February 24-25 and March 1-4
A Darkly Thrilling One-Act Tragedy

Written by Oscar Wilde
Performed with the CO/LAB Collective

In this ominous lyrical drama that has fascinated and inspired artists across the ages, Iokanaan (John the Baptist) has been imprisoned by King Herod in a cistern below the terrace of Herod’s palace. The young, beautiful princess Salome, Herod’s stepdaughter, finds herself inexplicably drawn to Iokanaan and, though all of her attempts to seduce him fail, swears she will kiss him – but at what cost? Originally banned in Britain for its portrayal of biblical characters, this twisted tale of lust and revenge is sure to entrance audiences.

NOTE: This production contains strong adult themes and moments of intense violence.

Friday, February 24th at 7:30pm - Opening Night Party
Saturday, February 25th at 1:00pm - THEATRE FOR ALL PERFORMANCE
Saturday, February 25th at 7:30pm
Wednesday, March 1st at 7:30pm
Thursday, March 2nd at 7:30pm
Friday, March 3rd at 7:30pm
Saturday, March 4th at 7:30pm

Location: James A. Panowski Black Box Theatre

Tickets are $17 for General Public, $12 for NMU Faculty/Staff, Seniors, and Military, $10 for Students, and $5 for NMU Students.


Cast List

Salome Maya Moreau
Herod Antipas DaShawn Mitchell
Herodias Rebecca Piepszak
Iokanaan Liam Fisher
The Page of Herodias Sam McKnight
The Young Syrian Asa Naigus
A Cappodocian/ Herodias Understudy Maisie James
A Jew Helen Fortin
A Nubian/Iokanaan understudy Michael Ahlstrom
First Soldier/ Herod Understudy John Thomson
Namaan Dobbs Nichols
Nazarene #1 Rhiannyn McCauley
Nazarene #2/ Salome Understudy Kendyl Dahlstrom
Second Soldier Philip Smith
Tigellinus Lia Hielkema
Dancer Sylvia Gravel
Dancer Aja Alise Miller
Dancer Kyra Skinner
Dancer Rowan Ward

Creative Team

Director Dr. David Wood
Choreographer Karina Johnson
Oversight & Lighting Designer Lex Van Blommestein
Scenic Designer Cassie Bowler
Costume Designer Em Rossi
Hair & Makeup Designer Gianna Bratke
Oversight / Sound Designer Dan Zini
Special Effects (Head) Vic Holliday
Properties Designer Sam Wardisiani
Production Manager Kasey Schiebe
Technical Director Braeden Ingersoll
Stage Manager Amarae' Robinson
Master Electrician Keely-Shaye Hanson


Essay by Dr. Caroline Krzakowski, NMU Associate Professor of English:

"Notes on Salome"

Click here to view this essay.


Cast Bios


Maya Moreau (Salome) is a second year Musical Theater BFA at NMU, and has performed in many productions throughout the course of her time here including- but not limited to- The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, A Chorus Line, Footloose, and A Complicated Hope. Maya's past summer was spent performing in the North Coast Theater and Dance Festival here at NMU- getting an opportunity to work with professional actors across the US. Following her performances in the NCTD Festival, she took an internship position at the U.P. Summer Theater Institute, mentoring young actors in the Houghton/Hancock region. She is thrilled to be playing the role of Salome in this production, and hopes you all enjoy this marvelous work of art.

Rebecca “Beck” Piepszak (Herodias) (she/her), who is playing Herodias in this production, is in her third year at Northern as a Musical Theatre BFA. She is the co-founder of the new student organization, the Found Space Theatre Company, and “Salomé” will be Beck’s sixth show with the NMU Theatre and Dance department, her past roles including Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet,” Deb in “Elf the Musical,” featured ensemble in “The Producers,” and Peppermint Patty in “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” She hopes everyone enjoys the show!

Liam Fisher (Iokanaan) is a Freshman Musical Theatre BFA making his blackbox debut as 'John the Baptist' in this Oscar Wilde drama. Liam is from Grand Rapids where he been involved with many different theatres around the city including The Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, Shadblow Theatre as well as at his high school, Grandville High School! Earlier in the fall, Liam was seen comforting spellers as Mitch Mahoney in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Northern. Heads up! This show can get crazy :)

Lia Hielkema (Tigellinus) is so excited to be a part of this production of Salome. Lia has previously appeared in The 25th Putnam County Spelling Bee (Marcy Parks) and A Charlie Brown Christmas (Caroler #2) at NMU. She would like to thank Dr. Wood for his never ending passion and patience with this project.

Asa Naigus (The Young Syrian) is a freshmen at NMU from Marquette, Michigan. Recently previous roles include; Frank Abagnale Jr. in Catch Me If you Can, Orin Scrivello (The Dentist) in Little Shop of Horrors, Schroeder in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, and Mr. Wormwood in Matilda.  Asa is very excited for the opportunity to perform in his first NMU play!

Maisie James (A Cappadocian/Herodias Understudy) is a sophomore at NMU and is double majoring in Acting and Secondary English Education. In her time here she has played Elizabeth in Above The Timberline and Soccer Mom in The Wolves. She has been pursuing theatre since middle school, and is ecstatic to start her journey as a BFA student. She is incredibly thankful that she gets to work with such beautiful artists everyday, and is proud to call them her friends.

Michael Ahlstrom (A Nubian/Iokanaan Understudy) is a junior at Northern Michigan University majoring in Theater as a BA. Michael joined the theater program as a sophomore. He switched his major from digital cinema to theater 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, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as Chip Tolentino. He hopes you enjoy the show!

John Thomson (First Soldier/Herod Understudy) 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), and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Doug Panch).

Phillip Smith (Second Soldier) is a first year Musical Theater BFA here at NMU. Previous Roles include Pippin! (Pippin), Honk! (Ugly), 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Swing), and Finding Home (ensemble). He is extremely excited to perform once again on an NMU stage.

Helen Fortin (A Jew) is a freshman in the Musical Theatre BFA program. This is her fourth production here at NMU. She is very excited to be in such an interesting and dramatic play. Helen would like to thank her friends and family, especially her wonderful parents, for all of their continuous love and support.

Dobbs Nichols (Naaman) (they/them) is a secondary education english major and a theater arts minor. They are from Jackson, MI and have been doing theater since they were seven. Dobbs is an actor, director, and playwright. Their most recent play, "Missed Connections; a collection of six short plays", recently premiered at their old high school.

Rhiannyn McCauley (Nazarene #1) is a sophomore Theatre & Entertainment Arts major with a concentration in performance. She was previously seen in Above the Timberline and The Wolves at NMU. In the summers, Rhiannyn works at the Bristol Renaissance Faire.

Kendyl Dahlstrom (Nazarene #2/Salome Understudy) is a freshman majoring in Musical Theatre  with a minor in dance. She has been in two other productions at Northern Michigan University, where she was Logainne ShwartzandGrubennaire in The 25th annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and a swing/carol member in a Charlie Brown Christmas. She will also be playing Jan in Grease this April. Kendyl is very proud of the cast and crew for developing such a beautiful show.

Sylvia Gravel (Servant/Dancer) is a fourth-year studying dance with a concentration in dance science and a minor in biology. She is a current member of the CO/LAB Company, and has previously performed in The Producers, the North Coast Theatre and Dance Festival, and CO/LAB Collective.

Aja Alise Miller (Servant/Dancer) is an all-style dancer whose start was in Houston, Texas doing hip-hop, breakdance, jazz and contemporary ballet. Ey has now performed drag and dance in the Marquette area for the past four years. Ey are very grateful to be a part of eir first show in the Black Box!

Kyra Skinner (Servant/Dancer) is born and raised from the EUP of Michigan, she is in her 4th year working towards two degrees, one in Dance and the other in Psychology with a developmental concentration. She is very grateful that CO/LAB was included in this compelling play! Some of Kyra’s other roles with NMU include Elf: The Musical (Ensemble), The Wolves (#2), North Coast Theatre and Dance Festivals (Ensemble/Understudy), and Holiday Double Feature (Sugar Plum Fairy/Snowflake). She would like to give a big thank you to the endless support from her family, friends, boyfriend, and cast!

Rowan Ward (Servant/Dancer) is currently a freshman at NMU and is majoring in elementary education with a focus in language arts. She just recently danced with the CO/LAB Company in her first performance here at NMU, and Salome will be her first performance in the Black Box! Rowan has loved working with everyone in the theatre department for this show, and would like to thank them all for a wonderful experience working on this play together. 

Creative Team Bios


Dr. David Wood (Director) works in NMU’s English Department, teaching courses ranging from the Greco-Roman period up through to the English Renaissance. Winner of the 2017 Michigan Association of State Universities Distinguished Professor of the Year, he has published widely, including three books and dozens of essays in specialist journals; however, his first love is live theatre. Over the past sixteen years, he’s led countless student trips to theatres across the Upper Midwest and the United Kingdom, in groups of 2-50 students. He thanks his wife, Vicki, and their kids-- Maddie, Henry, and Nate-- for their incredible patience as he’s directed this show.

Kasey Scheibe (Production Stage Manager) is an NMU alum and accomplished CPA for the State of New York, where she spent 5 years in the Broadcast Industry. She continues her work today as a remote Accounting Manager for SiriusXM (NYC), and as a part-time Instructor for Bay De Noc Community College (MI). Additionally, she’s become a resource for local entrepreneurs here in Marquette as a Consultant and Virtual CFO through her own business venture; Count on Kasey. She balances her love of numbers with a passion for the arts as the Color Guard Instructor for the NMU Marching Band and now as a Stage Manager within NMU’s Theatrical Productions.

Amaraé Robinson (Stage Manager) is a BFA Musical Theater Major with training in technical theater, vocal and instrumental music. She enjoys building her craft in all areas of theater, often working simultaneously in performance and tech. In her time at NMU, she has worked on several productions such as Producers (Ensemble), Next to Normal (Asst. Light Designer) and Finding Home (Ensemble/Co-Light Designer). She’s previously performed with the ISU and Avondale Theaters. Amarae’ is happy to be a part of the production team for Salome and wants to thank her peers for all the laughs she’s had while working in the wings.

Karina Johnson (Choreographer) is an accomplished dancer, teacher, and artist. She started training in ballet at the age of 4 in Irvine, California, and went on to study with many renowned teachers from American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, New York City Ballet, Ballet West, and others. While ballet was always her main focus, she trained in all styles and forms of dance including jazz, tap, modern, contemporary, and lyrical. In 2010 she graduated from The University of Utah with a BFA in Ballet Performance. However, her professional dance career began while in college, guesting with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and Ballet West. After graduating, Karina moved to San Francisco to dance with Smuin Contemporary Ballet for a year and then onward to Sacramento Ballet, where she danced some of her most notable and rewarding roles. After retiring in 2015 from her ballet career, Karina helped found the dancer-run company Capital Dance Project, choreographing, performing, and organizing their summer performance series. After 8 years of dancing professionally and 5 more helping run a project-based company, she decided it was time to pass on her love and knowledge of dance to future generations... bringing her to NMU! Karina currently teaches dance for the Theatre & Dance Department.

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.

Gianna Bratke (Hair & Makeup Designer) is a junior at NMU and a BFA in Theatre Tech and Design with a focus in costumes, hair and makeup. For Salome she is the makeup designer and co- hair designer. You may have seen some of her costume designs in Above The Timberline and the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. As well as other hair and makeup designs in The Producers and A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Cassie Bowler (Scenic Designer) is a post baccalaureate student returning after a break from theatre. She previously designed sets for Barefoot in the Park and The Shape of Things at her former alma mater as well as designing costumes and directing a production of Proof. Her NMU credits include run crew for The Producers, assistant scenic designer for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and assistant costume designer for the upcoming production of Grease. She hopes to continue on to become an educator at the collegiate level.

Vic Holliday (Special Effects Designer) retired from NMU in 2019, after thirty-seven years in the Theatre and Dance department, serving as associate professor and scenic/lighting designer.  For his first nineteen years at NMU, he was also technical director for the Forest Roberts Theatre.  Since retiring, his time is occupied with house remodeling, building ship models (pre-dreadnought steel navy), studying naval history, lighting design at the Masonic, and the practice of ailurophilia.

Lex van Blommestein (Lighting 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.

Sam Wardisiani (Properties Designer) is a junior from Midlothian, Illinois studying Theatre Technology and Design with a concentration of props. She is currently working on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a props volunteer, later in our season you can also find her as a props assistant for Grease. When she is not in class, you can find her with her friends or in the scene shop. She would like to thank her friends, family, and the staff for supporting her through this production. Hope you enjoy the show!

Dan Zini (Sound Designer) 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.

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.

Keely-Shaye Hanson (Master Electrician) is in their third year here at NMU as a BA Theatre and Entertainment Arts major. This is their first production working behind the scenes, otherwise they've performed in A Christmas Carol Radio Show (Martha), Spotlight Variety Show (Ensemble), Above the Timberline (Pilot/Sentry), and The Wolves (#11). They would like to thank all their faculty and peers for their help and support during this show!