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The 12 Cast and Creative Team

The 12 Cast and Creative Team

ETAI BENSON (Jimmy) is an Israeli-American actor based in NYC. Most recently, Etai appeared as Paul in the gender-bent Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's Company. On Broadway, he originated the role of Papi in the Tony Award-winning musical The Band’s Visit (Grammy Award, Principal Soloist). Broadway/National Tour: Wicked; An American in Paris. TV: God Friended Me. Regional: The Old Globe, Dallas Theatre Center, Weston Playhouse, and more. Workshops: The Band’s Visit, The Devil Wears Prada, Little Miss Sunshine. Training: University of Michigan and the Moscow Art Theatre. Along with Rabbi Samantha Frank and the 92nd Street Y, Etai created The Torah of Sondheim—a lecture series exploring the composer’s work through a Jewish lens. @etaibenson


BRANDON J. ELLIS (Phil) Broadway/1st National Tour: Bandstand, The Play That Goes Wrong, Once, Company. West End: Once. Off-Broadway: The Play That Goes Wrong, 7 Deadly Sins (Dir. Moises Kaufman), Balls…The Musical (Writer). TV: 30 Rock, FBI Most Wanted, Dietland, Iron Fist, The Crew, Vinyl. Film: Herd (Spring 2023 release), Monochrome (HBO Original). Avid steak consumer and lover of boots. Endless thanks to Jenn for her patience and love. Agent: CGF, Manager: Dave Brenner. @machetethunderpants

BRANDON JAMES ELLIS (Phil) Broadway/1st National Tour: Bandstand, The Play That Goes Wrong, Once, Company. West End: Once. Off-Broadway: The Play That Goes Wrong, 7 Deadly Sins (Dir. Moises Kaufman), Balls…The Musical (Writer). TV: 30 Rock, FBI Most Wanted, Dietland, Iron Fist, The Crew, Vinyl. Film: Herd (Spring 2023 release), Monochrome (HBO Original). Avid steak consumer and lover of boots.

F. MICHAEL HAYNIE (Matt) [they/them] most recently starred as Olaf in the Frozen North American Tour. Broadway: Wicked, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Holler If Ya Hear Me. Off-Broadway: Carrie (MCC), Dogfight (Second Stage) and others. Regional: Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Ogunquit), Heart of Rock n’ Roll (Old Globe), and others. TV/Film: Jesus Christ Superstar Live! (NBC), Peter Pan LIVE! (NBC), Not Fade Away (Paramount). Thanks to my moms, JP, Grace, FF & FA, the (M)orons, and Nicolosi & Co. GUESA @fmichaelhaynie

MEL JOHNSON JR. (Tee) Broadway: Kiss Me Kate, Jekyll and Hyde, Hot Feet, The Lion King, Big Deal, The Rink, Eubie!, On The 20th Century, The Boys From Syracuse (Encore Series). National Tours: Frederick Douglass/In The Shadow of Slavery, Jelly’s Last Jam. Off-Broadway: Road Show, Road to Damascus, Two Gentleman of Verona: The Musical, Venus, Hamlet, Spell #7, Shakespeare’s Cabaret. Film: Total Recall, American Bluenote, Hedious, In The Shadow of The Cobra. Television: Jessica Jones, The Blacklist, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Plus numerous Theatre productions, most recently The Nutty Professor at The Ogunquit Playhouse.

WONZA JOHNSON (Andrew) is thrilled to be making his Goodspeed Debut! Previous Credits - Broadway: MJ The Musical. Tours: Hamilton (1st and 2nd National) Kennedy Center, MUNY, TUTS, MTW. TV: Blue Bloods, HBO’s Masterclass. U of M Alumni, GO Blue! All the love to his family, Buchwald, John Doyle, and the entire team at Goodspeed for this opportunity! Insta: @wonza1.
KELVIN MOON LOH (James) Broadway: Otho in Beetlejuice The Musical, SpongeBob SquarePants (dir. Tina Landau), The King and I (dir. Bartlett Sher, Lincoln Center 2014), Side Show (dir. Bill Condon, 2013 Revival). Select Theater: Here Lies Love (dir. Alex Timbers, Public Theater), Pacific Overtures (dir. John Doyle, Classic Stage Co.), American Idiot (dir. Michael Mayer, 1st National). Television: Only Murders in the Building. Kelvin can be heard as a vocalist in movies Spirited, Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile and The Greatest Showman. He appears as Perch Perkins in the movie version of SpongeBob SquarePants The Musical. NYU Steinhardt. Follow @kelvinmoonloh

ROB MORRISON (Bart) Off-Broadway: Assassins directed by John Doyle, Frankenstein (CSC), Avenue Q, Nevermore, Pinkalicious (New World Stages). Regional: You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Cincinnati Playhouse), Working (Berkshire Theater Group), Wild Fire (Denver Center), Nerds (Philadelphia Theater Company), Jesus Christ Superstar (North Carolina Theatre), Big River (Goodspeed). Rob voices Doodle on Nickelodeon’s Sunny Day, and many characters on PBS’ Emmy-winning Peg + Cat. TV/Film: Unforgettable, Alpha House, Freedom. As composer: Frankenstein (stage score), Sun Belt Express (film score). A multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Rob is a member of the Booklights and the Hollows. BFA, Emerson College. Love to Lauren. www.therobmorrison.com

KYLE SCATLIFFE (John) Kyle Scatliffe is a graduate of AMDA. Broadway: Hamilton, The Color Purple, Les Miz. West End: The Scottsboro Boys (Olivier Award nomination). Off Broad: As You Like It, Encores! Big River. Reg: Ragtime (ZACH Theatre), Oklahoma! (5th Avenue Theatre). TV credits include; CBS’s Bull, NBC’s Chicago P.D., and Marley in A Christmas Carol: The Concert (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/PBS).

WESLEY TAYLOR (Tom) can be seen this fall as ‘Cliff’ in Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building. Broadway: Spongebob (original Plankton); The Addams Family (original Lucas); Rock of Ages (original Franz)-Theatre World Award, OCC nom. Recent Off-Bway: Assassins, Alice by Heart (Chita Rivera Award). Select Regional: The Who’s Tommy (Kennedy Center), An Act of God (Denver Center), Cabaret (Signature Theatre), Tales of the City (ACT). TV includes ‘Bobby' on Smash, The Good Wife, The Tomorrow People, One Life to Live, Looking, I'm Dying up Here, Difficult People, and The Spongebob Musical, Live on Stage! As a creator: It Could Be Worse (Hulu), the Emmy-nominated Indoor Boys, the film Summoning Sylvia (Amazon Prime). BFA: UNCSA.

GREGORY TRECO (Simon) is an actor, writer and teacher from Nassau, Bahamas. He is excited to be back at Goodspeed again having been a part of The Roar of the Greasepaint… TRECO comes directly from the Broadway company of Hamilton where he has been for the past 7 years. Other credits include: Boy George’s Taboo on Broadway; Maroto in Miracle Brothers at the Vineyard and Zanna in Zanna Don’t, he created the title role. Everything you see tonight in Simon is inspired by Richie; most notably his courage, fight and bravery. Find me… @treco27 Do Good, Be Kind.

ADRIENNE WALKER (Mags), proud graduate of Spelman College, is a stage and TV/film actor based in New York. Broadway & Regional theatre credits: The Lion King, Kiss Me Kate, Porgy and Bess, Rent, Hair, Dreamgirls, Agamemnon, Iphigenia in Aulis and The Color Purple. TV credits; Power Book IV: Force, Law & Order: Organized Crime, and FBI. Between gigs, Adrienne sells her handmade soaps & shea butters @tembospa. www.adriennemwalker.com

AKRON LANIER WATSON (Pete) Notable works - Broadway: The Color Purple Musical Revival as Bobby, The Play That Goes Wrong as Trevor, Hamilton: An American Musical as Aaron Burr. Off-Broadway: Fortress of Solitude (The Public Theater), Black No More (The New Group/Signature Theater). Regional: Guys & Dolls, The Play That Goes Wrong (The Kennedy Center), Hang Time (The Flea Theater), Mr. Holland’s Opus the musical (Ogunquit Playhouse), Sister Act (Papermill Playhouse). Film: Spilt Milk, Seasons of Gray, Miss Juneteenth. TV: Empire (FOX), Chicago Med (NBC). Voice- over: One Piece: Heart of Gold, Borderlands Pre-sequel, The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. American Idol season 7.

REMA WEBB (Mother Mary) is excited to be at Goodspeed. Broadway Credits: Fat Ham, The Music Man, Escape to Margaritaville, The Color Purple, Violet, The Lion King, The Book of Mormon, & Ragtime. Off-B’way/Regional credits: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, Unmasked, The Cradle Will Rock, The Colored Museum, A New Brain, and Being Alive. Film/TV: Central Park, Murphy Brown (reboot), Beloved, First Born, Sudden Death. She is the Founder/Ex Dir. of the nonprofit organization, “On Broadway Performing Arts Training Program”. On Broadway provides acting, singing, dance classes to young people ages 6 to 16.

MATT CAPLAN (Understudy) Broadway: Rent, High Fidelity, South Pacific, Spider-Man. National Tour: Rent, School of Rock. Regional: American Idiot (Berkeley Rep), The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (Barrington Stage Co.), 4000 Miles (South Coast Rep). Film: Across the Universe. TV: NCIS. Thanks to The Zachary Company, Mavrick Artists Agency, Creative Talent Company, and The Telsey Office. Special thanks to Kathi-Lee, Rebecca, Leeloo, and Michael. 

DION SIMMONS GRIER (Understudy) is a lifelong Jersey boy and earned his BFA from Montclair State University. He recently performed in the Off-Broadway production of Stardust Road with The York Theater. He also performed at Paper Mill Playhouse in Sister Act, Songs for a New World and Disney's: A Jolly Holiday. His other professional credits also include Nicely-Nicely in Guys & Dolls & Audrey II (the voice) in Little Shop of Horrors at Theatre Aspen. He is so excited to be here at Goodspeed! To God be the glory! Instagram: @DionSimmons_

AURELIA WILLIAMS (Understudy) just finished a run of the Tony award winning revival, Parade. Other Broadway credits include the Tony Awarded revival of Once On This Island and Broadway’s first all acapella show, In Transit. Recently, Off Broadway she was featured in SUFFS at The Public Theater. She was also featured on this final season of NBC’s The Blacklist. Just last summer, she had the pleasure of making her Goodspeed debut playing “Rachel Lynde” in the fabulous production of Anne Of Green Gables. Aurelia is thrilled to return with this exciting new piece! She would like to thank her family for their never-ending love and support!

ROBERT SCHENKKAN (Book & Lyrics) Pulitzer Prize, Tony, WGA, and Humanitas Award winner, three-time Emmy-nominated writer. Author of eighteen plays including All The Way, The Great Society, Building the Wall, and The Kentucky Cycle. Films: Hacksaw Ridge, The Quiet American. TV: All the Way, The Pacific, The Andromeda Strain, Crazy Horse, Spartacus. He is President of the Orchard Project, a member of the Dramatists Guild National Council, a board member of The Lillys, NTC, and a New Dramatists Alumnus. Currently commissioned by the NY Public Theater and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

NEIL BERG (Music & Lyrics) won the Henry Award in Denver for The 12, written with Robert Schenkkan. Currently in development: My Cousin Vinny: The MusicalCharlie Hustle (about controversial baseball legend Pete Rose), The Sabbath Girl at Penguin Rep 2024 and How I Met My Grandparents at NJ Rep 2024 (both commissioned musicals with playwright Carry Gitter). Other work: Grumpy Old Men: The Musical (currently playing across the country), Tim and Scrooge (Broadway.com’s Regional “Best New Musical” Award), The Man Who Would Be King (NYMF)Never Grimm, Heidi  (Walden Media) and A Witch’s Tale (Zipper Theater NYC). Movie Scores: Searching For Bobby D , Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn.  Neil created the long running #1 Broadway touring concert Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway and 50 Years of Rock & Roll. Represented by The Gurman Agency. Love to Rita and Lucas. http://www.neilberg.com

JOHN DOYLE (Director & Scenic Designer) has been Artistic Director of four prestigious Regional theatres in the UK. He has an extensive career in theatre, film and opera. Credits in the US include Sweeney Todd (Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Director of a Musical); Company (Tony Award for Revival of a Musical, Tony Nomination for Director of a Musical); The Visit (Tony Nomination for Best Musical, Drama Desk Nomination Director of a Musical); The Color Purple (Tony Award for Revival of a Musical, Tony Nomination Director of a Musical, Drama Desk Award for Director of a Musical, Grammy Award); Mahagonny (Los Angeles Opera, two Grammy Awards); Passion (Classic Stage Company, Drama Desk Nomination); Carmen Jones (Lortel Award for Best Revival); Assassins (Drama Desk Nomination); Road Show (Public Theatre); Caucasian Chalk Circle (American Conservatory Theatre); Kiss, Me Kate (Stratford Festival Theatre). As well as numerous credits in London’s West End, John has also directed at Sydney Opera House, the Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, La Fenice in Venice, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Second Stage Theatre, Princeton McCarter Theatre and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Until recently John was Artistic Director of Classic Stage Company in New York City.

GREG JARRETT (Music Supervisor/Orchestrator) Broadway: Gigi, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Dames at Sea, Side Show, Fun Home, The Nance. Off-Broadway: Assassins (MD & Orchestrations, Drama Desk & OCC noms), Anything Can Happen…: The Musical World of Maury Yeston, The Cradle Will Rock, Pacific Overtures, The Beast In The Jungle, Passion, Red Eye Of Love, Death Takes A Holiday. Encores! Off-Center: Promenade and others. Regional: August Rush (Paramount), Waterfall (Dance Arrangements for Pasadena, 5th Ave, and Bangkok), Timon Of Athens (TFANA & Shakespeare Theatre Company). Albums: Assassins, Anything Can Happen…, December Songs, Beast In The Jungle, Gigi, Red Eye Of Love, Side Show: Added Attractions and othersEducation: University of Michigan. 

ADAM SOUZA (Music Director) Broadway credits include Wicked, Kinky Boots. National Tours: Wicked (2nd National, original MD/Conductor), Kinky Boots (1st National original MD/ Conductor), Spamalot (1st National, MD/Conductor), The Midtown Men, and Les Misérables. Adam also served as Associate Music Supervisor for the international mountings of Wicked in São Paolo, Brazil (in Portuguese) and Mexico City (in Spanish). His regional credits include Next to Normal (Hartford TheaterWorks), North Shore Music Theatre, and over 20 productions with Goodspeed, including 42nd Street, Cabaret, A Grand Night for Singing, Because of Winn Dixie, The Great American Mousical with Julie Andrews, Snapshots by Stephen Schwartz, George M!, Brigadoon, Very Good Eddie, and Rags. Adam serves as Music Supervisor for Destination Broadway (destinationbroadway.org) and has served on faculty for the Boston Conservatory at Berklee as an Associate Professor of Musical Theatre, of which he is also an alumnus.

ANN HOULD-WARD (Costume Designer) Broadway: The Color Purple, The Visit, The People in the Picture, A Free Man of Color, A Catered Affair, Company, Dance of the Vampires, Little Me, More to Love, Dream, On the Waterfront, The Molière Comedies, Beauty and the Beast (Tony Award), Timon of Athen, In the Summer House, Three Men on a Horse, Saint Joan, Falsettos, Into the Woods (Tony nom.), Harrigan 'n Hart, Sunday in the Park with George (Tony nom.). West End: Beauty and the Beast (Original & Revival), Prince of Egypt, Notes from the Field, Dear World, Imagine This. Dance: Mikhailovsky Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, ABT, San Francisco Ballet, Lar Lubovitch Company, Alvin Alley Dance Theater. Circus: Ringling Brothers Barium and Bailey (2001, 2003).

JAPHY WEIDEMAN (Lighting Designer) Broadway: Shucked!, Summer 1976, The Piano Lesson, Dear Evan Hansen, The Visit, The Nance, Of Mice and Men, Airline Highway, Lobby Hero, Bright Star, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sylvia, The Snow Geese, Old Times, Macbeth, Cyrano de Bergerac, Significant Other, and Marvin’s Room. Off Broadway: Lincoln Center Theatre, The Public-NYSF, NYTW, Second Stage, Playwrights Horizons, MTC, MCC, LAByrinth, The Vineyard, Ma-Yi, and others. West End: Dear Evan Hansen (Noel Coward), A Nice Fish (Harold Pinter Theatre), and Blackbird (Albery Theatre). Japhy has received 5 Tony nominations for Lighting Design. 
JAY HILTON (Sound Designer) is pleased to continue his long association with Goodspeed Musicals and is looking forward to the rest of the 2023 season. Jay has designed countless productions at both The Goodspeed and The Terris Theatre in Chester and looks forward to re-opening the Terris this season. In addition to being Goodspeed’s Resident Sound Designer, Jay serves as their Audio Supervisor and also spends some of his time recording, mixing and mastering musical theatre content for streaming platforms. He and his wife, Goodspeed Artistic Director Donna Lynn Hilton, make their home (and garden) in Hadlyme, Connecticut with Cookie and Macy. Jay is grateful for his audio team and would like to thank them for their hard work and dedication. Their talents contributed to the success of Goodspeed’s 2022 season and to what he knows will be a successful 2023.

CHRIS ZACCARDI* (Production Stage Manager) is living a dream, being back to stage manage a show on The Goodspeed stage. GoodspeedDouble Trouble; They All Laughed; A Little Night Music; A Tree Grows in Brooklyn; All Shook Up; Pippin; The 60’s Project; Radio Girl; Band Geeks; Snapshots; My Paris; A Sign of the Times and Hi, My Name is Ben. Broadway: Hello, Dolly!Noises Off; Vanya and Sonia and Masha and SpikeThe AnarchistOne Man Two Guvnors; HairIn the Heights9 to 5; Wicked; LestatAll Shook Up. Many Regional/Off Broadway, Former Marine, Head of the Stage Management program at Pace University. Much love to Niall and Monty.

CAROLINE DUFFIN (Assistant Stage Manager) is so excited to be making her Goodspeed debut! Broadway: Clyde’s. Off-Broadway: Good Enemy (Minetta Lane), HEART (Minetta Lane), ¡Americano! (New World Stages), My Mother’s Severed Head (Theatre Row), Whisper House (59E59). Regional: Cambodian Rock Band (Alley Theatre, Berkeley Rep, Arena Stage). Concerts: SuperYou Musical Concert (Carnegie Hall), Bridesmaids: A Dance Narrative (Symphony Space).

THE TELSEY OFFICE: CRAIG BURNS, CSA (Casting) With offices in both New York and Los Angeles, The Telsey Office casts for theater, film, television, and commercials. The Telsey Office is dedicated to creating safe, equitable, and anti-racist spaces through collaboration, artistry, heart, accountability, and advocacy. www.thetelseyoffice.com

BEN COVELLO (Associate Music Director) Broadway: Wicked (keyboard 1 sub). Tours: RENT (associate music director/keyboard 2/guitar 2), Jesus Christ Superstar (keyboard 2 sub)International Productions: Unpathed Waters Undreamed Shores (Athens, Greece; music director/piano/guitar). New/developmental works: Presencia (BAM residency, performed at Lincoln Center), The Case of The Stranger (BAM), Tomorrow (Lincoln Center), Hay Fever (Lincoln Center). Other fun things: 24 Hour Musicals 2023 (guitar), RENT (again but at Papermill Playhouse; keyboard 2/guitar 2 sub), playing at 54 below often, falling off skateboards, having no smell or taste. Ben believes in using music to build community and love. He is excited to be joining Goodspeed Musicals with The 12.

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