“Carousel” Cast

Kyle AllenKYLE S. ALLEN (Jigger Craigin) Kyle is a veteran of Utah theater. He has performed with several companies including Hale Centre Theatre, CenterPoint Legacy Theatre, the Grand Theatre, Rodgers Memorial Theatre, New Play Project, Sugar Factory Playhouse, and a handful of city community productions around the valley. Kyle has directed “11 O’Clock News,” “James and the Giant Peach,” and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” He also recently was Assistant Director for Viewmont High School’s “Curtains.” Some of his favorite roles include Perchik in “The Fiddler on the Roof,” Officer O’Hara in “Arsenic and Old Lace,” B.J. Gibson in “1940s Radio Hour,” and Conrad Birdie in “Bye Bye, Birdie.” Kyle works as an engineer, is a fan of the Boston Red Sox, and loves to write.

Celene AndersonCELENE ANDERSON (Stephanie Snow) Celene is so excited to be a part of Utah Repertory Theater’s production of “Carousel”! She has really enjoyed working with Utah Rep and was in its premiere production, “Side Show,” as a Harem Girl. Celene will be a senior next year at Cottonwood High School and participates in the theater society there. She could last be seen as Trix the Aviatrix in “The Drowsy Chaperone” and “Peter Pan.” Theater is a huge part of her life, and she hopes to be able to continue to pursue it.


Joel ApplegateJOEL APPLEGATE (Starkeeper/Doctor) Joel earned his English and Theater degrees during another century far, far away. He has since performed diverse roles in drama and comedies, including “The Fiddler on the Roof,” “The Fantasticks,” “The Bacchae,” “Our Town,” “Noises Off,” and “Measure for Measure.” He’s cornered the equine acting niche, interpreting steeds in Winnie the Pooh and “The Wind in the Willows” for children’s theater. He hopes his last act is far from imminent.


Valaura ArnoldVALAURA ARNOLD (Nettie Fowler) Valaura is recognized for the versatility of her artistry as a singer, actress, and director. The scope of her career includes an impressive breadth of diverse genres, including opera, musical theater, oratorio, and big band. She has performed throughout the United States, including local venues such as the Grand Theatre, Kingsbury Hall, and Abravanel Hall. Her favorite credits include Fiordiligi in “Così fan tutte,” Elvira in “Don Giovanni,” Countess Almavira in “Le Nozze de Figaro,” Josephine in “H.M.S. Pinafore,” Marian in “The Music Man,” and Julie in “Carousel.” She is excited to revisit this beautiful music score and develop the character of Nettie. Valaura has recorded for Brite Music, Living Scriptures, and Utah Voices 2011, and is currently under contract with Refinement Records to record a CD of big band and contemporary hits. She performs regularly with local jazz and big bands throughout Utah. She has a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Utah. Valaura maintains a private voice studio and has adjudicated multiple talent contests and pageants. For more information and music downloads, visit www.valaura.com.

David BakerDAVID BAKER (Policeman/Principal) David has done just about everything there is to do in theater, from writing to directing to acting and singing. He has appeared onstage in productions of “Oklahoma!,” “The Music Man,” “The Glass Menagerie,” “Come Blow Your Horn,” and “The Trojan Women,” and has directed such shows as “Duet for One” and “Star-Spangled Girl.” Most recently he appeared as Daddy Warbucks in “Annie” at Draper Historic Theatre. His play, “Inside Al,” won the Henry Fonda Young Playwright Award and premiered in the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. “Inside Al” was subsequently published by Samuel French and has been produced hundreds of times across the U.S. and Canada. In “real life,” David is a marketing professional and writer.

Headshot_IanBakerIAN BAKER (Ensemble) In June, Ian played Drake in the Draper Historic Theatre’s production of “Annie.” As a soon-to-be 10th grader, he is already a veteran of choruses and other vocal groups, having competed with the Spirit of Phoenix Chorus in international barbershop chorus competitions in Denver and Anaheim. Last summer he traveled to Europe with the Encore ensemble of the Phoenix Children’s Chorus, visiting Italy and Germany, and having the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform a mass in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City in Rome. He also plays violin in his school orchestra.

Headshot_NathanBakerNATHAN BAKER (Ensemble) Nathan is appearing in his second theatrical production—of the summer and of his career—with “Carousel.” He made his onstage debut earlier this summer as part of Draper Historic Theatre’s production of “Annie.” He is a former member of the Phoenix Children’s Chorus and the Spirit of Phoenix Men’s Chorus, having performed in a cappella competitions in several states. Nathan plays the violin in his middle school orchestra and really enjoys being taller than his “big” brother, who is also in this production.


Serena Kanig BenishSERENA KANIG BENISH (Nettie Fowler) Serena succumbed to the lure of the stage while singing the only solos in the Kanab Elementary School production of “The Mother Goose Tales.” Later she followed her muse to the College-Conservatory of Music, graduating with a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance, and then on to New York City where she studied with John Bullock (father of Sandra Bullock) and performed with orchestras, in recitals, and in oratorios as a soprano soloist. Serena sang the role of Olga von Sturm in the New Jersey premiere of “Nine” and Marcello in Scarlatti’s opera “Eraclea.” She graduated from SUNY Purchase with a Master of Fine Arts in Vocal Performance and continued her performing until she moved back to her native Utah with her family. She continues to perform, notably with the Park City Chamber Music Festival and in venues around Utah. Serena was seen as Dolly Dimples in Utah Repertory Theater Company’s inaugural production, “Side Show.” She is an adjunct instructor of voice at Utah Valley University.

JED BROWN (Lead Dancer) Jed was last seen dancing in the LDS Conference Center for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert.  He was a folk dancer while at Brigham Young University and a ballroom dancer at Utah Valley University.  Jed lives in Murray where he owns eCharts, a software business helping drug rehab centers organize their medical records.

Allison ButlerALLISON BUTLER (Penny/Lead Dancer) Allison grew up performing musical theater in the San Francisco Bay area, with some of her favorite roles including Grandma Tzeitel in “The Fiddler on the Roof,” the Queen in “Cinderella,” and Anna in “The King and I.” She began training in classical voice in high school and has been hooked on opera ever since performing as Edith in “The Pirates of Penzance” and the Dew Fairy/Sandman in “Hansel and Gretel.” Allison was most recently seen performing one of her dream roles of Grace in “Annie.” She minored in music and finished her graduate degree in statistics at Brigham Young University and now works as a statistician for Intermountain Healthcare doing medical research.

Scott CluffSCOTT CLUFF (Mr. Snow) A recent graduate of the University of Utah, Scott has appeared on many stages throughout the Salt Lake Valley in the last decade. His favorite roles include and Leo Frank in “Parade,” Jack in “Into the Woods,” and Laurie in “Little Women.” When not acting, you can find Scott with his trusty snowboard or longboard, trying to avoid growing up. Props to all his family, friends, and fans.



NataliNATALIE DILTS (Rachel Snow) Natali is a passionate young girl, who at the age of 12, enjoys many thing such as biking, sewing, horseback riding, hiking, writing, cooking, and acting. This is her third musical, and she has been in one play. She hopes to move forward with her acting career. Natali was seen as Midget in Utah Repertory Theater Company’s inaugural production, “Side Show.”


CATHERINE DRAKE (Lead Dancer) Catherine has been performing since she was little. She studied ballet since she was 7 years old, but would also pull together friends and family to “put on a show” any chance she got. After graduating from the University of Utah with a BSN and working as a pediatric RN, she also began performing again, after a 10-year absence. She takes ballet classes and performs at the Ballet Centre in Murray. She has performed as a dancer with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concerts and has also performed as Dream Laurie in the “Oklahoma!” ballet at the Empress Theatre. This is her first show actually singing and dancing since her high school debut in “The Music Man” (a long time ago!). She loves designing and sewing costumes, to which she first got involved at the University of Utah’s theater department and has help out with many shows at the Empress Theatre since. She has loved the opportunity to be involved with performing, and hopes to continue for the rest of her life because it is rejuvenating and a great stress relief. “Thanks to Johnny for finagling me into auditioning. I have really enjoyed it!”

MATT DRAKE (Lead Dancer) This is Matt’s first show with Utah Repertory Company, and he is extremely grateful for this opportunity. He played as Monsieur d’Arque in “Beauty and the Beast,” Elisha Whitney in “Anything Goes” and ensemble member in “Cyrano de Bergerac” and “Suessical the Musical.” Matt has also been a member of the UVU Bronze Level Ballroom dance team and the UVU Black Box Repertory Comapny. Matt would like to thank his lovely wife, friends and family. “Enjoy the show!”

Maddy ForsythMADDY FORSYTH (Arminy/Lead Dancer) Maddy is so excited to be part of another show with such a wonderful theater company, where she played the role of Heather in the company’s most recent production of “What the Bellhop Saw.” She is currently a student at Utah Valley University studying Theater Performance, where she was most recently seen as the role of Isabella in “Androcles and the Lion.” She grew up wanting to perform while being in shows at St. George Musical Theatre and watching reruns of “I Love Lucy” everyday after school. Other than theater, Maddy also enjoys singing, playing guitar, and writing. “Thank you my beautiful family and friends who always believe in me. I love you!”

Brandon HansenBRANDON HANSEN (Lead Dancer) This is Brandon’s second show with Utah Repertory Theater Company, as he was first seen as Reptile Man in “Side Show.” Some of his other favorite roles include Cinderella’s Prince in “Into the Woods,” Bernardo in “West Side Story,” and Javert in “Les Misérables: School Edition.” Brandon has several years of experience in gymnastics and dance, and is currently being trained in Aerial Silks with Darla’s Aerial Arts. He will be attending the University of Utah in the fall in the Musical Theatre program.


Elsa HodderELSA HODDER (Louise/Lead Dancer) Elsa is from Nova Scotia, Canada. She has recently played Peggy in “42nd Street,” Beth in “Little Women,” the Witch in “Into the Woods,” Blanche Ingram in “Jane Eyre,” Snoopy in “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown,” Sara in “Little Princess,” and Cinderella in “Cinderella, the Ballet.” Elsa has studied in summer dance intensives at the National Ballet School of Canada, Boston Ballet School, and Ballet West. Elsa has just competed in the National CANdance competition in the musical theater song and dance category in Florida this July representing her region in Eastern Canada. Elsa also enjoys playing the violin and doing circus work. She would like to thank all of the team at Utah Repertory Theater Company for inviting her to be Louise in “Carousel,” and her family and coaches for the support they give her that never stops.

Justyne KunzJUSTYNE KUNZ (Jesse) Justyne is making her theater debut with Utah Repertory Theater Company. She hopes to fulfill her dream of becoming a well-known singer or music teacher. She has been involved with Juab High School for three years, in three of the school’s top choirs. She is now ready to start her senior year at Westlake High School; she will be involved in the drama club and a capella choir.



Luke JohnsonLUKE JOHNSON (Captain/Lead Dancer) Carousel marks Luke’s debut with the Utah Repertory Theater Company. He was last seen as Joe in “9 to 5: the Musical” at the Empress Theatre in Magna, Utah. Some notable roles include: Don Giovanni in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” Jules in “boom!,” and Professor Bhaer in “Little Women.” Luke discovered his passion for theater at an early age, and has committed his time, effort, and self to the art. In fact, he is currently studying for his BFA in Musical Theatre at Southern Utah University. He loved seeing each aspect of this show fuse together to make the story and world of “Carousel” and hopes you enjoy it as much as he does.

Amber Lee RobertsAMBER LEE ROBERTS (Julie Jordan) Amber is excited to be in “Carousel” for the second time and playing Julie Jordan. This is Amber’s second show with Utah Repertory Theater Company, after role as Big-Footed Woman in “Side Show.” She has enjoyed being in many shows and experiencing different roles, including the ensemble in “The Scarlet Pimpernel,” Mabel in “The Pirates of Penzance,” Amneris in “Aida,” Rapunzel in “Into the Woods,” Babette in “Beauty and the Beast,” and Sarah Brown in “Guys and Dolls.” She also received her Associate degree in Musical Dance Theater from Western Wyoming College and was a 2008 young performing missionary in Nauvoo. Amber currently has her own business as a Massage Therapist. “I love the message of this show: ‘Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart and you’ll never walk alone!’ A big thank you to my handsome husband and supportive family and friends!”

Kayla SiebeneckKAYLA SIEBENECK (Lizzy Snow) Kayla is 9 years old and has been acting on stage for three years. Recently she was seen as Kate in “Annie” at Draper Historic Theatre and has played Ruth Putnum in “The Crucible” with UNIPAC, Big Jule in “Guys and Dolls Jr.,” and performed in “Metaphasia.” In 2012 she was in “The Pirates of Penzance” and was Ladybug in “James and the Giant Peach” at Draper Historic. In 2011 she was Gladys in “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” and was Nellie the Spider in “Charlotte’s Web.” In 2010 she performed the lead role in “The Little Match Girl” and also performed in “Dracula” at the Egyptian Theatre and in “Aladdin.” She began her acting career in “Willie Wonka Jr.” Kayla also loves dancing, tumbling, swimming, archery, and camping.

India MendozaINDIA MENDOZA (Mary Snow) India is currently a student at Ballet West Academy. She has performed in Ballet West’s “Nutcracker” as a soldier. She has also danced in Ballet West’s annual fall gala for the past three years. She appeared in the Holladay Arts Council’s production of “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.” Other than dancing and acting, India enjoys playing the violin, painting, and drawing.

MICHELLE MOORE (Ensemble) “Carousel” is Michelle’s first theater production since moving to Salt Lake City. Michelle performed with the Brigham Young University Singers on the 2011-2012 tour to England. She was honored to be a featured soloist for Eric Whitacre’s choir tour to China in 2006. Michelle performed with the Sound of America Honor Band and Chorus in 2005 and was a featured dancer on the tour through six countries in Europe. Michelle has performed locally in “Sweeney Todd” at the Castle Amphitheater in Provo, “Once Upon a Mattress” at BYU, and “Footloose” at the SCERA. She’s excited to make her Salt Lake City debut with the cast of “Carousel.”

KEVIN POPE (Ensemble) This is Kevin’s first show with Utah Repertory Theater Company. He was last seen as Rudolph in “Hello, Dolly!” at the Empress Theatre. Other favorite shows include “The Music Man” at the Empress Theatre and “Peter Pan” at Draper Historic Theatre in a unique production that incorporated puppetry. Kevin recently finished his general education requirements at Salt Lake Community College and was just accepted to the University of Utah. It’s an exciting time in his life, and he can’t wait to see where this journey takes him.

Eve SpeerEVE SPEER (Mrs. Mullin) Eve is enjoying her first show with Utah Repertory Theater Company. Most recently, she played Mae in Darkhorse Company Theatre’s production of “Reefer Madness.” She played Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Mrs. Lovett in “Sweeney Todd” at the Midvale Main Street Theatre. She performed with the American Shakespeare Center and Maryland Shakespeare Festival. She has an MFA in Shakespeare in Performance and a BFA in Acting.

ILIZIBITH SUMMERHALDER (Ensemble) Ilizibith is 14 and really bad at writing about herself. She loves to be onstage, but when she’s not performing, she can usually be found playing guitar, watching cat videos or being a bothersome teenager with her friends.

Rachel SummerhalderRACHEL SUMMERHALDER (Hannah) Rachel is thrilled to be onstage in her second show with Utah Repertory Theater Company, after being seen as Armless Girl in “Side Show.” She has also appeared onstage in a few shows, including “Beauty and the Beast,” “Joseph…Dreamcoat” (Payson Community Theatre), “Hairspray,” and “My Fair Lady “(Spanish Fork Community Theatre). Rachel is excited to be sharing the stage with her amazing daughter, Ilizibith, for the third time. When she isn’t spending all of her time working on things with Utah Rep, she can be found at Utah Valley University, where she is majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in Theater Arts. Rachel sends a heartfelt thank you to her family, especially her son, who so willingly becomes an orphan while mom and big sis spend their time trekking to rehearsals.

Mimi WestMIMI WEST (Carrie Pipperidge) Mimi played Lady Caroline Dester in Utah Lyric Opera’s “Enchanted April.” Recent stage credits include Mother in “Hansel and Gretel,” Mabel in “The Pirates of Penzance,” Miss Silverpeal in “The Impresario,” and Blanche Ingram in “Jane Eyre.” She has entertained audiences on four continents and has performed with numerous companies, including Spotlight Theater Company, Taconic Opera, Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, Shea Stadium, and Pro Arte in the greater New York area. As a private voice teacher and founder of MyDreamTeacher.com, she trains music students to live their dreams. While pursuing her Bachelor’s of Music Performance at Brigham Young University, she received numerous awards and scholarships, including the Nancy Peery Marriott endowment. She and Michael West have two irresistibly charming twin sons.

Samuel WestSAMUEL WEST (Billy Bigelow) Samuel is excited to be performing with Utah Repertory Theater Company for the first time. Most recently you may have seen him in “Ragtime” at Hale Centre Theatre in West Valley. A few of his previous favorite roles are Billy Flynn in “Chicago,” Limping Man in “Fuddy Meers,” Billy Bigelow in a previous production of “Carousel,” Horatio in “Hamlet,” and Brian in “Avenue Q.” Samuel has been performing since age 3 and holds a BFA in Theatre and Dance Performance from the University of Wyoming. He is the proud owner of the film production company Diorama Productions LLC. He wrote (story) and directed a feature length film titled “The Adventures of Pelicanman and Squirrelboy” and directed a short film, “Matchless,” which was awarded second place in the 2012 Wyoming short film contest. He had this to say: “It takes a special family to support an artist. I am grateful to have such a family. I love you all!” www.samuelrwest.weebly.com

Johnny WilsonJOHNNY WILSON (Carnival Boy/Lead Dancer) Johnny is a junior at Brigham Young University where he is completing his BFA in Music Dance Theatre. He is originally from Yakima, Wash. Most recently he played the role of New York City Man #2 in Utah Repertory Theater Company’s production of “i love you because” and in the ensemble in “The Phantom of the Opera” at BYU. Other roles include Ryan in “High School Musical,” Ugly in “Honk!,” and Matt in “The Fantasticks.” In addition to acting, Johnny is trained in dance, including ballet, jazz, and ballroom, as well as tumbling and choreography. While in Washington, he received awards for his choreography.