Cast & Team
RUTHIE BAKER - Jo March
Ruthie is so excited to be pursuing one of her dream roles with Second Fiddle Productions. A Minnesota native, Ruthie moved to NYC in 2005 where she was involved in various readings with B-Side Productions, NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, Manhattan Theatre Club and the Manhattan JCC. She is delighted to be back in the Twin Cities and hopes to help other artists connect with their potential and possiblity through Second Fiddle! Ruthie has loved musical theatre since she was 3 and saw her first musical "Peter Pan" at the Hopkins Community Center. She is the Artistic Director and Founder of Second Fiddle Productions.
What inspires me: Simple & honest storytelling, exploring without fear, sillyness, creativity, possibility and fun-loving people! Oh, and puggles.
JEN BURLEIGH BENTZ- Meg March
Jen BB is inspired by Second Fiddle, and is wildly happy to be a part of such an interesting, inviting and of course - Astonishing - Production's choice for their first staged reading. Pleased as punch to play Meg, Jen had previously joined the Broadway company of Mamma Mia to play Tanya, the Guthrie productions of The Winter’s Tale and Primrose Path, has revelled in roles such as Queenie in Wild Party (Lippa) at the Fitzgerald Theatre, Judy Garland in Beyond the Rainbow and Laverne Andrews in Christmas of Swing at the History Theatre, Annie in Annie Get your Gun, Irene Malloy in Hello Dolly! and Violet in 9 to 5, amongst other lovely roles that she felt blessed to have the opportunity to play. Above all, to Jen, Theatre IS family, and she can't express how wonderful it is to be working with such a lovely group of sisters and extended family in this reading of Little Women. Next on the docket for Jen is the Minneapolis Working Boys' Band at the History Theatre in St. Paul, which runs from May 3rd - June 1st.
LAURA RUDOLPH - Amy March
Laura couldn't be more excited to be a part of Second Fiddle's first production, Little Women. A local Twin Cities girl and graduate of Iowa State University, Laura can currently be seen swimming under the sea in Chanhassen Dinner Theatre's production of The Little Mermaid. Other favorite credits include The Guthrie Theater (American Tourist in Roman Holiday, Swing for HMS Pinafore, She Stoops to Conquer: The Musical), Chanhassen Dinner Theater (Wife in Joseph..., Natalie in All Shook Up, Sister Leo in Nunset Boulevard), Bloomington Civic Theater ( Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie), and the first national tour of Nunset Boulevard. She also happily manages gorgeous locally owned Flutter Bridal Boutique.
What inspires me: "I am constantly inspired by everyone around me who strives to accomplish their goals and aspirations, and who stop at nothing to see it through. People who stop asking and start doing. It inspires me to do the same."
ZOE PAPPAS - Beth March
Zoe Pappas is incredibly grateful to Ruthie Baker for throwing her back on stage. In real life, she resides on the island of Oahu in Hawaii where she teaches yoga. And, after spending 27 years in the cold, the beach has been a nice change. In Minneapolis, her credits include: Theater Latté Da (Evita, Floyd Collins, A Man of No Importance); Chanhassen Dinner Theatres (Footloose, The Producers, Joseph…, Les Miserables, Grease); Ordway Center (Beauty and the Beast, Grey Gardens), Pantages Theater (Grease, Hair), Guthrie Theater, The Children’s Theatre Company, History Theatre, and Eye of the Storm. Zoe was recognized as Outstanding Actress in a Musical 2008 for her work as “Ulla” in The Producers and was featured in a 2009 Video Project titled Lives in the Theater: Triple Threat (both with the Star Tribune). Zoe is most grateful for her two Minnesota besties, for the Courneya family, for Mom and Dad, and for her soon-to-be-husband, Jonas. .
WENDY SHORT HAYES - Marmee
Wendy Short-Hays is honored to tackle the role of Marmee for Second Fiddle Productions. She first met the talented Ruthie Baker while creating the original choreography for “Church Basement Ladies” and is thrilled to be included in this wonderful project. Choreographing for Troupe America has kept her busy with all 5 versions of “Church Basement Ladies” as-well-as numerous other productions (“Pumpboys & Dinettes”, “Nunsense”, “A Christmas Carol” to name a few.) Her work has also been seen in the commercial and corporate theatre world in addition to regional theatres across the Midwest. She especially enjoys her position as Artistic Director of VISTA Productions which is the combined theatre department of Visitation School and Saint Thomas Academy. There she and her wonderful husband and technical director Elliott enjoy producing plays, musicals and original works with young thespians. Although her focus has been directing, choreographing and producing Wendy is embracing the opportunity to get back onstage and back to her performing roots. Playing the role of George’s Mother in “Sunday In The Park With George” for Bloomington Civic Theatre opened her heart once again to her love of performing and she is ready to venture back onto the stage. Many thanks to her mentor and vocal coach Stephen Houtz for the encouragement and of course to Ruthie for this incredible opportunity.
MAX WOJONOWITZ - Laurie
Max Wojtanowicz is so pleased to be a part of this reading! A native of Rice, MN, and a graduate of St Olaf College, Max was last seen onstage in Cinderella at the Children's Theatre Company. Other favorite credits include Nautilus Music Theater (Warren in Ordinary Days), The Strange Capers (Feste in Twelfth Night), Workhouse Theatre Company (Arnold in Torch Song Trilogy), Urban Samurai (Hunter in [title of show]) and Frank Theatre (Cliff in Cabaret). He has written the book and lyrics for two musicals (Fruit Fly and Shelly Bachberg Presents: How Helen Keller and Anne Frank Freed the Slaves, both at the Minnesota Fringe), and is hard at work on new projects. He also co-hosts Musical Mondays at Hell's Kitchen, a monthly cabaret series in downtown Minneapolis, and sings at Spirit of Hope United Methodist Church in Golden Valley. Right now you can see him onstage as the Big Bad Wolf in Shrek at CTC, playing through June 15.
What inspires me: I'm inspired by positive, hardworking people who believe in the power of storytelling.
DAN BECKMANN - Mr. Brooke
Dan Beckmann is both humbled and overjoyed to be a part of the talented group of people who will be sharing this wonderful piece with the Twin Cities! He is a graduate of the University of MInnesota Duluth and has been seen on the stages of Children's Theatre Company, The Ordway, Park Square Theatre, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres and others. He is currently in rehearsals for "The History of Invulnerability" with the Minnesota Jewish Theatre company, playing April 19th thru May 11th. Dan loves the Twin Cities and is constantly overwhelmed and inspired by the vast amount and variety of art that takes place here -- he will miss the locale and residents greatly as he leaves for New York City in September.
What inspires you? : The art of storytelling is one of the oldest and most awesome powers available to humankind, and when a group of people can come together to share a story, simply for the love of it -- well, that's pretty incredible.
PAUL SCHOENACK - Mr. Laurence
Paul is thrilled to be included in this talented cast. He met Ruthie Baker only a few months ago in the Actors Workout and is particularly honored that Ruthie would invite him to be part of the fun. Over the years, Paul has appeared on numerous professional and amateur stages in western Minnesota, Wisconsin, St. Paul, and Minneapolis. Most recently, he has appeared in The Children’s Republic, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Spider’s Web, The Gifted Program, and Redbird Road. In addition to appearing on stage, he has directed shows n St. Paul (The Lowery Lab), Minneapolis (The Theatre Garage), Alexandria (AAAA Theatre), and in Willmar (The Barn Theatre). Paul’s theater education includes the University of Minnesota, Augsburg College, and several acting coaches. He is proud to be a member of the Actors Workout, conducted by Raye Birk.
TERRY LYNN CARLSON - Prof. Bhaer
Terry Lynn Carlson worked in the Performing Arts for more than 35 years as an Actor- Singer-Dancer, Director, Producer, Administrator and Designer. His work has been seen in over 150 productions in places such as; The Ordway Music Theatre, Chanhassen Theatres, Minnesota Opera, The Old Log Theatre, History Theatre, Nautilus Music Theatre and The Children’s Theatre. National Tours include Moon Over Buffalo, The Last of the Red Hot Lovers and The Sunshine Boys. Mr. Carlson was the Artistic Director of The Minnesota Festival Theatre, the Paul Bunyan Playhouse and Executive Director of the Bloomington Civic Theatre. He also served as Artistic Associate with the Southwest Theatre Project, New Plays Inc and ARTisphere Theatre. Terry Lynn has been a member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA for more than 30 years. He majored in Music, Theatre and Dance at the University of Minnesota and The Bernstein School in Los Angeles, CA. A Minnesota native, he is based in Minneapolis with his partner, Actress/Choreographer Elizabeth M. Desotelle and is the proud father of four.
ROB GOUDY - Director
As a freelance director, dramaturg, and stage manager, Rob has worked with the Guthrie, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, the Children’s Theatre, Bloomington Civic Theatre, Gremlin Theatre, Theatre in the Round, and the Minnesota Fringe. Upcoming projects include Other Desert Cities at Bloomington Civic Theatre.
Rob is as thrilled as Christopher Columbus to take part in the launch of Second Fiddle Productions with this classic story. Inspiration: The great imagination pioneers like J.M. Barrie, Roald Dahl, and Madeleine L’Engle and current theater visionaries who tend the flame like John Doyle, Emma Rice and Edward Hall.
SHELLI PLACE - Aunt March
Shelli Place – Shelli has returned to acting after a nearly a decade of producing/directing corporate awards, fashion shows and red carpet events. Her Minnesota debut was the popular 2013 Fringe Festival’s “A Certain Age”, followed by “Two Weekends” at the Playwright’s Center. A long time member of AEA/SAG/AFTRA, theater credits include King Lear (Regan), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Mae), Mary Stuart (Mary), Twelfth Night (Viola), The Importance of Being Earnest (Gwendolyn) and musicals How to Succeed… Fiorello and Company Tours include Closer than Ever, A My Name is Alice , Man of La Mancha , Play it again Sam, Geroge M, and Room Service. TV and film credits: 3rd Rock from the Sun, Miyasaki’s Animated Classic – The Crimson Pig (English Version) and the cult horror film Party Line. Shelli loves living in such a vibrant theatrical community where she has directed Over the River and Through The Woods and 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche for Theater NOW and Lives of the Great Waitresses for Theater Unbound. She feels fortunate to be a part of the Actor’s Workout with Raye Birk at the Guthrie Theatre.
NIC DELCAMBRE - Music Director
Nic Delcambre is a Twin Cities composer, keyboardist, and actor who is proud to be Music Directing the inaugural Second Fiddle Productions reading of Little Women. His stage credits include Casting Spells Production's Disenchanted (Piano/Band Leader), The History Theatre's Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story (Piano), The Christmas Schooner (Barclay), 1968 (Piano/Band Leader), MSCM Theatre's Hair (Music Director/Piano), Assassins (Charles Guiteau), Working (UPS Man/Trucker), WCT's The Music Man (Music Director/Harold Hill) Into the Woods (Cinderella's Prince), The Drowsy Chaperone (Feldzieg) and many others. In addition to creating and Music Directing new works for The Producing House at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, Nic has composed and scored a number of short and feature length films, including Maxwell Freduenthal’s Undone, a feature-length musical which won the Audience Choice Award at the OUT Twin Cities film festival. You can catch Nic playing keyboards for the hit 80's rock sing-a-long Power Balladz currently at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres and on tour, as well as in The History Theatre’s upcoming production of Working Boys Band.
What inspires me: Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Bright copper… wait… that’s a different thing.