July 22-26, 2015
Edward Bloom has spun many colorful tales about his astonishing escapades. But are any of them true? His son, soon to be a father himself, delves into the mysteries of his father’s life, with surprising and delightful results. Based on the hit film and novel, this brand new Broadway musical weaves fantasy and spectacle into a poignant and truthful examination of the way fathers and sons can share decades together before finally getting to know each other.
Book by JOHN AUGUST
Music and Lyrics by ANDREW LIPPA
Based on the novel by Daniel Wallace
and the Columbia Motion Picture
written by John August
Originally produced on Broadway by Dan Jinks, Bruce Cohen and Stage Entertainment with Roy Furman, Broadway Across America/Rich Entertainment Group, John Domo, The Nederlander Organization and Edward Walson in association with CJ E&M, Dancing Elephant Productions, Parrothead Productions, Harvey Weinstein/Carole L. Haber, Peter May/Jim Fantaci, Ted Liebowitz/Joe Piacentile and Columbia Pictures.
Vincent Corazza is thrilled to be making his MTWichita debut as Edward Bloom in Big Fish, and to join the long tradition of theatrical excellence that MTW has created! Vince was last seen on stage in 2014 as part of the Original Broadway production of Rocky. Prior to that he played the role of Harry Bright on the US National Tour of Mamma Mia! A graduate of the theater program at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, Vince has had a long and successful career starring in numerous film, television, and stage productions, as well as an incredibly extensive voiceover career performing in some very popular animated shows and video games. Select credits include: the feature film Owning Mahowny playing the best friend of Philip Seymour Hoffman; Jackal Johnson in Disney’s The Cheetah Girls; Ray Quinn, the last detective to join the force on the series finale of “NYPD Blue;” guest star spots on “24,” “Without a Trace,” “Entourage,” and “Bones;” voicing Tuxedo Mask in the acclaimed “Sailor Moon” Anime TV series; Alden Jones on three seasons of the award-winning “Braceface” series; and Zexion in the popular “Kingdom Hearts” video game series. Huge thanks to Wayne Bryan and the folks at MTW; my agents at BRS, DBA & DPN for their constant support and scheduling magic; my Mom & Dad for teaching me how to “Fight the Dragons” and tell my own stories; and most of all my wife Jane Cooke…”Time Stops” when I’m with you! For more info check out www.vincentcorazza.com; @vincentcorazza; facebook.com/vincentcorazzatheactor.
Kim couldn’t be happier to return to MTWichita. She is thankful to have been the leading lady of many MTWichita productions throughout the years, including: The King and I, Finian’s Rainbow, My Fair Lady, White Christmas, Seven Brides…, Phantom, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Good News! (and MTWichita’s own cast recording!), and a member of the resident company in 1992. Broadway: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Belle), Sunset Boulevard and Marie Christine. Now a resident in L.A., she has been recognized as an Ovation Award Nominee for Best Actress in the World Premiere of Having It All (Lizzie) and Floyd Collins (Nellie). L.A./West Coast premieres: The Marvelous Wonderettes (Missy), The Last Five Years (Cathy) and The Spitfire Grill (Shelby). Other favorites: The Sound of Music (Maria, 5th Ave Theatre), Chess (Florence, Alliance Theatre), ShowBoat (Magnolia, Ft. Worth Symphony). Kim can be heard as the singing voice of “Princess Aurora” (Sleeping Beauty) on many Disney records. Her favorite role is mom to Paige (15) and Adam (6), and wife to Roger Befeler (also a member of the resident MTWichita company in 1992). Love and thanks always to Wayne and Mark for the boundless adventures and opportunities to “fight the dragons.”
Skyler Adams is excited to be back to his second home! OU alum. Favorite credits include National Tours: Pippin u/s (Pippin) MTWichita: Frank Jr. (Catch Me If You Can) Hero (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), Emmett Forrest (Legally Blonde), Not-Dead Fred / Minstrel / Prince Herbert (Monty Python’s Spamalot); Chicago Shakespeare Theatre: World Premiere of Bartram and Hill’s The Adventures of Pinocchio (Pinocchio); Drury Lane in Chicago: Next to Normal (Henry), Les Misérables (Marius); Lyric Opera of Chicago: Oklahoma! Paramount Theatre: Hair (Claude), Grease (Danny), Fiddler on the Roof (Motel); Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma: Altar Boyz (Matthew), and Riverside Theatre: Hero (Funny Thing…Forum). Big thanks to Bets, his family and Sam. Hope is real.
Timothy Robu is delighted to be a part of this year’s MTWichita season, as well as many previous ones. Audiences may remember Tim in past roles such as Thenardier in Les Misérables, Bedevere in Spamalot, John Hancock in 1776, the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, Amos Hart in Chicago, Oscar Shapiro in Curtains, Mr. Feldzeig in The Drowsy Chaperone, Herbie in Gypsy, and Lazar Wolf in Fiddler. Tim also performs at several other venues in the Wichita area and served as Technical Director for the Crown Theatre and Artistic Director of the children’s program for more than twenty years. He now works as an Exhibit Technician for Exploration Place. When not working at Wichita’s fine theatres, Tim has plenty to keep him busy as father to his two daughters, Katie and Francie. Thanks to Wayne and all the folks in Wichita who produce theatre, perform theatre, and enjoy theatre. They make the Wichita area a great place to work, live, and bring up kids in.
Timothy Hughes is thrilled to be making his debut at Music Theatre Wichita! Broadway: Chaplin: The Musical. NYC credits include Paint Your Wagon (Encores!), Superfly! (dir. Bill T. Jones), and Josephine. National tour of Chitty Citty… Favorite regional credits include Scarecrow in Wizard of Oz (Fulton Theatre), Karl in Big Fish (Musical Theatre West), Willard in Footloose (Maine State), Kyle the UPS Man in Legally Blonde (North Shore/ WBT), Addams Family (MUNY), Cabaret (St. Louis Rep/ Cincinnati Playhouse/ Geva), and Damn Yankees and Carnival (Goodspeed Opera). Upcoming feature film: The Dark Rite (Demon). Proud AEA member and graduate of NYU/ CAP21. Abundant thanks to Wayne and Peggy for this opportunity, and his incredible family and friends, Brian, and ME Management for their support. As always, for Dad.
Christiani Pitts began her career as a performer at the age of 8 in Montclair, NJ at Luna Stage. Working in both theatre and film in Atlanta, GA, she continued to train and perform throughout her educational career. She graduated this past May from the BFA Music Theatre program at the Florida State University. Previous theatre credits include Mimi Marquez in Rent (Greenville, SC), Pilar in Legally Blonde (Valdosta, GA), Mrs. Corry in Mary Poppins (Warsaw, IN), Electra in Gypsy (Warsaw, IN), Sally Bowles in Cabaret (Florida State University), Marta in Company (Florida State University), Aida in Aida (Atlanta, GA). She is so excited to perform at Music Theatre Wichita for the first time and would like to thank God, her family and this incredible company for their support and generosity of spirit.
Carolyn Anne Miller is so happy to be returning to her MTWichita family for her third summer. She graduates in May from the Chicago College of Performing Arts. Some of her favorite regional credits include Les Miserablés (Eponine), Catch Me If You Can (Brenda Strong), Betty Blue Eyes (Veronica), Amadeus (Constanze), and Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party (Mae). Carolyn would like to thank her mom, dad, and sister for all of their love and support throughout her career, and to Wayne for another wonderful summer back at MTW.
John Boldenow is well known regionally for his exemplary work in the performing arts. Over the past twenty-five years, he has worked extensively for many local theatre venues, has been the recipient of nearly a dozen Mary Jane Teall Awards for acting, directing, and props design, and was named to the Teall Hall of Fame in 2005. In 2008 John was also recognized with the Individual Artist of the Year Award from the Wichita Arts Council, and has been the recipient of the Linn Copeland Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Performing Arts. Since 2001 he has served as Director of Theatre at the Wichita Center for the Arts, and maintains a private practice as a member of the Certified Appraisers Guild of America, specializing in fine and enthnographic art and antiquities. John is very proud of his 30+ years of performing with MTWichita, which has allowed him to share the stage with some of the greatest, most talented young people and veterans working in the business today. Thanks to Wayne and the MTW staff for their continued commitment to excellence in the performing arts.
Topher, a rising fifth grader at Hyde Elementary School in Wichita, made his Music Theatre Wichita debut this summer in My Son Pinocchio, and is thrilled to return for Big Fish. In past years, he’s taken the stage in numerous Music Theatre for Young People productions. Favorite MTYP roles include: Junior in My Son Pinocchio; Grumpy in Shrek: The Musical, and the Mayor of Munchkin City in Wizard of Oz. A big shout out to Wayne and MTW for this amazing opportunity, and to his teachers: Amy Menas and The Studio Singers, Billie Preston at Senseney Music, and everyone at Kansas Dance Academy and MTYP. Special thanks to his family and friends for their ongoing love and support.
Ximone Rose, a New Orleans native, graduated this May from the University of Michigan where she just played Caroline in Caroline, Or Change. She is so thrilled to be making her MTWichita debut this summer and is looking forward to moving to New York afterwards! Keep a look out for her name! GO BLUE.
Cassie Austin is delighted to be joining MTWichita for the first time ever! A Libertyville, IL native and sophomore in the BFA Musical Theatre program at Brigham Young University in Utah, she is ecstatic about being back in the Midwest. Favorite Credits include Valentine de Villefort in the U.S. Premiere of Frank Wildhorn’s The Count of Monte Cristo (BYU), Katy in the NYMTF-bound new musical Single Wide (BYU), Brooke in Legally Blonde, and Cassie in A Chorus Line. Much thanks to Mom and Dad as well as her amazing teachers, friends and family for all of their love and support, and to Music Theatre Wichita for this amazing opportunity!
Katie Barna is thrilled to be spending her summer performing with Music Theatre Wichita, and loved playing Fairy-in-Training Sue in Disney’s My Son Pinocchio! She is a recent graduate of Oklahoma City University from Suwanee, Georgia. While in college, she performed annually in the Home for the Holidays and ASDC Spring Show with the American Spirit Dance Company. Professionally, Katie performed in Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma’s Will Rogers Follies. She would like to express unending gratitude to family and friends for believing in her dreams and the Lord for His abundant blessings.
Caitlin Belcik is absolutely thrilled to be returning to MTWichita for her second season! She is from Edmond, OK, and this fall will be a sophomore at Penn State University in the BFA musical theatre program. Favorite credits include: Broadway: How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Annie Who – original; Little Who – revival); Regional: MTW – Last year’s 5 fabulous shows!, White Christmas (Susan Waverly); Lyric Theatre – Sweet Charity, Bye Bye Birdie, Tarzan, Sound of Music, Call Me Madam (choreography assistant); ENHS – West Side Story (Maria). Much love and thanks to Wayne, Nancy, Josh and the MTW team for this wonderful opportunity, and to my teachers and parents for their support!
Lexis is thrilled to be spending her summer with Music Theatre Wichita! A current student of Millikin University, she is pursuing a BFA in Musical Theater with a dance minor (2016), and has appeared on the Millikin mainstage in: And the World Goes ‘Round (Woman/Dance Captain), Peter Pan (Tiger Lily), Legally Blonde (Greek Chorus/Vivienne u/s), Cinderella, Machinal (Female Swing), the collegiate premiere of the new Gwon and Hammond musical String, and the workshop of Salzman and Cunningham’s The Legend of New York. Additional credits include: An Evening with Andrew Lippa (Featured Vocalist), The Nutcracker Ballet (Sugar Plum Fairy, Judith Svalander Dance Theater), Thodos Dance Residency, and the 84th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (Featured Float Singer/Dancer). She sends all her love and thanks to her supportive friends and family.
Kat Geertsen – First MTWichita season. Originally from Milwaukee, WI, Kat graduated this past May from Viterbo University with a BFA in Music Theatre. VU credits include: Pippin (Leading Player), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Flo), Little Women (Beth), A Chorus Line (Judy Turner, #23). Other favorites: Next to Normal (Natalie), Disney’s Beauty & the Beast (Belle), Ragtime (Mother), Spring Awakening (Thea), Legally Blonde (Kate). Kat also served as Assistant Music Director for Drood, and joined the entire Fine Arts Department this March in a televised celebration of Viterbo’s 125th anniversary. Many thanks to Wayne, Nancy, and MTW, and to Mom, Dad, family, friends, and teachers for their immeasurable love, support, and faith.
Cameron Hill is a New Jersey native and now a rising senior musical theatre student at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She is thrilled to be making her MTWichita debut this summer! She has most recently appeared in CCM’s productions of 110 in the Shade, Legally Blonde, Carrie the Musical, and Les Misérables. Some of her favorite credits include Sarah (Ragtime), Diana Morales (A Chorus Line), Ti Moune (Once On This Island), and Chiffon (Little Shop of Horrors). She is grateful every day for her supportive parents and all of her teachers past and present.
Jessie Peltier is thrilled to be joining MTWichita this summer! Originally from Northern Virginia, Jessie is a rising senior Dance Performance major at Oklahoma City University. Credits include: A Chorus Line (Diana), 9 to 5: the Musical (Margaret), and La Cage Aux Folles all at the Summer Repertory Theatre in Santa Rosa, California. She has also performed in the ensemble of productions of Legally Blonde and The Producers. At school, she is a member of the American Spirit Dance Company, performing consistently in the annual Home for the Holidays Christmas shows and annual Spring shows. Special thanks to Mom, Dad, Alyssa, Chris, and Raynor for always believing in her and supporting her in pursuing her dreams.
Sarah Quinn, a rising senior at the University of Oklahoma, could not be more elated to return home to MTWichita for her fifth summer season. Recent/Favorite credits include: Janet Van DeGraff, The Drowsy Chaperone; Chris Hargensen, Carrie the Musical (University Theatre), Cosette, Les Miserablés; Arista, Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Lyric Theatre OKC), Greek Chorus, Legally Blonde; Ensemble, Betty Blue Eyes, 9 to 5, Finian’s Rainbow (MTWichita), Pops Chorale/Dancer, The Christmas Show (OKC Philharmonic). Endless love and thanks to Wayne, Nancy, and Josh, her unbelievably encouraging friends and family, her devoted mentors and teachers who daily challenge her to push beyond limits, and her incredibly supportive husband, Jeff Taylor. MUTAU. 1 Peter 4:10-11
Halli Toland is excited to return to MTW for a second summer! She is a rising sophomore at the University of Michigan pursuing a BFA in musical theatre, and is originally from Toledo, Ohio. Her university credits include Helga in Cabaret and Dance Captain for The Music Man at U of M. Some of her favorite credits include Graziella in West Side Story and Dance Captain for Catch Me If You Can (both at MTW), as well as Janet in The Drowsy Chaperone at Toledo Repertory Theatre. She would like to thank her instructors Mark Madama and Linda Goodrich, as well as her amazing family and friends back home for their love and unending encouragement. Lastly special thanks to MTW for this wonderful opportunity. GO BLUE!
This is Emily Vargo’s first summer with MTWichita and she could not be more thrilled! She acquired her BFA in Musical Theatre from Wichita State University last May, and she thanks MTWichita and Wayne Bryan for being big influences and help throughout her college career. Some of her most notable Wichita roles are Luisa in The Fantasticks, which earned her the Mary Jane Teall Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, Wendla Bergmann in Spring Awakening, and Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, directed by none other than Wayne Bryan. Her recent opportunity to play the Blue Fairy in Disney’s My Son Pinocchio truly was “a wish come true!”
Gina Ward is so excited to be making her professional theatre debut at Music Theatre Wichita! She is coming all the way from Tampa, FL and will be a rising senior at Florida State University. Past credits include: How to Succeed… (Swing) and Company (Jenny). She would like to thank Wayne, Nancy, and all of the artistic team for believing in her and for giving her this amazing opportunity. She would not be the performer she is today without Broadway Dreams Foundation, Kate and Gayle, MT ’16, her mom and dad, and most importantly her Sissy.
Daisy Wright is beyond grateful to be back here at MTWichita this year for her second summer! Originally from St. George, UT, Daisy is an upcoming senior Musical Theatre major at the University of Oklahoma. Her credits include: Music Theatre Wichita: South Pacific, West Side Story, Joseph, Catch Me If You Can, 42nd Street. OU University Theatre: On The Town (Ivy u.s.), The Drowsy Chaperone (Mrs. Tottendale u.s.). OKC Philharmonic: The Christmas Show w/Beth Leavel (Dancer). Many thanks to my loving parents, family, friends, and teachers, and a BIG thanks to everyone at MTWichita for welcoming me back into their wonderful theatrical family for another summer of incredible fun!
“Q” is Beyond Thrilled to return to MTWichita after appearing in Catch Me If You Can and 42nd Street last summer. Though based in California, Wichita has always felt like home! Regional credits include: Young Frankenstein (Sasha), 42nd Street (Oscar), White Christmas (Scooter), Chorus Line, Gypsy (Yonkers), Ragtime (Little Boy –IETLAward), Oliver! (Oliver), Full Monty (Nathan), On Your Toes (Young Junior). Q is pursuing a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in Musical Theatre at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Heartfelt Thanks to Mom, Dad, and Mollie Rae for your unending love, support and encouragement! Much love and gratitude to Wayne, Nancy, and Josh for this Incredibly Awesome opportunity! Q thanks God for Abundant Blessings!
Aaron Patrick Craven is very excited to spend the summer with MTWichita! He recently earned a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Wichita State University. Favorite regional credits include A Chorus Line, Les Misérables, and White Christmas. Last year, Aaron was nominated to perform at the national conference of the American College Dance Festival of America, performing at the Kennedy Center. Aaron has also been seen as a Principal Dancer with Ballet Wichita and has toured internationally with Wichita Contemporary Dance Theatre. Love and thanks to Mom, Dad, Alex, Katie, Wayne, Josh and Nancy! Psalms 115:1 www.aaronpatrickcraven.com
Patrick Garr is a Lexington, Kentucky native and is currently studying at University of Kentucky to receive his BA in Theatre with an emphasis in Musical Theatre and Dance. Patrick is also receiving his double major in Communications. His previous credits include: Woof in Hair, Benjamin in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Don John in Much Ado About Nothing, Mike in A Chorus Line, and “Sing, Sing, Sing” with Nan Giordano of Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. Patrick also had the privilege of working with Steven Kennedy and Tim McDonald on the 2012 MTI and iTheatrics Broadway Choreography DVD. Patrick would like to thank Lyndy and Jeromy Smith, Peggy Stamps, Beth Arnold, Nancy Jones, Susie Thiel, and his wonderful family. www.patrickgarr.com
Erik Hernandez is currently a junior at the Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music and he couldn’t be more excited to be joining the cast and crew of Music Theatre Wichita. He will receive his BFA in Musical Theatre next spring. His credits include Quisisana, Maine: Rent (Collins), A Grand Night For Singing (Ensemble); CCM: 110 in the Shade (Noah), Legally Blonde (Padamadan/Nikos), Les Misérables (Brujon), Carrie (George), and Threepenny Opera (Walt Dreary). Erik would like to thank his entire family, especially his mother Lorraine for the years of encouragement and support, MT16, Averie, and Allie.
Willie Hill is a third-year Music Theatre major from Tulsa, Oklahoma studying voice with Dr. Marilyn Govich at The University of Central Oklahoma. Willie’s favorite theatre credits include: working with a non-profit organization called “A Pocket Full Of Hope”; Jake in Side Show, Featured Vocalist in Holidays at Home, Curtis/C.C. in Dreamgirls, Richie in A Chorus Line, Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors, Ubaldo Piangi in Phantom of the Opera, and Scarecrow in The Wiz. He would like to thank his family and his parents for their love and support.
Trevor McChristian, a Wichita native, recently completed his first year at Elon University! He is ecstatic to be returning for his second full summer with the company at MTWichita after having spent several years in the Teen Choir and Interning! In 2013, Trevor was selected as the male representative from the Jester Awards to compete in New York City at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, where he made his New York debut at the Minskoff Theatre (where Lion King plays). Favorite MTW credits include: Joseph…Dreamcoat (Baker/swing—where he went on as Brother Asher), West Side Story (Anxious), Catch Me If You Can, Singin’ in the Rain, and Betty Blue Eyes (U.S. Premiere). He sends many humble thanks to the cast and crew, Wayne, Nancy, Josh, Thomas, his family and friends, and above all else Mom.
Kyle McClellan is thrilled to be making his debut with MTWichita this summer! He is a rising junior at the University of Michigan, where his credits include Les Misérables (Prouvaire) and The Tempest (Sebastian). Regional: Walnut Street Theatre, Bucks County Playhouse. Other credits: 42nd Street (Billy Lawlor), West Side Story (Riff), and Hair (Claude). Much love and many thanks to Mom, Dad, Ty, Zo, the UMich faculty, and MTW for this incredible opportunity. Go Blue!
Tanner Pflueger is ecstatic to be returning to Music Theatre Wichita for his second summer! A Nebraska native, Tanner is currently studying at Oklahoma City University as a dance performance major. While at school, he has performed with the American Spirit Dance Company in their annual Home for the Holidays Christmas Show and Spring Show. Credits: Broadway: Billy Elliot (Billy) West End: Billy Elliot (Billy) MTW: West Side Story (Snowboy), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Gad), and 42nd Street (Ensemble). Regional: Grease (Johnny Casino/Teen Angel) and Beauty and the Beast (Chip). Thank you to Wayne and the rest of the creative team for the opportunity! Much love and many thanks to his family, teachers, and mentors for their constant support.
Jared Thomas Roberts is beyond excited and humbled to be a part of the 2015 Music Theatre Wichita Summer Season. He is a rising junior pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre at Point Park University. At PPU, Jared has been in productions of 21, a world premiere musical (Ball Player/Reporter) and The Boyfriend (Marcel). Past productions include: A Chorus Line (Mike), Footloose (Ren), Legally Blonde (Warner), Cats (Alonzo/Macavity). He would like to thank his family and friends for always supporting his artistic endeavors and his teachers and trainers for helping him grow into the performer he is today. “When you become the image of your own imagination, it’s the most powerful thing you could ever do.”
Jon Paul Roby is thrilled to be performing with MTWichita this summer! Regional credits include Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Syracuse Stage, and Reagle Music Theatre. Jon Paul will be starting his last year in the BFA Musical Theatre program at Syracuse University in the fall. He would like to thank his family for their love and endless support as well as Wayne, Nancy and the entire MTW team for this incredible opportunity. Enjoy the show!
Jeremy Seiner is extremely excited to be a part of the 2015 MTWichita company. Favorite past roles include Frank Jr. (Catch Me If You Can), Claude (Hair), and Noah (Children of Eden). Jeremy recently recieved his BFA from Penn State, and would like to thank his friends and family for all of their constant love and support.
AVERY SMITH is a Chicago native and a rising senior drama major at Carnegie Mellon University who has been seen this season as Mereb in Aida and the sinister Ringleader in My Son Pinocchio. For his first year of college he attended Boston Conservatory where he appeared as Horse in The Full Monty. After his first year at the conservatory he decided to further his education at Carnegie Mellon University. While at CMU recent credits include Hello Again, The Wiz, and Babylon. Additionally, he has performed to honor alumni and Tony Award Winner Billy Porter. Also, Smith is featured on American R&B vocal group The Dells re-release of their hit “Open Up My Heart” featured on their album Open Up My Heart: The 9/11 Suite. Other credits include Damn Yankees (Applegate), A Little Night Music (Liebeslieder/u.s. Fredrik) Kiss Me, Kate (Paul).
Kevin Nietzel is beyond thrilled to be joining the MTW family this summer! Originally from Cary, IL, he will be a rising senior at Florida State University pursuing a BFA in Music Theatre. Favorite credits include Maine State Music Theatre, Wagon Wheel Theatre, and Marriott Theatre Lincolnshire. He would love to give a special thanks to Wayne, Nancy, and all of the production staff for such an incredible opportunity, and of course his amazing family for always being a true support system.
Wayne Bryan begins his 28th season as Producing Artistic Director of Music Theatre Wichita, where he has now produced 135 Broadway-scale musicals, including dozens for which he has also served as director or performer. Raised in southern California, Wayne began his professional career as both actor and director at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre, while stationed as a Navy officer in Coronado. Wayne’s performing credits include Good News!, Rodgers and Hart, and Tintypes on Broadway, the First National Tour of Joseph / Dreamcoat, and TV appearances on such shows as “M*A*S*H” (CBS), “American History” (PBS), and “Keystone” (A&E). His directing credits include award-winning productions on both coasts, including Festival at New York City Center. Wayne is co-author with Mark Madama of a revised version of the collegiate musical Good News!, whose 1993 Wichita premiere has been followed by over 300 subsequent productions around the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain, plus an internationally acclaimed cast album. Wayne was a 2002 recipient of the Kansas Governor’s Arts Award as an Individual Artist, and received the NCCJ Brotherhood/Sisterhood Award, recognizing individuals who fight discrimination and encourage diversity. Thanks to all our supporters and patrons; to the performers, artistic teams, and crew members; to the musicians; to the box office staff; to the Guild and the Board of Directors; and to the wonderful year-round staff, all of whom make this job so joyful and fulfilling.
Peggy Hickey is a frequent collaborator at MTWichita, where her previous shows include The King and I (twice), The Music Man, Curtains, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, My Fair Lady, Meet Me in St. Louis, State Fair, and Annie Get Your Gun. Last season Ms. Hickey made her choreographic debut on Broadway with A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, which went on to win the 2014 Tony Award® as Best Musical. Other recent projects have included Kiss Me, Kate (Hartford Stage and the Old Globe Theatre – Connecticut Critics’ Circle Award), The Ghosts of Versailles with Patti LuPone (L.A. Opera), The King and I (Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris), Alice in Wonderland (L.A. Philharmonic/ Barbicon, London), Hansel and Gretel (director, Lincoln Center), Nice Work If You Can Get It (Gateway Playhouse, Ogunquit Playhouse), and the upcoming film Woodshock with Kirsten Dunst. Other credits: My Fair Lady (New York Philharmonic); Die Fledermaus with Plácido Domingo (PBS Live from The Kennedy Center); Hansel und Gretel (PBS Live From Lincoln Center); Carmen (Seattle Opera); La Bohème (LA Opera); Lucky to Be Me: The Music of Leonard Bernstein (New York City Opera); Lucio Silla (Santa Fe Opera), The Merry Widow, Aida, La Bohème, Falstaff, La Cenerentola, Carmen, and La Traviata (Houston, San Francisco, Chicago Lyric, Dallas, and LA Opera); Petroushka (LA Phil); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Old Globe, San Diego); Gigi (Reprise Theatre Company); A Little Night Music; On the Twentieth Century; Amour; Brigadoon (Goodspeed); Oklahoma! (Paper Mill Playhouse); The Music Man (Geva Theatre); Fiddler on the Roof (Mexico Company); Beauty and the Beast (Alabama Shakespeare Festival); TV/Film: The Brady Bunch Movie, “Heart of Dixie,” “Samantha Who?,” “90210,” “General Hospital,” “Port Charles,” “Days of Our Lives,” “Passions,” and the MTV Video “Beck’s The New Pollution.” www.peggyhickey.com
Thomas W. Douglas is back for his 15th season in Wichita! He has performed more than 200 opera, oratorio, orchestral, and musical theater productions nationally and internationally. Highlights include conducting Webber’s Phantom of the Opera in Basel, Switzerland and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with the Anchorage Opera, and directing Ain’t Misbehavin’ in Malaysia. Thomas is currently the Music Director for the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra, and the Artistic Director of the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh, which is regularly receiving accolades for innovative, creative, and dramatically provocative productions. His MTWichita history includes ShowBoat with Kelli O’Hara, Ragtime, Smokey Joe’s Café, 9 to 5, Ragtime with Darcie Roberts, Hairspray, The Full Monty, Miss Saigon, Beauty and the Beast, and Les Misérables, among many others. Thomas is the founder and Artistic Director of the Neighborhood Opera Company, having recently produced Mozart’s Don Giovanni with an African American cast. With the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, he has conducted jazz legend Nathan Davis’ opera Just Above My Head, Carmen Jones, and Porgy and Bess. Thomas has been the recipient of the Mary Jane Teall Award and the Robert Frankle awards for his contribution to theatre in Wichita, KS and Pittsburgh, PA. Thomas has enjoyed the stage roles of Amonasro in Elton John’s Aida, Caiaphas in Jesus Christ Superstar, Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors. Recently named the Director of Opera Studies in the School of Music in addition to his position as Director of Choral Activities and Professor in the School of Drama, this is Thomas’ 25th year on the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University.
Richard Bulda is happy to be at MTWichita with Big Fish! Richard has had a long collaborative career with Peggy Hickey as both a dancer and an assistant. Most recently he was her dance captain for Ghosts of Versailles with Los Angeles Opera, and has been her assistant for productions of The Merry Widow, Der Fledermaus, Falstaff, and last November he was her Dance Captain for Big Fish Musical Theater West in Long Beach, CA. His regional credits on stage include Shan Yu in Disney’s Mulan, Cats (Macavity), Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Benjamin). Opera credits: The Merry Widow, Billy Budd, The Ring Cycle, Romeo and Juliette, Carmen, and Die Fledermaus. TV/Film: “General Hospital,” “Terriers” and The Musician (feature). He hails from San Diego, CA with his wife and two amazing kids. He would like to thank Wayne Bryan for this opportunity and as always Peggy, thank you for everything!
Jan McDaniel is thrilled to be associated with Music Theatre Wichita for the 2015 season. He is equally at home on the podium and at the keyboard. In the fall of 2015, he begins his seventeenth year on the faculty of the Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University, where he is Professor of Vocal Coaching and a conductor of the Oklahoma City University Opera and Musical Theater Company. In the latter capacity, McDaniel has served as musical director and conductor for over thirty productions. His 2013 production of Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia was chosen as the Best Opera Production for Division III in the National Opera Association’s annual competition. Prof. McDaniel also directs the Master of Music program in Vocal Coaching, one of the only programs of its kind in the United States. McDaniel has performed with such notable artists as Kristin Chenoweth, Marquita Lister, Kelli O’Hara, Susanne Mentzer, Uwe Heilmann, Yvonne Redman, and Leona Mitchell. His present and former coaching students are working worldwide in opera houses and on stages on Broadway and across the country.
Jesse Warkentin is happy to return to MTWichita for the last two shows of the season. Jesse is a Kansas-born music director and pianist who now lives and works in New York City, where he recently served as musical director for The Calico Buffalo for the New York Musical Theatre Festival. He has worked on the 2nd National Tour of Wicked, Royal Caribbean’s Mamma Mia, and spent eleven summers with Music Theatre Wichita, bringing to life regional premieres such as Mary Poppins, Catch Me If You Can, and the U.S. Premiere of Betty Blue Eyes. He conducted the Festival of Broadway orchestra for five years, and enjoyed music directing High School Musical 2 in 2009. Jesse was recently featured as piano soloist in Gershwin’s “Rhapsody In Blue” with the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra. “My deepest gratitude to Wayne and Thomas for rich musical experiences at MTWichita, and to my incredible family for their laughter and love.”
David Neville is thrilled to return for his 32nd season of “Camp MTW.” In addition to many productions at MTWichita, David has designed lighting for North Shore Music Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars, Omaha Symphony, the United States Air Force, Stage One, Ordway Music Theatre, Papermill Playhouse, the University of Michigan, Penn State University, Portland Center Stage, North Carolina Theatre, Musical Theatre West, Arkansas Rep, Santa Barbara Civic Light Opera, George Street Playhouse, the 5th Avenue Theatre, and Off-Broadway. David’s favorite designs at MTWichita include Big River, Cats, Ragtime, Once On This Island, Children of Eden, and Jesus Christ Superstar. David also teaches lighting and scenic design at Wichita State University. He makes his home in Wichita with his wife Robin.
David Muehl continues his 10th season as MTWichita’s sound designer, having also served as the sound assistant previously for a season. During MTWichita’s off season, David is the audio producer for WSU’s College of Fine Arts where he oversees audito recording and live sound for fine arts and other performances. He also serves as sound designer for WSU’s Opera and Musical Theatre programs and is the sound advisor to student musical theatre and opera sound designers and engineers. Some of his favorite sound designs have been Children of Eden, Into the Woods, Les Misérables, and the Wizard of Oz. David has also done sound design for Wichita Center for the Arts and Cabaret Oldtown. Special thanks to Josh and Matt with Event Systems for their continued support of MTWichita.
Taylor Malott is extremely excited to spend her first summer with Music Theatre Wichita. She is a Cincinnati native who recently graduated from the University of Cincinnati (CCM) with a BFA in Theatre Production and Design with an emphasis in Wig and Makeup Design. She has been a licensed cosmetologist for more than five years. Taylor has been a part of the wig build crew at Utah Shakespeare Festival and was the department head at Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh for their 2014 season. Taylor could not be more grateful for this opportunity to work for MTW.
Maria is a recent graduate from the University Of Arizona. There she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre production and design, with emphasis in scenic and prop design. Her past credits include Assistant Scenic Design for Arizona Repertory Theatre’s production of The Man Who Came to Dinner. Maria is very excited to start her third season with Music Theatre Wichita. She would like to thank everyone at MTW for the opportunity and enjoyable summers. Maria would like to give a very special thanks to her mom, Carmen Leon and her boyfriend, Brandon Kahler for their constant support. Without it she wouldn’t be here today.
Debbie Roberts has designed costumes for many shows here, including 42nd Street, White Christmas, Thoroughly Modern Millie, High School Musical, State Fair, Funny Girl, The Most Happy Fella, On the Town, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, Annie Get Your Gun, Man of La Mancha, Crazy for You, The Sound of Music, My One and Only, and various Festival of Broadway shows. A graduate of Friends University, Debbie received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance and Ballet. “I am so proud of the work that Music Theatre Wichita does, it is always a pleasure to work each season. While California remains my home, for over 25 years Wichita has been my summer home. I look forward to meeting new people and learning new skills each time. Enjoy the shows!”
Mitch is very excited to be spending his second season with Music Theatre Wichita. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Mitch has been fortunate to spend the last year in Chicago working in production management at the Goodman Theatre while also freelancing at the Steppenwolf and Paramount theatres. Mitch’s previous credits include two summer with the Santa Fe Opera, technical direction and carpentry work at the University of Oklahoma, and leadership of the University of Oklahoma chapter of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT). Mitch would like to express his gratitude to Jeff and Wayne for having him back for another summer!
Katrina Miller is excited to be spending her first summer with Music Theatre Wichita. A freelance scenic artist and designer, Katrina comes to Wichita from the Lehigh Valley in eastern Pennsylvania. She holds an MFA in theatre design and production from Purdue University and a BFA in theatre design and technology from Northern Illinois University. Her adventures in theatre have taken her all over, from the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre, to the Texas Shakespeare Festival, to the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, with many other stops in between. She would like to thank her amazing husband Phil for being so supportive of all her endeavors.
Jeff Taylor is extremely honored to be back with this excellent cast and crew for his 15th summer at MTWichita. Throughout the years since 2000, he’s had the chance to apprentice, build, design, and even act for MTWichita, and has now become the year-round Production Manager, working closely with the awesome MTW staff. A loyal Kansan, Jeff graduated from Wichita High School East, earned his BA in Musical Theatre from Friends University, and his MFA in Design and Technology from UMKC. Jeff thanks Wayne for his continual guidance throughout the many years together and his wife Sarah, for the many wonderful years to come.
AJ is happy to return to MTWichita for his 10th season. Most recently AJ was the Master Carpenter at Childsplay in Phoenix, Arizona. AJ is very grateful for all the help he has received from the Wichita theatre community and would like to include a special thanks to Local 190 for all the hard work they do during the summer and throughout the year.
Madelynn Nevins is excited to be back on the MTWichita team for her 2nd year as Assistant Lighting Designer and her 9th Summer Camp experience. She spent this last year as the Production Manager for Music Theatre for Young People producing art and teaching youth about the craft. She also spent the year in many different design capacities for various companies such as Laughing Feet Performers, Mosley Street Melodrama, Wichita State University, and Prairie Pines Dinner Theatre. Madelynn would like to thank everyone at MTWichita, along with her family, and fur babies for their support.
Steve Landes is proud to return for his 22nd summer as the Apprentice Program Director. A Wichita resident for twenty two years, Steve worked for Friends University, the Wichita Center for the Arts, Music Theatre for Young People, and Shakespeare in the Park. He has just finished his 37th year as a high school theatre teacher. He has been inducted into the Kansas Thespians Teacher Hall of Fame, and is currently co-state director of Kansas Thespians. Steve moved to the Kansas City area fourteen years ago for a teaching position. As an educator, Steve continues to be very excited about working with the apprentices in this unique training program (and MTW is deeply grateful for Steve’s creative dedication to our young people!).
Amanda Bowman is thrilled to be home for her 11th summer at MTWichita and honored to be stepping into this new role. She spent the last two seasons at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and has also worked for The Palace Theater in the Dells, Wichita Symphony Orchestra, Crown Uptown, IATSE #190, Walt Disney World, and Merrimack Repertory Theatre. Ms. Bowman is a graduate of Wichita State University. Thanks and love to Wayne, Nancy, her family, and KBEAT. Proud member of AEA. For Grandpa.
Originally from Oklahoma, Tiffany is returning for her sixth MTWichita season. She spends the other 9 months of the year in the Twin Cities where she works as a freelance stage manager in addition to being the production stage manager for Theater Latte Da. While in the Twin Cities, she has the pleasure to work with companies including the Pillsbury House Theatre, The Children’s Theatre Company, Park Square Theatre, and the Guthrie. Prior to her move to the Twin Cities she worked on more than a dozen productions as part of the stage management team at Phoenix Theatre, in Phoenix, AZ. This summer marks 10 years as a proud member of the Actor’s Equity Association. Missing you, Em!
Dixon Reynolds is thrilled to be back at Music Theatre Wichita after designing costumes for last summer’s Catch Me If You Can and 2013’s Betty Blue Eyes! He is an Associate Professor of Costume Design at State University of New York at Fredonia and a freelance designer. His designs are seen in a broad range of styles from Theatre, Dance, Opera, Film and his favorite: new and experimental theatrical works, including musicals! Dixon is the resident costume designer at the Kavinoky Theatre in Buffalo, NY. Some of his designs have been seen at The Irish Classical Theatre, ART Park, Summer Repertory Theatre, Buffalo United Artists, Shakespeare in Delaware Park, The Hartt School of Music, Triad Stage, and American Dance Festival. He has also worked in the costume departments at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Playmakers Repertory Company, Roanoke Festival Park, HBO Productions and CBS Productions.
WOW! 40 seasons! Who would have thought that back in 1976, a summer job would turn into such a career!! Being one of the oldest members of the production staff, this will mark summer productions numbering 197 to 201. In the off season, I still keep my hand in stage managing for Ballet Wichita Orchestra (19 years) and enjoying a fabulous working relationship with Wichita State University, all the while keeping our ever growing rental business running. I seem to get around a lot but only inside Century II. My life remains happily engaged in larger and more complex tasks working for my favorite employer. My thanks to WB…..I offer my deepest love and respect to all who work in this fabulous building and for our organization.
Linda Starkey continues her relationship with MTWichita, having performed in My Fair Lady, Oliver!, Cabaret, and The Sound of Music, and having conducted the Teen Choir and assisted with MTWichita’s apprentice program. Currently serving as the Director of the School of Performing Arts at Wichita State University, Linda has also served as Associate Director of the Opera and Music Theatre program there, and taught voice for more than 30 years. She has directed for Opera Kansas, WSU Opera Theatre, WSU Theatre, Wichita Community Theatre, Wichita Children’s Theatre, and the Center for the Arts. In 2005, her production of Pippin was chosen to be an alternate for the American College Theatre Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
Jennifer Fisher is so excited for her seventh season at MTWichita. She would like to thank Wayne and all the amazing, talented people at Music Theatre Wichita for including her in the magic! During the year Jennifer is an educational interpreter for Sedgwick County Co-op, and leads the deaf ministry at Central Community Church, where she interprets services, concerts, conferences, classes, and support groups. Jennifer has been signing for more than 10 years and is focused on musical performance interpreting, having trained in Nashville, TN under Gate Communications. Her goal is to create a performance that’s as impactful for the deaf as it is for the hearing. Jennifer thanks her girls Kara and Stephanie and her husband for their support. Most importantly, thanks to God for the blessings He’s given and the opportunity to work in such a remarkable place. 2 Cor. 4:16-18
Nancy Reeves joined MTWichita in 1988 as a bookkeeper and soon took on other responsibilities. She first took over the position of Company Manager and more recently added Producing Associate to her job description. As Company Manager Nancy’s duties include coordinating auditions, handling thousands of submissions each season. Other duties include handling the travel and housing accommodation arrangements for guest artists, and maintaining active communications with all department and department heads throughout the season. As Producing Associate Nancy attends auditions and participates in casting decisions, works with agents, and participates in contract negotiations. Her long tenure at MTWichita and close personal connections to people throughout Wichita allow her to be an outstanding resource for MTWichita and for artists working in Wichita during the summer season. She can quickly connect a need to a resource, whether that is a qualified rehearsal pianist, an appropriate caterer for a donor appreciation event, or a convenient hotel room for a guest artist.
Birmingham-born novelist Daniel Wallace was asked about the recurring themes of mythology which appear in his first published novel, Big Fish: A Story of Epic Proportions. “Myths are just great stories, and they are the origin for all story, and all of our stories, literary and religious… But I have always been aware that where there is a story there is someone telling it, and that the person telling the story is a part of the story, and to pretend otherwise is pretense.”
It is this fascination with tales and tale-tellers that propels all three versions of Big Fish – the 1998 novel, the 2003 film, and the 2013 Broadway musical.
Wallace was inspired to write his novel in part by his own complicated father, and also by the fact he had recently become a father himself. “There are many similarities between my father and Edward Bloom. Like Edward, my father was an extremely charismatic man who sometimes used his charisma to keep people at a distance. It would appear as though he was being intimate with you when he was really just being charming.”
The title of the book came from one of his father’s favorite expressions. “Throughout his entire life, my father talked about leaving the small town in which he was born for the big city, because, as he put it, he didn’t want to be a ‘big fish in a little pond.’ So he left Cullman, Alabama, and became an international businessman. But that title has other meanings, as well. A fish can be real slippery, like Edward Bloom, you can never really get a hold of him.”
Wallace’s novel also celebrates one particular and time-honored Southern tradition, the interweaving of truth and fiction, fact and exaggeration. “Edward is a compulsive storyteller and that’s what Southern literature is about: storytelling, almost for its own sake. Folk tales and tall tales demand that the truth be stretched, a little or a lot. It’s sleight of hand, a form of magic—possibly the only real magic many of us have an opportunity to be a part of in our adult lives. It’s the magic a child experiences while growing up, one that most of us unfortunately lose.”
Screenwriter John August read a copy of Wallace’s novel prior to publication, and became so enamored that he persuaded a reluctant Columbia Studios to purchase it for film production, and immediately began working on a treatment.
Wallace, who never dreamed that his loosely structured novel could be filmed, was happy to turn the screenwriting over to August, realizing that a movie version would need a different approach, with more structure and narrative drive.
Wallace and August met (at an IHOP in Washington D.C.) and the novelist willingly shared some of the secrets behind the stories, including the influences of both classic mythology and of American tall tales that are verbally passed down between generations.
August explains, “They’re tales that have been told hundreds of times, not merely to recount what happened, but what should have happened. They’re extreme versions of life, superlative versions of the way you’d like life to be. Edward has a need to tell these stories continually so that everybody will remember them and, in the process, remember him.”
August shaped his screenplay by expanding the role of Will, Edward’s son, making him both a reporter (another storyteller) and a soon-to-be parent, desperate to clarify the father-son dynamic before his own child is born, and before time runs out to reconcile with his own father. The role of Sandra, wife, mother, and mediator, was also largely created by August.
For the film version, pairs of actors played the characters at different ages, with Albert Finney and Ewan McGregor as older and younger Edward, Jessica Lange and Alison Lohman as Sandra, and Billy Crudup and child actor Grayson Stone sharing the role of Will. Other performers included Marion Cotillard (Will’s wife Josephine), Helena Bonham Carter (Jenny Hill and The Witch), Danny DeVito (Amos Calloway), Robert Guillaume (Dr. Bennett), and Matthew McGrory (Karl the Giant). Directed by fantasy filmmaker Tim Burton, the 2003 film was a commercial and critical success.
When John August and some Columbia executives began entertaining the thought of turning the show into a musical for Broadway, a different approach was discussed. Theatrical license allows stage actors to play a variety of ages, so it was decided to cast only one Edward and one Sandra, allowing them to play their relationship from beginning to end, although two actors would still be needed to play Will in childhood and adulthood. For clarity, fewer of Edward’s adventures would be dramatized, but audiences would get to know the characters more deeply.
Songwriter Andrew Lippa, who had made a strong impression with his work on You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, John and Jen and The Wild Party, was engaged to work with John August to develop the musical. After a try-out in Chicago in April of 2013, the show underwent some fairly substantial revisions and opened on Broadway that fall. Although the run was briefer than its creators hoped, the show found devoted fans and admirers, and over 100 licenses for the show have been signed for new productions around the country.
Andrew Lippa visited Wichita last May for some musical theatre workshops, and to share insights about the musical Big Fish. As was true for Wallace and August, Lippa drew heavily on his feelings about his own family. “Edward is an embellisher; he’s a born storyteller,” Lippa says. “It’s about the son really learning how to grow up and how to appreciate his father for who he is and not who he wants him to be.”
Since musical theatre songs can reveal characters’ thoughts in a very unique way, Lippa was able to give Edward a final moment to describe what motivated him. “He stands there in front of all the people who love him, and he sings, ‘I know I wasn’t perfect, I know my life was small, I know that I pretended that I knew it all. But when you tell my story, and I hope somebody does, remember me as something bigger than I was.”
“And for me, that’s something I truly feel,” Lippa says. “I feel like that was what my father wanted as well. I think that’s what many people want, to be acknowledged that we did the best we could, but when you talk about me, just make it a little bit better. Not completely crazy better. Just a little bit better.”
Music Theatre Wichita is excited and proud to introduce this insightful and charming new musical to our audiences. We have loved working on it, and we hope it amuses, inspires and moves you, too.