Monthly Archives: June 2019

Meet Our Heather’s Cast!

Western Reserve Playhouse is pleased to announce the talented cast of our 2019 Season Production of


“Heather- The Musical”

By Kevin Murphy & Laurence O’Keefe

Directed by Kevin Kelly – Musical Direction – Bryan Bird –

Choreographer – Kristy Cruz- Stage Managed – Shane Stahl –
Costumes-Scott Zolkowski – Set/Light Design- Daniel Hunsicker


  • Veronica Sawyer – Kirstin Henry
  • Jason “JD” Dean – Brian Hirsch
  • Heather Chandler- Megan Polk
  • Heather McNamara – Abby Stoffel
  • Heather Duke – Emily Shipley
  • Martha Dunnstock – Mary Fowler
  • Ram Sweeney – Jordan Potter
  • Kurt Kelly – Mark Vandevender
  • Ram’s Dad/Big Bud Dean/Coach Ripper – Steven Schuerger
  • Kurt’s Dad/Veronica’s Dad/Principal Gowan – Tom Hill
  • Ms. Fleming/Veronica’s Mom – Paige Cummings
  • Students- Hannah Stephens/Katie Jerome Taylor/Ben Arrington/James Elliot/Ed Ahwajee/Kate Breiding


“Heathers- The Musical” runs at Western Reserve Playhouse

from July 26-August 10, 2019

Again, Congratulations!!!!

Our first YAT Camp Show is this weekend!


Our campers ands staff have been working hard this past three weeks to bring to life this wonderful musical.

Shows are June 21-23, 2019 with our Friday and Saturday Shows at 7PM and our Sunday show is at 2PM. Tickets are only $10.00 for 3 and UP and 3 and under are free!

Let’s Meet The Cast:

Anne- Ali Schimnoeller
Jack- Caden Jones
Morgan/Polly- Abigail Bechter
Reeling the Seagull- Nyah Tousley
Pedro the Pelican- Violet Williams
Corey the Crab- Violette Vukoder
Stella the Starfish- Skyler Palmer
First Mate- Gigi Kennedy
Captain Bones- Zachary Ray
Plainly/Pelican- Aaliyah Tousley
Blinky/Lobster- Norman Updegraff
Slinky/Crab- C.C. Messner
Stinky/Jellyfish- Jack Stulak
Betty- Scarlett Dudley
Molly- Emma Kalal
Jonah- Anthony Nigro
Natalie- Ava Wells
Wilhelmina- Ella Lenze
Patricia- Maya Updegraff
Crab #2- Nadia Yamokowski
Lizard #1- Andrew Yamokoski 
Lizard #2- Jonny Sage
Lobster #1- Colin Yamokoski 
Lobster #3- Jasper Herman
Starfish #1- Vivian Vukoder
Jellyfish #1- Ethan Williams
As of June 20, 2019 – Both the June 21st & 23rd show is SOLD OUT! Walk ups are welcomed and will get a seat around our main seating area.



Meet the cast of our next $5 Bucks Series!

The year is 1968. In his upper East Side apartment, Michael is throwing a birthday party for Harold, a self-avowed “thirty-two-year-old, pockmarked Jew fairy,” complete with a surprise gift: Cowboy, a street hustler. As guests arrive and the evening wears on, fueled by drugs and alcohol, bitter, unresolved conflicts and resentments come to light when a game of “Truth” goes terribly wrong. This groundbreaking play premiered Off-Broadway in 1968 and ran for 1,001 performances, and was recently revived on Broadway with an all-star cast that included Jim Parsons.


Review Number 2 is in for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

Western Reserve actors pull viewer in to disturbing marital war in ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’

Mia Radabaugh and Dennis Runkle thoroughly own the stage in the sick marital war that is “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” at Western Reserve Playhouse in Bath.

The 1962 drama by the late Edward Albee plays with the concept of truth vs. illusion as George and Martha make a grand display of their hateful behavior toward each other, sucking their two young guests into their late-night battle.

In this story, during an alcohol-infused night, the older couple, including history professor George, have younger couple Nick and Honey over for a nightcap at their home on the campus of a small New England college. As blond, handsome biology professor Nick, Maximillian Winer at first acts polite and amiable. But as the drinks flow and Martha turns up her vitriol, he starts to reveal just how smug he is.

Honey, on the other hand, is the true innocent of the bunch. She’s played sweetly by Kayla Lehman, who gives her a ditzy, tipsy air. She never seems totally drunk, though, even when Honey becomes sick. Winer, on the other hand, does a great job of portraying Nick’s growing drunkenness.

This production, directed by Kelly Strand at Western Reserve Playhouse, is as nasty as any I’ve seen. In such capable actors’ hands, it’s clear that Albee’s script, which won a Tony for best play when it was created more than half a century ago, has stood the test of time.

The brilliant Albee devastatingly brings to light the bitterness and disappointment that are the basis of middle-age couple George and Martha’s complicated relationship. It feels like we all need to pay heed to George’s warning when he tells Nick early on, “You’re standing in quicksand” when it comes to Martha.

In “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Albee uses a lot of word play and repetition in a circling-back pattern of verbal abuse between George and Martha, including her repeatedly calling him boggy or swampy and him referring to her father as a red-eyed mouse. It’s a densely written play that presents a gargantuan task for the George and Martha actors, roles that both Runkle and Radabaugh take on expertly.

The only problem is that Runkle looks too old as George. The character’s supposed to be in his 40s but look like he’s in his 50s. We’re not buying that, though, as Runkle looks like he’s into his 60s. Martha’s also supposed to be older than George, but Radabaugh actually looks quite a bit younger than Runkle.

Slowly, mention of George and Martha’s “blond-eyed, blue-haired” son comes out, a metaphor for their last shred of marital hope. Their all-but-ruined marriage is hanging solely by the thread of a sick, sad fiction they’ve created together.

As Martha, Radabaugh is unapologetically bold, mouthy, vulgar and predatory. You see flashes of humor as she toys with young Nick, but her moves are all calculated and dangerous.

The actress makes it very clear that Martha’s main activity is constantly trying to egg George on. Runkle’s George is slower to anger, but when George finally decides to go after his wife, he does so in slash-and-burn style.

The emotional devastation in this play is enough to leave you breathless, watching painful truths emerge from both the older, bitter couple and the younger, also-troubled couple, who serve as a foil to George and Martha.

By the end of this show, the mentally abusive Martha is reduced to pure pain and fear, kneeling on floor. Radabaugh is a sight to behold as she dwells in this character’s emotional brokenness.

Arts writer Kerry Clawson may be reached at 330-996-3527 or Follow her at @KerryClawsonABJ or

Review Number One is in for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

Western Reserve Playhouse staging ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’

6/6/2019 – West Side Leader

By David Ritchey

Starring in Western Reserve Playhouse’s production of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” are, from left, Dennis Runkle, Kayla Lehman, Max Winer and Mia Radabaugh.
Photo: Chris Douglas

BATH — In 1962, when “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” opened in New York City, playwright Edward Albee (1928-16) changed American theater forever. The Pulitzer Prize Committee nominated “Virginia Woolf” for its top prize. Columbia University, which awards the prize, turned coward and did not award the Pulitzer Prize to any play in 1962.Albee received three other Pulitzer Prizes for other plays. My point is this is one of the most outstanding plays in the American notebook.

Western Reserve Playhouse is staging a blistering production of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” The show runs through June 15.

The plot involves a late-night party at the home of George and Martha. George is a member of the faculty at a small New England college. After a party sponsored by the college president, George (Dennis Runkle) and Martha (Mia Radabaugh) invite Nick (Max Winer) and Honey (Kayla Lehman), a new faculty couple, for a late-night drink.

In most productions of “Virginia Woolf,” Martha dominates the ribald games, but in this production, George gets his fair share of the battle. However, in this production Nick roars like a bull attacking the other animals in the barnyard.

Unfortunately, Honey isn’t given the lines and the fight of the other characters.

Director Kelly Strand played to the strengths in the script. She balanced George and Martha and she brought Nick up to their level. She used the strong voices of Martha, George and Nick to the script’s advantage.

Radabaugh plays comedy as well as anyone in Northeast Ohio, but in this production, she plays from the other side of her personality and she plays it well. Is her Martha mean or is she terribly hurt by the disappointments of her life?

Runkle plays his scenes as the waves on the beach. He roars and crashes in and then recedes into quietness.

Winer plays the male ingénue with style. At the beginning of the play, he’s a polite gentleman attending a small faculty party. But as the hosts turn up the heat, his Nick turns up the volume and the physical action.

“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” isn’t the story of a college/university faculty. This is the story of a marriage filled with soul-searing disappointments.

You have limited time to see this thought-provoking production. Albee is quoted as saying he wants people when “they leave the theater to think about something besides where they parked the car.”

I dare write the people in the audience didn’t think about where they parked their cars as they left. And, I’m sure some of the pillow talk was a comparison of their marriage and Martha and George’s marriage.

For tickets, call 330-620-7314 or visit


David Ritchey has a Ph.D. in communications and is a professor emeritus of communications at The University of Akron. He is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and the Cleveland Critics Circle.