Todd Brooks – Mysterious Man – Todd is a graphic artist for a local Omaha company and prepares taxes seasonally for H&R Block. He moonlights as an award-winning director, musical director, arranger, writer and actor. Having performed since he was five, Todd has continued to entertain audiences across the region. Whether it is behind the scenes as a director, accompanist or backup vocalist or on stage as an actor or singer, he can usually be found involved in some kind of arts endeavor.

 

Derek Bonin – Cinderella’s Father – is proud to be making his PLVCT debut working alongside a wildly talented cast. Most recently, Derek appeared in She Loves Me (Waiter) at Bellevue Little Theater and Disaster! (Chad) as part of the Omaha Community Playhouse’s Alternative Programming Series. As a music and theatre graduate, Derek appeared in multiple Grace University productions including The Sound of Music (VonTrapp), Little Women (Prof. Bhaer), and Oklahoma! (Jud Fry). Derek is also a set designer and carpenter whose favorite builds include Godspell, The Pirates of Penzance, and Tarzan.

 

Katy Eichhorn – Florinda/Snow White – This is Katy’s first show with PLVCT, and she is thrilled to be a part of this production! Some of her favorite past shows include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Narrator), The Importance of Being Earnest (Gwendolen Fairfax), The Book of Will (Alice Heminges/Susannah Shakespeare), and Disaster! (Traci/Young Woman 2/Sexy Girl/Victim/Passenger). Katy would like to thank her husband, Brian, for his constant love and support, and her parents, Glenn and Susan, for encouraging her love of theatre and for making it to (almost) every show she’s been in since 2006.

 

River Fisher – Narrator 2/Cinderella’s Mother – River recently moved to the Omaha area from IL. For the past nine years she taught K-12 music and directed musical theater for teens. Her favorite theater roles include Jekyll & Hyde
(Emma), Young Frankenstein (Inga), and The Secret Garden (Lily). River lives in Omaha with her husband, Don, and dogs Inga and Igor.

 

Sherry Josand Fletcher—Narrator 1/Granny—Sherry thanks Suzanne and Liz for casting her in this bucket-list show. She recently appeared in the musical Little Women at Chanticleer. Sherry has also appeared at the Blue Barn, Bellevue Little Theater, Circle Theater, GPTC, OCP, the Rose, Shelterbelt, SNAP! Productions, and many others long gone. She is a two-time past president and life member of the Theatre Arts Guild, and the recipient of multiple TAG acting awards and nominations. Sherry is a docent at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and performs with Theater-to-Go and the Omaha Dancing Grannies. Her favorite gig is Bubbe to grandson Miles.

Alissa Hanish – Baker’s Wife – This is Alissa’s first show with PLVCT. Alissa was last seen in Little Women the Musical (Meg) with Chanticleer. Other credits include Shakespeare in Love (Viola) and Stupid F#%*ing Bird (Nina)
with OCP, and Disenchanted! (Cinderella) with The Candy Project. Alissa is an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher, a Teaching Artist with Disney Musicals in Schools through Omaha Performing Arts, and runs a small
business (@bulletinboardbabes) with her mom.  She loves to eat french fries, mow, and go on adventures with her husband, dogs, and bearded dragon.

 

Grace Heldridge — Rapunzel — this is Grace’s second show with PLVCT! She appeared in Hairspray (Becky) last summer and is so excited to be back! In her sophomore year as a Voice Performance major at KU, Grace was recently selected for the Undergraduate Honors Recital and performed in KU’s productions of L’elisir d’amore (ensemble) and Amahl and the Night Visitors (Mother). In August, Grace is performing in the Lawrence Opera Theatre’s season with Opera scenes, Recitals, and Falstaff (ensemble). Grace thanks her family and friends for
always supporting her in her musical endeavors.

 

Robyn Helwig – Milky White – Robyn knows the steaks are high but is excited to sink her teeth into this meaty role. Hopefully she’ll do butter than expected and milk an utterly good performance. Robyn has recently been seen in Men on Boats (Hall) at OCP but she also freelances as a designer and recently won an OEAA for her set design of The Dairy Maid-Right at Shelterbelt. She can often be found making dumb jokes with her improv teams (Biscuits! and Less Mis) at the Backline Comedy Theater or helping her cat, Pancake, achieve her dreams of being America’s Next Top Cat Model.

 

Emma Johnson – Narrator #3/Harp – is excited to return to PLVCT after last appearing in The Wizard of Oz. She is thrilled to work with Suzanne again after performing together in 1776 (OCP). Other favorite credits include Shrek The Musical (Teen Fiona/Jiminy Cricket, OCP), Disaster! (Ben/Lisa, OCP), and The Miracle Worker (Helen Keller, Lofte). Emma is a three-time nationally-touring company member of Nebraska Theatre Caravan’s A Christmas Carol (Belinda/Francis), and will be a senior at Marian High School. She is grateful to perform with this exceptionally talented group and hopes you enjoy this journey into the woods.

 

Aaron Lawrence – Rapunzel’s Prince/Wolf #1 – This is Aaron’s fifth performance at the Sumtur with PLVCT. He has previously been cast in Hairspray (Scooter), Guys and Dolls (Ensemble/Havana Dancer), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Zebulon), and South Pacific (Jerome). He has also performed in two operas at UNO, playing Æneas in Dido and Æneas, and Papageno in The Magic Flute. Aaron is studying at UNO with a major in K-12 Music Education, with plans to graduate in the spring of 2020. He hopes to continue performing with PLVCT after graduation.

 

Meredith McAdams-Jack’s Mother/Giant- This is Meredith’s 4 th PLVCT production.  She appeared in Annie (Ensemble, Mrs. Perkins, Wacky), Wizard of Oz (off-stage Ensemble), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Narrator).  Other favorite roles include Anything Goes (Reno Sweeney) at RCT, Joseph… (Narrator u/s, Ensemble) at The Rose, Damn Yankees (Lola) at Chanticleer, Crazy for You (Irene) at the OCP, Into the Woods (Witch) at Chanticleer.  When not on stage, Meredith is coaching youth volleyball at Nebraska Elite, or working at Boystown Hospital.  Meredith loves spending time with her beautiful children, Jillyan, Reece and Kelsey, and her supportive and loving partner, Todd.

 

Jackson Mikkelsen – Jack – Jackson is making his PLVCT debut with Into the Woods! A recent International Baccalaureate graduate of Lincoln High School, Jackson will pursue a BFA in Musical Theatre from the Chicago College of Performing Arts starting this fall. Notable roles include Pippin (Leading Player) at Doane University, Legally Blonde: The Musical (Aaron) at Pinewood Bowl, and Deathtrap (Clifford) with Silicon Prairie Theatre. He thanks you for supporting the arts! / “The less I seek my source for some definitive, the closer I am to fine.” – Indigo Girls.

 

Katie Miller – Witch – This is Katie’s first show with PLVCT.   Her favorite past shows include Across Rhodes (Sara), Spamalot (Lady of the Lake), Cabaret (Kost), and 3 holiday seasons singing and playing the guitar for dolphins and belugas in the Shedd Aquarium Holiday Fantasea in Chicago.  These days, she can usually be found reverend-ing at First Central Congregational Church.

 

Brian Priesman – Baker – Brian is making his PLVCT debut with this show. Favorite performances include Spamalot (Patsy), Urinetown: The Musical (Hot Blades Harry), Laughter on the 23 rd Floor (Max), and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Charlie Brown). Brian has been a featured performer for the Omaha Symphony and Heartland Youth Ballet. He is a teaching artist for WhyArts?, an educator for Heartland Conservatory of Dance and an early-child educator at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium. Brian was a staff actor-educator for the Rose and graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Brian is the proud father of Tessa and Ezra.

 

Hannah Rembert – Little Red Ridinghood – Hannah is a junior studying Music Education at UNO and is the student of the Assistant Music Director Shelby VanNordstrand. This is Hannah’s first show with PLVCT. She appeared in Into the Woods (Cinderella) last summer at her hometown theater but is shaking things up a little and trying a new role! Her favorite past shows include Into the Woods (Cinderella), Annie (Annie) and The Magic Flute at UNO (First Spirit). Hannah would like to thank Suzanne, Jessie, Liz, Shelby and the rest of the PLVCT crew for their incredible work and the art they created, her mother Julia for the endless support she gives to Hannah’s love of art, music, and theater, and to her best friend Haley and her boyfriend Brodrick for failing to talk her out of doing the show.

 

Audrey Saucier – Lucinda/Sleeping Beauty – This is Audrey’s first show with the PLVCT. She is going to be a junior at Burke High School, and was most recently in Burke’s musical Big Fish (Alabama Lamb). Last October, she was seen in Goosebumps (Brooke) at the Rose Theater. She is also involved in Burke’s Varsity Show Choir and Thespian Troupe. Audrey wants to give a huge thank you to her parents and her whole family for their endless support in her dreams and everything she is passionate about.

 

Megan Smith – Cinderella’s Stepmother- Megan is excited to be performing in her first show with PLVCT! Her favorite past shows include Chess (Florence), Peter Pan (Peter Pan), Next to Normal (Diana) and Spamalot (Lady of the Lake). She would like to thank her family for always supporting her!
Scott Van Den Top – Wolf #2 / Cinderella’s Prince – Scott is extremely excited to be making his PLVCT debut with this production as Cinderella’s Prince! Prior theater credits include (Fred) in “A Christmas Carol”, (Stuart) in “Caroline, or Change”, (Detective Starnes) in “Parade”, and (John Brooks) in Little Women. He would like to thank his amazing support team that is his family and girlfriend. They are always there for him when he needs them most.

Sara Warner – Cinderella- Sara holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Minnesota. After spending most of the the last ten years on the opera stage, she’s thrilled to be making a return to musical theatre, and the
show that sparked her love of singing almost 15 years ago.  Later this year, Sara will be touring the upper Midwest with Opera for the Young as Mabel in Pirates of Penzance. Sara makes her living as a singer and private voice teacher, and lives in Papillion with her husband Tyler and dog Ellie Mae. Endless gratitude to this delightful cast and crew!

 

Patrick White – Steward – This is Patrick’s first show with PLCVT. He was last seen in a staged-reading of Appropriate at OCP. His favorite shows include Fuddy Meers (Limping Man), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon & Theseus), and Working: The Musical (Frank Decker & Rex Winship). Patrick is a high school English & Media studies teacher and writes movie reviews professionally. Patrick would like to thank his wonderful wife, Natasia, for all her love and support.

 

CREATIVE STAFF

 

Suzanne Withem – Director – Suzanne has been active in the Omaha theatre community for more than 15 years, teaching, acting, stage managing, company managing, and directing for many of the area’s theatres, arts organizations, and educational groups, and is thrilled to have crossed the river to Council Bluffs for her first production at the Chanticleer Theater. Previous directing projects include Much Ado about Nothing at the Bellevue Little Theatre and Stupid F@#%ing Bird at the Omaha Community Playhouse. Suzanne earned both her Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre and Master’s Degree in English from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (www.suzannewithem.com)

 

Liz Stinman – Music Director/Conductor – Since 2009, Liz has worked on over 50 productions as a music director, vocal coach, and/or keyboardist around the Midwest. She has also worked as a music director and teaching artist at Stagedoor Manor – a performing arts training center in New York – and, in January, 2016, participated in the highly-selective Goodspeed Musicals Music Direction Intensive in Connecticut. Currently, Liz works as the full-time staff accompanist at Peru State College, and teaches piano and voice for Sing Omaha Studios. Professionally, Liz is a proud member of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) and the Nebraska Music Educators Association (NMEA).

 

Kelsey Schwenker – Choreographer – Boulder native Kelsey Schwenker received her B.F.A in ballet performance, graduating summa cum laude from the University of Oklahoma. Now in her ninth season at American Midwest Ballet she has performed in featured roles in Swing, Swing, Swing!, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Nutcracker and Momentum. Kelsey teaches dance in the Omaha area and is rehearsal director for Repertory Ensemble, American Midwest Ballet’s youth performance group. She also is proud to be a teaching artist with the Disney
Musicals in Schools program with Omaha Performing Arts. Kelsey is thrilled to be a part of taking you Into the Woods.

 

Ben Adams– Scenic Designer- Ben is currently a BFA Theatre Performance Major at Creighton University. Previous design credits include Across Rhodes, Three to Beam Up, and The Dairy Maid Right (OEA Scenic Design Award) at the Shelterbelt Theater. He also has designed Bent, Carrie, Elegies for Angels, Punks, and Raging Queens, at SNAP! along with Now You Are Dead and collaborating on Legally Blonde at Creighton University. He would like to thank Suzanne for providing him with a challenge, his drama teachers Tony Schik and Emily Mokrycki for allowing him to create any world he wants to, and his parents for letting him store props in their garage.

 

Jessie Curry – Stage Manager – This is Jessie’s first production with PLVCT, though she’s attended the past 5 shows! Jessie graduated May 2018 from UNO with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. She has been stage managing for two years and has been acting since the age of 7. Previous stage management credits include Momentum with American Midwest Ballet, Little Women the Musical at Chanticleer Community Theater, More Than Neighbors with Great Plains Theatre Conference, and The Revolutionists at UNO. Jessie loves cuddling with her two dogs: Daisy Mae and Charlie Brown. Follow her @jessiecurrysm on Twitter and Instagram.

 

Michael Franklin– Sound Designer- Michael is a senior Music Education Major at Midland University and is excited to be a part of Into the Woods! Although a rookie to PLVCT, Michael is no stranger to the world of sound, having designed sound for Clue, The Miracle Worker, Dance Showcase, as well as various senior recitals while at Midland. Michael is excited to start his journey with PLVCT and wants to thank his parents and the staff at Midland for their continuous support, and God for all the blessings He has provided.
Molly Fryda – Assistant Stage Manager – This is Molly’s first show with PLVCT.  She has been involved in several productions with DePaul University.  Past Credits include assistant stage managing Oresteiaat DePaul University and Newsies at The Rose.

 

Morgan Jaco – Assistant Stage Manager – Morgan is a recent high school graduate from Abraham Lincoln in Council Bluffs. As this is her first show with PLVCT at the SumTur Theater, she has done multiple at The Chanticleer, where she calls home. She plans to attend the University of South Dakota in the fall to major in Music Education.

 

Samantha Johnston – Costume Assistant/Stitcher – This is Sam’s second production with PLVCT. Her latest work has been on Wardrobe Crew for Ragtime at OCP, A Christmas Carol (Wigs Crew), Shrek (Wardrobe) at OCP, and Hairspray! (Wigs Master/Stitcher) at PLVCT. Sam currently works as a Seamstress at Fashion Cleaners. She loves to spend time with her wonderful boyfriend, Cody, and their cat, Kronk.

 

Megan Lane  – Assistant Director – is thrilled to be a part of the production team in community theatre for the first time! You may have recently seen her onstage in Little Women (Amy March) at Chanticleer. She is a sucker for life, music, excellent stories, small children, hot tea, and big stacks of books. She’d like to give a huge thanks to Suzanne for allowing her to tag along for this adventure! She loves the arts and hopes to always reflect the One who gave her any talents she has! “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to Your name give glory!” (Psalm 115:1)

 

Bradley Pesarchick – Costume Coordinator/Wardrobe Head – This is Bradley’s second summer with PLVCT and he’s so excited for this production! His latest work has been on Ragtime (Stitcher) at OCP, More Than Neighbors (Costumer) at The Union for Contemporary Art, The Life and Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Costume Designer) at Joslyn Castle, Balloon School Scrapbook (Costume Designer) at MCC, and Hairspray! (Costume Coordinator/Wardrobe Head) at PLVCT. Bradley has a deep enjoyment for theatre and would love to thank his
family for all their support!

Boston Reid – Rehearsal/Performance Pianist – Boston is a recent graduate from Omaha Burke High School where he was last seen in Big Fish (Edward Bloom). Aside from performing, Boston has also directed and music directed numerous shows and has also dabbled in arranging. He wishes to pursue Musical Theatre Music Directing. Boston will be attending Doane University where he will be double majoring in Theatre and Music. He would like to thank Emily Mokrycki and his family for their never ending support in his endeavors. “Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos” – Stephen Sondheim

 

Taelore Stearns – Lighting Designer – This is Taelore’s first show with PLVCT. She is currently a student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha studying technical theatre. Some of her recent projects include She Loves Me (Lighting Designer) at The Bellevue Little Theatre, Little Wars (Lighting Designer) and Colonel’s Chicken (Light board programmer) at UNO, and Beehive: the 60’s Musical (Assistant Lighting Designer) at the Oregon Cabaret Theatre. She is thrilled to be working alongside this wonderful group of artists.
Shelby VanNordstrand (Assistant Music Director) is an Associate Professor of Voice at the University of Nebraska Omaha where she teaches applied voice and directs UNO Opera Theatre. As a soprano soloist she has appeared from Omaha to Indonesia, China, Japan, and Oman. Her students have been named winners of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Student Auditions at the state, regional, and national levels and winners of the National Opera Association’s Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition. She is delighted to work with the talented team and cast of PLVCT’s Into the Woods.

 

MUSICIANS

 

Lacey Atkinson-Violin-has performed in various musicals throughout Nebraska and Iowa. She teaches music in Fremont Public Schools and studio lessons at Sing Omaha.
Doug Breiter – Horn 1 – After earning a Bachelor of Music Education degree from UNL in 2009, Doug began his teaching career in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He played with the Sioux Empire Brass and earned his Master of Science in Education degree from Southwest Minnesota State University in 2013. For the past six years, Doug has taught instrumental music, 7 th  grade general music, and High Ability Learners for Millard Public Schools. He also worked with the Skutt Catholic High School marching band from 2013-2016, and is a member of the Omaha Symphonic Winds.

 

Heidi Copeland – Viola 2 – Heidi is excited to play for her first PLVCT show! She has been playing violin or viola in pit orchestras since 1999. Recent productions include Little Women, Elf the Musical, The Sound of Music, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. When she’s not playing for musicals, she’s busy teaching violin and piano lessons and doing admin work for a local church. Heidi and husband, Brandon, spend all of their spare time keeping up with their two super cute kiddos. Enjoy the show!

 

K. Roger Dill –Trumpet – I have been fortunate enough to have played in every production that the Papillion -LaVista Community Theater has done.  It has been fun and enjoyable. I hope to continue playing as long as they will have me.

 

Leslie Hill – Flute/Piccolo – This is Leslie’s second show with PLVCT. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was her 1 st PLVCT pit. Favorite pit orchestras she has played: Seussical the Musical (Elkhorn Community Theater), Assassins (Bridget Saint Bridget), Once on this Island (Bennington HS), Little Mermaid (South HS), Legally Blonde (Creighton), Bonnie and Clyde (Creighton), Little Women (Creighton), Amahl and the Night Visitor (Creighton), Sunday in the Park with George (Creighton), Phantom the Musical (Creighton), HMS Pinafore (Central HS), Carousel (Central HS). She enjoys playing with The Ring of Flutes ensemble and performs often with a harpist.

 

William Holke – Bassoon – This is William’s second show as an instrumentalist in the orchestra.  He played in Wizard of Oz (Bassoon) at Gretna High School this year in April of 2019.  For the past 4 years, William has been a member of the Omaha Area Youth Orchestra’s (OAYO) Youth Symphony.  William has also been selected for the Nebraska All State Orchestra for three consecutive years.  William will be a Senior at GHS and plans to pursue a degree in Bassoon Performance.

 

Cecilia Jensen – Viola – This is Cecilia’s first show with PLVCT. Past shows for which she’s played in the pit orchestra include Tuck Everlasting, West Side Story, Les Miserables, Oklahoma!, Peter Pan, and Legally Blonde. When not playing for shows, Cecilia works with several Omaha-area choirs as either accompanist or director and serves as Assistant Principal Violist of the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra. Cecilia thanks her family and friends for all their support!

 

Molly Johnson– Bass – This is Molly’s first show with PLVCT. Molly graduated Millard South High School this year. She has played bass since she was little, & played in the pit orchestra at her school’s musicals. She is very excited to play in the pit of a community theatre!

 

Abby MacIntosh – Violin 2 – This is Abby’s first show with PLVCT. She graduated from Millard South High School, and will attend University of Nebraska- Lincoln in the fall. She played the violin in the Omaha Area Youth Orchestra & takes private lessons from Hiedi Copeland. She played in the show band at Millard South, and was in the pit for Millard South’s productions of the Addams Family and Willy Wonka, and she is super excited to be a part of this show!

 

Joye VanTrimmell – Cello – This is Joye’s second show with PLVCT. She previously played in Hairspray (pit orchestra, cello). Joye has also enjoyed playing in the pit for productions of The Wizard of Oz,  Chitty Chitty Bang
Bang,  West Side Story and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.  Besides musical performance,  Joye also teaches cello at the 402 Arts Collective and performs as a freelance musician.

 

Allison West – Clarinet – This is Allison’s first show with PLVCT.  Past shows she has played for include She Loves Me, Les Miserables, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Beauty and the Beast.  Allison is a member of the Intergeration Orchestra of Omaha and is a band teacher for Music in Catholic Schools.

 

Lindsay Wilson- French Horn- This is Lindsay’s first show with PLVCT. She is going to be starting her 11 th year as a music teacher in PLCS as the Vocal Music Director at Liberty Middle School in Papillion. She has been involved in both the pit orchestra and on stage in various productions in the Omaha Metro area. When not teaching music or performing music, she enjoys traveling with her husband James and her 3 year old daughter Sonja. She is excited to be a part of this summers show!

 

Abbie Wolfe Percussionist  – Abbie is excited to return to the pit for PLCT after playing in Hairspray (percussionist) last year. She has also played in the pit for her high school productions of Hairspray, Footloose, and Mamma Mia. She is going to be a senior this year at Papillion-La Vista (Go Monarchs!) and is
anxious to see where she will go beyond that. She wants to thank her family for instilling in her the love for music in all its shapes and forms.