WaterTower Theatre Announces the Cast and Creative Team for THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO

Addison (TX) – WaterTower Theatre Producing Artistic Director, Shane Peterman, today announced details for the Southwest Regional Premiere of The Ballad of Little Jo.

The Ballad of Little Jo, with music by Mike Reid, lyrics by Sarah Schlesinger, book by Sarah Schlesinger, Mike Reid, and John Dias, directed by WTT Associate Artistic Director, Kelsey Leigh Ervi, music directed by Vonda K. Bowling, and choreographed by Joshua L. Peugh will run from June 7 – 30, 2019 on the Terry Martin Main Stage at the Addison Theatre Centre. The production stars Laura Lyman Payne as Josephine “Jo” Monaghan, Jonathan Bragg as Jordan Ellis, Amber Marie Flores as Sara Stewart Ellis, and Oscar Seung as Tien Mien Wong. The ensemble includes Sarah Caldwell, Jeremy Davis, Marti Etheridge, Sadat Hossain, Kyle Igneczi, Gregory Lush, Kathryn Taylor Rose, and Sam Swenson. Making their WaterTower Theatre debuts are Sarah Caldwell, Marti Etheridge, Amber Marie Flores, Sadat Hossain, Laura Lyman Payne, and Oscar Seung.

The band includes Mark Alewine (Reeds), Sara Bollinger (Bass), Katrina Glaze (Violin), Jordan Jones (Cello), Dennis Langevin (Guitar), Jay Majernik (Percussion), and Vonda K. Bowling (Conductor/Piano).

The creative team, in addition to Director Kelsey Leigh Ervi, Music Director Vonda K. Bowling, and Choreographer Joshua L. Peugh, includes Clare Floyd DeVries as Scenic Designer, Amy Pedigo-Otto as Costume Designer, Aaron Johansen as Lighting Designer, Mark Howard as Sound Designer, Ryan Matthieu Smith as Properties Designer, Hillary Collazo Abbott as Production Stage Manager, Jessica Updike as Assistant Stage Manager, Nicole Johnson as Assistant Director, and Mitchell Stephens as Fight & Intimacy Choreographer.

The Ballad of Little Jo is sponsored, in part, by Slalom and Women of WaterTower Theatre. WaterTower Theatre’s 2018-2019 Season sponsor is the Town of Addison.

About The Ballad of Little Jo

After giving birth to a son out of wedlock, Josephine Monaghan makes the difficult decision to leave her son in the care of her sister and head out west in search of a new life; one she hopes will be able to support her and her son. But after a series of ill-fated encounters, Josephine finds herself stranded in a small mining town in Idaho. With an unwavering will to survive, she disguises herself as a man called “Jo” and quickly finds a job mining silver. Things start looking up for Jo as she finds success as a man, but the dream of a better life starts to crack when news from back home in Boston reaches her. Inspired by the true story of a young woman in the Old West, The Ballad of Little Jo is a lively and compelling musical about one woman’s fearless journey to stake her claim on the American Dream.

About the Cast of The Ballad of Little Jo

Laura Lyman Payne (Josephine “Jo” Monaghan)
Laura is excited to make her WaterTower debut! Regional credits include: Matilda, The Musical (Miss Honey) at ZACH Theatre; ‘Twas the Night before Christmas (Mary Midkiff) at Casa Mañana; Dark Room at Bridge Repertory Theatre; My Fair Lady at Garland Summer Musicals; Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage (Warrior) at Trinity Repertory Company. Additional credits: Anna Karenina (Anna) at Notch Theater (workshop); Side Show (Daisy Hilton) and Our Country’s Good at Brown/Trinity Rep. Laura received her MFA in Acting from Brown University/Trinity Rep. www.lauralymanpayne.com @lauraly_payne

Jonathan Bragg (Jordan Ellis)
Jonathan is thrilled to be back at WaterTower! Audiences may remember Jonathan from the 2015 production of Creep. Favorite local roles: The Caliph in Kismet, Sid El Kar in The Desert Song, Ben in Rags (Lyric Stage); Man 1 in Songs for a New World, Dr. Madden in Next to Normal, Father in Ragtime (Uptown Players); Magaldi in Evita, and Sir Lionel in Camelot (Casa Mañana). Jonathan is a proud alumnus of the Abilene Christian University theatre department.

Amber Marie Flores (Sara Stewart Ellis)
Amber is excited to be making her WaterTower debut! Previous credits include: Emmy in A Doll’s House Part 2, Nina in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Stage West); Rosalia in West Side Story, Jekyll and Hyde (Casa Mañana); Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Perdita in The Winter’s Tale, Luciana in The Comedy of Errors (Trinity Shakespeare Festival); Constance in Lover’s and Executioners (Circle Theatre); The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Newsies (Lyric Stage). Amber is also a proud wife, real estate agent, and TCU grad.

Oscar Seung (Tien Mien Wong)
Oscar Seung hails from Lausanne, Switzerland and is a Dallas-based actor, opera singer, violinist, pianist, and conductor (orchestral and choral). Oscar is proud to represent Asian-Americans in theater, film, voiceovers, and national commercials. In an effort to combat misrepresentation and underrepresentation of Asian-Americans in the arts, he created/produced/and stars in American Dynasty. The project has been screened at over a dozen domestic/international film festivals and won Audience Favorite at the Houston Asian American Film Festival, Best Screenplay at the Largo Film Awards, Best Domestic Short nomination at the Fort Worth Indie Showcase, and Best Actor nomination for Oscar at the Ouchy Film Festival. Oscar is represented by the Mary Collins Agency, and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity. imdb.me/oscarseung

About the Director
Kelsey Leigh Ervi is Associate Artistic Director for WaterTower Theatre. WTT directing credits include Everything is Wonderful, The Great Distance Home (2017 & 2018), The Last Five Years, Parade in Concert, Silent Sky, Lord of the Flies, The Spark, The Santaland Diaries, The Tom Sawyer Project, and Honky. Locally, she has also directed From the Table (Cry Havoc Theater); We. Women. (Baylor University); Dogfight (Junior Players/University of Texas at Dallas); Precious Little (Echo Theatre); Love Me, Tinder (FIT Festival, world premiere); Ask Questions Later (Rite of Passage Theatre, world premiere); and Dani Girl (Greyman Theatre Company). Kelsey is also an accomplished actor and a proud member of Actors’ Equity, having worked with many area theatre companies including Dallas Theater Center, WaterTower Theatre, Stage West, Shakespeare Dallas, Uptown Players, Echo Theatre, and Shakespeare in the Bar. Kelsey received her BFA from Baylor University. Little Jo marks Kelsey’s final production with WaterTower prior to her move to Chicago this fall where she’ll begin her first year in the MFA Directing program at Northwestern University. www.kelseyleighervi.com

About the Music Director
Vonda K. Bowling is excited to make her WTT debut! Casa Mañana: Grease, The Wizard of Oz; Dallas Theater Center: Public Works Dallas A Winter’s Tale, Hairspray, Hair, Hood, Public Works Dallas The Tempest, The Christians, Bella, Dreamgirls, A Christmas Carol (2015-2018), MOONSHINE: That Hee Haw Musical, The Rocky Horror Show; Theatre Three: The Manufactured Myth of Eveline Flynn, Assassins, The Drowsy Chaperone, Crazy for You, A Dog’s Life, Lost in the Stars, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Blankity-Blank, Songs from an Unmade Bed, A Catered Affair; Dallas Children’s Theater: Alexander and the...Very Bad Day, Pinkalicious, and Rapunzel.

About the Choreographer
Joshua L. Peugh is the Founder and Artistic Director of Dark Circles Contemporary Dance. He graduated from Southern Methodist University before joining Korea’s Universal Ballet Company. He has won awards for his choreography in Korea, Japan, Canada, and the USA. He was one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch," was named “an important discovery” by The New York Times, and has been named one of SMU Meadows’ "remarkable alumni from the past five decades." He has created over 40 new works for Dallas Theater Center (Colossal), BODYTRAFFIC, Tulsa Ballet, and many others.

The Ballad of Little Jo Performance details:
In The Terry Martin Main Stage at the Addison Theatre Centre
Show Run Dates: June 7 – 30, 2019
Preview dates: Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8 at 8:00 pm
Pay It Forward with Pay-What-You-Can Preview: Sunday, June 9 at 2:00 pm
Opening night: Monday, June 10 at 7:30 pm

Wednesdays & Thursdays: 7:30 p.m.
Fridays: 8:00 p.m.
Saturdays: 8:00 p.m.
3rd and 4th Saturdays: 2:00p.m.
Sundays: 2:00 p.m.

Ticket Prices:
Kids (16 and under) -$20
Single Tickets - $20-$40
*Student, Senior, and Industry discounts available
*Subscribers always get discounts!

How/Where to Buy Tickets:
Online: www.watertowertheatre.org
By Phone: 972.450.6232
Or In-person: WaterTower Theatre at the Addison Theatre Centre
15650 Addison Road, Addison, TX 75001
Fax: 972.450.6244
Email: boxoffice@watertowertheatre.org

Box Office Hours

Performance Weeks: Tuesday-Saturday Noon-6 p.m. Closed Sunday-Monday

Non-Performance Weeks: Tuesday-Friday Noon-6 p.m. Closed Saturday-Monday Please note: The Box Office opens one hour before show time on performance days and remains open through intermission.

About WaterTower Theatre
Founded in 1996, WaterTower Theatre (WTT) is one of Texas' leading professional theatre companies and one of the flagship arts institutions in North Texas, having played an important role as a leader in developing new talent and encouraging the growth of the DFW artistic community through its commitment to hiring local artists. WaterTower Theatre is consistently recognized for its artistic excellence by the Dallas Theatre League, DFW Theatre Critics Forum, The Dallas Morning News, The Dallas Observer, D Magazine, and The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, among others. WaterTower Theatre has a subscription base of more than 2,000 subscribers and serves an audience of over 24,000 patrons annually.

WaterTower Theatre is 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. WaterTower Theatre relies on its ticket income and generous donations from individuals, corporations, foundations, and government organizations to produce world-class live professional theatre and to offer community engagement and arts education programs. WaterTower Theatre gratefully acknowledges the support of the Town of Addison, The Shubert Foundation, TACA, Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. WaterTower Theatre’s 2018-2019 Season is also supported, in part, through the generosity of its Producers Circle, including civic, corporate, and foundation donors AMLI Residential, Atmos Energy, FASTSIGNS Carrollton, Frost Bank, ONCOR, Slalom, Veritex Community Bank, Whole Foods, and individual donors Don and Barbara Daseke, The Bob Downs Family, Stan Graner and Jim McBride, Phillip and Janeva Longacre, Tom and Holly Mayer, Kathy Messina and Gary Goodwin, Janiece and Jimmy Niemann, Karol Omlor, Paul and Norma Schultz, Jack and Libby Swindle, Deborah and Craig Sutton, Ron and Donna Whitehead.