From Avenue Q to the HMS Pinafore in concert
When a community theater does its job, it creates a community of the actors, crew and support staff that work together to bring a show to life. When a community theater or any theater does their job exceptionally well, the audience feels welcome into the community and leaves the experience knowing that they were an important part.
Last week on auburnplayers.org, we highlighted some new additions to the Auburn Players who came out specifically for this show and the opportunity to do a classic of the stage with a full orchestra. Just as important to the health of our theater community are the regular participants who come out show after show.
This show, in particular, has a large group of stalwarts who worked together last summer in the Auburn Players Production of Avenue Q. In that show, Doug McCall was co-director with his wife Stephanie, while here he returns to the stage as Ralph, the smartest deckhand in the British Navy who has fallen for a girl well above his station. Long before Avenue Q, he appeared in an Auburn Players production of Damn Yankees as Old Joe. He and Stephanie received TANYS awards for direction for Avenue Q.
Kristan Sheppard served as musical director for both Avenue Q and HMS Pinafore. In her spare time, she also musically directed Scrooge the Musical for the Auburn Players, and is working on Auburn Junior High School’s upcoming production of The Music Man (March 10-12th), She is a mainstay in pit bands around the region. Kristan’s first show with the Auburn Players was Pippin in 1997.
Ed Beck and Alyssa Courtier played Brian and Christmas Eve in Avenue Q. Ed is appearing in this show as the Boatswain’s Mate, Bill Bobstead, while Alyssa Courtier sings the part of Little Buttercup. Ed’s first show with the Players was also Pippin in 1997. HMS Pinafore will be Alyssa’s second show with the group.
Kim Leubner played Trekkie Monsters left arm in Avenue Q, but in this show gets to shine on her own as Cousin Hebe.
Anna Post, Diane Long, and Jen Parker all join us in the chorus. Anna has been involved with the Auburn Players for over two decades, most recently appearing in our award winning production of Almost Maine, which won the competition for the Theatre Association of New York State and will be competing at the regional level at the Eastern States Theater Association festival. Diane joins her daughter Kristan and husband Mike in this cast, demonstrating that the Auburn Players is a family affair. Jen played one of the Bad News Bears in Avenue Q. Jen is a Speech Language Therapist in the Auburn School District.