About Bonnie

Bonnie Balke has been president of Mercury Players Theatre in Madison, WI since May of 2007. She has worked as an actor, director, stage manager, musician, and producer for numerous shows and companies throughout the years.

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY cast announced

It is with great excitement that we announce the excellent cast of Mercury Players’ production of AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY

Beverly Weston–Coleman
Violet Weston–Peggy Rosin
Barbara Fordham–Miranda Hawk
Bill Fordham–John Jajewski
Jean Fordham–Stacey Garbarski
Ivy Weston–Deborah Hearst
Karen Weston–Kelsey Bonney
Mattie Fay Aiken–Jamie England
Charlie Aiken–Lee Waldhart
Little Charles Aiken–Matt Korda
Johnna Monevata–Gina M. Gomez
Steve Heidebrecht–Jim Chiolino

Sheriff Deon Gilbeau–Edric Johnson

Cast for THE WIZARD OF OZ announced

Mercury Players and director Steve Noll are pleased to announce the cast for Nick Schweitzer’s Wisconsin-flavored adaptation of the classic tale:

Dorothy – Emily Robinson
The Wicked Witch of the Wild West - Robert Helfinstine
Glinda, the Good Witch of Up North - Kurtis Hopp
The Scarecrow – Jordan Humpal
The Tin Man - Ben Seidensticker
The Cowardly Lion - Joshua Paffel
Aunt Lena – Mikey Jarlsberg
Uncle Ole – Louise Stout
Toto – Drew Briski
The Wizard – Jake-O Jacobson 
The China Doll - Monica Fan
The Munchkins: Ren KasparDonna Kapheim, Diana Greene, Janine PuleoAndy BestJake Kindwall

Auditions

The Wizard of Oz

An original, panto-style adaptation written by NICK SCHWEITZER

Directed by STEVE NOLL

Monday–Tuesday, Sept. 12–13 @ 7:00pm / Bartell Theatre, 113 East Mifflin

Roles available:

  • Aunt Lena – played by a male, strong Scandinavian accent, must read over 40
  • Uncle Ole – played by a female, strong Scandinavian accent, must read over 40
  • Dorothy – Played by a female, must read teenage
  • Toto, the dog – played by a male, must be a large physical presence
  • Good Witch of Up North – female character played by male or female actor
  • The Scarecrow
  • The Tin Man
  • The Cowardly Lion
  • The Wizard – male character played by male or female actor
  • The Wicked Witch of the Wild West – female character played by male or female actor, strong singing voice
  • The China Doll – may be doubled with another part
  • 4–6 Ensemble to play Munchkins, flying badgers, crows, residents of Oz, etc. Must be able to dance and move, and do chorus singing

ALL ROLES ARE OPEN and will be cast race- and gender-blind

At auditions, actors will read from the script and then be asked to participate in an improv scene. Some dancing may be needed, so dress to move and bring water. Singing will not be needed at initial auditions, but may be part of callbacks. Strong improv skills are especially critical for this show and will weigh heavily in casting.

Although this is not a “traditional” musical, there will be songs performed (to be chosen by the cast). Actors with singing skills are especially encouraged to audition.

While this will be a family-friendly show, no one under the age of 18 will be cast.

For questions about the script or the production, contact director Steve Noll (sdnoll@yahoo.com) or check the audition notice on Facebook.

Please be prepared to provide all conflicts from Oct. 3–Dec. 30, 2016.

9 Performances: December 16–18, 21–23, 28–30, 2016

Bartell Theater, Drury Stage, 113 East Mifflin Street, Madison WI

Produced by Bonnie Balke – 608-695-5697 or bonster55@gmail.com

Cast for THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW announced

OUT!Cast Theatre and Mercury Players are excited to announce the cast and crew of THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW!

  • Katie Cass as Trixie, the Usherette 
  • Michael Costanzo as Brad Majors, the Hero
  • Katie Debs as Janet Weiss, the Heroine
  • Kurtis Hopp as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, the Mad Scientist
  • Alex Van Handel as Rocky Horror, his Creation
  • Robert Helfinstine as Riff Raff, the Castle Butler
  • Holly Elsberry as Magenta, the Castle Maid
  • Alyson Barrett as Columbia, a Groupie
  • Britton Rea as Eddie, the Delivery Boy
  • Patrick Chounet as Dr. Everett Scott, a Rival Scientist
  • Jim Chiolino as The Criminologist
With the Transylvanians…

  • Kiki Moritsugu
  • Hannah Ripp-Dieter
  • Katie Mann
  • Alyssa Beasley
  • Adam DuVall
  • Kenneth Ingram, Jr.
  • Stephanie Frank
  • Ruel Mundth
Stage Direction by Steve Noll
Music Direction by Erin McConnell
Choreographed by Lyn Pilch
Costumes by Jenni Schwaner Ladd
Lighting Design by Tom Littrell
Set Design by Erin Baal
Props Design by Kathleen Tissot
Special Effect Props by Kirk Stantis
Video Technical Director: John Penisten
Produced by Steve Noll, Bonnie Balke and Deborah Hamill
Stage Manager: Jaz Campbell            Assistant Stage Manager: Jordan Rockman
Master Carpenter: Gretchen Wheat
Live Sound Mix: Bonnie Balke           Light Board Operator: Jane Schneider
An OUT!Cast Theatre Production in Partnership with Mercury Players Theatre
February 12–27, 2016
Don’t Dream It, SEE IT!

Auditions for RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN by Gina Gionfriddo

Directed by Sara Beth Hahner

Monday, July 13, 2015 @ 7pm / Tuesday, July 14, 2015 @ 7pm

Bartell Theater; 113 East Mifflin Street; Madison, WI

Production Dates: September 18–October 3, 2015; Bartell Theatre (Evjue Stage)

In this award-winning new comedy, Catherine is a rockstar academic feminist and Gwen is a brilliant wife and homemaker; they reunite years after their grad school days, unfulfilled in polar-opposite ways. Throw in a mouthy babysitter, a lazy dean of students, and a meddling mom who hands out wisdom in a martini glass, and you’ve got an evening of intensely funny, immensely smart comedy.

Five roles are available: 

  • Two females age 35–45
  • One male age 35–45
  • One female age 18–25
  • One female age 65–75

Auditions are walk-in, no advance registration. Actors can audition one or both nights. Auditions will consist of cold readings from sides pre-selected from the script. (Advance perusal copies are not available.) Actors will be required to complete a rehearsal conflict form at the time of their audition.

For more information, contact director Sara Beth Hahner at: shahner@gmail.com or producer Bonnie Balke at: bonster55@gmail.com

Auditions for “Scenes from an Execution” by Howard Barker

Audition Date: 5/24/2015

Seeking 8 actors, 20s–60s, (3 Women, 5 Men) to play 18 roles with significant doubling.

Auditions will be held in the MercLab Theater, 930 North Fair Oaks Avenue (Fair Oaks at East Washington, behind Broadway Tire) on Sunday, May 24th, 6:00pm–9:00pm, with callbacks held Tuesday, May 26th at 7:00pm. If auditioners cannot be present for either the auditions or the callbacks they should contact Christopher William Wolter ASAP to set up an alternate audition time.

To audition, please sign up for a 5 minute time slot HERE
Please do what you can to arrive early for your slot.

Auditioners are strongly encouraged to prepare a short (1–2 minute) dramatic monologue as well as bring a resume and headshot. All actors will be considered regardless of preparation. Cold readings will be available.

About the Director: Christopher William Wolter is a playwright and director and a new member of the Madison theatre scene. Recently he directed Arthur Miller’s  Death of a Salesman for Strollers Theatre at the Bartell. Previously his plays have been produced and he has worked in the theatre in Colorado, Wyoming and the United Kingdom.

Auditions for THE BEAUTIFUL DARK

 

Auditions for THE BEAUTIFUL DARK by Erik Gernand / Directed by Suzan Kurry will be held on Thursday, November 13th @ 7pm and Saturday, November 15th @ 1pm. Auditions will be held at the MercLab, 930 North Fair Oaks Avenue (East Washington at Fair Oaks, behind Broadway Tire). Auditioners will be asked to read from the script; no other preparation is necessary.

Please see the show’s synopsis on Mercury’s 2014-15 Season page.

Erik Gernand is a Chicago playwright whose work was previously produced by Mercury Players in 2010′s Mercury Rising play competition. Director Suzan Kurry worked with Mercury Players on Skin Tight by Gary Henderson last season.

6 roles are available:

  • NANCY – 40s, female, a high school principal
  • TOM – 40s, male, Nancy’s ex-husband, a cop
  • JACOB – 18, male, Nancy & Tom’s eldest son
  • CHARLIE – 13, male, Nancy & Tom’s youngest son
  • SYDNEY – 18, female, a college student
  • MR. MARSH – 60s, male, a teacher at Nancy’s school

Advance copies of the audition material will be available from the producer one week prior to the auditions, contact bonster55@gmail.com 

Questions for the director may be sent any time to skurry@suzankurry.com