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Anne Shirley is an imaginative, fiercely independent, stubborn, loving, dramatic, orphan girl – who’s constantly getting herself into unintended (and sometime hilarious!) trouble. Her story unfolds when she is mistakenly sent to live with siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert on their family farm, Green Gables and her journey continues as she finds her way within a community that teaches her lessons about family, friendship, self-discovery and what it means to truly belong. Loved by generations and perfect for all ages, this world-renowned novel by Lucy M. Montgomery will be rediscovered in this modern, bold production with contemporary choreography, ensemble story-telling and a score that blends folk-rock, pop, gospel, and musical theatre. By Matte O’Brien and Matt Vinson. Rated G
- Director: Jenn Thompson
- Assistant Director: Valerie Wright
- Choreographer: Jen Jancuska
- Associate Choreographer: Avery Sobczak
- Musical Director: Amanda Morton
- Scenic Designer: Wilson Chin
- Lighting Designer: Phillip Rosenberg
- Assistant Lighting Designer: Kelly Martin
- Costume Designer: Tracy Christensen
- Sound Designer: Miles Polaski
- Wig Designer: Al Annotto
- Production Stage Manager: Laura Jane Collins
“Anne of Green Gables: A New Folk Rock Musical”
Book and Lyrics by:
* indicates Talkbacks § indicates Signed Performances ^ Limited Ticket Availability X Performance Sold Out
Artistic Staff / Musicians
Wilson Chin (Scenic Designer); collaborations with Jenn Thompson and Philip Rosenberg include: The Secret Garden at Denver Center; Oklahoma! at Goodspeed Musicals; Miss Bennet at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; Abundance at Hartford Stage/TACT. World premiere designs include Next Fall on Broadway; The Thanksgiving Play at Playwrights Horizons; Wild Goose Dreams at Public Theater/La Jolla; Teenage Dick at Ma-Yi Theater/Public Theater; Cost of Living at Manhattan Theatre Club/Williamstown Theatre Festival (Pulitzer Prize winner); Pass Over (Lincoln Center/Spike Lee film/Steppenwolf). Opera designs include Lucia di Lammermoor (Lyric Opera of Chicago) and Eine Florentinische Tragodie/Gianni Schicchi at Canadian Opera (Dora Award winner). www.wilsonchin.com. Assistant set designers: Joo Kim, Anton Volovsek.
Tracy Christensen (Costume Designer)recently designed the Broadway revival of Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close; Candide at Carnegie Hall with John Lithgow; and Carousel for London’s English National Opera. Other projects include the premiere of Kate Hamill’s adaptation of Pride & Prejudice off Broadway; Oklahoma! at Goodspeed Opera House; Mamma Mia! for the Idaho Shakespeare Festival; Sweeney Todd starring Emma Thompson; Abundance at Hartford Stage; Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill (film for HBO with Audra McDonald); Souvenir on Broadway; Long Day’s Journey into Night at Weston Playhouse; Seussical for TheatreworksUSA (Lucille Lortel nomination); and The Glass Menagerie at Pioneer Theater; 10 seasons at Chautauqua Theatre Company. Faculty member at SUNY Purchase for costume design www.tracychristensen.com.
Laura Jane Collins* (Production Stage Manager) returns to FLMTF for her second season, having started her time in Auburn with last season’s Ghost: The Musical. This season she is happy to be a part of both Anne of Green Gables: A New Folk Rock Musical and Murder for Two. Recent regional credits include: Next to Normal, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, How I Learned to Drive, Stupid F***ing Bird, The Piano Lesson, Chinglish, and Scorched at Syracuse Stage. The Foreigner, Third, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Around the World in 80 Days, 4000 Miles, and Lend Me a Tenor at Hangar Theatre. Dance credits: Ballet on the Edge, Slightly Sinful, and The Nutcracker at Rochester City Ballet (Dir. David Palmer); The Who’s Tommy – A Rock Ballet (Dir. Christopher Fleming).
Michael Fittipaldi (Bass) is excited to be a part of MGR’s 2018 season! Some of his favorite MGR productions include: Buddy– the Buddy Holly Story,The Full Monty, Altar Boyz, Legally Blonde, The Light in the Piazza, and Million Dollar Quartet. Michael is a member of the Albany Symphony and has performed with the RPO and Symphoria. Michael enjoys free-heel skiing and practicing Parkour with his family at Rochester Parkour. Many thanks to the amazing staff and crew for always making MGR a great place to be!
Justin Goldner (Orchestrations), is a producer, songwriter, arranger, and session musician. He has been privileged to make music with Sting, Ricky Martin, Macy Gray, Donald Glover, Ledisi, Jordin Sparks, Steve Martin, Jane Monheit, Matisyahu, Jason Robert Brown, Audra McDonald and a host of others, including his mentor, Meshell Ndegeocello. He’s contributed to Grammy, Tony and Golden Globe-winning projects, and is bewildered to have been allowed onstage such storied venues as Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, the Apollo Theater and Madison Square Garden whence he recently accompanied Ben Platt live at the 60th annual Grammy Awards. A restless traveler, peripatetic New Yorker and “language junkie”, music has taken Justin to 47 states and 39 countries including Iran, Latin America, South Africa and 3 of the 7 “-stans”, where he has performed and engaged with local cultures, conducted workshops in 3 languages and exchanged experiences and music with others from across the world. www.FunkyButter.com
Jen Grunfeld* (AEA Assistant Stage Manager) is thrilled to return to the festival for her fourth season. Past shows with MGR include: Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Guys & Dolls, Oklahoma!, From Here to Eternity, Treasure Island, Million Dollar Quartet, Smokey Joe’s Café, West Side Story, Light in the Piazza, Saturday Night Fever, and Sweeney Todd. Other stage management credits include: Various readings and workshops at Lincoln Center, the Director’s Company, and Roundabout Theatre Company, White Rabbit, Red Rabbit at Baltimore Center Stage; The Price and Camp David at Arena Stage; Roundabout Theatre Company’s Spring Gala and Benefit of The Man Who Came To Dinner; Lincoln Center Theatre’s Directors Lab 2016; National tours: Saturday Night Fever and Christmas Wonderland ; The Night Alive at Round House Theatre; and Laugh, Choir Boy, Bad Jews, Belleville at Studio Theatre. Love and Thanks to Sasha, Becca, Mom & Dad.
Heidi Hoffman (Cello) made her debut as soloist with the Seattle Symphony at the age of 17. She received her Bachelor of Music and Performers Certificate at the Eastman School of Music, and an MM and DMA from Stony Brook University. As a fellowship student at the Tanglewood Music Center, Heidi performed under conductors Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa. She has performed in North and South America, Europe, and Japan with such diverse groups as the American Symphony, Jupiter Symphony, Tchaikovsky Chamber Orchestra, Northwest Sinfonietta, Pacific Northwest Ballet, the new music group Ensemble X, as well as with the rock bands Paige and Plant, and Heart. Ms. Hoffman has been a member of the Syracuse Symphony, the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra in Chicago, and has served on the faculties of Ithaca College, Wells College, and Cornell University. She has recorded for the Albany and Fleur de Son labels, and her teachers have included Alan Harris, Timothy Eddy, and Julius Levine.
Jennifer Jancuska (Choreographer) Broadway: Hamilton: An American Musical, Resident Choreographer, Dance Supervisor. Associate Director/Choreographer: The Public Theatre, New York City Center, Dallas Theater Center, The Royal George Theatre, Trinity Repertory Company, Flat Rock Playhouse. Founder and Creative Artistic Director: Broadway Connection, “Jennifer Jancuska + The BringAbout,” and BC Beat, described by the New York Times, as an opportunity to “reimagine the possibilities for dance in musical theatre.” Residencies: The Drama League, Barn Arts, Laboratorium, Rockwood Music Hall, The Brooklyn Star. Current Projects: Hamilton: An American Musical; Anne of Green Gables: A New Folk Rock Musical; new works by Douglas Tieman-Waterbury, Drew Gasparini, Zack Zadek, Hyeyoung Kim, Scott Wasserman, Max Gordon, Shaun Peknic, LTR Theatre Company, Busch Gardens & Sea World. Guest Teaching Artist: NYU, Ithaca College, Syracuse University, College of Charleston, PACE, University of the Arts, Shanghai Theater Academy, Belmont University. Graduate: Cornell University. Development of Anne has been supported by “Jennifer Jancuska + The BringAbout,” a company of artists engaged by writing teams, creatives and producers in development of new plays and musicals. Jancuska is honored and thrilled to be choreographing the original production of Matte and Matt’s Anne of Green Gables: A New Folk Rock Musical. Congratulations and thanks to this dynamic and collaborative cast, creative team and production crew. Special thanks to Avery Sobczak, to my incredible family who has always inspired imagination, and to my loves, Tom and Linus for making every moment of life absolutely so special. JenniferJancuska.com
David Manke (Guitar 2) is a recent graduate of Oswego State University. He received a Major in Music and a Minor in Creative Writing. In the past, he performed with the Merry-Go-Round Theatre during the run of From Here to Eternity. He is an avid composer and writer and is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Anne Of Green Gables: A New Folk Rock Musical.
Kelly Martin (Assistant Lighting Designer) Bio coming soon!
Tom Monkell (Guitar) is a NYC based guitarist, composer, and arranger. Active on the NYC musical theatre circuit, Tom has played guitar for the Broadway productions of Wicked, The Book of Mormon, Matilda, Chicago, Dear Evan Hansen, Cats, and Come From Away. Tom’s guitar orchestrations were featured in the New York Times Critics’ Pick Off-Broadway production of The Pen as part of the 2016 Inner Voices new musical series. Other Off-Broadway credits include: Bastard Jones, Gigantic, Wringer, and Shoes and Baggage.
Amanda Morton (Music Director) is a Philadelphia-based Music Director and Senior Lecturer at University of the Arts. Select credits include: Passing Strange at Wilma Theater; KPOP at Ars Nova; A Period of Animate Existence at Pig Iron Theatre Company; A Year With Frog & Toad (Barrymore Award nomination), The Secret Garden, Passion, and Parade at Arden Theatre Company; Peter and the Starcatcher, A New Brain, Into the Woods (Barrymore Award recipient), and Spring Awakening at Theatre Horizon; Broadcast, Kiss of the Spider Woman, A New Brain, and Side Show at 11th Hour Theatre Company; Malpractice Makes Perfect at York Theatre Company; Peter & I at American Theatre of Actors; We Tell the Story: The Songs of Ahrens & Flaherty at Lortel Theatre; The Real Whisper, Finn the Fearless at UArts Polyphone Festival. Upcoming: Do You Want A Cookie? at Bearded Ladies Cabaret; The Color Purple at Theatre Horizon; The Bridges of Madison County at Philadelphia Theatre Company. She has a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Ithaca College. For LJ, the wizard.
Matte O’Brien(Book/Lyrics) is a playwright/lyricist based in New York City. His plays and musicals include: The Wonderful Mr. & Mrs. O’Leary; Peter & I; White Noise; As Flies to Wanton Boys; Morning Has Broken; Becoming David; THE MEANING OF LIFE… and other useless pieces of information; The Night Elaine Stritch Died; and The Worst Was This. He received a Jeff Nomination for his musical White Noise, produced by Whoopi Goldberg; and his play The Wonderful Mr. & Mrs. O’Leary, first seen at The Actor’s Company Theatre featuring Tony Award winner Alice Ripley, was a 2017 finalist for The National Playwright’s Conference at The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. He holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Syracuse University and a Masters in Classic and Contemporary Text from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Miles Polaski (Sound Designer) is a sound designer, composer, and projection media designer. Previously at Merry-Go-Round, Miles designed Mamma Mia! and Guys and Dolls (S.A.L.T Award nominee). New York credits include productions with: The Flea Theater (Drama Desk nominee and Jeff Award nominee for Fulfillment by Thomas Bradshaw), Transport Group, Playwrights Realm, National Asian American Theatre Company, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Pace Gallery, NYU Tisch, among others. Regional credits include productions with: Geva Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, American Theater Company, Red Tape Theatre (Jeff Award for Mouse in a Jar by Martyna Majok), Chicago Dramatists, The Gift Theatre, Collaboraction Theatre, Steep Theatre, and About Face Theatre, among others. Miles was the resident sound and projection designer for five seasons at Barter Theatre, in Abingdon, VA where he designed over 65 musicals and plays. milespolaski.com
Philip S. Rosenberg (Lighting Designer) Broadway: Pretty Woman; The Elephant Man; A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder; and It’s Only a Play. Off Broadway: The Ruins of Civilization; The Explorer’s Club; and Cactus Flower. Regional: Kennedy Center, La Jolla Playhouse, Guthrie, The Old Globe, Hartford Stage, Huntington, Chicago Shakespeare, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Dallas Theatre Center, Denver Center, Alley, Arena Stage, McCarter, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Goodspeed Opera, Two River Theatre Company, George Street Playhouse, and Westport Country Playhouse.
Julia Ross (Percussion) is a Syracuse native and active freelance percussionist. She holds degrees in music from Ithaca College (B.M.) and Indiana University (M.M.), and completed additional studies at Cleveland State University. Julia is an alumna of the Aspen Music Festival and Pierre Monteux School, and has performed with Symphoria, the Buffalo Philharmonic, regional orchestras throughout Ohio and on tour with the Hollywood Concert Orchestra. She is thrilled to join the MGR family this summer.
Arvilla Rovit (Viola) is a violist in Symphoria, Syracuse’s full time professional orchestra. In the Central New York area she has also performed with the Society for New Music, Ensemble X, Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music, Cornell’s Mayfest, and CMM’s “Live! at the Everson” Series. This is Arvilla’s second show with Merry Go Round Theater. She is thrilled to be back after playing Ghost last season.
Ken Swinkin (Drummer) is a NYC-based theater drummer. National tour: The Music Man; Stand By Your Man–The Tammy Wynette Story; A Christmas Carol; and Miracle on 34th Street. European tour: Grease. NYC school tour: Sophisticated Ladies. Regional/summer-stock credits include Pentangle Arts and Artistree in Vermont, The Mac-Haydn Theater in New York and Surflight Theater on the Jersey Shore. He is very excited to be performing here at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse for the first time.
Jenn Thompson’s (Director) work has been seen in NYC and across the country. Her recent credits include Shiller’s Mary Stuart at Chicago Shakespeare Theater; Conflict with The Mint Theater in NYC; The Secret Garden at Denver Center for the Performing Arts; Miss Bennet, A Christmas at Pemberley at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; Women Without Men at Off-Broadway’s Mint Theatre Company (2016 Lortel and Off-Broadway Alliance Award nominations for Outstanding Revival, 5 Drama Desk Award nominations including Outstanding Director and Revival). Last summer, Jenn’s critically-acclaimed production ofOklahoma!, at Goodspeed Opera House extended several weeks due to popular demand. Jenn served as Co-Artistic Director of Off-Broadway’s TACT/The Actors Company Theatre from 2011 to 2015, where her credits included: Abundance (first NYC staging in 25 years, Off-Broadway Alliance award for Best Revival); Natural Affection (first staging in 50 years); Lost in Yonkers (2012 Drama Desk Nomination for Best Revival of a Play, with revisions approved by Mr. Simon himself); The Eccentricities of a Nightingale (The New York Times – Year in Theater: Top 10 of 2008). Other NYC directing credits include: Pratfalls (NYC Premiere, Abingdon); the world-premiere musical Seeing Stars, (NYMF); Badge (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre); The Brilliance Of Bernstein (American Musicals Project) and Big Doolie (FringeNYC). Jenn is a Resident Director of the Dorset Theatre, as well as 19 seasons with Connecticut’s award-winning River Rep at the Ivoryton Playhouse where she served as Producing Director, working on over 50 productions including directing Damn Yankees, The Heiress, Dinner with Friends and The Foreigner. Jenn was a 2012 finalist for the SDC’s Joe A. Callaway Award, for excellence in New York City directing. jennthompsondirector.com
Nolan Todd (Assistant Stage Manager) is headed into his senior year at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY. He is pursuing a B.F.A. in Technical Production with a concentration in Stage Management. Nolan serves as the production stage manager for the Nazareth College Theatre and Dance Department. He is happy to be returning to FLMTF after serving as the stage management intern for Guys and Dolls and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas last season. Next up, Nolan will serve as the production stage manager for Bells Are Ringing with previous FLMTF assistant director, Trey Compton (director/choreographer), as well as Spring Awakening with Finger Lakes Producing Artistic Director, Brett Smock (director/choreographer). Love to Momma, Dad, Brandon, and Regan. Ohh, hello! @ntodd_portfolio || nolantodd.com
Matt Vinson (Music) is a New York City based composer, pianist, and arranger. His songs and compositions have been performed at classical, theatrical, and cabaret venues across the US and Europe. Musical works for theatre include Peter & I, CAKE, and Anne of Green Gables: A New Folk Rock Musical with librettist Matte O’Brien; vocal arrangements and music coordination for Political Subversities, conceived by Elizabeth Swados; and Exiles in Paradise; Doing Nothing All Day; Elfriede’s Story; and Willie, Mickey, & the Duke; written for California Repertory Company.
Valerie Wright (Assistant Director), Broadway: Cats; Song and Dance; Steel Pier; Sally Marr and Her Escorts, starring Joan Rivers; Damn Yankees, opposite Jerry Lewis; Annie Get Your Gun with Bernadette Peters; Elf the Musical; Tuck Everlasting. Off Broadway: Showing Off; The World Goes ‘Round; Wanda’s World. National tours: Hello Dolly; Song and Dance; The World Goes ‘Round (Jefferson Award, Helen Hayes nomination); Damn Yankees (Helen Hayes nomination). Regional: On The Town at Arena Stage; Pajama Game and Redhead at Goodspeed Musicals; Noises Off at Dorset Theater Festival; Sweet Charity at Barrington Stage Company; 3ree at Ahmanson Theater; Peter Pan at The Muny. Film: “Sleepless In Seattle”; “Ordinary Heroes”; “Second Glance”. Directing/Choreography: Off-Broadway (T.A.C.T): Happy Birthday; Regional: Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert at Piper Theater; Fiddler On The Roof, Pajama Game at Brooklyn Players; The Baker’s Wife at Gallery Players; and The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas at Montclair State University. Valerie wrote and produced her children’s album Green Beans On The Floor. She has a BFA from USC and is the owner, director of Brooklyn CenterStage dance studio in Brooklyn, NY where she lives with her husband, actor Mark Lotito, and sons Luca and Gio.
TBD Casting was founded by Casting Directors Stephanie Yankwitt and Margaret Dunn. Margaret and Stephanie met over a decade ago when they both worked at Telsey + Co. After leaving Telsey, Stephanie and Margaret worked for a number of smart, formidable female Casting Directors who inspired them to start their own business, including Tara Rubin, Julie Tucker, Laura Rosenthal and Francine Maisler. TBD Casting has cast for film and theater worldwide. Current/recent theater projects include: Fairview at Soho Repertory Theatre; Burn All Night at The A.R.T./Oberon; King Kong and West Side Story at Fugard Theatre, South Africa; Hal & Bee at Stable Cable Lab Co; and ongoing work with Mainspring Arts Cooperative and the Playwrights’ Center. Current films include: Sweet Home Tennessee (dir. Joanna Jurewicz); A Little More Alive (prod. Hunter Arnold); Give Me Liberty (dir. Kirill Mikhanovsky); and ongoing work with the Independent Filmmaker Project.
* Members of Actor’s Equity Association, the Union of professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
** Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society