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OUR SUMMER 2022 ACTING COMPANY

Onne Adams

Onne Adams is delighted to perform in Matilda this season. Onne is a rising sophomore at Princeton High School. Her past Festival 56 performances include Guys & Dolls, Seussical, The Addams Family, Mary Poppins, and Godspell. She also performed with the River Valley Players in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

ALEGRA BATARA

Alegra Batara (she/they) is so honored to be back at Festival 56 this summer. Alegra holds a BFA in musical theatre from Webster University. They were previously seen at Festival 56 as Mercutio and others in Romeo & Juliet and as a disciple in Godspell. Since then, she has traveled the country with TheatreWorksUSA in the TYA musical Pete the Cat helping introduce the next generation to the magic of theatre. Keep up with Alegra’s adventures here: alegrabatara.com

Jordan Britt

Jordan Britt will be a junior at Bureau Valley High School. He loves playing his three instruments (piano, violin, and saxophone) and being part of his amazing drama department. He took part in his school’s production of Shrek: the Musical along with many other shows, as well as Camp 56, dancing in Mary Poppins and Godspell. He loves spending time with family and friends, and his favorite song is “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman because of its inspiring message.

Sadie Brzozowski

Sadie Brzozowski is a pisces who enjoys makeup, volleyball, roller skating, and spending time with her siblings. She identifies as a theatre kid and counts among her favorites, Grease and Mamma Mia! She has performed with Stage 212 in LaSalle, played the role of Duffy in her school’s production of Annie, and is excited to make her Festival 56 debut in Matilda, a story she and her mom both love.

Sara Compton

Sara Compton is making her debut with Festival 56 along with her daughter, Taylor. Sara has been seen on stage with Homestead Festival, River Valley Players, Stage 212, Peoria Players, and Community Players. Some of her favorites include: Annie, Into the Woods, Brigadoon, 42nd Street, Carousel, and Chicago. Sara resides in Lake Thunderbird with her husband and three children.

Taylor Compton

Taylor Compton is making her debut at Festival 56. Taylor is no stranger to the stage. She has been active with River Valley Players in Henry, IL. Credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Little Mermaid, Pinocchio, Madagascar, and White Christmas. Taylor attends Logan Junior High and will be going into the eighth grade. She also participates in cheerleading, basketball, track, and softball. Taylor would like to thank her parents and sisters for their continued support.

Harrison (Hal) Devine

Harrison (Hal) Devine is excited to be back at Festival 56 in her first ever speaking role as Eric in Matilda. As a Camp 56 participant, Hal appeared in Mary Poppins and sang “Strawberry Cow” while playing her Uncle Jon’s ukulele in the Camp 5-6 Feet Apart showcase in 2020. Additionally, Hal learned script writing and improv at The Second City Kids’ Improv camp in Chicago during spring break this year. 

Lois Ellise

Lois Ellise is ecstatic to be here at Festival 56 this summer! Originally from Flint, MI, Lois has spent the last year performing in Royal Caribbean’s production of Hairspray on the Symphony of the Seas after graduating from Central Michigan University with degrees in music theatre and communication. Lois would like to thank her family and mentors for all their love and support!

Florence Glavin

Florence Glavin is thrilled to be joining Festival 56! She is originally from Peoria, IL and is currently earning a BFA in musical theatre at Long Island University Post. Some of her recent credits in New York include Until (original cast), Into the Woods (Baker’s Wife), Spring Awakening (Thea), and a queer-cast Mamma Mia! (Sam). Her favorite credits from the Peoria area include Les Misérables (Cosette) and Ragtime (Evelyn Nesbit). florenceglavin.com

Cathy Griffin

Cathy Griffin is a happily married mother of four who is very excited to be in Matilda, her first Festival 56 production!  She has always enjoyed performing locally with family and in school opportunities, and Cathy continues to be active in her church’s music ministry. She is very grateful for not only the support, but also the encouragement of her entire family.

Kristen Hall

Kristen Hall is thrilled to be making her Festival 56 debut. She recently graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with her BFA in musical theatre. Her recent credits include Patchy in The Spongebob Musical (UAB), Patty and Josephine: Waiting in Alabama (Vulcan Park & Museum), The Dinner Detective: Murder Mystery Improv Dinner Theatre (Birmingham, AL), and the children’s tour of Amelia Earhart (Birmingham, AL).

Zandalee Henderson

Zandalee Henderson is excited to debut in her first set of summer shows with Festival 56. She is a senior musical theatre major at Central Michigan University where she has appeared in a variety of shows including Lauren Gunderson’s The Revolutionists and Little Shop of Horrors.

Madeleine Hunter

Madeleine Hunter is pleased to be working with Festival 56 again! She recently graduated Illinois Valley Community College and is thrilled to be working in the theater industry. Past credits include Mary Poppins (Festival 56 summer camp, ensemble/run crew), I Know Ashley (podcast, Maddie), Grunella, The Story Stealer (recorded play, Grunella), and IVCC’s Broadway Backwards (crew, spotlight).

Matthew J. Kelly

Matthew J. Kelly was born and raised in Phenix City, AL. Matthew developed a passion for theatre through performing in his high school musical all four years before receiving his BFA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Regional: American Idiot, Kinky Boots, Hello, Dolly!, The Addams Family (Weathervane Theatre). Love to his Mom, Dad and family!

Ryan Koch

Ryan Koch is a graduate of of the BFA musical theatre program at the University of Central Florida, appearing in their productions of A Gentleman’s Guide… (Monty Navarro) and Titanic (Charles Clarke; Irene Ryan nomination). Professional credits include A Year With Frog & Toad (Toad; Mill Mountain Theatre), Spring Awakening (Georg/Male Dance Captain; MMT), Shrek (Shrek; MMT), Mary Poppins (Robertson Ay; Okoboji Summer Theatre), and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Henry Spofford; TATC).

Michael Lee

Michael Lee studied the-ater at MSU in Springfield, MO, and has performed both locally and professionally. He’s been seen in documentary, commercial and corporate video, and appears in St. Luke Productions’ film, Tolton: From Slave to Priest. He’s performed more than fifty roles onstage, including national tours of Oklahoma! and Annie Get Your Gun, and in productions such as An Enemy of the People, The Normal Heart, Bus Stop, Macbeth, The Light in the Piazza, and To Kill a Mockingbird (MO). Recently, he performed at Cornwell’s Dinner Theater (MI), at Pines Dinner Theater (PA) in I Do! I Do!, and locally at Stage 212 and in A Christmas Carol at Dixon Stage Left as Scrooge. After forty-one years teaching language and drama, he now resides in Princeton, serves on Prairie Arts Council, and is delighted to join Festival 56 this season.

Holly Malmassari

Holly Malmassari is thrilled to be making her Festival 56 debut. She is a 10-year-old student at North-west Elementary. Outside of theatre, she enjoys playing softball, crafting, baking, and spending time with her dogs, Tommy and Lola. Holly would like to thank her mom for practicing lines with her and for introducing her to musicals.  

Emma Massey

Emma Massey is thrilled to be returning to the Festival 56 stage! Originally from Michigan, she is a rising sophomore at Wright State University pursuing a BFA in acting. Previous Festival 56 credits include: Pugsley (The Addams Family) and Jojo (Seussical). She’d like to thank her family and Laura for their constant support and guidance.

Arzella McKune

Arzella McKune is excited to be joining the cast of Matilda. Being active in the United Methodist Church and attending Princeton Christian Academy has helped her develop her speaking skills and she looks forward to being a part of the cast at Festival 56. She is a devout lover of bearded dragons and the Wings of Fire series, and loves to write stories.

Justin Moon

Justin Moon is a sophomore at Bureau Valley High School. He is super excited to kick off his acting career with Festival 56 and their amazing team! Justin enjoys singing and acting as well as staying active in sports and drama clubs. He has previously danced in Festival 56’s production of Godspell. His favorite songs are “History Has Its Eyes on You” (Hamilton) and “If I Could Tell Her” (Dear Evan Hansen).

Richard Morgan

Richard Morgan is so excited to be a part of the company of Festival 56 this summer. He is a rising junior at Baldwin Wallace University. Previous credits include Les Misérables (Jean ValJean), Pippin (Pippin), Rent (Roger), Heathers (JD), Legally Blonde (Emmett Forrest), Patient A (Lee), and Merrily We Roll Along (Charley Kringas).

Grace Pichler

Grace Pichler is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where she earned her BFA in musical theatre. Some of her favorite roles there were Shelby in The Spitfire Grill and Sally Bowles in Cabaret. In her spare time, she can be found spending time outdoors or hunting for the best thrift finds. Grace is thrilled to be makingher Festival 56 debut!

Philip Jesse Robinson

Philip Jesse Robinson was born in Lewisville, TX and has been singing and dancing since he could speak and walk. He finds that performing in any theatrical atmosphere allows people to experience emotions and points of view they may not get to experience on a regular day. To be immersed into a vision is to truly see, and he hopes to bring vision to everyone he performs for.

Bird Roden

Bird Roden is performing as a Big Kid/Scary Kid in this season’s production of Matilda. Roden is a local artist, born and raised in Princeton. A junior in high school, she has grown up in Festival 56 and Prairie Arts Center theater programs. Bird is a Madrigal Singer, a dancer (trained at Main Street Dance Academy,) and a high school women’s wrestler.

Dave Roden

Dave Roden has worked professionally in New York, Illinois, and southern Florida. Locally, he’s worked with Festival 56 (over 20 roles), Stage 212 (Amadeus, The Odd Couple), and the Prairie Arts Council (Oliver!, Little Women). He directed the local premieres of Proof and Next to Normal, and was the recipient of the 2018 OmniArts Drama Award of Excellence. He lives in Princeton with his wife Tracy and children Em and Bird (both Festival 56 alumni).

Autumn Roth

Autumn Roth is delighted to be returning to Festival 56’s stage! She has attended and performed with Camp 56 for the past 3 summers (Godspell and Mary Poppins). Autumn is an incoming seventh grader at Bureau Valley Junior High School. Autumn has also performed in a Walnut Park District performance (Three Little Pigs: The Real Story) and with the Bureau Valley Junior High Drama Club (Law & Order: Fairy Tale Unit). She is thrilled to be performing at the Grace Theater again. Autumn would like to thank her very supportive family who continue to “drive her all over creation” so she can pursue her love of performing!

Jennifer Sanchez

Jennifer Sanchez is from Queens, NY and just graduated from SUNY Fredonia with a BFA in musical theatre and a minor in arts administration. Previous credits include Maria/Bart Simpson in Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play, and Woman 2 in Songs for a New World. She is ecstatic to join Festival 56! Thanks, Mom and Dad, for all your love and support! www.jennifersanchez.live

Finn Sessler

Finn Sessler is excited to be making his Festival 56 debut in Matilda. Finn is a rising seventh grader, whose past theatre credits include Seussical at St. Bede Academy. Alas, the performance was quashed by COVID.  Finn attended summer camp at the Dance Center and loves singing and dancing.  Finn credits his black belt in taekwondo for his grace, stamina, and persistence, and thanks family and friends for their love and support.

Madison Shaw

Madison Shaw is proud to be making her acting and Festival 56 debut in Matilda! Going into sixth grade in the fall, Madison will have been dancing at Main Street Dance Academy for five years. She is very excited to be expanding her repertoire in the arts. Madison would like to thank her friends and family for their support as she steps into a new adventure. 

Cameron Smith

Cameron Smith is a character actor/singer in Atlanta, GA. He got his BFA in musical theatre from Reinhardt University and he’s been spreading his talents across the country ever since. He’s performed with Cleveland Playhouse, Virginia Repertory Theatre, Hampstead Stage Company in NH, and Aurora Theatre in GA to name a few. He’s thrilled to have his debut performing many different roles at Festival 56 and thanks them for their support. Enjoy the shows!

Cecelia Taylor

Cecelia Taylor is the youngest of four kids. Her family has a love of theatre that runs deep. She was in Godspell last year as a camp participant and she is currently in the ensemble of Alice in Wonderland at Engle Lane. She will be a third grader at the Ladd grade school this fall. 

Fangyiduo Wang

Fangyiduo (Flower) Wang graduated from the prestigious Beijing Dance Academy where she played Olive in Bullets over Broadway and Heidi in Dear Evan Hansen. Professional Chinese credits include Welcome and Romance of the Western Chamber and the 5th Asia International Vocal Festival’s excellence in singing prize. While earning her MM in vocal pedagogy at Carthage College, she choreographed Little Women, taught dance, and performed in She Loves Me and Something Rotten. She loves exploring body awareness through Pilates, yoga, and street dance. When performing, she strives to connect with her audience so that they might be healed through the power of art. Her goal is not to showcase her own talents, but to show how the arts can help people look into their own humanity.

Malachi Watson

Malachi Watson is a rising junior musical theatre major at Indiana University Bloomington. Prior to college, Malachi performed at Music Theatre Wichita, Music Theatre Kansas City, and trained at Kansas Dance Academy. Outside of theatre, Malachi enjoys sustainable fashion, graphic design, and listening to Taylor Swift. He is thrilled to be spending his summer performing and would like to thank his family and friends for constant support.

Rachel Weinfeld

Rachel Weinfeld is thrilled to be returning to Festival 56 this summer for their 2022 season! Noted for her comedic timing and “heavenly soprano,” previous roles include: Marian Paroo (The Music Man), Amalia Balash (She Loves Me), Meg March (Little Women), Winifred Banks (Mary Poppins), and Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance). Rachel holds an MM in voice performance and literature from UIUC and a BM in voice performance from Ball State.

Kenna Wilson

Kenna Wilson is thrilled to be joining Festival 56 this summer! Favorite Credits: Into the Woods (Sleeping Beauty, Baldwin Wallace University), Cinderella (Ella, Page Center for Performing Arts), Titanic (Marion Thayer, Page Center for Performing Arts), Newsies (Bowery Beauty, Page Center for Performing Arts), Beauty & the Beast (Babette, Page Center for Performing Arts), White Christmas (Rita, Page Center for Performing Arts). Sending love to Dad, Mom, Ryan, Channing, Chloe, and my BWMT family for always supporting me!

Elin Workman

Elin Workman was born and raised in Bureau County. She attended her first theatrical experience at the Grace Theater with her grandmother and fell in love with it. The next year, she attended Camp 56 and has attended camp each summer since, appearing in Seussical, The Addams Family, Mary Poppins, and Godspell as well as a Prairie Arts production of Babes in Toyland in 2019. Elin also has a background of six years in dance and will be starting her freshman year next year at Princeton High School.