August: Osage County Cast and Crew


Rob Cook (Beverly Weston) – I moved to the Zanesville area 13 years ago from Chicago and found ZCT a short time later, most recently appearing in Doubt. I studied landscape architecture at Illinois (BLA) and theatre at Illinois State (MFA) and spent time with the Illinois Shakespeare Festival and several smaller Chicago theatres. When not onstage I like spending time with my partner Matt and our son, and working on my sculpture.
Amy Underwood (Violet Weston) – I am so very proud to be a part of this wonderful ensemble and to be able to work with such a remarkable script. I have been doing theatre for a very long time, in many capacities. I must thank my first mentor, Ted Hissam, for lighting this spark for me. It has remained burning for many years and I would like to dedicate this performance to him.
Jillian B. Von Gunten(Barbara Fordham) – Jillian grew up around ZCT and she considers the people involved at ZCT her extended family. Over the years, she’s had many roles both onstage and behind the scenes at ZCT. Some of her favorite roles include: Maggie in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” Alais in “The Lion in Winter,” Nancy in “Oliver!” and Kathy Seldon in “Singin’ in the Rain.” 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 and Capital University Law School and she now works in Zanesville as an attorney at Allen, Baughman, and Martin, Attorneys at Law.
Sean McClure (Bill Fordham) – Sean has been involved in a number of ZCT productions, most recently “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” He is very excited to be a part of this production not only because of the content, but mostly because of the cast. Sean remarked, “This cast is one of the most talented group of people I have had the pleasure working with.” Sean hopes that the audience enjoys the show and hopes they don’t get alarmed by the dysfunction that defines the Weston’s.
Lura Wallace (Jean Fordham) – Lura is thrilled to be a part of her first show here at ZCT. Though she played a few small roles in her school days, her adult theater debut was in 2011 as Cuddles in Dashing Through the Snow with the Oprah House Players in McConnelsville, Ohio. After reading the synopsis for August: Osage County, she knew she wanted to be a part of this production. The idea of generational dysfunction has always intrigued her. As a child of a recovering alcoholic, she has strived her whole life to ‘break the cycle’. She would like to thank her family and the village who raised her for teaching her how to rise above statistics and bad circumstances. They have supported her through earning a BS in Chemical Engineering , returning to school to earn her Teaching Certificate, and raising a young boy as a single mother. Lastly, she would like to thank her now teenage son and her newly engaged fiancé for not making her feel like a terrible person for spending more time at the theater this month than with them at home.
Beverly Watson (Ivy Weston) – Beverly Watson has played Margaret Houlihan in M*A*S*H and The Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz. I like to entertain people and suspend reality for awhile.
Ashley Krieger (Karen Watson) – This is Ashley’s second appearance on the ZCT stage; she previously portrayed the role of Johanna in last season’s production of Sweeney Todd. Ashley is originally from Bellaire, Ohio. She studied Music Education at Muskingum University with a concentration in vocal performance. Upon graduating in 2008, Ashley began her career as a K-7 music teacher for Crooksville EVSD. While musicals are typically her favorite, Ashley has really enjoyed working with the talented cast and crew on August: Osage County.
Cindy Houpt (Mattie Fay Aiken) This is Cindy’s third appearance at ZCT. In her most recent role, she portrayed Lina Lamont in Singing in the Rain. Prior to that she played The Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd. Cindy has been actively involved in community theatre, both here in Ohio, as well as Indiana. She enjoys all facets of bringing a show to life, backstage managing, costuming, props, directing and even writing, but her hands down, favorite place is out front, in the footlights, or better yet..the spotlight!! Cindy usually finds herself auditioning for musicals and comedies, but wanted to try her hand at something “different”…this show certainly falls into that category.Cindy enjoys cooking, canning, reading, skiing and singing. She is currently rehearsing with The Schubach Big Band and always looking for an excuse to get up and entertain folks with her music! She lives in Newark with her husband Ron, and their youngest daughter Sarah. She has three adult daughters, three wonderful sons-in-laws and two adorable grandsons, Preston and Luke!
Philip A. Palmer (Charlie Aiken) – I am very proud of this cast and crew as we bring a difficult show to life in Zanesville. I have been involved with ZCT for 7 years now and have been in shows such as JB, Death of a Salesman, A Murder is Announced, Rent, and Sweeney Todd. I have also been the assistant director and producer for Singin’ in the Rain and Tom Sawyer. In my real life I am a social worker between jobs looking forward to find a job that could lead to a career. I am married to the stage manager and have three children.
Dan Brown (Little Charles Aiken) – Dan has been doing shows with Zanesville Community Theatre since graduating high school in 2004, and couldn’t be happier to participate in the historic 50th season. Some of his favorite past shows at Z.C.T. include “Fiddler on the Roof”, “The Lion in Winter”, “The Laramie Project”, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”, and “Macbeth.” He’s also directed one show: “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”. Dan also supports theater elsewhere, having recently done “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Forbidden Broadway” at The Renner, also in Zanesville. Off stage Dan is just a normal young adult trying to find his stride. He enjoys good food and good company
Lauren Metcalf (Johnna Monevata) – Lauren Metcalf recently moved to this area and is thrilled to join ZCT in her rookie community theater appearance. She teaches math at Crooksville Intermediate School. In previous lives she has been a naturalist in Columbus and an au pair in Germany. Lauren would like to thank Ashley Krieger for recruiting her for the show and the cast and crew for a warm welcome.
Steve Campbell (Steve Heidebrecht) – Steve would like to welcome you once again to his third appearance in the 50th anniversary season of Zanesville Community Theater. He is immensely pleased to help usher in our performance of August: Osage County. This has been a wonderful and hilarious experience rehearsing and performing this comedic drama. I hope that you, as the audience, can identify on some basic level the family dysfunction shown in the Weston household, and also hope that none of you actually have to go through these situations! Steve would also like to say that any resemblance to the character he plays is purely coincidental and in no way indicative of how he actually conducts himself in day-to-day living. That being said, he hopes you enjoy our production of the anti-Cosby show, August: Osage County!
Matt Swingle (Sheriff Deon Gilbeau) – I’ve done several shows with ZCT and have enjoyed doing each show for different reasons. This cast has been great to work with and this show is a very different kind of show that I think theater buffs will really enjoy. I live in Philo with my partner, our son and 2 obnoxiously spoiled cats.

Production Staff

Eric Blake (Director) – Eric is currently employed as the Director of Operations for Shrivers Oxygen and Home Medical. He has had a love of the theatre for many years and he enjoys directing as well as being on stage. It was instilled in him at an early age the importance of working behind the scenes as well as acting. Eric currently serves on the Board of Directors at Zanesville Community Theatre. Eric’s directing credits include: Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, RENT, Doubt, J.B., Steel Magnolias, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and The Lion In Winter. On stage, Eric has recently appeared in Sweeney Todd, Death of A Salesman and Next Fall; just to name a few.Eric wishes to take this opportunity to thank his wife Janice for her 31 years of love and support and for helping him to make the time to be involved with theatre and the many other community activities they are involved with.

Eric hopes that you enjoy the show and thanks you for supporting Zanesville Community Theatre as they continue to strive for excellence against a backdrop of tradition.

Director’s Note:

Welcome to Zanesville Community Theatre! I am so excited that you have chosen to join us for our production of August: Osage County! Winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize, Tracy Letts’ darkly comic drama August: Osage County is worthy of much praise. The text is rich with compelling characters and scintillating criticism of the modern American family. This show is set on the plains of modern day, middle-class Oklahoma. The Weston family members are all intelligent, sensitive creatures who have the uncanny ability of making each other absolutely miserable. When the patriarch of the household mysteriously vanishes, the Weston clan gathers together to simultaneously support and attack one another.

Many messages are conveyed throughout the play including, types of husbands, mothers and daughters, and “what goes around comes around”. Most of the characters dread the notion of living alone yet they violently resist intimacy, and most seem doomed to a sad, solitary existence. The final lesson is harsh but simple: Be a good person or you’ll taste nothing but your own poison.

The cast and crew participated in “in-depth” character development discussions and dissecting the many facets of the Weston family only to discover that there are aspects of the Weston family in each of our families. Imagine that!! Whether we want to admit it or not, they are there!

It is not often that a show this well written comes along. I feel it is one of the most brilliantly written scripts of this century. It is with a sincere heart that I say “Thank You” to the cast and crew of this show along with the Board of Directors of Zanesville Community Theatre for their support in bringing this amazing show to life at ZCT. I dedicate this show to all of those who made this possible.

I hope you enjoy the show and thank you for supporting Zanesville Community Theatre as we continue “Striving for Excellence Against a Backdrop of Tradition”!

Eric Blake, Director

Janice Blake (Producer)
Angel Palmer (Stage Manager)
Carleton B. Underwood (Lighting and Sound)
Head shots of cast members ©2010-2012 JK Images, Julie Keirle, JKImages @,, used with permission. Carl Underwood head shots ©2006-2010 Dan Olson, used with permission.