Fighting Chance Productions’ Amateur Production of CATS

Music By ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER

Based on “Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats” By T.S. ELIOT

First performance at The New London Theatre, London May 11,1981 presented by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Theatre Co. Limited
Originally presented in America by The Shubert Organization, Cameron Mackintosh, The Really Useful Company and David Geffen

Original Broadway production Directed by Trevor Nunn

Associate Directed and Choreography by Gillian Lynne Designed by John Napier

Orchestration by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber

Directed by Ryan Mooney / Music Direction by Adam Da Ros / Choreography by Rachael Carlson

February 19 – March 12, 2016 at the Jericho Arts Centre, Vancouver, BC

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Currently enjoying a new life in London’s West End and headed to Broadway once again Cats truly does prove that it is Now and Forever. Based on the poetry of T.S. Eliot, Cats tells the story of the annual gathering of Jellicle Cats, at which time one special cat is selected to ascend to the Heaviside layer. A true musical theatre phenomenon, Cats previously ran in London’s West End for 21 years and Broadway for just over 18 years.

521559_10151151079981244_417115729_nRYAN MOONEY (DIRECTOR): As the founder and artistic director for Fighting Chance Productions Ryan is a multi CTC and Ovation Award winning director. Select directing credits include Into the WoodsSpring AwakeningSweeney Todd, Rent and The Laramie Project for Fighting Chance, The Crucible and Noises Off for the White Rock Players’ Club and Facing East at the Lyric Theatre in London, England. As an actor Ryan has recently been on stage in Parfumerie and Lend Me a Tenor (Metro Theatre), Barefoot in the Park (White Rock Players’ Club – CTC Nomination) and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Fighting Chance Productions – CTC Winner).

Adam Da RosADAM DA ROS (MUSICAL DIRECTOR): Adam Da Ros is a director and musician from Dawson Creek, B.C., specializing in opera and musical theatre. He completed a Master’s of Music from UBC’s opera program, where he was assistant director for three seasons, and has worked at opera festivals in Edmonton, Halifax, Pittsburgh, and Lucca, Italy. Recent directing credits include Puccini’s Madama Butterfly for Burnaby Lyric Opera, and Eight Songs for a Mad King for the Nu:BC Collective. Adam has also produced and served as director and/or musical director for several musicals at UBC and in his hometown, as well as spending five years on the music staff for Dawson Creek Secondary School’s musical theatre program.

Rachael-Carlson-Colour-wNameRACHAEL CARLSON (CHOREOGRAPHER): Rachael is delighted to be choreographing Cats with Fighting Chance Productions. She is a recent graduate of the Capilano University Musical Theatre Program, previously attending the Certificate in Performing Arts Program at the Canadian College of Performing Arts. This past summer she assisted with choreographing and direction on Theatre Under the Stars’ production of Oliver! Her previous directing credits include Mary’s Wedding (Warning: Canadian Content), and Boudicca (RSC). Recent performance credits include Rose Lennox in The Secret Garden (Exit 22), Anna Andreyevna in The Government Inspector (Exit 22), and Bombalurina in Cats (URP). Thank you to Fighting Chance for this wonderful opportunity.

Version 2IAN BACKSTROM (MUNKUSTRAP): Ian Backstrom is very excited to be debuting with Fighting Chance Productions. He has previously performed with UBC Opera in their productions of LA TRAVIATA and CARMEN, as well as in the chorus of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s production of CANDIDE. He was also in the ensemble for Theatre Under the Stars’ production of LEGALLY BLONDE in 2014. When not on stage, Ian is finishing up his BSc in the Microbiology and Immunology program at UBC. He would like to especially thank the creative team behind this production of CATS, for the opportunity to take part in such an amazing show.

unknownDANNI BERGERON (TUMBLEBRUTUS): Danni M. Bergeron is so excited to be in his first Fighting Chance Production. Since Graduating from Capilano University’s Acting for Stage and Screen Program he has appeared in a number of local theatre shows. His most recent project was performing as Cinder from A MODERN FAIRY TALE with Orthros Theatre. He has worked as an extra and sings Tenor with his show choir The Maple Leaf Singers. He is also in the process of writing his first novel. Nothing can keep this cat away from the Jellicle Ball. Enjoy the show!

LYNDSEY BRITTEN (CASSANDRA/DANCE CAPTAIN): 

Kenneth HeadshotKENNETH CHEUNG (MACAVITY): Kenneth recently returned to Vancouver after living in London, England and travelling around Europe for the past two years. During his time in London, he watched his first musical and became a fan ever since. He is excited to be performing for the first time with Fighting Chance Productions as well as in front of his family and friends again.

JDD_07J.D. DUECKMAN (ALONZO): Like a laser pointer or a patch of sunlight, J.D. finds himself drawn to the stage again and is pleased to be part of the adventure that is CATS. Recent performances by J.D. include THE IMAGINARY INVALID (United Players), PRIDE & PREJUDICE (Metro Theatre), and MURDER ON THE NILE (Theatre West Van). J.D. owes a great debt of support to the cast, crew, friends and family, and would like to thank two in particular: Pauline for steadfastly remaining by his side, and Kyra for first encouraging him to dance.


1W0A6298CODY FONDA (THE RUM TUM TUGGER):
Cody is incredibly excited to have recently made the move from his home town of Dawson Creek, BC to Vancouver to play the role of Rum Tum Tugger with Fighting Chance Productions. In June, he graduated from Dawson Creek Secondary School where he played the roles of Lord Farquaad in SHREK THE MUSICAL, and Don Lockwood in SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN. An avid rock composer, Cody has been teaching guitar lessons for 6 years, as well as recording and performing with his rock bands Oceans & Anchors, and Daggers For Eyes.

IMG_8788LUCIA FORWARD (MUNGOJERRIE): Lucia is delighted to be making her debut with Fighting Chance surrounded by such a unique and talented group of cats. As a graduate of Randolph Academy of the Performing Arts in Toronto, she has recently been seen as a featured dancer in ‘TIL WE HAVE FACES (Ismailova Theatre of Dance) and ODE TO PEACE (Prayer Dance Co.). Other favourite credits include ROBIN HOOD: THE MUSICAL (Rainforest Theatre), THE OLD HAUNT (Excavation Theatre), PICNIC (STG), INTO THE WOODS (Randolph Academy), and STUFF HAPPENS (Randolph Academy).  Lucia would like to thank Rachael, Ryan, and Adam for being so wonderful to work with.  She would also like to thank her knees for never complaining about the bruises that this show has brought on.  This one’s for you…Ma, Pa, and Lew.

HANNAH GAUTHIER (VICTORIA): 

Fairlith Harvey HeadshotFAIRLITH HARVEY (JENNYANYDOTS/COSTUME DESIGN): Fairlith Harvey is the artistic director of Geekenders fandom theatre and nerdlesque troupe. On her ‘free’ nights, she runs Vancouver, BC’s ROCKY HORROR shadow cast, and performs at and hosts events all over British Columbia. “Vancouver’s acknowledged nerdlesque queen.” (Link Magazine). She has appeared in and toured with Weekenders shows including A NUDGE HOPE: A SCI-FI BURLESQUE ADVENTURE (Chewbacca/Leia), PORTAL 2: THE (UNAUTHORIZED) MUSICAL (GLaDOS), A COSTUME BALL AT WAYNE MANOR (Poison Ivy), and GALAXY NEWS RADIO LIVE! (Radiette #3). Select New York Credits: MACY’S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE, ROCKY HORROR, MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET. Select Other credits: CINDERELLA, THE AWESOME 80S PROM, SHINE! A BURLESQUE MUSICAL, PROMISES PROMISES. Boop!

unnamedKYRST HOGAN (DEMETER): Kyrst Hogan is thrilled to be part of CATS! She has toured the world as a principal singer for Norwegian Cruise Lines and favourite theatre credits include: singer/dancer for THE RADIO CITY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR (Starring the Rockets – Chicago, Branson, and Mexico City), Maggie in 42ND STREET (Trump Plaza Casino, Atlantic City, NJ), Joan in DAMES AT SEA (Emelin Theatre), Truvy in STEEL MAGNOLIAS (New Harmony Theatre), the national tour of SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN and LiveStage Performance’s original rock operas: ELEKTRAFIRE (New York Fringe Fest) and THE WALL (Rio Theatre). Since moving to Vancouver from the NYC Theatre world she has busied herself working extensively in the cabaret community as her alter-ego Burgundy: producer/performer of the award-winning weekly cabaret show KITTY NIGHTS and Artistic Associate with DANCES FOR A SMALL STAGE (with whom she recently performed at the National Centre for the Arts). This one’s for Mom, Dad and Carmen.

1L9Q3211SHAYNA HOLMES (BOMBALURINA): Thrilled by the exquisite dancing of CATS, Shayna Holmes is proud to debut with Fighting Chance in the role of Bombalurina. Shayna has played the role of Maw in MAW’S JAM EATERS  (Haney Heritage Dinner Theatre), Miss Adelaide in GUYS AND DOLLS, and appeared in Mariner and 42ND STREET (SAS Theatre). She has also acted in AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (KCS Theatre), and the film HAMLET (Syzygy Productions). A burlesque performer by the name of Chastity Twist, she is a member of the Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society, a Kitty Night’s Viva Vancouver showgirl, and is a regular to the Vancouver burlesque scene. She has toured Vancouver Island with Best Bitts Productions, performed in New York and recently appeared in the 2015 Edmonton and Calgary burlesque festivals. She enjoys learning about human potential and business, speaking Brazilian Portuguese, fire fleshing and pole fitness. Shays would like to thank director Ryan Mooney for this exciting opportunity!
IMG_4465-33-EditDAMON JANG (SKIMBLESHANKS): A graduate of the Capitano University Musical Theatre, Bachelor of Performing Arts Degree Program and the Banff Professional Musical Theatre Summer Intensive Damon has received training from top instructors from Canada and the United States. As a performer, he has worked with TUTS, RCMT, Royal City Youth Ballet, DreamRider, Gateway, APPLAUSE!, Metro Theatre, Firehall Arts Centre, Ghostlight, Ode and many others. Multifaceted, Damon is also a professional publicist and a dance and theatre instructor. He is proudly on staff at Defy Gravity Dance Company, Inspire Arts Academy and the Evergreen Cultural Centre. This spring Damon will also be co-directing and  choreographing CINDERELLA at Byrne Creek Community School and choreographing THE LION KING at South Slope Elementary.

Amanda Lau Headshot - CatsAMANDA LAU (RUMPLETEAZER): Amanda is delighted to be making her debut with FCP. She has trained in voice, acting and dance at The Landing Dance Centre, Vancouver Tap Dance Society, and Arts Club. Amanda has competed and placed in provincial level dance and gymnastics. This summer she placed 2nd in the BC Provincial Tap and Stage category at the BC Performing Arts Festivals and previously represented BC as a 2nd Place Provincial Rhythmic Gymnast. Theatre credits include Cinders in CINDERS, Kim McAfee in BYE BYE BIRDIE, and THE 39 STEPS. She has also done print ads for BCAA, worked in film (RING OF FIRE) and music videos (VIMM’s Music of Mankind and Butterflies). She has received numerous scholarships and awards such as Most Promising Vocal, Outstanding Musical Theatre Performance, and Triple Threat. She has also received dance scholarships across Western Canada.

nRANDY MCCORMICK (GUS THE THEATRE CAT): To play “Asparagus the Theatre Cat” (Gus to you) has been on my bucket list for the past forty years, time to scratch that one off, thanks Ryan. Ever since I worked under Ryan’s direction in THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD (APPLAUSE! Musicals in Concert) I have been in awe of his talent and his renewed vision for Fighting Chance Productions, even going so far as to act as President of his very first Board of Directors. Other accomplishments? Numerous but who really cares? But to you, young actors, I entreat you to listen carefully to the words that Gus will sing because “io fu gia fuel che voi siete e quel chio son voi anco sarete” (“I was once that which y ou are, and what I am you also will be”) so Send in the Clowns… Cats.

lisarickettsHSLISA RICKETTS (GRIZABELLA): Lisa is thrilled to be working with FCP for a second time after making her debut as Caiaphas in last summer’s production of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. Growing up a huge CATS fanatic (of both he musical and the animal), it is an absolute honour to be taking on this role alongside such a talented cast and crew. Lisa is an honours graduate of Capitano University’s Theatre Program a recipient of the Nicola Cavendish Theatre Arts Award and was an Ovation Award nominee for Best Female Newcomer in 2005 for her portrayal of The Witch in Exit 22’d production of INTO THE WOODS. Other credits include: SHREK, THE ADDAMS FAMILY (Align), THE FROGS (APPLAUSE!), and TITANIC (TUTS). She dedicates her performance to the memory of her family’s 10 cats and thanks her family and friends for their continued love and support.

LEVI SCHNEIDER (MR. MISTOFFELEES):

Sarah Seekamp H1SARAH SEEKAMP (JELLYLORUM): Theatrically trained actor/dancer/singer Sarah Seekamp has recently found herself calling Vancouver home and is thrilled to be joining Fighting Chance Productions’ CATS as Jellylorum. Having graduated from the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts triple threat program in Toronto she was given the opportunity to train with some of Canada’s leading artists. Some of her favourite credits include performing as Velma Kelly in the musical CHICAGO and touring North America as a dancer with THE MAGIC OF IRELAND. Sarah currently enjoys spending her free time with her little family and is looking forward to adding Emmy/Tony/Oscar winner to this bio in the near future.

Nazanin Headshot 2015NAZANIN SHOJA (EXOTICA): Nazanin is a graduate of the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts in Toronto. She also holds a degree in Performing Arts from the Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, France. Stage credits include the THE LARAMIE PROJECT (Bathurst Street Theatre), PETER PAN (Kaleidoscope Theatre), THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW (Four Seasons Musical Theatre) and PERFECT WIVES, DESPERATE LIVES (Hamilton Fringe Festival).

Doug_tux-headshot-2DOUG THOMS (OLD DEUTERONOMY/BUSTOPHER JONES): Doug is a Boston native who spent a decade in New York City doing theatre. He moved to Vancouver in 2008, and has appeared in many productions in the Lower Mainland. Highlights: STOMP – US/EUR Tour, Judas & Pilate – JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, TUTS Vancouver (Best Supporting Actor), Pink – PINK FLOYD’S THE WALL, Rio Theatre. Doug is a long time musician and a proud permanent resident of Canada. For Cookie, Tom, Bob and Catherine.

imageLAUREN TROTZUK (JEMIMA): Lauren is incredibly excited to be making her FCP debut in CATS. As a little girl, she watched the original recording on an old VHS over and over again, dreaming of one day being a cat herself. It’s not every day you get to play one of your dream roles, and Lauren is overjoyed to be working with such a talented cast. Previous credits include Vivienne in LEGALLY BLONDE: THE MUSICAL, Liza Minelli, Chita Rivera and Young Cosette in FORBIDDEN BROADWAY (Fraser Valley Stage), Moth in LOVE’S LABOURS LOST (Bard in the Valley) and Maxine in the brand new musical UGLY: THE OTHER, OTHER CINDERELLA STORY (Monumental Theatre). She hopes you enjoy the show!