Meet the Cast: Bethany Cleary

bethanyBethany is returning for her second production with the Heritage Players this year and her first musical.  She fondly recalls her first production with PCHP, “Noises Off”and the many hours of laughter and the great friendships created by that production.

Things I learned while writing Bethany’s bio for marketing purposes: she doesn’t like to be called Beth, and she likes cats!

 

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Meet the Stage Manager: Jon Bigelow

Joining the Heritage Players in his most difficult role yet, Jon Bigelow is the stage manager for the projonduction of “Nunsense: The Mega-Musical”.

His first try at writing a biography to include for our show:  Jon Bigelow is the stage manager.

Not good enough (says the marketing manager)…. his second attempt submission:

Jonathan Rhys Bigelow IV has an extensive and exhausting list of previous theatre experience, most of which seem too braggy to list in this biography, but fortunately he has portrayed some lesser-known characters in his hey-day which we are privileged to list below: police officer #3 in the Backdoor Theatre Company of Kaysville, Ottawa, Canada’s revival of The Little Engine that Couldn’t Quite; Tree Stump in The Rain Flows Down; and one he will never forget- Master Mime in King Bartholomew Loses a Button. Jonathan has had a passion for the theatre arts ever since his sister told him he looked just like that guy on that one tv show with the cops- you know the one. He is excited to be involved in this production and would like to thank his lucky mole for always sticking with him, no matter how much he picks at it.

And we wonder why he’s the stage manager?

Meet the Cast: Vanessa Alm

vanessaBringing a youthful quality to the show is Vanessa Alm and we are excited to have her return for her third production with the Pine City Heritage Players.

This production is her sixth appearance on the local stage.  She appeared in the high school production of “Footloose” and most recently as Mrs. Squires in the Heritage Players summer production of “The Music Man”.  More than just an actress, Vanessa has also been involved in the costume department with Jolynn Howard nearly every year since 2012. In her free time, she loves to draw, sew, and make people smile.  “I want to thank my family and friends for their support. Thank you to my fellow cast members— you are all so awesome! Thank you to everyone who made this show possible— and a special thank you to everyone who comes to see it!”

Meet the Cast: Jennifer Hansmann

hansmannJennifer Hansmann has a long history with the Heritage Players and has been involved both on and off stage.  She started with the group in 1992 when she moved to Pine City and began teaching music at the elementary school that fall.

Her first involvement was on stage ~ some favorite roles include Marian (The Music Man), Ado Annie (Oklahoma), Hope (Brigadoon), Sister Leo (Nunsense) and Clara (Don’t Hug Me). She enjoyed being involved as the Vocal & Orchestra Director last summer for “Music Man”, but is excited to be back on stage… and playing a different Nunsense role this time around.  When she’s not on stage, Jen keeps busy with music and crafting…and most importantly, being a wife to Wayne and mom to Mitchell, Austin, and Nicholas.

Meet the Cast: Cassandra Olson

cassandraJoining us for her very first local production is Cassandra Olson, playing the role of “Sister Julia, Child of God”.  Cassandra tell us that perhaps she was typecast in this role as she isn’t known for her cooking skills… but she assured us all that she hasn’t killed anyone yet!

“I am thrilled to be a part of this fun musical after a long stretch off the stage. I’ve spent the last six years singing with a Minneapolis based a Capella group DeCantus. I have enjoyed participating in recent Heritage Players’ Songs of the Stage fundraiser concerts. Previous shows include West Side Story, Guys and Dolls, Bye Bye Birdie, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hay Fever and David and Lisa. I could not have done this without the incredible support of my husband, Nick.  Thank you!”

Meet the Orchestra Director: Joni Nelson

Joni Nelson has been involved with the Heritage Players both on stage and off.  We are pleased that she agreed to take on the challenge of putting together the orchestra for this show.  SONY DSC

Joni’s previous plays with Heritage Players Include “She Loves Me”, “Quilters” and most recently as Mrs. Paroo in “The Music Man”. She has been playing piano and singing for what seems like forever. Including doing music ministry and giving piano and voice lessons. Thanks to Jay for giving me the opportunity to be part of this fun show with such a talented cast and orchestra.

 

Meet the Cast: Dawn Barstad-Carpenter

When the Heritage Players look at producing musicals, Dawn is often one of the first ladies in the door ready to audition for the opportunity to sing on stage.  She has a love of music that shines throcarpenterugh whenever she is performing.  As a former board member for Heritage Players, Dawn knows the high costs that are associated with full-scale musical productions.  In order to ease the “itch” to sing her favorite broadway showtunes, Dawn was a key organizer behind the new “Songs of the Stage” fundraiser events hosted by the Heritage Players over the last year.

“Nunsense: The Mega Musical” marks Dawn’s 5th production with Heritage Players. She appeared in “Don’t Hug Me”, “She Loves Me”, “All Because of Agatha” and “Quilters”. She would like to thank her family for their support and indulgence as she pursues her passion of performing, especially their patience as she worked on her accent at home!

Meet the Musicians: Sonda Jacobson

Sonda Jacobson has done several shows with Heritage Players including She Loves Me, Songs of the Stage events, and most recently Music Man.  She enjoys being behind the piano accompanying all the talent on stage!  Sonda has a Music Performance B.A. from the University of MN, Morris, she plays on the Harris Covenant Church praise team, and with the trio “Friends”.  She loves spending time with family and friends!

Meet the Cast: Mary Ellen Sauser

sauserMary Ellen Sauser is performing in her fourth Nunsense production with the Heritage Players.  As Sister Hubert, she is delighted to be playing the onstage sidekick to her real life sidekick, Elisa Mill.  As a teacher for over 30 years and now in a new role as Peer Coach at Pine City high school, playing Mistress of the Novices is perhaps not much of a stretch!   In her free time Mary Ellen enjoys golfing, knitting, walking, and yard work.  After being part of more than a dozen Heritage shows, she’s thrilled to have the opportunity to be performing at this venue.

Meet the Cast: Elisa Mill

elisamillElisa Mill returns to the Heritage Players stage in the role of Reverend Mother Mary Regina, having previously portrayed the character in the 1995 production of Nunsense, and again in the 2005 production of Nuncrackers.  She spent the better part of the last ten years pleading her case for a return of the Nunsense shows to the Pine City stage and is thrilled that someone finally listened!

“My acting career spans about 45 years.  It began when I was in 9th grade, rather horrifying to realize.  I have been doing Heritage Player productions for a long time (NOT 45 years)!  This show, Nunsense, is my  all time favorite!  If anyone knows Dan Goggin please tell him that I am ready to join a touring company.  I am so excited to be doing the show and look forward to seeing you all in the audience.  Tell your friends!  Nunsense is habit forming.”