CENTER VALLEY, PA: June 17, 2022—Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival opens the iconic Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical A Chorus Line. The show previews June 22 & 23, opens June 24 and will run through July 10 at the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of DeSales University.
A Chorus Line illuminates the ambitions of ensemble dancers in the final chorus audition for an upcoming Broadway show. One of the longest running Broadway musicals of all time, A Chorus Line boasts classic numbers such as “What I Did for Love,” “One,” “I Can Do That,” “At the Ballet,” “The Music and the Mirror,” and “I Hope I Get It.”
After many months of casting, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (PSF) has assembled a cast of many Broadway, television, and film actors, as well as veterans of national tours and regional theatres, several of whom have previously performed in the production.
The cast is led by James Harkness, Sissy Bell, and Patrick Higgins; and the creative team is led by Director and Choreographer Luis Villabon.
A newcomer to PSF, Harkness will portray Zach. He holds numerous Broadway credits including originating the lead role of Paul Williams in the Tony nominated Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations. Other Broadway credits include The Carole King Musical, Chicago, Dream Girls, Aida, The Color Purple, and Guys and Dolls. He also has a best director nomination, is an award-winning choreographer, and a songwriter.
Also making their PSF debut is Bell, who will play the role of Cassie. A veteran of numerous Broadway shows (select: Anastasia and Tootsie) and Off-Broadway productions, she has also participated as a dancer/performer at the annual Tony Awards and at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Higgins, who makes his PSF debut in the role of Mark, recently played the leading role of Baby John in Steven Spielberg’s film West Side Story (landing his first professional film credit at the age of 15). He is presently pursuing his BFA in Musical Theatre at Montclair State University in New Jersey.
They are joined by Lauren Emily Alagna (Kristine), Kathryn Brunner (Val), Bianca Bulgarelli (Bebe), Julia Feeley (Judy), Madison Finney (Shelia), Musa Hitomi (Connie), Matthew Aaron Liotine (Greg & Dance Captain), Milan Magaña (Diana), Eddie Martin Morales (Paul), Brandon Moreno (Larry), Paul Watt-Morse (Don), Clint Maddox Thompson (Al), Emma Vielbig (Maggie), and Shaun-Avery Williams (Richie).
The company also includes Jaylen Axel (Butch), Josiah Behrens (Tom), Josh Curran (Roy), Morgan Harrison (Vicki), Thomas Henke (Bobby), Marlena López Hilderley (Tricia), Justin Lopez (Patrick), Andrew Ruggieri (Mike), Nick Schrier (Frank), and Lilianna Solum (Lois).
The Director and Choreographer of the production is Luis Villabon, who will recreate Michael Bennett’s original iconic choreography. Villabon was mentored by Tony Award winner and A Chorus Line original Broadway cast member, Baayork Lee. As an actor, he has appeared in A Chorus Line as Butch once; Paul twelve times; Mike once; and Zach twice, totaling over 1,750 performances. His select A Chorus Line re-staging credits include: the 2007 Italian National Tour; the 2009 South Korean National production in Seoul; the 2011 Japanese production in Tokyo; and he served as Associate Director for Antonio Banderas’ 2019-2022 Spanish language production in Spain. Other credits include the Assistant Director/Choreographer to Ms. Lee in A New Brain (NYC) and Jesus Christ Superstar (European Tour). Among many other professional credits, he was also the Assistant Choreographer to Paula Abdul in Reefer Madness (NYC).
Joining Villabon in his PSF debut is Musical Director and Conductor Andy Peterson. Hailing from Australia, he has worked on Broadway’s Tootsie, as well as being the noted composer of Broadway’s Razorhurst and Stalker: The Musical. He was also the co-creator on the hit musical audio series The World to Come, for which he wrote more than 50 original songs.
Broadway’s Michael McDonald will design the costumes. Previous PSF credits include Oklahoma! and West Side Story. Nominated for a Tony, Drama Desk, and Hewes Award for his costume designs for Hair on Broadway and in the West End, he holds numerous credits from Broadway, Off-Broadway, as well as regional theatres.
Richard Latta, who is the current and continuing Resident Lighting Designer for Ogunquit Playhouse (having designed hundreds of plays & musicals over the years) will design the lighting for the show. He has designed for A Chorus Line twice previously.
Sound design is by David M. Greenberg, resident sound designer and sound supervisor for PSF and DeSales University. A member of the Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association (TSDCA), he holds an MFA in Theatre Sound Design and Technology from the Krannert Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The production Stage Manager is Randy Lawson who has production stage managed three previous productions of A Chorus Line. His select Broadway credits include: The Phantom of the Opera, Sugar Babies (Broadway Revival Workshop), and Million Dollar Quartet (National Tour).
The rest of the creative team is assembled with Associate Director and Associate Choreographer David Grindrod, whose credits include performing in A Chorus Line on Broadway at New York City Center, and in the National Tour, Japan Tour, China Premier, and others. Assistant Stage Manager (ASM) Ashani Smith returns to PSF following ASM for last summer’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
A Chorus Line features music by Marvin Hamlisch, a book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, with lyrics by Edward Kleban. It was conceived and originally directed by Michael Bennett. Bob Avian was the co-choreographer on the original Broadway production which was produced by The New York Shakespeare Festival, Joseph Papp Producer, in association with Plum Productions, Inc.
Alvin H. Butz, Construction Manager is the Production Sponsor for A Chorus Line. The Production Co-Sponsors are Air Products, Diefenderfer Electrical Contractors, and Fitzpatrick, Lentz, & Bubba; and the Orchestra Sponsors are Allen Organs and Uline. Kathleen Kund Nolan & Timothy E. Nolan are the 2022 Season Sponsors. Associate Season Sponsors are Douglas Dykhouse, Linda Lapos and Paul Wirth, The Szarko Family, and Harry C. Trexler Trust.
Subscription packages and single tickets can be purchased online at pashakespeare.org or by calling the PSF box office at 610.282.WILL .
Summer 2022 Season
Main Stage: Little Red (Open now to Aug 6), A Chorus Line (June 22 to July 10), Fences (July 27 to August 7), Shakespeare for Kids (July 28 to Aug 6).
Schubert Theatre: Every Brilliant Thing (Open now to June 19), Much Ado About Nothing (July 13 to Aug 7), The River Bride (a staged reading, July 1 to July 3).
The summer season is now open and runs to August 7 at the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts on the bucolic campus of DeSales University in Center Valley.
Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival features acclaimed actors from Broadway, television, and film, and is summer home to over 200 artists from around the country, including winners and nominees of the Tony, Obie, Emmy, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Jefferson, and Barrymore awards.
For tickets, contact PSF at 610.282.WILL or pashakespeare.org.
About Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival
Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Patrick Mulcahy, is the only professional Equity theatre of its scope and scale within a 50-mile radius. PSF is one of only a handful of theatres on the continent producing Shakespeare, musicals, classics, and contemporary plays, all of which can normally be seen in rep and in multiple spaces within a few visits in a single summer season. Similarly, PSF was among just a handful of theatres on the continent in recent summers to produce three Shakespeare plays in a single summer season. A patron would have to travel seven to nine hours from PSF to find a comparable range of offerings at a single theatre within a few weeks’ time.
The Festival’s award-winning company of many world-class artists includes Broadway, film, and television veterans, and winners and nominees of the Tony, Emmy, Obie, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Jefferson, Hayes, Lortel, and Barrymore awards. A leading Shakespeare theatre with a national reputation for excellence, PSF has received coverage in The Washington Post, NPR, American Theatre Magazine, Playbill.com, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and in recent seasons The New York Times has identified PSF as one of the leading summer theatre festivals in the nation. “A world-class theater experience on a par with the top Bard fests,” is how one New York Drama Desk reviewer characterized PSF.
Founded in 1992 and the Official Shakespeare Festival of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, PSF’s mission is to enrich, inspire, engage, and entertain the widest possible audience through first-rate productions of classical and contemporary plays, with a core commitment to Shakespeare and other master dramatists, and through an array of education and mentorship programs. A not-for-profit theatre, PSF receives significant support from its host, DeSales University, from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Traditionally, with 150 performances of seven productions, the Festival attracts patrons each summer from 30+ states. In 30 years, PSF has offered 200+ total productions (82 Shakespeare), and entertained 1,000,000+ patrons from 50 states, now averaging 34,000-40,000 in attendance each summer season, plus another 13,000 students each year through its WillPower Tour to schools. PSF is a multi-year recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts: Shakespeare in American Communities, and is a constituent of Theatre Communications Group, and the Shakespeare Theatre Association (STA). In 2013, leaders of the world’s premier Shakespeare theatres gathered at PSF as the Festival hostesd the international STA Conference.
The Festival’s vision is for world-class theatre.
PATRICK MULCAHY (Producing Artistic Director, PSF) (he/him) Since assuming leadership in 2003, Mulcahy has led PSF’s surge in artistic excellence, financial stability, and national recognition. Accomplishments include first and subsequent grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, attracting a multitude of award-winning artists including winners and nominees of the Tony, Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Barrymore, and Emmy awards, a doubling of annual attendance, a successful campaign to double the Festival’s endowment, and the expansion of the number of Actors’ Equity contracts per season. He led the strategic planning process that led to PSF’s Vision 2030, a commitment to world-class professional theatre, and coverage in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Washington Post. As a professional director, actor, and fight director, credits include Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theatre, television and radio. Mr. Mulcahy has acted with many industry luminaries including Don Cheadle, Angela Bassett, Cynthia Nixon, and Tony Shaloub at the New York Shakespeare Festival, The Roundabout Theatre, Hartford Stage, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, and the Walnut Street Theatre. He served as fight director for A Few Good Men on Broadway, and multiple Off-Broadway productions starring Marcia Gay Harden, John Mahoney, Patrick Dempsey, and John Savage. He directed Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga in The Real Thing, and, for PSF, directed The Winter’s Tale, Henry IV, Part 1, The Tempest, Antony and Cleopatra, Hamlet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and Shakespeare in Love. Also Head of Acting at DeSales, Patrick holds degrees in acting and directing from Syracuse University.
LAUREN EMILY ALAGNA (Kristine) Favorite regional credits include Evita (Fulton Theatre), A Chorus Line and Spamalot (Palace Theatre), Catch Me If You Can (ABT), An American in Paris (ABT), and Crazy for You (Post Playhouse).
JAYLEN AXEL (Butch) is a multi-hyphenate artist from Sunnyside, Houston, Texas. As a recent graduate from NYU Tisch Drama, Jaylen is excited to be embarking upon his professional career at PSF! Jaylen can be seen in VOX Film’s pilot Away From Home as Jafari and in short film City of Dreamz as Angel. He intends to amplify the voices of queer black artists like himself one stage at a time.
JOSIAH BEHRENS IV (Tom) Recent credits: A Waning Gibbous Moon (Off-Broadway) and Crazy for You (PSF). BA: DeSales University.
SISSY BELL* (Cassie) Broadway: Anastasia (OBC) and Tootsie (OBC). Off-Broadway: Trip of Love. Other favorites: Rock of Ages (Regina, NCL), Elf the Musical (National Tour), Chicago (NSMT), A Chorus Line (Engeman Theater), the 73rd Annual Tony Awards and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
KATHRYN BRUNNER* (Val) Favorite theatre credits: Elle Woods in Legally Blonde (Walnut Street, Riverside Theatre), Sophie in Mamma Mia (Pioneer Theatre), Ariel in Footloose (Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre), and Mary Phagan in Parade (Arden Theatre). Recent TV: Awkwafina is Nora From Queens.
BIANCA BULGARELLI (Bebe) She is originally from Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BFA in Musical Theatre and BA in History (Class of 2020). Recent credits: Carousel (Riverside Theatre), Pride and Prejudice (Oklahoma Shakespeare), Grease (Lyric Theatre), and The Christmas Show (OKC Philharmonic). She is currently based in New York City.
JOSH CURRAN (Roy) began dancing only 5 years ago while studying at the University of New Hampshire. He has worked as a Principal Dancer for Northeastern Ballet Theatre under Artistic Director Edra Toth. He moved to New York in the Fall of 2021 and has since performed principal roles with the American Swiss Ballet and the Metropolitan Ballet. He recently finished starring in Fire Island The Musical, directed and choreographed by Fred C.L. Mann III.
JULIA FEELEY (Judy) Favorite credits: Beauty and the Beast, Chicago, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
MADISON FINNEY* (Sheila) she/her is a New York City based performer. She graduated in 2020 from Pace University with a BFA in Musical Theatre. She was last seen “on the line” as Val in Cape Playhouse’s production of A Chorus Line, and was most recently in the limited Off-Broadway run of Science at Theatre for the New City.
JAMES HARKNESS* (Zach) Broadway: Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations, Aida, The Color Purple, Chicago, Guys and Dolls; Film: North, The Mend; TV: Blue Bloods, Law & Order, Le James Café; Director: The Color Purple, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, Handy Award Nominee, Best Director.
MORGAN HARRISON* (Vicki) She was last seen on Broadway in Beetlejuice, and made her Broadway debut in Mean Girls! She’s traveled the world performing on the Flashdance National Tour and can be seen tapping on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
THOMAS HENKE (Bobby) (he/him) First time “on the line!” Previous credits: Anastasia (National Tour), Camelot (Lancelot), My Fair Lady (u/s Freddie), Chicago, The Producers, Dopesick (Hulu). Training from The Second City Chicago, Upright Citizens Brigade, BFA SUNY Buffalo.
PATRICK HIGGINS (Mark) is currently a sophomore at Montclair State University where he’s pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre. Some favorite credits: Baby John (Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story), Billy Elliot (Billy Elliot: The Musical, Venice Theatre, FL), and Mark Anthony (A Chorus Line, Eight O’ Clock Theatre, FL).
MUSA HITOMI* (Connie) is an Actor/ Singer/ Dancer/ Choreographer based in NYC, originally from Tokyo, Japan. National Tour: A Charlie Brown Christmas (Snoopy). Regional credits: West Side Story (Francisca), Avenue Q (Christmas Eve), CATS (Jemima), Spring Awakening (Martha), Mamma Mia, Chicago, Elf, Present Perfect, and Poupelle of ChimneyTown.
MATTHEW AARON LIOTINE* (Greg, Dance Captain) This is his 5th production of A Chorus Line and yes, he’s counting up to 100. Past credits: The National Tour of A Chorus Line, The Muny, Royal Caribbean and more. Matt is a proud graduate of LaGuardia HS and Montclair State.
JUSTIN LOPEZ (Patrick) is a senior BFA Musical Theater major from Clinton, New Jersey. He has recently been seen as Cinderella’s Prince in Into The Woods (MSU) and Tommy Albright in Brigadoon (MSU). This will be his second time participating in A Chorus Line, and he is absolutely thrilled to make his PSF debut.
MARLENA LÓPEZ HILDERLEY* (Tricia) Her most recent work has been as an Apostle in ACT of CT’s Jesus Christ Superstar, Elsa and Ariel with Disney Cruise Line, and Peron’s Mistress in ACT of CT’s Evita.
MILAN MAGAÑA (Diana) She is a New York based actress originally from sunny San Diego, a proud alumni of the University of California, Irvine (zot zot zot), and a lover of capybaras. Past credits include Anita in West Side Story (Palos Verdes Performing Arts), Brooke Wyndham in Legally Blonde (Irvine Barclay), Anna Mae in NICKEL MINES (ACT of CT), and Diana in A Chorus Line (Moonlight Amphitheatre).
EDDIE MARTIN MORALES* (Paul) A South Florida native, he was last seen in the ensemble of a co-production of In the Heights (Portland Center Stage) which performed regionally around the country. Previous credits: Disgraced, Maltz Jupiter Theatre; Into The Woods, New World School of the Arts (NWSA); Gypsy, and Sweet Charity, Broward Stage Door Theatre; Curtains, Wick Theatre. BFA, Musical Theatre, NWSA Conservatory.
BRANDON MORENO (Larry) is a proud triple threat performer who one day aspires to be on Broadway! From a young age, Brandon has always loved to entertain others. Being able to move an audience with performing arts is a unique gift that Brandon believes should be shared with the world. He played Mr. Oaken in Frozen Jr., Rudulfo/Doctor in Matilda, and danced in Disney’s: Dance the Magic Parade. Brandon has trained at AMDA New York, AV Dance Studio 81, and DNA Studios. Brandon has choreographed award-winning routines, with one of his pieces “Brandon: The Musical” earning him the title of 2020 Mr. Dance America!
ANDREW RUGGIERI (Mike) is a Philadelphia native with a BFA in Vocal Performance from University of the Arts. Andrew is thrilled to be making his PSF debut with A Chorus Line. National Tour: Chicago, A Chorus Line (Mike). Regional: Ghost (Sam), Miss Saigon (Chris), The Boy from Oz (Peter Allen), An American in Paris (Jerry Mulligan), Gypsy (Tulsa).
NICK SCHRIER (Frank) is making his PSF debut. Favorite regional credits: Baby John in West Side Story (Palos Verdes Performing Arts), Mark in A Chorus Line (Moonlight Stage Amphitheater), Chip in 25th Annual…Spelling Bee (JPAC Chicago), Moby Dick (Chicago Opera Theater), An Enemy of the People (Goodman Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Metropolis PAC). Nick has danced with Mordine and Company, Cocodaco Dance Project, and WITHIN with Visceral Dance Chicago.
LILIANNA SOLUM (Lois) Originally from Sarasota, FL, she received her BFA in Musical Theatre from Florida State University and now lives in NYC. Recent credits: Carousel (Riverside Theatre), Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, Dream Laurey in Oklahoma! (Wagon Wheel), and Velma in Chicago (FSU).
CLINT MADDOX THOMPSON (Al) Clint recently concluded a run as Handsome Nick in the regional premiere of A Bronx Tale at Axelrod Performing Arts, directed by Broadway Veteran Richard H. Blake. Other past credits: National Tour of The Wizard of Oz, Kinky Boots (Slow Burn Theatre), Mamma Mia! (Virginia Musical Theatre), Elf: The Musical (Gateway Playhouse), and Young Frankenstein (Short North Stage). Clint has also curated a following on social media as a model and entertainer while highlighting his southern roots.
EMMA VIELBIG (Maggie) Past credits: A Christmas Carol the Musical (WPPAC), Big River (Rubicon Theatre Company), Wigmore and Green’s Bachelor Girls (NYC workshop), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Uprising Theatre Company), Into the Woods and Much Ado About Nothing (Syracuse University). TV/Film: Calls from the Inside (ID).
PAUL WATT-MORSE (Don) A Pittsburgh native, Paul is excited to return to the keystone state after moving to NYC post-grad. Regional credits: The Music Man, Really Rosie (Weston Playhouse), A Chorus Line, La Cage Aux Folles, and Mame (Reagle Music Theatre). Paul is a graduate of Pittsburgh CAPA and The Boston Conservatory. Some favorite school credits: The Cradle Will Rock, Little Women, Carousel, and Mercury Fur.
SHAUN-AVERY WILLIAMS* (Richie) is a performer originally from Fort Worth, Texas but raised in NC. He obtained his BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Theatre Credits include: Dreamgirls (Theatre Raleigh), Memphis (Gateway), The Music Man (ATC), High Button Shoes (Encores!), Peter Pan (PCLO), Kinky Boots (PTC), and Cabaret (ATC).
Creative Team Bios:
MICHAEL BENNETT (Conceived and Originally Directed and Choreographed) (1943–1987) was an American musical theatre director, writer, choreographer, and dancer. He won seven Tony Awards for his choreography and direction of Broadway shows and was nominated for an additional eleven. Bennett’s choreography credits include Henry, Sweet Henry; Promises, Promises; Coco; and Company. He directed and choreographed Follies, Seesaw and Ballroom, among several others. In 1976, he won the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical and the Tony Award for Best Choreography for A Chorus Line. Under the aegis of producer Joseph Papp, Bennett created A Chorus Line based on a workshop process which he pioneered. In 1982, Bennett directed and, with Michael Peters, co-choreographed Dreamgirls, winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Choreography.
NICHOLAS DANTE (Book) (1941–1991) was an American dancer and writer, best known for having co-written the book of A Chorus Line. Born Conrado Morales in New York City, Dante began his career as a dancer and performer, appearing on Broadway in Applause, Ambassador and Smith, among others. In 1974, Michael Bennett invited Dante to participate in interview sessions with Broadway dancers who, almost anonymously, serve as a backdrop behind star performers. Those sessions provided ample material for a Broadway musical. Collaborating with Bennett and James Kirkwood Jr., Dante created A Chorus Line, which earned him the 1976 Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for Best Book of a Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The character of Paul, a gay Puerto Rican dancer whose early career consisted of working in a drag show, was based primarily on Dante. Sammy Williams, who originated the role, won the 1976 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. Dante later assumed the role himself. In 1991, at age 49, Dante died in New York City from AIDS-related complications.
DAVID M. GREENBERG (Sound Supervisor; Sound Designer) is a composer and sound designer from Fort Lauderdale, FL by way of Knoxville, TN. He received his BA in Theatre from the University of Tennessee and went on to earn his MFA in Theatre Sound Design and Technology at the Krannert Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A member of the Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association (TSDCA), David serves as the Resident Sound Designer/Sound Supervisor for DeSales University and PSF.
DAVID GRINDROD (Associate Director/Associate Choreographer) is originally from Annapolis, Maryland, but now lives in New York City. Credits include: A Chorus Line (New York City Center, National Tour, Japan Tour, China Premier, Weston Theater, & Gateway Playhouse); Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (National Tour); Dirty Rotten Scoundrel (Maltz Jupiter); Elf (Costal Carolina). David has choreographed at Quisisana Resort, Music Theatre Kansas City, and The Sheen Center. This fall David will be directing and choreographing A Chorus Line at Weathervane Theatre.
MARVIN HAMLISCH (Music) (1944—2012) as composer, won virtually every major award that exists: three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys, a Tony, three Golden Globe awards, and the Pulitzer Prize (won by A Chorus Line). Only Hamlisch and Richard Rodgers have won a “PEGOT” (P.E.G.O.T. = Pulitzer, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony awards). For Broadway, Hamlisch wrote the music for his groundbreaking show, A Chorus Line, as well as They’re Playing Our Song, The Goodbye Girl and Sweet Smell of Success. Additional theatrical scores include Jean Seberg (1983) and The Nutty Professor (2012). He was the composer of more than forty motion picture scores including his Oscar-winning score and song for The Way We Were and his adaptation of Scott Joplin’s music for The Sting, for which he received a third Oscar. His prolific output of scores for films include original compositions and/or musical adaptations for Sophie’s Choice, Ordinary People, The Swimmer, Three Men and a Baby, Ice Castles, Take the Money and Run, Bananas, Save the Tiger and The Informant!, starring Matt Damon and directed by Steven Soderbergh. At the time of his passing, he had just finished his last musical score for the film, Liberace—Behind the Candelabra. Directed by Soderbergh and starring Michael Douglas and Damon, the movie was shown at the 2013 Cannes Festival and later aired on HBO to great reviews. It went on to win several Emmys including Best Actor for Douglas. Hamlisch was Musical Director and arranger of Barbra Streisand’s 1994 concert tour of the U.S. and England as well as of the television special, Barbra Streisand: The Concert (for which he received two of his Emmys). Hamlisch held the position of principal pops conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony and Pops, Seattle Symphony, San Diego Symphony, The Buffalo Philharmonic and The National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. At the time of his death he was preparing to assume responsibilities as Principal Pops Conductor for The Philadelphia Orchestra. Hamlisch was a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music and Queens College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. He believed in the power of music to bring people together.
JAMES KIRKWOOD (Book) (1924–1989) was an American playwright, author and actor. In 1976 he received the Tony Award, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his work on A Chorus Line. Born in Los Angeles, Kirkwood began his career as an actor, appearing on television in Valiant Lady and Perry Mason, and on Broadway in Small Wonder and Dance Me A Song, among others. As an author, he penned the semi-autobiographical novel There Must Be a Pony, along with P.S. Your Cat Is Dead, Good Times/Bad Times, Some Kind of Hero, and Hit Me with a Rainbow. In 1970, he wrote the non-fiction American Grotesque, about the trial of Clay Shaw. His comedic play Legends! toured the United States starring Mary Martin and Carol Channing. He later wrote an account of the experience, titled Diary of a Mad Playwright: Perilous Adventures on the Road with Mary Martin and Carol Channing. Kirkwood died of AIDS-related complications in 1989. In his memory, friends and admirers established the James Kirkwood Literary Prize to honor new generations of fiction writers for their literary achievements.
STEPHANIE KLAPPER (Casting Director) and Lacey Davies (Casting Associate) Stephanie Klapper Casting’s award-winning work is frequently seen on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regionally, on film, television, and streaming media. We are dedicated to continuing to expand and champion diversity, equity, and inclusion in the business. Connecting creative, caring people to each other to make extraordinary things happen is amongst our greatest joy. We are passionate about arts education and working with creative teams to develop new work and expand the scope of established pieces. Ms. Klapper is a member of the National Board of the Casting Society, Casting Society Cares, and New York Women in Films.
EDWARD KLEBAN (Lyrics) (1939-1987) was the lyricist of A Chorus Line, for which he won the 1975 Tony Award, the Pulitzer Prize and the Drama Desk and Olivier Awards. His score for the musical A Class Act, produced posthumously, was nominated for the 2001 Tony and Drama Desk Awards and won an Obie Award. A Class Act is a musical biography of Kleban, with a score comprised of his own music and lyrics. A New York revival is scheduled for February 2022. Mr. Kleban was a graduate of the High School of Music and Art and of Columbia College, where he wrote the music for the Varsity Show of 1960 with a book by Terrance McNally. Upon graduation from Columbia, Kleban was hired as a record producer by Columbia Records. Throughout the sixties he produced original cast albums while developing his own musicals in Lehman Engel’s BMI Musical Theatre Workshop. Every song that he wrote for A Chorus Line was tested in the BMI Workshop. During the 1980s, he carried on Mr. Engel’s tradition and taught songwriting in the workshop. Mr. Kleban died in December 1987 at the age of 48, after a two-year bout with a cigarette-related cancer. In his will, he created and endowed The Kleban Prize, a unique grant that is bestowed not for a writer’s previous achievements, but for the promise of creativity to come, chosen by a panel of Broadway’s most respected artists. Recipients have gone on to garner four Tony Awards, 30 Tony nominations, 10 Drama Desk Awards and four Obies.
RICHARD LATTA (Lighting Designer) is very glad to be making his debut at PSF, and to be doing this classic musical for a 3rd time. He is the current and continuing Resident Lighting Designer for Ogunquit Playhouse, having designed hundreds of plays & musicals over the years. He primarily designed Off-Broadway and corporate events from the 80’s to the 2000’s, and is a veteran of many workshops of some really interesting new shows.
RANDY LAWSON* (Production Stage Manager) is thrilled to be “on the line” again, PSMing his third production of A Chorus Line. Broadway: The Phantom of the Opera (Sub Stage Manager), Sugar Babies (Broadway Revival Workshop) and Million Dollar Quartet (National Tour). Also: A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder, Into The Woods, The Sound Of Music and Mamma Mia! (CSTC), Singin’ In The Rain (Ogunquit), Into The Woods (Fulton Theatre), De La Guarda (Off Broadway -2yrs), Miss Saigon (VMT), The 39 Steps (Ivoryton), The Drowsy Chaperone (Totem Pole), Gypsy (Maine State Music Theatre), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Casa Mañana), Jesus Christ Superstar (Tennessee Rep/Founding Member), 42nd Street & Cabaret (Atlantic City), Aida (Tuacahn), Catch Me If You Can (Tent Theatre), Circle Rep, Lincoln Center Theater, Williamstown Theater Festival, Goodspeed Opera House, New York Theatre Workshop, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville (Humana Festival), The Magic Theatre (San Francisco), and The Grand Ole Opry House. Also: Script Supervisor for live TV productions of The Drama Desk Awards, and Street Coordinator for The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (6yrs). Randy worked with Director Harold Prince on Flight of the Lawn Chair Man & 3hree. As an actor, Randy created the role of the “kiss of death” waiter in John Guare’s New York Actor, directed by Jerry Zaks.
MICHAEL MCDONALD (Costume Designer) (Costume Recreation, Theoni V. Aldredge, Designer), Broadway & West End: Hair (Tony, Drama Desk and Hewes Award nominations). Off-Broadway: Smart Blonde (59E59), The Irish Curse (Soho Rep), A Perfect Future (Cherry Lane Theatre), Jericho (59E59), Straight (Theater Row), Amahl and the Night Visitors (Lincoln Center). Regional: La Cage Aux Folles, Goodspeed; God of Carnage, [Title of Show], George Street Playhouse; Take Me Out, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; Johnny Baseball, A.R.T; All The Way, Dirty Blonde, Spring Awakening, Hedwig, and Crowns, Zachary Scott Theatre. PSF: Oklahoma! and West Side Story.
ANDY PETERSON (Music Director/Conductor) is an award-winning international composer, musical director, orchestrator and pianist originally hailing from Australia. Broadway: Tootsie (Associate Music Director/Conductor), My One and Only (Rehearsal Pianist). Off Broadway: The Grateful Dead’s musical Red Roses, Green Gold (MD/Arranger/Orchestrations), Atomic (MD/Arranger/Orchestrations). Composer: The World to Come (Audio series – 2021 Webby Honoree), Razorhurst (New Jersey, Sydney), Stalker: the Musical (New York, Chicago, Sydney). Install Musical Director for new shows at Universal Studios Beijing (2021) and Celebrity Beyond (2022). andypetersoncomposer.com
ASHANI SMITH* (Assistant Stage Manager) is from Charlotte, NC and a 2021 graduate of Western Carolina University. She is so excited to be returning to PSF after working as the ASM on A Midsummer Night’s Dream last summer! Recent stage management credits: Sub ASM on the 1st National Tour of Pretty Woman, Aesop’s Fables (Children’s Theatre of Charlotte), development workshop of Metropolis (New Light Theatre Project), and Jelly’s Last Jam (2019 National Black Theatre Festival).
LUIS VILLABON (Director and Choreographer) was mentored by Tony Award winner and A Chorus Line (ACL) original Broadway cast member, Baayork Lee. Luis’ ACL re-staging credits include: Self Family Arts Center, SC; Austin Music Theatre, TX; Northern Stage, VT; Ogunquit Playhouse, ME; the 2007 Italian National Tour; the 2009 South Korean National Production in Seoul; the 2011 Japanese Production in Tokyo, Rider University, NJ (2013), the 2016 National Production of Chile in Santiago and he served as Associate Director for Antonio Banderas’ 2019-2022 Spanish language production of ACL in Spain. Assistant Director/Choreographer to Ms. Lee: A New Brain (NYC); Jesus Christ Superstar (European Tour). Assistant Choreographer to Paula Abdul: Reefer Madness (NYC); Master of Disguise, starring Dana Carvey (SONY Pictures). As an actor, Luis has appeared in A Chorus Line as Butch once; Paul twelve times; Mike once; and Zach twice, totaling over 1,750 performances. Luis is a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA and is a graduate of the William Esper Studio in NYC.
Information provided to TVL by:
Tina Louise Slak
Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival
The Professional Theatre at DeSales University
2755 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034
p: 610-282-WILL  www.pashakespeare.org