Cheshire Community Theater

Curtain Up, Light the Lights!

Lend Me A Tenor

                April 27, 28, 29 2012

                  Director: Allison Koppel


                          Maria……………………………Donna Ekegran                              Bellhop………………………Wade Elmer

                          Max………………………………Rob Girardin                                 Julia……………………………Barbara Harvey

                          Diana……………………………Laura Heckmann                          Saunders………………………Paul Kuehn

                          Maggie…………………………Meghan Rickard                             Tito………………………………David Schancupp

                          Understudy……………………James Mase                                 Assistant Director…………Rebecca Abbate

                          Stage Manager………………Jennifer Berlin


Allison Koppel (Director) has been a performer since the age of three. She is an accomplished actor, vocalist, dancer, choreographer, runway model and voiceover artist. She is a founder and director for AKT, a radio show performed at WRTI-FM at Temple University. Her previous acting credits include Jesus Christ Superstar (Herod Dancer/Dance Captain) and Grand Night for SInging (Ensemble/Children's Dance Captain), both here at CCT. She has also appeared in Lend Me a Tenor (Maggie), Camelot (Morgan Le Fey/Dance Captain), Godspell (Turn Back O' Man), My Cup Ranneth Over (Yucca) and Steel Magnolias (M'Lynn). By day Allison is an Office Manager for a financial practice in Hamden, and three times per week she is a choreographer/instructor at the Greater Waterbury YMCA. Allison's voice has been heard in on-air spots for WRCH-FM and WTIC-FM, both in Hartford. She has been a volunteer for Lea's Foundation for Leukemia Research for over ten years and was recently seen on FOX television about their annual Climb for the Cure. Allison is also going to be featured as a 2013 calendar model for 'Moms Who Kick' (, an organization which raises money for breast and ovarian cancer research and treatment.  'I am so happy to work with such an amazing cast and crew....thank you for making this dream come true! Many thanks to my wonderful husband and son for their incredible love and support, my mom for always being there, my "Fab 5" for reminding me to stop caffeinating after 4PM, and to Dad and David, enjoy the best seats in the house.... I love you all...thank you!"


Rebecca Jewett Abbate (Assistant Director) is returning to CCT after a five-year hiatus, during which she produced her greatest opuses: twins Henry and Juliette. She has assistant directed two previous shows for CCT: The Night of January 16th with Cassandra Casey and Black Coffee with her husband, Adam Abbate. Previous stage credits include: The Man Who Came to Dinner (Maggie — for CCT), Twelfth Night (Olivia – for Cheshire Shakespeare Society), La Guerre de Troie n'aura pas lieu (Andromaque), and Queen of Hearts (Rachel - for New Haven Playwriting Festival). As a French and Theater major at Hamilton College, her acting credits include: Vinegar Tom (Alice), The Way of the World (Mistress Millamant), Moe's Lucky Seven (Divina), Roots in Water (multiple roles) and the title character in The Jewish Wife. She has directed Francophone theatrical productions at Choate Rosemary Hall for the past 8 years. She dedicates her work on this show to Mimi.




Jen Berlin (Stage Manager/Understudy) is very excited to make her CCT debut as stage manager for Lend Me a Tenor!  She is a 27 year old physical therapist currently residing in Hamden and has a flair for the arts.  Music is her passion when it comes to theater, performing in musicals such as Grease (Principal McGee) and Into the Woods, as well as dramas such as Mash and The Vagina Monologues amongst others.  She would like to thank her family and friends for tolerating her incessant car radio sing-alongs and always encouraging and supporting her!  Love you all!







Anthony DeChello (Set Design Assistant/Light and Sound Technician) is a sophomore at Cheshire High School.  He has run the lights for CCT’s last four shows.  Anthony also was the light and sound technician for the Highland School Drama production of Hairy Tale Theater.  He would like to pursue a career in film production after high school.






Donna G. Ekegren (Maria) has been acting since she was eight (some say since birth) and loves it as much today as she did when she felt the first rush of being on stage.  She has lived in Cheshire for 24 years.  This is her eleventh time on stage with CCT.  Past CCT roles include Paula (The Girl in the Freudian Slip), Mae Petersen (Bye, Bye Birdie), M’Lynn (Steel Magnolias), Penny (You  Can’t Take It With You), Oldest daughter (Quilters) and The Wife (On Tidy Endings).  Elsewhere, she has enjoyed playing Melissa Gardner (Love Letters), Fonsia Dorsey (The Gin Game), Anna (The King and I), Maggie (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), Agnes  Gooch (Mame)  and Anne Sullivan (The Miracle Worker), to name a few.  Professionally, she works with an improv group performing comedy weddings, murder mysteries and class reunions.  Donna has worked backstage on occasion, but she finds it much more stressful than being on stage!  She is grateful for the opportunity to work with such a talented and gracious group of people.  She wishes to thank her wonderful family for their love and support always.  “I love you all.”



Wade Elmer (Bellhop)  lives in Wallingford and has enjoyed appearing in over a dozen CCT plays.  He has many favorite roles: Algernon (The Importance of Being Ernest), Ken (Rumors), and Dewey (The Girl in the Freudian Slip).  He has also appeared with Turnpike Players, Castle Craig Players, and the charity group, Mastermind Productions. When not bell hopping and singing opera, he works as a mad plant scientist conjuring bubbling vats of pathogenic inocula for innocent plants. (Wade is very well adjusted to life). "It is really great to be with this fun cast.  Thanks to all and thanks for coming!"





Rob Girardin (Max) appears in his first show with CCT. He graduated from CCSU in 2009 and currently works in Hartford. Recently, he appeared as Glenn in Southington Community Theater's rendition of Rumors.






Barbara Harvey (Julia Leverett) is delighted to be in her first production at Cheshire Community Theater. Barbara caught the acting bug when her church did a production of Godspell in 2006, and she has been involved in community theater ever since.  Her favorite roles include Truvy in Steel Magnolias, Gerry in Play On, and Elaine in Arsenic and Old Lace with Castle Craig Players in Meriden.  Barbara’s other interests include playing guitar and singing with her church, and reading.  An IT Systems Analyst for GE, she resides in Middletown with her husband, Charles, and her two wonderful children, Jessica and Maxwell, along with three cats, two Russian tortoises, a rabbit and a leopard gecko. Barbara wishes to thank the director, cast, and crew for the opportunity to be part of such a fun production. A special thank you goes to Charles, Jessica, and Maxwell for their encouragement and support.



Laura Heckmann(Diana/Desdemona) debuted with the  Northern Westchester Symphony in 2009.  She most recently performed the role of Olympia in Les Contes d’ Hoffmann and Seibel in Faust with rave reviews for the Hudson Lyric Opera.  She also has sung the role of Lady Ella in Patience with the Einstein Orchestra. She is very excited to be a part of this production and CCT is very happy to have her appear in her first role with the group.





Jon Kendall (Set Designer) started his theater career at North Branford High School working behind the scenes all four years he was there.  He was awarded “Most Promising New Techie” as a freshman and “Techie of the Year” his sophomore and senior year.  After graduation, he went to Lyndon State College in Vermont where he was in charge of lighting design for The Twilight Players.  After college, he studied at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting.  He then went to work for the History Channel for 5 years.  Since high school Jon has worked on numerous productions in North Branford, East Haven and now his second show here in Cheshire.  He was the stage manager for Grand Night for Singing last year.  In his spare time he enjoys playing hockey and fishing.   



Paul Kuehn (Saunders),  a Hamden resident,  has been involved  in numerous productions over the past 30 years.   In 2011, he performed in a Guilford production of Godspell (Lamar) at First Church on the green and a few years prior to that he was in their production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat  (Pharaoh and Brother).  He has performed for most of the past 25 years in the CT Gay Men's Chorus,  where many of the numbers performed were stage production type numbers, and was also in their productions of The Mikado (Pooh-Bah) and Pirates of Penzance (Sergeant of Police).  Paul also plays  the flute in the Cheshire Community Band.





James Mase (Understudy) is from East Haven, CT. This is his second production with CCT, having played in the ensemble of A Grand Night for Singing in 2011. He works at Verizon Wireless as a manager for Customer Service, and also as a Public Relations manager for Broadway star Terri White. He’d like to thank his mom for introducing him to theater, and his Mama Terri for encouraging him to get involved.





Meghan Rickard (Maggie) is excited to make her debut performance with CCT.  It had been nearly 4 years since her last time on stage before she appeared in Independence (Sherry) at the Hole in the Wall Theater earlier this month. She is a recent UConn grad (Go Huskies!) that has enjoyed all aspects of theater since a young age.  She thanks God and her family for their support.  Enjoy the show!






David Schancupp (Tito Merelli) returns for his fourth appearance with CCT, having been seen as Arvide in“Guys & Dolls, Mr. Lyons in Blood Brothers and Sir Danvers Carew in Jekyll & Hyde. Other roles have included his favorite role, Tevye, in Fiddler on the Roof for Orange Players; Miles Gloriosus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Tiger Brown in Threepenny Opera with Nutmeg Players (Clinton);  Mr. Bumble in Oliver! and Hines in Pajama Game with Something Players (New Haven); and the French Ambassador in Gershwin’s Of Thee I Sing with Simsbury Light Opera Company.  A Gilbert and Sullivan aficionado, he has been performing principal G&S roles for over thirty years with Troupers Light Opera Company (New Canaan) including  John Wellington Wells and Sir Marmaduke (Sorcerer), Sir Despard and Sir Roderic (Ruddigore), Plaza-Toro and Don Alhambra ("Gondoliers"), the Mikado, Dick Deadeye ("Pinafore"), the Judge (Trial by Jury),  Lord Chancellor and Private Willis (Io­lanthe),  Major General Stanley (Pirates of Penzance) and Wilfred Shadbolt and Sergeant Meryll (Yeomen),  a role which he also performed with the Connecticut Gilbert & Sullivan Society (Middletown).   David has also appeared with the Simsbury Light Opera Company, the Greater New Britain Opera, and Hillhouse Opera (New Haven) and has directed Act I of Il Barbiere di Siviglia.  His non-musical appearances include Harry in Prisoner of 2nd Avenue and Teddy in Arsenic and Old Lace.  In his non-theatrical life, David practices law in New Haven.