Iolanthe Cast

The Principals

Scott Benson – The Lord Chancellor

Twenty-six short years ago, Scott auditioned to be in Patience with the GSVLOC because they rehearsed near his house. Several years ago, he moved. How kind the GSVLOC was to accommodate him by moving its rehearsal space to less than a mile from his new home! Scott has come to a point in his on-stage career where he’s actually close to the age of the characters he’s played since he was fourteen, when he played the town drunk. By day, Scott is a lawyer and can confirm that “the law is the true embodiment of everything that’s excellent.” Scott served on the Minneapolis City Council from 2002 until 2009, but he had few opportunities to give away wards of chancery in that position, so it grew tiresome. Scott finally married in 2015, and even had music from Gilbert & Sullivan at the wedding … which seemed fitting given that he was marrying his comic foil from the 1990 production of Patience. (In hindsight, the title of the show takes on special significance.)


Deb Haas – The Fairy Queen

Cast as a pirate (and understudy to Ruth) in The Pirates of Penzance at the tender age of twelve (her voice was lower than most of the males her age), Deb Haas was bitten by the G&S bug too early to deny its siren song. With “cat-like tread” she sought opportunities to express her inner battle-axe and was rewarded with the role of Katisha in the Saint Olaf College production of The Mikado. The die was cast and Deb spent the following years pursuing her noble ambition, portraying spinsterish longing and desperation on stages from Oxford University, England, to Minneapolis, to Houston, Texas and back to Minnesota. This is her seventh show with the GSVLOC (you’ll also find her in cast photos from 1993 to 1996 and 2013 to 2014) and her first time sporting wings on stage.


Eric Sargent – Strephon

Eric is ecstatic to be playing Strephon! This is his first production with the GSVLOC. He has performed in the past at Minnetonka High School, Oberlin College & Conservatory, the Chameleon Theatre Circle, Theatre 301, and the Old Log Theatre. His past credits include: Don Quixote (Man of La Mancha), Brad Majors (The Rocky Horror Show), the Childcatcher (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), Bobby Strong (Urinetown), Carl Olson (Street Scene), and Rambaldo (La Rondine). Some upcoming roles include: Fyedka (Fiddler on the Roof) with Bloomington Artistry (Formerly BCT), in April to May, and Johnny Cash (Million Dollar Quartet) at the Old Log Theatre, June 2016 to February 2017. Eric would like to thank his incredible family for their support and love.


Sarah Wind Richens – Phyllis

Sarah has been performing with the GSVLOC since 2004. Her past roles include Lady Psyche in Princess Ida, Yum-Yum in The Mikado, Princess Nekaya in Utopia, Limited, Patience in Patience, and Julia Jellicoe in The Grand Duke. She has also performed with GSVLOC and the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra at the Lake Harriet Bandshell as Rose Maybud in Ruddigore, Peep-Bo in The Mikado, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, and Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore. Sarah has now made it through a full cycle of the G&S operettas, as Iolanthe was her very first GSVLOC show. She misses being a fairy as she was the first time she did the show, but also appreciates the fact that Phyllis gets to spend all her time with the men.


Waldyn Benbenek – Lord Mountararat

Waldyn has been doing this for a really long time. His children believe he came ashore with the Pilgrims singing patter songs. In fact, he did spend much of his youth memorizing Gilbert & Sullivan, though his parents refer to those as the “lost years,” and his siblings refuse to talk about it. He managed to suppress his tendency to “patter-chorus” during his younger theatrical life. Upon arriving in the Twin Cities during the second half of the 20th century, he discerned the signals of an underground subculture with operetta tendencies. They met secretly in a Kenwood basement to form the GSVLOC. Over the decades, Waldyn has served the company in many capacities, and played in many roles, mostly scoundrels and father figures. He has also appeared around town with many fly-by-night companies in several questionable venues. His secret identity is mild mannered computer programmer and husband of Dr. Mary Mescher Benbenek. They have three children who went through a traumatic period when they learned that to “sing choruses in public” is not normal.


Lara Trujillo – Iolanthe

Lara’s first experience on the stage was performing in G&S productions in her hometown of Colorado Springs, with her mother. She continued to do so until the day she learned that there were other composers too! More recently, Lara has appeared in My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra, at the Ordway Center, River Road Boogie: The Augie Garcia Story and J.D. Steele’s Snapshots: Life in the City, at the History Theater, HAIR, at The Pantages, as well as in productions with Theater Latte Da, New Breath Productions, Teatro del Pueblo, Lyric Arts Main Street Stage, Bloomington Civic Theater (Artistry) and Mu Performing Arts. Some of her favorite roles include The Witch in Into the Woods, Anita in West Side Story and Eva Peron in Evita. Lara recently co-authored and appeared in a production of Theater: A Sacred Passage, with Rick Shiomi’s newly founded Full Circle Theater Company, for which she also serves as an Advisory Council member. Lara performs regularly with Minnesota Opera and will appear this summer in Mill City Opera’s production of Sweeney Todd. This is Lara’s seventh appearance with the GSVLOC, having performed previously as Iolanthe, in the company’s 2004 production, Katisha in The Mikado, Phoebe Meryll in The Yeomen of the Guard, Lady Sophy in Utopia, Limited, Lady Sangazure in The Sorcerer and Mad Margaret in Ruddigore. She has also performed with the GSVLOC and the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra at the Lake Harriet Bandshell, appearing as Buttercup in H.M.S. Pinafore, Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance and Katisha in The Mikado. Lara is immensely grateful to her husband, Stephen, and to her family and friends who continually offer her their love, support, and encouragement.


Eric Mellum – Lord Tolloller

This noble peer is excited to be back onstage with the GSVLOC after a short sabbatical. Eric has been paired with leading ladies of various ranks in several GSVLOC productions (Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance, Ralph Rackstraw in H.M.S. Pinafore, Luiz in The Gondoliers, The Duke in Patience, Ernest Dummkopf in The Grand Duke, and Prince Hilarion in Princess Ida), and also in several Lake Harriet concerts. Since he was last seen on the GSVLOC stage, Eric met and married his real life leading lady, his lovely wife Jennifer. Oh rapture! With the Minnesota Opera chorus for the past seventeen seasons, he has occupied a noble station as a messenger, guard, soldier, donkey, courtier (both umbrella-wielding and otherwise), as Pump Guy 2 in the world premiere of The Grapes of Wrath, as The Condemned Guardian in The Handmaid’s Tale, and a soccer-playing Scottish fighter in the world premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night. Other credits include roles with Skylark Opera, Mill City Opera, New Breath Productions, Ashland Productions, Rochester Aria Group, Minnesota Orchestra and Colorado Opera Festival. He is grateful for the opportunity to perform again with such a talented cast (both noble and lowly-born).


Mackenzie Leavenworth – Celia

Mackenzie is thrilled to be making her GSVLOC debut in Iolanthe. Born and raised in Northern New Jersey, she studied Classical Languages and Art History at Hamilton College. Favorite roles include Eurydice in Orpheus in the Underworld, Cunegonde in Candide, Celia in Iolanthe, and Laurie in Oklahoma! She also enjoys occasionally dressing up in her left shark costume, working on her night cheese and inserting obscure pop culture references into each of her biographies. Many thanks to Joe and Randy for this opportunity, and much love to her NJ, MN, FH and HC families!


Ryan Johnson – Private Willis

For his third production with the GSVLOC, Ryan prepared for the role of Private Willis by answering, “I’m pretty sure I do” to everyone asking if he gets to wear “that big hat” British sentries wear while on guard. This is technically his fourth time performing with the company: first as Dick Deadeye in H.M.S. Pinafore, second as the court Usher in Trial By Jury, and third in the choir for a performance of The Events by David Grieg. When not improvising shaman rituals on The Guthrie Proscenium stage, Ryan’s work has also involved arranging hip hop for glockenspiel with the Cromulent Shakespeare Company, singing madrigals with the Elizabethan Syngers, and being an incredibly efficient gopher for Cirque Du Soleil. Oh, and he also directs middle school choir and resides in Saint Paul with his ravishing wife, Emily.


Sarah Mehle – Leila

Sarah is tremendously thrilled to be making her debut with this delightful company! Sarah’s love for Gilbert & Sullivan was sparked as a child, when she discovered a lovely trio of dusty VHS tapes in her parents’ basement (which included the much beloved Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado, and … wait for it … Iolanthe!). This love only grew as Sarah began to perform, most recently as Angelina in Trial by Jury. She enjoys the opportunity to play a humorous role, providing a nice contrast to her bloody insanity as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. She has also appeared as Gretel in Hansel & Gretel, Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte, and Gianetta in L’Elisir D’Amore. Sarah is an unashamed lover of her cat, Toulouse, and her boyfriend’s dog, Oliver … DO YOU WANT TO SEE SOME PICTURES ON MY PHONE!?


Krin McMillen – Fleta

Krin is delighted to make her GSVLOC debut in this production of Iolanthe. She recently completed her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at Bethel University. Past roles include Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Maria in Westside Story, Louisa in The Sound of Music, and others. Krin has also been seen over the past four years onstage at Valleyfair Amusement Park, where she has performed as a magician’s assistant, a children’s show host, a dancing zombie, a singing skeleton, various Peanuts characters, and more! In her spare time, Krin sings soprano in the Minnesota Chorale and eats lots of Chipotle burritos. She now works as the Seasonal Manager of Entertainment and choreographer for Valleyfair Entertainment.


The Chorus

Joe Allen

This is Joe’s third spring production with the GSVLOC, and the first of which he can proudly claim as a company member! As an ardent enthusiast of metaphysics, aesthetics, kinesthetics and mind, Joe strives to be a jack-of-all-trades and his passions pull him in many different directions. Theatrical endeavours this past year include: producing and directing Girlhood at Mixed Blood Theatre as a part of the Minnesota Fringe Festival; dancing and acting onstage at the Ordway in Minnesota Opera’s Carmen; and singing onstage at the Guthrie as a guest chorister with the GSVLOC in The Events. Joe is most fulfilled lending his body, soul, voice and mind to the creative process. Joe graduated from Hamline University in 2012 with his Bachelor of Arts’ Degrees in Theatre Arts and Philosophy, where he also fulfilled all the coursework for a K-12 Theatre Arts Education licensure. During the day, Joe is the Office Manager and Training Assistant for Orion Associates, where he continues to juggle hats and learn new skills. His other interests include video and tabletop gaming; reading books, articles, and journals (distopian sci-fi, high-fantasy, philosophy, and academia); all aforementioned performative pursuits; robust conversation/debate; and good beer.


Mary Mescher Benbenek

Mary has been in the GSLVOC, well, for a long time, so plays the part of an ageless fairy (Okay, not so much) with renewed determination. This is her third production of Iolanthe with the GSVLOC in which she displays her limited skill as a pseudo-ballerina on a raked stage. So far, she has managed not to tumble off, but you never know! She is sharing the role of ageless fairy this year with Julia Knopf. Mary is married to the similarly ageless peer, Lord Mountararat, Waldyn Benbenek.


Tom Berg

By day, Tom teaches constitutional law and intellectual property law as a professor at the University of Saint Thomas School of Law. Like many other lawyers over the decades, he has an affinity for the absurdly logical mind of the failed barrister W.S. Gilbert. Tom’s thirst for attention has been unquenched by performing in front of students in the classroom, and he joined the GSVLOC in 2008, appearing since then in several full productions and summer concerts, including turns as Sir Joseph Porter in H.M.S. Pinafore, Pish Tush in The Mikado, the Notary in The Grand Duke, and Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance. He is married to Maureen Kane Berg, who he met in the cast of a student musical comedy production in law school. He and Maureen co-directed an all-lawyer comedy troupe, the Public Offenders, in Chicago; he co-composed the music for Maureen’s musical comedy, Got It Made, which has had runs in the Twin Cities and across the country; and their new musical in progress (with another collaborator), A House Divided, has just finished a series of staged readings in the Twin Cities. Their other major collaborative productions are two sons, Brendan and Aidan.


Jim Brooks

Jim has had the pleasure and privilege of performing with the GSLVOC chorus for the past twenty-three years. Jim has performed in all of the Gilbert & Sullivan collaborations (He is still hoping for a restaging of the lost operetta Thespis). When not doing G&S, Jim is the director of the Wild Goose Chase Cloggers and choreographs and calls square and contra dances in the Twin Cities. He is also a professor at Concordia University – Saint Paul in the College of Education and Science. Jim’s wife Judy and daughter Julia have been faithful followers of the GSVLOC. They tolerate Jim’s intense rehearsal schedule each year, but always bring friends and acquaintances to enjoy the shows.


Maggie Burr

Maggie is very happy to be in her first GSVLOC production! She received her Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance at Oakland University in Michigan, and moved to Minneapolis to study with Barbara Kierig at the University of Minnesota. Since then, she has performed with Skylark Opera (La Rondine), the Guthrie (A Christmas Carol), and Minnesota Opera (Doubt). She sings with Mindekirken Church as the soprano section leader, and is a voice teacher at Brooklyn Center High School.


Maia Carnicom

This is Maia’s third show with the GSVLOC, and it may very well be her favorite yet! In the past, Maia has been involved in high school and community theatre in her childhood hometown of Hutchinson. Some favorite shows she has been a part of are Gilligan’s Island: the Musical, Fiddler on the Roof, and Hello, Dolly! If she ever has free time (ha!), she likes to play video games, sing about Alexander Hamilton, cuddle with her six month old son, Emory, and relax with her husband Stephen when she can.


Clyde Gerber

Clyde is excited to be performing in his third GSVLOC show, having previously appeared in 2012’s Patience and 2014’s The Grand Duke. In his spare time he can be spotted on the trails of Mendota Heights with his wife Nancy and their two dogs, Stella and Guthrie.


Alexander Gerchak

Alexander is an actor and director in the Twin Cities area, and is excited to take part in his second production with the GSVLOC! Alexander doesn’t care to talk about himself too much.


Taylor Ann Grand

Taylor Ann is elated to be joining the GSVLOC for the first time in their production of Iolanthe! With an early Waldorf elementary school education, she finds portraying a fairy to be reminiscent of her childhood activities as well as quite an exceptional ensemble experience! Taylor received her Bachelor of Music in performance and vocal music education from Concordia College of Moorhead, where she sang in the opera program as well as with the Concordia Choir for three years. She has since enjoyed pursuing opera performance with programs including Spotlight on Opera in Austin, Texas, AIMS in Graz, Austria and the Amalfi Coast Festival in Maiori Italy. Some roles she has really enjoyed singing include Lucia in The Rape of Lucretia, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Sarah in The Ballad of Baby Doe and the scene of Olympia in The Tales of Hoffman. Aside from singing, Taylor enjoys teaching private violin lessons to young students, serving in two fast-paced restaurants and in her spare time can be found immersed in her love of sunsets, nature, horses, fairy tales, music (of course) and all the beauty life has to offer!


Mary Gregory

When Mary was seven or eight, she remembers walking home from school in late February when the sun shone on the snow piled by the side of the road. Looking at the melting snowdrifts, she saw the crystal courts of the Fairies. Now, how delightful to be able to join the imaginary fairy courts on stage with music and dance! The score for Iolanthe is filled with beautiful melodies and harmonies, and Mary is happy to be with her friends at the GSVLOC for another fun operetta. This is her third time performing Iolanthe with the GSVLOC, proving the fairy statement that “the fairies never grow old” … not so long as we stay young at heart! (Mary still looks for the fairies in the snowbanks and forest!) “Every child can remember laying his head in the grass, staring into the infinitesimal forest and seeing it grow populous with fairy armies.” – Robert Louis Stevenson


Stephen Hage

Stephen’s lifelong passion for Gilbert & Sullivan began in the eighth grade, when he was cast as Sir Joseph Porter in his middle school’s production of H.M.S. Pinafore and it has carried him through the years to this staging of Iolanthe … his thirty-sixth appearance in a G&S production … but then, who’s counting!? In addition to appearing on stage, Stephen also serves as the GSVLOC’s Producer. In addition to performing with the GSVLOC, Stephen has appeared with Bloomington Civic Theater (Artistry) and performs regularly as a supernumerary with Minnesota Opera, most recently as a concert pianist in this past fall’s production of Ariadne auf Naxos. He enjoys the opportunities that performing in the opera affords him … to carry spears, to flirt with or rough up world famous sopranos … usually in different operas … and to be killed in battle … sometimes several times in the same opera! By day, Stephen is responsible for Human Resources for the Orion Associates organization of companies, which he does with a wonderful staff of Human Resources professionals, all the while enjoying far too many cups of coffee. Stephen dedicates this, and all that he does, to his delightful daughters, Lyndsay, Madeleine and Maya … to his sweet son, Liam … and to his lovely and loving wife, Lara.


Andrew “A.J.” Herman

A.J. is thrilled to be making his debut with the GSVLOC. He was recently been seen in productions of One Man, Two Guvnors and Assassins with Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, Tennessee. On top of singing, he also loves playing cello and bass. He would love to thank his family for their constant love and support, and his wonderful girlfriend, Katie, for whom he wouldn’t know what to do without.


Shawn Holt

Iolanthe is Shawn’s tenth show with the GSVLOC. She enjoys being a fairy of seventeen, but finds tripping hither and thither rather difficult, what with all the hopping involved. You’ll see her knitting vine nets onstage which she crocheted in real life. As a member of the Fairy Party she is actively campaigning to get more Fairies into Parliament. In her real life, Shawn lives in Shoreview with her husband Phil, daughter Amanda, and cat Shadow. She thanks you for coming and hopes you enjoy the show.


Kaitlin Klemencic

Kaitlin is thrilled to be making her GSVLOC debut and to take the stage with such a delightful group of people. Originally a cheesehead (go Pack), she earned her B.F.A in Theatre Arts and Secondary Education degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University. After graduation, she moved to New York City for a few years, but upon realizing she missed the open space of the Midwest, moved back this past November. She resides in Saint Paul and works as a nanny. Infinite amounts of love and thanks to family, friends, Pat and to the GSVLOC for this great opportunity. This is for you, Grandpa.


Julia Knoll

Julia is thrilled to be “tripping hither, tripping thither” with the GSVOC again. Her love of G&S was born while singing patter songs with her dad on long road trips. Previous roles with GSVLOC include chorus member in Trial by Jury, The Grand Duke and The Yeomen of the Guard, Lady Angela in Patience, Ruth in Ruddigore, and singing the part of Pitti-Sing in the summer concert performance of The Mikado. Julia has performed in various other musical theater productions with Morris Park Players, Chameleon Theatre, and the Northfield Arts Guild. When she isn’t “singing choruses in public,” she works for the History of Science and Technology program at the University of Minnesota.


Jerry Kurek

This is Jerry’s first show with the GSVLOC … and first opera to boot! When not engaging his manliness with the rest of the Peers, he makes 1-shot, no-froth, extra-hot lattes for busy bankers at a Caribou Coffee. In 2014, he graduated from Ripon College with majors in Theatre and English. Since then, he has taken on roles such as Hero in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Hans Brinker in Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates. He also filmed and produced several promotional videos for manufacturing companies during this interim. His favorite part of the show is getting flung into the air by fellow cast member David Peichel. He has never felt safer in the arms of another man.


Maddy LaRoche

Maddy is so happy to be working with the GSVLOC for the first time! Iolanthe is very near and dear to her heart as it was the first G&S show she ever sang back in a high school summer program! Maddy got her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre from The Theatre School at DePaul University. While in Chicago, she worked with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Emerald City Theatre Company, Big Noise Theatre Company and Drury Lane Theatre. Her favorite roles include Evelyn Nesbitt in Ragtime, Natalie in Next to Normal and Mary Tilford in The Children’s Hour. This spring she will be appearing as Chava in Bloomington Civic Theatre’s production of Fiddler on the Roof!


Dean Laurance

Dean has been singing on and off in the chorus since 1979. He hasn’t been on stage for the past two years, but the lure of Iolanthe, his favorite G & S show, brought him back this year to perform in it for the fourth time.


Holly MacDonald

“Oh, to be seventeen again!” Oh wait she is! (At least for a couple of hours on stage.) As a long-time GSVLOC member, this is Holly’s third time performing as a fairy in Iolanthe. But it is the first time she is performing the show with her husband of five years, John Orbison and they hope to live happily ever after in fairyland.


Anna Maher

Anna is delighted to take the stage in her first official show with the GSVLOC. She also performed in the Lake Harriet concert edition of H.M.S. Pinafore last summer (where she was known as the Girl Who Crashed Her Vespa the night before the show and had to perform with a large bandage on her knee), and also tagged along when members of the GSVLOC chorus were selected to sing with The Events at the Guthrie last fall. She can also be seen performing with Minnesota Chorale, and Garden of Song Opera. Anna recently became a Level I Sommelier, which is fancy-shmancy speak for “knows a lot about wine, and takes great pleasure in talking your ears off about the topic,” and her apartment is currently strewn with thousand-page books, color-coded maps, and flashcards with words like “phylloxera,” and “méthode champenoise.” She also really, really likes beer. Really. It’s totally possible to like both, you know.


John Orbison

It’s been ten years since John made the first stage appearance of his life, after being drafted without audition, thanks to his sister Jean, GSVLOC Assistant Music Director, into the chorus of Princess Ida. This marks his eleventh GSVLOC show, nearly completing the cycle. A shout out to his kids, Tom and Ann, whose clay he moistened with infant food (mostly Gerber) at one time, but who are now more than five-and-twenty. The greatest of his many blessings is marriage to his priceless treasure, GSVLOC alto Holly MacDonald.


Eric Pasternack

In real life, Eric is a peripatetic petrophysicist rapidly approaching retirement. Nobody knows what a petrophysicist is, so he does other more recognizable things for fun, such as singing the second tenor part in the GSVLOC chorus and doing whatever the director tells him to do on stage. Eric’s first G&S experience was in 1963 as Jack Point in The Yeomen of the Guard. Despite that auspicious start, he stayed off the stage for thirty years before joining the chorus of the (late) Texas Gilbert & Sullivan Company from 1994 to 1998. He joined the GSVLOC in 2000 after moving to the great state of Minnesota. (Note for the curious: a petrophysicist evaluates data from oil and gas wells in order to determine how much oil and gas is really down there. Now you know).


David Peichel

Dave is thrilled and honored to be a part of his second GSVLOC production! He grew up on a pig farm in south central Minnesota where real men don’t sing in public and admitting interest in the opera is social suicide. As a child, Dave developed many bad singing habits listening to the AM radio oldies station while driving the tractor on the farm. During the day, he plays the part of a dedicated and donut-loving engineer at Medtronic, and by night sings with Randy and the choir at the First Universalist Church and the Medtronic Metronomes. Before hanging out with peers and fairies, Dave has been in the chorus of The Events at the Guthrie, last year’s GSVLOC production of H.M.S. Pinafore, and the Southwest Theatre’s production of Annie. His vocal practice is largely tolerated by his wife, Marnie, and occasionally joined by his kids, Luke, Andrew, and Neela.


Richard Rames

Richard enjoys “singing choruses in public” and has appeared in the chorus of almost every performance of the GSVLOC at the Howard Conn Fine Arts Center since the first production of Patience in 1980. He also sings regularly in other groups, including the Saint Mark’s Cathedral Choral Society and the Heinrich Schütz Winetasting Homeschool, as well as singing along with his player piano. This is his fourth production of Iolanthe.


Nicole Riebe

Nicole has had a wonderful time during her first production with the GSVLOC! After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Vocal Performance from the University of Colorado – Boulder, she worked overseas for a few years until she met and followed her soon-to-be (and current) husband to Minnesota. It took a few years to get her feet back on the ground after a whirlwind of life changes, but she started performing again last year in a few shows, including a Rodgers & Hammerstein Revue, Wizard of Oz with Faith Community Theatre, and Phantom with Artistry. By day, she works as a Student Exchange Program Coordinator for a nonprofit organization, where she enjoys working with students, families, schools, and various communities to expand their global understanding. She would like to thank her husband for his full support, her family for inspiring her to continue performing, and God for this wonderful opportunity.


Sarah Shervey

Ever since Sarah was a young girl, it was her dream to run around in a tutu and be a princess … or a fairy … or a fairy princess. Now she finally has her chance to be fairy royalty! Sarah is honored to make her debut with GSVLOC in the fairy ensemble and as the Fairy Queen understudy. You may have recently seen Sarah in Philly The Musical (Sexy Blonde), Eagan Summer Theater’s Beauty and the Beast (Belle), Minnesota Jewish Theater Company’s The Last Five Years (Cathy), Park Theater Company’s The Forger’s Apprentice (Carmen), and Eat Street Players’ A New Brain (Waitress / Nancy D). Sarah is excited to be challenged by this incredible show, and to work with this extremely talented cast and production staff! Enjoy the Show!


Rhea Sullivan

Rhea, no know relation to Sir Arthur Sullivan, actually married into the Sullivan name over a quarter century ago. She found a Sullivan in the GSVLOC (Steve) in 1982 and snapped him up as quickly as possible (1984). She and Steve have two children with the surname of Sullivan, one a G&S-ophile (Brianna May – Assistant Stage Manager for this production) and one a G&S-ophobe (Jack Frederick – who is named for Jack Point and Frederic, but who stays as far away from the stage as possible). This marks Rhea’s thirty-fourth year with the company and her third production of Iolanthe.


Felix Aguilar Tomlinson

If he had to describe himself in three key phrases, Felix would choose “Home-cleaner,” “Hufflepuff,” and “very excited to be returning to the GSVLOC’s main stage at Howard Conn!” This will be his third show with the company, having been a member of the chorus in The Grand Duke and performed as the ruffianly cad of a Defendant in their Minnesota Fringe Festival production of Trial by Jury this summer. Outside the G&S Realm, he has performed with a number of companies over the past couple of years, including Theatre in the Round Players, Youth Performance Company, and Gadfly’s Final Frontier: Horror Festival. He studies with tenor Dennis Petersen at the MacPhail Center for Music and is currently in the midst of the chaotic college audition process. Upcoming projects include music directing 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for the Young Artists’ Council at YPC, playing the Usciere di Corte in the Really Spicy Opera Company’s production of Rigoletto, and a post-Yar rewatch of Star Trek: The Next Generation.


Seth Tychon

Gilbert & Sullivan’s Iolanthe or The Peer and the Peri is Seth’s first production with the GSVLOC. In fact, it is his very first production in the Twin Cities. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse this past December with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Performance and Cultural Anthropology. He was very eager to jump on the opportunity to perform in this fantastic show. Previous credits from his last five years in La Crosse include Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Prince Eric), Shakespeare’s The Tempest (Caliban) Catch Me If You Can (Frank Abignale Jr.), Les Miserables (Enjolras), A Streetcar Named Desire (Harold Mitchell), A Christmas Carol (Ebenezer Scrooge), Little Shop of Horrors (The Dentist), Rumors (Leonard Ganz), and many others. As a side note, Seth would also like to point out that Sarah Shervey is his fiancee and they are to be married October 8th of this year. He cannot think of anyone who he’d rather share the stage with in his very first production in the Twin Cities! Phos Zoe!


Brooke Wahlstrom

Brooke, a recent graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic University, is pleased to join the cast of Iolanthe in her first GSVLOC production. She has been seen performing at PBA as a member and soloist in the Concert Choir, Oratorio Chorus, Early Music Ensemble and the Opera Workshop scenes, in which she sang her favorite role to date as Adele in Die Fledermaus. Aside from the theater, Brooke can be found enjoying a perfect cup of tea, sending snail mail to friends or in the kitchen baking sweet treats.


Jake Wellington

Fifteen years ago, a young boy’s family was murdered and his siblings sold into slavery, never to be seen again. Having lost everything, the boy would spend his days crawling through the dirty underbelly of the city, despair plaguing his heart. Soon the once-frightening rats, scurrying about the musky alleyways, became his family in his new home. One day he heard a sound. It echoed through the labyrinth of sewage that served as tainted veins to the city. At first it was only an echo, but once he had found the source it became an obsession … the Grand Opera House. Although his clothes were plain and his pockets empty, his heart was now full of life. The performers took pity on the wide eyed urchin, who stared at them through the cracks in the floor, and tutored him in the ways of music. After some years the Artistic Director came to meet him. The young man was so nervous that he started to sing … and sing… and sing. He performed entire operas from heart, note for note and word for word, dancing skillfully from meaty baritones to flighty sopranos. A long silence fell, and two words were uttered: “You’re in.” Jacob Wellington was not this boy. Nevertheless, there’s always a hint of truth in fiction.


Holly Windle

Unable to resist the opportunity to sing this beautiful music, Holly returns to the chorus as the oldest fairy – thirty-five years after having sung the part of Leila in the GSVLOC’s first production of Iolanthe in 1981. Other local acting includes work with Theatre in the Round, Gadfly, DayTrippers Dinner Theatre, and doing Crisis Intervention Training with the Barbara Schneider Foundation. Her writing projects include a couple of biographies and more than 125 approved limericks for the Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form. Her lyrics can be heard in this production in the Fairy Queen’s second verse of “Oh, Foolish Fay.”