April 26, 1974 – October 17, 2014
At age six, Matthew began his career on Showboat Majestic as a Mini-Mummer with the University of Cincinnati Preparatory Department. He continued his acting career with Cincinnati Young Peoples Theater until age 18. After graduating from Winton Woods High School, Matthew graduated from Wright State University in 1996 with a degree in acting and directing, then headed to Chicago. Matt's most recent Jeff Award nominations were for "The Color Purple" and "Avenue Q." Other directing credits include “Pussy on the House” (Hell in a Handbag Productions), as well as productions with Porchlight and Emerald City. Matthew is survived by his mother Sylvia (Ray) Paragin, father, Jerry (Debbie) Gunnels, brother, Michael (Amy) Gunnels, maternal grandmother, Loraine Ebbert, uncle, Bryan (Cindy) Ebbert, and partner, Fernando Alvarez. He is preceded in death by grandfather, Jack Ebbert.