H.M.S. Pinafore 2023 Cast

The Principals

Anthony T. Rohr – Ralph Rackstraw

This is Anthony’s seventh production with the GSVLOC! His most recent performances with the company include Princess Ida in 2018 (Prince Hilarion), The Mikado in 2019 (Frankie Poo), and Ruddigore in 2020 (Richard Dauntless). A software engineer by day, Anthony holds a degree in Opera Performance from Luther College and moonlights as a classical singer. Other recent credits include La Traviata (Alfredo) and the Viardot Cendrillon (Le Prince Charmant), both with the Opera Reading Project. You may also see Anthony performing with the Minnesota Chorale with Minnesota Orchestra and in opera cabarets around Minneapolis.


Kaoru Shoji – Josephine

This is Kaoru’s third time performing with the GSVLOC after this year’s The Sorcerer (Constance) and last year’s The Pirates of Penzence (Edith), and she couldn’t be happier! After graduating the Royal Northern College of Music in the United Kingdom, Kaoru has performed as part of the Dayton Opera Chorus in Ohio, and made appearances in a number of charity galas in the United States and in Europe. She is excited to be performing on the regular stage again and couldn’t be more thankful to the GSVLOC for the opportunity to indulge in her love of music! In her spare time, Kaoru loves to watch musicals, spend time with her cat, Alan, and goes to the gym to one day smash the patriarchy with her biceps. Please wish her well in her goal of getting “swole” enough to look like a threat this year!


Scott Benson – Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B.

Scott started performing Gilbert & Sullivan operettas when he was a law student. The Georgetown Gilbert & Sullivan Society is the only Gilbert & Sullivan company with its own law school. Upon returning to Minneapolis thirty-three years ago, Scott joined the GSVLOC where he has appeared as Bunthorne in Patience, The Lord Chancellor in Iolanthe, Grand Duke Rudolph in The Grand Duke, The Mikado, King Gama in Princess Ida, and finally now having the opportunity to perform in H.M.S. Pinafore as Sir Joseph Porter. Other of Scott’s favorite non-Gilbert & Sullivan roles include Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls, the Governor in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and the King of Siam in The King and I. During the day, Scott practices law with the Briol & Benson firm in Minneapolis.


Amanda Jenkins – Buttercup

A many years ago, when but a mere babe, Amanda spent time frolicking with fellow members of the GSVLOC as Princess Ida in Princess Ida, Phyllis in Iolanthe, Julia Jellicoe in The Grand Duke, and in a couple of summer concerts at the Lake Harriet bandshell (Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore and Mad Margaret in Ruddigore). So now, more than a decade and half, plus a marriage and two children later, imagine her surprise and delight to learn that art truly does imitate life when she was cast in the role of a mother! Not just any mother, mind you, but one who is harboring a plot-shifting secret (it is Gilbert & Sullivan after all). Amanda is grateful to this wonderful cast, directors, crew, and orchestra for making her return to the stage and the topsy-turvy world of G&S such a delight. Love to Sean, Liam, and Emmett.


Scott A. Gorman – Captain Corcoran

This is Scott’s third show with the GSVLOC, so it must be that the third time’s a charm! Regardless, Scott is thrilled to be working with the GSVLOC again! Some favorite previous roles include Gomez Addams in The Addams Family Musical, Major General Stanley in The Pirates of Penzance (also with the GSVLOC), Patsy in Spamalot!, Maurice in Beauty & the Beast, Drake in Honk!, General Genghis Khan Schmitz in Seussical, and Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls … among others. Scott currently works as a worship pastor, a voiceover and on-camera actor, as well as a freelancer in the digital marketing space. Additionally, he has worked with several other Twin Cities ensembles, such as: Minnesota Opera, Opera 101, The Dale Warland Singers, Minnesota Chorale, and the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. Surrounded almost entirely by females for the better part of his married life (his wife and four daughters), he now makes his home in the southwest suburbs, with his wife Valerie, and a tiny green ball of avian energy … a parakeet named Zipadee.


Mary Kettlewell – Cousin Hebe

Mary is a newcomer to the Twin Cities and is thrilled to perform in her second GSVLOC show! She holds a Bachelor of Art in Music from the University of Missouri Columbia (2016) and a Masters in Voice Performance from the University of Colorado Boulder (2018). Originally from Columbia, Missouri, she has performed across the Midwest and beyond with Opera in the Ozarks, Opera NEO, Missouri Symphony Society, Boulder Opera, Boulder Bach Festival, Loveland Opera Theater, Opera on Tap Colorado, Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra, Inversion Ensemble, LOLA – Local Opera Local Artists, Gilbert & Sullivan Austin, and the American Traditions Vocal Competition in Savannah, Georgia. Mary most recently performed as Wynn Somme (originally Yum Yum) in Gilbert & Sullivan Austin’s Scottish Highland setting of The McAdo (The Mikado) and as Alcina in Opera Reading Project’s production of La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina. In her free time, Mary is a passionate crafter, a crochet enthusiast, and a horror movie fanatic.


Josh Conroy – Dick Deadeye

This is Josh’s first production with the GSVLOC! They’re delighted to join this dynamic and talented crew, and to dive deeper into their villain era to play the fragrant, odd, and dissonant Dick Deadeye. Their discipline in voice includes over a decade of professional work in the Twin Cities. They have performed with several local organizations including VocalEssence Ensemble Singers, Bach Society of Minnesota, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, Opera Reading Project, The Fringe Festival, The Fox and Beggar Theater, and others. (Though Dick may be hated by the crew, Josh is supported and loved, notably by their family, their partner Scotty, and their sweet pup Ollie.)


Cole Strelecki – Bill Bobstay, Boatswain’s Mate

Cole is delighted to be making his GSVLOC debut! A Des Moines native and now a Minnesota transplant, he is a recent graduate of Drake University where he received his Bachelor of Music studying Vocal Performance and Musical Theatre. Recent achievements include first place in the Bruce Carlson Schubert Club Vocal competition, national finalist in the Hal Leonard vocal competition in musical theatre and classical voice, and top thirteen finalist for the American Pops Orchestra National NextGen competition. Cole has been recently seen as Stroop (Wings: A New Musical) and Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro), among others. Outside of music, you’ll find him exploring nature trails or planning vacations he will never actually go on. Cole looks forward to continuing to perform in the Twin Cities.


John Orbison – Bob Becket, Carpenter’s Mate

This is John’s nineteenth stage performance with the GSVLOC, and he is delighted to again appear as Bob Becket (who?), the role he has sung more than any other in his years with the company. He is grateful for the support of Tom and Ann, the upper crust adult G&S fans he once nuss’d as two tender babes without ever, to his knowledge, mixing them up, Jean Van Heel (GSVLOC Assistant Music Director), one of the many sisters (outnumbering his cousins and aunts) with whom he shared childhood’s happy hours, and Holly MacDonald, retired GSVLOC alto, the figurehead of his ship of life, the bright beacon that guides him into his port of happiness.


The Ensemble

Tom Berg

By day, Tom is a professor of constitutional law and intellectual property law at the University of Saint Thomas. 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 law students in the classroom, and he joined the GSVLOC in 2008, appearing since then in numerous full productions and summer concerts, including turns as Sir Joseph Porter (H.M.S. Pinafore), Pish Tush/Chris Tush (The Mikado), Major-General Stanley (The Pirates of Penzance), and the Notary (The Grand Duke). He also played the Major-General in Cross Community Players’ 2018 production of The Pirates of Penzance. He and his wife, Maureen Kane Berg, met in the cast of a student musical comedy production in law school. They 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 latest musical (with another collaborator), A House Divided, has had a production in Philadelphia and staged readings in Lexington, Kentucky, and the Twin Cities. Their other major collaborative productions are two sons, Brendan and Aidan.


Alyssa Ehlen

Alyssa is excited to be performing in another show with the GSVLOC! Her last show with the company was The Sorcerer! Some of her recent credits include Noises Off as Poppy, Picnic as Millie Owens, Steel Magnolias as Ouiser, Spring Awakening as Anna and Pride and Prejudice as Charlotte Lucas at Normandale Community College and the French Narrator in Eagan Summer Community Theatre’s SpongeBob the Musical and most recently played Reverend Hale in Hangfire productions The Crucible.Alyssa has an AFA in theatre performance and a BA in theatre! Her childhood heart is singing with absolute joy being able to further her career in acting. Alyssa would like to thank her friends and family for the awesome support they have shown her while she pursues her lifelong dream of acting!


Mitchell Engel

Mitchell is a newcomer the GSVLOC and he could not be more proud to perform with the company. He has been involved with theatre in some capacity for nearly a decade, with some of his most prominent roles including; Herr Schultz in Cabaret, Caliban in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Pugsley Addams in The Addams Family, and Jimmy in Almost Maine. A recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls, Mitchell is currently trying to find his way in the world, but hopes to be able to sing, dance, and make money simultaneously one day. Outside of theatre you can commonly find him in his basement either attempting to make art or playing with model trains. Mitchell would like to thank his family, his amazing sister Maddie, and his two best friends Jack and Jo for continuing to support his passion for theatre.


Maria Gisselquist

This is Maria’s first show with the GSVLOC, but not her first time aboard the H.M.S. Pinafore! Her first time sailing on the “saucy ship” was in 2017 with Moundsview Community Theater, and she is excited to be back on board! Maria spent her youth singing with the Minnesota Opera’s youth training program, Project Opera, as well as honing her musical theater skills. Maria spent two and a half years studying theater at Augsburg University and harbored dreams of becoming a professional performer. But God eventually led her to where her gifts were most needed: a messy classroom full of unruly toddlers. In her work as a daycare teacher, Maria (or Miss Ria, as she is known to her students) finds great joy in using singing, dancing, and silliness to nurture the growth of our future artists and advocates. Maria also enjoys cross-stitching, puzzles, reading, hiking, and singing in the Plymouth Congregational Church choir under the direction of Philip Brunelle. Welcome aboard and enjoy the show!


Jakob Gomez

Jakob is stoked to be returning to the GSVLOC! Swabbing the poop deck has been a dream of his since childhood. You may have seen him in other GSVLOC shows, such as Ruddigore, The Sorcerer, and The Pirates of Penzance, as well as Glass Menagerie with 4C Theatre, and The Little Mermaid with Open Door Theatre. Jakob would like to thank Colin, Sean, and Jera, for their warm words and soft hugs.


Stephen Hage

Stephen’s lifelong passion for Gilbert and 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’s carried him through the years to this, his sixth staging of H.M.S. Pinafore and his forty-fourth appearance in a G&S production … but then, who’s counting!? In addition to appearing on stage, he also serves the GSVLOC as its Producer. Stephen has also performed on stage with Artistry, Mill City Summer Opera and Minnesota Opera. In addition, Stephen is active in the Twin Cities’ vibrant film community and has appeared in numerous feature films, short films, commercials, and music videos, in roles ranging from principal to supporting to background. By day, he 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.


Molly Hayes

Molly is so excited to be a part of her first show with the GSVLOC! She has many years of experience in musical theatre and opera training. Molly’s most notable roles include the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, Mayzie Labird in Seussical the Musical, Grace in a Annie, Brooke Wyndham in Legally Blonde, and Marty in Grease. She also had the opportunity to spend five years in The Minnesota Opera Company’s “Project Opera” program. This allowed her the opportunity to be in Minnesota Opera’s 2010 production of La Boheme, as well as play one of the “Grady Twins” in Minnesota Opera’s workshop for the world premiere of The Shining. In her free time, Molly enjoys spending time with her husband and family, but most importantly, her dog, Lucy.”


Trenton Johnson

Trenton is excited to be working with the GSVLOC again on the same show he participated in during the summer of 2019. After graduating from Hamline University and working in various accounting roles, he is excited to portray his creative side once again. Most of his acting credits come from his high school experiences, but he has been singing in choirs continuously throughout his adult life. He has appreciated the vast amount of talent the cast has to offer and is excited to help the group put on a great show. When not on stage, Trenton fills his time with games, singing, piano, and reading.


Ella Rose Katzenberger

Ella Rose is returning to the stage for her second GSVLOC production! She is an alumnae of Viterbo University where she studied Vocal Pedagogy and Vocal Performance. Ella Rose was previously seen in productions such as The Sorcerer as Bridesmaid, Trouble in Tahiti as First Trio, L’enfant et les sortilèges as L’enfant, and Hansel and Gretel as the Dew Fairy. She has had a blast getting to know the cast and falling in love with another G&S show. Ella Rose would like to extend a special thanks to her husband for listening to more golden age music than he is used to. Toi toi toi to H.M.S. Pinafore!”


Therese Kulas

Therese is tickled to be in her first production with the GSVLOC – in fact, her first G&S production with anyone! She holds a degree in vocal performance from the University of Mary – favorite roles include Cinderella in Into the Woods, Penny in Hairspray, and Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof. When not rehearsing, Therese works in marketing and enjoys trying new foods, pretending to be Esther Williams at water aerobics classes and supporting her husband by watching him playing the French horn. Special thanks to the directors and creative staff for sharing their talents, Nick for the unending support, and Darin for the wisdom and audition coaching.


Kate Lamb

Kate is thrilled to return for her second mainstage show with the GSVLOC. Previous company performances include The Pirates of Penzance (2022) and Trial by Jury (2015 MN Fringe Festival). Other engagements include Nicholas J. White’s On Outbreak world premiere (2015 New Ruckus) along with Opera On Tap’s New Composition Program premieres. Kate has also performed with Thursday Musical, The Minnesota Chorale, The Singers-Minnesota Choral Artists, Luther College Opera and Nordic Choir as well as the Saint Cloud Concert Choir. She earned her Bachelor of Art in Music with a Psychology Minor from Luther College and Master of Science in Communication Disorders from Saint Cloud State University (SCSU). Kate currently works in private practice as the speech-language pathologist and owner of Minnesota Speech Therapy, LLC. She also teaches as an adjunct instructor at SCSU and clinical supervisor at the University of Minnesota. In her free time Kate enjoys “gaily tripping” and “lightly skipping” with the figurehead of her ship of life and their two handsome young sailors.


Anna Maher

Anna has been previously seen in The Sorcerer, The Pirates of Penzance, Ruddigore, The Mikado, Princess Ida, Orpheus in the Underworld, The Gondoliers, and Iolanthe with the GSVLOC. Other projects have included H.M.S. Pinafore and Man of La Mancha with Joe Chvala, and Into the Woods with Shoot the Glass Theatre, among others. You may also see her singing with Minnesota Chorale, Opera on Tap, Opera on the Lake, and Mystery Opera Theatre. Special thanks to Matt Polum, Gary Briggle, and Janis Hardy for their infinite love and support.


Katherine McCord

Katherine is excited to be in her first production with the GSVLOC! Her most recent musical escapades include Minnesota Chorale, Opera Reading Project, and The Forge series. A Minnesota native, she received her Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance from Saint Olaf College. Currently, she resides in Minneapolis, with her husband, Yohan, and her cat, Pickles. When not in rehearsals, she enjoys attending and hosting Buddhist meetings, dressing up in Japanese street fashion, and watching Doctor Who.


Hannah Pantano

Hannah is grateful to be joining the GSVLOC for her first show with the company! After appearing as a pumpkin in Cinderella when she was six years old, she hasn’t been able to stay away from the stage, and has worked in over fifty productions around the Twin Cities with community, educational, and professional companies. Some of Hannah’s favorite roles include Miss Honey in Matilda (Castle Co), Rosalind in As You Like It (NCC), and Fiona in Shrek the Musical (Ashland Productions, U/S). By day, she is a seamstress, mama to two boys, and passionate coffee drinker. This has been a wonderful company to be a part of, and she hopes you enjoy your time aboard the H.M.S. Pinafore as much as she has!


Matthew Polum

Matthew is delighted to be returning to the GSVLOC stage in H.M.S. Pinafore! A native of Apple Valley, he earned his Music Degree at Saint Mary’s University before taking root in Northeast Minneapolis. You may have seen Matthew previously in The Sorcerer (Hercules) with the GSVLOC, along with productions of Brigadoon, Beauty & The Beast and Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Tommy, Beast, Pharaoh) at Faith Community Theatre. When not onstage, he enjoys spending his time cooking meats, demolishing his friends at Super Smash Bros, and cuddling with his potato cat, Mabel. Matthew studies with Metropolitan Opera alumnus, Dennis Peterson.


Mallory Rabehl

Mallory is delighted to be returning for her third consecutive production with the GSVLOC. This company has become a true source of joy in her life. A recent graduate from Concordia College in Moorhead, Mallory sang in the Concordia Choir for three years, serving as the Student Manager in her senior year. She studied Music and Business (Marketing) and has been lucky enough to start her career with the Minnesota Orchestra, currently serving as the Development Operations Manager. Mallory’s performance highlights include Isabel (The Pirates of Penzance– GSVLOC), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro– St. Croix Valley Opera), and Suor Genovieffa (Suor Angelica- Brancaleoni International Music Festival). She is now doing a little bit of everything that she loves, from working for an ensemble that she loves by day, to collaborating with the high-caliber musicians of this cast by night.


Lowell Rice

Lowell is back with the GSVLOC for H.M.S. Pinafore, and couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it! You may have seen him recently in Ruddigore, The Pirates of Penzance, and The Sorcerer with the GSVLOC, or a number of other local productions since he graduated with a Theatre Arts degree from Bethel University in 2015, which he puts to use in his day job helping legislators with computer troubles.


Aaron Rolloff

Prior to HMS Pinafore, Aaron performed with the GSVLOC in The Mikado, Patience, The Grand Duke, and Ruddigore. He has been in several plays at Theatre in the Round, most recently A View from the Bridge, and Romeo and Juliet. Aaron plays tuba with Brio Brass, and regularly plays duets and trios with trombone and horn-playing friends. He also has a wife, Peggy, and son, Tom, who are really cool.


Lizzy Schroeder

Lizzy is excited to join the GSVLOC in her first Gilbert & Sullivan production! Lizzy and her dog, Teddy, just moved to the Twin Cities after living abroad in England the last two years. Her performing past has included working as a Music Director and Soprano at Cathedrals / Churches and performing in musicals / operas (most recently as Johanna in Sweeney Todd with Buxton Opera Company). Lizzy received her Masters of Music in Vocal Performance in 2021 from Chicago College of Performing Arts. She would like to thank the GSVLOC company for accepting her with open arms!


Niko Simmons

Niko is thrilled to rejoin wonderful friends, both new and old, in his second production with the GSVLOC, his first as a member of the ensemble in Princess Ida in 2018. An avid lover of all forms of theater, art, and specifically ad hoc narrative improv with friends, he has been a member of a variety of productions, from Old Man Strong in Urinetown or Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar to productions of Silent Night, Carmen, Daughter of the Regiment, Don Giovanni, and Edward Tulane, with Minnesota Opera.


Sam Vinitsky

Sam is ecstatic to be appearing in his third production and third cover role with the GSVLOC, after covering the titular character in last spring’s The Sorcerer and Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance last fall. When not gallivanting onstage, Sam spends his time solving complex problems in health-insurance as a Data Scientist at a disruptive startup health insurance company (Surest, formerly Bind) and babysitting his favorite niece.


Caroline van Vliet

Caroline is delighted to join the “right good crew” of the H.M.S. Pinafore for their debut with the GSVLOC. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre from the University of Minnesota, Caroline teaches and stage manages youth theatre and works as an educator at the Bakken Museum. They are also a street and stage performer at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, where they play (to no one’s surprise) a sailor character. Caroline can also be found performing music and comedy around the Twin Cities, frequently belting sea shanties to unsuspecting audiences. With gratitude, they would like to give three cheers (and one cheer more) for Gary and Randy for giving them this opportunity, and to the whole cast for welcoming them so kindly.


Trevor Woggon

Trevor is thrilled to put his exhaustive knowledge of nineteenth century naval history and seamanship to use in H.M.S Pinafore, his first appearance with the GSVLOC. Raised in the heartland of southwestern Wisconsin, he began his musical journey at the age of six, playing the cello and singing in church. Trevor went on to study music education at Saint Mary’s University and has spent the last decade leading a wide variety of musical acts, honing his skills as a performer and music director. He last appeared on-stage as Caiaphas in Jesus Christ Superstar. Trevor currently studies voice with Metropolitan Opera alumnus, Dennis Petersen, and is a proud member of Twin Cities Musician’s Union Local 30-73.