The Sound of Music Cast

Jessica Schafer (Maria Ranier)
Jessica Schafer (Maria Rainer) is a music teacher at West Hazleton Elementary/Middle School. She has used the “Do Re Mi” song from “The Sound of Music” to teach her elementary students to sing solfege, and is excited to perform it now onstage. She was seen most recently on the DMPW stage as Marian Paroo in “The Music Man”. Some of her favorite past roles include: Laurey Williams (Oklahoma!), Sarah Brown (Guys and Dolls), Jo March (Little Women), Reno Sweeney (Anything Goes), Bella Manningham (Gaslight), and Deidre McDavey (I Hate Hamlet). Jessica would like to thank her family, friends, and boyfriend for their support.
Christopher Pavlick (Captain Georg Von Trapp)
Christopher Pavlick (Captain Georg von Trapp) is happy to be appearing back onstage at the DM Performance Work’s Factory Theatre in “The Sound of Music”, one of the most classic pieces of musical theatre ever written. Having been involved in community theatre in the Greater Hazleton Area & beyond for the last 22 years, he has been able to cross many dream roles off his theatrical bucket list and this is one of them. He was last seen onstage at The Factory in the production of “I Hate Hamlet” in 2019 as Andrew Rally and in their 2018 revival production of "The Drowsy Chaperone” as Robert Martin. Also on this stage as Don Lockwood in NCP’s production of “Singin’ In The Rain” in 2007 and Leo Bloom in “The Producers” in 2009. Most recently he was seen on the PTPA stage in Hazleton as Mr. Paravicini in Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap”. He also won the 2019 NEPTA Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of John Dickinson in “1776” also at PTPA. As always, he would like to thank his family & friends for their constant love & support. And congratulations to our director (Phyllis Colombo), and our cast & crew, most especially his awesome co-star, Jessica Schafer (Maria von Trapp) and his adorable stage family he gets to share the stage with. Break-a-leg & best wishes to all of you! And enjoy the show!
Allison Leonard 6/17-6/19 (Mother Abbess)
Allison grew up performing and studied voice, piano and dance. She attended the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford and is a graduate of both Susquehanna University (B.A.) and Misericordia University (M.S.) She is a proud military and law enforcement wife and is especially dedicated to our troops. She and her husband John celebrated 21 years of marriage this past May and she is mother to Liam (18) and Taryn (13). She returned to the stage after 18 years and recently appeared as Mrs. Paroo in "The Music Man". She is a compulsive volunteer and likes to say she specializes in “unpaid work”. In her non-volunteer time, she is a Contingency Planner and Communications Consultant for EM Solutions Inc.
Alison Yuravich 6/24-6/26 (Mother Abbess)
Alison is a music teacher and choral director at Forest City Regional School District and the incoming president of PMEA District 9. Alison has performed in many shows in the past both on stage and in the orchestra pit with the Endless Mountain Theater Company. She has also music directed such shows as Hello Dolly, Wizard of Oz, Shrek the Musical, and Cinderella.
Noah Witner 6/17-6/19 (Max Detweiler)
Noah Witner is the activity director at Fritzingertown Senior Living Community with specialization in dementia care. He was most recently seen on the stage as Reverend John Hale in DMPW’s production of “The Crucible”. Some of his past roles include: Rudolpho (Matilda), Jean Valjean (Les Miserablés), Perchik (Fiddler on the Roof), The Tin Man (The Wizard of Oz), and Bert (Mary Poppins). He would like to thank his fellow cast members for their support.
Kelly Kreiger 6/24-6/26 (Max Detweiler)
Kelly Krieger (Max Detweiler) is an actor and director located in Scranton. He is a recent graduate of The University of the Arts, earning a degree in directing for the stage. Some of his favorite credits include Peter and the Starcatcher (Black Stache), Rent (Mark), Spring Awakening (Moritz), Chicago (Billy Flynn), Les Misérables (Javert), Matilda the Musical (Mr. Wormwood), The Addams Family (Gomez Addams), The SpongeBob Musical (Sheldon J. Plankton), Into the Woods (The Baker), Shrek the Musical (Lord Farquaad), You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Charlie Brown), Hand to God (Jason/Tyrone), Beauty and the Beast (Lumiere), Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour), Urinetown (Officer Lockstock), Cabaret (The Emcee), Rock of Ages (Lonny) and Heathers the Musical (JD- NEPTA Award Winner). Follow him on Instagram @kelly_kriegs to see what’s up next!
Joelle Witner (Elsa Schraeder)
Co-Founder of PTPA in 1997 and DM Performance Works in 2009, Joelle is a stage veteran who has performed in, directed, and choreographed over 150 productions.Some of her most prized roles are as Eva Peron in Evita, Virgina Woolf in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Donna in Mamma Mia, Queen Eleanor in The Lion in Winter, the Witch in Into the Woods, and Maria in The Sound of Music. She performs with the regional show band 70s Flashback as the female lead singer and owns Drama in Motion Studio of Performing Arts where she has been teaching dance for over 25 years. She serves as the Drama Club Director for the Hazleton Area High School. She is honored to share the stage with some of her very favorite local actors. Thank you for supporting the arts and live theater!
Tina Becker 6/25 (Elsa Schraeder)
Tina Becker was last seen on the DMPW stage as Eulalie McKechnie Shinn in The Music Man! Her most recent role was as the mysterious Miss Casewell in Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap at PTPA in Hazleton. Some of her favorite roles have been Ms. Hannigan in Annie , Aunt Eller in Oklahoma, and Carmen Berstein in Curtains. It is always a joy to share the stage with her extremely talented friends! Thank you for supporting live theater and enjoy the show!
Mary Yanuzzi (Leisl)
Mary is 15 years old. This is her 16th theatrical performance. She has been dancing since she was 3 and is currently on the competition team at Drama in Motion. Mary hopes everyone enjoys this wonderful production!
Jude Witner (Rolf Gruber)
Jude is a tenth grade student at HAHS Arts and Humanities. He was last seen as Prince Eric in the Little Mermaid Jr and is has been an active theater performer since he can walk. He is a member of the HAHS Marching Cougars as a percussionist and loves to create web pages and original music. He dances with Drama in Motion and is excited to be in this show with some of his closest friends.
Cody Scholl (Friedrich)
Cody Scholl - is going to 9th grade at Hazleton Arts and Humanities. This is his 10th play. Cody recently played Horton in Seussical and Winthrop in Music Man for DMPW. Some of his favorite roles were Horton and Zeke in High School Musical . Along with his love of theatre he also loves throwing things for Hazleton Track and Field. Cody hopes you enjoy the show!!
Julia Dessoye (Louisa)
Julia is 14 years old and finishing her 8th grade year at Crestwood High School. She most recently landed lead roles as Gertrude McFuzz in Seussical, middle Elsa in Frozen, and Amanda in Matilda with DM Performance Works. She played Pumba in The Lion King and the Candyman in Willy Wonka Jr. with PTPA. Julia loves field hockey, dancing with Drama in Motion, running, swimming and spending time with her friends and family. She is very excited take on this role and be with her friends and cousin Nikki (Gretel) in the Sound of Music!
Christopher Sanfilippo (Kurt)
Christopher Sanfilippo is a 10 year old boy from Weatherly Pennsylvania and will be going into 5th grade. He enjoys activities such as singing, acting, dancing, reading, drawing, camping, spending time at the park and traveling to Cancun with his family. The play sound of music is his first step in acting but hopes to make a career in it some day..
Zoey Force (Brigitta)
Zoey Force is going into 9th grade at Berwick Area High School. At DM Performance Works, Zoey was most recently seen as JoJo in Seussical Jr. and as Ariel in Little Mermaid Jr. She was also Middle Anna in Frozen Jr, a munchkin in Wizard of Oz and in High School Musical. Zoey also appeared as Moana in Moana Jr, Hortensia in Matilda, and Timon in Lion King Kids at the PTPA. She is a member of her school’s chorus, National Jr Honor Society, and recently earned a spot in Swing Choir. Zoey loves working at the family campground and venue. She also plays volleyball and runs track. She is very happy and proud to be part of this show!
Kylee Swantek (Marta)
Kylee is 12 and going into 7th grade at Holy Family Academy. She is a member of the National Jr Honor Society and a competitor of their Forensics team. She is also in Softball where she plays 2nd base. Kylee is in Motion Makers, Ballet and Voice at Drama In Motion where she most recently was awarded Jr Performer of the Year. This will be Kylees 4th show with DMPW. She is super excited to play Marta! She would like thank Miss Joelle , Miss Phyllis and all the staff for all they do, much love!
Nikki Beurmann (Gretl)
Nikki is 11 years old and she is excited to be a 6th grader at Rice Elementary in the fall. She was most recently in Seussical as the Young Kangaroo. She was young Anna in Frozen and Michael in Peter Pan. She was also a little kid in Matilda. Nikki loves dancing, gymnastics, and drawing. She is very excited to be in The Sound of Music with her cousin Julia and her friends.
Cassie Zeleznock (Sister Margaretta)
Cassie is an 18 year old 2022 distinguished graduate from at HAHS Arts and Humanities Academy (Drams Studio). She will attend Bloomsburg University (Honors College) and will major in Secondary Ed History with a minor in Musical Theatre. Cassie studied voice and various forms of dance at Drama in Motion for 7 years. Cassie has been doing theatre for 8years and has performed in over 30 productions. She was last seen in HAHS’s drama club production of Willy Wonka as Veruca Salt. Earlier this year she won a NEPTA Award for best teen actress for her role of Mary Warren in The Crucible at PWFT. Some of her other favorite shows were The Music Man (Zaneeta Shin) Lion King (Rafiki), Les Miserables, Alice in Wonderland (White Rabbit) , and Mary Poppins. Cassie would like to say "Break A Leg" to the entire cast and crew! She would also like to thank Joelle and her team for always supporting her and pushing her to be her very best!!
Emily Babula (Sister Sophia / Baroness Elberfeld)
Emily is 16 years old and just finished her sophomore year at the Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences . She has been active in theater since she’s eight years old and is very excited to return to the PWFT stage for the first time since 2019, when she performed as Elsa in Frozen Jr. Besides singing and acting she also loves reading, painting and all things Disney. Enjoy the show!
Gabbi Howe (Sister Berthe)
Gabbi Howe is thrilled to be in this wonderful production of Sound of Music. She is 16 and going into 11th grade at Hazleton Area Arts and Humanities. She has been involved in theater since 2017 with some of her favorite roles being Alex the Lion (Madagascar Jr.), Orphan Ensemble (Annie), Madame de la Grande Bouche (Beauty and the Beast Jr.), Winifred Banks (Mary Poppins Jr.), Anna (Frozen Jr.), Buttons (Newsies), Nala (Lion King Jr.), Gramma Tala (Moana Jr.), Taylor McKessie (High School Musical), Mal (Descendants), Jesus (Godspell Jr.), and Augustus Gloop (Willy Wonka). You can see her in Newsies with Ovation Playhouse at the end of July. She also enjoys reading as well as playing the piano, saxophone, clarinet, guitar, and ukulele. She wants to thank all of her friends and family for their support, and wants to thank everyone for coming out to support the arts.
Joshua Plesce (Franz)
Joshua Plesce (Franz) is a graduate of Bloomsburg University and a current English Language Arts Instructor in the Hazleton Area School District. Joshua has been active on the local stage and behind the scenes for almost a decade, and has recently been recognized with NEPTA awards for his technical work on “The Crucible,” which also serves as his directorial debut at the DM Performance Works Factory Theatre. Some of his notable roles include Motel (Fiddler on the Roof), The Squip (Be More Chill), Jack (Into the Woods), and The Cat in the Hat (Seussical), The Mousetrap (Christopher Wren). He is proud and honored to share the stage with his very talented and hard-working cast mates.
Stella Byrne (Ursula / Nun)
Stella Byrne is 16 years old and is going to be a Junior this coming Fall in the Arts and Humanities program at HAHS. Stella loves singing, dancing, and acting. She has trained in Ballet, Ballroom, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Jazz, and Voice. The Sound of Music is Stella’s 11th show with DM Performance Works. She also was part of the cast of DMPW Seussical Jr, The Little Mermaid (2021), Fiddler on the Roof, High School Musical, Matilda, Frozen, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, The Little Mermaid (2016), and Beauty and the Beast. Stella is proud to be a part of this cast and is looking forward to being a part of many more productions in the future.
Dan Nudo (Herr Zeller)
Aiden Denion (Baron Eberfeld)
John Zions (Admiral von Schreiber)
Aryn Baker (Nun in the Abbey)
While normally helping in the tech booth or backstage, Aryn is enjoying her time on-stage as a nun! A native of Maryland, Aryn joined the the theater after relocating to PA in 2020. She has been a driving force in keeping the theater open during the pandemic. Her connections have brought many well-known stars to give theater shout outs on social media. While in high school, Aryn competed with her Women’s Ensemble Choir and helped her drama club with auditions and casting. Aryn is the mother of two girls, Brooke and Baylee, and wishes the cast to break legs!
Amber Force (Nun in the Abbey)
Amber Force is a 7th grade Social Studies teacher at the Hazleton Elementary Middle School (Castle). This is her stage debut and is enjoying time on stage with her children. In her spare time, she likes playing volleyball and working/hanging out at the family campground.
Leslie Medvecky (Nun in the Abbey)
Olivia Moore (Nun in the Abbey)
Olivia Moore is 12 years old and the daughter of Robert and Katie Moore of Hazleton. She will be a 7th grade student at MMI Preparatory School, and has been a student at Drama in Motion for the past 7 years, where she studies Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, and HipHop, and is part of the Motion Makers 2 competition team. She has performed in the last 3 productions of DMPW’s The Nutcracker, as well as Beauty and the Beast, Jr., and the Little Mermaid, Jr. Liv is a triplet, and enjoys spending time with her brothers, Jackson and Patrick, and her cats, DiddyCat, Lulu, and Daniel Striped Tiger.
Taryn Leonard 6/17-6/19 (Nun in the Abbey)
Lily Morgan (Nun in the Abbey)
LILY MORGAN (Nun in the Abbey) is thirteen years old and is very excited to be performing in the “Sound of Music”. Lily has also played roles as Pumbaa in “The Lion King Jr.”, Tweedle Dum in “Alice in Wonderland Jr.”, Skunk in “Peter Pan Jr.”, Augustus Gloop in “Willy Wonka Jr.”, Olaf in “Frozen Jr.”, Scuttle in “The Little Mermaid Jr.”, in which she was nominated this year for a NEPTA, and her latest role as Sour Kangaroo in “Seussical Jr.” She has also played ensemble roles in “The Little Mermaid Jr.”, “Beauty and the Beast Jr.”, and “A Christmas Carol”. In her free time, Lily enjoys drawing, singing and dancing, among other performing arts. Most importantly, she would like to thank her family for always supporting her love of the theater!
Izzy Vajda (Nun in the Abbey)
Izzy Vajda is 17 years old and going into 12th grade at HAHS. She has last been seen in High School Musical, Music Man, The Nutcracker, and Suessical Jr. Izzy enjoys swimming, baking, hanging out with her friends, and taking dance at Drama in Motion. She wishes the cast and crew the best of luck!
Sylvia Byrne (Nun in the Abbey)
Sylvia Byrne (Nun) is 13 years old and will be a 8th grade student at Valley Elementary/Middle School this Fall. Sylvia loves dancing, singing, anime, and drawing. The Sound of Music is Sylvia’s 10th show with the DM Performance. She has trained in Ballet, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Jazz, and Voice. She also was part of the cast DMPW Seussical Jr, The Little Mermaid (2021), Fiddler on the Roof, The Little Mermaid (2016), Matilda, Frozen, Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast, and Alice in Wonderland. She is very excited to be a part of this production and is looking forward to being in many more shows in the future.
Tegan O'Donnell 6/7-6/19 (Nun in the Abbey)
Tegan O'Donnell is an 11th Grade student at the Hazleton Area Academy of the Sciences. She was recently in Suessical and played her favorite role so far, Mayzie LaBird. She also played Martha Cox in High School Musical last summer. Tegan has studied all genres of dance for the last 14 years. She has also been taking piano lessons for 9 years. Tegan is thrilled to be in this production and would like to thank Phyllis and the cast for all of their support and friendship. Break a leg everyone!
Carly Force (Festival Singer)
Carly Force is going into 7th grade at Berwick Area Middle School. At DM Performance Works, Carly was most recently seen as a Wickersham/Bird girl in Seussical Jr and as Flounder in Little Mermaid Jr. She was also Sven in Frozen Jr and Mayor Munchkin in the Wizard of Oz. Carly also appeared as Amanda in Matilda, Pua in Moana Jr, and Ed (the crazy hyena) in Lion King Kids at the PTPA. She is also a member of her school’s chorus and volleyball team. Carly is happy to make an appearance in this amazing play!
Morgan Lear (Festival Singer)
Morgan Lear is 12 years old and heading to 8th grade at Berwick Middle School. When not at play practice Morgan is playing soccer or playing outdoors. Morgan is also involved with County Chorus and Treble Choir. Prior to The Sound of Music, Morgan has played a "Who" in Seussical Jr. Morgan looks forward to the show!
Amity Wenner (Festival Singer)
Genesis Renninger (Festival Singer)
Genesis Renninger just completed 5 th grade at Berwick Middle School. She is a distinguished honor student. In her spare time, she enjoys singing, horseback riding and dog training. Genesis is a member of 4H and president of the Sweethearts Club. She played Erica in Matilda at PTPA. She is happy to participate in the Sound of Music and wishes everyone a successful show!