Ciara Renée, Jeannette Bayardelle, Hunter Parrish & More to Star in GUN & POWDER at Paper Mill Playhouse

Directed by Stevie Walker-Webb and choreographed by Tiffany Rea-Fisher, the production will play April 4 – May 5, 2024.

By: Feb. 13, 2024
Ciara Renée, Jeannette Bayardelle, Hunter Parrish & More to Star in GUN & POWDER at Paper Mill Playhouse
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Paper Mill Playhouse has revealed the cast for the new musical Gun & Powder, with book and lyrics by Angelica Chéri and music by Ross Baum. Directed by Stevie Walker-Webb and choreographed by Tiffany Rea-Fisher, the production will play April 4 – May 5, 2024 at Paper Mill Playhouse. Opening night is Sunday, April 14.
Gun & Powder will star Liisi LaFontaine (West End: Dreamgirls, Moulin Rouge; Regional: Born for This) as Martha Clarke, Ciara Renée (PMP: The Hunchback of Notre Dame; Broadway: Waitress; TV: “The Flash,” “Arrow”) as Mary Clarke, Jeannette Bayardelle (Broadway: Girl from the North Country, The Color Purple) as Tallulah Clarke, Aaron James McKenzie (Broadway: A Beautiful Noise; TV: “Bull”) as Elijah, and Hunter Parrish (Broadway: To Kill a Mockingbird; TV: “Weeds,” “The Other Black Girl”) as Jesse Whitewater. Casting is by Tara Rubin Casting. Further casting will be announced at a later date.
Gun & Powder is a new musical inspired by the true story of Mary (Renée) and Martha Clarke (LaFontaine), African American twin sisters who take extraordinary measures to settle their mother’s sharecropper debt and save her home. In 1893 Texas, the Sisters Clarke—passing as white—embark on a remarkable Wild West adventure that examines race, family, and identity with two electrifying women who transformed from farm girls to outlaws to legends. Featuring book and lyrics by Angelica Chéri (Prophet’s Cycle Trilogy), who is a descendant of Mary and Martha Clarke, music by Ross Baum (Escapeland), direction by Obie winner & 2023 Tony Award nominee Stevie Walker-Webb (Broadway: Ain’t No Mo’), choreography by Tiffany Rea-Fisher (Classical Theatre of Harlem: Twelfth Night), and music direction by Austin Cook (Broadway: Some Like it Hot; National Tour: Dear Evan Hansen). 

Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, online at, or at the box office.

Liisi LaFontaine

(Martha Clarke) is so excited to make her Paper Mill debut in this brilliant show. Previous credits include Deena Jones in Dreamgirls (Japan and West End original cast), Whitney Houston in Born for This, Crocodile in Fly (La Jolla Playhouse), and Satine in Moulin Rouge (West End original cast). She was recently seen on the TV show “Good Trouble”. Liisi released an EP in 2016 titled Golden and is currently working on new music. She dedicates this performance to her dad. @liisilafontaine

Ciara Renée

(Mary Clarke) recently starred in the Showtime series “Your Honor” opposite Bryan Cranston as well as the IFC feature “Paint” opposite Owen Wilson. She starred in the world premiere of The Lonely Few at The Geffen Playhouse, as Jenna in Waitress on Broadway, and was the first Black mixed actress to play Elsa in Disney’s Frozen on Broadway. Previously, Ciara starred in MCC’s The Wrong Man, originated the role of the Witch in Big Fish, and appeared as the Leading Player in Pippin on Broadway. She also originated the role of Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Paper Mill. Ciara splits her time between New York and Los Angeles and directs/produces for stage and screen. Other television: “The Big Bang Theory,” Facebook’s “Strangers,” Netflix’s “Master of None,” “Legends of Tomorrow.”

Jeannette Bayardelle

(Tallulah Clarke). Tony Award nominee Jeannette Bayardelle has traveled to over fifty countries sharing her gift. She is the founder and CEO of Broadway to Wall Street. Jeannette wrote and starred in Shida: The Musical and I Take Thee Zoe, a web series. Other credits: Broadway: Girl from the North Country (Mrs. Neilsen), Hair (Dionne), The Color Purple (Celie). Off Broadway: The Harder They Come (Public Theater), Girl from the North Country (Public Theater), Shida (Ars Nova). National Tours/Regional: The Untitled Unauthorized Hunter S. Thompson Musical (La Jolla Playhouse), Shida (in London), The Color Purple. Film: Disney’s The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning.

Aaron James McKenzie

(Elijah) is elated to be making his Paper Mill Playhouse debut in this beautiful piece accompanied by the most inspiring and gifted cast and creatives. Some previous credits include A Beautiful Noise (original Broadway cast), “Bull” on NBC, and Choir Boy at Yale Rep.

Hunter Parrish

(Jesse Whitewater) co-starred on Broadway in Aaron Sorkin’s To Kill a Mockingbird; as Claude in the Hollywood Bowl production of Hair; as Jesus in the Broadway revival of Godspell. He received raves for his Broadway debut in the musical Spring Awakening. He can currently be seen on Hulu’s “The Other Black Girl.” Hunter starred for eight seasons as Mary Louise Parker’s son on “Weeds.” Television credits include: “This Is Us,” “The Good Wife,” “Good Girls Revolt.” Film: It’s Complicated opposite Meryl Streep, 17 Again, Gone, and Paper Man opposite Emma Stone. Hunter was Julianne Moore’s son in Sony Pictures’ Still Alice.