Julie's Greenroom - Cast & Crew
Meet the talented team behind bringing Julie’s Greenroom to life!
Julie Andrews has been a beloved star of stage, screen and television for more than half a century. She was born and raised in England, where she first came to fame at the age of twelve as a young singer with a phenomenal voice performing on stage and on radio. She was still in her teens when she made her way across the Atlantic to Broadway, for her 1953 debut in the musical The Boy Friend.
In 1956 she created the role of Eliza Doolittle in Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s Broadway musical My Fair Lady, which became an instant classic. In 1961 Julie originated the role of Queen Guinevere in Lerner and Loewe’s musical Camelot.
In 1964 Ms. Andrews was called to Hollywood to play the title role of the magical nanny in Mary Poppins, which earned her an Academy Award. The following year she portrayed Maria von Trapp in the iconic film The Sound of Music. Her early motion picture credits include among others, The Americanization of Emily, Hawaii, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Star, 10 and Victor/Victoria. (In 1995 Ms. Andrews returned to Broadway for the stage adaptation of the latter).
Today’s young film audiences may be more familiar with Julie’s portrayal of Queen Clarisse in the hit film The Princess Diaries and its sequel, Princess Diaries II – The Royal Engagement. She is the voice of ‘Queen Lillian’ in the Shrek movies and the deliciously mean mother of ‘Gru’ in Despicable Me.
Ms. Andrews has been honoured for her work on television, beginning with her 1957 performance in the title role of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical Cinderella, followed by her musical variety series The Julie Andrews Hour and numerous television Specials including three she made with her ‘chum’ Carol Burnett. Television movies include One Special Night with James Garner, Eloise At The Plaza and Eloise at Christmastime.
An accomplished best-selling author (Mandy, The Last Of The Really Great Whangdoodles) Ms. Andrews joined talents with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, in 2003 to create The Julie Andrews Collection. To date they have released over thirty books.
Ms. Andrews’ biography, Home – A Memoir of My Early Years, was released in April 2008 and immediately climbed to No.1 on the New York Times Best Seller list. Julie and Emma are enjoying success with their new franchise of books entitled, The Very Fairy Princess. The first book in 2010 rose to No.1 on the New York Times Children’s Best Seller list and maintained top ten status for ten weeks, followed thus far by eleven additional books.
Several other projects created and/or authored by Ms Andrews and her daughter have been or are currently being developed for TV, film and stage. This includes a new television series recently launched worldwide on Netflix entitled Julie’s Greenroom, which the mother/daughter team co-created, wrote and produced with the Jim Henson Company.
Concurrently, Ms Andrews has come full circle and is delighting in her work as a director of musicals. This past summer she helmed an extraordinary revival of “My Fair Lady” (the very musical in which Julie starred in the original 1956 Broadway production playing Eliza Doolittle) at the Sydney Opera House to outstanding reviews and breaking all box office records. The musical is presently touring Australia on a very successful run.
In recent years Julie directed a musical adaptation of one of her children’s books (co-authored with Emma) entitled “The Great American Mousical” in addition to two separate stage productions of The Boy Friend (in which Julie starred in the 1953 Broadway production).
Julie is dedicated to several charitable causes including Operation USA, which she and her late husband of 41 years (famed writer/director Blake Edwards), helped to found. She is on the board of the Foundation for Hereditary Disease, supports Americans for the Arts and is an enthusiastic board member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
From 1992 to 2006, Ms Andrews served as Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).
In the year 2000 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II bestowed upon her the title Dame Commander of the British Empire. Aside from an Oscar, Ms Andrews has received several Emmys, Golden Globes, a BAFTA and Grammy award, among others. In 2001 she was made a Kennedy Center Honoree and in 2011 was celebrated with the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award.
Together, she and Blake raised five children - and much to her delight, ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Emma Walton Hamilton (Creator, Executive Producer)
Emma Walton Hamilton is a best-selling children’s book author, editor, producer and arts educator. With her mother, actress/author Julie Andrews, Emma has co-authored over thirty children’s books, seven of which have been on the NY Times Bestseller list, including The Very Fairy Princess series (#1 Bestseller), Julie Andrews Collection of Poems, Songs and Lullabies, the Dumpy the Dump Truck series, Simeon’s Gift, The Great American Mousical, and Thanks to You – Wisdom from Mother and Child.
Emma’s own book, RAISING BOOKWORMS: Getting Kids Reading for Pleasure and Empowerment, premiered as a #1 best-seller on Amazon.com in the literacy category and won a Parent’s Choice Gold Medal. Her most recent project is as co-creator, writer and executive producer of Julie’s Greenroom, a children’s television series about the arts created for Netflix in partnership with the Jim Henson Company.
A faculty member of Stony Brook Southampton’s MFA in Creative Writing and Literature, Emma teaches all forms of children’s book writing and serves as Director of the Children’s Literature Fellows program and the Executive Director of the Young Artists and Writers Project (YAWP), an interdisciplinary writing program for middle and high school students. A former actress and theatre director, Emma was a co-founder of Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, where she served as co-Artistic Director and Director of Education and Programming for Young Audiences for 17 years.
Independently, Emma hosts the Just Write Children’s Books self-paced, home-study courses in writing picture books, chapter books and middle grade and young adult novels. In addition, she is a Grammy Award-winning audiobook narrator and an accomplished public speaker, regularly addressing arts and literary conferences, schools, universities and other groups about the value of, and synergy between, the arts and literacy.
Judy Rothman Rofé (Creator)
Judy Rothman Rofé is a screenwriter, producer and lyricist specializing in comedy and literary adaptations for children. She won the 2002 Emmy for Best Animated Program for ‘Madeline’ (based on the books by Ludwig Bemelmans), for which she was writer, lyricist, story editor and supervising producer on over 75 episodes. She was nominated for three additional Emmys, and also won an Ace award and the Humanitas Prize.
In 2016 Rothman created the preschool television series ‘Julie's Greenroom’ with Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton, produced by the Jim Henson Company for Netflix. She was previously an executive at the Disney Channel and has written and developed many children's series, including Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps (PBS); Arthur (PBS): Ni-Hao Kai-lan (Nick Jr.); Toddworld; Rainbow Fish; Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventures, as well as the animated feature Trumpet of the Swan. She collaborated with Joe Raposo on the Madeline theme song and also wrote the lyrics for the theme song of the long-running Canadian series Mona the Vampire, as well as lyrics for three Sony CDs, and Jim Henson’s Word Party (Netflix) and Pajanimals (Sprout).
Rothman is also known as a writer of satire for adults, Her L.A.Times bestselling book, ‘The Neurotic Parent’s Guide to College Admissions’ (Prospect Park Books, 2012), based on her viral blog is currently in development as a feature-length comedy. A former ESL teacher, she has lived in Mexico and Venezuela and currently teaches graduate seminars in screenwriting and children's media at the Universidad de los Andes in Santiago, Chile. She is married to Peter Rofé, a bassist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and they have two sons.
Steve Sauer (Executive Producer)
As founding partner and principal of MediaFour, Steve Sauer is a successful personal manager as well as packager and producer of motion pictures, television and live events. His management clients, comprised of actors, writers, directors and composers, are some of the biggest names in the entertainment business and include many winners of Academy Awards, Emmys, Golden Globes, Grammys and Kennedy Center Honors. Among his numerous credits as an Executive Producer of television series and specials is a new series for Netflix entitled Julie’s Greenroom which debuted globally on March 17, 2017. Among his live entertainment exploits, Mr. Sauer produced in recent years the international tours of Simeon’s Gift and An Evening With Julie Andrews, as well as packaging an international tour of The Boy Friend and the world premiere of The Great American Mousical. He currently is executive producing a hugelysuccessful stage revival of “My Fair Lady” which launched at The Sydney Opera House in September 2016 and is currently touring Australia through 2017
Mr. Sauer received his Bachelor of Arts from UCLA and his Juris Doctorate from Southwestern University School of Law.
Mr. Sauer has always been active in community endeavors in Los Angeles and especially at UCLA. As a board member of the UCLA Alumni Association from 1999-2002, he chaired respectively; the career services, membership/benefits, and marketing committees, and in 1996 originated the highly successful Entertainment Night. He is currently the co-founder and co-chair of the UCLA Bruin Woods advisory committee and just concluded a third term on the alumni association board. He is also an active member of the Chancellor’s Associates.
Mr. Sauer lives in Westwood, California with his beagle (Wiley) and is the proud father of Jonathan, an entertainment attorney in Los Angeles, and Molly, a real estate executive in San Francisco.
Halle Stanford (Executive Producer)
Executive Vice President, Children's Entertainment Halle Stanford leads the Company’s development and production of all preschool and children’s programming for television, home entertainment and digital media in animated and live-action formats. A nine-time Emmy®-nominated children’s television producer, she is an executive producer on the award-winning series Sid the Science Kid and Dinosaur Train, which currently air daily on PBS KIDS® in the U.S. and in multiple markets around the world, as well as Doozers, a CG animated preschool series inspired by characters from Fraggle Rock, which debuted as the first Hulu Original for kids in 2014 and currently airs on Sprout. She is also an executive producer on the live-action preschool series Hi Opie!, the Emmy®-nominated preschool series Pajanimals airing daily on Sprout; and the Lifetime Thanksgiving television feature Jim Henson’s Turkey Hollow. She most recently served as executive producer on the upcoming preschool Netflix Original Word Party and the animated series Dot., based on Randi Zuckerberg’s popular book and the groundbreaking marine biology series Splash and Bubbles for PBS KIDS® which all premiered in 2016.
Stanford most recently severed as Executive Producer on Netflix Original preschool show Julie’s Greenroom starring award-winning actress Julie Andrews. She is also developing an untitled children’s series based on children’s books from Al Yankovic. Stanford co-authored a book series, "Jim Henson’s Enchanted Sisters," a collection of fantastical comedy-adventure stories for girls published by Bloomsbury and currently in series development with Cyber Group Studios.
Stanford joined The Jim Henson Company in 1993 and has developed and produced many well-known properties for the company since that time. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Film and Theater from Wesleyan University and lives in Los Angeles with her sons Max and Theo.
Giullian Yao Gioiello (Gus)
Giullian Yao Gioiello is a musician and actor who stars as “Gus” in the new Netflix Original preschool show Julie’s Greenroom produced by The Jim Henson Company and starring award-winning actress Julie Andrews. Gioiello's television career began as “Scott” on The Carrie Diaries followed by his role as Sandra Oh’s son in the feature film, Catfight, which world premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Other credits include; Miles, Jack of Red Hearts, and Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender Series 1. Gioiello's theatre credits include Distant Thunder, Sweet Beginnings: Where is Love and Sweet Beginnings:Taking Flight.
Jennifer Barnhart (Riley)
Jennifer Barnhart has been a professional puppeteer for twenty years and has worked on a host of children’s television shows for PBS, The Disney Channel, Sprout, and Netflix.
She is the new performer for classic Sesame Street character Zoe, created by the legendary Fran Brill. In addition to Sesame Street, Jennifer has worked on Johnny and the Sprites, Bear in the Big Blue House, Oobi, The Book of Pooh, and Lomax: the Hound of Music. She also created the role of Cleo on the multiple Emmy Award-winning show, Between the Lions.
Other JHC-related credits include a stint with the theatrical improv show Stuffed & Unstrung (Puppet Up) at the Union Square Theatre, and as Ma Squirrel/Scatfish in the musical Emmet Otter at Goodspeed Opera House.
Jennifer was part of the Original Broadway Company (Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Ensemble) of the Tony Award-winning musical Avenue Q, and she remained with the show for its entire six-year run on Broadway. She is often called upon to be a puppet consultant/coach for regional and university productions.
Some of Jennifer’s favorite ‘human' roles for the regional stage include: Lady Macbeth, Goneril, Mistress Quickly (The Merry Wives of Windsor), Veronica in God of Carnage, Mrs. Cratchitt, and Officer Randy in Superior Donuts. She has also been seen on House of Cards, Law & Order: SVU, and As the World Turns.
Jennifer has lent her voice to documentaries and many children's audiobooks and interactive educational apps, including work for Scholastic, Teachley, Tiggly and Success for All. She holds a BFA in Acting/Concentration in Puppet Arts from the University of Connecticut, and she sits on the board of the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry.
Tyler T. Bunch (Hugo)
Tyler T. Bunch is an American puppeteer, actor, director, and producer. In addition to his work for the Jim Henson Company, Bunch has created and performed puppets for PBS, Nickelodeon and Disney's The Muppets Studio. He has acted in a few Off Broadway productions, feature films and has made appearances on American television shows such as Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Person of Interest, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Madam Secretary. You can hear his voice in many animated programs and a few video games such as Grand Theft Auto V, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and The Red Dead Revolver Series.
Currently, he is appearing in a recurring role as an actor for the soon to be streamed series The Tick (Amazon.) Tyler has been honored with both an Emmy (Word World: producer) and an Emmy nomination (It's A Big, Big World: director.) He resides in Stratford, Connecticut.
Frankie Cordero (Spike)
Frankie Cordero grew up in Chicago and in Oak Park, Illinois. His mother and magician/clown father supported his early love of theater, puppetry, and VHS filmmaking, leading him to join the Chicagoland Puppetry Guild- a community of relentlessly supportive artists. For the past 12 years, Frankie has worked as a puppeteer/builder in NYC, bringing countless characters to life in music videos, commercials, and TV shows such as Sesame Street, Oobi, It’s a Big, Big World, and CSI: Las Vegas. He's also performed in several projects with Chicago-based production company Spiffy Pictures, including Curious Buddies and Jack’s Big Music Show. Frankie has performed in and coordinated puppetry for national and web spots for Comedy Central, McDonald's, Hasbro, Playskool, Reese's, Brisk Iced Tea, AT&T, Motorola, Jolly Rancher, IBM, NatGeo, Michael Kors, and Discover Card.
Frankie's credits include director, editor, producer, and performer. He has produced for, and collaborated on work with, companies such as Target and Mitsubishi, and recording artists, including Tally Hall, Julia Nunes, and The Gregory Brothers. As a puppeteer for theater, his performances have been seen at La MaMa ETC, Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, and The Metropolitan Opera-in which he was one of three principal puppeteers portraying "Sorrow" (Cio Cio San's 3-year old boy) in the late Anthony Minghella's production of Madama Butterfly. He has toured nationally and internationally with various companies as well, such as Blair Thomas & Co., Hystopolis, Walking With Dinosaurs, and Dramaton Theater (for which he was a principal performer and co-Artistic Director).
His work has been recognized with such awards as the 2015 Armstrong Vine Award in Comedy, the 2004 Kevin Clash Scholarship for Puppeteers of Color for the National Puppetry Conference at The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, and the 2002/2004 Jim Henson Memorial Prize in Puppetry (awarded while a student of The University of Connecticut's Puppet Arts Program).
Stephanie D’Abruzzo (Peri, Puppeteer Captain)
Stephanie D’Abruzzo started working with the Jim Henson Company soon after she graduated from Northwestern University in 1993. She joined Sesame Street that year for their 25th season, and since then has performed hundreds of characters in street stories, inserts, specials, pilots, and home videos. In Season 46, she inherited the role of Prairie Dawn.
Other puppetry projects include Scooby Doo Adventures: The Mystery Map (Velma), Oobi (Uma and Inka), Jack’s Big Music Show (guest-starring with Jon Stewart), The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, and the feature film The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, to name a few. She has also performed various puppet characters in multiple episodes of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.
Stephanie guest-starred in the musical episode of NBC’s Scrubs, and returned twice during its ABC run, in a cameo in “My Finale,” and as a Sesame Street Muppet patient in “My ABC’s.”
In addition to voicing more than two dozen guest characters on PBS’s Nature Cat, she recently started writing for that show. She has also lent her voice to Welcome to the Wayne, Wallykazam!, The Wonder Pets!, Sheep in the Big City and The Book of Pooh, as well as many promos and commercials, video games and interactive products, demos, industrials, and audiobooks.
Stephanie received Tony and Drama Desk nominations for originating her roles in Avenue Q, as well as a Theatre World Award and a special Outer Critics Circle Ensemble Award. She has graced the New York stage in scores of productions, benefits, readings, and concerts, and has sung at Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. Her roles in I Love You Because and Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical were also preserved in original cast recordings.
Dorien Davies (Fizz)
Dorien Davies is a Los Angeles based actress, voice actress and puppeteer. She puppeteered and voiced the character of "Fizz" on Julie's Greenroom. She is best known for puppeteering and voicing "Lulu" the purple panda on the Netflix digital puppet show Word Party. She was the voice of "Iris" in this year’s animated feature Bunyon and Babe starring John Goodman and Kelsey Grammar. Dorien is also known for co-making and staring in the film "Love Sex and Missed Connections" which went to 16 film festivals around the world and won 11 awards. She was born in Santa Barbara, California and attended Mount Holyoke College. Dorien is married to actor Kenny Stevenson (who also puppeteered on Julie's Greenroom) and they have one daughter.
John E. Kennedy (Hugo & Toby)
John E. Kennedy is a puppeteer who has performed on many Jim Henson Company projects since the early 1990s. He began building puppets as a child in his hometown of Plainfield, Indiana where he performed shows at local libraries and by high school was hired to sing, dance, puppeteer, and play banjo at the Indianapolis Union Station. While working on a bachelor’s degree at an Indiana college, John was invited to several Muppet workshops in New York City and, through a twist of fate, landed a job at Walt Disney World where he was initiated in to the Muppets by Jim Henson.
Since then, Mr. Kennedy has worked on productions including Dinosaurs, The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, Muppets from Space, The Country Bears, and Sesame Street. In addition, he has authored 2 books for F & W Publishing, Puppet Mania and Puppet Planet, and recently released his first children’s album “Walk The Loop” with his musical group, Johnny K Band.
John Tartaglia (Hank)
At the young age of 16, John Tartaglia began his career in children’s television when he was cast as a puppeteer on the world-renowned Sesame Street. John went on to create, executive produce and star in his own preschool series Johnny and the Sprites, for Disney Junior. The series was nominated for 8 Emmy awards, including a nomination for “Outstanding Performance in a Children’s Series” for Tartaglia. John Stars as KIP on Jim Henson’s Word Party on Netflix. He earned a Tony Award Nomination for his Broadway debut in the dual roles of Princeton and the Rod in the hit musical Avenue Q. Other Broadway roles include Lumiere in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Pinocchio in Shrek the Musical.
As a director, John Helmed the national tours of Dinosaur Train Live and Sid the Science Kid Live, Claudio Quest New York Musical Theatre festival, winner of 6 awards including "best of the fest"), the Wizard of Oz, Tarzan and Shrek the musical at the St. Louis Muny, Lord Tom (York Theater), Shrek the Halls (Dreamworks theatricals), because of Winn Dixie (Arkansas Rep.) and more. John wrote the acclaimed off Broadway musical, "Imaginocean" that has been reimagined as a television series, Splash and Bubbles currently airing on PBS Kids. John plays Splash, Tidy and Maury and serves as its creator and co-executive producer.