Zakiya Young, Andrew Samonsky and More Set for Music Theatre Wichita's 44th Season; Casting Announced!

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Casting is announced today for Music Theatre Wichita's 44th Season, which includes Elton John and Tim Rice's "Aida," the professional premiere of Disney's "My Son Pinocchio," the area debuts of "Billy Elliot - The Musical" and "Big Fish," and the return of "Hello, Dolly!" after a 21-year absence.

Producing Artistic Director Wayne Bryan (now beginning his 28th season) will personally direct "My Son Pinocchio" and "Big Fish," and musical director Thomas W. Douglas returns for all five productions. Other key personnel include directors Mark Madama and Steven Minning, and choreographers Andrew Palermo, Amy Baker Schwiethale, Alison Levenberg, and Brian J. Marcum.

Artistic teams also include scenic designers include J Branson and Bruce Brockman, costume designers Tiia E. Torchia, Dixon Reynolds, and Debbie Roberts, lighting designer David Neville, sound designer David Muehl, and Production Manager Jeff Taylor.

The season opens June 10, with each show running 7 performances in the 2100-seat Century II Concert Hall, concluding on Sunday evening Auigust 9. For additional information, visit

Leading artists include:

Zakiya Young ("Little Mermaid") as Aida, Andrew Samonsky ("South Pacific") as Radames, Kate Loprest ("First Date") as Amneris, Bruce Winant ("Ragtime") as Zoser, Raphael Nash Thompson ("Drowning Crow" at Goodman) as Amonasro, and Avery Smith as Mereb in "Aida" - June 10 - 14

Nicholas F. Saverine ("Les Miserables") as Geppetto, Emily Vargo as The Blue Fairy, Shaun-Michael Morse as Stromboli, and 9-year-old Topher Cundith as the no-stringed puppet in Disney's "My Son Pinocchio" - June 24 - 28

Craig Bennett ("The Last Ship") as Dad, Janet Dickinson ("Bullets Over Broadway") as Mrs. Wilkinson, Patti Perkins ("The Full Monty") as Grandma, Evan Lennon as Michael, and Mitchell Tobin (from the National Tour) as the title character in "Billy Elliot" - July 8 - 12

Vincent Corazza ("Rocky") as Edward Bloom, Kim Huber ("Beauty and the Beast") as Sandra, Skyler Adams ("Pippin" tour) as Will, Timothy Hughes ("Chaplin") as Karl the Giant, Timothy W. Robu as Amos, Carolyn Anne Miller as Jenny Hill, and Ximone Rose as the Witch in "Big Fish" - July 22 - 26

Kathryn Kendall ("White Christmas" tour) as Dolly Levi, Bill Nolte ("The Producers") as Horace, Kerry Conte ("Mary Poppins" tour) as Irene, Steve Hitchcock as Cornelius, Patrick Garr as Barnaby, and Daisy Wright as Minnie Fay in "Hello, Dolly!" - August 5 - 9

Season tickets are on sale now, ranging from $260 to $114. Single tickets ($64 - $25) go on sale May 26. Additional information can be found at or by calling 316-265-3107. Music Theatre Wichita offices and Concert Hall are located at Century II Performing Arts Center, 225 W. Douglas, Wichita, KS, 67202.

About Music Theatre Wichita - Founded in 1972, MTWichita is internationally recognized for self-producing five high-quality Broadway-scale productions each summer during an intense 10-week period, while providing unparalleled learning experiences for young up-and coming artists. It has been the site for the world premiere of the revised "Good News!," the U.S. premiere of "Betty Blue Eyes," and the regional premieres of such Disney titles as "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast," and "High School Musical." MTWichita has also created cast albums for "Honk!" and "Good News!" The many MTWichita alumni performing on Broadway this season include Kristin Chenoweth, Kelli O'Hara, Brynn O'Malley, Matt Bogart, Ryan Vasquez, Desi Oakley, Brian Shepard, Eric Sciotto, Shina Ann Morris, and many more. Other notable artists who began careers in Wichita include choreographers Andrew Palermo, Josh Rhodes, Josh Prince and Dontee Kiehn.

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