July 13-17, 2016
Music: Richard Rodgers
Book and Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II
Based on Lynn Riggs’ “Green Grow the Lilacs”
Dances originally created by Agnes de Mille
Songs include “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” “I Cain’t Say No,” “Out of My Dreams,” “People Will Say We’re in Love,” “Kansas City,” Pore Jud is Dead,” “Many a New Day,” “The Farmer and the Cowman,” etc.
CLAYBOURNE ELDER (Curly) is thrilled to be back at MTWichita, having previously played Aaron Fox in Curtains. On Broadway and in New York, he appeared in the original companies of Bonnie and Clyde (Buck), Stephen Sondheim’s Road Show (Hollis), One Arm (Ollie, Drama Desk Nomination Best Actor), Venice (Michael Victor), and in the revivals of Allegro (Joe, Lucille Lortel Nomination Best Actor), Do I Hear a Waltz? (Eddie), Two by Two (Japheth, with Jason Alexander), and the Sondheim 80th Birthday Celebration Concert. His regional highlights include Sunday in the Park with George (George, Signature Theatre, Helen Hayes Award Best Musical), Into the Woods, Pippin, Sunday in the Park with George, Angels in America (Kansas City Rep), Take Flight (Lindbergh, McCarter Theater). His solo show premiered at 54 Below in 2016 and has gone on to play cities across the country. Developmental: A Star is Born (with Idina Menzel). TV/Film: Pete O’Malley on “The Carrie Diaries,” Flatbush Luck. Education: University of Utah, Dramaturgy. Many thanks and love to Wayne, Nancy, and Josh.
ANNE HORAK (Laurey) is thrilled to be back “home” in Wichita! Broadway: Chicago (Roxie), White Christmas. National Tour: Young Frankenstein (Inga). NY: Music in the Air (City Center Encores!). Regional: Gretchen in Boeing-Boeing, Bambi Bernít in Curtains (both at Paper Mill Playhouse), Carol Heathrow in Diner (Delaware Theatre Company), April in Company (Bucks County Playhouse), May Milton in My Paris (Long Wharf Theatre), Shelby in Steel Magnolias (North Carolina Theatre), Polly Baker in Crazy for You (Sacramento Music Circus), Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, Natalie in All Shook Up (both at Music Theatre Wichita), Hope in Anything Goes (Taipei National Theatre). Television: “Forever,” “Royal Pains,” “A Gifted Man,” “Eye Candy,” and “Law & Order: SVU.” BFA, University of Michigan. Love and thanks to Wayne, Madams, and Nancy!
JENNI BARBER (Ado Annie) is excited to be back at MTWichita! Broadway credits include Wicked (Glinda), The Nance (Joan), Annie (Grace Farrell), The Performers (Sundown LeMay) and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Olive Ostrovsky). New York and regional credits include Private Lives (Hartford Stage), As You Like It & The Tempest (Sam Mendes’ The Bridge Project), From Up Here (Manhattan Theatre Club), Paint Your Wagon (Encores!), A New Brain (Encores! Off-Center), Oklahoma! (The Muny), and 9 to 5 (MTWichita). Television credits include “Master of None,” “Elementary,” “Smash,” “Law & Order: SVU” and the Emmy Award winning “The Electric Company.” Graduate of the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Department. Major love and thanks to Mark and Wayne!
KEVIN MUNHALL (Will Parker) is thrilled to be back in his hometown for another wonderful summer! An East High graduate and two-time Jester Award winner, Kevin performed on Broadway in the 2011 revival of Anything Goes and earlier this year in Allegiance. Other New York credits include Paint Your Wagon and Bells Are Ringing at City Center Encores, The Sound of Music at Carnegie Hall, and Hansel and Gretel at Avery Fisher Hall. He was seen on tour in Dirty Dancing understudying the role of Johnny Castle, and recently participated in the World Premiere of the musical Anastasia at Hartford Stage. Other regional credits include Bill Calhoun in Kiss Me, Kate at the Old Globe, Riff in West Side Story at Ogunquit Playhouse and MTWichita, Tommy Djilas in The Music Man at Walnut Street, and shows at Paper Mill Playhouse, KC Starlight, Tuacahn Amphitheatre and 27 previous shows at MTWichita. TV: “Smash,” “One Life to Live.” Proud graduate of the University of Michigan. Kevin would not be here today (or anywhere really) if it weren’t for Derrick Gronewold, Doug Riney, Wayne Bryan, Mark Madama, and all of the marvelous educational opportunities for youth MTWichita provides. Thank you!!
NEDRA DIXON (Aunt Eller) is thrilled to be back at MTWichita where many roles include Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar, Erma in Anything Goes, The Witch in Into The Woods, Lady Thiang in The King and I, Susannah in Tintypes, and Aldonza in Man of La Mancha. During Ms. Dixon’s extensive career, she has been honored to perform at the White House, Kennedy Center Honors, Carnegie Hall, and Madison Square Garden. Known as a “triple threat” actor/singer/dancer, she has performed, directed, and choreographed on Broadway, Off Broadway, on National Tours, and in regional theatres. Credits include Hair, Godspell, Annie, Songs for a New World, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She has shared the stage with such eclectic artists as Kristin Chenoweth and Mikhail Baryshnikov to Meat Loaf, and has worked with such industry powerhouses as Stephen Schwartz, John Caird, Susan Stroman, Jerry Zaks, Ricardo Khan, Luther Henderson, and Charles Strouse. She currently lives in Kansas City, where her credits include a Kansas City premiere, Gumbo House, Black Pearl Sings!, The Wiz, Menopause, Ruined, bare: A Pop Opera, And Her Hair Went With Her, The Women of Brewster Place, Grey Gardens (Director), and Once on This Island (Director). Later this summer, she will appear as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. And in certainly an unexpected turn, Nedra is featured in popular rapper, Tech N9ne’s Hip-Hop music video, “Fear,” with more than 1.7 million views on YouTube. She has been a featured vocalist on NPR’s locally produced jazz radio show, “12th Street Jump,” and is a proud member of Kansas City’s hottest vocal jazz trio, Book of Gaia, with Angela Hagenbach and Pamela Baskin-Watson. However, the most brilliant nova in Nedra’s universe is her beautiful daughter, Jasmin, a gifted (and working!) New York actor.
VICTOR J. WISEHART (Jud Fry) is excited to be making his Music Theatre Wichita debut! Some favorite credits include Broadway: An American in Paris (Mr. Z, Original Broadway Cast); Off Broadway: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Pipe Dream at City Center Encores (Red); National Tours: 1st National Tour Lincoln Center’s South Pacific (Buzz Adams); London: Sadler’s Wells West Side Story (Diesel). Regional productions at The Goodman Theater, Huntington Theater Company, Goodspeed Musicals, Arena Stage D.C, Kennedy Center, and St. Louis MUNY. Up next Victor will be seen this fall on Broadway, in Roundabout Theater Company’s Holiday Inn. His voice can be heard on the Original Cast Recordings of An American in Paris and Pipe Dream. Many thanks to Wayne Bryan for this opportunity and Gemze De Lappe for her mentoring.
NEHAL JOSHI (Ali Hakim) Broadway credits include: Les Misérables (Original Revival Cast), Threepenny Opera (Roundabout). Off-Broadway: Falling for Eve (York), Working (Drama Desk Award), Who’s Your Baghdaddy? Or How I Started the Iraq War (New Musical Foundation). Regional credits include: Arena Stage, Dallas Theater Center, Goodman Theatre, Shakespeare Theater, The Old Globe, The Actors Theatre of Louisville, Huntington Theatre, The Kennedy Center. His Film/TV credits include HBO’s “The Wire,” “Blackout,” “Submissions Only.” Video Game: War of Warcraft: Cataclysm. @nehalpjoshi.
MARK MADAMA (Director) has directed productions on both coasts, and as far away as Ireland, Poland, and Czechoslovakia, and yet he happily celebrates his 28th consecutive MTWichita season, with Oklahoma! being his 45th production as director. Favorite shows here include The Full Monty, 9 to 5, Sunset Boulevard, The King and I, The Music Man, Curtains, Big River, Annie Get Your Gun, Oklahoma!, Damn Yankees, Cinderella, How to Succeed…, Funny Girl, Fiddler on the Roof (2001 and 2012), The Pajama Game, Evita, The Music Man, The Sound of Music, State Fair, Meet Me in St. Louis, Guys and Dolls, My Fair Lady, The Secret Garden, Tintypes, Sweet Charity, Gigi, Cabaret, Into the Woods, They’re Playing Our Song, Good News!, and three editions of West Side Story, plus his performance as Zach in MTWichita’s first A Chorus Line. Other credits include The Producers, Aida, Cinderella, and Footloose at Kansas City Starlight, Hello, Dolly! at the New London Barn Playhouse, and two engagements teaching at Music Theatre Italy near Venice. Mark Madama and Wayne Bryan are the co-authors of the revised version of Good News!, which has received more than 300 productions in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain. Mark is an Associate Professor of Musical Theatre at the University of Michigan, where he has directed Guys and Dolls, Caroline, Or Change, Ragtime, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, A Little Night Music, The Full Monty, Rent, Big River, City of Angels, The Pajama Game, Guys and Dolls, Assassins, Good News!, Nine, Children of Eden, Company and Horton Foote’s 1918.
AL BLACKSTONE (Choreographer) is a New York City based director, choreographer, and educator and the recipient of the 2011 Capezio A.C.E. Award for Choreographic Excellence. Dance Magazine has called his work “sweet, silly, sly… infectious.” While working mostly in musical theatre, his passion for contemporary and jazz dance enriches his unique approach to storytelling. In June of 2016 he directed, choreographed, and wrote the original dance narrative Freddie Falls in Love at the Signature Theatre (NYC). It was his second full-length work since Happy We’ll Be premiered at the legendary Roseland Ballroom in July 2012. Al has created new work for: “So You Think You Can Dance” (Season 12), The Fire Island Dance Festival, Broadway Bares, Dancers Responding to AIDS, bc beat, Pace University, University of the Arts, Juilliard, and Marymount Manhattan College. Additional directing credits include Crazy In Love (an original musical by Kooman and Dimond) and the opening numbers for BCEFA’s Easter Bonnet (2013/14) and Gypsy of the Year (2015). As an Associate Choreographer Al has worked alongside the great Sonya Tayeh on The Last Goodbye (The Old Globe), Kung Fu (Signature Theatre, NYC), Head Over Heels (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), and The Wild Party (City Center). He is the director of Marquee at Dancerpalooza and is currently on faculty at the Broadway Dance Center and STEPS on Broadway in NYC. He tours with JUMP Dance Convention and loves coffee and old-fashioned jukeboxes. Special thanks to Wayne, Mark, Katie, and everyone at MTWichita for bringing me along on this wonderful adventure! Find Al on Instagram @alblackstonechoreo or at www.alblackstone.net.
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.
BRUCE BROCKMAN (Scenic Designer) works as a professional freelance scene designer and scenic artist. In addition to MTWichita’s popular Les Misérables, other design credits include Hello, Dolly!, 42nd Street, Finian’s Rainbow, Camelot, and White Christmas for Music Theatre Wichita, Cabaret, 42nd Street, Crazy for You, The Pajama Game and Into the Woods for the University of Michigan’s Music Theatre Program, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Putnam County Spelling Bee for the University of Arizona. Other credits include Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Montana Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, First Stage Children’s Theatre, Idaho Repertory Theatre, KUID Public Television, and numerous productions for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of Idaho, and Oklahoma State University. He is Director of the School of Theatre, Film & Television at the University of Arizona, and is delighted to be back at Music Theatre again!
DEBBIE ROBERTS (Costume Designer / Costume Shop Manager) 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!”