June 11-15, 2014
“Bali Hai will call you!” After an absence of almost two decades, MTWichita is thrilled to bring this exciting, melodic and groundbreaking musical play back to our stage. The 2008 Lincoln Center revival won 7 Tony Awards, showing once again how timeless, important and purely entertaining this unique musical has proven to be.
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Book by Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan
Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel
“Tales of the South Pacific” by James A. Michener
ERIN MACKEY (Nellie Forbush) was last seen on Broadway in Chaplin: The Musical as Oona O’Neill. Other Broadway credits include Anything Goes (Hope), Sondheim on Sondheim and Wicked (Glinda). She recently appeared at Lincoln Center in the NY Philharmonic’s concert production of Sweeney Todd as Johanna, which will be broadcast on PBS later in 2014, and as Nellie Forbush in South Pacific at the Paper Mill Playhouse. Her regional and Off-Broadway credits include Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera’s production of Phantom (Christine), The Light in the Piazza (Clara) at South Coast Repertory and I Remember Mama (Katrin) at the York Theatre. Film and TV: “Blue Bloods,” “Gossip Girl,” “Family Affair,” “Do Over” and The Parent Trap.
MIKE McGOWAN (Emile de Becque) was last seen at MTWichita in Kiss Me Kate (Fred/ Petruchio) and is thrilled to be back. National Tour: The Book of Mormon (Jesus/ Joseph Smith). Broadway: Ragtime (Whitman – Revival), Grease (Vince – Kathleen Marshall, director), The Apple Tree, Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Frank), The Producers. NYC: Bernstein’s Mass (Naxos recording, Grammy nomination, Carnegie Hall), Thou Swell (Lincoln Center – New York City Ballet), The Body Beautiful (York, recording), Grey Gardens (Playwrights’ Horizons), Ringling Bros. (Ringmaster – Madison Square Garden), Macbeth (Macbeth). Regional: South Pacific (Emile – Paper Mill Playhouse), Carnival (Marco – Goodspeed Opera House), Candide (Max/ Vanderdendur – 5th Avenue, Seattle), Kiss Me Kate (Fred/ Petruchio – Paper Mill Playhouse), Master Class (Tony – Paper Mill Playhouse), Jekyll & Hyde (Jekyll/Hyde – Sacramento Music Circus), A Little Night Music (Carl-Magnus – Stages St. Louis), Tommy (Capt. Walker – Bay Street), MUD (Lloyd – 10,000 Things), Life’s a Dream (Astolfo – 10,000 Things). Film: The Producers, Big Words. Television: “Electric Company,” “Delocated,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” This fall, Mike is producing his first movie, Bloodline, written and directed by Richard LeMay. Check out www.themikemcgowan.com for audio and video clips, production photos, and more.
JOANNE JAVIEN (Bloody Mary) is thrilled to make her MTWichita debut. Credits include Thoroughly Modern Millie (Alice) First National Tour, South Pacific (Bloody Mary u/s) Paper Mill Playhouse, Avenue Q (Christmas Eve) Adirondack Theatre, Miss Saigon (Kim, Gigi, Ellen u/s) Pittsburgh CLO, St. Louis MUNY, Walnut Street Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, Les Miserables (Eponine) North Shore MT, The King and I (Tuptim) Ogunquit Playhouse, Two Gentlemen of Verona (Ensemble) Public Theatre – NYSF, Songs for a New World (Woman #1) Act II Playhouse. Love to Mom, Dad & Allen, and huge thanks to Wayne & Loretta. Her favorite role is wife to Chad Coudriet. www.JoanneJavien.com
RYAN VASQUEZ (Lt. Joe Cable) is thrilled to be back at MTWichita for another summer, where this season he will be featured as Lieutenant Cable in South Pacific, Tony in West Side Story, and the Pharaoh in Joseph / Dreamcoat. Previous MTW appearances include Legally Blonde (Warner), Honk! (Greylag), and 9 to 5 (Joe). Other credits include Les Misérables (St. Louis Muny), Next to Normal (Farmers Alley Theatre), Bat Boy, and Spring Awakening. Proud University of Michigan Graduate. Love to my family, friends, and Wayne, all for daring to have so much faith in me.
J. BAILEY BURCHAM (Luther Billis), a Wichita native, is splendiferously excited to be in his first MTWichita season. Nineteen years ago Bailey saw his first MTW show, South Pacific, and is so honored to now be a part of this incredible company. Recent roles include Nicely-Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls, Jake in Jake’s Women, and Violet’s Father in Violet at WSU. He would like to thank his loving family and his mentors Beate, Linda, Amy, and Wayne for their continued support. BAF
SHEA RENNE (Liat) is thrilled to be performing on the Wichita stage! She is a proud recent graduate of the University of Michigan. Favorite credits include Kim in Miss Saigon and Mimi in Rent. University credits include Spring Awakening, Bat Boy, and as a featured soloist in Dance with Me. Many thanks and love to her friends and family, especially mom!
CHARLES PARKER (Captain Brackett) Having just completed his umpteenth year on the Friends University faculty, C.P. is blessed with his umpteenth opportunity to work with that wonderful group of professionals who serve MTWichita and the surrounding communities. Teaching is now replaced with the honor of performing with some of the best and for the best of audiences. Parker is blessed again with an opportunity to play some great roles. His past favorites include Biggley in How to Succeed…, Pickering in My Fair Lady, Ziegfeld in Funny Girl, Herr Schultz in Cabaret, Parchester in Me and My Girl, General Waverly in White Christmas, FDR in Annie, and R.F. Simpson in Singin’ in the Rain. Thanks to Wayne for the gracious invitation and opportunity. Thanks to the company of performers, technicians, and assistants who always make the summers a delight. Thanks to Patty for her encouragement and love. Thanks to God for all blessings.
TIMOTHY W. ROBU (Commander Harbison) 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, Billis in South Pacific, 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, including Mosley Street Melodrama and the Crown Uptown Theatre. Tim served as Technical Director for the Crown Theatre and Artistic Director of the children’s program for over 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. An added bonus to this year’s season is the chance to once again perform with his talented wife Karen. 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.
CAMDIN HARDYWAY (Jerome) is a young talent with the Wichita Gregory Agency. He’s been in a number of commercials, videos, and musicals with Music Theatre Wichita, Music Theatre Young People, and Wichita Children’s Theatre including The King and I, Shrek, Pinocchio, and Babes in Toyland. He dances nearly every day at KDA and Care to Dance and sings with Amy Menas. You can see him next in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
SAGE BELEN GOCO (Ngana) is 9 years old and was born and raised in Wichita, KS. It is once again an honor and privilege for her to be a part MTWichita. She made her debut playing a little boy, Tam, in Miss Saigon when she was 4 yrs. old, and played Princess Ying last year in The King and I. She is thrilled to be back this year. She’s going on her 7th year of dancing ballet and tap and 3rd year of modern dance at The Wichita School of Performing Arts. She would like to thank her mommy and her family for all the support and most of all Mr. Wayne Bryan for always believing in her God given talent
ROBERT ARIZA (Professor) is honored to be in his third season at MTWichita! Originally from Queens, NY, Robert is a recent graduate of The University of Michigan. UM credits include Dance with Me (Featured Singer), Disney’s workshop of Bedknobs and Broomsticks (Radio Singer), Crazy for You (Bela Zangler),Sunday in the Park with George (Mr./Lee Randolph), Spring Awakening (Hanschen), Next Fall (Brandon). Robert was the recipient of the 2013 Roger Sturtevant Musical Theatre Award from Actors’ Equity Association, and recently received the Lys Symonette Award from the Lotte Lenya Competition. Thanks to everyone at MTW and my friends/family at UM and in NY.
MICHAEL GRACEFFA (Stewpot) is thrilled to be spending his first summer with MTWichita! He has recently been seen traveling American with the First National Tour of Catch Me If You Can. Regional Credits: Forestburgh Playhouse, North Shore Music Theatre, Reagle Music Theatre. Favorite roles: Bernardo (West Side Story), Rocky (Rocky Horror Show), Kyle (Legally Blonde). A recent Vassar College grad with a BA in Drama. Love to his amazing teachers, family, and friends.
WONZA JOHNSON (Henry) is a current BFA Musical Theater junior at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. This is his first summer with MTWichita and he couldn’t be more excited to be working with such an amazing organization. All thanks go to his beautiful Mom, Dad and his newborn sister Evelyn. Past Roles:Romeo and Juliet (Romeo), Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour),West Side Story (Bernardo). “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose.”
KATIE WESLER (Ens. Dinah Murphy / Dance Captain) is thrilled to return to MTWichita! She recently graduated from CCM with a BFA in musical theatre and is a 2013 winner of the Kurt Weill Foundation of Music Emerging Talent Award and the Actors’ Equity Roger Sturtevant Musical Theatre Award. At CCM: Kathy Selden in Singin’ in the Rain, Sally Slaton in Parade, The Arbiter’s Assistant in Chess, Les Mis, Into the Woods, Oklahoma! and Out of This World. At Tent Theatre, roles included Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street. Katie thanks Wayne, Nancy, and MTW for another wonderful season and her family for their support. www.katiewesler.com
JACOB CHANCELLOR (Lt. Buzz Adams) is thrilled to be returning to Wichita for his third summer. Originally from Edmond, OK, he just finished his senior year at the University of Oklahoma—Boomer Sooner! OU University: On The Town (Chip), The Drowsy Chaperone (Aldolpho), … Forum (Protean), Carousel. Lyric Theatre OKC – Xanadu, 42nd Street, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Broadway Rose (Oregon): The Drowsy Chaperone (George). And of course, 10 fabulous MTWichita productions over the past few years—here’s to 5 more! Thanks and love to family, friends, and the whole MTWichita team!
CLAIRE AVAKIAN is originally from Portland, OR, and is about to enter her senior year as a Musical Theatre student at the University of Oklahoma. She is so excited to be making her MTWichita debut this summer! Some of her favorite credits include A Chorus Line (Broadway Rose, OR), Tarzan (Lyric Theatre of OK), and The Christmas Show (OKC Philharmonic Pops). Claire can’t wait to spend her summer getting close with Spangles and Donut Whole. Thanks to Wayne and Nancy for this opportunity! Peace and love.
CAITLIN BELCIK is thrilled to be a first-year MTWichita company member after last performing here at age 11! Caitlin just graduated from Edmond North H.S. in Oklahoma and will be a freshman musical theatre major at Penn State University this fall. Broadway: How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Annie Who); Regional: White Christmas (Susan Waverly) – MTW; Sweet Charity, Bye Bye Birdie, Tarzan, Sound of Music, HSM2, Fiddler, Oklahoma!, Annie – Lyric Theatre; A Little Night Music (Fredrika) – OCU; Annie (Annie) – Sooner Theatre; West Side Story (Maria) – ENHS. Much love and gratitude to Wayne, Nancy and the entire MTW team for this wonderful opportunity, and to my parents and teachers for their support!
MATTHEW BORCHERS is beyond stoked to be making his MTWichita debut! A St. Louis native, he will start his senior year this fall with the Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre at The University of Oklahoma. Credits: OKC Philharmonic: The Christmas Show (Mistletoe Dancer). Lyric Theatre OKC: Bye Bye Birdie (Harvey Johnson). OU University: The Drowsy Chaperone (Superintendent), Carousel (Dance Captain), On The Town (Ensemble), Seussical (Ensemble). Endless thanks to Wayne and Nancy for this amazing opportunity; so much gratitude and love to the Big Man Upstairs, family, friends and teachers for their constant love and guidance. BOOMER!
DONNIE CHAUNCEY is incredibly enthused, to say the least, for his first summer in MTWichita’s resident company! It has been a high priority goal of his to perform as a Company member and he hopes that everyone can share in his delight! Credits include Wichita State University’s productions of Good News and Guys and Dolls. Other highlights include International Dance Tours with Wichita Contemporary Dance Theatre to Italy and Mexico. Thanks and love to his parents, Marylou and Don, and to his brother Luke and sister Shauna. Also, great thanks to his mentors, instructors, and colleagues at WSU for pushing him and believing in him, and to Wayne Bryan, Josh Larson, Nancy Reeves and the entire crew of MTW!
KEVIN CLAY is a junior at Penn State pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre. Some of his favorite roles there include Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls and John in John and Jen. Kevin spent last summer performing at the Wagon Wheel Theatre in Indiana where he had the pleasure to play Pinocchio in Shrek, Barnaby in Hello, Dolly!, and Jinx in Forever Plaid. He is so excited to be a part of this season here at Wichita and looks forward to a great summer! Thanks to mom, dad, and Crew 15!
CALEB DICKE is thrilled to be returning to Wichita for his third summer! You may remember him from past shows, such as Fiddler on the Roof (Russian), Honk! (Barnacles), Spamalot (Flying Nun), and Mary Poppins (Dancing Statue). Originally from Ohio, he is a recent dance performance graduate from Oklahoma City University. While at OCU, he has performed in the American Spirit Dance Company’s Home for the Holidays Christmas Show and Spring Show, as well as Legally Blonde (Kiki) and The Wedding Singer (Billy Idol). He would like to thank Wayne, Nancy, and his family.
CLINTON FOSTER, an upcoming senior Musical Theatre major at Oklahoma City University, is beyond thrilled to be making his MTWichita debut this summer! Favorite OCU credits include:Cabaret (Hans), Street Scene (Dick McGann, u/s), 9 to 5, and Home for the Holidays with the American Spirit Dance Company! Other favorite professional credits include Anything Goes and The Drowsy Chaperone. Clinton would like to thank his parents and OCU family for their endless love and support and Wayne, Nancy, Josh, and MTW for this incredible opportunity!
REBECCA GANS is overjoyed to be joining the MTWichita family again for her second season. Rebecca is a Wichita native who recently graduated from Oklahoma City University with a Bachelor of Performing Arts in Dance Performance. Some favorite performing opportunities include A Chorus Line (Bebe) at the Crown Uptown Dinner Theater and The King and I(Topsy) at MTW and The Muny. She would love to thank Wayne Bryan for this amazing opportunity, all the directors and choreographers for such hard work and dedication, her parents, sisters and Rile for their endless love and support, and to God for such a blessing of a life.
CLAIRE GERIG (Nellie u/s), a Wichita native, couldn’t be happier to spend another summer with MTWichita, where credits include Disney’s Mary Poppins (Mrs. Banks) and Betty Blue Eyes (Mrs. Metcalf). She is a recent musical theatre graduate of Wichita State University where she was last seen in the title role of Violet, directed by Stephen Kopel. While a student at Maize High School, Claire was selected to represent the Jester Awards in the Leading Actress category at the National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York City and was awarded “The Spirit of the Jimmys” award. Endless thanks to Wayne and the incredible MTW family for all they have done for her. Love to Linda, Amy, Marie, Bret, Pina, Mom & Dad.sing of a life.
CATHERINE HELM (Ens. Janet MacGregor) is so excited to join Music Theatre Wichita for a third summer season. A recent graduate of the University of Cincinnati and its College Conservatory of Music’s Musical Theatre Program, Catherine would like to thank Wayne, Nancy, and Josh for this incredible opportunity to be a part of the MTW family, and her parents and family for their endless love and support. Favorite MTW credits include Betty Blue Eyes, Les Misérables, Honk!, Mary Poppins (Katie Nana), and Fiddler on the Roof.
LILY KAUFMANN couldn’t be more excited to be making her MTWichita debut! Lily just completed her freshman year at Florida State University where she is pursuing a BFA in Music Theatre. As a native Kansan, Lily has worked in theaters in Kansas City such as KC Starlight, New Theatre Restaurant, Theatre in the Park, Music Theatre for Young People, and more. Favorite credits include The Drowsy Chaperone (Janet Van DeGraff), Seussical (Mayzie), Bye Bye Birdie (Rosie),Spamalot (u/s Lady of the Lake/ Laker Girl), My Favorite Year (Alice), and Urinetown (Little Becky Two Shoes). Endless love goes out to her unbelievably supportive family, friends, mentors and MTW for this wonderful opportunity!
BROOKE LACY, a 2014 graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a BFA in Musical Theatre, is truly grateful to return to MTWichita for a third magical summer season before she bids farewell to the Midwest and moves to NYC this fall! Some of her fondest MTW memories include Spamalot (Laker Girl),Les Misérables (Factory Girl #5), and Mary Poppins (Fannie). Favorite OU credits include: Carousel (Julie Jordan), On The Town (Dance Capt./ Ens.), and Seussical (Bird Girl). Tremendous amounts of love and thanks to her wonderful family for their support, and to Wayne, Nancy, and Josh for providing such an inspirational, challenging, and supportive learning environment that has largely contributed to the performer and person she is today!
TREVOR McCHRISTIAN, a Wichita native, is beyond excited to be returning for his fourth summer and first full summer as a company member here at MTWichita! In summer 2013, he was honored to represent MTWichita’s Jester Awards in New York City at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards for his role as Finch in How to Succeed. Favorite credits include Betty Blue Eyes (U.S. Premiere), Singin’ in the Rain, Fiddler on the Roof, and Disney’s The Little Mermaid. He sends many humble thanks to Wayne, Nancy, Josh, Thomas, Amy, Doris, and his family for their abundance of support.
ALEXANDER H. MILLER is honored to return to MTWichita for a second season. Alex is a rising junior at the Univ. of Michigan. Credits include MTW: Mary Poppins (Bert u/s), Les Misérables(Jean Prouvaire), Betty Blues Eyes. U of M: Rent (Angel),Les Misérables (Foreman), Crazy For You, A Little Night Music. Lyric Theatre of OK: Oliver!, Hairspray. Alex wishes to graciously thank Wayne, Nancy and MTW family for this spectacular summer opportunity. Love always to Mom, Dad and Elle. Thank you to the UMich faculty for your time and dedication to our education in performing arts. GO BLUE!
KELSEY RYAN MOORE (Liat u/s) is from Stuart, FL and is so excited to be making her MTWichita debut this summer! She is a graduate of the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Department where she has played Fredrika in A Little Night Music and Susie in Crazy For You. Other favorite roles include Eponine in Les Misérables and Ti Moune in Once On This Island. Many thanks to MTW for this wonderful opportunity and to her family for their unending support. She sends love to MT14 and forever Go Blue!
BECCA PETERSEN is so excited to spend her second summer with MTWichita! She is originally from Carmel, Indiana, and recently graduated with a BFA in Music Dance Theatre from Brigham Young University. Favorite credits: The Light in the Piazza at BYU (Clara), Thoroughly Modern Millie at The MUNY (Lucille/ Ensemble), Dreamgirls at The Muny (Sweetheart/ Ensemble), Spamalot at MTW (Laker Girl), and Mary Poppins at MTW (Ensemble). Becca would like to thank everyone at MTW for this wonderful experience. Also a big thank you to her family and friends for their endless support!
TANNER PFLUEGER is so excited and honored to be making his Wichita debut this summer. A Nebraska native, Tanner is currently studying at Oklahoma City University as a dance performance major. While at school, he has performed in the American Spirit Dance Company’s annual Home for the Holidays Christmas Show and Spring Show. Credits include Broadway: Billy Elliot (Billy) West End: Billy Elliot (Billy) Regional:Grease (Johnny Casino/ Teen Angel), Seussical (Wickersham Brother), and Beauty and the Beast (Chip). Much love and many thanks to his family, teachers, and mentors for their constant support. endless support!
JULIAN RAMOS is a recent graduate from Indiana University in Musical Theatre and couldn’t be more excited to join the MTWichita family this summer! For Rocky Mountain Rep: A Chorus Line (Richie), How To Succeed (Toynbee/ Pirate Dancer), and Peter Pan. In 2012 he attended the School at Jacob’s Pillow for Jazz/ MT Dance under Chet Walker. Favorites at IU include: [title of show] (Jeff), Hair, Damn Yankees, Chicago, and touring China with the Singing Hoosiers. So much love and thanks to Mom, Pops, Mis Abuelos (Te quiero mucho), Wayne, Nancy, and my crazy B-Town Family!!
BENJAMIN RIVERA feels blessed to be returning to the MTW family for his third season! He is finally a college graduate from Oklahoma City University with a degree in dance performance and is so excited for the next chapter of life. Some of his favorite shows at MTW include: Legally Blonde (Nikos),Spamalot, Mary Poppins, and 9 to 5. He would like to thank his friends and family for all their unconditional love. Jeremiah 29:11
HALLI TOLAND is excited to be making her debut at MTWichita this summer! She is a rising sophomore Musical Theatre major at the University of Michigan, and is originally from Toledo, Ohio. Some of her favorite roles include Janet in The Drowsy Chaperone, Brooke Wyndham in Legally Blonde and Amber Von Tussle in Hairspray. She would like to thank her instructors Brent Wagner, Linda Goodrich, and Catherine Adams, as well as her family and friends back home and at UM for their love and encouragement. Lastly, special thanks to MTW for this wonderful opportunity. Go Blue!
DARYL TOFA is excited to be making his professional stage debut with MTWichita this summer, performing on the same stage as his older brother Andy. Daryl comes from St George, UT where he will be completing high school and his 2-year College Associates Degree at the same time this coming year. At the age of 9 he began studying ballet, jazz and tap at his home studio where he now teaches his own style of hip hop to children and teens and also continues to study and perform. Daryl would like to thank his directors from back home, Brian and Melinda for everything they have done for him, for without them I would be who I am and where I am today! Daryl sends love to Mom, Dad and little brother Gordon, thanks for all you do and always supporting me.
HAYLEY WILHELM is thrilled to return to MTWichita for her second summer! Hayley is a recent graduate of Oklahoma City University with a degree in dance management. OCU credits include the American Spirit Dance Company’s Home for the Holidays, Spring Show, and OCU’s production of Legally Blonde. Favorite shows here at MTW include Les Misérables, The King and I, Betty Blue Eyes, and Mary Poppins. Hayley would like to thank Wayne, Nancy, and Josh for this amazing opportunity and would also like to thank her husband Zachary, Mom, Dad, Hannah, and Grandmommy for their support!
DAISY WRIGHT is absolutely thrilled to be making her MTWichita debut this summer! Originally from St. George, UT, Daisy is an upcoming junior Musical Theatre major at the University of Oklahoma. Her credits include: OU University Theatre: On The Town (Ivy u.s./ Ensemble); The Drowsy Chaperone (Mrs. Tottendale u.s./ Ensemble). OKC Philharmonic: The Christmas Show (Dancer). Infinite love and thanks to everyone at MTW for this incredible opportunity, and to mom, dad, family, friends, and teachers past and present, for their continued love and support.
DARIUS WRIGHT is very excited to make his MTWichita debut! Regional: Hairspray (Thad), The Will Rogers Follies (Indian Dancer), Tarzan (Leopard), Ragtime, Bye Bye Birdie, Sweet Charity, Big River. Educational: Violet (Flick), The Pajama Game (Sid u/s), Legally Blonde (Grandmaster Chad), Jesus Christ Superstar (John). Other: Bernstein’s Mass (Rock Singer). Graduate of Oklahoma City University and a proud Houstonian. For more about Darius Wright visit DariusWright.com.
LAURA L. ICE (Party Guest / Walk-On) is a corporate lawyer with Textron Financial Corporation. She is overjoyed to be cast in this walk-on role for MTWichita. This is not her first time on stage, having played in many crowd scenes in past Wichita Bar Shows, typically type-cast as a loopy state legislator. Thanks to Wayne for letting me have fun in South Pacific! (Hi, Mom and Dad!)
KATHLEEN MELLOR (Party Guest / Walk-On) is a retired teacher and administrator. She’s lived in Kansas most of her life, with the exceptions of a few years in California and 10 years in Seattle. Kathleen and her husband Bob have two grown daughters and two teenage grandsons. She enjoys family activities, playing bridge, golfing, reading and volunteering. Kathleen is really excited about appearing in South Pacific. For her twelfth birthday, her mother took her and two friends to Kansas City to see a production of South Pacific, and she’s been a fan since then.g me have fun in South Pacific! (Hi, Mom and Dad!)
MIKHAIL YEREMIN (Sailor / Teen Performer), born and raised in Wichita, is a high school Senior at Northeast Magnet. He is ecstatic to be performing with MTWichita this summer in South Pacific, and would like to thank Wayne Bryan and the whole MTW team for this exciting opportunity. During the school year, he likes to stay active in theater through Christian Youth Theater, where he was most recently seen as Mr. Darling in Peter Pan. Besides CYT, Mikhail also enjoys taking ballet lessons at the Paquita Performance Center. He sends lots of love to his parents and friends for their continual love and support.
Wayne Bryan now begins his 27th season at Music Theatre Wichita, where he has produced 130 Broadway-scale musicals, including dozens for which he 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. Shortly after Wayne completed two tours of duty in the Pacific during the Vietnam War, his performing career took him eastward, working for composer Richard Rodgers in the original Broadway cast of Rodgers and Hart: A Musical Celebration. Wayne is thrilled and honored that these life experiences – serving in the Pacific and knowing Mr. Rodgers – have now allowed him to collaborate with such a talented cast and crew on this timeless and thought-provoking piece of musical theatre. Wayne’s additional credits include Good News! 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 also directed productions for theatres all across the country before coming to Kansas, but he feels he’s doing his most challenging and rewarding work now. 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.
Billy Sprague Jr. is proud to be returning to Music Theatre Wichita after receiving his professional theater start here over 20 years ago, and then returning to direct and choreograph Spamalot last season. As a choreographer he has helmed several productions of Spamalot, beginning with the first regional production at Sacramento Music Circus in California and Musical Theatre West in Long Beach in 2012. He has served as Associate Choreographer on Beauty and The Beast, Guys and Dolls, The Little Mermaid, and A Christmas Carol at North Shore Music Theatre. Billy is an accomplished performer who has worked on Broadway in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Lumiere u/s), Cats (Munkustrap/ Rum Tum Tugger u/s), Spamalot and The Merry Widow at NYC Opera. Other noteworthy accomplishments include touring and regional productions of Footloose, Singin’ in the Rain, West Side Story, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Mame, My Fair Lady, Good News!, Pirates of Penzance and Assassins. Billy is a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma where he received his Bachelors of Music. He is currently working on the development of several aviation-themed productions for television. When not busy working as a theatrical artist, Billy is an avid exotic plant collector and licensed pilot.
Thomas W. Douglas is thrilled to begin his 15th season with his wonderful artistic family at MTWichita, having led 50 productions with this remarkable company. Thomas has done more than 200 musical theatre, opera, orchestral and oratorio productions, including conducting Webber’s Phantom of the Opera in Switzerland. Highlights include Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Bizet’s Carmen Jones, Master Class and Mondo Mangia with the late Jillene Ringle. As the Artistic Director of the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh, he is receiving acclaim for adventurous, innovative debuts and premier programs, including Carmina Burana Africana, Messiah in Space, and a concert of standard choral masterpieces with a fusion rock band and string orchestra accompaniment, plus a presentation of Charlie Chaplin shorts with an all Bach soundtrack. On stage he has enjoyed the roles of Caiaphas in Jesus Christ Superstar, Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Amonasro in Aida, and Fats Waller in Ain’t Misbehavin’, both in the U.S. and in Malaysia. Thomas is the Director of Choral Activities and on faculty of both the Drama and the Music schools at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He is the proud recipient of the Mary Jane Teall Award, and is the Musical Director of the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra, there having commissioned an original orchestration of Maury Yeston’s December Songs with Broadway leading lady, Sara Jean Ford. Thomas most recently conducted an exciting contemporary production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the Neighborhood Opera Company in Pittsburgh where he is the Producing Artistic Director.
David Neville is thrilled to return for his 27th 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, Music 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 and his kids, Ryan and Jocelyn.
David Muehl begins his ninth 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 audio 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 & opera sound designers and engineers. Some of his favorite sound designs have been Children of Eden, Into the Woods, Les Misérables and Wizard of Oz. David has twice been sound designer for invited productions to the Region V Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. David has also done sound design for Wichita Center for the Arts and Cabaret Oldtown. Special thanks to Dave, Jeff and the rest of the crew of Clearwing Productions in Phoenix and Josh with Event Systems for their continued support of MTWichita.
Alena Sellers is happily returning for her fifth year at MTWichita. She lives in Wichita and spends most of the year working at Shine Salon. For her work with MTW, Alena is the recipient of the Mary Jane Teall Merit Award for the hair and makeup department. She has spent fifteen years doing hair, and has spent four years as an Aveda color educator. She has worked on Pirates of Penzance and Guys and Dolls for WSU, and worked for the last two years on shows for Wichita Grand Opera, including Otello, Marriage of Figaro, Don Pasquale and William Tell. Alena is so grateful to have the opportunity to work with so many talented people at MTWichita.
Amber Creasser is thrilled to return to MTWichita for another fantastic summer! A recent graduate of WSU with a BFA in Theatre Design and Technology, her past credits for costume design include Tartuffe (2011 Mary Jane Teall Award for Outstanding Costume Design), Merchant of Venice, Arcadia, The 39 Steps, The Pirates of Penzance, Bill W & Dr Bob, Almost, Maine, Guys & Dolls (American College Theater Festival Region V, Festival XLVI Commendation), Die Fledermaus, and Disney’s Mulan Jr. Besides costume design, Amber also enjoys scenic painting and lighting design. Amber would like to thank Wayne and Jeff for this wonderful opportunity, and her friends and family. Love to Phil. She invites you to visit her website at aecreasser.com.
Joseph D. Sibley is excited to be spending his summer at MTWichita. Originally from Boothbay Harbor, Maine, Joseph graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a B.A. in Theatre with triple focus in Design, Performance and Directing. He has also worked with Maine State Music Theatre, IATSE local 114 (Portland, Maine) Riverside Theatre and Theatre West Virginia. Much love to Kristin, Andrew and his ever loving mother, RIP.
Debbie Roberts has designed costumes for many shows here, including White Christmas, Thoroughly Modern Millie, High School Musical, State Fair, Funny Girl, The Most Happy Fella, On the Town and West Side Story, plus special costumes for Aida (the fashion show, in partnership with Matt Mitchell), 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 20 years Wichita has been my summer home. I look forward to meeting new people and learning new skills each time. Enjoy the shows!”
Jeff Taylor is extremely honored to be back with this excellent cast and crew for his 13th 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 East High and earned his BA in Musical Theatre from Friends University in 2006. In 2011, he earned an MFA in Design and Technology from UMKC. Many thanks to the MTWichita Crew, Wayne and Nancy, and fiancée Sarah.
AJ Kellison is glad to be back for another season at MTWichita. Since last summer, AJ has worked for Goodspeed Musicals, The Nebraska Theatre Caravan, The Public Theater and the Actor’s Studio Drama School. AJ would like to thank everyone at Music Theatre for the opportunities and support they have given him throughout the past 9 years. A special thanks goes out to AJ’s parents and his sister Laura.
Brian Gonner just completed his first year in the MFA Scenic Technology program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Originally from Dubuque, IA, Brian has worked professionally at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, and Hope Summer Repertory Theatre. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Evansville in Indiana with a BFA in Theatre Design and Technology and a minor in Mathematics.
Madelynn Nevins is a recent graduate of Wichita State University where she received a BFA in theatre design and technology. Her previous credits include Lighting Designer for 1940’s Radio Christmas Hour (Prairie Pines Dinner Theatre), Guys and Dolls (Wichita State University), and Production Stage Manager for Laughing Feet Performers. Madelynn is thrilled to be a part of her 8th season at MTWichita. She is so thankful for their summer apprentice program. If it was not for that program, she would not be where she is today. She would like to thank all of the wonderful mentors in her life as well as her family who have always supported her.
Steve Landes is proud to return for his 21st summer as the Apprentice Program Director. A Wichita resident for twenty two years, Steve worked for Friends University, the Wichita Center for the Arts, and Shakespeare in the Park. Steve moved to the Kansas City area eight 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!).
For 39 seasons! Being one of the oldest members of the production staff, this will mark summer productions numbering 187 to 191. In the off season, I still keep my hand in stage managing for Ballet Wichita Orchestra (17 years) and Opera Kansas (22 years), 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. No one can do it alone.
Tiffany K. Orr is originally from Oklahoma. Tiffany spends the other 9 months of the year in the Twin Cities where she works as the production stage manager for Theater Latte Da. While in the twin cities, she has also worked with companies including the Pillsbury House Theatre, The Children’s Theatre Company, Park Square Theatre, The Playwrights’ Center, The Director’s, 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 the Phoenix Theatre, where she became a proud member of the Actors’ Equity Association.
Amanda K. Bowman is thrilled to be back for her 10th summer at MTWichita and is honored to be joining AEA this season. She spent the last year at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and will be returning there in the fall. She has also worked for Wichita Symphony Orchestra, Crown Uptown, IATSE #190, Walt Disney World, and Merrimack Repertory Theatre. Thanks and love to Wayne, Nancy, E & T, and the rest of the MTW staff for the best summers imaginable.
Jesse Warkentin is amazed to find himself in his 11th consecutive season with MTWichita! He conducted the Festival of Broadway orchestra for five years, and enjoyed music directing High School Musical 2 in 2009. Last year he made his debut with the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony as piano soloist, performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue with Maestro Douglas. Throughout the year, Jesse can be found at the new Crown Uptown Dinner Theatre, conducting and musical directing. “My deepest gratitude to Wayne and Thomas for these special months of rich musical fulfillment at MTWichita, and to my incredible family for their laughter and love.”
Joshua Larson has choreographed for Wichita State University, Friends University, and at various high schools, studios, organizations, and theatres in and around the Wichita area, with his choreography earning him four Jester Awards. His choreographic and directing talents have been used at MTWichita as the staging director for the Teen Choir (2006-present); director/choreographer of Festival of Broadway (2008-2010, 2014) and Curtain Up! (2013-present); and choreographer/adjudicator for the dance portion of MTWichita’s national audition tour (2013-present). Joshua received his undergraduate degree in dance performance from Oklahoma City University and his Master of Liberal Arts (with a Theatre Concentration) from Baker University. He has traveled the country evaluating national dance competitions including Starbound and The Elite Dance Cup. Performing credits include shows at Carnegie Hall, on the Holland America Line, and with the following groups: MTWichita, Stiletto Entertainment, Tuacahn, Silver Tree Productions, Oklahoma City University, Windwood Theatricals, and The American Spirit Dance Company.
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.
I’m so excited for my sixth season at MTWichita. I would like to thank Wayne and all MTW for including me in the magic! During the year I work at a Goddard school, and lead Deaf Ministry at Central Community Church, interpreting services, concerts, conferences, and classes. I’m involved with Wichita Deaf Ministry Outreach and Deaf Teen Quest. Last fall I was one of 23 interpreters accepted from across America (and the only one from Kansas) for intensive music and musical theatre training in Nashville, TN. I spent a week specifically working performance interpreting, and I look forward to creating a performance that’s as impactful for the Deaf as it is for the hearing. Thanks to my girls Kara and Stephanie and to my husband for their support. Most importantly, God for the blessing He’s given me, and the opportunity to work in such an amazing 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.
When James A. Michener published his volume of wartime recollections “Tales of the South Pacific,” film rights were offered to MGM studios, who declined. But a story editor at the studio brought it to his friend, stage director Josh Logan, who started shopping it around to producers as a stage play (to follow up Logan’s success with military-themed hit Mister Roberts). Leland Hayward tried to get the rights, but Rodgers and Hammerstein also wanted to produce it (and write it) as a musical. Eventually the show was jointly produced by Rodgers and Hammerstein and Hayward and Logan.
Michener’s original book is a lean, flavorful collection of brief literary “snapshots” of different events and characters, drawn from the author’s own experiences in the Pacific toward the end of World War II.
Logan originally thought “Fo’ Dolla” was the most logical story for musicalization, telling of the romance between a young Lieutenant and a Polynesian girl. But Rodgers and Hammerstein eventually felt that plot was too similar to Madama Butterfly to provide the main focus for the play. Instead they chose “Our Heroine,” the story of another mismatched love affair, this one involving a worldly, middle-aged plantation owner and a young Navy nurse from Little Rock, Arkansas.
The musical’s creators blended the two stories by having the planter and the Lieutenant join forces on a dangerous mission, and then enriched the whole piece by emphasizing the tragedy of racial intolerance which deeply affects each character’s story. Comic relief was provided by the character of Luther Billis, who was extracted from a story called “Boar’s Tooth.”
Musical comedy star Mary Martin, originally from Texas and already on the R&H payroll, playing the lead in their touring production of Annie Get Your Gun, was tapped to play Nellie. Opposite her was Ezio Pinza, leading basso of the Metropolitan Opera, who was looking to change the direction of his career. Mary Martin expressed concern that her own voice might not be a match for Pinza’s, but the authors carefully wrote the score in such a way that the two main characters share many great musical moments, but almost never sing together in duet.
The whole project hit a serious snag when Hammerstein, having no wartime military experience, could not get a handle on how to write the story. Director Logan, who had served in the Army Air Force during World War II, volunteered to help, and spent months writing with Hammerstein. Eventually, Logan felt that the work he had done entitled him both to be listed as co-author of the book and to receive royalties in addition to his fees as director. An agreement was ultimately reached, but the relationship between the creators was never again a completely happy one.
The musical opened to enormous enthusiasm, winning just about every award the theatrical community could bestow, including the Drama Critics’ Circle Award, nine Tony Awards including Best Musical, and even the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, rarely given to musicals. The cast album became a phenomenal best seller, and touring companies played all over the world.
Unfortunately, the 1958 film version, also directed by Logan, failed to recapture the full impact of the stage play (“a three-hour ruin of a magnificent musical,” opined the New York Post). A 2001 TV film with Glenn Close as a very mature Nellie Forbush received even worse reviews.
However, in 2008 a beautifully crafted revival opened to rave reviews and multiple Tony Awards at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theatre, starring MTWichita alum Kelli O’Hara opposite international opera star Paulo Szot. Director Bartlett Sher effectively emphasized the play’s stance on racial prejudice, restoring one cut song (“My Girl Back Home”) and pungent dialogue which Oscar Hammerstein had been persuaded to cut in the original production. This exquisite rendering of the show played to sold-out houses for two years, and was broadcast live on PBS on August 18, 2010.
Utilizing the sets and costumes from the touring edition of the Lincoln Center production, it is a particular pleasure to offer our own exemplary company of artists to bring South Pacific vividly to life for a new generation of MTWichita theatregoers.
The story, though set back in the 1940s, still has important things to say about commitment, love, politics and prejudice. And the abundance of wonderful songs contained in this score has never been surpassed.
South Pacific: Musical Numbers
The action of the play takes place on two islands in the South Pacific during World War II.
|Dites-Moi||Ngana and Jerome|
|A Cockeyed Optimist||Nellie|
|Twin Soliloquies||Nellie and Emile|
|Some Enchanted Evening||Emile|
|Bloody Mary||Sailors, Seabees and Marines|
|There is Nothing Like a Dame||Billis, Sailors, Seabees and Marines|
|Bali Ha’i||Bloody Mary|
|My Girl Back Home||Cable and Nellie|
|I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out-a My Hair||Nellie|
|Some Enchanted Evening (Reprise)||Emile and Nellie|
|A Wonderful Guy||Nellie and Nurses|
|Bali Ha’i (Reprise)||French and Native Girls|
|Younger Than Springtime||Cable|
|Finale Act I||Nellie and Emile|
Two weeks later
|Thanksgiving Follies||Nellie, Nurses and Seabees|
|Happy Talk||Bloody Mary and Liat|
|Honey Bun||Nellie, Billis and Ensemble|
|You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught||Cable|
|This Nearly Was Mine||Emile|
|Some Enchanted Evening (Reprise)||Nellie|
|Finale Ultimo||Nellie, Emile, Ngana and Jerome|