25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Cast and Crew

Sean Adam McClure (Chip Tolentino) – I am incredibly happy to be a part of this cast. I truly could not ask for a better support system! My favorite word is “exhaust,” It was the word that I won my fourth grade spelling bee with. I hope that the hope and aspirations of the characters in this show come through and warm your heart, they sure warm mine.

David J Kerr (Douglas Panch) – With this show, Zanesville Community Theater (ZCT) closes its 50th Season. Although this is only my fourth year, I’m very proud to be a part of this accomplishment. This is my eighth time to have the good fortune of being on stage at ZCT and this performance as the politically-incorrect, sometimes downright offensive Vice Principal Panch has been a blast. The hardest part of playing this role has been trying to keep a straight face with so much insanity flying around the stage.

For my real life, I’m a retired US Air Force Master Sergeant, and I currently work for the City of Zanesville in the Engineering Department as a construction inspector. I’ve been married to my wonderful wife, Rita, for 30 years. We have four children ranging in age from 26 to 15 and a 2 ½ month old grandson.

Our Director has asked that we include our favorite word in our bio, but I’m more of a numbers person. However I have expanded my vocabulary by a couple dozen words since we began rehearsals. I’ve really enjoyed being a part of the show because the cast and crew are so talented and so much fun to be around. But the people I would really like to thank are you, our audience. Without you and all the support you’ve given us, ZCT would have never lasted this long. Thank you for fifty great seasons and wishing for many more to come. I hope you enjoy watching the show as much as we enjoy presenting it!

Matt Swingle (Leaf Coneybear) -My favorite word is Sparkly…. Definition: something shiny that catches a persons eye. Used in a sentence: Jillian, our director, likes to wear sparkly shoes. I like sparkly shoes do you like sparkly shoes? I wish I had sparkly shoes. S P A R K L Y,,,,,,, Leaf is a guy I can really identify with. He has a touch of A.D.D. and enjoys proving people wrong. Since he’s the youngest of many he’s constantly trying to find his own small piece of the spotlight.
I’ve done several shows with ZCT most recently August: Osage County. I live in Philo with my partner, our son and 2 obnoxiously spoiled cats.

Amber Maree Winland (Logainne Schwartzandgrunenierre) – Amber Maree Winland is thrilled to return to the ZCT stage after doing a few side projects, such as buying a home and getting married! Thank you, Jason, for sharing your new bride of not even a month, just so she can keep doing what she adores. Since moving to Zanesville in 2010, Amber played Brooke/Vicki in Noises Off!, and Lily St. Regis in Annie. Before moving to her husband’s hometown, she directed and performed with Center Stage Players in Columbus for 6 yrs., most notably as Rose in Bye Bye Birdie and Sarah Jane Moore in Assassins. From age 7 to 18 she performed with The Ashtabula Arts Center and D’Itri Productions. She would like to thank the talented crew, who have given her a sense of home in her new surroundings, and welcomed her with open arms. To quote the wise Kelly Clarkson, “my life would suck without you”!

“My brother, who is a wiz at vocabulary, taught me this little gem when I was 13: ostentatious- characterized by or given to pretentious or conspicuous show in an attempt to impress others: an ostentatious dresser.”

Michelle Robison (Marcy Park) – Hola, nǐ hǎo, bon jour, goedendag, zdravstvuyte and hello! This is my second time on stage here at ZCT and I am so proud to be a part of this show. For as long as I can remember I’ve been acting and singing in plays and musicals. I was raised singing the libretto’s to the classics in the car with my Mom on road trips. I love singing because of her and can’t imagine spending my free time doing anything else. I’ve been fortunate enough to be in many shows but have also directed several and I know how much of an undertaking productions like this are. So I want to say gracias, xiè xie, merci beaucoup, dankeschön, spacibo and thank you to the cast, crew and director/s for making this such a fantastic time. Break a leg! ‘Chelle
Rob Cook (Mitch Mahony) – I moved here from Chicago 13 years ago with a little trepidation. It was quite a change and I wasn’t sure I was totally up for it. Once I walked into this theatre though, to audition for “Godspell,” I knew I was going to be alright. If you’ve ever thought about trying out for a show here – do it! The people here are terrific.

I was born and raised in Illinois, attending the University of Illinois for my BLA and Illinois State for my MFA in theatre. After school, I spent some time with the Illinois Shakespeare Festival before moving to Chicago and working at several theatres around the city. Some favorite roles include Ellard in “The Foreigner,” the Balladeer in “Assassins,” Jane/Edgar in “The Mystery of Irma Vep” and Father Flynn in “Doubt” here at ZCT.

My fears about moving were also allayed by the fact that I was coming here to be with my dear Matt (also in the show) whom I had met at a party in Chicago. 13 years later, here we are. With a great son, great friends, and a great life. Thank you Matt and thank you ZCT.

Ashley Krieger (Olive Ostrovsky) – As a twelve year old, Ashley Krieger was certainly far from being a spelling bee champion. Having misspelled the word “helicopter” in the 5th grade spelling bee (because she thought it had two l’s instead of one- sound it out, and you’ll agree) she never made it to the school spelling bee, let alone the county bee. She is excited, however, to be participating with this outrageously talented and fun cast in ZCT’s 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Ashley is originally from Bellaire, Ohio. She settled in the Zanesville area after graduating from Muskingum University in 2008 with a BA degree in Music Education. She is employed by Crooksville Schools as a K-5 general music teacher and middle school choir director. This summer, Ashley completed her Master of Arts in Education from Muskingum University.

This is Ashley’s 4th appearance on the ZCT stage. Her previous roles include Johanna in Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Karen in August: Osage County, and a member of the ensemble in ZCT’s 50th Anniversary Gala.

She has loved working with the Spelling Bee cast and crew and is very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the fun!

Cara Bieber Noyes (Rona Lisa Peretti) is debuting here at ZCT. No stranger to the stage, she most recently portrayed Elizabeth Cady Stanton in THIS ONE THING I DO at Licking County Players. Other recent roles include Reverend Mother in NUNSENSATIONS, Ronette in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, and Elsa Farthing in Bridegroom of Blowing Rock.
Cara is a music educator for Newark City Schools. She says being an elementary music teacher is “the best job in the whole world!” She and husband Greg formed Joyfull Noyes LLC where they compose custom songs, perform for weddings and other events, plus teach music lessons. They love to travel and go tent camping.
Cara got to practice her spelling a lot in the 2012-2013 school year, for she and Greg hosted a wonderful exchange student from Venezuela in their home. Her favorite word right now is Hemidemisemiquaver, which is a musical timing of 1/64.

Steven Hendershott (William Barfée) – Recently, Steve had the good fortune to find out about this wonderful theater and to have the remarkable opportunity to play Sweeney in the ZCT production of Sweeney Todd, Fagin in ZCT’s Oliver and Cosmo Brown in Singin’ in the Rain. Steve is delighted to have the chance again to play a role on this stage. He has really enjoyed working with this ensemble cast, it’s a totally different and wonderful experience. He would also like to point out that, in fact, both of his nostrils work just fine. Except during allergy season. Steve is sure that you’ll have almost as much fun watching this show as we have had rehearsing and performing it.

None of this would be possible without the exceptional support of his AMAZING wife Jolene, and his loving daughters, Jadyn, Cadence and Alonna who play their roles as audience participants with aplomb. Steve and Jolene celebrated 11 years of wedded bliss this Spring, and he is so grateful that she’s the real reason for his success!

When he isn’t on stage or in rehearsal, Steve works at the David Crist State Farm agency ycityinsurance.com and has enjoyed his “temporary” position there for the last 8 years. He is also an independent representative with Jusuru International. For healthy, active joints and younger-looking skin, give him a call 740-521-9075 or email Steven@myamazingdiscovery.com! The Hendershotts are also huge believers in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University program; so much that Steve facilitates classes several times a year here in Zanesville. Please check us out, we’d love to have you! SDG

Production Staff

Jillian B. Von Gunten (Director) – Jillian grew up around ZCT. Over the years, she’s had many roles both onstage and behind the scenes at ZCT. Some of her favorite roles, both at ZCT and elsewhere, include: Maggie in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” Alais in “The Lion in Winter,” Nancy in “Oliver!” Kathy Seldon in “Singin’ in the Rain,” Barbara Fordham in “August: Osage County,” and Stella in “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Some of her favorite shows to direct include: “The Mystery of Irma Vep,” “HONK!” and “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).” Jillian attended Muskingum University, majoring in Theater and Political Science, with minors in History and English (her decision to direct “Spelling Bee” should seem clear now) and Capital University Law School. She now works in Zanesville as an attorney at Allen, Baughman, and Martin, Attorneys at Law. Jillian’s favorite word: shoes. They don’t call her the “Shoe Diva” for nothing!

Director’s Notes: – I’ll freely admit – as would practically anyone who knew me as a child (or knows me as an adult) – that I was (am?) a nerd. There were no finer things to me than books – particularly if they were about history. The joke was that I was born 40 going on 65 and there was some degree of truth to it – I was raised among adults and that, combined with my inherent nerdiness, made interacting with my peers difficult at times. Maybe that’s why I so identify with this show – each of these kids (and the adults to some extent) are trying to find their place in a world in which they are not totally comfortable. Suddenly, they they arrive at this Spelling Bee surrounded by equally intelligent and quirky, dare I say nerdy, individuals. Through risk-taking, friendship, rivalry, competition, and even a little young love, each learn something important about themselves as they progress through the Bee. Their growth is the growth of all of us as we watch the next generation of children – nerds and not alike – come into their own and become young adults. So we have grown, so we watch others grow. With great humor and sometimes heartache life goes on always.

I was tremendously blessed with a first rate cast and crew. These “kids” and adults have tremendous, tremendous talent. They embraced their characters and all the hard work involved. I couldn’t have asked for any more from them. A special word of thanks to the “Mu. Dir.” – Sheryl Wise. I never had to worry about anything involving music. No way this show could have happened without her hard work.

In conclusion (yes, I am wrapping up, I promise), I hope that you embrace these characters and their experiences at the Bee – maybe you’ll see yourself or someone you know and love. I hope you have fun. I hope you laugh. I hope we pull at your heart strings a little. I hope you enjoy your time at the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Thanks for joining us.

Sheryl Wise (Music Director) – Sheryl has been involved in many capacities at Zanesville Community Theatre for more than thirty years. She currently serves on the board and will be involved later this summer with our 50th Anniversary Gala as well as being the musical director for “Young Frankenstein”. Currently she is in a time of transition in her life as she will be returning to her roots in education this fall and teaching full time. She will be teaching General Theater, Musical Theater, and Elementary General Music. What a great gig! Everything she loves. Speaking of things she loves…other passions include her church work with American Baptist Women where she will be completing her term as state president, being organist at Market Street Baptist Church, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl also will be enjoying some much needed time at home this summer to just catch up. It is amazing how much clutter and disarray can occur during the school year. Therefore, the word has to be recapitulation. Restatement of the theme. Service to God, family, friends, and organizations. Working hard at the things you love to do. Taking time to reflect on the blessings of life.

Jan Kiikka (Producer) – has been involved in one aspect of production or another at ZCT for over 20 years. Jan just retired in May 2012 from Franklin Local Schools, though she will still be the drama producer at Philo High School. Jan and her husband, Niel, live in the McIntire Terrace with their five dogs and one cat (and turtles and fish).