Illinois Wesleyan
School of Theatre Arts

GIANTGiant

Book by Sybille Pearson, Music and Lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa,  Based on the novel by Edna Ferber  -  Orchestrations by Brude Coughlin and additional orchestrations by Larry Hochman

November 17, 18, 19, 20, 21  @ 8:00PM 

November 22 @ 2:00PM

 

Based on the classic novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edna Ferber, GIANT is a new American musical that spans generations (1920’s-1950’s) in an epic chronicle of the state that is like no place else on earth:  Texas.  Amid a turbulent culture of greed, bigotry and money, a powerful cattleman, his new Virginia bride, their family and friends – not to mention their enemies – embrace and confront the joys and sorrows that loom as large as the state they call home.  Giant received rave reviews for its off-Broadway production at the Public Theatre and nine Drama Desk Award nominations including Outstanding Musical, Music, Lyrics, Book and Orchestrations. This is the first production of Giant after its NYC premiere.

 

 

Cast 

Image of Scott Susong
Scott Susong

Director

Contact: ssusong@iwu.edu

Image of Danny Adams
Danny Adams

as  Jordan “Bick” Benedict

Danny is a junior BFA Music Theatre major from Plymouth, MN. In the Jerome Mirza Theatre in McPherson, Danny appeared in Losing It (dance company member), and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Band Singer/Ensemble), as well as working on Where In The World Is Frank Sparrow? (scenic artist), A Lie Of The Mind (scenic artist), and A Class Act (light hang electrician/spotlight operator). In the EMJK Lab Theatre, Danny served on the lighting and sound crew for Problem Child . “I would like to thank my family and friends for their constant love and support. Thank you for always reminding me to never stop ‘Living the Dream’.”  

Contact: dadams1@iwu.edu

Image of Kelsey Bearman
Kelsey Bearman

 as  Leslie Lynnton Benedict  

Kelsey is a senior BFA Music Theatre major from St. Louis, MO. In the Jerome Mirza Theatre in McPherson, acting credits include Losing It (dancer), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Marisa), The Drowsy Chaperone (ensemble), and A Class Act (ensemble). Other crews include Blown Youth (house manager), As You Like It (usher), A Shayna Maidel (light hang electrician), and 9 to 5 (run crew). In the EMJK Laboratory Theatre, Kelsey served on Float (house manager), Treasure (wardrobe crew), and Red Devils (usher). Kelsey appeared in The New Hopeville Comics (Delois/Miss Hopeville) as part of Music Theatre Workshop class, Music Theatre Society’s production of Bloomer Girl (Octavia), and has appeared in many of the Student Choreographed Dance Concerts and the Directing class Ten-Minute Play Festival. “Mom and dad, thank you for providing me with more love and support than I could have ever imagined. You have been my biggest supporters since the beginning, and I love you both more than anything. To all of my incredible friends and teachers here at IWU, thank you for truly being my second family. You all have taught me so much in so many ways, and I would not be where I am today without any of you!”

Contact: kbearman@iwu.edu

Image of 

Alexa Eldridge
Alexa Eldridge

as Lupe

Alexa is a senior BFA Acting major with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies from Bentonville, AR. In the Jerome Mirza Theatre in McPherson Hall, Alexa’s acting credits include A Lie of the Mind (Lorraine) and Hay Fever (Clara), and other crew work includes A Shayna Maidel (wardrobe crew) As You Like It (usher) Sins (wardrobe crew) Drowsy Chaperone (wardrobe crew) Losing It (usher) Women on the Verge of A Nervous Breakdown (assistant house manager) and in the EMJK Lab Theatre, she appeared in Float (Doodee), and served as the assistant stage manager for Problem Child , and was on the wardrobe crew for Red Devils .  “Thank you to my amazing family for your constant support and love, and to Sandy DeAthos-Meers for your unwavering confidence in my abilities, and the way in which you have helped shape me into the more versatile performer I am today.”

Contact: aeldridg@iwu.edu

Image of 

Carlos Medina Maldonado



 
Carlos Medina Maldonado  

as Miguel Obregon/Mariachi Singer  

Carlos is a senior BFA Acting major from San Antonio, TX. In the Jerome Mirza Theatre in McPherson Hall, acting credits include Where In The World Is Frank Sparrow? (ensemble), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Taxi Driver), A Class Act (ensemble), and other positions include Losing It (sound designer), and The Drowsy Chaperone (sound designer). In the EMJK Lab Theatre, Carlos served as the sound designer for The Breach , as well as serving as sound designer for And We’ll Laugh At Gilded Butterflies in the Phoenix Theatre. This past summer, Carlos worked at the Huron Playhouse as sound designer for West Side Story , The Odd Couple , Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Footloose the Musical . “Thanks to my family and friends for their continued love and support, for without them I would be nowhere. I would also love to thank the faculty for a great four years here at Illinois Wesleyan University.”

Contact: cmedina@iwu.edu

Image of Kenny C. Tran
Kenny C. Tran

as Angel Obregon Sr./Angel Obregon Jr.  

Kenny is a junior BFA Music Theatre major from Kansas City, MO. In the Jerome Mirza Theatre in McPherson Hall, Kenny appeared in Where In The World Is Frank Sparrow? (Frank Sparrow), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Hector/Ensemble). Kenny acted in the Rumple Schmumple (Rumplestiltskin) for the Directing class Ten-Minute Play Festival and the Music Theatre Society production of Redhead the Musical (Inspector White). He also appeared in Die Fledermaus (Chorus) for the School of Music. “Shoutout to my mom and sister for their constant love and support! Also, thank you to my SoTA professors and peers for the challenges and inspirations they give me everyday.”  

Contact: ktran1@iwu.edu

Image of Evan Dolan
Evan Dolan

  as Jett Rink    

Evan is a senior BFA Music Theatre major from Dubuque, IA. Previous acting credits in the Jerome Mirza Theatre in McPherson include Losing It (dancer) and A Class Act (Marvin Hamlisch). Other crews include The Drowsy Chaperone (asst. music director) and 12 Ophelias (wardrobe crew head). In the EMJK Lab Theatre Evan appeared in The Shape of Things (Adam), and served as wardrobe crew head for Treasure . Last spring, he appeared in The New Hopeville Comics (Felix) as part of the Music Theatre Workshop class, and serves as the director and producer of the Student Choreographed Dance Concert. Professional credits include Shrek the Musical (Lord Farquaad), The Wizard of Oz (Cowardly Lion), The Little Mermaid (Sebastian), and Peter Pan (Peter Pan), all at the Palace Theatre, and West Side Story (Baby John), The Three Musketeers (D’Artagnan), and Spamalot (Historian/Not Dead Fred/Herbert) at the Woodstock Playhouse. “Shout out to the Dolan clan for their constant love and support!”

Contact: edolan@iwu.edu

Image of 

Steven Czajkowski



 
Steven Czajkowski  

as Uncle Bawley Benedict    

Steven is a senior BFA Music Theatre major with a German minor from Skokie, IL. In the Jerome Mirza Theatre in McPherson Hall, Steven appeared in Losing It (dancer), A Lie of the Mind (Jake), The Drowsy Chaperone (Gangster #1). He served as master carpenter for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown , electrics crew for Hay Fever, Sins, As You Like It, and A Shayna Maidel , and run crew for 9 to 5 . In the EMJK Lab Theatre, Steven appeared in Treasure (Monroe), and The New Hopeville Comics as part of Music Theatre Workshop class. Professional credits include A Streetcar Named Desire (Mitch), Little Shop of Horrors (Wino/Skip Snip), Almost, Maine (East/Lendall/Chad/Daniel/Dave), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (ensemble) with Festival Theatre in St. Croix Falls Wisconsin. “I would like to extend a special thanks to my wonderful parents and two brothers who always support me in everything I do. I would also like to thank my high school theatre director and friend Andy Sinclair, who still inspires and supports me and is a treasure of a man.”

Contact: sczajkow@iwu.edu

Image of Chris Long
Chris Long

as  Mott “Pinkie” Snythe  

Chris is a senior BFA Music Theatre major from Castle Rock, CO. McPherson credits include Where In The World Is Frank Sparrow? (ensemble), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (ensemble), The Drowsy Chaperone (Superintendent), and A Class Act (u/s Ed Kleban). “Thanks to my family for their constant support.”  

Contact: clong2@iwu.edu

Image of Evan Rumler 
Evan Rumler 

as  Mike McCornack/Representative/Davis (Bodyguard)

Evan is a junior BFA Music Theatre major from Jacksonville, IL. Previous work in McPherson Theatre include Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Ambite), and crews for The Drowsy Chaperone (light hang electrician), 12 Ophelias (light hang electrician/usher), Hay Fever (light hang electrician), and A Class Act (run crew), and in the E. Melba Johnson Kirkpatrick Laboratory Theatre, Evan appeared in F2M (Clarence), and served on Problem Child (usher). In the Phoenix Theatre, Evan appeared in Hypochondria (Man/Orderly/Cop). “Thanks to my mother, Treena. My father, Ted. My Step-Father, Dan. My siblings, Matt, Jaxson, and Sofia. And my best friends of seven years, Cathy and (Other) Matt.”  

Contact: erumler@iwu.edu

Image of Trevor Gabel
Trevor Gabel

as  Jordy Benedict Jr.  

Trevor is a junior BFA Music Theatre major from Appleton, WI. Previously in the Jerome Mirza Theatre in McPherson, Trevor appeared in Where In The World Is Frank Sparrow? (Mr. Kist/ensemble), and served on A Lie of the Mind (asst. costume designer), The Drowsy Chaperone (wardrobe crew), 12 Ophelias (wardrobe crew), Hay Fever (wardrobe crew), and A Class Act (usher), as well as acting in the Directing class Ten-Minute Play Festival. “Thanks and affection to those who love me at my worst.”

Contact: tgabel@iwu.edu

Image of Eli Miller
Eli Miller

as  Bob Dietz Sr./Bobby Dietz Jr.  

Eli is a BFA Music Theatre major from Charlotte, NC. Eli has appeared in Losing It (dancer), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Malik) in the Jerome Mirza Theatre in McPherson Hall, and worked on The Drowsy Chaperone (usher), 12 Ophelias (wardrobe crew), and A Class Act (video operator), as well as Problem Child (run crew) in the EMJK Laboratory Theatre. At IWU, Eli serves as one of the co-leaders of JM7*, the university’s only improv troupe. Professional work includes Mary Poppins (park keeper/ensemble) and Anything Goes! at CPCC Summer Theatre, and is a student of Company 4 at the Performing Arts Project summer intensive. “I would like to thank my family (Clo, Drew, Aidan, and Cooper), friends, and teachers for their love and support!! XOXO #FailForward.”

Contact: emiller3@iwu.edu

Image of Steven Schur
Steven Schur

as  Dimodeo/Hotel Bellboy  

Steven is a junior Music Theatre major from Lake Bluff, IL. Previously in McPherson, he has served as assistant stage manager for Where In The World Is Frank Sparrow? and A Lie of the Mind , wardrobe crew for A Class Act , spotlight operator for The Drowsy Chaperone , and light board operator for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. “Special thanks to my parents, Dave and Brenda Belmonte and Richard Schur, my puppy Stanley, and one of my closest friends, Erica Werner; without whom I never would have been here at Illinois Wesleyan.”

Contact: sschur@iwu.edu

Image of 

Timothy Foszcz



 


 
Timothy Foszcz    

as Cowboy Mueller/Lord Karfrey/Senator    

Tim is a sophomore BFA Music Theatre major and English minor from Hoffman Estates, IL. In the Jerome Mirza Theatre at McPherson Hall, Tim has served on many crews, including run crew for Losing It, light hang crew and wardrobe crew for Where In The World is Frank Sparrow?, wardrobe crew for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown , and light hang and run crew for A Lie of the Mind. Tim appeared in the Directing class Ten-Minute Play Festival and the Student Choreographed Dance Concert. “I would like to thank my family for being so incredibly supportive of me in my theatrical ambitions and my peers and classmates for being some of the best people with which I’ve had the fortune to work and know. Your love and support have been absolutely invaluable!”  

Contact: tfoszcz@iwu.edu

Image of Jeffrey Keller 
Jeffrey Keller 

as Ensemble/Marine/Hank (Bodyguard)    

  Jeffrey is a sophomore BFA Music Theatre major from Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Crew work in the Jerome Mirza Theatre in McPherson includes wardrobe crew for Losing It , run crew for Where In The World Is Frank Sparrow , and wardrobe crew for A Lie of the Mind . Crews in the EMJK Lab Theatre include run crew for Float . Last spring, Jeffrey was a featured stand-up comedian in If You Can’t Laugh, You Can’t Heal , and wa in the ensemble of Love & Information , an experimental directing study. “I would like to thank my amazing parents for all of their constant love and support, while allowing me to pursue my passions.”  

Contact: jkeller1@iwu.edu

Image of 

Julia Cicchino



 
Julia Cicchino  

as  Luz Benedict  

Julia is a senior BFA Music Theatre major from Avon-by-the-Sea, NJ. Roles in the Jerome Mirza Theatre in McPherson Hall include Where In The World Is Frank Sparrow? (Goat/Ensemble), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Cristina), and A Class Act (Ginger). In the Phoenix Theatre Julia appeared in Steel Magnolias as Shelby and in the Directing class Ten-Minute Play Festival. “Thanks to the cast and crew for all their hard work, break legs!”

Contact: jcicchin@iwu.edu

Image of Haley Miller 
Haley Miller 

  as Vashti Hake Snythe  

  Haley is a junior BFA Music Theatre major from Racine, WI. Previously in the Jerome Mirza Theatre, Haley’s roles include Losing It (dancer) and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Paulina). Crew work includes run crew for 12 Ophelias , light board operator for A Class Act , and wardrobe crew for Treasure . She also appeared in the Directing class Ten-Minute Play Festival.

Contact: hmiller@iwu.edu

Image of Emily Hardesty
Emily Hardesty

as  Mrs. Lynnton/Adarene Morley  

  Emily is a sophomore BFA Music Theatre major from Peoria, IL. Previously in McPherson, she was the assistant special effects makeup designer for Where In The World Is Frank Sparrow? , makeup crew and a light hang electrician for A Lie of the Mind , and wardrobe crew for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown . Emily performed in the Directing class Ten-Minute Play Festival and the Student Choreographed Dance Concert.  

Contact: ehardest@iwu.edu

Image of LeeAnna Studt 
LeeAnna Studt 

  as Lil Luz Benedict  

  LeeAnna is a junior BFA Music Theatre major from Belleville IL. In the Jerome Mirza Theatre, LeeAnna’s crew work includes Losing It (run crew), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (assistant stage manager), The Drowsy Chaperone (light hang electrician), 12 Ophelias (asst. sound board operator), Hay Fever (light hang electrician), and A Class Act (fly crew). In the EMJK Laboratory Theatre, LeeAnna appeared in Float (Marty) and F2M (Parker), and served as sound board and video operator for Problem Child. LeeAnna acted in the Directing class Ten-Minute Play Festival, directed for the 24-Hour Theatre Festival, and is a member of the JM7* Improv Troupe. Last Spring she appeared in Doris Day (Daisy) in the Phoenix Theatre. This summer, LeeAnna assistant directed Illinois Wesleyan’s Young Scholars Camp. “Thanks on thanks to every heart and hand that helped create this amazing world to play in, and everyone who continually inspires me to keep jumpin’ outta my squares. All my love to Mama and Papa Studt, David, the Z’s, Jm7*, the Box, the squirrels, and the trees. xoxo”  

Contact: lstudt@iwu.edu

Image of 

Yuka Sekine



 
Yuka Sekine  

as  Juana Guerra  

Yuka is a junior BFA Music Theatre major from Chiba, Japan. In the Jerome Mirza Theatre Yuka’s credits include Where In The World Is Frank Sparrow? (ensemble), as well as serving as a scenic artist for Losing It and A Lie of the Mind , wardrobe crew for The Drowsy Chaperone and Hay Fever , and run crew for A Class Act . Yuka acted in the Directing class Ten-Minute Play Festival. “I would like to thank my family for supporting me at all times, believing in me and for all the love. I would also like to thank my friends and professors who are always there for me, especially since I am far away from home.”

Contact: ysekine@iwu.edu

Image of 

Jaclyn Salgado



 
Jaclyn Salgado  

as  Heidi Mueller/Lady Karfrey (Leigh)/Jett’s Wife  

Jaclyn is a sophomore BFA Music Theatre major from Elmhurst, IL. Jackie served on wardrobe crew for Losing It , assistant head of crafts/special effects makeup for Where In The World Is Frank Sparrow? , wardrobe crew for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown , and makeup crew for A Lie of the Mind , as well as wardrobe crew for Float in the EMJK Lab Theatre. Jackie performed in the Student Choreographed Dance Concert and the Directing class Ten-Minute Play Festival. This summer, Jaclyn served as the Drury Lane Theatre costume and production intern, working on the premiere of Beaches: A New Musical . “I want to thank my friends and family who have always supported and encouraged me. You put a smile on my face everyday and I am so blessed to have all of you in my life. Lots of love!”

Contact: jsalgado@iwu.edu

Image of 



Libby Zabit



 
Libby Zabit  

as  Analita Sr./Analita Jr.  

Libby is a sophomore BFA Acting major from Madison, WI. Crews in the Jerome Mirza Theatre at McPherson Hall include wardrobe crew for Losing It , ushering for Where In The World Is Frank Sparrow? , follow spot operator for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown , and ushering for A Lie of the Mind . Last fall Libby appeared numerous times in the Directing class Ten-Minute Play Festival. “Endless thanks to my wonderful family and friends for their love and support.”  

Contact: ezabit@iwu.edu

Image of Juna Shai
Juna Shai

as Deluvina Obregon/Hotel Waiter  

Juna is a sophomore BFA Music Theatre major from Tokyo, Japan. In the Jerome Mirza Theatre Juna has served on crews for Losing It (light hang electrician), Where In The World Is Frank Sparrow? (light hang electrician), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (run crew), and A Lie of the Mind (run crew). In the Phoenix Theatre, Juna performed in the Directing class Ten-Minute Play Festival, and a staged reading of Upon the Fragile Store . She also has performed and choreographed for the Student Choreographed Dance Concert. “Heart filled love and appreciation to my family who support me from the other side of the world. I am able to live my journey of dreams because of you guys. Thank you.”

Contact: jshai@iwu.edu

Image of Cadence Lamb
Cadence Lamb

as Ensemble/Hotel Manager  

Cadence is a sophomore BFA Acting with minors in Religion and Dance from Phoenix, AZ. In the Jerome Mirza Theatre, Cadence’s crew work includes Losing It (run crew), Where In The World Is Frank Sparrow? (light hang electrician), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (usher), and A Lie of the Mind (light board operator). In the EMJK Laboratory Theatre, work includes Float (run crew), and The Shape of Things (run crew). Last spring, Cadence appeared in Doris Day (Anna). Cadence’s choreography has been seen in the Student Choreographed Dance Concert and professionally in CYT Phoenix Kids Camp productions of Aristocats and Disney Movie Magic . “An inadequate thank you to my parents for providing me with this incredible opportunity to learn and their constant love and support.”

Contact: clamb@iwu.edu

Image of Cathy Colburn
Cathy Colburn

as  Asst. Director/Ensemble/Senator’s Wife  

  Cathy is a senior BA Theatre Arts major and Business and Arts Management minor from Jacksonville, IL. Positions in McPherson include Where in the World is Frank Sparrow (head of crafts), 12 Ophelias (asst. costume designer), Hay Fever (asst. costume designer), A Class Act (props), and As You Like It (asst. costume designer). In the EMJK Laboratory Theatre, Cathy appeared in The Shape of Things (Jenny) and in The New Hopeville Comics (Stan/Jill) as a part of the Music Theatre Workshop class. Cathy has appeared in Music Theatre Society’s productions of Redhead (Ruth LaRue) and served as stage manager/properties master for their production of Bloomer Girl . Cathy now serves as one of the Presidents of MTS. In the Phoenix Theatre, she appeared in Hypochondria as Superman Kid, and is a member of the Phoenix Theatre Committee. “Thanks to my mom, for always being a strong support system, and my dad, for being supportive even when theatre is scary. I wouldn’t be where I am without them. Also, thanks to my beautiful Kappa Delta sisters. Love and AOT.”  

Contact: ccolburn@iwu.edu

 

Entire cast & crew program

 

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