cast and creative

KURT JENKINS (Buddy Holly) Fresh off the National Tour of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Kurt is honored to return to The Ogunquit Playhouse for this year’s production of Buddy! Theatre credits include: Godspell (Jesus), The Fantasticks (Matt), Desire Under The Elms (Eben) and Bat Boy (Bat Boy). Additionally, Kurt has studied Film Production at the University of Central Florida (B.F.A.) and performs his original music under the name Skyway Spirit ( Kurt would like to thank his family and friends for their encouragement, patience and tough love.

NIKKI ARNONE(Maria Elena) is thrilled, yet again, to rejoin her beloved Buddy Holly cast! Atlanta, Georgia native and University of Oklahoma grad, Nikki’s credits include: National Tour: West Side Story (on-stage swing). Regional: Buddy (Maria Elena) at Ogunquit Playhouse and Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. Film: Yellow, Dir. Nick Cassavetes. Thank you to my slightly crazy but always supportive family!

ERICA AUBREY (Vi Petty) is thrilled to return to Ogunquit Playhouse this year in Buddy! after playing Judy in 9 to 5: The Musical for audiences last summer. Erica was recently the stand-by for Kelli O’Hara in Far From Heaven at Playwrights Horizons Off-Broadway. Select credits include: Music in the Air at City Center Encores!, 9 to 5: The Musical (Judy) at Gateway Playhouse, The Spitfire Grill (Shelby) at the American Folklore Theatre, La Cage aux Folles (Collette) at Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Baby (Lizzie) at the Boiler Room Theater, Last of the Red Hot Lovers (Bobbi Michele) at the Gas Light Theater and A Christmas Carol (Belle) at the historic Ryman Auditorium, original home of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN. Erica holds a master’s degree from NYU and an undergraduate degree from Belmont University. She lovingly thanks her parents for all the piano lessons growing up and much love and gratitude to Miles, her family and The Roster.

JAMES BEAMAN (Hipockets Duncan) is delighted to return to Ogunquit, where he last starred as Albin in La Cage Aux Folles opposite Maxwell Caulfield for the theatre’s Diamond Jubilee. James starred as Sir Robin in the First National Tour of Monty Python’s Spamalot. Off-Broadway, he originated the role of Michael in The Road To Qatar! and is featured on the Original Cast Album. Other Off-Broadway includes When Pigs Fly and Whoop-Dee-Doo! (Original Cast). Recently, James played King Frederic in the world premiere of the Broadway-bound Frog Kiss at Virginia Stage Company. He has performed leading and featured musical theatre roles at Goodspeed Musicals, North Shore Music Theatre, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Stages St. Louis and many others. As a classical actor, James has played everything from Macbeth to Mercutio at such theaters as The Kennedy Center, Folger Theatre, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, and Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Visit James at

XAVIER CANO (Richie Valens) is so excited to be making his Ogunquit Playhouse debut! Past credits include Broadway: Grease (Sonny LaTierri). Off-Broadway: Giant (Public Theater), RENT, Lucky Guy, Freckleface Strawberry, and The Capeman (Delacorte). Regional: Dames at Sea (Bay Street), Give It Up!/Lysistrata Jones (Dallas Theater Center), West Side Story (50th Anniversary European Tour, BSC, Fulton). Film/TV: Life of an Actress, CollegeHumor, We Are NY, Battery Park. U of Miami alum.

JAYSON ELLIOTT (Big Bopper) is happy to be back in beautiful Ogunquit reprising his role of The Big Bopper from last years record breaking production of Buddy! Favorite credits include: Buddy! (Big Bopper) at Ogunquit (ME), The Gateway (NY), Oklahoma Lyric (OKC), Flatrock (Asheville), New Theatre (KC), Media (Philly), Roxy (Nashville); The Full Monty (Dave); 25th...Spelling Bee (Barfee); Ave. Q (Brian); Guys & Dolls (Nicely); Wizard of Oz (Lion); Oklahoma (Jud Fry), Smoke on the Mountain (Stanley); Pump Boys... (Jim). Much Love and Many Thanks to everyone at OPH, Brad, Jayme, DJ, Stage 9 Talent, Karen, the best Mom on the planet, and most importantly YOU, for supporting live theatre! Let’s Rock n Roll!!!

STEVE GAGLIASTRO (Murry Deutch/Roles/Trombone) is pleased to return to Buddy having performed in several productions, including at the Riverside Theatre, Flat Rock Playhouse and the recent U.S. National Tour. At Ogunquit: CabaretBuddy!, Hello Dolly, Fiddler on the Roof w/ Sally Struthers. Other Tours: Cinderella w/ Lea Salonga, Spongebob Live (Broadway Asia), Cabaret (NetWorks Tours); Regional: Ivoryton, Gateway Playhouses, Theatre by the Sea, Barnstormers, Stoneham, Foothills and Hanover Theatres. Gags, who can also be seen in the new David O. Russell film American Hustle, holds a BA in Music/Education from UMASS, Amherst. For Sonny and Alice Vizzo.

KYLE LACY (Jerry/Drums) This is Kyle’s Ogunquit Playhouse debut! Regional: Piano Duel (Hersheypark), Buddy Holly Story (Lyric Theatre OKC), End Days (Carpenter Square Theatre). University: Bernstein’s MASS (Street Singer), Legally Blonde(Warner). Internships: Horizon Theatre, Serenbe Playhouse. Alum of DeKalb School of the Arts and Oklahoma City University. Thanks to DJ Salisbury and the entire Ogunquit creative team! For my mom and dad.

LINNEA LARSDOTTER (Mary Lou/Shirley) started her performing career in Sweden, and she’s had the great privilege to perform in 12 countries and 3 continents. She is a Musical Theater graduate from Forum Dance and Artist Academy and NYFA. Linnea is thrilled to join the cast of Buddy, this being the first professional show she ever saw. New York credits include Xanadu, Crab House, La LLorona and Save the Robots. International credits include Grease, Smokey Joe’s Café, We Will Rock You and many more. Linnea is currently filming the feature film Till We Meet Again, and is booked for 2 short films and 3 web series. Thank you to my ever-supportive family and friends, and to my manager Ingrid French. For mum.

SCOTT MOSS (Norman Petty/Bass) is thrilled to be a part of this Gateway/Ogunquit production of Buddy! The Buddy Holly Story. This marks the 5th production of Buddy for him, but his debut in the role of Norman Petty, after previously playing Joe Mauldin in his last 4 productions. Favorite credits also include; Christmas Up The Holler (written by the director, DJ Salisbury), Johnny Guitar, La Traviata, Man of La Mancha, Macbeth, My Fair Lady, Fortinbras, Biloxi Blues, among many others. Many thanks to you for supporting LIVE theater! Special thanks to my good friends, family, and my wife, Dana. A special dedication to the memory of both my parents.

MATTHEW J. RIORDAN (Tommy/4th Cricket/Driver) is ecstatic to be continuing on with The Buddy Holly Story. This will be his 3rd production and he is so grateful to be at Ogunquit! Matthew proudly holds a BFA in Musical Theater from Pace University. He would like to thank his family, team, and friends for their love and support. Past Credits: TV: NBC’s My Kid Would Never (Lead), Off-Broadway: NYMF’S Trouble: The Musical (Chris), Smile: A New Rock Musical (Punk) Regional: Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Tommy/4th Cricket), Legally Blonde (Warner). Follow me on Twitter! @MatthewJRiordan

TROY VALJEAN RUCKER (Apollo Performer/WDAS DJ/Dance Captain) has performed off-Broadway and regionally at Walnut Street Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Ogunquit Playhouse, The Gateway, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse and on European and National Tours. Opera/Concerts: New York City Opera, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Aretha Franklin with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. TV: Bio Network, History Channel, NBC, UPN, several web series. Commercials: Talero Tequila, Ford Motor Company.

KIMBERLY MICHELLE THOMAS (Apollo Performer) is thrilled to be part of The Buddy Holly Story. Her credits include the roles of Nina in the 1st & 2nd National Tours of ‘Swonderful, Michelle Morris in the 2013 National Tour of Dreamgirls, and Samantha in A Dance for Rylie. Kimberly trained at the Princeton Ballet School and Center Stage Dance and Theater. She is a graduate of The University of the Arts. Kimberly would like to thank her family and friends, and her agent, Ms. Lisa Price.

SAM WEBER (Joe/Trumpet/American Pie Solo) is thrilled to be returning to Ogunquit again to reprise his role as Joe B. from last season. He just finished the Equity National Tour of Buddy this August. A Wisconsin Native and proud Brooklyn transplant, he holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from UW Stevens Point. He met his amazing wife Brittany, ACM on Book Of Mormon, at Maine State in 2008 and has been happily married to his native Mainer wife for 2 years. National Tours: Buddy Holly Story (Joe B.), Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo (Puppeteer). Regional Favorites: Hairspray (Link, Beef and Boards), Buddy (Joe B, Ogunquit ‘12/Gateway’13), Les Mis (Pimp/Prouvaire, Maine State), Jonathan (Tick, Tick...BOOM!!!, Charleston Stage) Thanks to all my family, Weber and Levasseur, for always supporting me when the amp goes to 11. To Ogunquit for believing in the Magic of Buddy. And to Brittany, who can do one heck of a mean bass stand :0)

DJ SALISBURY (Director-Choreographer) has directed and/or choreographed for theaters nationwide that include Paper Mill Playhouse, Dallas Summer Musicals, TOTS-Atlanta, Sacramento Music Circus, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Denver Center, Riverside Theatre - FL, and Arts Center of Coastal Carolina. oFavorite experiences as Director-Choregrapher: Les Miserables, Oliver, Urinetown, Man of La Mancha, Into The Woods, La Cage Aux Folles, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Full Monty, Evita, Ragtime, and 9 productions of The Will Rogers Follies. Ogunquit’s production is Buddy number three! NYC: Director of numerous readings/workshops/concerts including a revised Mystery of Edwin Drood (featuring Sally Struthers), the Lincoln Center solo concert of Disney composer Alan Menken, and the Broadway bound (2013) rock musical, CHIX 6. DJ choreographed the workshop of Femme Fatale (starring “Grey’s Anatomy’s” Sara Ramirez). On new musicals (from The Will Rogers Follies to Titanic), DJ has worked in various capacities with Broadway heavyweights Jerry Mitchell, Kathleen Marshall, Lynne Taylor Corbett, Susan Stroman, Jeff Calhoun, and Tommy Tune. Choreo highlights: ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars Road Trip,” The Rachael Ray Show, and the season premiere event of “Dance Your A** Off.” As writer: book/lyrics for The Man Who Would Be King with composer Neil Berg, book for Christmas Up the Holler, and Perfect European Man which garnered best director, best actor and best production Awards of Distinction in 2010. He was also head writer/lyricist for the Emmy-winning Oklahoma Centennial TV special starring Reba McIntyre, Vince Gill, Kelli O’Hara and Shirley Jones.

JASON COHEN (musical director, interview DJ, ensemble) is a recent graduate from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, BFA Drama, where he has studied at the Playwrights Horizons Theatre School, the Experimental Theatre Wing, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. He has also worked as a musician, musical director, and arranger in New York and London. Thanks to DJ, Tracey, Brad, Jayme, Nancy, and the inspiring cast and crew. Special thanks to Danny Lincoln, Carla, Mom, Dad, Gillian, family, and friends for the endless support. B”H, AYC. Upcoming: musical supervisor/performer The Grapes of Wrath.

JOHN BANISTER (Music Supervisor) is an honors graduate of The Royal Academy of Music, London and began his career as a classical musician, playing timpani, percussion and piano with orchestras such as The Royal Philharmonic, Welsh National Opera, Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet and The Bournemouth Symphony and Sinfonietta. He won ‘The Hugh Fitch Percussion Prize’ in 1988. As a freelance musician, he has played in British tours of Barnum and Chess and London’s West End and tour of The Sound Of Music (for Ronnie S Lee). As an actor he appeared in: Leader Of The Pack national tour for Peter Rowe, Oh What A Lovely War (Bob Carlton) in Hornchurch, London, The Buddy Holly Story at; The Victoria Palace Theatre, London, British national tour, Canada and Scandanavia (U/S Buddy Holly), Great Balls of Fire at The Cambridge Theatre, West End, London (U/S Judd Phillips). Jailhouse Rock at The Piccadilly Theatre, West End, London (U/S Vince – Elvis Presley). John is now a full time musical director and supervisor. His experience includes: Alice In Wonderland Southampton, England – Assistant Music Director and conductor. Walking On Sunshine National Tour – Assistant MD Leader Of The Pack British national tour – principal keys and conductor Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin and Cinderella Ipswich, England dir. Pete Rowe – Associate MD Cinderella (Christmas show) Watford Palace Theatre, London – MD and Arranger The Buddy Holly Story – The Duchess Theatre, London – Musical Director and Supervisor. John also has his own Youth Theatre Company ‘XLYT’, London, England Musical Supervisor for the creators of Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story - Buddy Worldwide LTD Musical Director and Co-Host for the first public gala performance at the ‘Waterside Theatre’, Aylesbury, England. Piano Conductor for The Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s production of Little Shop of Horrors. Musical Director for The Waterloo East’s first production – Striking 12 – British premiere. John was nominated for The Sterling Award for Most Outstanding Musical Director in Edmonton, Canada for The Buddy Holly Story In 2011, John wrote and arranged Junior Buddy, a children’s version of Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story which is sold worldwide. John continues to publicize Buddy Holly’s music by regularly appearing on television and radio and giving talks and master classes across North America. In 2013/14, John will be Music Director for the British anniversary tour of ‘The Buddy Holly Story’ and Music Supervisor for Buddy Worldwide LTD and ‘Theatre Of The Stars’ North American regional tour.

RICHARD LATTA (Lighting Designer) has called Ogunquit his summer home for many years and is just as excited about the season as the ones before. Favorite designs include: 9 to 5, Miss Saigon, Legally Blonde, Summer of Love, Evita (twice) Les Miserables, Songs For a New World, Cabaret, Fiddler on the Roof, South Pacific, Aida, Chicago, Annie, and Monty Python’s Spamalot. In addition, Richard has designed Off-Broadway, dance, opera, and other events since the 1980s. His visual research can be seen in the projections for the Broadway productions of Thurgood (starring James Earl Jones/Lawrence Fishburne), The People In The Picture, The Mark Taper Forum production of Distracted, the operas Moby Dick (Sydney, Dallas, SF Operas) and Mazeppa (Met Opera). Richard is a teaching artist with American Ballet Theater and is a Technical and Design consultant for Arts High School in Newark, NJ. He is based in NY/NJ during the times he is not at the Playhouse.

ROBERT ANDREW KOVACH (Scenic Designer) is thrilled to join the creative team of Ogunquit Playhouse. Off Broadway: Theatre Row: The Sphix Winx, New World Stages; White’s Lies & ImaginOcean (Drama Desk Nom.). National Tours: Non Eq. All Shook Up. Regional Designs: Theatre Under the Stars, Memphis Ballet, Walnut Street Theatre, Papermill Playhouse, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Phoenix Theatre, and others. TV Designs: MTV’s Real World Chicago, CBS Weather Center, All In a Poker Game Show, & others. Corporate Designs: Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, GM, Cadillac, Morgan Stanley, & ConAgra Foods. Museum Designs: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Kohl/McCormick Children’s Museum. Robert would like to thank Brad, Mark, and the entire talented Ogunquit team. Robert is a proud member of United Scenic Artists (USA 829).

COLLEEN GRADY (Costume Design) Selected design credits for Walnut Street Theatre include Les Misérables (Barrymore Nomination), La Cage Aux Folles (Barrymore Award), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Oliver!, Eclectic Society, Fiddler on the Roof (Barrymore Award), Curtains, White Christmas, 39 Steps, Amadeus, Miss Saigon, Aspects of Love and The King and I. Much love to husband Mark Grady. For Mom and Dad.

JEREMY OLEKSA (Sound Designer) is extremely excited to return to the Ogunquit Playhouse for his 5th season. His show credits include: Thoroughly Modern Millie, Man of La ManchaDamn Yankees, Spamalot, Sunset Boulevard, Chicago, Sound of Music, Music Man, Miss Saigon, Buddy, South Pacific, and 9 to 5. On his most recent production, he was the Engineer on the National Tour of Spamalot. Jeremy would like to thank all his friends and family for their continued support, especially his wife Becky Oleksa.

DUSTIN CROSS (Costume Coordination) is a New York based designer who has been designing on and off Broadway and regionally for the last 10 years. His designs have received accolades such as “...Spot on Perfect” by Artes Magazine and “Excellent!” by The New York Times as well as other nods from many different publications. Credits include: Broadway: The 24 Hour Plays; Off Broadway: HIM (Cherry Lane Theater), Cougar the Musical (St. Lukes), The Other Josh Cohen (SOHO Playhouse, Lortel Nom. Best Musical), Zelda at the Oasis (St. Lukes) SILENCE! The Musical (Associate Designer), The Last Smoker in America (Westside Theater); Regional Theater: The Christmas Rose (starring Jane Seymour, Brad Kenney dir/Carnegie Hall), as well as others. Dustin continues to focus on maintaining the expectation his work commands while always trying to raise the bar by using different techniques and approaches to create a durable yet distinct design. Enjoy!

RYAN NEELY (Production Manager) is thrilled to join the team at the Ogunquit Playhouse. Previously Ryan was the Producing Director at THEATREWORKS in Colorado Springs, Adjunct Professor of Stage Management at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and the Assistant Production Manager at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Ryan has also worked as Stage Manager for many theaters across the country including the Disneyland Resort. Ryan received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of California Irvine. Ryan would like to thank his wife for all her love and support.

GEOF DOLAN (Technical Director) is in his 7th season as the Playhouse’s Technical Director and his 2nd as the overall Scenic Coordinator. Immediately prior to Ogunquit he served as Technical Director for Worcester Foothills Theatre. He has done supplemental design work for several shows and is also the technical supervisor for the Children’s Theatre program. Geof began his technical career working backstage for both of his parents who are theatre directors and began his professional career at Sierra Repertory Theatre in California. For 5 years he split his seasons between Maine and Florida, working the same technical areas for the Orlando Shakespeare, but now he fills his off-season drafting, engineering and developing tour trollies for Molly Corp. With his wife Cheryl (Scenic Charge Artist for the Playhouse) he has designed award winning parade floats. His “born-in-a-trunk” 12 yr. old daughter Ashlynn is an aspiring actress, musician and artist who hopes to make her Main Stage debut in the near future!

LEAH MUNSEY-KONOPS (Hair and Makeup Design) is a Chicago based freelance artist. Prior credits include Measure for Measure, A Christmas Carol, and By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (Goodman Theater, stitcher/wigs), The Madness of King George III (Chicago Shakespeare Theater, wigs), and White Noise (Royal George Theater, wardrobe). Additionally, she worked as Wig Supervisor on the national tour of South Pacific, for which she styled the Nellie wig at least 235 times. This is Ms. Munsey’s second season with the Ogunquit Playhouse, where previously she designed South Pacific, Damn Yankees, 9 to 5, and Buddy. She sends love to the Third Coast, and to her mentors and family, chosen and real.

TRACEY WOOLLEY (Production Stage Manager) is very excited to be returning to Ogunquit and being reunited with her Buddy cast! Credits - Ogunquit Playhouse: Buddy, Thoroughly Modern Millie, South Pacific. Las Vegas, NV: Cirque Du Soleil’s Mystere, Blue Man GroupFranco Dragone’s Le Reve. National Tours: Lincoln Center’s South Pacific, International: Blue Man Group, Legends in Concert. Tracey would like to express her gratitude to her Heavenly Father, her family and her friends for all their love and support throughout all of the adventures...

DANIEL EVERETT (Assistant Stage Manager) saw his first show at the Ogunquit Playhouse at the age of eleven. Ogunquit Playhouse: Young Frankenstein, Thoroughly Modern MillieBuddy: The Buddy Holly Story. Off-Broadway: The Exonerated, Golda’s Balcony, Savage Acts. Regional: The King and I, 42nd Street (both at West Virginia Public Theatre), The Sound of Music (Paper Mill Playhouse). Workshops and readings include: Striking 12, Harold & Maude: The Musical and See What I Wanna See. Special thanks to his family for all of their support.

BUDDY HOLLY (Music) Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959), better known as Buddy Holly, was an American singer, songwriter, and a pioneer of Rock and Roll. Born in Lubbock, Texas, Holly’s first performed as part of a duo, Buddy and Bob in the fall of 1949. Holly later formed his own band, The Crickets, and began making records at Norman Petty’s studios in Clovis, New Mexico. Holly was an influential lead and rhythm guitarist, notably on songs such as “Peggy Sue” and “Not Fade Away.” His work influenced many artists, including The Beatles, whose name was chosen partly in homage to Holly’s Crickets. In 1959, Holly split with the Crickets and began a solo tour with other notable performers including Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson, “The Big Bopper.” Following a performance at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, Holly was killed in a plane crash along with Valens, Richardson, and pilot Roger Peterson. The tragic plane crash inspired singer Don McLean’s popular 1971 ballad “American Pie,” and immortalized February 3rd as “The Day The Music Died.” Contrary to popular myth, “American Pie” was not the name of the ill-fated  airplane.

ALAN JANES (Author) has been a full-time writer since 1973, when a stage play he wrote was adapted for TV. Since then, he has written extensively for radio, TV and film. In 1989, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, written by Alan, was presented in the West End and ran for 13 years. The show has enjoyed worldwide success, including playing Broadway, Sweden, South Africa, Japan, Germany, Holland, Singapore, Finland, Austria and Denmark. Alan was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best  Musical.

ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION (AEA), founded in 1913, represents more than 45,000 actors and stage managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions, providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. AEA is a member of the AFL-CIO, and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. The Equity emblem is our mark of excellence.