Our 2020 Season was sadly cancelled. Preserved here are the people we were really looking forward to working with.
Cast, Musicians, Crew, and Staff
- Post Playhouse Artistic Director
- Director — Cats, Catch Me If You Can
- Choreographer — Cats, Catch Me If You Can, Annie, Damn Yankees
Dewayne is very excited to be returning to the Post Playhouse for his 5th season as Artistic Director, Director, and Choreographer. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, he moved to New York City and began his career/training in the Big Apple. He has performed leading roles around the country such as Rum Tum Tugger in Cats, Bobby Child in Crazy For You, Riff in West Side Story, Bobby in A Chorus Line to name a few. He has directed and choreographed for national tours, regional theatres, dinner theaters, community theatres, cruise ships, movies, high schools, music videos, parades and dance companies. He now resides in Florida. This coming fall, Dewayne will be heading to Beijing, China to teach, direct/choreograph at The Central Academy of Drama. He recently premiered EDM Antigone the Rock Opera with Don Fox in Wenatchee, Washington. Don and Dewayne are planning several US tours of EDM Antigone. Dewayne would love to thank Tom Ossowski and Don Fox for all the doors they have opened for him and all the wonderful designers and crew that return every year.
- Cats — Bustopher Jones
- Church Basement Ladies — Pastor E. L. Gunderson
- Damn Yankees — Joe Boyd, Ensemble
- Catch Me If You Can — Frank Abagnale Sr.
Dylan Berkshire is thrilled to be joining the company of Post Playhouse for his Nebraska debut! He’s a Pennsylvania native and is a rising senior at Kent State University pursing a BFA in Musical Theatre. Some of his favorite past credits include The Mystery of Edwin Drood (John Jasper), Hair (Tribe, u/s Berger), & Rothschild & Sons (Amshel Rothschild) at Kent State, Rock of Ages (Franz) & Titanic (Hartley) at Players Guild, as well as Shrek (Papa Bear) at Beck Center for the Arts. Dylan would like to thank Dewayne & Tom for this amazing opportunity as well as the rest of the Post Team! He is truly blessed to be working in his passion and is thankful for the endless support he receives from family and friends. Visit dylanberkshire.com to learn more about Dylan!
- Bass — Cats, Annie, Damn Yankees, Catch Me If You Can
Cody is very grateful to Tom and Mike for giving him the opportunity to make his Post Playhouse debut! Cody is currently an undergraduate at the Lionel Hampton School of Music in Moscow, Idaho majoring in Instrumental Music Education along with minors in Choral Teaching and Jazz Studies. When he’s not playing for theater productions he can be seen performing in UI’s many ensembles and volunteering at nearby high school music programs. His credits as a theater bassist include: The Drowsy Chaperone, Annie, Bye Bye Birdie, Chicago, and Sweeney Todd.
- Season Costume Designer
- Scenic Designer — Cats
Pheobe H. Boynton is thrilled to be returning to The Post Playhouse for her seventh season! She is a freelance costume designer originally from Ithaca, NY and currently based out of the Theatreworks costume shop in Colorado Springs, CO. She has a bachelors in art history from Cornell University, and an MFA in theater design and technology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and is currently an adjunct professor at Chadron State College. She has done work for a wide variety of clients in theater, film, television and new media, including the Los Angeles Opera, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Kansas City Repertory Theater, The Arvada Center, Theatreworks, Chadron State College, The Unicorn Theater, The Hangar Theatre, Legendary Pictures, YouTube Studios, Relativity Media, and Investigation Discovery. www.pheobebird.com
- Season Technical Director
Scott is excited to be returning to the Post Playhouse for his second season. Scott is also an Associate Professor of Theatre at Chadron State College. His responsibilities include Designer (Scenic, Lighting, Sound, Projection), Technical Director and Production Manager for the Theatre Program. Recent designs credits (Set and/or Light) include: Money Shot, Rosencrantz & Guilderstein are Dead, Big River, Extremities, The Underpants, Little Shop of Horrors, Bus Stop, Almost Maine, Godspell, Peter and the Starcatcher, and Lost in Yonkers. Always looking for new challenges Scott also Directs at Chadron State College. Some of his recent directing Credits include: Extremities, Money Shot, The Vampire Cowboy Trilogy, The Play About the Baby, Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, The Shape of Things, and Stop Kiss. You can see more of Scott’s work at www.scottcavin.com
- Cats — Bombalurina
- Annie — Cecil, Boylan Sister, Ensemble
- Damn Yankees — Lola
- Catch Me If You Can — Cheryl Ann, Cindy, Ensemble
Sophia is thrilled to be making her Post Playhouse debut! Sophia is a recent Musical Theatre graduate from Sam Houston State University, where some her favorite credits include playing Heather Chandler (Heathers), Ymma (Silence), and #13 (The Wolves). Professionally, Sophia made her debut in Houston performing as Euterpe (Xanadu!), other favorite credits include Evil Mother (Panto: Hansel and Gretel), and Sally Brown (You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown). Originally from Glasgow, Scotland, Sophia is a proud Dual Citizen. Sophia would like to thank her family, friends and God for all their constant guidance and support! (http://SophiaElizabethClarke.com)
- Cats — Grizabella
- Church Basement Ladies — Mrs. Lars Snustad (Vivian)
- Annie — Annette, Boylan Sister, Ensemble
- Damn Yankees — Sister, Wife
- Catch Me If You Can — Lindy, Ensemble
Sarah is elated to be making her Post Playhouse debut this summer! Most recent credits include: Aida (Amneris) and Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike (Nina) at the Weathervane Playhouse, It Happened One Christmas Eve (Elizabeth) and A Christmas Carol (Ghost of Christmas Past) at Westchester Broadway Theatre. She holds a BFA from Marymount Manhattan College, and now happily resides in New York City. Love and thanks to her family, friends, and the entire team here at Post! It is truly a gift to be sharing these magical stories with the Fort Robinson community.
- Director/Choreographer — Church Basement Ladies
David is excited to direct/choreograph Church Basement Ladies for the 4th time! David has a BS in Architecture Design from Georgia Tech and a MFA in Directing Theatre from Minnesota State University, Mankato. David owns and runs Atlanta’s largest caroling company Like the Dickens (www.LiketheDickens.com). David’s favorite shows directed include: Guys and Dolls, Ragtime, Forever Plaid, Anything Goes, Oleanna, Reckless, The Rink, and Into the Woods. Onstage favorite roles include: Fred/Petruchio in Kiss Me Kate, Jesus in Godspell, El Gallo in The Fantasticks, Cat in the Hat in Seussical, Sam in Mamma Mia, Jerry in The Full Monty, Sister Mary Amnesia in Nunsense Amen!, Dracula in The Kiss of Dracula, and Captain/Hennessey in Dames at Sea. David is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association.
- Second Keyboard — Cats, Annie
- Music Director — Church Basement Ladies, Catch Me If You Can
- Conductor/Pianist — Church Basement Ladies, Catch Me If You Can
- Church Basement Ladies — Church Organist
Robert Cruz is excited to be joining the team at Post Playhouse for the 2020 season. A versatile musician whose musical passions span everything from Gregorian chant to musical theatre, Robert Cruz currently works as a freelance musician based in Shreveport, Louisiana. Past music directing highlights include Songs for a New World, Into the Woods, Shrek, 1776, and Nunsense. He has also assisted with productions of Les Misérables, Patience, and Little Women. He is grateful beyond words to his wife and kids for all their support, even long distance.
- Paint Charge
Linda is a recent transplant from Omaha to the Crawford area. She has been painting theater sets for 14 years. After being in the art field as an Art Director for various ad agencies, an outdoor billboard company, along with Art Director at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. Some of the theatres she has painted for are Kountze Memorial at Mahoney State Park, Lofté Community Theatre, Manley, NE, Lincoln Community Theatre, Opera Omaha and Lincoln University Opera. Now semi retired to paint and produce pottery for her own enjoyment. She lives on a ranch north of Crawford with her faithful, but noisy dog, Beau. On good days she can be found wandering the hills with either camera in hand or watercolor brushes. Linda wishes to thank Dewayne and Tom for bringing her into the Post Playhouse family.
- Marketing Designer
- Director — Annie
Don Denton is so happy to be returning to Post Playhouse after several years away. Though this time around, you won’t see him on the stage. Instead, he will be directing this season’s production of Annie. Some of Don’s favorite memories were at Post Playhouse: Doing shows like Hank Williams: Lost Highway, and Guys and Dolls, working with Paige Salter. He and Paige are looking forward to making some new memories with their son, Marvin, who now gets to see the place Mommy and Daddy met.
- Season Swing
- Cats — Tantomile
- Church Basement Ladies — (swing)
- Annie — Mrs. Greer, Boylan Sister, Ensemble, (u.s. Lily, Grace)
- Damn Yankees — Meg Boyd, Wife, (u.s. Gloria)
- Catch Me If You Can — Ensemble, (u.s. Brenda)
Emily is elated to be making her Post Playhouse debut and to be seeing this beautiful part of the country for the first time! She was most recently seen in The Full Monty at The Argyle Theatre in Babylon, NY. Other credits include: Off-Broadway’s Molasses in January, National Tour of The Rainbow Fish, Christmas at the Palace (The Palace Theatre-Wisconsin Dells), The Wizard of Oz, Pinkalicious, Harry Connick Jr’s The Happy Elf (The Argyle Theatre). Emily holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Millikin University and has been a proud member of SAG-AFTRA since 1997. “Thank you to Dewayne and Tom for this amazing opportunity and to my parents and Andrew for your continuous love and support!” To keep up with Emily, follow her on Instagram @durand.durand or visit her website www.emilydurand.com.
- Music Director — Cats, Annie, Damn Yankees
- Conductor/Pianist — Cats, Annie, Damn Yankees
- Second Keyboard — Catch Me If You Can
Matthew is a music director, conductor and pianist based in New York originally from Aotearoa New Zealand. Since moving to the United States in 2019, productions include Mary Poppins, The Music Man, Little Shop of Horrors (Post Playhouse), The Sound of Music (Northern Stage), Next To Normal (Tibbits Opera House - BroadwayWorld Nominee for Best Music Direction) and rehearsal work for Royal Caribbean Entertainment’s Hairspray and Grease. New Zealand highlights include Les Misérables, Wicked, Sister Act, Jesus Christ Superstar, Chicago, Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia! and Catch Me If You Can. Matthew holds a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Laws with Honours from the University of Canterbury. Matthew is thrilled to return to Post, and thanks all here for their support in obtaining a new U.S. visa!
- Cats — Rum Tum Tugger
- Annie — Bert Healy, Wacky, Harold Ickes, Ensemble
- Damn Yankees — Mr. Applegate
- Catch Me If You Can — Frank Abagnale Jr.
Corey is delighted to be returning for his second consecutive season with the Post Playhouse. He is based in Minneapolis, MN and is one proud Minnesotan. He is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin River Falls with BA’s in Theatre Arts and Creative Writing. He was recently seen on the Post stage as Bert in Mary Poppins and Harold Hill in The Music Man. Other favorite credits include the Prince in Cinderella and Seymour in The Little Shop of Horrors. Post has become a very special place to Corey and he is so glad he gets to play on this stage once again. Cheers to a wonderful summer!
- Cats — Old Deuteronomy, Gus, Growltiger
- Annie — Oliver Warbucks
- Damn Yankees — Van Buren
- Catch Me If You Can — Carl Hanratty
Hello Nebraska!!! Sam just couldn’t stay away from the wonderful friends he made in Crawford and so he’s back for round two! Returning patrons of Post Playhouse may remember him from last year in Mary Poppins (George Banks), Little Shop of Horrors (Mushnik), Sister Act (Monsignor), and Music Man (Charlie/Olin). He wants to give a big shoutout to all the wonderful friends and family of Post Playhouse who make his time here ever more enjoyable. He would also like to extend a special ”thank you” to his family who traveled so far to see him perform. Enjoy the show!
- Season Scenic Designer
Don is thrilled to be returning for his 6th season designing for the Post Playhouse. Don is a native of Colorado Springs, CO, where he recently served as Production Manager for the launch of the brand new Ent Center for the Arts at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Recent and favorite credits include lighting designs for the Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, (Great American Variety Show), The Borgata Casino, Atlantic City, NJ (The Burlesque Show), Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL (All Shook Up, Legally Blonde, Addams Family), THEATREWORKS AT UCCS (A Christmas Carol), The Moscow Ballet’s North American Tours 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 (The Great Russian Nutcracker), and the Numerica Performing Arts Center of Wenatchee, WA (Young Frankenstein, August Osage County). Don recently created and produced the world premiere of EDM Antigone which is available as an educational production to tour nationally (www.edmAntigone.com). His extensive portfolio can be viewed at www.DonFoxDesigns.com.
Tim is the franchise owner of the Chadron H&R Block office, and has been the accountant for the playhouse since 2007. He and his wife Kari have four children, Kaylee, Aaron, Braxton, and Seth. Tim not only serves as the accountant, but also as the treasurer on the playhouse board. He enjoys working with the great talent and staff every summer, and looks forward to many years with the playhouse.
- Box Office Staff
- Follow Spot Operator
Shanie is back for her second season here at the Post Playhouse. She is very excited for another season of making great friends and working to help create wonderful live art on stage.
- Cats — Victoria
- Church Basement Ladies — Signe Engleson
- Annie — Lily St. Regis
- Catch Me If You Can — Brenda Strong
Amy is so excited to be making her Post Playhouse debut this summer season! Originally from the Hudson Valley region of NY, Amy is a recent graduate of Rider University where she received her BFA in musical theatre. Favorite credits include: Saturday Night Fever (Stephanie) at Interlakes Summer Theatre, Chicago at the Broadway Theatre of Pitman, Steel Pier (Rita Racine), and The Will Rogers Follies (Ens. / Z’s Favorite u/s) at Rider University.
- Cats — Macavity, Mungojerrie, Rumpus Cat
- Annie — Henry Morganthau, Bundles McCloskey, Ensemble
- Damn Yankees — Smokey, Ensemble
- Catch Me If You Can — Jack Barnes, Ensemble
Max Kuenzer is excited to be making his Post Playhouse debut this year. He is a rising junior at the Manhattan School of Music where he studies musical theatre and has appeared as John Jasper in The Mystery of Edwin Drood and in the ensemble of Sweeney Todd. His past credits include: Interlakes Summer Theatre as Ziegfeld Tenor in Funny Girl and in the ensembles of Ragtime, Mamma Mia, and Saturday Night Fever. He would like to thank his mom, grandma, father, and all of his friends and family who have supported him throughout his acting career. Instagram: @MaxKuenzer
- Cats — Munkustrap
- Annie — Louis Howe, Ensemble
- Damn Yankees — Joe Hardy
- Catch Me If You Can — Roger Strong, Pilot
Patrick Lord-Remmert is delighted to be joining the Post Playhouse this season for the first time! Originally from small-town Illinois, he received his Bachelor of Music from Butler University in Indianapolis, followed by graduate work at the Musik und Kunst Privat Universität der Stadt Wien in Vienna, Austria. After a year away from the stage while doing studio and recording work, Patrick has just recently relocated to NYC, where he just finished a brief run of Weber’s Der Freischütz with Heartbeat Opera.
- Cats — Alonzo, (u.s. Skimbleshanks)
- Annie — Ensemble, (u.s. Rooster)
- Damn Yankees — Eddie, Ensemble
- Catch Me If You Can — Ensemble
Post Playhouse debut! Jaden is a New York based Performing Artist and Iowa native. Recent credits include Chicago, Guys and Dolls (Rusty Charlie), and Mamma Mia!. Endless thanks to his family and friends who have supported him along the way. Instagram: @jadenluxnyc
- Producing Artistic Director
- Director — Damn Yankees
Tom Ossowski is an Associate Professor for the BFA Music Theatre Program at FSU and the Producing Artistic Director for the Post Playhouse at Fort Robinson State Park in Nebraska. At the Post Playhouse, Tom has directed Legally Blonde, Monty Python’s Spamalot, A Man of No Importance, All Shook Up, Guys and Dolls, 9 to 5, My Way, The Drowsy Chaperone, Grease, The Wizard of Oz, Nunsense!, Always…Patsy Cline, Hello, Dolly!, Oklahoma!, and The Music Man. FSU directing credits include Beauty & the Beast, All Shook Up, Legally Blonde, Cabaret, The Drowsy Chaperone, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, On The Town, Hair, The Rocky Horror Show, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Music directing credits include Guys and Dolls, A Chorus Line, Ragtime, Spring Awakening, Jesus Christ Superstar, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, RENT, Into The Woods, Urinetown, and In the Heights. Tom directed and music directed Into The Woods and The Family for The Central Academy of Drama in Beijing. He is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
- Cats — Mr. Mistoffelees
- Annie — Drake, Ensemble
- Damn Yankees — Sohovik, Ensemble
- Catch Me If You Can — FBI Agent Johnny Dollar, Mitch Miller, Ensemble
Troy Patrick is a graduate of Point Park University where he earned his Bachelor’s of Arts in Theatre with a minor in Dance. He has previous training in acting from New York Film Academy and in dance from Butlertech School of the Arts. He has been featured in Point Park Conservatory’s Our Lady of 121st Street as Gail and Uncle Tom’s Cabin as Saint Clair. Other credits include Jack Kelly in Lees-McRae Summer Theatre’s production of Newsies, as well as Sky in Mama Mia, Gus in Pittsburgh Musical Theatre’s production of Saturday Night Fever, Emmett Forest in Mitchell A. Finke & Company’s production of Legally Blonde, and featured singer/dancer in WinterFest at Kings Island Amusement Park and Carowinds Amusement Park through RWS Entertainment Group.
- Season Production Manager
- Season Lighting Designer
- Projection Designer — Cats
Ken is extremely happy to be coming back for his seventh consecutive year at the Post Playhouse; this year as the Production Manager and Season Lighting Designer. He holds an MFA in Lighting Design and currently works at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University where he is the resident Lighting Designer/Supervisor for their Opera & Ballet department’s 1,460 seat theatre. He primarily works in Musical Theatre & Opera. Over the years, he has worked across the country on a variety of different productions. To view his work, please feel free to visit his website at KGPhillips.com. He would like to thank Tom and Dewayne for always welcoming him back, for his parents support, and the love of his wonderful wife, Alexandra.
- Cats — Skimbleshanks
- Annie — Rooster Hannigan, Ensemble
- Damn Yankees — Rocky, Ensemble
- Catch Me If You Can — FBI Agent Todd Branton, Wannamaker, Ensemble, (u.s. Frank Jr.)
Mike Rose is an NYC based performer from Philadelphia, PA! He graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in 2018 and most recently toured with Rosie Revere Engineer, and Friends as Iggy Peck, Architect. Other shows include Tarzan at Gretna Theatre and South Pacific with Texas Family Musicals. Go Birds! https://themikerose.com/
- Cats — Demeter
- Annie — Grace Farrell
- Damn Yankees — Gloria Thorpe, Wife
- Catch Me If You Can — Betty, Mindy, Ensemble
Hope (EMC) is so grateful to return to Post this summer where she was seen last year as the titular role in Mary Poppins. Hope, originally from Oklahoma, is based in Chicago where she earned her BFA from CCPA at Roosevelt University in ‘18. Hope has spent the last 10 months as a company member at Playhouse on The Square in Memphis, where she performed in Head Over Heels, Peter Pan, Indecent, and Days of Rage. In Chicago, Hope has performed with Theatre at The Center, Theo Ubique, and Musical Theatre Works. Other regional credits includes: The Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma and Timber Lake Playhouse. Love and thanks to her friends, family, teachers, and all of the people she has met while performing across the states. Instagram: @hopeeschafer
- Season Production Stage Manager
Arielle is so excited to join the Post Playhouse team. She will be entering her third and final year at the University of California, Irvine where she will receive her Masters in Fine Arts in Stage Management. In addition to stage management Arielle also dabbles in projection design where she is able to utilize her undergraduate degree in Marketing and minor in Digital Media. Some of her favorite shows to work on have included: Katori Hall’s Hoodoo Love, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and Kitt & Yorkey’s Next to Normal. In her free time, Arielle volunteers for FIRST Robotics where she mentors high school students in marketing and fundraising. For more information about her experience visit: http://ariellesinger.com
- Box Office Staff
Courtney Smith has just finished up her senior year of college at Chadron and is super excited to begin working at the PostPlayhouse! Although she has gotten the chance to be both onstage and behind the scenes, she enjoys the being part of the magic that goes on behind the scenes of a production the most. Courtney hopes to continue to work in theatre and to be a stage manager some day.
- Box Office Manager
Ann Stephens has worked as part of the Post Playhouse for many summers, first as a volunteer usher, a volunteer in the concession stand, and for the past several years, she has managed the Box Office. Before retirement, Ann had a long and rewarding career as a classroom teacher and as a public education administrator, working in Texas, Arizona, Idaho and Nebraska before joining Post Playhouse staff. In off-season months, Ann enjoys being with her grandchildren, reading, baking, and volunteering throughout her home community of Crawford. Whether you are ready to make additional reservations for more of our superb productions or ready to enjoy some treats at intermission, you’re likely to see Ann… and she’s USUALLY smiling.
- Season drummer
Ken Swinkin is thrilled to be returning to Post Playhouse for his second season here. A New York City-based theater drummer, he has played for U.S. tours of The Music Man, Stand By Your Man—The Tammy Wynette Story, A Christmas Carol, and Miracle on 34th Street. In Europe he played for a tour of Grease. Regional/summer-stock credits include The Mac-Haydn Theater, Surflight Theater, and Meadow Brook Theater. Most recently, he played at The Waterfront Playhouse in Key West, Florida. Enjoy the show!
- Cats — Jellylorum, Jennyanydots, Griddlebone
- Church Basement Ladies — Mrs. Gilmer Gilmerson (Mavis)
- Annie — Miss Aggie Hannigan
- Catch Me If You Can — Carol Strong
Miranda is thrilled to be making her debut at Post Playhouse this summer! She is a rising junior at Montclair State University in the BFA Musical Theatre program, where she recently performed in productions of Titanic and Reefer Madness. Favorite roles include Inga in Young Frankenstein and Heather McNamera in Heathers. Fun fact: She is originally a Florida native and performed her first show with Dewayne Barrett in Sarasota! Visit mirandawolf.net to learn more about Miranda.
Our 2020 Season was sadly cancelled. Preserved here are the people we were really looking forward to working with.
- President of the Board
- Vice President of the Board
Crawford Clipper/Harrison Sun LLC
H & R Block
Chadron State College
Post Playhouse Alum
Our 2020 Season was sadly cancelled. Preserved here are the people we were really looking forward to working with.
- Lyrics — Annie
Martin Charnin created the role of Big Deal in the original Broadway company of West Side Story in 1957, the only acting job he ever had. He began writing during West Side Story and his first collaborator was Mary Rodgers.
He was subsequently the director, lyricist, composer, librettist, producer or a combination of the aforementioned, for over 140 theatrical productions, including Annie, Annie Warbucks, the Rock Opera version of Joan of Arc, Mata Hari, Loose Lips, Star-Crossed, Sid Caesar and Company, Carnal Knowledge, In Persons starring Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson, The Flowering Peach, Winchell, the revised Can Can by Cole Porter (for which he wrote a new libretto), Cafe Crown, Mike, Laughing Matters, The No Frills Revue, The First, On the Swing Shift, A Little Family Business, Upstairs at O’Neals, The National Lampoon Show, Lena Horne on Broadway, I Remember Mama, Hot Spot, Zenda, Put It In Writing, Fallout, Kaleidoscope, Ballad For A Firing Squad, La Strada, Nash at Nine, Music Music, Two by Two, And in London, Bar Mitzvah Boy, Bless the Bride, The 9 1/2 Quid Revue, and internationally and regionally, 17 productions of Annie.
In the 60’s and 70’s he turned to television and created 7 specials that garnered over 15 Emmy Awards, and the Peabody Award for Broadcasting.
His collaborators included Peter Allen, Harold Arlen, Vernon Duke, Keith Levenson, Michael Danziker, Peter Sipos, Mary Rodgers, Marvin Hamlisch, Richard Rodgers, and Charles Strouse.
He wrote for and directed among others, Fred Astaire, Jack Lemmon, Anne Bancroft, Lena Horne, Danny Kaye, Angela Lansbury, Johnny Mathis, Bill Murray,Jon Stewart, Bebe Neuwirth, Bernadette Peters, Sarah Jessica Parker, Gilda Radner, Molly Ringwald, Chita Rivera, Lou Reed, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Joan Rivers, Chuck D., Phoebe Snow, Shirley MacLaine, Marlo Thomas, Julianne Moore, Martha Plimpton, and Barbra Streisand.
Charnin was the artistic director of Seattle’s Showtunes for 7 years, before moving back to New York for the 4th incarnation of Annie on Broadway. He also created a one woman theatrical entertainment for his wife, Broadway and television star Shelly Burch.
- Music — Cats
Thomas Stearns (T. S.) Eliot (1888—1965) was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on September 26, 1888. He was educated at Harvard, at the Sorbonne in Paris and at Merton College, Oxford. He settled in England in 1915 and taught briefly at two schools before joining Lloyds Bank in the City of London in their foreign and colonial department. His first volume of poems, Prufrock And Other Observations, was published in 1917. The Waste Land, his most famous work, came out in 1922. In 1925 he left the bank to become a director of the publishing house of Faber. There have been several collected editions of his poetry and volumes of his literary and social criticism. Eliot also wrote a number of verse plays, the best-known of which, Murder In The Cathedral, was commissioned for the Canterbury Festival of 1935. Four Quartets, now generally regarded as his masterpiece, was first published in 1943. Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats appeared in October 1939. (Eliot had a great affection for cats and “Possum” was his alias among friends.) Forty-two years later, this work would be combined with the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber to become Cats.
Eliot became a British citizen in 1927. He received many honors and distinctions, among them the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was posthumously awarded two 1983 Tony Awards for the book and lyrics of Cats. He was also an Officer de la Legion d’Honneur. He died in London in January, 1965, and there is a memorial to him in Poet’s Corner, Westminster Abbey.
- Book — Annie
Thomas Meehan (Book) received the Tony Award for co-writing the book for The Producers in 2001 and in 2003 for co-writing the book for Hairspray. He received his first Tony Award in 1977 for writing the book of Annie, which was his first Broadway show, and has written the books for the musicals Rocky, Elf the Musical, Cry-Baby, Young Frankenstein, Chaplin, Bombay Dreams, I Remember Mama, Ain’t Broadway Grand, and Annie Warbucks. In addition, he was a long-time contributor of humor to The New Yorker, an Emmy-Award winning writer of television comedy, and a collaborator on a number of screenplays, including Mel Brooks’s Spaceballs and To Be Or Not To Be. Mr. Meehan was also a member of the Council of the Dramatists Guild. He and his wife, Carolyn, divided their time between a home in Nantucket and an apartment in Greenwich Village, near which, on Hudson Street, she owned and presided over the long-running and near-legendary children’s store Peanut Butter & Jane.
- Publisher — Annie, Damn Yankees, Catch Me If You Can
Music Theatre International (MTI) is one of the world’s leading theatrical licensing agencies, granting theatres from around the world the rights to perform the greatest selection of musicals from Broadway and beyond. Founded in 1952 by composer Frank Loesser, and orchestrator Don Walker, MTI is a driving force in advancing musical theatre as a vibrant and engaging art form.
MTI works directly with the composers, lyricists and book writers of these musicals to provide official scripts, musical materials and dynamic theatrical resources to over 70,000 professional, community and school theatres in the US and in over 60 countries worldwide.
MTI is particularly dedicated to educational theatre, and has created special collections to meet the needs of various types of performers and audiences. MTI’s Broadway Junior™ shows are 30- and 60-minute musicals for performance by elementary and middle school-aged performers, while MTI’s School Editions are musicals annotated for performance by high school students.
- Music — Annie
A long-standing member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in January 2002, an inductee into The Theater Hall of Fame, Charles Strouse’s first Broadway musical, Bye Bye Birdie (1960), won him a Tony® Award and the London Critics Best Foreign Musical Award. In 1970, Applause, starring Lauren Bacall, achieved the same honors and his smash hit, Annie (1977), also won a Tony® for Best Score as well as two Grammy Awards®. Some of his other musicals include All American, Golden Boy (starring Sammy Davis Jr.), It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s Superman, I And Albert, directed in London by John Schlesinger, and Dance A Little Closer, written with Alan Jay Lerner. Charlie & Algernon won a 1981 Tony® nomination for Best Score, as did Rags in 1987 and Nick And Nora in 1992. He wrote both the music and lyrics for off-Broadway’s Mayor, and teamed again with Martin Charnin to create Annie Warbucks, the sequel to Annie. His film scores include Bonnie & Clyde, The Night They Raided Minsky’s, and All Dogs Go To Heaven. “Those Were The Days”, the theme song for TV’s All In The Family is a Strouse song, with lyrics by his most frequent collaborator, Lee Adams. “Born Too Late”, a 1958 pop song written with Fred Tobias, was a top-10 BILLBOARD chart hit and is still heard on many oldies stations. The quadruple platinum album title song by Jay-Z, “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)”, won the 1999 Grammy for the best Rap album, charted for more than a year and won the BILLBOARD 1998 R&B Album of the Year Award. Strouse’s far-ranging talents include chamber and orchestral works, a piano concerto, a two-piano sonata, and operas. His latest choral work, “The Child In Us All”, premiered in Spring, 2000. Nightingale, an opera based on the Hans Christian Andersen story for which he wrote music, book and lyrics, was recorded by Sarah Brightman. Strouse was commissioned in 2001 to write Concerto America for the pianist Jeffrey Biegel. The work premiered in June 2002 with the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall. Charles Strouse created the ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop in New York, where he encouraged the talents of countless young composers, writers and performers. In 1999, Strouse received the ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers Award for Career Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre. In December, 1995, a tv reinterpretation of the classic Bye Bye Birdie (starring Jason Alexander and pop-star Vanessa Williams) aired on ABC-TV. The 1995/96 Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music and Lyrics was given to the new song written for and performed by Vanessa Williams: “Let’s Settle Down”. Another TV interpretation in 1999, Annie, aired on ABC’s Wonderful World of Disney, swept the ratings by winning over 40 million viewers, won the 1999 Peabody Award and 2 Emmy Awards. The show starred Kathy Bates, Audra McDonald, Alan Cumming, Kristin Chenoweth, Victor Garber, Andrea McArdle and Alicia Morton as Annie and ranked #1 as movie of the year. A revised Golden Boy was produced by the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven (November, 2000); and The ENCORES! Series presented the show in March, 2002. Future projects: Golden Boy will be performed at the Greenwich Theatre in England in June, 2003. The Night They Raided Minsky’s, which Charles Strouse originally scored for film, has been turned into a full-length musical. The Broadway-bound version has a book by the late Michael Okrent and Evan Hunter, lyrics by Susan Birkenhead. The Manhattan Theatre Club has scheduled the show for its 2003-04 season. An adaptation of the Paddy Chayevsky film Marty, had a successful regional theatre run at Huntington Theatre in Boston in September, 2002. The show reunites Strouse with Lee Adams as lyricist; the book is by Rupert Holmes. John C Reilly starred in the Huntington production and will later again star when the show comes to Broadway next season.
- Music — Cats
Andrew Lloyd Webber is the composer of some of the world’s best-known musicals including Cats, Evita, Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Phantom Of The Opera (which celebrates its 32nd anniversary on Broadway this year) and Sunset Boulevard.
When Sunset Boulevard joined School Of Rock – The Musical, Cats and The Phantom Of The Opera on Broadway in February 2017 he became the only person to equal the record set in 1953 by Rodgers and Hammerstein with four shows running concurrently.
As well as The Phantom Of The Opera and Cats his productions include the groundbreaking Bombay Dreams, which introduced the double Oscar-winning Bollywood composer AR Rahman to the Western stage.
As a composer and producer, Lloyd Webber is one of an elite group of artists to have achieved EGOT status by receiving an Emmy, four Grammys including Best Contemporary Classical Composition for “Requiem”, his setting of the Latin Requiem mass, an Oscar and eight Tony Awards including the 2018 Special Tony for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. He has won seven Oliviers and a Golden Globe and his honors include the Praemium Imperiale, the Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre, a BASCA Fellowship, and the Kennedy Center Honor.
He owns seven London theatres including the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and the London Palladium. He is the only theatre owner to re-invest every cent of profits into his buildings.
He is passionate about the importance of music in education and the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has become one of Britain’s leading charities supporting the arts and music. In 2016 the Foundation funded a major new national initiative which endowed the American Theatre Wing with a $1.3 million, three-year grant to support theatre education opportunities for young people and public schools across the U.S.
He was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen in 1992 and created a life peer in 1997.
To mark his 70th birthday, his bestselling autobiography Unmasked, was published by HarperCollins in March 2018.