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A Roadkill Opera - world premiere performances
Flashpoint, Mead Theatre Lab
Washington, DC
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Event

A Roadkill Opera - world premiere performances
This very funny show was workshopped at Artomatic 2012. It went so well a studio album was recorded and commercially released in 2013 as A Roadkill Opera. The score and parts were also released in 2013. The creative team of Jeffrey Dokken (music director & conductor) and Stephan Alexander Parker (librettist & executive producer) attended the GRAMMYs in February 2015 at the invitation of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

"Good luck at the GRAMMYs. How could you not win with a name like that?"
Ann Patchett, author of award-winning, New York Times bestselling Bel Canto

"... a very, very, cool thing...exceptionally well done..."
Paul Barrosse, writer/performer for the Mee-Ow Show, Practical Theatre Company, and Saturday Night Live

"Songs like 'Impress Them,' 'Cod Piece Dining.' 'Jello,' and [Gonna buy my old granddad a] 'Geo' pair offbeat humor with beautiful vocals and music."
Pam Schipper, Gaithersburg Town Courier

"an inspired, imaginative work, technically worthy of the highest praise. The orchestration is faultless and complements the vocal parts beautifully."
Peter Maag writes about Paer's Leonora

A Roadkill Opera tells the story of the hour before the lights go up on opening night for a comedy improv troupe in 1988 Jackson Hole: the Roadkill On A Stick Frozen Foods Theatre Company.  During that hour, they find out their showroom at the Silver Dollar Bar is being torn down.

Creative Team

Conductor - Jeffrey Sean Dokken
Music Director - Jeffrey Sean Dokken
Lighting Designer - Christina Giles
Stage Manager - Michal Kaufer
Producer - Stephan Alexander Parker
Director - Jeffrey Dokken

Cast

Holly - Laura Wehrmeyer
Eddie - Alan Naylor
Marvin - Christopher Dews
Stephan - David Timpane
Debby - Shaina Martinez
Dave - Alex Miletich IV

Orchestra

Flute - Martine Micozzi
Clarinet - Deborah Albert
Bassoon - Whitney Miller
Trumpet & Flugelhorn - Michael Thompson
Violin I - Tanya Whisnant
Violin II - Jeanne Trahan Faubell
Viola - Val Rauch
Cello - Jorge Alvarez
Timpani - Dr. David W. Constantine


The Story

The action takes place on Independence Day weekend 1988 in Jackson, Wyoming. Holly is alone onstage, giving herself a pep talk an hour before the house opens on opening night for Roadkill Live!!!, the first show by a local sketch comedy troupe: the Roadkill-on-a-Stick Frozen Foods Theatre Company.  Eddie enters, in high spirits, intent on selling out the house.  Marvin hammers together the scenery. An over-caffeinated Stephan enters and goes over the running order of the sketches with Eddie and Holly. "My Breakfast with Booboo" makes it into the show.  "Churning Jello" is cut.

Debby is alone on stage, musing on the fate of the troupe if the show is not a hit. Dave enters and tells her how great it is to be in showbiz.  Debby and Stephan debate the pros and cons of various Geo models as they advise Dave on what kind of car to buy for his grandfather.  Alone again, Debby wonders what will happen to the troupe if the show is successful.  Holly gets butterflies as the curtain approaches.  

Stephan informs Debby that the showroom is being torn down.  They reminisce on the great acts that have played the room.  

Stephan gives Dave a pep talk, and they both flirt with Debby.  Holly enters, upset at the news that the room is being torn down. Eddie enters and suggests ways to annoy the town.  A bell tolls three times, indicating the house is opening.  The cast greets the audience and invites them to enjoy the show, highlighting the sketches to come.

Personnel

Laura Wehrmeyer (Holly) - "Fuentes is a stand out as the lovely Zerlina" "Her voice is so clear and her comedy so pointed" -DC Metro Theater Arts. Laura Wehrmeyer is an active performer in opera and musical theatre. DC-area credits include: IN SERIES: Don Giovanni (Zerlina), Gianni Schicchi (Lauretta), Clemenza di Tito (Servilia), Love Potion #1 (Gianetta), WAM (Susanna/Bastienne/Blondchen), From Shuffle to Showboat (Natasha), Maria La O (Tula), Carmen (Frasquita), Noel and Cole (Norah), Casino Paradise (Doxie). WASHINGTON SAVOYARDS: HMS Pinafore (Josephine), The Zoo (Laetitia). VICTORIAN LYRIC OPERA: Desirée (Desirée), Ruddigore (Rose Maybud), The Gypsy Baron (Arsena). SIGNATURE THEATRE: Les Misérables (swing/ensemble), Anyone Can Whistle in concert (soprano soloist/ensemble), Tamar and the River workshop (the river). TOBY'S DINNER THEATRE: Phantom of the Opera (Christine). OTHER MUSICAL THEATRE: The Secret Garden (Lily), Sweeney Todd (Johanna), Pirates of Penzance (Mabel). SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA OF ARLINGTON: Tatiana's Letter Scene (Eugene Onegin), SOA Goes Broadway concert. International credits include: INTERNATIONAL GILBERT AND SULLIVAN FESTIVAL (UK): Iolanthe (Phyllis), Patience (ensemble), The Mikado (ensemble). Laura is the soprano soloist at St. John's Norwood Parish, where she recently appeared as the Evangelist in the Heinrich Schütz St. John Passion. She holds a Master's degree in Vocal Performance from Towson University, where she studied with Gran Wilson.

David Timpane (Stephan) - "A Voice to listen for." - Opera News.  A native of the Arlington, Virginia area, David earned a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Manhattan School of Music in 1994. Since graduating, he has performed both nationally and internationally as a soloist in operas and oratorios. He has been featured regularly in performances of Handel's Messiah, Brahms' Requiem, Fauré's Requiem and numerous other oratorios. This past season, David performed as a baritone soloist with the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia, the Reformation Festival Choir, and several other instrumental and vocal ensembles. His operatic repertoire includes Marcello and Schaunard in La Bohème, Silvio in I Pagliacci, Gianni Schicci in Gianni Schicci, Falke in Die Fledermaus and Oreste in Iphigènie en Tauride.

Alan Naylor (Eddie) - 2015 Helen Hayes Best Actor Winner, Musical "Alan Naylor cuts a cool figure, tall and lean, and his operatic-quality voice is in fine form as the frustrated lover in "Madeleine" or the jaded raconteur of "Amsterdam." Alan Naylor has performed locally at venues such as: The Kennedy Center, Strathmore, Atlas, 1st Stage, Adventure Theater, and Creative Cauldron.  Recent Credits include: Jacques Brel (Creative Cauldron, Helen Hayes Best Actor winner); Marius in Les Miserables (Masonic Memorial Theater) Dr. Parker in Bat Boy (1st Stage, HH Best Ensemble and Best Musical nom.).  This fall he will create the title role in the new musical Caps For Sale at Adventure Theater and will lead the first national tour.

Alex Miletich IV (Dave) - Recent roles include Stanley Cortez in A Child Shall Lead Them: Making the Night of the Hunter, Gilbert in Everything in the Garden, and the Duke of Glouchester In Time of Roses at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.  At the Kennedy Center, Alex as a soloist for An Evening With Barbara Cook.  Additional Washington D.C. performances include Measure of Our Lives as Theodore Roosevelt, and Capitano in Tales of Courage and Poultry.  In Baltimore, Alex recently portrayed Billy in Nothing.  In March, Alex played Enjolras in the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia's production of Les Miserables.  Alex is thrilled and honored to be performing in this new production of A Roadkill Opera.

Shaina Martinez (Debby)  graduated from the University of Maryland, majoring in Vocal Performance and minoring in Italian. As a Director's Scholarship recipient, she studies with Carmen Balthrop and Carlos Cesar Rodriguez. She gained success with her first lead role, Salud, in Manuel de Falla's La Vida Breve, with the Washington Post hailing her as a "muscular, piercing soprano". Other operatic experience includes: La Fille du Regiment (audit/Marie) and Madama Butterfly (Cousin) at the Martina Arroyo Foundation Prelude to Performance 2015, L'epreuve villageoisie (ensemble) with Opera Lafayette, Die Zauberflöte (Second Lady) and Cendrillon (cover/Prince Charming) at the Siena Opera Festival 2013, Die Zauberflöte (ensemble) and Idomeneo (ensemble) with the Maryland Opera Studio, and an English adaptation of La Clemenza di Tito (ensemble) and several of zarzuela events with The In Series. She was the first undergraduate vocalist to reach the UMSO Concerto Competition Finals in 2013 and was the vocal soloist in DMA Recitals devoted to Brahms and Duparc. She was a soloist in the UMSO performance of Stravinsky's Mass as well as in the UMRO performance of Carmina Burana. She has performed with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra for 6 years under the baton of conductors like Mairin Alsop, Matthew Halls, Christoph Eschenbach, and Helmuth Rilling. She traveled to South Korea with the UMD Chamber Singers, as a soloist for the 10th World Symposium on Choral Music. She also received 2nd place in the Sue Goetz Ross Vocal Competition.

Maestro Jeffrey Sean Dokken is one of today's most exciting and vibrant conductors, composers and tenors. Northern Virginia Magazine wrote, under Maestro Dokken's direction "NOVA has a world-class symphony in the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia." Over the past decade, Dokken has performed all across the United States and in some of America's greatest venues including The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Marie Collier Baker Theater, Parilla Performing Arts and The Kavli Theater. In October 2011, Dokken traveled to Guayaquil, Ecuador to sit on an elite three member international adjudication panel for the Guayaquil Symphony Orchestra, one of South America's foremost national orchestras. In June 2015, Dokken will return to Ecuador as guest conductor of the GSO. Over the past three years, Maestro Dokken has had the distinct honor of conducting at the White House in Washington D.C. as part of "Holidays at the White House." In December 2013, Dokken returned to The Kennedy Center to conduct a combined choir of 250 voices in a performance of Handel's "Messiah."After earning his degree in vocal performance from the prestigious University of Redlands School of Music, Dokken pursued graduate degrees in music education and conducting at California Lutheran University and Shenandoah Conservatory, respectively. Maestro Dokken has studied conducting with Dr. Steven Cooksey and Jeffrey H. Rickard; euphonium and trombone with Dr. Phil Keen; piano with Dr. Angelica Prodan and voice with Mrs. Patricia Gee and Dr. Anthony Zwerdling.   In addition to being an accomplished conductor and composer, Maestro Dokken is in high demand as a vocalist. As a singer, Dokken has performed with innumerable world-class soloists, including Andrea Boccelli, Kelli O'Hara, Brian D'Arcy James and David Archuletta, among others. Dokken has performed as a vocal soloist throughout the country with various instrumental and choral ensembles. In August 2014, Dokken performed a solo Broadway recital at Lenna Hall in New York, accompanied by renowned musician Jeanne Kelly. In October, Dokken performed a series of acclaimed duet concerts in California with South America's finest pianist, Juan Carlos Escudero.In addition to being the Music Director and Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia (SONOVA), Maestro Dokken is also the Music Director of CoroAllegro in Wilmington, Delaware.   Dokken has recently been guest conductor with the Opera Guild of Northern Virginia; American University; The Washington Men's Camerata; The Reformation Festival Choir and Patrick Lundy and the Ministers of Music. Dokken has composed for, conducted and performed on a number of opera, classical and musical theatre CD's and DVD's. Most recently, he conducted and co-produced, and sang the tenor role on Stephan Parker's 2013 adaptation of Ferdinando Paer's classic opera "Leonora," released commercially in July 2013. Additionally, Dokken is the Musical Consultant and Composer in Residence for the largest health care corporation in America, Kaiser Permanente.

Stephan Alexander Parker - Librettist - worked as a bus driver, whitewater rafting guide, front desk clerk, technical writer, research manager, and light and sound man in Nashville, Branson, Chicago, Orlando, Jackson Hole, New Jersey, and Washington DC. He now lives in the old railroad town of Gaithersburg, Maryland, with photographer DJ Choupin. He is currently working on The Annotated Roadkill Opera. Or his show business memoir, I Rode With Ben Johnson. No, probably the opera thing.

Ferdinando Paer - Composer - was active in Vienna, Dresden, and Paris. He wrote dozens of operas. Leonora, the first act from which the score for A Roadkill Opera was derived, has only been commercially recorded once. Paer's Leonora was issued on CD for the first time in February 2013 and A Roadkill Opera was issued on CD on July 4, 2013.

Michal H. Kaufer, Esq - Production Manager. Michal is thrilled to be involved this production of A Roadkill Opera. She was most recently the stage manager for SONOVA's 2015 production of Les Misérables and for Palm Beach Opera's Beethoven's Symphony No. 9-Choral, Così fan tutte in One Hour, Orfeo ed Euridice in One Hour, and Albert Herring in One Hour. Past productions include Happy Days, The Two of You, Tony and the Soprano, The Spoken Word, and I Become a Guitar with the Kitchen Theatre Company in New York. She was also the assistant stage manager for the University of Miami Jerry Herman Ring Theatre production of Mad Forest. Michal has additionally worked behind the scenes in various capacities including production manager, stage manager, assistant stage manager, technical crew, and costume designer on University of Miami QuantUM Entertainment productions including Little Shop of Horrors, Rocky Horror, I Never Saw Another Butterfly, The Writer's Strike is Over, Edges, Hair, and Closer. While earning her J.D./M.A. from American University Washington College of Law, Michal also served as the producer, production manager, and stage manager for The American University Law Revue, which produced student written and directed musicals.

Christina L. Giles - Lighting Designer -earned her BA in Communication Studies from Austin College and her MFA in Technical Lighting Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her design repertoire includes lighting for dramatic and musical theater, opera, dance and orchestral, with recent work including productions of Symphonic Tap and Les Miserables and in the 2015-2016 season with Star Wars and the Annual Holiday Concert with the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia this past year. She also designed workshop productions and the Nelson Rodrigues Festival staged readings for Spooky Action Theater.

Discussion

Location

Flashpoint, Mead Theatre Lab (View)
916 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

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Categories

Arts > Opera
Arts > Theatre
Comedy > Sketch

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!

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