Artists: Soundbooth Theater
The COVID-19 pandemic shed a much-needed light on the underreported issue of pandemics. But did you know that there have been other pandemics as well? Join veteran anchors, Nicole Abrams & Chet Murray, and their team of time-traveling correspondents in this morosely comedic yet ultimately uplifting look at how pandemics have impacted our society over the years, and how far we’ve come since the Black Death.
Presented by Soundbooth Theater, this production is written by Ian Molnar & Emily Labes and performed by Jeff Hays, Annie Ellicott, Justin Thomas James, Laurie Catherine Winkel, and Gary Francis Furlong. Sound Design & Engineering by Ahmed Mahmoud.
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Jeff Hays is a voice actor with tremendous range, a producer and narrator of more than 100 audiobooks, a musician and composer, and Founder & CEO of Soundbooth Theater. Jeff has always loved the arts. He grew up immersed in media – from novels, film, and music to tabletop RPGs and videogames. His natural creativity coupled with unrelenting ambition led him to launch Soundbooth Theater right at the crossroad of all these mediums.
Initially inspired by his passion for music, Jeff was in his mid-twenties when he found his true calling: using his voice to tell stories. He strives to make his characters memorable and believable; and his excellent comedic timing along with his ability to speak directly to the listener – rather than merely reading aloud – immediately set him apart as a creative force in the industry. With more time and higher-profile projects, Jeff was able to begin to experiment with and incorporate his other talents, blending illustrative sound effects and evocative music into his productions.
It was discovering the opportunity to design a deeper experience with sound that led him to start this company, and to hold SBT’s audiobooks to the highest possible standards. Immersion is the primary design goal behind his audiobooks, and he encourages his whole team to adopt this philosophy.
Annie Ellicott is a jazz vocalist and interdisciplinary artist. She expands her role as a songwriter, creative musician, voice over artist and actress through recording, video production, stagecraft and performance art. Annie has toured the United States and Europe, performing both traditional jazz and original compositions.
As a musician, Annie has toured the United States and Europe, performing both traditional jazz and original compositions. A disciplined performer, she has performed around 300 times in the past five years at a wide range of venues and events, from the annual Outside Lands Festival in Golden Gate Park to Caveau de la Huchette in Paris. Annie is also a recurring guest vocalist with Jeff Goldbum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra at The Rockwell Table and Stage in Los Angeles, Feinstein’s At the Nikko in San Francisco. She appeared with Goldbum and his ensemble in San Francisco at Sketch Fest in 2016, 2017, and 2018 and at the famed Glastonbury Festival in London in 2019.
Whether on stage or in the booth, Annie brings a sustained drive and good spirit to every one of her performances.
When not observing planet Earth from his space mansion, Gary Furlong can be found narrating audiobooks. He enjoys long walks on the moon, star-bathing, and Law and Order SVU. As a narrator, Gary specializes in accents and dialect, with fluency in Irish, British RP, and Standard American. In four years of working fulltime in audiobook production, he has narrated over 100 audiobooks spanning fantasy, thriller, romance, YA, and nonfiction for world-class publishing houses and independent authors. Gary is also a two-time AudioFile Earphones Award winner and an Independent Audiobook Award-winning narrator.
Andrea Parsneau is an actor, gamer, and artist known as the most prolific independent female narrator in GameLit and LitRPG. Having made a name for herself working with some of the most recognized names in both genres, she recently narrated one of the most anticipated productions in GameLit/LitRPG history, The Wandering Inn by Pirate Aba, to great critical acclaim.
Andrea specializes in organically bringing each part she plays to life through character acting and emotional authenticity. One of her greatest strengths is voice acting scenes filled with fast-paced action. In addition to working with SBT, she is proud to have credits with Podium Publishing, Double Damage games and more. You can also hear Andrea’s voice in Rebel Galaxy Outlaw and the wildly popular Fallout 4 New Vegas mod.
Ahmed Mahmoud has had a long life filled with music. Due to his father being a violinist in the Egyptian orchestra, music has always been in his household. Ahmed studied music in an accelerated program at Academic High School, where he sang in a chorus and taught himself guitar. Later, he studied guitar with virtuoso, Eddy Zak. While pursuing a BS in Biology and a minor in Music at William Paterson University, he got the opportunity to play locally with the rock band Datura. This was his first shot at songwriting.
Later, Ahmed sang with the Jersey City-based band, Neuspore, and found success with a #1 rating on mp3.com for their song, “Lifetime.” Through Neuspore, Ahmed met longtime friend and drummer, Hank Yaghooti, and began writing and recording with Nelson Downend and James Cardenas. At that point, Ahmed began recording various styles of music and sound projects, which can be found on SoundCloud.
Ahmed moved on to play with many artists, including Bamboo Shoots. While playing with the Shoots, Ahmed was signed to Epic Records in MTVu’s Best Band on Campus Contest. He recorded with Jerry Harrison (guitarist, keyboardist for the Talking Heads) and Eric Thorngren (engineer for Robert Palmer, Eurythmics, and Bob Marley).
While playing with Bamboo Shoots, Ahmed has performed on Conan O’Brien and alongside prominent bands, including All Time Low and Plain White T’s. He has toured around the US and India. After recording Armour, the Bamboo Shoots’ first release on Epic, Ahmed parted ways with the group to record and play with singer/songwriter, Leah Martin, an amazing artist who hails from Albertville, Alabama.
When he isn’t bringing many of Soundbooth Theater’s production to life while managing our Engineering Department, Ahmed can be found recording and producing with various artists. He recorded and mixed the current releases of the band, Ex Astra. With the Hobonauts, a group comprised of Ahmed and singer/songwriter, John Bis, Ahmed mixed, recorded, and played various instruments on their four-song EP, Sea Monkeys in Space. He still works with Nelson Downend on various projects, including the scores and soundtracks for various features. Ahmed’s first scoring experience was on a project called, Whatever Goes TV, for which he scored the Kickstarter ad with John Bis. He scored The Dia Method with Nelson and Ambershift Media. Ahmed and Nelson also scored The Other Man, a film written and directed by Columbia film student, Edwin Ho (release TBD) and Fred’s Little Voice, a short film directed by Bis, shot by Fred Molina, and starring Ahmed, himself!
Other credits for Ambershift Media include scoring work for Summer Search and CityMD.
Ian Molnar is a writer, editor, and comedian based in Chicago. He’s been described as a “word nerd” and “who is that guy?”
As a writer, he specializes in long and short-form sketch and screenplays, typically leaning the towards the satirical. He aims to examine the absurdities inherent in everyday convention (wow, good sentence!). He’s written for Soundbooth Theater and The Second City. Ian has performed stand-up comedy in various theaters, clubs, and dimly lit bars all across Chicagoland. His comedy is a mixture of biographical and observational (wow, original!) material.
He also edits books and various manuscripts to keep the lights on. Please hire him.