Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Cast of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Take a fantastic musical adventure with an out-of-this-world car that flies through the air and sails the seas. Based on the record-breaking West End production and the beloved film, and featuring an unforgettable score by the Sherman Brothers (Mary Poppins), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang JR. is one blockbuster that audiences will find “Truly Scrumptious.” Eccentric inventor, Caractacus Potts, sets about restoring an old race car with the help of his children Jeremy and Jemima. They soon discover the car is magic, and has the ability to float and take flight. When the evil Baron Bomburst desires the magic car for himself, the family joins forces with Truly Scrumptious and Grandpa Potts to outwit the dastardly Baron and Baroness and their villainous henchman, the Child Catcher. Filled with amazing stage spectacle and unforgettable songs, including the Academy Award nominated title song, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang JR. is a high-flying fun-filled adventure that will dazzle audiences and Broadway Junior Stars alike.

THE CAST

Jenny Potts …………….. Isabella Haglund
Jemimah Potts …………… Molly Weyenberg
Chitty …………………. Natalie Perra, Maria Ronk, Hailey Marquardt, Addison Hock, Jorgie Runnerstrom
Caractacus Potts ………… Nick Blaser
Mrs. Coggins ……………. Lindsey Faris
Truly Scrumptious ……….. Emma Ronk
Grandpa ………………… Brady Cox
Miss Phillips …………… Chesney Runnerstrom
Lord Scrumptious ………… Jacob Smith
Baroness ……………….. Betsy Finger
Baron ………………….. Xander Birschbach
Boris ………………….. Trent Van De Walle
Goran ………………….. Gavin Runnerstrom
Toy Maker ………………. Mara Gerner
Fair Announcer ………….. Cassidy Mikol
Violet …………………. Jillian Johnson
Sid ……………………. Anton Nicholson
Turkey Farmer …………… Hannah Nicholson
Soldiers/Chefs ………….. Sophia Dobratz, Fayda Jones, Sophie Nelson
Morris Dancers ………….. Bethany Gintner, Evelyn Gossen, Elyse Finger,Dorothy Gintner, Sunny Weenig
Children’s Chorus ……….. Teagan Tessmer, Evette Campbell, Branny Jones, Amelia Holtger, Lyra Vogel, Anna Flory, Lilah Jones, Elaina Finger, Clara Faris
Child Catcher/Junkman ……. David Jolly

24-Hour Theater: A Memorable, Compact Experiment in Creativity

By L. Gail Irwin

An evil laboratory scientist, a support group for the Undead, and a guidance counselor obsessed with Subway sandwiches were among the characters created and staged at the first ever “24 Hour Theater” event organized by Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. in early October. 

In my busy schedule, 24 Hour Theater was perfect! The compact, mixed age experiment in creativity and improvisation felt like a grown-up play date with a bunch of friendly strangers. The fact that it was free and open to all ages made it accessible to anyone with the guts to try it, regardless of experience. Ten people decided to do just that.

Ranging in age from 15 to 65, we showed up at the Nancy Byng Community Theater on a Friday night to write, direct and stage six short plays under the quiet, accomplished direction of Mike Eserkaln, ASPI director and owner of ComedyCity De Pere. 

Participants volunteered to write, direct and/or act in short plays that had not been written yet.  After doling out writing assignments using prompts from random Wikipedia articles, the writers went home (or to Denny’s) to write our plays into the wee hours of the morning. 

Early on Saturday, we were back at the theater with plays in hand to cast roles, dig up costumes and props and block out our plays, all while sneaking in time to memorize lines.  By 7 p.m. we were ready to perform for a small but loyal audience of grandmas, spouses and children. 

Thanks to Mike Eserkaln and Brigette Finger of ASPI and my fellow actors and writers for creating this great memory! I hope to spend another exhilarating, yet exhausting, 24 hours with you again!

24 Hour theater
Lustful Youth Cast

Lustful Youth

Lustful Youth is a fast paced, lots of word play show. Everyone gets to play multiple over the top fun to play characters.

It’s about a guy, Walt, who is contractually obliged to write a soap opera that is statistically perfect to get the biggest audience. As Walt writes, the show is produced (no rewrites!), He has “help” from his imaginary friend/muse Dill, but Dill keeps wanting to make things fun and interesting not statistically planned.

Hilarity ensues as Walt writes himself into his own show. It gets pretty darned zany by the end.

THE CAST
Walt ………………………………………………….. Bobby Buffington
Dill ……………………………………………………. Sydney Surber
Tony ………………………………………………….. Will Knaapen
Deb …………………………………………………… Maggie Monte
Carl …………………………………………………… Travis Rysewyk
April …………………………………………………… Abby Frank

an original work by Mike Eserkaln | eserkaln.com

Gypsy

Gypsy

A little about the show:

Regarded by many theatre professionals as the finest musical ever created, “Gypsy” is the ultimate tale of an ambitious stage mother fighting for her daughters’ success – while secretly yearning for her own. Set all across America in the 1920s and 30s, when vaudeville was dying and burlesque was born, Arthur Laurents’ landmark show explores the world of two-bit show business with brass, humor, heart, and sophistication.

The celebrated score by Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim boasts one glorious hit after another, including: “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” “Let Me Entertain You,” “Some People,” “If Momma Was Married,” “You Gotta Get A Gimmick,” and “Together Wherever We Go.”

Gypsy is presented by special arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Tams-Witmark LLC

Director: Ali Carlson
Assistant Director: Elizabeth Jolly

CAST
Mama Rose ……………………………………………………………………………… Teresa Aportela Sergott
Uncle Jocko, Pop, Cigar ………………………………………………………………………………..David Jolly
Herbie ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….Tyler Otto
Baby June …………………………………………………………………………………………………..Elyse Finger
Dainty June …………………………………………………………………………………………….. Kelsey Steeno
Baby Louise …………………………………………………………………………………………….Addison Hock
Louise ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..Betsy Finger
Driver, Weber, Mr. Goldstone …………………………………………………………………….Allen Steeno
Kids Ensemble ……………………………………………………………………………………. Sebastian Surber
Kids Ensemble ………………………………………………………………………………………. Jillian Johnson
Kids and Adult Ensemble (Pastey, Phil) ……………………………………………….Trent VanDeWalle
Tulsa …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Brady Cox
Ensemble, Younkers, Agnes …………………………………………………………………….. Sydney Surber
Ensemble, Georgie, LA, Gail…………………………………………………………………Faith Marquardt
Ensemble, Kansas, Dolores ……………………………………………………………………..Brynna Moody
Ensemble, Little Rock, Thelma, Renee …………………………………………….. Jorgie Runnerstrom
Ensemble, Austin, Betsy Ann …………………………………………………………………..Allison Carter
Ensemble, East St Louis, Marjorie May, Mademoiselle Bougeron-Cochon ………Natalie Perra
Electra ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Barb Alloy
Miss Cratchitt, Tessie Tura ………………………………………………………………………. Elizabeth Jolly
Mazeppa ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..Ali Carlson
Balloon Girl ……………………………………………………………………………………………..Elaina Finger
Chowsie …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Brimley

cast photo for Guys and Dolls

Guys and Dolls Cast

This romantic comedy musical features a gambler, a crap game manager, a showgirl, and a missionary. Can a wager between friends really turn into love between the manager and the missionary? Find out if opposites really do attract!

Here is the cast list:

  • Allison – Schoel Mission
  • Aubrey – Mitchell Mission
  • Bill Koehne – Harry the Horse
  • Bobby Buffington – Nathan Detroit
  • Brady Cox – Joey Biltmore, Crapshooter
  • Carolyn Silverberg- Miss Adelaide
  • Chloe Jansen – Crapshooter
  • David Woosencraft – Big Jule
  • Eleanor Finger – Mission
  • Elizabeth Finger – Hotbox dancer
  • Elizabeth Jolly – General Matilda, Hotbox dancer
  • Hailey Marquardt – Hotbox dancer
  • Hayden Beekman – Mission
  • Julie Johannes-Frohliger – Featured Havana dancer
  • Kael Pierquet – Crapshooter
  • Kate Masson – Sarah Brown
  • Kelsey Steeno – Hotbox dancer
  • Linda Friddle – Amelia Abernathy
  • Maggie Montie – Crapshooter
  • Marly Thomson – Lt. Brannigan
  • Nicholas Blaser – Benny Southstreet
  • Sadie Smith – Mission
  • Sydney Surber – Nicely-Nicely
  • Travis Rysewyk – Rusty Charlie, Crapshooter
  • Will Knaapen – Sky Masterson

Escanaba In Da Moonlight

Our “After Dark” Production for the 2019 season is Escanaba in da Moonlight. When the Soady clan reunites for the opening day of deer season at the family’s Upper Peninsula camp, thirty-five-year-old Reuben Soady brings with him the infamous reputation of being the oldest Soady in the history of the Soadys never to bag a buck. In a hunting story to beat all hunting stories, ESCANABA IN DA MOONLIGHT spins a hilarious tale of humor, horror, and heart as Reuben goes to any and all lengths to remove himself from the wrong end of the family record book.

Dates/Times:

  • Thursday – Saturday, Sept 12 – 14 @ 7 PM
  • Sunday, Sept 15 @ 1 PM
  • Thursday – Saturday, Sept 19 – 21 @ 7 PM
  • Sunday, Sept 22 @ 1 PM

Cast List:

  • Albert – Jim Klein
  • Reuben – Bobby Buffingten
  • Remnar – William Church
  • Jimmer – Tyler Otto
  • Ranger Tom – Chris Weis
  • Wolf Moon Dance – Hope Reines

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown!

charlie

Production Dates:

December 2-4 & 9-11, 2016

Charles Schulz’s beloved comic comes to life in Clark Gesner’s classic musical, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. The whole gang is here: bossy Lucy is hopelessly in love with piano prodigy Schroeder who doesn’t give her the time of day, perfectionist Sally is still mocking blanket-toting Linus, Snoopy is in the doghouse, and “blockhead,” himself, Charlie Brown, is in rare form. Brief vignettes span the months from Valentine’s Day to Beethoven Day, from wild optimism to utter despair. In this revised version, with additional music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and dialogue by Michael Mayer, the sweet, joyful innocence of the Peanuts gang is maintained, but a fresh insouciance and playfulness is revealed. The new script features two new songs, particularly funny dialogue, and new, catchy orchestrations. Whether you’re keen to fly with the Red Baron, moon over the Moonlight Sonata, or just do your best to find “Happiness,” You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is a crowd-pleasing classic.


Director: Brandon Byng
Assistant Director: Jim Klein

The Cast:

Brown……………………………………………………………………Brandon Byng
Sally Brown…………………………………………………………Liz Zitny
Lucy Van Pelt………………………………………………………Ali Carlson
Linus Van Pelt………………………………………………Christopher La Chance
Schroeder………………………………………………………Michael Brunner
Snoopy………………………………………………………………Cate Kopkey
Woodstock………………………………………………………………Abigail Budz


Based on The Comic Strip “Peanuts” by CHARLES M. SCHULZ. Book, Music and Lyrics by CLARK GESNER. Additional Dialogue by MICHAEL MAYER. Additional Music and Lyrics by ANDREW LIPPA. Original Direction for this version of “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” by MICHAEL MAYER. Originally Produced in New York by ARTHUR WHITELAW and GENE PERSSON.

The Odd Couple

Production Dates: August 12-14 & 19-21, 2016

This classic comedy opens as a group of the guys assembled for cards in the apartment of divorced Oscar Madison. And if the mess is any indication, it’s no wonder that his wife left him. Late to arrive is Felix Unger who has just been separated from his wife. Fastidious, depressed and none too tense, Felix seems suicidal, but as the action unfolds Oscar becomes the one with murder on his mind when the clean-freak and the slob ultimately decide to room together with hilarious results as The Odd Couple is born.

Director: Brandon Byng
Assistant Director: Leah Wons
Stage Manager: Tanya Brehmer

Cast:
Speed……………………………………………………………………………………..Jim Klein
Murray……………………………………………………………………………..James Sopata
Roy…………………………………………………………………………………..Mural Adams
Vinnie………………………………………………………………………………Brandon Byng
Oscar Madison………………………………………………………………………..Bill Wons
Felix Ungar…………………………………………………………………………..Bill Koehne
Gwendolyn Pigeon…………………………………………………………….Megan Sopata
Cecily Pigeon……………………………………………………………………..Janet Koehne


Book by Neil Simon

The Odd Couple is presented through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

Shrek The Musical

Shrek The Musical

Music by Jeanine Tesori
Book & Lyrics By David Lindsay-Abaire
Based on the DreamWorks Animation Motion Picture
and the book by William Steig

Shrek The Musical is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

Musical recording provided by The MT Pit L.L.C.

Production Date: April 15-17 & 22-24, 2016
Location: The Byng Community Theater

Director: Brandon Byng
Vocal Consultant: Elizabeth Zitny
Stage Manager / Choreographer: Ali Carlson
Stage Manager / Sound Technician: Tanya Brehmer
Choreograhper: Debra Jolly

Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film, Shrek The Musical is a Tony Award-winning fairy tale adventure featuring all new songs from Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Caroline or Change) and a sidesplitting book by David Lindsay-Abaire. Shrek brings all the beloved characters you know from the film to life on stage, and proves there’s more to the story than meets the ears. “Once upon a time, there was a little ogre named Shrek…” And thus begins the tale of an unlikely hero who finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking Donkey and a feisty princess who resists her rescue. Throw in a short tempered bad guy, a cookie with an attitude, and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there’s one on hand…and his name is Shrek.

Original Cast:
Shrek……………………………………………………………………………….Brandon Byng
Fiona……………………………………………………………………………………Ali Carlson
Donkey…………………………………………………………………………………Peter Budz
Lord Farquaad………………………………………………………..Christopher LaChance
Townsperson / Mama Bear / Dragon……………………………………..Elizabeth Zitny
Pinocchio……………………………………………………………………………..Audryn Just
Sugar Plum Fairy / Gingy / Teen Fiona /
Dancing Rat / Blind Mouse……………………………………………………….Leah Wons
Big Bad Wolf / Knight / Prisoner / Pied Piper………………………………Bill Koehne
Little Pig 1 / Duloc Dancer………………………………………………………Betsy Finger
Little Pig 2 / Duloc Dancer / Dancing Rat…………………………….Brooke LeMense
Little Pig 3 / Duloc Dancer……………………………………………………Sydney Surber
White Rabbit / Duloc Dancer………………………………………..Brooklyn Badendick
Fairy Godmother / Young Fiona / Dancing Rat…………………………Eleanor Finger
Queen Lillian / Peter Pan / Duloc Dancer /
Dancing Rat / Blind Mouse…………………………………………………….Abigail Frank
Shrek’s Mother / Wicked Witch…………………………………………Pamela Loberger
Ugly Duckling / Knight…………………………………………………………….Josie Sieber
King Herald / Papa Bear / Thelonius (Knight) /
Walter (Greeter) / Prisoner / Dancing Rat………………………………………Bill Wons
Baby Bear…………………………………………………………………………..Abigail Budz
Townsperson / Mad Hatter / Duloc Dancer / Blind Mouse………..Heather Shelby
Townsperson / Elf / Duloc Dancer……………………………………….Katelynne Dorn
Young Shrek / Grumpy / Knight……………………………………………….Olivia Shelly
Captain of the Guard (Knight)…………………………………………………….Alex Tuell
Shrek’s Father / Knight / Bishop…………………………………………………..Jim Klein

The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz

By L. Frank Baum
With Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg
Background Music by Herbert Stothart
Dance and Vocal Arrangements by Peter Howard
Orchestration by Larry Wilcox
Adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company
Based upon the Classical Motion Picture owned by Turner Entertainment Co. and distributed in all media by Warner Bros.

THE WIZARD OF OZ is presented by arrangement with TAMS WITMARK MUSIC LIBRARY, INC., 560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022

Production Date: December 4-6 & 11-13, 2015
Location: The Byng Community Theater

Director: Brandon Byng
Asst. Director / Choreographer: Debra Jolly
Asst. Choreograhper: Ali Carlson
Stage Manager: Tanya Brehmer

Like so many girls her age, little Dorothy Gale of Kansas dreams of what lies over the rainbow. One day a twister hits her farm and carries her away over the rainbow to another world. Come join Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tinman, the Cowardly Lion and Toto as they travel the universe of Dorothy’s imagination.

Original Cast:
Dorothy……………………………………………………………………………..Abigail Frank
Toto………………………………………………………………………Tegean Keomanyvong
Aunt Em / Glinda………………………………………………………………………..Liz Zitny
Uncle Henry……………………………………………………………….David Woosencraft
Zeke / Cowardly Lion………………………………………………………….Brandon Byng
Hickory / Tinman…………………………………………………………………Jason Schultz
Hunk / Scarecrow…………………………………………………………………….Gail Irwin
Miss Gulch / Wicked Witch of the West……………………………….Bridgette Finger
Prof. Marvel / Guard / The Wizard……………………………………………….Jim Klein
Munchkins……………………………………………………………………..Breanna Duncan
Olivia Shelly
Eleanor Finger
Faith Marquardt
Nicole Woosencraft
Katelynne Dorn
Josie Sieber
Betsy Finger
Brooke LeMense
Sydney Surber
Crows…………………………………………………………………………….Ashley Pelegrin
Kalista Susa
Victoria Athey
Trees……………………………………………………………………..Mackenzie Marquardt
Audryn Just
McKenna Coffey
Poppies……………………………………………………………………………….Olivia Shelly
Nicole Woosencraft
Faith Marquardt
Katelynne Dorn
Betsy Finger
Brooke LeMense
Snowflakes…………………………………………………………………….Breanna Duncan
Eleanor Finger
Josie Sieber
Ozians……………………………………………………………………….David Woosencraft
Mackenzie Marquardt
McKenna Coffey
Victoria Athey
Kalista Susa
Ashley Pelegrin
Audryn Just
McKenna Seidl
Sydney Surber
Breanna Duncan
Eleanor Finger
Olivia Shelly
Winkie General……………………………………………………………David Woosencraft
Winkies………………………………………………………………….Mackenzie Marquardt
McKenna Coffey
Victoria Athey
Kalista Susa
Ashley Pelegrin
Flying Monkey General (Nikko)…………………………………………Breanna Duncan
Flying Monkeys………………………………………………………………….Eleanor Finger
Olivia Shelly
Audryn Just
McKenna Seidl
Sydney Surber
The Jitterbug………………………………………………………………………….Ali Carlson