REEFER MADNESS

CAST & CREW BIOS!

AMANDA ADAMS (Assistant to the Costume Designer / Makeup Artist / Set, Prop, Costume Construction) was taught to sew, and soon she will regret it.  Amanda has done an awful lot for this show, and everyone is very thankful.

WHITNEY ARNOLD (Mae / Vocal Music Director) has been an avid lover of theatre since a young age when she got involved in community theatre in her hometown of Mount Vernon. She went to Loras College, where she pursued her two loves: music and theatre. Her recent roles include Eve (Waiting for the Parade), Martha (Doctor Faustus), Miss Poppenguhl (Moonlight & Magnolias), and Ethel Toffelmeir (Music Man). Whitney would like to send a special thank you for her family and friends for coming and supporting her in shows (even if it is a drive for them)! An extra special shout out to her boyfriend, Dan, who has to deal with her insanity on a daily basis. She hopes that you have as much fun with this show as she has had being a part of it. 

GWEN BEATTY (Sally / Mary u/s / TWP Associate Artistic Director) is a barista, a bartender, and an English major, which is an annoying combination of things to be. She has recently been named the Associate Artistic Director of Trainwreck Productions. Favorite roles include the Pirates of Penzance (Mabel), No Exit (Estelle), [title of show] (Susan), The Importance of Being Earnest (Cecily), and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Puck). She is a fiction editor at the online literary journal First Stop Fiction, and is currently working on her first collection of short fiction entitled Kill Us on the Way Home. She would like to thank Lily, her pretend sister. You can find her here, if you give a goddamn: www.gwenbeatty.com.

MICHELLE BLANCHARD (Costume Designer) moved to Dubuque about three years ago after spending five years touring the country. Most of her touring career was spent as a Head of Wardrobe for VEE Corporation on various Costume Character Children's shows including Sesame Street and Barney. Prior to hitting the road, Michelle spent several summers in various capacities at the Theater Barn in New Lebanon, NY. During the summer, she would usually end up in the Costume Shop at some point either helping with or creating costumes or creating stage curtains and set dressings. Since moving to Dubuque, Michelle has worked with community and college theaters including The Grand Opera House, Fly-By-Night Productions, the Loras Players, and University of Dubuque.

GRETCHEN BREITBACH (Choreographer / Featured Dancer / Ensemble) is no stranger to the stage from her first performance in The Grand Opera House’s Showboat, to her last in The Full Monty with many shows in between... A Dubuque native with a love for music, dancing, and the theatre, Gretchen is delighted, after a five year hiatus to have two wonderful little boys and work her thriving massage therapy practice, to return to the stage once again in Reefer Madness

RYAN MICHAEL DECKER (Director / Choreographer / Set and Props Designer / Accompaniment / Jimmy, Jack, Ralph u/s / TWP Artistic Director) is descending into madness.  He has directed a variety of plays and musicals, classical, contemporary, and original. Among them, his directing credits include The Amazing Hi-Lows, Taming of the Shrew, The Last Five Years, The Importance of Being Earnest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Drugs are Bad, Alice in the Underground, Close to the Flame, and Godless. His upcoming directing engagements include Shackles ‘n’ Milk, Miracle on 34th Street, and Happy Hour at the End of the World for which he is also penning a handful of episodes for Angry Monkey Studios.  He primarily considers himself an actor with over 40 regional credits. He is currently the instructor of theatre arts at Dubuque Area Arts Collective where he teaches acting courses and is writing the book and music to Doctor Faustus: A Devilish New Musical (draft #2). All that said, this show could be a giant pile of shit.  Ryan will be remembered for making bad decisions and lamenting over “less than ideal circumstances.” The show goes on!  (Special thanks to his swell gal, Amanda, for her support and sanity.) Find Ryan's online portfolio at www.RyanDecker.yolasite.com.

TIM GORANSON (Ensemble) is a zombie. He enjoys sunsets, long walks on the beach, and brains. Enjoy the show.

KYLE GRANT (Jack Stone, Jesus, George Washington) is excited to make his debut Trainwreck Productions performance as reefer fiend Jack Stone, Jesus, and G.W.  He is a local singer/songwriter, ready to take the stage under a different light.

NICHOLAS JOHNSON (Lecturer, et. al) is merely a Fight Club-style delusion of your overtired mind. That means when you've seen him playing roles in No Exit, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Full Monty nor with his bands Nixon or the JJ Schmitz Duo. It was actually you performing. Aren't you talented!

MELISSA MARKUS (Ensemble / Mae, Sally u/s) is a familiar face in the local theatre scene. She has been in numerous productions and most recently assistant directed The Wedding Singer at the Bell Tower Theater. Melissa is a theatre graduate of Simpson College and recently engaged to fellow actor and zombie, Tim.

LILY McKINLAY (Mary Lane) is over the moon about working with Trainwreck Productions. Recent performances include Edith (Pirates of Penzance), Titania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Cathy (The Last Five Years). She would like to thank bobby pins, Gwen Beatty for being her pretend sister, her real sister Daisy, her mom aka Big Edie, Misha, Chris, and Cody who is only going to the show because he has to. She would like to dedicate her performance to her grandma who always supported and loved her.​ 

DAKOTA VAASSEN (Ralph Wiley, Sally’s Baby, Uncle Sam) has performed in many plays throughout his early days of high school where he was also an active member of his hometown’s community theatre.  Dakota will be attending his senior year this coming fall at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville where he’s double majoring in theatre and English. Dakota’s an active member of UWP’s theatre department where he has performed in Macbeth, Murder by Midnight, Tartuffe, Guys and Dolls, The Fairy Garden, and The Normal Heart. Other theatre productions Dakota has been in since college include Raising Zombie Awareness (Dubuque Fine Arts Players), Frankly, Scarlett, You’re Dead (The Heartland Festival), and The Sunshine Boys (The Grand Opera House). This has definitely been one of the craziest characters Dakota has ever played and hopes you enjoy the satirical wackiness of Reefer Madness!

KYLIE WEITZ (Stage Manager / Asst. Director / TWP Managing Director) is excited to mark Reefer Madness as her fifth production with Trainwreck. She has enjoyed TWP shows as an audience member, crew member, and most recently as Managing Director. She is extremely grateful to be a part of a fun company and hopes to make more train stops along the journey with them.

LOGAN WRIGHT (Ensemble) wandered into town like a nomad less than a year ago, and has set off on a whirlwind tour across Dubuque becoming a thorn in the side of ever director in town. Already taking the names of South Pacific and Oliver under his belt, he's set his sights on Reefer Madness. Logan is most often recognized by his signature catchphrase “It's fine, everything's fine” and is often found sitting in the corner and making everyone uncomfortable. 

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