Writer Bios

Thank you for your interest in our Spotlight News regular contributors!

You can find a short bio and photo of each of our regular writers below. Anyone not listed at the moment has not send in any information. (This includes our editor. She’s been sort of busy doing her day-job as an essential employee, and well… editing and publishing this website, as well as running the social media. Sorry for any inconvenience.)

Our Community Writers:

Christopher Bernhardt headshot

Christopher Bernhardt – Chris has been doing theatre for over 25 years now and has had the
opportunity to work backstage, on stage and as a director and fight choreographer in most, if not all, of
the Hampton Roads community theatres. He is currently a member of the board for Little Theatre of
Norfolk serving at the Treasurer of the Board.

Denise Headshot

Denise Bishop (she/her) is a freelance volunteer writer with Spotlight News, having previously written theatre reviews in Hampton Roads for Antonym and AltDaily. After receiving her BA in theatre and music, she was a freelance ASM and stage manager in theatre, dance and opera including: Actors Theatre of Louisville, Joffrey Ballet, Aspen Opera Theatre Center, Chamber Theatre Productions, TriArts Sharon Playhouse, Louisville Ballet, and Redmoon Theatre. She was a production supervisor for one season at Busch Gardens Williamsburg; she also stage-managed dance productions at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and opera productions at Northwestern University. Immediately prior to relocating to Norfolk, she helped open the new Forbes Center for the Performing Arts at James Madison University as Stage Manager/Assistant Technical Production Coordinator.

BA Headshot

BA Ciccolella (she/her) is a professional production manager, technical director, lighting designer, stage manager, hospitality manager, artist liaison, rigger, stage electrician, scenic carpenter, and painter, as well as a writer, editor, field director, legislative assistant, administrative assistant, and virtual assistant including graphic design and social media curation. She is a co-founder, president, and editor of Spotlight News (and occasionally a writer) and is currently president of the board of directors at the Little Theatre of Norfolk as well. She is also a brown senior belt in HapKiDo.

Frank Connelly's Headshot

Frank Connelly is the VP for Spotlight News and a board member of Williamsburg Players.  He is employed as a computer consultant for Core Consulting.  He resides in Williamsburg along with his wife Cindy and two dogs.

Louise Casini Hollis's Headshot

Louise Casini Hollis is a local actor and teaching artist.  She holds an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in Theatre Pedagogy and a MALS in Performance Studies from The University of Memphis where she studied presence in performance.

Katelyn Jackson's Headshot

Katelyn is local costume designer and seamstress, as well as a former writer for the theatre section of AltDaily. She resides in Ghent, where she enjoys drinking craft beers, responsibly parking Lime scooters, and attracting every mosquito in the Weyanoke Bird Sanctuary. You can check out her work at KatelynJacksonCostumes.com

Moriah Joy's headshot.

Moriah Joy is originally from Richmond and is a graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelors in Theatre Performance and a Minor in English. 

Penny Neef's Headshot

Penny Neef is on her fourth (or fifth) career as a freelance writer. There’s been plenty of time to be an art teacher, an early elementary teacher, a reading specialist and the youth services coordinator at a large public library.  Along the way, she has always written and created.  Even though she’s officially old, she has not lost the joy she finds in yoga, art of all kinds, children, bubble tea and a good marble rye. 

Jeff Seneca is a fifth grade teacher in Suffolk Virginia. When he is not trying to mold young minds, he enjoys being on the board of directors for the Little Theatre of Virginia Beach. He has enjoyed the many different aspects of the theatre from being on stage as Edna, to directing shows such as Spamalot and And Then There Were None. He really loves being part of the Hampton Roads Theatre Community.