Brendan Ragotzy

Our Producer

Barn Producer/Director Brendan Ragotzy. Brendan literally grew up in the business, from his walk-on debut in 1966's OLIVER! to his work as a stagehand, spot operator, stage manager, actor, director, assistant producer, and now Producer/Director. Combining his parents' attributes with his own practical expertise, the Barn has an ideal leader for its second generation of Ragotzy ownership. In 1989 he made his directorial debut with HAIR, followed by our soon-to-be all-time hit THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, PHANTOM, A FEW GOOD MEN, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, TOMMY, BIG RIVER, FOOTLOOSE, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (also playing Pontius  Pilate), ESCANABA IN DA MOONLIGHT, THE WIZARD OF OZ, SHENANDOAH, THE CIVIL WAR (one of his favorites), CINDERELLA, MAN OF LA MANCHA, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, MOVE OVER, MRS. MARKHAM, and AMERICAN IDIOT and ROCK OF AGES. He also staged his original musicals BILLY THE KID and OLD TIMER, the latter of which received a highly successful New York reading in 2003 featuring several Barnies and a title role performed by Tom Wopat. RAUNCH AND ROLL is Brendan’s latest original, and in addition to workshop productions here at the Barn RAUNCH AND ROLL, co-produced with Friel Films and co-starring Barn actress and wife Penelope Alex with Michael Pare, is currently wrapping up its filming schedule and headed to post-production. Brendan’s first feature, Fish Mich, got pre-festival screenings right here at the Barn in 2009. Brendan and Penelope are parents to Luke (21), Calli (19), Jacob (16), and Melina (12).


Dusty Reeds

Associate Producer

One person bears the title of Associate Producer- Dusty Reeds. With over fifty years of Barn experience in so many areas of operation, Dusty’s input is vital to the continued success of this theatre. Miss Reeds shares top directorial and production concerns with Brendan in addition to her full directing and performance slate. As the Barn's longtime resident Scenic Designer, Dusty counts more than 250 productions that have been touched by her artistry (in addition to her work as an actor or director). In the summer of 2009 she directed the opening show GUYS ON ICE. Her career as a designer includes stops at such famed theatres as the Cherry Lane in New York, the Provincetown Playhouse, the San Jose Opera, Actors' Theatre of Louisville, and Colorado's Diamond Circle Theatre. Dusty's local work includes stints with the Battle Creek and Marshall Civic theatres. Dusty directed for the Miller College Children’s Theatre Project’s recent collaboration with the Barn Theatre School, along with fellow Barnies Penelope Alex and Eric Parker. As Associate Producer, Dusty continues to assist Brendan Ragotzy with directorial and production concerns. Her acting resume includes favorites like last season’s WEDDING SINGER in which she rapped as Rosie and playing Tom Wopat's mother Big Mama in CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF.  In 2011 Dusty was honored by the state of Michigan for her over 50 years of service to the Barn. A Professor Emeritus of Theatre at San Jose State University, Dusty now resides in nearby Richland where works tirelessly for the Kalamazoo Animal Rescue, fostering many dogs and cats. Dusty was instrumental in helping with the rescue of 380 puppies from a puppy mill as part of her advocacy for the humane treatment of animals. Her Barnie sons, Robin Haynes and J. Michael Reeds, are both successful New York-based performers.


Penelope Alex

Equity Staff / Publicist

In her 30th season, Penelope has more than established herself as the Barn’s quintessential leading lady. Her resume here is highlighted by a series of compelling performances. Golde in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, Aldonza in MAN OF LA MANCHA (both opposite Robert Newman), Mona in THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS, Janet in our first two productions of THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW come to mind, as do her own favorites, the Beggar Woman in SWEENEY TODD, and opposite Tom Wopat as Nellie and Annie, respectively, in SOUTH PACIFIC and ANNIE GET YOUR GUN. Penelope has four film performances in various stages of post-production: Selling Stupid, Chance of Rain, as Cary Elwes ex-wife in the now-released A Haunting in Cawdor, and spent most of the early spring of this year filming a starring role opposite Michael Pare (and a bunch of Barnies including Rex Smith and Robert Newman) in the film adaptation of husband Brendan Ragotzy's own Raunch and Roll- a vehicle written especially for her. Last December she was thrilled to direct the third annual Barn Christmas Cabaret. Her longest-running roles are her dearest - wife and mother to Brendan and their children Luke (21), Calli (19), Jacob (16), and Melina (12). Penelope serves the Barn as Publicist and coordinates the hiring and departmental placement of each season's apprentice company as Barn Theatre School Dean. She's a native of San Jose, CA, and is a proud alum of San Jose State University.


Corey Boughton

Assistant Stage Manager

Corey is most excited to start another amazing summer here at the Barn. In past seasons, Corey has worked as both our Lighting and Sound Designer; his favorite Barnie credits include ROCKY HORROR, SPAMALOT, and 42ND STREET. This year, Corey will serve as Assistant Stage Manager. Outside of Corey’s time with the Barn, he has had the opportunity to work with a few theaters on the east side of the state, which includes productions of CHRISTMAS CAROL, LYSISTRATA JONES, and ATOMIC: A NEW MUSICAL at the Meadowbrook Theatre; ROMEO & JULIET and 25th ANNUAL PUTMAN COUNTY SPELLING BEE at UM - Flint; and also had the opportunity to work on the set of the Flint Democratic Debate! Corey would like to dedicate this season to his 4 year old daughter, Sydney.


John Dobson

Technical Director

John is excited to return to the Barn for his third season! He joins our 70th anniversary company as our fearless Technical Director.  A recent graduate of Clarion University, John earned his B.F.A. in Technical Theatre Design and Direction. While attending Clarion University, John served as stage manager, lighting designer, and scenic designer. John also served as master electrician on multiple productions including ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL, BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON, SAVAGE IN LIMBO, SEASCAPE, WOMEN OF LOCKERBIE, TAMING OF THE SHREW, LONESOME WEST, and DEAR HARVEY.


John Jay Espino

Equity Staff / Bar Show Music Director

John is thrilled to be a part of the Equity company this year although Barn audiences may know him best as a music director: SUNSET BLVD, MAN OF LA MANCHA, BLOOD BROTHERS, SOUTH PACIFIC, BIG RIVER, CHICAGO, SPAMALOT, WEDDING SINGER and LEGALLY BLONDE. His Conducting/ Music Directing credits around the country include: 1776, SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE, A CHRISTMAS STORY: THE MUSICAL, CURTAINS, SOUNDOF MUSIC, PHANTOM, CATS, INTO THE WOODS, MUSIC MAN, BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS, ZORBA, HOT MIKADO, five national tours of A CHRISTMAS CAROL and three productions of LES MISERABLES. As an actor he’s appeared as Archibald: SECRET GARDEN, Pseudolus: A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, Madam: PACIFIC OVERTURES, Curan: KING LEAR and several productions of PIRATES OF PENZANCE (Major Gen.) MAN OF LA MANCHA (Sancho), PUMP BOYS AND DINNETTS (L.M.) and GREATER TUNA. Regional theatres include: Amarillo Opera, (TX), Great Lakes Theatre Festival (OH), Idaho Shakespeare Festival,Ocean State Theatre Company (RI),Galveston Outdoor Musical Theatre (TX), Round Barn Theatre (IN), Nebraska, Theatre Caravan, Sierra Rep Theatre (CA), Theatreworks (CA), Hope Summer Repertory, Theatre (MI) Diamond Circle Melodrama (CO), The Western Stage (CA), And American Musical Theatre Of San Jose (CA). John studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and has been a proud member of Actors Equity for over two decades.


Jeanette Fischer

Costume Coordinator

Nettie (as she is known at the Barn) is an energetic, indispensable member of our team. As manager of our costume shop and storage, Nettie has kept that department running smoothly for over fifteen years. Her favorite show was CAUGHT IN THE NET, which she designed and built herself. Often at theatres like the Barn, costumes (like scenery and well, actors) are "pulled" from a stored stock. Nettie oversees that process, conducts fittings, builds costumes, and is always there to aid those little costume emergencies that befall actors during performances. She is the Barn's angel. Nettie resides in Battle Creek with her husband Gary. She has two grown daughters and four granddaughters (Regan, 11 years old; Krista, 7 years old; and Amara, 5 1/2 years old; and Laura, 5 years old!)


Hans Friedrichs

Equity Staff

Hans just returned from Oslo Norway, where he directed the Norwegian Premiere of THE MARRIAGE OF BETTE AND BOO. He has directed sold out New York revivals of PARADE, A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE (NY IT nomination Outstanding Production.), and THE DROWSY CHAPERONE (Winner of the 2012 NY IT award for Outstanding Production of Musical). Recent credits include HANK WILLIAMS; LOST HIGHWAY at the Finger Lakes Music Theatre Festival/ Merry Go Round Playhouse starring George Wendt (Broadway world nom. Outstanding Production and Direction). MUSIC FOR MICHAEL MOUSE at Carnegie Hall with Armistead Maupin, Barn productions of SUNSET BOULEVARD starring Kim Zimmer (Wilde Award Nomination Outstanding Production). ESCANABA IN LOVE, CHICAGO, SHREK, LEGALLY BLONDE, THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS, HELLO DOLLY! and SPAMALOT! Other credits include EVITA, SOUTH PACIFIC, ANYTHING GOES, Sondheim’s SATURDAY NIGHT, THE MISANTHROPE, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER, ASHES, THE ROBBER BRIDEGROOM (with Stephen Sutcliffe) MIRANDOLINA (with Eric McCormack) and STATE FAIR. Assistant director Off Broadway for Arthur Laurents BIG POTATO & HOME OF THE BRAVE and the National tour of STATE FAIR (starring John Davidson). Originally from Ann Arbor Michigan, he is a graduate of Ryerson University, Toronto with degrees in Acting and Directing. 9th Barn Season!

Jamey Grisham

Equity Staff

Jamey boasts 9 Seasons and over 40 productions at his beloved Barn. Some of his favorite roles here include Sam in GHOST THE MUSICAL, Bert in MARY POPPINS, Will in AMERICAN IDIOT, Stacee in ROCK OF AGES, Remnar in ESCANABA IN DA MOONLIGHT, Claude in HAIR, Perchik in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, Ambrose in HELLO, DOLLY!, Billy in 42ND STREET, Brad in THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, and the title role in TARZAN. Jamey spent the off-season as the Vocal Captain and lead male vocalist for three world premiere productions on the Celebrity Equinox performing in the likes of Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Turkey, France, and the Virgin Islands. In addition to performing, he also penned and directed the revue BROADWAY IN LOVE for Celebrity Cruises, Inc. Off-Broadway: Blessed Unrest (Company Member). Regional: Trinity Repertory Company, Farmers Alley Theatre, Secret Theatre, Chicago Humanities Festival, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Joffrey Ballet, Hubbard Street, Alabama Ballet, Pied Piper Playhouse, Perishable Theatre, Brown University (TAPS), and Workhorse Theatre Ensemble. Film: A Haunting in Cawdor. A published composer and musician, he has devised original music for TWELFTH NIGHT, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, RICHARD III, THE MAIDS, SAINT JOAN OF THE STOCKYARDS, VIEUX CARRÉ, and LOOK HOMEWARD, ANGEL. He also continues to fine-tune his musical GOOD GIRLS ONLY in collaboration with Charles Leipart, John Kroner, Eric Scott Reed, and The Rehearsal Club of NYC. Jamey is an active member of the Dramatists Guild, ASCAP, and the Associated Musicians of Greater New York (Local 802 AFM). Training: LAMDA, Roosevelt University (BFA), and Brown University (MFA, Stephen Sondheim Fellow). Thanks to the About Artists Agency, the Artists Entertainment Agency, and his incredible family.


Carly Heathcote

Costume Design

Carly is a Michigan native who designs for the stage and screen. As a local high school student, she was involved in set design and acting at Gull Lake’s Performing Arts Company. Later she graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy where she focused in Visual Arts, and has just returned from Central Saint Martins College in London with a specialization in Performance Design and Practice. In the past she has collaborated with many peers and professional groups including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and choreographers from the Nashville Ballet.


Charlie King

Equity Staff

Charlie is happier than a pig in a peach orchard to be back on Barn time. He apprenticed from ‘91-‘94 where he played such roles as Big Six in CITY OF ANGELS, Big Jule in GUYS & DOLLS, and Big Apostle in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. Some of his favorite roles at the Barn include Great Grandpa Alphonse in ESCANABA IN LOVE, Earthquake McGoon in LIL ABNER, the Narrator in THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS, Clem Rogers in WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog in SPAMALOT and Dirty Dave Rudabaugh in the world premiere of BILLY THE KID. Charlie was delighted to add his banjo, mandolin, and harmonica to the Barn’s 2009 production of BIG RIVER. He has toured internationally with Stephen Lynch and is featured on Lynch’s album “Lion”. He is a former member of the madcap musical group The Asylum Street Spankers (Austin TX) and plays on 2 of their records. He has appeared on The Bob and Tom Show, America’s Got Talent, and American Idol (where he played lap steel for AI’s 2009 Season runner-up, Crystal Bowersox.) Charlie made his film debut in A Haunting in Cawdor and more recently Raunch and Roll, both filmed right here at the Barn! He currently plays the “Ham-o-lin” and other homemade instruments with local jugbandoliers The Deep Fried Pickle Project and gives private music lessons. Charlie would like to give a special thanks to his mother for her love, her support and her basement.


Michael McShane

Sound Designer / Assistant Technical Director

Mike is a theatrician with an MFA in Theatre from the University of Florida. This is his second year at the Barn since 2008. His favorite designs include CHICAGO, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, INTO THE WOODS, 9 to to 5, DEATH OF A SALESMAN, THE ELEPHANT MAN, TRUE WEST, and (BLACK) CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF. He was last seen onstage as Louis de Rougemont in Donald Margulies' Shipwrecked! at the Actors' Warehouse in Gainesville, Florida. His portfolio website is


Eric Parker

Equity Staff

Eric’s 23-season Barn career has provided him with an artistic home and a wide and varied resume, with Wilde Award-nominated turns in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE and SUNSET BOULEVARD followed by favorites such as Benny in last-season's HANDS ON A HARDBODY, the title role in SHREK, Jerry in THE FULL MONTY, Remnar, Reuben, and Albert Sr. in the first two ESCANABA plays, Valjean in LES MISERABLES, and Che in EVITA, a role that introduced Eric to Chicago audiences in an award-winning production at Drury Lane Oakbrook. His career continued there with almost a dozen roles in their TYA and mainstage productions. Regional: THE THING ABOUT MEN, THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, A FUNNY THING…FORUM, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, and Claude in HAIR (European Tour.) As a director, Eric has staged well-received Barn productions of WEST SIDE STORY, JOSEPH…, DON’T DRINK THE WATER, TARZAN, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF as well as acclaimed productions of FATHER OF THE BRIDE, CARRIE, RING OF FIRE, AVENUE Q, three go-‘rounds of THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, INTO THE WOODS, and a sold-out run this spring of THE MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET at the Croswell Opera House in his hometown of Adrian, where he starred as Edward Bloom in BIG FISH last summer. Eric trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Siena Heights University in his hometown. Eric has several film, television, and local commercial credits and is one of the many Barnies featured in the just-released A Haunting in Cawdor and the still-gestating Raunch and Roll.


Luke Ragotzy

Techical Assistant / Grounds keeper 

Audiences will undoubtedly recognize Luke as the eldest of Brendan and Penelope’s children. He, as his father before him, grew up here at the Barn and has served it in many capacities - from lighting the stage up in the spot booth, to running the sound and lighting boards, to the parking lot to even a few appearances on stage: he has done a lot here at the Barn! His stage credits include Chip in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, small workhouse boy in OLIVER, and GYPSY. Following this summer at the Barn, Luke will begin his junior year at Arkansas Pine Bluff - Division I baseball!


Samantha Rickard

Equity Staff

Samantha is overjoyed to be returning to the Barn for her fourth season. She was featured last summer as Whatsername in AMERICAN IDIOT, Kelly in HANDS ON A HARDBODY, and ROCK OF AGES. Previous seasons saw Samantha as Myra in DEATHTRAP opposite Robert Newman, Holly in THE WEDDING SINGER, and Pilar in LEGALLY BLONDE, and ensemble roles in SPAMALOT and SHREK. Sh,e also lists two Barn Christmas Cabaret credits to her growing resume. Her television and film credits include Nurse Jackie, Orange is the New Black, A Haunting in Cawdor and the upcoming Raunch and Roll. While not in Michigan, Samantha works and resides in New York City. She got her BFA in Musical Theatre from Kent State University. Much love and many thanks to the Ragotzys, her mom and her grandma.


Matt Shabala

Musical Director / Pianist

Matt is thrilled to be returning for his fourth season under the Barn stage!  Matt received his Bachelor's of music education at Grand Valley State University, where he studied voice under Dale Schriemer, and education under Dr. Charles Norris. While at GVSU, Matt has also appeared onstage in several Grand Valley Opera's productions. Favorite music direction credits include last season's HAIR here at the Barn, CAROLINE, OR CHANGE at WMU, and PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES at Celery Flats Theater. Matt's favorite activities include video games and plenty of R&R! "This season is for Lesley, my friends, and my family.  Sorry you won't be seeing much of me this summer, but it's gonna sound GREAT!"

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