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Rose Valley Chorus & Orchestra

CAST LIST FOR The Sorcerer

   Production History


    Lady Sangazure - Martha Smylie
    Aline - Alexis Droke
    Mrs. Partlet - Carol Connolly
    Constance - Maria Leonetti
    Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre - Edwin Nealley
    Alexis - David Price
    Dr. Daly - Doug Kurtze
    Deaf Old Man - Sylvan Kesilman
    John Wellington Wells - Rob Hull
    Notary - Bruce Conley
    Hercules - Marc Rubino
    Laura Carrasco
    Bruce Conley
    Mary Beth Dostillio
    Sally Foster-Chang
    Felicia Gaus-Wollen
    Shana Gordon
    Meg Hazel
    Jennifer Heller
    Ellie Knickman
    Robert Moore
    Sarah Norton
    Joel Realberg
    Cathy Wakefield


    Stage Director - Katherine P. Nealley
    Music Director and Conductor- Florrie Marks
    Producer - Chris Rubino
    Stage Manager - Jocelyn Kurtze
    Lighting Design - Robert Iodice
    Set Design - Chris Rubino
    Sound Design - Joe Ward
    Set Backdrop - Cynthia du Pont Tobias
    Props - Lisa Cleek, Doug Kurtze
             - Chris Rubino (special effects), Joyce Malin (floral arrangements)
    Costumes - Katherine P. Nealley & Jennifer Roman
    Makeup & Hair Design - Robert Moore

Cast and Crew

listed alphabetically

Laura Carrasco (Chorus) is delighted to be back on stage with her RVCO family. She was most recently seen as Peep Bo in last fall's The Mikado. Previous G&S credits include The Grand Duke with the Ardensingers, Trial By Jury and The Yeomen of the Guard with the G&S Society of Chester County, and The Pirates of Penzance, Iolanthe, Ruddigore, and The Gondoliers with the Savoy Company. By day, Laura works in the pharmaceutical industry as a clinical trial manager. She thanks her cats, Smokey and Gracie, for their love and support.

Bruce Conley (Chorus, RVCO President) is happy to be in the ensemble for this production of The Sorcerer. He has been a part of RVCO since 1988 and has performed in more than three dozen shows including many small, but important roles, all done with great panache! Over the years Bruce has enjoyed assisting the group in many administrative ways, and even re-upped this year to become our fearless president again!  He also especially thanks his wife Rae for her help and support.

Carol Connolly (Mrs. Partlet) is pleased to return to RVCO after re-creating Katisha in The Mikado last fall. Carol has performed most of G&S’s lush contralto/mezzo roles with the Connecticut Gilbert & Sullivan Society. A late comer to the stage, Carol, mother of seven, has enjoyed bringing life to many strong, female characters like the Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music, Nettie Fowler in Carousel and Fruma Sarah in Fiddler on the Roof. Carol has also performed with the Yale Opera, Connecticut Grand Opera and CET Opera. Theatre. Since moving to Smyrna, DE, Carol has found new performance homes in the Smyrna Opera House (Annie, The Sound of Music, Love, Loss & What I Wore, and staged readings of Jane Austen’s works) and the Ardensingers (The Grand Duke, Patience, and The Pirates of Penzance next spring). Carol sends hearty thanks to my husband, Jack, family, friends and everyone who has ”trod the boards” with me. You have tirelessly encouraged and supported, in countless ways, my passion for creating and renewing life through song, story and laughter. My life would be much smaller today without you. I am truly blessed. Cheers and bravo!

William "Pete" Dorwart (Music Engraver), a cellist with the RVCO for more than 30 years, is a professional music engraver. Music engraving is the art of drawing music notation at high quality for the purpose of publication. He has engraved most of the G&S canon, and we are using his orchestral music for this production of The Sorcerer.  He has also engraved shows like The Merry Widow and Die Fledermaus, which have been used by major opera companies including the Metropolitan in New York. Pete is currently engraving the music for State Fair, Revised 2018 which the RVCO will perform next spring.

Mary Beth Dostillio (Chorus, Set Painter) has been singing and dancing with RVCO for 25 years now. “Whether a belly dancer in 1995's Kismet or a monkey in The Drowsy Chaperone last spring, I've enjoyed every minute on stage with these people. I have served on the board as president, VP, treasurer and business manager.  If you don't see me on stage, you'll find me singing behind the curtain as part of the stage crew. This is a wonderful, supportive group. Thanks to Kate and Florrie for sharing their time and talents with us. Great show everyone!”

Alexis Nicole Droke (Aline) is pleased to return again to the RVCO stage. She is a coloratura soprano actively pursuing a professional career singing and directing both opera and musical theater, is a native of Delaware, and currently resides in Bear. Alexis attended college at the University of Delaware and graduated cum laude with a double major in Vocal Performance and Vocal/Choral Education. Alexis has performed as both soloist and ensemble singer for The UD Chorale, UD’s Schola Cantorum, and The Newark Symphony Chorus. Alexis has performed internationally in China, Finland, Estonia, France, and most recently Israel, where she performed as a chorister with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. Notable lead performances include: Le nozze di Figaro (Marcellina, UD Opera Theater), Cosi fan tutte (Despina, UD Opera Theater/OperaLancaster), H.M.S. Pinafore (Josephine, Ardensingers), Iolanthe (Phyllis, RVCO), The Grand Duke (Lisa, Ardensingers), Mikado (Yum-Yum, RVCO), Patience (Patience, Ardensingers), The Music Man (Eulalie Shinn, Brandywiners). Upcoming engagements include Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance (Ardensingers). In addition to her acclaim as a performer, Alexis is an experienced choral conductor, voice teacher, and musical director, working previously in this capacity with the UD Opera Theater Chorus, the New Ark United Church of Christ, the Tatnall School, and most recently the Episcopal Church of the Advent. Alexis currently maintains a roster of private students and teaches from her home voice studio. Alexis wishes to especially thank her loving husband, David, and sweet fur-babies, Tucker and Toby, for their love and support.

Sally Foster-Chang (Chorus) was last seen directing RVCO’s Annie Get Your Gun in April 2017. Prior productions directed for RVCO include My Fair Lady and Ruddigore. In addition to directing productions for RVCO and other local theater companies, Sally occasionally sings, dances and acts on stage. Favorite roles include Nellie in South Pacific, Sharon in Finian’s Rainbow, Mother Hicks in Mother Hicks, Emily in Our Town and “Mimi” to three perfect grandchildren (each conveniently born a day or so after “break set.”

Felicia Gaus-Woollen (Chorus) is pleased to be back with Rose Valley again. I love getting to be an aristocrat!  Shoutouts go to Alexis Droke and Carol for just being awesome.  Thanks also to my parents for supporting me.  Still looking for a job. Next up The Pirates of Penzance with Ardensingers and the awesome Martha Smylie as stage director.

Shana Gordon (Chorus) made her RVCO debut last year in The Mikado. Shana has been singing opera for 6 years, has been in competitions, and can sing in any language.  She was in a version of a Cabaret with her scholarship group called “Through the Woods.” She would like to thank the wonderful production staff and cast for their support.

Meg Hazel (Chorus) is thrilled to be in her second show with RVCO. She caught the acting bug “monkeying around” in The Drowsy Chaperone earlier this year. Meg currently sings with the choir at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Wallingford. Meg would like to thank her wife, Jenn, for supporting her in her stage adventures.

Jennifer Heller (Chorus) is “thrilled” to be performing with the RVCO cast of The Sorcerer. This RVCO show marks Ms. Heller’s sixth production of The Sorcerer with six community theatre organizations and she looks forward to one day completing the full Gilbert and Sullivan canon. Though Ms. Heller dedicates this show to her fur-children: Sir G. Loafred Loafington, Kaylee, Mr. Butterworth, Buffy Mc.Nuggett, and the memory of Pickle, above all, she thanks her devoted husband for his love and support.

Rob Hull (John Wellington Wells) is pleased to be returning to RVCO after a long absence. His last appearance was as Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady in 2002. Prior to that, his other mainstage appearance was as Robin in Ruddigore, in 1990. Rob has appeared in regional/stock (including Opera Delaware), dinner theater, touring shows, Off-off Broadway, industrial shows/videos, children’s theater and community theater. Some of his favorite roles include Prof. Harold Hill (The Music Man), King Arthur (Camelot), Fagin (Oliver!), Marco the Magnificent (Carnival!), Lysander (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Christian (Cyrano de Bergerac), Valere (A Doctor in Spite of Himself), Canon Pennefather (Murder on the Nile), Barney (The Middle Ages), Andy Ladd (Love Letters), the Witch (Hansel & Gretel), Bunthorne & Colonel Calverley (Patience) and Scrooge (A Gilbert & Sullivan Christmas Carol). In December, he will be appearing in Mamma Mia at City Theater in Wilmington, DE.

Sylvan Kesilman (Very Deaf Old Man, Chorus) has appeared in over 50 productions of G&S operas and musical shows with RVCO and other groups for many years. This is his fifth production of The Sorcerer, and the part which he now plays was his first G&S role, a very long time ago. A lifelong G&S enthusiast, he has participated in many singouts and symposiums on the operas and written related articles and program notes. He was one of the speakers at the International G&S Festival held in Gettysburg, Pa. in 2011 and most recently sang the roles of Scynthius in Princess Ida and the Usher in Trial by Jury at the 6th Great Gilbert and Sullivan Singout in Rockville, Md. He has directed several shows with Thespis. Etc. and in high school productions and is also a member of the Abington-Levittown chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society.

Ellie Knickman (Chorus) recently achieved two life goals of playing a nun onstage and singing in a girl group, when she played Sr. Mary Martin Of Tours in Narberth’s Sister Act. Her recent RVCO shows include The Music Man (Mrs. Paroo), Kiss Me, Kate (Ralph), and Thespis (Cymon).  She is delighted to be crossing paths with husband and daughter in this show! Off stage she is a folk dancer, a barely passable guitar and tenor banjo player, and a librarian at Cabrini University.

Doug Kurtze (Dr. Daly) has appeared with Rose Valley as Go-To in last fall’s The Mikado, Timidon in Thespis, Giorgio in The Gondoliers, and the Foreman in Trial by Jury. With other groups, he appeared as Old Adam in Ruddigore with Thespis, Etc., and with Ardensingers as the Carpenter's Mate in H.M.S. Pinafore and as the Herald in The Grand Duke. Off stage, look for him dancing with the Kingsessing Morris Men.

Jocelyn Kurtze (Stage Manager) is delighted to be managing her third show with RVCO. Over the past year, she has worked backstage for The Mikado and The Drowsy Chaperone, as well as Inspecting Carol, Promises Promises, Leading Ladies, and Young Frankenstein at Spotlight Theatre. In her copious spare time, she enjoys playing Dungeons & Dragons, contra dancing, and occasionally getting a full night of sleep.

Maria Leonetti (Constance) makes her Rose Valley debut. Professional credits include: Princess Leia in Star Wars, the Musical (Bootless Stageworks), Cassie/ensemble in Snyder v Phelps (Philly Fringe), Lottie/ensemble in Show Boat (Broadway Theatre of Pitman), Frou Frou in The Merry Widow (Washington Savoyards), and a featured soloist in New Voices Cabaret (Society Hill Playhouse). Some of her other past roles include Natalie in All Shook Up (Forge Theatre), Margot in Legally Blonde (Footlighters), Rosabella in The Most Happy Fella (University of Pennsylvania), Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance (Youth Opera Company of South Jersey – guest artist), Counsel for the Plaintiff in Trial by Jury (Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Chester County), Ghost of Christmas Past in A Gilbert & Sullivan Christmas Carol, and Sister Mary Leo in Nunsense (Narberth Community Theatre). Much love to all her friends and family who come out to support her.

Florrie Marks (Music Director) is a past winner of the Best Musical Director award at the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival. She has music directed the entire G&S canon with the G&S Society of Chester County. Other directing credits include the Ridgewood (NJ) Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company; the Ridgewood High School Alumni Band; the Glen Rock (NJ) Pops Orchestra; the Allenberry Playhouse; and Penn Singers, the University of Pennsylvania’s Light Opera Company. In addition to her conducting activities, she is Director of Music Ministries at Temple Lutheran Church in Havertown, where she plays organ and piano, directs choral and instrumental ensembles, and leads the church’s praise band on guitar, keyboard and vocals. She music directed our 2017 production of Annie Get Your Gun and is delighted to be conducting her first Rose Valley G&S production this fall!

Robert Moore (Chorus, RVCO Executive Committee, Show Selection Chair, Make-Up and Hair Design) is a proud life member of RVCO and has done many shows with the group as an actor or director! He was seen last spring playing Feldzieg in The Drowsy Chaperone, and in the fall of 2017 he directed The Mikado. Bob holds an MA in Theatre from Villanova University and has years of experience in professional theatre and film as well as a long list of credits in community and university theatre. He works with a number of local groups including The Brandywiners who perform at Longwood Gardens and Players Club of Swarthmore where he co-founded and is still active in the Young Peoples Theatre Workshop. He is a retired teacher but works as a designer for Celebrations Design Group and the Brandywine River Museum. He dedicates his performance to the memory of his parents Alan and Dorothy who introduced him to live theatre at a very young age! Enjoy the show!!

Edwin Nealley (Sir Marmaduke, RVCO Treasurer) is very pleased to return in Rose Valley's 2018 production of The Sorcerer. Ed has played over 30 different G&S roles in as many years, and has performed in all of the G&S operettas. Recent roles at RVCO include Pish-Tush (The Mikado), Lord Chancellor (Iolanthe), Mayor Shinn (The Music Man), Thespis (Thespis), General Howell (Kiss Me, Kate), and the Duke of Plaza Toro (The Gondoliers). Roles with other local companies include Ludwig (Ardensingers), J. W. Wells (G&S Society of Chester County), and Captain Corcoran (Bucks County G&S Society). As the host, he hopes that you all partake heartily of the enjoyment onstage, and enjoy yourselves thoroughly at this performance.

Katherine P. Nealley (Stage Director, Costumes) is thrilled to return to Rose Valley to direct Gilbert & Sullivan's The Sorcerer. She has directed/co-directed several previous productions for RVCO, including Iolanthe, The Music Man, Kiss Me Kate, Brigadoon, Die Fledermaus, Patience, and The Merry Widow. This current production of The Sorcerer is a very special one to her, because it completes her G&S Canon of all the Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, including the Bruce Montgomery restoration of Thespis, which she was privileged to direct for Rose Valley in 2015. Kate and her husband Ed met in a Rose Valley production of Ruddigore back in 1990; “it is always a pleasure to work with this group.” With other local theater groups Kate has directed The Grand Duke, Utopia Limited, Princess Ida, and Trial by Jury, and she has often choreographed for area high schools. Kate danced professionally with the Miami Ballet, and she has a lifelong interest in social dance forms and costume.  She serves as both a teacher and caller for both English and Scottish Country Dancing locally.

Sarah Norton (Chorus) is delighted to be joining RVCO again! As this is her fourth G&S production, Sarah is surprised to find that she has become a veteran of this genre. She's now more comfortable singing on stage, which had been a new challenge after many years of embracing the preforming arts as a "band geek," playing oboe and participating as a member of the Color Guard throughout high school and college. Sarah has a passion for working with kids and individuals with special needs and is the proud mommy of four rescue hounds.

David Price (Alexis) has performed extensively as a soloist all over the Delaware Valley. He regularly sings leading roles with the Delaware Valley Opera Company, most recently Nemorino in L’Elisir d’amore, the song seller in Il Tabarro, and Valentin in Faust. He will sing Frederic in Ardensingers’ production of The Pirates of Penzance in the spring.  In his spare time David teaches chemistry at Upper Dublin High School and builds audio equipment.

Joel Realberg (Chorus) recently returned from a triumphant performance tour on the Continent, and is delighted to return to Rose Valley Chorus and Orchestra after a several years’ absence. Joel’s love of performing has never cloyed and is virtually unbounded. He may frequently be found on and off on Broadway and off and on off-Broadway hawking tickets. After his family and the theatre, Joel’s principal love is walking and whispering to his border collie, Teddy.

Jennifer Roman (Costumes) – A veteran performer and costumer, Jennifer is delighted to join the talented team at Rose Valley Chorus and Orchestra. Jennifer’s love of costumes and fashion was developed by her designer Mother and early career managing a vintage boutique. Community theater costume credits include Jekyll and Hyde the Musical, Plaza Suite, Treasure Island, A Christmas Carol, Sylvia, Gypsy, Annie, and Godspell. She has also created costumes, set pieces and props for musical revues, graduation ceremonies, and haunted houses for the Delaware County Intermediate Unit special education programs. On stage, favorite roles include Lucy in Jekyll and Hyde, the Musical, Bobby/Gabby in City of Angels, Amneris in Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, Mama Rose in Gypsy, and Rosamund in the The Robber Bridegroom. By day Jennifer is an adaptive art teacher and museum teaching artist.

Chris Rubino (Producer, RVCO Vice President) has the added pleasure this production of having his son, Marc, take the stage as our little Hercules. Chris has eagerly shared his time and talent with RVCO since his debut in the chorus of Patience in 2011. Most recently he played Nanki-Poo in The Mikado, and previously he has played Lord Tolloller in Iolanthe, Apollo in Thespis, Charlie in Brigadoon, and Freddy in My Fair Lady. His past affiliations include the Philadelphia Gilbert & Sullivan Union, the Penn Singers, and the Penn Glee Club. “Much love to my wife Meagan and to our two sons, Marc and Brian, for indulging me in my craft, and inspiring me always, on stage and off. I hope you are truly enchanted by this production!”

Marc Rubino (Hercules) is making his stage debut, and RVCO is delighted to welcome this budding young thespian! Marc will be continuing the onstage tradition of his father, Chris, who has stepped off stage this year to be our Producer. Marc is 7 years old, and loves soccer, reading, and building “cool stuff”. He has quickly become our “young and amiable” friend.

Martha Smylie (Lady Sangazure, Playbill) is a proud Life Member and former president of the RVCO. An avid G&S fan, she’s performed all the contralto roles (some many times over) in the entire G&S canon of 14 operas when she includes The Learned Judge. Knowing that the men get all the juicy roles in G&S, she leapt at the chance to play Major-General Stanley in an innovative reverse-gender The Pirettes of Penzance. Martha has been president of five G&S societies around the Delaware Valley, and she’s performed in lots of other musical comedies and straight plays over the years including several roles at her beloved Hedgerow Theatre, whose building was RVCO’s original home when we were founded in 1907. One of Martha’s favorite roles is creating the playbills for our G&S shows – she loves researching and sharing new tidbits about Gilbert and Sullivan’s lives and their creativity. Enjoy the show! And help us spread the word that RVCO presents wonderful live entertainment for the whole family!

Cathy Wakefield (Chorus, Sponsors, Music Librarian) is proud to be a Lifetime Member of RVCO. After enjoying many years of performing in G&S operettas, excited to be in my first production of The Sorcerer! Favorite shows include The Pirates of Penzance, Guys and Dolls (1984, 2004), Plain and Fancy (1986 onstage with my daughter, Kerri), Mame (2007, Cousin Fan), and My Fair Lady (2012, Lady Boxington). Thanks to my supportive family and friends!

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