Meet the Cast – Mary Poppins

KATHLEEN BERGER (Miss Andrew/Mrs. Corry) is thrilled to return to AZ Broadway! Recently: Eulalie McKechnie Shinn (The Music Man/Showtune Productions); Soprano Soloist: Requiem (Michael Haydn/Glendale College); Soprano Soloist: Mass in C (Beethoven/Helios Ensemble); What Makes it Great: Gershwin (Robert Kapilow/MIM); Narrator (Joseph…Dreamcoat)/FHTAZ); Love is Here to Stay (Theater Works); Beggar Woman (Sweeney Todd/MET – Best Supporting Actress); Nettie Fowler (Carousel/AZ Broadway); Yvonne/Naomi (Sunday in the Park With George/FHTAZ); Queen (SpellBound!/Southwest Shakespeare, premiere); Soprano Soloist: Vesperae Solennes de Confessore (Mozart/Glendale College); Solange (Follies/Theater Works, AZ premiere); Soprano Soloist: Requiem (Mozart/Glendale College); Miss Jones (H2$/Theater Works, AriZoni nomination); Rose (The Secret Garden/AZ Broadway). Internationally: Violetta (La traviata); Musetta (La bohème); Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor); Countess Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro); Witch (Into the Woods), many more. She is the only American singer to ever appear with Compañía Lírica Dolores Marco in Spain. I love and could not do this without my SuperManuel, my tiny twin Alba-Bergers, my family, and the Four Kitties of the Apocalypse!

ALLISON BLANCHARD (Annie) is a Franklin, Tennessee, native and holds a BFA in modern dance from the University of South Florida.  Her recent credits include: 42nd Street National Tour; Scrooge No More, Busch Gardens Williamsburg.  She is very excited to be spending her summer with Arizona Broadway Theatre performing in Mary Poppins!

WYATT CHAMOFF (Michael Banks) is thrilled to be making his ABT debut with Mary Poppins! Wyatt is 9 years old and will start 4th grade in the fall. Wyatt has previously appeared in Flat Stanley, Beauty and the Beast as Chip, Shrek the Musical, and most recently in Charlotte’s Web as Templeton the Rat. Wyatt enjoys to reading, playing with his sister, and asking questions. He would like to thank his family for all they do to support him.

CHAE CLEARWOOD (Mrs. Brill/Bird Woman) is thrilled to be making her ABT debut this season!  Her favorite credits include Dyanne in Million Dollar Quartet, Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, Rizzo in Grease, and Dolly in One Man, Two Guvnors.  A native of Billings, Montana, Chae now resides in New York City where she recently graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.  She also holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Montana State University – Billings.  Chae would like to thank the numerous friends and family who have supported her dreams and ambitions over the years, without which none of this would be possible.

JULIANNE CREED (Jane Banks) just finished 6th grade. She loves to perform and is thrilled to be in her first role with ABT!  Her past performances include Young Fiona in NCS’s production of Shrek, Jr., Young Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web, and Gracie Shinn in The Music Man.  She has also performed as Cinderella in Cinderella, and as part of the Ensemble in White Christmas for Pinnacle Creative Arts.   She loves doing gymnastics, being with her family and friends, singing, and just being creative however possible!

BEATRICE CROSBIE (Mrs. Winifred Banks) is overjoyed to join Arizona Broadway Theatre this summer! NYC based, UCLA alumni. Tours: Beauty and the Beast International (Wardrobe/Mrs Potts us), 42nd Street National (Diane/Dorothy Brock us), How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the Musical National (Grandma Who) Regional: Nice Work If You Can Get It (Billie), She Loves Me (Amalia), Company (Jenny) Big thanks to the ABT team and Luedtke Agency. Love to my incredible family!

ALEX CROSSLAND (Ensemble) is very happy to be returning to Arizona Broadway Theatre, he holds a Bachelors of Music in Musical Theatre Performance from Arizona State University, but is originally from Northern California. Recent regional credits include Gypsy (Farmer’s Alley Theatre) Newsies and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (The Barn Theatre), and Million Dollar Quartet, Billy Elliot, and Bullets Over Broadway (Phoenix Theatre). Some of his favorite roles include Ralph in Reefer Madness, Henry in Next to Normal, Grantaire in Les Miserables, and Roger in Rent. Alex would like to thank his friends and family for their support.

EVAN DOLAN (Ensemble) is supercalifragilistically excited to return to Arizona Broadway in Disney’s Mary Poppins! Some of his favorite credits include the Jeff Award-winning production of Sweeney Todd (Paramount Theatre), Funny Girl (Arizona Broadway), Cabaret (Thingamajig Theatre Co.), West Side Story (Woodstock Playhouse), and Nice Work If You Can Get It (Broward Stage Door). He sends a massive “THANK YOU” to his family for supporting him in all of his adventures, and to Clayton and everyone at ABT for their continued generosity!

HANNAH FAIRMAN (Fannie) is thrilled to be back at ABT for another Disney classic! Hannah was last seen in ABT’s Beauty and the Beast as a Silly Girl and as Babette at the Herberger! Recent credits include Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s Mamma Mia! (ensemble/uns. Ali/Lisa) and Theatre by the Sea’s The Producers (Usherette). Favorite credits: Grease (Frenchy), Shrek (Fairy Godmother), Anything Goes (Purity), The Drowsy Chaperone, Footloose, and Oklahoma! BFA Musical Theatre, Point Park University. Instagram: @fannahairman

SAMANTHA GARDNER (Ensemble) is thrilled to make her debut at the Arizona Broadway Theatre, and return to one of her favorite shows, “Mary Poppins.” Previous credits include: “Gershwin” (Off-Broadway), “Happy Days” (Westchester Broadway Theatre), “Show Boat” Magnolia u/s (Alhambra Theatre & Dining), and Ms. Lark “Mary Poppins” (Prather Entertainment Group). Love always to Mom, Dad, Marshall, Alex, and Snow. Enjoy the show!

PHILLIP GIANDILETTI (Neleus) is a recent graduate of Oklahoma City University and is excited to be making his first appearance at Arizona Broadway Theatre in Mary Poppins. He has recently finished performing in Dallas at Casa Mañana Theatre in Evita, Al Deluca in A Chorus Line at Uptown Players, and in Grease as Danny Zuko at Firehouse Theatre. Other theatre credits include: Thoroughly Modern Millie (Ensemble), Newsies (Oscar Delancey/Ensemble/Dance Captain), 7 Brides for 7 Brothers (Nathan); Music Theatre Wichita. West Side Story (Anxious); Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. Mary Poppins, 42nd St. (Ensemble); The Lexington Theatre Company.

STEPHEN HOHENDORF (Policeman) is ecstatic to be returning to this beautiful theatre and for such a magical show!  Previous ABT credits include Mordred in last season’s Camelot, Fiddler on the Roof, and The Best Little Whorehouse in TX.  Stephen is coming straight from a run of Show Boat (Frank Schultz) at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre in Lancaster, PA.  National Tours: The Full Monty, Sesame Street Live!, Pinkalicious, and Flight School the Musical. New York: Stinky Kids, Pinkalicious, the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz (Vital Theatre Company), and Leaf in The 25th Annual…Spelling Bee (MCTC). Regional/ Summerstock:  Surflight Theatre, Hope Summer Repertory, and The Liberty Theatre.  Stephen spent his last two summers at the historical Ft. Peck Summer Theatre directing, choreographing, and acting in shows such as Oliver!, Arsenic and Old Lace, Mary Poppins, and Grease.  A humongous thank you to the amazing team here at ABT- Cass, Keil, Kurtis, and Clayton! And a big thank-you to YOU for continuing to support live theatre.

CONNOR HUBBARD (Park Keeper/Northbrook/Valentine/Bert cover) is absolutely stoked to be making his ABT debut! Recent favorites include Monty Python’s SpamalotAnything GoesHello Dolly!, Saturday Night Fever and Nice Work If You Can Get It. Major love and gratitude to family and friends that have supported me along the way — you’re the best.

GREG KALAFATAS (Admiral Boom/Bank Chairman) doesn’t like talking about himself in the third person, so he’s going to stop now! I’m returning to Arizona Broadway Theatre for my fifth production and couldn’t be happier to be back.  If I look familiar, maybe you caught my performance as Franz in The Producers or, most recently, Chef Louis in The Little Mermaid... or maybe I just look like someone you know! Thanks to Cassandra, Kiel and Kurtis along with everyone here at ABT, my family, and friends for all the love and support. gregkalafatas.com

RENEE KATHLEEN KOHER (Mary Poppins) is beyond excited to be a part of this beautiful show! Bringing one of her all-time favorite Disney characters to life, for ABTs 100th production, is truly a dream come true! This will mark Renee’s 21st mainstage production at ABT. Some of her favorites include: Kiss Me, Kate (Lily/Katherine), A Christmas Carol (Ghost of Christmas Past), Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Doatsy Mae), Camelot (Nimue/Morgan LeFay), Carousel (Mrs. Mullins), Fiddler on the Roof (Fruma Sarah), Rock Of Ages, Hair, Disney’s the Little Mermaid, Disney’s Tarzan, and most recently The Bridges of  Madison County. Other favorite Regional credits include: The Marvelous Wonderettes (Missy), Cabaret (Sally Bowles), 9 to 5 (Violet), Pippin (Fastrata), Godspell, and Sister Act. Renee has worked for multiple years with Disney Cruise Line and Tokyo Disney Resort as a singer and aerialist in multiple shows on the high seas and in Japan. A huge thank you to Mom, Dad, and Ryan for always supporting her dreams and helping them come true; to Cass, Kiel and Kurtis for giving her this gift that is Mary, and for being such an incredible family; to Clayton and JR for being our fearless leaders, and bringing this world to life; and to this amazing cast, crew and production team for all the magic and incredible talent you bring to this show. BUNNY!! www.reneekathleenkoher.com

AARON McCASKILL (Michael Banks) is 11yrs old and in 7th grade. He is home-schooled and enjoys playing the piano, dancing, cooking and reading.  Aaron has performed throughout the valley including at Valley Youth Theater in A Winnie the Pooh Christmas Tale (Piglet). His other productions include Madagascar (Foosa) at Queen Creek Performing Arts; Robin Hood and His Merry Men (Kevin), All Shook Up (Dennis), and Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. (Ching Ho), all at Actors Youth Theater. Aaron loves being on stage and is excited to be a part of Mary Poppins at ABT.

CHRIS McNIFF (Bert) is S-U-P-E-R excited to be playing one of his dream roles this summer at ABT! He was most recently seen in his second year on the National Tour of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, directed and choreographed by Randy Skinner. He was also seen on the 2015 National Tour of Memphis. Regional credits include Stages St. Louis, Arkansas Rep, Northern Stage, Music Theatre of CT, Artpark, and New London Barn Playhouse. Chris is also a choreographer, and has choreographed shows in college, at two regional theaters, as well as for a program in Shanghai, China. He has a BFA in Music Theatre from Elon University in North Carolina. He’d like to thank his parents, his sister Cara, Mama, his friends, and everyone else who has helped him along the way. “In this whole wide world, there’s no ‘appier bloke.” Now, let’s go fly a kite! www.chrismcniff.com

MELISSA MITCHELL (Miss Lark/Mrs. Banks cover) hails from San Diego, but now calls NYC home. Previous ABT credits include Legally Blonde (Gaelan/Elle us*perf), Whorehouse (Eloise), and Shrek (Humpty/Fiona/Dragon us*perf). Regional credits include A Christmas Carol at North Shore Music Theatre, Sister Act at The Palace Theatre, and several shows with Prather Entertainment. She would like to thank Cass, Kurtis, Kiel, and Rob for the opportunity, her bestie Liz for all her love, and her family for their never-wavering support and love. Jer 29:11 www.melissasmitchell.com

CONNER MORLEY (Robertson Ay) is so excited to be at Arizona Broadway Theatre for another summer! He was last seen on stage in ABT’s productions of Beauty and the Beast and Shrek!The Musical. He will be heading into his senior year at The University of Arizona in the fall as a BFA Musical Theatre Major. At UofA, he was recently seen in Addams Family (Dance Captain) and The Pajama Game (Prez/Steam Heat). He would like to thank his professors for their help, his friends for their love and support, and his mom, dad, and brother who are always there for him. I couldn’t do this without you guys, much love. Follow his journey on Instagram – @connerrm

GRACIE PALMER (Jane Banks) Gracie’s first love is acting – anywhere, anyhow.  She was last seen playing the spunky Vivian in Starlight Community Theater’s presentation of Revenge of the Space Pandas as an acrobatic equestrian circus performer – Cornelia – at Pinnacle Creative Arts, and the energetic, acrobatic, Unicorn in Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe at Theaterworks. When not performing on the theatrical stage, Gracie studies all forms of dance, practices Kung Fu and takes piano, singing, and acting lessons and sings in her church choir.  Gracie loves school – especially writing (fiction), participates in advanced mathematics programs, and loves to play at the park with her siblings and friends.

JAMIE PARNELL (Mr. George Banks) a native of Montana, is delighted to be spending the winter once more with ABT. Jamie, who studied voice performance and has a BA in Theatre from the University of Montana, performed for the first time on the ABT stage in the 2009 production of A Christmas Carol as Young Marley. Since then he has been lucky enough to work with them in Phantom, Footloose, and as Vittorio Vidal in Sweet Charity. Having spent Season 12 in ABT productions of Funny Girl (Nick Arnstein), Camelot (Lancelot), Oliver!, and Jesus Christ Superstar, Jamie is looking forward to a shift in gears and to helping to bring this classic show to Phoenix audiences.

EMILY RHEIN (Katie Nanna/Miss Smythe/Queen Victoria) is thrilled to be back at Arizona Broadway Theatre! Past ABT credits include Funny Girl (Ensemble, u/s Fanny Brice) & A Christmas Story (Ensemble/Dance Captain, u/s Miss Shields). National tours: A Christmas Story (with my “Blondie” Ralphie, Tristan Klaphake!). Regional favorites: 42nd Street, Little Women the Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Hairspray. BFA Musical Theatre from Western Illinois University. “All my love to my wonderfully supportive family & friends and endless thanks to the entire ABT family and Prevail Artist Management. For Tori; practically perfect in every way.” www.emilyrhein.com @EmRhein

ERIC WATERS (Von Hussler) is thrilled to make his Arizona Broadway Theatre debut with this practically perfect cast! A Texas native now based in New York, Eric is a proud graduate of Coastal Carolina Universities BFA Musical Theatre Program. Regional; Mary Poppins (Broadway Palm, FL), South Pacific (The Fireside Theatre, WI), Spamalot, and Damn Yankees (Sharon Playhouse, CT), 9 to 5Young Frankenstein, and Kiss Me, Kate (Weathervane Theatre, NH). Special thanks to every member of the Arizona Broadway Theatre family for helping to make magic possible! “Go and chase your dreams, you won’t regret it. Anything can happen if you let it.”

KARA ZIRINGER (Ensemble/Mary Poppins cover) is thrilled to be returning to the ABT stage! She graduated from the Florida State University in May of 2016 and has been living in New York City ever since. Her previous ABT credits include Showboat (Ensemble/Magnolia Cover) and A Christmas Carol (Ensemble) at the Herberger Theatre Center! Other favorite credits include: A Chorus Line (Maggie), Into the Woods (Rapunzel), Legally Blonde (Serena), and Young Frankenstein (Dance Captain/Ensemble).  She would like to thank her family and friends for their unwavering love and support. Enjoy the show!