The Wiz Creative

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Laura Hilger '14
Laura is the Director of Speech and Theatre here at Marian Catholic. She spends her days directing plays, musicals, and Group Interpretations on the same stage she grew up performing on this stage. She also directs at Oak Lawn Park District and coaches at Prairie State Speech Camp. Thank you to the production team for working so hard to accomplish this production. Cheers to four years collaborating with her sunshine sister, Brandi! This program wouldn't be what it is without her love and support. Much love to the seniors who have become wonderful young adults on this stage. Without the undying support of her family and friends, none of this would be possible. As always, For Erica.
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Brandi Brumfield Bell
Brandi has been bring her magic to the MCHS stage choreographing musicals since 2019. Past credits include Footloose, Anything Goes and Chicago, and the Spartan Variety Shows! Brandi has been a dance instructor for several years, teaching Since she was 14 years old. Brandi has taught many genres including swing, mime, tap, liturgical (praise dance), contemporary, african, musical theatre, jazz, and Hip Hop. She has choreographed everything from plays, to music videos, to flash mobs. Brandi lives, eats, breathes, sleeps DANCE…it’s her drug of choice! She gets the most joy prepping for the MCHS musical and watching the students blossom and their growth from auditions to the amazing performers you see on stage today!
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Assistant Director
Jasmine Sawyer '11
Our Assistant Director, Jasmine Sawyer, returns her talents to her alma mater. She has been a great creative help during previous plays and with coaching students during the speech season. She truly enjoys working with all of these talented students to get the best performance they have to offer. Enjoy the show!
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Music Director
Kevin L. Benford
Kevin is a native Chicagoan who was raised on the south side. He attended the Chicago Public Schools and earned his high school diploma from Harlan High School. He received his undergraduate degree (B.Music) from Cornell College, in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, where he majored in Music Education with applied concentrations in piano, voice, and clarinet. He earned his graduate degree (M.A.) from The University of Iowa (Iowa City), also with an emphasis in Music Education. Throughout his 30+ year career as a music educator, he has taught general, vocal, and music theory courses in the elementary, middle, and high schools in Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana where he directed nationally recognized award-winning vocal ensembles, show choirs, and musical theater productions. He is a recipient of the golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Superintendent's Outstanding Teach Award from the Gary Community School Corporation. Kevin previously served as Music Director at several churches in Iowa. When not involved with musical activities, Kevin focuses his energies on his family which consists of two sons and five grandchildren. He currently serves as Director of Music and Worship Chairperson at United Christian Church of Country Club Hills, Illinois. Although retired from teaching, Kevin's hobbies include genealogy, photography, and traveling on long-distance Amtrak trains.
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Costume Manager
Coralie Humbert '23
Coralie Humbert is working on costumes once again for this years production. She is so excited to be a part of this amazing cast and crew and to work on all these amazing and cool costumes for this production. This is her third year working with the Marian theatre department on costumes and is super excited to continue next year.
Technical Director/Light Design
Rick Keeley
Rick Keeley is no stranger to the Marian Catholic stage. He has been working with MCHS Speech & Theatre on and off for about 9 years. Recently, he TD'd Footloose, Peter and the Starcatcher, These Shining Lives, and Chicago (which never opened due to COVID) and GI/Contest Plays. Other Technical Directing Credits include shows at TF South High School, Richards High School, Reavis High School, Oak View Center, and other various theaters in the Chicagoland suburbs. Additionally, Rick works production designs for commercials and musical videos with Flightless Bird Creative and recently worked with Nickelodeon.
Scenic Painter
David Geinosky
David Geinosky- scenic painter / set decor, is grateful to be participating in MCHS theater. David spends his time throughout the northwest suburban communities as scenic designer, painter, properties master and costumes coordinator/ constructor for private performing arts academies, park districts, schools, community and professional theater. His background began as an actor but now he resides behind the scenes. David believes his knowledge as an actor is one of the key contributors to the artistry. This allows for heightening the quality of the performance, offering a professional atmosphere for the actors and staff no matter what the age of all involved. He continues to take deep pride working along side friend and colleague Rick Keeley (head designer and lights of The Wiz). Special thanks to Laura and the staff of MCHS for graciously welcoming him onboard. Congrats to the all involved for bravely jumping back into the world of theater.
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Stage Manager
J Van Beest '23
After multiple experiences in front of the curtain, J is working behind the curtain for the first time making sure everything runs smoothly for the performers. This is J’s first time in tech, with the only past experience in stage managing being managing auditions for the wiz. J is glad to have expanded the resume and hopes everyone enjoys the show they’ve all been working so hard on.
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Sound/Microphone Technician
Ariane Lee '22
Ariane is excited to work the sound board and microphones for the fourth time around with the wiz! She is happy that her last time working in a high school theatre production is with one of her favorite musicals.
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Sound/Microphone Technician
Abby Urban '23
Theatre has been a huge part of Abby's life. She has been involved in the theatre community since she was six years old. She has done everything from mics to doing the actual performances. She is currently the Stage Tech President and has been working with Ms. Hilger in the Marian Catholic theatre since her freshman year and I plan on continuing that through her senior year.
Light Operation & Stage Tech
Jared Smevoll '24
Jared is so excited to be working on this production of The Wiz! He enjoys building and constructing the set, working on props, and assisting with the lighting!
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Stage Tech/Costume Assistant
Abby Wozniak '24
Abigail Wozniak is a super excited to be a part of this year’s musical. She has enjoyed working on building the sets each week, and most recently styling wigs. She is ecstatic to come back next year and help out even more.
Light Operation & Stage Tech
Anthony Claxton '24
Tony just completed his freshman year at Marian Catholic. Previous tech credits include Footloose, Peter and the Starcatcher, and now The Wiz! Tony enjoys working on all aspects of tech, and has experience building and painting the sets, fixing the props, and now working on lights for the show!

THE WIZ is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals.

Book by William F. Brown
Music and Lyrics by Charlie Smalls
From the story "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum