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Show Times:

July 11 - 7:30 p.m.
July 12 - 7:30 p.m.
July 13 - 2:00 p.m.
July 17 - 7:30 p.m.
July 18 - 7:30 p.m.
July 19 - 7:30 p.m.

Check out Broadway World's
coverage of our upcoming
production of Mother Divine!

Creative Team

Click on a picture to read the bio. The bio will appear at the top of the right hand column.

Randy Davis Randy Davis*
Choreographer
Colin Welford Colin Welford
Musical Arrangements
and Musical Director
Bob Willenbrink Dr. Bob Willenbrink
Director and Scenic Design
Laurel Vartabedian Dr. Laurel Klinger-Vartabedian
Book & Lyrics
Gordon Mapley Dr. Gordon Mapley
Executive Producer
Bill Evans Bill G. Evans
Composer
Jennifer Lynn Anderson Jennifer Lynn Anderson*
Stage Manager
Andrea Southard Andrea Southard
Costume Design
Phoenix Steiner Phoenix Steiner
Marketing and Web
Jeff Stover Jeff Stover
Lighting Design
Sky Lux Sky Lux
Sound
Kaitlin Kitzmiller Kaitlin Kitzmiller
Assistant Stage Manager
Amanda Estep Amanda Estep
Assistant Choreographer

Technical Director: MICHAEL SCROGGS
Marketing: CHRISTA BYER

*Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers

Randy Davis*

Choreographer

Mother Divine: Father Divine

Choreography: Mother Divine (NYMF, Western Playhouse); Ain’t Misbehavin, That All Night Strut (Millbrook Playhouse); A Stompin in Harlem (TBA); New York Strip (Broadway Bares); Take Back Your Mink (Broadway Cares); Merchant of Venice (Tokyo, Japan); Dance West (Resident Choreographer - Portland, OR). Broadway: All Shook Up (Dance Captain), Peter Pan with Cathy Rigby (Noodler); Guys and Dolls (Featured/Assistant Dance Captain). Off Broadway: Harlem Song (Featured/Dance Captain, Apollo Theatre). National/International: Whistle Down the Wind, All Shook Up, Peter Pan with Cathy Rigby, Cats (IV National Tour, Mistoffeles), Merchant of Venice (Japan), Synchronicity (Japan), Body & Soul (Germany).

Colin Welford

Mother Divine: Musical Arrangements and Musical Director

Colin Welford (Music Director & Musical Arrangements) studied at Oxford University, The Royal College of Music, University of Miami and Columbia College, in conducting and film composition. Music Supervisor: The Lion King (13 companies worldwide), The Who’s Tommy (Europe and UK). Music Director: Wicked, Billy Elliot, English National Ballet. Colin has orchestrated for New York and Boston Pops orchestras, and appears on a wide variety of recordings ranging from conducting Mahler and Stravinsky with the BBC Symphony to pop and big-band albums, TV and film soundtracks. Colin has just arrived from conducting Billy Elliot at the MUNY in St. Louis, and from staging his original musical “Strings Attached” at the American Folklore Theatre, WI.

Amanda Estep

Assistant Choreographer

Mother Divine: Sister Buncha Love

Amanda has danced for over thirteen years and is captain of the Missouri Western Mystics Dance Team for the second year in a row. Throughout high school, she performed in numerous productions including Oklahoma!, Honk!, and Rags to Riches and joined the Missouri Western theater department for The Producers. Amanda is in the ensemble of Mother Divine and serving as the assistant choreographer for that show. She is very thankful for the opportunity to work with Western Playhouse and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Dr. Gordon Mapley

Executive Producer

JDr. Gordon Mapley (Executive Producer of Western Playhouse) is the Dean and Executive Director of the Western Institute. Along with Tee Quillin and Dallas Henry, Gordon is a co-founder of Western Playhouse and has been the administrative champion for the Playhouse since its initial conception when Tee, Dallas and Gordon envisioned Western Playhouse over a taco lunch. Gordon retired as a senior university administrator in Ohio before beginning a new career at Missouri Western. Gordon is on the board for the Allied Arts Council and the Missouri Western Arts Society. In Ohio, his contribution to the arts included oversight of the vision, design and construction of the Beecher Center for Art and Technology. During productions, you will see Gordon scooping ice cream at intermission, icing down drinks, or whatever is necessary to support Western Playhouse and enhance the experience of those who attend Playhouse productions.

Dr. Bob Willenbrink

Producing Director

Mother Divine: Director and Scenic Design

JDr. Bob Willenbrink (Producing Director and Founding Dean of the School of Fine Arts) - Ph.D., Bowling Green (Ohio) State University. He began his career at Hazard (Kentucky) Community where he founded the Hazard Summer Playhouse. For years he served as Chair and Director of Theatre at the University of Central Arkansas. While there he created the Youth Theatre of Central Arkansas, was the national director of the ARC Performing Arts Institute for disabled artists, and founded ACTS, a theatre performance troupe for disabled performers. He has directed over 80 productions of various styles at numerous venues. He has served as chair of Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region VI, the Kentucky Humanities Council board, a director and first vice-president of the Jenny Wiley Theatre and as the director for the Kincaid Regional Theatre. Most recently he was the Department Head and Producer/Director for Missouri State’s Tent Theatre. He received the Kennedy Center Bronze Medallion for Service and the Distinguished Creative Production Award at Morehead State University.  

Dr. Laurel Klinger Vartabedian

Book and Lyrics

Laurel’s career as a university professor and playwright has led to two full-length musicals with composer Bill Evans. In 2013, Mother Divine was selected, by the prestigious New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), as one of ten Next Link Project shows from over two hundred submissions. In 2014, the Governor’s Ludlow Centennial Commission sponsored a performance of their musical American Story in Colorado. The show also received a Horowitz Foundation Grant. In addition to teaching, her academic career has included consulting, grant writing, and publication of numerous journal articles and a book chapter that resulted in coverage in Psychology Today, The Wall Street Journal, and San Francisco Chronicle among other outlets. Kudos to all the creative people who have helped make this production and past productions possible.

Bill G. Evans

Composer

Bill’s career has been equal parts professor, performer, and composer. He has performed piano concerti extensively and published piano, instrument, and chamber music, in addition to, arts songs, and suite in concerto grosso style. A three year stint in the Army, sparked his life-long interest in jazz. This eclectic background has resulted in two musical scores with a variety of styles: American Story and Mother Divine. American Story was named a “Best in Fest” show at MTIF in New York and Mother Divine was a 2013 recipient of an Anna Sosenko Trust Grant and performed to sold out audiences in North Carolina and New York. Bill graduated from North Texas State and he currently resides in Texas.

Jennifer Lynn Anderson*

Stage Manager

Jen is excited to be a part of Western Playhouse for the 2014 season as the Production Stage Manager for The Music Man and Mother Divine. Originally from Minneapolis, she has called Milwaukee her home for the last seven years. Previous credits include: From My HometownNoises Off, End of the Rainbow and An Iliad (Milwaukee Repertory Theater), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (The Guthrie), Disney’s Mulan (Tuacahn Center for the Arts) and countless productions with Milwaukee Chamber Theatre and Skylight Music Theatre. Jen is a proud member of Actors’ Equity.

Andrea Southard

Costume Design

Bio coming soon!

Phoenix Steiner

Marketing and Web

Phoenix has worked for several international enterprises, TV and theater productions, such as, "The Magic Flute", "Madame Butterfly," "Fidelio,"...for Vienna State Opera. He is the founder and CEO of PRLUX, an advertising firm dedicated to creating, planning and handling advertising for its clients. The firm’s client list includes non-profit organizations, entrepreneurs, small businesses, corporations and artists/artists in transition. www.prlux.us

Jeff Stover

Lighting

Jeff Stover comes from the Dallas area where he served as technical director for nine years and was promoted to Director of Theatre/Dance at UT-Dallas. He also worked as a lighting designer at many professional theatres in the area. He has been nominated five times, and won twice, for the Leon Rabin Award for Outstanding Lighting Design. He has worked at WaterTower Theatre, Kitchendog, Plano Repertory Theatre, The Turtle Creek Chorale, and Contemporary Theatre Dallas. Jeff started his theatre career at Collin College where he participated in KCACTF and was lucky enough to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in theatre arts from The University of Nevada-Las Vegas and his Master of Fine Arts in Arts and Technology from The University of Texas at Dallas. Jeff also worked for several years for Vari-Lite, the company that invented robotic lighting. Jeff teaches several of the technical theatre courses including: Stagecraft, Stage Lighting, Stage Management, and Production Participation.

Sky Lux

Sound

Sky Blue Lux is a third year music technology major at Missouri Western, where he studies performance in saxophone, percussion, and voice. Sky intends to spend his life gigging in his own groups, and those for hire—along side a compositional drive for creating commercial technology music. Sky is currently employed as a sound engineer at Missouri Western, where he has ran multiple performances and shows. 

Kaitlin Kitzmiller

Assistant Stage Manager

Bio coming soon!

Western Playhouse is a summer theatre company that utilizes equity actors. MORE INFO