Steve Whetzel, Artistic Director
(A.K.A. Mantiese Sevall)
Steve became a member of the Shadow Players in 2001. Prior to becoming a member, he was involved in the Raleigh theatre scene, and was training in Medieval style combat. Once he became a full-time Shadow Player, he studied Renaissance weapons, old school masters of defense, and became proficient in the different styles of the period. Steve became the group’s Artistic/Managing Director in 2008. In 2009, Steve was asked to become the ‘real’ pirate mascot for East Carolina University Pirates, a position he holds to this day. Steve has acted as fight choreographer for numerous theatrical and film productions, and also teaches stage combat. Steve is still heavily involved in theatre, and performs on stage when not traveling with the Shadow Players. He’s extremely proud of this group for the hard work and dedication each member shows at every event, be it large or small. Our safety record speaks for itself, not to mention the smiles on the faces of our audience members after each performance!
(A.K.A. Caitlin Murrell)
Cher is proud to be a long-time member of the Shadow Players, having performed with the group since 1996. Her work in TV, film, and theatre (which includes such projects as The Muppet Christmas Carol, Dinosaurs!, The Patriot, The Hunger Games, Homeland, and Legacies) inspired her to join the group and learn stage combat, not to mention seizing the opportunity to become a pirate! Cher has fought with broadswords, rapiers, cutlasses, and even the occasional lightsaber, and demonstrates whip targeting for the group’s performances. She earned her certification in Quarterstaff from the Society of American Fight Directors and Dueling Arts International in 2018, and was able to put her sword and shield skills to good use as a motion-capture fighter for Epic Games’ Fortnite: Battle Royale. Her most recent accomplishment was earning the Guinness World Record for the Largest Collection of Finger Puppets, which included, of course, finger puppet pirates. She loves sharing the excitement and history of sword fighting with not only festival audiences, but school groups, at charity and other community activities. In doing so, she hopes to inspire future generations of sword fighters!
(A.K.A. Andrea Bordeaux)
Alexandria joined The Shadow Players in 2007 shortly after she turned 13. Unlike most millenials who grew up in the 90s, her favorite “princess” was Xena. Alexandria began taking Taekwondo passionately at the age of 9 and made it to black belt at 12. She was then asked to become an instructor thus making her the youngest to teach at her dojo. Following this achievement she decided to have herself signed up for a Shakespearean swordplay class where she had met Steve Whetzel, the class’s stage combat instructor. She was a natural from the beginning and Steve, impressed, asked her to join as a member of The Shadow Players. She has loved every minute of it since.
(A.K.A. William Greaves)
Clay is a 2001 East Carolina University graduate with a BFA in Musical Theatre and Theatre Education. He was lucky enough to join the Shadow Players in 2015 due to his prior involvement in Center Stage Theatre’s production of Robin Hood in which he portrayed Will Scarlet. He uses his talents to support the community and community organizations and does so regularly. He has had the privilege to perform at the White House, Disney World, East Carolina University, Lenoir Community College, Lenoir County Community Council for the Arts, and Center Stage. His performances include Edges, Macbeth, The Music Man, Godspell, Clue, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), just to name a few. His most notable role was that of Jesus of Nazareth in Jesus Christ Superstar. He currently teaches theatre arts at Knightdale High School, where he is an award-winning director.
(A.K.A. Sorcha Murphy)
Marissa began training with The Shadow Players in late 2018, and debuted as a crew member in 2019. In 2022, in preparation for a presentation at her daughter’s elementary school career day (Marissa went as a professional pyrate performer), she began studying general and female pyrate history, and now offers short lecture services to schools and libraries. Marissa is also involved with her local community theatre, Jacksonville Performing Arts, and is on staff as their Sponsorship Director and Public Relations Liaison. Her performances with JPA include Back to Broadway, A Christmas Carol Experience, Murder at the Art Gallery, The ABBA Experience, and Cruizin’ for Christmas. When not traveling with the Shadow Players or on JPA’s stage, Marissa is the Regional Director for the Raleigh-Durham and Eastern North Carolina division of Team Trivia, overseeing shows in bars and restaurants across the state, in addition to private and corporate events upon request.
(A.K.A. The Siren Sorsha)
Marissa followed a childhood dream of being a mermaid, and after finding her first tail through Finfolk Productions, The Siren Sorsha was born. Sorsha has been seen at a few events since March 2022 as “Siren Scarlett”, to include the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. In July 2022, Marissa earned her PADI Beginner and Advanced Mermaid Certifications through Mermaid FreeDive in Florida, and hopes to continue earning additional aquatic certifications in the near future.