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Skylight Music Theatre Announces Cast, Creative Team for School of Rock

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

Performances November 17 – December 30, 2023



Milwaukee, Wis. (October 11, 2023) — Skylight Music Theatre announced the cast and creative team for School of Rock. This is the second production of the 2023-2024 season with choreography by Tori Watson, music direction by David Bonofiglio, and direction by Skylight Music Theatre’s Artistic Director Michael Unger.


Performances take place November 17 – December 30 in the beautiful Cabot Theatre at the Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway, in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward. Skylight is Milwaukee’s professional Equity music theatre company.



Rock Out with the Whole Family for the Holidays

Based on the smash hit 2003 film of the same title, School of Rock features music from the movie, as well as new music written by Andrew Lloyd Webber (Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats) with lyrics by Glenn Slater (The Little Mermaid, Tangled, Sister Act) and book by Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey, Gosford Park). School of Rock opened on Broadway in 2015 and received Tony Award nominations in 2016 for Best Musical, Score, and Book. The story follows Dewey Finn, a failed rockstar who becomes a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. When he discovers his students have hidden musical talents, he enlists them to form a rock band.


School of Rock will star Joey Sanzaro as Dewey Finn, Stephanie Staszak as Rosalie Mullins, Jake Horstmeier as Ned Schneebly, and Jackey Boelkow as Patty Di Marco. The cast also features a kids’ rock band comprised of sixteen talented local youth performers, four of whom play a variety of rock instruments live on stage.


“Our show will feature a cast of incredibly talented local youth,” said Unger, who will direct this production. “The incorporation of kids playing instruments live on stage, alongside a marvelous story, makes this the perfect show for rockers of all ages. In these very difficult times, it is important to keep music and the arts at the heart of our education system. This production is a joyful testament to the transformative power of music.”


The School of Rock in Shorewood is providing the instruments and amplifiers that will be played live during the performances. Hit songs like “You’re in the Band,” “Stick it to the Man,” and “Teacher’s Pet” will electrify the Cabot Theatre as these youngsters, and their slacker-turned-inspirational teacher Dewey, learn they have a lot more to offer than they might have first thought.


School of Rock's Presenting Sponsor is BAIRD Private Asset Management, and the Associate Sponsor is We Energies Foundation. The show is recommended for ages eight years and up.


School of Rock

Nov. 17 – Dec. 30, 2023

Based on the Paramount movie by Mike White

Book by Julian Fellowes

Lyrics by Glenn Slater

New Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Choreographed by Tori Watson

Music Direction by David Bonofiglio

Directed by Skylight Music Theatre’s Artistic Director Michael Unger



‘School of Rock’ Creative Team

Director………………………………………………………..….…………………… Michael Unger

Choreographer………………………………………………………………………… Tori Watson

Music Director………………….……………………………………….……… David Bonofiglio

Scenic Designer…..….….………..……………………….………….…………. Lindsay Fuori

Lighting Designer…………….…..………………………….……………………..… Zach Pizza

Costume Designer….………………………………………………………… Patricia Hibbert

Sound Designer……………..………….………….…………..…………………… Steve Tonar

Production Stage Manager ….…….…………………....….……… John W. Calder III*

Resident Assistant Stage Manager……………….……….…. Jordan Ilysa Angelo

Assistant Stage Manager ………….………..…………….…. Samantha Peckelnicky



‘School of Rock’ Cast

Dewey Finn……………………………………….……………………..….………Joey Sanzaro*

Rosalie Mullins..…………………………………………………..….……Stephanie Staszak

Ned Schneebly…………………………………………………………….… Jake Horstmeier

Patty Di Marco……………………………………..………………….……… Jackey Boelkow

Summer…..………………………………….…………………...………….…….…… Emilia Kosek

Tomika…………………..………………..…………………..……………………… Kyla Andreson

Zack………………………………….…..……....……………….….…..............… Elias Totleben

Freddie………………………………..………………………….................... Azure Schroeder

Katie.…………………………………….………………….............…...… Annalise Nordstrom

Lauren………………………….…….....………........................…….….…...... Malia Brunner

Marcy.……………………………………………………….…..……………….… Emily Honigman

Billy……………………………………………….....………………….…............. Joseph Maxwell

Sophie.…………………………………………….……..…………………………… Bristol Beasley

Mason……………………………...………….….….……………..………………...... Meryl Lueder

James.……………………………………....…….….…………….……………… Jeremiah Cooper

Madison…………………………………....…....….…………...………………... Ellory Woodford

Shonelle.…………………....…………………...….………..……………………… Natalie Ortega

Ms. Scheinkopf.……………………………….....………….……….……………….... Liz Norton*



Student Ensemble

Kaylee Anderson, Mac Heinrich, Jillian Vogedes


Ensemble

SaraLynn Evenson, Ciara Hart, Shawn Holmes, Nathan Danzer, Chad Larget



*Appearing through an agreement between Skylight Music Theatre and Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers

in the United States.


BIOGRAPHIES

Kaylee Anderson (Student Ensemble/ Tomika Understudy) is a 9th grader at Seventh Day Adventist School. She is an artist and vocalist. She enjoys playing games, cooking in her spare time, and spending time with her friends and family. She has performed at 8th-grade graduation at church and other occasional events.

Kyla Anderson (Tomika) is a 9th grader at Milwaukee Seventh-day Adventist. She loves to sing and try out new things. She loves to make jewelry, spend time with friends and family, binge-watch shows, and get to know people. She has performed at church and at her 8th grade graduation and other occasional events.


Bristol Beasley (Sophie) is ecstatic to be performing at Skylight Music Theatre for her second time!  She was previously part of the Holiday Cast in A Jolly Holiday at Skylight. She has performed in Moana Jr. with Shallece Saleen Studio – Fine Arts Academy, Matilda Jr. and The Lion King Jr. at Muskego Lakes Middle School. Bristol loves acting, singing, dancing, and horseback riding. She hopes you enjoy the show!


Jackey Boelkow (Patty Di Marco) Select credits include Alison in Beehive and Offstage Swing in Titanic at Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Ensemble/Romani Cultural Consultant in Dennis DeYoung’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Molly/Dolores/Vicki u/s in The Full Monty at Skylight Music Theatre, Adriana in The Comedy of Errors and Margaret in The Death of Kings: Seize The Crown at Prague Shakespeare Company, Bossanova in Elixir at The Encore Musical Theatre Company, Principal and Swing for Kohl's Wild Theater, and Chris in Carrie at Outskirts Theatre Co. @JackeyBoelkow www.JackeyBoelkow.com


Malia Brunner (Lauren, Keyboard) is making her debut performance at the Skylight Theater. Malia studies piano with the Hoffman Academy and receives vocal coaching from Jessica Hoffman.  Malia enjoys mixing classical with pop on the keyboard and is currently working on a compilation of her grandpa’s 1960s favorites. When not on stage, Malia can be found competing in gymnastics and downhill skiing.  She likes hanging out with friends, watching Dancing with the Stars, and celebrating the Christmas season.  


Jeremiah Cooper (James) is so excited to do this show. He has been in 𝘚𝘩𝘳𝘦𝘬 𝘵𝘩𝘦 M𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 J𝘳. at Whitnall Middle School. This will be his second show and he wants to make it a great one.


Nathan Danzer (Ensemble) is absolutely thrilled to be back on stage rocking out with Skylight where he previously appeared in Dennis DeYoung’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Full Monty, and Songbook with the educational outreach program. Other roles include Giovanniin The Glance and Kilroy in Camino Real at Off The Wall, Dr. Bullard in Lobotomy the Musical at The Alchemist, Johnin The Importance of Being Earnest at Summerstage, and Van in Dog Sees God at Splinter Group. When not on-stage Nathan enjoys working on short film projects and studying aeronautics. He’s grateful to his wonderful family and friends for all their support.


SaraLynn Evenson (Ensemble) joyfully returns to Skylight after playing Estelle in The Full Monty, Zombina in Zombies from the Beyond, and Kate/Ensemble in Oklahoma! Other Regional: Mom/Queen in Arthur and Friends Make a Musical, Velma in Chicago, Witch in Into the Woods, Pennywise in Urinetown, Liliane in Nine, Martha in Secret Garden, Hera in Hephaestus, Elsa in Sound of Music. National Tour: Tessi in A Christmas Carol. Love to Derek, Vivienne, and Dominic!


Ciara Hart (Ensemble) is very excited to make her debut with Skylight Music Theatre. You may have recently seen her as Bergamot in Zuri’s Crown at BAMKE as well as Ella Fitzgerald in Harlem Renaissance at BAMKE. Ciara studied Musical Theatre Performance at UW Stevens Point. She is new to the Milwaukee area and thrilled to continue to pursue her career in theater! She wants to thank her mom, friends, Tay, her partner Davin, and their cat Solana for always supporting her passions.


Mac Heinrich (Student Ensemble) is a fifth grader at Downtown Montessori Academy. He is a drummer and vocalist in the band Grim Paddle and has performed at Milwaukee Pridefest, Chill on the Hill, and Bay View Bash. Mac is excited to be in his first Skylight production and also enjoys cooking, basketball, and drawing.


Shawn Holmes (Ensemble) is ready to be back on stage at his “theatre home” for SMT’s production of School of Rock. Being an actor/singer based in Milwaukee, Shawn has performed in theatres all throughout Wisconsin. Some theatres include Florentine Opera, First Stage, Middleton Players Theatre, Black Arts MKE, and Four Seasons Theatre. Some of his favorite past performances were Coahouse Walker Jr. in Ragtime (winner of Best Actor in a Musical – Broadway World), Sebastian the Crab in The Little Mermaid, and Jacob in La Cage aux Folles (winner of Best Supporting Actor in a Musical - Footlights). Outside of performing on stage, Shawn works in an emergency department as a registered nurse. @Gynepe


Emily Honigman (Marcy) is delighted to be back at Skylight Music Theatre after appearing as a Young Performer in Evita last season! Other recent roles include Matilda in Matilda Jr. at Dominican Summer Theatre Camp, Mary Robert in Sister Act Jr. at Whitefish Bay Middle School, and Clarice in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical at First Stage. Offstage, she enjoys playing violin with the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO), dancing at Fresh Coast Dance, shopping, and spending time with friends and family.


Jake Horstmeier (Ned Schneebly) is thrilled to be back at Skylight Music Theatre. As an actor/singer/songwriter, Jake has worked in New York City, regional theatre, independent film, and new media. Recent Skylight credits include Freddie Fellowes in Noises Off and Bill Austin in Mamma Mia! As a singer/songwriter, he performs under the moniker Dacada Summer. He received his MFA in Acting from Purdue University. He sends love and gratitude to Kate and Rowan.


Emilia Kosek (Summer) is thrilled to be making her Skylight Theatre debut. She is in 5th grade and has previously appeared as Amanda Thripp in Matilda and as Chip in Beauty and the Beast with WAWM Theater. She has also enjoyed ensemble roles in Joseph…Dreamcoat and Big Fish. When she is not on stage, she enjoys singing, reading, and playing the flute. Emilia would like to thank her family and friends for their support.


Chad Larget (Ensemble) has been in multiple Skylight productions dating back to his 1994 debut, Most Happy Fella (Pasquale). Recent Skylight appearances include Oklahoma! (Carnes), Fortunate Sons (Robert), and Dennis DeYoung’s Hunchback of Notre Dame (Ensemble). He made his Broadway and Tony Awards debut in the 1997 revival of Candide (Candie u/s) directed by Harold Prince. Chad has performed with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Florentine Opera, Milwaukee Symphony, Fireside Dinner Theatre, Boulevard Theatre, Sunset Playhouse, and others.


Meryl Lueder (Mason) is thrilled to make her Skylight debut. Meryl started performing at age eight as Jetsam in Shorewood Drama Junior’s The Little Mermaid. Many Shorewood productions followed including her recent performance as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda. Meryl is an eighth grader at Tamarack Waldorf School. She loves playing Genshin Impact, watching anime and drawing. She dedicates her performance to her parents, friends, and classmates.


Joseph Maxwell (Billy) is elated to be making his Skylight Music Theatre debut!  You may have seen him last at The Fireside Theatre as a Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz. Joseph studies ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary dance. His winter is spent performing at dance competitions throughout the Midwest. Practicing piano, reading, and playing video games keeps this 9-year-old busy. Joseph would like to thank his family and friends for their continued support of his musical theatre journey.


Annalise Nordstrom (Katie, Bass) is thrilled to combine her love of theater, singing, and playing instruments in School of Rock. Her most recent theater roles include Flounder in The Little Mermaid, Jr. at Musical Masquers, Inc., and Belinda in A Christmas Carol at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Annalise would like to thank her Uncle Tristan Eggener for starting her on electric bass and her first theater director Felice Leib for encouraging her to reach for the stars.


Liz Norton* (Ms. Scheinkopf) is happy to be back at Skylight, last seen here as the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz, and Cinderella's Stepmother in Into the Woods. Liz has crossed the Illinois/Wisconsin state border many times over the years working with some remarkable regional and local companies: The Milwaukee Rep, Marriott Theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre, Music Theatre Works, Kokandy Productions, Theo Ubique Theatre, Sunset Playhouse, Boulevard Theatre, and All in Productions.

*Equity


Natalie Ortega (Shonelle) is thrilled to make her Skylight debut! Regional credits include Sandy in SpongeBob the Musical with First Stage, Lucy in the world premiere of Homeland 24 with Music for Theatre Chicago, Young Mattie in the US premiere of X with Sideshow Theatre Chicago, and Lavender in Matilda the Musical with Theatre 121. Much love and thanks to all her friends, family, and teachers for their support!


Joey Sanzaro*(Dewey Finn) is beyond excited to make his Skylight Music Theatre debut! Joey studied acting at The Stella Adler Studio of Acting in NYC. Favorite credits include Ernie in Sister Act (2nd National Tour), Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar, Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, and The Lion in The Wizard of Oz.Joey would like to congratulate the real stars of the show: the kids! This one’s for Mom, Dad, and Annie. 


Azure Schroeder (Freddie, Drums) is a 14-year-old freshman at Waukesha West High School. He has been playing drums since he was young and is now teaching himself piano and guitar. He loves music, playing sports, and living hard-core! Azure is thrilled to perform on the Skylight stage and hopes you enjoy the show!


Stephanie Staszak (Rosalie Mullins) This is Stephanie’s fourteenth production with Skylight! She was most recently seen on the Cabot Stage in Mamma Mia! and Dennis DeYoung’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, as well as in the virtual productions of Being Ernest and the reading of Fortunate Sons. She also recently had her Fireside Theatre debut as a swing in Mary Poppins. When not performing, Stephanie choreographs around the Milwaukee area, which will include Xanadu this season! Love to Mike and family.


Elias Totleben (Zack, Guitar) is thrilled and thankful to bring his dream role to life on this stage! Recent productions: Mason in School of Rock and Kurt in The Sound of Music at Paramount Theatre, Aurora, and Benji in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at Mercury Theater Chicago. When awake, Elias plays guitar and writes songs. Thanks for your love and support: Gray Talent Group, friends and family, Mom, and Dad. Hi little brother Julian! IG: @eliastherocker


Jillian Vogedes (Student Ensemble) is thrilled to be performing in her first Skylight Music Theatre production. Her previous theatre experience includes playing The Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz with the Bombshell Youth Theatre Program and Les in Newsies Jr. a First Stage Theater Academy performance. She has also performed at her school as Eleanor Roosevelt in the student-written and directed production of The Roosevelts. Outside of theater, Jillian enjoys the magical world of Harry Potter and is a 4th grader at Downtown Montessori Academy.


Ellory Woodford (Madison) is so excited to be in her first show with Skylight.  Some of Ellory’s favorite roles have been Gladys in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Young Anna in Frozen Jr., and playing Lavender and Bruce in separate productions of Matilda. When she's not on stage she enjoys singing and gymnastics. She would like to thank the production team and cast for such a fabulous experience and hopes that everyone enjoys the show!



Box Office

Skylight 2023-24 Season subscriptions are now on sale. Subscribers get the best seats at the best prices. Purchase at the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office. Call (414) 291-7800 or visit 158 N. Broadway, Monday – Friday, from Noon - 5 p.m. After Labor Day hours are Monday – Saturday Noon to 6 p.m. or email tickets@skylightmusictheatre.org.

  • Please let the Box Office know if accessible seating is needed, or if patrons will have a wheelchair or walker.

  • Box Office hours Mon. – Fri. Noon -5 p.m. The Box Office window is also open two hours prior to performances.

  • Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more by calling (414) 291-7800.

  • If you have ADA needs, please contact the Box Office (414) 291-7800 or tickets@skylightmusictheatre.org.

  • Skylight offers a risk-free guarantee to exchange, credit, or refund tickets for any canceled performances.


Special Events

Skylight Insights. In-depth discussions with Artistic Director, Michael Unger and special guests take place one hour before all Wednesday and Sunday performances.


ASL Performance. School of Rock will be interpreted in American Sign Language on Thursday, December 7, 2023, at 7:30 p.m. To purchase tickets for this performance, email tickets@skylightmusictheatre.org or call Skylight Music Theatre's Box Office at (414) 291-7800. Mention ASL performance for seating in the appropriate section. Supported by UPAF Connect.


For more information visit www.skylightmusictheatre.org, email info@skylightmusictheatre.org or call the Box Office at (414) 291-7800.

Skylight Bar & Bistro

Conveniently located on the second floor of the Broadway Theatre Center, the Skylight Bar & Bistro is open two hours prior to showtime and features a pre-theatre menu by Noble Catering.


Parking

Purchase $5 parking vouchers from the Broadway Theatre Center Box office for use in the Historic Third Ward parking garage at 212 N. Milwaukee Street (one block east and one block north). Vouchers are valid between 5 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. for evening performances. Matinee vouchers are valid from 12-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Not valid for Wednesday matinees. Voucher sales stop 30 minutes before showtime. Advance purchase is recommended so that vouchers can be mailed with tickets. No refunds. Meter parking is available on the street (free after 6 p.m. and on Sundays).


Sponsors

Skylight thanks season sponsors United Performing Arts Fund, Wisconsin Arts Board, and CAMPAC – the Milwaukee County Arts Fund. The Presenting Sponsor for School of Rock is BAIRD Private Asset Management, and the Associate Sponsor is We Energies Foundation. Additional sponsorships are available. Please contact development@skylightmusictheatre.org


Health & Safety Protocols

Skylight Music Theatre has joined other Milwaukee performing arts organizations in lifting COVID-19 safety protocols. Masks are optional. Health and safety protocols may be revised pending updated government and CDC guidelines. Skylight offers a risk-free guarantee to exchange, credit, or refund tickets for any canceled performances. For up-to-date information, please visit www.skylightmusictheatre.org/health.


About Skylight Music Theatre

Founded in 1959, Skylight is Milwaukee’s professional Equity music theatre company and the state's largest employer of Wisconsin actors. Skylight produces the full range of music theatre from blockbuster Broadway musicals to reimagined operas, and from exciting world premieres to contemporary off-Broadway hits. Skylight’s mainstage home is the Cabot Theatre in the Broadway Theatre Center, which was built by Skylight in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward in 1992. Considered to be one of Milwaukee’s most beautiful theatres, the Cabot Theatre is based on the design of an 18th-century French opera house. With just 350 seats it offers audiences great views of the action onstage and an undeniable connection with the performers. Skylight Music Theatre marks its 64th season in 2023-2024. Skylight Music Theatre is a proud Cornerstone Member of the United Performing Arts Fund.


For media use: School of Rock Press Kit available here: https://tinyurl.com/yawbbpy4



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