Meet the Cast

Ann Collins is the acting Director of Marketing for SIU Physicians & Surgeons at SIU School of Medicine. Her favorite roles include Miss Hannigan in ANNIE, Mrs. Lovett inSWEENEY TODD, Salome in THE ROBBER BRIDEGROOM and the Mother Superior in NUNSENSE I & II. She has also been seen in PIRATES OF PENZANCE, PETER PAN, ANYTHING GOES, MAN OF LA MANCHA, A MY NAME IS STILL ALICE and many others. Ann plays violin, piano and sings with Three’s Company, a female vocal trio, and Two For The Show. She is also one of the producers for the Roxy Group. She enjoys swimming, tennis and her cabin in the Missouri woods.

Nancy Diefenback has starred in many shows over the years. She was the Witch in INTO THE WOODS (at both the Muni and Springfield Theatre Centre), Aldonza in MAN OF LA MANCHA, Dorothy Brock in 42ND STREET, Julie in SHOWBOAT, Countess Charlotte in A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, Eva Peron in EVITA (for which she won the SJ-R 1985 Best Actress Award), LaLume in KISMET, Laurie in OKLAHOMA and Kate in KISS ME KATE all at the Muni, Phyllis Stone in FOLLIES-IN CONCERT for the Roxy Group and Truvy in STEEL MAGNOLIAS and Lady Manley-Prowe in SOMETHING'S AFOOT for the Springfield Theatre Centre. Nancy also played the Narrator in the very successful production of JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at STC. In addition to her on-stage activites, Nancy is also very valuable backstage as a vocal director and costume designer. She and her husband Jim (our lighting designer) enjoy participating in theater together! Nancy works for the State of Illinois at CMS.

Greg Floyd is one of the busiest performers in central Illinois. New Salem regulars will remember him from his roles in GODSPELL, ABRAHAM!, 1776, COTTON PATCH GOSPEL, FOREVER PLAID, THE BEST OF BROADWAY, OUR TOWN and THE FANTASTICKS. In addition, Greg has appeared in more Roxy shows than any other performer! He has been seen in MACK & MABEL, CALL ME MADAM, THE BAKER'S WIFE, S'MARVELOUS, A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING and FOLLIES. At the Muni, he played Cain in CHILDREN OF EDEN, Dickon in THE SECRET GARDEN and Charlie Dalrymple in BRIGADOON. He was honored by the SJ-R for his performances as Huck in BIG RIVER and as Seymour in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, both for Springfield Theatre Centre. Greg also has a long history with the Jacksonville Theater Guild as a singer/dancer/actor and even director! Greg is a graduate of Illinois College and is employed at Illinois National Bank as the Operations Specialist.

Becky Garretson has recently been seen at New Salem as Rhetta Cupp in PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES, Luisi Contini in mickeyandjudy's production of NINE and as a company member in the Gordon Productions presentation of THE BEST OF BROADWAY. She has served as vocal director, performer and orchestra member for the Muni, Springfield Theatre Centre, the Roxy Group, Gordon Productions, and Savage Productions. Some of her credits include Paula in THE GOODBYE GIRL, Sarah Brown in GUYS & DOLLS, Oolie/Donna in CITY OF ANGELS, Tuptim in THE KING AND I, Prudie Cupp in PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES, an evil stepsister in INTO THE WOODS and as a company member of PARTY OF ONE. Becky also produced and appeared in the musical CLOSER THAN EVER. She and her husband, Dick, perform in a variety of musical endeavors, including the Dick Garretson Quintet. Becky is the director of public information and marketing at Lincoln Land Community College.

Dick Garretson has led the orchestras for many Muni productions, including 42ND STREET, CRAZY FOR YOU, INTO THE WOODS, CITY OF ANGELS, DREAMGIRLS, TEDDY & ALICE, WEST SIDE STORY and THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES. Dick has also conducted GODSPELL, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, CHICAGO and BIG RIVER at the Springfield Theatre Centre. When he's not conducting, he can usually be found playing in the pit for shows all over central Illinois! He made two tours with Ice Capades as conductor and won raves as Eddie in PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES, both at New Salem and at STC and Moose in CRAZY FOR YOU at the Muni. Dick is an instrumental music teacher for District #186 in Springfield and enjoys playing with local big bands and spending what little free time he has with wife Becky.

Claire Gordon returned to the stage last year with THE CHRISTMAS SONGBOOK after a five-year absence (during which time she gave birth to Amy, age 5, and John, age 2, and helped get Gordon Productions off the ground). In Springfield, Claire has appeared in the title role in SUGAR and as Rapunzel in INTO THE WOODS, at The Muni (both times playing opposite her favorite leading man, husband Gus!) and as Audrey in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, Frenchy in GREASE, and Catherine in THE FOREIGNER at Springfield Theatre Centre. Other favorite roles include Marian in THE MUSIC MAN, Arlene in BABY, and Patty in YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN, all in Cincinnati, Ohio. Professionally, Claire has performed with Riders in the Sky on the National Public Radio show Riders' Radio Theater. Claire is a professor of speech at Lincoln Land Community College, where she has directed several plays and serves as faculty advisor to the LLCC Theatre Club. Claire is taking a breather from on-stage duties this year, but is acting as our producer!

Gus Gordon is best known across central Illinois as the Chief Meteorologist for NewsChannel 20 and commercial spokesman for Stahl's Furniture. Over the past eleven years, he has performed at the Muni, Springfield Theatre Centre, New Salem, Lincoln Land Community College and The Little Theatre on the Square. His favorite roles include Harold Hill in THE MUSIC MAN, Richard Henry Lee in 1776, Bobby Child in CRAZY FOR YOU, Stine in CITY OF ANGELS, Rapunzel's Prince in INTO THE WOODS, Bill Snibson in ME AND MY GIRL, Joe in SUGAR, the Dentist in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, Steven Kodaly in SHE LOVES ME, Thurston in GREATER TUNA and Frankie in FOREVER PLAID. He has twice been named Best Actor by both the SJ-R and Illinois Times. Gus and his wife Claire are founders of Gordon Productions. They are also the proud "producers" of Amy and John.

Tom Heintzelman has had a busy theatrical year! In March he was the vocal director for the Roxy Group's production of BELLS ARE RINGING,; in June he played J.B. Biggley in HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING at the Muni; in July, he played Samuel Chase in the New Salem Theatre in the Park production of 1776; and this past October he was seen as Dr. Grayburn in SOMETHING'S AFOOT at STC. Whew! That's a full schedule! In past years, he has been seen at the Muni in ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER, ANNIE, THE MUSIC MAN and STATE FAIR and at STC as Jacob in JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT and the narrator in INTO THE WOODS. When not on stage, he can be found working for the State of Illinois at CMS. He would like to thank Roger for looking after his dogs, Ruth and Irene.

Debbie Holmes has played piano for many shows at the Muni, New Salem and Springfield Theatre Centre. Her credits include THE CHRISTMAS SONGBOOK and THE BEST OF BROADWAY for Gordon Productions, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, CRAZY FOR YOU, BYE, BYE BIRDIE, GREASE, MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, STATE FAIR, H2$ and THE GOODBYE GIRL (she also vocal directed the last two) for the Muni and LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, THE FANTASTICKS and JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT for STC. For Debbie, theatre is a family affair she shares with husband Roger, sisters Mary Myers and Becky Garretson, brother-in-law Dick Garretson, kids Tara, Gabe, Alex, Colin and Justin and even parents Betty and Warren Watts (who are running the box office!). Debbie is the music director and organist at Trinity United Methodist Church and a legal secretary at Sorling, Northrup, Hanna, Cullen and Cochran, Ltd.

Roger Holmes, better known as JUDGE Roger Holmes to many in the area, has been involved with local theatre for over 20 years! He has been president of the Muni's Board of Managers several times, served as producer for CRAZY FOR YOU, PETER PAN and JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, and is a member of the Muni's Board of Trustees. He's appeared in HELLO, DOLLY! (as a Judge...big stretch!), FIDDLER ON THE ROOF and as a pirate in PETER PAN. He has played drums for countless shows all across the area. Roger also plays with the Don Smith Orchestra and occasionally with the Merchant Street Rowdies. When not playing the drums, he enjoys cooking and spending free time with his wife Debbie and their large family! Oh, by the way, he LOVES trains.

Steve Williams made his Muni Opera debut as Eric, the Phantom of the Opera, in the musical PHANTOM in the summer of 1996. Since then, he has played Sky Masterson in GUYS AND DOLLS Count Carl-Magnus in A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, Conrad Birdie in BYE, BYE BIRDIE, and was a Storyteller in CHILDREN OF EDEN. Other local theatre credits include Rivard in THE RUNNER STUMBLES, The Pharaoh in JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, Guido Contini in NINE, Cinderella's Prince in INTO THE WOODS, Smudge in FOREVER PLAID, and parts in concert productions of HIGH SPIRITS and A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING for The Roxy Group. Other favorite roles include Billy Bigelow in CAROUSEL, King Arthur in CAMELOT, Oedipus in OEDIPUS REX, Lucky in DAMES AT SEA and the title role in MACBETH. When not on stage, Steve can be found teaching theatre at Glenwood Junior High School, or spending his free time with son Ryne.

Cynda Wrightsman Cynda is a familiar face to audiences of New Salem, the Muni and Springfield Theatre Centre, with over a dozen leading roles to her credit. Her favorite role is Guenevere in CAMELOT, but she also enjoyed playing the Baker's Wife in INTO THE WOODS (both at Muni and STC), Desiree in A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, Gabby/Bobbi in CITY OF ANGELS, Roxy Hart in CHICAGO, Sally Bowles in CABARET, Fiona in BRIGADOON, Dolly Levi in HELLO, DOLLY! (for which she won the 1994 SJ-R Best Actress Award), and Eliza Doolittle in MY FAIR LADY. She has also played leading roles in A CHORUS LINE, WAIT UNTIL DARK, ANNIE, ROMANCE, ROMANCE, FOLLIES IN-CONCERT, S'MARVELOUS, THEY'RE PLAYING OUR SONG, 42ND STREET, KISMET and MAN OF LA MANCHA for local theatre groups. Cynda is a nationally certified massage therapist at Woodland Therapy Clinic in Springfield. She lives in Virden and loves to travel with her husband Loy. "Hi, Mom!"