Meet Emily Stogner of Disaster!

Emily Stogner is a mom of 3, a Digital Media Specialist at The Digital People, and is convinced she married the real life Superman. Emily fell in love with theater at Strauss’ production of State Fair in the 90s and is super excited to come full circle as she stars in her first Strauss production. Previous shows include: Oklahoma!, Into the Woods, and Seussical the Musical.

Watch Emily dazzle as the glamorous lounge singer and mother of twins, Jackie Noelle.  Disaster! opens to the public tomorrow night!  Tickets are on sale now!

Meet Shonice Saint-Jean of Disaster!

Shonice Saint-Jean is a 31 year old native of Zwolle, Louisiana. She currently resides in Monroe, LA, and she is a doctoral candidate at Grambling State University. Shonice has been singing, dancing, and acting since the age of 7. She has had some notable roles and has recently appeared in the following productions: Dreamgirls, Sister Act, Godspell, Murder at Cafe Noir, and Noir Suspicions. Disaster! will be be her fifth production at Strauss Theatre.

Prepare for Shonice to shine as Levora Verona, disco diva of the airwaves, in Disaster!Tickets are available now!

Meet Cassey Bernstein of Disaster!

Cassey Bernstein is a Environmental, Health, and Safety Manager for Berry Global in Monroe, LA. Well, at least that’s what pays the bills. It’s hard to define what makes Cassey, the person. She is made of all kinds of bits: actress, baker, Best Auntie Ever, quilter, competition shooter, fly-fisher, racecar driver, magical wife, and toxicologist. She has performed for more than a decade with ULM, Murder Is Served, and Strauss. Needless to say, she’s a busy girl.

Thoughts on COVID Theater: All the World is a stage, and therefore there is no audience to socially distance.

You won’t want to miss Cassey as Sister Mary Downey, a devout nun with a checkered past, in Disaster!Get your tickets today!

Meet Benjamin McQuillin of Disaster!

Benjamin McQuillin has been a part of numerous productions at the Strauss Theatre Center in the past and is excited for the opportunity to perform again. He is a lover of all things musical and would like to thank the cast and crew for the hard work they’ve put forth to keep local theater alive!

See Ben as the smooth-talking Chad in Disaster!, opening to the public this Friday night!  Tickets are on sale now!

Meet Dwedee Kobbah of Disaster!

Dwedee Kobbah is currently a Senior at Grambling State University studying in the field of Visual and performing arts. Hailing from the beautiful city of Charleston, West Virginia, Dwedee is no stranger to the theatre. She has performed in shows like (Tina) Sister Act the Musical, (Taylor Mckessie) High School Musical Live, & (Karen) August Osage county. Disaster is Dwedee’s first production at the Strauss Theatre, and she hopes this production touches someone!

See Dwedee’s Strauss debut as the strong-willed reporter Marianne Wilson.  Get your tickets today!

Meet Nathaniel Jeane of Disaster!

Nathaniel Jeane began performing theatrical productions in 2003 here at Monroe’s Strauss Theatre Main Stage in the hit musical CHICAGO while he was earning his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at ULM. Other Strauss productions Nathaniel participated in include The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The Music Man, Sweet Charity, and Don’t Dress for Dinner. A strong appreciation for dance grew from being onstage which eventually led to Nathaniel training in dance and performing numerous roles in classics like Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, and The Nutcracker. In 2005, Nathaniel was introduced to Missy Crain and began a long-standing relationship with her and the Louisiana Delta Ballet. Nathaniel has been privileged to receive principle roles in Missy’s original works for LDB including Power & Grace: The Christmas Story, Power & Grace: An Easter Celebration, The Polar Express, The Little Match Girl, Christmas in Neverland, Ballet Goes Broadway, The Frozen Kingdom, ‘Twas the Night Before a Cajun Christmas, A Very Merry Oz Christmas, A Christmas Carol, and The Cajun Nutcracker. He also performed with LDB during several Regional Dance America Southwest festivals as well as the last two RDA National Festivals held in Montreal, Canada (2012) and Phoenix, AZ (2016). Nathaniel earned a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Sacred Heart, has worked in a variety of physical therapy settings across Texas and Louisiana, and is currently employed at an outpatient rehab clinic in Morehouse General Hospital. Bringing things around full circle and returning to where things started has been entertaining for Nathaniel, and he hopes to continue entertaining all of you through this DISASTER!

Catch Nathaniel as Professor Ted Scheider in Disaster!, opening to the public this Friday!  Get your tickets today!

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Audiences get to see our volunteers act, sing, and dance throughout the year.  What you don’t always see is the hard work that goes into our shows.

Costume designer Cassey Bernstein, pictured middle, snapped a couple of pictures of some of our cast members during yesterday’s work day.  Puppets were sewn, costumes were altered, and cherries were glittered (see the show and you’ll see why).  Community theatre is truly community-driven, and this is a shining example of that.

Tickets for Disaster! are on sale now!  Purchase your tickets today.

Meet the Cast of Disaster!

The first show of our 90th season opens in just a few days.  Disaster! features an ensemble of talented actors ready and excited to have you grooving in your seats and laughing all night long.  Meet this amazing cast you’ve been hearing about!  We’re excited to see so many familiar faces joining the new members of the Strauss family.  Debut performances are marked with an asterisk(*).

Standing (L-R):  Lee Jones, Richard Graeber, Laura Smith, Emmanuel Capers, Shonice Saint-Jean, Emily Stogner*, Nathaniel Jeane, Keith Beard*, Dwedee Kobbah*, & Taylor Michiels
Kneeling (L-R):  Peyton Ballew, Cassey Bernstein, Benjamin McQuillin, Taylor Nelson, Nicole Goode, Peyton Churchwell, & Darian Hodge*

Tickets are on sale NOW!  Purchase your tickets here to join the fun.

From the Director’s Chair: Megan Wilkins of Disaster!

For today’s blog post, we checked in with the director of Disaster! as the cast and crew put the finishing touches on the production.  See what Megan Wilkins had to say.

I want to say what an honor it is to be able to direct the first show of the 90th season! It has been so much fun and a lot of hard work. Going from previously being Assistant Director and Choreographer to being able to direct my first mainstage show, has been such a blessing! I couldn’t have asked for a better cast and crew to go along this journey with me. When I set out to start the show, I wanted to make sure that rehearsals were as much fun for the cast as possible and every night had a purpose.

This is one of the most talented group of individuals I’ve been given the opportunity to work with. Everyone has been working extremely hard to bring these characters to life and I can’t wait for the audience to see and hear them sing! With songs like “Hot Stuff,” “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight,” Knock on Wood,” “Hooked on a Feeling,” “Still the One,” “I Will Survive,” and many more, I guarantee you will love it. This comedy is sure to have the audience laughing in their seats.

Tickets for Disaster! are on sale now.  The show opens next week!

Sky High Vocals at Music Rehearsal

Last night, the cast and crew of Disaster! got to meet and rehearse with an essential part of the show, their orchestra.  Music director Vickie Krutzer opened her home to the actors and musicians to practice together before these talented instrumentalists move into the pit for the show.  The cast had a wonderful time singing these tunes, including “Knock on Wood,” “Hot Stuff,” and “Hooked on a Feeling.”  In an exclusive sneak peek, check out a snippet of the cast performing “Sky High” below.

To hear these songs and many more hits just like it, buy your tickets for Disaster! today!  The show opens to our patrons on September 16th and to the public September 17th with a two weekend run.  Do not miss out on the first production of our fantastic 90th season.