Cast of A Christmas Carol 2017

Fred - Jacob Roman
Jake - Don Harris
Nell - Amanda Charles
Ebenezer Scrooge - Jerry Longe
Bob Cratchit - Chris Berger
1st Charity Man - Bob Gilmore
2nd Charity Man - Marcus Benzel
Peter Cratchit - Jake Parker
Francis Cratchit - Brodhi McClymont
Belinda Cratchit - Maddie Smith
Tim Cratchit - Annabelle DeWater
Jacob Marley - Don Keelan-White
Ghost of Christmas Past - Lori Lynn Ahrends
School boy - Tyson Bentley
School boy - Judson Cloudt
School boy - Daniel Davis
School boy - Cal Hernandez
School boy - Lincoln Hoffart
School boy - Neal Jochim
Ebby - Andrew Hedin
Fan - Stella Clark-Kaczmarek
Dick Wilkins - Brendan Brown
Mr. Fezziwig - Marcus Benzel
Mrs. Fezziwig - Catherine Vazquez
Ball Musician - Don Harris
Ball Musician - Don Keelan-White
Young Scrooge - Boston Reid
Belle Fezziwig - Emma Chvala
Ghost of Christmas Present - Bob Gilmore
Mrs. Cratchit - Jen Dillon
Martha Cratchit - Hannah-Kate Kinney
Millie - Elise O’Neil
Lucy - Jenna Hager
Topper - Brandon Fisher
Myrtle Crow - Amanda Charles
Mrs. Dilber - Julia Ervin
Man at Cart - Cody Girouex
Man at Cart - Don Harris
Man at Cart - Don Keelan-White
Child with Sled - Ava Palmer
Adult Ensemble - Annie Hekl
Adult Ensemble - Isabelle Rangel
Adult Ensemble - Alex Nilius
Youth Ensemble - Cora Johnson
Youth Ensemble - Lilian Johnson
Youth Ensemble - Olivia Walling
Youth Ensemble - Burke Wissman

Specialty Players
Little Bo Peep - Sophia Markle
Little Boy Blue - Caeli Karasek
Beggar - Cody Girouex
Chestnut Vendor - Julia Ervin
Greenery Vendor - Josie Ausman
Baker’s Wife - Catherine Vazquez
Baker - Bob Gilmore
Toyshop Keeper - Kristopher Fleeman

Marley Minions
Jennifer Bonge
Katie Hoskins
Evelyn Kinney
Reese Uptmor

Fezziwig Ball Dancers
Marcus Benzel
Chris Berger
Brendan Brown
Amanda Charles
Emma Chvala
Jen Dillon
Julia Ervin
Brandon Fisher
Kristopher Fleeman

Cody Girouex
Jenna Hager
Annie Hekl
Alex Nilius
Elise O’Neil
Isabelle Rangel
Boston Reid
Jacob Roman

Catherine Vazquez

Manger Scene
Mary - Sophia Markle
Joseph - Tyson Bentley
Wisemen - Andrew Hedin, Cal Hernandez, Neal Jochim
Innkeeper - Daniel Davis
Shepherds - Judson Cloudt, Annabelle DeWater, Lincoln Hoffart, Brodi McClymont, Burke Wissman
Angels - Josie Ausman, Jennifer Bonge, Stella Clark-Kaczmarek, Katie Hoskins, Cora Johnson, Lilian Johnson, Caeli Karasek, Evelyn Kinney, Ava Palmer, Maddie Smith, Reese Uptmor, Olivia Walling

Volunteer Spotlight: Roger Downer

What OCP Means to Me:

Volunteer Spotlight: Roger Downer

Each season, hundreds of people flood the backstage areas of the Omaha Community Playhouse. Instead of learning lines and memorizing dance moves, they take hold of ropes, memorize cues, operate spotlights, execute costume quick-changes, and tape out props. They dedicate hours and hours and HOURS of time and energy into making sure the magic onstage can go off without a hitch.  

Unlike actors, they rarely get to take a bow. It takes a special kind of person to do all of that. Roger Downer is one of those people. 

In 2014, Roger was looking for a fun volunteer opportunity, and decided to check out the Omaha Community Playhouse. Having no theatre experience, and not knowing anything about cues or cue books, let alone the ins and outs of the grueling work known as “tech week*,” Roger was a little nervous. The OCP staff was more than happy to have an extra helping hand. 

“The veteran crew and staff members provided all the training I needed to be one of the four spotlight operators for The Drowsy Chaperone. This was a great first musical for me that was fast-paced, funny, and had a wonderful cast and crew.”

But how does someone with no theatre experience even become interested in volunteering for an organization like the Playhouse? For Roger, the answer was dinosaurs.

“I first went to see a show, to see if it felt like a right fit for me. I saw Enron (2014) in the Drew Theatre, and was really impressed with the level of talent and quality of the production. And, a show with dinosaurs in suits was just the type of fun I was looking for.”

OCP Cast of Enron - 2014

In addition to all the volunteering Roger does, he still finds other ways to give back. “My employer, Travelers, supports my love of the theatre by encouraging employee involvement in the arts, education, and community development. They have generously matched my volunteer hours with grant contributions to the Omaha Community Playhouse. In return, I share my crew show tickets with my co-workers. It’s been a win, win, win opportunity.” 

What’s next for Roger? Another show, of course! 

“I’m thankful for the Omaha Community Playhouse and am excited to start my fourth season as a crew member for Mamma Mia! – returning to my home away from home. I’m looking forward to seeing my theatre family again.” 

Are you interested in volunteering as a crew member for the Omaha Community Playhouse? Click here for more details, or contact the Production Coordinator at (402) 553-4890 x 114. 

Would you like to continue to support the productions and programs of the Omaha Community Playhouse? Donate Now! Make your donation go further with your employer’s matching program!

What’s YOUR story? Do you have a story to share about how OCP has impacted you? If so, we’d love to hear it! E-mail Emily Andres, Development Director

*“Tech week” is the final week of production rehearsals, when all technical elements of a show, including costuming, lighting, sound, and set pieces, are hashed into the production along with actors and orchestra.  

Small Actors Make Big Debuts

"Young Sophies" with "Adult Sophie" Victoria Luther

Among the other actors making their OCP debuts in Mamma Mia! are six young ladies sharing the role of “Young Sophie.” For those familiar with the Broadway or touring productions of Mamma Mia!, you might notice that this isn’t a role you’ve heard of. The concept for this production’s entr’acte came from director Jeff Horger.

The lyric-less prologue is a visualization of the backstory leading up to present day in Mamma Mia! We watch as Young Donna (Sophie’s mother) meets her three beaus, discovers she’s pregnant and interacts with her little girl. It helps establish the loving relationship between mother and daughter for the audience.

Because 24 performances is an awfully big commitment for children so young, it was decided that multiple actresses could share the role and make four appearances each. Young Sophie appears in the first five minutes of the production and then becomes Adult Sophie, played by Victoria Luther. The young performers are allowed to leave immediately after their stage time and get home for bedtime. It’s a wonderful opportunity for children who’ve started out in classes at the Henry Fonda Theatre Academy to get a taste of being on stage before committing to a heftier role.

Meet Our Young Sophies

Anina Frey
Age: 5 ½
Grade: Kindergarten
Favorite movie: Frozen
Favorite color: Yellow
Dream job: Princess

Anna Krambeck
Age: 5
Grade: Kindergarten
Favorite movie: Frozen
Favorite colors: Pink & gold
Dream job: Sparkly glittery mermaid

Avery Peklo
Age: 8
Grade: 2nd

Favorite movie: The Emoji Movie
Favorite color: Rainbow
Dream job: Doctor

Giselle Schneider
Age: 7
Grade: 2nd
Favorite movie: Frozen
Favorite color: Red
Dream job: Dancer

Lillian Weisser
Age: 5
Grade: Kindergarten
Favorite movie: Moana

Favorite color: Pink
Dream job: Mommy

Madison White
Age: 7
Grade: 2nd
Favorite movie: Frozen
Favorite color: Pink
Dream job: Famous actress

Eminent Domain–From Page to Stage

Eminent Domain is a world premiere production about Nebraskans written by a Nebraskan. Follow the process from concept to fully realized production. Videos by Quiet Chap.

Interview with the Playwright


The Staged Reading


Interview with the Director


Connecting with Characters


Cast of Stupid F@#%ing Bird


Beau Fisher - Conrad
Raydell Cordell III - Dev
Aanya Sagheer - Mash
Alissa Hanish - Nina
Sonia Keffer - Emma Arkadina
Kevin Anderson - Doyle Trigorin
Michael Markey - Dr. Eugene Sorn


Suzanne Withem - Director
Gina Leonardo - Stage Manager
Jim Othuse - Scenic Designer
Darrin Golden - Lighting Designer
John Gibilisco - Sound Designer
Lindsay Pape - Costume Designer
Darin Kuehler - Properties
Greg Scheer - Production Coordinator

What OCP Means to Me:

Volunteer Actor Spotlight: Judson Cloudt, Age 8

Judson Cloudt (right) as the Pepper Shaker
Beauty and the Beast - 2017

Judson Cloudt is no stranger to the OCP stage.  At eight years old, Judson has already appeared in two productions during the 2016-2017 season, including OCP’s first Disney production, Beauty and the Beast

“I feel very lucky to have been a part of this production because of all the talented adults I was able to spend time with and learn from during our rehearsals and show productions.” Judson says of his experience performing in Beauty and the Beast, “One of the things I really enjoyed was having the opportunity to learn new acting skills from our Henry Fonda Theatre teacher.  When the youth ensemble members were not on stage, we were able to go downstairs and participate in fun and exciting musical theatre activities.” 

Judson isn’t the only one getting involved at OCP.  His mom, Nicole, has already become a season subscriber and supporter for the 2017-2018 season.  “As our family looked over the programming for the upcoming season, we were pleasantly surprised with the diversity of productions on the schedule.  We truly found productions that piqued the interest of all members of our family!  Of course, the kids were both excited to see James and the Giant Peach and Mamma Mia!  My husband and I own land and farm in Douglas and Washington counties; we are both anticipating attending Eminent Domain this fall.  We are all looking forward to each and every one of the upcoming productions!”

As for why she chooses to support OCP?  That’s easy.  “The most important reason we have for supporting OCP are the opportunities it has provided to our 8-year old son.  The growth and positive changes we have seen in him through his involvement with OCP have been absolutely phenomenal!  Not only has he learned how to present himself in front of an audience, but he has also developed his ability to interact and converse with adults in a mature manner.  His participation at OCP has allowed him to extend his self-esteem and self-confidence, developing poise and learning to effectively overcome anxieties.  At a very young age, Judson has experienced and learned both self-reliance as well as collaboration with others in order to reach a goal.  The creativity that is involved in an OCP production has extended to affect Judson’s emotional creativity and has enhanced his perceptions to new ways of seeing the world.  His reading level has absolutely soared, and he has developed an interest in reading classic pieces of literature because of his exposure to OCP.  We feel so fortunate and grateful that Judson has had these opportunities to work with such a plethora of personalities and learn from extraordinarily talented directors.”

The plethora of personalities have not only become teachers to Judson, but family.  “I feel like my family got a lot bigger because I now have a Beauty and the Beast family, too.  I have been on soccer teams and basketball teams, and I am in a 4-H club, but none of those ever feel like a family to me, not the way being a cast member of Beauty and the Beast has made me feel."

Would you like to help other community members have the kind of life-changing experience that Judson had?  Donate Now!

What’s YOUR story? Do you have a story to share about how OCP has impacted you? If so, we’d love to hear it! E-mail Emily Andres, Development Director

Cast of Mamma Mia!


Sarah Ebke - Donna
Angela Jenson-Frey - Tanya
Emily Peklo - Rosie
Adam Hogston - Sam
Mike Palmreuter - Bill
Jacob J. Roman - Harry
Victoria Luther - Sophie
Cadie Jochum - Alie
McKenzie Phelps - Lisa
John E. Jones - Sky
Brendan Brown - Eddie
Justin Eller - Pepper
Marcus Benzel -Dionysus/Ensemble
Alex Nilius -Chiron/Ensemble
Zhomontee Watson -Clio/Ensemble
Caitlin Mabon - Calliope/Ensemble
Brooke Fencl -Thalia/Ensemble
Grant Mannschreck -Young Sam/Ensemble
Cody Girouex -Young Harry/Ensemble
Brandon Fisher -Young Bill/Ensemble
Tayler Lempke -Young Donna/Ensemble
Jax Barkhaus, Karin Berg, Donovan Foster, Elise O'Neil, Mia Sherlock and Mareshah Smith - Ensemble


Jeff Horger - Director
Mary Dew - Stage Manager
Jim Boggess - Music Director
Jim Othuse - Scenic and Lighting Designer>
Melanie Walters - Choreographer
Tim Burkhart - Sound Designer
John Gibilisco - Resident Sound Designer/Production Electrician
Darin Kuehler - Properties
Greg Scheer - Production Coordinator