Friday, December 6, 2013

Jeremy Carlson (Jean Valjean)

Jeremy is excited to play the role of Jean Valjean in IT's production of Les Miserables. He is grateful for this remarkable opportunity to perform with such a large, committed cast. No stranger to IT's stage, he has played many roles including: Archibald Craven in The Secret Garden, King Arthur in Camelot, The Beast in Beauty and the Beast, Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, and Professor Bhaer in Little Women, the Musical .  He would like to thank IT! for their commitment to community theater. He is especially thankful to his wife, Tamalisa, for her undying support and dramatic coaching.  Jeremy's favorite line in the show is, "To love another person is to see the face of God."  

Dennis Murry (Javert)

Dennis says “Of all of the shows I’ve ever wanted to do, Les Miserables ranks as Number One.  Then to be cast as Inspector Javert has to be almost every actors dream role come true. I realize I have some pretty big shoes to fill but I commit to everyone that attends the production I will give it 110% every show.”

He can’t say enough about the cast and crew of the show. They are all just awesome. Dennis is a director, writer and veteran actor with lead roles in shows such as Chess, Jesus Christ Superstar, Peter Pan, Paint Your Wagon, and many more.  If you saw the IT! production of Dracula you might remember the crazed, bug eating mental patient named Renfield.  Yes, he’s now Inspector Javert.  Dennis also played the Villain at the Coloma Theater for many years which is where he first met his wife, on stage of course.  Dennis’ favorite line in the show is Javert proclaiming “I AM the Law!”

Erick Lindley (Bishop of Digne)

Erick Lindley is excited to be joining Imagination Theater for his second time.  Erick has most recently been seen onstage as Brian in “Avenue Q” and Harold Hill in "Music Man" at Sierra Stages in Nevada City, Bob Wallace in "White Christmas" at Imagination Theater, Georg Nowack in "She Loves Me" at Placer Community Theater, and Captain Brackett in "South Pacific" at the Woodland Opera House.  Erick has also produced the shows, "Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know" and "Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical."  His wife Brenda, also an actress and director, provided him the inspiration and encouragement to join theater.

Tori Kientz (Eponine)

If you look at me outside of the theater you probably will find me studying, as I am a full time (very broke) college student or rolling burritos at Chipotle. Onstage you may have seen me in a couple different shows including The Little Mermaid as Ursula (alongside my little sister who played Ariel), Martha in The Secret Garden, Amelia in The Little Princess, or the ditzy, loveable showgirl Rhoda in White Christmas. 

Being cast as Eponine in Les Mis was definitely a dream come true. While getting to know her has been hard work, the end result has been so rewarding. I love a good challenge!   I hope that what you take from this show in particular is how amazing the power of God's love and redemption can be. This is best explained in the line I am privileged to sing "To love another person is to see the face of God."

Kelsi Havercroft (Young Cosette) and Kim Havercroft (Ensemble)

Kim Havercroft shares, "I have  been involved in theater my whole life from high school as Annie  to a performer at Great America in the 90's and my daughter Kelsi Havercroft has been involved with IT! for the last year and a half. Kelsi's first show with the theater was Little Princess at age 8, and now she has her first solo as Young Cosette in Les Miserables.  As her mother, I am very proud of her and all her hard work!  We have both really enjoyed  working with the theater family!  We are so happy to be apart of such a wonderful show. We thank our family and friends for supporting us in this adventure and wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nick Highberger (Marius)

I currently attend Folsom Lake College and have been involved at Imagination Theater since 2011.  I have been in numerous productions over the years including Father of the Bride, White Christmas, Camelot, and Little Mermaid.  I'm a pretty energetic kind of guy, love to have fun and perform on stage with such a great cast of actors.  

Chris Celestin (Enjolras)

Chris has been involved in theater for the last five years.  He is happy to be returning to the IT! stage after playing Stanley Gardner in IT's Run for Your Wife and receiving an Elly Award for his performance (Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy).  Chris also played Dickon in The Secret Garden and more recently, Prince Eric in Little Mermaid.  Some of his favorite roles include Lancelot in IT’s Camelot, and  Eddie Marinara in the Carsino Show.  When Chris is not on stage he enjoys pretending he is on stage and dancing wherever he sees fit.  He also enjoys pina coladas and getting caught in the rain.  Chris would like to thank his parents for their support and encouragement.

Lanny Langston (Master Thenardier)

It is a dream come true to be in the cast of Les Miserables.  This is one of my favorite shows and I am so excited that our theater company is producing this timeless musical. I am also excited to be playing the part of Thenardier and to a part of such a talented cast.

I have been acting and directing for many years and I am always amazed at the caliber of talented performers that live in our community.  A big thanks goes to my good friend, Peter Wolfe for his vision and direction in this show.  Also without saying I want to thank my family and particularly my wife, Tish for their support and encouragement over all these many years of rehearsals and shows I have been involved in at Imagination Theater. I hope everyone that sees Les Miserables will come away with as much excitement and joy as I have had in being in the show.

Karen Wolfe (Mme Thenardier)

Karen Wolfe found her calling as a foster parent figure in her breakout role last year as the Cook in IT!'s A Little Princess.  She is now considering branching into business as a beauty consultant.   

Karen owes hers acting success to years of training with her daughters, Alana and Suzanne.  Other highlights include riding 3000 miles across the United States with her husband Peter on bicycles last year. They lived to tell the tale!  Karen loves coffee, painting, and long walks on the beach.

Dale Wallerstein (Vocal Director)

Dale is delighted to have had the opportunity to be the Vocal Director for this production of Les Miserables. To have witnessed the process and progress of all members of the ensemble, those experienced, and those who haven't sung before, has been an exciting and fulfilling experience for her. 

Dale began doing musical theater in 7th grade and continued in college, where she majored in Music, French, and Medieval studies. The next 3 decades was spent singing with choruses.  She is currently a member of the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra, and was blessed to have been sponsored so that she could perform with the group on their recent concert tour in Italy.

In 2003, she was cast as Yente in Imagination Theater's production of Fiddler on the Roof. Since that time, she has been Vocal Director for a dozen IT musicals, including L'il Abner, The Music Man, Wizard of Oz, Quilters, White Christmas, Camelot, and others. Most recently, she vocal directed A Little Princess, and portrayed the evil head-mistress, Miss Minchin, earning her an Elly nomination for her performance.

Even though rehearsals for Les Miserables are over and her work for this production is complete, you will see her at almost all performances smiling and so very proud of what this remarkable cast has accomplished. She hopes that you enjoy the production, and hopes,too, that you will sing (whether you think you can, or not) for the health of your heart, your soul, and your body. Peace.

Dr. Jeffrey Nelson (Music Director and Orchestral Conductor)

The musical process for theater is always both a challenge and a very rewarding process.  Some cast members have a lot of experience and some of them have never been in a musical and/or a show with an orchestra.  It's a privilege and honor to guide the musical process and see how much satisfaction all members get along the way.  

The most enjoyable part for me is usually in the last few weeks before opening night.  The orchestra, chorus and cast have worked out a lot of the individual details and then it's time for them to get stitched together so that it's seamless.  When it is, then you can really see the creativity of each person come out no matter how large or small their role is.  A true transformation!  As for the orchestra, it amazes me how many very talented people we have in our community that dedicate so much of their time to this work.  I have a job where every person I work with is truly a joy to be around...a real blessing to me!

Dr. J has had the pleasure of being involved as the conductor or musical director at IT! since 2006 with Big River, Little Women, Beauty and the Beast, Man of La Mancha and the 2010 version of Grease.

The motto he strives to live by is: "Live Wisely, Love Well and Serve Greatly."

Chrissie Addison (Acting Coach/Ensemble)

What is your role in Les Mis? 
I have had the privilege of working with Peter Wolfe's "Creative Team" as Acting and Movement Coach, the first time I believe this position has been chosen by a director at IT!  I've given all seventy cast members a crash course on preparing their personal back stories/motivations/objectives from their Les Miserables  lives portrayed in France in the mid 1800's.  Quick character bio sketches usually suffice, but this show required a deeper understanding of the social/political milieu and resulting desperation leading to the French Revolution.  I've received sincere journals, letters, diaries and handouts from the cast providing rich, specific details for their chosen lot in life, their chosen name and their purpose in each scene.  The exercise has provided a rich background for their characters and a network within the village which shows onstage during the revolution.  In short, the actors were required to kick it up a notch in their preparation for their roles.  I'm also enjoying being the Madame Prostitute and a beggar.  So I get to play on both sides of the stage!    In addition if I'm needed in other areas, I try to help.

How many people have you been working with?  
47 members of the cast have done the required reflection and writing I assigned and many others have met with me one on one to discuss character ideas, or staging ideas they need ironed out, or just concerns about how a section is playing to the audience.  So I've connected to almost all 70 of us closely at one time or another.  I share confidential, truthful notes to each person who asks me to be their 3rd eye and tell them what more they could add and still be believable - within the director's vision of the show.  I've had a chance to support most everyone in the cast so far and hope by closing to have worked closely with nearly everyone who is open to explore together.  I posted many of the writings backstage because they were powerful, insightful, historical stories of very believable people in our French Village.  Many written  with heart.  I see a "meeting of minds" collectively in their body of work.  The meetings with the leads have been very fruitful and productive.  It makes me wish I'd had someone like myself to talk to when younger when I got a big role or smaller role and could have used a boost to get started.  I try to be that kind of person.  Positive and helpful.  And resourceful.

What have you enjoyed the most?
I've loved being back on familiar boards in a building I'm at home in and working with gifted directors and kind, professional staff members.  And I've made some great new friends at this show; I also have 17 students from my Coaching Studio appearing with me on stage.  I don't get to act with my students often!   Les Mis is my 20th show on this stage.  I love the camaraderie and lightheartedness that doing a good show brings out in us.

What has been your greatest challenge? 
Although we've rehearsed for 6 months total by the time we open, we would all agree that if we had more time, we could make it even better before it opens.  But we need to get open and then start living in the village together and let the show modulate, change shapes and become the Les Mis at IT! that will go down in history.  We have to tighten it up and see if she's sea-worthy and go for our maiden voyage.  I think we're close to having a show...

What is your past relationship with Imagination Theater and the theater in El Dorado County? 
I have been involved acting, directing, teaching theater arts classes, etc for forty years in El Dorado County--twenty five of those as full-time high school teacher.  In former days when Theatre El Dorado occupied this space, I enjoyed many shows here and worked on many aspects in bringing up a new theater - on stage and in the Board room.  I've also enjoyed working in other civic and regional theaters in California and Alaska.    My Coaching Studio is in its 12th year now and I've enjoyed connecting hundreds of students with local productions.

Do you have a favorite show or shows? 
Sometimes when a cast works within the right team, a bond results that makes all the hard work worth while.  Some shows have that glue, that bond, that magic -  that luck.  It's impossible to predict.  Life happens in the course of the weeks and months of bringing up a show.  Some shows have casts that get tight in their network of support and nothing can rock their resolve and discipline and they put on good shows.  Such shows stay in your heart.  Coming down off a big show can be a bit sad.  It's a loss, for a while.  My favorite shows are the ones on which I'll always reflect with a smile and a tear...

What's your motto?  
You're only as good as your next show..... or ....  Don't rest on your laurels!

Terri Thomas (Costume Designer/Ensemble)

What is your role in Les Mis?
I have had the pleasure and monumental task of being the Costume Designer for this amazing show as well as a member of the Ensemble. You will see me with the ladies of the Factory and the men in Master of the House among other scenes and running around straightening cravats and sewing miscellaneous items.

What have you enjoyed the most?
I really enjoyed learning all of the music for the show with my family (My husband and daughter are in the show as well!) I also have enjoyed researching clothing of the time period, making new friendships and renewing older ones.

What has been your greatest challenge? 
My greatest challenge has been finding period pieces for the show, especially for the men. Thank goodness I have had some very talented seamstresses sewing for me for the women!!!

What other shows have you been in?  
I have previously performed in Lil' Abner, Wizard of Oz and Beauty and the Beast here at Imagination Theater.
Previous Costuming Experience?
I have been making costumes for my family since the kids were little.  I officially began working on costumes during El Dorado High School's production of Les Miserables six years ago while my 6th grade daughter was in their ensemble. (I was their with her all the time, so I figured I might as well make myself useful). My first official job as Costume Designer was in Imagination Theater's production of Wizard of Oz--a job I fell into.  Since then I have worked on ten other productions including Beauty & the Beast, Dracula, and Run for your Wife at Imagination Theater and 42nd Street (307 COSTUMES!), Midsummer's Nights Dream, and Cats at El Dorado High School.  I have been nominated for seven Elly Awards and have had the honor of winning three.  I am looking forward to delighting the audience with the many costumes in Les Miserables!

Tim Chapman (Student Rebel)

What is your role in Les Miserables?
Aramis Chevalier (Student Rebel)

What have you enjoyed the most?
The friendly, professional atmosphere of the entire cast, crew, and orchestra. The people in this theater are like a second family to me, and they're some of the best friends in the world to surround yourself with.

What has been your greatest challenge?
My greatest challenge in this show was bringing my character to life on the stage. He's almost entirely my opposite when he first appears, but during the barricade, his outlook on life takes a complete turnaround. Getting that change in thought right and in a way that is noticeable to the audience was a big part of that challenge.

What other shows have you been in?
I've been in Camelot and The Secret Garden, and I've worked on the sound for The Little Princess.

What's your final thought?

This experience that I've had with Imagination Theater this past year and a half has changed my life for the better. The energy from the applause of the audience and the friendships you develop in a stage production is unlike anything in the world, and once you've been "bitten," you'll never want to stop.  

Taryn Harwell (Ensemble)

This is Taryn's 4th show at IT, and she is playing a beggar child in the ensemble in Les Mis. She enjoys helping to create the feeling and setting of the streets of France in that time period. Though her character is much more sad and dark than anything she's done before, Taryn maintains her witty sense of humor offstage. 

Taryn has also been seen in Wizard of Oz, Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Little Red Riding Hood, and A Little Princess at Imagination Theater. Outside of IT, she has been involved in many facets of the performing arts such as school plays, choirs, band, dance, gymnastics, commercials and print ads. She is currently taking voice and acting lessons from fellow castmate, Chrissie Addison, and looks forward to involvement in community theater in the future! 

Brenda Lindley (Ensemble)

This is Brenda’s third appearance at Imagination Theater, previously portraying Martha Watson in White Christmas and Margaret in Quilters (one of her favorite roles).  Brenda began performing in high school and majored in Radio, Television & Film in college.  Additional favorite roles include, Anne Sullivan in The Miracle Worker and Charlotte Jenkins in Toxic.  Other regional credits include Mrs. Truckle in Sly Fox and Myrtle Webb in Our Town at Sutter Street Theatre and Ruby Rae in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas at Runaway Stage Productions.   Brenda has enjoyed directing and producing shows in the Auburn area including She Loves MeMid-Life! The Crisis Musical and Exit the Body.  She loves performing in shows where she is on stage with her husband Erick.  Brenda will be directing IT's spring production, You Can't Take It With You.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Kathleen Mini (Ensemble)

Kathleen followed in her daughter’s footsteps to their first audition together for the Imagination Theater Musical, Lil’ Abner.  Since that time, she has gone on to perform in several other IT productions. She was Glinda in the Wizard of Oz, Babette in Beauty and the the Beast,  Mrs Van Daan in The Diary of Anne Frank, Mrs. Banks in Father of the Bride, Rita in White Christmas, and Barbara Smith in Run for your Wife.  She enjoys being a part of the IT! family.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Jennifer Jackson (Ensemble)

What is your role in Les Mis?
I am a Lovely Lady at the docks, a guest at Thenardier’s Inn, a reluctant revolutionary at the ABC cafĂ© and a high society guest at the wedding.

What have you enjoyed most?
When I first saw Les Mis I never wanted it to end.  I was completely captivated by both the story and the music.  When I heard IT! was putting on a production, I knew I wanted to be a part of it.  My husband is also in the show and we have had so much fun experiencing this together.  (We get to dance in a couple of scenes and even smooch at the docks!)  I have also enjoyed making so many new friends and becoming part of the IT! family.  I realized about halfway through the show that this was the theater community I have been looking for all my life.

What other shows have you been in?
This is my first IT! show, but my favorite role in another company was Irene in Crazy For You.  As a music teacher for over twenty years I have also directed countless school productions.  I am very much looking forward to being the vocal director for next year’s production of Oliver!

Any closing thoughts?

While I don’t have a single favorite line in the show, I do have two favorite parts.  When I saw Les Mis for the first time, I sobbed when the Bishop pardoned Valjean and gave him his ticket to freedom and then again when Valjean did the same for Javert.  The message of forgiveness and redemption is very strong in this show.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

David Thomas (Ensemble)

What is your role in Les Mis?  
Mens ensemble-convict, Farmer, righteous man, Thenardiers gang, wedding guest

What have you enjoyed the most?
Spending time with my wife and daughter, Challenging myself to learn the show, helping build the set, helping with the logistics of 250+ costumes, meeting and enjoying the company of 100 new friends.

What has been your greatest challenge?
Memorizing car makes and models no problem but song lyrics, music and what costume to wear and when apparently is not my strong suit.

What other shows have you been in?  
Lil Abner, Dracula

What is your motto or final thought to say?
I love to be around optimistic people, being involved in this show is an amazing opportunity to spend 6 months with friends that share a dream of a great show and to a person everyone truly believes we can make this show a memory of a lifetime for us and everyone that enjoys a seat in the audience.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Erika Maruri (Ensemble)

After a ten year performance hiatus, Erika has rediscovered her affinity towards live theatre. She has enjoyed being a part of the Les Miserables production process as well as being present to see the tremendous growth and progress of her talented fellow cast mates.  Erika has appeared in the past  IT productions of: The Secret Garden and Deathtrap. She will also appear in the forthcoming IT spring production of You Can't Take it with You. Erika has been warmly welcomed into the diverse, creative, encouraging and multi-generational community that is Imagination Theatre. As both a performer and  as an educator herself, Erika has seen the profound positive impact that community theatres  impart upon  the entire community. She encourages the community to support and become active participants in their local fine arts organizations. Since 2006, Erika has been a part of the teaching faculty at Mountain Creek Middle School located in Somerset, CA.
"...And there are those who have little and give it all. These are the believers in life and bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty..." -Khalil Gibran

Ali LaVanway (Ensemble)

What is your role in Les Mis?  
I am in the ensemble. I pick on Fantine in the factory, I imbibe wine at the inn, and I support the students' cause at the barricade.  

What have you enjoyed the most?
This is my first foray into theater since high school, and my first real hobby since I became a stay at home parent 8 years ago. I'm relatively new to Placerville and, after moving around the country for the last 10 years, it has been so rewarding to finally feel at home in my community. 

What has been your greatest challenge?
My greatest struggle has been finding babysitters for the nights my husband isn't available to care for our three children. I've been away from home more in the last 4 months than I have in the whole of the past 8 years! 
What other shows have you been in?  
This is my first show at IT! but definitely not my last. I'll be playing the role of Essie Carmichael in IT!'s spring production, You Can't Take it With You
What is your motto or final thought to say?
One thing I love about theater is the reminder to play, not just on stage, but also in every day life. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Will Evans (Ensemble)

Will Evans is thrilled to be participating in his first IT show.  He is a 7th grader at Rolling Hills Middle School in El Dorado Hills where he can be seen weekly as the anchor/reporter for the school's webcast news.  He has also performed in several other shows including Bugsy Malone, Alice in Wonderland, and, most recently, as the Scarecrow in Wizard of Oz.  

When he's not onstage, you can find Will making movies and parodies for his youtube channel.  He loves to swim for the Broadstone Barracudas and play soccer. His soccer season was cut short by a broken foot this year and he spent much of rehearsal in a hot pink cast.  That didn't slow him down or stop him from climbing his beggar's tower.  He also found a passion for falling from Javert's Bridge.  Cast and all!

He has loved this experience and is looking forward to many more shows with his IT family!  

Trinity Harwell (Ensemble)

What is your role in Les Mis? 
I am in the ensemble. I'm the girl that cries a lot in the barricades.
What have you enjoyed the most?
The Barricade scenes are my favorite to perform in because there is so much energy and a variety of emotions. 
What has been your greatest challenge? 
My greatest challenge has been getting up in the morning! I am involved in a lot of extracurricular activities, so I spend most days going from one thing to the next. But I love it! 
What other shows have you been in?  At Imagination Theater I have been the Coroner of Munchkinland in Wizard of Oz, Chip in Beauty and the Beast, Goldilocks in Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Little Red Riding Hood, Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden, and Sara Crewe in A Little Princess.  This year I was a presenter at the Youth Elly's and nominated for my role in A Little Princess
What is your motto?
Safety Third! Just kidding--that's my motto for sports!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gigi Knochenhaur ( Ensemble)

Giguette (Gigi) Knochenhauer -- Factory Worker, Begger, Student Helper and Wedding Server.  This is Giguette's third show with IT having been in the cast of The Wizard of Oz, A Little Princess, and now Les Mis.  She has also been in the cast of CATS and A Christmas Carol with EDMT and helped usher and work back stage with other productions at IT!.
When Giguette heard IT! was going to put on Les Mis, she was excited beyond belief and is honored to be a part of this magnificent production -- thank you Peter and Lanny for making this possible.  The very first play that Giguette ever saw was Fiddler on the Roof at TED in 2000 when she was only two years old-- since that time she has been addicted to musical theater.
Giguette is a sophomore at Ponderosa High School where she enjoys singing in choir and participating in FFA.  Giguette earned her Girl Scout Silver Award last year by working with Sierra Wildlife's Baby Bird Nursery and is looking forward to working on her Gold Award.  Her other hobbies include sailing Hobie Cats, camping, skiing, fostering dogs for Golden Gate Basset Rescue, playing the violin and watching Dr. Who.
Enjoy the show!!!!  

MIchelle Harwell (Ensemble)

What is your role in Les Mis?  
I start as a factory worker in Montreuil, and then I transform into the old woman who buys Fantine's necklace at the docks. Then I become a beggar in Paris, and finally a mother who helps the students at the barricades. 

What have you enjoyed the most?
I love singing with this ensemble full of musically gifted people.  Especially because two of them are my daughters!

What has been your greatest challenge?
With such a large cast, I was dreading the crowding and foot traffic that seemed inevitable backstage. But it's actually quite roomy back there. For a cast of 70, plus crew and orchestra, it is surprisingly easy to get around for scene changes. Peter put a lot of thought into the set design behind what the audience sees, and we have a beyond-excellent stage crew who run a tight ship.

What other shows have you been in?  
I have been cast in Imagination Theater productions as a crabby apple tree in Wizard of Oz, an operatic armoire in Beauty and the Beast, an obsessively organized secretary in Father of the Bride, a mischievous magical queen in Camelot, and a melodious apparition in The Secret Garden. Performing on stage, especially musicals, is something that my family did together while I growing up, and now I am able to share it with my children. It is a lot of work but very rewarding.  

What is your motto or final thought to say?
There are no small parts. The amount of lines you have in the script, or the amount of time you have onstage, does not define how important your character is.  You get out of it what you put into it. Put your heart and soul into your character, and it will come to life and be noticed. My youngest daughter was cast as a butterfly in a show with about 15 seconds of stage time, and no lines. But she put everything she had into that butterfly, including creating her own makeup design, and her own interpretation of what a butterfly would be. She moved so beautifully, so gracefully, and then died so tragically. It was very moving. It was just a child's play. But she created something that no one else has ever done nor will ever do again the same way.  That is the art of performing. 

Katherine Okey (Ensemble)

“Hi!  I’m glad, at 34, to have the chance to appear in Les Miserables, because I know what a rare and epic show it is, and that it will be awhile before the performance rights to the show are once again available!  I portray three separate Ensemble characters (A saleswoman named Lisette, a factory worker named Rochelle, and a student helper named Chandelle in our production of Les Miserables.

I have truly enjoyed making new friends at Imagination Theater; I’ll never forget the new friends that I now know via my involvement with the show.  I’ve also had fun creating, naming, and developing all three of the characters that I play...and applying the famous “stage dirt” that makes the Les Mis makeup routine somewhat unique!

I have to admit that creating that internal Les Miserables snowstorm of anger, fear, and sorrow is a true challenge, which can easily test one mentally, emotionally, and physically.  Of course, I also believe that if an actor successfully invests as close to 100% of themselves as possible onstage, they can grow as an actor, and the audience can enjoy the results of their efforts.

Les Miserables is the first Imagination Theater production that I’ve ever been involved with, but I already know that I’ll never forget my experience with this world-famous show, or with the theater staff that gave me the opportunity to appear in the show!”

Hanna Bush (Beggars' Chorus)

I love being a part of Les Mis. The cast and crew are so amazing.  I enjoyed having to have a chance to build up my character and her backstory.  My role in Les Mis is that of a beggar who gets the opportunity to fight for what she believes is right.  I really have enjoyed all of the different costumes and sets.  This is my second show at IT.  My first was Little Mermaid, and I have been in numerous Christmas at Federated Church.  I hope that you enjoy the show!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Ben Kiekhaefer (Beggars' Chorus)

I'm very happy to be in Les Mis for my first on-stage performance.  My character, Jacque Pierre is the one of two unknown brothers of Gavroche, and sings in the Beggars' Chorus. I have learned a lot about music, singing, acting, and how to work with such a large cast to make an incredible show. My favorite song  is Empty Chairs at Empty Tables - it really makes me feel sad for all the French people who died fighting for their rights in 1800s.  I really like singing, science, art, playing 'Master of the House' on my trombone,  acting out different Les Mis scenes with my siblings, and building Lego creations!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Meg Dockter (Beggars' Chorus)

Meg says "I love being a part of IT! Getting to meet new people and try new things is so much fun. I have been in two past shows, Little Princess and Little Mermaid and loved it. Besides Imagination Theater, I take horseback riding lessons, play volleyball, write stories and read. But that is second to IT! and Les Miserables. I love Imagination Theater!"

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Jeff Jackson (Ensemble)

Jeff Jackson is loving his first community theater experience. He's in the men's Ensemble for Les Mis, singing and dancing, moving tables and barricades, catching "bodies" and changing costumes (lots of those!) He's very grateful to Peter, Lanny, Dale, and Dr. Jeff for giving him the opportunity and leading this monumental undertaking so expertly; the entire cast and crew and orchestra for selflessly contributing so much time and talent; and especially his wife Jennifer for getting him into this (and for letting him smooch her on stage.) 

Brenden Carlson (Beggars' Chorus)

This is Brenden's first performance at Imagination Theater. He performed in a lead role in "One Quiet Night" a Christmas Cantata in Placerville last year. He also performed in "Jungle Book, Jr" at Runaway Stage productions in Sacramento. He has enjoyed the experience at IT! and now considers himself to be a professional pick-pocket.

Kathryn Carlson (Beggars' Chorus)

This is Kathryn's second performance at Imagination Theater. She had fun learning to squawk and dance with flipper feet as a seagull in The Little Mermaid, Jr. Now she enjoys getting dirty and ragged in the beggars' chorus. She loves singing Les Miz songs at the top of her lungs and is seriously considering understudying for the role of Jean Valjean. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Adeline Penn (Ensemble/Chorus)

Adeline has had a life long love affair with theater starting with organizing neighborhood shows as a child, participating in high school plays, earning a BA degree majoring in theater, working professionally as a stage manager, veering sideways into a spot as an on air radio personality, orchestrating family life, and finally joining the IT family in several capacities behind the curtain along with a turn out front as a Nosferatu in Dracula

Adeline is enjoying the Les Mis experience immensely working props as well as several characters on stage.  Watch out for those scissors! She thanks her family for their continued love and support.

Kate Barba (Factory Girl, Bar Dancer, and Reluctant Revolutionary)

Kate is thrilled to be a part of Les Miserables.  She portrays Factory Girl (Queen Mean Girl), a bar "dancer," and a reluctant revolutionary.  This is Kate's sixth appearance on the Imagination Theater stage; her favorite roles include Meg in Little Women and Rose in The Secret Garden.  She is also active behind the scenes at the theater, notably as AD for Beauty and the Beast and as a CAST committee member.  

Outside the theater Kate enjoys travel, yoga, wine, and outdoor adventures with her family.  She thanks her husband Pete and their three year old twins, Gwyn and Drew, for giving her the "me-time" and support to follow her bliss.  

Ned Heaney (Ensemble)

Ned says, "At this time I will be a fill-in in a few scenes due to the fact I had to leave the show due to health in mid summer.  My biggest challenge has not been anything with the show, but I have had the challenge of living with cancer for now and wanting to continue with the show. I was excited that I was able to return to the show in a small way.  I played Rufus in Lil' Abner and Uncle Henry in the Wizard of Oz at Imagination Theater.    I love doing theater and very proud to be associated with the Imagination Theater family."

Bob Steele (Ensemble)

Bob's favorite role is one of the revolutionaries on the barricade, "Professor "Jean Prouvaire, who has joined his students to oppose the monarchy of King Louis-Phillipe.  Previously, he has performed in IT productions of The Diary of Anne Frank as Mr. Kraler, Camelot as Sir Sagramore, and The Little Princess as Ram Dass.  His favorite line in the musical score is "Somewhere beyond the barricade is there a world you long to see?"

Bob thanks all the members of the IT family for their creative passion, team-spirit, and commitment to nurturing each cast member's musical/dramatic development and his dear wife, Diana , for her inspirational support and understanding.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cindy Nelson (Ensemble/Chorus)

Cindy says "It’s been roughly 20 years since I’ve had the opportunity to be in a musical or opera. So when one of vocal students told me about the auditions for this show, I thought why not…I’ve missed it!   I love to challenge myself  and to continually grow as a musician. In the  last 25 years I have been able to teach in my own studio voice and piano, record a CD in Nashville TN, perform in various bands, as well as acquire  a music publishing deal.  Although I have found working on this show to be daunting at times, it has been well worth it. The cast and crew have been fantastic, kind, and extremely helpful. I’ve meant so many new people, and have learned more about myself. I am so very thankful the opportunity to be apart of this creative process!"  Cindy's many roles in Les Mis include a Factory Worker, Drinker, Chorus, and Ensemble.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Susan Felton (Ensemble/Chorus)

Susan is delighted to be a part of her third show with Imagination Theater.  She loves being in the ensemble/chorus because of the variety of parts.  She is the innkeeper's wife, Factory worker, Old Beggar Woman and a Turning Woman.  Susan also assisted with costumes.  Her previous shows at IT! include Annie and Big River.  Susan has the distinction of being one of the oldest, if not the oldest, cast members.  This goes to show that one is never too old to 'dream the dream'.  She is thankful to Peter Wolfe, Lanny Langston and the entire cast and crew for all the help and good times.  

Tamalisa Carlson (Lovely Ladies, Ensemble)

This is Tamalisa's fourth production at Imagination Theater. She first appeared as Marmee in Little Women, the Musical, then the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz, and most recently as Queen Guenevere in Camelot.  For Les Miserables, she is cast as one of the lovely ladies and ensemble. This is the first time the Carlson family has shared the stage together. Tamalisa has enjoyed sharing her passion for theater with her husband and children.