She has held nearly every job imaginable and a few that are unimaginable. She welcomes new experiences, especially if they are interesting and will soon be looking for her next adventure.
Shirley enjoys spending time with her 3 dogs, 5 cats, 4 chickens and 16 nieces and nephews. She finds the chickens oddly calming.
When not involved in theater she enjoys genealogy, bike riding, gardening and preparing for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.Shirley is excited to be involved with this production of Murder on the Nile and has greatly enjoyed making new acquaintances as well as rejoining old friends during the rehearsal process.
Enjoy the show.
Phil Sakal (Simon Mostyn) – Phil Sakal was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. What brought him to Zanesville, you might ask? Well, you can see him each weekday morning on Sunrise or each weekday afternoon during Live at Noon on WHIZ-TV.
Phil may be new to Zanesville Community Theatre, but he is no stranger to the stage. He was very involved in his high school’s drama club. While in high school he performed in Les Miserables, Ragtime, Miracle on 34th Street, and played guitar in Godspell. Phil was also involved back stage and helped build sets for It’s a Wonderful Life, M*A*S*H, and Little Shop of Horrors. He was the Audio Manager for M*A*S*H.
Phil is very excited to be performing and returning to the stage in Murder on the Nile. He has enjoyed all of the practices, and of course all of the shenanigans with his fellow cast members. Thank you for supporting the local arts and enjoy the show! It promises to be a “killer” show!
Eric Blake (Canon Pennefather) – Eric is currently employed as the Director of Operations for Shrivers Oxygen and Home Medical. He has had a love of the theatre for many years and he enjoys directing as well as being on stage. It was instilled in him at an early age the importance of working behind the scenes as well as acting. Eric currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors at Zanesville Community Theatre. Eric’s directing credits include: Proof, Spring Awakening, August, Osage County, Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, RENT, Doubt, J.B., Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and The Lion In Winter. On stage, Eric has recently appeared in Into the Woods, The Hollow, The Diary of Anne Frank, Sweeney Todd, Death of A Salesman and The Crucible; just to name a few. Eric is also looking forward to directing the musical Chicago this Spring at Zanesville Community Theatre.
Eric wishes to take this opportunity to thank his wife Janice for her 33 years of love and support and for helping him to make the time to be involved with theatre and the many other community activities they are involved with.
Eric hopes that you enjoy the show and thanks you for supporting Zanesville Community Theatre as they continue to strive for excellence against a backdrop of tradition.
Melanie Von Gunten (Director) – Melanie and her long suffering husband Dan are part of the “old guard” at Zanesville Community Theatre, having been involved since 1977. In fact, daughter Jillian grew up in the Theatre and thought for a long time that the building was the west wing of her home. Now Jillian has been serving as the president of ZCT. Talk about feeling old! Melanie has served in nearly every capacity backstage for productions, except choreography (that’s why Jillian took dancing) and lighting (again, something to do with coordination). Occasionally, she may be found on stage. Most often, she can be found at the hair station backstage doing “hair magic”.
This is Melanie’s ninth journey into directing at ZCT, having previously directed Steel Magnolias, The Mousetrap, Ten Little Indians, Blithe Spirit, Ladies of the Sacred South, Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?, A Murder is Announced, and The Hollow. The Director of Religious Education at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, theatre provides relaxation and a creative outlet for Melanie, and she is most grateful for the continued support of the patrons and community members that support Zanesville Community Theatre and allow her the privilege of feeding her fantasies and theirs.
I am delighted to be in the Director’s Chair once again, with Murder on the Nile being my ninth journey into directing at ZCT, having previously directed Steel Magnolias, The Mousetrap, Ten Little Indians, Blithe Spirit, Ladies of the Sacred South, Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?, A Murder is Announced, and The Hollow. I am very pleased that you all have joined us for this voyage on the Nile. I must express my deepest gratitude and affection to the tireless cast and crew of this production for their dedicated efforts to bring Dame Agatha Christie’s work to life during this one hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary year of her birth. They have all brought their talents and abilities forth to provide you with the entertainment that only live theatre affords. I am extremely grateful to our patrons of Zanesville Community Theatre, the Muskingum County Library System, and all of the community members that support the arts and our own Theatre. It allows me the great privilege of feeding my fantasies and yours. The Lotus will be boarding soon. We hope for fair weather and smooth sailing, as we travel the waters of the Nile. Unfortunately, I have been warned that there may be storm clouds on the horizon. Enjoy the journey!
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Kelly Miller head shot © 2012 Kelly Miller, used with permission