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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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).
One person bears the title of Associate Producer- Dusty Reeds. With over fifty years of Barn experience in so many areas of operation, Dusty‚Äôs 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‚Äôs Theatre Project‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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.
Equity Staff / Publicist
In her 31st season, Penelope has more than established herself as the Barn‚Äôs 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 , Mona in THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS, (all opposite Robert Newman), Janet in our first two productions of THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW come to mind, as do her own favorites, last season‚Äôs Ursula in THE LITTLE MERMAID, the Beggar Woman in SWEENEY TODD, and opposite Tom Wopat as Annie in¬† 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 she spent the early fall finishing filming Raunch and Roll - the film adaptation of husband Brendan Ragotzy's own Raunch and Roll- a vehicle written especially for her in which she stars opposite Michael Pare and a bunch of Barnies. Last December she was pleased to, once again, direct the annual Barn Christmas Cabaret. Her longest-running roles are her dearest - wife and mother to Brendan and their children Luke (22), Calli (20), Jacob (17), and Melina (13). 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.
Assistant Stage Manager
Corey is excited to begin the 71st season as stage manager here at the Barn! Over the course of five summers, Corey has worn several hats at the Barn - Lighting Designer, Sound Designer, and Stage Manager. Later in the season Corey will be assisting Producer Ragotzy. His work was seen in productions of SPAMALOT, AMERICAN IDIOT, ROCK OF AGES, and THE LITTLE MERMAID to just name a few. "I hope you all enjoy every show and the magic we will bring this season."
Payge is a stage and screen costume designer and make up artist and is delighted to be joining the Barn Theatre for its 71st season! Her past credits include THE WEDDING SINGER, A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD at the Sawmill Theatre, Edward Albee‚Äôs SEASCAPE, TAMING OF THE SHREW, EDGES, MOVING FORWARD, BRAM STOKER‚ÄôS DRACULA, BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Awards: KCACTF Society of Properties Artisan Managers Award - BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON, KCACTF Certificate of Merit, Costume Design ‚Äď EDGES. We welcome Payge to the Barn!
John is really looking forward to serving as the Barn‚Äôs Technical Director for another season! He has a BFA in Technical Theatre from Clarion University in Western Pennsylvania and is currently based in Chicago. John is an aspiring Technical Director and this summer marks John's fourth summer working at the Barn Theatre!
Equity Staff / Bar Show Music Director/Pianist
This is John‚Äôs 8th season here since ‚Äô92! Barn audiences will remember him from many roles including last season‚Äôs Herod in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, Grimsby in DISNEY‚ÄôS THE LITTLE MERMAID, Harry the Horse in GUYS AND DOLLS and the Narrator in THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW. John has also served as the Barn‚Äôs musical director for SUNSET BLVD, MAN OF LA MANCHA, BLOOD BROTHERS, SOUTH PACIFIC, BIG RIVER, CHICAGO, and SPAMALOT. John will once again be musical directing our very popular nightly Rehearsal Shed bar show. His Conducting/ Music Directing credits around the country include: BILLY ELLIOT, SMOKEY JOE‚ÄôS CAFE, A CHRISTMAS STORY: THE MUSICAL, CURTAINS, SOUND OF MUSIC, CATS, INTO THE WOODS, BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS, ZORBA, HOT MIKADO and three productions of LES MISERABLES. As a, actor he‚Äôs appeared as Archibald: SECRET GARDEN, Pseudolus: A FUNNY THING...FORUM, Madam: PACIFIC OVERTURES, Maj. General: THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, Sancho: MAN OF LA MANCHA, L.M.: PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES, 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.
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, 12 years old; Krista, 8 years old; and Amara, 6 years old; and Laura, 5 years old!)
Hans is returning for his 10th Barn Season. Some of the many productions he has directed at the Barn include CHICAGO, SUNSET BOULEVARD, SPAMALOT, PETER PAN, HANDS ON A HARDBODY with Rex Smith BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS as well as last season's DISNEY‚ÄôS THE LITTLE MERMAID and SINGIN‚Äô IN THE RAIN. New York Credits include revivals of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE which won the New York Innovative Theatre award for Outstanding Production of a Musical, A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE and PARADE. Regional productions include GYPSY, SOUTH PACIFIC, EVITA, CAMELOT at The New London Barn Playhouse where he was a resident director for 9 seasons, BABY and ROMANCE ROMANCE at The Glove Theatre and HANK WILLIAMS: LOST HIGHWAY featuring George Wendt at Fingerlakes Music Theatre Festival. As an associate director, he has worked on the national tour of STATE FAIR starring John Davidson, DIAL M FOR MURDER with Juliet Mills and Maxwell Caulfield, and Arthur Laurents revival of HOME OF THE BRAVE and world premiere of BIG POTATO off Broadway. In 2015 Hans was invited to Oslo Norway where he directed the Norwegian premiere of Christopher Durang's THE MARRIAGE OF BETTE AND BOO. He is originally from Ann Arbor and a graduate of Toronto's Ryerson University.
Ben is very excited for a summer at the Barn Theatre! He is going to be a sophomore at Rockford University with a BFA Acting/Directing and BFA Stage Management. He enjoys acting, dancing, stage managing, directing, and reading plays! His favorite tech credits include PICNIC, FOREVER PLAID, THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL, HAIRSPRAY, and A RAISIN IN THE SUN. He would like to thank his parents, friends, and everyone at the Barn for their amazing work and encouragement.
Jamey is elated to embark on his 10th Anniversary Season at his beloved Barn. An Equity Resident, some of his favorite personations on the Barn stage include Don in SINGIN‚Äô IN THE RAIN, 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 starring Robert Newman, Ambrose in HELLO, DOLLY! starring Kim Zimmer, turns as both Brad and Rocky 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 state-of-the-art productions on the Celebrity Solstice performing all over the world. In addition to performing, he penned and directed the revues MAKING WAVES ON BROADWAY and CAN‚ÄôT HELP FALLING IN LOVE for Celebrity Cruises, Inc. He also served as assistant director and musical arranger for the world premiere extravaganza EUPHORIA with renown cirque company Les Farfadais (France). 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 starring Cary Elwes. A published composer and musician, Jamey has devised original music for numerous classic plays and musicals. He is a proud and active member of several performance and industry unions and guilds. Training: LAMDA, Roosevelt University (BFA), and Brown University (MFA, Stephen Sondheim Fellow). Much love and thanks to the Ragotzy family, the Gilmore/Alger family, and my Grishams. Visit www.jameygrisham.com and @jamsgrisham on Instagram.
As a new resident of Michigan, Crysta is thrilled to be spending her first summer at the Barn! Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Crysta is a proud graduate of the University of Cincinnati-CCM, class of 2015. She has worked at the Cincinnati Opera, and the Pittsburgh Festival Opera (formally the Opera Theatre Pittsburgh) as an assistant designer. She has also worked at the Utah Shakespeare Festival both as a wig artisan and an assistant wig master. National tour as hair/makeup supervisor on DISNEY‚ÄôS BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, ELF THE MUSICAL. ‚ÄúThanks to my mother and Father for all their support, and to my husband, Lucas, for bringing me to Kalamazoo!‚ÄĚ
Charlie is as excited as you are to be back at the Barn. He apprenticed from ‚Äė91-‚Äė94. Some of his favorite roles at the Barn include Clem Rogers in WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, Caiaphas in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog in MONTY PYTHON'S SPAMALOT, Dr. Scott/Brad in THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, Great Grandpa Alphonse in ESCANABA IN LOVE and Dirty Dave Rudabaugh in the world premiere of BILLY THE KID. We are pleased to have had Charlie bring his banjo, mandolin, and harmonica to various Barn productions. He has toured internationally with Stephen Lynch and is featured on Lynch‚Äôs album ‚ÄúLion‚ÄĚ as well as Mr. Lynch's live DVD "Hello Kalamazoo." He is a former member of the musical group Asylum Street Spankers (AUSTIN, TX). He has appeared numerous times on The Bob and Tom Show, as well as America‚Äôs Got Talent and American Idol (where he played lap steel for AI‚Äôs 2009 Season runner-up, Crystal Bowersox.) Charlie made his film debut in the A Haunting in Cawdor and recently wrapped Raunch and Roll, both filmed here at the Barn and around town. In the offseason, Charlie performs with The Deep Fried Pickle Project Jug Band (who are humbled to be the current reigning champions of the Chicago Battle of the Jug Bands) and teaches private music lessons on guitar and mandolin. (Reach Charlie at email@example.com for fun lessons!) Charlie would like to thank his mom for her love, her support....and her basement.
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, INTO THE WOODS, 9 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 http://mikemcshane.weebly.com.
Eric‚Äôs 24-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, SUNSET BOULEVARD, and HANDS ON A HARDBODY followed by favorites such as the title role in SHREK, Jerry in THE FULL MONTY, Valjean in LES MISERABLES, last season's Riff in THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW and Judas in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, and Che in EVITA, a role that introduced Eric to Chicago audiences in a hit 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‚Ä¶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‚Ä¶, DON‚ÄôT DRINK THE WATER, TARZAN, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, and whirlwind AVENUE Q to start last season as well as acclaimed productions of FATHER OF THE BRIDE, CARRIE, RING OF FIRE, AVENUE Q, three go-‚Äėrounds of THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, INTO THE WOODS, and MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET at the Croswell Opera House in his hometown of Adrian. He made a debut as Jerry in THE FULL MONTY at Dexter's Encore Theatre last fall. 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.
Technical Assistant / Grounds keeper¬†
Luke is incredibly excited to be back in Michigan for the summer alongside his family, friends, and girlfriend. While working with the grounds crew and assisting the Barn‚Äôs Equity stage managers, Luke is thrilled to announce that this summer he will be joining the ranks of the resident Equity company. Luke has appeared on stage many times here at the Barn ‚Äď as Chip in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, as well as in GYPSY, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, OLIVER!, JOSEPH‚Ä¶ and more recently as a whip-wielding soldier in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, and a sailor in DISNEY‚ÄôS THE LITTLE MERMAID. Following the completion of the Barn season, Luke will be returning to Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA for his senior year as a Theatre Production and Design major with an emphasis in Stage Management. Luke will also be completing his redshirt senior baseball season for the nationally ranked Hornets. Luke wishes to thank his parents for all their love and support throughout his collegiate and athletic adventures. ‚ÄúWithout you guys, I would be lost.‚ÄĚ
Calli is overjoyed to be here again this season as an assistant to parents Penelope and Brendan Ragotzy. Audiences may remember Calli as Young Cosette in the Barn's production of LES MISERABLES, Susan in Brendan Ragoty's OLD TIMER, Bielke in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, as well as an ensemble member of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, ANNIE, JOSEPH. . ., OLIVER!, and GYPSY. Now 20 years old, Calli attends Bowling Green State University in Ohio while majoring in Exercise Science. She is also a proud member of the Delta Gamma Sorority, BGSU Club Figure Skating Team, and the BGSU Hockey Cheerleading Team. She is happy to be back in Michigan this summer to work with her family & Barnie family once again!
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.
This will be Sam‚Äôs first year with the Barn and she is so excited to be serving as the properties mistress! A graduate from the University of Central Missouri in 2016 Sam has since worked in multiple areas including props design, stage management, directing and performance. Some of her favorite property credits include: Disney‚Äôs BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, RAGTIME and HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS... with the Wagon Wheel Theatre and I LOVE A PIANO and THE HOUND OF BASKERVILLE with Meadowbrook Theatre and now she can‚Äôt wait to make some amazing art with her new barn family! Her portfolio can be found at www.samanthahallapropsanddesign.net.
Matt Shabala is thrilled to be returning for his favorite part of the year underneath the Barn stage! Past favorites at the Barn include TARZAN, THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS, ROCK OF AGES, and last season's JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. In the off season, Matt works as a music director and collaborative accompanist for WMU's department of Musical Theater. Favorite credits there include RAGTIME, CAROLIINE OR CHANGE, and most recently, THE WIZ. When Matt isn't playing showtunes he enjoys reading comics, playing video games, and watching British TV. "Special thanks to my family, friends, the Ragotzys, and of course, my wife and cats, all of whom make this possible."
Samantha Snow grew up in the Kalamazoo area and has a Bachelors in Fine Arts from Western Michigan University. Samantha studied Theatrical Production and Design. While at Western she had various positions including scenic designer for Ameriville with NYC based company UNIVERSES. Snow currently works all around the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek area for The Arts Council, The Kalamazoo Civic, Farmers Alley and What A Do Theatre; here at the Barn she is the resident scenic designer. Previous credits include- CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, BUYER AND CELLAR, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER, THE OUTSIDERS, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE and many more. Samantha would like to thank everyone for their patronage, enjoy the show!
Assistant Technical Director
Andrew graduated from Clarion University of Pennsylvania with a BFA in Theatre. Andrew currently resides in Chicago and is excited to be with the Barn Theatre for their 2017 summer stock. This is his first time working at the Barn.