Guild announces ‘Shenandoah’ cast; HFCC One Acts offer laughter, drama

Photo by Sue Suchyta

Lindel Salow (left) and Michael Moseley, shown in the Players Guild of Dearborn 2011 production of “The Drowsy Chaperone,” are both in the “Shenandoah” cast. Moseley plays the lead, family patriarch Charlie Anderson, while Salow will portray the Reverend Byrd. Earlier this year Salow received widespread praise and laughter for playing another cleric, the Bishop of Lax, in the Guild’s production of the British farce “See How They Run.”

By Sue Suchyta
The Players Guild has announced the cast and production staff for “Shenandoah,” the Civil War musical being presented at The Henry Ford’s Anderson Theatre Aug. 12, 14, 19, 20 and 21 as part of the Civil War sesquicentennial remembrance.

“Shenandoah” features a Tony Award-winning book by James Lee Barrett, Peter Udell and Philip Rose, with music by Gary Geld and lyrics by Udell. Set during the Civil War era, it tells a story of a family in a troubling time in our nation’s history.

The production team features the talents of Dearborn residents Brian Townsend as director, G. Kevin Dewey as musical director and Paul Bruce as the choreographer.

“Working with The Henry Ford is an exciting opportunity,” Townsend said. “Here we have two cultural institutions, rooted in Dearborn, using their unique talents to tell a story and reveal the history of one of our nation’s stormiest periods.”

Townsend also added that the production has a “dream team” of technical and acting talent from the surrounding communities, and all are excited to be part of such a unique situation.

“Everyone from A to Z is putting their best foot forward to build the most memorable production of ‘Shenandoah’ possible,” Bruce said. “The perfect pairing of Players Guild magic and the beautiful Anderson Theater at The Henry Ford should make for a splendid event.”

Marybeth Kinnell of Dearborn Heights and James Mayne of Redford will co-produce the show. Alex Godjov of Redford will serve as the assistant director.

Allen Park resident Michael Moseley will lead the cast as patriarch Charlie Anderson.

Dearborn cast members include Paul Morgan as Jacob Anderson, Ken Kilgore as James Anderson, Michael Bollman as Nathan Anderson, Matt Miazgowicz as Henry Anderson, Anna Hnatiuk Dewey as Anne Anderson and Lindel Salow as the Reverend Byrd.

Other supporting characters include Nick Marek of Detroit as John Anderson and Maura Donovan of Northville as Jenny Anderson.

The men’s ensemble features the talents of Philip Walling, Charles Bollman, Michael Powaser and Will Turbett of Dearborn; Scott Rider of Lincoln Park; Tim Carney of Livonia; Mark Byars of Garden City; Mark Ripper of Northville; and Robert Murray of St. Clair Shores.

The women’s ensemble includes Sally Hart Goodman and Kathy Fothergill of Dearborn, Sarah Kornacki of Lincoln Park, Cjersti Jensen of Grosse Ile Township and Jacqueline Fenton of Sterling Heights.

Townsend said the family aspect should resonate with audiences.

“You find yourself connecting with the characters, seeing parts of yourself and your loved ones in them,” he said. “You cheer for them, you laugh with them. Then, as the war begins to take its toll, you can’t help but feel for them. It’s a moving experience.”

Performances are at 8 p.m. Aug. 12, 19 and 20 with 2:30 p.m. matinees Aug. 14, 20 and 21.

For tickets, call the Players Guild at (313) 561-TKTS, or go to its website, www.playersguildof

Henry Ford Community College Fine Arts and Fitness Division will continue with its annual One Act Festival for one more weekend with 8 p.m. shows Friday and Saturday and a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee. All performances are at Mackenzie Auditorium on the HFCC campus, 5101 Evergreen in Dearborn. Tickets are $6.

The five one-act shows, which opened Friday, offer a wide range of comedy and drama.

Christopher Durang’s “The Actor’s Nightmare” is a very funny one-act comedy. Student director Ramzi Khzouz brings out the best in the student cast.

In the show George wanders backstage and is told he must immediately go on for an actor who has been in a car accident. Everyone seems to know him, but he can’t remember rehearsing, and he doesn’t know what play they will be performing.

Laith Salim is hysterical as George, swinging between panic and improvisation as the company cycles between four plays: “Private Lives,” “Checkmate,” “Hamlet,” and “A Man for all Seasons.” You don’t need to know the shows to be entertained, but Shakespeare and Coward fans will be roaring with laughter.

Amanda Chahine of Dearborn Heights is a talented member of the company and is splendid in multiple roles. Amanda Pierce, India Jackson and Jamie Pappas earn their share of laughter as well.

In Percy Granger’s “Vivien,” a mentally ill father, Vivien, and his adult son, Paul, try to reconnect after years of family dysfunction and unresolved issues.

The subject matter is heavy and ponderous, and drawing audiences into the story would challenge even veteran actors.

Miekyle Turner student directs the show and provides excellent sound effects. The cast includes Dominic Lomuscio as the father, Christian Plonka as the son and Asia Smith as the nurse.

In George Bernard Shaw’s “Augustus Does his Bit,” an egotistical World War I British officer, Augustus, is saved from his own incompetence by a delightfully funny elderly clerk and a scheming woman.

Student directed by Tim Beson, the cast includes Jesse Warren of as the pompous officer, Tim Pollack as the clever, comical clerk and Amanda Pierce as the scheming lady. Pollack earns the lion’s share of the laughs. Warren and Pierce have trouble with accent consistency but still entertain.

In Tony and Nobel Prize-winning author Harold Pinter’s “Mountain Language,” an oppressive regime rules by force and reduces people to numbers. It forces one to think about how computers can help despots discriminate against and destroy the “enemies of the state.”

Once again the students are challenged with very heavy subject matter, but with the adrenaline of danger thrown into the mix to draw in their audience.

Teacher Gerry Dzuiblinski directed the one act, with David Rojas as an officer, India Jackson as a young woman, Asia Smith as the old woman, Kevis Sardin as a sergeant, Robert Gray as a prisoner, Tim Pollack as a guard and Dennis Rymarz as a hooded man. Rojas and Pollack, both of Wyandotte, are standouts.

“The Faculty Meeting” by Ken Jones is an academic farce with professors named Fondle, Quagmire, Lipswitch, Crummie, Bland and Wright.

Student directed by Jennifer Rymarz of Dearborn, the show left the house laughing at the academics’ crazy yet all-too-recognizable human quirks. The cast includes Jamie Pappas as Mr. Fondle, Laith Salim as Dr. Quagmire, Amanda Chahine as Dr. Lipswitch, India Jackson as Ms. Crummie, David Rojas as Mr. Bland and Robert Gray as Mr. Wright.

For more information, call (313) 845-9817 or go to