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Hi, My Name is Ben Cast & Creative Team

Hi, My Name is Ben Cast & Creative Team


 Heather AyersHEATHER AYERS* (Joan) is thrilled to be making her Goodspeed debut! She appeared on Broadway in Groundhog Day, Mel Brook’s Young Frankenstein, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, and Trevor Nunn’s A Little Night Music. Heather has been seen Off-Broadway and in regional theatres across the country. Her TV credits include Scandal on ABC; I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman on Hulu; American Vandal on Netflix; Brockmire on IFC; and the forthcoming season of The Affair on Showtime. She is the sister of Broadway actor Becca Ayers. Later this summer, Heather will play Vi in Footloose at The MUNY. www.heatherayers.com

David BaidaDAVID BAIDA* (Jorge) is making his Goodspeed debut. Broadway and 1st National Tour of On Your Feet. Originated Piragua Guy on the 1st National Tour of In the Heights, performing with Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda in Los Angeles and Puerto Rico. He reprised this role at the Paramount Theatre and Milwaukee Rep. He also appeared in the Kennedy Center's 2018 production. Other shows include Forever Plaid (Jinx), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (with Andrea McArdle), King Tut (with Brian d’Arcy James), and Jesus Christ Superstar (Herod). 2018 MAC Award winner for New York Male Debut, Metro Star 2016 winner. Love to my family and Ben. www.davidbaida.com.
Lee HarringtonLEE HARRINGTON* (Helen) is thrilled to be back at Goodspeed after appearing last year in A Connecticut Christmas Carol. Off-Broadway: Into the Woods (Roundabout), original solo play Jellybean (Fringe and United Solo Festival, Irondale Ensemble Project). Regional: Show BoatCompanyMerrily We Roll AlongMan of La ManchaMarvelous WonderettesFiddler on the RoofDead Man’s Cell PhoneCarousel. Workshops: Merrily We Roll Along (Roundabout). TV: NBC's Gone. Film: Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying and Where’d You Go, Bernadette (coming out this summer!) Big love to the Groton gang. Training: Carnegie Mellon University.

Adam KaplanADAM KAPLAN* (Young Ben) Goodspeed debut! Adam recently starred in the hit Broadway musical A Bronx Tale opposite Academy Award nominee Chazz Palminteri. Other Broadway/National Tours: Kinky Boots (Charlie Price), Newsies (Jack Kelly u/s), Show Boat (NY Philharmonic and PBS). TV: Deception (ABC). Select regional: Flat Rock Playhouse and Music Theatre Wichita. Numerous concerts and productions internationally and across the US, including a solo performance for the Obamas at the White House. BFA Music Theatre, Elon University. In addition to performing, Adam teaches around the country, serving as a mentor for young artists. More at www.AdamKaplanOnline.com and @AdamSKaplan

Ken LandKEN LAND* (Older James) Broadway: Promises, Promises; How The Grinch Stole Christmas; The Scarlet Pimpernel (all three versions); Victor/Victoria. Off-Broadway: Curvy Widow, The Gig, Little Shop of Horrors, and Death of Von Richthofen. National Tours: Legally Blonde, Sweet Charity, The Secret Garden, Evita. Regional Theatre: Old Globe, George Street, Goodspeed (Romeo and Juliet, The Terris Theatre 1999), Portland Center Stage, Matrix Theatre, Pittsburgh CLO, The MUNY, Merrimack Repertory, Indiana Repertory, Passage Theatre. TV: The Deuce (recurring), The Good Wife, Boston Legal, Six Feet Under, Law & Order(s), Malcolm in the Middle, Strong Medicine, Back to Me and You, Judging Amy, The District, Crossing Jordan, Star Trek: Voyager.
Carlos LopezCARLOS LOPEZ* (Juan) is happy to return to Goodspeed where he appeared in Guys and Dolls. He can be heard on the Broadway cast recording of Spongebob Squarepants as Mr. Krabs. Favorite roles: Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, Gomez Addams in The Addams Family, Moonface Martin in Anything Goes, Sancho in Man of La Mancha., Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Oscar in The Odd Couple, Billis in South Pacific. Eight Broadway shows. Much film and television. Thanks for coming.
CJ PawlikowskiCJ PAWLIKOWSKI* (Young James) is stoked to be making his Goodspeed debut. He just finished the run of the new musical Girlfriend, directed by Rob Ruggeiro, and was previously seen in The Book of Mormon. Off-Broadway: A Letter to Harvey Milk, The Underclassman. Favorite credits include Memphis (Huey), for which he won a BroadwayWorld Award for Best Actor. Keep your eyes out for his singer/songwriter EP, to be released later this year. Special thanks to Abrams, Stewart/Whitley, The A-Team, The Crew, The OGs, and his parents. God is good. 
Joel RooksJOEL ROOKS* (Ben) Broadway: Fish in the Dark, The Royal Family, Say Goodnight Gracie, Taller Than a Dwarf, The Tenth Man, The Sisters Rosensweig, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. Off-Broadway: Law of Return, Iron, Comic Potential,  Jewtopia, Rocket to the Moon, Under the Bed, The Secret Order, Louis Slotin Sonata, Requiem for a Heavyweight, Richard II, The School for Scandal, More Stately Mansions. Regional: Many plays—many places. Film: My Bakery in Brooklyn, Outliving Emily, It Runs in the Family, Snatched, The Sightseer, Why George?, On the Run, American Blue Note, LBS, The Gig, His and Hers. TV: New Amsterdam, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Ramy, Deadbeat, Copshop, Law & Order (original, SVU, Criminal Intent), Ed, The Beat.
Abigail E. StephensonABIGAIL STEPHENSON (Lucy) is excited to be making her Goodspeed debut! She is a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland M.A. Musical Theatre program. Special thank you to Andrew, Emily-Jane, Scott, Claire, and Stewart/Whitley for the opportunity. Love to Mom, Dad, Forrest McClendon, Broadway Dreams, and RCS for all the support. Grateful. Follow on IG @abigailemstephenson

Barbara WalshBARBARA WALSH* (Pat) Goodspeed: Houdini, Exactly Like You. Broadway: Falsettos (Tony, Drama Desk, Dramaleague nominations, L.A. Ovation Award), Company (Drama Desk, Dramaleague nominations), Rock ‘N Roll! The First 5,000 Years, Nine, Blood Brothers, Big, Hairspray. Off-Broadway: Summer and Smoke (CSC,  Transport Group), First Daughter Suite (Public Theatre). National Tours: Oklahoma!, Nine, Les Misérables. Regional: Angels in America (Actors Theatre of Louisville), Master Class (Paper Mill Playhouse), Carrie (Studio Theatre, Helen Hayes Award). TV/Film: One Life to Live, Law & Order, Law & Order Criminal Intent, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Madam Secretary, Life With Mikey.


SCOTT GILMOUR (Book and Lyrics) and CLARE McKENZIE (Music) Noisemaker is the award-winning writing partnership of bookwriter/lyricist Scott Gilmour and composer Claire McKenzie. Both graduates of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the pair work throughout the UK and internationally creating innovative, original work to challenge the expectations of musical theatre. Scott and Claire have worked with a wide variety of companies, including The National Theatre of Scotland, Royal Lyceum, Singapore School of the Arts, The Other Palace, New York Musical Festival, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Sheffield Crucible, NYMT, American Musical Theatre Project at Northwestern University, Dundee Rep, Goodspeed Musicals, Citizens Theatre, and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Most recently, the pair were awarded Unique Business of the Year at the Scottish Business Awards 2018. Noisemaker credits include The Snow Queen (Dundee Rep/Citizens Theatre); My Left/Right Foot (National Theatre of Scotland/Birds of Paradise - Fringe First Winner/Herald Angel Winner 2018); Songs From The Seven Hills (Sheffield Crucible); Ceilidh (Noise Opera/Glasgow 2018 European Championships); Atlantic: A Scottish Story (Assembly/AMTP Northwestern University/Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - Herald Angel Award Winner 2017); Little Red And The Wolf (Dundee Rep Theatre - Nominated for Best Production for Children and Young People UK Theatre Awards and Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland 2016); The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh); Forest Boy (NYMF, New York/The Other Palace, London/Edinburgh Fringe Assembly - Winner of S&S Award for Best Musical in Development, The NYMF 2016 Publishing Award); The Girl Who (Merry-Go-Round Playhouse/Assembly/AMTP); Freakshow (The Roundhouse/ The Arches - Winner of the Scottish Daily Mail Drama Award 2012). Future projects include a collaboration with the National Youth Music Theatre to create a new musical for their 2019 season. The piece, entitled Legend Trippers, will open in London at The Other Palace in August and will feature a cast of 28 young people selected from across the UK. Noisemaker will also return to Dundee Rep this Christmas with their adaptation of Scotland’s most renowned comic strip, Oor Wullie. This will be a co-production with Selladoor Worldwide, and will go on a national tour in 2020.

ANDREW PANTON (Director) Born in Scotland, Andrew has worked internationally across theatre, television, film and music. He is Artistic Director and Joint Chief-Executive at Dundee Rep Theatre where he has directed The Snow Queen, The Yellow on the Broom, Passing Places, Spring Awakening, A Christmas Carol, the Scottish Premiere of August: Osage County, Love Song, and The Mill Lavvies. Hewas Movement Director for the TMA and CATS award-winning production of Sweeney Todd. Andrew has directed productions for the National Theatre of Scotland, Edinburgh Royal Lyceum, Glasgow Citizen’s Theatre, Royal & Derngate, Perth Theatre, and The Stephen Joseph Theatre. Work for TV includes Children in Need, Gareth Malone’s The Naked Choir, and The Voice, all for the BBC. Andrew was vocal director for Susan Boyle on her last five albums and devised and directed her UK and international concert tours. In 2014, he was one of the creative directors for the opening ceremony of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.  Andrew is a Visiting Professor at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and a previous winner of the Bruce Millar Award for directing.

EMIILY-JANE BOYLE (Choreographer) is a Glasgow-based choreographer and movement director and Artistic Associate of Dundee Rep. Theatre: Exit The King (National Theatre); Oresteia: This Restless House (Edinburgh International Festival); Forest Boy (NYMF); Sunshine on Leith, Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of) (UK Tours); How To Act (National Theatre of Scotland); Trainspotting, Nora: A Doll’s House (Citizens); The Red Balloon (NYB/Sadlers Wells); The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black Black Oil, The Snow Queen, Passing Places, Great Expectations (Dundee Rep); Jumpy, Hedda Gabler (Lyceum). Film/Television: The Crown (Netflix); In Plain Sight (ITV); Two Doors Down (BBC); God Help the Girl (Sundance); Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games (BBC).


GAVIN WHITWORTH (Music Director) is a graduate of York University and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Musical directing credits include The Snow Queen (Dundee Rep); But First This, The Witches of Eastwick (Watermill Theatre, Newbury); Beauty and the Beast, Hansel and Gretel (Citizens Theatre); Merrily We Roll Along, Brigadoon, London Road (RCS); Wasted Love, The Improvised Musical (Edinburgh Fringe); Room (Stratford East/NTS); and Glasgow Girls (RAW Materials). Composition credits include Some Small Love Story (Arts Theatre, London), Neverland (Theatre Deli, Sheffield), White Fang (freeFall Theatre, Florida), and Hunchback of Notre Dame (Selby Abbey).


EDWARD PIERCE (Scenic Design) Select Broadway/Tours: Angels in America (Tony nomination); Wicked (all worldwide productions); Love Never Dies (International Tour); The Phantom of the Opera (new World Tour); Bright Star; Amazing Grace; Holler If Ya Hear Me; The Other Place; A Streetcar Named Desire; Shatner’s World; Billy Elliot; Pippin; 9 to 5; The Pirate Queen; Aida; Ragtime; Cabaret; Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk. Television: NBC’s Maya & Marty and NBC Universal Kids’ Sprout House.  www.edwardpierce.com

LARA de BRUIJN (Costume Design) Favorite projects include: Party Face (City Center); The Two Character Play (New World Stages); The Good Catholic (Pigasus Pictures); Owen Wingrave (Little Opera Theatre of New York); Scalia/Ginsberg and Don Giovanni (Castleton Opera Festival); Ndebele Funeral (59E59); Dear Jane (Clurman Theatre); Julian Po (Signature Theatre); Devil of Choice (LABrynth Theater); Under My Skin (Little Shubert Theatre); Half ‘n Half ‘n Half (Merrimack Repertory Theatre); Homestead Crossing (Berkshire Theatre Festival); Onegin, Alcina, and The Rake’s Progress (Boston Conservatory); Christopher and Black Dolphin (Project 44); Blasted (the BCA); The Electric Lighthouse (The Flea Theatre). MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. See more at: laradawndesign.com


MASHA TSIMRING (Lighting Design) is a NYC-based lighting designer for performance. Recently: Pride & Prejudice (Kansas City Rep), The Appointment (Lightning Rod Special), Kleptocracy (Arena Stage), Minor Character (Under the Radar/New Saloon), Noura (Playwrights Horizons), Intractable Woman (PlayCo), Romeo & Juliet/Our Town (Alabama Shakespeare), Electric Lucifer (The Kitchen), Sarabande (LA Dance Project), The Garden of Forking Paths (Nichole Canuso Dance Co), Frontieres Sans Frontieres (Bushwick Starr), Ultimate Beauty Bible (Page73), The Marriage of Figaro (Charlottesville Opera), The Wolves (Marin Theatre Co), Into the Breeches! (Chautauqua Theatre Co.), As You Like It (CalShakes), Constellations (Wilma), My Fair Lady (Playmakers Rep), MFA, Yale School of Drama. www.mashald.com

JAY HILTON (Sound Designis pleased to continue his long association with Goodspeed Musicals and to be working with such a talented creative team, our new friends from across the pond. Jay has designed countless productions at both The Terris Theatre and The Goodspeed in East Haddam. Over the years his work has gone on to be heard on Broadway, National Tours, and at Regional Theatres from coast to coast. In addition to being Goodspeed’s Resident Sound Designer, Jay serves as their Audio Supervisor. He and his wife, Goodspeed Line Producer Donna Lynn Hilton, make their home (and garden) in Hadlyme, Connecticut.

C. ANDREW BAUER (Projection Design) is happy to return to Goodspeed after designing Indian Joe, directed by Kim Weild. NYC: Magnolia (Fordham University), CQ/CX (co-design with Peter Nigrini, Atlantic Theater), An Error of the Moon (Theater Row), Diary of a Teenage Girl and Milk-n-Honey (3LD). Regional: Dancing Lessons and Veils (Barrington Stage Company), Adding Machine and Joël Pommerat’s Cinderella (University of Rochester), Hydrogen Jukebox (Fort Worth Opera). As Design Associate and Animator for Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen, Ain't Too Proud, Beetlejuice, Paramour. Film as Producer and Editor: Brooklyn Bound, Tribeca Film Festival. Awards: IT Award, 2011 Prague Quadrennial.

CHRIS ZACCARDI* (Production Stage Manager) is always happy to return home to The Terris Theatre. Lots and lots of Goodspeed shows over the years; a few highlights: A Sign of the Times, My ParisA Little Night MusicAll Shook Up, and Snapshots. Broadway credits: Movin’ Out; All Shook Up; Lestat; A Chours Line; Wicked; 9 to 5; In the Heights; Hair; One Man, Two Guvnors; The Anarchist; Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike; Noises Off and Hello, Dolly! starring Bette Midler. Professor of Stage Management at Pace University. Love to Niall and Monty.  

CHANDLER JEZ* (Assistant Stage Manager) is thrilled to be making his Goodspeed Musicals debut! Broadway: Kiss Me, Kate! and Hello, Dolly!. National Tours: Hello, Dolly! and Martin Luther on Trial. Off-Broadway: The Gabriels iand Peer Gynt. Selected Regional: A Sign of the Times, Lie of the Mind, and  Da! Chandler would like to thank Chris, Devin, Annie, and—most importantly—his Mother and Father for their endless support. Alumni of Pace University Stage Management. Proud new member of AEA.

*Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.