Fiddler on the Roof - 2015 Bios:
Jeannie Vechinsky - Lead & Vocal Director
Jeannie Vechinsky has been performing since she was 4 and directing since college where she majored in music at SDSU. A classically trained mezzo-soprano, Jeannie also studied music at Exeter University, England. She has been involved in numerous musicals; onstage, back stage, in the orchestra pit, as vocal director assistant director and as lead director in such shows as: Brigadoon, Bye-Bye Birdie, Hello Dolly, The Sound of Music, Dracula the Musical?, and Nunsense. Since moving to Wisconsin, Jeannie has directed several shows including: Rumors, Steel Magnolias, The Foreigner, We All Die Sooner or Lederhosen and Murder on the Menu. Recent acting credits with FACT include Harvey, Cliffhanger and A Christmas Carol. Jeannie is also part-owner of Chicken Boy Productions. She and her two partners write original interactive murder mystery comedies for dinner theater venues. Jeannie currently serves on the FACT Board of Directors as Treasurer. She is employed by Great Wolf Resorts as their Corporate Payroll Manager, attends St Peter’s Episcopal Church and lives in Fort Atkinson with her husband Scott and step kids Nikolai and Ana.
Scott Vechinsky - Tevye
Scott has appeared in over 30 productions, and is with FACT for the fifth time as an actor. This will be his fourth time in Fiddler on the Roof and second time playing the part of Tevye. For FACT he was seen as Professor Lowenthal in Cliffhanger, which he also directed, Dr. Chumley in Harvey, Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carrol, and Harry McAfee in Bye Bye Birdie.
His favorite part he has played to date is that of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, saying "It is a very complex character with a full range of emotions as he struggles to hold his family and his faith together during a time of great changes around him." Other memorable characters for him were Matt in The Fantasticks, Froggy LeSueur in The Foreigner, and Biff Diddley in G String Murders where he played opposite his father for the final time.
In addition to working with FACT Scott is also part owner of Chicken Boy Productions, along with his wife Jeannie and Ron Brown. Chicken Boy writes, produces and stages live interactive mystery shows. So far they have written six unique shows for venues all around the area.
Amy Nelson - Golde
Amy is thrilled to play the role of Golde in FACT’s production of Fiddler on the Roof. She was last seen on stage in A Christmas Carol and The Wizard of Oz. Prior roles include Ginger in The 1940’s Radio Hour, Nurse Kelly in Harvey, and Mrs. Gibbs in Our Town. Amy also performed in FACT's 50th Anniversary Broadway Musical Review, Charlotte's Web – The Musical, and Bye Bye Birdie. Other theater credits include Little Shop of Horrors, Children of Eden, and State Fair. Thank you to Jeannie for this amazing opportunity, to the awesome cast of Fiddler, and to her wonderful family for their endless love and support!
Alyssa DeJong - Tzeitel
Alyssa was bit by the acting bug at and early age and has been performing ever since, having been a part of many school and community theatre productions. She is excited to be participating in her 9th production with the Fort Atkinson Community Theatre. Some favorite past roles include Mrs. Mushnik (Little Shop of Horrors), Ursula Merkle (Bye Bye Birdie), and now Tzeitel! When not on stage Alyssa can be found working behind the scenes as PR Coordinator for FACT and is also a member of local acapella group A Matter of FACT. She would like to thank Jeannie and the cast for making this a fun and memorable production, and also to her family for the continued love & support.
Jocelyn McGurk - Hodel
Jocelyn McGurk, a recent Fort Atkinson graduate, is thrilled to be participating in her first FACT show. She has been featured in many shows at FAHS, most recently as Wednesday in "The Addams Family". She has designed costumes for the South High Street Singers, and for the FAHS Theatre Department's 2015 production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Additionally, she served as an officer of Theatre Club for two years. In her free time, Jocelyn enjoys petting large dogs and watching Netflix.
Maggie Ramirez - Chava
Maggie will be a junior in high school and is so glad to be in this production. Previously, she has been in productions such as The Addams Family Musical, Beauty and the Beast, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and many others. “Theater is so much fun and it’s lovely to be someone other than myself for a while”.
Stephanie Schafer - Sprintze
Stephanie Schafer, is 12 years old and attends St Paul's Lutheran School in Fort Atkinson WI. She also lives in Fort Atkinson and loves sports - especially volleyball, basketball, and softball. Stephanie also loves music, both to sing it and play the piano. In the play [Fiddler on the Roof] she plays Shprintze, Teveyes fourth oldest daughter. With the support and help of her family, director, and cast, she knows she can do great.
Nora Nelson - Bielke
Nora is excited to make her musical theater debut! She is 8 years old and entering fourth grade this fall. Her favorite subjects are science and creative writing. Nora began dancing at age 3, and performs in a recital every year. Her first acting experience was playing Belinda Cratchit in FACT's A Christmas Carol. She loves to sing, dance, read, swim, draw, and play with her friends and younger brother, Max. She can't wait to perform for her friends and family!
Thomas McDonald - Motel
Thomas is going into his sophomore year in College at UW-Whitewater. This is his fourth FACT Show. You might have seen him in the Wizard of Oz as the Lion, Beauty and the Beast as Cogsworth, and several other shows. He’d like to thank his family and friends for being so supportive.
Nikolai Vechinsky is very excited to be playing the role of Perchick. He is a student at Fort Atkinson High School and has appeared in many shows there. Most recently he played Uncle Fester in The Addams Family. He has also done work on lighting and sound for numerous shows including: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Exit the Body, and Check Please. In his free time Nikolai loves to read, play music and perform magic.
Nathan Kozak - Fyedka
Nathan Kozak, who is playing the role of Fyedka, is proud to be in the Fort Atkinson Community Theater production of Fiddler on the Roof. Nathan lives in Fort Atkinson and is attending Madison College. Nathan first appeared in a F.A.C.T show of Bye, Bye Birdie. Also having appeared in 1940’s Radio Hour, and Wizard of Oz.
Kim Stachowiak - Yente
Kim lives in Fort Atkinson with her husband Tim, daughter Hannah, cats and fish. She is also a member of A Matter of FACT - an a cappella singing group associated with FACT, who opened in the past year for The Cat's Pajama's, Tangled Up in Blue and Under A Rest. When not working on a show Kim enjoys spending time with her family camping, boating and reading.
Jason Teeter - Lazar Wolf
Jason Teeter is thrilled to play the role of Lazar Wolf in FACT's production of Fiddler on the Roof. He was last seen on stage playing the role of Scarecrow in FACT's The Wizard of Oz last summer. Prior to that in January 2014, he played Johnny Cantone in FACT’s The 1940’s Radio Hour. In 2013 he played Dr. Sanderson in FACT’s Harvey and he was Charles Webb in FACT's Our Town. In 2012, he was in the cast of FACT's 50th Anniversary Broadway Musical Review and in 2011 played the role of Wilbur in FACT's Charlotte's Web - The Musical. Other previous community theater credits include FACT's Oliver! in 2009 (Mr. Sowerberry and Bill Sykes), Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Levi) and The Pirates of Penzance (Frederic). Jason would like to thank Jeannie for this wonderful opportunity and his children Amelia and Ben for their love and support.
Bryan Engfer - The Rabbi
Bryan Engfer grew up in the Twin Cities with a love of the theater. A huge "thank you" goes out to his parents for exposing him to great music and theater productions. He appreciated opportunities to act in several high school and college shows. He has been involved in many FACT productions (acting and/or set construction) since moving to Fort Atkinson in 1991. Favorite roles include Alfred P. Doolittle in "My Fair Lady", Rooster Hannigan in "Annie", Clifton Feddington in "1940s Radio Hour" and Charlie Baker in "The Foreigner". Regarding his role in "Fiddler" he quipped, "I think this is the first time I've ever been 'type-cast'!" (He serves as a pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Atkinson). Thank you to my wife, Beth for all of your love and support. This production is dedicated to all the "rabbis" out there who walk with their "villagers" through all that this "shaky life" can bring us. Shalom!
Jeremy Winters - Avram
This is Jeremy’s first performance with the Fort Atkinson Community Theater. He’s been singing in various choirs for numerous years, and is a member of A Matter of FACT, an a capella group. He wanted a fun, exciting challenge, with an opportunity to meet and work with a lot of great people, and found it all with this production. Jeremy has been living and working in Fort Atkinson for 12 years
Rich Vurva - Mordcha
Rich Vurva has lived in Fort Atkinson for 20 years. Where has the time gone? God has blessed him with two grown children and a lovely wife named Julie. He has appeared in several previous FACT productions, including appearing as the Professor in the Wizard of Oz, Neal Tilden in 1940s Radio Hour, and Wilson in Harvey. He also had bit parts in Bye Bye Birdie, Charlotte's Web and Annie. In his spare time, he sings with the FACT a cappella group A Matter of FACT and is a partner at Direct Business Media in Fort Atkinson, a niche publishing company.
Paul Casler - Constible
This is Paul's first appearance with Fort Atkinson Community Theatre. Paul was in a previous production of Fiddler On The Roof with Theatre Unlimited in Janesville, where he resides.
Beth Miller - Frumah-Sarah / Villager
Beth Miller, who plays the role of Fruma Sara was hauntingly excited to be cast in this production of Fiddler on the Roof. Born in Stoughton, WI - Beth has been known to enjoy life as if the whole world were a stage and only recently joined the theatre in the last couple of years. She would like to thank everyone one involved in this production and has thoroughly enjoyed her involvement behind the scenes and on stage.
Danielle Moser - Grandma Tzeitel / Villager / Russian Soldier
Danielle Moser, school psychologist by day… thespian by night. Born and raised in the Cheese Capitol of America, Danielle’s acting debut began as an infant, playing Baby Jesus in the Christmas program. She is so excited to play a reverse role as the dead, but darling, Grandmother Tzeitel. Danielle spent her childhood traveling South Central Wisconsin and Northern Illinois with her 2 older sisters, yodeling and singing normal songs. Throughout her schooling career, Danielle was involved in choir, theatre, and show choir; however, she took a 4 year hiatus from theatre to focus on her studies. Danielle rejoined the stage the summer of 2010 with Monroe Theatre Guild in their production of The Music Man, which she played the part of Marian Paroo. Her most recent productions include Joy in Cinderella and Mrs. Fred (aka Jersey) in A Christmas Carol. She is a current member of FACT’s acapella group, A Matter of FACT, and is very excited to join some of her aca-nerds on stage. Danielle would like to thank her family and friends for their love and support. She would also like to thank Jeannie and the rest of the Fiddler cast and crew for making the Summer of 2015 a summer to remember. Enjoy the show!!!
Anne Grover - Shaindel
Anne has been involved in FACT since she was a kid and is excited to be onstage again in a musical. Other FACT credits include Here's Love, Fantastiks and Bells Are Ringing. Most recent credits in FACT include Our Town and Harvey. She has also been involved in directing numerous middle school shows and in other community theaters in area as singer, actor, director and just about every job back stage
Manuel Martinez - Sasha
This will be the second musical Manny will have been apart of. Previously he played the role of Danny McGuire in the 8th grade musical, Xanadu Jr. “I enjoy everything theatre brings”.
Payton Thompson - Rifka
Payton has been making a racket on stages since 2008. Having been everything from a carribean slave to a kleptomanic, she is looking forward to being a small-town jew with a perchanct for gossip. She has also enjoyed working and laughing with a company of so many new friends. This is her fist FACT show.
Halden Kreklow - Nahum the Beggar
Halden is 15 years old and is a member of Fort Atkinson High School’s South High Street Singers. He previously played the role of Zeus in the FAMS musical, Xanadu. This is his first production with FACT.
Cole McDonald - Young Suitor / Villager
Cole is going into the 6th grade at Fort Middle School next fall. This is his fourth show with Fact. He has been in Princess Whatsername as Prince Swavay, in The Wizard of Oz as a member of the Lollypop guild and a jitterbug and in Once Upon a Leprechaun as Aidan. He will like to thank his family.
Spencer Whitcomb - Young Suitor / Villager
Spencer is thrilled to be part of Fiddler on the Roof. He has appeared in FACT productions of The Wizard of Oz and Once upon a Leprechaun. Spencer is a 6th grader at Fort Atkinson Middle School and plays piano, cello, and baritone.
Madeline Buchta - Villager / Russian Soldier / Bottle Dancer
Madeline Buchta, a junior next school year, is a Russian soldier and a part of the chorus for FACT's production of Fiddler on the Roof. Buchta has an extensive theatre resume, including appearances in school, FACT and Youth FACT productions. She has played Hermia in A Midsummer's Night Dream; a Napkin, Wolf and Townsperson in Beauty and the Beast; the Greek Goddess in The Addams Family; Anna Swenson in Once Upon America; Grasshopper in The Secret Garden; Princess in Do-it-yourself Fairytale; Gander in Charlotte's Web; the Doctor in Musketeer; a chorus member in FACT's 50th Broadway Review; Lacey Goodpenny in Dirk Smirk: Secret Agent; Tessie in Annie; an orphan and a part in Fagin's gang in Oliver; and was a chorus member in A Fireside Christmas. "I participate in theatre because it's a way for people to get out of reality for a little bit and create a world you can make your own," she says. She would also like to thank her family, her friends, and anyone else who has supported her in any way. They have gotten her to where she is today.
Chris Buckingham-Taylor - Villager
FACT’s are facts. Chris has done numerous shows with FACT since moving to Fort Atkinson 11 years ago. Whether playing lead roles, or singing in the chorus, he always enjoy the opportunity to meet up with old and new friends alike on the grand FACT stage. To Life! Enjoy the show.
Molly Ebel - Villager
Molly has performed in many past FACT productions and school shows including Cinderella, Wizard of Oz, and Aida. She loves being a part of the Fort Atkinson Community Theatre for its warm family atmosphere, and would like to thank her family and friends for their support.
David Firari - Villager
David's FACT resume includes the part of Portly in The Wind in the Willows and a member of the pit orchestra in The Wizard of Oz. He is currently working on obtaining his undergraduate degree at Ripon College.
Angela Griffith - Villager / Russian Soldier / Costume Design
Angela Griffith became involved with FACT in the chorus of FACT's 50th anniversary show and has since joined on as secretary of the executive board and costumer. Her favorite role was Edith in Cliffhanger and she also enjoyed playing in the pit orchestra for the Wizard of Oz. She has also been the assistant director of Youth FACT for the last two years and loves playing Toad in "Frog and Toad", Pippi Longstocking in "Pippi Longstocking", and Miss Informed in "The True Case of the Three Little Pigs" in FACT's reader's theatre program. Thanks to her family for supporting her, and the director, cast, crew and pit for supporting all of us!
Alyssa Hannam - Villager / Russian Soldier / Bottle Dancer
Alyssa Hannam will be playing a villager and a Russian dancer. She's going to be a senior at Fort Atkinson High School and is involved with the schools show choir. She was a chorus member in the FAHS production of Beauty and the Beast, an actor in the Theater Club's 2014 Haunted Hallway, a crew member in the FAHS production of Rodgers and Hammersteins Cinderella, a crew member for the FAHS Theater Club's play Exit the Body, and she will also be a chorus member in the FAHS upcoming fall musical Shrek.
Emma Hartwig - Villager / Russian Soldier / Bottle Dancer
Emma Hartwig will be playing a in the chorus as a villager, a Russian soldier and a bottle dancer. She is a junior for the upcoming year at Fort Atkinson High School and participates in the school's show choir and Girls Varsity Tennis team. Emma has participated in Fort Atkinson High School's rendition of Beauty and the Beast and was a stage crew member for FAHS's Theatre Club production of Exit the Body. This is Emma's first FACT musical and is extremely grateful for the amazing opportunity.
Erica Jacobson - Villager / Russian Soldier / Bottle Dancer
Erica participates in theater because she loves to perform and the stage feels like her home away from home. Previously, she has been seen in many other F.A.C.T. and Youth F.A.C.T. productions which include, a chorus member in The Wizard of Oz, the Queen of the South in Princess Whatsername, a dog in Charlotte's Web, a pirate in Treasure Island, a chorus member in F.A.C.T'S 50th Anniversary Show, a police officer in Dirk Smirk, Bank Manager #1 in Musketeer, a kid in Twinderella and many other childhood roles. She would like to thank her parents for always encouraging her to perform and she is very thankful for all the rides to rehearsals. Without them it would be impossible! Lastly, she would like to thank Jeannie and everybody else behind the scenes, this play would be impossible without them all.
Kendra Kasper - Russian Soldier / Villager
This is Kendra’s 2nd production with the Fort Atkinson Community Theatre and is excited to be performing in Fiddler on The Roof for the 2nd time. She would like to thank her family for their love and encouragement!
Robin Kish - Villager
Robin Kish, chorus, was last seen on stage as a "cake lady" in FACT's 2011 production of Charlotte's Web. She is married, and the mother of two high school kids and one homeschooled kid.
Grace McMahon - Villager / Russian Soldier
Grace has been in theater performances since she was 4 yrs. old. She has really enjoyed working with FACT and FACT Youth in Twinderella, Princess Whatshername, Wizard of Oz, Once Upon A Leprechaun and now Fiddler on the Roof. Prior to FACT, she has been in many productions with Missoula Children's Theater, including two Annie productions and several school productions. She would like to thank her family for all their support as she pursues her passion for musical theater.
Valorie Schamens - Villager
Valorie attends School in Jefferson. She loves acting and has been in JMS Aladdin Jr. and FACT’s Once Upon a Leprechaun, Princess Whatshername and Twinderella . She would like to thank her family for their support.
Amelia Zanin - Villager
Amelia Zanin says that the stage is her life. Whether she's acting, dancing, or singing a solo, she's the biggest drama geek there is. She can't imagine a perfect life without a performing opportunity. She would sing any tune that popped in her head at age five. As soon as she was able she was in plays and more plays. She sang whenever she could. In 4th and 5th grade she would invite her neighbor over and would choreograph songs that she would perform with her little sister. She did an exercise dance class in summer school and in 6th grade was finally was old enough to join show choir. Not long after, she went up against 7th and 8th graders for the main solo in the show. She was incredibly short and chubby at the time, so her singing skills blew her show choir instructor away. She was given the solo that year, and the year after that. She was singing her solo in front of the audience, and realized that this is what she wanted to do. And from then on, every acting opportunity that came her way, she grasped. She am now taking personal voice lessons from an amazing teacher, and still singing whenever a song comes in her head.
Amiee Hanyzewski - Stage Manager
Aimee is glad to be back working with the Fort Atkinson Community Theater and appreciates the opportunity. She directed 1940’s Radio Hour in January of 2014, stage managed Wizard of Oz last summer, and served on the board for 2 years.
Nick Dingman - Lighting Design / Sound / Technical Director
Nick Dingman has been working in technical theatre for over 15 years as a volunteer as well as professionally. Nick has been a regular lighting designer and sound technician at the River Arts Center in Sauk Prairie, WI since it's opening in 2000 and was the technical director, lighting designer and sound engineer for over 300 performances of “Fab 50's Live!” in Wisconsin Dells from 2003-2005. Nick has recently begun working with multiple area high schools to provide training and design for school performances. Nick served as lighting designer for FAHS's 2014 musical “The Addams Family” which was recognized with several Tommy awards, including for Lighting Design. Nick is very proud to serve on the board of directors for Fort Atkinson Community Theatre.