Dwenger plans high-energy ‘Birdie’


A cast of more than 75 Bishop Dwenger High School students will present “Bye Bye Birdie.”

“Get out your poodle skirts, put on your saddle shoes, slick back your hair and join this cast …” the school said in a statement.

The plot and music have been American staples for almost 60 years. The school offered this description: “An Elvis-type rock star gives his farewell concert in a small town in Ohio before heading off to war. To the dismay of her father and boyfriend, one lucky fan gets to receive his good-bye kiss.”

Christy Maloney serves as musical director, Eric Smead is choreographer, Kia Miller directs, and Riley Neumeier is stage manager.

“Overall, we have a younger group this year which is great for this show because this show is so much energy,” Maloney said. “This was actually the first musical I was in when I was in the seventh grade. I was one of those screaming girls.”

She invited the community to visit the musical’s Facebook page. “We have a lot of different offers to come see the show and we want to fill those seats,” she said.

Maloney said early rehearsals and choreography were going well, but one can never rule out preshow jitters down the road. “That comes later,” she said. “That comes in those last two weeks where everything finally falls into place and you hope for no technical issues.”

As stage manager, Dwenger junior Riley Neumeier has to be both a crew member and a leader. “It’s difficult at times because you have to learn to have fun with it, but also learn how to be an authority figure,” she said.

And they’re definitely having fun, she said. “They tell me they love the music, they love the scenes, the characters are all really fun and outrageous,” she said.

“I’m learning how important it is to work with others and share creative ideas, bounce them off of each other and work together to make one awesome thing as a team, to make a great show together,” she said.

She said Maloney, who also is her sixth-period choir teacher, is a great teacher and a fun presence at the rehearsals.

Neumeier has worked with the drama department since her freshman year, first working backstage and with the lights. “Then at the beginning of this year I moved to stage manager,” she said. “You need to be organized and time management skills are definitely necessary, to go home after rehearsal and get all of my homework done, do all of my reports and get back here.”

After high school, she plans to work in theater production and stage management. She is considering attending Ball State University to study that craft.

Principal cast members are: Albert, Luke Sarrazine; Rose, Allie Strzelecki; Ursula, Paloma Sutter; Kim, Rebecca Weber; Mrs. MacAfee, Megan Campbell; Mr. MacAfee, Matthew Schmieman; Randolph, Will Francis; Mrs. Peterson, Breianna Mildor; Conrad, Ian Capuyan; Hugo, Tyler Birely; Mayor, Joey Fischer; Mayor’s Wife, Emma Pillie; Mrs. Merkle, Krista Odum; Gloria Rasputin, Courtney Stise; Mr. Johnson, Joe Trenadue; Maude, Noah Cook; Maude’s Dishwasher, John Dumford; Maude’s first customer, Quinton Davis; Maude’s second customer, Connor Ort; Harvey Johnson, Dylan Record; two sad girls, Maddie Bopp and Haley Kline; Helen, Maddie Barondeau; Nancy, Elly Bogle; Alice, Julia Giron; Margie, Emily Shearer; Deborah Sue, Audrey Schiffli; Penelope, Jennifer Litchfield; and Suzie, Hannah Zedaker.

Ensemble members are: Isabella Ardhuerumly, Maddie Bopp, Erika Bougher, AJ Brandell, Megan Buensonejo, Ethan Burns, Christi Capuyan, Noah Cook, Aspen Curry, Quinton Davis, Faith Didier, John Dumford, Hope Ensley, Joey Fischer, Taryn Glatt, Haley Kline, Krista Odum, Connor Ort, Emma Pillie, Allison Reed, Grace Roberts, Sydney Schneider, Courtney Stise, Mackenzie Stroud, Joe Trentadue, Amanda Weber, Grace Wagner and Kendall Willwerth.

Performances are May 5-7, with shows at 7 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Reserved tickets, which guarantee seating in the first five rows, are $10 and available for purchase immediately by contacting Babette Record at brecord@grandwayne.com. General admission and student tickets are available for purchase 30 minutes before each performance at the Bishop Dwenger Ticket Office for $8 and $6 respectively.

Bishop Dwenger High School is at 1300 E. Washington Center Road, Fort Wayne.


Bishop Dwenger High School, 1300 E. Washington Center Road, Fort Wayne.

Friday, May 5, 7 p.m.; Saturday, May 6, 7 p.m.; Sunday, May 7, 2 p.m.

Reserved tickets, $10, email brecord@grandwayne.com. General admission tickets, $8 at the door. Student tickets, $6 at the door.