CJ Bathiany (Eddie): CJ is so excited to return to the McLeod stage! He is a graduate of SIU, and currently lives in NYC, where he’s participated in an Off-Broadway show and a staged reading. Regional: Newsies (Crutchie), West Side Story (Big Deal), and Mamma Mia (Eddie) at RMRT; Songs for a New World at Thunder Bay Theatre; Oklahoma! and Spamalot at MSP. He would like to thank his friends, family, and Rhett for always supporting him. Enjoy the show!
Alexa Boese (Ensemble/CCA Intern): Alexa Boese will be a senior this Fall at Carterville High School. This is her fourth year returning to MSP and she is thrilled to be back! Some of her past roles at MSP include Pilar (Legally Blonde), Skylar (Bring it On), and ensemble in Rock of Ages & Sister Act. Other favorite roles for Alexa are Rumpleteazer (Cats), Bebe (A Chorus Line), Dragon (Shrek) and Mayzie La Bird (Seussical). Alexa would like to thank everyone at MSP for the wonderful opportunities to learn & grow in The Arts working with a professional staff. Another huge thank you to all of the donors that continue to keep MSP alive in Southern Illinois!
Derek Brookens (Shere Kahn/Joe/Harry): Derek escaped from Port Allegany, PA and graduated from Ohio Northern University with a BFA in Musical Theatre. He has enjoyed touring the country with the National Theatre for Children and Prairie Fire Children’s Theatre. Some of his favorite credits include Sir Lancelot (Spamalot) and Nathan Detroit (Guys & Dolls) at Weathervane Playhouse, and Mark Stedman (Josiah For President) and the original Levi Troyer (The Home Game) with Blue Gate Musicals.
Luther Brooks IV (Ensemble/Pepper): Luther is going into his sophomore year as musical theatre major at Northwestern State University and is very excited to be joining McLeod Summer Playhouse this summer. Previous collegiate credits include Jack in Into The Woods and Rocky in The Rocky Horror Show, both of which were performed with the NSU Creative and Performing Arts Program. Other credits include Seaweed in Hairspray and Charlie Brown in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
Gavin Earl Carnahan (Baloo/Bob Enright/Bill): Gavin is a junior musical theatre B.F.A. student at Coastal Carolina University originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Gavin has been seen in roles at Coastal Carolina including B.J. Gibson in The 1940’s Radio Hour, Pastor in Violet, Cooper in Really Really, and Andrew Carnes in Oklahoma! He has also been seen in the role of Don in A Chorus Line at The Huron Playhouse as well as Claude in HAIR at the GLOW Lyric Theatre.
Katelin Coursey (Kathy, Lisa, Dance Captain): Katelin is so excited to be returning to the McLeod stage! Past MSP credits: Joseph/Dreamcoat (Mrs. Potiphar), Hairspray (Brenda), Rock of Ages, Big River, and Oklahoma! She is a proud graduate of Southern Illinois University and is currently residing in New York City. Katelin is so happy to be back in Carbondale and wants to thank Tom for every opportunity and her family for their constant love and support!
Ralph Prentice Daniel (Hart): Ralph Prentice Daniel is thrilled to make his MSP debut. Favorite credits include Disney’s Newsies (Joseph Pulitzer), The Best Christmas Pageant Ever -The Musical (Reverend Hopkins) at Orlando Repertory Theatre, The Addams Family (Mal Beineke), West Side Story (Lt. Schrank) with The Show Palace Dinner Theatre, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Lumiere) at Charleston Stage Company, The Rocky Horror Show (Dr. Frankenfurter) with Little City Musical Theatre, and Turnadot with the Pittsburgh Opera Company.
Danae DeShazer (Donna): Danae can't believe she swindled her way back onto the MSP stage. You may recognize her from previous roles at McLeod like: The Baker's Wife in Into the Woods, Mrs. Pinkerton in Pinkalicious, Sister Mary Martin-of-Tours in Sister Act, Prudy Pingleton (& others) in Hairspray, and the Ladybug in James & the Giant Peach. Other favorite credits include Polly in Crazy For You, Sally in Cabaret, Violet in Side Show, and Drood in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Learn more at www.DanaeDeShazer.com.
Cassie Donegan (Doralee/Sophie): Regional Theatre: Legally Blonde (Elle Woods); Carrie (Carrie White); Tarzan (Jane Porter); Freaky Friday (Savannah); The Addams Family (Wednesday); Hunchback of Notre Dame (Esmerelda); We Will Rock You (Scaramouche); Annie (Lily St. Regis); Children of Eden (Yonah); The Wizard of Oz (Dorothy); Hairspray (Penny). Theatre: 9 to 5 (Doralee Rhodes); Young Frankenstein (Elizabeth Benning); You’re….Charlie Brown (Lucy Van Pelt); First Date (Allison); Parade (Essie). B.F.A. Belmont Musical Theatre.
Ellie Dudeck (Mother Wolf, Kaa/Margaret/ Ensemble): Ellie is heading into her sophomore year musical theatre major at SIU Carbondale and is delighted to be joining McLeod Summer Playhouse this summer. Previous collegiate credits include Luce in The Boys From Syracuse and Adult Woman in Spring Awakening, both of which were performed with the SIU Carbondale Department of Theatre. Other credits include Morticia Addams in The Addams Family and Claire in Ordinary Days.
Tara Feeley (Judy): Tara is delighted to be making her McLeod Summer Playhouse debut! Regional: Oklahoma! & Same Time Next Year-Berkshire Theatre Group, Meet Me in St Louis-Greater Boston Stage Company, The 25th …Spelling Bee-Priscilla Beach Theatre. Favorite credits include: Miss Adelaide (Guys and Dolls), Penny Pingleton (Hairspray), and Belle (Beauty & the Beast). Tara is graduate of Emerson College where she earned her BFA in Musical Theatre. She would like to thank her friends and family for their continuous support & the entire McLeod Team for this wonderful opportunity. Love to B&B, K&E, G&P.
Jordyn Kess (Bagerrah/Ensemble): From Chicago, Illinois, this is Jordyn’s debut with the McLeod Summer Playhouse, and she is more than excited to be here! She’s a sophomore in the musical theater department at SIU. Jordyn would like to thank her friends and family for all the love and support they have given her throughout her years of performing and special thanks to the entire company for making this an experience she’ll never forget!
Jacob Kail Leaf (Harry) is very excited to be making his regional theater debut with the wonderful cast and team of Mamma Mia! A graudate of Staples High School and current sophomore at Northwestern University, Jacob's favorite past roles include Black Stache (Peter and the Starcatcher), Tevye (Fiddler on the Roof), and Officer Lockstock (Urinetown).
Ronnie Lewis (Ensemble): Ronnie is an NYC-based singer, actor, and dancer represented by The Newton Agency, Level Talent Group and Funny Face Today. He has recently performed in Debbie Does Dallas, the Musical and Dreamgirls at Venice Theatre. Ronnie has also performed at the Apollo, The Tank NYC and as a soloist with the 6-time Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir in Nicaragua, Milan, and Rome. Ronnie is thrilled to perform with McLeod Summer Playhouse.
Graham Luker (Dick): A Tennessee native, Graham completed his BFA in Musical Theatre at Southern Illinois University. Children of Eden (Adam), Peter and the Starcatcher (Boy/Peter), Ensemble MSP 2016 Season.
Lyndsay Manson (Violet/Tanya): Lyndsay is very excited to be returning to McLeod Summer Playhouse this year. You may remember her last year as the Witch in Into The Woods or Sister Mary Lazarus in Sister Act. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Michigan State University and recently graduated with her Master of Arts in Stage Combat from Louisiana Tech University. She would like to thank the artistic team at McLeod for the endless opportunities they’ve given her and for quite literally changing her life as this summer she gets to marry the Associate Musical Director, Jenna Dosch, on the McLeod stage where they first met and fell in love.
Josh Miller (Father Alexandrios) is a junior in BFA Musical Theater student from Murfreesboro, TN. His recent productions include in Otto in Spring Awakening, Storyteller in Children of Eden, and Kurt's Dad in Heathers: The Musical. He has also been seen in McLeod Summer Playhouse's 2017 season as Bee in Pinkalicious, Cinderella's Father in Into the Woods, and Ensemble in Sister Act. He hopes you enjoy the show and laugh out loud!
Grace Nowak (Monkey/Missy/Ensemble): Grace is an upcoming sophomore in the Musical Theater program at Southern Illinois University and is proud to be apart of the Mcleod Summer Playhouse. Grace’s performance credits include being a Maid/Ensemble in Southern Illinois’ production of The Boys from Syracuse. Thanks for coming and enjoy!
Garrett O’Bryan (Monkey/Ensemble): Garrett just completed his freshman year in the SIU Musical Theater Program and is ecstatic to be making his professional debut on the McLeod Summer Playhouse stages. You may have seen him most recently in SIU’s production of The Boys from Syracuse as the Tailor’s Apprentice. He would like to thank his professors for giving him the knowledge they have thus far and will give him in the future.
Esther Olivo (Maria/Ali): Esther is an actress, singer, dancer, and part-time costumer. Some of her most memorable roles include Kala in Tarzan and The Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Esther is currently working on her B.F.A in Musical Theatre at Jacksonville University and was last seen as the title role in the Aida: The Musical. She hopes you enjoy the shows.
Ethan Rich (Dwayne/Sky): Ethan is from Daytona Beach, Florida, and is now a sophomore at the University of Central Florida (B.F.A.). His credits include: Mamma Mia! (Sky), Next To Normal (Gabe), Peter and The Starcatcher (Prentiss), Urinetown (Bobby Strong), and Into the Woods (Cinderella’s Prince/the Wolf).
Jack Russell Rose (Monkey/Tinsworthy/Ensemble): Jack is an actor out of SIU Theater’s Bachelor of Arts program. He interned at MSP in 2015 in Hairspray, Big River, and James and The Giant Peach, and was proud to make his professional debut in his hometown of Carbondale.
J. Morgan Shaffo (Roz, Rosie): J. Morgan is thrilled to be making her McLeod Summer Playhouse debut! Regional credits include: The Little Mermaid (Round Barn Theatre), The Confession (Blue Gate Musicals), Les Miserables, My Fair Lady, Miss Saigon, Evita (Flat Rock Playhouse) and Grease (Old Creamery Theatre). A proud graduate of Western Kentucky University. When not performing, she likes to cook, garden and travel to new and exciting places! Thanks to friends, family and all my amazing teachers.
Michael Sigillito (Mowgli/Josh/Ensemble): Michael is thrilled to be returning to MSP for a second year! You may remember him in his roles for SIU Theater in Spring Awakening (Ernst), and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Edmund). He would like to thank his family, friends, and professors for their constant support, and the patrons of MSP for their contribution to the arts and for making it all possible.
Bennett Speith (Ensemble/CCA High School Intern): Bennett recently graduated from Carterville High School and will attend Point Park University in the fall studying Musical Theater. Favorite roles include Lord Farquaad (Shrek: The Musical) and Richie Walters (A Chorus Line). Last summer he performed as a Muny Teen on the St. Louis Muny stage in Jesus Christ Superstar and Newsies. Bennett would like to thank Tom Kidd for the internship opportunity in this summer’s shows, and his parents for their support. Instagram: @bennettjspeith
Imani Williams (Ensemble): A Chicago native, Imani Williams is a sophomore BFA major at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Her SIU career includes the Department of Theater productions of Children of Eden as a storyteller and The Boys from Syracuse as a maid. She is very excited for her opportunity to be a part of McLeod Summer Playhouse. She would like to thank her family and friends for their support.