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Director’s Notes

Dear Esteemed Guests,                                                                                                                                        

Welcome to Stockton Civic Theatre, where I invite you to immerse yourselves in the captivating world of CABARET. As your director for this performance, I am truly grateful to extend a heartfelt welcome to each and every one of you.

CABARET isn’t just a mere theatrical experience; it’s a profound journey into the depths of the human soul. It navigates through the intricate tapestry of triumphs and setbacks, moments of joy and sorrow, and the complexities of love and loss. Set against the backdrop of a tumultuous era in global history, it poses thought-provoking questions that resonate deeply with audiences of all walks of life.

In our rendition, I transport you to Berlin’s former diplomatic train station and gateway to the capital, Anhalter

Bahnhof. This setting serves as a powerful symbol of Germany’s resilience amidst the ravages of World War II. As Christopher Isherwood vividly described, “the once vibrant streets of Berlin, particularly around Nollendorfplatz and the Anhalter Bahnhof, were transformed into haunting landscapes scarred by war,” we’re reminded of the shadows of the past and the dangers of complacency and prejudice.

Amidst the currents of nationalism and the marginalization of communities, both past and present, CABARET emerges as a poignant and timely narrative. It compels us to confront the darkness within ourselves and our society, urging us to strive for a world built on compassion and understanding.

Since its debut on Broadway in 1966, CABARET has continued to captivate audiences with its provocative themes and innovative storytelling. With each new iteration, it challenges us to reassess our perspectives and confront uncomfortable truths.

As you enjoy tonight’s performance, I encourage you to reflect on the world around us. Consider the impact of our choices and the importance of empathy in fostering a more inclusive society. Let CABARET ignite within you the courage to stand against injustice and the compassion to embrace those who are suffering, all while maintaining hope in the face of adversity.

I extend my heartfelt appreciation to the SCT Board and Artistic Committee for choosing and featuring this show in the 2023/2024 Season. Special thanks to Dennis Beasley, our esteemed Artistic Director, for his continued support and invaluable guidance. I am deeply grateful to the remarkable production team who joined me on this thrilling journey. Jessica Spencer, your unwavering dedication and inspired viewpoint revitalized our vision. To the exceptional cast, thank you for embracing the storytelling of this piece wholeheartedly and pouring your passion into every moment. Together, we have crafted something truly extraordinary.

Thank you for joining us on this journey. Sit back, relax, and allow yourself to be transported by the power of the show. Your presence here tonight enriches our performance, and we are deeply thankful for your support.


Warm regards,

James Reed – Director/ Choreographer / Set Designer

Cast Bios

Anthony Allen (Emcee) Anthony Allen’s first encounter with SCT was with their last production of Cabaret with Delta college. He has since been active in numerous productions since, but is ecstatic to return for the role of the Emcee. He hopes to make you laugh, cry, and feel all the emotions behind such a remarkable story that is so poignant to history itself.

Karissa Kiriu (Sally Bowles) Karissa has been seen in multiple SCT, Showbiz, and LMT productions over the past 15 years. Some of her favorite theater credits include West Side Story, Chicago, Something RottenA Christmas Story, and Rent which won her a Willie Award for Outstanding Featured Actress. She has also choreographed shows such as SCT’s Mamma Mia and 9 to 5: The Musical. Karissa has a Master’s Degree from UOP and is a licensed Civil Engineer. She is eagerly stepping into this 1st leading role of hers, which she would like to dedicate to her mom Inez.

Antonio Munoz (Clifford Bradshaw) This is Antonio’s seventh show here at SCT. He is very excited to put on such an amazing and jaw dropping show with this amazing cast! He wants to thank his family and friends for all their support! As always, enjoy the show!

Brent Dirksen (Ernst Ludwig) Brent is excited to be performing in “Cabaret”, and is amused that this is only his second main stage production where he is fully clothed. He was last seen, in boxer shorts, as He in “Stage Kiss”, and previously, in a towel, as Brick in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”.

Melissa Esau (Fraulein Schneider) Melissa was last seen in the season opener 9 to 5. She will be appearing next in the One Acts in May. Last year, she received the Dora Belle Howard award for her service to the theater.

Ron Smith (Herr Schultz) Ron is very excited to be performing in Cabaret.  Some of his favorite roles have been Oliver Warbucks in “Annie”, Nathan Detroit in “Guys and Dolls” and The Narrator in “A Christmas Story the Musical “.

Chrissy Contino (Rosie (Chatuese)) This is Chrissy’s first production with Stockton Civic Theatre and her first performance role in almost 20 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Direction from Marymount Manhattan College and currently teaches Drama and English at Lincoln High School. Her next project is directing Grease for Lincoln Unified’s Summer Theatre Program. She has had a wonderful time working with and learning from the cast, crew, and production team for Cabaret!

Esther Henderson (Lulu (Two Ladies)) This is Esther’s 12th production at SCT. She has appeared most notably in Rock of Ages as Sherrie Christian, in HAIR as Sheila Franklin and in You Can’t Take it With You as Essie Carmichael. Esther has been performing in the Stockton area for almost 20 years and is honored to have been a part of the timeless story that is Cabaret.

Stefany Jarrett (Frenchie) Stefany is happy to return once again to the Stockton Civic Theater stage. Her last performance was in 9 to 5. She is excited to be back able to work with many of her past cast mates and excited to know a few new ones as well. She would like to thank her parents for their never ending support. 

Paris Allen (Texas) Paris returns to SCT with a twirl and a wink. Following her debut SCT performance in RENT last year, Paris is eager to stretch her wings even further at SCT, embracing the challenge of a new role and chance to refine her craft. With every shake and shimmy she brings characters like Texas to life. Paris continues to prove herself as a versatile and captivating performer. So, leave your troubles outside and enjoy the show!

Bryn Riley (Frauline “Fritzie” Kost) Bryn is thrilled to be performing with SCT for a fourth time, and hopes to continue in the future. While completing her B.A. in Vocal Performance, she performed in musicals such as Into the Woods, Mamma Mia!, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, and others, with the Good Company Players in Fresno. She attributes her love of acting to her father, Craig Riley, and dedicates her performances to him. Miss you always, Mr. Screwtape.

Makenzie Jones (HelgaGrowing up in Lodi California, Makenzie Jones always had a love for theatre and singing. She grew up singing in church choir, as well as school choir going into high school. Although she has no acting experience, she decided to throw herself headfirst and audition for her first role in the production of “Cabaret.” She hopes this production will be the first of many, and can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Kevin Calderon Lopez (Bobby (Two Ladies)) This is Kevin’s first show at SCT and he is excited to be a part of Stockton’s thriving theater community. A Bay Area native, raised in San Leandro. Previous experience with musical theater includes Jack and Wolf, Into the Woods,  Agwe, Once on this Island, and Lion, Wizard of Oz. His dance training includes Ohlone College and various Bay Area Studios. Cabaret is extra special to him because it will probably be his last show until he finishes nursing school. 

Parker Rose (Victor) This is Parker’s second show at SCT and he is very excited to say, “I’m back!” His previous experience with musical theatre includes Beauty and the BeastYou’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, and The Music Man. Today Parker is attending Delta College and is interested in improving his skills as an actor by participating in challenging roles. He thanks his girlfriend for all the support she gave throughout the whole rehearsal practice.

Logan Hamm (Hans (Max)) With a history of ensemble shenanigans in “Rent” and “Nine to Five,” Logan marks his third adventure with the Stockton Civic, poised to unleash a whirlwind of sinister character antics and comedic timing. Armed with a penchant for mischief and a treasure trove of one-liners, Logan aims to charm audiences and leave them shocked. So please… Bliebe, Reste, Stay!

Cory Faamausili (Herman) Cory Faamausili (he/him) is a trained dancer and choreographer from California State University, Fresno. This is Cory’s third show with Stockton Civic Theatre and previously performed in 9 to 5 and Beauty and The Beast. Today, Cory is a company dancer at (Kin)esphere Dance Project in Fresno. Cory would also like to thank his parents for the unconditional love and support they give him to keep doing what he loves to do.

Gavin Latta (German Singer) Gavin has done many SCT Junior and MainStage productions here at Stockton Civic Theatre. His favorites include Matilda (Tommy), A Christmas Story the Musical (Ralphie), Oliver! (Charley Bates), and Beauty and the Beast (Ensemble). He was in Gallo Center Repertory Company‘s previous season’s production of To Kill A Mockingbird (Dill Harris). He also had fun performing in a few recent school productions including The Wizard of Oz (Scarecrow) and Legally Blonde (Aaron Schultz). He is in the 7th grade at Sierra Middle School and enjoys dancing with Unique Visions Dance Company and playing the cello. 

Production Team Bios

James Reed (Director, Choreographer, & Set DesignJames Reed, an acclaimed Director with a legacy spanning over a decade at SCT. Among his notable achievements are iconic shows such as Little Shop of Horrors, SPAMALOT, Sister Act, Matilda, and Ripcord, each a testament to his creative vision and directorial prowess. Notably, his direction of James and the Giant Peach earned him the prestigious Elly Award for Best Direction at ShowBiz Theater Company, a cherished highlight in his career.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Renowned not only for his directorial skills but also for his exceptional choreography, with an impressive portfolio that includes standout works in SCT productions like HAIR, Matilda, RENT, and Rock of Ages.                                                                                                                                                                                     While primarily known for his direction and choreography, James Reed has also showcased his talents in set design, notably in productions such as Midsummer Night’s Dream at ShowBiz Theatre and Ripcord, which garnered an Elly Award nomination. He expresses profound gratitude to Katie Berlin for her artistic contributions in bringing his visions to life.

Amy Dahlstrom (Music Director) Amy has been playing in the SCT pit since 2014, and has music directed several shows. Her most recent show was Rent, for which she was nominated and won a Willie Award for. She also music directs for SCT’s Summer Youth Program.

Elizabeth Smith (Stage Manager & Props Design) Between working with the footlighters and working on props, stage managment, and much more, Elizabeth is a regular at SCT. 

Jonathan Latta (ConductorJonathan is a percussionist, educator, and lover of musical theatre. Cabaret is Jonathan’s fifth show with SCT. Previous shows for Jonathan at SCT include: Something Rotten, A Christmas Story: The Musical, Rent and 9 to 5: The Musical, where he had the pleasure of serving as Music Director. Jonathan also has served as Music Director/Conductor for Into the Woods, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Avenue Q while on faculty at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. In spring of 2023, Jonathan was seen on stage in the role of Narrator/Mysterious Man in the University of the Pacific Opera Theatre Production of Into the Woods. Jonathan currently teaches at the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music where he serves as Associate Professor of Practice in Percussion and Ensembles Administration.  

Cristo Montanez (Lighting Design) Cristo Montañez is a Chicano Lighting Designer currently based in Central Valley, CA. He received his B.A. in Theatre Arts, with an emphasis in Technical Theatre, from CSU Stanislaus. Cristo has recently been accepted and will be attending the master’s program for lighting design at UCLA in the Fall. Striving to provide memorable and impactful experiences he is dedicated to working with other collaborators to share stories that can form powerful connections with people from all backgrounds. 

James Gonzales (Sound Design) James has worked on sound design several times throughout the years, some shows include Annie, Rock of Ages, and Rent. 

Annette MacKay (Costume DesignIt started back in the day with a jacket for Captain Hook when her son was in Kudos Children’s Theater. Since then she has created, compiled, and cobbled together hundreds of costumes for our theater community. Annette wants to give her appreciation to James for entrusting her with his vision for this show, the spectacular cast for being such good sports, and to Carol Wyrick for her invaluable assistance. She also wants to give her deepest condolences to all of humanity for the horror that the holocaust was and to express her fervent desire that we learn and adopt peaceful ways to resolve our conflicts at all levels of society: individual, community, nationally, and internationally.

Carol Wyrwick (Assistant Costume Design) Carol Wyrick started designing and sewing costumes as a 10 year old (the year Barbie doll was introduced), because Barbie doll clothes cost more than the doll. She was soon selling her creations to others. She made costumes for porcelain dolls, children’s ballet, high school theater, and her own students as a teacher for 32 years. She has designed more than a dozen productions since retiring 10 years ago. She has done Little Mermaid, Little Mermaid Jr, Mulan, and Xanadu for SCT.

Abbey Bell (Props Design & Assistant Stage Manager) This is her fourth time working on props for a production at SCT. Previous she did props for Stage Kiss, Fox on the Fairway, and Beauty and the Beast. Abbey has had a great time gathering unique pieces and helping this show come to life! This story hits very close to home and while this isn’t the light-hearted, escape from reality that we might usually look for in a viewing experience, Cabaret is exceptionally important even today. James Reed and the whole team have done a remarkable job bringing this story to the stage. Please enjoy! 

Jessica Spencer (Assistant Director) While she is most recognized on stage in productions like Spamalot and Rent, Jessica is thrilled to join the production team and make her debut as assistant director! She looks forward to more production opportunities and can’t wait to continue exploring the world of directing. Jessica wants to thank James, the production team, and the cast for letting her be apart of this breathtaking production. Prost!

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