Michael Kitts (Jesus) - Michael could not be happier to make his Circle Players debut with this show. It has always been one of his dream shows and role! The icing on the top is that this is the FIRST time ever (more than 23 years) that he has had the opportunity and privilege to work under the guidance and incredible talent of Jason Lewis! Around town, Michael was last seen as Rum-Tim-Tugger (CATS, Street Theatre), Tateh (RAGTIME) and Anatoly (CHESS). To EVERYONE in the cast, "I have performed across North and South America for 16 years and, hands down, this is the most gifted and awe-inspiring group of performers that I have ever shared the stage with! Thanks to Mom, Dad, Eli, Jake, Jason and countless others! You all have my heart and gratitude!"
Ben Gregory (Judas) - Judas has been a role on Ben’s bucket list since before the phrase "bucket list." He is thrilled to fulfill this dream with such a fantastic cast. This is his 6th show with Circle Players, including featured roles in Ragtime, Titanic the Musical, and Jekyll and Hyde. Other Nashville theatre credits include: Chris Keller in All My Sons (Lakewood Theater), Will Parker in Oklahoma (Keeton Theater), Torvald Helmer in A Doll’s House (Act One), Freddy Benson in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Keeton Theater) and Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast (Keeton Theater). Ben is a Nashville native and a graduate of the Theatre Studies program at Yale University. "Thanks to my daughter, Eowyn, for her patience during rehearsals, and to wonderful friends and family who have looked after her during some rehearsals. I would be remiss if I did not thank Leigh for encouraging me to perform this role. So Leigh, many thanks."
Erica Patterson (Mary Magdelene) - Erica is a graduating senior at Tennessee State University majoring in Theatre. Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, she found her love of theatre at Germantown High School's "Poplar Pike Playhouse." After moving to Nashville to attend TSU, Erica soon became involved in the Nashville community theatre scene. In 2015 Erica was awarded "Best Supporting Actress" and "Best Female Vocalist" for her role as Sarah in Circle's production of Ragtime. Other previous roles include Westside Story (Maria); Sister Act The Musical (Sister Mary Embert); Bare, A Pop Opera (Kyra); Dreamgirls (Charlene); The Fantasticks (Luisa); "I am honored to be apart of this show. Endless gratitude to Circle Players. Thank you for all that you do for this wonderful community".
Chris Mitchell (Peter) - Akron Ohio native Chris Mitchell loves to sing and is almost always doing what he loves. In 2012, Chris recorded a very popular version of Madonna's "Like A Virgin" for the major motion picture Magic Mike. In the late 1990’s, Mitchell reigned supreme over the Nashville party scene and fans flocked to see what he would do next with his band The Collection, a spectacle that included some of the best vocals ever heard in a Nashville club. The band opened for The Ohio Players, Parliament Funkadelic, and KC & The Sunshine Band to name a few. Chris is currently producing original material for his label, Nickelbug Records, and still performing with his band The Collection, The Black Jacket Symphony, The Long Players, Trial By Fire - A Tribute to the Music of Journey, and Ned Zeppelin.
Aaron Johnson (Simon Zealotes) - Aaron Johnson is a Sophomore at Middle Tennessee State University studying Theatre and Graphic Design. He's very excited to be in his first production with Circle Players. Aaron has enjoyed previous roles in Suessical, House of Frankenstein, Little shop of Horrors, and West Side Story. He sends love to his family and friends and hopes you enjoy the show!
Brian Jones (Caiaphas) - Brian M. Jones is excited to be appearing in his second Circle production after playing Noah in last season's Children of Eden. He has appeared on other community theatre stages in his home state of Michigan and on Regional stages in Florida. Favorite roles include the Beast (Disney's Beauty and the Beast), Max Bialystock (The Producers), Nicky/Trekkie Monster (Avenue Q), Dave (The Full Monty), Tevye (Fiddler on theRoof), and Valentine (Kiss of the Spider Woman). Brian recently was elected President of the Circle Players Board of Directors and is thrilled to lead this iconic performing arts organization into the future. By day, Brian is a Director in HCA’s Strategic Resources Group. He wishes to send his love and thanks to his Mom and Dad for their continued support and all of his amazing friends and family here in Nashville and across the country.
Larry Jones (Annas) - Larry Jones is highly excited to be playing the role of Annas! Growing up in a musical family, Larry sang in church at an early age and then performed with numerous choirs, ensembles, and quartets through high school and college. Larry's previous theatrical roles include Horton the Elephant in Seussical the Musical (Larry Keeton Theater), Fezziwig in A Christmas Carol (also Larry Keeton Theater), and the fairly evil Foreman in LesMiserables (Hendersonville Performing Arts Company). Larry would like to thank his mother for pushing him onstage at an early age and his daughter for pushing him onstage, once again, at a much later age!
Chaz Howard (Pontius Pilate) - Chaz has been performing in and around Nashville for more than 30 years, playing a variety of characters. His last appearance in a Circle production was 1997’s One Flew Over the Coo Coo’s Nest, where he garnered a Best Actor award for his betrayal of R.P. McMurphy. Other awards include a First Night best actor for George in Of Mice and Men and Ben in Look Homeward Angel. When he is not acting, he performs in the Pink Floyd Appreciation Society band and spends his spare time with wonderful wife, Meri, friends and family.
Rique' Patire (King Herod / Priest / Philip) - This production is truly a "full Circle" for Riqué. Many years ago he was in a Circle production of GodSpell. Arround the same time he was with The Acting Conservatory of Ruth Sweet as part of Equity apprenticeship, performing in JCS with Pam Tillis for the Nashville Repertory Theater (when it was called TRT). Currently a member of The Los Angeles Writers Center, Riqué's journey has included featured roles in Independent films and made for TV Movies, and a recurring role in the television series “Get Thee Behind Me.” He has also hosted shows on CMT and Shop At Home. His original songs have been covered by artists including Sheryl Lee Ralph, The Miracles and The Sweethearts of the Rodeo. He has written two soul-baring one-man shows now in development: Centered In The Storm - A musical exploration of Life, Death and Family Matters with featured vocals by Emmylou Harris. His raucous musical romp of original and standards called "Like A Whore In Church" chronicles his experiences from being an altar boy to his varied careers, including working with folks from Diana Ross, Phyllis Diller to Alan Jackson and more. Rique is SO thrilled and honoured to work with Jason and with this amazing cast and crew. Riqué also has a very curious way of referring to himself in the third person, so "He Feels Blessed!" Rique.net
Miracle Ham (John) - Miracle Ham is excited to be in the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar. Originally from Chicago, IL, Miracle moved to the Nashville area to attend college and to pursue her dreams of performing in the arts. She has a BS in Business Administration and Music, and recently received an MBA in Music Business. Miracle first appeared in the musical The Amen Corner and later on performed in the stage play Kitchen Kurls. During her undergraduate studies, one of her most cherished memories is being a member of the world-renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers ® . When she is not acting, Miracle enjoys singing, dancing, sketching, and playing the piano. She hopes to one day be a successful recording artist, as well as appear in prominent roles on Broadway. Miracle is extremely grateful to the director, Jason Lewis, for allowing her to delve back into acting and share her talents.
Jessica Pruitt (Andrew / Featured Dancer) - Jessica is thrilled to be making her debut with Circle Players! Although new to this splendid group, she is no stranger to the stage, having performed in many productions since a young age. Some of her favorite roles include Liz (Pop) in Chicago with Boiler Room Theatre, Emily Webb in Actors Bridge production of Our Town, Little Red in Once Upon a Time, Elizabeth in Frankenstein, Asher in Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, & Ginger Brooks in 1940’s Radio Hour. She has also been a featured dancer in many musicals including Cabaret, Robber Bridegroom & 42nd Street. Recently, she has been performing with a professional contemporary dance company, Found Movement. Besides dancing and performing, she is a proud mother of two wonderful sons, Tristan and Ciaran, teaches yoga and gymnastics and sings in an indierock band Lovercraft. Jessica would like to thank Jason for providing this amazing opportunity and would also like to thank her love, Dominic, and her entire family for supporting her and her dedication to this amazing show!
Jordan Lawhead (Bartholomew) - Jordan Lawhead is a singer-songwriter and guitarist. Jesus Christ Superstar is his first musical and he has felt very honored to share the stage with such a wonderful cast. Jordan is also the co-founder of YouInspire.org an inspirational web platform for survivors and fighters living with illness and disabilities and their supporters.
Barrett Thomas (Thomas) - After a decade away from the high school stage, Barrett is thrilled to make his community theatre début, clad in hotpants no less, with the sublimely talented cast and crew in this Circle Players production. Barrett grew up in Chattanooga, TN, and moved to Nashville to attend graduate school at Vanderbilt University. Barrett is grateful for the superstars who provided critical help and encouragement on his comeback trail: Dr. Kennedy, Dr. Pearlberg, that magnificent trio of cheerleaders Becki, Katherine & Shelly, the Getty, Wes Giglio, and Susan Anders. Barrett dedicates this performance to his father, whose enduring support of Barrett's creative endeavors has always provided the belief to overcome doubt. Il vero fascino mai svanisce!
Jason Scott (Matthew / Soldier / Accuser #2) - Jason is making his Circle Players debut in Jesus ChristSuperstare. Recently, he performed as Trevor Graydon III in Thoroughly Modern Millie and as Fritz in A 1940’s Radio Christmas Carol, both at the Larry Keeton Theatre. Before coming to Nashville, Jason performed as Ellard Simms in The Foreigner at Frisco Community Theatre in the Dallas, Texas area. Jason graduated from Baylor University in 2013 with a BFA in Theatre Performance. Favorite credits from college include Doug in Gruesome Playground Injuries and ensemble work in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Thoroughly Modern Millie. I would like to extend a big thank you to my wife Jordan for her never ending love and support.
Susan Wood (Jame the Great / Accuser #3) - Susan is very excited to make her debut with Circle Players. She is relatively new to the Nashville area. In her home state of Oklahoma, Susan has performed musical theatre, jazz and opera including roles as Marian the Librarian in The Music Man, Little Mary Sunshine in Little Mary Sunshine, Sister Mary Amnesia in Nunsense and the Witch in Hansel and Gretel. Susan has sung with the big bands “Talk of the Town” in Oklahoma and “Radio Daze” in Nashville. She was a member of the vocal jazz quartet “Satin” which won a Horizon Award in Nashville and has recently been a soloist with the Vanderbilt Community Chorus.
Brittanie Graham (James the Lesser) - Brittanie Graham is no stranger to Circle Players! JC Superstar marks her third production with the company since joining Children of Eden this past January and most recently appearing in The Little Mermaid. Instead of listing her favorite roles from past performances (including and prior to Circle), Brittanie would like to say: "Thank you, Parents, for not saying 'not this again' when I said I wanted to do theatre again. Thank you, Friends, for putting up with my rehearsal schedule and supporting the shows. Thank you to the theatre friends I've made this year for inspiring me every day. Thank you Cast, Crew and Creative Team for being incredible people. Thank you, Audience, for supporting live theatre. We can't do it without you."
Iordanis Ekimogloy (Thaddaeus) - "I am absolutely thrilled to be working with Circle Players for what I hope to be the first of many productions. I am breaking my boots in the Nashville theatre circuit, having performed with Street Theatre in In the Heights, and Music City Theatre Collective in Oklahoma. I would like to thank Jason for having me be a party of his amazing vision for this show; Stephanie and Kelsi for never allowing us to give anything but our best; Alexis for being so organized and keeping us on track no matter what; and lastly, my beautifully talented cast mates for keeping me inspired every day to be a better performer." Every day has the potential to be the best day of your life. -Lin Manuel-Miranda.
Melissa Wilson (High Priestess) - Melissa is having a blast in her first performance with Circle Players! After performing throughout the midwest, Melissa moved to Nashville in 1990 to perform at Opryland. ("I sure miss that place!") Founder of Kairosdanz Worshiping Arts, she has been a pioneer in using the arts as a means of evangelism and ministry to share the Gospel locally and abroad. Melissa is currently a school teacher and is proud of her greatest accomplishment: raising two incredible young women, Christianna and Abrielle. "Thank you, Lord, for always being my rock and salvation!"
Anna Carroll (Ruth / Featured Dancer) - Anna is excited to join her first Circle Players show! She is a graduate of Belmont University with a BFA in Musical Theater and spent some time in New York studying acting at the Stella Adler Conservatory. She has done several shows in the area with Studio Tenn and the Cathedral Players and has also toured around the mid-west with the Missoula Children's Theater. She most recently ended a tour with the group Epic Assemblies, which uses the arts along with their own personal stories to encourage students to "fight for life." Anna is now teaching voice, writing music, and pursuing her dream of starting an original works arts troupe here in Nashville. "To God be the glory!"
Evangeline Manning (Rachel / Featured Dancer) - This is Evangeline’s first performance with Circle Players and she is so excited to be part of Jesus Christ Superstar! Evangeline has been on stage since she was 6 years old, playing the role of Gretl in The Sound of Music and has continued to enjoy amazing theater roles ever since. She has recently received her Associates Degree in Commercial Entertainment from Columbia State Community College in May. Her favorite roles in theater include Rizzo in Grease, Maria in The Sound of Music, Dorothy in TheWizard of Oz, Princess Fiona in Shrek and Sour Kangaroo in Seussical, The Musical. She has played an extra on several episodes of the TV show Nashville. Evangeline has been selected for callbacks on the TV shows The Voice and American Idol. Perhaps her biggest experience has been the leading role of Digi in the rock music performance of LIVEWIRE! at Hershey Park, PA.
Madeline Menendez (Martha / Featured Dancer) - Maddie graduated Belmont University (’15) with a B.A. in Music Business and Mathematics, and works in digital marketing at Girlilla Marketing. She has had principal roles in numerous musicals, recently as “Mimi” in Biloxi Little Theatre’s production of Rent, and “Lucy” in the St. Patrick production of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Maddie made her first stage debut in the chorus of KNS Production’s Jesus Christ Superstar in 1998 in Biloxi, Mississippi, alongside her dad, and has had the theatre bug ever since. Being cast as ‘Martha’ brings her experience in theatre full circle with Circle Players as she joins this incredible cast and production of Jesus Christ Superstar. “I’d like to thank Jason Lewis for this tremendous opportunity which I’ll never forget; Stephanie Benton-Jones for the amazing choreography and allowing me to participate; and big thanks to Alexis Lherisson, Kelsi Fulton, Susan Cole, Circle Players, and this amazing cast."
Shannon Brooks (Elizabeth / Featured Dancer) - This is Shannon’s first production with Circle Players, and she’s thrilled to be in this fantastic show! A Nashville native, Shannon began dance studies at age 4 with Metro Parks and Recreation Dance Division. She attended TN Governor’s School for the Arts, was awarded the TN Dance Association Van R. Ault Memorial Scholarship for advanced dance study, and attended Point Park University on scholarship in their prestigious dance program. Stage performance credits include The Nutcracker (Sugar Plum Fairy), The Sleeping Beauty (Lilac Fairy), Beauty & the Beast (Silly Girl), and Songs for a New World (Featured Dancer). Shannon has sung on numerous music recording projects and plays a novice nun in the film Novitiate. This fall, Shannon begins her second year in Nashville Ballet’s Professional Training Division, and looks forward to being part of more Circle productions. She thanks her family for all their love and support. Enjoy the show!
Aime Lara (Esther / Accuser #1) - Amie Lara is pleased to join Circle Players in the production of Jesus Christ Superstar. This is one of Amie's favorite musicals, and she has enjoyed working with this amazing cast! Some of Amie's favorite roles include Rona Lisa Peretti in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Circle Players), Nancy in Oliver, Jo March in Little Women the Musical, Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray, The Vagina Monologues, Aldonza in Man of La Mancha, Diana Morales in A Chorus Line. Amie has also been an ensemble singer with The Nashville Opera since 2007. When she is not performing on stage, she enjoys time with her three children. Amie wants to thank Jason and the entire JCS team for bringing her on to this production.
Amanda Creech (Mary Martha) - Amanda is delighted to perform in another Circle Players show this year. Recent credits include Ensemble in Children of Eden (CP) and Alice in The Addams Family (TCT). She is currently directing Night Forces, a one-act play by F. Lynne Bachleda, for Nashville's Sideshow Fringe Festival. Amanda hopes your soul can be fed during this production and that you continue to support local art. Love>hate.
Victoria Crawford (Sarah) - Victoria is grateful to be part of such a moving production, and to make her debut with Circle Players this fall. You may have seen her recently in Mel O' Drama Theater's Star Truck, or in one of various student short films at Watkins. Her favorite roles thus far include Mabel from Pirates of Penzance, and Rosie from the feature film Connecting, premiering this Fall. When Victoria isn't acting, she spends most of her time being thankful she loves her day job and chasing after sunsets. She would like to give a special thanks to everyone involved in the show's process (especially Jason); her friends and family (especially Chris) for being so understanding; and Joel for everything. She hopes this show touches you in some way tonight and thanks you for coming out to support the arts!
Michaela Ziparo (Ensemble) - Michaela, a high school senior, is excited to be in her first production with Circle Players and working with such an awesome cast and crew under the direction of Jason Lewis. Michaela’s favorite roles include Ruth Condomine (Blithe Spirit), Belle (Beauty and the Beast) and the Witch (Into the Woods), which earned her the 2016 Nashville High School Musical Theatre Award for Best Dramatic Actress. In addition to school theatre, Michaela has performed with the Hendersonville Performing Arts Company and in New York with the Cortland Repertory Theatre and the Society for New Music. In choir, Michaela was selected by the Middle TN Vocal Association for Mid-State Choir, received a Solo Superior Rating at Festival, and sang at the Ryman Auditorium under the direction of world-renown composer, Dr. Z. Randall Stroope. With a passion to perform, Michaela can also be found on various stages singing at her acoustic shows.
Kelly Whitlow (Ensemble) - Kelly is thrilled to be a part of this awesome production and to perform alongside this amazing cast. This is her 2nd show with Circle Players; she previously appeared in Shrek the Musical (Baby Bear). Some of her other favorite performances include Shrek, Jr. (Fiona), Once Upon a Mattress (Princess Winifred) and Annie (Duffy). Kelly would like to thank the directors, cast and crew for all they have taught her and her family for their support. "Enjoy the show!"