JAMIE - Billy Dawson
Billy Dawson is thrilled to be returning to his hometown for Three Rivers Music Theatre's inaugural production! A resident of Chicago for three years, he has been hailed as "golden-voiced," possessing "stunning, stage scorching, stage presence." Recent credits include Sir David McVicar's new critically-acclaimed production of Wozzeck at Lyric Opera of Chicago, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Other Chicago credits include Tosca (Lyric Opera of Chicago), The Fantasticks, Fiddler on the Roof, Damn Yankees, The Merry Widow (Light Opera Works), The Phantom of the Opera (Harbor Country Opera), A New Brain (Brown Paper Box Co. - BroadwayWorld Award Nomination), The Producers, Victor/Victoria, and Spamalot (NightBlue). He has also appeared in numerous concerts and cabarets in Chicago including "Today Is a Good Day" (1, 2, & 3), an annual fundraiser for American Brain Tumor Association and American Cancer Society with his sister, Donica Lynn, as well as two seasons with the Chicago Artists Chorale. He is no stranger to Fort Wayne stages, with credits including Curtains, Rent, Hairspray, Frankenstein, Once Upon A Mattress (Civic Theatre, Two-time Anthony Award winner), Noises Off, A Funny Thing Happened…Forum, All My Sons, Urinetown, Eurydice (IPFW), and The World Goes 'Round (Arena Dinner Theatre). Mr. Dawson will also be featured in Auditions: A Mockumentary, produced by Rough Cut Films, due for release in 2016. Love and thanks to Mom, Andy, and the entire cast/crew of The Last Five Years! Oh, and his two cats, Booger and Molly for always providing brutally honest critiques.
CATHY - Jessica Butler
Jessica Butler holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Purdue University (Fort Wayne) where she studied theatre and dance. Jessica was last seen in First Presbyterian Theatre's NUNSENSE as Robert Anne, but you may remember her from her from past award-winning performances: SPAMALOT (Lady of the Lake), LOMBARD: A ONE WOMAN PLAY (Hollywood legend, Carole Lombard), THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE (Millie), GYPSY (Gypsy Rose Lee), CHICAGO (Roxie Hart), LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (Audrey), and THE APPLE TREE (Eve/Princess Barbara/Passionella).
In addition to stage, Jessica also has experience in film (actress, director and producer), and has been a brand ambassador/spokes model for many national companies including AT&T, Wii and Say Yes to Carrots.
During the day, Jessica is the director of marketing for an international utility equipment rental company, NESCO Rentals, and founder of a corporate marketing, design and event production company, Westwood Marketing, LLC. In her free time, she enjoys spends time playing with her new puppy, Augie, and volunteering as the Chair of Marketing and PR for Women United and Tapestry: A Day for You (the regions premier women-focused event.) In 2015, Ms. Butler was recognized for her accomplishments in the community when she received Fort Wayne's 40 Under 40 award.
Jessica is thrilled and honored to be part of Three Rivers Music Theatre’s inaugural production and would like to thank Andy Planck and her family and friends for their continued love and support.
DIRECTOR - Andy Planck
Andy Planck is a proud graduate of Ball State University and member of Actors' Equity Association. New York Credits include: National Tour of MAN OF LA MANCHA (Captain of the Inquisition, Muleteer), National Tour of THE MIDNIGHT RIDE OF PAUL REVERE (King George III, Dr. Joseph Warren), Gallery Players (NYC) THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE (Trevor Graydon).
Selected Regional Credits include: Paramount Theatre (Chicago) - CATS (Old Deuteronomy); Marriott Theatre (Chicago) - CATS (Old Deuteronomy, Gus, Bustopher Jones U/S), PRINCESS AND THE PEA (Papa/Biff U/S), THE NUTCRACKER (Uncle Drosselmeyer, Henry U/S); Barn Theatre (Michigan) - 1776 (Richard Henry Lee), THE FULL MONTY (Teddy Slaughter), FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (Avram), LI'L ABNER (Hairless Joe), HAIR (Electric Blues Soloist); Festival 56 (Illinois) - ONCE UPON A MATTRESS (Minstrel), LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (Dentist), TWELFTH NIGHT (Sir Andrew Aguecheek), ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING **World Premiere** (John Absolute)
Directing/Music Directing/Choreography Credits include: Arena Dinner Theatre - THE APPLE TREE (Director, Choreographer), THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS (Music Director); Bishop Luers High School - THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE (Choreographer, Asst. Director), LES MISERABLES (Choreographer, Asst. Director, Scenic Designer), LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (Choreographer, Asst. Director), HELLO DOLLY (Asst. Director, Scenic Designer), GODSPELL (Music Director), ANYTHING GOES (Choreographer, Asst. Director, Scenic Designer), PETER PAN (Asst. Director), GEORGE WASHINGTON SLEPT HERE (Asst. Director)
Andy is the founding Artistic Director for Three Rivers Music Theatre and also serves as the Voice & Musical Theatre Director for Triple Threat Performing Arts Academy. Andy would like to thank Arts United for all of their help and B, D, GG, A, B, T, J, S, D, J, K, & M for their love and support!
Tommy Saul - Music Director
Tommy Saul is an accomplished musician who has been playing the piano since childhood. His lessons began in kindergarten and continued through the 8th grade, during which time he was trained in classical music.
A Fort Wayne native, Tommy attended Bishop Luers High School, where he was a leading participant in their reputable performing arts program. He was a member of their award-winning show choir, The Minstrels, and accompanied them to numerous championships. He took on piano responsibilities in their successful musical theater productions, including: Fiddler on the Roof, Damn Yankees, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Children of Eden, Hello Dolly, and Les Miserables. He returned to Bishop Luers as an alumnus to act as the music director for Little Shop of Horrors and Peter Pan. Tommy has also played piano for two productions at Fort Wayne Summer Music Theater: Sweeney Todd in 2010 and West Side Story in 2011.
In addition to classical music, Tommy is trained in jazz and has played professionally since 2006. His experience ranges from wedding receptions and cocktail parties, to the stages of local establishments such as The Friendly Fox, Curly's Village Inn, and Club Soda. At Club Soda he has shared the stage with other local acts, including Barry Minniefield, West Central Quartet, Cliff Webb Trio, and Soul 35.
Tommy serves as the Resident Music Director for Three Rivers Music Theatre, and you can hear him play in the production of Jason Robert Brown's "The Last Five Years", coming in April, 2016!
Robert Shoquist - Scenic Designer
Robert holds a Master of Fine Arts from Northwestern University (Stage Design: Scenic/Lighting) and a Bachelor of Arts from Boise State University (Directing & Design.)
Robert is currently the Technical Director for the Department of Theatre at IPFW where he teaches Stagecraft, Introduction to Stage Management and Technical Theatre Production I & II. Robert also manages the department scene shop and mentors student artisans, collaborating with faculty directors & designers to bring each production to life. Additionally, Robert serves as one of the department’s scenic designers.
Before joining IPFW, Robert was the Scenic Supervisor for the Fort Wayne Civic Theatre where, as resident scenic designer, he designed over 25 productions. He also acted as the production manager and technical director, managing all aspects of scenic production, supervising the scenic artist, prop master, interns, stage management teams and volunteer tech staff/crews.
Robert was a freelance scenic designer and technical director in NYC, Chicago, the Midwest and Idaho. Robert has performed in feature and short films as well as theatre, commercials, voice- overs and as a host for live events; he has also worked as a director and stage manager. Prior to a career in theatre Robert worked in data inventory, public relations and retail management.
Robert was an invited participant at Lincoln Center in New York City at Ming Cho Lee’s Stage Design “Clambake” and he has received multiple Kennedy Center/ACTF Meritorious Achievement Awards for his scenic designs. His production work is photographed in: Theatre Lives (2009) and Directing In Musical Theatre: an Essential Guide (2013.)
Robert currently serves on the IPFW season selection committee and was on FWCT’s Artistic Committee. He was a founding board member of Idaho’s Encore Theatre Company.
Robert’s design portfolio is located at www.robertshoquist.com.