9 to 5, The Musical Cast
Emily Istre (Violet)
Emily Istre is a classically trained dancer and has spent most of her life performing in some capacity. An Acadiana native, Emily moved to Las Vegas in 2006. She became part of the Las Vegas Pussycat Dolls in 2007 and became the lead singer for a time in 2012. Emily was a dancer and the dance captain of The Matt Goss Show. As part of the Matt Goss show, she also had the honor to perform sold out shows at Royal Albert Hall in London. Emily has performed on the Billboard awards back up dancing for host Kim Jeong, and artists Nikki Menaj and Pat Monahan in 2011. She also co-produced and co-choreographed the opening number of The Billboard Awards for host Tracey Morgan in 2013. She has developed a love for acting over the last decade of her life. Working on two season of NCIS New Orleans on their stunt team, she found a passion for being on set and all it comes with. Most recently she has costarred in the Cory Stewart short film Eva Wants to Stay In. She has recently found a new love for Improv comedy and finds it to be a great exercise in character work and creative expression. Emily currently lives in Lafayette with her fiancé Stephen Verret and their eight animals. She is very honored and excited to play the role of Violet Newstead, a strong, smart, feminist character she has always looked up to since she was a child. It is a privilege for her to be contributing her efforts and experience towards the talented Lafayette Theatre community.
Brii Simmons (Doralee)
Brii Simmons is a vocalist and performer in Acadiana. She serves as Head of the Educational Enrichment Committee with The Looking Glass Theatre Co, creating new theatre education opportunities for students in Acadiana. Full time, Brii is Education Coordinator at Wonderland Performing Arts, and teaches several theatre and performing arts classes. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Music Education from University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She grew up singing with her mom and sister, along with a long lineage of vocalists in her family. She performed in several theatrical productions with the UL Opera Theatre: Les Miserables (Ensemble), You're Gonna Love Tomorrow: A Stephen Sondheim Evening (herself), Sweeney Todd (Ensemble), Another Opening, Another Show (herself), Shelby Have's productions of Chicago: The Musical (Katalin Hunyak) and The Rocky Horror Show (Riff Raff), and Iberia Performing Arts League's production of She Loves Me (Amalia Balish). She has also directed a children's production: Aristocats Kids with Wonderland Performing Arts, and has attended the Broadway Teachers Workshop and Broadway Student Summit in NYC working with Broadway industry professionals and staying up to date with the current changes and standards in the theatre industry.
Renee Barry (Judy)
Renee Barry moved back home to Lafayette in 2020 after spending eight years in Chicago, IL performing in improv and sketch comedy shows. In Chicago, Renee wrote and performed at The Second City in such productions as Thank You Five, Out Damn Spotlight, Ready Player: Won, and 1984-Play. Most recently, Renee has performed as Jackie Coryton in The Looking Glass Theatre Co.'s "Hay Fever" and Felicity Cunningham in CCT's "The Real Inspector Hound." Renee teaches improv to teens at CYT, and she teaches Talented Theatre in St. Martin Parish schools. Renee would like to thank her supportive family, her husband Pete, and The Looking Glass Theatre Co. for casting in her in another banger of a show!
Aren Chaisson (Hart)
Aren Chaisson is an actor and improvisor with over 25 years experience on stage. He is from Lafayette, Louisiana and teaches Talented Theatre in Lafayette parish. Aren has performed in many productions, including John Proctor in The Crucible, Huey P. Long in The Kingfish, Dale Pittman in The North Plan, Harry "Jazzbo" Haywood in It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, Lenny in Of Mice and Men, Foreman in Twelve Angry Men, Cliff in Cabaret, Officer Lockstock in Urinetown and William Shakespeare in William and Judith. In 2018 he was in his first CCT production as Jud in Oklahoma! Most recently he was seen as Max Bialystock in The Producers. Since graduating from University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a BFA in Performing Arts, he has performed in NYC, Chicago, Syracuse, Alabama, Indiana, on regional and national tours, and in short films and commercials. He studied improv with Armando Diaz at the Magnet Theatre in NYC and teaches improv with Silverbacks Improv theatre. This is Aren's first role with The Looking Glass Theatre Co.
Matthew Godfrey (Joe)
Matthew’s earliest live performances were around 1990, set to tracks from a Whitney Houston cassette tape in the driveway of his family home. He went on to sing and dance with the nationally recognized show choir, Attaché; performing in cities including New York, Orlando, Chicago and on stage at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. He has appeared in various musical revues, as well as theater productions including West Side Story, Newsies, Grease and Bye, Bye Birdie. He spent many years as a performer and counselor at Showchoir Camps of America. Locally, Matthew performed in the role of Rocky in The Rocky Horror Show last October and will also be appearing as Benny in Rent this fall. Matthew graduated with a master’s degree from the Texas Creative program at The University of Texas at Austin, focusing on Art Direction. He now works as the Director of Memory Care at The Blake at Lafayette. His most proud accomplishments are his two sons, Kellar and Trip. He is thrilled to be performing in the company of such inspiring talents in the cast of 9 to 5!
Melissa Bowen (Roz)
By day, Melissa is a counselor and coach in Acadiana, but her not-so-secret passion is musical theatre and gigging around town in her "yacht rock" duo, Mel & John. Past performances include Fastrada in Pippin (Abbey Players), Doatsy Mae in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (IPAL), and Donna in Mamma Mia (CCT). "I am super thrilled to be working with this team and cast, and working in the magic at The Looking Glass!"
Casey Robichaux (Dwayne)
Casey is a UL Lafayette alumnus with a BM in Vocal Performance. His love for art has taken him through plenty of musical performances ranging from Chicago to The Rocky Horror Show, and he is excited to share that love here in this first performance with the Looking Glass Theatre Company.
Cash Mercer (Josh)
Cash Mercer is a recent graduate of Lafayette High School, currently studying in his first semester at ULL. He’s an aspiring actor who’s done various performances in Acting Studios around Louisiana & Atlanta, Georgia. He’s spontaneously inspired by performing arts in general, with this being his first musical. Cash enjoys reading, writing, art walks, and watching various films.
Allison Barron Brandon (Missy)
Allison Barron Brandon is the Founder of Wonderland Performing Arts & serves as the company’s President. She has a Master’s Degree in Arts Administration from the University of New Orleans & a Bachelor’s Degree in Performing Arts: Theatre from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She has performed in numerous professional, college, and community theatre productions. Her most recent local performances are Side by Side by Sondheim (2019), Legally Blonde (2019; Paulette), The Bumpy Road (2014; a show she wrote, directed, co-starred & co-produced with Sarah Gauthier), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (2016; Rona Lisa Peretti), and Nunsense (2017; Sister Mary Amnesia). In college, she played Eliza Doolittle in IPAL’s My Fair Lady in 2008. Her ULL musical theatre credits include Les Miserables (2004; Eponine), Into the Woods (2005; Cinderella), & Grease (2007; Rizzo). She’s most recently been seen on stage as Ilona Ritter in IPAL’s production of She Loves Me (2022). She is the proud mother of Adelaide Greer Brandon, her fantastic 9-year-old daughter. Allison believes performing arts can transform people, and she is excited to share her knowledge, experience, and love for the arts with others.
Casey O'Brien (Maria)
Casey O’Brien is thrilled to be performing as Maria in her first production here at The Looking Glass Theatre Company. Casey lives here in Lafayette and teaches at Hello Dancer. In recent years, some of the other shows across Acadiana that she has fond memories of being involved in include playing Waitress #1 in IPAL’s Rock of Ages, and several featured dance roles in shows like Something Rotten and Pippin at Abbey Players, and Kiss Me Kate at IPAL. Everyone in the cast of 9 to 5 is immensely talented and Casey is so grateful that she can share the stage with them, and have and audience see this amazing show!
Pete Byrne (Dick)
Pete Byrne is an improviser and filmmaker who moved from Chicago, IL to Lafayette in 2020. Pete is a graduate of The Second City’s Conservatory program where he studied improvisational comedy and sketch writing. He currently serves on the board of directors at Cité des Arts. Although this is first musical, you may have seen him perform recently in CCT's production of 'The Real Inspector Hound', as Birdboot, in 'An Acadiana Christmas Carol', as Edward Scrooge, and in The Looking Glass Theatre Company's production of 'Hay Fever', as David Bliss. Pete would like to thank his family, his actual, off-stage wife, Renee, and his director Christian, for convincing him to sing and dance in front of people.
Megan Tran (Kathy)
Megan Tran is a jewelry designer at Stuller, Inc. She has dabbled in various careers, including ballet, showgirl costume design, and producing and performing in nationwide cabaret shows. Megan enjoys emceeing and making audiences laugh with her terrible jokes. She won a Rosie award for Best Choreographer for her work on "The Rocky Horror Show" and "Chicago" in 2019. In 2022, she produced and co-directed "Catharsis," a show and gallery exhibit featuring original works by local performers that provided a space for emotional exploration. Megan is a Dolly Parton fan and is excited to be a member of 9 to 5, while also committed to bringing art and humor into the world.
Kayla Petitjean (Margaret)
Kayla Petitjean is honored to be part of this production! Favorite previous roles include Abbey Players’ Blithe Spirit (Elvira) and Something Rotten (ensemble), Other Desert Cities (Brooke), Anatomy of a Hug (Amelia) and Drown (Bonita) with Acadiana Repertory Theatre, and AUI’s [title of show] (Susan). In real life, Kayla is a pharmacist and mother of two precious daughters, Anna and Evelyn. Kayla would like to thank her husband Jared for his endless support and encouragement.
Drew Hoffpauir (Bob)
Drew completed his bachelor’s degree in General Studies at UL, and began his journey at Wonderland in January 2020 where he worked backstage during Frozen JR. He has worked with organizations in Acadiana such as Iberia Performing Arts League, the Abbey Players, the Music Academy of Acadiana, and more. You may have seen him on stage as Lord Farquaad (Shrek the Musical), Ms. Trunchbull (Matilda the Musical), Dale Harding (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), and more.
Sudeep Vijayan (Tinsworthy)
Sudeep Vijayan is a native of Kerala, a beautiful state in India. He moved to the US in 2013 to pursue higher studies. He graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a Master's degree in Computer Science. Currently, he is a Senior Technical Consultant at an IT firm. He is an aspiring, passionate, and hardworking artist who enjoys the process of theatrical, film, and video production. He is also the co-founder of Sagittarius entertainment, a local theatrical production, where he produced and starred in several shows. Apart from that Sudeep also enjoys singing(making covers), dancing, choreography, making comedy skits, acting, and directing. He is super thrilled to be a part of 9 to 5 The Musical, produced by The Looking Glass Theater Co, playing Russel Tinsworthy. He would like to thank everyone who supported him throughout this journey.
Cindy D'Arcy (Ensemble)
Cindy D'Arcy has acted with many local theatre companies since 2009. They include The TeaSippers' Theatre Company, Acadian Repertory Theatre, AUI, IPAL, Evangeline Players, The Hive, Lauren-Reilly Eliot Theatre, The Looking Glass Theatre Company, and most recently was seen in LRE’s production of Don Juan in Chicago as Mephistopheles. It was wonderful to work with this cast and crew. She dedicates this performance to her husband Joseph who has been extremely supportive, her daughter, Marissa, her biggest fan, and Andrew- whose light will shine on forever.
Alyssa McMurray (Ensemble)
Alyssa McMurray is a musician and songwriter from Crowley, LA. She studied music at UL from 2011-2017 and she is thrilled to see her fellow grads working on this show together. Alyssa has been involved in local community theatre as well as hosted her own shows, a few over the years include- Chicago, Mamma Mia, Legally Blonde, Nunsense, as well as original productions under Sagittarius Entertainment. She performs locally with her band, "Café Americana", teaches privately, and is the music director at Covenant Methodist Church. She loves country, bluegrass, and Dolly Parton and she is happy to be in 9 to 5!