Acting and Design Associates

Acting Associates

Oge Agulué
Oge AguluéBarbarossa and Don Riccardo in The Dwarf, Poseidon in The Odyssey

National Tour: The Book of Mormon. Off Broadway: Love’s Labour’s Lost. Regional: Chautauqua Theatre Company, Bay Street Theater, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey, B Street Theatre, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Atlanta Shakespeare Company. TV: “Little America,” “The Code.” MFA: University of California, Irvine. @iamoge

Xander de Angeles

Xander de AngelesWilliam Harrison and clocks in Longitude, William Cavendish in Mad Madge

Xander is happy to be with CounterBalance Theatre. His credits include work in Richard III & Cymbeline produced at Marin Shakespeare Company; Colossal and Sunday in the Park with George at San Francisco Playhouse; Hunting Love with Soar Feet Studios, and The Merchant of Venice at Island Stage Left. He carries an MFA from UC, Irvine in Drama where he was seen on stage in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Bright Room Called Day, Plumas Negras, Venus in Fur, I Dream of Chang and Eng, and Coriolanus. He dedicates his craft to the many masters that shaped him along the way.

Nicole Cowans

Nicole Cowans Athena in The Iliad,  Rosalind and others in She

Nicole Cowans is an international Afro-Latina performing artist and educator. Born in Virginia and raised in Puerto Rico and Alaska, her culturally unique upbringing fuels her desire to positively impact the world through art. She has a B.A. in Theatre, a B.A. in Psychology, and Minor in Music (vocal performance) from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Nicole became a Certified Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework in 2017 at Institut D’l Teatre in Spain, and earned her MFA in Drama from University of California Irvine in 2018. For more visit and follow @NicoleCowans.

Jacob Dresch

Jacob DreschRochester in Jane Eyre, Piccolino the Dwarf in The Dwarf

Jacob Dresch is an NYC based actor and teaching artist. Counter Balance: The Dwarf, Jane Eyre, Orlando, A Christmas Carol. Off-Broadway: The School for Scandal (Red Bull Theater). Regional: Antony and Cleopatra, Macbeth, Hamlet, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Playboy of the Western World, The Foreigner, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Lend Me a Tenor (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival); Twelfth Night, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Shakespeare in Love, The Great Gatsby (Orlando Shakespeare Theater).

Megan Gainey

Megan GaineyMadame in Elsewhere, Graham and Elizabeth Harrison and clocks in Longitude

Megan Gainey is a Los Angeles based actress. She holds a BA in Drama from UC Irvine, where she also received Honors in Acting in 2016. Since graduation, she has worked in film, television and live events with companies such as Warner Brothers, Universal Studios, Legendary Pictures, and Oxygen Network. Other past theater credits include Babe in Crimes of the Heart at ICT Long Beach and Sybil in Private Lives at Theatreworks CO Springs. She is forever grateful to Annie and Counterbalance Theater for their incredible work! You can find additional career updates at 

Tracy Hazas

Tracy HazasMother in Blue Light, developmental workshop Café le Monde

TRACY HAZAS (AEA) is an actor and movement director from Louisville, Kentucky. She made her feature debut in White Rabbit (Sundance ’18). In New York, she’s performed at the Bushwick Starr, New York City Center, Dixon Place, Abrons Art Center, Theater for the New City, HERE Arts Center and Punchdrunk’s McKittrick Hotel. Teaching: Stanford University and Queens College, CUNY. BA, Smith; MFA, UC Irvine. Collaborations with Annie Loui: Blue Light, Restoration Comedy, Café le Monde. tracyhazas.coma.

Zak Houston

Zak HoustonOdysseus in The Odyssey, developmental workshop The Dwarf

Zak Houston is an actor, writer, and musician. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, he currently lives in New York city. He performs in traditional theatre as well as devising new work. He makes experimental pop music under the moniker Go Home ( Favorite Roles include Odysseus (Counter-Balance), Hamlet (New Swan), and Clarence in Henry 6 Parts 2 and 3 (Utah Shakespeare Festival). M.F.A. UC Irvine 2015, B.A. The Ohio State University 2012.

Kayla Kearney

Kayla KearneyThe Muse and clocks in Longitude, She in She, (upcoming – Mary Shelly in Reading Frankenstein)

Kayla Kearney is an actor and writer based in NYC. Regional: Longitude, SHE (CounterBalance Theatre Company); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, One Man Two Governors, Agent 355 (Chautauqua Theatre Company); S/he and Me (Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner’s Renberg Theatre); The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (New Swan Shakespeare Festival) Education: B.A. Theatre Arts – Long Beach State University. M.F.A Acting – University of California, Irvine

Nick Manfredi

Nick Manfredi Hailey and clocks in Longitude, Zeus in The Iliad

Nick Manfredi was born in Las Vegas, NV and currently lives in NYC. He studied with Annie Loui in the MFA Acting program at UC Irvine where he was introduced to one of his great loves: physical theatre.

Anika Solveig

Anika SolveigFounding Member, Jane Eyre in Jane Eyre

As an actress, Anika has performed regionally with Frank Theater at the Guthrie in Minneapolis, Shakespeare Orange County, New Swan Shakespeare Co., and with Counter-Balance Theater Co. In New York, she has performed with Barefoot Theatre, Brick-a-brack, Looking Glass, Amios, terraNOVA, and Panapoly Lab. As a director Anika has worked with The Flea Theater, Amios and San Fransisco Shakespeare Co as well as directing numerous projects at the New York Film Academy where she teaches. Member of AEA.

Thomas Varga

Thomas VargaMister Lucius in Elsewhere, John Harrison in Longitude, Paris and Diomedes in The Iliad

Thomas Steven Varga is an actor and acting teacher based in LA. Since completing his MFA in Acting at UCI, he has appeared in film, television, and theatre, including projects on/with: Lifetime Movies, SyFy Channel, Crypt TV, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, New Swan Shakespeare Festival, and Counter-Balance Theater. He also teaches acting, both with private clients and as a faculty member at the Actor’s Studio of Orange County. For more information, please visit and/or

Design Associates

Andy Broomell

set design and projection: Elsewhere, projection Longitude

Morgan Embry

lighting and projection design: SHE, Assistant Lighting Design The Iliad, (future) projection Reading Frankenstein

Kaitlyn Kauffman

costume design: The Dwarf, Odyssey, Elsewhere

Hannah Tran

projection design: Mad Madge