Now Playing – SWEENEY TODD
The Encore Musical Theatre Company proudly presents Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, running September 28 – October 22, 2017, directed by Matthew Brennan and music directed by Tyler Driskill.
“Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd…” In the original story, a barber unjustly imprisoned by a corrupt judge, Sweeney returns to 19th century London after fifteen years to take his revenge on the man who took him from his wife and young daughter. Todd’s need for vengeance becomes indiscriminately murderous (and profitable) when he partners with the unscrupulous Mrs. Lovett and opens his new barber practice above her failing meat pie shop. With his busy straight razors and her new secret ingredient, their fame grows until Todd comes face to face with the judge to avenge his family.
With The Encore’s 10th Anniversary production, we bring you a new, immersive, unexpected retelling of this thrilling story, reset in a 1940’s London factory. The usual seating has been split into three sections, two of which are where the stage usually is. The goal of this seating and set design for SWEENEY TODD is to create a captivating experience while never venturing into audience participation. The unconventional staging concept of the show go hand-in-hand with the set design and seating chart.
Sweeney Todd stars Wilde Award Winner David Moan as Sweeney Todd, and Wilde Awards Nominee Sarah Briggs as Mrs. Lovett. The cast also includes: Billy Eric Robinson, Keith Kalinowski, Sebastian Gerstner, Emily Hadick, Dan Johnson, Emily Rogers, Logan Balcom, Nick Casella, James Fischer, Leah Fox, Bryana Hall, Angela Hench, Marlene Inman, Michael Jones, Chris Joseph, Gayle Martin, Dan Morrison, and Alexandra Reynolds.
The Encore Musical Theatre Company recently earned several Wilde Award Nominations (including Best Musical) for Assassins, nabbing 3 wins going to David Moan (Best Supporting Actor in a Musical), Tyler Driskill (Best Music Direction), and Tyler Chinn (Best Lighting) – all of whom will be participating in this production of Sweeney Todd, with the entire creative team, and the majority of the cast returning as well.
David Moan (Sweeney Todd) is beyond ecstatic to be returning to the Encore Musical Theatre for this dream fulfilling opportunity. Most recently David was seen at Encore as Lancelot in Camelot and his Wilde Award winning performance as John Wilkes Booth in Assassins. David would like to thank “Matthew, Tyler, Thalia, and Dan for trusting me with this role; my wife, Sarah, and the rest of my friends and family for the unending support; and Batman, for being the hero we should all strive to be.” David will also be appearing as Lord Evelyn Oakley in Anything Goes later this fall.
Sarah Briggs (Mrs. Lovett) is thrilled to be returning to The Encore after playing Roz in 9 to 5 earlier this summer. Recent credits include Into the Wild (Billie McCandless), The Full Monty (Vicki), and Assassins (Sara Jane Moore) with The Encore; and Sing Happy: The Musical of Kander and Ebb with Pennyseats Theater, Clara in Sugar Plum Panto with Theater Nova, Rosie the Riveter (Katherine *Wilde Award Nomination) and Beanstalk: The Musical! (Mama *Wilde Award Nomination) with Wild Swan Theater. She has toured extensively throughout Michigan with Wild Swan and Timeless Tales Theater, bringing shows such shows as Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (Snow White), and Under the African Sky (Spider, Sky God, Hippo) to children of all ages. Past credits include Lucia di Lammermoor (Alisa) and Rusalka (Rusalka) with Hawaii Opera Theater and Opera Express.
Logan Balcom (Ensemble) is excited to be making his first appearance with The Encore! He has recently appeared in a number of community shows at the Croswell Opera House (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Drowsy Chaperone, Billy Elliot, Memphis), as well as Xanadu with the Penny Seats Theatre Company. Much love to the cast, crew, and pit, and here’s to a killer show!
Nick Casella (Ensemble) is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University where he majored in Theatre arts with a minor in Entertainment Design and Technology with a focus on Lighting Design. Nick is very excited to be back at the Encore performing in one of his favorite shows! Nick would like to thank his parents for always supporting him and his teachers for giving him the tools he needs to succeed in this crazy career. He would also like to give a special thanks to his wonderful fiancé, Claire, for supporting him in his acting career and putting up with his crazy schedule. Thank you and enjoy the show!
Jamie Colburn (Pirelli) is incredibly excited to be making his Encore debut with this amazing show! Originally from Holland, MI, Jamie is a rising Junior in the Musical Theatre program at the University of Michigan. Founder and Artistic Director of Exit Left Theatre Company, Jamie produced two shows this summer including a production of Sweeney Todd which he directed, so Jamie is no stranger to this Sondheim masterpiece. You can see Jamie this December as the Father in Violet at the University of Michigan. Favorite credits include: Exit Left Theatre Company – Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Hedwig), Connecticut Repertory Theatre – 1776 dir. Terrence Mann (Col. Thomas McKean), Univ. Michigan – The Winter’s Tale (Polixenese), A Man of No Importance (Rasher Flynn), Festival 56 – Julius Caesar (Metellus Cimber) and The Drowsy Chaperone (Robert Martin), Holland High School – The Phantom of the Opera (Phantom). Jamie was also a nominee at the 2014 National High School Musical Theatre Award (The Jimmys) for his performance as The Phantom where he met his best friend, Emily Hadick, who happens to be playing Johanna! Jamie would like to thank his Mom, Dad, and sisters for their unending love and support.
James Fischer (Ensemble) is currently a Senior studying Music Composition at the University of Michigan, with an emphasis on composing for Musical Theatre. Along with composing, James enjoys acting, singing, and directing. Recent credits include Assassins (John Hinckley) and My Fair Lady (Featured Quartet/Ensemble) at The Encore, as well as Cabaret (Victor), The Bridges of Madison County (Michael), and Forever Plaid (Sparky) at The Dio Theatre in Pinckney. Thanks to Mom and Dad for their endless support.
Leah Fox (Ensemble) is excited to continue her Sondheim Adventures at Encore after appearing here in Assassins (Emma Goldman/Ensemble) and Sondheim on Sondheim. Other recent performances include Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins) and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Baroness Bomburst) at the Croswell Opera House, and Rosie the Riveter (Donna) at Wild Swan Theater. Leah is looking forward to music-directing Encore’s production of Big Fish next spring. She sends all her love to Ashley and Elias.
Sebastian Gerstner (Anthony) is ecstatic to be back at The Encore and working on this production of Sweeney Todd. He is so thankful for all the opportunities this theater has brought him which include and is not limited to 9 to 5 (Joe), Spamalot (Patsy, Wilde Award Winner for Best Actor in a Musical), Lend Me a Tenor (Max), Into the Woods (Cinderella’s Prince/Wolf), Forever Plaid (Sparky), and Oklahoma (Will Parker). He is also excited for the upcoming production of Anything Goes where he will be playing Billy. Other credits include Chesapeake (Wilde Award Winner for Best One Man Show, Theater Nova), Buyer and Cellar (Wilde Award Nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy, Theater Nova), Venus in Fur (Thomas, Performance Network), and The Glass Menagerie (Gentleman Caller, Performance Network). Thank you Mom, Dad, Terra, Clayton, Stephen, and friends and families to the theater for supporting the Arts and stretching how we see the world. Sebastian will also be appearing as Billy Crocker in Anything Goes in December.
Emily Hadick (Johanna) is a senior BFA Musical Theatre Major at Oakland University, and is absolutely overjoyed to be working with this incredible cast and creative team! Favorite Oakland credits include A Chorus Line (Cassie), bare: a pop opera (Nadia), and Oklahoma! (Laurey). Emily spent this past summer as an acting intern at Hope Summer Repertory Theatre and spent her previous summer at The Huron Playhouse as Bebe Benzenheimer in A Chorus Line. Huge thanks to family, friends, Anna, and of course, Mrs. Bigglesworth and Ja’mie. Emily will also be appearing as Hope Harcourt in The Encore’s upcoming production of Anything Goes.
Bryana Hall (Ensemble) is positively terrified to be participating in Sweeney Todd at The Encore, where she was most recently seen working a typewriter in 9 to 5 (Maria/Dance Captain). Previous Encore credits include Mary Poppins (Miss Lark/Dance Captain), Company (Kathy/Dance Captain), the world premiere of Christmas Caroled!, The Full Monty (Joanie), The Wizard of Oz (Dance Captain), Monty Python’s Spamalot, and Les Misérables. Other favorite credits include: Choreography for The Dio’s 2017 production of Forever Plaid, Agnes of God (Agnes), The Drowsy Chaperone (Trix the Aviatrix), and Rent (Mimi).
(Ensemble) recently returned to Ann Arbor after performing in the Manhattan musical theater and cabaret scene. She’s worked with the New York Fringe festival, the New York Musical Theater Festival and at venues including the Duplex and Birdland. She studied with Anna Gabrieli at the Longy School of Music of Bard College, attended the University of Massachusetts Boston. Some notable roles include Mimi in La Bohème, Elsa in The Sound of Music, The Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and the role of Lucilla in the US premiere of the rare opera La Amor Marinaro. Angela is thrilled to be making her Encore Theatre debut in Sweeney Todd!
Marlene Inman (Ensemble) is excited to return to The Encore where she was last seen as Nellie in South Pacific. Other notable Encore performances include Les Misérables (Madame Thernardier), Carousel (Nettie), and The Light in the Piazza (Signora Naccarelli) for which she received a Rogue Award for Best Supporting Actress. Most recently, Marlene won a Wilde Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Francesca in the Dio’s production of The Bridges of Madison County. Marlene holds a Masters in Music from the University of South Carolina and a Specialist of Music from the University of Michigan. She is director of handbells, youth and children’s choirs at Dexter United Methodist, and maintains a studio as a private voice instructor.
Dan Johnson (The Beadle) is far too excited to be back at The Encore, having previously been a part of the Wilde Award-nominated Assassins (Czologosz). Recent credits include Bird (Puzzle Piece Theatre), Firepower (Detroit Repertory Theatre), Handle with Care (JET) and Peter and the Starcatcher (Open Book Theatre Co.). Thanks to Mom, Dad and Angela (as always), to you for supporting live professional MI theatre, and an extra-special thanks and dedication to Tucker St. Patrick’s Thunder, who was, start to finish, a terrible dog, but he was his terrible dog. Enjoy!
Michael Jones (Ensemble) is so excited to be working with The Encore Musical Theatre Company! Mike is a graduate of The Chicago College of Performing Arts. He has recently been seen in Coriolanus and Merchant of Venice with Lakeside Shakespeare Theatre. Jones is also a Chicago based Performance Artist and was a regular performer at Followspot at the Bridge in Bridgeport. He wants to thank his Mom, Steve, Harwood, Thomas, and the class of 17. You are why we journey on!
Chris Joseph (Ensemble) is so excited to make his Encore debut in the Ensemble of Sweeney Todd. Chris has been seen on stage in many area productions, favorites include Angel in RENT (Ann Arbor Civic Theater), Moritz in Spring Awakening (Dexter Community Players) and Richie in A Chorus Line (Forever After Productions). Chris serves on the Board of Directors for Ann Arbor Civic Theater and has received several acting awards over the years. When not on the stage, Chris is hamming it up every day in his preschool classroom. Special thanks to Brennan and Tyler for all of their hard work and to YOU for supporting local theater!
Keith Kalinowski (Judge Turpin) is very excited to be a part of this production of Sweeney Todd to help celebrate The Encore’s 10th season. Keith received his BFA in Theatre from Wayne State University back before the war, and hasn’t looked back since, working backstage or on the stage at many of Michigan’s theatre’s, including the Detroit Opera House, Gem Theatre, and others. Some of his favorite roles include playing Sam Byck in the Encore’s production of Assassins, Francis Hardy in Brian Friel’s Faith Healer at the Abreact Playhouse in Detroit (for which he won the 2013 Wilde Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Drama,) and Ivan Curry in Conor McPherson’s The Seafarer at The Performance Network in Ann Arbor. His most recent role was that of Lord Aster in Peter and the Starcatcher for the Penny Seats Theatre. In his spare time Keith enjoys listening to movie soundtracks and rubbing the belly of his dog, Eenie.
Gayle Martin (Ensemble) is a native Ann Arborite. She is a graduate from the University of Michigan where she earned her BFA degree. She’s been teaching at Washtenaw Community College for the last 37 years and has been performing onstage, be it dance, singing, or acting since the age of 3. She also teaches preschool at Children’s Creative Center where she has directed a children’s Musical every summer for the last 16 years. She is on the board of the Ann Arbor Civic Theater Company and has graced the stage of Encore as the Mute in The Fantasticks, Bloody Mary in South Pacific, The Lion in The Wizard of Oz, Jeanntte in The Full Monty and a tap-dancing chimney sweep in Mary Poppins, and she had the honor of performing in original musical as Jan based on the book and movie Into The Wild. She is delighted to be back for Encore’s Sweeney Todd, and will also be appearing in Anything Goes later this season.
Dan Morrison (Ensemble) is thrilled to have been offered the opportunity to perform in Sweeney Todd for the second time in his life – his first production at the Abreact theatre in Detroit a decade ago. Favorite performances include Sugar Plum Panto* (Tante Drosselmeyer), The Full Monty (Harold), Barefoot in the Park (Velasco), The Wizard of Oz (Tin Man), South Pacific (Cpt. Brackett), Jihadi Jones (Barry), Drowsy Chaperon (Feldzeig), Some Men* (Bernie), Bug (Jerry Goss), Equus* (Martin Dysart), and Into the Woods (Mysterious Man/Stepmother). Many thanks to Thalia, Matthew, Tyler, Dan and the rest of The Encore crew that make it such a pleasure to work here. (*Wilde Award Nominees)
Alexandra Reynolds (Ensemble) is an Ann Arbor based actor and poet, currently working on her BFA in acting at the University of Michigan. She was most recently seen on The Encore’s stage in Into the Wild (Tracy), and Assassins (Ensemble). Her favorite people in all the world are Matthew Brennan and Thalia Schramm. Thank you for supporting Michigan theatre!
Seavor Michael Roach (Pirelli Alternate: 10/19, 10/20, 10/21) is very excited to be joining everyone at The Encore Musical Theatre Company! A Hoosier native of Mitchell, Indiana. He recently played Princeton in Avenue Q (Red Barn Summer Theatre), Jules in Sunday In The Park With George, Teacher in The Baker’s Wife and joined the ensembles for HAIR! (Roosevelt University), and Elmer Rice’s Street Scene (UNC School of the Arts). He was the founder of the Limestone Persimmon Theatre Co. in his hometown, and a Co-Founder of TheatreWorks of Southern Indiana in New Albany. Seavor is a current senior at Roosevelt University CCPA procuring a BFA in Musical Theatre.
Billy Eric Robinson (Toby) is fresh from earning his BFA in Musical Theatre from Oakland University and is thankful to have had the opportunity to work at The Encore this summer. He has loved every second of it and is so excited for the chance to play Toby. You may recognize him as Dwayne from Encore’s production of 9 to 5, or from the ensemble of Camelot. Past Credits include: Outvisible Theatre Company- Dog Sees God (CB), The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged (Adam) Oakland University- She Loves Me (Georg), The Scarlet Pimpernel (Percy Blakeney), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Berowne), Assassins (John Hinckley Jr.), Dogfight (Boland). Billy would like to thank his friends, family, and mentors for their ongoing love and support, as well as the powers that be for giving him the opportunity to be a part of this production. He’d also like to wish his fellow cast and crew members broken legs to infinity and beyond. Enjoy the show.
Emily Rogers (Beggar Woman) is thrilled to be back on The Encore stage. Emily has appeared locally with: The Matrix Theatre in Rapture, Blister, Burn (Catherine); Redbud Productions in Rabbit Hole (Becca) and Proof (Catherine); The Dio in Dracula, Country Roads, and Home for the Holidays; The Encore Musical Theatre Company in My Fair Lady (Mrs. Eynsford-Hill), Bonnie and Clyde (Emma Parker), Into the Woods (Jack’s Mother), Carousel (Mrs. Mullin), Company (Jenny), Les Misérables, It’s a Wonderful Life (Jean/Mrs. Johnson), and Evita in Concert. Much love to Lucas and Tyler and special thanks to the production team and crew, Matthew, Tyler, Thalia, Anne, and Dan.