The Frogs

April 26th–June 3rd

This Midwest Premiere musical to be staged in the swimming pool adjacent to Pegasus Players mainstage, is Burt Shevelove, Nathan Lane & Stephen Sondheim’s adaptation of Aristophanes’ original The Frogs. In Aristophanes’ version, the play is largely a debate between Aeschylus and Euripides, to determine which man is the greater artist. The winner of the contest will return to Earth with Dionysus to save civilization. In this version, the plot remains much the same, but the contest is now a debate between Shakespeare and Shaw.


Andy Baldeschwiler happily returns to Pegasus Players, having previously performed here in Anyone Can Whistle. Andy just finished a turn in Mack & Mabel at Circle Theatre; other credits include El Gallo in The Fantastics (Village Players Theatre), the title role in Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Citadel), and multiple leading roles with Hyde Park’s Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Co. Andy has also worked locally with Victory Gardens, Light Opera Works, and the BackStage Theatre Company.

Tom Burch (Scenic designer) is thrilled to return to Pegasus where he designed last year’s YPF, and will design the spring production of The Frogs. Other recent Chicago credits include Bad Dates (Northlight), Ellen Under Glass and Hatfield and McCoy (House Theatre), It’s A Wonderful Life and Dark at the Top of the Stairs (ATC), as well as shows for Chicago Shakespeare, Lifeline, Timeline, Light Opera Works, Irish Rep, and several others. Regional work includes shows for Williamstown Theatre Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Childsplay (AZ), Peninsula Players and others. He’s the recipient of a Jeff Citation, 2 After Dark Awards and the 2005 Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award. He teaches at University of Chicago. Love to the family.

Kiwi Callahan is proud to be making her Pegasus Players debut in The Frogs. Originally from Colorado, she moved to Chicago to earn her B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Now graduated, she is thoroughly enjoying life as a real live grown up. Recent roles include Kathie in The Student Prince, Julia in Two Gentlemen of Verona and Tilda in Pal Joey. Love and thanks to Matt, family, friends and teachers.

Michèle Cason is exited to be making her Pegasus Players debut. She was last seen in Court Theatre’s Raisin (Jeff Recommended). Other credits include: New American Theatre’s Tommy (Acid Queen), Theatre Building’s Josephine Tonight! (Miss Cora), Light Opera Works’ The Sound of Music, Congo Square’s Deep Azure (Street Knowledge of Good) and Joanie Lish in Dury Lane’s The Full Monty (Jeff Nominated). Past regional credits include: Glinda in The Wiz and Simeon in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She would like to thank God and her family and friends for their constant love and support. She would also like to thank Alex for this wonderful opportunity.

Derek Czaplewski wishes more shows were done in pools. Especially when it’s hot out and there’s nothing on tv. An ensemble member with Hell In a Handbag Productions, Derek was last seen as “Schnitzy” in Caged Dames. Additional Chicago acting credits include work with American Theatre Company, Bailiwick Repertory, Silk Road Theatre Project, White Horse Productions, among others. Educational and children’s theatre credits include work with Missoula Children’s Theatre, Imagination Theater, Emerald City Theatre, and Chicago Kids Company.

John Francisco is pleased to make his debut with Pegasus Players in The Frogs. A Graduate of the University of Georgia with degrees in Theatre and Psychology, he last performed in The Juniper Tree at CityLit Theatre. Other recent credits include: You Never Can Tell, ShawChicago; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Theatre at the Center; Cabaret, Peninsula Players. Other theatre companies John’s worked with include: Victory Gardens, Porchlight, Apple Tree, Noble Fool, and StageLeft. Love to the girls.

Meredith Freyre is thrilled to be in her first production with Pegasus Players. She was most recently seen in My Favorite Year at the Bailiwick and Meet Me in St. Louis at Circle Theatre. Meredith is also a company member at Circle Theatre. During the day she works as an administrative assistant for Quicksilver Associates in Chicago. Meredith would like to thank her Mom, Liz, Sam, Nickalette, Angela, and Sarah for always believing in her, and Chris for his amazing support!

Roni Geva , a proud Northwestern University graduate, is thrilled to be making her Pegasus Players debut! A few recent credits include: Frenchy in Grease (Janesville Armory), Little Sally in Urinetown for which she received a Jeff Nomination for Best Supporting Actress (Mercury Theatre), Kerrie in the Awesome 80’s Prom, and Max in Wound Up (Here Theater, NYC). Roni regularly improvises all around Chicago (ImprovOlympic, Storybox, Playground) and wrote and performed the wildly successful Arab-Israeli Comedy Hour. Thanks to everyone who is nice, and especially to PC.

Ryan Guhde Originally from Cleveland, OH, Ryan Guhde is delighted to have the opportunity to work with Pegasus Players on Frogs, allowing him the opportunity to reunite with the acting, singing, and musical training that has sustained him creatively for many years. Ryan has spent recent years earning a Masters in Arts Management from Columbia College Chicago and made his bona fide Chicago theatre debut with Brown Couch Theatre Company’s Happy End, a musical by Brecht and Weill this past winter. Ryan’s diverse performance history spans everything from a childhood in Siam (The King & I), to a discipleship (Jesus Christ Superstar), to four seasons of performances with (and dressed as) aquatic mammals (SeaWorld, Cleveland). Additionally, he has enjoyed numerous roles in musical workshops and one-act festivals throughout and after college. Ryan also holds a Bachelor of Arts from Xavier University in Cincinnati.

Quinton Guyton just returned from performing in Hawaii for 7 months. This is his second performance with Pegasus after playing Michael in last season’s Tick, tick…Boom! He is honored to be apart of such a unique show like The Frogs. Some of his favorite roles are Jack in Into the Woods, Pryor in Angels in America, and Demetrius in A Midsummer’s Night Dream. He would like to thank god for the blessings that he has received.

Jeff Hancock is currently Co-Artistic Director of Same Planet Different World Dance Theater. He was a founding member and principal dancer for River North Chicago Dance Co. from 1991-2001. He also danced for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Dance Kaleidoscope, Jan Erkert & Dancers, Joe Goode Performance Group and others. He has appeared in 5 productions with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, most recently working with Wayne Mcgregor of Random Dance, and Sir Peter Hall. He has appeared in numerous musicals and toured internationally. Jeff is currently on faculty at Columbia College, Northwestern University, the Lou Conte Dance Studio. He teaches Master classes nationally and internationally, at Ballet Nurnberg, University of Arizona Tucson, Ohio Northern University and others. He has developed outreach programs with SamePlanetDifferentWorld Dance Theatre and River North Chicago Dance Co. His choreography has been set on River North Chicago Dance Co., Hubbard Street II , Same Planet Different World, Columbia College, Ohio Northern University, Chicago’s Next Dance Festival , the Edinburgh Festival, most recently the Ruth Mitchell Dance Theater in Atlanta Georgia. He was nominated for Ruth Page Awards for his dancing and his choreography. He is a grant recipient from the Illinois Arts Council.

Matthew Holzfeind is excited to make his Pegasus Players debut with The Frogs. He was last seen in the role of Oscar Hubbard in Writers’ Theatre’s production of Another Part of the Forest, directed by William Brown. He was last seen (in animal form) as a talking/singing horse named Butterscotch in Live Bait Theatre’s Jeff nominated Camp Nimrod for Girls, directed by, coincidentally enough, Mr. Jay Paul Skelton. Other recent Chicago credits include the title role in Funeral Wedding: The Alvin Play, with Strange Tree Group; and Talley & Son, with Eclipse Theatre Company. Other Chicago theatres he has worked with closely include Lookingglass, Congo Square, Stage Left, Collaboraction, and Around the Coyote, among others.

Branimira Ivanova is a graduate of the University of Connecticut – MFA Costume Design and the International Academy of Design and Technology- BFA in Fashion Design. Design credits include: Narnia- Emerald City Theatre, Homage That Follows – Infamous Commonwealth Theatre, Blithe Spirit f- Gift Theatre Company, Jekyll and Hyde – City Lit Theatre, Balloon, Into the Woods and Hot L Baltimore – Connecticut Repertory Theatre, Rat in the Skull – Berkshire Theatre Festival (MA), Nina Variations – Miniature Theatre of Chester (MA), Georgia Tom – Bailiwick Repertory Theatre Chicago. She designs for Chicago based dance companies Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Breakbone Dance Company.

Her work has been selected to be part of the United States National Exhibit at Prague Quadrennial World Stage Expo 2007. Branimira is a recipient of a Certificate for Excellence in Theatre Design by USITT in 2007 as well as Fashion Group International’s Design Your Future Award, and Driehaus Award for Fashion Excellence both in 2002.

Christopher Kriz (Sound Design) has recently designed sound for Pegasus productions of THE FROGS, BLACK CAESAR, PANTOMIME, STILL LIFE and TWO TRAINS RUNNING. Past Pegasus credits include sound design for THE UPPER ROOM, BROADWAY BOUND and AN UNOBSTRUCTED VIEW Other recent credits include sound design for A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM and JOE TURNER’S COME AND GONE (Loyola Theatre). Selected past credits include sound design for TURN OF THE SCREW and LA VAGABONDE (City Lit Theatre),NELSON AND SIMONE (Live Bait Theater) and ANGELS IN AMERICA (Buffalo Theatre Ensemble).

Mackenzie Kyle was most recently seen as Ruth Condomine in The Gift Theatre Company’s production of Blithe Spirit. Other Chicago Credits include Peggy Arnold in TimeLine Theatre’s Jeff recommended production of The General From America, Girl, 20 with Serendipity Theatre, Still Life With Iris with this Vittum Theatre, Picnic at the Illinois Theatre Center, Othello at Shakespeare on the Green, and The Big Friendly Giant with Chicago Theatre for Young Audiences. Her voice can be heard on radio, television and internet commercials. Mackenzie holds a B.F.A. in acting from the Theatre School at DePaul University.

David A. Loranca is thrilled to return to Pegasus after stage managing last season’s hit musical tick, tick…Boom! Previous stage management credits include: I Love You, Your Perfect, Now Change, the stage reading of the new musical Another Tomorrow, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Steel Magnolias, You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, Forever Plaid, The Odd Couple, Noises Off, A Christmas Carol and the inaugural New Play Festival (Metropolis Performing Arts Centre); Where the Wild Things Are and Other Bedtime Adventures and Peter Pan (Emerald City Theatre Co.); No Way to Treat a Lady (Light Opera Works); Fiddler on the Roof, Young Abe Lincoln, The Sound of Music, Rutherford Wolf and A Midsummer Night’s Dream Ballet (Lincoln Amphitheatre). David received his B.A. in theatre from Western Illinois University.

Brendan Marshall-Rashid is happy to be making his Pegasus Players debut with this production. In Chicago, Brendan has been seen in Chekov Stories: The Emerging Woman (Piven Theatre) and was an understudy for Oklahoma! (American Theatre Company). Brendan graduated from Lawrence University in 2005 where he studied music and theatre.

Steven Marzolf happily returns to Pegasus Players where he was last seen as Hapgood in Anyone Can Whistle. Other Chicago credits include: Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, The Merry Wives of Windsor (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), A Christmas Carol (Provision Theatre), The Christmas Schooner (Bailiwick Repertory), Salome (The Side Project). Regional credits include: The Romeo & Juliet Story (Notre Dame Summer Shakespeare), Twelfth Night, The Tempest (Riverside Theatre Shakespeare Festival), Two Rooms (In Tandem Theatre), Richard III, Mary Stuart, A Christmas Carol, Napoli Milionaria (Milwaukee Repertory Theater), 1776, Man of LaMancha, A Day in Hollywood, A Night in the Ukraine (Rocky Mountain Repertory).

Kelli Morgan is thrilled to be making her debut with Pegasus Players. Kelli is a graduate of Northwestern University with a Master of Music in vocal performance. Chicago Credits include Three Musketeers and Seussical (understudy) with Chicago Shakespeare, Snow White and Seussical with Emerald City Theatre, City of Angels and The Baker’s Wife with One Theatre Company, Quilters with Theatre Hikes, A Christmas Carol with Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, and Ragtime and Gypsy Love with Light Opera Works. As a choreographer, Kelli has worked with Midwest Young Artists, V.O.I.C.E.xperience at Walt Disney World and The Player’s Club, and most recently with the Northwestern University Opera Department during its 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 season. At Northwestern, Kelli has choreographed ThreePenny Opera, Eugene Onegin, La Cecchina, and The Bartered Bride.

Matt Rudy is ecstatic to be making his Pegasus Players debut and to be working with Jay Paul Skelton again in The Frogs! Matt played Parker in Live Bait Theater’s Camp Nimrod for Girls, also directed by Jay, for which Matt and the ensemble received a Jeff Nomination. Matt regularly performs during the daytime with Chicago Kids Company, currently as the Wolf in Little Red Riding Hood. Other roles include God in The (W)hole Thing (Stage Left, LeapFest 1), various roles in The Saturday Series (Chicago Dramatists), Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk (Chicago Kids Company), Steve in Scarrie! The Musical workshop (Hell in a Handbag), Gabe in Beautiful Fish (Chicago Scriptworks), and Slahpecki in Floss! (Corn Productions). Love and thanks to all the Crazies, and especially to Mr. Lady.

Mike Sherman is thrilled to make his debut with Pegasus Players. He has been seen around Chicago with the Circle Theatre, Theatre Building Chicago, and the Black Ensemble Theatre. He is a Spring, 2007 graduate of Loyola University where he played such roles as Anthony in Sweeney Todd and John Wilkes Booth in Assassins. He recently music directed Godspell with the Renegade Garage Players, a theatre company for people with physical and mental disabilities. He sends his love to Karla, his family, and his friends and faculty at Loyola for their endless support. AMDG!

Jay Paul Skelton most recently directed Carmen for Opera Theatre North at Ravinia Festival, and Lee Blessing’s Fortinbras, Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia and Tim Robbins’ Dead Man Walking for the Department of Film, Television and Theatre at the University of Notre Dame. Recent professional credits include Ravel’s opera The Bewitched Child for the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Jeff Award-nominated world premiere musical Camp Nimrod for Girls for Live Bait Theatre. Jay received the 2001 Achievement Award Scholarship for Young Directors from the National Theatre Conference and was named a Finalist/First Alternate for the 2000-2002 NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors. He also adapted and directed To Live as Variously as Possible about the life and work of poet Frank O’Hara for TimeLine Theatre for which he received a 2000 After Dark Award for Outstanding New Play Adaptation. In addition, Jay received a 1994 After Dark Award for his direction of Porcelain at Eclipse Theatre and is a two-year veteran of the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Other Chicago credits include working with such theatres as Pegasus, Goodman, Lifeline, Silk Road, Mary-Arrchie, Next, About Face, Organic, CollaborAction, Circle, Chicago Dramatists and Theatre on the Lake. He is the former Producing Artistic Director of Center Theater and has held administrative positions with Goodman Theatre, Blue Man Group, Jane Alderman Casting, Huntington Theatre Company and a number of small arts organizations in and around the Chicago area. A native of Massachusetts, Jay received his B.S. in Marketing and Communications from Babson College and his M.F.A. in Directing from The Theatre School at DePaul University. He is on the teaching staff of Act One Studios in Chicago and is Assistant Professor of Shakespeare and Producing Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Festival at the University of Notre Dame.

James Spangler is thrilled to be in his first show at Pegasus Players! James was recently seen at Circle Theatre in Mack & Mabel (Bauman) and Sweet Smell of Success (Otis Elwell). James was also in The Last Five Years (Jaime Wellerstein) at The Village Players’ and performed in the Stages Festival 2006 at The Theatre Building. He is a transplant from Indianapolis, and was seen there in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (Pseudolus), Barnum (Tom Thumb), Chicago (Mary Sunshine), and The Mikado (Ko-Ko). James would like to thank Kate for everything.

Blaine Swen comes from California where he performed at iO West, ComedySportz, and Ultimate Improv. Here in Chicago, Blaine can be seen at the iO theatre performing with The Improvised Shakespeare Company, Bullet Lounge, and The iO Musical featuring The Deltones. He also enjoys traveling with the iO Road Show. He is a member of The Second City’s Education Touring Company and a long time performer with the Pegasus Players Outreach Program. He recently completed a run of vaudeville theatre at Live Bait with Ugly House and was a founding member of The Second City House Ensemble, Lordosis Effect.

Heather Townsend can currently be seen as Lady Capulet in Theatre Classics’ Romeo and Juliet and was last seen as The Fly in Brown Couch Theatre Company’s production of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s Happy End. Other credits include Trina in Falsettos, Johanna in Sweeney Todd, Catherine in Pippin and Cinderella in Into the Woods. She is a 2006 graduate of the Cabaret Conference at Yale and made her cabaret debut at Davenport’s Piano Bar and Cabaret last June. Love and thanks to Jake, Lily and Mimi.

Gwen Tulin is a recent gradate of Brandeis University (BA Theatre Arts) and new to the Chicago area. In addition to searching for work as a musician and actor, Gwen is the program director of the Collaborative Playwriting Project at Gorilla Tango Theatre in Bucktown. Favorite past roles include Martha in Secret Garden, Cousin Kevin in The Who’s Tommy, and an adolescent named Scummy in Peggy the Pint-Sized Pirate. Gwen Studied theatre abroad in Pieermaritzburg, South Africa and is soliciting funds for a return trip.

William A. Underwood is happy to be back at Pegasus where he previously music directed tick, tick…BOOM! and Anyone Can Whistle. He has received Jeff citations for both Music Direction and Original Music and has composed music for four original musicals: The Human Season (with Richard Yancey), produced by Second Stage of Tallahassee, FL; The Devil in Disputanta (with Johnny Payne), produced by Loyola of Chicago; The Serpent’s Lover (with Johnny Payne), produced by The Border Public Theatre in El Paso, TX, and most recently, The Last Hurrah (with Ron Keaton). He has written music and lyrics for two musicals: The Scarlett Letter (adapted from Hawthorne’s novel), and The Precious Damsels/The Doctor in Spite of Himself (adapted from two Moliere one-acts), both produced at Loyola, and a musical review, Anything But Love, presented at the Gentry Cabaret in Chicago. He also conceived and composed music for Nothing But Love, a chamber opera linking the songs, sonnets, and scenes of Shakespeare, premiered at Organic/Touchstone and presented at several other Chicago venues. He has written original music for a wide variety of theatres, including Writer’s Theatre, Different Drummer Music Theatre, Bailiwick Repertory, Famous Door, and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. As an arranger he has worked for Chicago Shakespeare Company, E & N Productions, and spearheaded the vocal jazz quartet, Hearsay. As a pianist he has accompanied Diahann Carroll, Bobby Vinton, Lillianne Montivecchi, Tiny Tim, and Aretha Franklin.

Jonathan Verge is thrilled to be making his Pegasus Players debut in The Frogs. New to Chicago, Jonathan was last seen in The Ten Commandments: The Musical at the Athenaeum Theatre. Regional credits include Betrayal and Oliver! at Syracuse Stage, as well as Floyd Collins, Guys and Dolls, The Gondoliers, and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. A graduate of Syracuse University’s School of Drama, Jonathan also trained at The Globe Theatre in London and performed the title role in Richard III in the graduate production. Jonathan would like to thank his friends and family (especially Mom and Dad) for their love and support, as well as The LaSalle Bank Corporation for financing his theatrical endeavors. Make theater, not war. 1-4-3.