The Odd Couple Biographies!

Sarah Bond as Olive Madison.

I am excited to be a part of The Odd Couple. It's so great to be

working with such a gifted group of women, and of course I'm

thrilled to be working with Andrew as my director!

This was such a challenging role - completely out of my comfort

zone - but I'm glad I've had the opportunity to bring "Olive

Madison" to life here at PCPH.

Some of my other favorite roles include: Martha Jefferson in

1776, Sarah Brown in Guys & Dolls, Kitty in The Drowsy

Chaperone, and Susan Hollander in Don't Drink the Water.

Special thanks to my own group of "Trivial Pursuit" girls:

Alix,Ashlee, Kayla, and Meghan.  We've never actually played

Trivial Pursuit. Maybe we will after this show.

 

Meghan Armitage as Florence Unger.

I am delighted to be back onstage at PCPH!  [Earlier this season

she played Meg in the musical Little Women.]

Some of my other favorite roles here at PCPH are Liesl in The

Sound of Music, Gertrude in Seussical the Musical, Millie in

Thoroughly Modern Millie, Shelby in Steel Magnolias, Audrey in

Little Shop of Horrors, and Janet in The Drowsy Chaperone.

I currently am a member of the board of directors at PCPH.

When I am not hanging around the barn, I work at Beef &

Boards Dinner Theatre as the group sales director.

Many thanks to my husband of seven years, the incredibly

handsome Craig, for all the date nights that turned into

rehearsals.

Kathy Arnold as Vera.

I live on a local farm with my husband, Gordon, a dog and two

cats. I was formerly an elementary school teacher for South

Putnam Community Schools.  I currently work for the

Coatesville-Clay Township Public Library as a library assistant,

director of the summer reading program, and leader of the

Mystery Book Club.

My hobbies include reading, rock collecting, knitting, and

watching NHRA drag racing.

My first PCPH show was in the role of Essie in You Can't Take It

With You in 1987.  More recently I appeared as Ouiser in

Steel Magnolias in 2014 and as Nurse Preen that same season

in The Man Who Came to Dinner.

It has been such a hilarious experience to be onstage as Vera

with the delightful members of this cast, under the direction of

our great director, Andrew Ranck, and with the help of our

terrific stage crew!

 

Dustin Bond as Jes'us Costazuela.

I have been involved with the Putnam County Playhouse for

many years. I am very thankful for the opportunities I

have had to be involved in so wonderful productions.

My favorite role to date is Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors.

Earlier this season, I was Professor Bhaer in Little Women,

Charlie the Mailman in On Golden Pond, and Edward Rutledge

in 1776.

I am currently a member of the board of directors of the Putnam

Playhouse. I work for the State of Indiana in the office of the

Attorney General.

I am very grateful for all of the memories and for all of the

friends that have been created through my work at Putnam

County Playhouse.

 

Allison Creekmore as Sylvie.

I am originally from Westfield, IN, and have lived in Greencastle

for nearly three years. I discover new things that I love about

this community as each day passes.  One of my favorites is, of

course, the Putnam County Playhouse! 

Returning to the stage at the Playhouse for a second time, I

have thoroughly enjoyed my role as Sylvie in The Odd Couple. 

My debut at PCP last season was certainly a much "darker" one.

I played Hortense Daigle in The Bad Seed

Previous theatrical experience includes Miss Saigon at Footlite

Musicals,The Humble Boy at The Belfrey Theatre, Breaking Up Is

Hard To Do at Carmel Community Players, and several

productions with Off Main Street Players in Zionsville, IN.

 

When not playing Trivial Pursuit onstage in The Odd Couple,

I enjoy my job as Volunteer Coordinator for the Putnam County

Youth Development Commissions CASA Program (please see me

after the show if you are interested in volunteering!)

I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Andrew for the

opportunity, and to the "Fab 4" ladies for all of their hard work -

Trivial Pursuit has never been so fun!  Lastly, and most

importantly, I would like to thank my fiancé Justin for the

continued support & encouragement.  To Justin:  Now we can

focus on getting married in a month!!!  Can't wait!  :)

Ric McFadden as Manolo Costazeula.

Ric is appearing in his third show this summer, most recently

appearing as Ben Franklin in the PCPH production of "1776", and

Joe Boyd in the Myers Dinner Theatre production of "Damn

Yankees". Ric has now come full circle, for it was in 1991 that

he performed in his first PCPH production of this very show,

portraying the other brother, Jes'us Costazuela. Other favorite

roles here at PCPH include King Arthur in "Camelot", Miguel de

Cervantes/Don Quixote in "Man of La Mancha, Tevye in "Fiddler

on the Roof", and Harold Hill in "The Music Man". Ric recently

retired from Cascade Middle and High Schools where he spent

29 years as Director of Vocal Music.

 

Karen Sutherlin as Mickey.

Returning to the stage after many years, my credits include

many roles at Richmond Civic Theatre beginning while I was still

in high school.  I also did a season of summer stock at the

Nettle Creek Players, learning acting, singing, and dancing as

well as technical aspects of theatre.  All of this while performing

in several productions. With NCP, I also traveled to New York

City for a two week run of an original musical.

The cast and crew of The Odd Couple has been a delight to work

with.

Thank you, Aubrey!  Any momma would be lucky to have a

wonderful kiddo like you!

Katie Wallace as Renee.

I had never heard of Greencastle until we moved here 22 years

ago!  Little did I know that I would soon be a part of (and fall in

love with) the Playhouse family.

My first show was I Remember Mama in 1998, a non-speaking

role.  Gradually over the years, I stepped up to speaking roles

and most recently I have branched out as an Assistant

Director.

What I have learned from my fellow actors is that we are all the

same: wanting to be appreciated, accepted, and validated for

who we are. The Playhouse is a real life "Cheers" where

everyone knows your name!

At the end of every performance, I feel blessed an honored to

have been onstage with such delightful and talented people!

I am a mother of five, grandmother of 13, and soon to be a

great-grandmother.  It's a wonderful life!

Andrew Ranck: Director

I am so grateful to have been entrusted with this great

comedy. I moved to Greencastle with my partner, Aaron,

in 2015 and I have been in 3 PCPH productions already - 7

Brides, Into the Woods and 1776.

As an active director in Indianapolis, I helmed memorable and

award winning productions of The Women,and Auntie Mame for

Buck Creek Players and numerous productions for Theatre on

the Square while also serving as Business Manager there in

2012-2014.

An active actor and designer, too, some of my favorite roles

have been Pellinore in Camelot, The Dentist in Little Shop of

Horrors, and Bazzard in Edwin Drood.

I graduated from DePauw in 1991 and was very active in

DePauw Little Theatre and as a member of Duzer Du Honorary,

including serving as president of that organization.

When not at the theatre, I "play the role" of Executive Director

for Putnam County Comprehensives Services, which provides

services to individuals with disabilities in 26 counties in Indiana.

Many thanks to the all of the great people at PCPH for letting

me be a part of your great organization.

Jessica Masner: Stage Manager

I fell in love with theatre in the fall of 2009 when

Cascade High School staged Neil Simon's The Odd Couple:

Female Version. Even though it was my first show ever, a

set of unforeseen circumstances quickly came up and

I became prop master for the production.

It was here that I fell in love with the workings of the

backstage. After my first summer at the Putnam County

Playhouse, I changed my major to Theater at

ISU and the rest is history.

Since 2009, I have worked on over 50 productions and

have done at least one show every summer at PCPH since

2010. I graduated in May of this year with a Bachelors of

Science for Theater and am currently one of the

core members and the in-house stage manager for

Theater 7, the brand new professional theatre company in

Terre Haute, IN.

I would like to thank my family and Ethan for always

believing in me and pushing me to go for my dreams and

my family here at The Putnam County Playhouse for being

my theatre family as well as encouraging me to try

new things, like climbing ladders.

 

Cameron Wunderlich: Sound Operator

I am a senior of NPHS. I am an officer in the

North Putnam Thespian Troupe.

I have done over 11 shows already and can't wait to do

more. This season at PCPH, I have done sound work for

"Little Women" and "!776" and was the stage manager for

"On Golden Pond."

"I love doing theatre. It is a very amazing and magical

place."

Thanks so much!

Fiona Good: Light Operator.

I am in the 7th grade at Greencastle Middle School. My parents

are Caroline & Timothy Good. I have done SHAKESPEARED! the

Youth Theatre Workshop at the Playhouse since I was in the

second grade. 

I appeared in Antigone at DePauw University as the guide for

Tiresias the Blind Prophet.

 

 

A Talk With Vickie & Jack!

September 15, 2015

Jack Randall Earles & Vickie Parker backstage at The Game's Afoot.

If the history of Putnam County Playhouse could be written in the lives of two people, it might be in Vickie Knoy Parker and Jack Randall Earles. Each of them has a history with PCPH going back more than 30 years. We sat down recently to talk with them during a break in rehearsals for the current PCPH production The Game’s Afoot  in which they appear onstage as acting partners for the first time in their careers.
PCPH: When did you both start your PCPH careers?
VKP: My first experience with PCPH was when I played Snow White in Jim Poor’s production in 1967. It was in DePauw’s Speech Hall with a tiny backstage area, a green room, and bats!

Newspaper photo from Vickie's first show. (1967)
JRE: In the summer of 1979, I was working part time with my cousin Lita [Barnett] Sandy at her dance studio in downtown Greencastle. One of the other teachers had seen an audition notice for a PCPH revue called An Evening With Cole Porter. She asked me to audition with her, and I was cast as a dancer in the show.
VKP: Soon after that I switched my college major from elementary education to high school Speech, Theatre, and English.
JRE: One of the cast members in my first show was Ann Cooper. Later in the year she came to the dance studio to take some jazz dance lessons. She then asked to me to choreograph the 1980 revue Rodgers & Hart: A Celebration. I was very excited to do it. The music was great. Mark Fields, a DePauw student was the director of the show. I was also a dancer in the show.

Jack in Rodgers & Hart: A Celebration (1980)
PCPH: You’ve told us about your first shows, tell us about your first directors.
VKP: Well Jim Poor definitely gave me my love for theater. I also learned a lot from Steve Sommers, and the late Jeff Mont and the late Dr. Jim Elrod. I first worked as the assistant director to Jeff for Hello, Dolly!  That show starred my mother as Dolly Levi. Jeff taught me about the sparkle and magic of theatre, and all of my cast members know how important “sparkle” is to me.

JRE: Evelyn Robbins was my first director at PCPH. After Mark, I started working with Vickie and Jim Poor. I tell you working with them was an invaluable theatre education. I learned from them how to treat a cast with respect, how to plan a rehearsal schedule, how to block a scene, and how to make all of the elements work. They didn’t sit down and teach me – I watched and learned by following their examples. And Vickie taught me a very important lesson: During the show, a director’s place is anyplace except BACKSTAGE. 

PCPH: What was the first show you directed at PCPH?
VKP: My first directing assignment was My Fair Lady [1972] in McAnally auditorium at Greencastle High School – which is now Parker Auditorium, how serendipitous is that? It was a large cast with a full orchestra, and I just jumped in with both feet!

My Fair Lady (1972) with Jim Poor as Alfred Doolittle

JRE: The first show I directed was The Pajama Game in 1984. Ann Cooper was the musical director and it was so much fun. I also did the choreography. By then I had done a couple of shows with Vickie, so I thought I knew everything! HA!
Jack (right) directing The Pajama Game. (1984)

PCPH: When did you two first meet?
JRE: Lita introduced me to Vickie, it may have been at the talent show at the Putnam County Fair. I know Lita and I visited you at your house one day when the two of you had some things to talk over, probably about a show you were doing. You had just come back from Florida and you were just so full of energy and theatre that I was hoping we would get to talk again.

VKP: I remember you became fast friends with both my mother and me. You went with us once to see the Houston Ballet at IU when they did “Swan Lake.” That was a fun evening.
PCPH: What was the first show you worked on together?
BOTH: Oklahoma! (Laughing)

VKP: In 1981, that was the first year we were out here on the property that we had been given by Mrs. Hazel Longden. We were on the outdoor stage for those first two years.
JRE: Lita was the choreographer, and you asked me to be your assistant director. I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to get started.
VKP: You played Slim.
JRE: I role I certainly couldn’t play now!
VKP: It’s been more than 30 years, but I still see you on that outdoor stage dancing, holding the ladder for my mother during the auction scene, and stealing scenes whenever you could.
JRE: I remember those performance nights, too. It was so great to work with Adeline, too. I had met her during my first show down in the basement at McAnally and she was telling me about how great PCPH was – I didn’t need much convincing.
VKP: That show is really my first real memory of getting to know you.
JRE: Vickie made us rehearse that auction scene so many times. There was one actor who just couldn’t come in on time with his bid. She didn’t want to call him out in front of everybody, so we all had to do it over and over. I can still see Adeline’s face when Vickie would yell: “Jack, get the ladder, let’s run the auction scene.” What was really great was that Act Two began just as the sun was going down behind the big barn. I could stand holding that ladder and watch Adeline as Aint Eller conducting the auction while the sun set.

Oklahoma! (1981) L-R: Greg Swearingen, Jack,Greg Pierce, Brad Sandy

VKP: Since then, you’ve performed in so many of my shows and done so many characters, but my heart always goes back to Slim.
PCPH: What is your favorite show you’ve done together?
VKP: We’ve worked on so many shows together.

JRE: I’ve enjoyed them all in one way or another.
VKP: We’ve always worked in tangent, as equals. I can’t count the number of times after everyone left the theatre, we laughed until we cried, or we were pulling our hair out, and really crying! You were my assistant for The Sound of Music in 1982, also on the outdoor stage. You became my voice of reason during rehearsals and the threatening weather. I think that’s when we began reading each other’s minds.

Vickie (center) directing Little Shop of Horrors  (1994)with Stephen Moell and Greg Stephan.

JRE: That was so great. You made me feel like my input was important to you from the first day. That gave me so much confidence. It really translated to my non-theatre life as well.
PCPH: Why do you think you work so well together?
VKP: We work well together because we have so much respect for each other. We usually come at things from two different directions, but always meet and at the crossroads and then go on the same road together. Of course we don’t always agree.

Vickie directing Kiss Me Kate ((2009)
JRE: We’re both a bit hard-headed, but we know that what’s best for the show is always the best solution. After our first couple of shows, we had kind of a shorthand going. We just had to look at each other during a rehearsal to know when something wasn’t working or when it was "right ". Mostly we just made it fun. It can’t be fun for the cast if the creative team is in turmoil.  I couldn’t wait to get to rehearsal, and I think our casts felt the same way.
PCPH: Do you have any special memory of working together?
VKP: How much time do you have? [laughs]

JRE: For me it’s been the special events, the fundraisers and the Grand Opening of the Barn.

Jack and Vickie dancing during a 1980's fundraiser.

VKP: And all of the events during the 50th Season Celebration in 2011. Showboat (1990), Fiddler on the Roof (1991), and Camelot(1993) come to mind. All of them were such solid shows with outstanding casts.
Vickie, Jack, Peggy McClaine at the Mayor's Proclamation in 2011.

JRE: And Annie (1984), Kiss Me Kate (1983, 2009), 42nd Street(1996), and now The Game’s Afoot. We finally get to act together on stage playing characters.
VKP: After all those years of working together offstage – I think our long standing friendship shows in our characters.
JRE: I think one of my fondest memories of working with you was when we spoke at the Remembrance of the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 at Roban Park. Vickie and I read the sequence of events. It was a very difficult thing to do. When we were rehearsing it at the Playhouse, I would always break down when we got to the part about the hijacked airplane and the heroic actions of the passengers. Finally Vickie said: “This is NOT about us – you have to get through this for them.” And she was right….as usual.

Vickie & Jack at the 0/11 Remembrance. Photo by Eric Bernsee
PCPH: Do you prefer acting or directing?
VKP: Over the years, directing has been my first love because I think I direct better than I can act.  The most fun is directing AFTER auditions and before opening night! The least fun is auditions – then sitting through the show seeing things I could have done even better! However acting with you, is right up there and equal to my most fun!

JRE: I love both acting and directing –I certainly agree that the best part comes AFTER auditions and casting. Right now I’m leaning toward directing just because of my age. The old instrument doesn’t respond as quickly as it used to. But I will do both until they won’t let me do them anymore. Well, that’s not true. I will know when it’s time to stop. Adeline always said: “Don’t stay onstage until they wish you were gone – leave while they still like you.”
PCPH: What’s your favorite scene in The Game’s Afoot?
VKP: I know you enjoy saying I’m very, very OLD, but my favorite moment is when you realize you’ve said it to my face. I have to work hard to stay in character when I see the look on your face! In fact I love that whole scene. Lots of great interaction between us.

JRE:  I like that moment, too.  There’s also a scene when we say “I love you” to each other as mother and son. It seems like all of these years of working and spending time together is wrapped up in those two sentences. And we say it in front of a couple of hundred people every night!
[An insider tells us that during that scene there is an embrace, and both performers preferred the 'face downstage' side. Director Dustin Bond compromised and let them both have the moment, with a change in the position during the dialog.]

Vickie & Jack backstage The Sound of Music (1982)

Thanks, Vickie & Jack, for sharing your memories with us.

Vickie & Jack backstage The Game's Afoot (2015)