Young Frankenstein Cast and Crew

Rob Cook (Dr. Frederick Frankenstein) – 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.

Matt Swingle (The Monster) – This show is the BIGGEST and most complicated show I’ve ever been in at ZCT, but the good thing about a big cast, it gives you the opportunity to meet lots of new people. It has been great to see so many new faces in the cast and to get to know new people. Everybody that knows me knows that I’m very much like the monster, quiet and don’t say very much. I’ve done several shows with ZCT most recently 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. I live in Philo with my partner, our son and 2 obnoxiously spoiled cats.
I hope you enjoy this show and appreciate all the effort that has gone into putting such a large show together.
Sean Adam McClure (Igor) – Sean has been involved in a number of ZCT productions, most recently “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, August: Osage County and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” 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.
Jillian B. Von Gunten (Inga) – 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)”, and “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” 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.
Ashley Krieger (Elizabeth Benning) – I am originally from Bellaire, Ohio. I settled in the Zanesville area after graduating from Muskingum University in 2008 with a BA degree in Music Education. That summer, I was hired by Crooksville Schools as a K-5 general music teacher. I am now in my sixth year teaching, and can’t believe how fast time has gone. While I love creating music with my young students, I joined ZCT two years ago in hopes of being able to sing some “grown up music.” What I discovered was a wonderful group of talented people that I am now so fortunate to call friends! This will be my 5th appearance on the ZCT stage. My previous credits include Johanna in Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Karen in August: Osage County, a member of the ensemble in ZCT’s 50th Anniversary Gala, and Olive in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Special thanks to family and friends for all your continued support!

Cindy Houpt (Frau Bleucher) – – Comedy?….Check!… Musical?…..Check!… Over the top, crazy, zany character?…..Check, check and double check!!! Young Frankenstein has it all and Cindy loves Frau Blucher!! “Vat a Voman!!!!” Oh, and the best part of all of this???? Cindy gets to spend time with some her very favortie people, the good folks at ZCT!!!

Cindy lives in Newark Ohio with her husband, Ron, and youngest daughter, Sarah. She is an echocardiographer/nurse by trade but currently enjoys being a stay at home mom. She is the proud Grandmother of two adorable grandsons, Preston and Luke.

David J Kerr (Inspector Hans Kemp) – I grew up in Zanesville but had never heard of ZCT. After returning home from spending 20 years in the Air Force and moving all over the world, one day a good friend asked if I’d like to see a show at the local community theater. I didn’t know what to expect and my expectations weren’t very high, but by the end of the show I was very impressed. That was a little over four years ago. Now I’m in my tenth show here and the only way they can keep me away is to lock me out. (Oh wait, I have a key.)

As for my real life when I’m not enjoying the fantasy of the theater, I work for the City of Zanesville in the Engineering Department as an engineering technician/construction inspector. I’ve been married to my wonderful wife, Rita, for 30 years and we have four children ranging in age from 26 to 16 and a 4 month old grandson.

Dan Von Gunten (The Hermit) – So? Short and Sweet or OMG did he have to list everything he’s ever done with ZCT for the last millennium? I will cut to the chase: I am Jillian’s (Inga) Dad and Melanie’s long suffering other half. And VERY, VERY GOOD FRIENDS with almost EVERYONE in the cast. And the Production Crew. And the Orchestra. And the Director. And the Producer. And the Make-up Team. And the Musical Director. And the Costume Staff! WHEW! Are you feeling the LOVE? I know I am!

The last show I was in was Oliver as the undertaker, Mr. Sowerberry. The young lady playing my wife, Mrs. Sowerberry was costumed in a very familiar Black Dress. And I said to her, Lovie (that is what I called her) you are wearing MY DRESS! You should have seen the look Bambi gave me so I explained that it was the very same dress that I had made my ZCT DEBUT in some 35 years ago in Charlie’s Aunt. Yeah, I’ve been around a LONG time. And ZCT recycles EVERYTHING!

Steven Hendershott (Dr. Victor Von Frankenstein, Bob, Ensemble) – It seems like just a short while ago that Steve found out about this wonderful theater, and in some ways that’s true. But now in his sixth musical here, it just feels like home! What a crazy experience this show is; too much fun. It’s not often one gets to play a ghost, an astrologist and coyly reprise (sort of) the spirit of a former role all in one show. Hold on to your seats and enjoy the ride because Young Frankenstein will blow you away!

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 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! 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

Kerby Staker (Ziggy) -Kerby Staker has been active in theatre for 30 years, but you may recognize him from the Bob Evans on Underwood where he spends most of his time as General Manager. This is Kerby’s first production with the Zanesville Community Theatre. He is a Board Member of Zane Trace Players and has performed in many productions, including his favorite role of the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz,which he has played 3 times. Other shows include: The Music Man, Brigadoon, The Hound of the Baskervilles,Kismet, Up the Down Staircase, and many others. Kerby has been married to wife, Melissa, for almost 26 years and they have two beautiful daughters, Caitlin and Tierney, both graduates of Muskingum University and son, Braydon, who is 10 and a 4th grader at East Muskingum L.M.I.S.
Lura Brannon (Ensemble) –
Aaron Chase (Villager, Student, Steward, Frankenstein Ancestor, Count Dracula) – was born March 29, 1995. Aaron has graduated from Philo High School, having participated in several school plays before graduating. He is currently studying Information Technology at Zane State College. Aaron had previously performed in M*A*S*H* at the Community Theater here.
Tahnee Dorsey (Ensemble) – New to ZCT, Tahnee Dorsey is a member of the ensemble of Young Frankenstein. Tahnee has performed with the New Lexington High School and Community Theater. She studied theater and Music at Hocking College and abroad with Havering College. While abroad she was cast in Oh! What A Loverly War performed at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London’s West End. Tahnee is excited to be part of ZCT and looks forward to being in more productions.
Mary Harris (Ensemble) -I have a passion for education and am a teacher at Zane State College in the Developmental Education department. My husband and I have three adult children and are enjoying being empty nesters. Having recently moved to Zanesville this is my first play with Zanesville Community Theatre. I am enjoying the experience and hope to be involved in many more to come.

William Harris (Ensemble) -William Harris, an Ohio native, received his B.A. in Liberal Arts from Wright St. University in Dayton, Ohio. From there, he obtained his Master of Divinity from Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, IN. Upon graduation, he and the family moved to Michigan where his wife embarked upon a teaching career, and he later enrolled at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, MI in pursuit of his Master of Theology degree. He subsequently enrolled into a summer unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE – chaplaincy ministries) at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Center, also in Grand Rapids and the following year, he completed a yearlong chaplaincy residency at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo Michigan.

At the completion of his residency, William enrolled in the Ecclesiastical Program for Ministerial Candidacy at Calvin with the intent of pursuing ordination within the Christian Reformed Church and at the conclusion of his program, had received a call to serve as pastor at New Hope Community Church in Kincheloe, MI, located in the Upper Peninsula, where he served just shy of three years. Currently, William is employed with Genesis Healthcare, serving as a Hospice Chaplain.

Nathan Kerr (Ensemble, Werewolf) -I’m a sophomore at John Glenn High School and a member of JG Company. I’m also a Life Scout in the Boy Scouts and the Assistant Sr. Patrol Leader in my Troop. This is my fourth show with ZCT in a little over a year and I’ve found that I really enjoy being involved with theater; not for the applause, although that’s nice, but more for the people here at ZCT. Although I’m the youngest member of the cast, I’m treated just like everyone else, not as a kid, and that’s nice. I’m learning so much and having fun at the same time. The cast and crew on this show have been great to work with and I’m proud to have had the opportunity to be part of it. I hope you enjoy the show!
Lauren Metcalf (Ensemble) is thrilled to be in her second show with ZCT. The cast and crew here are just wunderbar! Lauren teaches 7th grade math, so she understands that monsters of all sizes need kindness. She also enjoys finding rare plants in the woods with her boyfriend Joe and cuddling with their cat Herman.<>
Bambi McConaha (Ensemble)
Angel Palmer (Ensemble, Masha) – Angel Palmer has joined the cast of Young Frankenstein as a member of the ensemble, taking a break from her backstage comfort zone.  Singing and dancing and just enjoying the show has been a lot of fun, and she hopes the audience enjoys watching it as much as she has enjoyed performing it.
Phil Palmer (Horse, Shoe Shineman)
Michelle Robison (Basha, Ensemble) – Welcome to ZCT, we’re really happy that you’re here.
That being said, I would like to thank the cast, our directors and the crew for making this show such fun. There’s a lot of amazing talent here so I consider myself blessed every time I set foot on the stage with them. Here is hoping you enjoy watching them as much as I enjoy performing with them. So please sit back, relax and enjoy this manic journey through Transylvania.
Jan Smith (Town Herald)
Jodi Strauss (Ensemble) -This is my 2nd musical production here at ZCT. I absolutely love working with the wonderful actors, singers, & directors. Everyone makes you feel like you’re one of the “gang”. I’m married with 2 children & 5 cats. My youngest, Sara, is currently studying abroad in France. My background is in barbershop singing but this has turned out to be a lot of fun! Hope you enjoy the show!
Rebecca Wagstaff (Ensemble, Horse) -This is the second season for me at Zanesville Community Theatre. Last year I was part of the ensemble of ‘Oliver’ and played Addie in the ZCT presentation of ‘The Ladies of Harmony.’ Both were a ball to do, and I am happy to be back for more. Young Frankenstein (the movie) is one of my all-time favorite comedies, and the musical is even more outrageous–– Mel Brooks at his outlandish best! Being a part of it with this terrific gang of extremely talented people is an honor and if I make it through the insane costume changes, I will be doing well. I will hate to see this production come to an end, but I won’t miss waking up every morning humming “There is Nothing Like a Brain.”
Jodi Mock Wolfe (Tosha, Ensemble) -I’ve been involved in theater since the age of 5, but my parents will tell you I’ve been performing for them since birth. I studied Musical Theater and Vocal Music Education at Kent State University, I was a singer in the rock band Mad Shadows, and I also sing for weddings. I’ve been active in local theater for years, including playing Gilmer in “Godspell” and Ronette in “Little Shop of Horrors” here at ZCT. My husband Bill and I met during a production of “Oliver!” back in 1996, (I played Nancy) and we live here in Zanesville with our 7-year-old son Liam. My performance is dedicated to the memories of my beloved Grandma Sylvia and Grandpa John, who never missed a show of mine. I hope they’re watching now.
Lew Woodward (Ensemble, Mordecai) – At the age of 5 I earned my first professional dollar impersonating Elvis at my uncle’s funeral. Most recently (1995 – geesh!) I had a couple minor roles in Cabaret in Mishawaka, Indiana. I am seriously considering impersonating Elvis at my funeral.

Production Staff

Jan Smith (Director) –Jan Smith developed his love for musical theater on the playgrounds way back in his elementary school days where he would (for your 3 cents-lunch milk money) sing for the other children their favorite Saturday morning TV show theme songs. Of course, The price has gone up. Jan has performed in over 30 stage plays and directed many others like Grease, Little Shop of Horrors, Godspel, and Singing in the Rain just to name a few. He says, it’s the experience of seeing a play you’ve directed come to life on stage that gives you a great feeling. when Jan was asked, what is it you like about being a director, He stated: It’s like for a short time, your the king of the theater. It’s good to be the king. I lifted that form Mel Brooks. I love his work and Young Frankenstein is some of his best.
Sheryl Wise (Music Director and Choreographer) – Sheryl has been a member of the ZCT family for over thirty years. Her credits include acting, directing, and being a member of the board of directors. She enjoys each part of the process. Recently, along with her sister Ann, she was honored by receiving the Ohio Community Theater Association “Spirit of Community Theater” award for their work with musicals in the southeast and central areas. She is very humbled by this honor. Sheryl is a Fine Arts teacher for Franklin Local School district where she has worked for 34 years. She is the organist at Market Street Baptist church. Sheryl serves on the Board of Directors for ZCT as well as American Baptist Churches of Ohio, American Baptist Women’s Ministries of Ohio, The Zanesville Concert Association, and the Zanesville Memorial Band. Her great joys in life are her faith, family, friends, and her cats.

Philip A. Palmer (Assistant Director and Producer) – Philip A. Palmer is excited to be working with the cast and crew of Young Frankenstein. Wearing many hats, he has enjoyed the challenge of being Assistant Director, Producer, Stage Manager, Set Designer and Builder.  He has really appreciated all of the willing hands and talents of this wonderful group.  Not only is he involved with the theater on stage, most recently as Uncle Charlie in August, Osage County as well as off stage as Vice-President of the Board of ZCT, he is also a Social Worker by day and sings in his church choir and on the praise team. He hopes you enjoy this show and come back to enjoy the rest of the 51st season!

Jan Kiikka (Costumer) – 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).
Pam Smith (Costumer) – When I was 9 yrs old and sewing for 4-H projects, It was sew a little,rip a little,everything had to be perfect. That is why I love to create for Theatre. Believe it or not some of us are put together with safety pins and duct tape!! But that is what theatre is all about. So sit back and enjoy our CREATION of Young Frankenstein.