Nettle Creek Players Announce 2019 Season
Nettle Creek Players, a 501c3 not-for-profit arts organization in Hagerstown, Indiana, has announced its 2019 troupe of visiting professional theatre artists who will live in the community for nine weeks as they prepare and present the Nettle Creek Players 2019 Summer Stock Tent Theatre Season featuring productions of JOSEPH & THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, GERSHWIN & FRIENDS: A BROADWAY SONGBOOK CABARET, and RUMPELSTILTSKIN, OR THE FAIRIE'S SECRET NAME. Performances of JOESPH will be at 7:30pm on July 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 25, 26 & 27 & 5:00pm on July 7 with GERSHWIN & FRIENDS at 5:00pm on July 14, 21 & 28 and RUMPELSTILTSIKIN at 11:00am on July 20 & 27. All performances will take place in the Nettle Creek Players Show Tent at 150 N. Plum Street in historic downtown Hagerstown, Indiana. Tickets for JOSEPH and GERSHWIN & FRIENDS are $15 per person with discounts available for students, children and groups of 10 or more. Tickets for RUMPELSTILTSKIN are $5 per person. Tickets and more information are available at www.nettlecreekplayers.com, at Facebook/NettleCreekPlayers and by phone at 765-312-2722.
"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" A reimagining of the Biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, eleven brothers and the coat of many colors, Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber & Tim Rice's classic is one of the most enduring Broadway shows of all time. Told entirely through song with the help of the angelic Narrator, the musical follows Jacob's favorite son, Joseph. After being sold into slavery by his brothers, Joseph ingratiates himself with Egyptian noble Potiphar, but ends up in jail after refusing the amorous advances of Potiphar's wife. While imprisoned, Joseph discovers his ability to interpret dreams, and he soon finds himself in front of the mighty but troubled, Elvis-inspired, Pharaoh. Joseph's solution to Egypt's famine elevates him to Pharaoh's right-hand man and reunites him with his family.
"Gershwin & Friends: A Broadway Songbook Cabaret" This witty and clever walk through the greatest music from Tin Pan Alley to the early days of Broadway features classic songs from George & Ira Gershwin as well as their friends and colleagues including Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern, Hoagy Carmichael, Rogers & Hart, Kay Swift and more. More than two dozen songs are connected by humorous, insightful and endearing stories from the lives and careers of these music masters. Jazz Era gowns and tuxedos frame this elegant and entertaining journey through the best songs of the 20th Century including "Stairway to Paradise," "Our Love is Here to Stay," "Night& Day," "My Funny Valentine," and "Blues in the Night."
"Rumpelstiltskin, or The Fairie's Secret Name" The traditional tale of the girl who made a deal with a devilish little imp who helped her spin straw into gold. The audience helps banish the arrogant elf by shouting his name at just the right moment to save the day in this 40-minute fast-paced comedy crafted for both the youngest audiences as well as the young-at-heart.
The visiting artists will live in the community, most in the homes of local volunteers and some in apartments made available by a local realtor. They will rehearse the shows for 2 ½ weeks and perform for four weekends. Following the season in Hagerstown, performers in GERSHWIN & FRIENDS will Take That show on tour, playing a two-week run of shows at the historic Brown County Playhouse in Nashville, Indiana from August 3 through August 11.
The eight professional actors and visiting artists-in-residence that will form the 2019 core company include the following:
Jacob Butler comes from Cincinnati and is a graduate of Ball state University. He has been seen on stage at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, BOBDIREX in Indianapolis and has numerous film credits. Jacob will play the title role in JOSEPH;
Katie Friedel-Carfield of Richmond, Indiana is a graduate of Ball State University and has performed regionally at the Jenny Wiley Theatre, Kings Island, Cedar Point and Busch Gardens as well as the West End Lounge and Duplex Cabaret in New York City. Ms. Friedel-Carfiled will play the Narrator in JOSEPH;
Anna Marck lives in Chicago and is a graduate of Oakland University. She has performed with Thunder Bay Theater, Water Works Theatre and Festival 56 among others. She will portray Levi in JOSEPH, be a member of the ensemble of GERSHWIN& FRIENDS and a performer for RUMPELSTILTSKIN;
Sean Haynes lives in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and is a graduate of Ball State University. He has performed in multiple seasons of the Richmond Shakespeare Festival, with Actors Theatre of Indiana and at the IndyFringe Festival in Indianapolis and as a singer with Broadway star Sutton Foster and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and at the Columbia Club Cabaret. He will portray Dan and Potiphar in JOSEPH, be a lead emcee and soloist in GERSHWIN & FRIENDS and a performer for RUMPELSTILTSKIN;
Taylor Hadsell is native of Plano, Texas and recent graduate of Ball State University and an Equity Membership Candidate. Taylor has worked at Lake Dillon Theatre Company, Plano Arts Collective and Ohlook Performing Arts Center. She will play Asher in JOSEPH, be a member of the ensemble of GERSHWIN & FRIENDS and as a performer for RUMPELSTILTSKIN;
Alexis Smith is a graduate of Point Park University and currently resides in Pittsburgh where she has performed at the Pittsburgh Playhouse. Other credits include performances at the Bicentennial Park Theatre and Rialto Square Theatre in her native Joliet, Illinois. She will portray Gad and The Baker in JOSEPH, be a lead emcee and soloist in GERSHWIN & FRIENDS and a serve as a performer for RUMPELSTILTSKIN;
Maddy Fenton is a native of Yorktown, Indiana and is a Musical Theatre major at Ball State University. She has performed at Muncie Civic Theatre and in several shows at Ball State. Ms. Fenton will play the role of Zebulon in JOSEPH, be a member of the ensemble of GERSHWIN & FRIENDS and a serve as a performer for RUMPELSTILTSKIN;
Kavin Moore is a Ball State University musical theatre major originally from Louisville, Kentucky. He has performed at Booth Tarkington Theatre, Ethnic Theatre Alliance, Legacy Theatre and Kentucky Shakespeare. Mr. Moore will play Judah in JOSEPH, be a member of the ensemble of GERSHWIN & FRIENDS and a serve as a performer for RUMPELSTILTSKIN;
Five performers who were in the 2018 Nettle Creek Players company are returning for a second season. They include:
JD Sams is a native of Connersville and studied at both Ball State University and the American Musical & Dramatic Academy. He is the lead singer of popular local band The Smileys, portrayed The Wolfe in NCP's 2018 production of INTO THE WOODS and will play The Pharaoh in JOSEPH;
Lily Ballenger is from Cambridge City and has performed at Richmond Civic Theatre and was seen as one of the stepsisters in NCP's INTO THE WOODS. Ms. Ballenger will play Reuben in JOSEPH;
Jordan Paul Wolfe is from Richmond where he studies at Earlham College. A graduate of Lincoln High School in Cambridge City, he has performed at Richmond Civic Theatre and Earlham Theatre Company, was The Steward in NCP's INTO THE WOODS and will play Napthali and The Butler in JOSEPH.
Craig Underwood is a Chicago-based member of Actors Equity Association, the professional union for actors and stage managers and starred as the Baker in NCP's 2018 production of INTO THE WOODS. He has performed at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, Actors Theatre of Indiana, The Mercury & Paramount Theatres in Chicago and will direct & choreograph JOSEPH;
Dr. Julie Lyn Barber is Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre at Western Kentucky University and has performed for 10 years in CABARET POE with Q Artistry in Indianapolis, in many shows with American Heritage Theatre Company and Portland Center Stage in Oregon and The Round Barn Theatre at Amish Acres as well as numerous theatres in her native Canada and the 2018 NCP season where she played The Witch in INTO THE WOODS. Dr. Barber will choreograph GERSHWIN and direct RUMPELSTILTSKIN;
Several local performers will also join the company. They include the following:
Devin Summan is from Bentonville and graduated from Connersville High School and Ball State University. He is a frequent performer at Richmond Civic Theatre and Muncie Civic Theatre and will play Simeon in JOSEPH;
Alison Moore is from Richmond and is a graduate of North Park University in Chicago and holds a Master of Music degree from Wichita State University. She has been seen on stage at Richmond Civic Theatre and The Bell Tower Theatre. Ms. Moore will play Issachar and Potiphar's Wife in JOSEPH;
Lee Stacey is a New Castle native, an NCP alum from the 1980's and a long-time director at the Guyer Opera House in Lewisville, Indiana. He will play Jacob in JOSEPH, a role he first played for NCP in 1988;
Gilda McClure Lewis is a native of Connersville and NCP alum from the 1980's. She will coordinate costuming for the season and play Jacob's Wife in JOSEPH
Chorus member and company understudy will be local high school student and 2-year veteran of NCP's Young Actor's Workshop program, Paige Strothman, who joins the full company for the first time.
Music Director for the season will be Ball State University accompanist Cody Ricks who led the NCP orchestra in 2017 and music directed in 2018. He is joined for a second year by percussionist Josh Fulford.
Technical Director and Production Stage Manager is Greg Gasman, former Technical Director at Muncie Civic Theatre. He is joined by Assistant Stage Manager Logan Hill, a native of Ridgeway, Ohio and recent graduate of Ohio Northern University with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Production Manager will be 3-year NCP veteran Marty Grubbs, former Muncie Civic Theatre director, Losantville native, Ball State graduate and Chicago actor.
The artistic quality of the project is overseen by Executive Artistic Director Darrin Murrell (www.darrinmurrell.com) who has worked as a professional actor, director, producer and educator for over 30 years with theatres across the country. He is a member of Actors Equity Association, the professional union for actors and stage managers. He has developed and managed numerous Young Actors Workshop educational programs in Rome, New York, Chicago, Portland, Oregon and Muncie, Indiana. He is former Executive Director of Muncie Civic Theatre, and has served as President of the Indiana Community Theatre League and Regional Representative to the American Association of Community Theatres. Mr. Murrell will direct GERSHWIN & FRIENDS.
For tickets and information visit www.nettlecreekplayers.com and Facebook/NettleCreekPlayers or call 765-312-2722.