April 14-15 and 19-22
A Rollicking Musical Comedy
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey
Grease is the word! Celebrate the Rydell High class of 1959 in this iconic rock ’n’ roll musical. Meet the Burger Palace Boys and the Pink Ladies, a group of ten working-class teenagers navigating peer pressure, friendship, and love, amongst other things. New-to-town good girl Sandy Dumbrowski falls hard for head greaser Danny Zuko when the two meet during the summer, but will their relationship survive the ups and downs of high school? With a toe-tapping score that inspired the smash hit movie adaptation, this is a show you won’t want to miss!
NOTE: This production contains some adult language, mild adult themes, and smoking.
“Grease” is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc., a Concord Theatricals Company. www.concordtheatricals.com
Friday, April 14th at 7:30pm - Opening Night Party
Saturday, April 15th at 1:00pm - THEATRE FOR ALL PERFORMANCE
Saturday, April 15th at 7:30pm
Wednesday, April 19th at 7:30pm
Thursday, April 20th at 7:30pm
Friday, April 21st at 7:30pm
Saturday, April 22nd at 7:30pm
Location: Forest Roberts Theatre
Tickets are $17 for General Public, $12 for NMU Faculty/Staff, Seniors, and Military, $10 for Students, and $5 for NMU Students.
|Teen Angel/Kenickie Understudy
|Michael Ahlstrom, Jessica Cebellos, Helen Fortin, Austin Graham, Zoë Hajec, Lia Hielkema, Kyla Kotecki, Bryson Krieger† , Rebecca Piepszak, Amaraé Robinson, Sallie Taubitz
|Gracie Fries, Megan Hibbard
|Musical Director/Pit Conductor
|Lex van Blommestein
|Production Stage Manager
† Indicates membership in Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honor Society.
Additional Artistic Staff
|Assistant Sound Designer
|Assistant Technical Director
|Cyrus Cohen, Emily Kendall
|Light Board Operator
|Dane Krusick, Meara Kronsperger
|Gianna Bratke, Zephyrus Choberka, Adriana Fascella, Cassidy Olson
|Follow Spot Operator
|Shiloh Bechek, Madeline Indermuehle
|Carley Bishop, Laura Hinz, Georgia Hummell, Marin Johnson, Hannah Leach
† Indicates membership in Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honor Society.
Forest Roberts Theatre Professional Staff
|Directors of Theatre and Dance
|Technical Director and Scene Shop Supervisor
|Lex van Blommestein
|Costume Shop Supervisor
|Sound and Media Supervisor
|Marketing/Box Office Manager
Forest Roberts Theatre Staff
|Costume Shop Staff
|Gianna Bratke, Zephyrus Choberka, Rhiannyn McCauley, Alistair Nehmeh, Suzanne Shahbazi, Elise Wilcox
|Electrics Student Supervisor
|Cassie Bowler, Cyrus Cohen, Dane Krusick, Rachel Martin, William Squires IV
|Marketing/Box Office Staff
|Tyler Crowley, Keely-Shaye Hanson, Bryson Krieger† , Kyra Skinner
|Scene Shop Technicians
|Lance Bowler, Tyler Crowley, Emily Iszler, Bryson Krieger† , Noah Proctor†, Carl Swanson, Sam Wardisiani†
|Sound/Media Student Supervisor
† Indicates membership in Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honor Society.
John Thomson (Danny Zuko) is a junior at NMU and just recently joined the BFA Musical Theatre Program, minoring in Health with a fitness leadership and sports performance focus. He has been performing in department theatre productions for two years. Some of his past performances include Elf: The Musical (Ensemble), The Producers (Leo Bloom), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Doug Panch), and Salome (First Soldier).
Annabelle Lesser (Sandy Dumbrowski) is an ACTING BFA recruit from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York. She is very excited and grateful to have the opportunity to play the role of Sandy in her first production at NMU. She’d like to thank her family for their constant unwavering support, and she’d like to dedicate this performance to her grandma back home.
Liam Fisher (Kenickie) is a freshman Musical Theatre BFA returning to the FRT after playing Mitch Mahoney in Spelling Bee in the Fall. Earlier this year he was seen as Iokanaan in the black box production of Salome! Originally from Grand Rapids, Liam is excited to have friends and family from across the state come and support this show!
Madalyn Hasyn (Betty Rizzo) is a freshman here at NMU and is majoring in Musical Theater. This is Madalyn’s third production at Northern and her most recent credits were Violet in A Charlie Brown Christmas and the swing in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Her favorite roles she’s played in the past are Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors and Grace Fryer in Radium Girls. Madalyn feels so grateful to be a part of this show and to be surrounded with such a talented cast and crew.
Phillip Smith (Doody) is a first year Acting BFA student with a music minor here at NMU. He has been in multiple shows in his first year here at NMU including the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Swing), Finding Home (Ensemble), and Salome (Soldier #2). He is excited to play the part of Doody and hopes everyone enjoys the show!
Maisie James (Frenchy) is a sophomore double majoring in Acting and Secondary English Education. She has been in several productions at NMU, where she played Elizabeth in Above The Timberline, Soccer Mom in The Wolves, and A Cappodocian in Salome. She is thrilled to be playing Frenchy, who has always been her favorite character since she was little. She has been pursuing theatre since middle school, and is a proud member of the first Acting BFA cohort. She would like to thank her fellow pink ladies for making this show such a blast, and thank her family for supporting her through everything.
Ryan Zepp (Roger) is a Freshman BFA Musical Theatre major and is so excited to be in his second production with NMU Theatre and Dance. He has previously been seen in A Charlie Brown Christmas (Carol Crew/Swing) at the Forest Roberts Theatre. He’d like to thank his family back home and his new found family at NMU for their continuous support!
Maya Moreau (Marty) is an aspiring Musical theater Major hoping to break into the industry in the within the next few years. You may have seen her performing in various shows over the past two years in her time at NMU including (but not limited to) Salome, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a Chorus Line, or a Complicated Hope.
Asa Naigus (Sonny LaTierri) is a current Freshmen in BFA Music Theatre student. This is Asa’s fourth production with NMU. Recent roles include Leaf Coneybear in the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Young Syrian in Salome. Asa is very excited to share the hard work that has been put in to Grease with the public!
Kendyl Dahlstrom (Jan/Sandy Understudy) is a freshman with a musical theater major and a minor in dance. This is Kendyl's fourth production at NMU, others including The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Logainne ShwartzandGrubennaire), A Charlie Brown Christmas (Caroler/Understudy), and Salome(Second Nazarene/Salome Understudy). She is so grateful for all of these opportunities to make and learn about art with all her wonderful fellow actors, crew, and artistic team.
Rhiannyn McCauley (Patty Simcox) is a sophomore Theatre BA from Wisconsin. Before Grease, she was also seen in Salome, The Wolves, and Above the Timberline, and worked backstage in a few other shows. In her free time, she likes pestering her roommates [endearingly] and doing arts and crafts. She believes in swordfish.
Wyatt Schmitt (Eugene Florczyk) is a sophomore Acting BFA major and a Dance minor at NMU. He has been apart of a few productions at NMU including Wesley Singleton in Above The Timberline, Ensemble in The Producers, and Shermy in A Charlie Brown Christmas. Wyatt is thrilled to be apart of this show and he wants to thank you for coming!
Kyla Kotecki (Cha-Cha DiGregario) is a freshman Dance and Spanish major. Her previous performances include Excerpts From The Nutcracker (Chocolate) and CO/LAB (choreographer/dancer). This is her first musical at NMU. She is very grateful and excited for this incredible experience!
John Fuller (Vince Fontaine) is a junior at NMU with a BFA Acting major. He moved to Ishpeming MI with his family from TX in May of 2022 and started attending NMU in the fall of 2022.
DaShawn Mitchell (Johnny Casino) is a Sophomore at NMU. In his time here he has played roles such as Walter Hobbs in Elf, Henry in Next To Normal, and Max in The Producers. He has been training as a musician, focusing on vocal performance, since he was in seventh grade and has been in theatre and since his freshman year of high school.
Michael Ahlstrom (Teen Angel/Kenickie Understudy) is a junior at Northern Michigan University in the BFA Acting program. Michael joined the theatre program as a sophomore. He switched his major from digital cinema to theatre after finding a love for acting. Some shows that Michael has been a part of so far include Above the Timberline as Galen Singleton, Next to Normal as Gabe Goodman, The Producers as a part of the ensemble, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as Chip Tolentino, and Salome as a Nubian. He hopes you enjoy the show!
Rebecca "Beck" Piepszak (Miss Lynch) is a third-year BFA Musical Theatre Major. She has participated in many shows with the NMU Theatre and Dave Department, including Romeo and Juliet as Juliet, Deb in Elf the Musical, Featured Ensemble in The Producers, Peppermint Patty in A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Queen Herodias in Salomé. She is very excited to be participating in Grease with such an amazing cast and crew! She can’t wait for everyone to see the hard work everyone has been putting into this production, and hopes you enjoy the show!
Jessi Ceballos (Ensemble) is an Acting BFA recruit from AMDA New York, originally from Mexico. She is so excited to perform in her first production here at Northern Michigan University. She would like to thank everyone involved in the making of this production, her family, and mentors, she hopes you enjoy the show!!
Helen Fortin (Ensemble and Swing) is a freshman in the musical theatre program. She is very excited to be in her fifth show at NMU. Helen has been doing theatre since she was in third grade and is excited for everyone to see the wonderful show everyone has put together. Helen would like to thank her friends and professors for all of their help and support in her first year. She would also like to thank her wonderful parents and family for all of their love and encouragement.
Austin Graham (Ensemble) is a sophomore from St. Ignace, Michigan currently studying Multimedia Journalism. While at NMU, he has performed in shows such as the Spotlight Variety Show and Above the Timberline (Crewman #1, Ensemble). Graham is a part of many groups and clubs on campus such as the NMU Puckheads and Public Eye News. Outside of NMU, Austin has performed in The Young Americans Performing Arts Summer Camps, was a sports public address announcer in high school, and during the summers off from school plays live music in his hometown and other areas of the U.P.
Zoë Hajec (Ensemble) is a second year at NMU studying in the Acting BFA. She is one of the representatives for her cohort on the Student Advisory Board as well as a co-founder and the Vice President of the Found Space Theatre Company. Zoë intends on pursuing playwriting in addition to performance.
Lia Hielkema (Ensemble/Radio Voice) is so excited to be performing in Grease. Lia has previously appeared in The 25th Putnam County Spelling Bee (Marcy Parks), A Charlie Brown Christmas (Caroler #2), and Salome (Tigellinus) at NMU. She would like to thank Paul Truckey for letting her be apart of yet another incredible production.
Bryson Krieger (Ensemble) is a second year student here at NMU and is majoring in Physics and minoring in Mathematics and Theatre and Entertainment Arts. This is Bryson’s eighth show at NMU. When not on/backstage, Bryson works as a scenic carpenter and a house manager for the Theatre and Dance department, as a banquet server in the Northern Center, on/behind camera for Public Eye News, and at a Colorado backpacking camp during the summer. He also enjoys participating with NAE and APO on campus. Bryson would like to thank his friends and family for supporting him throughout his theatrical endeavors.
Amarae’ Robinson (Ensemble/ Rizzo Understudy) is a BFA Musical Theater Major who also works in technical theater and has a background in music. She enjoys building her craft in all areas of theater. In her time at NMU, she has worked onstage and backstage in many productions. This year she has appeared in Finding Home (Ensemble), A Charlie Brown Christmas (Snoopy), Salome (Stage Manager) and Co/Lab. Amarae’ is also a member of the Co/Lab Company. She has previously performed with the Indiana State Department of Theater and the Avondale Theater Company.
Sallie Taubitz (Ensemble) is a freshman in the BFA Musical Theatre program here at NMU. This is her second show on the FRT stage, as she previously played Sally Brown in a Charlie Brown Christmas. Some of her past favorites include Once Upon a Mattress (Queen Aggravain), and Freaky Friday (Savannah). Sallie would like to thank her family and friends for all the support!
Creative Team Bios
Paul Truckey (Director) has been a member of the NMU Theatre faculty since 2003. While at NMU, he has directed numerous productions including Romeo and Juliet, Cats, Noises Off, Building Madness, Into the Woods, A Paper Tiger in the Rain – 2014 Panowski Playwriting Award (PPA) winner, The Comedy of Errors, 1776, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, A Flea in Her Ear, The Mousetrap, ACTletes, The Foreigner, The Full Monty, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Tell-Tale – 2006 PPA winner, Closer Than Ever, Burning Mona Lisa in the Reptile House – 2004 PPA winner, and Our Town. Among his acting credits are leading roles in Les Miserables (Broadway and national touring companies, over 2,600 performances), A Little Night Music, Rockland, The Fantasticks, The Problem, Utah! The Musical (Original Company), Sunday in the Park with George, Guys and Dolls, Romeo and Juliet, Nine, Three Sisters, The Mikado, and She Stoops to Conquer. His TV credits include The Rosie O’Donnell Show, The Today Show, and the 1998 NBA All-Star Game Halftime show. Paul is a member of Actor’s Equity Association.
Donna Poirier (Musical Director/Pit Conductor) is currently serving as the Choir Director at Ishpeming Public Schools and Assistant Professor of Voice at Northern Michigan University. Prior to this appointment, she served as Director of Choral Activities at Allen University in Columbia, SC, Director of Choral Activities and Vocal Instructor at Alcorn State University in Lorman, MS, a lecturer in voice at the University of Connecticut, and Music Director for the Shreveport Opera, among other positions. Ms. Schaffer holds fast to the simple teaching philosophy of Nelson Mandela. This proverb states, “Each one teach one.” Donna holds a Bachelor's of Music from the University of Michigan, a Master's of Music from the University of Connecticut, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting at USC under the tutelage of Dr. Larry Wyatt.
Gracie Fries (Choreographer) has had a love for dance and performing from the moment she could walk and talk! She was one of the first to graduate from Northern Michigan University (NMU) with a BS degree in Dance with a Business concentration in December, 2023! Her most memorable moments were created within the walls of the Forest Roberts Theatre where she found her love for musicals in 2018 after performing in her first production as a gorilla in Tarzan. After that, she would perform in over 15 productions with the NMU Department of Theatre and Dance. Some of her favorite performances include: The Producers (Shirley/ensemble/co-choreographer/dance captain), Elf the Musical (Mrs. Claus/ensemble), CO/LAB Collective (choreographer/performer in “Thunderstruck”), and NxNCDF (choreographer/performer in “Fusion”). She has studied and taught many dance styles including: tap, jazz, hip hop, ballet, musical theatre, and contemporary. Gracie has received amazing opportunities within the community such as: co-choreographing for SAYT’s production of Frozen Jr., teaching at Julie’s Top Hat Dance Studio and Dawn Dott Dance Studio, performing in her band, Iridescence, and is now a dance instructor at NMU and store manager at MQT Nutrition. Her dreams are to someday expand her roots and take her dance degree to the west coast as a professional instructor/dancer. Her gratitude cannot be expressed enough to her family, friends, current and past instructors who have supported her throughout the years. Gracie will always give 110%, 100% of the time…
Megan Hibbard (Choreographer) is an alumni of Northern Michigan University and graduated with a BA in Theatre and a minor in Art and Design. She loves her time both onstage and off, and is so excited to be choreographing. In the past you may have seen her as Judy Turner in “A Chorus Line”, Natalie Goodman in “Next to Normal”, or Lisa in “Mamma Mia!”. As backstage goes, she was the assistant choreographer for MSHS’s production of “Catch Me If You Can”, and her recent lighting designs include “Elf”, and CO-LAB. She would like to thank her loved ones for all of their support.
Lex van Blommestein (Co-Scenic Designer) is a theatre designer based out of Marquette, MI. While he currently teaches at Northern, he also maintains a prolific national and international design career. Lex earned his MFA from Wayne State University's Hilberry Repertory Program in Detroit, and has lived, designed, and taught in Edwardsville, IL; St. Louis, MO; Cincinnati, OH; Raleigh, NC; Memphis, TN; Milwaukee, WI; Detroit, MI; Lansing, MI; Windsor, ON; and Amsterdam, NL, to name a few. In addition to his love for scenic design, he enjoys using design to explore audience reaction, interaction, and emotion, and to create experiences involving virtual reality and augmented reality as well as immersive design.
Laura Hinz (Co-Scenic Designer) is the co-designer for Grease and it's her first show at NMU. Her main areas of focus are painting, props, and set design. She has worked on twelve shows in total over her career, some of her favorites being the King and I, In the Heights, Pippin, She Kills Monsters, and As You Like It.
David Pierce (Co-Lighting Designer) is a lighting designer and educator based out of Marquette, MI. Previous design credits include Finding Home, A Chorus Line, Footloose, Above the Timberline, Mamma Mia!, Sweeney Todd, What We Leave Behind, Building Madness, and Tarzan. He has also partnered with UP Home Health and Hospice as Lighting Designer for Dancing with Our Stars as well as worked as Production Manager for the Adirondack Theater Festival in Glens Falls, NY. David is also an Associate Professor and Production Manager for the Department of Theatre and Dance at NMU and teaches courses in stage electrics, lighting design, and stage management.
Marla Alden (Co-Lighting Designer) is a junior pursuing a BFA in technical theatre and design with a focus in lighting. She is the student crew leader in the electrics shop for the year. She is very excited for all of the design opportunities that she had been recently given. Most recently you might have seen her design work in the production of A Complicated Hope during the North Coast Theatre Festival and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. She is forever grateful for the support from her friends, family, and professors.
Em Rossi (Costume Designer) is an NMU alumnus (2004 BS, 2006 MA). After designing many productions at FRT and other theaters in the Marquette area, she relocated to Detroit where she obtained an MFA in Costume Design from Wayne State University. Em is adjunct faculty in costumes and makeup and also serves as a mentor for costume, hair and makeup design students. Recent and upcoming designs include costumes and puppets for Above the Timberline, costumes for Next to Normal, and costumes for Grease.
Ryan Harvey (Sound Designer) is a junior at Northern Michigan University pursuing a BFA in Theatre Technology and Design with a focus in audio. Over the past year he has worked as the sound and media shop crew lead and a stage electrician while sound designing Finding Home. Furthermore, with recent opportunities to work at conventions and music festivals across the country he has realized that the skills he has acquired at NMU can take him almost anywhere in the entertainment industry. To see more of his work visit ryanharvey.live
Jordan Russell (Properties Designer) graduated with a BFA in Media Art and Animation from Illinois Institute of Art Chicago, 2004. She started her career doing renderings for Chicago based, international production company Ohms Designs, which turned into 16 years of event production experience; including design/décor, propping/styling, layout/floorplans and event logistics. In 2016 Jordan leaned into passion and founded Joyful Terror, an immersive event company that combines escape room questing, haunted house thrills and live actors. She co-founded Marquette Fringe in 2020, as Production Director, and has been proud to collaborate with the community on projects like Glimpses From Elsewhere and Fall Phantasm(s).
Jalina McClain (Production Stage Manager) is currently based out of Marquette and received dual bachelor’s degrees in Theatre and Entertainment Arts and Media Production and New Technology from Northern Michigan University in 2013. Jalina has worked throughout the Upper Peninsula and in the Chicago area as a designer, manager, and technician prior to taking on the role of Executive Director of Superior Arts Youth Theatre in 2017. Jalina’s recent credits include SAYT’s: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Director), Madagascar Jr. (Stage Manager), Seussical (Director), Descendants (Director), Legally Blonde Jr. (Director), Disney's Alice in Wonderland Jr. (Director), Peter Pan (Director), Shrek the Musical Jr. (Director).
Braeden Ingersoll (Technical Director), originally from Des Moines, Iowa, received his MFA in Technical Production from Florida State University where he focused on Technical Direction, Team & Production Management, and teaching. Braeden also has certifications in OSHA-10 “General Entertainment Safety” (OSHA 1910), 3M™ Fall Protection Competent Person, Genie Lift-Pro™ Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWP) Classes 1A & 3A, and American Red Cross CPR/First Aid & AED. Additional professional credits include Technical Director with Des Moines Metro Opera and Theatre Aspen, and Assistant Technical Director with Creede Repertory Theatre.
Rachel Martin (Master Electrician) is a freshman at NMU and is a BFA tech and design theatre major. This is her first time being the Master Electrician and she is very excited to take on this role. Theatre has always been apart of her life ever since she was younger and she's so happy that she's learning more everyday in the theatre program. When she's not working behind the scenes she loves crocheting, puzzling, backpacking, and playing drums in the NMU marching band. Rachel would like to thank everyone in the department for making this show happen and her family, especially her mom, for supporting her in everything she wants to do.
Noah Proctor (Assistant Technical Director) is a graduating senior from Vogel Center, Michigan with a wide array of experience both onstage and behind the scenes. To cap off his undergraduate career he has taken on the responsibility of assisting with the technical direction of this production. After graduation Noah will be spending the summer in Warsaw, Indiana as a carpenter for Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts.
Emily Kendall (Stage Manager) is currently based out of Marquette, Michigan. She graduated from NMU in May 2021 with a B.S. in Theatre and Entertainment Arts concentrating in Design and Technology. Since then, her credits have included: Stage Management Intern (Peninsula Players Theatre - Door County Wisconsin), Master Carpenter (NMU theatre department's scene shop), and Stage Manager (Superior Arts Youth Theater). Emily is particularly excited that there will be live captioning during the sensory friendly performance for this show!
Cyrus Cohen (Stage Manager) is first year at NMU and they couldn't be more excited to be a part of the Theater Program! Having been introduced to the arts at a young age, Cyrus loves taking part in all areas of theater. Some of their most recent productions include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Holiday Double Feature, Grease, and Woodland Sky. When not on stage Cyrus enjoys working in the E-Shop, Cooking, Reading, and hanging out with their friends. They would like to thank everyone in the department for making this show a fantastic experience.
Sam Wardisiani (Properties Assistant) ( she/her) is a junior from Midlothian, Illinois. She is pursuing a BFA in Theatre technology and design with a concentration in props. She is proud to announce that her next project is a props assistant intern for Unto These Hills in North Carolina for the summer. She wants to thank her family and friends for supporting her during this season!
Dan Zini (Sound Oversight) is an award-winning designer and engineer in both live and broadcast sound and media with over a decade of professional experience. He also works as a composer, producer, studio engineer, musician, and programmer, holding many internationally recognized certifications. Dan’s credit list is extensive and includes Andy Grammar, Keith Secola, Samantha Fish, Carlos Nunez, Alash, Sandra Joseph, Joshua Davis, LDI Las Vegas, Hershey Entertainment, Orange Theatre Company - Amsterdam, and many other artists, organizations and theatre companies working on many events, albums, concerts, broadcasts and over 100 theatrical productions. Dan currently teaches live, studio and theatrical sound and media design at the Northern Michigan University School of Music Theatre and Dance and Media Studies Departments in which he also serves as Supervisor and Engineer of Sound and Media. In addition, Dan serves as Owner of Talking Turtle Productions and Co-Owner of Steady Stone Productions.