Chicago Cast and Staff

Chicago art
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Dorlesia Jordan(Velma Kelly) – I have been doing shows at Zanesville Community Theatre for many years. I have been blessed to play my favorite character in this show, Velma Kelly. I hope you enjoy the show.
Jillian B. Von Gunten (Roxie Hart) – Jillian has participated in local theater all her life and currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors for Zanesville Community Theatre. Some of her favorite roles include: Maggie in “A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” Alais in “The Lion in Winter,” Nancy in “OLIVER,” Barbara Fordham in “August: Osage County,” and The Witch in “Into the Woods” all at Zanesville Community Theatre, and Stella Kowalski in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” Suzy Hendrix in “Wait Until Dark,” and Karen Andre in “The Night of January 16th” at The Renner. Some of her favorite shows to direct were: “The Mystery of Irma Vep,” “HONK,” “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged),” “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” “Rumors,” and “The Little Mermaid, Jr.” Jillian currently serves as the Coach for Powerhouse’s SPARKS!! Improv Troupe and sits on both the McIntire Terrace Association and the Southeast Ohio Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors. She works in Zanesville as an attorney at Allen & Baughman, Attorneys at Law, and promises that the fact that this is her third time in a row portraying an (alleged) murderess is completely coincidental and says nothing at all about her personality. (No matter what you hear to the contrary.) Enjoy the show!
Jared Gantzer  (Billy Flynn) – Jared is happy to be on stage for his 4th show at ZCT, and his very first musical ever. He has really enjoyed playing the part of Billy Flynn and has had an amazing experience with the talented cast of Chicago. Previous roles include Guts Regan in Night of January 16th, Ernie Cusack in Rumors, Detective Sergeant Penny in The Hollow, and Sam Hendrix in Wait Until Dark. When Jared is not on stage, he is a juggler for the fire and light group, Pyrotechnika. He lives in Zanesville with his wife Sarah, and their three children: Julia, Madeline and Grayson.
Jodi Mock Wolfe (Mama Morton) – 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 many, many years, and some of my favorite roles have been Violet in “9 to 5: The Musical”, Nancy in “Oliver!”, Gilmer in “Godspell” and Ronette in “Little Shop of Horrors” to name a few. My husband Bill and I met during “Oliver!” at the Renner Theater 1996, and we live here in Zanesville with our 9-year-old son Liam. And happy 15th birthday to my beautiful, crazy niece Hayli! Love you , Ya Ya!
Michelle Robison (Mary Sunshine) Michelle has been involved in theater here at ZCT and also at The Renner Theater here in Zanesville since she moved back to Ohio from Las Vegas with her husband Scott several years ago. Since then she’s been seen on both stages as Marcy Park in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” Frau Gloop ” Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory” Myra Marlowe in ” A Bad Year For Tomatoes” Alice Bieneke in ” The Addams Family Musical” and most recently she directed “The Night Of January 16th” She hopes you all enjoy “Chicago”. To the cast, crew and orchestra- “Break a leg.” Michelle
Chad Stemm (Amos Hart) – Native of Zanesville, he is married and has seven children.  Chad has enjoyed many years of music dating back before he studied Music Education at The Ohio State University. Yes, he was in the marching band and no, he did not dot the “i”. He has enjoyed being part of musicals locally for the last 5 years and being part of this cast is no exception. There are wonderful musicians, singers and actors/actresses in this area. Chad is currently the President of The Zanesville Memorial Concert Band and invites you to our free summer concerts. Dates can be found at  He sincerely hopes you enjoy our performance of Chicago.

Philip Sakal (Court Clerk) – Phil was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. What brought him to Zanesville you might ask? Well you can see him each weekday morning on Sunrise or each weekday afternoon during Live at Noon on WHIZ-TV.This will be Phil’s second production at Zanesville Community Theatre. He was previously in Murder on the Nile. He was also very involved in his high school’s drama club. While in high school he performed in Les Miserables, Ragtime, Miracle on 34th Street, and played guitar in Godspell. Phil was also involved back stage and helped build sets for It’s a Wonderful Life, M*A*S*H, and Little Shop of Horrors. He was the Audio Manager for M*A*S*H.

Phil is very excited to be performing and returning to the ZCT stage in Chicago. He has enjoyed all of the rehearsals, set construction and of course all of the shenanigans with his fellow cast members. Thank you for supporting the local arts and enjoy the show!

William Harris (Judge) – 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.

William has appeared in two ZCT productions: Young Frankenstein (2013) and 9-5 (2014).

Jordan Coots (Sergeant Fogarty) – I’m James Jordan Coots, I am new to the ZCT family and I’m so excited to join such an amazing group of people that have welcomed me with open arms! I haven’t been in the theater for a while my last experiences were in high school musicals where I enjoyed the principal part of George in “School House Rock Live!”

Professionally I am an Occupational Therapy Assistant and the Rehabilitation Director at Zanesville Health and Rehabilitation owned and operated by Greystone Health!

Philip Palmer (Aaron) – I am blessed to be part of the Zanesville Community Theatre. I am excited to be a part of a great cast for Chicago. Most recently, I appeared as ‘Bill’ in The Ransom of Red Chief, and at the end of last season had the opportunity to co- direct my first show A Bad Year for Tomatoes. I truly love the “family” feeling I get just being around everyone involved in this production and with everyone involved with ZCT.

In my other life, I am a Program Supervisor at Mount Aloysius, Inc. in New Lexington, Ohio. I have been on the Board of Directors of ZCT for the last 4 and 1/2 years and recently served as Vice-President. I am married to my lovely wife, Angel, who is the Producer and Stage Manager for this show and am blessed to have a great family. I want to thank you for supporting the arts and for coming to see Chicago

Kevin McCarthy (Martin Harrison) – I began this hobby called community theater with my wife, Dee, in 1992 in this very theater’s production of “Oliver,” under the direction of the legendary Alice Mauk. Over the 22 years since, I have performed many different roles in a multitude of shows meeting a mob of characters who also like creating the old razzle dazzle on stage. This cast and crew is no exception, yet is an exceptional group to play with these past two months. Thanks to all of them for the camaraderie and new friendships. And thanks to YOU, dear Audience, for supporting community theater (we simply cannot do it alone) and traveling with us to the roaring 1920s & “Chicago!”
Michael Willingham (Harry) First I’m not an actor I’m actually a dance choreographer from inkster, Michigan that loves trying new things to better my craft. Also i have been dying inside to perform on stage ever since i started dancing. After graduating broadcasting school and working at the local radio station i chose to focus more being in front of the camera instead of behind the scenes. Now i teach classes in Cambridge, Ohio at the YMCA and  at healthy u. Last but not least thank you for Eric for casting me in this great musical.
Scott Robison (Fred Casely) – Scott is glad to be in Chicago. He’s no stranger to ZCT’s stage having performed in ” A Bad Year For Tomatoes” as Piney and several other musicals. He’s also involved with shows at The Renner Theater here in Zanesville. Guess you could say he would die for his art.
Kristen Blodgett (Mona) is thrilled to be a part of the Chicago cast! I have been singing and acting since I was young and have been in various productions! Credits: Rent (ensemble), Beauty and the Beast (Mrs.Potts), Annie Get Your Gun (Annie Oakley), and Grease (Frenchy). I want to thank the cast of Chicago for this awesome opportunity and my family for being so supportive!
Allison Kreis (Go to Hell Kitty) – Allison is new to Zanesville Community Theater.  This is her first musical with this production group.  Originally from Mount Vernon, Allison attended Ohio State and Muskingum University for English.  She is a 12th grade English teacher at Morgan High School but lives here in Zanesville.   This spring she is looking forward to watching her students graduate in a few weeks and helping them ship off to college.
Sarah Gantzer (Annie) – Theater holds a very special place in Sarah’s heart, and she loves being a part of this beautiful theater family! Each adventure on stage is a wonderful opportunity to share the stage with amazing people, and Chicago is a wonderfully fun show! Sarah has enjoyed playing Annie, one of the Six Merry Murderesses, and has loved singing and dancing with this cast. She has had the immense pleasure to enjoy many fabulously fun roles onstage, including Nancy Lee Faulker in Night of January 16th, Rapunzel in Into the Woods, Cookie Cusack in Rumors, Marian the Librarian in The Music Man, Gerda Christow in The Hollow, and Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible. She has also had fabulous experiences directing shows like Alice in Wonderland Jr, The Little Mermaid Jr., Puzzle Pieces and currently Oklahoma at ZHS, which opens in May, as well as 13 the Musical, which opens at ZCT in June. Sarah teaches 1st grade here in Zanesville. She also enjoys teaching Chorus and Choreography at Movement on Main, and is the Theater Advisor for Zanesville High School. Sarah is a mom of 3, and is in real-life the wife to THE Billy Flynn, Jared Gantzer. She thanks you so much for supporting the arts in our community!
Rachel Smith (June) is thrilled to part of the Chicago cast! I have been active in various plays/musicals since I was in high school. Credits : Rent (ensemble), Wizard or Oz (Dorothy). I want to thank all of the cast members for making this production such an awesome experience!
Cary Blake Underwood (Hunyak) – Cary grew up with the theater. She got her first major role when she was seven and played Lucy in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Since then, Cary has performed in several other productions including Annie, Oliver, Singing in the Rain, Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, A Little Princess, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Hollow, Into the Woods, and Murder on the Nile.. Cary graduated from Bishop Rosecrans High School in 2015. There she was involved in choir and drama club. She attends Ohio University-Zanesville. In addition to the performing arts, Cary is a black belt in Kenpo. We hope you enjoy the show!
Tiffany Miller (Liz) – Tiffany is excited to return to the stage with ZCT as Liz in another of her favorite shows.  She teaches elementary music in Roseville and has been active for several years with the Zanesville Civic Chorus, but has only recently returned to the stage. After acting throughout high school – favorite roles included Fiona in “Brigadoon” and Eve in “Children of Eden” – most of her time since then has been spent either as director of children’s musicals or as part of the pit orchestra. Chicago has been a welcome excuse to get a bit sassy and take it out on the ones who “had it coming.”

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 as Vice President of the Board of Directors at Zanesville Community Theatre. Eric’s directing credits include: Proof, Spring Awakening, August, Osage County, Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, RENT, Doubt, J.B., Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and The Lion In Winter. On stage, Eric has recently appeared in Murder On The Nile, Into the Woods, The Hollow, The Diary of Anne Frank, Sweeney Todd, Death of A Salesman and The Crucible; just to name a few. Eric is excited and honored that you have decided to join this amazing cast, crew and orchestra for Zanesville Community Theatre’s production of Chicago!

Eric wishes to take this opportunity to thank his wife Janice for her 33 (almost 34!) 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 “striving for excellence against a backdrop of tradition”.

Director’s Notes:

I am so honored that you have chosen to join us for Zanesville Community Theatre’s production of the Tony Award winning musical “Chicago” This musical has been on my “bucket list” of shows to direct for many years. We were very fortunate that we were one recipient of only two licenses granted this year from Samuel French Publishers to perform this show in our area.

In roaring twenties Chicago, chorine Roxie Hart murders a faithless lover and convinces her hapless husband Amos to take the rap…until he finds out he’s been duped and turns on Roxie. Convicted and sent to death row, Roxie and another “Merry Murderess” Velma Kelly, vie for the spotlight and the headlines, ultimately joining forces in search of the “American Dream”: fame, fortune and acquittal. This sharp edged satire features a dazzling score that sparked immortal staging by Bob Fosse. The American dream and Bob Fosse, how can you go wrong!! The roaring twenties is probably my most favorite era in American history and this show combines all of the excitement of that time period in one amazing show.

I am so thankful for the many talented persons involved in this show and I am grateful that my partners in crime share my vision for this show. Thank you Tom, Laurel and Janice, I couldn’t do this without you! (nor would I want to!) I am so blessed!

I owe a huge “Thank You” to the cast, crew, and musicians of this show!  It is with a sincere heart that I say this.  Not often do you find a group of talented individuals both on the stage and behind the scenes that share one common passion for becoming a true ensemble to tell a story as passionately as this one.
Enjoy the show and always “give em the old razzle dazzle”!

Janice Blake (Co-Producer) – Janice has been involved with many shows over the years at ZCT. Janice is often working behind the scenes in the roles of Producer, Assistant Stage Manager, Properties, Set Construction and Set Artistry. On a rare occasion you may see her on stage. Her biggest job is trying to keep her Director husband Eric in line! Sometime it is very interesting when there is a disagreement on a character perspective and how the character should be portrayed. All in all, Janice feels that they are a good team and produce great shows!

Janice wishes to thank you for attending the ZCT production of Chicago and hopes that you enjoy the show and continue to enjoy shows at Zanesville Community Theatre in the future.

Angel Palmer (Co-Producer) – I love the theater…the weeks leading up to the performance, the craziness of tech week, and the joy on the audience’s face as the lights come up. I am honored to have been able to be a small part of this amazing show and, as much as I have loved seeing the progression, I know you will enjoy the final product! Thank you for coming and for supporting the arts!


Call the Box Office at 740.455.6487 to reserve or order on-line
Buy Tickets Now