By Jeff Murphy, February 23, 2022
WARRENSBURG, MO – University of Central Missouri Theatre and Dance presents “VOUCHer; Or, That PTA Play” by Benjamin Gonzales. The play is on the lighter side of a dark comedy and follows the comings and goings of a group of dedicated parents as they work to hold their dwindling PTA group together. The play performs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday Feb. 24-26 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 27. ASL Interpreters will be available at the Thursday, Feb. 24 show, and the Sunday matinee is pay-what-you-can. This play is for mature audiences only,
As the production opens, it is the beginning of a new school year, and the Prairie Valley Creek Elementary Parent Teacher Association is short on parents because they were all lured away by The Happy Bridges Charter Academy on State Street. The audience then follows this small group of parents left at the P.V.C.E.P.T.A. as they struggle to re-level the playing field.
When asked about the play, Director Dr. Aaron Scullly stated, “It's a play about a lot of things, socio- economic issues, race relations, public education, etc, but at its heart it is about these people and how they continue to come together to try to do what’s right for their children. These are all very different characters and just getting to watch them interact and make decisions - some good, some not so much - is what really makes this play such a fun experience. Benjamin Gonzales has crafted a wonderful story that I think will keep the audience on their toes, shock them at times, but ultimately make us feel like there are still good people out there doing good things for the right reasons.”
For this performance, UCM Theatre and Dance were able to welcome a professional hair and makeup artist from New York City, Joe Drobezko, to work with UCM students on hair and makeup for the show as well as the special effects. Additionally, Professional Costumer Victoria Soechting has been brought in to work with students as a Guest Costume Shop Manager for “VOUCHer” and the upcoming production of “Fun Home.” Both Joe and Victoria’s visit to our campus is made possible through the generosity of the Meredith Harmon Guest Artist Series.
The cast includes: Charlotte Sipple as Deborah; Kayla Gross as Vera; Savannah Purkey as Elaine; Noah Bryan as Scott; Keyvon Lewis as Tyrell; Thomas Clark as Stephen; Hannah Wilson as Gretchen; Mekdelawit Keller as Mariana, Steven Crockett as Francisco; Shanna Sinow as Jessica; Stephanie Heathcock as Deborah Understudy; Kayla Addison as Mariana Understudy, Abbigayle Muller as Gretchen and Elaine Understudy; and Jennifer White as Vera and Jessica Understudy.
The crew includes: Director Dr. Aaron M. Scully; Stage Manager Ansley Walker; Scenic and Projection Designer Madison Skiljan; Lighting Designer Seth “Tommy” Sneary; Costume Designer Hollie Neumann; Sound Designer Molly Blackburn; Hair and Makeup Designer Joe Drobezko; Properties Design Sapphire Engel; Technical Director Seth Holt; Assistant Director Stephanie Heathcock; Assistant Stage Manager/Deck Chief Lexi Winterbower; Scenic Change Artist Brittany Brandt; Dramaturg Sasha Fuller; Costume Shop Staff Maryn Edwards, Hollie Neumann, Allison Winsby, Kierra Kellum, and Cydni Stanford; Wardrobe Head Maryn Edwards; Makeup Crew Allison Winsby; Wardrobe Crew Jace Nielsen; Brittany Brant; Deck Chief/Fly Rail Head Makenzie Lewis; Run Crew Caleb Wands; Scene Shop Staff THEA 1600 Stagecraft students, Brittany Brandt, Rachel Curry, Luke Habjan, Seth Holt, Mekdelawit Keller, Emily Turner and Kelsi Richardson; Sound Board Operator Kierra Dennison; Light Board Operator Cristyn Chauvenne; Co-House Managers Stephanie Heathcock, Ashley Miller-Scully, and Dr. Aaron Scully; Box Office Manager Blake Gegens; Publicity and Marketing Director Dr. Aaron Scully; Publicity and Marketing Social Media Specialist Mallory Griffin; Graduate Shop Assistant Srikanth Sriramula; and Office Professionals Anna Braman and Madison Skiljan.
Tickets are available at the box office outside the Highlander Theater M-F Noon to 3 PM (if no one is in Box Office, please ask about tickets in Martin 113, or, by calling 660-543-8811 or online. For any questions about tickets, please call 660-543-8811 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.