Nobody takes blonde sorority girl Elle Woods seriously – including her socially ambitious boy friend. When he dumps her to concentrate on someone more upwardly mobile, Elle rises with pink aplomb to the top ranks of Harvard law school, and learns who she really is. A brand new Broadway musical comedy, this is a very funny and terrifically empowering musical romp.
Music and Lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin
Book by Heather Hach
Based on the novel by Amanda Brown
and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture
Rated PG for mild language and some adult humor
(Running time approx. 2 hr. 20 min.)
ANNE HORAK (Elle Woods) is thrilled to be back at MTWichita where she has been featured as Natalie in All Shook Up, Judy Haynes in White Christmas, Miss Dorothy in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Judy Turner in A Chorus Line, Lady Larken in Once Upon a Mattress, Babette in Beauty and the Beast, and Velma in West Side Story. Anne performed on Broadway as Rita in White Christmas, played Hulde in Music In The Air at City Center Encores!, and co-starred as Inga in the National Tour of Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein. Regionally she has been seen as Gretchen in Boeing, Boeing and Bambi Bernét in Curtains at Paper Mill Playhouse, Shelby in Steel Magnolias at North Carolina Theatre, Hope Harcourt in Anything Goes at Taipei National Theatre, and as Phyllis in 42nd Street, Liza in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and a Silly Girl in Beauty and the Beast at Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. Anne appeared in the new musical Lone Star Love, or the Merry Wives of Windsor, Texas at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, and as Paquette in Candide at the Bellingham Music Festival. TV credits include guest starring roles on “Royal Pains,” “A Gifted Man,” and “Law and Order: SVU.” Anne is a graduate of the University of Michigan. She would like to send special love and thanks to Wayne, Mark, Roger, Linda, and Nancy, as well to her family for all of their love and support. www.annehorak.com
MATTHEW SHEPARD (Prof. Callahan) is delighted to be back in Wichita. He was seen here previously as Inspector Javert in Les Miserables, and as impresario Bela Zangler in Crazy for You (a role he’ll repeat later this summer in Sacramento with Anne Horak as Polly). Broadway credits include the title characters in both Beauty and the Beast and The Scarlet Pimpernel, and Bob Baker in Wonderful Town opposite Donna Murphy and Brooke Shields, respectively. He has played Enjolras in the National Tour of Les Misérables, and the title character in the European premiere tour of the Maury Yeston/ Arthur Kopit Phantom. Matthew has performed in multiple Off Broadway and Regional productions. One of his favorite Regional experiences was playing the Soldier in Sunday in the Park with George as part of The Kennedy Center’s Sondheim Celebration in D.C. He continually supports the development of new works through workshops and readings. Prior to coming to Wichita, he was a part of the workshop reworking of The Unsinkable Molly Brown, written by Dick Scanlan, directed by Kathleen Marshall and starring Sutton Foster. Matthew holds a graduate degree from the prestigious Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and teaches at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Music as an Adjunct Professor of Voice. His greatest joys are his wife, Elizabeth Mills, and daughter, Madeleine Grace Smith.
SKYLER ADAMS (Emmett Forrest) is thrilled to return to MTWichita where he spent two summers in the resident company, most notably playing Hero in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (a role he has repeated twice, under the direction of his MTW colleague James Brennan). Skyler is originally from Oklahoma City, OK. Credits include Chicago Shakespeare Theatre: World Premiere of Bartram and Hill’s The Adventures of Pinocchio (Pinocchio); Marriott Theatre: Seussical (Wickersham); Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma: Altar Boyz (Matthew), High School Musical (Troy), High School Musical 2 (Ryan), Tommy, The Music Man, Joseph… (Asher) w/ Diana DeGarmo, and The Producers w/ Lee Roy Reams; plus his MTWichita shows: A Funny Thing … Forum, My Fair Lady, Big River, All Shook Up (with Anne Horak), Les Miserables (Enjolras u/s), Gypsy (Yonkers), Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Crazy For You, Annie (Rooster u/s), and Curtains (Aaron u/s). University Theatre: Anything Goes (Quartet) A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Snug), How to Succeed… (Finch), A Chorus Line (Al), Rent (Roger), The Works of Andrew Lloyd Webber. For the Sooner Theatre: You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Snoopy), Into the Woods (Jack), and Plaid Tidings (Jinx). Skyler is a proud alum of the University of Oklahoma. He is grateful for Wayne, his amazing family and God’s many, many blessings.
COLLEEN HAWKS (Paulette Bonafonté) made her Broadway debut in Smokey Joe’s Café, playing the role created by DeLee Lively. Other Broadway credits include The Boy from Oz, starring Hugh Jackman (soprano in the Trio), and Shrek – The Musical (Fairy Godmother and Voice of the Bluebird). Originally from California, after college she performed for Disney, playing such singing roles as Snow White, Cinderella and Ariel (The Little Mermaid) both on TV and stage, including tours to London, Paris, Munich, Holland, and China. She has lived in Japan, Korea and Holland. She has also traveled worldwide performing on cruise ships; from the Amazon in Brazil, to Mexico, Canada, the South Pacific, Australia, Hong Kong, and Alaska. Off-Broadway credits include Manhattan Theatre Club’s The Wild Party by Andrew Lippa, Dr. Sex (Phoebe), and a principal role in Shake That Thing! Colleen has performed in Candide at New York City Opera starring John Cullum and Judy Kaye, an Amoricae Production of The Magic Flute (Papagena), and Babes in Toyland (Jill) at Avery Fisher Hall. National Tours include Crazy for You (Polly Baker) and Singin’ in the Rain (Kathy Selden), plus International Tours of Grease (Sandy), The Will Rogers Follies (Mr. Ziegfeld’s Favorite), and The Pirates of Penzance (Mabel). Regionally: Sugar Kane in Sugar / Some Like It Hot (Westchester Broadway Theatre, Stages St. Louis, and Alhambra Theatre in Florida), Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes and Laurey in Oklahoma! (Modesto Performing Arts), Vicki in The Full Monty (West Virginia Public Theatre), Angel in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Arvada Center in Denver), Val in A Chorus Line (TUTS and Arkansas Rep), DeLee in Smokey Joe’s Café (Sacramento Music Circus and North Shore), and Bonnie / Erma (gangster’s moll) in Anything Goes (Seattle 5th Avenue and Paper Mill Playhouse, starring Chita Rivera). Married to actor Jeff Pierce, she lives in New York and is pleased to be making her MTWichita debut!
RYAN VASQUEZ (Warner Huffington III) is a rising junior in the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Department, thrilled to be closing up his first season at MTWichita with such a wonderful summer to look back on! Ryan has been so grateful to have played Joe in 9 to 5, as well as Greylag the British goose in HONK! this season. UM: Spring Awakening (Moritz), Cabaret (Cliff). A special thanks to his friends and family for their undying support, as well as Wayne, Nancy, and Mark, without whom he would not be where he is today.
JULIA JOHANOS (Vivienne Kensington) is thrilled to be playing this fabulous role at Wichita this summer! She recently graduated with a BFA in Musical Theater from CCM. Previous roles include Florence in Chess, Silly Girl/ Belle u.s., Babette in Beauty and the Beast (Rocky Mountain Repertory Theater), and Susan Wilkes in Big River (Arvada Center Theater Company). At CCM she was seen as Laurey in Oklahoma! (League of Cincinnati Theatres Award), Helen in Out of This World, and Dr. Charlotte in Falsettos, and she comes to MTW directly from Pittsburgh CLO where she appeared in Fiddler on the Roof and Sunset Boulevard. Many thanks to Team Johanos for their continuous love and support!
ZEUS (Bruiser Woods) is a two-year-old Miniature Pincher mix, rescued in 2010 from Second Chance Animal Sanctuary in Norman, OK. His hobbies include playing flyball and agility and cuddling with his family. Zeus also enjoys making silly YouTube videos with his mom. Zeus is making his Kansas debut. He previously starred as Bruiser at The Pollard Theatre in Guthrie, OK.
SOPHIE MENAS (Brooke) is thrilled for her fifth MTWichita summer! She just graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BFA in Musical Theatre, and will move to New York City this fall. Favorite OU credits: Diana Morales (A Chorus Line), Mimi (Rent), and Mayzie LaBird (Seussical). Thanks first to God for his countless blessings, to her family for their love and support, and to Wayne, Nancy, and the entire MTW family for their magnificent opportunities that have advanced her growth as a performer and young woman.
NICHOLAS PALMQUIST (Kyle) is elated to be returning to Wichita for his second season! He would like to thank the entire MTWichita network for the overwhelming influence they have had on him as a performer and a person. He would also like to thank his Mom and Dad for their unyielding love and support. He will be a senior dance performance major at Oklahoma City University.
ALEX FINKE (Serena) is really enjoying the variety of her first summer in Wichita. She was thrilled to make her MTWichita debut as Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof, enjoyed playing Franklin Hart’s unsuspecting wife in 9 to 5, and loved being both gossipy Henrietta and libidinous cat Queenie in HONK! She is a recent University of Michigan graduate, hailing from Dayton, Ohio. Favorite roles include: Jane in Tarzan (Regional Premiere) at Wagon Wheel, and Vicki in The Full Monty at University of Michigan. At the conclusion of this summer, she begins rehearsals as Hope Harcourt in the National Tour of Anything Goes. Thanks and love to Mom, Dad, Sarah, Chris and Jimmy!
SARAH SHELTON (Margot) is ecstatic to be spending her second summer at
MTWichita! She just graduated as a dance performance major from Oklahoma City University and can’t think of a better way to spend her last college
summer. She is grateful to the MTW team for this amazing opportunity and cannot thank her family enough for being so unbelievably supportive and wonderful.
KIMBER ELAYNE SPRAWL (Pilar) is a junior Musical Theatre major at The
Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM). CCM: Civil War, Out of This
World, and Rent. Other credits include Seussical (Bird Girl) and High School
Musical (Taylor) for The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, and Once on This
Island (Ti Moune) and The Wiz (Dorothy) for Cincinnati Black Theatre
Company. Kimber is so excited to be a member of the MTWichita Family!
ROCKSY (Rufus) is a four-year-old, female Bulldog, adopted in 2009 from Kansas Humane Society, after being unclaimed at Wichita Animal Shelter. She lives with Drew and Susan Bessey, and their other rescued, female Bulldog, Tahoe. Her hobbies include playing with the neighbor kids, going for walks, and cheering for her namesake Rock Chalk Jayhawks from the sofa or recliner. This is Rocksy’s acting debut!
DAVE FREEMAN (Elle’s Dad/Reporter) has served Kansas for nearly 20 years as Chief Meteorologist for KSNW TV. But in a former life, during the Jurassic Period, he earned an MFA in Acting from the University of Illinois. Once upon a time, he performed Tesman in Hedda Gabler, Jason in Kabuki Medea, and Miles Gloriosus in A Funny Thing…. Dave has also narrated Wichita Symphony Orchestra concerts for 17 years. Dave is making his debut with MTWichita, and his performance benefits the scholarship fund for MTW interns.
TRACY FREEMAN (Elle’s Mom/Saleswoman) is making her debut at Music Theatre of Wichita. Tracy has been seen in Wichita Center for the Arts’ Battle of the Bands and Cheaper by the Dozen and at Wichita Children’s Theatre in Scrooge twice with her children, Rob, Kate and Jack. She graduated from Otterbein University with a BFA in Musical Theatre and is currently a corporate leadership and diversity trainer for Cox Communications.
JOHN KECKEISEN (Dewey/Head of Admissions) is thrilled to be returning to MTWichita for the summer! Regional credits: Sunset Boulevard, Finian’s Rainbow (Mary Jane Teall nomination, Best Supporting Actor in a Musical), The Music Man, and Fiddler on the Roof (MTW); Leading Ladies (Black Hills Playhouse), Love, Sex, and the IRS (Crown Uptown), High School Musical (Topeka Civic Theatre). Thanks to Wayne, Nancy and the whole MTW family for this opportunity. Big love to Moogi, Dad, and Katie! BFA, Wichita State University. www.johnkeckeisen.com
DANI YOUNG (Enid) is so honored to be back at MTWichita! Favorite MTW performances include Fiddler on the Roof, 9 to 5, HONK!, The Producers and Les Miserables. Favorite roles include Miss Jones in How to Succeed (WSU) directed by Wayne Bryan, Pennywise in Urinetown (WSU), plus Ida in HONK! and the Witch in Into the Woods (Friends University). The biggest thanks to Wayne, Nancy, Roger, Josh, and Mary Sue for this amazing job! Lovies to Mom, Dad, John and Graham!
ROBERT ARIZA (Padamadan / Nikos) couldn’t be happier to join the MTWichita family! He is currently studying Musical Theatre at The University of Michigan. Recent credits: Spring Awakening (Hanschen), West Side Story (Tony), Pippin (Pippin), Assassins (Zangara), Candide (Candide), The Last Five Years (Jamie). Many thanks to his family and friends back in NY, as well as his new family and friends at UofM.
BENJAMIN RIVERA (Carlos) feels blessed to be joining the MTWichita family for the first time this summer! He recently finished his sophomore year at Oklahoma City University as a dance performance major. Some favorite past shows include: 7 Brides for 7 Brothers (Benjamin), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Simeon), and Crazy for You. He would like to thank his friends and family for all their unconditional love. Jeremiah 29:11
WAYNE BRYAN (Director/Producing Artistic Director) celebrates his 25th season at MTWichita, where he has now produced 124 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. Wayne performed on Broadway in Good News!, Rodgers and Hart, and Tintypes, and on television in 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. Wayne has served on arts panels for the NEA and the Kansas Arts Commission, and is a frequent lecturer and guest teacher at various universities.
ROGER CASTELLANO (Choreographer) enjoys working in all entertainment media forms: from television and theme park, to industrials and special events throughout the U.S., Asia, and Central America. Hailing from Los Angeles, his director/ choreographer credits have received critical acclaim. And now this is Roger’s eleventh season with MTWichita. His most recent show with us was Xanadu, last season. Other MTW credits include Annie, The Will Rogers Follies, Me and My Girl, Footloose, Seussical, White Christmas, The Wizard of Oz, and High School Musical 1 and 2, plus onstage performances in A Chorus Line, Once Upon a Mattress, and Beauty and the Beast. Roger was very proud to receive the Mary Jane Teall Award as Outstanding Guest Artist in 2005. Theatrical Awards include L.A. Stage Alliance Ovation Award Nominee for best choreographer (Jekyll and Hyde – Cabrillo Music Theatre), L.A. Stage Alliance Ovation Award Nominee for best choreographer (The Andrews Brothers – Musical Theatre West), Los Angeles Times Critics’ Pick (Me and My Girl – Musical Theatre West), Drama Logue’s Critic Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre – “Best Choreography” (A Little Night Music – The Center Theatre Group), Drama Logue’s Critic Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre – “Best Choreography” (La Cage Aux Folles – The Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities), Drama Logue’s Critic Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre – “Best Choreography” (Oliver! – The Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities), Inland Theatre League Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre – “Best Director” (Seussical – Performance Riverside), AriZoni Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre – “Best Choreography” (A Chorus Line – The Phoenix Theatre.) Recent projects include Hello, Dolly! in Japan and a world premiere of the new musical South Street at the Pasadena Playhouse.
THOMAS W. DOUGLAS (Musical Director / Conductor) is thrilled to be celebrating thirteen seasons with such a wonderful artistic family at MTWichita, having led 43 productions with this remarkable company. Thomas has done more than 200 musical theater, 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 presentation of standard choral masterpieces with a fusion rock band and string orchestra accompaniment. 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 on the faculty of both the Drama and the Music schools at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, is the proud recipient of the Mary Jane Teall Award, and is the Musical Director of the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra. He is now developing his one man show entitled “Under the Influence” based on his eclectic group of musical experiences.
J BRANSON (Scenic Designer) For over twenty years, J Branson has been a Chicago-based designer. He is proud to have begun his theatrical career as an Apprentice at Music Theatre of Wichita 34 years ago. J’s national-tour credits include The Music Man, Beauty and the Beast and Brigadoon. Original productions include both productions for The Second City Chicago’s 2007/2008 season, Shockwave (Disneyworld), Stardust, A Room With a View, The Conversation, Jungle Man and A Tale of Two Cities. Past regional work includes Thoroughly Modern Millie, Smokey Joe’s Café, Jekyll and Hyde, Chess, The Wizard of Oz (for which J received an After Dark award), Children of Eden, Rags, Assassins, Guys and Dolls and The Pajama Game. J has an array of industrial design credits and has been honored with three National Addy Awards. In addition to the original production of HONK!, J’s many designs at MTWichita have included Hairspray, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Beauty and the Beast, The Secret Garden, Children of Eden, West Side Story, High School Musical 1 & 2, The Drowsy Chaperone, 1776, Curtains, Sunset Boulevard, and Disney’s The Little Mermaid. He has also designed the upcoming production of Legally Blonde.
LEON DOBKOWSKI (Costume Designer) returns to MTWichita, where last year he received critical acclaim for the costumes he created for Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Other design credits include Romeo and Juliet (Yale Repertory Theater); Red, The Woolgatherer, Romance/Romance (Cape May Stage); La Ronde and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Yale School of Drama); Flowers and Other Stories, Nijinsky’s Last Dance (Yale Cabaret); Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Yale Summer Cabaret); The Leopard and the Fox (Alter Ego, NYIT Award Nomination Outstanding Costume Design); 6969 (59E59); and Smoking Bloomberg (New York Musical Theatre Festival). Assistant design credits include Nice Work If You Can Get It, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, Shrek the Musical, Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Broadway); as well as productions at Goodspeed Musicals, Paper Mill Playhouse, MUNY, Signature Theater, Live from Lincoln Center, MCC, Irish Repertory Theatre, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Gold Unit. Upcoming projects include Son of a Gun (Off Broadway) as well as Associate Costume Designer of the Sister Act National Tour. MFA Yale School of Drama. www.leondobkowski.com
DAVID NEVILLE Lighting Designer/Projections) is enjoying his 29th 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, Paper Mill 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, California Music Circus, The 5th Avenue Theatre and Off-Broadway. David’s favorite designs at MTW include Les Misérables, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Cats, Ragtime, Once on this Island, and Jesus Christ Superstar. David also teaches lighting and scenic design at Wichita State University.
DAVID MUEHL (Sound Designer) begins his seventh 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 Sound Kingdom and for their continued support of MTWichita.
ALENA SELLERS (Wig and Makeup Designer) is very excited to be returning for her second season as wig and makeup designer, having served as the assistant designer the previous year. She lives in Wichita and spends most of the year working at Allure Salon. She has been doing hair for fourteen years, has spent five years as an Aveda Color Educator, and is grateful for this opportunity to work with so many wonderful people. A special thanks to Sandy, Jocelyn and Anna for all your hard work this season.
LIZ SPRAY (Property Master) is in her fifth season at MTWichita and is excited to take on the role of Prop Master this year. She is a St. Louis native and has enjoyed working around the country. Most recently she has worked at Opera Theater St. Louis as an artisan for their production of Carmen. She also toured this past fall with the National Tour of The Wizard of Oz as the Prop Supervisor and Pyrotechnics Operator. Some of her favorite productions she has worked on include Deathtrap (Northern Stage), Oh! What a Lovely War (National WWI Museum), I Love a Piano (National Tour), Sunset Boulevard, Les Miserables, Drowsy Chaperone (Music Theater of Wichita), Camelot, Dr. Faustus (Utah Shakespearian Festival).
JEFF TAYLOR (Production Manager) is extremely honored to be back with this excellent cast and crew for his 11th summer at MTWichita. Throughout the years since 2000, he’s had the chance to apprentice, build, design, and even act for MTWichita, and will now be 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 & Technology from UMKC. Jeff would like to thank the staff of MTWichita for their support and guidance, and thanks to his wonderful family for their love.
DEREK OLSON (Technical Director) is excited to be back with MTWichita where he started in 1999 as a floater between the prop shop, paint shop, electrics, sound, and the scene shop. He ended up floating his way permanently into the scene shop. Since then he has held the title of carpenter, master carpenter, technical director and car restoration specialist. He would like to thank his wife Jenny and his two beautiful children, Phillip and Evelyn.
DEBBIE ROBERTS (Costume Shop Manager) has designed costumes for many shows here, including Curtains, Les Misérables, 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, My Fair Lady (all of Eliza’s gowns), 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 of Wichita does, it is always a pleasure to work each season. While California is home, work in the costume field takes me to New York each Christmas season to work for the World Famous Radio City Rockettes. It has been over 20 years that Wichita has been my summer home and I look forward to meeting new people and learning new skills each time. Enjoy the shows!”
EMILY F. McMULLEN (Production Stage Manager) is back for her 13th summer with MTWichita. Previous productions here include The Music Man, Sunset Boulevard, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Curtains, Gypsy, Crazy for You, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Producers, Les Misérables, Big River, …Forum, Seven Brides…, Sweet Charity, Phantom!, Seussical, A Chorus Line, West Side Story, Chicago, Good News!, and ShowBoat. Throughout the year, she is the Production Stage Manager at Merrimack Repertory Theatre outside of Boston. She has also stage managed for North Shore Music Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, South Coast Repertory, Capital Repertory Theater, Musical Theatre Guild, Actors Theatre of Phoenix, Broadway Texas, Theatre Emory, and The Shadowland Theatre. Proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
TIFFANY K. ORR (Stage Manager) is originally from Oklahoma. She currently lives in Minneapolis / Saint Paul where she is the production manger for Theater Latte Da. While in the twin cities, she has also stage managed for companies including the Pillsbury House Theatre, The Children’s Theatre Company, Theatre Latte Da, Park Square Theatre, The Playwrights’ Center, The Director’s, and the Guthrie. Previously she has worked on more than a dozen productions as part of the stage management team at the Phoenix Theatre, including Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Women, You Can’t Take It With You, Smokey Joe’s Café and The Will Rogers Follies.
AMANDA BOWMAN (Assistant Stage Manager) is delighted to be returning for her 8th summer at MTWichita, and is very excited to graduate from WSU in December. During the year, she is stage manager for the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and is also a member of IATSE Local 190.
STEVE LANDES (Director of the Apprentice Program / Shopper-Buyer) is proud to return for his eighteenth 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!).
JENNIFER FISHER (Signing Interpreter) I’m thrilled and honored to be back for my fourth season at MTWichita. Interpreting music theatre is my dream job and I can’t thank Wayne and his staff enough for letting me return. Music is my passion and bringing that form of entertainment to the Deaf Community has been very rewarding. I keep busy with my two wonderful girls, Kara and Stephanie, and lead the Deaf Ministry at Central Community Church. Sporadically I interpret other theatrical productions in Wichita such as Wicked (2009) and Music Theatre for Young People’s production of No Small Feat (2011). My other interpreting passion (besides MTWichita), is concerts. I’ve worked with: Castin Crowns, Michael W. Smith, Jeremy Camp, and Clay Aiken. I would like to thank my husband for his support and most importantly God for the blessings He’s given me and the opportunity to work in such an amazing place.
A History of the Musical
A History of the Musical by Wayne Bryan
Opened on April 29, 2007, Palace Theatre;
Directed and Choreographed by Jerry Mitchell
Scenic Design by David Rockwell
Costume Design by Gregg Barnes
Lighting Design by Ken Posner & Paul Miller
Sound Design by Acme Sound Partners
Hair Design by David Brian Brown
Music Supervisor James Sampliner
Orchestrations by Christopher Jahnke
Arrangements by Laurence O’Keefe & James Sampliner
Music Director/Conductor – Jan Rosenberg
Original Cast featured Laura Bell Bundy, Christian Borle, Orfeh, Michael Rupert, Kate Shindle, Nikki Snelson
Based on the 2001 film, directed by Robert Luketic, featuring
Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Jennifer Coolidge,
Victor Garber, Matthew Davis, Selma Blair
(The Broadway cast album is well performed and quite enjoyable, but the 2010 London cast
recording is even livelier, and reflects the authors’ revised version of the show.
The October 2009 MTV broadcast of the show is not commercially available.)
Amanda Brown was born in 1970 in Phoenix, AZ, a late-arriving fourth child for renowned intellectual property lawyer Jack E. Brown and successful gallery owner (and Harvard Law School dropout) Suzanne J. Brown. Family friends say Amanda’s parents were inclined to spoil the child to make up for the lack of time their careers allowed them to spend with her.
Arcadia High School in North Phoenix introduced Amanda to the Greek life, since the high school actually had sororities and rush activities. It was here that Amanda also adopted her frilly pink demeanor, including her Hello Kitty calculator.
She spent a partial year in Delta Gamma sorority while a student at USC, but left the school when they intensified the math requirement. Amanda graduated from Arizona State University in 1993, and then took dozens of LSAT tests, applying for law schools. Stanford accepted her, and she packed her pet Bishon Frise named Underdog and set out for Palo Alto, California.
Fellow classmates did not welcome the new arrival, with her pink legal pads and fluffy topped pens, but Amanda soon found humor in everything she was experiencing, and began overnighting letters and stories to her best friend Serena, who in turn would host parties where the tales were read aloud.
What started as a series of essays turned into a novel, copyrighted in 1994, but not actually published until two years after the film came out. (Originally, family friend Brigid Kerrigan was credited as co-author, but eventually Kerrigan’s credit disappeared from the work.) Amanda Brown dropped out of Law School in her second year, but had found her calling as a novelist.
While publishers didn’t see the story’s potential, Hollywood did, and a bidding war commenced. The pitch? Valley Girl meets and beats The Paper Chase.
MGM Studios and producer Marc Platt released a hugely popular film version in 2001, with a smart and funny screenplay by Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith, and featuring a delightful performance by Reese Witherspoon as title character Elle Woods. The film, made for $18 million dollars, grossed over 40 million dollars in the first ten days of its release, and went on to huge international success. A 2003 sequel was deemed inferior, but still financially rewarding.
Sensing more potential in the property, MGM On Stage decided to turn it into a Broadway musical and engaged husband and wife team Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin (Bat Boy) to provide the score, and journalist / screenwriter Heather Hach (Freaky Friday) to create the libretto.
Creatively directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, the show enjoyed a well-received tryout in San Francisco in February of 2007 and then, with very minor changes, opened on Broadway in April. Cordially received by the critics, the show received seven Tony nominations and ten Drama Desk nominations. However, the gritty Spring Awakening took all the awards that season, and Legally Blonde went away empty handed.
When box office receipts started slipping, Legally Blonde was video-recorded in performance and shown on the MTV network in October and November of 2007, the first time a Broadway show was ever broadcast in its entirety while still running in New York. MTV followed with a reality show called Legally Blonde – The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods, which aimed to cast a replacement for Laura Bell Bundy on Broadway. The results of the taped competition were first aired on July 21, 2008, and winner Bailey Hanks debuted as Elle on July 23. The runner-up, Autumn Hurlbert, also debuted as a Delta Nu sorority sister. Legally Blonde toured the U.S. from 2008 to 2011.
A slightly revised edition debuted in London’s West End on January 13, 2010. Nominated for five Laurence Olivier Awards, the show won three, for ‘Best New Musical’, ‘Best Actress in a Musical’ (Sheridan Smith), and ‘Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical’ (Jill Halfpenny, as Paulette). When it closed there on April 7, 2012, it had enjoyed 974 performances, significantly more than it played on Broadway.
We are very excited to introduce Legally Blonde to this region as the Season Finale for our 41st summer. The show is all about believing in oneself, and empowering the people with whom you come in contact. To us at Music Theatre of Wichita, this seems entirely appropriate!
We look forward to seeing you next summer. Thanks for your support of what we do!
MUSIC THEATRE INTERNATIONAL (www.mtishows.com is one of the world’s leading dramatic licensing agencies, protecting the rights and legacies of composers, lyricists and book writers. MTI’s core business is issuing licenses, scripts, musical materials and dynamic theatrical resources to schools as well as amateur and professional theatres across the globe. With over 300 classic and contemporary show titles from Broadway, Off-Broadway, and London’s West End, MTI shows have been performed by 60,000 theatrical organizations in the US and in over 60 countries worldwide. MTI is particularly dedicated to the idea of theatre as education and has created special collections for younger audiences.