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ABOUT THE MUSICAL

Learn more about Into the Woods.

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ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Learn more about the director of Into the Woods.

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MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR

A message from Director Michelle Mejaski

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MEET THE STARS OF 2021

TIM MAURER

Baker

TIM MAURER AS BAKER

An Academy of the Performing Arts alumn, Tim returns to the stage after a 21 year hiatus. Some of his most memorable performances include Sweet Charity (Oscar), Pirates of Penzance (Pirate King), Antigone (Creon), Rumors (Ken), Cabaret (Ernst). A founding member of Suburban Legends, Tim sang at Disney theme parks, went on national and international tours, as well as appearing multiple times on the Jerry Lewis Telethon. More recently, he was the program manager for the interACT Performance Troupe, a group that enlisted Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed to combat against sexual assault and bullying in the US Military worldwide. The honest truth about Tim – he saw Into the Woods as a young man and has been obsessively chasing Sondheim’s melodies ever since. He humbly hopes this performance honors those cherished memories and looks forward to creating more with new friends under the stars at Drake Park.

TARA JOHNSON

Bakers Wife

TARA JOHNSON as BAKERS WIFE

Tara is excited to be a part of her first Theater in the Park production! You may have seen her as Roxie Hart in Cat Call’s production of Chicago and as Diana Morales in Shore Thing productions, A Chorus Line here in Bend. Tara is a PBA by day and loves making music with her husband, Rick and 8 year old son, Collier in her spare time. She’d like to send a huge thank you to both of them for holding down the fort while mommy ventures Into the Woods!

NATALIE MANZ

Cinderella

NATALIE MANZ as CINDERELLA

Natalie has dreamt of playing Cinderella since she first discovered Into the Woods in junior high. To be able to play this role on stage with so many dear friends, especially after this last year, is everything she could have wanted. She even gets to share the stage with her mom who is playing her mother! Into the Woods delves deeper into the stories you think you know and leaves you with some beautiful lessons learned. Natalie hopes these beautiful melodies stick with you as you leave these characters and venture back out into the real world. “I wish!”

RYAN KLONTZ

Cinderella's Prince

RYAN KLONTZ as CINDERELLA'S PRINCE

Ryan is thrilled for his first experience with Theater in the Park and so excited to reprise such a fun role that he was fortunate enough to play in 2015. Ryan has been seen in other local productions such as: Beauty and the Beast (Gaston), Shrek The Musical (Lord Farquaad), Next To Normal (Dan), Last 5 Years (Jamie) and Matilda (Miss Trunchbull). Ryan works as an RV Park/Campground Broker and in his free time he loves to spend time with his amazing wife, Kara, taco nights with family and game nights with friends.

Lara Matheny

The Giant

Lara Matheny as The Giant

Lara Matheny, at 5 foot 2 never expected to be cast as a Giant! Her previous performances include Sweeney Todd, Young Frankenstein, Vagina Monologues, and Magic Flute, Into the Woods, La Boehme, The Secret Garden, 9 to 5 the Musical, Don Giovanni, Nine and Gypsy. When not involved with theater she enjoys crocheting, camping, astronomy, and spending time with her Husband and two dogs.

JOHN KISH

Jack

JOHN KISH AS JACK

John Kish (Jack) owns Bend’s premier indoor plant shop, “Somewhere That’s Green”, located on 2nd and Greenwood. Recent credits include Guido/’Nine’-Mejcho, ‘Naked Mole Rat’/Oregon Children’s Theater, Fabrizio/’Light in the Piazza’-Mock’s Crest. John can also be found as nightlife entertainment persona “Fertile Liza”, Bend’s librarian plant witch. Circle in the Square Theater School Alum 2013, NYC. WAMH-MM “To live will be an awfully big adventure”- PP.

SPENCER ZARR

The Wolf

SPENCER ZARR AS THE WOLF

Spencer is a Colorado native who has been involved in theater and performing arts in high school. His stage credits include playing Igor in Young Frankenstein, Edward in Blood Brother, and Georges in Theater in the Park’s La Cage aux Folles. Spencer was a recipient of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. He competed at the 2015 World Championship of Performing Arts, receiving a gold medal in the vocal category and a bronze medal in the comedic monologue category. Spencer is very excited to be back with Theater in the Park and very excited to be getting back onto the stage.

EMMA HEHN

Rapunzel

EMMA HEHN AS RAPUNZEL

Emma Hehn is a junior musical theater major studying at Messiah University. Performing gives her an indescribable joy and being able to share that on stage with an amazing, talented cast is such a blessing. Previous theater experience includes playing her dream role as Maria in West Side Story, Specs in Newsies, Electra in CATS, and Gloria in Thoroughly Modern Millie. She would like to thank Jesus, her parents, and her awesome, constantly supportive family.

CHRISTIAN RAMIREZ

Rapunzel's Prince

CHRISTIAN RAMIREZ AS RAPUNZEL'S PRINCE

Christian started acting when he was a sophomore in high school. His stage credits include Bring it On and West Side Story. After graduating, he went on to study Musical Theatre at Cornish College of the Arts. After this years’ hiatus, he is excited to be back on stage! Christian plans to go back up to Seattle in September to pursue his career in the performing arts.

VICTORIA ELISE LUSK

Little Red

VICTORIA ELISE AS LITTLE RED

Victoria Lusk is originally from Bakersfield, CA, has been performing on stage for over 15 years. She moved to Bend in 2019 to experience the town where her parents grew up. You may have seen her in A Philadelphia Story at CTC as Dinah Lord or in Evil Dead the Musical as Linda. After a difficult year, she is elated to be back on stage bringing this amazing character to life. She would like to thank her family and her amazing boyfriend for their endless support.

CHRISTIE CAPUCCI

The Witch

CHRISTIE CAPUCCI AS THE WITCH

Christie Capucci studied musical and classical theatre in Los Angeles before she and her husband moved to Central Oregon in 1992. In Central Oregon she immediately got involved in the local theatre scene and performed roles in shows like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Crucible and Nunsense, as well as performing in her punk band, Rosey. She took a long break from performing to raise her 3 sons and finally returned to theatre as costumer for Reefer Madness, 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche and Heathers. Her first role back on stage was as the washed up disco queen Levora Verona in Disaster! the Musical. Her next role would be the Apostle Simon in Jesus Christ Superstar, followed by the Spiderwoman in Kiss of the Spiderwoman, a drag king in La Cage Aux Folles, Tanya in Mamma Mia!, Sarraghina in NINE, and Mazeppa in Gypsy. You can also find Christie at her awesome vintage clothing and home decor shop, Atomic Bazaar Vintage, in downtown Redmond.

VANESSA LIDDELL

Jack's Mom

VANESSA LIDDELL AS JACK'S MOM

Since her first role in kindergarten where she auditioned by singing “America the Beautiful” Vanessa has had a passion for the theatre. Playing everything from Liesl and later Maria in Sound of Music to Mary Magdelene in Jesus Christ Superstar, Vanessa has always loved being on stage. But raising her two amazing daughters took her away from theatre until just recently when she made the move to Bend. Now after over a year in lock down she is so excited for the opportunity of joining this amazing cast as Jack’s mother. Vanessa lives in Bend and is an escrow officer with Amerititle. She has two grown daughters, two wonderful son-in laws and five beautiful grandchildren who live in California.

LESLIE WILLIAMS

Mystery Man

LESLIE WILLIAMS AS MYSTERY MAN

Leslie is old enough and lucky enough to have seen the very first production of Into the Woods at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, and is most proud of the work he did for that theatre as an actor, composer, and assistant music director. Way back in the 70s and 80s, Leslie never turned down an opportunity to work, both onstage and backstage, from Shakespeare to Sondheim. But when the practical world called, Leslie married his wife of many years, and worked as in IT professional until retiring in Bend in 2012. He is itching to return to theatre life as the Mysterious Man, a part he has always wanted to do.

JANELLE DECELLES

Step mom

JANELLE DECELLES AS Step mom

Janelle is a seasoned veteran of the theater and is delighted and humbled to be sharing the stage for Into the Woods. After graduating from O’Farrell School of Creative and Performing Arts in San Diego, she took a 25 year hiatus from performing to raise her family with her husband of 33 years. Seven years ago she jumped back into theater in Bend and has rekindled her passion. Her past experience has included traveling with a jazz sextet and a variety of roles in Fiddler on the Roof, Up the Down Staircase, The Music Man, Blemished: The Musical, The Wizard of Oz, Beauty and the Beast, Shrek, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Jesus Christ Superstar and NINE. Special thanks to God, her husband and family for all the love and support!

AVERY CARLSON

Florinda

AVERY CARLSON AS FLORINDA

Avery Carlson (Florinda) is a Central Oregonian native and recent graduate of Oklahoma City University, earning a BFA in Acting. She is grateful to be a part of bringing Into the Woods to Bend this season. Recent credits include Emmy (A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2) at Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre; Widow (ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL) and Lord u/s (CYMBELINE) at Commonwealth Shakespeare Company; Macbeth (BAD SHAKESPEARE) at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; Professor (POOR MURDERER), Ashley (AFTER ASHLEY), Smeraldina (SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS), Spiegel/Mom (DARK PLAY) at Oklahoma City University. Special thanks to her family and friends for demonstrating unconditional love and support. www.avery.f.carlson.com

AUDREY PENINGTON

Lucinda

AUDREY PENINGTON AS LUCINDA

Audrey is thrilled to be playing a step sister in one of her all-time favorite musicals, Into the Woods! Previous roles she has played include: Katherine Plumber in Newsies, Kate McGowan in Titanic the Musical and Ethel Peas in Thoroughly Modern Millie. When she is not on stage, she is a character performer for children’s birthday parties and is the best Aunt in the world to all eleven of her nieces and nephews. She would like to thank her parents and her boyfriend, Ryan who have supported her musical theatre passion and she hopes you enjoy the show!

STEFANIE CONNETT DE GRUYTER

Cinderella's Mom

STEFANIE CONNETT DE GRUYTER AS CINDERELLA'S MOM

Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor, so Stefanie could not pass up this opportunity to share the stage, with Cinderella, her daughter both on and off stage. The last time they shared a stage was 1999! Stefanie is excited to join this amazing cast in turning on the lights. After many years and many productions, Stefanie took a nearly 20-year hiatus from live theatre, Stefanie made her Bend debut as a member of the cast of NINE in early 2020, just before the lights went out. Stefanie hopes you enjoy this journey into the woods through the magic of music and the thrill of live theatre. Places!

KELLEN FLYNN

Steward

KELLEN FLYNN AS STEWARD

Kellen Flynn (Steward) is thrilled to be making his Theatre in the Park debut! Recent credits include Into the Woods Jr. (The Baker) and Romeo & Juliet (Friar Lawrence) with Thoroughly Modern Productions, Declaration (Zander) with Cascades Theatrical Company, and Big Fish (Ensemble) with Redmond Proficiency Academy. Kellen recently graduated from Redmond Proficiency Academy and is excited to be attending Whitman College to study Theatre in the fall.

VREYAH PALMANTIER

Narrator

VREYAH PALMANTIER AS NARRATOR

Vreyah is beyond excited to be joining the amazing theatre community here in Central Oregon. She is no stranger to theatre, though all of her experience was in Southern California and the last few years were spent back stage as a stage manager. She wants to say huge thank you to Mayra for convincing her to audition, Michelle for casting her, and the incredible cast for being so welcoming and supportive. Sit back, relax, and prepare to laugh, cry, and live as we take you Into the Woods!

JESSICA HAYES

Granny

JESSICA HAYES AS GRANNY

It has been agony to be away from the stage, but Jessica is thrilled to return as Granny in Into the Woods! She is truly honored to share the stage with such a wonderful, talented group of people. Jessica has been a part of the theater community in Bend both on and off the stage for a number of years, but her most recent roles were as Phoenix in Evanescent and Olga Von Strum in NINE. When she’s not on stage or in the dance studio, you can find Jessica working hard as a property appraiser or going on adventures with her husband and two children. She’d like to thank you for supporting local artists!

DAVE FELTON

Cinderella's Dad

DAVE FELTON AS CINDERELLA'S DAD

Dave started acting when he was five. He has been performing ever since. In Central Oregon he’s performed as Trekkie Monster in Avenue Q, Smee in Peter and the Starcatcher, Charlie Akin in August Osage County, Molina in Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Jacob in La Cage aux Folles, plus appearances with Bend Improv Group. In the winters he’s been Bend’s most authentic European-style Santa Claus since 2008. He’s so excited to perform again with this talented cast and crew. Huzzah!

PRODUCTION CREDITS

MICHELLE MEJASKI

Director & Choreographer

MICHELLE MEJASKI - DIRECTOR

Michelle is an award winning tap dancer who has had the privilege to train with instructors from Hollywood Vibe, New York City Dance Allice, L.A. Dance Force, NRG, and Manhattan Dance Project. She also travels to NYC to train at the Broadway Dance Center with her favorite instructors. Michelle has had the privilege to tap internationally. She has attended, performed in, and trained with tap legends such as Michele Dorrance, Sam Weber, and Dianna Walker at the Vancouver Canada Tap Festival. She was the first and only American to be accepted into the Croatian Tap Festival where she trained with Chloe Arnold, Sara Reich, and Rueben Sanchez. Her most hilarious privilege was being a back-up dancer for Weird Al Yankovik!

Mayra Dennis

Assistant Director

Mayra Dennis - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

Mayra discovered her love for theater as a child while attending shows with her mother at the Coconut Grove Playhouse. Local stage credits include CATS, and Mama Mia (with Thoroughly Modern Productions at the Tower Theater) and NINE, the Musical (with Mejcho Studio). She has volunteered with BEAT Children’s Theatre, has served as dramaturg and Spanish voice coach, and has made many props and costumes for local productions. Mayra is thrilled to have had the opportunity to lend her energy to this production, and is thankful for the opportunity to have worked with such a talented director team, cast, and crew.

“Best to take the moment present s a present for the moment”
~ Stephen Sondheim,

SCOTT MICHAELSEN

Vocal & Musical Director

SCOTT MICHAELSEN - VOCAL & MUSICAL DIRECTOR

Scott is a local pianist who has called Bend home for 28 years. He has been a music director for numerous productions in the Central Oregon area since 2012, with favorite highlights including Spamalot and Sweeney Todd (Stage Right Productions), Beauty and the Beast, Rock of Ages, Cats, and, most recently, Titanic (Thoroughly Modern Productions). This is Scott’s second show with Mejaski Choreography, following Kiss of the Spider Woman in January 2019. He has also in past years served as a music instructor for Trinity Lutheran School, played with the Central Oregon Mastersingers, accompanied students for various school and scholarship programs, composed and arranged music for plays and choirs, performed for Limelight Entertainment’s Cocktail Cabarets, and entertained the residents of retirement communities. In 2019-2021, Scott ventured away from home to serve as a music director at Post Playhouse in Crawford, Nebraska (Sister Act, A Year with Frog and Toad), Sierra Repertory Theatre in Sonora, California (Grease, Camelot), and Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota, Florida (original cabarets Unchained Melodies and Three Pianos). He hopes to continue travelling for work like this in the coming years. Into the Woods is a favorite of Scott’s, and it is a true pleasure to bring this show to life amidst actual trees with many beloved friends and colleagues, new and old, of the local community.

Gary Loddo

Set Design & Construction

Gary Loddo - Set Design & Construction

Gary moved here from London nearly 9 years ago, where he worked as a specialist access, cameras, and lights rigger on TV and major movies including Batman Begins, Harry Potter and Doctor Who. His Bend set designs include: Peter Pan, Rent, Mulan, Tarzan, In The Next Room, the Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and Jesus Christ Superstar to name a few. Last year alone he was involved with twenty shows. He is currently on the board of BEAT Children’s Theater and started his film and stage set design and construction company Different Worldz. He is also the set designer for Theater in the Park. Full time, he is the co-owner/director of a program supporting adults with challenges and works one on one as a behavioral specialist. He loves soccer and writes, carves and volunteers his time in many areas of the community.

Tyler Haas

Costume Designer

Tyler Haas - Costume Designer

Tyler’s passion is designing and creating elaborate outfits and costumes. This year he makes his debut in the theatre world as a costume designer! Professionally, Tyler is a jeweler with his own company, Tyler Haas Designs. He works in sterling silver and gold to create unique pieces of jewelry inspired by Lord of the Rings Elven Style. Tyler also teaches Argentine Tango here in Bend, with his wife Emma. They have competed in Swinging with the Stars the last two years. Tyler loves making beautiful pieces of wearable art, be it unique artisan jewelry, intricate leather suits of armor, or costumes for theatre productions!

Scott Schultz

Backstage Crew

Scott Schultz - Backstage Crew

Scott Schultz is ecstatic to be a part of this incredible team and show. Scott is a professional caregiver by day and is a director and thespian by night. His Bend directing credits include: Accomplice, Heather’s the Musical, Hand to God, and 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche. Now sit back and enjoy Into the Woods!!!!

Jeannie Whittle

Backstage Manager

Jeannie Whittle - Backstage Manager

Jeannie is excited to help bring Into the Woods to beautiful Drake Park as part of Theatre in the Park. She has been working on every production with Mejco Productions since Jesus Christ Superstar. For Into the Woods she puts on the hat of Stage Manager to make sure everyone and everything is where it needs to be when the curtain goes up. Jeannie hopes you all enjoy this retelling of these fairy tales, hopefully as you remember them–but with a twist.

Alyshia Fath

Lead Hair Design

Alyshia Fath - Lead Hair Design

Alyshia has been in the hair business professionally for a decade but her love of cosmetology started at a very young age. Being able to be part of such a great production has been such a blessing especially after what 2020 brought. This is Alyshia’s second show with a Mejcho and she is looking forward to being a part of many more!

Katherine Havern

Lead Makeup Artist

Katherine Havern - Lead Makeup Artist

Katherine Havern (Hair and Makeup) is a talented multi-media artist who graduated in Cosmetology in 2017, where she thrived in braiding and costume make up. Katherine spends most of her time creating in her fine-arts studio. She specializes in watercolor and her art is edgy and imaginative. Her type of art is quirky but her technique shows control as she pays particular attention to detail. Her style is clearly an extension of her energetic personality. This is her fifth production working with Mejaski Choreography and Productions. (Facebook@khaveheart )

Whiteny Cunningham

Backstage Crew

Whiteny Cunningham - Backstage Crew

Whitney is thrilled to be stage hand for Into the Woods, bringing experience as a stage manager from shows like Hand to God, Disaster the Musical, RHPS Floor Show, 9 to 5, and assistant directing Heathers the Musical. Being primarily backstage has broadened her organizational skills, making her an adaptable player to any situation.

PAST PERFORMANCES

Photos from previous productions

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Thank you to our 2021 sponsors

 
COAR
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KBND
Oregon Community Foundation
Source Weekly
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