The SpongeBob Musical Creative

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Dan Ashlock
Dan is the Artistic Director for Starlight Community Theater and is very excited to be directing the Arizona premier of The SpongeBob Musical. For Starlight, his directing credits include ...Spelling Bee (Zoni nom) Mamma Mia, The Year of Magical Thinking, Holy Matrimony! (Zoni nom), A Christmas Story and The Pajama Game. At Desert Stages Theater, Dan has directed Damn Yankees, Puffs!, Oliver, Spamalot, Seussical, Moon Over Buffalo, 6 RMS, RIV VU, Dark at the Top of the Stairs and Agatha Christie’s Spider’s Web. He has performed in productions in Arizona, Kansas, Pennsylvania and Maryland including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Murder In the Heir at Starlight.  Dan earned a BS in Speech Communication/Theater from NAU and a MS in Counseling at CCSU. He lives in Phoenix with his wife Renee and they are the proud parents of two adult children, Nathan and Quinlyn.
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Musical Director
Elise Kurbat
Elisa is thrilled to be music directing at Starlight Theatre once again with such an incredible cast! Elisa grew up in Cleveland, Ohio where she went to Kent State University for Criminology and then Baldwin Wallace Conservatory for piano and voice. While in Ohio, Elisa played piano for Mansfield Orchestra, while maintaining a full piano and vocal studio. Elisa's love for musical theatre was realized when she first music directed Cinderella. Since then, she's music directed many musicals. Her favorites include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Urinetown, Cabaret, You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, Theory of Relativity, Footloose, Addams Family, and Spring Awakening. Elisa currently works at Arizona School for the Arts in the theatre arts department, and continues to teach privately. Thank you to Dan and Cydney for being such fantastic teammates, and many thanks to her wonderful husband, family and friends who are incredibly supportive of this crazy career.
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Cydney Trent
Cydney Trent is thrilled to be a part of Bikini Bottom! Cydney’s choreography was most recently seen in Camelot at The Phoenix Theatre Company. Starlight patrons may remember her work from Footloose earlier this year. Her Zoni nominated choreography has also been seen at TheaterWorks, Spotlight, PCA, Desert Stages and MTA. Cydney is a proud 20+ year member of Actors’ Equity. Originally from Denver, Colorado, she has lived and performed all across the country, as well as on the oceans aboard the Disney Magic. Her voice can be heard as Princess Petunia in the animated cartoon series, VeggieTales (2005-2015). Cydney was in the Off Broadway company, Golf, The Musical, and has been seen performing across the Valley at The Phoenix Theatre Company, Arizona Theatre Company, Symphony Hall, Scottsdale Center and Arizona Broadway Theatre, just to name a few. Cydney’s best-loved role is Mom to her beautiful 13-year-old daughter, Marlee Gray. Big thanks and love go out to her supportive, loving and amazing husband, John! Do what you love!
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Costume Designer
Alison Rondone
Alison has been involved in community theater and dance for the past 40+ years. She began sewing and designing at age 11, inspired by her very creative grandmother. She has been a dancer, choreographer, and teacher since her twenties and has danced many principal roles, including the Sugar Plum Fairy and The Rose in The Nutcracker and Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), in annual productions and spring galas in southern California. In addition to her role as a dancer/choreographer/teacher, Alison has created numerous costumes for a number of dance and community theater productions and has also operated her own business as a wedding dress and bridal headpiece designer for the past 10 years. In addition to her theater production roles, she has been an ensemble cast member in several community theater productions, including Brigadoon, Oliver, and South Pacific. Her love of dance and design has been her creative focus for the past several decades and she desires to continue to expand her role in community theater.
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Cathy Merrill
Producer & Prop Designer
Cathy Merrill is trying her hand as Production Manager for the first time in this show. She is also wrangling props which is a bit like herding Catfish…but that’s another story. Cathy would like to thank Dan, Elise, and Cydney for including her in the production crew for this show and showing her the ropes. Special thanks to Alec & Joshua for not getting sick of having Mom around and to Randy for putting up with the shenanigans.
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Set Designer
Tyler Reid Scrivner
Tyler Reid Scrivner is a southern California-based scenic designer for theme parks and theatre. After receiving his Associates Degree in Theatre Arts from Mesa Community College, he transferred to Arizona State University, where he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Theatre Design and Production in 2015. He moved to California to attend the University of California, Irvine where he received his MFA in 2019. He is currently an assistant scenic designer for Knott's Berry Farm. Instagram: tylerscenic. Website:
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Stage Manager
Megan Gardner
Megan is excited to join these Bikini Bottom citizens in this fun show! As a high school theater teacher, it’s always fun to use the skills we teach our students every day! Thanks to our talented cast and production team for all their hard work on this fun show!
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Set Builder
Mike Rippenkroeger
Mike is an award winning member of our production team. He builds the sets for nearly all Starlight productions. Mike is family-oriented – married to Nena and father to Will.
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Set Painter/Decorator
Michelle Johnston
Michelle has been a part of Starlight for over 7 years now when she painted her first set for Beauty and the Beast. When not designing enchanted woods or stately living rooms or sneaking in the occasional role on stage she's an investigator at MUFG Union Bank. She's been in the field of financial crimes for over 20 yrs and retired from the US Army reserves in 2016 after 26yrs of service.
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Lighting Designer
Renee Ashlock
Renee has served the Lighting Designer for Avenue Q School Edition, Holy Matrimony, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Mamma Mia (Starlight) and Oliver, Damn Yankees (DST). She has also been a stage manager and technical director for numerous DST, ASA and BCHS productions.  Her favorite theater jobs are set construction, lighting and photography.  Renee teaches middle school science for the Loyola Academy at Brophy College Prep.  She appreciates and loves her supportive family: Dan, Nathan & Alaine and Quinlyn.
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Hair & Makeup Design
Bear Golden
Bear is honored to design hair and makeup for this incredible cast. He was most recently seen in Starlight’s production of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest as Billy Bibbit. He has also been seen in Carrie the Musical (Stokes), … Putnam County Spelling Bee (Mitch Mahoney), and Puffs (J. Finch-Fletchly (Zoni Nom.) among countless other shows. Bear is incredibly thankful for his friends and family who put up with all this theater bologna, and to his mother who showed him the way to the stage.
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Assistant Costumer
Amaya Burkhart
Amaya Burkhart is an Alumni of Starlight, being in previous productions of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Little Mermaid Jr. She is so excited to be working on such a colorful and fun show. This is Amaya’s second time working costumes, her first being SYT’s Emmett’s Art Project. Spongebob was her favorite show growing up and she hopes to bring that love to a new generation.

Original Creative Team


Based on the series by Stephen Hillenburg

Book by Kyle Jarrow

Original Songs by Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants, T.I. And Songs by David Bowie, Tom Kenny & Andy Paley.  Additional Lyrics by Jonathan Coulton Additional Music by Tom Kitt.

Musical Production Conceived by Tina Landau.