Meet the Cast of Titanic

MICHAEL D. BRENNAN (Jim Farrell) is thrilled to be making his debut at Arizona Broadway Theatre in Titanic! Originally from Virginia, Michael holds a BA in Theatre Performance from Liberty University and now resides in NYC. Recent credits include: Captain Phoebus in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Joe Hardy in Damn Yankees (Mac-Haydn Theatre), Disney Cruise Line (The Disney Magic), Dance, Dance, Dance: America (Hersheypark/RWS Entertainment Group), Mary Poppins (Virginia Repertory Theatre), and other regional theatres. All thanks to God, family, and friends for their constant love, encouragement, and support. Follow him @themikebren | michael-brennan.com

MADISON CICHON (Kate Murphey) is ecstatic to be returning to the ABT stage! Her most recent credits include Narrator in Joseph… Dreamcoat (Desert Stages Theatre), Veronica in Heathers: The Musical (Brelby Theatre Company), Kelli Mangrum in Hands on a Hardbody (Arizona Broadway Theatre), and Maria in West Side Story (Grand Canyon University). However, when she’s not on stage, Madison is busy working towards her Bachelors of Arts in Government with an Emphasis in Legal Studies, with a minor in Theatre, from GCU. She’d like to thank Cassandra and Kurtis for this opportunity, the cast and crew for being a great team, and her wonderful family for their lifelong support and love. @mcichon514

CHAE CLEARWOOD (Charlotte Cardoza) is so excited to return to the ABT stage! She was most recently seen as Mrs. Brill/Bird Woman in Mary Poppins and The Bridges of Madison County. A few of her other favorite credits include Dyanne in Million Dollar Quartet, Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, Rizzo in Grease, and Dolly in One Man, Two Guvnors. Chae recently graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City and also holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Montana State University ’96 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.

CHRISTOPHER CODY COOLEY (J.J. Astor) is excited to be back once again at ABT! He was last seen in Catch Me If You Can. He holds a BA in Acting from Rider University: Westminster College of the Arts. Past credits: Show Boat, Grease (Prather Productions) Crazy For You, Mamma Mia (Post Playhouse), Shrek The Musical, 42nd Street, The Fantasticks (Forestburgh Playhouse); Cole (St. Vincent Summer Theatre) The Wizard of Oz, White Christmas (Toby’s Dinner Theatre) Our Town, Metamorphoses (Rider University). Love to friends and family for their support!

MATTHEW CURTIS (First Officer Murdoch) is thrilled to return to ABT. Past roles include Bishop/Javert u/s (Les Misérables), Valentine (Kiss of the Spider Woman), Kevin (In The Heights), The Engineer (Miss Saigon), Paul (Company), Jud (Oklahoma!), Gus (Cats), Capt. Walker (Tommy), Darren (Take Me Out), Albert Lenox (Secret Garden – ABT). He has been trained under the watchful eyes of Broadway stars Marc Kudisch, Robert DuSold, Jeff McCarthy, and Patrick Page. Thank you, Kurtis and Cassandra! Please visit www.matthewjohncurtis.com for more info. This one is for my Uncle Tony!!!

OLIN DAVIDSON (Captain E.J. Smith) is thrilled to be joining ABT for another production. Credits include My Fair Lady (Henry Higgins), Mary Poppins (Bert), Beauty and the Beast (Lumière), The Little Mermaid (Scuttle), Oklahoma! (Will Parker), Cats (Skimbleshanks), Mamma Mia! (Harry), Forever Plaid (Smudge). He has also performed with Debbie Gibson as a backup dancer and with Barry Manilow as a vocalist. Many thanks to my loving family for their never-ending love and support, as well as the team here at Arizona Broadway for this opportunity.

TRISHA HART DITSWORTH (Caroline Neville) is extremely grateful to be here. ABT credits: Johanna (Sweeney Todd), Maria (The Sound of Music), Martha (The Secret Garden), Penny (Hairspray), Pickles (Trailer Park), Rapunzel (Into the Woods), Annabel (Lucky Stiff). Phoenix Theatre credits: Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins), Sarah (The Toxic Avenger), Percy (The Spitfire Grill), Catherine (Pippin), Hope (Anything Goes), and Eden (Bullets Over Broadway). She has a BFA in Musical Theater from the University of Arizona and has lived and worked out of both New York and Chicago. Thank you to Mom, Dad, and to my awesome husband Matravius for your endless love and support! www.trishaditsworth.com

FRED GERLE (Isidor Strauss) Arizona Broadway Theatre’s outstanding production of Titanic is Fred’s third appearance here. He enjoyed his role in Carousel in 2016 (Starkeeper/Dr. Seldon) and in 2017’s Oliver! (Mr. Browlow). In the past year, he has also been seen in the Phoenix area in West Side Story (Lt.Schrank) and A Christmas Carol (Jacob Marley/Old Joe). He is currently providing one of the character voices for a soon-to-be-completed web series Benefactors. Special thanks go out to Kiel, Cassandra, and Kurtis for this wonderful opportunity and to his beautiful, supportive wife, Kerry!

DAVID GROCCIA (John B. Thayer) ABT debut! Regional: Ocean State Theatre Company, Millbrook Playhouse, Jenny Wiley Theatre, Jean’s Playhouse, Greater Ocean City Theatre Company, Priscilla Beach Theatre, and Reagle Music Theatre. National Tour: ArtsPower National Touring Theatre. David is originally from Rhode Island and a graduate of Rhode Island College. For Mom, watching from the best seat in the house.

JACOB HERRERA (Second Officer Lightoller) studied Music Education at GCC and has a passion for musical theater and is very grateful of the opportunity to share his love for the arts with audiences. Previously at ABT he was seen in Altar Boyz (Swing Juan/Luke) and Saturday Night Fever (Ensemble) and has assisted in the ABT Academy summer camps. His most recent credits are Hans in Cabaret, Christopher in Leader of The Pack, and Jetsam in The Little Mermaid, all at Fort Peck Summer Theater in Montana. Locally, he was recently seen as Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Desert Stages and Warner in Legally Blonde at Spotlight Youth Theater. Jacob would like to thank the 4Mans, the ABT family, his friends Bryce and Samantha, and all of the others who have supported him along the way. Enjoy the show!

CONNOR HUBBARD (Frederick Fleet) is absolutely stoked to be back at ABT! You might remember him from Mary Poppins (Park Keeper/Northbrook/Valentine). Since then, he returned to the Mac Haydn Theatre in upstate New York for The Wedding Singer (George) and Annie (Bert Healy). Eternal gratitude to family and friends for their unyielding support. See more at connorhubbard.net

KIEL KLAPHAKE (Thomas Andrews) brings a broad range of credits to his role as leader and founder of the Arizona Broadway Theatre, having laid the plans for this modern theatre enterprise. In 2015, Kiel was named Nonprofit Leader of the Year by Leadership West; additional accomplishments include being named one of the West Valley 24 by West Valley Magazine, Phoenix Business Journal’s Forty-Under-40, a graduate of Leadership West and a former member of both the National Alliance of Musical Theatre and the National Dinner Theatre Association. As the CEO/Executive Producer for ABT, Kiel has elevated the company to being the largest musical theatre producer in the state receiving numerous awards and accolades including Westmarc’s Best of the West Award, Phoenix Magazine’s Best Playhouse, and recently Business Partner of the Year from the Peoria Chamber of Commerce. Artistically, Kiel has worn many hats at ABT, including that of conductor for Brigadoon and director of numerous productions, including: Cabaret, Gypsy, Lend Me a Tenor, 42nd Street, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Full Monty, Sunset Boulevard, Oklahoma!, Disney’s The Little Mermaid and West Side Story. As a performer, Kiel shared his talent on stage in Annie Get Your Gun, Phantom, Peter Pan and most recently as Valjean in Les Misérables. Additionally Kiel spent several years in the role of Raoul in the original Hal Prince production of The Phantom of the Opera in Hamburg, Germany. A native of Missoula, Montana, Kiel earned his bachelor’s degree in music from The University of Montana and a Master of Music degree from The New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts.

KIERAN KLAPHAKE (Bellboy), a freshman at Sandra Day O’Connor High School, is thrilled to return to the ABT stage! He performed most recently as Charley Bates in Oliver! and Scut Farkus in A Christmas Story. Kieran made his ABT debut at the age of nine in Joseph…Dreamcoat and has literally grown up on this stage, playing such great roles as Flounder in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Louis in The King and I, and flying through Neverland as John Darling in Disney’s Peter Pan. ABT Academy shows include Panik at the Disco, Shrek, Jr., Squirm!, Disney’s The Jungle Book and Disney’s 101 Dalmatians. Kieran is also a proud member of ABT’s performance troupe, HyRev. In addition to singing, he enjoys playing piano, songwriting, photography, sketching, and hanging out with his three-legged rescue dog, Django. Thanks to Mom, Dad, and Tristan for believing in me.

JOHN KNISPEL (Frederick Barrett) is so humbled to be returning to Arizona Broadway Theatre for his 2nd season! After performing in Man of La Mancha, A Christmas Carol, Show Boat, and Hair last season, he knew he\’92d have to do what he could to come back to this winter paradise! Favorite past credits include Emcee in Cabaret, Elvis Presley in Million Dollar Quartet, Ritchie Valens in Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Lord Farquaad in Shrek: The Musical, and Princeton in Avenue Q. A Billings, Montana, native, John graduated from the University of Montana with degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Education. John would like to give a huge thank you to his family, Paul, Berta, Jessica, and Anica, for being so supportive over the years.

CAROLYN McPHEE (Ida Strauss) is excited to step aboard this amazing production! Carolyn has been kept busy by ABT, most recently in the Encore Room’s premiere production of Forbidden Broadway. Recent ABT favorites include Catch Me If You Can (Paula), Bridges of Madison County (Marge), Hands on a Hardbody (Virginia), A Christmas Story (Mother), and The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Linoleum). Originally from Chicago, Carolyn attended NIU and appeared in theatres throughout Chicago including Drury Lane, Apollo Theatre, Apple Tree, Theatre at The Center, Light Opera Works, Borealis and Pheasant Run Dinner Theatre. Carolyn and her husband foster kittens and help rehome found pets. Carolyn donates her entire salary to help with spay/neuter/dental costs of cats and dogs for people who cannot afford it.

MATTHEW MELLO (J. Bruce Ismay) Hello, Peoria! Matt is glad to be back at ABT with this talented cast. Matt is now a local Peorian (Not sure if that term is used.) (If it isn’t, I just trademarked it.) He is excited to be here on the regular! This is his 4th production with ABT and hopefully not the last. Other ABT roles include Hanratty in Catch Me If You Can, Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar and as Lonny in Rock of Ages. He is excited to start this new chapter in his life with his wife, Dana, and son, Aiden. Matt would like to thank his family, Cassandra, Keil, Kurtis, and everyone at ABT from the Box Office and beyond for welcoming him and his family. ‘Art is beautiful. Art is love. Art is life.’

ANDY MEYERS (Harold Bride/ Wallace Hartley) is thrilled to be returning to ABT where he has most recently appeared as Bud in The Bridges of Madison County, Sancho in Man of La Mancha, Jean Shepherd (Narrator) in Christmas Story, Enoch Snow in Carousel and King Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar, as well as directing South Pacific, The King and I, Oliver, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The Secret Garden and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, among many others. He is currently in his 8th year as Artistic Director of Fort Peck Summer Theatre, where he had led the company to recording breaking seasons, and was previously Managing Director for Performing Arts at Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island, NY. Other favorite performance credits include the national tours of Annie and Bus Stop. Andy is a graduate of Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Boston, Wagner College in NYC and holds his Masters from University of Montana.

MELISSA MITCHELL (Kate McGowan) is thrilled to return again to ABT after previous appearances in Sweeney Todd at HTC and Mary Poppins (Miss Lark, Winnifred/Corry/Andrew cover). Originally from San Diego, she now calls NYC home. Past ABT credits include Legally Blonde (Galen, Elle cover), Bridges of Madison County (Ens, Francesca cover), Whorehouse (Eloise), and Shrek (Humpty, Fiona/Dragon cover). Recent regional credits include A Christmas Carol (Ens, Dilbur/Fezziwig cover) at North Shore Music Theatre, and Sister Act (Ensemble) at The Palace Theatre. Melissa also has a passion for teaching kids about the arts, and works as a Broadway Classroom Rep for Broadway.com. Many thanks to Cass, Kiel, Kurtis, and Rob for this opportunity, and to her family for their unwavering support! BA from LU’11. Jer 29:11 www.melissasmitchell.com

TYLER PIRRUNG (Benjamin Guggenheim) is so happy to be returning to ABT for his fifth show! He holds his BA in Theatre from Florida State University. Tyler was previously seen on the ABT stage as Frank Schultz in Show Boat and also in the ensembles of Funny Girl and Oliver! Other recent credits include Singin’ in the Rain (Cosmo Brown), Young Frankenstein (Igor), The Drowsy Chaperone (Aldolpho), and A Christmas Carol (Christmas Past). He would like to thank his family, Charlie, and his friends for their endless love and support and also Kiel, Cass, and Kurtis for bringing him back out West! To see what else Tyler has done and to find out what adventures await him next, visit www.tylerpirrung.com!

JAY ROBERTS (Edgar Beane) is incredibly excited to be back in Arizona! Previously at ABT he was seen as Old Joe in A Christmas Carol, Mr. Sowerberry in Oliver, and Schroeder in Charlie Brown Christmas. Jay is finally applying his degree in architecture, designing a historical wing for the Pioneer Museum in Glasgow, Montana, and has been scenic designer for several shows at Fort Peck Summer Theatre. A few of his previous roles include Arthur Kipps in The Woman in Black, the Jeff Barry in Leader of the Pack, and Prince Eric in Disney’s the Little Mermaid at the Fort Peck Summer Theatre. Jay is overjoyed to be returning to the ABT family. Thank you to Cass and Kurtis for this amazing opportunity.

MEGGIE SIEGRIST (Marion Thayer) couldn’t be happier to be back on her favorite stage in Arizona! She was last seen on the Herberger stage as The Beggar Woman in ABT’s production of Sweeney Todd. Other credits include Hair (ABT), Ursula in The Little Mermaid (Fort Peck Summer Theater), Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins (Jenny Wiley Theater), The Housekeeper in Man Of La Mancha (ABT), Ellie Greenwich in Leader of the Pack (Fort Peck Summer Theater), and Audrey in Leading Ladies (The Great American Melodrama). She would like to give a huge shout out to her entire ABT family for making Arizona the best home away from home a girl could ask for.

BEN STASNY (Henry Etches) A Minnesota boy through and through, Ben now calls NYC his home. He has performed most recently in Scooby Doo and the Mystery of the Pyramid (Shaggy) halfway across the world in Saudi Arabia with Event Box and Warner Bros. He also voiced Mayor Humdinger for Paw Patrol Live touring the Middle East with Event Box and Nickelodeon. He performed with the New York New Works Festival in When Harry Met Nancy (Harry). Ben was seen last in Sweeney Todd (Pirelli) and Beauty and the Beast (Lumière) here at ABT. Other credits include Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular (Genie) with Disney Cruise Line and Shrek: the Musical (Lord Farquaad) at Crane River Theater. “Thanks to everyone who allows me to keep playing and pursuing this dream. My love to my family.”

JILL TIESKOETTER (Alice Beane) is very excited to be back at ABT after reprising the role of Mrs Cratchit/Scrooge’s Mother in the ABT production of A Christmas Carol at the Herberger Theater Center. Jill was welcomed into the ABT family in 2006 and has been returning from Alaska ever since. You may remember her as Anna in The King and I. Jill is the proud mother of two Huskies, Quigley and Guinness. She would like to thank her hubby, Rob, for his support in pursuing her passions and you for being here to support live theatre. Enjoy the show!

ERIC WATERS (Charles Clarke) is ecstatic to be returning to Arizona Broadway Theatre after joining the “practically perfect” cast of Disney’s Mary Poppins last summer! A Texas native now based in New York, Eric is a proud graduate of the Coastal Carolina University BFA Musical Theatre Program. Selected Regional: White Christmas (Prather Productions, PA), South Pacific (The Fireside Theatre), Spamalot and Damn Yankees (Sharon Playhouse, CT), 9 to 5, Young Frankenstein, and Kiss me, Kate (Weathervane Theatre, NH). Special thanks to everyone at Arizona Broadway Theatre. Enjoy the show!

BRODY WURR (Bellboy) is thrilled to be part of this amazing production of Titanic The Musical! Brody most recently was seen in Arizona Broadway Theatre at the Herberger Theater Center’s beautiful and haunting Sweeney Todd. Favorite roles include The Artful Dodger in Oliver! at Arizona Broadway Theatre, Herman in Cabaret at Spotlight Youth Theatre, and Archie in 13 The Musical at Musical Theatre of Anthem (NYA award and ariZoni nomination). Brody is the proud recipient of the 2016 National Youth Arts Award for Junior Artist of the Year. Thank you to everyone at ABT for making dreams come true!

LIANE ZIELINSKI (Kate Mullins) is thrilled to be returning to the Arizona Broadway Theater! Previous ABT credits include Sweeney Todd (Ensemble/ Beggar Woman cover) and Hair (Tribe Member). Most recently, Liane was seen in the Forestburgh Playhouse’s Steel Magnolias (Annelle). Other credits include FBP’s Baskerville (Actress 1), Rocky Horror Show (Columbia), Young Frankenstein (Elizabeth Benning) and To Kill A Mocking Bird (Jean Louise), The Theater Barn’s productions of Nunsense (Sister Mary Amnesia), Godspell (Day by Day Soloist), and Guys and Dolls (Hot Box Dancer / Adelaide u/s). Proud graduate of Marymount Manhattan College. Thank you to my incredible family for your never-ending love and support!