August 10-14 & 19-21, 2016
Music and Lyrics: Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus
Book: Catherine Johnson
Songs include “Dancing Queen,” “Honey, Honey,” “Thank You for the Music,” “Lay All Your Love on Me,” “Money, Money, Money,” “Take a Chance On Me,” “The Winner Takes It All,” “Our Last Summer,” “Does Your Mother Know,” “Super Trouper,” “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!,” “S.O.S.,” “Slipping Through My Fingers,” and the catchy title song.
KIM HUBER (Donna Sheridan) is grateful to spend another summer at MTWichita, where she is proud to have been a leading lady for the past two decades in: Big Fish, The King and I, Finian’s Rainbow, My Fair Lady, White Christmas, Seven Brides…, Phantom, Beauty and the Beast, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Good News!, Into the Woods, and Paint Your Wagon. Kim starred on Broadway as Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (and First National Tour), and was an original cast member of Sunset Boulevard and Marie Christine (with Audra McDonald). Her portrayal of Nellie Collins in the Floyd Collins National Tour earned her Jeff, Barrymore and Ovation Award Nominations for Best Actress. A current resident of L.A., she created the role of Missy in The Marvelous Wonderettes (L.A. Drama Critics Award) and Lizzie in Having It All. Kim can be heard as the singing voice of Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) on Disney Records. Thanks and love always to Wayne, Mark, Nancy, Thomas, and everyone at MTWichita. Truly, “Thank you for the Music…” Kim is most proud of celebrating 20 years of marriage to her husband, Roger Befeler, with whom she spent a summer in the 1992 MTWichita Company, and their children Paige and Adam.
PAULA LEGGETT CHASE (Tanya) is delighted to return to MTWichita! Favorite MTW credits include: 9 to 5 (Violet Newstead), Curtains (Carmen Bernstein), Catch Me If You Can (Paula Abegnale). Broadway: On the 20th Century (Imelda Thornton), Bye, Bye Birdie (Gloria Rasputan), Curtains, The Pajama Game, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Kiss Me, Kate, Damn Yankees!, Crazy for You, A Chorus Line. Also, Cabaret with Joel Grey, Applause at Encores! TV appearances include: “Feed The Beast,” “Younger,” “The Sound of Music, Live” (Baroness Elberfeld; nun), “30 Rock” (“Randi” in the “Queen of Jordan” episodes); “Law & Order,” “Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego?” (Medeva). PLC is married to Broadway music director/arranger David Chase and they are proud parents of two sons, Kyler and Dashiell. www.paulaleggettchase.com
KAREN L. ROBU (Rosie) is a regular with Music Theatre Wichita, where she has had the privilege of performing in 18 of the past 22 seasons. She has been seen as Rose in Gypsy, Duchess Estonia Dulworth in Nice Work If You Can Get It, Madame Thénardier in Les Misérables, Golde in Fiddler on the Roof, Miss Andrew in Mary Poppins, Roz in 9 to 5, Mayor Matilda Hyde in All Shook Up, Ms. Darbus in High School Musical, Martha Watson in White Christmas, the Wicked Witch in Wizard of Oz, Emma Goldman in Ragtime, Maureen / Lowbutt in HONK! (2001 and 2012 productions as well as the American cast recording), Dolly in Annie Get Your Gun, and Mayzie in Seussical. Karen’s credits as a director include Children of Eden, Cotton Patch Gospel, Tuesdays with Morrie, and Violet, as well as her own original piece No Cross, No Crown, about suffragist Antoinette Brown Blackwell. Karen has also performed for most of the professional theaters in the Wichita area and taught classes for BCAPA, MGM Studio of the Dance, and Camp Allegro. Karen graduated in 2013 from Phillips Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree. She is Associate Minister for Plymouth Congregational Church, here in Wichita, where she is heading up their first annual “Fine Arts Series.” The first season, beginning this fall, will include two concerts, as well as a production of Andrew Lippa’s A Little Princess. In addition Karen is visiting professor of Acting for Wichita State University. Thanks WB for all the wonderful opportunities. Love to husband Tim and daughters Katie and Francie.
VINCENT CORAZZA (Sam Carmichael) is so excited to be returning to MTWichita for another season, as well as another chance to explore the Greek Islands and sing ABBA songs! After spending 2009-2010 on the road in the National Tour of Mamma Mia!, as Harry Bright, Vince is thrilled to get a chance to step into the platform boots and spandex of Sam Carmichael opposite the exquisitely talented Kim Huber (who many will remember was his muse, Sandra Bloom, in last season’s Big Fish!). 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 popular animated shows and video games. Currently he can be heard as the voice of “America’s Favorite Coffee,” Dunkin’ Donuts, as well as the promotional voice for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on CBS. Other notable credits include: the 2014 Original Broadway production of Rocky; the feature film “Owning Mahowny” playing the best friend of Phillip 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;” numerous guest appearances on “24,” “Without a Trace,” “Entourage,” “Bones,” and more; voicing Tuxedo Mask in the acclaimed “Sailor Moon” anime TV series; and Zexion in the wildly popular “Kingdom Hearts” video game series. A 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 their endless love and support; and most of all my wife Jane Cooke, who is my #1 “Dancing Queen” and has always been the “Light in my Disco Ball of Life!”
THOM SESMA (Harry Bright) is thrilled to return to MTWichita, and over the moon to once again reunite with Kim Huber, whom he fell in love with in Paint Your Wagon (1992) and The King & I (2013), and with Wayne Bryan, who directed him in MTW’s production of Catch Me If You Can (2014), as well as way back in 1973 at University High School in San Diego, California. Somewhere in between those years, Thom has managed to carve out a colorful career which includes leading appearances on Broadway and in National Tours (The Times They Are A Changin’, Disney’s The Lion King, Titanic, Search & Destroy, Chu Chem, Miss Saigon, and others); and numerous guest appearances on TV and film (“Madam Secretary,” “The Good Wife,” “Jessica Jones,” “Gotham,” “Person of Interest,” “Law & Order,” “Single Ladies,” “Over/Under,” “Lay the Favorite,” and many many more). Off-Broadway credits include NSYF/Public Theatre, the Roundabout, Second Stage, The Drama Department, The Mint, NAATCO, Playwrights Horizon, and others. He has performed roles regionally in plays, musicals and classics at The Old Globe, Yale Rep, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse, Arena Stage, Baltimore Centre Stage, The McCarter, The MUNY, and more. Last year, he co-starred in Richard Maltby & David Shire’s new Broadway-bound musical Waterfall at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre and Pasadena Playhouse. He has numerous awards and honors to his credit, most notably being included in the Asian American Performing Artists Collection at the Library of Congress. His best credit yet: Married Penelope Daulton on April 20, 2013. Thom is a proud member AEA, SAG-AFTRA and SDC. Colossians 3:12-17. Follow him on Twitter: @ThomSesmaNYC
DAMON KIRSCHE (Bill Austin) first appeared at MTWichita as The Scarlet Pimpernel and is ever honored to return: as Higgins (My Fair Lady), Arthur (Camelot), Hart (9 to 5), Galahad (Spamalot), Mr. Banks (Mary Poppins), Julian Marsh (42nd Street), and in concert with Kelli O’Hara. Stage: My Fair Lady (Freddy) – La Mirada (Ovation nomination), Oklahoma! (Curly) – South Bay CLO and (Ali Hakim) – Cabrillo, Show Boat (Ravenal) – FWSO at Bass Hall, A Little Night Music (Magnus) – South Coast Rep. Kirsche created the roles “Logos” (Eric Whitacre’s Paradise Lost: Shadows & Wings) – Carnegie and Disney Halls, and “Pujol” (A Passing Wind) – Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center (Barrymore Award nomination). Over thirty staged concerts with: City Center Encores, 92nd St Y, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Casa Mañana, LA’s Reprise series, MTWest’s Reiner Reading Series and LA’s Musical Theatre Guild (member since 2002). Cabaret: Kimmel’s “Kritzerland” – Federal Bar, “An Evening of Classic Broadway with Brad Ellis” (of TV’s “Glee”), and Sherry and Olt’s “Up With a Twist” – Rockwell. Since 2002, Kirsche has been a lead vocalist with Dean Mora’s vintage swing orchestras at historic venues nationwide (recordings: “Goblin Market” and “Devil’s Serenade”). Recordings: “The Ziegfeld Follies of 1936” (Decca Broadway),“Babes in Arms” (DRG), The Gershwins’ “Tip-Toes” (Carnegie/archival). Film/TV: “Gods and Generals,” “LA Confidential,” “StarTrek: Voyager” (as the first Nuu’bari), and recently-premiered indie film “Pushing Dead” (starring James Roday and Danny Glover), awarded Best Feature at SF’s 40th Annual Frameline Festival. NEXT: Herman’s Dear World starring Tyne Daly (September, LA) and “American Showstoppers: Frank Loesser” featuring the Fred Barton Orchestra (October, NY). Kirsche is the lyricist and co-author of the original musical All That Glitters – A Hollywood Blacklist Fable. Training: The Juilliard School.
LEXIS DANCA (Sophie) is thrilled to have spent her second summer at Music Theatre Wichita, and loved playing Babette in Beauty and the Beast! She is a recent graduate of Millikin University, where she received her BFA in musical theatre with a dance minor. She sends all her love and thanks to Wayne, Nancy, Josh, and the rest of the MTWichita crew, along with her supportive friends and family who have helped her every step of the way. lexisdanca.com
QUINN HERRON (Sky) has been thrilled to be a part of this amazing season! He is from Ponca City, OK and is a soon to be senior music theatre major at the University of Central Oklahoma studying voice with Dr. Marilyn Govich. Recent credits include: Don in A Chorus Line, Joe Sutter in The Spitfire Grill, and Homer Collins in Floyd Collins. Quinn would like to thank Wayne Bryan for this wonderful and challenging opportunity to be in this summer’s season. Love and thanks to his family: Blaine, Deb, Kitt, and Hannah Herron, and Emily Canavesio for their support.
MATTHEW DAVIES (Pepper) is thrilled to be included in MTWichta’s resident company this year! Favorite credits include Seven Brides (Frank), Mary Poppins (Neleus), Cats (Mungojerrie/Dance Capt.), The Fantasticks (Matt). A big thanks to Wayne, Nancy, and Josh for letting him be a part of this spectacular season! “Love to my family and friends!”
WALKER BROWN (Eddie) is excited to be performing for his first summer at Music Theatre Wichita! He has had the pleasure of performing for Larwell Productions, in addition to several productions for Shows in a Box productions, and with Silvertree Productions. Walker thanks OCU for what it has provided him!
KAREN L. ROBU is a regular with Music Theatre Wichita, where she has had the privilege of performing in 18 of the past 22 seasons. She has been seen as Rose in Gypsy, Madame Thenardier in Les Miserables, Golde in Fiddler on the Roof, Miss Andrew in Mary Poppins, Roz in 9 to 5, Mayor Matilda Hyde in All Shook Up, Ms. Darbus in High School Musical, Martha Watson in White Christmas, the Wicked Witch in Wizard of Oz, Emma Goldman in Ragtime, Maureen / Lowbutt in HONK! (2001 and 2012 productions as well as the American recording), Dolly in Annie Get Your Gun, and Mayzie in Seussical. Karen’s credits as a director include Children of Eden, Cotton Patch Gospel, Tuesdays with Morrie, and Violet, as well as her own original piece No Cross, No Crown, about suffragist Antoinette Brown Blackwell. Karen has also performed for most of the professional theaters in the Wichita area and taught classes for BCAPA, MGM Studio of the Dance, and Camp Allegro. Karen graduated in 2013 from Phillips Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree. She is Associate Minister for Plymouth Congregational Church, here in Wichita, where she is heading up their first annual “Fine Arts Series.” The first season, beginning this fall, will include two concerts, as well as a production of Andrew Lippa’s A Little Princess. In addition, Karen is visiting professor of Acting for Wichita State University. Thanks WB for all the wonderful opportunities. Love to husband Tim and daughters Katie and Francie.
WAYNE BRYAN (Director / Producing Artistic Director) has greatly enjoyed this entire summer, especially directing Beauty and the Beast and working so closely with this terrific company of actors, musicians, and technicians. 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). He has directed critically acclaimed productions all across the country, including Festival at New York City Center, Children of Eden at Musical Theatre West, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever at 42nd Street Moon in San Francisco, and Mary Poppins at the Walnut Street Theatre. Other favorite directing credits include multiple productions of Tintypes (winning Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Award), the U.S. premiere of Betty Blue Eyes, and the MTW premieres of HONK!, The Little Mermaid, Catch Me If You Can, and Big Fish. He has also enjoyed a series of directorial and teaching collaborations at Wichita State University. 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 and the MTWichita staff look forward to planning an amazing 2017 summer lineup, during which Wayne will celebrate his 30th season with this marvelous organization.
BRIAN J. MARCUM (Choreographer) is honored to back at MTWichita this season after last year’s Hello, Dolly!. As a director and choreographer, Brian’s work has been seen all over the country. On Broadway, Brian was the Associate Choreographer of the holiday hit, ELF – The Musical. He has also directed and/or choreographed for The North Carolina Theatre (The Little Mermaid), Alpine Theatre Project (She Loves Me, Little Shop of Horrors, A Grand Night for Singing), Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma (Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma!, The Little Mermaid) and Summer Repertory Theatre (A Chorus Line, Shrek, Pirates of Penzance) among others. As a performer Brian was in six Broadway shows, The Gershwins’ Fascinating Rhythm, Saturday Night Fever, the TONY award winning revival of 42nd Street, The Boy from Oz starring Hugh Jackman, Spamalot and The Drowsy Chaperone. He has toured nationally with Annie Get Your Gun and State Fair and internationally with The Who’s Tommy. Brian has been on the faculty of Oklahoma City University, Belmont University and Vanderbilt University. This fall Brian will move to Syracuse University to join the drama department.
THOMAS W. DOUGLAS (Musical Director / Conductor) is back for his 17th 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, 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, which 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. Serving as 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, 2015-16 was Thomas’ 25th year on the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University.
J BRANSON (Scenic Designer) For more than twenty years, J Branson has been a Chicago-based designer. He is proud to have begun his theatrical career as an Apprentice at Music Theatre Wichita more than 30 years ago. J’s national tour credits include The Music Man, Beauty and the Beast, and Brigadoon. Recent and upcoming regional work includes Nunsense and The 39 Steps for Peninsula Players and A Christmas Story at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. Past regional work includes Smokey Joe’s Café, Jekyll and Hyde, Chess, The Wizard of Oz (for which J received an After Dark award), Children of Eden, Rags, Assassins, Guys and Dolls and The Pajama Game. J has an array of industrial design credits and has been honored with three National Addy Awards. J’s many designs at MTWichita have included the 2013 production of Mary Poppins (which J & Wayne Bryan repeated in Philadelphia in 2014!) as well as Hairspray, Legally Blonde, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, HONK!, Children of Eden, West Side Story, The Drowsy Chaperone, 1776, Curtains, Sunset Boulevard and Disney’s The Little Mermaid. “Many thanks and much much love to the many wonderful people who have touched my life here at MTW. I wouldn’t be half the man I am without you guys!!”
DIXON REYNOLDS (Costume Deisgner) is thrilled to be back at Music Theatre Wichita after coordinating costumes for Aida, Billy Elliot, and Hello, Dolly! last season. His costume designs appeared onstage last summer, as well as in 2014 (Catch Me If You Can), and in 2013 (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.