January 3 – March 9
Stackner Cabaret

Devised by David M. Lutken with Nick Corley and
Darcie Deaville, Helen Jean Russell and Andy Teirstein
Directed by Nick Corley

Wayne and Kristine Lueders, Associate Producers

An incredible journey with roof-raising spirit!

The original folk hero, Woody Guthrie, and his energetic, moving, and infectious melodies defined an American era of political expression, and transformed the folk ballad into a vehicle of social commentary and unity. With more than 25 songs—including classics like “This Land is Your Land,” “Pastures of Plenty,” and “The Ballad of Tom Joad”—this joyous, toe-tapping, and moving theatrical concert event celebrates the colorful life and rich musical legacy of America’s greatest troubadour.

“A fast-paced, richly sung and expertly played
glimpse into the life of Woody Guthrie.”

Mark Clements

“After seeing this beautifully-crafted piece in Chicago, I knew that we had to bring it to Milwaukee. Even though Woody Guthrie wrote songs responding to the people and events of a particular period, like any other pieces of great art, his songs still rouse the heart, capture the imagination, and resonate just as strongly today as when they were first written—true classics!”


» Learn more about Woody Sez from Artistic Director Mark Clements



Devised by David M. Lutken with Nick Corley and
Darcie Deaville, Helen Jean Russell and Andy Teirstein


David M. Lutken *
David Finch *
Leenya Rideout *
Helen Jean Russell *
Understudies: Kevin Barry Crowley, Patrick Budde, Elyse Edelman

* Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors
and Stage Managers in the United States.


David M Lutken

David M. Lutken (Deviser / Music Director) studied at London’s Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts. He has performed in Europe, Israel, the United Kingdom, at Lincoln Center, the 92nd Street Y and Carnegie Hall. He made his West End debut with Woody Sez (2011 London Evening Standard nominee, Best Musical). Broadway: Inherit the Wing, Ring of Fire, The Civil War and The Will Rogers Follies. Off-Broadway: Southern Comfort, Stars in Your Eyes, The Portable Pioneer and Prairie Show, Woody Guthrie’s American Song and Winter Man. Regional theater: (U.K.) Dark of the Moon, Bonnie and Clyde and A Month in the Country. (U.S.) Man of La Mancha, Elmer Gantry, Finian’s Rainbow, Big River, Pump Boys and Dinettes, The Love List, Death in England, On Golden Pond, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Fire on the Mountain, Stand by Your Man and In the Deep Heart’s Core. For his role in Woody Sez, David received both the 2013 Helen Hayes Award and Joseph Jefferson awards for Best Actor.   -Top-

David Finch

David Finch is an actor/musician based in Brooklyn, New York. He has performed with Alan Cumming, Serj Tankian, Tony Bennett, Amanda Palmer and Dee Snider, among others, in venues ranging from Lincoln Center to San Francisco’s Castro Theatre. A cast member of the Tony Award-winning revival of Cabaret, he performed on Broadway at Studio 54 and toured the U.S., Canada and Japan. He made his London West End debut with Evening Standard Best Musical nominee Woody Sez. Off-Broadway credits include Fame on 42nd Street and the New York premiere of Tennessee Williams’ Spring Storm. He toured Europe, the U.S. and Canada with Fame the Musical and regionally has performed in most of the U.S. Finch was an associate producer at Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS in New York from 2004 to 2006. His CD the fiddle made me do it is on iTunes. He is also co-creator and musical supervisor of Careless Love: A Down Home Musical. http://www.dhfinch.com  -Top-

Leenya Rideout

Leenya Rideout appeared on Broadway in War Horse, Cyrano de Bergerac with Kevin Kline, Company (Jenny), and Cabaret. Off-Broadway credits include Yiddle with a Fiddle, American Jewish Theatre; The Portable Pioneer and Prairie Show, Melting Pot Theatre Company; and Cowgirls, Minetta Lane. Regional theatre includes The Last of the Red Hot Lovers and Gypsy, Hangar Theatre; Holidays with the Chalks, Alliance Theatre; Merrily We Roll Along (Gussie) and Avenue X, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Man of La Mancha (Aldonza), ACCC; Cardenio, A.R.T.; Summer of 42, Mill Mountain Theatre; Canterbury Tales, Guthrie Theater; and Guys and Dolls, North Carolina Theatre. She toured internationally as Eliza in My Fair Lady. Films include Mona Lisa Smile, Loser, and Bittersweet. Television and radio includes Company and My Favorite Broadway (PBS) as well as Nashville Star, the Jerry Lewis Telethon, and Selected Shorts (NPR). She appeared in concert in Wall to Wall Broadway at Symphony Space and Bringing Broadway Back Home with Fort Collins Symphony. Original songs available at her website. http://www.leenya.com  -Top-

Helen Jean Russell

Helen Jean Russell (Co-Deviser) grew up making music. After relocating from a small town in Maryland to New York City, she switched her focus to acting, which led to producing variety shows featuring The City Singers, an a cappella choir that she cofounded and directed. Russell was part of Woody Sez’s 2007 debut in Edinburgh, as well as subsequent tours throughout the U.K., Israel and Europe, the American debut at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, the Arts Theatre in London's West End, and at American Repertory Theater in Boston. At home in Manhattan, she works as an actor, musical director and publishing technology consultant. In 2012 she was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award, Best Lead Actress for her work in Woody Sez. Her debut CD, Holly Days, was released in 2008, and she is at work on a second. “Her voice, pure and supple, handed down through generations, recalls the rich and rolling piedmont of her native home.”   -Top-

Nick Corley (Director / Co-Deviser) made his London West End, Chicago, Boston, and Washington, D.C. directing debuts with Woody Sez, which he also co-wrote. (Helen Hayes and Evening Standard “Best Musical” award nominations.) He has directed many world premieres including Woody Sez for Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the New York City productions of Tall Grass; Flight (Callaway Award Nomination); About Face (New York Music Theatre Festival nomination, Best Direction); Fables in Slang; Tim and Scrooge; The Overcoat; and Tallboy Walkin.’ Regional premieres include The Civil War (co-directed at Houston’s Alley Theatre); A Young Lady of Fashion (Fulton Opera House — also co-author); and Eliot Ness… in Cleveland (Denver Center Theatre — also a co-author). As former artistic director of Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, he directed Sweeney Todd, The Music Man, The Who’s Tommy,and Steel Magnolias. Other directing credits include The Bomb-itty of Errors (Adirondack Theatre Festival and The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis — four Kevin Kline nominations); Mother Russia (Carnegie Hall); The Little Foxes (Fulton Opera House); and The Robber Bridegroom, Drood, Man of La Mancha, Bat Boy, A Little Night Music and Lucky Stiff, all for The Commons Group in Vermont. He has directed over 100 workshops and readings, many of them for New York University’s graduate musical theatre writing program. His appearances as a performer include The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Mary Poppins, A Christmas Carol and She Loves Me on Broadway; off-Broadway; regional theatre; the film Kissing Jessica Stein; recordings; and television.   -Top-

Luke Hegel-Cantarella (Scenic Designer) designed Woody Sez for many theatres, including Arts Theatre in London’s West End. New York credits include Atlantic Theater Company, Lucille Lortel, HERE, The Lambs, and the 2004 Whitney Biennial. He designed Blue Shade at Amsterdam’s Rozentheater and Redwood Curtain for The American University in Cairo. Regional credits include Yale Repertory, Pittsburgh Public Theater, City Theatre, Two Rivers Theater Company, Berkshire Theatre Festival, TheaterWorks, Barrington Stage Company, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Adirondack Theatre Festival, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma and Prince Music Theater. Opera includes La Clemenza di Titio, Wolf Trap; Cosi fan Tutte, Curtis Institute of Music; and La Traviata, Peabody Opera House. He was art director for the second season of Damages (starring Glenn Close) and worked as a set designer on films Julie & Julia, Pink Panther 2, State of Play, Synecdoche New York and The Accidental Husband. Hegel-Cantarella heads the design program at Pace University in New York City. He is a graduate of Yale School of Drama.   -Top-

Jeffery Meek (Costume Designer) is in his thirteenth season as resident costume designer with Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. For ten years, he served as principal costumer for The Ohio Light Opera. He has worked with such companies as The Point Theatre, Jewel Box Theatre, Carpenter Square, Eastman School of Music, and Colossal Studios. Meek designed Romeo and Juliet for Oklahoma City’s Reduxion Theatre Company and A Christmas Carol: The Musical, Annie, and Disney’s High School Musical for Casa Mañana. He served as costumer for Tulsa Opera and designed Wichita productions of Swing!; I Do, I Do; and the world premiere of Are We There Yet? with Stage One. For the past seven years he has designed A Very Merry Pops for Oklahoma City’s Philharmonic. Most recently he has branched into the world of film, designing wardrobe for Pearl Carter Scott with Media 13 and Fingerprints. Meek is a proud graduate of Oklahoma City University.  -Top-

Charles Cooper (Lighting Designer) Charles returns to The Rep where he previously designed Gutenberg! The Musical! Recent work includes To Master The Art (Chicago Commercial Collective/TimeLine Theatre Company /Broadway in Chicago); Hairspray and Curtains (Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook Terrace); A Wrinkle in Time (First Stage Children’s Theater); Love, Loss and What I Wore (Asolo Rep Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Co., San Jose Repertory Theatre, Broadway in Chicago,1st National Tour); Do The Hustle and Old Glory (Writers’ Theatre); Of Mice and Men and First Look Repertory of New York (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); Around the World in 80 Days (Indiana Repertory Theatre); Tree and Blue Door (Victory Gardens Theater); Eclipsed and She Stoops to Conquer (Northlight Theatre); Sunday in the Park with George, Chicago, A Few Good Men and Around the World in 80 Days (Peninsula Players Theatre); Pitmen Painters and To Master the Art (TimeLine Theatre Company; Associate Artist); Pajama Game, Pippin and Fugitive Songs (The Music Theatre Company); Mahal (Bailiwick Chicago); Creditors (Remy Bumppo Theatre Company). Current and upcoming work includes: the Chicago Company of Old Jews Telling Jokes, Mill Fire (Shattered Globe Theatre) and Carrie The Musical (Bailiwick Chicago). Charles has received five Jeff Award nominations and two After Dark Awards. Member of United Scenic Artists. www.Cooperportfolio.com.  -Top-

Barry G. Funderburg (Sound Designer) – Barry is excited to return to the Rep for his 65th production. Memorable Rep productions include Blues in the Night, Othello, The 39 Steps, The Cherry Orchard, Pride and Prejudice, Armadale, Mary Stuart, Work Song, and Angels in America. Off-Broadway, Barry designed the critically acclaimed New York premiere of Wittenberg at The Pearl Theatre Company. Regional theatre credits include Fake, Carter’s Way, and Mother Courage and Her Children at Steppenwolf Theatre, sixteen productions at Utah Shakespeare Festival, including the recent regional theatre premiere of Peter and the Starcatcher, and Kansas City Rep, Arizona Theatre Company, City Theatre (Pittsburgh), CenterStage (Baltimore), Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Peninsula Players, American Players Theatre, LA Theatre Works, and Indiana Rep. Chicago credits include Next Theatre, Theatre at the Center, and Lookingglass. Barry has received four Chicago Equity Jeff Award nominations, the 1996 and 2008 Jeff Awards for Sound Design, and an MFA in sound design from Purdue University.  -Top-

Frank Honts, Assistant Director – Frank was assistant director for Noises Off and Venus in Fur earlier this season, and prior to that, Frank worked as artistic associate at Forward Theater Company in Madison. Recent directing projects include 9 Circles (Midwest premiere) and Speech & Debate. In addition to his work as a director, dramaturg, and assistant director at Forward Theater, Frank has worked with American Players Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Madison Opera, and Children’s Theater of Madison. Education: AB, History, Brown University.  -Top-

Laura F. Wendt, Stage Manager – Laura is excited to spend her eighth season here at Milwaukee Repertory Theater. She is a Wisconsin native and graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Other regional theater credits include: Riverside Theatre Shakespeare Festival, American Players Theatre and Nebraska Shakespeare Festival. Thank you for supporting the arts! Enjoy the show.  -Top-

The Rep Experience

Each of our shows offers opportunities for our audience to engage in conversations and discussion with our staff, artists and guest speakers. Please join us!

Woody Sez Hootenanny
We're Having a Hootenanny! – Every Thursday post-performance

Free and open to the public! • Stackner Cabaret
A Hootenanny is an informal and family-friendly get-together where folk musicians join in an unstructured and free-flowing jam session, with no boundaries between audience and performer. Bring your instrument when you see Woody Sez - or just bring your friends, family, and sense of musical fun after the show - to have a 'hoot' with the cast! It's a family-friendly affair, with beverages available to purchase.

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Group Tickets
Start at 15% off

Group Sales

Running Time
Approx. 2hrs

Recommended Age
10 years and older

Performance Times
Tuesday: 6:30pm*
Tuesday - Thursday: 7:30pm
Sunday Evening: 7:00pm
Fri/Sat Evening: 8pm
Saturday Matinee: 4pm
Sunday Matinee: 2pm
Wednesday Matinee: 1:30pm
*Once per run otherwise 7:30pm

Access Dates
Audio Described
Sunday, Jan. 12, 7pm

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