Cast List for Avenue Q

So excited to share our cast list for next season’s opener of Avenue Q! Thank you to EVERYONE who came out for the auditions – we had an amazing turnout of so many talented people! Drumroll, please:
Ariel Casale – Gary Coleman
Andy Thompson – Rod
Ness Nowik* – Christmas Eve
Chelsey Mirheli – Lucy
William Ezzell* – Trekkie
Matt Edwardsen* – Nicky
Leif Brodersen – Brian
Matthew Harper – Princeton
Lara Hollaway* – Kate
Christy Montesdeoca – Ensemble
Marci Bernstein* – Ensemble
*Denotes actor is making their ACT Mainstage debut

Actor Spotlight: Daniel Sandoval

This August on the Mainstage, Asheville Community Theatre will present the NC premiere of The Groundling by Marc Palmieri, a play about the ups and downs of marriage and relationships.
About the show: After stumbling upon an outdoor production of a Shakespeare play in Manhattan, Long Island landscaper Bob Malone returns home inspired to write a play about his troubled marriage. He hires two reluctant New York theatre professionals to spend a week at his home and stage the play in his garage, with a cast of colorful locals. A modern romantic comedy with a moving and unexpected ending.
This production includes a small cast of seven community members working diligently and closely together to bring this show to life with the gentleness and care it deserves. Four of the cast members are making their ACT Mainstage debuts – and three are returning to our stage! ACT has asked The Groundling cast to submit some personal and not so personal answers to some of our most burning questions.
To kick things off let’s give a big welcome to ACT newcomer Daniel Sandoval! He’s a native Long Islander – who just happens to be playing Bob Malone, also from Long Island!
Name: Daniel Sandoval  
Role: Bob Malone   
Hometown: Long Island, NY    
Occupation: Mechatronics Engineer
OK, What’s that? Great question – in short, I like to say “Daniel makes machines dance for a living.” Mechatronics is a portmanteau of Mechanical and Electrical, and basically the term used for people who design machine automation systems. Here’s a great example (skip to 3:00 of the video) for the really cool part:

That was a very unusual job. I literally was living in Radio City Music Hall for a week and a half getting all the bugs out of that system. Most of what I do is for factories – like automobile assembly lines.
(For a really detailed description of Daniel’s brilliant creativity in engineering the motion control system for the bus that carried 35 Rockettes, read this!)
What appealed to you about this show?  I totally know these people. I think I’d be friends with my character in real life. We’d have a beer together now and then.
How you became involved in theatre: …

The 2018-19 Season in 35below

In 35below, ACT asks for proposals for shows from local producers, directors, and writers. We received more proposals to produce shows in 35below than ever before, and we are crushed that we don’t have enough weekends to present all that was proposed. We’ve chosen a slate of hilarious, experimental, or challenging (or sometimes all three!) shows to present next season in our tiny, intimate space:
September 7-23, 2018
Five Women Wearing the Same Dress by Alan Ball
Produced by: UNC Asheville’s Alpha Psi Omega (APO) Drama Honors Society
Directed by: Missy Sullivan
November 2-18, 2018
The Man in the Bright Nightgown by Tom Huey
Produced by: Occasional Theatre
Directed by: Brenda Lilly
November 30-December 8, 2018
Left Behind-Reflection by Monica McDaniel
Produced by: Winnies Child Productions
Directed by: Monica McDaniel
December 12-16, 2018
TBD
Produced by: Tom Chalmers
Directed by: Josh Batenhorst
January 11-27, 2019
Nunsense-A-Men by Dan Goggin
Produced and directed by: Sarah Fowler
March 8-24, 2019
Lobby Hero by Kenneth Lonergan
Produced by: Ellipsis Theater Company
Directed by: TBA
April 5-21, 2019
An Iliad by Lisa Peterson and David O’Hare
Produced by: Rarely Theatre
Directed by: Trinity Smith-Keel
May 10-26, 2019
Speech & Debate by Stephen Karam
Produced by: Attic Salt Theatre Company
Directed by: Jeff Catanese
August 9-25, 2019
Love, Linda (The Life of Mrs. Cole Porter) with Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter, Book by Stevie Holland with Gary William Friedman
Produced and directed by: Misty Theisen

Cast List for The Groundling

So excited for this show! Thank you to everyone who came out and auditioned. Announcing the cast for the NC Premiere of The Groundling:
Bob Malone – Daniel Sandoval*
Karen Malone – Jenni Robinson
Frank – Ralph Redpath
Dodd – Scott Keel*
Victoria – Mandy Bean
Pete – Haven Kai Volpe*
Ally – Kelsey Simmons*
* Denotes that actor is making their ACT Mainstage debut

Cast List for The Full Monty

Announcing the cast for Asheville Community Theatre’s production of The Full Monty:
THE MEN
Jerry Lukowski ……………….……..………..….… Corey Link
Nathan Lukowski ………………….….…. Evan Oldenburg
Dave Bukatinsky ……………..…………..…… Michael Crosa
Malcolm MacGregor ……………….…….. Andy Thompson
Ethan Girard………………………….…….…..….… Nick Biggs*
Harold Nichols …………………..….…….….…..… Mark Jones
Noah Simmons ………………………………………Elijah York*
Buddy “Keno” Walsh …………….…………….Asa Gardiner*
Teddy Slaughter ………………….……….……. Adam Lentini
THE WOMEN
Georgie Bukatinsky …………………………… Cassie Marcelo
Vicki Nichols ……………….…..……….… Patricia Birnbaum*
Jeanette Burmeister .………..………..……..…. Melissa Stone
Pam Lukowski…………………………..…………. Karyn Panek
Estelle [weeks 1-3-4]…….….………. Stephanie Marzoula
SUPPORTING CHORUS ROLES
Reg Willoughby…………………..….………… Scott Cameron
Tony Giordano ……………..…..…………… Todd Oldenburg
Marty …………………………….……………..…… Bruce Smith*
Gary …………………………………………….……. Bob Johnson*
Eugene ……………………………………….……. Eugene Jones*
Susan ……………………….……………..……… Linda Pannullo
Estelle on week 2 / Chorus …………….Tina Pisano-Foor
* Asterisk beside actor names denotes the first time in an ACT Mainstage production

Announcing our 73rd Mainstage Season!

Drumroll, please! Here’s what’s playing on our Mainstage next season! We’ll announce Mainstage directors and audition dates, plus Tanglewood Youth Theatre classes, student matinees, Readers Theatre Showcase and more a little later – but mark your calendars for this excellent season!
Avenue Q
Music and Lyrics by Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez * Book by Jeff Whitty
October 5-28, 2018
Avenue Q is part flesh, part felt, and packed with heart. This puppet-filled musical comedy follows a group of twenty-somethings seeking their purpose in big-city life. Recent college grad Princeton moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. Princeton and his new-found friends struggle with issues of sex, love, unemployment, identity, and finding their purpose in life. It’s highly possible that audiences will leave the theatre having completely identified with another human … or a puppet. Winner of the 2004 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score.
Snowbound
By Tom Godleski
November 30-December 16, 2018
A revival of 2016’s premiere of this holiday family crowd-pleaser! It’s Christmas Eve in 1955 at a small town train depot where the snowy weather has caused some delays. Over the course of the evening, strangers become friends, friends become family, and the warmth of human connection is deepened through stories and songs. Though the weather outside is frightful, inside the depot it’s delightful as memories of Christmases past are shared. Written by local storyteller and musician Tom Godleski and performed with original music and traditional songs by local bluegrass musicians.
Footloose
Music and Lyrics by Dean Pitchford, Tom Snow and Kenny Loggins
February 8 – March 3, 2019
When teenager Ren McCormack moves from Chicago to a small town, he isn’t prepared for the stifling local laws, including a ban on dancing and rock music instituted by the local preacher. As he struggles to fit in, he encourages his classmates to defy the local pastor and call for a rock’n’roll prom. With an energetic Top 40 score amplified with dynamic new songs, Footloose celebrates the wisdom of listening to young people, guiding them with an open mind and a warm heart. A musical version of the …

The Diary of Anne Frank: Study Guide

When we offer a performance for local school groups, we always create a study guide for teachers and students to read through before they attend. But you know what? You don’t have to be a teacher or student to enjoy it – and we guarantee you’ll learn something new! Take a look!

Places, Please: Scenic Design – Creating the Annex

As the Scenic Designer for The Diary of Anne Frank, Jack Lindsay decided how to tranform the ACT stage into the Secret Annex. From the placement of the walls and the doors, to the look of all the furniture and even the floor, Jack has a lot of decisions to make. He talks with the director and the other designers to make these decisions – and he always builds a scenic model to help along the way.
ACT: Why is building a scenic model such an important step?
Jack Lindsay, Scenic Designer: It’s a visual tool of where we’re headed. It’s utilized by the director to know how to stage scenes, by the actors to know where they’re moving, by the lighting designer to see how and where to light, and for the build crew to understand what they’re building. For me as the designer, it’s very helpful to formulate in three dimensions what I’m trying to achieve onstage.
ACT: Do you start your scenic design by building the model?
Jack: No, I start with a sketched plan, because there’s a lot of jockeying around in the beginning. Once I sketch the plans, I start blocking out the areas I’d like to develop. And then I build the model. Once the plan is approved by the director, I create elevations (which are specific designs that focus on the details of what needs to be built).
ACT: Were the specific challenges you faced with this scenic design?
Jack: With The Diary of Anne Frank, the challenge is that the ACT stage is very large, and the actual Secret Annex is very small. We wanted to create the kind of congestion in a space that happens when 8 people are confined to a small area for 25 months. That adds a lot of conflict, as does the fear of being discovered. We needed to portray the almost claustrophobic nature of the actual space – but we still had to think about lighting and sightlines, so the set can’t be too closed in. Usually I can give directors a lot of leeway with a design so that they can have a lot of choices in staging. …

Places Please: Prop Design – Creating the Diary

Ezra Campbell is the Prop Designer for The Diary of Anne Frank. Props are the items held or used by actors during a production. One of the most important props in the show is Anne’s diary, and we asked Ezra how he created this piece.
ACT: How did you begin your research on the look of the diary?
Ezra Campbell, Props Designer: Unsurprisingly, the diary was the first prop I really focused on in the early stages of the design. In this show, the diary is really a character unto itself. So, I knew that replicating such a historic artifact would be no simple task. I began my research by creating a collection of reference images of the inside and outside of the diary as well as individuals posing near the diary while it was on display. I then used these collective images to combine all the details to bring the diary to life onstage. The famous red and white checkered diary was not actually a diary, it was an autograph book that Anne picked out as her 13th birthday present prior to entering the secret annex. This diary was one of several diaries, notebooks, and even loose-leaf paper that Anne used to write in during her time in the secret annex. Those texts, all saved by Miep Gies and Bep Voskuijl were later combined by Otto Frank into the manuscript (although the entirety of 1943 is missing) that became The Diary of a Young Girl.
ACT: How did you create the cover?
Ezra: Magic. Well, the next best thing – collaboration. The costume designer, Carina Lopez and I collaborated to create the diary. I found a company that would custom print a replica of the fabric on the cover of the diary. The base is a sketchbook that we then glued the fabric to and attached the buckle. Carina created the closure out of the remainder of the fabric. Using the images from the inside of the diary, we created several replica pages for Faith [the actress playing Anne] to use. These pages, including text from Anne’s original diary entries, are exactly matched and include copies of the photographs that Anne …

Cast List for The Diary of Anne Frank

We are excited to announce the cast for The Diary of Anne Frank. Thank you, thank you to all who auditioned – and an extra thank you to the young adults and teens who auditioned. Wow – you all blew us away!
Otto Frank …  Thomas Trauger
Mrs. Frank … Samantha Gonzalez-Block*
Anne Frank … Faith Creech*
Margot Frank … Grace Derenne*
Mr. Van Daan … Marc Cameron
Mrs. Van Daan … Kathy O’Connor
Peter Van Daan … Brendan Nickerson
Mr. Kraler … Paul Clark*
Miep … Rachel Adams
Mr. Dussel … Jeremy Russom*
* Denotes an ACT Mainstage debut