The Wiz Biographies

Cast & crew of THS Musicals award winning production of The WIZ at the CTHSMTA gala.

JESSICA SPILLANE (Artistic Director) is delighted to be “gettin’ her OZ on” as she directs her 14thmusical for Trumbull High School. Past favorites include No No Nanette, Joseph, Suessical, and the award-winning 2011 production of Fiddler on the Roof. Jessica has also directed several summer shows for the Trumbull Youth Association and is the advisor of the THS International Thespians Society troupe. She is thrilled to be collaborating again with the stellar THS production team including Shannon, Jerold, Frank, Shelby, Bill and “the Mamas.” Oh, and Sam. When she’s not telling teenagers, “Again, but better this time,” Jessica can be seen doing three shows daily as a teacher of English at THS and serving the department as chairperson. She is the ridiculously proud mom of three children, Julie Story, Andy and Timo, and wife of Mr. Spillane (yes, THAT Mr. Spillane!). Love and thanks for all your support, family!! Jessica dreams of a THS future with no construction, at least eight centrally located water fountains and a fully-staffed drama department. We’ll get there, everybody—don’t stop believin’!

SHANNON BOLAN (Producer) can’t believe that this is her fourth year as producer of the THS Musical. Past shows include Fiddler on the Roof, The Pirates of Penzance and The Music Man. As a Math teacher at THS, Shannon relishes in the opportunity to work with these talented students outside of the classroom. Musical theater has always held a special place in her heart. Shannon performed in various productions throughout high school and college and received a Minor in Music: Voice Concentration from the University of Delaware. Thank you to Sam- my right hand man, our wonderful parent volunteers, and the amazing production staff. We couldn’t pull this off without all of you. Special congratulations to the senior crew and cast members. From Pirates to The Wiz, it has been a pleasure watching you grow up. Good luck in the future!

JEROLD GOLDSTEIN (Musical Director) As an actor, Jerold was most recently in Face the Music the Encores series at NY's City Center and the national tour of with Little Shop of Horrors. He has appeared on Broadway in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, with Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker and in the musical Ain’t Broadway Grand. He was on the national tour A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum starring Rip Taylor (standing by for Mr. Taylor) and co-starred with Dick Van Patten in Scandals. 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, was in the Kennedy Center's long-running production of Shear Madness. As a writer and composer, Jerold's shows (written with William Squier) have been performed around the country. They include: Babalu and Music Is My Fist, their holiday musical The Three Scrooges and their newest musical, Route 66 (music: Fred Stark). Individual songs that he has composed include ‘Garland of Hope,’ featured at the Palace Theater in the BC/EFA Easter Bonnet Competition, and ‘Where’s the Party Tonight?’ (Lyrics: W. Squier) the theme song for the ABC-TV late night show, Where’s the Party? For more info:

FRANK ROOT (Choreographer) is happy to be back at Trumbull with his 9th show. Most recently he appeared as a featured dancer in two episodes of the HBO series, Boardwalk Empire. His most recent 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 Hart School and NYU. He and his wife, Marianne Challis founded Southport Studio Theater, 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 On The Way To The Forum, She Loves Me, Carnival, and 42ndStreet at the Hart School. He has also staged production numbers for the Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade seen nationally on NBC.

SAMUEL MALONEY (Student Producer) has found himself in a newly created position this year as the Student Producer of the Trumbull High School Musical. This is his 3rd Trumbull High show on the production staff. Sam does not look forward to leaving it all behind when he migrates to Boston, where he will study architecture at Wentworth Institute of Technology. Sam is the current VP of the THeSpians. This has been a very fun, exciting, stressful, and educational experience. Some of his best high school memories will include THS Theater. Sam wishes the crew and cast all the best, and would especially like to thank Mrs. Spillane, Mrs. Bolan, Mrs. Bolton, Greg St. Germaine and Larissa Mark for putting up with him this year. Please enjoy the rest of the 2012 THS Production of Peter Pan.

LARISSA MARK (Stage Manager) was absolutely amazed one day as she was walking down the hallway from science class to homeroom, and was handed a stage managing book with a big congratulations. Before this monumental day Larissa had participated in many middle school shows, was a backstage manager for Fiddler on the Roof and was the assistant stage manager for Anything Goes in the summer of 2011. She would like to thank her brothers for first getting her involved in the theater world and Sam Maloney for mentoring her as a stage manager. Working on The Wiz has been one of the most amazing experiences of her life, and she loves working with everyone in this cast, crew and production staff. Break a leg guys <3

GREG ST. GERMAIN (Lighting Designer) has been working with THS Musicals for the past two years, last year as the Assistant Lighting Designer and now this year as the Lighting Designer and Graphic Designer. Last summer, Greg worked on TYA’s Anything Goes doing sound cues. Greg has enjoyed musicals since he saw his very first show on Broadway, Phantom of the Opera. Since then he has always been involved in working on production, going to see shows or even performing on stage.

ANNIE LANE (Assistant Musical Director/Ensemble) is a senior and excited to work as Assistant Musical Director to Jerold Goldstein. She has most recently performed with the THS Chamber Singers and the Greater Bridgeport Principal Youth Orchestra on flute in addition to studying piano for ten years. She first entered the theater world last year as a member of the pit in THS's Fiddler on the Roof. Annie can be recognized off stage writing on an array of sticky notes and colorful paper with a rainbow of colored pens. On stage, she tries to control her tendency to fall while attempting to dance. She would like to thank Jerold, Mrs. Spillane, and the student instrumentalists, as well as her family, friends, and her many music teachers!

LIZ McCORMACK (Dorothy) is thrilled to be playing her first lead role in a musical! She is a senior and a member of the International Thespian Honors Society, and has previously performed in three THS shows: Pirates of Penzance (pirate), The Music Man (Alma Hix), and Fiddler on the Roof (Grandma Tzeitel). She is also a member of the Trumbull Youth Association; past TYA credits include Seussical and Grease (both ensemble), and Anything Goes (crew). Liz would like to thank the production staff, and also Sarah Tyler and Natalie, and probably everyone else in her cast/crew/family as well. Liz McCormack does not deal in absolutes, and is still responsible for occasional attempts on her brother’s life. She intends to remain a burden on society.

LUCY FLUCKER (Scarecrow) a senior and current president of THeSpians, is very excited to be a part of this year's musical. This is her seventh production under Mrs. Spillane's direction and she would like to thank her for all of her guidance and support through out the years. Next year, Lucy will be majoring in theater studies at Emerson College, and hopes to pursue her love of performance on the side. She would like to thank her parents for all their support and her brother for his priceless friendship. Most of all, she would like to send her thanks to all those who have helped her realize the importance of theatre, without which, she would not be half the person she is today. Congratulations to the cast and crew, you've done a fantastic job and deserve every second of applause you receive.

ANDREW TALLIAN (Lion) is thrilled to be in his second THS production. He is a senior at Trumbull High School. Recent credits include the Trumbull Youth Association production of Anything Goes (Moonface Martin) and the Regional Center for the Arts productions of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Mr. Bratt) and Side Show (The Boss). Other shows include Grease (Kenickie), Seussical (Wickersham Brother), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Hysterium), and The Pirates of Penzance (Pirate). He would like to thank his voice teacher, Gary Harger, as well as Mrs. Spillane and Mrs. Bolan for all their support. He would also like to thank the cast of The Wiz for making this a great end to his senior year!

RYAN McENIRY (Tinman) is ecstatic to be in this year's THS production of The Wiz. He has been seen previously as Motel in Fiddler on the Roof, and Charlie Cowell in The Music Man, as well Grease, Seussical, and Anything Goes. He would like to thank Mrs. Spillane, Jerold Goldstein, Frank Root, and Mrs. Bolan. He wishes the cast to break a leg and the audience to “get their Oz on!”

NATALIE CLIFT (Evillene) is ecstatic to be part of the cast of The Wiz. She is a senior at THS making this, sadly, her fourth and final show. She started off as a comedic Police Officer, before gossiping her way through River City Iowa as Mrs. Squires and then becoming Tevye’s youngest daughter, Bielke. Natalie has been an active member of TYA since 2008. Natalie would like to thank Mrs. Spillane, Jerold, Frank, Mrs. Bolan, the Mamas, and Mrs. Bolton for all the hard work and long hours they put into the show. She would also like to thank her Mom, Nathan, Nina, and her Dad, as well as her fan base, for supporting her through everything. Break a leg everyone! Y’all are fabulous!

MATTHEW JOHNSON (Wizard) is thrilled to be a part of his first production at Trumbull High School! He has performed in many theaters in Connecticut including: the Wilton Playshop in Life with Father (Clarence), the Square Foot Theater in Fiddler on the Roof Jr. (Tevye), Godspell Jr. (Jesus), Alice in Wonderland Jr. (Mad Hatter), Anything Goes (Purser), and Little Shop of Horrors (Bernstein); The Performing Arts Center of Connecticut in 13 (Archie); The Regional Center for the Arts in 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (William Barfee), Hairspray (Brad), How to Succeed... (Jenkins), and Side Show (Roustabout); The Whitney Players in Pippin (Lewis); The Trumbull Youth Association in Anything Goes (Evelyn Oakleigh); and Pantochino in their original production of Cinderella Skeleton(Ensemble). Playing a character full of fraud, who eventually finds himself, Matthew would like to encourage you to be who you truly are, and “Believe in Yourself.”

JACQUELYN SHEEHAN (Addaperle) is thrilled to be back in her second Trumbull High School musical production playing Addaperle in The Wiz! She would like to thank her director, Mrs. Spillane, for such an amazing opportunity. In the summer, Jacquelyn participates in the Summer Arts program at The Downtown Cabaret Theatre where she has played Bet, in Oliver! and Ursula in Bye, Bye Birdie. Special thanks to Beverly Lambert, Tobi Beth Silver, and to my family: Mom, Syd, and Dad-- I know you are watching!!

JENNA BELLOFIORE (Glinda/Pit Singer) is thrilled to be participating in her fourth and final Trumbull High School Musical, The Wiz. She has had a wonderful time singing challenging harmonies and tricky rhythms with the “pit girls.” Jenna feels blessed to be able to work with such talented and beautiful girls. She also has had the pleasure of being Glinda, the Good Witch of the South. Though sad that this is her last time in on this stage, Jenna can look at this year and the years past with a smile. She has been in a small ensemble (the daughters) in The Pirates of Penzance, a Pick-a-little in The Music Man, and as a junior she had the privilege of playing Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof. Being a part of the musicals had been a wonderful life-altering experience for Jenna. Jenna gives thanks to God for the gifts and opportunities to be a part of the musicals shows and be around such amazing people. She also thanks Mrs. Spillane, Mrs. Bolan, Jerold, Frank and the whole cast and crew of The Wiz. Most of all she thanks her incredible family who have been her biggest fans through the years.

SARAH TYLER (Aunt Em/Pit Singer) is totally psyched to be participating in her first and last THS Musical. She has had a blast working with her pit girls and Broadway’s own Jerold Goldstein. She is also grateful to have a speaking role, as her only theatre experience occurred while she was one of Mr. Spillane’s students. Now, seven years later, she is fortunate enough to be working with Mrs. Spillane and an amazing cast and crew. She would like to thank her friends and family for supporting her and encouraging her to participate. She would never have dreamed of being cast as Aunt Em, but it turned out to be an incredible experience. Shout-out to her awesome adopted daughter, Liz, and once again, all her lovely pit sisters.

NICOLE ISAAC (Assistant Choreographer/Dance Captain) is a senior at and is so happy to be one of the dance captains and assistant choreographer for this year’s production of The Wiz! She has been in the dance ensemble in her previous three Trumbull High musicals (The Pirates of Penzance, The Music Man, and Fiddler on the Roof) and has loved every second of it. Aside from the THS musicals, Nicole has also performed in Fairfield Follies for the past 4 years, acting as the dance captain for both her junior and senior year. Nicole is so grateful for all of the new friendships she has been able to make by getting so close to the entire cast; especially the other nine dancers (Love you guys!!). She would like to thank her sister, Jess, for introducing her to musical theater and making it become such a big part of her life. She would also like to thank Frank and all of the dancers for making rehearsals crazy and so much fun. Huge thanks for Mrs. Spillane and Mrs. Bolan for putting together amazing shows year after year. Break a leg everyone!!

KAELYN MOSTAFA (Pit Singer) is a sophomore and is so excited to be in the featured ensemble in The Wiz this year. Most of her performing experience was in her middle school years, but she is in the Trumbull High Chamber Singers and was in the ensemble of last year's show Fiddler on the Roof. She’d like to give a shout out to her pit girls- “I love working with you all,” and to Jerold, of course! She'd like to thank her family for supporting her in all her performing endeavors; and to the whole cast and crew, break a leg!

ANNIE STACHURA (Pit Singer) is so excited to be a part of The Wiz. She has been in musicals such as Annie (Annie), The Wizard of Oz (Dorothy), Seussical (Jojo), 13 the Musical (Patrice), and High School Musical On Stage (Sharpay). She has loved working with the very talented cast of The Wiz.

EMILY RUCHALSKI (Pit Singer) is a sophomore and is extremely excited to be in her second THS musical production. She is thankful to be working with the talented Pit Girls and Jerold Goldstein during this show. Last year she had an amazing time in Fiddler on the Roof (ensemble). This summer she was in her first TYA musical Anything Goes (Angel). At Madison Middle School she was in Annie (Annie). Emily has performed with the Connecticut Family Theater in Godspell (featured vocalist), Oliver (Noel and Pickpocket), and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Gladys). She also has worked at the Downtown Cabaret in The Knight Before Christmas(Young Princess Holliana). Emily thanks her family for all of their support, the entire cast and crew, and especially Mrs. Spillane, Mrs. Bolan, and Frank Root. Break a leg, everyone!

GABRIELLE GOTTSCHALL (Pit Singer) has always enjoyed performing! Starting at a young age, she performed in shows at summer camp and Hillcrest Middle School, including Annie Jr., Cinderella’s Glass Slipper, Alice in Wonderland, Wicked, Into the Woodsand Mary Poppins. She has enjoyed being part of the cast since she was a freshman, singing and dancing on stage in the ensemble for The Music Man. Last year, in Fiddler on the Roof, she played the role of Chava, (daughter of Tevye), soaking up every minute of it as she was on stage with her brother and loving friends. This year, she is secretary of the THS International Thespian Society and has the honor of being a member of the pit singers in The Wiz! It is like nothing she has ever done before and she has learned so much by putting effort and “soul” in rehearsals with the five other girls. She can count on Mrs. Spillane, Jerold, Frank and Mrs. Bolan to guide her on her way as she continues to keep theater in her life, and cannot wait to spend another year working with them! She is grateful for her amazing parents and family who support her in every way. Shout out to the fabulous “pit girls!”