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Sondheim on Sondheim

Apr 25, 2024
May 19, 2024
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His music. His story. His legacy.

Stephen Sondheim redefined the Broadway musical through his genius lyrics, catchy melodies, and complex characters. More than just a musical revue of his indelible five-decade career, Sondheim on Sondheim is an intimate portrait of the famed songwriter — his story and his inspiration in his own words. Get an inside look at Steve’s personal life, artistic process, and legacy through exclusive video interviews and performances from nineteen Sondheim shows! Presented as part of the Irving S. Gilmore International Piano Festival, directed by veteran Farmers Alley Theatre director Kathy Mulay, and featuring a cast full of returning favorite performers, you won't want to miss this astonishing production.

Sondheim on Sondheim features new arrangements of 34 songs from the maestro's iconic songbook including Something’s Coming (West Side Story), Send in the Clowns (A Little Night Music), Being Alive (Company), Losing my Mind (Follies), Comedy Tonight (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), Loving You (Passion), Epiphany (Sweeney Todd), Beautiful (Sunday in the Park with George), Children Will Listen (Into the Woods), Good Thing Going (Merrily We Roll Along), and many more.

SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.


Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Conceived and directed on Broadway by James Lapine

Directed by Kathy Mulay with Music Direction by Chris Gray



Jeremy Koch

Jeremy (he/him) memorized every word of Sweeney Todd when he was 9 years old and is proud to have been in 10 productions of various Sondheim shows: WEST SIDE STORY (four times including Tony on the National Tour opposite Denene), FUNNY THING…FORUM (twice including Hero on the National Tour with Rip Taylor), INTO THE WOODS, ASSASSINS (twice) and FOLLIES! Jeremy and Denene met Stephen Sondheim many years ago and they were honored to chat with a living legend. This one is for my mom who introduced me to music, took me to my first Broadway musical (ITW) and hand transcribed the song “Giants in the Sky” just so I could sing it in a talent show when I was 15 and to Kathy who taught me to dig deeply into every word and lyric to find the truth within each performance. Thank you for supporting live theatre! IG: @jeremymkoch

Denene Mulay Koch

A founder of Farmers Alley Theatre, Denene is a Cincinnati Conservatory graduate who lived and worked in NYC for 11 years before moving back to Michigan in 2004. She is honored to be back onstage paying tribute to the marvelous Stephen Sondheim who happened to be the subject of her Senior Thesis! Denene and husband Jeremy were actually featured in the Fall 1998 issue of "The Sondheim Review" while touring the country as Tony and Maria in WEST SIDE STORY. She is thrilled to be working again with her talented hubby and mother - and this wonderful cast! Other Sondheim credits: INTO THE WOODS and A FUNNY THING HAPPENED…FORUM twice! Favorite roles at Farmers Alley: SHE LOVES ME (Amalia), PARADE (Lucille), THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY (Francesca) and FUN HOME (Helen). Most recently, she directed THE LITTLE MERMAID at Portage Northern High School where she also teaches Musical Theatre through Education for the Arts. 

For Jason and Carly “loving you is why I do the things I do.”

Jason Long

Jason is so excited to be sharing Sondheim with everyone in beautiful Kalamazoo! Previous favorite credits include ANYTHING GOES (Billy), THE PRODUCERS (Leo), RENT (Mark), SHE LOVES ME (Georg), The King and I (Lun Tha), THE FULL MONTY (Malcolm), BYE BYE BIRDIE (Albert), Spamalot (Not Dead Fred/Prince Herbert). He'd also like to thank his family and friends who support him daily. He'd love to thank his loving girlfriend, his bedrock and the one that pushes him to be the best he can be. Thank you to Stephanie and all of FSE! Hartt'14 @jaytlo

Meredith Mancuso

Meredith Mancuso is ecstatic to be back on the Farmers Alley stage! She received her Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance from Western Michigan University in 2011. Early on she was a BRAVO! Competition winner through Fontana Chamber Arts as well as a soloist for the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra’s Youth Soloist Competition. Meredith continues to sing in a variety of capacities throughout the surrounding area in addition to serving as the Alto Section Leader for Kalamazoo Choral Arts. Favorite credits include LES MISÉRABLES (Eponine), THE SOUND OF MUSIC (Maria), INTO THE WOODS (Florinda), and most recently, her Farmers Alley debut, A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER (Lady Eugenia). For Caleb - Thank you for your endless support.

Rowan McStay

Rowan (they/them) is thrilled to make their Farmers Alley debut with Sondheim on Sondheim. Rowan is an NYC-based actor, singer, podcast producer originally from the Pacific Northwest. Credits include Cinderella in INTO THE WOODS (Renton Civic Theatre), Amy in COMPANY (Renton Civic Theatre), and Tess in new musical THE TWELVE (Edinburgh Fringe). They are an audio producer and cast member on Mage Hand High Five (your new third-favorite RPG podcast). They hold an MA in Musical Theatre from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Patrick Poole

Patrick is excited to be making his Farmers Alley Theatre debut! He is a graduate of the University of Houston PATP program, where he earned his MFA. He has performed with theatres around the country, and some of his favorite roles are Robert (BOEING BOEING - Hope Repertory Theatre), Mr. Marks (INTIMATE APPAREL - Cape Fear Regional Theatre), Antony (JULIUS CAESAR - American Shakespeare Center), Kulygin (THREE  SISTERS - UH PATP), Malvolio (TWELFTH NIGHT - Houston Shakespeare Festival), Robin the Clown (DR. FAUSTUS – American Shakespeare Center), and Krumpet (THE SANTALAND DIARIES – Festival 56). In addition to theatre, Patrick is a voice over artist who has lent his voice to shows on Netflix and Toonami.

Aaron Pottenger

Aaron is thrilled to make his Farmers Alley Theatre debut playing a dream role in a DREAM of a show! Regional credits include: GUYS & DOLLS, THE LITTLE MERMAID, MAN OF LA MANCHA, RAGTIME, SOUND OF MUSIC, THE FANTASTICKS, SHERLOCK HOLMES, BEAUTY & THE BEAST, GRUMPY OLD MEN, and many more. He has worked at The Fulton Theatre, Fireside Theatre, American Music Theatre, and has also starred and has been featured in various live concert productions across the country. None of this would be possible without  the faithfulness of God and Aaron’s family and close friends. Special thanks to Jeremy, Kathy and the entire team at Farmers Alley for this awesome opportunity. “The top of one mountain is the bottom of another, so keep climbing” - Andre De Shields. IG: @Imaaronpottenger

Ciarra Stroud

Ciarra is so thrilled to make her Farmer’s Alley debut with SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM. Select credits include Elizabeth Jelkes in DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE; The Girl with the Date in BLUES IN THE NIGHT (North Coast Rep Theatre), Frenchy in GREASE (Drury Lane Oakbrook), Marabou in GRUMPY MONKEY: THE MUSICAL (Pasadena Playhouse), Eve in THE APPLE TREE (Porchlight Music Theatre), The Witch in INTO THE WOODS, (Myers Dinner Theatre) Catherine in PIPPIN, and Armelia in AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ (Timber Lake Playhouse). Special thanks to her father and grandmothers for all their love and support, to Roy for bringing so much laughter to her life, and to her mother, who is always in her heart.

Creative Team

Creative Team

Kathy Mulay
Director and Scenic Designer

Kathy has been deeply involved in the artistic aspects of Farmers Alley Theatre since its inception in 2008. Her creative vision has shaped 36 plays and musicals and she has thoroughly enjoyed working with professionals from all over the country while mounting those productions. Kathy's commitment to Farmers Alley Theatre extends beyond artistic roles. She served as Vice President of the board for 15 years and takes on a new role this season as Production Manager. In this capacity she oversees all productions, ensuring smooth operations and maintaining the high standards that Farmers Alley Theatre is known for. Kathy has been recognized with numerous Wilde Award nominations and also received the Community Medal of Arts Award for her extensive contributions to theatre in the community. Kathy expresses gratitude to Rob, Denene and Jeremy, who have supported her throughout her time at Farmers Alley Theatre. She also dedicates all her productions in memory of her late husband, John, who was always the wind beneath her wings.

Chris Gray
Music Director

Eclecticism has been the hallmark of music director and pianist Chris Gray’s career. He started in the arts as a young actor in community/local theater and musical theater productions before pursuing the music aspect full time, music directing his first show (ANNIE) at the age of 17. In addition to his theater appearances, Chris is active as a music coach and pianist at WMU, and maintains a local piano studio. Chris is thrilled to be back at Farmers Alley for another show, he was last seen as the music director for SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM, WORKING, A MUSICAL; A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER; and our fabulous 15th anniversary fundraiser BRIGHT STARS: A BENEFIT CONCERT EVENT.

Roger W. Burleigh
Stage Manager

Roger is excited to be in his 11th season as Farmers Alley Theatre's Equity Stage Manager. Roger started his theatre journey in second grade and has been traveling that road ever since. As an actor and technician Roger has graced many stages and has been at Farmers Alley since season two. Some of his favorites in recent years are NEXT TO NORMAL, THE PRODUCERS, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, MURDER FOR TWO, and THE CURIOUS INCIDENT…. Roger would like to thank his family and educators who got him hooked on live theatre. There is nothing quite like experiencing a live production with a live audience. Proud member of Actors Equity Association.

Savannah Draper
Prop Designer & Scenic Artist

A Kalamazoo native, Savannah has spent the bulk of her career working as a freelance designer, stage manager and technician throughout Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Prior to freelancing, she was the Stage Management Associate for the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre and Props Designer/SM for Millbrook Playhouse. With a multitude of shows under her belt she prides herself in her fake food, antiquing skills and her ability to paint wood to look like different wood.

Lanford J. Potts
Lighting Designer

Lanny is thrilled to be working with this incredibly talented team! Lanny’s work includes 5 Michigan Wilde Awards (“best of” in lighting design) for Farmers Alley productions of GYPSY, THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, CAMELOT, and BRIGHT STAR; a national lighting award for FUN HOME from the John F. Kennedy Center, multiple regional design awards (Atlanta, Detroit, Lansing), and two Governor’s Commendations (Georgia and Michigan). He is a member of the Farmers Alley Theatre Board and provides event production design work internationally. Lanny would like to thank his family for allowing him to pursue his passions.

Carter Rice
Sound Designer

Carter is a multimedia artist, audio engineer, and educator based in Kalamazoo, Michigan. An assistant professor of Multimedia Arts Technology at Western Michigan University, he teaches courses in sound design, audio production, media scoring, and music theory. Rice earned a Doctor of Arts in music theory & composition from Ball State University in 2017. While primarily studying music composition and technology, he also completed a cognate through the telecommunications program studying video production, animation, video game design, and narrative forms in the digital age.

David Clemens
Projection Mapping

David holds a BA from Western Michigan University with focuses in Fine Arts and Sustainable Brewing. He has been working in technical theatre in Kalamazoo for over 30 years as an audio engineer and designer. Currently David is the audio engineer for Miller Auditorium and a staff member in the Department of Theatre at Western Michigan University.

Mike Borzkowski
Technical Director

Mike is returning as Farmers Alley Theatre’s full time Technical Director. Mike has previously served as the audio engineer at Chenery Auditorium, a stagehand at Miller Auditorium, and the TD for the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra. Specializing in taking things apart – but not necessarily putting them back together again – Mike is ready to keep taking on the unique challenges and opportunities at Farmers Alley Theatre.

Brian Panse
Assistant Stage Manager

Brian Panse is excited to be returning to Farmers Alley Theatre to be a part of this wonderful company. Previous productions here range from BRIGHT STAR and LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS all the way back to BLOOD BROTHERS in 2011. He also served as our stage manager for both runs of THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL as well as A CATERED AFFAIR and AN EVENING WITH SCOTT & PAUL. He has been seen at the New Vic Theatre’s yearly production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL as Jacob Marley and many memorable credits at the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre. Brian would like to thank his family, friends, and Farmers Alley Theatre for giving him the opportunity to be part of this amazing production.



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Season Sponsor and Season Equity Sponsor

Gilmore Piano Festival Sponsors

The performances of Sondheim on Sondheim stand as a celebration of the cherished memory of Mary Tyler, a truly invaluable member of our community. Her enduring legacy, particularly as a fervent supporter of the arts, will undoubtedly resonate for years to come.

In tribute to Mary's profound love for the arts, Farmers Alley Theatre, in collaboration with the Gilmore Piano Festival, dedicates all Sondheim on Sondheim performances to her memory. The board of directors, along with the executive and artistic staffs, sincerely hope that this gesture serves as a fitting tribute to her unwavering passion and dedication to the arts. May it provide an opportunity for those who knew her to reflect on and celebrate her remarkable life.

Produced in partnership with the Irving S. Gilmore International Piano Festival

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Content Advisory

Farmers Alley does not offer advisories about subject matter, as sensitivities vary from person to person. If you have any questions about content, age-appropriateness or stage effects (such as strobe lights or theatrical fog) that might have a bearing on patron comfort, please contact the box office at 269.343.2727

Contains mild adult language. Farmers Alley Theatre does not offer further advisories about subject matter, as sensitivities vary from person to person. If you have any questions about content, age-appropriateness or stage effects (such as strobe lights or theatrical fog) that might have a bearing on patron comfort, please contact the box office at 269.343.2727

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