appearances include Is He Dead?, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, and Macy's Yes, Virginia (The Little Theatre of WS); Hands on a Hardbody (GTCC); The Grapes of Wrath (HPU); Leading Ladies (Barn Dinner Theatre); Moon Over Buffalo (Spring Theatre); The Papers (KLT); Bram Stoker's Dracula (HPCT); Assassins, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Little Dog Laughed (WS Theatre Alliance); and Wait Until Dark, The Sunshine Boys (CTG). Mark also teaches Adult Acting classes at The Little Theatre. 



Alex is a Winston-Salem native and, ever since Halloween '89, knew he'd wind up in clown makeup at some point in his life. He got his taste for performance theatre over the past year as a leading member of the Bunker Dogs, Winston-Salem's comedy improv troupe. Clown Bar marks his first foray into stage acting. 




Sarah rarely gets to play ditzes OR bad girls, so she's thrilled at the chance to be both at once! Sarah is a Spirit Gum producing company member, and has appeared in their productions of Constellations, Stop Kiss, and Proof.  Other recent credits include Vivienne in Legally Blonde (Temple Theatre), Cindrella in Into the Woods (LTWS), and Elizabeth Sandry, et al., in The Grapes of Wrath (HPU Summer Extension Project). May all your drinks be extra funny!



Alex's past performance career has consisted of stand-up and improv. He has performed in comedy clubs all over the Southeast, trained at Second City in Chicago, and was a cast member of the sketch and improv show Comedy Potluck. He is now a member of Winston-Salem's improv troupe Bunker Dogs which he coaches and performs with his wife Britt.



Britt Cannino Stone graduated with a degree in acting and directing from UNCG and worked with the touring company of Second City in her senior year. She has worked on both set and stage. Throughout and since attending college, Britt has been performing improv and sketch comedy and stage theatre, recently working with The Little Theatre of WS in  Pride and Prejudice (2014) and with Spirit Gum Theatre in The Receptionist and Smudge (both 2016). Currently she runs and performs in an improv comedy troupe called The Bunker Dogs with her husband Alex Stone here in town, as well as providing art, writing, and improv comedy therapy to exonerated men and women, as well as crime victims across the country. Fun fact, she actually went to clown school when she was a young thespian.



Gregg is appearing in his third show at Spirit Gum. Prior roles here include Robert in Proof and Mr. Raymond in The Receptionist. He also has appeared with The Little Theatre of WS, Theatre Alliance, Triad Shakes, and most recently directed Spider's Web at The Stained Glass Playhouse. A second grade teacher at Moore School, this performance is in memory of Mom, Dad, Lori, and Jane.



Jean is happy to be doing a show with Spirit Gum finally (!) and thrilled to be a part of a unique show with such wonderfully talented cast mates! Jean has lived in Winston-Salem since 1996, has been active in local theatre in the Piedmont Triad area for the last 11 years, and, having finally escaped corporate purgatory after almost 20 years, now works with the awesome Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) at the lovely Revolution Mill in Greensboro. 

Creative Team

Nick Zayas


Nick Zayas is a graduate of UNCSA's High School Drama program. He went on to obtain his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Southern California, where he was awarded the Presidential Scholarship. After graduating, Nick worked in theatre, television and independent films while performing with his sketch comedy group, Bowling for Tiffany, at Los Angeles area comedy venues including The Second City and i.O West. Nick directed his first play for the Hollywood Fringe Festival in 2012, which enjoyed two successful runs at The Actors Company in WeHo. Since shifting his focus to directing and teaching, Nick has found himself creatively challenged in his position as the full-time drama teacher at Arts Based School in Winston-Salem NC, where his responsibilities include integrating academics with the arts, directing a musical, children's opera and a film project. Recent local directing credits include "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" with UNCSA's Acting Out program, as well as "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" at the Little Theatre of Winston-Salem.  

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Caitlin Stafford

Assistant Director/Stage Manager

Caitlin is one of the founders of Spirit Gum Theatre. Her most recent credits on stage include Seminar with Spirit Gum and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike with The Little Theatre of WS. She also directed Tuesdays With Morrie last season at The Little Theatre of WS. 

Edwin Martinat

Props Master

Edwin is currently the Producing Artistic Director at The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem. He has stage managed and pulled props for various shows. He is thrilled to be playing in the Clown Bar. In his spare time he enjoys playing with sequins and confetti. 


Sandy Warren Scott


Sandy is thrilled to be working with Spirit Gum Theatre Company again. Previously she appeared in their productions of 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche and The Vagina Monologues. Appearing in Clown Bar has helped her face her fear of clowns and mimes head-on. They're actually scarier than she realized. She has also had the pleasure of working with Michael, Caitlin, and Jean in The Dixie Swim Club at Stained Glass Playhouse in 2014. Acting brings her great joy and she appreciates the support of her family.