From The Top
From The Top mixes musical theater and improvisation into an amazingly addictive combination that will keep you coming back for more!
First Saturdays are now From The Top Night at Unscrewed Theater! Join the 10 of us as we create fully improvised musicals from audience suggestions! Right before your eyes.
We are Allana, Anna, Casey, David, Dawn, Leora, Rob, Ryan, Scott, and our musical director, Cy.
Also pictured here: our mentors, inspirations, and three times now, our castmates: Rick and Laura Hall.
Not even close to being formally trained as an actor or singer, Anna fell in love with improv, then combined the love of making up songs, and fell into the laps of her wonderful troupe mates.
Making her living in serious matters, musical improv is by far the most fun she’s ever had.
Taking an improv class on a dare in 2014, Casey started down a path that even she doesn’t know how she got there.
With a love of 80’s hair bands and modern day lyrical singers, she brings a diverse taste of music to the stage. Â Her classical training includes long highway trips to Prescott, where she honed her musical skills at top volume, and waking her kids with ballads each morning.
Come enjoy what her children do, listening to her make up songs and lyrics on the spot.
David is an incredibly silly person, with a passion for every sort of artistic performance he can get people to watch or listen to. He’s sang lead in a band, streamed games on Twitch, been in more than one choir, fought in medieval tournaments, and done stage acting and improv at the Gaslight, Beowulf, Comedy Playhouse, Community Players, and Unscrewed Theatres in Tucson.
He currently works as an IT technician, kicking printers and instructing people to turn it off and on again, when not up on a stage or in a recording booth somewhere, or just stuck in whatever latest book or video game he has gotten hooked on. He is super stoked to be part of From the Top, as making up songs has been something he’s done since he was a kid, after being raised on an odd mix of musicals, classic rock, and anything Dr. Demento played. Enjoy the show everybody!
Dawn McMillan made her stage debut at aged 4 as the “Two Turtle Doves” in her school play, and she dreams of one day making it to “Partridge in a Pear Tree”. Since big dreams take time, Dawn busied herself doing film, theater, television and radio. In college at Stanford, Dawn double-majored in Psychology and Communication, but nevertheless could be found wandering around singing and acting. She was an inaugural member of co-ed a capella group Everyday People, co-lead singer for the band Never Been to Texas, and a frequent performer with Ram’s Head Theatrical Society. Some of Dawn’s favorite theater experiences include musicals like West Side Story, Camelot, Brigadoon, Grease, Evita, Peter Pan and A Chorus Line. Being a classical theater buff, Dawn is thrilled to have appeared with the Classical Theater Lab in Los Angeles and to perform in numerous classical theater productions.
While in Los Angeles, Dawn studied acting with Milton Katselas and Jeffrey Tambor at the prestigious Beverly Hills Playhouse, studied improvisational acting technique with Stephen Book, got a record deal with Quincy Jones, and toured Spain as a back-up singer to Spanish superstar Rafael. She produced live stand-up comedy and cabaret events. If Dawn seems vaguely familiar somehow, it is probably from the Film, Television, and Voice-Over stuff, and if you’re super-curious, much of it is on IMDB.com. Dawn left show-biz to be a stay-at-home Mom, and has recently jumped back into the work-outside-the-home world by being a Mental Health Therapist and Life Coach.
Dawn is thrilled to be back in the thick of it and whooping it up with From the Top. When not From the Top-ing, parenting, and therapizing, Dawn appears with Musical Mayhem Cabaret, Arizona Repertory Singers and exists as half a song-writing team, half a screen-writing team, and a half-dead zombie exhaustedly staggering through life fueled by coffee and chocolate. Just kidding about that last part. Mostly.
Leora is a performer and playmaker with a passion for creative expression. She arrived in Tucson in October 2017 after traveling and performing on the west coast as half of the clown duo “Amaranth and Celeste”. Locally, she’s performed with The Scoundrel and Scamp Theater,Tucson Fringe Street Theater, The Old Pueblo Playwrights, Sol Axe Brazilian Drum and Dance Ensemble, and Borderlands Theater.
Finding From the Top makes her feel like the tap-dancing girl in the bee costume in the “No Rain” video who finally found her fellow bees frolicking in a field after much wandering alone in a big city. It’s worth a look if you don’t know what she’s talking about. She is thrilled for the opportunity to perform with such generous, silly, and talented people.
Bio coming soon.
Ryan is known to have told his mom “I don’t like to sing” when she tried to coax him to sing along with Disney. Looks like his mom did know best.
Later in life he found more inventive ways to get attention…classic middle child. Beginning with parodies with his brother, several sketches during high school, and a stint as a Blues Brother in college, he finds himself still making up songs for attention.
Thanks for watching, it makes him feel special.
In short, I’m me! But for those that like a little more… I was born and raised in Tucson Az with a love to goof off. I am currently working with three different troupes from short form to musical improv with From the Top! Which by the way, is in my opinion the hardest form I’ve performed! This has been helping me stay “loosey-goosey” and a more rounded performer.
P.S. I love rolling around on stage!
P.P.S (hehe I said peepee) I tend to love playing characters with ridiculous names such as John Don Bonobo
Cy Barlow is a musician with an IT day job. She’s a perpetual student of music, theater, and improv and relishes every opportunity to entertain people.
Along with being the musical director for From The Top, she performs with Unscrewed Theater’s Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed and From The Top and Tucson’s nerdiest steel drum band, Apocalypso.
Cy is probably not your uncle.