AJ AzerSat-3/Sat-7:30


AJ Azer (Electra) is pumped and charged to be in STARLIGHT EXPRESS! His acting credits include over 30 shows in six years here at Artisan Center Theater, most notably as Dennis in ALL SHOOK UP, Lord Farquaad in SHREK THE MUSICAL, and twice as Sebastian in THE LITTLE MERMAID. He is currently studying French, Spanish, and Portuguese at UT Austin, and he would like to thank his favorite directors, Natalie Burkhart and Jennifer Leyva, for their wisdom, kindness, creativity, and friendship.

Cameron BarkleyMon/Thu/Sat-3


Cameron Barkley (Poppa) was recently seen on the Artisan stage in RED, WHITE, AND TRUE BLUE. Other Artisan productions include TOM SAWYER, THE SECRET GARDEN, MUSIC MAN, ALICE IN WONDERLAND. When he is not singing, dancing, or performing at Artisan, he is an 11th grade homeschooler and working to earn his Eagle Rank in Boy Scouts.

Fabian CortinaTue/Thu/Sat-7:30


Fabian Cortina (Rusty) is very excited to make his Main Stage debut in STARLIGHT EXPRESS. He has been in several Artisan Children's Theater over many years. Some of his favorite roles have included The Fish in THE CAT IN THE HAT and Herb/Jose in JUNIE B. JONES THE MUSICAL. He is currently playing Cogsworth in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR. here at Artisan. He would like to thank his friends and family for supporting him and God for helping him peruse his dreams.

Josh CrowTue/Thu/Sat-7:30


Josh Crow (Electra) has been passionate about acting for many years, mostly on camera. After doing shows here at Artisan, musical theatre has become his favorite part of it all. His favorite shows he’s participated in include BIG FISH, BYE BYE BIRDIE on Main Stage, and MADELINE’S CHRISTMAS and ALADDIN JR. on Children’s Theater.



Sami Dugdale (Joule) is a senior in high school. She loves all aspects of theater from being on stage to do the tech work in the background. Recently she was in L.D. Bell’s production of CHARLOTTE’S WEB and did tech for LUCIA MAD. In addition to being in STARLIGHT she is the stage manager for Artisan’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Jr. She thanks her mom for love and support.

Chase ElwellSat-3/Sat-7:30


Chase Elwell (Greaseball) is so excited to be playing the part of Greaseball in STARLIGHT EXPRESS! Chase has been in several shows at Artisan, with the roles of Mad Hatter in ALICE IN WONDERLAND JR and Conrad Birdie in BYE BYE BIRDIE. Chase would like to thank his mother, Carole, and his gorgeous girlfriend, Cameron, for always supporting him.

Dawson GrahamTue/Thu/Sat-7:30


Dawson Graham (Greaseball/HipHopper 1/Turnov-Dance Captain) is thrilled to roll into STARLIGHT EXPRESS, one of his favorite productions. Dawson was last a part of Artisan’s GUYS AND DOLLS, ALL SHOOK UP, RAPUNZEL, and CINDERELLA, JR. He's most excited to hop on the rails under his amazing team of directors and is forever thankful to his friends and family for helping him to see the light at the end of the tunnel.



Jon Hampton (Control/Wrench) is honored to have been cast in this exciting show. His past mainstage performances include Randolph MacAffee in BYE BYE BIRDIE, Young Cosmo in SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, and Ensemble in TOM SAWYER. His favorite is still Young Tarzan in TARZAN THE MUSICAL. He is excited to be performing, once again, alongside his big brother, and they are both happy to have discovered a new passion; roller skating. When not skating, he enjoys singing, playing with his dog, and excels at annoying his older brother. He gives thanks to God for his talents and abilities, and would like to thank Ms. Dee Ann and Ms. Gina for casting and directing him, and Ms. Robyn Young, his skating instructor, for her excellent coaching and encouragement.



Josh Hampton (Caboose) is on a roll! Having recently performed in his favorite musical and role to date, BIG FISH as Young Will/Eddie, he is overjoyed to be utilizing his new skill and passion; roller skating. He has also been seen on Artisan's Main Stage as Young Don in SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN and Sid Sawyer in TOM SAWYER. He is happy to have his best friend and younger brother performing with him. Offstage, he loves anything outdoors, freerunning, and inventing new ways to annoy his older brothers. Since discovering his love of skating in June, his skates have been on his feet more often than shoes. He would like to thank God, from whom all blessings flow; Ms. Gina and Ms. Dee Ann for giving him the opportunity and direction to perform; and Ms. Robyn Young, his skating instructor, for coaching him so well in so short a time and fueling his passion.

Elizabeth HolleyTue/Thu/Sat-7:30


Elizabeth Holley (Volta/Ruthrgold) is very excited to be playing the part of Volta in STARLIGHT EXPRESS. This is her first show on the main stage of Artisan Center Theater. She would like to thank her family, and Shelby King, Sami Dugdale, and Dawson Graham, for all their support.

Alina JenningsMon/Fri/Sat-3


Alina Jennings (Buffy) is so thrilled to be in STARLIGHT EXPRESS. Her favorite roles include Cowardly Lion in THE WIZARD OF OZ, and Miss Hannigan in ANNIE. Alina would like to thank her amazing mother for always supporting her, and her beautiful best friend, Cameron, for always being a part of her life.

Cameron KimmonsTue/Thu/Sat-7:30


Cameron Kimmons (Purse/Mother) is extremely excited to be a part of the cast of STARLIGHT EXPRESS. Her favorite roles she has had the opportunity to take on are Dorothy in THE WIZARD OF OZ, Helen in A MIDSUMMER’S MAGICAL MYSTERY MUSICAL, and Lily in ANNIE. She would like to thank Chase Elwell and Alina Jennings for always sticking by her side.

Shelby KingTue/Thu/Sat-7:30


Shelby King (Duvay/Hip Hopper 3/P.O.W) has performed in several productions in the Children's Theater. Her favorite roles include Bagheera in THE JUNGLE BOOK JR, Flora in SLEEPING BEAUTY KIDS, and Scuttle in THE LITTLE MERMAID JR. Shelby would like to thank her parents for being so supportive, Natalie Burkhart for providing her this opportunity, as well as Elizabeth Holley, Dawson Graham, and Sami Dugdale, for being incredibly supportive in everything she does.

Travis KingMon/Fri/Sat-3


Travis King (Dustin/Hip Hopper 1/Turnov) has never acted in a Main Stage show and is just happy to have this opportunity.

Heather KrebelMon/Fri/Sat-3


Heather Krebel (Volta/Ruthrgold) is the third child in a family of four. She lives in Keller, Texas and goes to Faustina Academy in Irving. She has been in several productions; Anne in THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, Helena in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, and Mrs. Boyle in MOUSETRAP. She loves singing, drawing, dancing, and of course, acting.

Lindsey McCallumMon/Fri/Sat-3


Lindsey McCallum (Hip Hopper 3/P.O.W) is ecstatic to be cast in STARLIGHT EXPRESS! You may have seen her in other shows as Ursula in THE LITTLE MERMAID, Friar Laurence in ROMEO AND JULIET, Aphrodite in XANADU, and many more! She would like to thank her parents for all the hours they put into driving her, and helping with the show anyway they can. She'd also like to thank Gina Gwozdz for giving her this amazing opportunity!

Mikayla MedfordMon/Fri/Sat-3


Mikayla Medford (Dinah/Buffy) is excited to be making her Main Stage debut! She spent the past 3 years in the Children’s Theater program. Her favorite roles have been The Wicked Witch in THE WIZARD OF OZ, The Gypsy Woman in RAPUNZEL, RAPUNZEL…, and Charlotte in CHARLOTTES WEB. Mikayla would like to thank all her directors and instructors in the Children’s program for their guidance through the years! Mikayla would also like to thank her theater friends and her parents for their love and support in doing what she loves the most...theatre!

Sophie MingsMon/Fri/Sat-3


Sophie Mings (Pearl) is thrilled to be in her second Main Stage production, STARLIGHT EXPRESS! A few of her favorite roles performed at Artisan Children's Theater are Princess Jasmine in ALADDIN JR, Ariel in THE LITTLE MERMAID JR, and Miss Hannigan in ANNIE JR. Sophie would like to thank Beyonce, because why not?

Sheridan MonroeTue/Fri/Sat-7:30


Sheridan Monroe (Poppa) is ecstatic to be making his debut at the Artisan Theater. He has been performing since he was 3 years old, singing in the church choir with his mother, Sheran Keyton. He has blossomed into his own person now. He has worked with other theater companies in the DFW area, such as Casa Manana, Hip Pocket, DVA Productions, Contemporary Theater of Dallas and has just finished portraying the role of Mayor Pickett in Six Flags' MISS RUBY’S WILD WEST CABARET. Other roles include King in TEMPEST, Flotsam in THE LITTLE MERMAID, Earthworm in JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH, Chad Danforth in HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, Marshmallow the Snow Monster in UNFROZEN, Scarecrow in THE WIZ, and Judah in JOSEPH...DREAMCOAT. He would like to thank his family and friends and those around him who have supported him and gave him the confidence to get onstage and be a star.

Parker NankervisTue/Thu/Sat-7:30


Parker Nankervis (Dustin) is excited to be in his first Main Stage show! He began musical theater when he was eight years old at a church in Keller. He was cast in his first show, CINDERELLA, at Artisan Children's Theater last year and has been in many shows since. His favorite was ALICE IN WONDERLAND JR., where he was cast as Tweedle Dum. This past year, when he wasn't at the theater, he was involved with his school's Honor Choir, Show Choir, and Keller ISD's District Honor Choir. He would like to thank his family for their love and support, and Deborah Castlemain, for the many hours spent helping him grow as a performer.

Duncan ParkesSINGLE-CAST


Duncan Parkes (Flat Top) is very excited to be in STARLIGHT EXPRESS! Duncan has been in several Artisan Children’s Stage and Main Stage productions over the last few years. His favorites include BIG FISH, PINKIE AND BLUE, and YOU CAN’T STOP THE BEAT. Duncan would like to thank God, his parents, his directors, and the many teachers who have helped him along the way.



Mary Ridenour (Pearl/Purse/Mother) is very excited to be performing in an Andrew Lloyd Webber show! You may recognize her from Artisan, Casa Manana, Firehouse, and Carnegie shows. Her favorite roles include Martha in THE SECRET GARDEN, The Witch in BIG FISH, Denise in SANDERS FAMILY CHRISTMAS, The Witch in INTO THE WOODS, Rapunzel in INTO THE WOODS, Little Red in INTO THE WOODS, Annie in ANNIE, Rona in 25th ANNUAL SPELLING BEE, and The Sky Queen in A MIDSUMMER’S MAGICAL MYSTERY MUSICAL. Mary would like to thank her teachers, Sonny Rios, Joe Sturgeon, and Cathryn Sullivan.

Samantha RiggsTue/Thu/Sat-7:30


Sam Riggs (Duvay) is thrilled to be performing in her second show at the Artisan! She has been dancing for 8 years, her favorite styles being ballet and pointe. She has also been playing the trumpet for 5 years and plans on playing and dancing through college.

Carroll SavageAug 26, 27, 29 & 30


Carroll Savage (Swing/Understudy) is excited to return to the mainstage after his run as the Childcatcher in CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG. Carroll started performing in Artie’s Playhouse many years ago and has literally grown up on the Artisan stage. Theater is his passion and as such one of his favorite shows was Shrek in SHREK THE MUSICAL. He thanks his family and friends for their support in his endeavors.

Madie StelzerTue/Thu/Sat-7:30


Madie Stelzer (Dinah) is a high school student that has been singing and acting her whole life. STARLIGHT EXPRESS is her sixth show here at Artisan and she couldn't be more appreciative for the fun, family-friendly environment where she can practice her talents. She would like to thank her family and friends for supporting her in all she does, her mother for driving her to and from rehearsal, and the wonderful directors that cast her in such an awesome show.

Mason ValesMon/Fri/Sat-3


Mason Vales (Rusty) is thrilled to be performing in his first Main Stage production. He has previously enjoyed his roles in PINKIE AND BLUE, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, CHARLOTTE’S WEB, CAT IN THE HAT, and THE LITTLE MERMAID. He would like to thank his mentors Joe Sturgeon and Jennifer Leyva, as well as his fellow ACT friends for their friendships and support. A special thank you to ACT as a whole for giving him these opportunities, and allowing him to have the time of his life! His mom would traditionally say “Break a Leg” but for this production she would like to say literally “Please don’t break a leg, or anything else for that matter!”



Joshua Wallace (Hip Hopper 2/Nintendo) is seventeen years old, and this is his seventh show here at the Artisan, for a grand total of 11 shows he has been a part of. Some of his favorite shows that he has done are, THE SECRET GARDEN, PETER PAN, and FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. Josh is very excited to be a part of the fun, crazy, and exciting show, and he hopes the audience enjoys the show just as much as he has had been putting it together. He would like to thank his family and friends for their love and support.

Gina GwozdzGina Gwozdz (Co-Director/Choreographer) was born and raised in Fort Worth, TX. She began her training at Frances Lea Dance Center and has studied dance at St. Mary’s College of Notre Dame, Broadway Dance Center in New York, Power House of Dance, and Ballet Austin. She has performed with Cirque Dreams at Six Flags, Casa Manana at the Bass Hall, The Column Awards of DFW, and numerous musicals at The Artisan Center Theater. Her favorite roles include Anita in WEST SIDE STORY and Judy in WHITE CHRISTMAS. She is a new mom, and currently works as Business Manager and Choreographer for Artisan Center Theater.
DeeAnn BlairDeeAnn Blair (Co-Director) is a founding director of Artisan. She has produced over 200 plays since moving to Fort Worth in the ‘90’s. When she wasn’t producing and managing a theater, she loved performing in such plays as Elaine Harper in ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, Julia Farnsworth in HEAVEN CAN WAIT, Fairy May in THE CURIOUS SAVAGE, Maria in THE SOUND OF MUSIC, Narrator in JOSEPH AND THE…., and many others. At Artisan she directed THE ARK, SCROOGE, THE FORGOTTEN CAROLS, and MUSIC MAN. Enjoy the show!
Cassondra PlybonCassondra Plybon (Stage Manager) is a goddess of the backstage, bound in human form, who has graced us with her service yet again. Having touched at least over thirty shows, she comes back to reprise her role as The Manager Of The Stage, after a brief hiatus from this role since her last show, FOREVER PLAID. Cassondra is excited for the success of this show and knows how hard the cast and her crew have worked on it, and she hopes you all really enjoy the show.
Richard GwozdzRichard Gwozdz (Music Director) Is excited in working with daughter, Gina, at the Artisan Center Theater. While with the Texas Boy’s Choir, Richard was on the Ed Sullivan Show with Tony Bennett and The Perry Como Show with Jimmy Durante. He has received Grammy Awards for the Gabrielli Recordings in Venice Italy, and recorded with Igor Stravinsky while conducting in LA. Richard performed at the breakfast for President Kennedy the day of November 22, 1963. He has toured the United States and Europe. It is was a pleasure working with this cast and production team.
Ryan Mattieu Smith (Costume Design) works all over the country doing costume design for theater and special photo projects. He has also added directing to his resume of talents. Since his hometown is Dallas he spends most of his time in the DFW area.
Wendy Searcy-WoodeWendy Searcy-Woode (Scenic and Set Designer) is the acting Scenic Design/Build Director here at the Artisan Center Theater. Wendy has designed and built extravagant sets for Artisan for CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, BYE BYE BIRDIE, BIG FISH, FOREVER PLAID, ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, and more. With 25 years of theatre experience on and off the stage, she brings her passion and is completely grateful to be doing what she loves most. She would like to thank her family for their continued love and support.
Wes Taylor (Light/Special Effects Design) is a graduate of TCU and works at FWAFA as Tech Director and teacher.