Created, Conceived, and Presented by Junior Board 2020

Speak: Louder for the People in the Back addresses our current moment in time. Our new decade is off to a rocky start: a disease has ravaged the world, a civil rights movement has rekindled, and life as we know it has changed.

As we continue to #BreakTheWalls of theatre in this new medium, follow the journeys of Ryan, Mikey, Ashleigh, & Mr. Bentley as they tackle the conflicts of 2020. Created by Junior Board 2020.

You can now experience this production on demand!


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I’m thrilled to have you experience American Legacy Theatre today for the first time digitally, and possibly the first time ever!


As A.L.T. blazes a new trail for both artists and audiences, we not only differentiate ourselves in how we approach theatre, but why we approach it. Our commitment to nourishing the growth and development of American artists and audiences means we must create work that is fully accessible to all people, all voices. 


In disrupting the traditional model of theatre — what it is and who it is for — our nomadic design allows us to meet people where they are. With the outbreak of COVID-19 and the need for people to socially distance and “mask-up,” we were forced to accelerate an innovation we’d already been exploring — going digital!


Speak: Louder for the people in the Back exemplifies why A.L.T. exists. While I’m sure you will find this production to be entertaining and insightful, the more important aspect is that this world premiere is creating a platform for voices that traditionally go unheard. By empowering our student youth, they are the ones helping A.L.T. and the world uncover the next revolution in theatre and what it can be and who it is for: #YourNationalTheatre.


The work of A.L.T. is to help people from all over — urban, rural, and everything in between — realize that theatre and A.L.T. belong to and are for them, not just a small few.


Thank you for joining us to #BreaktheWalls. I trust today won’t be the last time.





Alex Bentley
Mr. Bentley

Alex Bentley is from Perrysburg, Ohio, where he participated in school and community theatre. He was either in the stage crew or the cast of 18 theatre productions. He is presently starting his junior year at the University of Cincinnati taking music and theatre classes as a non-degree student. Alex has been involved with disability rights and awareness for many years. In his spare time, he likes to read graphic novels, play video games, and listen to music.

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Sebastian Carlos
Mikey Gonzales, William Brangham

Sebastian Carlos is a current student at Thomas More University studying theatre. He has been involved with theatre for seven years and enjoys all aspects of productions. In his free time, he enjoys singing, writing, reading, knitting, crocheting, drawing, cooking, as well as expressing himself in a number of different forms. While working on various projects, he looks forward to directing Initiative, by Jacob York, in the spring of 2021. Sebastian is ecstatic to work with A.L.T. and learn to grow as an individual, as well as a member of a team.

“In the face of adversity and an undiscovered terrain, A.L.T stood true to it’s ideals and continued to produce theater for social change and in doing so was able to extend its reach. The amount of dedication, kindness and support A.L.T has provided during these difficult times is a testament to their mission. I am eternally grateful for the opportunities given to me, and I look forward to seeing A.L.T continue to grow and truly become #OurNationalTheater.”

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Vanessa Leahr
Celeste, Jane Parker, Warren Binford

Vanessa is a rising senior at Northern Kentucky University majoring in theatre arts with a focus in social issues and a certificate in business informatics. She’s been active in community theatre for most of her life. When her own health rapidly declined, she dedicatedly began working to make the arts more accessible and to make theatre a driving force in the disability rights movement. She is thrilled to be a creative process lead on the Junior Board this summer!

“I chose this specific program because of my passion for theatre & social issues. There’s something really enticing about being encouraged to speak about the issues that are important to me.”

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Taylor Meng
Ashleigh, Momma Gonzales, Dr. Morris

Taylor Meng is a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University, where she studied English education with a minor in theatre. She has worked with Southeastern Theatre on about 10 different productions either on- or offstage, including productions like Much Ado About Nothing , She Kills Monsters, The Crucible, and Everyman. She also held various officer positions in Southeastern’s chapter of Alpha Psi Omega, the national theatre honor society, including treasurer, vice president, and president throughout her college years. She is thrilled to be working with A.L.T. this summer to create, learn, and grow with her fellow creative leads.

“I chose to grow as an artist this summer by working with American Legacy Theatre because I feel strongly about advocating for both the importance of social issues and theatre in today’s society. A.L.T. strives to reinvent theatre in a way that represents all and that is something I am so thankful to align myself with as I continue to grow as an artist and a human being.”

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Russell Quisenberry
Ryan Parker

Russell Quisenberry is a current student at Thomas More University. He is a theatre major and communication minor. He enjoys singing and watching movies and TV shows in his free time. His most extraordinary experience was when he played Leaf Coneybear in TMU’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. He is proud to be a part of American Legacy Theatre.

“Theatre is my passion and I love to do it nonstop. Throughout this year, everything has been changing for specific conditions but ALT decided to keep going and provide pieces about the world we live in today. ALT is a theatre that provides tons of support towards one another and this program provided depth about how theatre doesn’t just relate to your life, but change in community nationwide. I’m thankful for all the chances not only for me, but for everyone in general.”


Polly Len Heinkel

Polly Len Heinkel is an educator, director, and producer and has recently joined the American Legacy Theatre Team as assistant artistic director. She is happy to be back with American Legacy Theatre this summer to lead the 2020 Junior Board. She is the founder and artistic director of Pollen Productions, a Cincinnati- and London-based production company. She has most recently worked on Lungs by Duncan Macmillan, Phaedra’s Love by Sarah Kane, and Into the Dark, an epilogue to Othello. While living in London, she worked at the Globe, was a producer at the Drayton Arms Theatre, and assisted on the premiere of new works written by Rikki Beadle-Blair and produced by Team Angelica. She would like to thank Taylor, Vanessa, Sebastian, Russell, and Alex for their dedication and hard work this summer. 


Everyone who donates to keep A.L.T. moving forward. #BeTheLegacy





For donors committing at least $10,000 cumulatively to American Legacy Theatre

over four consecutive years. 



Melissa and Chris Bauer

Samantha and Matthew Gellin


To join the Founder’s Circle or learn more about how you can #BeTheLegacy contact our Producing Artistic Director, Matthew David Gellin, at matthew.gellin@americanlegacytheatre.org or 513-443-5429.