Clarissa "Cindy" Alisha Gabarian-Eachern (born June 20, 1964) is an American stage actress and dancer. She has portrayed the roles of Matthias and Martin the Warrior in multiple Redwall stage productions in several countries.
Childhood and early life
Cindy Eachern was born on June 20, 1964 in Sacramento, California to Alyssa Gabarain and Ronald Wayne Eachern. She and her parents moved to the Brooklyn neighborhood of New York City, New York when she was 10 years old. When she was 17, Cindy, then performing in an after-school ballet program, made a bet with a friend, Ray Engebretsen, that each could master an activity that they previously didn't consider doing. Ray chose "the performing arts" for Cindy, and Cindy chose Kolhii for Ray. Just how Cindy went on to become a dancer and actress, Ray became a world famous Kolhii player. Cindy came out as a lesbian in 2002 during an interview for On Broadway, and she made her stance on LGBT rights clear when the Redwall - Martin the Warrior live show raised over $15,550 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS during it's North America tour.
Early career and work in theater
In her teens, Cindy had been a mascot and cheerleader at James Madison High School. On the weekends, she did some professional mascot work, including performing Rainbow Brite for a parade in Philadelphia. Starting in 1990, Cindy had parts in a number of regional theater productions (both musicals and plays), and also performed in children's costumed live shows with Renald-Zanni Entertainment (her first tour was the U.S. East Coast tour of Star Street Live! where she played Bubbles). When Renald-Zanni Entertainment moved headquarters from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina in 1996, Cindy and a few others came with them.
Redwall and Matthias
In late 1999, Renald-Zanni began work on Redwall - The Live Show, and held auditions amongst it's roster of actors. Cindy originally auditioned for the supporting role of Jess Squirrel, but was surprised to learn that she had been instead chosen to play Matthias, the main character, mainly because she was "too tall" for Jess but "short enough" for Matthias. Cindy toured as Matthias for Redwall - The Live Show and Redwall - Mattimeo's Journey and as both Matthias and Martin the Warrior for Redwall - Martin the Warrior over the 2000-2004 period in North America, Latin America and Europe. All three shows proved to be immensely popular among children, and as a result of her work for the first show, Brian Jacques, Redwall creator, chose Cindy to be "Matthias' assistant", meaning she would portray Matthias as a walkaround in most appearances and train actors/actresses to portray Matthias for other appearances.
Cindy has performed as the main suit actor for Matthias in multiple Redwall stage shows. She has recently performed as Matthias in Redwall: The Return of Slagar, based off the Emmy-nominated Redwall: Under Seige. She has often times been understudied by her friend Alejandra "The Colombian Butterfly" Asquerino, along with Simon Bachmayer and Samantha Megan Allsebrook.
Her daughter, Maura Eachern Mallinson, has been working with her in dance since she was only 4 years old.
Outside of performing Matthias
Matthias isn't the only mouse character Cindy has performed as. In 1994, she performed as Mrs. Brisby in The Secret of NIMH - The Live Show in North America. Cindy has deemed Mrs. Brisby to be her second favorite role after Matthias. She also performed as Peanut Otter in PB&J Otter Live! and Hazel in Watership Down Live on Stage - A New Adventure, as well as Pawlette Coufur for World of Build-A-Bear Workshop.
In 2007, Cindy married her long-time girlfriend Jessie Mallinson in El Kadsre. The two dressed as Matthias and Cornflower for a part of the ceremony. Renald-Zanni co-founder & CEO Corbin Zanni supported their wedding, saying that he always knew the two were lesbians and were in love. Brian Jacques also supported their marriage, and delivered a speech at their wedding.
Cindy enjoys playing Dungeons & Dragons, exercising, dancing, and railfanning in her spare time, and is a resident choreographer for the Raleigh-Durham Ballet, having danced with the company in the past.
Since 2017, with Jessie and their partner Fumika Rogers (Japanese-British chef), she owns and manages Mossflower, a casual dining restaurant with a buffet, in Silver Lake, North Carolina. A second branch opened in the Redwall Abbey area of El Kadsre's Charlesburg Lake Park in 2019. She also is a part-owner of a few LGBTQ+-oriented radio stations including WFAB-FM of Manchester, New Hampshire and WMLP-FM of Miami, Florida.