Riley Means (Alice Murphy)
Riley has performed in several Minnetonka High School shows, some of her favorites being Bye Bye Birdie, Titanic and Mary Poppins. She was a Spotlight Education 2019 Triple Threat Finalist and also competed in the Minnesota State One Act competition as Sharon Graham in Master Class and Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion, both of which won Star performances at the state level. She really wishes her mom could have written this for her because she had no idea what to write.
After high school, Riley plans to study musical theatre in a BFA program.
Nate Turcotte (Billy Cane)
Nate will be a junior at Minnetonka High School this fall. Nate started acting in 4th grade when he auditioned for Minnetonka’s elementary musical, The Jungle Book, Jr. Since then, he has been in over 30 productions through Minnetonka and other theatres around the Twin Cities, including the Guthrie, Ordway, Latte Da, Children’s Theatre, and Youth Performance Company. In his free time, Nate can be found playing Dungeons and Dragons for hours on end, or beating his two younger brothers at Smash Brothers.
I hope to study math or computer science someday.
Dante Colmenares (Daddy Cane/Ensemble)
Dante enjoys music of any kind.
I will be studying Music Therapy at Purdue University in Fort Wayne Indiana
Natalie Doyle (Margo Crawford)
Natalie is thrilled to be performing Bright Star at Theatre L’Homme Dieu this summer! Originally from Chicago, Natalie got into dance and eventually into theatre after being cast as Toto in The Wizard of Oz shortly after moving to MN, and has been sticking with it ever since! Some of her favorite roles include Cassie Cooper (Rumors), Susan Pevensie (Narnia), Neleus (Mary Poppins), and of course Margo Crawford (Bright Star).
Next year, Natalie will be taking a gap year in California, and hopes to study acting/musical theatre as well as communications and media out there in the near future.
Russell Williams* (Max)
Russell is honored to be in Theater L'Homme Dieu's first high school production. He loves the simplicity and authentic essence of Bright Star. He began performing with Minnetonka Theatre in 4th grade. Among his favorite memories are being part of the workshop production of the Little Rascals and Evita 2.0 at the Cowles Center for Performing Arts. Russell enjoys time with friends and family.
Russell's interests include performing arts, photography and spending time in the remote wilderness. After graduating high school in 2020, Russell hopes to pursue environmental sustainability through engineering and to travel abroad.
Maryn Reader* (Florence)
Maryn is thrilled to be a part of Bright Star and help tell this beautiful story. She will be a Junior at Minnetonka High School this fall and loves being a part of their Theatre program. Other than Theatre, Maryn enjoys dancing and being with friends. She would like to thank her parents and friends for always being there and supporting her every step of the way.
Eden Webb* (Edna)
Eden has been involved in the theater world since she was 7 years old and has loved it ever since. From performing on her small community stage in Arkansas, to being cast as TiMoune in a summer camp at The Arkansas Repertory Theatre, to performing with some of her best friends at Minnetonka High School, Eden has enjoyed every one of the many shows she has been involved with. While not in a show, Eden previously danced competitively for 5 years with a studio, but instead became a part of the Minnetonka Rugby team this year. Set aside the fact she ended the season with a concussion, she absolutely loved the sport and hopes to play as much on the field as she does involve herself with theater in college. Eden will be attending the University of Alabama and majoring in Communicative Disorders. With her love for kids, Eden hopes to one day be a pediatric speech therapist.
Luke Henson (Daryl Ames/Ensemble)
Luke works at Noodles and Company in Wayzata, MN cooking everyone’s noodles to varying qualities at his own speed. Due to the rehearsal schedule for his theatre endeavors, Luke has only been able to work three days in June, so Noodles is completely falling apart without him. Luke will be taking a gap year split across living in England and Minnesota in the pursuit of crafting his theatrical abilities and money to pay for college.
Sylvia Shutes (Lucy Grant/Ensemble)
Sylvia is a Minnesota local who outside of loving theater also enjoys being a part of student government and listening to and playing folk music. Her favorite snack is frozen blueberries and she can often be found lakeside. She hopes you enjoy the show! :) Sylvia hopes to pursue professional pine needle basket weaving but if that doesn’t work she has a keen interest in music and communication.
Vera Shipley (Mama Murphy/Ensemble)
Vera is excited to reprise her role as Mama Murphy for a new audience. An incoming junior, she will spend her summer napping with her cat, learning to drive and playing Signora Naccarelli in a summer stock production of Light in the Piazza -- her tenth Minnetonka Theater show. Yes, she is hooked.
Vera plans to study theater and voice in college and hopes one day to perform professionally.
Mike Kingston (Daddy Murphy)
I enjoy spending time with others in the cast. I like to stay up late and work on lines. Spending time both on stage and on the lake sounds like a fantastic week.
I want to work in the entertainment industry when I’m older. Whether that be animation, sound design, or acting, I want to make people smile.
Jason Elyea-Wheeler (Mayor Josiah Dobbs)
Jason will be a junior at Minnetonka High School this fall. He started his theatrical career in 4th grade, at Scenic Heights Elementary School's production of The Jungle Book. Jason's favorite show thus far is The Scarlet Pimpernel, in which he played the role of the dashing but ruthless villain, Chauvelin. When not performing, Jason enjoys spending time with friends and playing Dungeons and Dragons. Thank you Mom for shooting down all my ideas for this paragraph and going with this one. Love ya!
Jason still has some time left to figure out what he wants to do, however, that time is dwindling and he is freaking out. Right now, he wants the arts to be a focus in his life. Whether it be acting, writing, or directing, Jason has hopes of doing all three.
Laird Busselberg (Jimmy Ray Dobbs)
Laird has been in 21 shows with Minnetonka theatre. He just graduated from Minnetonka High School and will be going to BYU in Utah in the fall, studying business and pre-medicine.
Truman Klein (Stanford Adams/Ensemble)
Truman will be a Junior at Minnetonka High School. He enjoys being a part of the Minnetonka Theatre community day and also enjoys singing in Minnetonka Choirs. This summer he will spend a lot of time with his friends/cast mates playing D&D among other things.
Truman is a huge history buff, and plans on going into that field.
Mackenzie Ammon (Dr. Norquist/Ensemble)
Mackenzie has been acting since she was a baby and has appeared in many advertisements and even on Saturday Night Live. Her first role with Minnetonka Theatre was Baloo in the 5th grade musical. Since that time, Mackenzie has participated in every Minnetonka Theatre production, either on stage or as a crew member. In her free time, Mackenzie likes to buy copious amounts of books (and even read some of them), play with her dog, and see as many shows as she can. She looks forward to the opportunity to play Dr. Norquist in this amazing show and can't wait to see what shows her senior year at Minnetonka will bring.
Mackenzie plans to continue with Minnetonka Theatre in her senior year and will pursue a Musical Theatre degree post-graduation.
Gabby Jore (Government Clerk/Ensemble)
Gabby will be a senior at Minnetonka High School. She has been involved in theatre since she was in 4th grade, beginning as poodle #2 in 101 Dalmatians. Gabby is so excited to be performing in Bright Star at Theatre L’Homme Dieu! She participates in choir and loves singing in both coffeehouse performances and open mic nights. She enjoys spending time with her incredible friends and family, and especially loves spending time with her dog, Bob.
Gabby is undecided on where she wants to go to college and what she wants to major in, but is excited to figure it out...eventually!
Shannon Chambers (Well-Dressed Woman/Ensemble)
Shannon will be starting her Junior year at Minnetonka High School this fall. She enjoys watching the Back to the Future trilogy and playing Ace Attorney. She would like thank the directors and faculty at Minnetonka Theatre for their passion for theatre and their dedication to providing the students the best resources and opportunities available. Shannon plans to continue performing after high school. She would like to incorporate the Chinese language into her future occupation, and hopes this will provide many opportunities to live abroad, (preferably somewhere warmer).
Jane Williams (Leann/Ensemble)
Jane Williams is thrilled to be part of the Theater L'Homme Dieu production of Minnetonka Theatre's Bright Star. Jane began performing for Minnetonka Theatre as an elementary student, and Bright Star is among her favorite shows, as well as Brigadoon and Evita.
Jane is unsure of her future career, but her interests and passions range from biological and zoological sciences to music and musical theater and volunteering and working with children.
Caitlyn Carroll (Mary/Ensemble)
Caitlyn is the proud owner of a kombucha farm. She is an avid dog lover and is spending her summer as Snoopy at Valleyfair.
Caitlyn is not sure if her future plans yet but she is interested in dermatology and toxicology.
Eli Hooker Reese (Stationmaster/Ensemble)
Bright Star was Elis first production with Minnetonka Theatre, and he is honored to be involved in Theatre L'Homme Dieu's revival. Eli loves music; he plays violin and piano, and sings with the Minnetonka High School Concert and Chamber Choirs. He also plays violin in the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies. Eli likes writing music, mountain biking, and quantum astrophysics. He will be a junior at MHS this year.
In the future, Eli has plans to study and continue to get more involved with all kinds of music. He would like to maybe do something professional with mathematics.
Zhou is really excited to be performing at Theatre L’Homme Dieu. She feels that this is a great way to kick off her summer which is full of theatre. As a freshman she is honored to be given this amazing opportunity to perform here for everyone. Zhou really enjoys theatre weather it’s being an audience member of being a part of the ensemble. So far, Bright Star is her favorite that hold a dear place in her heart as she can relate to certain parts of this story. She would like to thank her mom for supporting her through thick and thin. She hopes that everyone loves the show!
Zhou has been talking about her future since the fifth grade. Since she was little she loved to sing. Until she discovered theatre that combines everything she loves to do. In the future, Zhou wants to continue doing theatre when she grows up and go to college for theatre. She wants to major in theatre and minor in music. Her dream college would have to be Juilliard because New York is where she plan on living when she is older and she loves the city life. When Zhou grows up she wants to be an actress whether it is on stage or on screen.
Marin enjoys dancing, theater, singing, and drawing. Marin plays the organ, piano and harp.
Marin just finished her freshman year at MHS and plans to pursue some kind of Fine Arts degree after high school.
I like art, video games, making music.
Antonio De La Vega*
Antonio is so thrilled to be in Bright Star in this once in a lifetime opportunity! Outside of Minnetonka Theatre, Antonio has also worked with TASU Theatre Co. and Children’s Theatre Company. Antonio also owns his own theatre company, Contra Theatre Company (which you should totally come see their production of Assassins Aug 1-4 at The Lab). Antonio wants to thank his friends and family for all of their support and joy they bring into his life.
Antonio will be going to The New School College of Performing Arts in the fall to receive his BFA in Acting/Directing
Joe is going into his sophomore year at Minnetonka High School, and is exited for another season of shows. He has participated in Minnetonka Theatre since the fourth grade. Outside of theatre he enjoys writing and playing music.
Joe's dream job is to write music for a living, and to perform in theaters all across the country.
Jason has been a part of Minnetonka Theater since 4th grade where he participated in the production of The Jungle Book. Since then, he's been in numerous plays, most recently The Scarlet Pimpernel. He also plays soccer and sings in the Minnetonka Concert Choir.
Jason will be a Junior in the Fall. His plans after high school are yet to be determined. So far he either wants to be a professional Dungeons and Dragons player, or go into Psychology.
Sam enjoys watching bad movies with his friends. He enjoys traveling around the world, exploring and seeing new places. This will be his 11th show with Minnetonka Theatre and he will be starting his senior year this fall. He enjoys dancing and singing on stage and wants to pursue a career in Theatre.
I’m planning on studying Musical Theatre in college.
Grace has loved to dance since she was two years old and is thrilled that Minnetonka Theater gives her the opportunity to put that passion to use. She is extremely grateful for the crew, staff, and cast who help to create stories that allow us to step out of reality and remind us of the importance of compassion and collaboration. She’d like to especially thank Ms. Jenny Crist for her guidance and kindness. Grace is so excited to be a part of Bright Star and wants to thank Theatre L'Homme Dieu for this incredible opportunity.
Grace will be a senior in the fall, plans to go on to college and hopes to travel world.
Virginia is excited for the opportunity to revisit Bright Star this summer. As an incoming junior, she is joining the IB diploma program, and she spends her summers scooping at the local custard shop. In her free time, Virginia never tires of Netflix standup comedians, listening to the Aladdin soundtrack, and spending time with her family, who she would like to thank for the endless adventures.
Virginia is excited to continue working with Minnetonka Theater during her time at the high school. She is unsure of her future plans, but hopes to continue to incorporate theater into her life, in one way or another. She is very humbled to work with such an incredibly gifted program to produce such amazing theater.
This fall Hannah will be a sophomore at Minnetonka but she first performed in a Minnetonka High School production when she was in 2nd grade playing the role of a child in their production of Dracula. Since her debut on the stage seven years ago Hannah has performed in over 30 productions at theatres all over the Twin Cities, including Minnetonka Theatre, Children’s Theatre Company, Stages Theatre Company and Theatre 301. This past year she performed in three shows at Minnetonka High School, including Pygmalion, which received a star rating at the Minnesota State High School League One Act Play Festival. This summer Hannah is proud to performing Bright Star at Theatre L’Homme Dieu, The Light In The Piazza at Minnetonka Theatre and Carrie: The Musical at Children’s Theatre Company.
Chloe is enjoying her 7th Minnetonka theatre production. Her first one was Oliver when she was 10 and has been hooked ever since. Other Minnetonka favorite shows were Little Mermaid and Into the Woods. Chloe enjoys being part of such an important story with a beautiful message of finding your way back home.
Chloe isn’t certain what her future holds, but knows that theatre will always be a part of it. She is interested in learning all aspects of theatre including stage makeup.
Zachary is going to be a junior next year at Minnetonka High School. This is his second show with MHS, and has previously done other shows at Minnetonka Middle School West and Stages Theatre Company.
Emma is going to be a senior at Minnetonka High School. She enjoys passing time by playing different instruments, spending time with friends, and participating in theater. Emma has participated in the Minnetonka Theater program since 4th grade.
She wants to pursue music and theater in college recreationally, but possibly focus her major in math or science. She is also looking into neuroscience but wants to keep an open mind when deciding.
Nora Meeker (Stage Manager)
Nora has had 8 years of theater experience ranging from actor to stage manager. She is very excited for the opportunity to help put on Bright Star, her favorite show to have worked on, here in Alexandria.
My plans for the future is to either work in a museum, be a stage manager, or become a chiropractor.
Genevieve Esh (Assistant Stage Manager)
Genevieve has worked behind the scenes on shows since sixth grade and spends most of her time in the theatre. For our first run of Bright Star she was a spotlight operator and is very excited to now be an Assistant Stage Manager. She wants to continue to participate in theatre throughout her next three years of high school.
I plan on working in the field of psychology after college in hopes to help people in any way I can.
Ella Van Engen (Assistant Stage Manager)
Ella has worked as both Props Manager and as the one of the Assistant Stage Managers for our two runs of Bright Star and is eager to continue working on theater for the last two years of high school.
I’m planning on starting to look for colleges this year and hopefully get an idea of what I want to do in life. But for now I plan on continuing to work on shows at Minnetonka and enjoy the time I have with my friends I’ve made through theater.
Alex Armstrong (Light Board Operator)
Alex is going into his Junior year in high school this year. He enjoys working in the theater as well as reading, watching Star Trek, and Boy Scouts. His favorite musical that he has worked on is The Scarlet Pimpernel. He is excited to be able to here and have the chance in work in such a prestigious theatre.
I am planning on being a software/hardware engineer
Spencer Ammon (Spot Light Operator)
Spencer first began participating in theatre with sound and lights in 6th grade at Minnetonka Middle School East for Big Nate. He participated in every show through 8th grade. He transitioned what he learned at MME to High School where he began as a spotlight operator. Now a 10th grader at Minnetonka High School, he is currently working on the technical crew and is one of the spotlight operators for Bright Star at Theatre L'Homme Dieu. Spencer fully enjoys all aspects of theatre and is looking forward to learning more about other roles with Minnetonka Theatre.
Spencer looks forward to continuing his love of theatre through High School and beyond.
Lena Pak (Spot Light Operator)
Lena has been part of the Minnetonka Community Theater for three years and has enjoyed building and painting the sets. Learning to use power tools has been a fun bonus. When not building sets or sitting backstage, Lena can be found in the ceramics studio or running track and field.
Jenna DeJong (Sound Board Operator)
This Autumn Jenna will be going into her Junior year. She enjoys working in the theatre, swimming, and playing games with friends. Bright Star is her favorite show that she has worked on. She is beyond excited to be sharing this wondrous musical with you and hopes you enjoy it.
While Jenna loves working in the theatre, she hopes to one day become a pediatric surgeon. She fell in love with science and mathematics at a young age and never looked back. Jenna wants to enable change, not only in her community, but in the world. She also wants to adopt as many dogs as her residence is able to contain!
Stanley Gagner (Sound Effects Operator)
Stanley began theater crew in earnest his freshman year of high-school. He may have been subliminally driven to participate by his family, and to audio by his father’s interest in vintage audio equipment. It is just as likely, however that these subliminally drove him away. When not occupied with school or theater he enjoys a range of transient interests, from calligraphy to orchids.
Ben Rothman (Backstage Sound)
Ben is a freshman at Minnetonka High School and has participated in 3 of its shows so far. He is very excited to have the opportunity to share Bright Star with a whole new group of people. In his free time, he is most likely hanging out with friends or playing video games.
Ben plans on going to college with a major in engineering, preferably aerospace.
Olivia Kronzer (Props Crew)
Olivia enjoys art and helps build, but mostly paint the sets at Minnetonka High School. She will be a sophomore in the fall and is excited for future productions.
Maxwell Kedrowski (Backstage Crew)
Max has participated in 9 shows at Minnetonka theatre, he operated a spotlight for 3 of them, and was a member of stage crew for the rest. He is excited to participate in Bright Star again, as it is one of his favorite shows. This fall, Max will be a junior at Minnetonka High School.
Get a job in the chemistry field or a job related to technical theatre
Henry Olig (Backstage Crew)
Henry enjoys playing games with his friends. He likes to do almost anything as long as friends are with him.
I want to go into the business of entertainment, whether that be Hollywood or Broadway
Emily Schilke (Backstage Crew)
Emily has enjoyed being a part of many productions through the Minnetonka middle and high school theater programs. She is very thankful for all of the friends she has made and skills she has learned in the shop. Emily is hyped to be able to do one of her favorite show-specific jobs (the Bright Star train) for her final theatrical performance as a member of the Minnetonka theater community.
Emily is planning on perusing studies in Biology and Engineering at Normandale and the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Grette Yang (Backstage Crew)
Grette has been doing stage crew since middle school and is now going to be a junior in high school. Along with doing crew, She enjoys playing her viola in and outside of school. She also likes knitting in her spare time.
After high school, I would like to study computer science and music in college.
Michele Helmer (Costume Crew Lead)
Michele Helmer began her theatre career as an Oompa Loompa in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory ten years ago. Since then, she has participated in over 20 Minnetonka Theatre productions! She has served as the Costume Crew Lead for the last three years and feels incredibly fortunate for her experiences. She has worked backstage at high school musicals, elementary school musicals, One Act Plays and community theatre. Her favorite productions include On The Town, Pygmalion and Mary Poppins. In addition to the many Spotlight awards that the Costume Crew has received, Michele received an individual Honorable Mention for Technical Leadership after being the Costume Crew Lead for On The Town. She thanks Amy Jore, Diana Klein and Jan Battles for her successes.
Michele Helmer recently graduated from Minnetonka High School. She will attend Loyola University in Chicago this fall. She is planning on studying Education.
Kate Brown (Costume Crew)
Kate is a freshman and this is her third show as a member of costume crew. She has been involved in theater since elementary school and loves to be a part of the theater community.
Clara Von Feldt (Costume Crew)
Clara loves music and expresses that passion through playing the piano and taking voice lessons. She also enjoys spending time with her dogs, friends and her large extended family.
Clara plans on pursuing a degree in early childhood education after she completes her senior year.