VioletJAN 9 - FEB 6, 2016 Buy Tickets
Music by Jeanine Tesori
Lyrics and Book by Brian Crawley
Based on “The Ugliest Pilgrim” by Doris Betts
Directed by Paul Daigneault
Musical Direction by Matthew Stern
Choreography by David Connolly
Pat & Mary Cogan
Steve & Susan Root
Michael Appell & Guy Ronnen
Jon & Dixie Lee Borus
Jack Cornwell & Mark Hickey
Featuring a powerful folk, rock, and gospel score, this soul-stirring musical, set in 1964, tells the story of a young North Carolina woman who travels by bus to Tulsa to see a faith-healer she thinks can transform her life. Along the way, she forms unlikely friendships with her fellow passengers, and learns that it’s the journeys you take in life that help you discover who you are.
Dan Belnavis* … Flick
Tyla Collier … Mabel/Music Hall Singer/Ensemble
Patrick Greeley … Radio Singer.Ensemble
Nile Scott Hawver* … Monty
Audree Hedequist … Young Violet
John F. King … Preacher/Radio Singer/Bus Driver
Stephen Markarian* … Virgil/Billy Dean/Radio Singer/Ensemble
Alison McCartan* … Violet
Michael Mendiola* … Father
Carolyn Saxon* … Lula Buffington/Landlady
Kathy St. George* … Old Lady/Hooker
See “Who’s Who” below for full bios.
Musical Direction by Matt Stern
Choreography by David Connolly
Scenic Design by Eric Levenson
Costume Design by Charles Schoonmaker
Lighting Design by Karen Perlow
Sound Design by David Remedios
Marsha Smith*, Production Stage Manager
Zachary Tucker*, Assistant Stage Manager
See “Who’s Who” below for full bios.
Cast & Crew
DAN BELNAVIS* (Flick) is pleased to be making his SpeakEasy debut! Regional credits include: Five Guys Named Moe (Mason Street Warehouse), Next to Normal (Weathervane Rep), Showboat (Asolo Rep), Little Shop of Horrors (Cohoes Music Hall). International: Dreamgirls. Daniel holds aBFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Michigan. AEA. Love to family and friends for their constant support and a huge thanks to SpeakEasy for this opportunity!
TYLA COLLIER (Musical Hall Singer / Bus Passenger) is making her SpeakEasy debut. Tyla recently graduated from The Boston Conservatory with a BFA in Musical Theater. She has appeared in various shows across New England, and her favorite roles include Little Inez in Hairspray, Crystal in Little Shop of Horrors, and Deidre in Runaways. Thanks to Mom, Dad, Maya, V, Daniel Hoff Agency, & friends for your constant support. tylacollier.com
BRIAN CRAWLEY (Book & Lyrics) wrote the book and lyrics for Violet (composer Jeanine Tesori) which was mounted Off-Broadway by Playwrights Horizons in 1997, then remounted in a concert version in 2003 to help inaugurate their new theater. For the libretto of Violet, Brian won the Kleban Award. Prior to the Playwrights Horizons production, and on its behalf, Violet was given the Richard Rodgers Musical Production Award and an AT&T On Stage Award. Afterwards, besides a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical, Violet received the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical over all the year’s Broadway offerings, as did Paula Vogel’s play How I Learned To Drive; the first time two off-Broadway pieces took these top awards in the Drama Critic Circle’s history. He wrote the book and lyrics for A Little Princess (composer Andrew Lippa) which debuted at Theatre works of Palo Alto in the summer of 2004. Brian’s plays have been developed or staged at Lincoln Center, New York Theater Workshop, and the Eugene O’Neill summer theater conference. He is at work on a commission for a play about jazz performer Valaida Snow, and a new musical Down There with composer Lewis Flinn. He majored in Theater Studies at Yale and got an MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Brian is a member of the Dramatists Guild. (As of April 2011)
PAUL DAIGNEAULT (Producing Artistic Director) was the recipient of the 2014 Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence by the Boston Theater Critics Association. Since founding SpeakEasy in 1992, he has produced over 100 Boston premieres. SpeakEasy directing highlights include: The Color Purple; In the Heights; Xanadu; Next to Normal; Nine; Body Awareness; The Great American Trailer Park Musical; [title of show]; The Savannah Disputation; Jerry Springer – The Opera; The New Century; Some Men; Zanna, Don’t!; Parade (2008 Elliot Norton Award – Outstanding Director, Midsize Company); Almost, Maine; Caroline, or Change; Take Me Out; Company; A Man of No Importance (co-production Súgán); Bat Boy: The Musical (2003 Elliot Norton Award – Outstanding Director, Small Company); Passion; A New Brain; Violet; Songs for a New World; Floyd Collins; Jeffrey; and Love! Valour! Compassion! Regional credits: Grand Hotel and Nine (The Boston Conservatory and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music); Rent, City of Angels, Sunday in the Park with George, and Merrily We Roll Along (The Boston Conservatory); and Into the Woods, Urinetown, and Blue Window (Boston College). Paul is also on the faculty at The Boston Conservatory where he teaches musical theatre and directing. He has also been honored with the Boston College Arts Council’s Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement in 2007, and served as the 2011-2012 Rev. J. Donald Monan S.J. Professor in Theatre Arts. Outside the theatre, Paul serves on the Boards of the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center and the ICU Patient & Family Advisory Council at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
PATRICK GREELEY (Leroy Evans / Radio Singer / Bus Driver 3 / Bus Passenger) is pleased to be making his SpeakEasy debut. He is the composer and co-creator of The Shakespearean Jazz Show, which just finished a successful New York debut. A graduate of Emerson College, Patrick has been composing music locally and internationally for the past few years. Previous acting credits include Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Robin Hood in Robin Hood, and Jason in Ordinary Days.
NILE SCOTT HAWVER* (Monty) returns to SpeakEasy after playing Will Ogden in last season’s Mothers and Sons. Other local credits include productions at Central Square Theater, The Wilbury Group, Huntington Theatre Company, and Commonwealth Shakespeare. National: Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, and many more. He holds a BFA from the University of Rhode Island, and an MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Nile is a proud member of Actor’s Equity, a lucky boyfriend of Maggie, and a grateful actor for another opportunity to work with SpeakEasy Stage. nilehawver.com | nilescottshots.com
AUDREE HEDEQUIST (Young Violet), age 12, recently appeared as Janice in SpeakEasy’s production of Far From Heaven, for which she received an IRNE nomination . Some of her other favorite Boston-area credits include, Shrek, Annie, A Tale of Two Cities, The Miracle Worker (IRNE nom), Charlotte’s Web (Wheelock Family Theatre); HONK!,A Year With Frog and Toad (Boston Children’s Theatre); and The Little Mermaid (Riverside Theatre Works). Audree thanks her family and friends for all their support, and Paul and Matt for this amazing opportunity.
JOHN F. KING (Preacher/Radio Singer/Bus Driver 1 / Bus Driver 4) is happy to return to SpeakEasy having previously appeared in Kiss of the Spider Woman (IRNE Award-Best Actor) and The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin. Other Boston credits include Brundibar & But the Giraffe at Underground Railway Theater, Carnival and The Most Happy Fella at Gloucester Stage, and 1776 at Lyric Stage. John is best known for performing at The Company Theatre, where he has been seen in leading roles in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Singin’ in the Rain, Spamalot, The Fantasticks, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Miss Saigon, Aida, Company, The Rocky Horror Show, 42nd Street, Falsettos, Jesus Christ Superstar, and most recently 1776.
STEPHEN MARKARIAN* (Virgil / Billy Dean / Bus Driver 2 / Radio Singer / Bus Passenger) is thrilled to be returning to SpeakEasy after appearing in CARRIE: the musical as Freddy. Stephen was most recently seen in Wheelock Family Theatre’s production of Shrek The Musical. National Tour: Bunnicula: The Musical (Harold). Favorite Credits: The Full Monty (Dave), Jesus Christ Superstar (Pontius Pilate), Seussical (Horton) and Big River (Huck Finn). He has also appeared as a recurring character on Nickelodeon’s Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide and Drake & Josh, plus Listen Up! with Jason Alexander on CBS. Proud graduate of The Boston Conservatory. Thanks to the cast and crew of Violet, The Mine, Laura, Duncan, and his family.
ALISON McCARTAN* (Violet) is thrilled to return to SpeakEasy having previously appeared in Bad Jews and The Drowsy Chaperone. National Tour: Shrek the Musical (NETworks Presentations). Regional: Dames at Sea, Steel Magnolias, 42nd Street (The Wick Theatre); A Chorus Line (Weston Playhouse); Next to Normal, This is Our Youth (Hangar Theatre); The Rocky Horror Show (The Ordway). Proud graduate of The Boston Conservatory! She would like to thank Paul Daigneault and everyone at SpeakEasy, her agents at Henderson Hogan, and her incredible family and friends for all their love and support. Thoughts Become Things!
MICHAEL MENDIOLA* (Father) is excited to return to SpeakEasy having previously appeared as Bobby in Company; Floyd in the New England premier of Floyd Collins; Dr. Parker in the multi-award winning production of Bat Boy: The Musical; Caroline, or Change; and William Finn’s Elegies. Off-Broadway and regional credits include Anne of Green Gables (Lucille Lortel); After the Fair (York Theatre); Spokesong-The Common Wheel, The Time of Your Life (Storm Theatre); City of Dreams, Jesus Christ Superstar, Brigadoon, Carnival, It’s A Wonderful Life, Children of Eden, She Loves Me, Loose Knit, The Secret Garden, Foxy, That’s the Ticket (VillageTheatre).
CAROLYN SAXON* (Lula Buffington / Almeta / Bus Passenger). SpeakEasy: The Color Purple, In The Heights (IRNE Nomination), Far From Heaven. Broadway/National Tours/NY Theatre: The Civil War; Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk; Hair; Purlie; Can-Can; Timmy the Great (Savion Glover, dir.); Linda Eder: The Christmas Concert. NY International Fringe Festival Film: Sweet & Lowdown, Small Time Crooks, Curse of the Jade Scorpion (dir. by Woody Allen). Regional: North Shore Music Theatre, Connecticut Repertory, Paper Mill Playhouse, Studio Arena Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Weston Playhouse, Forestburgh Playhouse, Artpark, MusicalFare, Struthers Library Theatre. Other: Boston Pops Gospel Choir, Carnegie Hall, Indianapolis Symphony, Boston Community Choir, NEC Millennium Choir, Mystic Chorale. Proud member of AEA. Love and thanks to Jamie.
KATHY ST. GEORGE* (Old Lady / HotelHooker / Bus Passenger) returns to SpeakEasy having appeared in The Divine Sister; Xanadu; Johnny Guitar; All About Election Eve; and Ruthless! Recent credits include Light Up the Sky (Lyric Stage), Closer Than Ever, and King of Second Avenue (New Rep), Dear Miss Garland, Thoroughly Modern Millie (Stoneham), 9 to 5 (NSMT), and End of the Rainbow in FL. Broadway: Fiddler on the Roof, directed by Jerome Robbins (Tony Award ’91); Off-Broadway: I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and five national tours. Kathy is the recipient of the 2012 Elliot Norton Award, and two IRNE Awards. BS, M.Ed. Salem State University. kathystgeorge.com
JEANINE TESORI (Music) composed the scores to the Broadway productions of Fun Home (2014 Tony Winner for Best Original Score); Caroline, or Change (2004 Tony nomination for Best Original Score); Shrek the Musical (Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations for her music); and Thoroughly Modern Millie (2000). She has written music for several plays, including Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center (Tony Nom. for best score), John Guare’s A Free Man of Color, and Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children, which was part of the 2006 Shakespeare in the Park season and starred Meryl Streep. Her film scores include Nights in Rodanthe, Every Day, and You’re Not You. Her opera, A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck (libretto by Tony Kushner) premiered at Glimmerglass Festival in 2011 and her newest opera, The Lion, the Unicorn and Me, had its world premiere run at D.C.’s Washington National Opera in December 2013. She is the creative director and co-founder (with Idina Menzel) of A Broader Way Foundation, an immersive arts education program for girls from underserved communities of New York City. She is the founding artistic director of Encores! Off-Center at New York City Center and is a lecturer in music at Yale University.
(Boston) – SpeakEasy Stage will receive an Arts Work Award of $10,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help fund a unique collaboration between the company and area gospel choirs as part of its upcoming New England premiere production of the acclaimed Broadway musical VIOLET, running January 9 – February 6, in […]read more