CAST LIST FOR H. M. S. Pinafore

Gilbert & Sullivan’s wildly popular musical operetta, H.M.S. Pinafore, throws the centuries-old English social pecking order out the window! On board the Pinafore, the Captain’s daughter, Josephine, is in love with a lower-class sailor, a lowly British tar named Ralph Rackstraw who fervently returns her love. Her father, however, intends her to marry Sir Joseph Porter, the First Lord of the Admiralty. She abides by her father’s wishes at first, but Sir Joseph’s advocacy that any man is every man’s equal (excepting his, of course) encourages Ralph and Josephine to overturn conventional social order. They declare their love for each other and plot to elope. The Captain discovers their plan, but, as in many of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, a surprise disclosure changes things dramatically near the end of the story.

Today, almost 145 years after it was written, we can still easily relate to Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic send-up of Britain’s 19th century preoccupation with social status. The musical gleefully lampoons not only a successful politician whose rise in power (owed to family money and station) flies in the face of his obvious incompetence, but a father who would see his daughter married to such an one! Rejoice that Gilbert’s clever wit awaits you, neatly wrapped up in Sullivan’s toe-tapping music.

Directors

Actors

    Mary Punshon
    Midshipmites
    Sailors
    Sister, Cousins, and Aunts

Production Staff

Bios

listed alphabetically

Darlene Adamson (Lighting Technician) has assisted her husband (John) with many events, and for our show she is the light board operator. As co-owner of First Stage Lighting, she enjoys working with the various community groups throughout the area. Darlene works at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Recently, she resumed her education to complete her bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration at Drexel University. Back to top

John Adamson (Lighting Designer) has been involved in technical theater for more than 25 years. He has been a lighting designer or master stage electrician for over 300 events, including musicals, operas, dramas, dance recitals, and community events. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He is co-owner of First Stage Lighting. Back to top

Lisa Cleek (Chorus, Props Chair) Having started at RVCO as a sound assistant, Lisa is now a regular fixture and is glad to be back performing with her theater pals after a nearly three-year hiatus! Past productions include A Christmas Carol: The Musical, Naughty Marietta (Revised 2018), The Sorcerer, Iolanthe, and The Pirates of Penzance (twice), along with many others. Lisa would like to thank the producers, directors and “mateys ” who always put on such great shows and have such a great time! Back to top

Bruce Conley (Bill Bobstay: Boatswain’s Mate, Producer, RVCO President) is happy to be a part of this wonderful production and his favorite G&S operetta. Bruce joined RVCO in 1988 and has since enjoyed performing in nearly four dozen shows as part of the ensemble and also being featured in numerous small roles. He has served as President of RVCO for over twelve years and frequently wears many other administrative hats, including producing this show. It is great to be back greeting our audiences. He is proud of and grateful to the many members and friends of the organization who have continued to contribute in so many ways to sustain our operations and continue to enable us to provide beautiful musical productions. He especially thanks his wife, Rae, for her constant help and support. Back to top

Faith Donaher (Cousin Hebe) is excited to be performing with RVCO for the first time. While this is her first H. M. S.Pinafore, she’s performed in many G&S operettas with the Bucks County Gilbert and Sullivan Society, most recently as Vittoria in The Gondoliers. Back to top

Shana Gordon (Chorus) is a mezzo soprano and has been singing and acting for about 10 years. She was in the chorus of our 2017 The Mikado, and has also played Scrooge’s mother, an angel, and an aristocrat for RVCO. She’s done shows like The Sorcerer and Patience with the Ardensingers, also singing the National Anthem at the Wilmington Blue Rocks games.. Shana was a member of Schola Cantorum for 5 years singing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the Requiem, Carols by Candlelight, as well as many others. She is currently on the praise team at her church. Shana is happy to be back with all her friends at RVCO once again. Back to top

Laura Hull (Chorus) is thrilled to return to the RVCO stage after a 3 year hiatus! Recent roles include Mrs. Cratchit in A Christmas Carol: The Musical and Peep Bo in The Mikado. Laura loves performing in the operas of Gilbert & Sullivan, and is especially excited to be dancing with her husband, Rob, in this production. Back to top

Rob Hull (Chorus) is happy to be returning to RVCO after State Fair failed to launch two years ago when the pandemic hit. His first role with RVCO was Robin in Ruddigore many years ago, followed by Prof. Higgins in My Fair Lady about a decade later. In recent years, he was John Wellington Wells in The Sorcerer and Scrooge in A Christmas Carol: The Musical. Before the Covid hiatus he also appeared with Arden Shakespeare Gild, The Ardensingers, City Theater. and The Players Club of Swarthmore. Happy to be onstage with Laura again, after their destined meeting in Sorcerer. An alumnus of the MIT Shakespeare Ensemble, he reads scripts with them online to this day. Back to top

Paul Kerrigan (Captain Corcoran) has the good fortune to join this cast for his first time at RVC&O. At other theaters, he has played Neville Craven in The Secret Garden, Franz Liebkind in The Producers, the Usher in Trial By Jury, and Leon Czolgosz in Assassins, among many others. Paul has directed a lot of musicals, at the Players Club of Swarthmore (PCS), the Young Peoples Theatre Workshop and at Springfield High School in Delco, including 42nd Street and Grease. He will be directing Bye Bye Birdie at Cardinal O’Hara High School next month, and Much Ado About Nothing in March 2023 at PCS. Back to top

John Klinges (Carpenter) is delighted to be rejoining RVCO having first been in its 2017 production of The Mikado. John mostly recently appeared in the Bucks County Gilbert and Sullivan Society’s The Gondoliers and last summer’s Delaware Valley Opera Company’s productions of Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Liebovar. Before that he appeared at the Matthews (NC) Playhouse as Miles Gloriosus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (2018) and Bill Austin in Mama Mia (2019). Back to top

Doug Kurtze (Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B.) has appeared in all of Rose Valley's G&S shows since being arm-twisted into joining the chorus in 2010, most recently playing Dr. Daly in The Sorcerer. Before that, he appeared as Go-To in The Mikado, Timidon in Thespis, Giorgio in The Gondoliers, and the Foreman in Trial by Jury, when not in the chorus. He has also appeared as Old Adam in Ruddigore with Thespis, Etc., and with Ardensingers as the Carpenter's Mate in H. M. S. Pinafore and the Herald in The Grand Duke. Off stage, look for him dancing with the Kingsessing Morris Men. Back to top

Florrie Marks (Music Director) is a past recipient of the Best Musical Director award at the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival. She has music directed the entire G&S canon, primarily with the G&S Society of Chester County. Other directing credits include Allenberry Playhouse, Penn Singers, Ardensingers, Ridgewood (NJ) Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company, Ridgewood High School Alumni Band, and Glen Rock (NJ) Pops Orchestra. For several years, she was also the Music Director of the fall and spring musicals at Archbishop Wood High School. In addition to her conducting activities, she is Director of Music Ministries at Temple Lutheran Church in Havertown. Before picking up the baton on a regular basis, Florrie was a professional violinist, with credits ranging from symphony orchestras to a bluegrass band. She music directed our productions of Annie Get Your Gun (2017), The Sorcerer (2018), and Naughty Marietta (Revised 2018) (2019) and is delighted to be conducting this production of H.M.S. Pinafore. Back to top

Julie C. May (Buttercup) is pleased to be back at RVCO, where she was last seen as Vera Charles in Mame. Julie has directed most of and appeared in all of the 14 Gilbert & Sullivan shows with many G&S groups in the Delaware Valley and in England in award winning productions. Her favorite G&S roles include Ruth, Mad Margaret, Dame Carruthers, Katisha, Counsel for the Plaintiff, Tessa, Julia Jelicoe, Baroness Von Krakenfeldt, Lady Blanche…and more. When not performing or directing G&S, much of her theatre life has been spent with Forge Theatre in Phoenixville in many memorable productions - Vanya, Sonya, Masha and Spike, Four Weddings and an Elvis, Animal, Young Frankenstein, Nuts, The World Goes Round, Lucky Stiff, and this past spring in 33 Variations, her favorite of them all! In the summer of 2022 she appeared in The Gondoliers with the Bucks County G&S Society and in The Grand Duke at the International G&S Festival in Harrogate England. She lives and works in West Chester with her very supportive husband, Richard. Back to top

Kathy Michael (Stage Manager, Board Secretary, Auditions Scheduler) is a long-time member of RVCO, who is pleased once again to take on the mantle of Stage Manager. Kathy has contributed in various roles for RVCO, including Stage Manager, Lighting Designer, Stage Crew, House Manager and is currently Secretary of the Executive Board. She met her husband through RVCO and her children have also been involved over the years. RVCO has become a second home to her. Back to top

Robert Moore (Co-Stage Director, Executive Board, Make-Up Design) is a proud RVCO Life Member, Chair of Show Selection, and Stage Director! He is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, retired art teacher, and holds an MA in Theatre from Villanova University! He has professional credits in film, theatre, touring companies, and has worked in numerous theatres around the area, especially RVCO where he's directed many shows and created principal roles in productions, the last being Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol, The Musical. He is the co-founder of the Young Peoples Theatre Workshop in Swarthmore where he is an acting teacher/director. He dedicates this production to the memory of his parents, Alan and Dorothy (who introduced him to theatre at a young age) and to his friend Roger Atkins who played Captain Corcoran in college! Enjoy the show, everyone!!. Back to top

Steve Naz (Chorus) is the newest member of RVCO whom we heartily welcome aboard! A lifelong resident of Delaware County, this is his very first appearance as an actor. His musical background includes clarinet, bass guitar, and saxophones which he played in various bands and ensembles from elementary school up through the Temple University marching and concert bands. He has been an orchestra member in several musical shows, including Brigadoon, Wildcat, and Call Me Madam. An actual sailor, Steve owns two sailboats which he takes out on nearby lakes and waterways. Steve is a retired computer specialist and an audio-visual technologist by trade. Back to top

Mary Punshon (Josephine) is pleased to be back at RVCO for a redo of one of her favorite roles. Other favorite roles with RVCO include the title role in Iolanthe, Lalume in Kismet, Bertha in The Red Mill, Mad Margaret in Ruddigore, and Phoebe in The Yeomen of the Guard. She also represented RVCO at the Gettysburg International G&S Festival as Amanda in The Carp. Mary has also performed with The Concert Operetta Theater as Masha in The Chocolate Soldier at The Music Pier in Ocean City, NJ with The Ocean City Pops and Princess Margaret in The Student Prince at the Academy of Vocal Arts. Favorite opera roles include Musetta in La Boheme, the title role in Carmen, and Saffi in The Gypsy Baron. Mary would like to thank her kids who grew up helping her learn her lines in the car on the way to school and her husband Wayne. Back to top

James Rabic (Sound Design) is a radio producer and production coordinator for Longport Media, a freelance podcast producer and editor, and in his spare time a drummer with his band 3 Noodle Stew. With more than ten years in radio and over twenty-five years in the entertainment business James still finds the most rewarding part of the job is serving the people, a job made for producers. As a Producer, James has gotten work with top artists like Graham Nash from CSNY, be on the team with The Ryan Seacrest Show (Top 5 Count Down), but most rewardingly broadcast through hurricanes Irene and Sandy. In addition to extensive job experience, James got his radio training at The Connecticut School Of Broadcasting. Back to top

Marisa Robinson (Josephine 11/5 and 11/6/22) Substituting for an Covid-isolated Mary Punshon, this splendid soprano graciously agreed to perform the role of Josephine on one week’s notice! Marisa has performed opera, operetta, and musical theater all over the greater Philadelphia region. She is delighted to find herself back at Rose Valley Chorus & Orchestra after a decade away. Favorite roles include Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Ännchen in Der Freischütz, Angelina in Trial by Jury, and Casilda in The Gondoliers. Offstage, Marisa is the Executive Director of Wilmington Concert Opera, a Pure Barre addict, and a ridiculous fan of peanut butter with chocolate. Back to top

Brian Rubino (Midshipmite) is thrilled to be cast as partner in crime alongside Marc, his real-life brother…and partner in crime! He made his stage debut with RVCO in A Christmas Carol: The Musical (2019) and continues to develop his flair and enthusiasm for character acting. When not on stage, Brian can be found kicking a soccer ball, playing the cello, or representing his classmates at Student Council meetings. Back to top

Chris Rubino (Ralph Rackstraw, Set Designer, Vice President) has been performing tenor roles with RVCO since 2012. Notable roles include Freddy in My Fair Lady, Charlie in Brigadoon, and Nanki-Poo in The Mikado. Chris has a special affinity for performing in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, having met his wife Meagan in a Penn Singers’ production of Utopia Limited. He has also produced several RVCO shows, including Annie Get Your Gun (2017) and The Sorcerer (2018). Chris began designing sets for RVCO in 2018, first for The Sorcerer, subsequently for A Christmas Carol: the Musical (2019), and most recently for Narberth Community Theater’s A Little Night Music (2022). He is particularly excited that his wife and two sons will be joining him on stage for this production! Back to top

Mark Rubino (Midshipmite) is thrilled to be cast as partner in crime alongside Brian, his real-life brother…and partner in crime! He made his stage debut with RVCO as Hercules in The Sorcerer (2018), and has continued to develop his love of theater ever since. He has been an enthusiastic participant in Upper Darby Summer Stage since 2021. Other stage roles include Jonathan in RVCO’s A Christmas Carol: The Musical (2019) and Bertrand in Narberth Community Theater’s A Little Night Music (2022). When not on stage, Marc can be found competing at swim meets, singing with his school chorus, playing trumpet in the school band, and playing Dungeons & Dragons with his middle school club. Back to top

Meagan Rubino (Chorus) is thrilled to be joining the H.M.S. Pinafore in her maiden voyage with RVCO! Prior to her 11-year hiatus raising two smart and sober midshipmites, she performed as Fiametta in the Penn Singers production of The Gondoliers and was an enthusiastic member of the chorus for its productions of The Most Happy Fella, Utopia Ltd., Ruddigore, My Favorite Year, and The Mikado. She also performed in the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival in Gettysburg, PA in their production of The Sorcerer. When not wearing character shoes and hairpieces, Meagan is a proud member of the faculty of School of the Future in Philadelphia and an ardent advocate of public education and civil service in Upper Darby Township. “To Ralph: I love you with affection unspeakable!” Back to top

Martha Smylie (Co-Stage Director, Playbill) sends a shout out to all involved with this year’s Pinafore, and wishes you great joy with this production. She thanks Bob Moore, Florrie Marks, and the entire cast/crew of H. M. S. Pinafore for their collaboration and wonderful talent! Celebrating 50 years of G&S productions, Martha is a proud Life Member of RVCO and past president, etc. Her directorial career began in 2017 with Sir Bob Moore’s kind invitation to join him for RVCO’s The Mikado. She then directed The Pirates of Penzance for Ardensingers in 2019, and returned Sir Bob’s favor by inviting him to co-direct our 2020-2021-2022 production of H.M.S. Pinafore. Martha has performed in all 14 of the G&S operas, some many times over, singing all the contralto roles in the G&S canon. Starting out in the chorus of the Savoy Company in 1972 for 10 party years, she joined RVCO in 1981 for both G&S and Broadway-style shows. She’s also performed in numerous other musicals and comedies in the region, including nearby Hedgerow Theatre. Martha has been president of five G&S societies in the Delaware Valley. Like Lady Blanche in Princess Ida, “I was born to rule!” Back to top

Charles Spyres (Chorus) is delighted to be in his second production with the Rose Valley Chorus. In his first production with Rose Valley he played Mr. Fezziwig in A Christmas Carol: The Musical. He has previously been in productions with the Delaware Children’s Theater and The Brandywiners. His performances have included Jesus Christ Superstar, Scrooge, Children of Eden, Annie, The Music Man, and The Producers. Charles also sings in The Brandywiners Chorale. Back to top

Jeff Swafford (Dick Deadeye) enjoys being on stage with his RVCO family, and this year his son, Victor, has joined him in this production as Spotlight Operator! Jeff’s recent roles with RVCO were in A Christmas Carol: The Musical (Bob Cratchit), the premiere of Naughty Marietta (Revised 2018) (Ensemble), The Mikado (Ensemble), and with other local community theaters performing in South Pacific (Stewpot), and Seussical the Musical (Horton). Aside from wanting to sing more, Jeff enjoys photography, camping, Italian food, red wine, and is eager to get back at the piano. His children have begun exploring as adults and he will help them in any way he can. His wife, Marie, took him on an Alaskan Cruise in August and now he wants to move there... but won’t because he truly hopes to be in more shows with RVCO, especially Gilbert & Sullivan. Back to top

Cathy Wakefield (Chorus, Sponsors, Board Member, Co-Costumer, Choreography Consultant) is so happy to be returning to the stage after our 3-year viral-imposed break. She’s proud to be a Lifetime Member of RVCO and has been involved with the group for over 40 years, qualifying her as one of our more seasoned members! Cathy’s favorite shows include The Pirates of Penzance, Guys and Dolls (1984, 2004), Plain and Fancy (1986-onstage with her daughter, Kerri), Mame (2007-as Cousin Fan), My Fair Lady (2012, Lady Boxington), and The Music Man (2016, Mrs. Squires). “Thanks to my supportive family and friends!” Back to top

Sharon Weil-Chalker (Chorus) is thrilled to be in her first RVCO production and back on stage after a several decades-long hiatus, which included rehearsing for State Fair which wasn’t staged due to the pandemic. “Many thanks to Martha, Bob, Florrie, Bruce, and Cathy, for giving her this wonderful opportunity with this great group of people.̶ Sharon also sings baritone with Sweet Adelines/Philadelphia Freedom Chorus (women’s barbershop). She previously sang with Northwestern University Singers, the Swarthmore College Chorus, and the Singing Moms. Tap was on her bucket list, so she takes tap, salsa, and bachata lessons at Salsa in the Suburbs. Favourite roles: Sharon/By My Side (Godspell), Sylvia Barrett (Up the Down Staircase), and singing Handel’s Messiah annually. Off stage, Sharon is a physician who takes care of babies’ hearts, and enjoys hiking, gardening, and dancing. She plays flute, some piano, and very little guitar. Back to top