THE MUSICAL COMEDY MURDERS OF 1940 BIOS

Lee Ann AusecLee Ann Ausec (Elsa Von Grossenknueten) is honored and excited to be back at Artisan for her second show. Previously, she was Mrs. Spencer in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. Other recent roles, at other theaters include Dr. Pearce in MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET and Jane in COCKTAILS WITH MIMI. She taught a youth theater camp this past summer. She loves the arts and enjoys volunteering, painting, and is active in her church choir, with whom she traveled to New York to sing in Carnegie Hall this past May. She is thrilled to be reunited with some previous cast members and to make new acquaintances in working with this creative team. It has been a blessing, joy and great experience. Thank you to all those who attend live theater and help keep the arts alive and well.
Nancy BartkeNancy Bartke (Elsa Von Grossenknueten) is very grateful to the production team, cast, and crew of ACT’s production of THE MUSICAL COMEDY MURDERS OF 1940 to be able to play the role of Elsa. Nancy music directs homeschool musicals, cantors, and teaches voice in the DFW. She and her husband, Thomas, met performing dinner theater in Salzburg, Austria and now have seven wonderful children! Favorite roles include Flora/Alexandra/Victims in NO WAY TO TREAT A LADY, Sue in SNAPSHOTS: A MUSICAL SCRAPBOOKS, Lady Za Za in RAPUNZEL! RAPUNZEL! A VERY HAIRY FAIRY TALE, Lily Garland in ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, and Lalume in KISMET. Nancy plays tuba in The Coulson Family Jazz Band, based in Northern California. She is represented by Grit Talent: https://www.grittalentagency.com/nancy-bartke Ps. 43:4.
David CarrollDavid Carroll (Eddie McCuen) may not think of himself as an actor, but he's proud to finally be able to say he plays one on stage. He's done four shows previously; his favorite shows were SEE HOW THEY RUN (Lionel), ANNIE (FDR), and BEAU JEST (Joel). He would like to thank his wife for her support, and everyone else working on this show for the incredible experience!
Jessica ChickJessica Chick (Nikki Crandall) is excited to be in her 4th production at Artisan. She was previously Essie Carmichael in YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU, Vivian in STATE FAIR, and Sister Mary Leo in NUNSENSE. Her favorite roles include a Chorus Member of LES MISÉRABLES, Mrs. Astor in TITANIC THE MUSICAL, Wendy in THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, and Donna Vessey in the World Premiere of THE POTLUCK CLUB, and several seasons with The Dallas Opera and Six Flags Over Texas. Thanks to her always supportive husband and family!
Robert HamiltonRobert Hamilton (Roger Hopewell) is not very fond of pecan pie, but is proud to partake in his tenth show at Artisan. In addition to fatherhood, some of his favorite roles have been in ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, BUDDY, THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY, and IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. But alas, none of his performances have become dank memes. When not working at Clayton Youth Enrichment, Robert can be seen browsing the board game aisle at Walmart.
Jackie HoltJackie Holt (Marjorie Bavenstock) is thrilled to be involved with this fun farce and to have the opportunity to work with Sharon Benge and this great cast! She is the mother of 6, grandmother of 8, has a BS in Accounting and a BFA in Fine Arts Performance. She was last seen in THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, her 25th show at Artisan. "As a Founding Director for Artisan Center Theater, I thank you for your support. I hope this play will bring laughter into your life and start your 2020 with a light heart. Thank you Dale for letting me play."
Denise JasperDenise Jasper (Bernice Roth) while performing in several shows on the Artisan Main Stage,  as Penny Sycamore in YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU, Aunt Eller in OKLAHOMA, Ensemble in SISTER ACT, ANNIE, MY FAIR LADY and HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, Denise is thrilled to be in her first Second Stage Production sharing the boards with great theatre family and new friends. Thanks to family and friends for their luv, support and encouragement. “Cheers to a great show, and Otis, I hope I do you proud.”
Dan JohnstonDan Johnston (Sgt. Michael Kelly) is pleased to be working on another Second Stage production. Dan has performed in multiple productions including BUDDY, THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY, THE CIVIL WAR, BIG RIVER, SOUTH PACIFIC, SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS, IN DEFENSE OF BETTER DAYS, INHERIT THE WIND, AND THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Dan serves on the Artisan board and is a Column Award winner. He thanks his wife, Delta, for her support and Sharon for her confidence in him.
Geoff Leonard-RobinsonGeoff Leonard-Robinson (Ken De La Maize) has been a theatre performer and director for over 30 years. He has appeared in two World and one U.S. premiere productions. He was last seen on Artisan’s stage as Abe Goldman in the 2018 production of BEAU JEST. Geoff is a Training Developer for American Airlines and lives in Fort Worth with his husband of nineteen years, Steven, and their six cats: Caitlin, Alexis, Jackie Ann, Tabitha, Sue Ellen, and Taylor.
Brendon RamseyBrendon Ramsey (Patrick O'Reilly) is thrilled to be returning to Artisan Center Theater for his 13th production—his first on Second Stage. You may have seen him in passed productions as Jud Fry in OKLAHOMA!, Warren Sheffield in MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, Oscar Delancey/Morris Delancey/Spot Conlon/Mayor in DISNEY’S NEWSIES, or Wilbur Henderson in YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU. He’d like to thank his family for their unending support in his endeavors in theater.
Julia WelchJulia Welch (Helsa Wenzel) is so excited to be doing her sixth production and first ever non-musical role on the Second Stage at Artisan Center Theater! Her most recent show was THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME as a Congregant/Statue! Her past roles include Indian/Ensemble in ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, Kate/Ensemble in OKLAHOMA, Andrina/Princess in THE LITTLE MERMAID, and Lily in ANNIE! She would like to thank her director, Sharon Benge, for giving her this amazing opportunity and a huge thank you to her family and friends for their love and support!
Sharon BengeSharon Benge (Director) is a native of Dallas who has spent her life deep in the arts of Texas. She is a professor emeritus at Texas Woman’s University, having served 14 years as director of their theatre program. She has been a voice in DFW radio, and recently concluded her 24th year as co-host of Art Matters on WRR Radio (101.1 FM) in Dallas. Sharon is the founding director of Fort Worth’s Shakespeare in the Park, and has served in artistic and administrative capacities at Casa Mañana, Arts Council of Fort Worth, Dallas Theater Center, and Fort Worth’s Jubilee Theatre. She has directed and/or produced well over 150 shows at 20 theaters throughout Texas, and has presented productions in Czech Republic, Ireland, Scotland, and the Greenwich Street Theater in New York. For 10 years, Sharon has produced for various public events, including TCU’s Frog Alley and Fort Worth’s bi-annual Retro-Fest. She has been honored by The Live Theatre League of Tarrant County with both their Lifetime Achievement and Educator of the Year citations, and has received similar accolades from the City of Fort Worth, Arts and Business Connection, Fort Worth Business Press, and the Altrusa Club. In 2014, she was presented the Lifetime Achievement in the Arts by the Arts Council of Fort Worth.
Lauren MyersLauren Myers (Stage Manager)