Jenna Berloni (Sister Helena/Party Guest) is overjoyed to be returning to Ivoryton for the eighth (!) time! Jenna was last seen onstage at Ivoryton in THE BELLS OF DUBLIN I, II, and III as Bridie Bell. Other favorite roles include Ariel in THE LITTLE MERMAID, Louis von Trapp in THE SOUND OF MUSIC, and Jane alternate in JIM HENSON’S EMMETT OTTER. You may have seen Jenna in Season 4 of THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL, and in the 2018 feature film BEN IS BACK starring Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges. Jenna is also Project Coordinator at Eastern Connecticut Ballet in East Lyme. Thank you to Jacqui for this opportunity to return to the stage!
Amy Buckley (Sister Berthe) has graced opera and musical theater stages throughout the US and Europe and is delighted to return to the Ivoryton Playhouse this summer! A few of Amy’s favorite roles include Adele (Die Fledermaus), Despina (Così fan Tutte), La Fée (Cendrillon), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Marian (The Music Man), Mrs. Banks (Mary Poppins) an Mary Sunshine (Chicago). Amy received her BA from the University of Connecticut, where her study afforded her the opportunity to train at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. She then went on to receive a Master of Music from The Juilliard School. Amy resides in Connecticut where she has a private voice studio and is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). Amy is thrilled to share the stage with her daughter, Viviana Velasquez, who is playing the role of Marta!
Katarina Bromkamp (Sister Sophia/Ursula) is thrilled to make her regional theater debut. Born and raised in Connecticut, she began acting in community theater productions at 9. She graduated summa cum laude in May from the College of William & Mary, where she majored in History and minored in Spanish. Prior credits include Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Ella in Cinderella, and Olive Ostrovsky in Putnam County Spelling Bee.
Ian Christenson (Rolf Gruber) was born in Minnesota and raised in a town with a population of 76. After moving to NYC and graduating from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in 2022, Ian set off on his professional career aboard the Norwegian Bliss in Jersey Boys (Hank) by the original Broadway team, Dodgers Theatricals. Ian most recently returned to the ship as a replacement for Bob Gaudio, one of the legendary Four Seasons. Ian is overcome with joy to be in a production of Sound of Music, the show which drew him to the arts. Ian’s first taste of theatre was of watching his father play Captain Von Trapp in the community musical. Ian fell in love and was forever destined for the stage.
SOCIAL: Instagram: @ian12christenson
Bruce Connelly (Max Detweiler) has performed in Burlesque, Vaudeville, Legitimate Theatre , TV and Movies and is now a published author. “Harvey Duckman Presents”, a British anthology of SciFi, Horror and Fantasy stories has just published his 12th short story, one of which, “The Terror of the Seas”, he rewrote for radio, winning the “Best Audio Program” Award last year by the Foundation for the Alliance of Community Radio. On stage, Bruce has played J.M. Barrie, P.T. Barnum, Max Bialystock, Max Prince, Paddy Bell, Felix Unger, Pseudolus, Willie Clark, Sheridan Whiteside, Uncle Vanya, Murray Burns, Dr. Einstein, Dr.John Watson, Andrew Wyke, Finan McLonergan, Harold Hill, Guildenstern, Trinculo, Bottom, Puck, Feste, Scapino, Roger Sherman, Snoopy, Barkley, Barney Cashman, the Stage Manager, the Man Going Back, the Reverend Crisparkle, the Reverend Mother, the Mule of La Mancha, eight roles in “The Matchmaker”, ten roles in “Greater Tuna”, the Devil, Adam, Jesus, and the man who played God, George Burns.
John Demetre (Franz/Baron Elberfeld) is excited to be involved in his first production with the Ivoryton Playhouse. Some recent credits include Noises Off (Garry/Roger) with The Saybrook Stage Company, Lend Me a Tenor (Bellhop) with Artful Living Productions in Clinton, and Jesus Christ Superstar (Pilate) with The Downtown Cabaret Theater in Bridgeport. John resides in East Haven and works as a real estate attorney in Hamden.
Rebecca Ellis (Frau Schmidt/Nun) is thrilled to be back at Ivoryton Playhouse after her appearance last season in The Great Gatsby as Mrs. McKee. Regional credits include Company (Madison Lyric Stage), Sweat (Capital Classics Theatre Company), Masks and the Monster (The Other Voice), Birthday Boy (Dissecting Civil Rights Play Festival), Gross Domestic Product (HartBeat Ensemble) and the world premiere of A Memory of Truth (Madison Lyric Stage). Thank you to Jacqui for the opportunity to perform in this classic musical. Lots of love to Brian and Jacob.
Amy Maude Helfer (Sister Margaretta) is thrilled to make her Ivoryton mainstage debut! Operetta/musical theatre: Petra (Night Music) at Union Avenue Opera, Phoebe (Yeomen) at Winter Opera St. Louis, Mrs. Lovett (Sweeney Todd). NY G&S Players: Iolanthe, Phoebe, Tessa (Gondoliers), over 140 performances as Pitti-Sing (Mikado) and Kate (Pirates). Opera/oratorio: Rosina (Barber) with New York City Opera, Carmen at Narnia Festival, Dinah (Trouble in Tahiti) at Boheme OperaNJ, Vera (Consul) and Nancy (Albert Herring) at Bronx Opera, Cherubino at Dayton Opera, Cenerentola at Quisisana, Hansel with Boston Lyric Opera, alto soloist (Haydn Lord Nelson Mass; Stroope American Rhapsody; US premiere of Auerbach’s Vessels of Light with NYC Opera) at Carnegie Hall. Local credits: Witch (H&G), Berta (Barber), Mercédès, and Zulma (upcoming L’italiana) at Opera Theater of CT, soloist with Brief Cameo Productions, Ivoryton Playhouse on the Shore, Petra at Madison Lyric Stage. Lotte Lenya Competition semifinalist. Proud member of AEA. Cheshire CT native. For Mom. SOCIAL: www.amymaudehelfer.com
Brian Michael Henry (Herr Zeller, Von Trapp U/S) is thrilled to be returning to the beautiful Ivoryton Playhouse, where he has been seen in A Christmas Survival Guide (2021) and South Pacific (2015)! Other recent credits include Nick Massi in Jersey Boys (Capital Repertory Theatre), Million Dollar Quartet (Ogunquit Playhouse), Million Dollar Quartet Christmas (Bucks County Playhouse) and The Baker’s Wife (Theater Row, NYC). As a composer, Brian’s incidental music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream was heard last summer at Sun Valley Shakespeare Festival. His albums of original music are available anywhere you can stream music. Brian is a graduate of Penn State University (bachelor’s of music) and Manhattan School of Music (master’s of music). SOCIAL: IG: @brianmhenry30
Adrianne Hick (Maria Rainer) was seen at Ivoryton Playhouse as Nellie in South Pacific and is thrilled to return to one of her favorite places with some of her favorite people! Recent credits include Mother, Ragtime and Alice, Bright Star (Riverside Center – Broadway World Award), Anna, The King & I (Interlakes Theatre), Sister Margaretta, The Sound of Music (Asolo Rep) and Alison, Fun Home (American Stage – Tampa Bay Theatre Award). Other credits include the B’Way National Tour of Les Miserables (Fantine U/S/Factory Girl); International Tour of Jekyll & Hyde (Lady Beaconsfield); South Pacific, Nellie (The Wick Theatre); Company, April (Lyric Stage Co.); Bright Star, Alice; Nice Work If You Can Get It, Billie; Joseph… Narrator (Surflight Theatre);Through the Invisible Door (MTL), and in NYC in The Laramie Project and others. SOCIAL: www.adriannehick.com
David Pittsinger (Captain Georg Von Trapp) is renowned as a stage performer of the greatest distinction for his dramatic portrayals in the world’s major opera and concert houses and on Broadway. Ivoryton appearances include: Emile in South Pacific, Cervantes/Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha and El Gallo in The Fantasticks earning him his third Connecticut Critics Circle Nomination for Outstanding Leading Actor in a Musical. Of his Helen Hayes Award nomination for his portrayal of Emile at The Kennedy Center The Washington Times Wrote: “…His Emile is perhaps the definitive interpretation of this role in our time.” Broadway credits include: Emile in South Pacific (LCT, and Nat’l Tour) Sweeney Todd broadway revival, Cervantes/Don Quixote in Utah Opera’s Man of La Mancha, King Arthur in Camelot (Glimmerglass Festival), and Fred Graham in Kiss Me Kate (The Chatelet in Paris) Pittsinger holds an MM from Yale and a BM from University of Connecticut where he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award.
Beverley J. Ricci (Elsa Schraeder) Though Somers CT is now her home, Beverley worked at the Playhouse for many years and is delighted to be back on stage in her first summer musical. She is looking forward to reconnecting with old friends, and subscribers. Other roles here include: Elaine in The Last of The Red Hot Lovers, Isobel in The Kitchen Witches, Truvy in Steel Magnolias, Charity Barnum in Barnum, Chris in Calendar Girls and Daria Chase in The Game’s Afoot!
Nathan Russo (Admiral Von Schreiber) is thrilled to take the Ivoryton Playhouse stage once again! He has appeared in several Playhouse productions, namely Mamma Mia!, Grease, and Oliver!, as well as Scrambled Eggs as part of the 2022 IPH Women Playwrights Festival. Other local credits include Angels in America (Louis) with Madison Lyric Stage, plus in concert performances of Sunday…with George (Soldier/Alex) and Ragtime (Charles S. Whitman) with Brief Cameo Productions on the IPH stage. An Essex local, Nathan is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, where he performed with the vocal ensembles Chicago Vox (jazz) and Breakaway (a cappella) directed by the late, great Martez Rucker. Much love to my family, friends, teachers, peers, and colleagues for their tireless support and guidance.”
Patricia Schuman (The Mother Abbess) has appeared on the world’s leading opera and concert stages, including The Metropolitan Opera, Teatro all Scala, Vienna State Opera, and The Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, among others. She can be heard on recording in Handel’s Messiah, Florencia en el Amazonas, Tancredi, Bertoni’s Veni Creator, Philip Glass’ Einstein on the Beach and Ricky Gordon’s The House without a Christmas Tree, and on DVD in the title role of L’incoronazione di Poppea by Monteverdi. Recently appearing in world premieres, including Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves, Jeanine Tesori’s Blizzard in Marblehead Neck, John Musto’s Later the Same Evening, Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy, Ricky Ian Gordon’s The House Without A Christmas Tree, Schuman has expanded her repertoire to musical theater, receiving a Critics Circle nomination for Bloody Mary in South Pacific. She is thrilled to make her role debut as Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music at Ivoryton Playhouse.
VON TRAPP CHILDREN
Mia Biondi (Marta von Trapp) is 9 and a half years old, 3rd grader going on 4th grader, loves all things dance, music, and theater as well as all her friends, little brother Max, and pup Boomer. She is a competitive dancer, sings & plays the piano, rocks her musical theater classes, and has recently landed her aerial. With fierce determination, she is proud of her many accomplishments and excited to add performing at Ivoryton Playhouse to her list.
Kaiya Colquhoun (Louisa von Trapp) is thrilled to be making another appearance on stage at Ivoryton Playhouse and to reunite with some of her fellow cast mates from South Pacific! She will be an incoming freshman at Temple University for Musical Theater in the fall. Thank you so much mom, dad, Keegan and the rest of her family and friends for always supporting her! Love you guys!
Taya Diggs (Brigitta von Trapp) is from North Haven, CT. Taya has performed in School of Rock (Shonelle) at the Tuacahn Amphitheater in Ivins, UT and most recently in the Broadway National Tour of Anastasia (Little Anastasia).
Gavin Holwitt (Kurt von Trapp) is so grateful to get to perform with this amazing group of talented actors, and would like to thank Jacqui and Cesca for giving him this opportunity. He is especially grateful to Kristin Burrows and all of his teachers at BroadwayKids&Company for his training, as well as his family for all of their love and support!
Lily Lawrence (Gretle von Trapp) is 9 years old and is honored to be playing the role of Gretl in this incredible production. When she is not on stage, Lily enjoys dancing, writing songs with her best friend, horseback riding, surfing, and being a member of the student council.
Bryn E. Martin (Liesl Von Trapp) is thrilled to be making her Ivoryton Playhouse debut in The Sound of Music- a show very special to her heart! Bryn is an east coast based performer, her favorite credits include Beth March (Little Women), Cinderella (Into the Woods), Gingy (Shrek) & Cecily (The Importance of Being Earnest). Special thanks to her coaches, family, and the entire team at Ivoryton Playhouse for making this dream come true! SOCIAL: www.brynelizabethmartin.com
Lily McIntyre (Liesl von Trapp) is overjoyed to make her Ivoryton debut in her favorite musical! Lily is an award-winning singer and actor based in Boston, where she sang in her college a cappella group, the Tufts Jackson Jills (solos available to stream: “Flesh & Bone”, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”, “Still in Love”). Highlights: Iphigeniain Aulis (Clytemnestra), Crimes of the Heart (Babe), The Rimers of Eldritch (Eva), Once Upon a Mattress (Winnifred). Thank you to the amazing cast, crew, and team at Ivoryton for this incredible opportunity! SOCIAL: Instagram: @yourfriendlily
Alisdair McLaren (Friedrich von Trapp) is thrilled to make his Ivoryton Playhosue debut as a member of the Von Trapp family. He is from West Hartford, CT, and has previously appeared in A Christmas Carol at the Hartford Stage in Hartford, CT.
Emma Needleman (Gretl von Trapp) is 7 years old. She is incredibly excited to be playing the role of Gretl in her hometown theater. When she is not on stage she is an avid dancer and loves being outdoors. She is an American and a Canadian citizen and the oldest of four. She kartwheels into every room and leaves everyone’s day a little brighter.
Parker Grey Nelson (Kurt von Trapp) is thrilled to make his Ivoryton Playhouse debut! Recent theater work includes Nathan in Little Theater of Manchester’s The Full Monty, Tiny Tim in Wadsworth Mansion’s A Christmas Carol, and Scarecrow in AlphaNYC’s Fairy Tale Courtroom. He has done films with Discovery Channel, Emerson College, Purchase College, Wesleyan University, Magic Society Productions and commercials with TypoDuctions. Parker is 11 years old and lives in Colchester, CT, and is represented by Connecticut Kids Talent Management.
Tess Santarsiero (Brigitta von Trapp) is thrilled to return to the Ivoryton! She performed in the Ivoryton Playhouse production of A Christmas Carol in Concert (Tiny Tim), Billy Elliott (Ballet Girl) at the Goodspeed Opera House, and most recently in the feature film She Came From the Woods (Martha).
Viviana Velasquez (Marta von Trapp) is a lover of all things music, theater and dance, Viviana is thrilled to make her Ivoryton Playhouse debut this summer and share the stage with her Mom, Amy Buckley (Sister Berthe)! When not creating art she can be found mountain biking, hanging with her dog Chester or deep in a graphic novel. Viviana resides in Connecticut and will attend fourth grade in the fall. Viviana would like to thank her Mom for introducing her to theater via the Ivoryton Playhouse and dedicate her performances to Guía, Grandpa & Papá.
Gabrielle Walker (Louisa von Trapp) is delighted to be making her Ivoryton Playhouse debut! She attends the Educational Center of the Arts Theatre Department, Westbrook High School, dances competitively, and has been in over 25 productions. Gabrielle would like to give a special thanks to Francesca Webster for kick-starting her love for acting at the age of five.
Silas Webb (Friedrich von Trapp) is incredibly grateful to be making his debut at Ivoryton Playhouse. He is a rising senior at Hopkins School, where he most recently performed in Macbeth (Macbeth) and Mamma Mia! (Bill Austin).
Director: Jacqueline Hubbard
Choreographer: Francesca Webster
Musical Director: Mark Ceppetelli
Stage Manager: James Joseph Clark*
Assistant Stage Manager: Rahxas Colite*
Scenic Designer: Cully Long
Lighting Designer: Marcus Abbott
Costume Designer: Kate Bunce
* member of Actors Equity
Check back here for photos and video clips!
THE SOUND OF MUSIC is presented in partnership with Prive Swiss Wellness. Thank you for supporting Ivoryton Playhouse.
The Sound of Music
Music by Richard Rodgers, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein
Book by Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse
Directed by Jacqueline Hubbard
Starring David Pittsinger, Adrianne Hick, and Patricia Schuman
Presented in partnership with Prive Swiss Wellness
The hills of the Shoreline are alive with the sound of music once again as the beloved musical, “The Sound of Music,” makes its triumphant return to the Ivoryton stage. Opening on June 29th, this timeless production promises to captivate audiences with its heartwarming story and unforgettable melodies. The Playhouse is proud to announce the casting of renowned actor and singer David Pittsinger in the iconic role of Captain von Trapp.
Pittsinger, hailed as one of his generation’s finest performers, will bring his extraordinary talent and stage presence to this highly anticipated production. With his powerful voice and charisma, Pittsinger is set to deliver a remarkable portrayal of the authoritative yet vulnerable Captain von Trapp. Adrianne Hick*, starring as Maria, was last seen at the Playhouse as Nellie in South Pacific. In previous productions, she’s been called ‘stunning,’ ‘riveting,’ and ‘absolutely flawless’ by the press.
“The Sound of Music” tells the enchanting story of Maria Rainer (Hick), a young and spirited governess who transforms the lives of the Von Trapp family through the power of music and love. Set against the backdrop of pre-World War II Austria, this timeless tale is filled with iconic songs such as “Do-Re-Mi,” “My Favorite Things,” and the unforgettable title song, “The Sound of Music.”
The production boasts a stellar creative team, including award-winning director Jacqueline Hubbard, Francesca Webster as choreographer, and musical director Mark Cappetelli. Kate Bunce designed the costumes, Cully Long the set, and Marcus Abbott the lights. With their expertise and vision, they have crafted a production that honors the spirit of the original Broadway show while offering a fresh and engaging experience for audiences of all ages.
In addition to David Pittsinger*, the cast features a talented ensemble of performers who bring the beloved characters to life, including the highly acclaimed soprano Patricia Schuman* in the role of The Mother Abbess and a host of talented local kids to play the adorable von Trapp children. Joining them are audience favorites Bruce Connelly* as Max and Beverley [Taylor] Ricci as the Baroness. The entire cast is dedicated to delivering a truly memorable theatrical experience.
“We are thrilled to bring ‘The Sound of Music’ back to Ivoryton,” said Executive Producer Ben Hope. “This professional production captures the essence of the timeless story, and the combination of David Pittsinger and Adrianne Hick will set a new standard for our audiences. We can’t wait for audiences to experience the magic of this beloved musical once again.”
“The Sound of Music” will open on June 30th and runs through July 30th. There will be two preview performances on Thursday, June 29th. Tickets are available at the box office and online at Ivorytonplayhouse.org. Don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity to relive the magic and rediscover the joy of “The Sound of Music” at Ivoryton Playhouse.
Looking for something to do? Ivoryton Playhouse has been voted best place to see live theatre by readers of The Shoreline Times for three years in a row. Come to Essex and visit our historic, professional theatre – a Connecticut treasure!