Rent Cast Photos

JESSICA SPILLANE (Artistic Director) is beyond thrilled to be directing RENT: SCHOOL EDITION as her 16th venture here at THS. By day, she teaches English and Drama and also acts as the troupe director for THeSpians, the THS troupe of the International Thespian Society. Jessica has served as the Directing Mentor for the two student-directed fall plays, ALMOST, MAINE (’12) and GAME NIGHT (’13) and previously directed three summer productions for TYA (SEUSSICAL, GREASE and ANYTHING GOES). She has been fortunate enough to attend the Directing Shakespeare Workshop for Theatre Teachers at the Juilliard School and to chaperone the Connecticut High School Musical Theater Award winners to nationals in NYC in the summer of ’11. She thanks the entire production team for a most extraordinary experience and, most of all, thanks her amazing family for all their love and support, especially during “Mommy’s crazy time.” Much love to cast and crew…”To being an us, for once, instead of a them….La Vie Boheme!”

SHANNON BOLAN (Producer) could not be happier to bring the school edition of RENT to the THS stage. RENT has been her favorite musical since middle school—she used to dance around the house singing the entire soundtrack into a hairbrush! The amount of time and dedication that everyone has given to make the show a reality is truly amazing. None of this would be possible without the amazing production team, creative staff, and supportive parents. Shannon has produced six musicals and has served as producing mentor for two THeSpian Society plays at Trumbull High. Past production credits include: CRAZY FOR YOU (2013), THE WIZ (2012), FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (2011), THE MUSIC MAN (2010), and THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE (2009).

MATT BRACKSIECK (Technical Director) is especially excited to be part of THS Musicals’ 2014 production of RENT: SCHOOL EDITION, his 7th show. A Jack-of-all-Trades, Matt has tried his hand at many aspects of theater: photographer, lighting designer, sound engineer, set builder, house manager, technical director, as well as brief moments on stage, and he would like to thank all the people who help him along the way: Jess R. for always having his back; Sam and Steph for an incredible set design; Joe who provided much of the technical know-how and practical expertise; the team on speed-dial: Jon, Alex, Greg, Andrew, Marty; Jessica and Shannon for their always reasonable demands and endless support; and the team at home--Jill, Orion, and Maia--for supporting his new adventures.

EROLD GOLDSTEIN (Musical Director) is delighted yet again to be working with the students at Trumbull High School as he learns from them every year. Jerold has been directing, musical directing, and teaching in schools and privately throughout Connecticut for the last 25 years. He has appeared on Broadway in HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING with Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker and John Stamos, and in the musical AIN’T BROADWAY GRAND. He was featured in the national tour of A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM starring Rip Taylor (standing in for Mr. Taylor) and co-starred with Dick Van Patten in SCANDALS at Theatre Virginia. Jerold played Chico Marx in both ANIMAL CRACKERS at Arena Stage, Washington, and THE COCOANUTS at the Actors Theatre of Louisville. He won Philadelphia’s prestigious Barrymore Award for his performance in GUN METAL BLUES at the Wilma Theatre and toured Europe as Bert Barry in 42ND STREET. On television he has been featured on NBC’s LAW AND ORDER and CBS’ HACK.To find out where Jerold will be popping up next go to:

FRANK ROOT (Choreographer) Frank is happy to be back at Trumbull with his 12th show, having won the State of Connecticut High School Music Theatre award for Best Choreography two years in a row. Last year with his daughter Abigail Root for CRAZY FOR YOU and the year before for THE WIZ. Most recently he filmed an episode of VEEP with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and was featured in HELLO, MY BABY at Goodspeed Opera House. Other recent TV as a featured dancer in three episodes of the HBO series, BOARDWALKEMPIRE. Frank’s last Broadway production was the revival of 42ND STREET. Also on Broadway: MACK AND MABEL. National tours: PIRATES OF PENZANCE,SHOWBOAT, GEORGE M, YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN. Off-Broadway: BUY BONDS BUSTER, DEALERS CHOICE, OH! WHAT A LOVELY WAR. Over 40 plays regionally in renowned theatres such as the Goodspeed Opera House and Paper Mill Playhouse. Frank was on the theater faculty at both the Hartt School and NYU. He and his late wife, Marianne Challis founded Southport StudioTheater, a professional theater school, and under Southport Studio theatre’s umbrella they run Broadway Bootcamp, a summer music theatre workshop for younger children. He has directed and Choreographed INTO THE WOODS, FUNNY THING HAPPENED ONTHE WAY TO THE FORUM, SHE LOVES ME, CARNIVAL, and 42ND STREET at the Hart School. He has also staged production numbers for the Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade seen nationally on NBC. He dedicates RENT to Marianne Challis.

CATHY BOLTON (Properties Master) has worked on both Props and Set Dressing for THS since 2007. The task of leading the students in developing props and set dressing was expanded for RENT to include guiding the students to explore both physical aspects and the social climate for this period. Student research into Aids, homelessness and drug use were used as a foundation for both on stage and lobby décor. The unique artistic needs of this show also gave students the opportunity to explore murals, mosaics, and modern art. Many thanks to all the parents who scour their closets, attics, basements and garages to help our shows come alive. Past favorites include THE MUSIC MAN, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, SEUSSICAL, ANYTHING GOES, and CRAZY FOR YOU.

MICHAEL ELL (Mark) a senior, and is thrilled to be playing Mark in his final THS Musical. Previous THS shows include CRAZY FOR YOU (Mingo), THE WIZ, and GAME NIGHT (James). Other past favorites include Seven Angel’s production of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (Dill), an Off-Broadway production of MY PAL BETTE (Young Tommy), and various shows with TYA, PACC, the Downtown Cabaret, and CT Family Theater. In addition, Michael has appeared in television commercials, voiceovers, educational videos, and student films. Michael would like to thank everyone involved in the production, especially Mrs. Spillane, Mrs. Bolan, Jerold, and Frank, for this amazing opportunity and experience. And a special thanks to all past teachers and his incredible family for all they have done!

ZAC GOTTSCHALL (Roger) is a sophomore at Trumbull High School and is glad to be in another THS musical. After performing as Moose in last year’s CRAZY FOR YOU, Zac is delighted and thrilled to play the role of Roger in our production of RENT. He also enjoyed performing in ALMOST MAINE and the first ever production of GAME NIGHT. Zac would like to thank Mrs. Spillane, Mrs. Bolan, Jerold, Frank, and the entire cast for their assistance and support. He also would like to give a special thanks to his parents, and siblings for inspiring him to do theater. He has loved every second of rehearsal for this show and wishes the entire cast good luck!

AVA GALLO (Mimi) a sophomore at THS, is thrilled to be playing Mimi Marquez in Trumbull High’s production of RENT. She was honored to play a Follies girl in last year’s production of CRAZY FOR YOU and win the CHSMTA award for outstanding ensemble group. Ava is a member of the Performing Arts Center of Connecticut(PACC) Pre-Professional company and has been dancing for 13 years. She would like to thank her vocal coach, Beverly Lambert, Mrs. Spillane, Mrs. Bolan, Frank and Abby, Jerold, Larissa, and the dramaturges. She would also like to thank her parents, her brother, James, and all of her other friends and family for their continued support. Merde to the cast and crew of RENT!!!

MATT BUCKWALD (Angel) a sophomore could not be more thrilled to be in his first Trumbull High School musical! Favorite past credits include: GAME NIGHT (King Kandy/Duke of Swirl/David), URINETOWN, THE MUSICAL (Old Man Strong/Hot Blades Harry), SPAMALOT (Ensemble/Dance Captain), ONE ENCHANTED EVENING: A RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN TRIBUTE (Featured Soloist), LEGALLY BLONDE: THE MUSICAL (Aaron Shultz), OLIVER! (Noah Claypool), and THE JUNGLE BOOK (Akeela). He has also trained at the Edgerton Performing Arts Center under Correy West (Broadway: NICE WORK.., SOUTH PACIFIC). Matt currently studies voice with J. Scott Handley. He would like to thank the entire cast and crew for making this an unforgettable experience! Matt would like to dedicate his performance to all of those who have passed of or are currently suffering with HIV/AIDS.

MICHAEL LEPORE (Collins) is incredibly honored to be a part of THS’s production of RENT. His past credits include CRAZY FOR YOU (Sam), GAME NIGHT (Darrow), ALMOST, MAINE (Dan), and he has been a part of the incredible ensembles of both TYA’s FOOTLOOSE and THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE. He has been thrilled to have the opportunity to perform this amazing show with the wonderful cast of THS. He would like to thank his parents and little brother for their incredible support, especially his mother for her endless car trips. Break a leg, cast!

EMILY RUCHALSKI (Maureen) a senior, is overjoyed to be playing Maureen. She’s been in the THS shows since her freshman year including FIDDLER and CRAZY FOR YOU. In 2012, she won a CHSMTA for outstanding ensemble as a Twister Sister in THE WIZ. Emily would like to thank the entire cast for their talent and friendship. She would like to thank all of those who have helped her grow as a performer and as a person: Mrs. Spillane, Mrs. Bolan, Jerold Goldstein, Frank Root, and her vocal coach Tracey Marble, all of which have made her experience in theatre memorable. Emily would also like to thank everyone who made RENT possible and to her family and friends for all of their support.

CASEY WALSH (Joanne) is very excited to be performing in her final Trumbull High School production as Joanne! Past shows include GAME NIGHT (Princess Frostine), 13 THE MUSICAL (Kendra), CRAZY FOR YOU (Irene), LEGALLY BLONDE (Pilar), THE WIZ (Munchkin/Winkie/Citizen of Oz), OLIVER! (Fagin’s Boy/Strawberry Seller). Casey is studying voice with Beverly Lambert and would like to thank her for all of the help throughout the years. Thank you to Mrs. Spillane, Mrs. Bolan, Frank and Jerold for giving her the opportunity to play Joanne. She would also like to thank her friends and family for always supporting her in everything she does. Casey would especially like to thank everyone involved in getting our production back, it truly made her senior year special. Break legs!!!

DANIEL SATTER (Benjamin Coffin III) is excited (and sad) to be performing in his fourth and final Trumbull High School musical production as Benny in RENT: SCHOOL EDITION. Dan has also performed in THS’s productions of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (Merchant); THE WIZ (Ensemble); ALMOST, MAINE (Lendall); and CRAZY FOR YOU (Bela Zangler). This past fall, he co-directed and acted in an original production, GAME NIGHT (Lord Licorice). His past TYA’s productions include: ANYTHING GOES (Fred/John/Sailor), FOOTLOOSE (Ensemble), and THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE (Bun Foo). As a senior, Dan sings Bass in 4/5 choirs at THS and arranges songs for piano and choir. Dan would like to thank his closest friends and his parents for their incredible and continuing support of my endeavors.

MORGAN FRIED (Choreographer/Dancer) is so grateful to have the opportunity to work with Frank as co-choreographer for her final THS show! Morgan’s past THS performances include being a dancer in FIDDLER and THE WIZ. She also won a CHSMTA award last year for Outstanding Featured Ensemble in her role as Tess and a follies girl in CRAZY FOR YOU! Other credits include four TYA productions, most recently as Miss Dorothy in THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE. She studies voice with Joyce Erickson and has been at CT Dance for 15 years. Huge thanks to Mrs. Spillane, Mrs. Bolan, Jerold, the Mamas, and the cast and crew of RENT for making this show unforgettable! Most importantly, she would like to thank Frank for being an incredible role model.

LARRISSA MARK (Assistant Director/Stage Manager) is thrilled to be the Assistant Director and Stage Manager for The THS Musicals’s production of RENT. Larissa is a senior at THS, the current President of the TheSpians and will be attending Columbia University next year. After jumping around from Anatevka, to the magical world of Oz, the snow of Almost, Maine, the theater of Deadrock, Nevada, and playing boardgames, Larissa is excited to end her THS career in Alphabet City. From design meetings, receiving the Dramatist Guild’s first DFDL Defender Award and working with the cast and crew, RENT has been a life changing experience. She would like to thank her assistant Rachel for her help, and her Director Mrs. Spillane for making these past four years so memorable. Break legs everyone!

REBECCA FEUERBERG (Production Assistant) is thrilled to be involved with stage crew for her fourth and final Trumbull High production. It has been an incredible experience growing from a “child herder” in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (2011) to a backstage manager in THE WIZ (2012) and finally a production assistant in CRAZY FOR YOU (2013) as well as in RENT. Rebecca has learned so much about theater in her various behind-the-scenes positions and has loved being by Mrs. Bolan’s side for the past few years. The countless emails and high anxiety required to put on a show has been worth every minute. She would like to thank her fellow production assistants, the cast and crew, Mrs. Bolan, and Mrs. Spillane for everything. Thanks for four years of unforgettable memories!

IAN MATZ (Production Assistant) joined crew for the spring musical during his sophomore year and is so happy to have been able to take part in the program. Starting out as a set of hands on run crew for THE WIZ, Ian worked his way up to Production Assistant for his Junior and Senior Years. Working alongside Mrs. Bolan and the rest of her crew has been nothing shy of a treat for the third year participant. As a strong advocate for RENT: SCHOOL EDITION, Ian has had a blast working on and off the set for his final show at Trumbull High. He is thrilled to see the hard work of countless students, faculty, and parents culminate as RENT: SCHOOL EDITION takes the stage!

BEENA JACOB (Designer) is enthralled to be part of production staff for her final THS show, RENT. Beena worked her way up the production ladder serving as lighting crew for MMS’s ANNIE, run crew for TYA’s GREASE and ANYTHING GOES, backstage manager for FOOTLOOSE and house manager for the association’s latest production, THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE. Beena’s past Trumbull High Shows include FIDDLER ON THE ROOF and THE WIZ (run crew). With a love for cardboard and power tools Beena took on the role of student set designer for ALMOST MAINE, CRAZY FOR YOU & GAME NIGHT. Beena would like to profusely thank Mrs. Bolton for her compassion, Mrs. Bolan for her smile, Mr. B for his guidance, Mrs. Spillane for her imagination and Larissa for her heart.

SAM MALONEY (Set Design) is a THS alumnus and currently studies architecture at the Wentworth Institute of Technology. Sam’s biographies have previously appeared in three THS Musicals (MUSIC MAN, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, THE WIZ), as well as seven Trumbull Youth Association productions. Sam has held many positions, including Stage Manager (FIDDLER ‘11) and Assistant Producer (MILLIE ‘13), and is proud to add ‘Set Designer’ to the list. He is honored that THS provided him the opportunity to combine theater with his passion for arts and crafts. Designing the set of RENT has been an educational, inspirational, and life altering experience. Sam would like to thank Jonathan Larson, Jessica Spillane, Shannon Healy, Matt Bracksiek, Stephanie Bont, Cathy Bolton, Larissa Mark, Rebecca Feuerberg and Dunkin Donuts™. “No day but today.”

STEPHANIE BONT (Set Design) is thrilled to be set designing this amazing show with the wonderfully talented Sam Maloney. As a Trumbull High School graduate, Stephanie is honored to be working on her fifth musical with THS. Although she primarily performed on stage at THS, Steph is now the Technical Advisor of Boston University’s premier musical theater group, BU on Broadway. She has set designed shows including ALL SHOOK UP, GODSPELL, CHICAGO, EURYDICE, and THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, and is very excited to add this production of RENT! Thank you to Spillane, Shannon, and Mr. B for making this all possible. Stephanie is truly amazed at all the hard work the cast and crew has put into this process and couldn’t be prouder. Have fun and BREAK LEGS everyone!