Murder Ballad Murder Mystery
Written by Elizabeth Doss
Directed by Dustin Wills


Dustin Wills (Director) has worked as a director, playwright and performer in Texas and Rome, Italy. He is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and holds a B.A. magna cum laude in Theatre and Dance and English. Dustin also studied at Oxford and Il Palazzo Antici Mattai in Rome. His productions have received 20 Austin Critic’s Table nominations in the past four years including a win for Best Director in 2006 for his audacious production of Cymbeline and another in 2009 for Tutto’s production of Ophelia in 2008—which won top honors this year at the recent B. Iden Payne Awards: Outstanding Productionof a Drama. He had the privilege in 2007 of directing the world premiere of Ashes, Ashes by Eve Tulbert, which won the 2008 Kennedy Center Award for outstanding play for young audiences. Most recently he directed Black Snow, winner of the 2009 B. Iden Payne for Outstanding Production of a Comedy, and Five o Cinque at the beautiful 2nd century BCE amphitheatre, Teatro L'Arciliuto in Rome, Italy. Aftern Shakespeare's England, Bulgakov's Russia, and Fellini's Italy, it seemed fit to come home—and being a child of East Texas, he really means home—to work on Elizabeth Doss' magical bayou musical. He thanks everyone who has been along for this ride!

Lisa Laratta (Set Designer, Scenic Charge Artist, & Properties) graduated from UT with her M.F.A. in Theatrical Design. While in school she designed sets for: Katrina: The Girl Who Wanted Her Name Back by Jason Tremblay, two different productions of Ashes, Ashes by Eve Tulbert, directed by Dustin Wills (Austin Critics Table and B. Iden Payne Award Nominations for Best Set Design), and the touring children’s show Lily Plants A Garden by José Cruz González for which she also designed the lighting and projections. Since graduating, Lisa has worked for Tutto Theatre Company designing the set for Ophelia and Black Snow both directed by Dustin Wills (her work on both was nominated for an Austin Critics Table Award and she recently won the B. Iden Payne award for Scenic Design for Black Snow), and also designed scenery for the dance piece Br’erwood and Other Stories created and choreographed by David Justin. Lisa has worked at both The Blanton Museum of Art and The Harry Ransom Center as a coordinator and designer of various live performances within the exhibits. For film she was the production designer for the short [jean]=truth written and directed by SunHee Cho and the feature film jumping off bridges written and directed by Kat Candler. Before graduate school Lisa lived and worked in Toronto as a production designer and scenic artist for numerous theatrical and cinematic productions.

Kim H. Ngo (Costume Designer), based in Austin, Texas, designs costumes for theater, film and all forms of art. This production is Kim’s third show with Tutto Theatre Company, which include Black Snow and Ophelia. Recent designs include St. Edwards University’s Bobrauschenbergamerica, Rude Mechanicals’ I’ve Never Been So Happy and Austin Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Film and television design includes Buttermilk Biscuit on the PBS Show Biscuit Brothers, the MTV series Meet the Bulldogs, and the feature film Harmony and Me. In 2008, Kim was awarded the Costume Design Fellowship at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She has also been nominated for two Austin Critics Table Awards as well as a B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Costume Design.

Megan M. Reilly (Lighting Designer). Previous designs seen in Austin include: Black Snow and Ophelia (Tutto Theatre Company), Mister Z Loves Company (Rubber Repertory), Orestes (Cambiare Productions), Trouble in Tahiti (Butler Opera Center), Well Suited (Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company), The King & I (Forklift Danceworks), Portrait (David Mark Cohen New Works Festival), Minus Tide (Bayou Radio Theatre), Flesh and the Desert (UT–Austin). Her work has also been seen with Divergence Vocal Theatre (Houston); Lakes Region Summer Theatre (Meredith, NH); The University of New Hampshire (Durham, NH); The Actor’s Collective, New Conservatory Theatre, the San Francisco Fringe Festival, and the EXIT Theatre (all in San Francisco); the 2007 Prague Quadrennial; First Night Austin; and the Fusebox Festival. She has received international recognition for her design-driven work in Transformations and Portrait.

Daniel L. Brock (Photographer, Producer) is a third-generation photographer: his paternal grandfather documented the Second World War with the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Theater and both of his parents pursued black and white photography in their youth. His own first experience with photography was on the other side of the lens, as a poster child for the March of Dimes, and it was the Shriners who gave him his first camera—a Christmas gift—at the age of 9. As someone with Cerebral Palsy, Daniel has acquired a unique perspective on the essentials of life and art. His unrivalled clarity of vision and attention to detail enable him to produce striking images that are bold yet subtle. His work explores new ways to communicate the nuances of form, color, texture, and expression while championing a cleaner, more stripped-down approach to the craft of image-making.

Martha Lynn Coon (Dramaturg) is a writer from Alabama who now resides in Austin, Texas. Her plays have been produced at Hyde Park Theater's Frontera Fest, the David Mark Cohen New Works Festival at the University of Texas at Austin, the Ft. Worth Community Arts Center's ACT Festival, Refraction Arts/Fuse Box Festival (Austin) and at The VORTEX. She recently returned to Austin from Berlin, Germany where she lived and worked as a freelance translator and writer, collaborating with media artist Amy Patton on a multi-media project called “Performance” at Theaterhaus Mitte. Martha Lynn received an M.F.A. in Theatre from UT Austin and holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of the South (Sewanee).

Elizabeth Doss (Playwright): See MBMM Cast Page.

Mark Stewart (Music Composition/Design): See MBMM Cast Page.

Andy Tindall (Music Composition/Design): See MBMM Cast Page.


Elaine Jacobs & Andy Agne (Technical Directors).

Patrick Anthony (Master Electrician).

Dorian James Robison (Rigging Magician).

Marcella Garcia (Stage Manager).

Helen Parish (Assistant Stage Manager).

Drake Wilson (Lightning Bug Jar Design).

Matthew F. Ervin (Producer) is a Central Texas native. He has a B.A. in English from SMU where his coursework also included Anthropology (Archaeology), Medieval Studies, and Creative Writing—yes, he was there for more than the standard four. He also studied Performance Studies with Gretchen Smith, non-Shakespearean Elizabethan drama with the late “Twinkie” Lawhon, Chaucer and Malory with the inimitable Bonnie Wheeler, and everything in between with the brilliant Jeremy duQuesnay Adams and John Lewis. While at SMU, he was employed variously. He worked for the aforementioned Wheeler: editing copy, page designing, and typesetting for a journal on King Arthur (Arthuriana) and a book series entitled, The New Middle Ages. These days he is Administrative Assistant in the Classics Department at UT. In addition to fulfilling the role of Producer and President of the Board of Directors for Tutto, in his spare time, Matthew is a fiction writer who suffers from an advanced stage of bibliomania.

David G. Robinson, Ph.D. (Producer, Portraits) or ‘Dr. Dave’ has a graduate education in anthropology and has pursued a primary career in that field. For more than fifteen years he has also pursued a parallel career in theater and dance. He studied the art and craft of dance performance at the feet of Darla Johnson, Deborah Hay, Nina Martin, Andrea Ariel and Kathy Dunn Hamrick. He trained in acting under C.K. McFarland, Margery Segal, and Aaron Johnson. He has performed professionally with Johnson-Long Dance Company, Ariel Dance Theatre, Wicked Cricket Dance Theatre, Wild Basin Preserve, Austin Commedia Society and Tutto Theatre. He has performed with independent artists Amparo Garcia-Crow, C.K. McFarland, Margery Segal, Sally Jacques, Pina Bausch (Tanztheater Wuppertal), Carol Lewis, Peggy Lamb, Renee Morris Larson, and others. Dr. Robinson has worked in major aspects of technical theater (lighting, sound, special effects, set construction, stage management, house management) on numerous productions. In acting, Dr. Robinson has recently portrayed Old Man in Eugène Ionesco’s The Chairs, and Father in Alan Bennett’s Kafka’s Dick.

Pidge Smith (Producer, Running Crew) is a native Austinite. She started acting in second grade and fell in love with the theatre. She decided she had found her life’s career as a thespian, broadening her skills by third grade hosting the school’s annual show. Pidge showed her range by playing in Zachary Scott’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as Grampa Joe. At the age of 10 Pidge helped write an original script called Zek, the Zealous Robot, in which she played Zella, Zek’s love interest. Pidge pursued theater throughout high school and college. She then moved to New York City for eight years, joining companies like New Georges, Company in the House, and Theater of Necessity, learning how to get a show up despite the drama. Eventually finding her way back to Texas in the late 90s, she joined Hill Country Community Theater staff, and later Zach Scott. She joined Tutto Theatre in the fall of 2005, around the same time that she got married.


RETURN to the Murder Ballad Murder Mystery main page.