Mary Poppins

Mary PoppinsMary Poppins
August 9 – 11 & 14 – 18

The Disney Company, in partnership with Cameron Mackintosh, has agreed to allow MTWichita to be one of the first theatres in the country to develop its own production of this all-family classic. The beloved songs from the film, including “Chim Chim Cheree,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” “Feed the Birds,” and “A Spoonful of Sugar,” have been expanded and enhanced with new material from Stiles and Drewe (HONK!).

A Musical based on the stories of  P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney  Film
Original Music and Lyrics  by Richard M.  Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
Book by Julian  Fellowes
New Songs and Additional Music and  Lyrics by George Stiles  and Anthony Drewe
Co-Created by Cameron  Mackintosh
Originally Produced by  Cameron  Mackintosh and Thomas  Schumacher for Disney

 

Regional Premiere
Rated G

 

 


Guest Artists

Lindsey BlivenLINDSEY BLIVEN (Mary Poppins) is ‘over the rooftops’ and very honored to be performing again at Music Theatre of Wichita where she appeared in the resident company and was featured as Philia in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Originally from Hendersonville, Tennessee (near Nashville), Lindsey graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Oklahoma. She has toured the U.S., Canada, and Japan in shows such as The Wizard of Oz, A Chorus Line, Oklahoma! (playing Laurey and dancing her own dream ballet) and the National Tour of Mary Poppins, understudying the title character, and playing it on numerous occasions. She performed in Singin’ in the Rain (Kathy u/s) at the Westchester Broadway Theatre and considers New York her home now. Lindsey’s Mom, Dad, grandma and extended family now reside in Wichita and Lindsey is thrilled to return here to play this wonderful character! Lindsey knew she wanted to perform since she was ten years old and saw the tour of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. It’s always been a desire of hers to pass the Disney dream on to the next generation.  “I consider myself very lucky knowing what I wanted to do with my life at such an early age, and I’ve been working very hard to achieve that goal ever since.” Thank you to Wayne, Nancy, Josh and Harden-Curtis. For my family. ‘Reach for the stars! Anything can happen if you let it!’

David ElderDAVID ELDER (Bert) returns to MTWichita, where he has appeared as Don Lockwood in Singin’ in the Rain, a character he also played for Goodspeed Musicals, and as Bobby Child in Crazy for You, a role which won him a Kevin Kline Award for his performance at Stages St. Louis. Broadway credits include Curtains (Bobby Pepper), 42nd Street (Billy Lawlor, Outer Critics and Astaire Award Noms.), Kiss Me Kate (Bill Calhoun/ Lucentio), Titanic (Fleet, the lookout), Once Upon A Mattress (Sir Harry), Damn Yankees (Bomber), Beauty and the Beast, and Guys and Dolls. David charmed as ladies’ man Phil Davis in the National Tour of White Christmas, played Joe Hardy in the National Tour of DamnYankees opposite Jerry Lewis, and won rave reviews from the New York Times for his leading role in the Jack Cole anthology Heatwave. For Los Angeles Reprise! he portrayed Gabey in On the Town, for Encores! in New York he was Timothy Harper in Strike Up the Band opposite Kristin Chenoweth, for the Walnut Street Theatre he was Hildy Johnson in Windy City, and at Stages St. Louis he played bridegroom Robert Martin in The Drowsy Chaperone. TV/Film credits include Across the Universe, Cradle Will Rock, Jeffrey and “The Guiding Light.”

Damon KirscheDAMON KIRSCHE (Mr. Banks) happily returns to MTWichita, where he has been seen as The Scarlet Pimpernel, Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, King Arthur in Camelot, Franklin Hart, Jr. in 9 to 5, Galahad in Spamalot, and in concert with Kelli O’Hara. Last fall, Damon starred as Julian Marsh in 4nd Street at California’s Carpenter Center and as Rick Anderson in the new Harold Arlen musical One For My Baby at the New 42nd St. Studios. Favorite roles include Kodaly in She Loves Me and Granite in On the 20th Century (Reprise!), Logos in Eric Whitacre’s Paradise Lost: Shadows & Wings (Carnegie Hall and Walt Disney Concert Hall), Curly in Oklahoma! (CLOSBC), Carl Magnus in A Little Night Music (South Coast Repertory), the Dentist (and others) in Little Shop of Horrors (Cabrillo Music Theatre), and numerous appearances with NY’s Encores Series and L.A.’s Musical Theatre Guild. Recent concerts: the “American Showstoppers” series with the Fred Barton Orchestra at NY’s Schimmel Center, Bruce Kimmel’s “Kritzerland” cabaret series in LA, and with vintage swing orchestra Dean Mora and his “Modern Rhythmists,” with whom he’ll appear July 4th for the 25th Anniversary of Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing series. Damon can be heard on various recordings with Dean Mora and His Orchestra and on the recently released “Lyrics and Music by Charles Bloom: In Here.” He appears as Harry McCarthy in the Civil War film Gods and Generals and as the first “Nuu’bari” on the “Star Trek: Voyager” TV series. Training: Juilliard. DamonKirsche.com.

Claire GerigCLAIRE GERIG (Winifred Banks) made her MTWichita debut in Les Misérables, and has continued throughout the summer, most recently as the Butcher’s seductive wife Mrs. Metcalf in Betty Blue Eyes.  A Wichita native, she will be a senior at Wichita State University pursuing a BFA in Music Theatre where she was last seen as Amalia in She Loves Me, directed by Wayne Bryan. While a student at Maize High School, Claire was selected to represent the Jester Awards in the Leading Actress category at the National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York City. Thanks to Wayne and all of MTWichita. Love to Linda, Amy, Pina, Marie, Bret, Mom & Dad.

Londen PeeblerLONDEN PEEBLER (Jane Banks) is so thrilled to be returning to MTWichita for a second time after appearing as Beaky in HONK! last season. Other favorite appearances include The Little Mermaid Jr. (Ariel), Beauty and the Beast Jr. (Babette), Willy Wonka Jr. and Babes in Toyland. Londen shares her stage time with Young World Dance Studio as a member of their competition team. Many thanks to Amy Menas, Janna Kaba, and Brandy Hallacy for their continued guidance, and to Wayne, Josh, and Nancy for believing in her for this truly amazing role!

Edward SturmEDWARD STURM (Michael) is ecstatic to be performing with MTWichita for his third summer! Some of his favorite theatre credits include Louis in MTWichita’s The King & I last month, Billy in HONK! (MTWichita), Sebastian in The Little Mermaid Jr. (The Independent School), Jojo in Seussical (MTYP), and Little Jake in Annie Get Your Gun (Crown Uptown Theatre). Edward will be in the 6th grade at The Independent School this fall, swims year round at the Wichita Swim Club and plays cello and trombone. A big thanks to Wayne, Amy, Mom, Dad & Claire, God, and all of the great people at MTW. “Anything can happen if you let it!”

Karen RobuKAREN L. ROBU (Bird Woman / Miss Andrew) has performed in 15 of the past 18 seasons. Highlights include Rose in Gypsy, Madame Thenardier in Les Misérables, Golde in Fiddler on the Roof, Roz in 9-5, Mayor Matilda Hyde in All Shook Up, Ms. Darbus in High School Musical, Martha Watson in White Christmas, the Wicked Witch in Wizard of Oz, Emma Goldman in Ragtime, Maureen / Lowbutt in HONK! (2001 and 2012 productions), Dolly in Annie Get Your Gun and Mayzie in Seussical. Karen’s credits as a director include Children of Eden , Cotton Patch Gospel, Tuesdays with Morrie, and Violet, as well as her own original piece No Cross, No Crown, about suffragist Antoinette Brown Blackwell. Karen has also directed for MTYP, the Crown Uptown Theatre and taught classes for MGM Studio of the Dance and Camp Allegro. Karen’s two beautiful daughters, age 14 and 10, enjoy performing as well and will be seen onstage this summer. Karen recently graduated from Phillips Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree. She is Minister of Faith Formation for Plymouth Congregational Church in Wichita and invites the entire city to her ordination ceremony on September 15. Thanks to Wayne for another opportunity to spend the summer at MTW and to her favorite actor, husband Tim for his love and support.

Katie BanksKATIE BANKS (Mrs. Brill) is thrilled to be back “home” at MTWichita. Katie was last seen here as stepsister Portia in Cinderella (Mary Jane Teall Award) and Smitty in How to Succeed. Katie is a proud graduate of Wichita State University. She has been in both the National Tour and Broadway Companies of The Phantom of the Opera, where she was the cover for the role of Carlotta.  Katie has also performed at Carnegie Hall in Jerry Springer: The Opera and many off-Broadway musical revues. She was the guest soloist with the Wichita Symphony for the Spirit of Christmas Concert. Katie has performed in various concerts around the United States and Canada. After living her Broadway dream, she is mommy to Isabelle and Benjamin. Katie is the director of drama at El Dorado High School. Her drama program was the recipient of 10 Jester Awards including Overall Production, Director and Music Director. To Wayne, Thank you! To my incredible family-I love you!

Hannah FreemanHANNAH FREEMAN (Mrs. Corry) 2nd MTW season, where she was just featured as Mrs. Turnbull (“Magic Fingers”) in Betty Blue Eyes. Hannah is a senior musical theatre major at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). Favorite CCM credits include Jenny (The Threepenny Opera), Dream Laurey (Oklahoma!) and Fredrika (A Little Night Music). Other credits: Solo Dancer in Oklahoma! with Ashley Brown at the Lyric Opera of Chicago (dir. Gary Griffin). Many thanks to Wayne, Nancy and MTW, and much love to family and DB.

Michael HartungMICHAEL HARTUNG (Neleus / Assistant to Choreographer) made his MTW debut with Spamalot, played Feuilly in Les Misérables, King Simon of Legree in The King and I, and most recently help the title character come to life in Betty Blue Eyes.  A native of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, Michael is a rising senior Musical Theatre major at the University of Michigan. Michael also trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England. Past favorites include The King and I, Thoroughly Modern Millie (The MUNY) Oliver!, Cats (West Virginia Public Theatre) All’s Well That Ends Well, The Last Tempest (RADA), Chicago, Brigadoon, The Full Monty, Crazy for You (U of M). So much love to family and friends. Go Blue!

Elliott MattoxELLIOTT MATTOX (Robertson Ay)  2nd MTW season.  Elliott has performed here in Les Misérables, The King and I, Betty Blue Eyes, The Music Man, Finian’s Rainbow, Sunset Boulevard, Xanadu, and Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Other credits include Jack (Into the Woods), Tobias Ragg (Sweeney Todd), Phil D’Armano (The Wild Party) at Oklahoma City University; Hugo Peabody (Bye Bye Birdie) at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. He will be a senior musical theatre major at OCU in the fall. Love and gratitude to Wayne and everyone at MTW, and to his friends and families at OCU and in Kentucky.

 

Timothy  RobuTIMOTHY W. ROBU (Admiral Boom / Bank Chairman) is delighted to be a part of this year’s MTWichita season, as well as many previous ones. Audiences may remember Tim in past roles such as Thenardier in Les Misérables, Bedevere in Spamalot, John Hancock in 1776, Billis in South Pacific, the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, Amos Hart in Chicago, Oscar Shapiro in Curtains, Mr. Feldzeig in The Drowsy Chaperone, Herbie in Gypsy, and Lazar Wolf in Fiddler. Tim also performs at several other venues in the Wichita area, including Mosley Street Melodrama and the Crown Uptown Theatre. Tim served as Technical Director for the Crown Theatre and Artistic Director of the children’s program for over twenty years. He now works as an Exhibit Technician for Exploration Place. When not working at Wichita ‘s fine theatres, Tim has plenty to keep him busy as father to his two daughters, Katie and Francie. An added bonus to this year’s season is the chance to perform with his talented wife Karen in three of the season’s shows. Thanks to Wayne and all the folks in Wichita who produce theatre, perform theatre, and enjoy theatre. They make the Wichita area a great place to work, live, and bring up kids in.


Supporting Cast


Robert ArizaROBERT ARIZA This is Robert’s second season at MTWichita, where he recently played Town Councilman Mr. Lockwood in Betty Blue Eyes. Robert is a rising senior pursuing a BFA from The University of Michigan. Recent UM credits: Sunday in the Park with George (Mr./ Lee Randolph), Spring Awakening (Hanschen), Next Fall (Brandon). Recent awards: Emerging Talent Award from the Lotte Lenya Competition sponsored by the Kurt Weill Foundation, Roger Sturtevant Award in Musical Theatre through Actors’ Equity. Thanks to everyone at MTW, and his family and friends in NY and at UM.  

Daniel BeemanDANIEL BEEMAN debuted here in Les Misérables, and was featured as butcher Metcalf in Betty Blue Eyes. Originally from Bellevue, Nebraska, Daniel will be a senior at UMKC in the fall. His favorite performances include Next To Normal (Gabe), The Nutcracker (Ensemble), the World Championships of Irish Dance, the Celtic Irish Dance Festival at Walt Disney World, and many performances with the Omaha Symphony. Many thanks to friends, the Stanek clan, Mom, Dad, Jean, Chris, Bri, and Tricia for their undying support!

Daniel BevinsDANIEL BEVINS 1st MTW sesaon. Originally from Atlanta, GA, Daniel is a rising junior at Elon University pursuing a BFA in Music Theatre. He has worked professionally at Artpark (Cinderella) and The Muny (Thoroughly Modern Millie and Aladdin!). Past favorites include: Hair, A Man of No Importance, The Wild Party, Into the Woods, and Les Misérables. So much love and gratitude to his outstanding family, friends, teachers, and to Wayne, Nancy, and the entire MTWichita family for making this wonderful opportunity possible!

Kathryn BoswellKATHRYN BOSWELL made her MTWichita debut as Cosette in Les Misérables, and was featured as nosy Mrs. Tillbrook in Betty Blue Eyes. She is a recent musical theatre graduate of CCM and some of her favorite recent credits include: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Naomi) at Know Theatre of Cincinnati, [title of show] (Heidi), Chess (Svetlana) Spring Awakening (Wendla) at CCM, Little Women (Amy) and Seussical (Mayzie) at CVC, and The Importance of Being Earnest (Cecily) with Hamilton Theatre. Kathryn is also a voice actress with Radio Disney. Thanks to my family, the Lookers, and to God for these pockets of grace!

Jacob ChancellorJACOB CHANCELLOR 2nd MTW season. Originally from Edmond, OK, he is going into his senior year at The University of Oklahoma! Credits: OU University: On The Town (Chip), …Forum (Protean). Lyric Theatre OKC: Xanadu, 42nd Street, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Broadway Rose (Oregon): The Drowsy Chaperone (George). MTWichita: Spamalot, The Music Man, Finian’s Rainbow, Sunset Boulevard, Xanadu, Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Thanks and love to family and friends for all the love and support.

Kimberly CorbettKIM CORBETT made her MTW debut in Les Misérables, performed in The King and I, and was featured as Princess Elizabeth and Mrs. Lester (“Magic Fingers”) in Betty Blue Eyes. This fall she will begin her senior year as a BFA in musical theatre at Penn State University, where she was most recently seen as Susan in [title of show]. Previous credits also include All Shook Up (Natalie), Bernstein’s Mass (Swing), and Grand Hotel (Raffaela). Love to Mom&Dad. kimberlycorbett.com

Caleb DickeCALEB DICKE 2nd MTW season, having performed last summer in Fiddler on the Roof (Russian), 9 to 5, Honk! (Barnacles), Singin’ in the Rain, and Legally Blonde, and in Spamalot, Les Misérables, The King and I and Betty Blue Eyes this year. He will be a senior dance performance major this fall at Oklahoma City University. While at OCU, he has performed in the American Spirit Dance Company’s Home for the Holidays Christmas Show and Spring Show, as well as Legally Blonde (Kiki) and The Wedding Singer (Billy Idol).

Eleanor FishmanELEANOR FISHMAN (Mary understudy) is from Pennington, NJ and made her MTWichita debut as Fantine in Les Misérables. She is a rising junior Musical Theatre major at the University of Michigan where she has played Amanda Gronich in The Laramie Project and ensemble in Spring Awakening. Some other favorite roles include Erma in Anything Goes and Maria in The Sound of Music. Thanks to MTW for this wonderful opportunity and to her family both in New Jersey and at UM for their unending love and support.

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Rebecca GansREBECCA GANS, recently featured as Topsy in The King and I, is a Wichita native and a dance performance major at Oklahoma City University. Her favorite credits include Thoroughly Modern Millie (Millie), Footloose (Ariel) and The Pajama Game (Gladys). Performing with MTW created some of Rebecca’s favorite memories as a kid, and she is excited to be a company this summer. Thanks to her family, friends, and The Man up above for supporting her in all her dreams.

Dylan HarrisDYLAN HARRIS is so thrilled to be a part of the MTWichita family this summer as a teen intern! Next year Dylan will be an incoming freshman at Wichita State University, where he will major in musical theatre. You may have seen Dylan in Les Misérables, Xanadu, Finian’s Rainbow or Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Dylan would like to thank his family for all of their love and support, Wayne, Nancy, Josh, and the directors for giving him a really great opportunity!

 

Catherine HelmCATHERINE HELM 2nd MTW season. A rising senior at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music’s Musical Theatre program, Catherine’s favorite roles include: Mae in Street Scene, Molly in The Threepenny Opera, and Lucinda in Into the Woods. Other favorites include Oklahoma!, Out of this World, Under Construction II, and Into a Lamplit Room. Love and thanks to friends and family, and to Wayne, Nancy, and the MTW family.

Dan HornDAN HORN (Reg Bowen, Handyman) 3rd MTWichita season. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma class of 2013. Some of his favorite roles at the University are Ozzie in On The Town, Wickersham Brother #2 in Seussical the Musical, and The Puppet Master in The Adventures of Pinocchio. Thanks to Wayne and Nancy for giving him such an amazing opportunity and his family for their endless love and support.

Emily KellyEMILY KELLY 1st MTW season. She is from Sacramento, California, and will be entering her sophomore year as a BFA Musical Theatre student at Indiana University. Favorite roles include Thea in Spring Awakening (IU Theatre), the Witch in Into the Woods, Mayzie La Bird in Seussical, and Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd. Thanks to her family and friends back home and at IU for their endless support, and the entire MTW team.

Brooke LacyBROOKE LACY (Mrs. Lockwood) 2nd MTW season. She is an upcoming senior Musical Theatre major at the University of Oklahoma. Favorite credits include: On the Town (Dance Captain/Ensemble), Avenue Q (Mrs. T/ Bad Idea Bear U/S), Seussical (Bird Girl), The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber (Soloist), and OKC Philharmonic’s A Very Merry Pops (Mistletoe). Love and thanks to her wonderful family for their support, to Cary and Julie Danielson for inspiring her, and to Wayne, Nancy, Josh, and all of MTW for this amazing opportunity!

Evan MayerEVAN MAYER 2nd MTW season. Originally from Milwaukee, WI, Evan recently graduated from Indiana University with a BFA in Musical Theatre. MTW: Betty Blue Eyes (Sgt. Noble), Fiddler on the Roof (Motel), Legally Blonde (Kiki), 9 to 5, Honk!, Singin’ in the Rain, The King and I, Les Misérables. Other favorites include Cabaret (Emcee), Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour), and Sweeney Todd (Anthony). While in school he spent two years recording and performing with IU’s Grammy-nominated Singing Hoosiers as a featured soloist, with notable performances in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Love and thanks to Wayne and Nancy, and to my family and friends for their incredible support.

Trevor McChristianTREVOR McCHRISTIAN just completed his senior year at Maize High School and will be an incoming freshman at Wichita State University this fall! He is thrilled to be working at MTWichita for his third summer in a row, and was proud to represent the MTW Jester Awards at the 2013 National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York City. Trevor has previously been seen at MTW in The King and I, Fiddler on the Roof, Singin’ in the Rain, Finian’s Rainbow, and Disney’s The Little Mermaid. He gives many humble thanks to Wayne, Nancy, Josh, Thomas, Doris, and his family for providing him with more opportunities than he can imagine at such a young age.

Alexander H. MillerALEXANDER H. MILLER made his MTW debut as Jean Prouvaire in Les Misérables. From OKC, OK, Alex is a musical theatre major at the University of Michigan in the class of 2016. Thanks to Amy, JBR, Jay, Dr. Bill, and Dr. H. for years of training and continued encouragement. Love to Mom, Dad, and Elle for the unconditional support, and thanks to Wayne, Nancy and MTW. Thank you to the entire UMICH faculty and friends especially Brent Wagner, Linda Goodrich and Catherine Walker Adams. Credits: UMich: Crazy for You; Lyric Theatre OKC: Oliver!, Hairspray. Go Blue!

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Carolyn Anne MillerCAROLYN ANNE MILLER was thrilled to make her MTWichita debut as Eponine in Les Misérables, and also enjoyed playing bratty Veronica in the U. S. premiere of Betty Blue Eyes. As an upcoming junior at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, her other favorite credits include Roxie Hart in Chicago, Kim MacAfee in Bye, Bye, Birdie, and Lost Boy (Twin Two) in Peter Pan. A special thanks to MTWichita for this lovely opportunity, and all of my love and thanks to my dear friends and Mom, Dad, Ali, Mock, George, Camille, and Grandma.

Chet NormentCHET NORMENT 2nd season at MTW, where credits include Les Misérables, The King and I, Betty Blue Eyes (Prince Philip), Legally Blonde (Pforzheimer), Singin’ in the Rain, Honk!, 9 to 5, and Fiddler on the Roof. Regional: Joseph…Dreamcoat (Theatre of the Stars), Hairspray (IQ/Dance Captain, ZACH Theatre), Deborah Cox’s Everybody Dance (The Mirage). University: Crazy for You (Pete/Dance Captain), She Loves Me, Tapped Out, and Dancing in the Blackbox. Film: Right on Sunset (Steve). Chet will be a senior BFA Acting major at Elon University this fall. Love to Wayne, Nancy, the Fam, and Kit!

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Faith NorthcuttFAITH NORTHCUTT is honored and thrilled to return to MTWichita this summer!  Recently seen at MTWichita in The King and I, Singin’ in the Rain, Fiddler on the Roof, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Finian’s Rainbow (Diana), Gypsy (Young Louise) and Les Mis (Young Cosette, 2008), and in the Teen Choir. Favorite roles include: Annie Annie at MTYP, Susan in White Christmas at the  Crown, and Nativity Angel in Celebrate 2012 at Signature Theatre. She will be an incoming IB freshman at East High and enjoys dancing, archery and plays the oboe. Love & thanks to Wayne, Nancy, Josh and MTW for this amazing opportunity!

Nick PalmquistNICHOLAS PALMQUIST 3rd MTWichita season. Nick is a 2013 graduate of Oklahoma City University, with a Bachelor of Performing Arts, Nicholas’ fifteen MTW shows include Spamalot, Les Misérables, The King and I, Betty Blue Eyes, Legally Blonde (UPS man Kyle), 9 to 5, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, The Music Man, and of course, Singin’ in the Rain. Nicholas sends thanks to Wayne, Thomas and Nancy for the overwhelming opportunities and support, and love to his friends, his family, and his outrageously beautiful fiancé.

Becca PetersenBECCA PETERSEN 1st MTW season. She is originally from Carmel, Indiana and will be a senior in the fall studying musical theatre at Brigham Young University. Favorite credits: Thoroughly Modern Millie at The MUNY (Lucille/ensemble), Dreamgirls at The MUNY (Sweetheart/ensemble), Oklahoma! (Laurey), and Beauty and the Beast (Belle). She recently performed in China with the BYU Young Ambassadors, and this fall will play Clara in The Light in the Piazza at BYU. Gratitude to everyone at MTWichita, and a big thank you to her family and friends for their endless support!

Sarah QuinnSARAH QUINN 4th MTW season. Sarah, a Wichita native, recently completed her freshman year at the University of Oklahoma (BFA Musical Theatre), and made her University Theatre debut in On the Town. Favorite MTW shows include Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Ariel u/s), 9 to 5, and Legally Blonde (Greek Chorus). Thanks to Wayne and the entire MTWichita family, and love to family, friends, and Jeff for their constant love and encouragement. 1 Peter 4:10-11

Ben RiveraBENJAMIN RIVERA 2nd MTWichita season. He recently finished his junior year at Oklahoma City University as a dance performance major. Some favorite past shows include: 7 Brides for 7 Brothers (Benjamin) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Simeon). Favorites at MTW include: Legally Blonde (Nikos), Spamalot, Les Misérables, The King and I, Singin’ in the Rain,and 9 to 5. He would like to thank his friends and family for all their unconditional love. Jeremiah 29:11

Sean RonayneSEAN RONAYNE (Butcher Barraclough), originally from Lake Zurich, Illinois, is excited to be back for his second season with MTWichita, and loved playing Enjolras in Les Misérables! He just graduated from Elon University with a BFA in Music Theatre, and will be moving to New York in the fall. Favorite roles include Robbie in A Man of No Importance (Elon University), and all five shows last season at MTWichita, including the Production Tenor in last season’s Singin’ in the Rain.. Thanks and love to Mom, Dad, Brian, Bridget, and also Wayne, Nancy, and Thomas for the wonderful opportunities and endless support!

Riza TakahashiRIZA TAKAHASHI has performed here in Spamalot, Les Misérables, and as Little Eva in The King and I. Education: BFA in Musical Theatre at The Hartt School. Recent credits include: MUNY: Little Eva/Fan Dancer (King and I), Ensemble (Thoroughly Modern Millie). Woodstock Playhouse: Connie Wong (A Chorus Line), Crissy (HAIR), Charity (Anything Goes). Love and thanks to my family, friends, and the Hartt family, and also to MTWichita for this amazing opportunity!

Andy TofaANDY TOFA 1st MTW season. Andy is currently a student at OU’s School of Musical Theatre (2016). OU credits include: School of Dance’s Cinderella and School of Musical Theatre’s On the Town. He is from California, but he currently lives in Saint George, Utah. His nationality is Filipino and Samoan, he enjoys playing sports, and greatly enjoys food from different ethnicities. He is grateful for the love and support of his friends and family. He is excited to be a part of the MTWichita family.

Katie WeslerKATIE WESLER (Kitt) 1st MTW season. A senior Musical Theatre major at CCM, Katie received the 2013 Kurt Weill Foundation of Music Emerging Talent Award and the 2013 Roger Sturtevant Award from Actors’ Equity. CCM credits include Parade (Sally Slaton), Chess (The Arbiter’s Assistant), and Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite. Professional roles include Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street (Tent Theatre), Shelby Thorpe in The Spitfire Grill and Maggie Pelletier in Red Herring (Timber Lake Playhouse), and Hunyak in Chicago (Red Mountain Theatre Company). Thanks to Wayne and Nancy, and to her family for their support.

Hayley WilhelmHAYLEY WILHELM 1st MTW season. Hayley is a dance management major at Oklahoma City University and just completed her junior year. She has been seen in numerous American Spirit Dance Company shows at OCU and in Legally Blonde at OCU. She has also danced in the Mary Kay Cosmetics 2012 International Seminar. Thanks to Wayne, Nancy, and Josh, and to her husband Zachary, Mom, Dad, Hannah, and Grandmommy for their support!

Zack WilhelmZACK WILHELM (Butcher Nuttall) 3rd MTW season. Zack is a part of the 2013 graduating Musical Theatre class at Otterbein University, where credits include Paul in Carnival, Eddie in Andrew Lippa’s Wild Party, and Robert Martin in The Drowsy Chaperone. Thanks to everyone at MTWichita for the amazing opportunity, and endless gratitude to his wife Hayley (whom he has the joy of performing alongside this summer), Nick, Mom, and to the Good Lord for a truly wonderful life!

Sumire YuSUMIRE YU is ecstatic to be making her MTWichita debut and to be a part of the family this summer! Originally from Tokyo, Japan, Sumire is a junior musical theatre major at Elon University. Elon credits include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Marcy Park) and Hair (Tribe). Thank you to my family at home and at Elon for their endless love and support, as well as Wayne, Nancy, and MTW for this incredible opportunity.

 

Artistic Staff

Wayne BryanWAYNE BRYAN (Producing Director / Director) is thrilled to be directing Mary Poppins as the finale of his 26th season at MTWichita, where he has now produced 130 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). As director, he launched the new musical Festival starring Gregory Harrison, Stephanie Zimbalist and Brian Stokes Mitchell in its Los Angeles, Washington, and New York engagements. He has helmed several award-winning editions of Tintypes across the country, and directed dozens of regional plays and musicals for theatres including Musical Theatre West, Theatre Under the Stars, and 42nd Street Moon. 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. Two of Wayne’s happiest MTWichita experiences this summer have been the chance to produce and direct both the American premiere of Betty Blue Eyes, and this regional premiere of Mary Poppins. Thanks and love to our superlative cast, brilliant artistic collaborators, and tireless crew.

Linda GoodrichLINDA GOODRICH (Choreographer) has directed and choreographed throughout the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Directing credits include Bat Boy and Smokey Joe’s Café for TheatreWorks, both of which received San Francisco Bay Area Awards for excellence in direction. Other directing credits include Cabaret, Crazy for You, Side Show, Oklahoma!, Jesus Christ Superstar, Tommy!, 42nd Street, and new works Gibson Fleck and A Good Boy. Choreographic credits include Company with Carol Burnett, High Button Shoes and Strike Up The Band at Goodspeed Opera House, Singin’ in the Rain and Annie at Paper Mill Playhouse, plus a national tour and several regional productions of Singin’ in the Rain (beginning here at  MTWichita). NYC credits include Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, New York Music Theatre Festival, and Platforms (Best Choreography). Linda credits much of her artistic development to her work at MTW, which  includes Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Cabaret, Sweet Charity, West Side Story, The Producers, Funny Girl, Hello, Dolly!, Damn Yankees, South Pacific,  Oliver!, The Music Man, Seussical, On the Town (in which she also  played “Miss Turnstiles” Ivy Smith), and the world premiere of the revised Good News!. Last summer she received raves for her direction and choreography for Singin’ in the Rain. Other theatres include TUTS in Houston, Seattle’s 5th Avenue, Sacramento Music Circus, St. Louis MUNY, Pittsburgh CLO, St. Louis Rep., La Mirada, and Cincinnati Playhouse. Linda performed in the Broadway and national companies of Cabaret, and staged the European tour. Her work has also been seen in touring editions of Blues Clues Live!, Dora the Explorer, and KidzBop Live!. She lives in Michigan with her sons Tyler and Garret, where she is a professor of musical theatre at the University of Michigan. Thank you and great love and appreciation to Wayne, who fueled every step of her career!

THOMAS W. DOUGLAS (Musical Director / Conductor) is thrilled to continue his 14th season with his wonderful artistic family at MTWichita, with Mary Poppins being his 50th production with this remarkable company. Thomas has done more than 200 musical theatre, 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 concert of standard choral masterpieces with a fusion rock band and string orchestra accompaniment, plus a presentation of Charlie Chaplin shorts with an all Bach soundtrack. 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 BransonJ 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.  J’s many designs at MTWichita have included Hairspray, Legally Blonde, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Beauty and the Beast, HONK!, 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.

George T MitchellGEORGE T. MITCHELL (Costume Designer) has designed Sunset Boulevard, The Drowsy Chaperone, HONK!, The Pajama Game, and Damn Yankees for MTWichita. George is the costume designer for “The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson” on CBS. In addition to creating an image for the host, George designs a multitude of costumes for the nightly sketch comedy segments. He has also designed for music videos, opera, and ballet. Theaters in which his costumes have been seen include San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, and The Kennedy Center. George’s passion for costume design has made him a sought-after lecturer for graduate and undergraduate classes nationwide. Thanks to Debbie, Heather, Karen, Shannon, and all the Guild volunteers. A big special thank you to the Costume Department for all of their hard work and dedication.

DAVID NEVILLE (Lighting Designer) is thrilled to begin his 30th 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 eighth 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 the fourth season as wig and makeup designer, having been assistant the first year. For her work with MTWichita, Alena is the recipient of a Mary Jane Teall Merit Award for the hair and makeup department. She lives in Wichita and spends most of the year working at Allure Salon. She has been doing hair for fifteen years, has spent six years as an Aveda Color Educator, and is grateful for the opportunity to work with so many talented people. A special thanks to Sandy, Joy and Jocelyn for all your hard work.

Michelle A. BisbeeMICHELLE A. BISBEE (Property Master) is excited to be joining the MTWichita for the British Invasion! She is a MFA Scenic Design Graduate from the University of Arizona. At the University she scenic designed Nine and Hay Fever, prop mastered four main stage shows, and managed the properties shop. Other credits include Assistant Head of Props for Cirque du Soleil’s LOVE, Properties and Puppets Technician for Cirque du Soleil’s KA, and Scenic Artist for the Utah Shakespearean Festival. Michelle would like to thank her family, friends and new family at the Music Theatre of Wichita for all of their support.

DEBBIE ROBERTS (Costumer / Shop Manager) has designed costumes for many shows here, including Curtains, Fiddler on the Roof, 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, for over 20 years Wichita has been my summer home, and I look forward to meeting new people and learning new skills each time. Enjoy the shows!”

Jeff TaylorJEFF TAYLOR (Production Manager) is extremely honored to be back with this excellent cast and crew for his 12th summer at MTWichita. Throughout the years since 2000, he’s had the chance to apprentice, build, design, and even act for MTWichita, and now become 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.

 

AJ KELLISON (Asst. Technical Director) started with Music Theatre of Wichita in 2006 and loves working with the excellent people of MTW. AJ also recently spent a year on the road with the gang of Sesame Street Live. Much love to Mom Dad, and sister Laura.

AMY LARINK (Scene Shop Charge Artist) is excited to be back for her second season. She holds a Bachelors in Theatre from Grand Valley in Michigan and completed the two-year scenic program at Cobalt Studios in New York. She currently lives in Chicago and works full time as the charge artist for the Paramount Theatre.

TYLER LESSIN (Assistant Lighting Designer) is thrilled to be returning to MTWichita for his 6th season. A native Wichitan, Tyler has worked with theatre companies all over town. Favorite design credits include: Urinetown (WSU), Chicago, Sweeney Todd, and Annie Get Your Gun (Crown Uptown), The Mystery of Irma Vep and The Full Monty (Forum Theatre), and Le Nozze di Figaro and Il Trovatore (WGO). Tyler would like to thank Wayne, Nancy, Jeff, David, and the MTW staff for this amazing opportunity, the fantastic electrics crew & IATSE Local 190 for their hard work & dedication, and his family and Kyle for their love and support.

EMILY F. McMULLEN (Stage Manager) is back for her 14th summer with MTWichita. Previous productions here include Legally Blonde, Singin’ in the Rain, Fiddler on the Roof, 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 and also teaches stage management at Tufts University. She has stage managed for Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, North Shore Music Theatre, 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 (Production Stage Manager) is originally from Oklahoma. She currently lives in Minneapolis / Saint Paul where she is the production manager 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 thrilled to be returning home for her 9th summer at MTWichita, after having graduated from WSU in December. She has also worked for Wichita Symphony Orchestra, Crown Uptown, IATSE #190, Walt Disney World, and Merrimack Repertory Theatre. Next, she will be heading to Ohio to be a Stage Management Intern at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.

MICHAEL BARBOUR (Assistant Stage Manager) is a recent graduate from the University of Michigan and thrilled to be joining the MTWichita team! Recent credits: UM: Sunday in the Park with George, Cloud Nine (SM). Regional: BTF: A Class Act (1st ASM); International: Shakespeare’s Globe SM Student (2011), SOHO Theater: World Premiere, EX (1st ASM). Many thanks to family for their support and to MTWichita for this incredible opportunity!

STEVE LANDES (Director of the Apprentice Program / Shopper-Buyer) is proud to return for his nineteenth 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 FisherJENNIFER 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.

Jesse WarkentinJESSE WARKENTIN (Assistant Musical Director / Keyboards) is amazed to find himself in his 10th consecutive season with MTWichita! He conducted the Festival of Broadway orchestra for five years, and enjoyed music directing High School Musical 2 in 2009. This year he made his debut with the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony as piano soloist, performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue with Maestro Douglas. Throughout the year, Jesse can be found at the new Crown Uptown Dinner Theatre, conducting exciting shows such as this fall’s CATS. “My deepest gratitude to Wayne and Thomas for these special months of rich musical fulfillment at MTWichita, and to my incredible family for their laughter and love.


A History of the Musical


Disney’s and Cameron Mackintosh’s MARY POPPINS
A History of the Musical by Wayne Bryan

Mary Poppins HistoryOpened in London December 14, 2004, Prince Edward Theatre;
ran three years, closed January 12, 2008
Opened on Broadway November 6, 2006, New Amsterdam Theatre,
closed March 3, 2013, 2619 performances
Directed by Richard Eyre
Co-Directed and Co-Choreographed by Matthew Bourne
Co-Choreographed by Stephen Mear
Scenic and Costume Design by Robert Crowley
Lighting Design by Howard Harrison
Dance and Vocal Arrangements by George Stiles
Orchestrations by William David Brohn
Music Supervisor David Caddick
Original London Cast featured Laura Michelle Kelly, Gavin Lee,
David Haig, Linzi Hateley
Original Broadway Cast featured Ashley Brown, Gavin Lee,
Daniel Jenkins, Rebecca Luker
Based on 1964 film; directed by Robert Stevenson, screenplay by
Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi, choreography by Marc Breaux and Dee Dee Wood; starring Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke,
David Tomlinson, Glynis Johns

 

(The London cast album is very well performed and quite enjoyable for listeners of all ages. The “Live Cast Recording,” performed by the Australian cast, reflects the final version of the script and score.

The 45th Anniversary DVD of the superb original film has a wealth of fascinating extra background features,
including extensive coverage of the stage version’s developmental process.)

 Mary Poppins, the mysterious and magical British nanny, first appeared as the title character of a 1934 book, whose author P.L. Travers denied actually creating her. “She just appeared,” she would insist. Ms. Travers herself was rather mysterious, and kept a veil around her own personal history. As more information has become available about her since her death in 1996, it would seem that a great deal of Mary Poppins’ character can be traced to the life of its intriguing, opinionated, and mercurial creator.

Helen Lyndon Goff (her family called her Lyndon) was born in Queensland, Australia, the daughter of an English-born unsuccessful bank manager (later demoted to bank clerk) named Travers Robert Goff, and Margaret Agnes née Morehead, the sister of the Premier of Queensland 1888-1890. Travers Goff died of influenza when Lyndon was seven, and it would seem that the longing for a father would influence much of her subsequent writing.

She began writing and publishing poems while still a teenager, also launching a career as an actress, taking the stage name of Pamela Lyndon Travers, choosing “Pamela” because she thought it was pretty, and Travers because that was her father’s first name. She toured Australia and New Zealand with a Shakespearean touring company before moving to England in 1924, where she devoted herself to writing, using the pen name P. L. Travers. In the winter of 1933, in a thatched Sussex cottage that she shared with her friend Madge Burnand, she began writing Mary Poppins. The book was an immediate success, followed by three sequels and other spin-off books (the last in 1988). Travers’ first publisher was Peter Llewelyn Davies, the adopted son of James M. Barrie (and widely regarded as the inspiration for Barrie’s Peter Pan).

Walt Disney began pursuing the screen rights to the book as early as 1938, but at that time his films were strictly cartoons, and Travers was not at all convinced he could do justice to her creation.

By the early 1960s, after his success with numerous live-action features, Disney finally persuaded Travers to allow him to film the Mary Poppins story. Although Travers became an adviser to the production, she disapproved of his softening some of the harsher aspects of Mary Poppins’s character, felt ambivalent about the music, and so hated the use of animation that she ruled out any further adaptations of the later Mary Poppins novels.

At the film’s star-studded premiere (to which she was not invited, but had to ask Walt Disney for permission to attend), she reportedly approached Disney and told him that the animated sequence had to go. Disney responded by walking away, saying as he did, “Pamela, the ship has sailed.” Enraged at what she considered shabby treatment at Disney’s hands, Travers would never again agree to another Poppins/ Disney adaptation, though Disney made several attempts to persuade her to change her mind.

The film was hugely successful, winning five Academy Awards (including Best Actress, Best Original Score, and Best Song for “Chim Chim Cher-ee”), and instantly the character became far more widely known than in the three previous decades. Despite the financial windfall the film brought to the author, she never became a fan. She also refused all attempts to turn the movie into a stage musical.

British producer Cameron Mackintosh pursued Ms. Travers for decades until she finally agreed (in 1993, at the age of 93) to allow a stage version. But she agreed to his proposal only on the condition that only English-born writers (and specifically no Americans) and no one from the film production were to be directly involved with the creative process of the stage musical. This specifically excluded the Sherman Brothers from writing additional songs for the production, even though they were still very prolific. However, original songs and other aspects from the 1964 film were allowed to be incorporated into the production. These points were stipulated in her last will and testament.

When Cameron Mackintosh teamed up in 2001 with Thomas Schumacher, head of Disney Theatrical, the stage musical finally became a reality. A hand-picked British creative team, headed by librettist Julian Fellowes (“Downton Abbey”) and songwriters George Stiles and Anthony Drewe (“Honk!,” “Betty Blue Eyes”) re-investigated P. L. Travers’ original stories to include characters and adventures not seen in the motion picture, combining them beautifully with the most loved songs and episodes from the film.

The resulting extravaganza is what you’ll see tonight. After three years in London and six years on Broadway, we are very excited to offer this “Jolly Holiday” as a special treat for our Music Theatre of Wichita audiences.  Our profound thanks to the Disney and Cameron Mackintosh Organizations for selecting us as one of the first eight theatres in the world to be given the opportunity to create our own production of this delightful confection.

 

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Cameron MackintoshCAMERON MACKINTOSH (Original Producer) For over 45 years Cameron Mackintosh has been producing more musicals than anyone else in history, including the three longest running musicals of all time, Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera and Cats. Mary Poppins, his co-production with Disney, is now also dispersing its magic globally with smash hit productions around the world (including its regional premiere as the 2013 season finale for Music Theatre of Wichita). Miss Saigon, another of his massive hits, continues to spawn around the world. As well as new musicals, Cameron enjoys producing new versions of such classics as Oliver! which has just enjoyed another record breaking run at London’s legendary Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Other original international productions include Little Shop of Horrors, Side By Side By Sondheim, Follies, Martin Guerre and The Witches of Eastwick. Les Misérables is now the longest running musical in the world having just celebrated 25 years in the West End. In 2010, to celebrate the 25th anniversary, Cameron presented a spectacular star-studded concert at the O2 in London which was also broadcast live to cinemas around the world. That triumphant performance is now a best selling DVD. For the first time in theatrical history three different productions of the same musical were staged at the same time in one city – the Concert, the acclaimed new 25th Anniversary Production at London’s Barbican Theatre and the original production, at the Queen’s Theatre, London. The film version of Les Misérables opened triumphantly in December of 2012, received worldwide acclaim, and garnered three Academy Awards. Additionally Cameron is also working on a new version of the great Broadway musical Barnum. Some of Cameron’s awards include: In 1995 his Company received the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement and he was knighted in the 1996 New Year’s Honours for his services to British theatre. He is president of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and in 1990 he endowed the Chair of Contemporary Theatre for a Visiting Professor (currently Trevor Nunn) at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, where he is also an Honorary Fellow and member of the Court of Benefactors.