Congratulations to everyone – and my apologies for the long wait. I took a week to focus on my family in Florida. Now I’m back to focus on my theatre family!

This show is going to push every single one of you. Almost everyone is in a role that will ask them to do more than they have ever done in a musical. We will need to work hard and grow to be able to pull off this amazing show.

You will quickly notice that you have two “guest stars” joining you in the cast. I have asked Mrs. Newman to split the traditional role of Poppa with me. I will be playing Poppa’s central character while Mrs. Newman will be playing Control’s mom and the spirit engine Starlight Express (usually performed by the actor who plays Poppa.) I am always hesitant to take a role in a show I’m directing, but with our extreme shortage of men this year I decided to give it a try. Mrs. Newman and I absolutely love sharing the stage with you – and it gives us a chance to keep our performance skills sharp.

As usual, I have messed a bit with the characters to fit us better:

    •Many characters originally played as male will be played by girls in our production.  We will be playing them as female. It’s really not a problem since they are all trains and train cars anyway – not exactly gender-reliant. 

    • I have also decided that Greaseball’s Gang will be comprised of box cars (in a salute to an earlier version of the show) instead of other diesel engines. This will allow the gang to be part of the freight numbers too.

    •In researching trains, I discovered the Baggage Cars. While not originally part of the Starlight Express characters, Baggage Cars are both part of a passenger train and carry freight. I am using these roles to perform with the passenger coaches in some numbers while also leaving the possibility of singing with freight in other places. My initial plan is to have these characters in similar costumes but in different colors. I plan to name you after the colors – my current thoughts are Rose, Emerald, Goldie, and Sky.

    •The Specialty Cars will be part of freight, but I wanted to represent the huge number of cool train cars that exist. Each of these performers will be something different. Currently I am considering the following cars: lumber, stock, circus, and tanker.

First rehearsal will be Monday, January 7, 6:00-8:30 PM – read-through/listen-through and beginning to learn music.

Have a Happy New Year!


BOY/CONTROL    Hollis Correa

RUSTY, a steam engine    Ben Huggins
ELECTRA, an electric engine    Nathanael Peterson
GREASEBALL, a diesel engine    Daniel Cardis
NINTENDO, a Japanese engine    Miriam Kim 
RUHRGOLD, a German engine/HIP HOPPER (Act II)    Sydney Williams 
TURNOV, a Russian engine    Avery Hobbs 
PRINCE OF WALES, a British engine    Bella Law
POPPA, an old steam engine    R. Andrew Strickland

PEARL, the first-class car    Abigail Dean
DINAH, the dining car    Hannah Ferguson 
DUVAY, the sleeping car    Sydney Bishop 
BUFFY, the buffet car    Ryann Perkins
BAGGAGE CARS    Claire Gardner, Ella Washburn, Alyssa Ranow, Faith Layton

PURSE, the money car/ENGINE    Haley Harden
JOULE, the dynamite car/ENGINE    Jordan Wooten 
VOLTA, the freezer car/ENGINE    Anna Mercer Willingham 
WRENCH, the repair car/ENGINE    Kate Spivey
(The performers playing COMPONENTS will also be ENGINES in “Rolling Stock”.) 

RED CABOOSE    Connor Moore
HIP HOPPER 1    Kirstin Williams
HIP HOPPER 2    Kyla Gay
HIP HOPPER 3    Akoi Fumbah
GREASEBALL’S GANG (BOX CARS)    Aster Zang, Mei-Ling MiQwe, Ren Harden
SPECIALTY CARS    Julie Evans, Bella Baker, Grace Mancin, Allison Jordan
DUSTIN, the big hopper    Bennett Barkley 
FLAT TOP, the brick car    Abby Tillery 

MARSHALS    Tech Crew

The Musical:
by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Richard Stilgoe

Performances: March 7-9, 2019