The Cast of In The Heights

INTHEHEIGHTS_TitleWe were thrilled to see such a huge number of enormously talented teens at auditions for In The Heights!
Sincere thanks to everyone who auditioned.   If you were cast, we are looking forward to working with you starting April 30.
Please pick up your script from Liz Tracey as soon as possible.
If you haven’t heard from Liz, we may have an error in your email address. 
If that’s the case, please email Liz immediately at to arrange a pick-up time.
If you weren’t cast in this show, don’t be discouraged.  Keep working on your skills and keep auditioning!

The cast is as follows:

USNAVI – Sean Harken
NINA – Katey Halverson
KEVIN – Fred Ogilvie
CAMILA – Genevieve Wisdom
BENNY – Kyle Irish-Gorman
VANESSA – Kate Vander Leest
SONNY – Anna Petersen
DANIELA – Chandler Hamm
CARLA – Emma Furlong
GRAFFITI PETE – Tobey Epstein
PIRAGUA GUY – Nysio Poulakis
Bella Epstein
Claire Green
Liann Heisterkamp
Shoshie Hemley
Emily Hill
Mikayla Johnston
Thomazin Jury
Jordan Lehigh
Josh Millsap
Payton Proud*
Lauren Rude
Anastasia Scholze
Jessie Shaw*
Anna Szot*
Katherine Yacopucci

*denotes principal dancers

In The Heights will run June 17-19 at the Coralville Center for The Performing Arts.  Tickets are on sale now at the Box Office  (319) 248-9370, or online.



Come to our Musical Theater Audition Workshop, hosted by Chris Okiishi.

Saturday, April 2, 3:00-5:00pm at the Community of Christ Church in Coralville.

This workshop is free and open to all current Junior and Senior High students at any Iowa school.

Please email Chris directly at to register.  Include your name, age and contact information (email, cell phone, parent name and phone number) in your email.

Instruction will include:

–basics of auditioning: what to expect on an audition day at City Circle and beyond.

–principles of song choice: how to choose a cutting that works for you.

–performance tips: being your best in the room and working with accompanists, audition monitors, directors, and other evaluators to show your range of talent.

–individual instruction: as a group, we will listen to several members of the class perform their audition songs. In a supportive way, we will provide feedback and specific ways to improve.

If you wish to perform your song at the workshop, please bring two copies of your sheet music. We will make every effort to hear as many audition songs as possible, but there may not be time to hear from all students.

Students are NOT required to bring an audition song to participate in the class.

Audition for In the Heights

This year’s Teen Musical will be the Tony-winning Best Musical In The Heights, with INTHEHEIGHTS_Titlemusic and lyrics by Lin-Manual Miranda and book by Quiara Alegria Hudes.

This show takes place in the predominantly Latino New York neighborhood of Washington Heights. The show’s composer encourages students of all identities and ethnic backgrounds to perform in this musical. It’s a chance for all of us to learn more about our world, our friends, and ourselves.  We welcome teen performers of all identities and ethnic backgrounds to audition for all roles.

Auditions are open to all Iowa teens who are currently in 7th-12th grades, and will take place on Saturday, April 9th and Sunday, April 10th from 2:00-6:00pm at Nolte Academy, 1619 2nd Street, Coralville.  Callbacks will be on Monday, April 11, 8:30-10:00pm.

Please come prepared with 32 bars of a song that showcases your talent and personality.  We don’t want you to stretch at auditions – we want to see who you are!  Bring sheet music in the correct key – an accompanist will be provided.

Your audition will consist of a five-minute individual audition, and a group dance audition.  If your audition appointment is between 2:00 and 3:30, you’ll be expected to stay [or return] for the 3:30 dance call, which will be done by 4:00.  If you are scheduled after 4:00, you’ll be expected at the 5:30 dance call, which will finish by 6:00.

Fill out an Audition Form to secure an audition appointment.  Walk-ins are always welcome, but those with appointments will take priority.  Once you fill out an Audition Form, our producer will contact you with your appointment time.  If you submit a form, and don’t hear back from us within a couple of days, please email

REHEARSAL SCHEDULE  – note that this schedule is a major departure from schedules past.  It is imperative that you come to auditions with a COMPLETE list of conflicts, so take the time to peruse the schedule and write down every conflict you have (unless it’s something you’d be willing to give up to attend rehearsal instead).  If you are cast, you may not miss rehearsals for conflicts that you didn’t list beforehand.

Rehearsals for In The Heights will begin April 30, and run Saturdays from 4:00-10:00pm and Sundays 1:00-9:00pm for four weekends (Apr 30/May 1, May 7/8, May 14/15, May 21/22).  We are tentatively planning to take Memorial Day weekend (May 28-30) off.  On Tuesday, May 31, weekday rehearsals begin, and will run from 9:00am-4:00pm through June 10.  On June 11, Tech Week begins.  Tech rehearsals will run 6:00-11:00pm all week (Jun 11-16), with daytime rehearsals added as needed.  The show runs June 17-19.  Additionally, the cast will perform at Iowa City ArtsFest during the weekend of June 3-4, exact date and time TBA.

When considering conflicts, please check your calendars for band and choir concerts, awards ceremonies, proms, exams, graduation/grad parties, family commitments, doctor/dentist appointments, and anything else that might conflict with the rehearsal schedule.

Come to our fun, FREE Musical Theater Audition Workshop on Saturday, April 2.
All the details are here.

An Exciting Change to our Current Season

We at City Circle are thrilled to announce that this year’s Teen Musical is going to be the Tony-winning Best Musical In The Heights! The show was strongly influenced by creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s own experieINTHEHEIGHTS_Titlence growing up in an immigrant family in New York City.  It tells several stories of people living in the predominantly Latino community of Washington Heights, a section of Manhattan, as they deal with economic stress, cultural changes, first generation college education, and gentrification.  It has been performed all over the world and in hundreds of high schools across the nation.  Its success paved the way for Miranda to write and produce the current Broadway sensation Hamilton with essentially the same team that created In the Heights.

Miranda recently spoke out about casting in regard to high school actors. “When I see a school production with not a lot of Latino students doing it, I know they’re learning things about Latino culture that go beyond what they’re fed in the media every day. They HAVE to learn those things to play their parts correctly. And when I see a school with a huge Latino population do Heights, I feel a surge of pride that the students get to perform something that may have a sliver of resonance in their daily lives.”

“And I’ve said this a million times, but it bears repeating: high school’s the ONE CHANCE YOU GET, as an actor, to play any role you want, before the world tells you what ‘type’ you are. The audience is going to suspend disbelief: they’re there to see their kids, whom they already love, in a play. Honor that sacred time as educators, and use it change their lives. You’ll be glad you did.”

We wish to do just that: honor this time in our students’ lives to step into the experiences and roles of people of different backgrounds and cultures.  At the same time, we know that we also serve an area with a vibrant and involved Latino community and want to expand our efforts to involve local students of all backgrounds in our program.

We had originally planned to produce the classic Kiss Me, Kate this summer but Miranda’s comments have inspired us to bring the sights, sounds and stories of Washington Heights to Coralville immediately. In The Heights will be directed by Ian Zahren. Tickets are on sale now for the performances, June 17, 18 and 19.

Auditions for In The Heights will take place April 9 and 10 and callbacks will take place on April 11. For more information about auditions, go to the Auditions page. We will be hosting an Auditions Workshop on April 2, for those who are auditioning for the first time, or who would like to get feedback and guidance before they audition. The details are here.

Announcing Our 2016-2017 Season

We Can do It PosterWe Can Do It: A Season of Powerful Women is the theme of City Circle Acting Company’s 2016-17 season. The season includes August: Osage County, Fiddler on the Roof, Next to Normal, Annie Get Your Gun, and The Little Mermaid. City Circle Acting Company is Coralville’s community theatre and the resident theatre company of the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts. The Center is located at 1301 5th Street in Coralville. Season subscription packages will be available beginning July 1 through the CCPA box office at 319.248.9370 or at; single tickets will go on sale at a later date.

August: Osage County. October 21-23, 2016. Tracy Letts’ award-winning dark comedy is the tale of the ultimate dysfunctional family: Dad is missing, Mom is addicted to pills, and at least two of their three daughters are harboring secrets as everyone gathers in the Oklahoma house they grew up in. Just when you think things can’t get any stranger, they do. Originally developed and produced at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, this play won the Tony for Best Play, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Fiddler on The Roof. December 9-11, 16-18, 2016. This classic musical by Jerry Bock (music), Sheldon Harnick (lyrics) and Joseph Stein (book) tells the story of Tevye, a Jewish dairyman in Imperial Russia at the beginning of the 20th century, who struggles to hold on to his religious and cultural traditions despite pressure to change. Perhaps the most powerful pull is that of his independent-minded daughters, who wish to choose their husbands, instead of abiding by the tradition of the matchmaker. Funny, sweet, beautiful and heartbreaking, this is a show for everyone!

Next to Normal. February 10-12, 2017. This groundbreaking rock musical by Tom Kitt (music) and Brian Yorkey (book, lyrics), explores the effect that mental illness and its treatment can have on a family. As a suburban mother struggles with bipolar disorder, her family struggles, too. The show, which won three Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, also touches on issues of grief, drug abuse, suicide and ethics in modern psychiatry

Annie Get Your Gun. April 28-30, May 5-7, 2017. This classic musical tells the fictionalized story of sharp-shooter Annie Oakley, and her days as a performer in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. As she falls for Frank Butler, formerly the star shooter of the troupe, elements of the battle of the sexes come into play. The show, by Irving Berlin (music, lyrics) and Dorothy and Herbert Fields (book) is bursting with familiar tunes.This is a bright, funny musical about love and showbiz, and whether the two can coexist.

The Little Mermaid. June 16-18, 2017. City Circle’s annual teen musical is Disney’s story of an adventurous undersea princess who longs to break free of her environment and explore new worlds. The show is based on the Disney film of the same name, which was based on Hans Christian Anderson’s classic tale. Alan Menken wrote the music, the lyrics are by Glenn Slater and Howard Ashman, and the book is by Doug Wright.

The Cast of 1776

Our election-year musical, 1776 is underway, with Elizabeth Tracey at the helm.  We had a great turnout at auditions last weekend, and we’re excited to announce the cast.  Warm thanks to all who came out to audition!

1776 is cast as follows:

John Hancock – Kevin Moore

New Hampshire
Dr. Josiah Bartlett – Tom Schulein

John Adams – Adam Nardini

Rhode Island
Stephen Hopkins – Robert Steger

Roger Sherman – Emil Rinderspacher

New York
Lewis Morris – David Mosher
Robert Livingston – Robert Morris

New Jersey
Rev. John Witherspoon – Nick Rudzianski

Benjamin Franklin – Gary Benser
John Dickinson – Joshua Fryvecind
James Wilson –  Darin Gylten

Caesar Rodney -Roger Phelps
Col. Thomas McKean – Greg Kilberger
George Read – John Crosheck

Samuel Chase – Chris Carpenter

Richard Henry Lee – Nick Oswald
Thomas Jefferson – Ian Goodrum

North Carolina
Joseph Hewes – Bryan Lawler

South Carolina
Edward Rutledge -Dustin Davaldo

Georgia –
Dr. Lyman Hall -Jeff Emrich

Charles Thomson – Jo Anderson

Andrew McNair -Brett Borden

Abigail Adams – Mary Denmead
Martha Jefferson – Lindsay Rausch

A Leather Apron – Sean Harken
A Courier – Brandon Burkhardt

The show runs two weekends: April 29 – May 8. Tickets are available online.1776

Meet The Actors of Sweeney Todd

Davaldo_Dustin Gimenez_Mia FryvecindSweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in Concert opens Friday! Before you see them on stage, we thought you’d like to meet the actors behind two of Stephen Sondheim’s most memorable characters: Dustin Davaldo, who plays the title role, and Mia Fryvecind Gimenez, who plays Mrs. Lovett, Todd’s partner in crime.

We can confidently say that you’re going to be impressed by their vocals. Both studied opera at the University of Iowa, more than a decade apart. Gimenez went on to perform with Chicago Light Opera before moving to San Francisco, where she thrived in the musical theatre scene for 15 years before returning to Iowa City.  Davaldo, although extremely appreciative of all he learned, claims he never really liked opera, and his first love has always been musical theatre. Sweeney Todd, he thinks, is the perfect combination of the two – an operatic musical! He describes the role of Sweeney as “the role of a lifetime,” and feels privileged to have the opportunity to play him, especially in this production, with a full orchestra and a cast that is overflowing with extraordinary talent.

Gimenez, having played the Beggar Woman in a California production of Sweeney, says she’d never considered being cast as Mrs. Lovett. “The woman who played Lovett when I played the Beggar Woman was so amazing, I just couldn’t see myself doing it.  But the day of auditions, it occurred to me to try,” her infectious laugh rings out, “Why not, right?”

Both actors agree that this version of the show is unlike any Sweeney you’ve seen before. It is often played with a scaled-down chorus, and the orchestrations are adapted for a small combo. This concert version will be done with a full orchestra on stage, and a cast of nearly forty performers. The spectacle will be the music, the lyrics, the beautiful orchestrations. It’s going to sound incredible, but it will also put the focus on the story, without the distraction of complicated sets or special effects.  Music Director Carl Rowles has assembled a top-notch orchestra to support the amazing cast. “Carl is relentlessly devoted to perfecting Sondheim’s music,” said Davaldo. “I’m a musician first, so to perform this piece with the full orchestra is thrilling.”

Having trained in opera, it’s not the singing that these two find most challenging, despite the notoriously difficult Sondheim score (ask someone in musical theatre Stephen Sondheim’s middle name!). Gimenez finds the patter songs and the amount of dialogue the biggest challenge to playing Mrs. Lovett. That and “finding the demon inside me,” she jokes. Mrs. Lovett’s mix of flirtatious fun, absolute pragmatism and complete lack of any moral compass is tough to convey, but Gimenez makes it look easy.  Davaldo, too, finds the acting more difficult than the singing. He says he doesn’t have much experience doing plays, only musicals, so “I was always able to fall back on my voice.” He credits the show’s director, Mark Christopher Baer, with helping him to make Todd “more three-dimensional, less internal. I’ve had to learn how to feel the entire spectrum of Todd’s emotions, like a real person.”

When asked about his favorite moments in the show, Davaldo says he really enjoys “Epiphany,” which allows him to “channel all of my energy into one song, and then be utterly exhausted at the end of it.” He also cites great performances by others in the cast. He says he laughs out loud every time Michael Penick (Anthony) and Maya Bassuk (Johanna) rehearse “Kiss Me,” though he’s seen it countless times. Rob Kemp (Pirelli), Anna Anderson (Beggar Woman) and the other leads are “so amazing.” He also loves “all the partner work with Mia.” The whole experience for Davaldo, “is almost surreal. It’s like I still can’t believe I get to do this!”

Gimenez has many favorite moments, too. She loves performing “Not While I’m Around” with Hank Welter (Tobias). “It’s the one moment when Mrs. Lovett feels maternal,” she says, “and you wonder whether she’s choosing Todd over Toby, or if she really believes they can make a little family somehow.” She thinks working with Welter is particularly great, because he’s a good listener. “That’s a rare quality in such a young actor,” Gimenez points out. “When I’m working with him, it reminds me to get out of my head and just listen to what’s being said.” She also enjoys playing the parlor scene with Joshua Fryvecind (Beadle), her offstage husband. “There’s a cat and mouse element to that scene, and we’ve had a wonderful time playing with it at home, trying it every which way.” Gimenez’ 12-year-old son, Deuce, also makes an appearance as a boy criminal, so it’s truly a family affair.

Everyone involved in this production is excited to open this weekend. They’ve worked very hard to bring the dark masterpiece to life. The rest of the cast is listed here. Check out our Facebook page for a video peek at a recent rehearsal. Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in Concert runs one weekend only, Feb 12-14 at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts.  Bring your Valentine, but leave the kids at home: this show contains intense violent and sexual imagery. Tickets are on sale now at the Box Office, 1301 5th Street in Coralville, by phone at (319) 248-9370, or online.

We Need Your Help!

We are looking for some helping hands this Saturday.

There are 2 volunteer options:

1) Costume loft: Part of the costume loft is being converted into office space. We need to move some of the costumes into a different part of the costume loft. Construction begins on Monday, 1/25, so we have a have a fast-approaching deadline. We determined that Saturday, 1/23 would be a good day to do the work. With enough helpers, the lifting requirement shouldn’t be too bad.

We’re looking for volunteers 14 and older. We’ve listed 9 am – noon, but we’ll quit early if we’re finished.

Please contact Mary Jo Harken ( with questions.

The costume loft is on the 2nd floor of the CCPA. Take the elevator to the 2nd floor. Take a right off of the elevator. Go through the double doors. The costume loft is the door that will be straight in front of you.

2) Shop: Liz needs help getting the shop organized. She’ll need volunteers 16 and older. We listed 9 am – noon again, but we’ll quit early if we’re finished.

Please contact Liz Tracey ( with questions.

The shop is also referred to as the Bus Barn. It’s in the yellow building near the Coralville Recycling Center. It’s on 7th Street down the hill from the Canterbury Inn.

Sign up here.

Thanks so much!

Auditions for 1776

1776City Circle will produce the beloved historical musical, 1776, this Spring.
“Witness the birth of a nation as our forefathers struggle to craft the Declaration of Independence.”
And right in the middle of the presidential election season.
We welcome Director Pauline Tyer back to once again work her magic on 1776, as she did in 2002.

Auditions will take place on:
Saturday, February 20 from 2pm-6pm and
Sunday, February 21 from 2pm-6pm
at the Community of Christ Church in Coralville.
If callbacks are required, they will be on Monday, February 22 from 7pm-9pm in the same location.

Please prepare 16 bars of a song of your choice that shows off your voice and your ability to tell a story.
Bring sheet music and an accompanist will be provided.
You may also be asked to read from the script, no preparation necessary, sides will be provided.
The director is open to color-blind casting.

1776 scripts will be available for checkout at the Coralville Public Library beginning Friday, Feb 12. There are five copies available for a one-week checkout. The scripts will be available at the reference desk during all normal library hours. To check out a copy you will need a library card. Anyone can get a Coralville library card, you do not need to be a resident.

To secure an audition appointment, fill out and submit an Audition Form,  and our producer will email you with an audition time.
NOTE: If you’ve submitted an Audition Form, and you do NOT hear back within 24 hours, please email Liz Tracey at to let her know.  
Walk-ins are welcome at the auditions, but scheduled auditions will take priority.
It is rated PG.

Characters (please note that the ages are those of the character, not necessarily the actor):

John Adams, 41 – Delegate from MA.

Stephen Hopkins, 70 – Delegate from RI.

Roger Sherman, 55 – Delegate from CN.

Robert Livingston, 30 – Delegate from NY.

Benjamin Franklin, 60-70 – Delegate from PA.

John Dickinson, 44 – Delegate from PA.

Col. Thomas Mckean, 42 – Delegate from DE.

Richard Henry Lee, 45 – Delegate from VA.

Thomas Jefferson, 33 -Delegate from VA.

Edward Rutledge, 26 – Delegate from SC.

Abigail Adams, 32 – Wife of John Adams.

Martha Jefferson, 27 – Wife of Thomas Jefferson.

Courier, 15-20

John Hancock, 39, delegate, MA

Andrew McNair, older, Doorkeeper and Custodian of the Continental Congress.

Joseph Hewes, 46, delegate, NC.

James Wilson, 34, delegate , PA.

Lewis Morris, 50, delegate, NY.

Charles Thompson, 46, Secretary to the Continental Congress.

Caesar Rodney, 48, delegate, DE.

Dr. Lyman Hall, 52, delegate, GA.

Samuel Chase, 35, delegate, NJ.

Dr. Josiah Bartlett, 47, delegate, NH.

Rev. Jonathan Witherspoon, 43, delegate, NJ.

George Read, 43, delegate, DE.

Leather Apron/Painter, age flexible.

We hope to see you at auditions!

Introducing The Cast of Sweeney Todd

Auditions for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street In Concert took place last weekend.
Guest Director Mark Christopher Baer said, “These were exceptional auditions.  I was very impressed by the talent, professionalism, and warmth of the entire community.  My deepest gratitude to all those who auditioned for your courage and creativity.”

The cast

Principal Roles

Sweeney Todd – Dustin Davaldo
Mrs. Lovett – Mia Fryvecind Gimenez
Tobias – Hank Welter
Judge Turpin – Michael Benson
Beadle – Joshua Fryvecind
Anthony – Michael Penick
Johanna  – Maya Bassuk
Beggar Woman – Anna Anderson
Pirelli – Robert Kemp


Becca Anderson
Gary Benser
Riley Brannian
Aaron Brewer
Jen Brown
Kaia Burkum
Sam Cacciatore
Jacklyn Even
Gabby Finlayson
Mackenzie Foxen
Meredith Godar
Paula Grady
Hannah Green
Chandler Hamm
Louisa Hamra
Nicole Klostermann
Noelle McVey
Sydney Myers
Aeriel Nelson-White
Krista Neumann
Christopher Okiishi
Katie Rasmussen
Elizabeth Ross
Kristina Rutkowski
Josh Sazon
Francis Smith
Sage Spiker
Robin Stoker
Amy Sundermann
Carolina Wade

All solos and cameo roles are TBA.

Congratulations to everyone in the cast, and thanks to all who auditioned.
Tickets for Sweeney Todd are on sale now.