(Composer/Lyricist) One of America's great composer/lyricists, Frank Loesser began his songwriting career during the Depression as a lyricist, contributing songs to Broadway revues and nightclub acts. His work with composer Irving Actman in the 1936 revue The Illustrator's Show led to a songwriting contract in Hollywood, where he spent the next eleven years working with such composers as Burton Lane, Jule Styne, Arthur Schwartz and Hoagy Carmichael. Some of his film songs from that period include "Two Sleepy People," "Jingle Jangle Jingle" and "I Don't Want To Walk Without You." The first song for which Loesser wrote both words and music was "Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition," written during his World War II service. His Hollywood work after the war included the hit songs "Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year," "A Slow Boat To China," and the 1949 Oscar-winning song "Baby, It's Cold Outside." In 1948 Loesser was approached by fledgling Broadway producers Cy Feuer and Ernest Martin to write music and lyrics to George Abbott's libretto for an adaptation of the classic Brandon Thomas play Charley's Aunt. The new musical, which starred Ray Bolger, was called Where's Charley? and was a hit. This led to Loesser's next show, the hugely influential and successful Guys And Dolls in 1950, also produced by Feuer and Martin, with a script by Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling. In 1956 Loesser wrote the libretto, music and lyrics for his next show, The Most Happy Fella, adapted from Sidney Howard's play, They Knew What They Wanted. This impressive score contains over 30 musical numbers and makes extensive use of operatic techniques and forms, including recitative, arias, duets, trios and choral numbers. In 1960 he provided the score and was co-librettist for Greenwillow. In 1961, Loesser wrote the score for the Pulitzer Prize-winning How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. His last show, Pleasures And Palaces, closed in 1965 during out-of-town try-outs. For more information on Frank Loesser, please visit his official website frankloesser.com.
(Musical Book Writer) Born in Russia in 1897, Jo Swerling was a playwright, screenwriter and vaudeville sketch writer. Mr. Swerling's long career began as a reporter and feature writer in New York and Chicago.
(Musical Book Writer) After studying to be a doctor and an accountant, Abe Burrows had a career in sales before becoming a successful radio script writer and writer/performer of musical parody numbers. His first Broadway libretto was Guys and Dolls, co-written with Jo Swerling, with a score by Frank Loesser. Among the musicals for which he provided librettos are Make A Wish, Can-Can and Silk Stockings (both with scores by Cole Porter), Say, Darling, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (which he also directed; score by Frank Loesser). His non-musical plays include Cactus Flower (wrote and directed) and Forty Carats (directed).
(Director) is an NYC based theater, television, and film director. In New York he has directed the world premiere of Came Tumbling After by Nathan Cann, Stand Up Tragedy by Bill Cain, his own adaptation of Goldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters, and the New York Musical Festival production of Chance. Regional theater credits include Arsenic and Old Lace, Avenue Q, The 39 Steps, Around the World in 80 Days. His Chicago production of Woody Guthrie’s American Song, received 5 Jeff Award nominations including Outstanding Director of a Musical. He was Assistant Director for the Broadway production of Driving Miss Daisy (with James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave), the Assistant Director for the off-Broadway premiere of Sarah Ruhl's Orlando, held an SDC Observership on the Live at Lincoln Center Production of Company (Neil Patrick Harris, Patti LuPone, Stephen Colbert) and he was the Assistant Director of Filming for the Emmy Award winning Live at Lincoln Center production of Sweeney Todd (with Emma Thompson and Audra McDonald). He recently directed the first two episodes of the new half hour television comedy Half Life (starring Larisa Oleynik and Finnerty Steeves). He couldn’t be happier to be working at Virginia Stage Company for the first time and is grateful to all the incredible collaborators he has had the pleasure to work with here.
(Scenic Designer) is Lecturer of Scene Design at Christopher Newport University in Virginia and received his Ph.D. in Theatrical Design Aesthetics and Theory from the Union Institute. Dave has designed lights and scenery throughout the East Coast, and worked as a lighting consultant in the region. Prior to CNU, Dave taught at Regent University and worked as a designer and CAD engineer in the special events industry for clients such as NATO, the White House and Bud Light. Dave is a proud member of United Scenic Artists.
(Resident Costume Designer and Costume Shop Manager) is the Resident Costume Designer and Costume Shop Manager at the Virginia Stage Company in her 18th season. Regional credits include: A Christmas Story at Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Hound of the Baskervilles at The Hangar and White Heron Theatre, Always...Patsy Cline PCPA Theatrefest, World premiere of Tom Jones for Florida Studio Theatre, Wit for Playmakers Repertory Theatre and over 50 VSC productions including: Matilda, Secret Garden, Fun Home, Always Patsy Cline, Crowns,The Hound of the Baskervilles, Pride and Prejudice, The Wiz, A Streetcar Named Desire, Oliver, The Tempest, Grounded, Peter and the Starcatcher, All my Sons,The Great Gatsby, The Fantasticks, Death of a Salesman, Red, Around the World in 80 days, Crowns, Billy Bishop Goes to War, Hank Williams Lost Highway. and A Christmas Carol. Jeni Schaefer holds a MAC in Theatre/Costume Design from Wichita State University. Thank you to my family Tony, Sara and Ethan for being my inspiration and for always believing in me.
(Lighting Designer) is a New York City based designer for theatre, dance, music, and events (she/her/hers). With Mr. Minas: A Servant of Two Masters (Sonnet Repertory Theatre). Recent: As You Like It (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), pathetic (Minor Theatre), The Wild Party (Post Theatre Company), Peer Gynt (Barnard), Heartbreak House (Gingold Theatrical Group), A Christmas Carol (FL Rep), Into the Woods (Charlottesville Opera), The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Weir, Fireflies, and Private Lives (White Heron Theatre Company), Scissoring (INTAR), Glory (Muhlenberg), Dido of Idaho (Ensemble Studio Theatre), The Fairy Queen (Hofstra), Small World: a fantasia (59E59), Neighbors: A Fair Trade Agreement (INTAR), Daniel’s Husband (Primary Stages/Cherry Lane), I Will Look Forward To This Later (New Ohio). TV: Colin Quinn: Red State Blue State (CNN). Academia: NYU's Tisch School of the Arts (The Tempest, Macbeth, Violet) and Yale Dramatic Association (A Midsummer Night's Dream). Other design work includes cabaret, events, and Ralph Lauren’s Madison Avenue windows. Touring: Shen Wei Dance Arts, Jonah Bokaer, and So Percussion. Lincoln Center Festival (2013, 2015-2017). Visiting Professor: NYU Tisch. Guest speaker: The League of Professional Theatre Women “A Discussion: Designers and Directors”. USITT Gateway Mentor. MFA: NYU Tisch. Member USA 829. www.StarryEyedLighting.com.
(Sound Designer) graduated from Full Sail University (Winter Park, FL), finishing with an Associate of Science Degree in Recording Arts in 2008. Steven has spent the last decade perfecting his craft in numerous recording studios and live music venues throughout the east coast, including the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts (Virginia Beach, VA), Music Theory Studios (Norfolk, VA), and 11th Street Studios (Atlanta, GA). Steven has had the pleasure of designing previous shows for the Virginia Stage Company, including Ring of Fire (2017), Always...Patsy Cline (2018), and Matilda (2019). Steven welcomes you back for yet another amazing show, with hopes that you thoroughly enjoy the sonic landscapes of VSC’s production of Guys and Dolls.
(Musical Director) Bart Kuebler’s artistic work includes music & lyrics for the Off-Broadway premiere of John Cariani’s LOVE/SICK; and book, music, and lyrics for Moonshiner, a Musical Fabulism, recently produced as part of the 2019 Chicago Musical Theatre Festival. Music directing credits include the world premieres of Second to Nun, Frog Kiss, and Love, Always; a slew of work at regional theaters; and years of worldwide touring accompanying artists diverse as Bernadette Peters and Piolo Pascual. Bart is currently the Artistic Director of the Zeiders American Dream Theater in Virginia Beach, and resides in a Norfolk home overrun by fiddle players.
(Choreographer) is thrilled to be returning VSC after choreographing Pride & Prejudice and Fun Home and performing in The Wiz. Choreographic credits: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Return To The Forbidden Planet, Shrek Jr, A Year With Frog and Toad, The Little Mermaid, and Wizard of Oz. Performance credits include: National Tours: Radio City Christmas Spectacular, CATS 30th Anniversary (Victoria). Regional Theatre: Spamalot, Mary Poppins (Dance Captain/Assistant Choreographer), Legally Blonde (Serena, Associate Choreographer), S’Wonderful (Leslie), CATS (Sillabub), How To Succeed..., The Producers, and Ballet Memphis Company. Thank you to Tom and Nick for this incredible opportunity. Love to my guys at home Dusty, Caleb, and Liam.
(Fight Choreographer) is Professor of Acting & Stage Combat at Christopher Newport University. A Certified Teacher of Stage Combat with the Society of American Fight Directors, he holds Black Belts in Hapkido and TangSooDo. Recent acting credits include Spamalot, Red, The Foreigner, Romeo and Juliet, Anything Goes, Comic Potential, A Little Night Music, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Communicating Doors. Fight direction credits include Carmen, Spamalot, Of Mice and Men, Actus Fidei, Romeo and Juliet, Our Country’s Good, I Hate Hamlet, and Macbeth. He has directed Noises Off, Once Upon a Mattress, I Hate Hamlet, and When You Comin’ Back, Red Ryder.
(NY Casting) Binder Casting, now part of RWS Entertainment Group, was founded by Jay Binder, CSA in 1984. Binder Casting has cast over 80 Broadway productions, dozens of National Tours, off-Broadway shows, full seasons for over 25 regional theatres, as well as feature films, episodic television and commercials. Binder has cast for Encores! at New York City Center since its inception in 1994. The office was also featured in the documentary, Every Little Step. Binder Casting is a twelve–time recipient of the Artios Award. www.bindercasting.com
(Stage Manager) is pleased to be joining Virginia Stage Company, this year, for her first season as Resident Stage Manager. Past VSC productions include: Native Gardens and Matilda The Musical. Ms. Wells has worked in live theater, educational tours and events, opera, jazz, fashion, television, special events, and festivals. Past work includes: 39 Steps, Baskerville, Laughter on the 23rd Floor (St. Michael’s Playhouse), Hair (Pentangle Arts), The Long Walk (Pittsburgh Opera), Sweat (Pittsburgh Public Theater), The Mask of Moriarty (Pittsburgh Irish and Classic Theater). Ms. Wells serves as the Corresponding Secretary for the Stage Managers’ Association, is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama, and a proud member of Actors Equity Association.
(Producing Artistic Director) is the sixth Artistic Director and the first Producing Artistic Director in Virginia Stage Company’s 41 year history. At the Wells, Tom has directed Pride and Prejudice and The Santaland Diaries, and Matilda The Musical. Previously as Artistic Director of Cape Fear Regional Theatre (CFRT), Tom produced over 35 plays and directed the World Premiere of Downrange: Voices from the Homefront, a play based on interviews with military spouses from Fort Bragg. Tom is an Associate Artist at PlayMakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill where he directed An Enemy of the People, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, and The Little Prince. He also directed The Little Prince at the 2007 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. As the founder of FreightTrain Shakespeare in Los Angeles, he earned a Drama-Logue Award for his direction of Pericles. Other Los Angeles credits range from King Lear to The Devil With Boobs. A member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Tom is a graduate of Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT) with a B.A. in Theatre and Economics, and the University of California, San Diego MFA directing program, where he was the assistant director on the original production of The Who’s Tommy. Tom and his wife Wallis are the proud parents of Mireille Julia and Annika Christine.
DAVID B. BYRD
(Managing Director) Virginia Stage’s 2019/2020 Season marks David’s third season as Managing Director. Prior to landing in Norfolk, David served as Managing Director at Clarence Brown Theatre in Knoxville, TN. He has also held leadership positions at Westport Country Playhouse, Triad Stage, Yale Repertory Theater, the Dwight/Edgewood Project, and the Guthrie Theater. David received an MFA degree in Theater Management from Yale School of Drama and a BA degree in Drama from UNC-Greensboro in his native North Carolina. During his tenure at the Clarence Brown Theatre, David also served as an Adjunct Professor in the UT-Knoxville department of theatre. Additionally, David has held posts on the McClung Museum Academic Programs Advisory Board and the Great Schools Partnership Advisory Council. David has been a grants panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, Tennessee Arts Commission and United Way of Greater Knoxville. He has served on the union negotiating team and various committees for the League of Resident Theatres (LORT). David was a 2016 Knoxville Business Journal 40 Under Forty Honoree and has guest lectured at Virginia Wesleyan University and Carson Newman University, among others. He currently serves on the Board of Downtown Norfolk Council.