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The Greek Plays: Lysistrata and Oedipus Rex

A Note From the Director


Lysistrata is an ancient Greek comedy by Aristophanes, originally performed in 411 BC. It is a comic account of a woman's extraordinary mission to end the Peloponnesian War by denying all the men sex, which was the only thing they truly and deeply desired. Lysistrata persuades the women of the warring cities to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands and lovers as a means of forcing the men to negotiate peace. The play is notable for being an early exposé of sexual relations in a male-dominated society. 


This production of Lysistrata features a classic Greek setting contrasted with contemporary language and writing. Essentially, the audience gets a taste of the Greek environment but the language barrier typical to Greek settings has been translated for modern audiences. With this purpose in mind the audience is able to immerse itself in ancient Greek theatre with the assistance of an adapted text that helps guide individuals through the story.


Oedipus Rex

Oedipus is a tragedy by the ancient Greek playwright Sophocles, first performed in roughly 429 BCE. It follows the story of King Oedipus of Thebes as he discovers that he has unwittingly killed his own father, Laius, and married his own mother, Jocasta


The iconic story of Oedipus will feature a contemporary political and social environment adapted to the original Greek text. This version completely flip flops the idea from Lysistrata; the audience gets to see the Greek style of language set to the tone of modern-day America, showing how Greek drama still continues to influence our world today. Better yet? The mask work for Oedipus is inspired by contemporary news reporters, journalists, and politicians — all of which thematically speaks to the impact of the media world on today’s government and leaders.


As always, thank you, and we hope you enjoy the show, 


Stephen Svoboda and Riley Gibson

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Nick Bishop is a first-year student at Heidelberg. He is a theatre production major. Nick is from Stow, Ohio. He went to Stow Munroe-Falls high school and completed the theatre arts career academy at Tallmadge High School, and received the Keith Bee golden hammer award. Nick was also a 6-year member of the E.T.C. All Americans. Nick has been in shows such as Legally Blonde the Musical, The Trials of Robin Hood, and Almost, Maine. Nick is very excited to be here at Heidelberg University


Amy Berger, a Tiffin resident, was last seen on the Gundlach stage in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (Siobhan). She more frequently appears at the Ritz Theatre and Fort Findlay Playhouse; favourite shows include Angel Street (Bella), Moon Over Buffalo (Charlotte), Pippin (Berthe), and Fiddler on the Roof (Golde). Amy teaches geology and environmental science at Heidelberg University and travels overseas whenever she can. She is grateful to the Heidelberg theatre community for affording her continued opportunities to perform, and thanks her partner Matt for his support.



Kaylea Bowers is a graduate student in the MBA program at Heidelberg. She was in several Gundlach Theatre productions during her undergraduate studies, a few of her favorite roles being Olive Ostrovsky in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Sophie Sheridan in Mamma Mia!. She is thankful for the opportunity to perform during her final year at Heidelberg and wants to thank everyone for their continuous love and support of the Arts!

Lizzie Bowman is a second year student at Heidelberg University, majoring in Musical Theatre and History with a minor in Literature. Oedipus Rex is her fourth acting performance with Heidelberg. In the past she has been in  A Gap in Generations (Vittoria), Spamalot (Patsy), The Little Mermaid (Ariel) and The Music Man (Mrs. Squires), Mamma Mia (Chorus) and Cabaret (Rosie). Lizzie has also been a production member in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and The Penguin Tango.


Nicole Brickner is a freshman at Heidelberg University. The Greek Plays are her first college-level performance at Heidelberg. She has participated in Heidelberg’s School of Music and Theatre’s summer camp for the past two years, appearing in Heidelberg’s productions of 13 and Matilda. She is a music education major with a double minor in theatre and art. She graduated from New Riegel High School in New Riegel, Ohio. She is excited to continue performing with the theatre for the upcoming years.


Elayna Brock is thrilled to be performing on the Gundlach stage for the first time of her college career. She attended Lutheran High School of Indianapolis, Indiana where she performed as The Baker’s Wife (Into the Woods) and Lowbutt in (Honk!). She would like to thank her family and friends for always supporting her throughout her life and always being in the front row of her shows.


Austin Buckhalter is a Senior at Heidelberg University. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Austin has appeared in numerous theatre productions including The Laramie Project, The Diary of Anne Frank, Little Women, Sister Act, Macbeth, The Music Man, The Penguin Tango, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, and Cabaret. Austin plans to pursue musical direction and performance in the professional world, which allows him to combine his love for theatre and the piano.


Michelle Chen is a freshman Musical Theatre Major at Heidelberg. She has done The Music Man, Mamma Mia!, and now The Greek Plays: Lysistrata and Oedipus Rex for her second year at Heidelberg. She helped with costumes during The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. She’s very excited to be working on these two shows especially with the fun masks that were created by students for Oedipus Rex.


Bri Clark is a freshman musical theater major. She is also apart of the Heidelberg Women’s Tennis Team and the Hei-Notes. As well as acting and singing, Brianna is part of the production team. Brianna has been performing all her life and is ecstatic to continue her journey on the Heidelberg stage.


Nathan Colin is a sophomore theatre major here at Heidelberg. After being birthed, it took him about 14 years to discover his love for theatre. He has been addicted ever since. He cannot wait for you to watch him be the Magistrate and let out all of his bottled up emotions explode on stage. This is his second show at Heidelberg. He also worked on the lighting for both the shows! Enjoy the show, dudes.


Ashley C. Dawson is a second year double major in Music and Theatre. She’s excited to tackle her first play! After transferring from Baltimore, MD, Ashley made her debut on Gundlach’s stage last fall as Mrs. Paroo in The Music Man.  More recently, she was seen in the ensemble of both Cabaret and Mamma Mia! and as a soloist in The Jeff Blumenkrantz Songbook Festival.  Other notable credits include Bird Woman (Disney’s Mary Poppins), Connie Boylan (Annie), and Wicked Witch/Blind Mouse (Shrek: The Musical).  Special thanks to all of the people who have made this journey possible: family, friends, faculty, and mentors.


Martina Dimiduk is a second year theatre major from Dayton, Ohio. This will be their fifth show at Heidelberg. You may have seen them on stage as an old woman in Mamma Mia!, and/or a teenage dancer in The Music Man. Martina hopes you enjoy the show and go on to tell your friends about the great things that happen here at Heidelberg University.


Tristan Goerk is featured in both of The Greek Plays as a Spartan, and Bernie Sanders respectively. He has been in many other productions on both the technical and acting side of things. He is a third year theatre major with a chemistry minor.

Caira Goldstein is a Junior at Heidelberg University. She is a Musical Theatre major. She was previously in Macbeth, The Music Man, Cabaret, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Mamma Mia!, Sister Act, and A Grand Night for Singing. She also performed in the masterclasses of Tom Cippulo and Jeff Blumenkrantz here at Heidelberg. Caira thanks you for supporting our program and hopes you enjoy the show!


Paige Hood is currently a Sophomore at Heidelberg University where she is studying pre-med and musical theater. Oedipus Rex will be Paige’s 6th performance for HU Theater. Paige studied voice and theater at the Beck Center of the Arts for 10 years. Paige’s past performances include Cinderella (Cinderella), Pippin (Fastrada), Mary Poppins (Winifred Banks), The Music Man, Macbeth, Mamma Mia!, The Penguin Tango (Gomez), and Cabaret (Texas). Paige is also a National Anthem performer, and has performed at Progressive Field, Lake Erie Crushers Stadium, 4th of July Avon Lake Celebration, and the Ohio Fallen Police/Firefighters Memorial. At Avon Lake HS, Paige was lead vocalist for The Frats rock band, finalists in the 2017 Cleveland Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Rock Off. In her spare time, Paige plays midfield for the Heidelberg University Women’s Soccer team. Paige is thrilled to be performing in Oedipus Rex and would like to thank her family and friends for all their love and support.

Isaac Hulbert has always loved doing work behind the scenes, like making costumes and props. He has also always loved cosplay, comic books, movies, and especially plays and musicals. But now he is coming out from the costume shops and coming out on to the stage for the first time.

Lo Erin Jackson is a Junior Musical Theatre major at Heidelberg University. Originally from Columbus, some of her favorite credits include 9 to 5 (Judy), In The Heights (Nina), and The Secret Garden (Lily). Previously at Heidelberg, she has played Jo March in Little Women, Sister Mary Robert in Sister Act, Marian Paroo in The Music Man, and Rosie in Mamma Mia!. Lo is involved in many groups on Heidelberg’s campus, such as Zeta Theta Psi and Rho Eta Delta. She is currently the vice president for Alpha Psi Omega, the theatre honorary. She is delighted to be performing in the Chorus for Oedipus Rex and as Calonice in Lysistrata. Much love to Stephen for giving her this incredible opportunity for growth, to her family and friends for their undying love and support, and to everyone involved in these unique and incredible shows!

Hailey Long is a Freshman theatre major with double minors in English and Literature. This is her first college production. She has previously been in Annie Jr and Alice in Wonderland Jr with her high school. She looks forward to being a part of future productions here at Heidelberg University!


Haley Martin is a sophomore at Heidelberg University, The Greek Plays being her third production. She is a history major with a double minor in music and French. She graduated from Edgewood High School, in Ellettsville, Indiana, where she performed in a total of 11 shows, including portraying Dolly Tate in Annie Get Your Gun, and Violet Newstead in 9 to 5. She is excited to continue performing with the theatre for the next few years.

James Ogle is a Junior musical theatre major from Henagar, AL. James has been performing since the age of ten. This will be James' second year here at Heidelberg University, you may have seen him in The Music Man as ensemble and as Christopher Boone in The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime here at Heidelberg among many others. James would like to thank his family and friends back home for all the support and love.


Solana Petrone is so excited to be performing on the Gundlach stage again! She was in Cabaret as a Kit Kat girl earlier this fall. She attended Lakewood High School where she performed as Abigail Adams (1776),  Josephine March (Little Women), Rosie (Mamma Mia!), and more! She would like to thank her family for helping her get this far in her theatrical career and all of the wonderful new friends she has made thanks to the Heidelberg Music and Theatre department.


Ben Pollizi is a freshman musical theatre major. He was seen this fall as Hans/Rudy in Cabaret. His favorite past roles include playing The Cat in the Hat in Seussical, and Jack in The Tin Woman. He hopes you enjoy the show!


Noah Rawson is a freshman here at Heidelberg and is dual majoring in criminology and theatre (with a focus in acting). He would like to thank the students for being very welcoming and, Stephen and David for being so helpful. He'd also like to thank his older sister, Ciera, for getting him into acting to begin with.

Taylor Richardson is a sophomore English and Theatre Major and she is ecstatic to be apart of The Greek Plays. She has previously been seen on the Heidelberg stage in Mamma Mia!, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, and The Music Man as well as running social media and assistant costume design for The Penguin Tango. She would like to thank her family and friends for their never ending support on and off the stage.


Adam Robinson is a football player and theatre major at Heidelberg. He is detroit native that enjoys being apart of the Heidelberg school of music and theatre.  This is Adam's fifth production here at HU including previous roles in The Music Man, Macbeth, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, and Mamma Mia!.  Adam is super excited and grateful to be apart of this wonderful cast and production. 


Hannah Schoen is a sophomore musical theatre major at Heidelberg. Since coming to Heidelberg, she has done The Music Man, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, and The Penguin Tango. She has also been involved in community choir, wardrobe for Cabaret and Alpha Psi Omega’s Haunted tour of the catacombs. She hopes to continue to learn more about acting and costume design in the future here at Heidelberg. Thank you and enjoy the show.


Shane Souders is a Freshman from Fostoria, Ohio. He is double-majoring in English Education and Theater. He made his debut at Heidelberg in The Music Man. He also played supporting roles in Macbeth. Shane played a role in Stephen Svoboda’s “The Penguin Tango” which was performed in Scotland. He is excited to perform in The Greek Plays: Lysistrata and Oedpius Rex. Shane’s hobbies include writing, reading stories, and playing video games.


Nick Talion is new to Heidelberg and is so excited to return to Gundach for yet another production! He has had previous roles in Father of the Bride (Buzz Taylor), Play On! (Billy Carwel), Songs for a New World (Ensemble), Disaster! (Waiter), The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [abridged] (Himself), Aida (Pharaoh), Blithe Spirit (Charles Condomine), Newsies (Pulitzer), and Cabaret (Ernst).  He would like to thank his friends and family for all the support and for helping him make it this far, as well as the entire cast and the directors or making this show a memorable one!


Sophia Weaver is a freshman at Heidelberg University. This is her first production at Heidelberg, but she was in seven productions during her high school career. Sophia graduated from Findlay High School in Findlay, Ohio. She is majoring in Music and Psychology, and looks forward to being involved in the School of Music and Theatre in the future.


Sarah Zapola is a sophomore from Huron, Ohio who is double majoring in History and Writing,

with a minor in Theatre. She has been involved in community theatre for seven years and

currently holds the Social Chair in the Heidelberg Historians. Sarah’s first show with

Heidelberg University was Mamma Mia! and she’s excited to perform in the Greek Plays this

semester. She gives credit to her family for their encouragement and support over the years!


Bella Ballard is very excited to be helping with props for The Greek Plays. Some of her past production roles include Stage Managing & Head of Makeup for Six Characters in Search of an Author as well as Head of House, Building and Paint Crew for the productions of Shrek, Cinderella and The Addams Family. Offstage she is double majoring in Business Management and Musical Theatre, minoring in Music while on a Pre-law track. At Heidelberg Bella is a member of the Concert Choir, the Speech Team, Business and Technology Events Council and the vocalist for Jazz Band. She would like to thank her grandparents for their constant love and support.


Gavin Buurma is a sophomore business administration and musical theatre double major from Willard, Ohio.  He has performed in various productions at Heidelberg including Mamma Mia!, The Music Man, The Penguin Tango, Shakespeare's Macbeth and Cabaret.  Gavin is also very involved on campus as a member of Rho Eta Delta, Zeta Theta Psi, Delta Sigma Chi, Alpha Psi Omega, Student Ambassadors, and a second-year member of the Concert Choir. This is his first time working behind the scenes and he is very excited. He would like to thank his friends and family, especially his mom, for all of their support. The cast and crew have worked incredibly hard and he is very excited for everyone to see the show!

Destiny Chesser is a theatre production major at Heidelberg University. She is from Cleveland, Ohio. She is a current sophomore and her past production with Heidelberg University was Mamma Mia!. Destiny would like to thank those in her life that support her and wish her to succeed.


Kay Collins is Theatre Production Major at Heidelberg University with a concentration in Stage Management. Most recent experiences include wardrobe dresser for the world premiere of The Royal Family of Broadway at Barrington Stage Company and assistant wig designer to Brittany Hartman on Getting The Band Back Together currently on Broadway in New York. Previous Heidelberg shows include video and projection design for The Diary Of Anne Frank, Stage Managing Little Women as well as How I Learned to Drive and Assistant SM for Sister Act. Other past shows include 9 to 5, Hairspray, Seussical Jr., Grease, and Into the Woods featured at Workshop Players in Amherst, Ohio and Oberlin College. 

Anna Gerber is a sophomore theatre and English major from Richfield, Ohio. The Greek Plays: Lysistrata and Oedeipus Rex are the first shows she has designed sound for at Heidelberg. In the past, she was assistant stage manager for The Music Man, and stage manager for Cabaret, Mamma Mia!, and The Penguin Tango at Heidelberg, and Titanic at the Ritz Theatre. She is thrilled to be doing these shows, and would like to thank her friends and family for all their support.


Riley Gibson is a sophomore at Heidelberg University majoring in musical theatre. She has participated in 10 musicals throughout her middle school, high school, and college career. At Heidelberg, she has been in The Music Man, Macbeth, Mamma Mia! and Cabaret. She has also been in Titanic at The Ritz Theatre. She would like to thank her family for always supporting her when it comes to theatre. She would also like to thank the directors as well as the cast for all of the countless hours they have devoted to making this show amazing.


Allison Gonzales is a first-year sophomore studying environmental science and theatre with a

concentration in production. Cabaret was her first show at Heidelberg before becoming a stage manager for Oedipus Rex. Before transferring from DePaul University, she was a costume and props master for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as well as doing shows in high school. She is very excited to be stage manager for Oedipus. She would like to thank her friends and family for supporting her.

Lauren Gronsky is a Freshman theatre production major and is excited to be assistant stage manager. In her free time, she is a part of the marching band and dance team. Lauren would like to thank her family for always supporting her and coming to all of her shows.

Jordan Kline is a sophomore here at Heidelberg University. She is doing camera work and fly rails for both shows. She has been in a total of ten shows, which includes these two shows where she spends most of her time helping backstage. Here at Heidelberg, she has helped with The Music Man and was a part of the Mamma Mia! cast. She would like to thank her sister, mother, father, and old high school directors. She would also like to thank Stephan and David for welcoming her with open arms.


Catherine Mason is excited to be joining the team for Lysistrata and Oedipus Rex, and to be reuniting with David Cotter since the last time they saw one another was in College at SUNY Potsdam. Catherine designs for theatre, dance, and opera. Recent Ohio Design credits include Parade at Capital University and Rigoletto for Opera Project Columbus. You can follow her work at

Doug McConnell has enjoyed an active career as a composer, teacher and administrator. His compositions have been performed throughout the U.S. and internationally, including Canada, England, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Russia. Dr. McConnell has written for a variety of performing mediums, but he especially enjoys writing for voices. McConnell's efforts as a composer and teacher have been honored on a number of occasions. He is a previous winner of the annual composition prize sponsored by the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters in recognition of his chamber composition, Songs of the Beloved. Dr. McConnell has received Composer of the Year honors from the Music Teachers National Association in both Mississippi and Ohio. Dr. McConnell is also a recipient of Heidelberg University’s Distinguished Research Award for his work as a composer. More recently, for his academic and professional work in music and film studies, he was the recipient of the Frost-Kalnow Professorship in the Humanities. He has put a lot of hard work into composing the music for these shows, and he cannot wait for you to get to hear it. Enjoy the show!


Ethan Miller is a senior English writing major with theatre and psychology minors here at Heidelberg University. His involvement includes Greek life, Berg Allies, The Kilikilik, Res life, and the Berg Body Positivity Association. He would like to thank everyone for coming to the show and encourages everyone to read more Greek drama - it's inspirations are everywhere in the world today, from Shakespeare to modern politics.


Jasmine Ridler is the props master for The Greek Plays. She is a sophomore History and Theatre major at Heidelberg University. She has worked on stage performing as a Pick-A-Little Lady in Heidelberg’s Production of The Music Man and most recently as Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret. She has previously done Props Master work for The Penguin Tango, which recently performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Some of her other previous work has been playing the role of Mrs. Baskin in Big the Musical with the Beck Center for the Arts, as

well as a multitude of Operetta performances with the Interlochen Arts Academy and Camp.

David Cotter previously served as the Managing Artistic Director of Town Hall Theatre, the only theatre in Dayton, Ohio, exclusively presenting work for young audiences. While at Town Hall Theatre, David oversaw the redevelopment of the education programs, developed programming for adults with special needs, and created and implemented a facilities upgrade plan for the theatre which included new lighting, sound and audience seating upgrades. David was the Director of Education at The Redhouse Arts Center in Syracuse, N.Y. where he oversaw a $3.2 million education collaboration program that focused arts integration and collaboration with student in the Syracuse City School District. In addition, he oversaw programming that included the Rock Camp experience, programming for adults with special needs and communications training for graduate and doctoral students in the medical fields. David is a certified music educator in Ohio and New York and spent time in the middle school classroom. David is a frequent presenter at conferences, which include the Southeastern Theatre Conference, American Alliance for Theatre Education, Florida Theatre Conference and Tedx. He is an avid musical theatre performer, director, and music director.


Stephen Svoboda is currently an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Heidelberg University, where he teaches coursework in acting, script analysis, musical theatre direction, play direction, theatre history and criticism. He is responsible for curriculum and course development in The School of Music & Theatre as well as being responsible for the artistic and programmatic development of Gundlach Theatre. He served as the Executive Artistic Director of the Redhouse Arts Center from 2011-2016. Previously, he served as the Executive Artistic Director of the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts in Blue Mountain Lake, N.Y. While at the Redhouse Arts Center, Stephen developed unique partnerships with a variety of organizations throughout the state, including a multi-million-dollar contract with the Syracuse City Schools that made The Redhouse the regional leader in arts education and integration. In addition, while at the Redhouse he created a repertory company of artists, designers and community members that enabled him to produce, in a typical year, over 16 productions, 300 classes and cultivate relationships with communities typically underserved by arts including urban youth and families and adults with disabilities. Prior to working in regional arts centers, Stephen taught at the University of Miami, where his students and colleagues ranked him as one of the best teachers in the College of Arts and Sciences. He created a BFA in Playwriting and Directing track that focused on developing young dramatists through devising, growing, and staging new works, while celebrating the great diversity of student voices.

His play, Odysseus Died from AIDS, was developed in Miami and received its world premiere at the New York International Fringe Festival, where the production was awarded “Best Ensemble.“ Odysseus Died from AIDS was published in the anthology Plays and Playwrights 2005, by the New York Theatre Experience, and received its international premiere in 2007 in Athens, Greece with a subsequent production in Seoul, South Korea in 2008. In March 2011, the Red House production of Odysseus DOA had a limited engagement run at Theatre Row Studios in NYC. Odysseus DOA had its regional premiere in 2012 at Connecticut Repertory Theatre, where the production was awarded “Best Play in Connecticut” by Broadway World. The Penguin Tango, premiered at the 2006 New York International Fringe Festival in The Actor’s Playhouse. The production was awarded “Best of the Festival” and extended as part of the Fringe Encore Series in the Lion Theater at Theatre Row. It was recently revived and revised on the Redhouse stage as part of the 2014-2015 season. Reconstructing Mama, a new musical written with N. David Williams, premiered Off Broadway at The Theatre Row Studios in August 2006. Stephen works internationally with The Harambe Project to help do HIV/AIDS education and prevention and orphan care throughout Africa.

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Clark, Bri.jpg
Dawson, Ashley.jpg
Gibson, Riley.jpg
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Hood, Paige.jpg
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Petrone, Solana.jpg
Pollizi, Ben.jpg
Ridler, Jasmine.jpg
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Cotter, David.jpg
Svoboda, Stephen.jpg

Meet the Cast

Production Team

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Gerber, Anna_edited.jpg
Chesser, Destiny_edited.jpg
Collins, Kay_edited.jpg
Berger, Amy_edited.jpg
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Brock, Elayna_edited.jpg
Chen, Michelle_edited.jpg
Colin, Nathan_edited.jpg
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Martin, Haley_edited.jpg
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Robinson, Adam_edited.jpg
Schoen, Hannah_edited.jpg
Souders, Shane_edited.jpg
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