Who’s Who

Charlie Anderson

Charlie Anderson worked props crew for “First Date” and front of house. She was last seen on stage as Loud Stone in “Eurydice.” 

Hadiya Bayan

Hadiya Bayan is a freshman at Avila University, having graduated from Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts. “First Date” is her first show with the Avila Theatre Department.

Tori Bestor

Tori Bestor is a sophomore here at Avila! She is a dual acting performance and design and tech major. She was last seen as Small Stone in “Eurydice.” Other Avila credits include roles in The Laramie Project; Measure for Measure as Friar Thomas, the messenger, and other ensemble roles; She Loves Me as ensemble. She would like to thank her parents for supporting her and her sister for helping her with her work. 

Micah Cheek

Micah Cheek is a freshman Acting major here. First date will be Micah’s 3rd show at Avila. He plays Gabe and other ensemble characters and is on construction crew. He loves the atmosphere of rehearsal and the creativity of his peers. He would like to thank his parents and friends and the lovely Jocelyn. He’s excited for what’s to come next. He will miss all the seniors he has to say goodbye to. 

Gaby Dawn

Gaby Dawn is a junior acting major who is not in the musical. She got the opportunity to be our Scenic Charge artist for the first time in her career here and loved every minute of it. This show was a very nice break for her acting in the sense that she was able to fully indulge herself in her other major, Social Work, and land her dream practicum. You have seen her as Eurydice in Eurydice, Romaine in The Laramie Project, Myra in Hay Fever and Mrs. White in Clue! Along with other things. She hopes you enjoy the show that her amazingly talented friends have put together for you

Abigail Dearing

Abigail Dearing is a Junior at Avila. She is pursuing her B.F.A in Theatre Design, Tech, and Management. Abigail is the sound designer for this production. Some of her previous credits include sound designer for Hay Fever, scenic and digital media designer for The Laramie Project, and co-digital media designer for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. First Date is her twelfth show at Avila, and she is very excited to participate in future shows.

Gabriella Fast

Gabriella Fast is a senior, she is a Theatre Technology & Management major at Avila University, focus being stage management and she is the  assisted stage manager for Austin Winsberg’s First Date. She has staged Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice last show and assisted stage-managed Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure’, and Joe Masteroff’s ‘She Loves Me’ in 2023 at Avila. She liked to thank Trevor Belt for encouraging her through her journey of stage management.

Eleanor Frances

Eleanor Frances is in her final year at Avila. She is a Technical Theater and Designer Major with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. This is her 11th show here. For First Date, she is an assistant scenic designer, assistant stage manager, and head electrician. Eleanor’s past credits have included light designing Eurydice, stage managing The Laramie Project and She Loves Me, assistant stage-managing Sylvia and Clue, assistant lighting designer and run crew for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, for RENT and She Loves Me she was a board operator, and for Hay Fever she was the props designer. Eleanor would like to thank her family for coming to support her.

Miriam Gleeson

Miriam Gleeson is a junior at Avila! Her major is Radiologic Science, but her love of theatre keeps her coming back to production involvement. This will be her second show as a wardrobe crew member. She has worked extensively backstage for Eurydice, The Laramie Project, Hay Fever, She Loves Me!, Measure for Measure, Clue, RENT, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, and The Imaginary Cuckold in the past. She also played several ensemble parts in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and was an ensemble soloist in RENT. She’s very grateful for the opportunity to be involved in the technical aspects of this production.

Kyle Hammond

As the head carpenter for the play “First Date,” Kyle Hammond bids farewell to Avila University. His past performance credits include “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime,” “CLUE,” “Measure for Measure,” “The Laramie Project,” and most recently Eurydice’s Father in “Eurydice,”

Kelsey Harms

Kelsey Harms is the Scenic Designer for this production. She is also on carpentry crew, paint crew, and costume crew. Kelsey is a junior majoring in Design and Technology. Previous productions she has worked on include: The Imaginary Cuckold (2021), The Curious Incident of The Dog of The Night-Time (2022), RENT (2022), CLUE (2022), Measure for Measure (2023), She Loves Me (2023), Hay Fever (2023),The Laramie Project (2023), and Eurydice (2024). She would like to thank her peers and friends for being there to help her grow as a future theatre-maker!  

Jazmin Havens

Jazmin Havens is a senior, and First Date is her last show here at Avila! She is beyond excited to graduate with her BFA in Musical Theatre this May but is absolutely stoked for you all to see this wonderful show first.

Ari Hernandez

Ari Hernandez is a senior at Avila University studying directing/producing and is very excited to be stage managing for her final show! This is a great show to end on and she’d like to thank all of the professors, directors, and other students who have helped along the way. 

Talia Hinckley

Talia Hinckley is a senior at Avila University pursuing her BFA in Theatre Design, Technology, and Management. She is Co-Lighting Designer for this production, partnering with Prof. John Rohr. Some of her previous works at Avila include Lighting Designer for The Laramie Project, She Loves Me, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, as well as Stage Manager for Measure for Measure. She has worked professionally in the area with both Heart of America Shakespeare Festival and Kansas City Actors Theatre. Talia would like to thank everyone involved who made this show possible. She would also like to give a special thanks to Jeannie and Tommie Hutter, for helping her find her place in the theater and grow her love for the art into what it is today.

Nathan Hummell

Nathan Hummell is a freshman at Avila and he is Sound A2 and spot operator! This is his fourth show at Avila and can’t wait for you to see the show!

John Livingston

John Livingston, a collaborative pianist since age 13, boasts a wealth of experience spanning choirs, musical theater, and college instrumental performances. He partnered with Pentacle Theater in 2009 for “My Fair Lady,” igniting a passion for musical theater and collaborating on six subsequent productions. Notably, he accompanied West Salem High School’s choir to victory in the Oregon State High School Choir competition in 2013.

Accepted to the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2013, John earned his Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance (cum laude) under Dr. Robert Weirich’s mentorship. His tenure at UMKC included notable performances, such as Stravinsky’s challenging aria at the Kauffman Center.

Graduating to the Master’s program, John furthered his expertise in opera accompanying, participating in productions like “Hänsel und Gretel” and “La voix humaine.” He cultivated relationships with institutions like the Lyric Opera of Kansas City and co-founded Choral Spectrum, a groundbreaking LGBTQ choir in Kansas City.

John’s musical journey also includes masterclasses with renowned teachers and completing his Master’s degree with Sean Chen in 2019. Notably, he served as Resident Artist Coach/Accompanist for the KC Lyric Opera’s 2019-2020 season.

Currently, John contributes as Adjunct Faculty at Avila University, teaching Applied Piano and Music History I and II while serving as staff accompanist. John experienced the height of artistic achievement when he went with Avila University’s choir to New York and performed in Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall in May of 2022. 

Olivia Loren

Olivia Loren is currently a junior and is thrilled to be a part of First Date! Her previous credits at Avila University include The Laramie Project (Amanda Gronich Track), She Loves Me (Ilona Ritter), and Measure for Measure (Escalus). In her free time, she enjoys baking, reading, and rocking out with her band. She would like to thank her family and friends for their endless support, Chris and John for trusting her with this story, and the entire company for being so dang fun! Enjoy the show! @livcollet

Mariah Masterson

Mariah Masterson worked paint crew (among other responsibilities) for “First Date.” She is a freshman at Avila University working on her BFA in Acting with a concentration in Musical Theater. Previous stage performances include Jackie in “Hay Fever” and Stone Chorus Member in “Eurydice.” 

Chris McCoy

Chris McCoy has directed and/or choreographed over fifty shows in academic, community, and professional theatres across the country. For seven years, he was the artistic director and Assoc. Professor of Theatre at William Jewell College. Previous professional experience includes working in education and artistic administration with Seattle Children’s Theatre, Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre, the Denver Center Theatre Company, and Kansas City’s Theater League. Chris also received a fellowship through OPERA America where he worked with St. Louis Opera Theatre, San Diego Opera, and Austin Lyric Opera. Chris holds a PhD from the University of California, Davis in Performance Studies, MA in Theatre Education from Emerson College in Boston, and has published a variety of chapters and articles on politics, performance, and representation. Notable production credits include assistant directing Soul Doctor on Broadway (Circle in the Square, 2013), artistic director for the Kansas City Crossroads New Musical Festival, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop an original work about hate crimes called (Un)Civil (Dis)Obedience.

Zaria Redick

Zaria Redick is a first-year student at Avila University studying Musical Theatre. She portrays as Lauren/Ensemble in The First Date Musical. This is her fourth time taking part in an Avila production. She formerly portrayed Sorrel in Hay Fever and worked on the costumes for The Laramie Project. In Eurydice, she was the Assistant Stage Manager and a member of the wardrobe team. She’d like to thank her mother for always believing in her and being there to support her. She is looking forward to seeing what every person brings to the production.

Eliot Reese

Eliot Reese is a freshman. They are an assistant stage manager, assistant paint charge, and ensemble understudy for this show, as well as being a part of the electrics crew. Eliot was scene on the stage as Clara in Hay Fever, and Nasty Interesting Man/Lord of the Underworld in Eurydice. This is their second time behind the scenes at Avila university, and they have been really excited to learn both the amazing aspects of theatre.

Samantha Reiner

Samantha Reiner is a Junior at Avila University studying technical theatre. Samantha is honored to be a part of First Date as it is her first time as Costume Designer. Her past credits include Lighting Designer for Hay Fever and Clue On Stage, Assistant Costume Designer for She Loves Me and Measure for Measure. She would love to thank everyone who was patient and supported her throughout this process.

 John Dylon Rohr

John Dylon Rohr is the Assistant Professor of Theatre Design and Technology here at Avila University, where he also serves as technical director for all AU productions. John’s primary design area is the scenery; his previous AU credits include Measure for Measure and Voices. Professionally, he scenic designs in the Kansas City area at large, as well as regionally in the Midwest. John is so thankful to work with an incredible faculty and staff and is blessed with the most incredible students in the world. Love and art. 

Tucker Rushing

Tucker Rushing plays Aaron. He is a Junior here at Avila pursuing a BFA in Acting. Tucker has been involved in many Productions here at Avila including The Laramie Project, Hay Fever, Measure for Measure and She Loves Me.  Tucker Would Like to thank His Family for their never-ending support and the wonderful Cast and Crew of this show that really made this show a blast to work on. 

Alec Sade

This is Alec Sade’s 3rd musical at Avila and 4th show overall. Last year he played Arpad Lazlo in “She Loves Me”. He is a Junior majoring in Psychology with an emphasis on Mental Health and is also minoring in music. This has been his favorite show so far and hopes you all enjoy it!

Shannon Smith-Regnier

Shannon Smith-Regnier is a Kansas City based costume Designer and adjunct professor of theatre at Avila University. She received her MFA in Costume Design from Ohio University as well as her BFA from Wichita State University.  She Interned with Martin Pakledinaz on the Broadway revival of “Anything Goes” (2011, NYC). Some KC design credits include: Spinning Tree Theater, Theatre in the Park, Kansas City Regional Theatre, KCAT, Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, Quality Hill, and the American Heartland Theater. She has also guest designed at Kansas University and Wichita State University. She worked as a stitcher in the costume shop at Glimmerglass Opera for two summers and has also designed and worked in the shop and on wardrobe many summers with Music Theater of Wichita.  In 2011, she received the Zelma Weisfeld award from USITT (US Institute of Theatre Technology) for her costume designs. (www.shannonlynnsmith.com)   

Ta’ja Snipes

Ta’ja Snipes is a junior, studying Design Technology & Management at Avila University. “First Date” is Ta’ja’s twelfth production where she was the Properties Designer. Her previous works includes, Scenic Designer for “Eurydice” (2024) Sound Designer for “The Laramie Project” (2023) Scenic Charge Artist for, “Hay Fever” (2023), Scenic Designer for “She Loves Me” (2023), and more! Ta’ja would like to thank her friends and mom for all of their love.  

Alex Valdez

Alex Valdez is a second year, Film major and Theater Minor. For this show he is on the Paint Crew and Front of house Manager. 

Roy Williams

Roy Williams is a Freshman at Avila University and is looking to pursue a career in acting and music. This is Roy’s 2nd show of his college career. Roy looks forward to the continuation of growth in the Avila community. Roy has previously played one of the stones from the stone chorus in “Eurydice” by Sarah Rhol. He has also been an understudy/crew member in “Hay fever” and “The Laramie Project”. Roy is very dedicated and passionate about his work as an actor. He stands strong on his faith and relationship with God.

Taylor Williams

Taylor Williams graduated with a Bachelor’s in Music in 2021, is now a graduate student at Avila University majoring in Business Administration. She exemplifies dedication and talent through captivating performances with the University Singers and Avila Singers. As a student, she continues to expand her horizons and make her mark on campus. Noteworthy roles in productions like “Miss Nelson is Missing,” “Unsinkable Molly Brown,” “Pippin,” “Rent,” “She Loves Me,” “Measure For Measure,” and “The Play that Goes Wrong” highlight her impressive repertoire. Taylor extends heartfelt gratitude to her peers, friends, teachers, and mentors for their unwavering support and belief in her potential. In a special tribute, she acknowledges her mother as her steadfast rock, always cheering her on, and her father for instilling in her the confidence to pursue her dreams wholeheartedly. Together, they form her unwavering support system, propelling her towards excellence in every endeavor.

Day Zamora

Day Zamora is an actor who has played many roles throughout their career. They are a senior at Avila and have recently been seen in RENT as Benny, David Bliss in Hay Fever, and multiple roles in The Laramie Project. They would like to thank their fiancé, book club members, and faculty for always being there when they needed them.

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