The Sorcerer 2023 Cast

The Principals

Sifryn Cináed Oberon – John Wellington Wells

Sifryn is a trans and non-binary actor, musician, and clown; and they are delighted to be making their debut with the GSVLOC. Sifryn began cultivating theatrical skills on the family farm, while singing and performing for audiences of dairy cows. (It was said these performances were very moo-ving). They perform across many genres, including: Shakespeare, musicals, street theatre, improv, puppetry, film, and more. Sifryn studied theatre & music at the University of Minnesota Duluth, and moved to Minneapolis in 2018. Past credits include: Theatre Pro Rata: 46 Plays for America’s First Ladies, Mixed Precipitation’s Pickup Truck Opera: Mozart’s Magic Flute (Papageno), La Clemenza di Tito (Annio); Open Eye: Steadfast: Tale of the Tin Soldier (Tin Soldier), Duluth Playhouse: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (Mr. Hyde / Ensemble), Time Stands Still (Mandy Bloom), The Jungle Book (Shere Khan), Phoenix Theatre’s Queered Classics: Troilus & Cressida (Troilus), Lyric Arts: Flora & Ulysses (Ulysses), Lakeshore Players Theatre: Balloonacy (Lonely Soul/Puppeteer), and rollicking about as Fool at the MN Renaissance Festival. Upcoming: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Christopher) at the Duluth Playhouse’s NorShor Theatre, May 26th – June 4th. More information:


Anna Maher – Aline

Anna has been previously seen in 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 Reading Project, and Mystery Opera Theatre. Special thanks to Maggie Benham and Seth Tychon Steidl for being gracious and wonderful beings.


Seth Tychon Steidl – Alexis

Seth could not be happier to perform in his fourth production with the GSVLOC after 2016’s Iolanthe (Peer), 2020’s / 2022’s Ruddigore (Robin Oakapple), and 2022’s The Pirates of Penzance (Frederic). Additional recent credits include Paul Andrew Willis Jr’s One Stride Behind the Setting Sun (Tiresias), Open Door Community Theater’s The Little Mermaid (King Triton), Ashland Production’s Beauty & the Beast and Mamma Mia (Beast, Sam Carmichael), Eagan Summer Community Theater’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Quasimodo), and Artistry’s The Secret Garden (Dickon Sowerby). When not performing on stage, Seth is either chanting at Saint Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church or spending time with his wonderful wife, Sarah.


Maggie Benham – Aline

Maggie is delighted to find herself back on stage with the GSVLOC after previously appearing in both Ruddigore and The Pirates of Penzance. You may have spotted her on other stages in the Twin Cities ( for more), but she is happy to be a dedicated part of the GSVLOC family. As a child with a flair for the dramatic, Maggie found her love of opera by performing with the Pittsburgh Opera Company. She’s grateful to still have an outlet for all that drama (it didn’t decrease with age). By day, you can find Maggie living the marketing dream at Hook Agency, dancing through life with her husband Brandyn, and trying to keep up with her overly energetic puppy. Hugs to them both (and to her partner-in-crime, Anna)!


Waldyn Benbenek – Sir Marmaduke

Waldyn first got hooked on Gilbert and Sullivan when he was in sixth grade and the eighth graders did a kid-friendly version of H.M.S. Pinafore. He was given his first D’Oyly Carte recording (The Pirates of Penzance) for his thirteenth birthday. He proceeded to memorize a good number of the operettas to the annoyance and embarrassment of his siblings. He sang and performed in the theater as an undergrad when he was supposed to be studying mathematics and in graduate school when he was supposed to be studying theology. In 1979, he ended up in the Twin Cities having finally settled on an IT career. While here, he saw a poster for a “Pinafore Sing-along.” That led him to the fateful Kenwood basement where Dick Fishel announced that they were there to start a Gilbert and Sullivan Company. Since then, Waldyn has been a part of the company and done a checkered set of tasks for the group. He has also performed with the company in many different roles, mostly father-figures, cads, and criminal types. He is really happy to be playing Sir Marmaduke again and to be performing it with the youth he has come to love working with in the last few years. One of the big payoffs of working with the company has been meeting his wife, Mary Mescher Benbenek. All three of their children have performed in the company productions. They know more of Waldyn’s performing life than his professional career. When one of his children was asked his father’s profession, he said, “Opera singer.” When Waldyn challenged him, he answered, “I can’t tell them you’re a computer programmer. That’s too boring.”


Lara Trujillo – Lady Sangazure

Lara appeared in the Ordway Theater’s productions of In the Heights, and in My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra, as well as at the Guthrie Theater, in 7th House Theater Company’s production of The Passage, at the History Theater in River Road Boogie: The Augie Garcia Story and J.D. Steele’s Snapshots: Life in the City, at The Pantages in HAIR, in Joe Chvala’s production of Heaven at Park Square Theater, as well as in productions with Minnesota Opera, Mill City Summer Opera, Theater Latte Da, Teatro del Pueblo, Lyric Arts Main Street Stage, 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 directed and appeared in Full Circle Theater Company’s production of Atacama, at Park Square Theater. This is Lara’s lucky thirteenth appearance with the GSVLOC, having performed in previous productions of Iolanthe, The Yeomen of the Guard, Utopia, Limited, The Sorcerer, Orpheus in the Underworld, The Mikado, Ruddigore, and The Pirates of Penzance. Lara has also appeared with the GSVLOC and the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra at the Lake Harriet Bandshell, in concert versions of H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado. She is immensely grateful to her husband, Stephen, and to her family and friends who continually offer her their love, support, and encouragement.


Doug Freeman – Dr. Daly

At this writing, a certain public radio station’s pledge drive is in full swing, and the announcers are talking a lot about how they fell in love with classical music. For Doug, it was at age eighteen when he had a chance to see friends rehearse a production of H.M.S Pinafore. He was smitten, and though he’s sung music from centuries before and after, Doug is happy to be back with the GSVLOC, working on the style that first captured him. Doug has performed with the GSVLOC in Ruddigore, The Mikado, Princess Ida, Orpheus in the Underworld, and The Gondoliers. Over the years and across several states, he’s done all but three G&S operettas; he also enjoys musicals (Narrator/Mysterious Man in Into the Woods and El Gallo in The Fantasticks, both with Eat Street Players), opera (Leporello in Don Giovanni with Twin Cities Fringe Opera; Dr. Gibbs in Ned Rorem’s Our Town with Skylark Opera; Don Magnifico in Rossini’s La Cenerentola with the National Opera Company), and an occasional straight play (Harold in The Boys in the Band).


Kaoru Shoji – Constance

This is Kaoru’s second time performing with the GSVLOC after last year’s The Pirates of Penzance (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 also 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 (she finally has a cat of her own!), 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!


J.R. Andrews – Mrs. Partlet

Following a dozen or so years on stage with the GSVLOC in shows such as The Mikado, The Gondoliers, Patience, The Yeomen of the Guard, Iolanthe, Princess Ida, Trial By Jury, The Zoo, and The Pirates of Penzance, Andrews began to direct for the company in 2007 with The Mikado. Other stage direction for the company includes a revised version of the rarely performed The Grand Duke, and Iolanthe in 2016 (which won the Broadway World Minneapolis Awards for Best Director of a Musical and Best Ensemble Performance in a Musical), the steampunk version Princess Ida and last season’s homage to the Golden Era of cinema, Ruddigore. J.R. has performed with numerous local companies including The Minnesota Opera (ten seasons), Theater Latté Da (Sunday In The Park with George), Theater in the Round (Pirates), Artistry (The World Goes ‘Round, Company, Follies, Fiorello!), and Skylark Opera. A native of San Mateo, California, Andrews has called Minneapolis home since graduating from Carleton College. J.R., welling over with limpid joy, married long-time GSVLOC member Scott Benson in 2015. Finally, J.R. wishes to thank Stephen, Gary and Randy for creating a safe, warm, kind, intelligent space to do good work and to see what’s possible.


John Orbison – The Notary

Having become sufficiently decayed after nearly twenty GSVLOC productions, John is delighted to be taking on the role of the Notary, though he notes that we have cut the second verse of the second act song in which he gets to rumble a brief solo. It refers to him as “sixty-seven nearly”, and the number of years for which that has not been true apparently exceeded the bounds of credulity. References to his being “dry and stuffy, deaf and slow, ill-tempered, weak, poorly, ugly, and absurdly dressed” are much more believable, but evidently did not carry enough weight to afford him the second opportunity to rumble in response. He owes thanks to his sister and assistant music director Jean Van Heel for first luring him to the GSVLOC stage in 2006, and his children Tom and Ann, for humoring his G&S obsession. It was during the GSVLOC’s last production of The Sorcerer that he became betrothed to his adored one, Holly MacDonald, long-time GSVLOC alto. The two were wed the following New Year’s Day, and the ensuing twelve years have been John’s utmost source of ecstatic rapture and unmingled joy!


The Chorus

Joe Allen

Through some byzantine bylaw, in proper age-bending G&S fashion, Joe is the youngest of the male-bodied GSVLOC Grandparents in his eighth main stage production! You may have seen him onstage with Theatre Latte Da, Minnesota Opera, Lyric Arts, The Duluth Playhouse, Journey North OC, the Lakes Area Music Festival, or various other regional, community, and Fringe venues. Joe enjoys video and tabletop gaming; reading books, articles, and journals; backpacking, hiking, and camping; their bouldering and yoga practice; permaculture gardening/landscaping; robust conversation/debate; constant heartmind work, breath meditation, and therapy; politics of poverty, theology, and literacy; and constantly holding space for himself and those he loves to grow. Joe lives in New Brighton with his partner, Kelly, their two remarkable daughters, and two fantastic cats. A software engineer by day, this Joe-of-all-trades is most fulfilled when lending their body, soul, voice, and mind to a generative and creative process. UP NEXT: An intentional break from theatre and opera to focus on breaking literal ground on the first phase of a five-year permaculture project on their quarter-acre in the feral hinterlands north of 694.


Mary Mescher Benbenek

Mary has performed with the GSVLOC intermittently for over forty years. This is her fourth production of The Sorcerer. She has gravitated from playing a lithe, lovesick maiden to an older towns woman, in this case, her character is designated as “friend of Mrs. Partlet’s” – a pretty broad canvas to imbue with character!


Scott Benson

Thirty-three short years ago, Scott auditioned to be in Patience with the GSVLOC because they rehearsed near his house. Rehearsing for The Sorcerer all the way in the wilds of Edina presented a welcome challenge. 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. Although his very first role in the first-grade play was April (the month, not April in Company), which his mother noted was played with youthful exuberance and an umbrella. By day, Scott is a lawyer and can confirm that “the law is the true embodiment of everything that’s excellent.” Scott finally married in 2015, and even had music from Gilbert and 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.)


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 several 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 new 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.


Sarah Brickeen

Sarah’s GSVLOC debut was in their recent production of The Pirates of Penzance as one of the Major General’s many daughters. She is excited to be a part of this production of The Sorcerer. Sarah recently performed the role of Nanetta in Verdi’s Falstaff with Opera Reading Project and is scheduled to perform with Overdressed Duo this Summer. In the Summer of 2022, she performed as Lauretta in FIO-Italia’s production of Gianni Schicchi in Urbania, Italy. In the Fall of 2022, Sarah was a semi-finalist for the Camille Coloratura competition. She has also received recognition as a Certified Young Artist in the 2021 CS International Music Competition. Sarah received her Masters of Music at the University of Memphis and currently resides in Minneapolis, studying with John De Haan.


Jim Brooks

Jim has had the pleasure and privilege of performing with the CSVLOC chorus for the past thirty years. He has performed in all the Gilbert and Sullivan collaborations, but he is still hoping that someday the company will present a restaging of their lost operetta Thespis. Jim retired as a math and graduate education professor at Concordia University – St Paul. He also recently retired from the Wild Goose Chase Cloggers after forty years as their leader, during which time, he took the cloggers to twelve different tours of festivals in Europe. Jim’s wife Judy, and their daughter Julia, are faithful followers of the GSVLOC and haven’t missed a season, often bringing a posse of friends and family with them to the performances.


Kelly Danger

Kelly lives with her dashing partner, Joe Allen (Bass Chorus), two spectacular daughters, and two predictably enigmatic felines in New Brighton. Yes, her last name really is Danger, and no, she is not a superhero, nor villain. This is Kelly’s third (and a half) appearance with the GSVLOC and she is delighted to be reprising her stunning portrayal of 3rd Soprano on the left from the 2019 production of The Mikado, the tragically truncated 2020 production of Ruddigore, and the remounted production of Ruddigore in 2022. Other roles of note include, Athena the Android in Artificial (2019 Fringe), Tessie Turra in Gypsy (Lakeshore Players), Freddy Eynsford-Hill in My Fair Lady (Morris Park Players), the titular role in Mary Poppins (SACT), Woman-Who’s-Skirt-is-Too-Tight-to-Get-up-the-Stairs in Rhinoceros (TRP), and First Sea Otter in Mrs. Wilcox’s 4th Grade production of the original play, Sea Creatures of the Pacific Northwest (She totally got an A on that project and got to wear her friend Laura’s grandmother’s fur coat which was amazing, even though she still sort of feels bad for all those mink). Originally from the Seattle area, Kelly never ceases to marvel that she is fortunate enough to continue treading the boards with such a tremendously talented company. As always, thanks and love to Joe, Chris, Ayla, and Rue!


Theresa Drexler

Theresa is happy to be back for her second GSVLOC production after making her debut in The Pirates of Penzance last fall. She would like to thank director Gary Briggle for casting her in the role of the Dairymaid, as Colby cheese is her favorite food! Theresa is a Twin Cities-based actor and director who’s worked with many theatre companies including (but not limited to), Lakeshore Players Theatre, Fridley Community Theatre and the Columbia Heights Fine Arts Foundation. Favorite credits include Enchanted April (Rose Arnott), All’s Well That Ends Well (Helena), and Urinetown (Poor Ensemble). She is also a Cast Member with Occasions With Character LLC, a professional children’s character entertainment company. Theresa holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Bethel University. She would like to thank her parents, former theatre educators, the Lilja family, and God, as well as the audience for their continued support of live theatre!


Alyssa Ehlen

Alyssa is excited to be performing in another show and in her very first opera. Some of her 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! 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! She would also like to thank everyone who ever encouraged her during recess. Alyssa is now being told that she is a different kind of “swing” than that of one on the playground. She is mildly upset about this but, nonetheless, grateful for her part in this production.


Jeff D. Erickson

Google defines Jeff D. Erickson as, “Did you mean: Chef de cuisine?” Regardless, Jeff defines himself as thrilled to be returning for his fifth (sixth, if Ruddigore counts twice!) consecutive show with the GSVLOC, after appearing in The Pirates of Penzance, Ruddigore (2020 and 2022 productions), The Mikado, and Princess Ida. You may have also recently seen him in The Most Happy Fella, with Skylark Opera Theatre, and My Fair Lady (Henry Higgins), with Morris Park Players. In his free time, Jeff enjoys singing (obviously), playing video games more than he should, playing the piano less than he should, watching terrible reality shows, and not using his Computer Science or French degrees in any way whatsoever. Jeff is also very flattered that you think he looks twenty-two.


Jakob Gomez

Jakob is stoked to be returning to the GSVLOC! Growing up fervently reading the Harry Potter books, The Sorcerer feels very nostalgic. You may have seen him in other GSVLOC shows, such as Ruddigore 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 his friends, for their warm words and soft hugs.


Mary Gregory

Mary has loved singing and acting since an early age. She has spent a significant number of years of her life singing with the GSVLOC. What better joy than to be singing and acting with friends both old and new in this fun production of The Sorcerer? This is Mary’s third production of this operetta with the GSVLOC, and the music never fails to lift her spirits. Singing with this group is like riding on top of ocean waves … one is buoyed and carried and part of something vastly bigger than oneself. “The only thing better than singing is more singing.” – Ella Fitzgerald


Scott A. Gorman

This is Scott’s second show with the GSVLOC, which means that someone either made a clerical error, or they thought his portrayal of Major General Stanley in the fall of 2022 made it worth giving him a second chance. WHEW! Whatever the reason, Scott is thrilled to be working with the GSVLOC again! Some of Scott’s favorite previous roles include Major General Stanley in The Pirates of Penzance, Patsy in Spamalot!, Ghost of Christmas Present in A Christmas Carol, Maurice in Beauty and the Beast, Drake in Honk!, General Genghis Khan Schmitz in Seussical, Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls, and Lazar Wolf in A Fiddler on the Roof. Scott currently works as a worship pastor, a voiceover and on-camera actor, as well as a freelancer in the digital marketing space. Scott has also been a contracted performer with several Twin Cities ensembles, such as: Minnesota Opera, Opera 101, The Dale Warland Singers, Minnesota Chorale, and the Minnesota Renaissance Festival … among others. Surrounded almost entirely by females for the better part of his married life (his wife and 4 daughters), he’s happy pursuing manly endeavors such as grunting, burping, and perfecting a killer repertoire of dad jokes with the only two other males in the household: the parakeet … Zipadee, and the rabbit … Theodore.


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 staging of The Sorcerer … his forty-third appearance in a G&S production … but then, who’s counting!? 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.


Shawn Holt

Shawn has been a member of the GSVLOC since 2007. This is her second time performing in The Sorcerer and she is busting out her acting chops to drink tea instead of her preferred coffee. You see, the potion works much better in tea. Shawn hails from Shoreview where she lives with her husband, Phil, and cat, Shadow. Their daughter, Amanda, is a sophomore in college and still likes to visit home on weekends. Shawn hopes you enjoy the show even if she has “spilled the tea” about the plot.


Ella Rose Katzenberger

Ella Rose is appearing in her very first production with the GSVLOC! During the pandemic, she graduated from Viterbo University with a major in vocal performance and emphasis in vocal pedagogy. She then got engaged, moved states, started a new job, and learned to drive in the metro (very different from rural transit, fewer cows). Ella Rose was previously seen in productions such as Trouble in Tahiti as First Trio, L’enfant et les sortilèges as L’enfant, and Hansel and Gretel as the Dew Fairy. She is so grateful to the company for giving her a chance and welcoming her into a loving, musical family. Ella Rose would like to give a quick thanks to her accountant, Mr. Katzenberger, who showed her this opening and has supported her through the entire journey (i.e. bringing her to her first rehearsal after her tire blew and waiting for AAA for three and a half hours in the dead of winter). Toi toi toi to The Sorcerer!”


Mary Kettlewell

Mary is a newcomer to the Twin Cities and is thrilled to join the GSVLOC this season! 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 most recently was featured at the nationals of the American Traditions Vocal Competition in Savannah, Georgia. Mary looks forward to briefly returning to Austin this summer to perform the role of Wynn Somme (originally Yum Yum) in Gilbert & Sullivan Austin’s Scottish Highland setting of The McAdo (The Mikado). In her free time, Mary is a passionate crafter, compulsive cleaner, and overly-aggressive cornhole team captain.


Kaitlin Klemencic

Kaitlin is delighted to be back onstage with the GSVLOC, having previously appeared in Ruddigore, Princess Ida, Orpheus in the Underworld, The Gondoliers and Iolanthe. Originally from Wisconsin, Kaitlin earned her BFA in theater arts and a secondary education degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University. After a few years in New York City, Kaitlin returned to the Midwest where she has been working as an actress and nanny ever since. In addition to GSVLOC, Kaitlin has worked with numerous Twin Cities companies including Theatre Latte Da, Theatre Elision, Skylark Opera Company, Lyric Arts and TRP. Favorite roles include Meg/K.T. (Merrily We Roll Along), Amy (Company), The Baker’s Wife (Into the Woods), Lily Green (A Flight of Short Musicals), Carol (Black Comedy) and part of the lively ensemble in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Infinite amounts of love and thanks to family, friends, P, Z, and the GSVLOC for another wonderful experience.


Dean Laurance

Dean and Waldyn Benbenek are the last two founding members of the GSVLOC, which was founded in 1979. Waldyn was happy to see Dean, Jim Brooks and Eric Pasternack return to the cast because in The Pirates of Penzance, he was the oldest member of the cast, while in The Sorcerer, he is only the fourth oldest! Dean was the Set Builder for many years until he no longer could do it, but he continues to help with sets. This is Dean’s fourth production of The Sorcerer, which is a very popular show with the chorus.


Blanka Melbostad

Blanka is thrilled to be cast as the cover for Constance in The Sorcerer. Her most recent credits include playing Queen of The Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Jou Jou in Lehár’s Die Lustige Witwe, and the Dew Fairy in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. She is incredibly grateful to be part of such a talented cast and crew.


Eric Pasternack

In real life, Eric is a recently retired petrophysicist. 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 to determine how much oil and gas is there. A very narrow specialty, especially given that most wells are about 8 inches in diameter. Now you know).


Matthew Polum

Matthew is absolutely ecstatic to be making his GSVLOC debut in The Sorcerer! 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 him previously in productions of Beauty & The Beast and Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Beast, Pharaoh) at Faith Community Theatre. When not onstage, he enjoys spending his time cooking meats, demolishing his friends at Super Smash Bros, and putting the glad in gladiator at his neighborhood gym. Special thanks to Dennis Petersen for his fantastic tutelage these past few months.


Mallory Rabehl

This is Mallory’s second production with the GSVLOC and she couldn’t be more delighted. The rehearsal and performance process for The Sorcerer was an absolute joy. 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. Two constants in Mallory’s life have been a love for both the performing arts and being in charge, which blend together perfectly in her career path of Arts Administration! She is now doing a little bit of everything that she loves, from working as the Ticket Services Coordinator with the Minnesota Orchestra by day, to collaborating with the high-caliber musicians of this cast by night. In addition to these pursuits, Mallory fills her time with K-Pop, local restaurants, and travel.


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 singing along with his player piano. This is his fourth production of The Sorcerer, and the first in which he plays handbells.


Lowell Rice

Lowell is back with the GSVLOC for The Sorcerer, and couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it! You may have seen him recently in Ruddigore or The Pirates of Penzance 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.


Rhea Sullivan

2023 marks forty-one years in the GSVLOC for Rhea and her fourth production of The Sorcerer. She met her husband, Steve, in the company “in the early years” and they celebrated a “Gilbert and Sullivan” wedding, complete with a costumed chorus, in June of 1984. Their daughter, Brianna, has been Assistant Stage Manager to the company for many years. Their son, Jack, did not inherit the family love of G&S, but Rhea is hopeful that her theatrical granddaughter, Autumn (almost 4), will share this affinity. Rhea is retired from a career working as a Neighborhood Coordinator in Minneapolis and an Account Executive for state and national associations. When she’s not singing, she enjoys water aerobics, needlepoint and babysitting her granddaughters, Autumn and Avery. She’s also a member of the Voices of Experience choir at MacPhail.


Sam Vinitsky

Sam is overjoyed to be a part of his second production with the GSVLOC, after making his debut as “That Pirate Whose Kilt Couldn’t Stay Shut” (uncredited) in The Pirates of Penzance this fall. Before a three year-hiatus from theater due to mysterious circumstances, he took part in myriad musicals through the University of Wisconsin-Madison such as Urinetown (Bobby Strong), Spelling Bee (music director and pianist), and Evil Dead, the Musical! (Jake). 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.


Holly Windle

Although now holding the plum status of oldest woman in the cast, Holly has for decades played younger than her age. In GSVLOC’s first Sorcerer (1985), she wore a pink pinafore with her hair in long ringlets. (This is confirmable on the GSVLOC website.) In recent years, however, she’s taken juicy old lady roles (Theatre in the Round, Threshold Theater, and Daytrippers Dinner Theatre). As actor fodder for a playwrights group, she gets to read parts that cover a variety of ages, genders, and life forms. As further distraction from real life, she sincerely hopes to make it someday to the category of Double Centurion in the Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form (OEDILF): only 55 more approved limericks needed.


Joshua Zapata-Palmer

Josh (@joshiepalms) is very happy to be returning to the GSVLOC for his second production, having made his debut with The Pirates of Penzance. This is his first time understudying a role, and he has been honored to learn from so many talented artists! Most of Josh’s time is spent juggling creative projects as an actor, director, teacher, and producer in film, video, and theater. His recent work includes the upcoming fantasy web series, Hidden Falls and the magical world of Lalo’s Lunchbox. He has collaborated with the National Theatre for Children, the Children’s Theatre Company, Open Window Theatre, Minnesota Opera, Minnesota Renaissance Festival, Lakeshore Players, Eagle Brook Church, Valleyfair, and many more. Josh also loves to travel, hike, and watch movies with his wife, Ashley; if they ever find time outside of driving around their 1973 Volkswagen Bus! (@twincitiesphotobus)