Wendy & Peter Pan

A Note From the Director

Karla has gone her entire career never directing a Peter Pan story, and, at first, she was not so excited that it was the show that was picked. Karla was hired late, and the show was already chosen. However, reading the script, she quickly realized this was not the familiar Peter Pan story.

 

Wendy and Peter Pan is a contemporary retelling of the Peter Pan story. It focuses on Wendy and her journey in Neverland as she navigates whiney lost boys, scary pirates, and women who initially do not trust one another. Wendy and Peter Pan is a story of female empowerment and how society has adjusted to gender norms.

 

For our production, we have female-identifying actors playing male roles. We ask you, our gracious audience, to suspend your disbelief and see these characters as human, characters whose gender is not that important. It is much more about the story they are telling.

 

For our production, we have decided to set it in NYC for The Darling's house. We did not want to focus on dialects and accents for this production. Karla finds that actors often get too in their heads when worried about speaking in a different accent. Also, for our production, we wanted to focus on stage fighting. Karla is a fight director and wanted to allow our Heidelberg students to do some “real” stage fighting, as this has not been done in recent years with “real” weapons.

 

We decided to put some contemporary spins and themes in our production.  The themes in this play are incredibly relevant for 2022 America. We wanted to highlight the relevant themes of the play and make it relatable to a contemporary audience.

 

We invite you to go on this journey with us and to find your child-like wonder, no matter your age.

-   Karla Kash (Director) and Ben Neiberlein (Assistant Director) 

Cast List

Wendy, Riley Ameel

John, Zaria Keys

Michael, Bri Clark

Tom/Meatball, "Noodle's Shadow", Dermot Healy

Mrs. Darling/Gina, "George's Shadow"Solana Petrone

Mr. Darling/Ghostly, "Mostly's Shadow", Ben Pollizi

Doc Giles/The Crocodile/Scruffy's Shadow (U/S Smee & Doc Swain), Amelia Hammond

 

Peter Pan, Jackson Helmholtz

Tink, Krista Hagans

Tootles (U/S Captain Hook), Audrey Warren

Nibs, Nick Talion

Curly (U/S Mrs. Darling), Lexi Lang

Slightly (U/S Peter Pan), Jack Mills

 

Captain Hook, Gretta Griesbach

Smee, Jadon Muniz

Doc Swain, Lizzie Bowman

Knock-Bones Jones (U/S John & Tiger Lily), Kylee Kent

First Mate Murt the Bat/Peter's Shadow, Jacob Frankart

Skylights/Scrappy "Nibs' Shadow" (U/S Tink & Martin), Sarah Jewell

Martin the Cabin Boy, Natalie Joritz

 

Tiger Lily, Khadijah Kennedy

 

George, "Curly's Shadow" (U/S Mr. Darling, Nibs, & Curly), Veronica "Scooter" Austin

Mostly, "Slightly's Shadow" (U/S Wendy), Taylor Yunker

Noodles, "Tootles' Shadow" (U/S Michael, Tootles, and The Crocodile), Wilhelmina Opferman

Production/Creative Team

Director/Fight Director, Karla Kash

Assistant Director, Benjamin Neiberlein

Producer, Carol Dusdieker

Stage Manager, Kam Mohney

Assistant Stage Managers, Serria Allen & Vaidon Mallonn

Assistant Movement Director, Chantress DeWitt

Fight Captain, Nick Talion

Projection Designer, Matthew Herman

Sound Designer, Anna Gerber

Lighting Designer/Master Electrician, Ben Pollizi

Light Board Operator, Lexy Saxon

Set Designer, Solana Petrone

Technical Director, Ben Bodart

Scenic Charge, Bri Clark

Costume Designer, Hannah Schoen

Props Masters, Martina Dimiduk & Bailee Coss

Hair & Makeup, Gretta Griesbach & Khadijah Kennedy

Marketing, Gavin Buurma

Meet the Cast

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Riley Ameel (Wendy) is currently a sophomore and is so excited to be back on the Gundlach stage for her 7th production here. Her favorite productions at Gundlach were A Year of Frog and Toad (Lady Bird) or Chicago (Mona/featured dancer). Riley also plays volleyball here at Heidelberg University. She would like to thank her parents, sister, and all of the staff that helped put this show together for their support and kindness. 1 Corinthians 10:31

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Veronica “Scooter” Austin they/them (Shadow, U/S Mr. Darling, Curly, Nibs) is thrilled to be making their Gundlach Theater debut in a main-season production. They previously appeared as “Frank-N-Furter” in the student directed production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in 2021. At other theaters they have performed in Little Shop of Horrors (Mr. Mushnik), and Tracks (Lawyer).

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Lizzie Bowman is a graduate student at Heidelberg University, who majored in Musical Theatre. In the past while attending Heidelberg Lizzie has appeared in Pride and Prejudice (Jane), Cabaret (Rosie), She Kills Monsters (Agnes) and Freaky Friday (Gretchen), Elf  (Emily), and Dance Nation (Sofia). Previously she has been a production member in My First Time (Stage Manager), The Addams Family (Assistant Stage Manager), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (Wardrobe) and The Penguin Tango (Assistant Props Master), as well as dance captain for Freaky Friday and 9 to 5. Lizzie is very excited to be back on stage at Heidelberg and working with new students and staff including Karla Kash. She would like to thank everyone who has supported her over the years.

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Bri Clark she/her (Ensemble) is a junior Musical Theater major and is on track to get her MBA. She has participated in theatrical shows pretty much her entire life. Bri has been a part of more than fourteen productions here at Heidelberg including The Addams Family (Pugsley) and She Kills Monsters (Lilith). She also participates as the Scenic Charge and Graphic Designer for the theater department. Bri is excited about what the future holds for her!

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Jacob Frankart he/him (Murt the Bat/Peter’s Shadow) is beyond excited to be on stage for Heidelberg’s production of Wendy and Peter. At Heidelberg, Jacob has been cast in Chicago (Select Dance Ensemble), and before Heidelberg he has been in a number of shows including Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour Krelborn), Mamma Mia! (Sky), and Arsenic and Old Lace (Dr. Einstein). Along with his acting work, Jacob has also assisted in lighting and building sets for many productions. Jacob would like to thank his wonderful friends and family for their constant support and love. He would not be where he is today without them!

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Gretta Griesbach 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), Heather’s (Republicanette), 9 to 5 (Ensemble), Addam’s Family (Ensemble), My First Time, Pride and Prejudice (Caroline Bingley), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Helena), Cinderella (Madame), Chicago (Ensemble), and Tiffany (Spooky Dog and The Teenage Mystery Gang).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!

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Krista Hagans She/Her (Tink) 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 Eurydice (Loud Stone), Addams Family (Ensemble), Heathers the Musical (Ensemble), and others. She would like to thank her mom, roommate, and friends back home in Dayton. Enjoy the show!

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Amelia Hammond she/her (Crocodile/Doc Giles/Scruffy/Understudy Smee/Understudy Doc Swain) is so happy to perform in her second mainstage show, Wendy & Peter Pan! She is a first-year Musical Theater major and Theater Education minor. Amelia has previously performed in Chicago (Ensemble), and was the Assistant Stage Manager for Spooky Dog and the Teen-Age Gang Mysteries. She would like to thank Jadon Muñiz (Smee) for being so fun to understudy!

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Dermot Healy he/him (Tom) is excited to be a part of this production of Wendy and Peter Pan. He was last seen on stage in the ensemble of Chicago. This is his first year at Heidelberg, and he is looking forward to a great four years here.

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Jackson Helmholtz (Peter Pan) is a sophomore acting major. He has been in multiple productions at Heidelberg University including Spooky Dog (Ted), My First Time, Pride and Prejudice (Ensemble), The Cake (The Voice), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Flute/Thisbe), Cinderella (Ensemble/Dance Captain), Chicago (AD/Ensemble), and now Wendy and Peter Pan! He is so ecstatic to be playing the role of Peter Pan. He'd like to thank his family and friends for their constant support that they provide, as well as Director Karla Kash for providing this opportunity for him. He hopes you enjoy the show!

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Sarah Jewell she/her (Shadow/Starlight) is a freshman musical theatre major with Spanish and Theatre Education minors. She is so excited to be a part of Wendy and Peter. 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.

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Natalie Joritz (Martin the Cabin Boy) is thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful production. She’s currently a junior at Heidelberg. She’s very excited to get the opportunity to work with such an amazing creative team. Previous stage credits include: Mama Morton (Chicago), Charlotte (Cinderella), and Kitty Bennet/Georgiana Darcy (Pride and Prejudice). Outside of theatre, Natalie is a member of both Zeta Theta Psi and Alpha Psi Omega, the Make-A-Scene improv troupe, the Hei-Group that doesn’t have a name yet, and the honors program on campus. Love goes out to her friends and family for all their love and support, the creative team for putting on such an amazing show, and any other cabin boys out there who feel like they don’t belong. Your story is out there. Thank you, and enjoy the show!

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Khadijah Kennedy is a sophomore musical theatre major. She is originally from Louisiana, but has since moved to Warren, Ohio. Khadijah is playing the Role of Tiger Lily in this production of Wendy & Peter Pan. Her theatre credits here at Heidelberg include: The Addams Family, My First Time, The Saga, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cinderella, and Chicago. Enjoy the show!

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Kylee Kent is a sophomore musical theatre and early childhood education major. She is so thankful for the entire cast of Wendy and Peter Pan and her theatre family. She is so excited to be a part of this amazing show!! Hope you enjoy!

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Zaria Keys she/her (John Darling) is a Sophomore and is currently double majoring in Theatre with a concentration in Acting and Psychology. Wendy and Peter 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 in Chicago (Annie “Six”/ Featured Dancer) and The Cake (Macy). She would love to give a special thank you to Serria Allen for her diligence and dedication to this wonder-filled show! Lastly, she wants to thank the audience for their support and she hopes you enjoy the show!

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Jack Mills is a Junior musical theatre major. He has performed in Heidelberg’s production’s Dance Nation as Luke, Lucas in The Addams Family Musical, Puck in A Midsummer’s Night Dream. He assistant directed a student directed play in the Blackbox theater called My First Time, and recently co-directed Misery. He is very excited to play Slightly in Heidelberg’s production of Wendy and Peter. He wants to thank his friends and family for their continuous support. He would also like to thank the cast and crew of Wendy and Peter for their hard work, dedication, and being such great role models, and great people to work with. Hope you enjoy the show!

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Jadon Muniz is a junior this year at Heidelberg University. He is majoring in Theatre with a concentration in Acting as well as majoring in Business. Jadon is so excited to be a part of this amazing production with all these amazing people. He would like to thank his parents and brother for their constant love and support.

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Wilhelmina Opferman she/her (Shadow, u/s Michael, Tootles, Croc) is a freshman and excited to make her second appearance on the Gundlach stage! She has most recently performed in Chicago (Ensemble) and is currently the costume designer for this year’s 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 would like to wave hello to all of the friends she’s made here over the past few months and hopes you enjoy the show.

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Solana Petrone she/her (Mrs. Darling, Shadow, Set Designer) is thrilled to be back on the Gundlach stage for her senior year. 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 Heidelberg Theater seniors for being her best friends and for all of them handling these big changes so professionally.

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Ben Pollizi he/him (Mr. Darling/Shadow/Lighting Designer) is thrilled to be back on stage for Wendy and Peter Pan! Previous roles he has played include: Beethoven in Dog Sees God, Oliver Rivers in Puffs, and Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice. He has also served as the lighting foreman at the university since 2020. Ben runs the make-a-scene improv group and also is the co-president of Alpha Psi Omega. He would like to thank Carol, Karla, and all of his friends and family for their constant belief in him as he finishes out his senior year!

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Nick Talion is a senior at Heidelberg and is so excited to return to Gundach for yet another production! He has been in previous productions here at Gundlach such as Cabaret (Ernst),  She Kills Monsters (Miles), Dog Sees God (CB), My First Time, Pride and Prejudice (Darcy), and most recently Spooky Dog and the Teen-Age Gang Mysteries (Scraggly). He would like to thank his friends and family for all the support and for helping him make it this far, as well as the entire cast and the director for making this show a memorable one!

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Audrey Warren (Tootles, Hook u.s.) is a sophomore Musical Theatre major and Visual Art minor. Some previous roles here at Heidelberg include Liz “Pop” (Chicago), Gabrielle (Cinderella), Frog (A Year With Frog and Toad), and Philostrate/Elvis Fairy (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Audrey is honored to share the stage with a group of such strong, charismatic and enthusiastic performers and friends. As always, a big thanks to “the lovers, the dreamers, and you!”

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Taylor Yunker 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 and played Peter Quince in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She is so grateful for all of her friends and family that support her.

Meet the Production/Creative Team

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Serria Allen she/they (Assistant Stage Manager) is a sophomore Media and English major and is excited to be a part of the Wendy and Peter production team. Their past productions in the Gundlach theatre have been, Addams Family (Ensemble), All Together Now! (Assistant Stage Manager), Cinderella (Assistant Stage Manager), Chicago (Select Dance Ensemble) and will be performing as one of the lips in Rocky Horror. She has also been the show photographer for many of the black box and mainstage shows. They would like to thank Zaria Keys for always making her laugh during rehearsals.

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Bailee Coss is a senior double major in Political Science and Traditional Music. She has been a stagehand for Pride and Prejudice, and she was in the ensemble for Cinderella. During her time at Heidelberg, she has participated in other musical groups such as the Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, Marching Band, Concert Band, Heimonics, and Jazz Band.

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Martina Dimiduk is a fifth year theatre and video game production double major from Dayton, OH. This will be their 10th show at Heidelberg. You may have seen them on stage hiding in the ensemble of various shows such as Music Man or Pride and Prejudice? Maybe you've seen the weapons they made used to fight evil in She Kills Monsters? Maybe even the enchanting magic flowers they made for Midsummer Night’s Dream? Whatever the case may be, Martina hopes you enjoy the show and go on to tell your friends about the great things that happen here at Heidelberg University.

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Anna Gerber is thrilled to be working as sound designer for Wendy & Peter. Anna has been stage manager for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pride and Prejudice, and Fun Home. She has worked sound on Cinderella, Addam’s Family, and Heathers. Anna was assistant director for 9 to 5 and was props master for Puffs. She has also worked as microphone and sound technician at Porthouse Theatre. Anna would like to thank her friends and family for their endless support.

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Matthew Herman (Projection Designer). Off-Broadway and Regional Assistant credits include: Escape to Margaritaville (La Jolla Playhouse - Walt Spangler), Summer (La Jolla Playhouse - Robert Brill), Ain’t Too Proud (Berkeley Rep. - Robert Brill),  Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven (The Atlantic Theater Company - Narrell Sisson), Happy Days (Mark Taper Forum - Izmir Ickbal) and over 20 productions as David Goldstein’s associate scenic designer including Emojiland (National Tour/The Duke), Winnie the Pooh (Rockefeller Productions), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (John W. Engeman Theatre, Northport), Esai’s Table (JAG), That Golden Girls Show (Rockefeller Productions) and Mr. Parker (Theater Row/Penguin Rep Theater). CCAE Theatricals credit: Witnesses (World Premier), Once, Joseph and the Amazing…, A Big Band Christmas. Barn Stage Company credits: James and the Giant Peach, Songs for a New World, Chess in Concert, Peter and the Starcatcher, Carousel in Concert, Spring Awakening, Urinetown, The Last Five Years. UC San Diego credits: Othello, What of the Night?, 100 Giving Way, How to Use a Knife (WNPF 2016), Precipitate: Pleasant Beats & Knot Knowing, La Bête (ASD), Rhinoceros (ASD). Cal Poly, SLO credits: Trojan Women 2.0. MFA in Scenic Design from UCSD. www.MatthewHermanDesign.com

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Karla Kash (Director/Fight Director/Movement Choreographer) is an Associate Professor and Director of the Theatre program at Heidelberg University. Professor Kash is thrilled to be working with this group of talented and tenacious actors, designers, and the production team. Professor Kash is in her seventeenth year as a full-time Theatre Professor. Ms. Kash is over the moon to join the Heidelberg family and Tiffin community. Karla was born and raised in Dayton, OH. Professor Kash has previously taught at Iowa State University, Drake University (where she was tenured), University at Albany (SUNY), and Saginaw Valley State University. Ms. Kash is a professional Director and Choreographer (member of the Society of Directors and Choreographers) and Actor (member of the Actors Equity Association), as well as a Fight Director who is certified in six weapons (The Society of American Fight Directors).

 

Some of Ms. Kash’s favorite roles are Barbara in August: Osage County at Repertory Theatre of Iowa; Susan in the musical [title of show] and Becca in Rabbit Hole at StageWest; Diana in Next to Normal at Des Moines Onstage; Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet at American Theatre for Actors in NYC (and was the production’s fight director); and Martha in A Piece of My Heart at the Metropolitan Playhouse, NYC. Karla’s most incredible experience as an actor is playing Josie in A Moon for the Misbegotten opposite her mentor, the late Jonathan McMurtry, at North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach, CA, under the direction of David Ellenstein. Ms. Kash’s favorite productions as a professional director, choreographer, and or fight director are Parade, Jerry Springer the Opera, Spring Awakening, and Avenue Q for StageWest; West Side Story, Rock of Ages, and The Wedding Singer for The Des Moines Playhouse; As You Like It, The Glass Menagerie, and The Taming of the Shrew for The Repertory Theatre of Iowa; The World Goes ‘Round for The International Lyric Academy in Italy; and Shipwrecked at The Black Hills Playhouse. A career highlight for Karla was doing the fight direction for the Broadway National Tour of La Cage Aux Folles.

 

Some of Professor Kash’s favorite productions as a producer, director, choreographer, and/or fight director at the University level are Godspell, A Dolls House, and Hair at The University at Albany; Heathers, Sweeney Todd, Twelfth Night, A Man of No Importance, and bare: a pop opera at Drake University; and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Pavillion, The Music Man, and My Fair Lady at Iowa State University.

 

Ms. Kash earned her BFA in Acting with an emphasis in Dance, Directing, and Musical Theatre from Wright State University and her MFA in Acting with a focus on Classical Theatre and Movement Studies from Brandeis University. Professor Kash’s highlight of her educational career is receiving the distinguished Madlyn Levitt Mentor of the Year award at Drake University.

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Benjamin Neiberlein he/him (Assistant Director) is a Junior majoring in Theater at Heidelberg University. He has been in productions before at his local hometown theater, Young Actors Studio, including productions of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Mamma Mia!, and Aladdin. This is his 10th production at Heidelberg. His favorite roles performed were Count Dracula and Sweeney Todd. When not on stage, he enjoys painting and playing piano. He has also done volunteer work for Weathervane Community Playhouse in Akron, Ohio, helping out with set construction of Kinky Boots. He is also associated with Sigma Tau Nu Fraternity. He has previously played in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon/Theseus) at Gundlach Theater.

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Lexy Saxon is a sophomore acting student who also has a passion for lighting. For this production, she is running the lightboard! Although she is not new to the production side of shows, this is her first time being in the tech booth for a main stage show! She is super excited for everyone to see her talented friends!

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Hannah Schoen (Costume Designer) is a recent Graduate of Heidelberg’s theater department. During her time Heidelberg she was in The Music Man, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, The Penguin Tango, Lysistrata and Oedipus, She Kills Monsters, Elf, Puffs, Heathers, 9 to 5, Addams family, Rocky Horror, Pride and Prejudice, Midsummer Night’s Dream, A Year with Frog and Toad, and Cinderella. Recently she just spent two months out in Ivins, Utah working for Tuacahn Amphitheater for their production of Buddy: the Buddy Holly story. She will also be designing for Heidelberg again with Dangerous Liaisons until her next project down in Vero Beach, Florida. 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. She can’t wait to see what the future holds.