Monthly Archives: May 2014

Meet the Cast of “Grey Gardens” Opening June 5th

(In alphabetical order)

Elizabeth Foster (Jacqueline “Jackie” Bouvieris thrilled to be making her Actors’ Theatre debut in this production of Grey Gardens! She most recently appeared as Little Cosette/Little Eponine in Grand Rapids Civic Theatre’s production of Les Miserables.  She has also performed in The Sound of Music (Marta Von Trapp), A Christmas Carol (Fan), and The Wizard of Oz (Munchkin) at Civic Theatre.  Elizabeth dances with Creative Arts Repertoire Ensemble and takes piano lessons with Dr. Helen Marlais.   She has also appeared in several movies, including Our Beautiful Secret and A Dog for Christmas.  Elizabeth is currently in 5th grade.  She would like to thank her family and teachers, especially her sister Emily for helping her learn her harmonies!

Kathy Gibson (Edith Bouvier Beale/”Little” Edie Bealehas performed in every type of venue from classrooms to concert stages. She was The American Traditions Singing Competition silver medalist in Savannah, Georgia and is the recipient of five (5) Grand Awards for Musical Theatre. Favorite roles include Mrs. Lovett (Sweeney Todd), Velma (Chicago), Mama Rose (Gypsy), Eva Peron (Evita) and Fosca (Passion). As a director/choreographer credits includeBeehive, I Love You. You’re Perfect. Now Change., The Drowsy Chaperone, Beauty and the Beast and The Big Bang. Kathy sings with the Motown rock and soul band Sounds Like Fun, the River City Jazz Ensemble (Big Band), and with many regional orchestras. Recordings include The Pink Album, Not since Prom -Sounds Like Fun, I Love A Pianowith Rich Ridenour and Taking a Chance On Love with The River City Jazz Ensemble. Kathy teaches contemporary vocal music for Cornerstone University and Aquinas College as well as privately through The Gibson Voice Studio and The Piano Cottage in Grand Rapids. “Love and thanks to my great gals Emma and Hanna!”

Julie Lauer (Lee Bouvier) is excited to be making her debut at Actors’ Theatre. Julie just completed the fifth grade and enjoys singing and reading. Her theatre credits include performing as the Child Soprano in Cabaret and appearances in Annie Honk (Circle Theatre), Sound of Music as Gretyl (Cornerstone University), and most recently played “the child” in the The Pillowman (Southside Theatre).  She has taken six years of dance at Dance Dimensions and two years of voice lessons at Kohlenberger Voice Studio. Julie would like to thank her mom and dad for all of their love and support. Julie would also like to give a special thanks to Fred and the Actors’ team for giving her this great opportunity.

Allyson Paris  (Young “Little” Edie Beale) is thrilled to be making her Actors’ Theatre debut in Grey Gardens.  Having recently returned to the West Michigan area, her credits include: The Mikado with Lamplighter’s Musical Theatre (CA), Pirates of Penzance with Davis Musical Theatre (CA), Into the Woods at Diamond Head Theatre (HI), Madama Butterfly at Hawaii Opera Theatre, and The Sound of Music at GR Civic Theatre, where she is also an instructor for the School of Theatre Arts.  Allyson holds a BA in theatre performance from Bradley University, and an MFA in Asian Theatre/Directing from the University of Hawaii-Manoa.  “I am deeply grateful to Fred for the chance to be part of this beautiful production, and endlessly thankful to my family for supporting me while I feed my artistic soul.”

Steve Place (J.V. “Major” Bouvier/Norman Vincent Peale) is very excited to be making his debut on the Actors’ Theatre stage. Steve has been pastor at Mosaic Church in Kentwood since 2011. Previous shows in the community (all at GR Civic) include Peter PanAnne of Green GablesAnnieRagtime1776 and Steve portrayed Scrooge in A Christmas Carol and Scrooge. Steve would like to thank his supportive & loving wife Ilse, and is eternally grateful to Chris Carnevale and Allyson Paris for their powers of persuasion.

Lewis Richards (Brooks/Brooks Jr.) is excited to be performing again in musical theatre, after taking time to direct for a few professional dance reviews and Driving Miss Daisy for Jewish Theatre. Some of this favorite community theatre roles have been ‘George Davis’ in Lines: The Lived Experience of Race in Grand Rapids (Actors’ Theatre), ‘Aide Williams’ in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, ‘Cory Maxson’ in Fences, ‘Crooks’ in Of Mice and Men and ‘Danforth’ in I’m Not Rappaport.  Lewis has done children’s theatre and improvisation in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia; and taught theater in Turkey and the Philippines. Lewis danced with the Spring Intensive at the Broadway Dance Center in New York and currently dances professionally with HK Productions. Lewis has choreographed numerous musicals.  Two of his favorites have been Music Man and Seusical the Musical.   He currently teaches Social and Competition Ballroom Dance for Social Dance Studio and is happy to get the opportunity go to Panama Beach and work with Lacey Schwimmer.

Rose Anne Shanksy (Edith Bouvier Beale) considers Actors’ her GR theatre home.  It was where she appeared in Father’s Day(1982), the first play she did in GR after moving to Michigan from Illinois.  That was followed quickly by Fifth of July and many more over the years (including Angels in America, Cripple of Inishman, and A Man of No Importance) up until Beauty Queen of Leenane last summer.  She is grateful to be guided by Fred and Michael, to be in the company of such a talented cast (especially the remarkable Kathy Gibson and dear friend, Neil Trevisan) and dedicated crew, and to be sharing the miles to and from Big Rapids with her pal of 45 years, Michael.

Neil Trevisan (George Gould Strong) was last seen in the Grand Award winning Actors’ Theatre production of August: Osage County. Neil is excited to return to the Actors’ Theatre stage in this production. Past Actors’ Theatre productions include:Kiss of the Spider Woman as Molina, The Rocky Horror Picture Show as Dr. Frank N Furter, Assassins (2005) as Charles Guiteau, Falsettos as Whizzer, Floyd Collins (ensemble), Jeffrey in the title role. Neil was also in the 2006 production of Peter Pan at Civic Theatre as Captain Hook. Neil has also performed multiple roles in productions at Circle Theatre; Most recently as Bert Healy in AnniePerfect WeddingEvitaGypsySecret GardenThe Best Little Whorehouse in TexasThe NerdChess and Ruthless. When not on stage, Neil works as a hairdresser at Nona’s Salon in Eastown.”I am always humbled and grateful for the opportunity to work with Fred Sebulske and Michael Shansky.”

John Vesbit (Joseph Patrick Kennedy,Jr. / Jerry) is performing for the first time with Actors’ Theatre. Previously he worked with Grand Rapids Civic Theatre’s Traveling Troupe as ‘Juan’ in No Dogs Allowed!, and in December of 2013 he received his M.A. in Theatre from Eastern Michigan University where he studied Dramaturgy and Directing, and portrayed ‘Antonio’ in The Merchant of Venice. John would like to thank the cast and crew ofGrey Gardens, and Lauren Hoag for her eternal love and inspiration.


“An experience no passionate theatergoer should miss!”
-The New York Times
“…cannily questions our fascination with and envy of the dynastic rich — and our schadenfreude when they topple from on high”
-The Chicago Tribune
Go to to reserve your seats.



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Opening June 5th – “Grey Gardens”

Grey Gardens, the musicalGrey Gardens Logo
June 5-14, 2014
All Shows Begin at 8:00 pm

Equally hilarious and heartbreaking, Grey Gardens is a musical based on the cult classic documentary of the same name, which explores the true story of Big Edie and Little Edie Bouvier Beale – aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. 

From glamorous beginnings to a penniless, co-dependent existence, Grey Gardens paints an intimate and not unsympathetic portrait of two of the 20th century’s most notorious recluses.

“An experience no passionate theatergoer should miss!
– New York Times

“…cannily questions our fascination with and envy of the dynastic rich — and our schadenfreude when they topple from on high.”
-The Seattle Times

Call (616) 234-3946 for tickets or purchase them online now!

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An Evening in Paris with Circle Theatre

Enjoy Dinner and a Show: Dinner At the Historic Cherie Inn & Don’t Dress For DinnerEvening in Paris

Friday June 13, 2014
~seating for dinner starts at 5:30 pm

**Reservations Required


Balsamic marinated fresh asparagus with Brie cheese and mixed greens

A combination plate of Chicken Cordon Bleu with Bayonne ham and Gruyére cheese and a 2 ounce Beef Tenderloin topped with a burgundy wine sauce served with garlic mashed potatoes and a fresh vegetable.

French silk cheesecake with fresh black berries

Price includes three course dinner and beverage as well as two tickets to Friday June 13 evening’s show @ 7:30 pm (includes tax, but not gratuity)

Circle Theatre Season Ticket holders $70
General Admission $110

… coupons, groupons or discounts for this special event

**For reservations please contact the Circle Theatre Box Office, call us at (616) 456-6656 or order online at

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Coming Up in June: Living on the Edge XI

Desperate Moves Photo 2The following five plays, all written by Michigan playwrights, have been selected for performance June 19- 21, 2014 at 8PM in the GRCC Spectrum Theater Black Box (Room 201):

“Running Away” by G.M. Bud Thompson

Sometimes, when life becomes too much to handle, we think about running away. Sometimes we even try and if we are really lucky, someone tries to stop us. A “role reversal” drama with humor. Inspired by actual events.

“Another Man’s Shoes” by Brad Sytsma

When Dennis, a middle aged family man in the midst of a midlife crisis, finds himself waking from an unexpected nap on a park bench to a stranger strolling about in his shoes, he doesn’t realize that his world is about to get turned upside down. What do you do when an outrageous thief who doesn’t want to steal anything, and seems to know everything about you, offers you life advice while wearing your shoes?

“Skin Deep” by Kristin Andrea Hanratty

A woman who thinks that cosmetic surgery is the answer to her problems must decide how far she is willing to go in her quest for youth.

“Still Healing” by C.T. Mo

A family haunted by the loss of one son, Zak, to a hunting accident, deals with a father’s rejection of his only remaining child, Hank, and a mother’s fight to keep her son close to home.

“Not Your Run of the Mill Ten Minute Zombie Play” by John Thierwechter

This play looks at the zombie phenomenon from the zombie’s point of view; delving into the idea that there are more than one type of zombie, and that they may not be all that happy to actually be zombies. See the trials and tribulations and the desperate moves it actually takes to be a successful zombie!


LIVING ON THE EDGE XI: DESPERATE MOVES runs June 19-21 8PM in the Spectrum Theater Black Box.

Tickets are $10 general admission and can be purchased On-Line or by calling the Box Office at (616) 234-3946.

Tickets will be sold at the door but seating is limited so get your tickets in advance.

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The College Grand Award Nominations are…

Congratulations to all on a wonderful 2013-2014 season! Grand Awards

Best Supporting Actor in a College Productio
David Frazee as Mr. Mushnik, Little Shop of Horrors – Cornerstone
Forest Davis as Laurie, Little Women – Cornerstone
Mike Sali as Earl, Book of Days – Aquinas 
Robbie Ellis as Charles Makin, The Hatpin – GRCC
Connor Manion as Judge Stephens, Cleary, etc., The Hatpin – GRCC

Lead Actor in a College Production
Preston Mulligan as Seymour, Little Shop of Horrors – Cornerstone
Henry Marcusse as Paul, Jump/Cut – GRCC
Robert McFletcher as Dave, Jump/Cut – GRCC
Brandon Alberda as Colonel Melkett, Black Comedy – Cornerstone

Supporting Actress in a College Production
Giovana Barreto as Hector, etc., Nickel & Dimed – Aquinas
Madeline Jones as Isabella, A Sleeping Country – GRCC
Taylor Nefcy as Jessica, Austentatious – Aquinas
Madeline Jones as Clara Makin, The Hatpin – GRC
Nubia Gomez as Harriet, The Hatpin – GRCC

Lead Actress in a College Production
Rachel Varley as Barbara, Nickel & Dimed – Aquinas
Audrey Moore as Audrey, Little Shop of Horrors – Cornerstone
Taylor Nefcy as Ruth, Book of Days – Aquinas
Meeka Postman as Amber, The Hatpin – GRCC

Director of a College Production
Jeralyn Pinsky, Nickel & Dimed – Aquinas
Tom Kaechele, Little Shop of Horrors – Cornerstone
Nancy Wagner, A Sleeping Country – GRCC
Rob Karel, The Hatpin – GRCC

Best College Production
Little Shop of Horrors – Cornerstone
A Sleeping Country – GRCC
Jump/Cut – GRCC
The Hatpin – GRCC

For more information about this year’s Grand Awards (and other anouncements), check out their Facebook page.

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