Victoria Steffins is absolutely thrilled to be joining Strauss Theatre Center in Annie Get Your Gun! After performing with STC as an ensemble member in 2013 and then graduating from Strauss Youth Academy for the Arts in 2015, Victoria continued with her love of the arts by attaining her Musical Theatre BFA in Texas before recently returning to Monroe as the Creative Director of SYAA. She would like to thank Dr. Vangelisti, Taylor, and Megan for working with her in this role and for the cast and crew for making all of it possible. And to her Steffins6, she would like to express her deepest gratitude for always being a voice of encouragement, support, and love
Michael is a 21-year-old Real Estate Appraiser and Strauss veteran. When not involved with the theatre, you may find him at the gym, playing video games, or at game night with friends/family. Some previous roles Michael has portrayed are as follows: Jesus in Godspell, Dennis Sanders in Sanders Family Christmas, Freddy Eynsford Hill in My Fair Lady, and 1/5 of the Vice Squad in Nice Work If You Can Get It.
Since he’s way too old to play Frank Butler, Keith Beard is excited to play the role of Buffalo Bill in one of his favorite musicals of all time. Keith currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Strauss Theatre and the ULM Alumni Association. He has performed in Guys and Dolls, The Children’s Hour, Disaster!, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Company, Funkin’ Dead, and Death by Golf. He has won Christopher Awards for Best Set Design and Best Male Debut, and Strauss Volunteer of the Year. He is a proud papaw of three, with two more on the way!
Emily Stogner is a NELA native and the new Director of Marketing & Communications at Experience Ruston. When not dreaming up the next fun community event, Emily loves to go on travel adventures with her family.Her life long dream is to visit every continent and she's almost there! Emily is so excited to be back on stage after making her Strauss debut last year as Jackie Noelle in Disaster! and Sister Mary Amnesia in Nunsense. She also had the opportunity to play Madison Marie in Twin City Entertainment's summer dinner theater, Murder at the Midnight Sands. Her love for local community theater knows no bounds and she is thrilled to be back on and behind the stage for the upcoming 2022-2023 season.
Katherine is a student at West Monroe High School who loves pretty much all forms of art. From Pineville, Louisiana, a solo in her Christmas concert in 2nd grade made music a very important role in her life. Outside of Strauss, choir is what she loves to do. Being cast as Winnie Tate in Annie Get Your Gun is her first time in theater, but she is ready to sing, dance, and act.
Tanner is a 6th grader at Ouachita Christian School. Tanner is a second degree black belt in TaekwonDo and enjoys playing golf, singing, and playing video games. He has previously performed in Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief as Percy on the SYAA stage.
Matthew Scott a Monroe native. I am still pretty new to the Strauss Theater, but I’m so glad I am able to be a part of this community of talented people. When I’m not acting here as Charlie Davenport in this production, or everyone's favorite coat rack in Company ‘21. You can find me being the head decorator at Butter Bakery. Thank you to all the people who believed in me and had faith in my talent could not have done it without you!
Chris had his Strauss debut this summer as he played Louis B Mayer in Stoneface. In his first musical at Strauss, Chris will be playing Chief Sitting Bull. By day, he works in IT, and at night enjoys acting with Strauss and CA Studio. He has two boys, Carter (7), and Hudson (4). He is married to Lyndsey (ensemble).
Amelia Echols is in the 6th grade at Jesus the Good Shepherd School. This is her debut theater performance. She enjoys singing, painting, and time with friends, family, and her dog Otis
Leah is 11 years old and in 6th grade at Sallie Humble Elementary. This is her debut at Strauss Main Stage, but her 11th show overall. She has been active with SYAA since she was 8. Her favorite roles have been Pandora/ Diomedes (Greek Mythology) and Chiron/ Medusa (The Lightning Thief). She is also currently an assistant stage manager for SYAA’s The Sound of Music.
This is Toby's debut performance as Little Jake. His 6 1/2 years of life has been filled with music to a pathological degree. He enjoys singing, dancing playing piano, and ukulele. Outside of Strauss, you will probably find him singing his own rock n' roll remixes, making a costume from miscellaneous household items, building legos, and reading Dog Man. When asked about his future endeavors, Toby said he wants to "do a play where I make everything up as I go along" and was thrilled to learn that improv is a real thing. He also said he plans to never marry and live with his parents forever.
Benjamin McQuillin is a Monroe native, technically Calhoun if you wanna get picky about it. He loves to make people laugh and anything to do with coffee, Dungeons and Dragons, or musicals! He couldn’t be more thrilled to be doing another show with some of his best friends! He’s proud to continue his legacy here at the Strauss Theatre Center. Some of his previous roles include Jack in Into the Woods (ULM), Chad Rubick in Disaster! (Strauss Theatre Center), and Mark Cohen in RENT (ULM).
Peyton Ballew is 24 years old living in Monroe, Louisiana in a beautiful home in the Garden District.. His previous show experience at the Strauss includes Disaster! and The Man Who Came to Dinner. Peyton enjoys long walks in the neighborhood and making loaded teas.. Peyton is an active member in the community doing volunteer work and supporting his favorite organizations like Biedenharn, Monroe Zoo, etc.. Peyton currently works at the Art Alley
Marketplace in Downtown Monroe as a teacher’s assistant helping with art classes and paint parties and paints part-time too. He is thoroughly enjoying being back on stage for this fun and exciting musical.. Thanks to director Megan Wilkins for this opportunity!
Nicole is a Monroe native. She works at the Ouachita Parish Public Library in Genealogy/Special Collections and Kohl’s Department Store. Since Fall 2015, she’s been having a great time on stage at the Strauss Theatre Center. Her favorite roles: June Sanders in Smoke on the Mountain, Shirley Summers in Disaster!, and Jenny in Company.
Lyndsey Mouk has been on stage at Strauss since 1995 in such shows as Pirates of Penzance, Les Misérables, Footloose, and most recently, Stoneface. She is a banker and mother of two boys. Lyndsey is in the ensemble and married to Chris (Sitting Bull).
Laura Smith is employed as the Lab Coordinator for Affinity Health Group. She has appeared in several Strauss productions including The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, Les Misérables, My Fair Lady, Sister Act and Disaster!. Laura also sings with the Bayou Masterworks Chorale and traveled with them to perform concerts at Carnegie Hall and the Aegean Music Festival in Greece. She has been married to her husband, Mark, for 39 years and they enjoy being “Nana and Papaw” to their 5 grandchildren- Wesson, Archer, Guinevere, Dosson and Marston.
Jaiken is excited to be making his Strauss Theatre debut! He is the latest member of the Wilkins clan to grace the stage, and he's had a blast. Jaiken enjoys spending time with his family, performing in choir, and playing guitar.
Courtney Williams is thrilled to be returning to the Strauss theater stage in Annie Get Your Gun. She has been in the ensemble of shows such as Sister Act, Nice Work (If You Can Get It), and The Music Man. Courtney has a BBA in Computer Information Systems and Accounting, and enjoys coding in her spare time. She also enjoys volunteering at Jesus the Good Shepherd Catholic Church. Courtney is so proud to be sharing the stage with her daughter
Amelia and to be a part of her Strauss Theater debut.
Carter is 7 years old and is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do at Tiger Rock Martial Arts. He is in second grade at Lexington Elementary, and this is his first time to perform on stage. He was recently featured in the Strauss show Stoneface on screen.
Hudson is 4 years old. He has just started PreK at Lexington Elementary and is starting to learn martial arts at Tiger Rock. He loves telling jokes, and was also featured alongside Carter in Stoneface.
Meridian is so happy to be performing on the stage in her debut. She loves ballerinas, princesses, going to the theatre, and dancing. She’s an early riser and likes to spend her spare time playing with her Barbie dolls.
Piper is excited to be making her stage debut. She loves singing, dancing, bumblebees, and eating pickles and veggies. In her spare time, she loves having girls’ night (watching movies with popcorn and M&Ms) and playing with her Barbie dolls.
Amelia is a student at Jesus Good Shepherd School. She is 6 years old. She likes soccer and to do her school work. This is her Strauss debut but not her first time on stage. She has already taken the stage dancing with DBK Dance Studio.
Madeline Wilkins was introduced to dance by her aunt, Megan Wilkins, at age three. She continued dancing and at 8 years old she was accepted at Steps Youth Program into their pre- professional division in New York City. There she was immersed in many styles and genres of dance, including classical ballet, jazz, theater, Horton, and more. After she moved to Kansas, she continued dancing with Midwest Dance Mechanix. There she performed in the Nutcracker and many other showcases. Madeline loves to choreograph and was thrilled to be a part of Annie Get Your Gun and work with her aunt again!
Taylor is honored and excited to take a seat in the director's chair once again after co-directing Whose Wives Are They Anyway? with Terri Larson Cunningham and directing The Odd Couple (Female Version) over the past two seasons. When he's not wearing one of his many Strauss hats, the aspiring Survivor castaway can be found spending time with friends, eating and shopping local, crushing another escape room, or cuddling with his two cats, Peter and Virgil. He's been seen many times since his debut in Mamma Mia!. His other onstage credits include Godspell, Little Women, Tuna Does Vegas, A Christmas Carol, Disaster!, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Company, and Funkin' Dead.
Megan is thankful for the opportunity to co-direct and choreograph Annie Get Your Gun. Some of her recent work includes Bright Star (SYAA), Sister Act, Godspell, Mamma Mia!, Peter Pan, and many more choreography credits, and Disaster! (Director). Onstage she has been seen in CATS, Rumors, The Producers, Hairspray, and many more. Outside of Strauss, she loves exploring life and making memories with her twin girls and twin babies and being a member of the Junior League of Monroe.
Kylie is taking a step behind the curtain for the first time ever for this production. It has been a scary and stressful, but exciting, shift away from being onstage. Outside of the theatre, Kylie is a Recruiter at her alma mater the University of Louisiana Monroe and enjoys re-watching TV shows, crying over Taylor Swift, and songwriting. Music and theater have been part of her life for as long as she can remember. Some of her featured credits include: The Phantom of the Opera (Meg), The Addams Family (Alice), and Stoneface (Eleanor). Kylie made her official Strauss debut earlier this year in Company (April) and hasn't left the building since!