This is Luke's 58th production with Plaza Theatre Company. He has appeared as an actor most recently at Plaza as Sebastian in CINDERELLA AND as Sir Toby Belch in TWELFTH NIGHT for Cleburne Shakespeare in the park. He received the 2019 Column Award for Best Actor in a Play Non Equity for Atticus Finch in Plaza’s production of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Other notable roles include Long John Silver in TREASURE ISLAND at Plaza and Sweeney Todd in SWEENEY TODD THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET at the Granbury Theatre Company. He is the Theatre Arts Director at Alvarado High School. He is a co-owner of Dance Across Cleburne with his wife and co-director Rachel.
Kathy has been on the stage at Plaza for numerous shows. Some of her favorite roles at Plaza have been: Vera Sanders in SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN, Edith Wilkins in DEAR RUTH, Maude Atkinson (Column Nominee) in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, Mrs. Peacock in CLUE THE MUSICAL, Mother Abbess in SOUND OF MUSIC, Marmee in LITTLE WOMEN, Glinda in WIZARD OF OZ, Marilla in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, Miss. Andrew in MARY POPPINS. Kathy has loved the story of Anne Frank ever since High School, and is honored to portray Mrs. Frank in this production. She feels this is a story that needs to be remembered…especially at this time in the history of our world. She would like to thank Taffy Geisel for allowing her to be a part of this amazing cast. As always, “All my love to Jim for keeping a song in my heart!” Eph.3:20-21
JUDE LAINE LEWIS
is honoured to be back in this role on the Plaza stage. Previous roles at Plaza include Miriam in DEAR RUTH and Ernestine in CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN. Other credits include Winnie in TUCK EVERLASTING at Casa Mañana and Schwarzy in 25th ANNUAL…SPELLING BEE at Theatre Arlington. Jude is eagerly preparing to attend Columbia College Chicago for a BA in Musical Theatre and a minor in Voiceover. “Thank you to my amazing momma Sunday, all the cast and crew, and Taffy for a beautiful show!”
Lola is delighted to be making her Plaza debut. Some of her most recent roles include Grandma in THE ADDAMS FAMILY, Young Sala in LETTERS TO SALA, Juror Eight in TWELVE ANGRY JURORS, and Suzanne in DEARLY DEPARTED. Lola is a rising senior at I.M. Terrell Academy, and serves as the President of Thespian Troupe 8917. She would like to thank her friends and family for their endless support, as well as Anne for sharing her story with the world.
Gabriela is so excited to be back on the Plaza stage, and even more thrilled to be directed by the wonderful Taffy Geisel for the third time. Previous Plaza performances include Laura Ingalls in THE LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, Miriam Wilkins in DEAR RUTH, and Martha Gilbreth in CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN. Other favorite roles include Rosalind in AS YOU LIKE IT, Schwartzy in THE 25th... SPELLING BEE, Laurie Morton in BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS, and Potiphar's Wife/Co-choreographer in JOSEPH...DREAMCOAT. A recent graduate of Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts, Gabi will be attending Texas Christian University in the fall, pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre with minors in education and Spanish. She is so honored to be telling this story with this amazing cast, and is especially excited to be sharing the stage with her dad, Jake. "¡Gracias a mi familia por todo su apoyo!"
Niamh is currently attending UTA for performance. She has recently performed in TWELFTH NIGHT at PLAZA as well as other shows including LOVE AND INFORMATION and BALM IN GILEAD at UTA. Niamh enjoys working on film/tv including previous work on FTWD and LOVE AND DEATH. She is very grateful for the opportunity to tell this story and work with such an amazing cast. “Thank you to my parents who have always given me so much support”
(Mr. Van Daan)
PlazaCo audiences may remember Gary as Admiral Boom/Chairman from our recent production of MARY POPPINS or as Jonathan Hardcastle from our production of ONE FOR THE POT. Other roles here include Isador Strauss from TITANIC, Wilbur Turnblad/HAIRSPRAY (COLUMN Award) and Pastor Malden/POLLYANNA (2015). Gary has worked extensively in area DFW theatres, as well as in film and commercials; and he is the proud recipient of five COLUMN Awards. He is represented by Core Talent - http://www.coretalent.biz/Talent/Gary-Payne/
(Mr. Van Daan)
Jake is thrilled to appear in his first show with Plaza Theatre Company. More than just a show at Plaza, Jake is especially giddy to appear with his daughter in this production! Although most of his past roles are in business presentations, Jake has performed non-dancing roles on stage as Herr Drosselmeyer in NUTCRACKER and Cowboy Three in RODEO. Jake has also completed level four improv training. Jake would like to thank Gabi for all the love and guidance and his family for unyielding support.
(Mrs. Van Daan)
Esther has been acting around the DFW Metroplex for quite some time; however, this is her first time to perform for Plaza Theatre Company. It is with excitement that reprises her role as Mrs. Van Daan which she first portrayed over a decade ago. She has performed for many seasons in the outdoor musical production of THE PROMISE in Glen Rose, TX. Other favorite stage performances include Shakespeare festivals, Jane Austen period pieces, popcorn throwing melodramas and madcap British farces. Esther is grateful for this opportunity to play with, and learn from, this amazing cast, under the fabulous direction of Taffy Geizel. Special thanks to Anne Frank for documenting her special journey. "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." Anne Frank.
(Mrs. Van Daan)
KATY WOOD is delighted to be back on the stage here at PlazaCo! She was last seen as Mrs. Edie Wilkins in DEAR RUTH. Some of her favorite roles here have been Martha in ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, Marilla in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, and Veta Louise Simmons in HARVEY. “Scott, your love is my anchor. Christopher and Julia, you bring meaning and joy to my life. ”
(Peter Van Daan)
is thrilled be making his Plaza Theatre Company debut! He is currently earning his BFA in Acting at the University of Houston. Some of his previous roles include Antoine in AN EMPTY PLATE IN THE CAFE DU GRAND BOEUF at Circle Theatre, Lysander in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM at Upright Theatre Company, Rolf in THE SOUND OF MUSIC at Artisan Center Theatre, and Barry in THE BOYS NEXT DOOR at Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy. He would like to thank his family and friends for all of their love and support and to Taffy for trusting him to be a part of telling this important story.
Performing in a Taffy-led Plaza production is always a genuine pleasure and Kevin is so grateful to be under her direction once more. Kevin is a veteran actor and director here at PTC, a member of the Plaza 20 Club, as well as the recipient of the Column Award for Best Director (Non-Equity) in 2019 for TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Favorite roles include, but are not limited to, Frollo in HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, Matthew Cuthbert in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, and Polonius in Shakespeare’s HAMLET. Thank you to our patrons for your continued support of Plaza. Special thanks also go to his family, Vanessa and Elijah, for their love and support. “Will you please let me in my room!?”
Jade is thrilled to be making her debut at Plaza, 2 1/2 years after initially being cast in this role! She is currently a senior at the University of Texas where she studies Journalism and works on longform podcasts. In the theatre world, Jade has directed, acted and costume designed in the past. Her previous roles include Kay in FATHER OF THE BRIDE, Charlotte in THE YELLOW WALLPAPER, Anne in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, Margot in THE BOOK OF EVERYTHING and Mary Warren in THE CRUCIBLE. She also wrote an original play, TEN DAYS IN A MAD-HOUSE, which was selected as the winner of the 2020 TOTS New Works Contest. She would like to thank the entire cast and crew for such a warm welcome back to theatre, but especially Taffy for letting her jump back onto stage and into this role. "Miep - I am so grateful and honored to tell your story. It has been a powerful gift to have gotten to know you and learn so much from your courage, warmth and dedication to keeping Anne's story alive."
Kylie is thrilled and honored to be back on the Plaza stage as Miep in THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK. Kylie was last seen on the Plaza stage in as Ida Brown in THE LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRE. Other performances include the Ensemble in NEWSIES , Martha in CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN, Jane Andrews in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES , and Pollyanna in POLLYANNA. Kylie will be going into her junior year at Stephen F. Austin State University as an Advertising and Public relations major. At SFA she is an officer in an on campus organization titled Dancers Against Cancer. In her free time, Kylie enjoys reading, photography and drinking iced coffee. Kylie would like to thank Taffy Giesel for giving her this amazing opportunity and being one of the biggest influences in her theatre experience. She also would like to thank her parents and family for supporting her love of theatre. She hopes you enjoy the show.
Quentin is grateful for the opportunity to participate in such an exciting and meaningful production. You may have seen him recently as Billy Hickory Wood in ONE FOR THE POT or Japeth in THE ARK, both here at Plaza. Quentin would like to thank Plaza for priveledge of Co-Costuming this show with his partner, Erin. In addition he'd like to extend his thanks to all of his friends and family who have supported the pursuit of his time-consuming hobbies. When not on the stage, Quentin is a Burleson-based Realtor with Great Scott Realty Group.
Taffy is thrilled to be directing ANNE FRANK! The show was in the third week of rehearsal when Covid closed it down in 2020. She is enormously grateful that most of the original cast came back for this production. It has truly been a joy to watch these gifted actors bring their roles to life. Taffy had a great time directing SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN, and enjoyed making snide remarks in the show, playing one of the church ladies, Miss Myrtle. Like many in the audience, Taffy Knew These Ladies! “I am so thankful to my husband, who drove me to rehearsals every day! Thanks to Aaron, JaceSon, and Tina for trusting me with this very important show. Thanks to my kids Joey and Emma, Caroline and Matt, for keeping me grounded. And praise God for my two year old grandson, who keeps me laughing. Lord, you are Good!”
Rachel is thrilled to assist Taffy (Director) with this beautifully written show. Years ago, when Rachel was first transitioning from choreography to directing, she reached out to Taffy for advice. At that time, Taffy provided some much appreciated guidance and encouragement.
Since then Rachel has enjoyed co-directing several shows with husband Luke Hunt (Otto Frank) including Shrek 2015 and 2019, Christmas Carol 2018, Mary Poppins 2016, and Secret Garden 2016.
“It’s been a treat to work directly with Taffy for the first time. This cast is extraordinary talented. It’s been a privilege.”
RUTH ANN WARWICK
Ruth Ann is so honored to have collaborated with this cast and crew to bring this beautiful, touching story to you today. She has worked on many Plaza shows previously both on stage and backstage. You may have seen her in OLIVER!, LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, MARY POPPINS, RAGTIME or FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, just to name a few. This production is the 18th that she has stage managed since 2012. "Thank you to Jim, Jace and Emily who give their love and support and bring light and life to each and every day" Be the change!