Meet Our Cast!

Matthew August
Character Performer

Matthew August is so excited to be a part of the OUAT D.C. Team! He is currently a student at the University of Maryland, studying music and vocal performance. Prior to attending UMD, Matthew worked professionally as a classical ballet dancer. He trained at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington D.C. and had the opportunity to dance professionally with the Boston Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet. While dancing, Matthew performed in a wide variety of ballets including Le Corsaire, Cinderella, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and many more. He moved on to study music, and he loves being a part of musical theater. Matthew hopes to bring the same joy to people’s lives as Disney brought to him throughout the years.

Zainab Barry
Character Performer

Zainab Barry is a graduate of the James Madison University School of Theatre and Dance. For three and a half years, she trained in acting, writing, dancing, singing, critiquing, and technical work. She was able to apply these skills professionally when she received an apprenticeship at the 2019 Williamstown Theatre Festival and an internship at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. After graduating, Zainab worked as a freelance actress in short films and commercials and studied to become a pharmacy technician, receiving her certification in the fall of 2020. In her spare time, she plays with her cats, tends to her garden, and searches for new recipes to cook for her family.  Zainab is so grateful to be a part of this company and help bring fairytale magic to the DMV area! Her favorite princesses are Tiana, Belle, and Cinderella.

Anna Bertino
Character Performer

Anna is a graduate of George Mason University’s Honors College and holds a degree in Communication. An avid theatre lover, she is passionate about storytelling and making even the smallest moments as magical as possible. When she's not wearing a ballgown, you can find her riding a horse or in digging in her garden. Her favorite Disney princess is Anna (of course!) and her favorite movie is The Lion King. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to make the day extra magical for children of all ages! 

Anna plays the Snow Princess, Cinderella, Snow White, and the Scottish Princess. She speaks German and Italian fluently, so be sure to inquire about bilingual parties/events!

Rebecca Blacksten
Character Performer

Rebecca is a current freshman enrolled at Ithaca College for BFA Acting. Rebecca has over four years’ worth of experience working with young children, and she has loved every minute of it. Rebecca has performed all over the DC and Northern VA area, including at the Alden, Encore Stage, and McLean High School, in shows like Mary Poppins, Seussical, and The Music Man. In her spare time, Rebecca is a professional improvisational theatre performer (the Unruly Theatre Project) and an avid baker. She loves to explore the world around her through the lens of nature, and has a soft spot for all animals, great and small. 

Favorite Princess: Either Ariel or Rapunzel- "They're both free spirits with a lot of passion and heart, which I really admire. They both always reach for their dreams, even if people say that it's going to be hard"

Favorite Movie: Tangled

Favorite Song: Show Yourself or Part of Your World

Courtney Chaney
Character Performer
Cassandra Clare
Character Performer

Cassandra Clare is a recent graduate who received a BFA in Musical Theatre from Shenandoah Conservatory. Her most recent musical theatre performance credits include Mary in Mary Poppins and Ariel in the Little Mermaid. When she’s not spreading Disney Magic, Cassandra enjoys filmmaking, singing, writing, dancing, and knitting. She adores spending time with children and has worked as a children’s performing arts counselor for five years. Cassandra hopes to someday move to either New York or LA to pursue a professional career in film and theatre, or to work at Disney Parks as a performer and face character. A passionate Disney fan, she hopes to bring fairytale magic to all areas of life and inspire as many children as possible!

Emily Flack
Character Performer

Emily Flack is a 2020 graduate of the College of William and Mary with a BA in Theatre and Music. A former military child, she was lucky enough to spend some of her childhood overseas in England before relocating to Northern Virginia. She has played the violin since she was four years old, (the perks of having a musician as a mother), and began training in opera and musical theatre when she was thirteen. Throughout her time at university, she participated in mainstage and second stage musicals, plays, and various extracurricular performance opportunities. Some of her favorite roles from her time at school are: Cinderella (Into the Woods), Maggie Winslow (A Chorus Line), and Rose Maybud in Sinfonicron Light Opera Company’s production of Ruddigore. She was also surrounded by magic when she spent a year in entertainment at Walt Disney World Resort! Emily adores Disney, dog cuddles, books, and bringing pixie dust into the lives of others! Emily is represented by Spark Talent Agency - find out more about her at www.emilyflack.com

Favorite Princesses: Merida, Ariel, and Tinkerbell (she would consider herself a princess)

Favorite Disney movie: The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Peter Pan

Favorite Disney song: “Out There”

Alexa Garcia
Character Performer/Owner

Alexa loves getting to express her creativity through graphic design, photography, writing, and most of all, performing. She loves the magic of fairy tales and seeing the joy they bring to people of all ages! Alexa has spent the majority of her life in various creative endeavors, including 6 years of competitive figure skating, 15+ years of dance, and countless plays and musicals. Alexa is currently studying Russian and French at George Mason University. In 2018, Alexa was lucky enough to spend a semester working at Walt Disney World as a character attendant through the Disney College Program, where she got to experience the magic firsthand. In her free time, she can be found writing for various online publications, photographing clients around the DC area, or visiting bookshops & coffee shops.

Alexa speaks French and Spanish fluently, so be sure to inquire about bilingual parties/events for the Beauty Princess or other characters.

Glynis Gilio
Character Performer

Glynis has been a Party Princess for over five years, spreading magic to children and families across the country. She is a 2021 graduate of Michigan State University College of Law, and a 2018 graduate of Hillsdale College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in History and Theatre. During law school, Glynis continued her passion for theatre and performing as part of the MSU Law Musical Theatre Law Revue. Prior to attending college and law school, Glynis was a professional actress in both Chicago and Los Angeles for over a decade. Her performance credits include The American Girls Revue, Beauty and the Beast, Kiss Me, Kate, and The Drowsy Chaperone. Glynis enjoys watching old movies, traveling, painting, spending time with friends, and all things Disney. Glynis is overjoyed to be a part of the OUAT team to continue her passion of spreading joy, positivity, and magic.  

Favorite Princesses: Ariel, Aurora, Rapunzel 

Favorite Disney Movie: Hercules 

Favorite Disney Song: Where Do I Go From Here – Pocahontas II 

Audrey Hales
Character Attendant
Emily Hemmingson
Character Performer
Lauren Leppert
Character Performer

Lauren Leppert is a fun, charismatic, and enthusiastic performer who is always down for a Disney Movie sing along! She has three younger siblings and many other young cousins who keep her on her toes. She has been performing for eight years in plays and musicals including Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and soon The Little Mermaid! Her favorite Disney Princess is Rapunzel and Tangled is her favorite movie (but her love is spread equally over every other movie!) She would love to make your day as magical as possible!

She plays Sleeping BeautyLittle Mermaid, and the Ice Queen!

Lydia Matson
Character Performer

Lydia is currently a student at Messiah University pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre. She loves to sing, dance, and act, especially for the entertainment of young audiences! She has performed in many different shows, including A Year with Frog and Toad, Much Ado About Nothing, and The Addams Family. She plays Sofia the First, but her favorite princesses are also Rapunzel and Cinderella.

Jordan McEachin
Character Performer

Jordan is a 2021 graduate who received a BFA in Musical Theatre from AMDA College of the Performing Arts in Los Angeles. She has over 9 years of childcare experience and is currently a dance instructor at Studio Bleu Dance Center. She has been performing from a very young age, and has extensive training in dance, acting, singing, and dialects. She has performed in various musicals including, The Producers, Beauty and the Beast, 9 to 5, and Edges. Some of her choreography credits include SBVTA productions of Grease, Mamma Mia, and Singin’ In the Rain Jr. In addition, she has various credits in film, commercials, and modeling. Although she loves every Disney character and movie, her favorite Disney Princesses would have to be Rapunzel, Belle, and Ariel, but her favorite movies would be Tarzan, Peter Pan, and Tangled. She is excited to bring a small piece of magic to kids of all ages! (Because you’re never too old for a little magic!)

Nyla McEachin

Nyla is thrilled to be part of the OUAT Parties D.C team! Nyla is currently a senior at John Champe High School. At her high school, she is a part of the Advanced Mixed Choir and is also the captain of her dance team. Outside of school, she is a part of a competitive dance company with Studio Bleu Dance Center, where she trains in various styles of dance. Nyla hopes to continue a career path in the arts field in college with the intent to major in Photography. Although she loves all the Disney characters, her favorite princesses would be Rapunzel and Belle with her favorite films including Hercules, Princess and the Frog, and Tangled.

Ruby Mendelson
Character Performer

Ruby is so excited to be a part of Once Upon a Time Parties DC! She has been performing since she was 8 years old and loves bringing joy to kids' faces. Ruby’s passion is musical theater and Disney has been a big part of her childhood, which prompted her to join the team! She loves kids, and bringing the magic to a child’s birthday party is what brings her happiness. Ruby’s favorite Disney princess is Anna from Frozen. Her energetic personality and determination is what makes her unique, which Ruby also feels about herself. She is super excited to entertain and inspire young princesses, just as someone else once did for her.

Alison Murphy
Character Attendant

Alison is a current student enrolled at George Mason University. Alison has over three years’ worth of experience working with children. Her favorite part about working with children is the smile you can bring to a child’s face with just a few kind words. She loves to do anything that allows her to be creative which includes crafting. Alison is excited to be able to put her experience and passion of working with children into being a Princess Attendant.

Favorite Princess: Belle- “She is unafraid to be her authentic self, is able to see that true beauty comes from within, and always has a book in hand.”

Favorite Movie: Beauty and the Beast

Favorite Song: Be Our Guest

Elizabeth Shofi
Character Performer

When Elizabeth isn't laughing, she's making others laugh and smile! She graduated JMU with a Bachelors of Music in Musical Theatre and has since been spending her time working at Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando as a character performer. Singing became her favorite thing to do since she was 4, but she absolutely loves acting, dancing and all things performing. Some of her favorite roles she has played are Cinderella in Disney's "Cinderella," Maria in "West Side Story," and understudying Mary Anne in the debut run of "Out of Line" while at JMU. She is proud and honored to help bring magic to life for children of all ages, especially through princesses who are so strong, brave, and kind.

Elizabeth plays the Arabian Princess and the Island Wayfarer.

Hannah Swim
Character Performer

Hannah is excited to be a part of Once Upon a Time Parties D.C.! She loves performing and working with children. She has taught piano and dance to children for the past 6 years. She has performed in many shows, but one of her favorites was playing Cinderella, in Cinderella. Hannah gets lost in the magic of performing and hopes she can share the magic with your children. Hannah plays the Ice Queen and Sleeping Beauty.


Nina Thomas
Character Performer
Kayleigh Trent
Character Performer

Always smiling and full of energy, Kayleigh is beyond excited to be a performer with Once Upon a Time Parties D.C.! She has always loved working with kids - she has been working as a cheer coach for young children for a year, and has volunteered with children's services for many more. Kayleigh has honestly been performing since birth, but was in her first show two years ago. Since, she's fallen head over heels for the arts. She's at her absolute happiest when she's doing what she loves and is making magic for others! Her favorite princess has to be either Rapunzel or Tiana, though she can't land on a favorite movie; they're all wonderful! Kayleigh hopes that she can share her love of all things magic and Disney with you and your family!

Ivana Villanueva
Character Performer

Ivana loves creating and sharing joy through art. She is a dancer with over 10 years of experience on different types of dances and an actor involved in award-winning plays in the Philippines. She loves teaching and inspiring children through art and imagination. She believes that art is a place for children to learn to trust their ideas, themselves and to explore what is possible. She’s excited and honored to bring to life the characters that children have loved and she herself was able to grow up with.

She plays the Arabian Princess and Island Wayfarer.

Alexander Vlasto
Character Performer

Alex Vlasto is beyond enthusiastic to have been a part of the Once Upon A Time family. He is an avid lover of theatre, Disney, and all things magical. He is currently a BFA Performance and Acting Major at Longwood University and prior to that has been performing for 8 years. His favorite Disney character is no question Flynn Rider. This is because of his free spirit, passion for the outdoors, and his undying love and affection for the beautiful  Princess Rapunzel. Alex would be honored to make your day as magical and as exciting as it can possibly be and bring the joy to your life as Disney has brought to his

Celine Wykowski
Character Performer

Celine Wykowski loves singing, dancing, and bringing characters and stories alive. She acted in several musicals throughout middle school and high school, but she didn't want to stop her performing there. She has always had a passion for bringing joy to children, and she discovered it nourishes her own child-like spirit. She has found it easy to play as princesses since she possesses a spunky & animated personality herself.  She loves all the Disney princesses, but her all time favorite is Cinderella. When she was little, her eye doctor even called her "Celinederella"! Celine hopes to bring these beloved princesses to life and to make everyone's princess-dreams come true!

Anna Yarnal
Character Performer

Fun-loving and joyful Anna is so excited to be a part of Once Upon a Time Parties! Anna has been performing in theatre, dance, and singing her whole life and hopes to pursue Musical Theatre in her future! Anna has experience working with children of all ages as a gymnastics/dance instructor and through her volunteer work. She is thrilled to share her love for performing, Disney, and children while getting to be a princess! Anna has been a part of several theatre and choir productions at her school and was a competitive dancer for five years. Although she loves everything Disney, her favorite princesses are Rapunzel and Mulan. She loves the magic and happiness that Disney brings to everyone and can’t wait to bring some magic to your party! 🙂

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We do not offer any licensed or copyrighted characters. It is not the intention of Once Upon a Time Parties D.C. to violate any copyright laws. Our characters are based on fairytales in the public domain. We only accept bookings from clients who understand we do not offer any licensed characters.