A Note From the Director
Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls was groundbreaking during its initial release in 1984, and the internal message still holds true to this day. Putting women in the position of power makes the audience see “business behavior” in a different light and look deep at their own expectations of behavior for men and women and everyone in between.
Though things have drastically improved since the early 80s, women in the business industry still face inequality and gender-based disparities. As a young woman going into the “real world” after college there are a lot of uncertainties and this story spoke to me in a very deep way upon first reading it and I wanted to bring that to my college community. I am so fortunate to have this opportunity to direct this show, and am thrilled to have such a fabulous group of actors to work with. Thank you for your continued support of Heidelberg theatre, and please enjoy the show!
A Note on History:
The first scene asks the question: Which way is the right way for a woman to succeed?
We could be like Joan: dress in men’s clothing and behave as men do, sacrificing femininity for success. We could use our femininity to its fullest like Nijo, and navigate social politics behind closed doors. Should we, like Griselda, remain patient, quiet, and obedient, and hope for a prince charming that will reward us for our good behavior?
There is no “right” answer to this question. There is no “right” way to be a woman.
When Top Girls premiered, Margaret Thatcher had just been elected: the first female Prime Minister of England. Yet Thatcher is widely critiqued by feminists, and she openly hated the movement. Was Thatcher wrong for her approach to feminism, if it made her successful?
I don't know. Marlene and the other women definitely don’t know either.
By showcasing the many forms of both feminism and femininity, Top Girls demonstrates how hard it is for women to stick together, and how important it is that we do.
Julia Schaefer, Dramaturg
Marlene, Taylor Yunker
Isabella Bird/Joyce, Lexi Lang
Lady Nijo/Win, Zaria Keys
Dull Gret/Angie, Sarah Jewell
Pope Joan/Louise, Gretta Griesbach
Patient Griselda/Nell/Jeanine, Krista Hagans
Waitress/Kit/Shona, Wilhelmina Opferman
Mrs. Kidd, Scooter Austin
Director/Set Designer, Solana Petrone
Stage Manager, Vaiden Mallonn
Assistant Stage Manager, Scooter Austin
Sound Designer, Autumn Perry
Lighting Designer/Master Electrician, Lexy Saxon
Scenic Charge, Bri Clark
Costume Designer, Hannah Schoen
Props Masters, Sarah Jewell
Hair & Makeup, Riley Ameel & Bri Clark
Dramaturgs, Ben Neiberlein & Julia Schaefer
Marketing, Gavin Buurma
Meet the Cast
Gretta Griesbach she/her (Pope Joan/Louise) is a Senior Theatre Major here at Heidelberg University. She has been performing in productions all throughout middle school and high school. She has performed on the Heidelberg stage in She Kills Monsters (Farrah/Evil Tina), Freaky Friday (Ensemble), Elf (Ensemble), Dog Sees God (Marcy), Heathers (Republicanette), 9 to 5 (Ensemble), The Addams Family (Ensemble), My First Time, Pride and Prejudice (Caroline Bingley), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Helena), Cinderella (Madame), Chicago (Ensemble), Spooky Dog and the Teen-Age Gang Mysteries (Tiffany), and Wendy and Peter Pan (Hook). Gretta is super excited for her senior year and what amazing opportunities will be offered. She would like to thank her friends and family for all their support in everything she does and loves them all!
Krista Hagans she/her (Griselda/Jeanine/Nell) is a Junior at Heidelberg University. She is a Theater major with a concentration in acting and a minor in business. She has previously performed in Wendy and Peter Pan (Tink), Eurydice (Loud Stone), The Saga (Ruby), The Addams Family (Ensemble), and others. She would like to thank her mom, roommate, and friends back home in Dayton. Enjoy the show!!!
Sarah Jewell she/her (Dull Gret/Angie) is a freshman musical Theatre major with a Spanish and Theatre Education minor. She is so excited to be a part of Top Girls. Sarah has previously performed in Cinderella (Marie), Willy Wonka (Mrs. Bucket), and Chicago (Hunyak) among other shows. She would like to dedicate this show to her mom who always supports her.
Zaria Keys she/her (Lady Nijo/Win) is a Sophomore who is currently double majoring in Psychology and Theatre with a concentration in Acting. Top Girls is one of the many performances at Heidelberg’s Theatre Program that Zaria has been involved in. Some of her favorite past shows have been Chicago (Annie “Six”/ Featured Dancer) and The Cake (Macy). She would love to give a special thank you to Solana and Scooter for their diligence and dedication to this incredible show! Lastly, she wants to thank the audience for their support and she hopes you enjoy the show!
Lexi Lang she/her (Joyce/Isabella Bird) is happy to be back in the black box this spring. She previously performed her own show, The Saga (Amelia Cullen), in the black box space. On Heidelberg’s main stage, she has had roles such as Chicago (Mary Sunshine), Pride and Prejudice (Mary Bennet), and Wendy and Peter Pan (Curly). Lexi would like to thank her friends and family, the production team/leaders, and Dr. Carol Dusdeiker for believing in her and helping her grow as a performer.
Wilhelmina Opferman she/her (Waitress/Kit/Shona) is a freshman musical theatre major and excited to perform in her first black box show! Previously here at Heidelberg, she has performed in Wendy and Peter Pan (Shadow, u/s Michael, Tootles, Croc) and Chicago (Ensemble). She was also the costume designer for the most recent production of Rocky Horror. Outside of theatre, she is a member of the Heidelberg Concert Choir and on the color guard of the Heidelberg University Marching Band. Wilhelmina looks forward to the rest of this semester’s productions and does not condone consuming blood.
Taylor Yunker (Marlene) is a sophomore musical theater major here at Heidelberg. She made her debut last fall as an ensemble member of The Addams Family. Taylor was an actress in My First Time, played Peter Quince in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and was recently a Shadow (u/s Wendy) in Wendy and Peter Pan. She is so grateful for all of her friends and family that support her!
Meet the Production/Creative Team
Riley Ameel (Co-Hair & Makeup Designer) is currently a sophomore and is so excited to be co-designing her first show with the lovely Bri Clark. Riley is also an actor here at Heidelberg, she recently was Wendy in Heidelberg’s fall production of Wendy and Peter. Riley has been in 7 productions at Gundlach. Some of her other favorite productions at Gundlach were either A Year of Frog and Toad (ladybird) or Chicago (Mona/featured dancer). Riley also plays volleyball here at Heidelberg University and is actively involved at Grace Church. She would like to thank her parents, sister, and all of her friends. She loved working with these talented students to put this show together.
1 Corinthians 10:31
Scooter Austin they/them (Assistant Stage Manager/Mrs. Kidd) is excited to continue pursuing production after stage managing in high school. They would like to thank the cast and crew of Top Girls for always making them laugh after a hard day.
Bri Clark (Scenic Charge/Co-Hair & Makeup Designer) is a senior Musical Theater major and is on track to get her MBA. She has loved theater her whole life. Bri has been in multiple shows here at Heidelberg including Pride and Prejudice, She Kills Monsters, Addams Family, Wendy and Peter Pan and many more. She also participates as the Scenic Charge and Graphic designer for the theater department. Bri is excited for her future here at Heidelberg as well as what will follow once she graduates!
Vaiden Mallonn she/her (Stage Manager) is a junior Middle Childhood and Special Education Major. During this semester, she will also be stage managing SpongeBob The Musical! She has absolutely loved every minute of working with Solana and Scooter, and would like to thank her family, friends, and everyone involved in this production for everything that they have done throughout the course of this production and through her career! Enjoy the show!!
Ben Neiberlein (Dramaturg) is a Junior at Heidelberg, majoring in Theatre. He has previously done production in the past at his second high school for theater, including productions of Little Shop of Horror, and the Imaginary Invalid. He is currently the assistant set designer for Dangerous Liaisons. When not in production, he acts and sings as well. He has been in productions at Heidelberg including Chicago last fall and notably for his lead role his sophomore year as Oberon and Theseus in A Midsummer's Night Dream.
Autumn Perry she/her (Sound Designer) is a sophomore Theatre Production and English Literature major at Heidelberg University and is incredibly thrilled to sound design the black box show, Top Girls, this January. Autumn has previously been involved in Heidelberg's productions of Eurydice, (Stage Manager) Chicago, (Stage Manager) Misery, (Sound Designer) and Spooky Dog and the Teen-age Gang Mysteries. (Sound Designer) Autumn is very grateful for her production roles this semester and is looking forward to another wonderful year in the theater. Autumn would also like to thank her loved ones for all the support they offer her, as she would not be where she is today, all on her own.
Solana Petrone she/her (Director/Set Designer) is extremely excited to be directing this production. Even as a performance major Solana has explored production over her four years through assistant directing main stage shows, and trying her hand at set designer. She has previously performed in Chicago (June), 9 to 5 (Violet Newstead), Dance Nation (Zuzu), as well as other shows, while also serving as the student scene shop foreman here at Heidelberg. Solana would like to thank the cast and crew of Top Girls for being so supportive and helping put together this show in just three and a half weeks!
Lexy Saxon she/her (Lighting Designer/Master Electrician) is a sophomore theater production major. She is light designing this show this semester and is very excited! During this semester she will also be assistant directing Spongebob The Musical, stage managing Porch, and assistant stage managing Les Liaisons Dangereuses. This is Lexy’s first semester as master electrician as well and she is over the moon excited! She would like to thank her friends and family for supporting her throughout her career. Enjoy the show!
Julia Schaefer (Dramaturg) is a Junior theatre minor with a double major in Writing and Integrated Media. She is excited to work as a dramaturg for the first time at the collegiate level. She has previously performed in The Addams Family and Dance Nation.
Hannah Schoen (Costume Designer) is a graduate of Heidelberg’s theater department. During her time at Heidelberg she was in 15 productions both performing on stage and working backstage with costumes. Recently, she has come back to Heidelberg to design the costumes for Wendy and Peter Pan. She will also be designing for Heidelberg again with Les Liaisons Dangereuses. She also plans to attend grad school for Costume Design next fall. It has been a joy to come back and work for this department. Hannah can’t wait to see what the future holds!