North Central College - Naperville, IL

Depression-era ambitions of young actresses played out in "Stage Door"

Print Email Share

The comedy "Stage Door" features a cast of ambitious young women who come to New York City during the 1930s to study acting and find jobs. Their story will be performed by North Central College students May 6-9, under the direction of Chicago actor and theatre instructor Ted Hoerl.

A play by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber, "Stage Door" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. May 6, 7 and 8 and at 2 p.m. May 9 in Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S. Ellsworth St., Naperville. Tickets are $10/adults, $8/students and senior citizens; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit

"Stage Door" revolves around a young actress trying to make it during the depression years. The scene unfolds in Mrs. Orcutt's boarding house, where the hopes and ambitions of 16 young women are revealed in scenes of entertaining comedy. One of the women has no talent. One is an elderly actress whose acting days are over. One gives up in despair while another one gets married. One goes into the pictures but one, Terry Randall, courageously sticks to her guns. The 1937 movie of the same name starred Katharine Hepburn in the lead role of Randall, along with Ginger Rogers and Lucille Ball, among others.

North Central's Assistant Professor of Theatre Carin Silkaitis invited Hoerl to direct the College''s spring play. "I thought my students would benefit enormously from working with him. He's an excellent director who really understands how to pull good performances out of actors," says Silkaitis. Hoerl is a director and faculty member of Meisner Training Act One Studio, the Midwest's largest acting school and training center in Chicago. He's appeared in more than 50 plays and directed some 20 productions during his career.

"I've wanted to do this play for more than a decade," says Hoerl. "It's very funny and it's about a period of history, the Depression, that I love. We get to see what life was like in those desperate times and also how full of life it was. We often forget about this period of history, but it relates to our own economic troubles of today."

In selecting his large cast of 32 student actors, Hoerl says his job as director is to illuminate the play. "This play is about real people and my goal is to make these real people come alive, along with the lifestyle they lived," he says.

The cast for "Stage Door" includes:
Women roles: Student name, year, hometown and major
Terry: Stephanie Rudakas, a junior from Valparaiso, Ind., majoring in elementary education
Olga Brandt: Hannah Starr, a freshman from Eau Claire, Wis., majoring in theatre
Mattie: Myisha DeSimone, a sophomore from Bolingbrook, majoring in musical theatre
Mary Harper: Meagan Rowe, a sophomore from Elmhurst, majoring in musical theatre
Mary McCune: Katie Legner, a sophomore from Mahomet, majoring in English writing and performance theatre
Bernice: Kathryn Lepine, a sophomore from Naperville, majoring in musical theatre
Madeline: Hannah Toriumi, a junior from Riverside, majoring in musical theatre
Judith: Courtney Ohler, a sophomore from Normal, majoring in performance theatre
Ann: Alexis Ledbetter, a sophomore from Coal Valley, majoring in musical theatre and psychology
Kaye: Alyssa Digges, a senior from Urbana, Ill., majoring in musical theatre and choral music education
Linda: Kristina Martinez, a senior from Cicero, majoring in finance and economics
Jean: Erin Martin, a sophomore from Dubuque, Iowa, majoring in English literature
Bobby: Sarah Henry, a freshman from Geneva
Louise: Hannah Marincic, a senior from Oglesby, majoring in marketing
Susan: Jessica Martin, a freshman from Madison, Wis., majoring in theatre
Pat: Heidi Buyck, a freshman from Woodridge, majoring in musical theatre
Kendall: Rebekah Thurston, a freshman from Chatham, majoring in musical theatre
Tony: Elisabeth Volkamer, a freshman from Elk Grove Village, majoring in theatre
Ellen: Rachael Hancz, a sophomore from Canton, Mich., majoring in Spanish
Mrs. Orcutt: Colleen O'Connor, a freshman from Mesa, Ariz., majoring in musical theatre
Mrs. Shaw: Megan Ingram, a sophomore from Omaha, Neb., majoring in musical theatre and music

Men's roles: Student name, year, hometown and major
David Kingsley: Tanner Smale, a sophomore from Elkhart, Ind., majoring in musical theatre
Keith Burgess: Ross McIntire, a sophomore from Galva, Ill., majoring in performance theatre and English writing
Frank: Nico Nepomuceno, a senior from Bolingbrook, majoring in theatre
Sam Hastings: CJ Salvador, a freshman from Spring Grove, majoring in exercise science
Jimmy Devereaux: Garrett Lutz, a freshman from Aurora, majoring in musical theatre
Fred Powell: Bryan Renaud, a freshman from Sugar Grove, majoring in theatre
Lou Milhauser: Sean Hanson, a sophomore from Omaha, Neb., majoring in musical theatre
Dr. Randall: Jared Grebner, a sophomore from Washington, majoring in management and theatre
Larry Westcott: John O'Connor, a sophomore from Lisle, majoring in broadcast communication
Billy: Ziyad Al-Mutairi, a freshman from Evanston, majoring in philosophy
Adolph Gretzl: Adrion Rivera, a junior from Berwyn, majoring in music

North Central College offers majors in theatre performance, technical theatre or musical theater and minors in theatre or dance. A full range of acting and dance classes is available, as well as opportunities to direct a full-length production. Students of all majors can participate in musical and non-musical performances, actor showcases and one-act plays and performances in the College's four theatre venues. Full-time professors and active professionals who are artist-teachers serve as faculty. For more information about North Central College's theatre programs visit

Posted in: