Gender Bender 5 Cast
Michelle Bellamy (Ensemble)
Shell is a high school English teacher just trying to sing and dance where she can. She was most recently seen in "Curtains" with the Loveland Stage Company. Her favorite role to date was Scaramouche in Queen City Production's "We Will Rock You." This is her first "Gender Bender" AND first MCP show.
Brenden Blackburn (Ensemble)
Brenden is excited to be back with his old theater family. Brenden was last seen onstage with MCP prior to the Covid pandemic doing this exact show. Past credits include Tunny ("American Idiot") Melvin/Teixeira ("The Toxic Avenger"), Josh ("If/Then"). Brenden would like to thank his friends, doggo, Son Marshall, future Son Sebastian, and his wife Michelle.
Jess Bunn (Ensemble)
Jess has been with MCP for about 4 years now doing many different behind the scenes jobs. She has done lights, props, and stage managing. She loves doing lights and stage managing and is happy to get up on stage with MCP for the first time since joining! Jess looks forward to being on stage for "Gender Bender" and hopefully more shows in the future!
Sara Davis (Keyboards)
Sara is MCP's most called upon musical director. She has taken on that task either as the vocal director, the instrumental director or both for more than a dozen productions. She has also been a stalwart support to other musical directors in the orchestra sharing her considerable skills as a pianist. Sara has also served the group in many other areas of theatre; costuming, doing publicity, house managing, serving on the Board, sitting on committees, volunteering for fundraising events, and helping with renovations in both of MCP's venues to enumerate only a few. She is excited to be in "The Gender Bender Band" for the second time.
Tom Davis (Keyboards)
Tom is a veteran of MCP. The group has often called upon his talents as a composer, musical director, orchestrator, and instrumentalist. The group has even depended on his skills as a piano tuner. Not one to tread the boards often, he has appeared on occasion, and created a role of his own as the organ embellishment to "Three Murders and It's Only Monday" and Murder's Bad but Monday Can Kill You." Tom's dedicated service to MCP includes serving on the Board of Directors, participating in numerous fund-raising events, helping at both MCP venues, and helping to mow the lawn cause it needed doing. He is excited to be at the keyboard for the second time as a part of the "Gender Bender" shows.
Vincent Eldridge (Ensemble)
Vincent is excited to be able to come back to theatre and be able to perform with his friends! When he isn't on stage he enjoys making a mess with flour and paints, preferably separately. He's been in one "Gender Bender" before and is more than happy to do a second! He thanks all of the cast and crew for putting all their effort into this!
Bonnie Emmer (Ensemble/Director)
Bonnie is the driving force behind the "Gender Bender" concept. Among those who began the series, she has also served as director or co-director for all five "Gender Bender Revues." Bonnie has been involved in community theatre most of her life. An Orchid award-winning performer with numerous on-stage credits, Bonnie has appeared for MCP as a featured soloist and dancer in "Sentimental Journey: A Salute to the USO" and as Sophie in "Mamma Mia!." No stranger to work behind the scenes, Bonnie has shared her skills as a scenic artist, set decor coordinator, and make-up artist. She is thrilled to be able to bring "Gender Bender" to the stage again!
Alisha Flaherty (Ensemble)
Alisha is thrilled to be in her 3rd "Gender Bender" LIVE this year! She loves musical theatre, but she also is very passionate about clogging and ice skating! She has 3 boys that are also theatre performers and athletes. When not playing the role of chauffeur, she is self employed, running 2 businesses from home. In her downtime, she loves to watch reality TV, and sneak in a game of Candy Crush.
Nicole Forbus (Ensemble)
Nicole is stoked to be performing in her very first "Gender Bender"! However, she is no stranger to the stage. From her first performance as Miss Hannigan in a preschool version of “Annie,” at age 4, Nicole was bitten by the musical theater bug. She performed throughout her childhood into high school and then, after a long hiatus, returned to play Medda Larkin in “Newsies” in 2019. When not singing/acting, Nicole enjoys her work as a writing instructor and fitness representative. On “off” days, you can find her hiking, attending live theater, laughing - A LOT - with friends, and missing traveling!!! Hopefully that craving will be fulfilled soon enough.
Mike Gabrelski (Bass Guitar)
Mike has been playing in Rock bands in Cincinnati over the last 25+ years. He is currently playing with the (Nativity) Code and with Screwy Lewy. He has played with many groups over the years and made many great friends playing music. This is his first Theater Show. His only other Theater experience is volunteering as an usher for many years at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and in the Shelterhouse. Thanks, Jon Scheiding, for the great opportunity!
Tosha Gibson (Ensemble)
My name is Tosha Gibson! I’m excited to be doing my second show with MCP and my first in person "Gender Bender!" I am a wife and mom but love to still perform! I have been in "Beauty and the Beast," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and most favorite role was my first lead role as Spider in "James and the Giant Peach" with Barts Bards! I am happy that we can come finally together and put on a great performance for you! Enjoy!
Lara Gonzalez (Ensemble)
Lara is appearing in her second "Gender Bender" and she is excited to be a part of the 5th show in the series. A veteran of the Cincinnati Community Theatre scene, Lara has numerous credits on stage, behind the scenes and in the pit. A skilled director and musical director, Lara has taken the helm for MCP's "Shrek, the Musical" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels;" and has served as musical director for six others. And, in case being around the stage is not enough, she serves as MCP's President, chairs two committees and sits on a third. She is very grateful that her husband, Jason, and daughter, Melody, have a love of theatre, too!
Eric Grimm (Ensemble)
Eric is a Mason native and an MCP veteran. He performed his first show with MCP in 1988. Through the years, Eric has been involved in several productions both on stage and behind the scenes. He has served ten years on the MCP Board of Directors with two years as treasurer and currently serves as Vice President. He is also a member of the Facilities, Performance and Finance Committees. Eric performed in the first "Gender Bender" in 2016 and is excited to be back on stage.
Peyton Hahn (Ensemble/Producer)
Peyton is excited to be producing the fifth annual "Gender Bender Revue!" Previous on-stage credits include Gaston in "Beauty and the Beast" and Sam in "Mamma Mia." Shout out to all "Gender Bender" cast & crew, past & present. Thanks for making this a very special experience for all involved.
John Hamilton (Ensemble)
John Hamilton, 31, is happy to return for a third "Gender Bender" and is even more thrilled to be doing it on stage with an audience again. In previous "Gender Benders" he showed off his impressions while performing Dolly Parton's 'Jolene' and last year got his first credit screenwriting gig when he adapted and acted in the Mad Tea Party scene from "Alice in Wonderland." Other previous portrayals include Lurch in "The Addams Family Musical" (Queen City Productions), Lord Warhammer in "Dr. Evil & the Basket of Kittens" (Mason Community Players), and many others. He's thankful for Bonnie, Peyton, and Jon for giving him this opportunity again. He's also thankful for the emotional support from all his friends and family. When not Haming it up on stage, John's a fulltime writer for the Wilmington News Journal, amateur photographer, and amateur baker. He's currently also training to perform for Cincinnati's "The Denton Affair."
Paul Henkelman (Ensemble)
This is Paul's 2nd "Gender Bender," previously appearing in 2019. Paul has performed with numerous local theater groups including Queen City Productions ("Sweeney Todd"), Footlighters ("Chicago"), and MCP ("Man of La Mancha"). When not doing theater, Paul spends his time going to the zoo, catching up on Xbox game pass, and cheering on one of his many fantasy sports teams (8 at the time of this writing). He dedicates this performance to his favorite person and wife, Nicole.
Elliot Hungler (Percussion)
As a percussionist, Elliot contributes to several of the ensembles at West Clermont High School. Earlier this year, he joined their production of "Godspell." He's excited to do more in the world of theatre and hopes you enjoy the great set of songs.
Lora Pateras (Ensemble)
Lora “Lolo” Pateras is grateful to be a part of her third GB in a row: “Gender Bender 5.” Lora has been blessed to work with several local community theatre groups over the years and to call MCP home. Her favorite roles are The Woman in the Chair in "The Drowsy Chaperone" (with The Nativity Players), Jolene in "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" (with MCP), and Lora in "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)" (with The Company.). Lora wants to thank this loving MCP Community and her partner in life and love, Mike Pateras, for all the ways he supports and laughs with her, especially in this most difficult year. Together forever.
Mike Pateras (Ensemble)
Mike is honored to be bending again at MCP's great new home! He is appreciative for the brilliant production team's hard work and diligence in providing a safe environment to rehearse and perform in person, once more. And, as always, he is thrilled to be performing alongside his favorite person: the amazingly talented Lora Pateras!
Julie Poux (Ensemble )
Julie is excited to be in the fifth installment of "Gender Bender" after appearing in the virtual "Gender Bender 4." A veteran of MCP, she has produced, stage managed, served as technical director, and been on numerous crews. Her favorite place is ON the stage, though. Among her favorites are Sylvia Fowler in "The Women," LCDR Joanne Galloway in "A Few Good Men," Gloria in "Damn Yankees," and Tanya in "Mamma Mia". Let it also be known that Julie is among the royalty of MCP. Julie is a Past President of the group, serving on the Board of Directors for 6 years.
Alex Ross (Ensemble)
Alex is an actor, musician, and scenic carpenter who has been a part of many productions around the city. They are excited to perform with MCP again after making their debut in "Gender Bender 4." They would like to thank you for supporting the arts and your family, friends, or strangers who create it.
Michael Scarpelli, Jr. (Ensemble)
Michael moved here from NY where he had small roles on shows like "Sex and the City" and "Strangers with Candy," as well as starring Off Broadway in "Orgasms: The Play." Pre-COVID, he was found performing around Cincinnati doing sketch and improv comedy and working with The Murder Mystery Company. More recently, he has been doing Zoom Murder Parties and was part of the winning Know Theater Zoom Serial: "Starbucks and Target." Though loving musical theater, his last musical role was as the Scarecrow in "The Wiz" some 18 years ago. Welcome back. Love to my biggest fan.
Jon Scheiding (Ensemble/Music Director/Conductor/Guitar/Sound Design)
Jon Scheiding cannot make up his mind whether he is a performer, music director, arranger, orchestra member, sound designer, recording engineer or video editor; so he just tries to limit himself to one or two roles per production. Recently he's been involved in "Shout!" at CMT and "The Importance of Being Earnest" at Beechmont Players, and had the opportunity to appear as Jamie in "The Last Five Years" at Village Players of Ft Thomas. The MCP "Gender Bender" has had a special place in his heart since its inception, and he's excited to share all the hard work that the cast and crew have put into it. He would also like to thank his wife, Kaleigh, for usually remembering what he looks like.
Gaylene May Schumacher (Ensemble)
Gaylene has appeared on stage and worked behind the scenes for many MCP productions. She has served on MCP’s Board of Directors and currently serves on the Communication and Membership Committees. Gaylene is proud to have won awards for her work onstage and off, and for being a recipient of the prestigious Grace E. Campbell Award. Having worked behind the scenes for two MCP "Gender Bender" revues, Gaylene would like to thank Bonnie and Peyton for the opportunity to be onstage for this year’s "Gender Bender." She also wants to thank Bill for always supporting her theatrical pursuits.
Bob Schwartz (Drums)
Lydia Trout (Ensemble)
Lydia Trout started performing in Preschool and has since fallen in love with the world of theatre. She has worked with Performing Arts Inc, The Children's Theatre, and now Mason Community Players. This is Lydia's first "Gender Bender" and she's pumped to be a part of the show. She would like to thank her family and friends for supporting her and pushing her to forge her own path.