Lend Me a Tenor
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Live on stage:
Feb. 4-13

Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.
Saturday at 2 p.m.
$23 for Thursday evenings and Saturday matinees
$25 for Friday and Saturday evenings

“Non stop laughter.” – Variety

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On a historic night at the Cleveland Opera Company, world-famous tenor Tito Morelli is to perform in Otello. Through a series of mishaps, Tito receives a double dose of tranquilizers, causing the house manager to believe he is dead and setting off a chain reaction of slapstick and mistaken identity. THE FUNNIEST FARCE WRITTEN!

Winner! 3 Tony Awards and 4 Drama Desk Awards
Nominee! 2010 Tony Award, Best Revival of a Play

“An accelerating snowball of laughter, Lend Me A Tenor has the class and charm of a Kaufman and Hart comedy plus all the door-slamming hilarity of a Marx Brothers’ classic like Room Service.” – Jim Helsinger, PA Shakespeare Festival

Lend Me A Tenor is set in September 1934. Saunders, the general manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, is primed to welcome world famous, Tito Morelli, Il Stupendo, the greatest tenor of his generation, to appear for one night only as Otello. The star arrives late and, through a hilarious series of mishaps, is given a double dose of tranquilizers and passes out. His pulse is so low that Saunders and his assistant Max believe he’s dead. In a frantic attempt to salvage the evening, Saunders persuades Max to get into Morelli’s Otello costume and fool the audience into thinking he’s Il Stupendo. That’s one the hilarity begins! A sensation on Broadway and in London’s West End, this madcap, screwball comedy is guaranteed to leave audiences teary-eyed with laughter.

“Ken Ludwig’s 1989 Tony-winning comedy is one of only two classic farces by a living playwright, the other being Michael Frayn’s frenetic Noises Off – New York Daily News

“A furiously paced comedy with more than a touch of the Marx brothers… A marvelous combination of wonderful farcical moments and funny lines.” – Time Out New York

“Fills the theatre with the sound of laughter.” – The Sunday Express, London

“It’s hilarious… The funniest show on Broadway.” – WNEW

“Non stop laughter.” – Variety

“Uproarious! Hysterical!” – USA Today

“A rib tickling comedy.” – The New York Post

“Screamingly funny!” – CBS Radio

Creative Team

Director – Kathryn Page Hauptman
Production Stage Manager – Michael Maynard
Set Design – Ben Juhnke
Costume Design – Kathryn Page Hauptman
Lighting Design – Sean Roberson
Sound Design – Adama Akers
Property Design – Aaron Profit

Cast

Max – John Keckeisen
Maggie – Shanna Berry
Saunders – Mark Mannette
Tito Merelli – Hugo Castillo
Maria Merelli – Cynthia Atchison
Julia – Charleen Ayers
Diana – Chelsey Moore
The Bellhop – Ryan Ehresman

Creative Team

KATHRYN PAGE HAUPTMAN (Producing Artistic Director and Costume Designer) is a graduate of Wichita State University with a B.A. in Speech and Theatre plus 30 hours towards a Masters. A veteran of Wichita theatre, she brings forty years of experience as director, actor, producer and costume designer to The Forum Theatre, where she holds the position of Producing Artistic Director. She was the founder of Center Theatre at Wichita Center for the Arts where she produced the Regional Premiere of Kabuki Medea with world renowned Japanese director/creator Shozo Sato; the American Premiere of Children of Eden with Tony Award writing composer Stephen Schwartz and the World Premiere of Jane Eyre, with Tony Award winning director John Caird, which subsequently went on to Broadway and was nominated for several Tony Awards. As the co-founder and Artistic Director of Stage One, she produced multiple World, American and Regional Premieres including a Wichita favorite Jungle Man! and many, many more. At The Forum Theatre she has directed the World Premiere of A Christmas Carol, Cabaret, and Nunsense. She is the recipient of the Mary Jane Teall Life Time Achievement Award and the Wichita State University Outstanding Alumni Award.

AARON PROFIT (Property Designer) has appeared on the Forum stage in our first season production of Noises Off and second season production of The Full Monty. He has appeared in roles in productions of Damn Yankees, Anything Goes, and Lilies of the Field. He has worked on Bat Boy, Phantom of the Opera, Superman, Lost Boys, and many more. Here at The Wichita Forum Theater, he has done props for A Christmas Carol, Give ‘Em Hell Harry, Cabaret, Noises Off, Nunsense, One Man Two Guvnors, Man of La Mancha and helped with properties for Hello, Dolly! He was awarded the 2014 Mary Jane Teall Award for props of the year. He was a student of the Butler Community College Theatre Department (where he received the 2004 & 2005 Greg Bales Award). He has appeared in local commercials. Aaron is a barber at Franklins Barber and beauty salon in College Hill and owns his own events business. Aaron is pleased to work with a great director, cast and to be a part of The Forum family.

BEN JUHNKE (Set Designer) has worked for years in and around the Wichita theatre community, after graduating from Wichita State University with a degree in Technical Theatre Design. Currently, Ben is employed as the Technical Director for Newman University and works for Kent AV as one of the AV Consultants for INTRUST Bank Arena. You might recognize Ben from his years with Music Theatre of Wichita or from his work with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. In the community Ben has designed for Wichita Community Theatre, Friends University, The Guild Hall Players, Southwestern College, Wichita State University, Wichita Center for the Arts and Stage One Productions. Ben is also a member of I.A.T.S.E. Local 190, working on major touring productions for every type of performance.

LEVI HILLMAN (Technical Director and Head Carpenter) is a graduate of Southwestern College and has been The Forum Theatre’s Tech Director/Head Carpetner for the past four years. Prior to that he worked in California at Mattel Toys, building commercial and trade show sets, plus performing stand up comedy in Los Angeles and Missouri. He has also worked as set carpenter for the Wichita Center For The Arts. By day, he is an employee of Chance Manufacturing but also pursues his own artistic creations, designing and building reclaimed wood furniture and accessories.

Cast

john-webJOHN KECKEISEN (Max) is beyond excited to be back performing in Wichita! John graduated with a BFA in Theatre-Performance from Wichita State and was last seen at the Forum as Cliff in Cabaret. Regional credits: Boeing Boeing (Off-Broadway Palm – FL), Next to Normal (Redhouse Art Center – NY), Hairspray (Mill Mountain Theatre – VA), White Christmas (Enid Symphony Orchestra), Seminar (Wichita Center for the Arts), The Underpants (Mary Jane Teall Award – Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy), Legally Blonde, Singin’ in the Rain, 9 to 5 (MJT nom.), Fiddler on the Roof, Sunset Boulevard, Finian’s Rainbow (MJT nom.), The Music Man (MTWichita); Leading Ladies (Black Hills Playhouse – SD). Special thanks to Kathy for inviting me back to play, and to Tom Frye for putting up with me for the past several weeks! For Moogi, Dad, Katie, and Allison.

shanna-webSHANNA BERRY (Maggie) recently relocated to Wichita from Chicago, where she received accolades from critics for her portrayal as the virginal Janet Weiss in the cult classic, Rocky Horror Picture Show; as well as her principle role as Ms Lemon in the original Murder Mystery Musical, “H.I.N.T.”. There she received training in Improvisational Comedy from Second City instructors while performing weekly in a Live Late Night Talk Show with pH Productions. She was featured in local commercials in 2015, airing during The Voice and Saturday Night Live. Shanna also recently completed work as principle actress in the Independent Feature Film entitled “Mount Hopeless”, hitting film festivals throughout 2016.

mark-web MARK MANNETTE (Saunders) received his MFA in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance from Mary Baldwin College in partnership with the American Shakespeare Center. While in Staunton he performed with ASC’s professional resident company and directed productions at the Blackfriars Playhouse. A member of Actor’s Equity since 1998, Mark has acted in over one hundred and fifty plays, playing such roles as Leontes in A Winter’s Tale and Oscar in The Odd Couple. He has directed plays in several states and founded theatre companies in Maine, Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina. He has had the good fortune to study acting with Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Company, Richard Iglewski of the Guthrie, and Phoebe Brand, a member of the legendary Group Theatre. Previously for the Forum, he appeared as Charlie in One Man Two Guvnors and directed Deathtrap and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Mark is currently the Director of Theatre at Newman University where he is directing a production of A Man for All Seasons this March.

Hhugo-webUGO CASTILLO (Tito Merelli) Born in Mexico, from San Antonio, Texas, Hugo moved to Wichita to study opera theatre & voice performance at WSU. Hugo is an up an coming singer for the Wichita Grand Opera (a REAL opera singer!) where he performs regularly as well as being a production assistant. Hugo has also performed with Stage One, Crown Uptown, Wichita Community Theater as well as singing in church. Hugo also loves singing Latin, Mariachi and International music. (Very excited [happy] to reunite with Kathy, Charlene & Cynthia)

cynthia-webCYNTHIA “CIANNA” ATCHISON GUILLEN (Maria) Happy New Year!! Cianna is thrilled to be working with with such a talented cast! She most recently appeared last fall in the Halloween Show at Mosley Street Melodrama. Favorite roles include: Bette Davis/Christmas with the Crawford’s/ Cabaret Old Town, Electra/Gypsy/MTWichita, Audrey/Little Cookie Shop of Horrors/Mosley Street Melodrama, Jeanette/Last of the Red Hot Lovers/Mayfair Theatre, London, UK. She can often be spotted crooning around town with TEZ or Fly By Night.Weekdays, you can find her cordially answering the phones at her day job, AccuWeather E.S. Cheers to Kathy and cast/crew! Love to family, novio and my furry babies, Kloie, Louie and Lalolito. I dedicate tonight’s performance in memory of my parents! I hope you enjoy the show.

charleen-webCHARLEEN AYERS (Julia) is an accomplished performer in musical theatre, opera and concert venues. Her career highlights have included solo appearances with over 80 national and regional symphony orchestras including the Boston Pops, the National Symphony, the Wichita Symphony and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. She has been a frequent leading lady with Music Theatre Wichita where her many leading roles have included; Abigail Adams in 1776 with Wayne Bryan, Sarah Brown in GUYS AND DOLLS, Lily in THE SECRET GARDEN and the title role in THE MERRY WIDOW. She has also performed frequently with Opera Kansas, the Wichita Grand Opera, Stage One Productions and the Wichita Center for the Arts. Ms. Ayers was a national finalist in the NATSAA vocal competition and was a five time district winner in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions Her vocal training includes William Jewell College, The Conservatory of Music Kansas City, three vocal fellowships at the Tanglewood Music Center (summer home of the Boston Symphony), and the Masters of Music degree in vocal performance from Yale University. Charleen is so excited to be working again with her long time friend Kathy Page Hauptman and this cast of talented performers.

chelsey-webCHELSEY MOORE (Diana) is excited to be back and apart of the Forum’s Lend Me a Tenor. She was last seen in the Forum’s production of Little Shop of Horrors as RonetteSome other favorite roles include Hamlet (Hamlet), Mary Magdalene (Jesus Christ Superstar), Jane (Jane Eyre), and Joanna (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner). Chelsey would like to give a big thanks to Kathy for the opportunities she’s given her this past year, Matt for laying the foundation, and her friends and family for their support and encouragement. Psalms 139: 23-24.

ryan-webRYAN EHRESMAN (The Bellhop) is thrilled to be back at the Forum where he was last seen in CABARET (2013). He has been performing around the ICT area for the past 8 years with favorite roles including Judas in GODSPELL (Crown Uptown), Miss Industrial Northeast in PAGEANT (Roxy’s), Jack Scott in HSM2 (MTWichita), and Snail in FROG & TOAD (Signature Theatre). Thank you to Kathy for the opportunity and to Chelsey for her love and support. Micah 6:8. www.ryanehresman.com