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Six Alumni join the stage for Jesus Christ Superstar

February 22, 2017 by Laura Phagan

stage photo of the CWC cast of Jesus Christ Superstar

Six Central Wyoming College theatre department alumni are back on the Robert A. Peck Arts Center stage for the upcoming production of Jesus Christ Superstar.  The play opens Friday, March 3 at 7pm and will continue with 7pm shows March 4, 10 and 11. There will also be one matinee Sunday, March 5 at 2pm.

The 1970 rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, is a passion play, recounting the events of the last week in the life of Jesus. The lyrics are by Tim Rice, who also wrote the lyrics for Evita, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King. The music is by Andrew Lloyd Webber, who composed Phantom of the Opera, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Cats, among many other shows.

“It’s really fun to work with a whole new cast of people,” said Lily Draper, CWC alumna. “Most of the cast are students and community members I haven’t had the chance to work with. I’m really excited to be able to perform at CWC again. It’s always been a really positive and wonderful experience.”

Draper who is an ensemble member has also been the costumer for the show. She has put together more than 35 pieces for the actors.

Playing the role of Judas is alumna, Amara Fehring, who has been in many roles at CWC since the age of 14. When she knew theatre director Mike Myers would be showing Jesus Christ Superstar she knew she couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

I love Jesus Christ Superstar. It’s been one of my favorite musical since I was seven. I knew a lot of my alumni friends would also be participating in this play and I knew it would be a really good time. ”

Amara Fehring, CWC alumna

Fehring and Draper were both theater majors and graduated together in 2010. The two have worked together since then on many plays and other musical projects for the community.

“It’s been wonderful and nostalgic,” Fehring said. “Jevne and I worked together in my first show which was Oklahoma and working with Lily, who is one of my dearest friends, has been exceptional.”

There are 13 other actors in the production, including CWC students and high school and community members from Riverton and Lander. The other two choreographers working alongside Anika Greenhalgh are Rachel Mitchell and Rachel Reckling, both second year CWC theatre majors. The music director is Marissa Selvig, a music teacher and city council member from Pavillion. Marissa has played many roles at CWC, including Nimue in Camelot (2012), Marian Paroo in The Music Man and Mrs. Cratchit in A Christmas Carol, both in 2014.

Tickets for adults are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Tickets for youth and seniors are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. Tickets may be obtained by calling the Box Office at 855-2002 or ordering online at tickets.cwc.edu.

CWC Alumni:

Nathaniel Esposito, who graduated this past spring with an associate of arts in theatre, has returned to be a member of the Superstar company.  Esposito began performing in CWC shows while he was in high school.  Some of his major roles include O’Brien in 1984, The Doctor in The Servant of Two Masters, and Polonius in Hamlet. He is currently a substitute teacher in Riverton schools.

Anika Greenhalgh, who works as a Front Desk Agent at Hampton Inn in Riverton and who graduated from the program in 2014, is a performer in the show as well as one of three choreographers. Greenhalgh’s roles on the art center stage include Anne in The Merry Wives of Windsor (2013) and Zaneeta in The Music Man (2014).

Lily Draper, a 2010 graduate and who works as a Benefits Specialist at the Department of Family Services in Riverton, is not only performing in the show, but costuming it as well.  Among many other roles, Draper played Grandma Tzeitl in Fiddler on the Roof and Gay Wellington in You Can’t Take It With You, both in 2010. 

Amara Fehring, another 2010 graduate, is playing the leading role of Judas.  Fehring, who is now the digital content and marketing specialist at CWC, began appearing on the college stage when she was 14.  Her first show was Oklahoma!, in 2004.  A few of her many roles include Shelby in Steel Magnolias (2006), Belle in Beauty and the Beast (2008), Golde in Fiddler on the Roof (2010), and Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (2012).

Ryan Jevne, who graduated from the Theatre program in 2006 and currently is the Box Office Manager at the Robert A. Peck Theatre, is playing Jesus in Superstar. Jevne’s acting career at the college began when he played Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 2001 production of The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail. Other major roles include Harold in Black Comedy (2002), Japeth in Two by Two, and Jack in The Boys Next Door (both 2005). 

Ron Howard graduated with a degree in Theatre in 2006.  He made his debut playing Mr. Webb in the 2001 production of Our Town. He went on to portray Willy Loman in 2003’s Death of a Salesman. The same year he played ten roles in the one-man show Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll. Other roles include an elderly Huck Finn in The Boys in Autumn and Drummond in Inherit the Wind, both in 2004. Howard, who works as a pre-school teacher in the Fort Washakie Early Intervention program, is playing Caiphas in Superstar.