By Steve Martin and Edie Brickell
Directed by Michael Wainstein

Enjoy some good ol’ bluegrass, Americana music, and sweet, Southern sugar in this gentle-spirited musical that doesn’t shy away from being unapologetically sentimental and follows the spunky life of a woman living on the brink of love and hope in North Carolina.

In 1925, a carefree and barefoot wild teenage girl living in a beautiful small mountain town in North Carolina falls in love and has a child only to have her pregnancy hidden from the town and her baby taken at birth.  22 years later she has grown into a vibrant, successful magazine editor in Asheville, conquering a male-dominated profession… until a shocking encounter changes the course of her life, restores her hope and blesses her with the love she lost so long ago. Created by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Bright Star is based on their Grammy-award winning album Love Has Come For You and will leave audiences feeling hopeful, nostalgic and full of love.

Don’t miss a single moment on the stage! By purchasing a season subscription, you'll save up to $55 on a standard package, get the best seats in the house and have the flexibility to exchange your tickets within the same show for no fee. And the best part of it all is that your purchase helps fund theatre education!

Performance Schedule

  • Thursday, March 23, 2023, 7:30  p.m.
  • Thursday, March 23, 2023, 7:30  p.m.
  • Friday, March 24, 2023, 7:30  p.m.
  • Saturday, March 25, 2023, 7:30  p.m.
  • Sunday, March 26, 2023, 2:00  p.m.
  • Thursday, March 30, 2023, 7:30  p.m.
  • Friday, March 31, 2023, 7:30  p.m.
  • Saturday, April 1, 2023, 7:30  p.m.
  • Sunday, April 2, 2023, 2:00  p.m.
Back to the full schedule


Michael Wainstein

Production Stage Manager:
Magdalena Tronina*

Vocal Director:
Richard Crawley

Music Director:
Terry Thomas

Jackson Lee*

Lighting Designer:
Richard McWhorter*

Projection Designer:
Rob Siler

Sound Designer:
Lukas Royer*

Scenic Designer:
Syd Deines*

Costume Designer:
Valeria Cole*

*Theatre UCF student


BILLY CANE: Jameson Stobbe*
DADDY CANE: Zachary Racine*
MARGO: Jillian Cossetta*
DARYL: Seamus Lea Dougherty*
MAMA MURPHY: Paige Mason*
MAYOR DOBBS: Michael Ross*
LUCY, U/S ALICE MURPHY: Janiece Deveaux*
EDNA, ENSEMBLE: Maddy Rae Soriano*
ENSEMBLE: Ella Zarrilli*
ENSEMBLE, U/S MARGO: Samantha Lewis*
ENSEMBLE, U/S DARYL: Edgar Sanchez*
SWING: Alyssa Johnson*
SWING: Ally Duffy*

*Theatre UCF student

Headshots of the cast of Bright Star.


Assistant Stage Managers: Rami Amm*, Cameron Sparks*, Bridgett Rojas*
Assistant Directors: Pooja Singh*, Gabriella Headley*
Dramaturg/Fight Choreographer: Madison Mintzer*
Assistant to the Music Director: Billy Joel Martinez*
Assistant to the Vocal Director: Seamus Dougherty*
Asst. Voice/Dialect Coach: Catherine Patrizia*
Production Electrician: Sam Cutshall*
Assistant Production Electrician: Griffin Greene*
Props Manager: Matthew Conte*
Props Artisan: Sonya Smith-Tembe*
Assistant Technical Director: Adam Laws*
Paint Charge: Leslie MacMillian*
Assistant Paint Charge: Morgan Barkhurst*
Cutter/Drapers: Arden Jones*, Kacie Bailey*
First Hands: Katherine Polgar*, Karina Rodriguez-Toledo*
Assistant Projections Designer: Audrey Casteris*
Lighting Programmer: Ally Reichard*
Light Board Operator: Reyann Epps*
Followspot Operators: Caelus Leadley*, Van Hernandez*
Audio 1/Mixer: Kaitlyn Gamory*
QLab Operator: Kate Jeffcott*
Audio 2 Technicians: Alex Duffy*, Erica Fox*
Fly Rail Operators: Tyler Simons*, Faith Alfieri*
Deck Crew: Seth Thornton*, Fatih Alfieri*
Wardrobe Head: Hannah Schorr*
Wardrobe/Laundry: Nick Moffa*, Max Mitchell*, Taylor Marino*, Charles Willoughby*
Production Assistant: Marisa Figueras*

Director of the School of Performing Arts: Michael Wainstein
Theatre UCF Artistic Director: Julia Listengarten
Theatre UCF Director of Production/Faculty Scenic Advisor: Bert Scott
Faculty Stage Management Advisor: Claudia Lynch
Voice/Dialect Coach: Vivian Majkowski
Faculty Fight/Intimacy Choreographer/Advisor: David Reed
Faculty Lighting Advisor: Rob Siler
Production Manager: Gary Brown
Technical Director: Tramaine Berryhill
Assistant Technical Director: Thomas Taylor
Costume Shop Manager: Allison Rexrode
Costume Workroom Supervisor: Amanda Roberts
Production Electrician: Beth McAshan
Production Sound/Sound Design Advisor: Casey Deiter
Marketing Director: Jessica Compton
Box Office Manager: Bridget Parry
Assistant Box Office Manager: Austen Martin
Assistant Marketing Director: Morganne Flood


Piano/Conductor: Terry Thomas
Keyboard: Billy Joel Martinez*
Banjo: Daniel Shearouse
Mandolin: Nicole Equerne
Fiddle: Abigail Goodman*
Guitar: Sam Mills
Viola: Haley Fye*
Cello: Dennis Fleitz*
Bass: Pat Gallo
Bass: Geordan Raisler*
Bass: Meliari Sepulveda*
Drums: Joseph Cassidy*


House Manager: Raylen Farries*
Ushers: Jennahkay Dantzler*, Lizett Echevarria*, Sabrina Henson-Matheny*, Ciara Elliot*, Brandon Lopez*, Reese Vache*, Trey Campfield*, Lauren Robinson*, Amy Cote*, Chloe Campbell*
Box Office: Dunstan Ashe*, Peyton DeWitt*, Victoria Carson*, Ymani Mingen*, Anastasiia Bratchenko*, Erin Greening*, Sanju Ebanks*, Antony Ojeda*, Breana Mejia*, Jaden Doig*, Haley Sweat*, Isabella Fedele*, Alyssa Vincent*, Roma Zizza*, Charles Macartney*, Jon Curry*, Christina Neely*, Amanda Miller*, Christian Polastry*


Electrics Shop: Audrey Casteris*, Sam Cutshall*, Helen Strickland*, Kirstin Ritch*, Vivian Mele*, Sam Mustaine*, Sidnie Kikta*, Megan Nowick*, Delta Russell*, Alex Michel*, Alyssia Antrim*, Jasmine Robinson*, Alyssa Vincent*
Scene Shop: Briana Cotton*, Mackenzie Smith*, Marie Hamel*, Daphne Martinez*, Hailey Badders*, Chance Tufano*, Christopher De La Vega*, Johan Delaguila*, Dylan Ross*, Marina Deshaies*
Sound Shop: Alyssa Marrero*
Costume Shop: AJ Hued*, Taylor Stark*, Hannah Rothstein*, Caleb Jones*, Joy McCracken*, Jasmine Giles*, Nara Juarez*, Makenna Kirsch*, Airiana Latorre*, Lucas Vilela-Mendoca*, Alexa Boese*, Sabrino Rizzo

*Theatre UCF Student

Colby Bell (Jimmy Ray) is a first year in the MFA acting program. He recently graduated with his BA in Musical Theatre from Lagrange College, acting in shows such as A Few Good Men (Dan Kaffee) and Noises Off (Garry). Past Theatre UCF credits include The Interference (Karen’s boyfriend) and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Givola/Butcher).

Alexa Boese (US Lucy, Dance Captain, Ensemble) is a senior in the BFA Musical Theatre and Dance Minor programs at UCF. She was most recently involved in Theatre UCF’s productions of Working (Grace Clements), Shrek (Blind Mouse #1) and First Date (U/S Woman 1). Professional credits include A Chorus Line (Tricia, US: Cassie, Shelia, and Judy) - Theater West End, Sister Act (Sister Mary Celeste), 9 to 5 (Ensemble), Mamma Mia! (Ensemble), and Rock of Ages (Ensemble) - McLeod Summer Playhouse. Other credits include The Drowsy Chaperone (Janet Van de Graaff), Once Upon A Mattress (Lady Larkin), and Bring It On (Skylar). @alexaboese

Kane Carter (Dr. Norquist, U/S Stanford) is a first-year transfer student in the BFA Musical Theatre program. He was last seen in Theatre UCF’s production of Working (Ralph, U/S Mason, U/S Joe). Other credits include the Devised productions of East of the Sun (The Prince, Assistant Director), Hansel and Gretel (Hansel, Assistant Director), and Tarzan (Storyteller, Assistant Director). @Kanecarterj

Jillian Cossetta (Margo) is a sophomore in the BFA Musical Theatre and Dance Minor programs. She has been seen on the Theatre UCF stage in Welcome to the Moon (Mary, U/S Sally), Shrek (Fairy Godmother, Ensemble, U/S Princess Fiona), and Working (Ensemble, Dance Captain, U/S Kate). Other theatre credits include Something Rotten! (Ensemble/Dance Captain), The Wedding Singer (Julia), and Legally Blonde (Elle).  @jilliancossettaperformer

Janiece Deveaux (Lucy Grant, U/S Alice Murphy) is a senior in the BFA Musical Theatre program with a Dance minor. Some of her Theatre UCF productions include: The Interference (Michelle), Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine (Undine), Welcome to the Moon (Love; Monster) and How to Catch Creation (Riley). Some of her professional credits include: Mamma Mia! (Ensemble; U/S Tanya), Ragtime (Sarah’s Friend) and Aida (Nehebka; U/S Aida).

Brandon Diaz (Ensemble, U/S Max, U/S Government Clerk) is in the BFA Musical Theatre program. His previous credits at UCF include Shrek The Musical (Young Shrek) at the Dr. Phillips Center, male swing for First Date (U/S Man 2, U/S Man 3), and the virtual production of Mojada (U/S Jason, U/S Acan). Brandon Diaz was also in a production of Chicago the Musical at the Dr. Phillips Center as the Judge and Male Ensemble member.

Seamus Dougherty (Daryl, Assistant Vocal Director) is a senior in the BFA Musical Theatre program. He has been seen in Theatre UCF’s productions of As You Like It (Male swing/Musician), Shrek The Musical (Peter Pan), and Scaramouch in Naxos (Glaucus). Other theatre credits include Grand Hotel (Erik) at Santa Fe College, Project Spotlight’s Loving Passion (Agent/Male Understudy), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Hermey) and Kinky Boots (ensemble) at Titusville Playhouse. @seamusdougherty

Ally Duffy (Offstage Swing) is a first-year transfer student in the BFA Musical Theatre Program. This is her Theatre UCF debut. Other credits include Hairspray (Penny Pingleton) and Sweeney Todd (Ensemble).

James Duncan (Ensemble/ U/S Daddy Murphy/ U/S Stationmaster) is first year transfer in the BFA Acting Program. He is elated to be in the ensemble for UCF’s production of Bright Star and is honored to be working with such a talented cast. He has recently been able to play the role of Oliver in As You Like It and Jordan in As It's Written at UCF. James has also played some musical roles like Billy in Chicago and Troy in High School Musical. James loves to play basketball and football in his time outside of rehearsal. @james_.duncan

Johnny Flannagan (Station Master/ Ensemble/ U/S Daddy Cane/ U/S Mayor Dobbs) is a Senior in the BFA Musical Theatre program. He was most recently seen in Theatre UCF’s production of Working: A Musical (Mike Dillard/Tom Patrick). Other UCF credits include: First Date (U/S Aaron) and Shrek The Musical (Big Bad Wolf, Captain of the Guard, U/S Shrek). Additional credits include Cedar Point’s Snake River Expedition, The SpongeBob Musical (Patchy the Pirate), and Much Ado About Nothing (Benedick). @johnnyboy_flannagan.

Manuella Guerra Canal (Government Clerk, Ensemble, U/S Mama Murphy, U/S Well Dressed Woman) is a sophomore in the BFA Musical Theatre program. Previous Theatre UCF credits include Shrek The Musical (Dragon), Working (Woman 1, U/S Grace), and First Date (U/S Casey). She has also been seen in Project Spotlight’s Race to Infinity (Stage Directions, U/S Lucia, U/S Guadalupe/Mrs. Ramos). Other theatre credits include Beauty and the Beast (Belle) and Urinetown (Soupy Sue). @manuellaguerrac

Alyssa Johnson (Swing) is a first year in the BFA a musical theater program. She is extremely happy to be a part of what is now her second show at UCF and is enjoying the process of being casted as an offstage swing. Alyssa has most recently been seen in the UCF fall musical Working (Women #6) and previously the Dr. Phillips performing arts troupe, Four Counts, in the past year.

Amy Lacey (Alice Murphy) is a junior in the BFA Musical Theatre Program. She’s been seen on the Theatre UCF stage in Working (Kate Rushton), Scaramouch in Naxos (Columbine), First Date (U/S Allison/Google Girl) and Shrek The Musical (Blind Mouse/Ensemble). Other favorite credits: Newsies (Katherine), the world premiere of McBride’s Call (Julia Peel), and Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins). Offstage, Amy enjoys dramaturgy. @amylacey_

Eileen Lee (Florence, Ensemble) is a junior in the BFA Musical Theatre program. Previous Theatre UCF credits include Working (Dolores Dante), and dancing in the 2021 and 2022 UCF Dance Concerts. Other credits include Sweeney Todd (Beggar Woman) and Matilda (Miss Honey). @eileenmlee_

Samantha Lewis (Ensemble, U/S Margo) is a sophomore Theatre major. Other theater credits include 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Olive Ostrovsky), Little Women (Jo March), and Elf (Jovie). Offstage, she enjoys volunteering to help teach youth theater.

Paige Mason (Mama Murphy) is a first-year in the MFA Acting program. She holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Coastal Carolina University. Theatre UCF Credits: As You Like It (Rosalind), Arturo Ui (Flake/Prosecutor) International Tour: The Wizard of Oz (Wicked Witch). Regional: The King and I (Anna), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Millie), Shrek The Musical (Fiona), Steel Magnolias (Shelby). @paigeeliza.beth

Jessica Moore (Ensemble/Well-Dressed Woman) is a Second Year Transfer in the BFA Musical Theatre Program and Dance Minor. She has been seen on the Theatre UCF stage in Working (Maggie Holmes/Dance Captain), and Shrek (Dragon U/S, Ensemble, Female Swing). Other theatre credits include Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins), and Ado Annie (Oklahoma!). @_jessicamoore_

Nathan Olmeda (Daddy Murphy) is a first-year student in the MFA Acting program. He has most recently been seen portraying Ernesto Roma in the UCF production of Bertolt Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Previous productions include A Chorus Line (Al), Jesus Christ Superstar (Pilate), Little Shop of Horrors (Mr. Mushnik), and Seussical (Mr. Mayor). He has also appeared in AMC’s Dispatches from Elsewhere and HBO’s Mare of Easttown. Prior to attending UCF, Olmeda was educated at the Thomas G. Waites Acting Studio in New York City.

Jordan Perez (Ensemble, U/S Jimmy Ray Dobbs) is a first year in the BFA Acting program. He has been seen on the Theatre UCF stage in Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine (Herve/Guy). Other theater credits include Charlotte’s Web (U/S Wilbur) and A Christmas Carol  (U/S Fred) at the Orlando Shakes Theatre. @itsjordanperez

Mackenzie Prince (Swing, U/S Dr. Norquist, U/S Young Daddy Cane) is a first-year transfer student in the BFA Acting Program. Credits include Theatre UCF's production of Working. Other credits include Spring Awakening (Melchior Gabor) and White Christmas (Bob Wallace). He is involved in Project Spotlight and volunteers as a director for children’s youth theatre.

Zachary Racine (Daddy Cane) is a first year student in the MFA Acting Program. He earned his BA from Flagler College, St Augustine. Regional: Horn in the West (Samuel, Jack understudy). Theatre UCF: The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Ol Dogsborough, Clark), The Interference (District Attorney). Other: Once (Guy), The Old Man and the Old Moon (Old Man), White Christmas (Bob Wallace), Eurydice (Father).

Madeline Rae Soriano (Edna, Ensemble)is a junior double majoring in B.A. Theatre Studies and Entertainment Management along with having a minor in Music and Hospitality Management. She was last seen in Theatre UCF’s production of Working as Theresa Liu. Her favorite roles include Grease (Teen Angel), Parade (Sally Slaton), Legally Blonde (Chutney and Whitney), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Ruth and Mama) and Mamma Mia! (Lisa). She also is an active member of Glee Club at UCF and one of UCF’s music fraternities, Sigma Alpha Iota (Zeta Tau). @maddy_raee

Michael Ross (Mayor Dobbs) is a second-year transfer student in the B.S. Psychology program. Though this is his debut with Theatre UCF, he has previously held roles in many professional productions in Chicago and college productions in his previous BFA program at Marshall University and Florida School of the Arts. Michael plans to pursue his PsyD in Clinical Psychology and work in New Zealand after graduation.

Nick Rossi (Stanford/Ensemble) is a second year transfer student in the BA Theatre Studies program, with minors in Dance and Music. He is appreciative of UCF for furthering his growth and giving him the opportunity to make his mainstage return. With a passion for musical theatre, Nick has furthered his performance career through the theme park industry. Most recently, Nick was a Royal Rhythms singer/dancer for Carowinds and Worlds of Fun. Nick’s other UCF credits include Shrek (Duloc Dancer/Dragon Puppeteer), Project Spotlight’s Apocalypseville! (Solomon), and UCF dance concert. Prior to his time at UCF, Nick’s previous credits include the University of Tampa’s Sondheim on Sondheim (Euan Morton Track). @nickk.rossi

Edgar Sanchez (Ensemble, Daryl U/S) is a First-Year Transfer student in the BFA Musical Theatre program. He was last seen in Theatre UCF‘s production of Working: A Musical (Utkarsh, Freddy U/S). Other theatre credits include The Mystery of Edwin Drood (John Jasper) and Children of Eden (Noah). @edgysanchez

Jameson Stobbe (Billy Cane) is a third-year in the BFA Musical Theatre Program. His Theatre UCF credits include: Working (Stonemason Soloist, Assistant Music Director), First Date (U/S Aaron, U/S Man 1), Songs of Inspiration Concert (Soloist) and Much Ado About Nothing (First Watchman, U/S Claudio). He's also been in Rock of Ages (Franz) and Ragtime (Younger Brother) at the Athens Theatre. @jamesonstobbe

Maisy Surman (Ensemble, Edna U/S, Florence U/S) is a sophomore in the BFA Musical Theatre program with minors in Dance and Digital Media. She has been seen in Theatre UCF productions such as Shrek (Baby Bear, Teen Fiona U/S, Young Fiona U/S) and The Wolves (#13 U/S). Other theatre credits include Be More Chill (Christine) and Mamma Mia! (Sophie).

Joseph Trewin (Max, Ensemble, U/S Billy Cane) is a second-year in UCF’s BFA Musical Theatre program. He has been seen on the UCF stage in Bright Star (Max, U/S Billy), and Shrek (Ensemble). He was also recently in Tick Tick Boom (Jon), The Sound of Music (Rolf), and Elf The Musical (Buddy) at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. @joseph.trewin

Ella Zarrilli (Ensemble) is a freshman in the BFA Musical Theatre program, and this is her Theatre UCF debut. Some of her past credits include Working (Swing), Bring it On! (Eva), Beauty and the Beast (Belle), and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Ella). She also has been a volunteer at BCCT, teaching children’s theatre for children grades 1-5.

Rami Amm (Assistant Stage Manager) is a third year transfer in the BFA Stage Management program. He has previously worked on the Theatre UCF productions of The Grumpiest Boy in the World 2021 (Production Assistant), The Wolves 2021 (Assistant Stage Manager), Fabulation 2022 (Assistant Stage Manager), UCF Celebrates the Arts 2022 (Stage Manager), and As You Like It 2022 (Production Stage Manager).

Syd Deines (Scenic Designer) is a senior in the BFA Design and Technology Program. Her previous credits include the Fall 2020 Amplify, Empower, Illuminate series (Assistant Multimedia Design and Production), Scaramouch in Naxos (Props Manager), Welcome to the Moon (Associate Scenic Designer), and Shrek the Musical (Assistant Scenic Designer/Props Manager).

Alex Duffy (A2) is a junior in the BFA Design and Technology program. Other credits include Working (Lead Carpenter) and Shrek The Musical (Rails Op and Deck Crew) with Theatre UCF. She also works freelance at other venues in her spare time and is currently a CNC Technician at The Bureau Escape Rooms.

Marisa Figueras (Production Assistant) is a first year in the BFA Stage Management program. This is her first production with Theatre UCF, but her previous credits include The Drowsy Chaperone 2022 (Stage Manager) and Das Rheingold (Assistant Stage Manager).

Erica Fox (A2) is a Junior in the BFA Theatre Design & Technology program. Some of her credits with Theatre UCF include Knights’ Ghostlight Podcast (Stud. Asst. Sound Designer), Shrek The Musical (A2), and As You Like It (Sound Designer). She is also involved in Project Spotlight (Master Sound Technician). Her professional credits include a remount of As Its Written at Penguin Point (Sound Designer). @efox_theatre

Kaitlyn Gamory (A1) is a junior in the BFA Design and Technology program. Previous Theatre UCF credits include Working (Sound Designer), Shrek The Musical (A2), Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine (Assistant Sound Designer), First Date (A2), To Saints and Stars (Sound Designer), The Amphibians (Sound Designer), and Knights’ Ghostlight Podcast.

Gabriella Headley (Assistant Director) is a first-year student in the MFA Acting Program. She has been seen on the Theatre UCF stage in Arturo Ui (Woman, Cicero Vegetable Dealer). She has worked as a Director at American Stage, Stagedoor Manor, Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center, Florida Southern College, CFCArts, & The First Academy.

Caelus Leadley (Crew) is a freshman in the BFA Stage Management program. His previous theatre credits include Working (Follow Spot Operator), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (ASM), Newsies (Sound Board Operator) and The Addams Family (Crew). @caelus.a.le

Jackson Lee (Choreographer) is a senior B.A. Theatre Studies Major with a Dance Minor. They have been seen in HBO Max WE’RE HERE, Guys and Dolls (featured guy & doll), and Bodyguard (Dancer). You can see more of their work in this year's UCF Celebrates the Arts Dance concert. 

Taylor Marino (Stage Crew) is a first year BA Theatre Studies major. This is her UCF stage debut. Previous shows include community productions of Mamma Mia! (ensemble), Grease (ensemble) and Mary Poppins (ensemble). 

Richard McWhorter (Lighting Designer) is a senior in the BFA Technical Design program. You have seen his work in As You Like It (Lighting Designer) and Welcome to the Moon and Other Short Stories (Assistant Lighting Designer). This will be his final production at UCF.

Nick Moffa (Wardrobe) is a junior in the Theatre Studies BA Program. His theatre credits include Spoon River Anthology (Butch Weldy, Frank Drummer and Hamilton Greene), Importance of Being Earnest (Merriman) and Peter and the Starcatcher (Alf) at Seminole State College. He was also a sound board operator for theatre at Seminole State.

Catherine Patrizia (Assistant Dialect Coach) is a Senior in the BFA Acting program at UCF. She was recently the Assistant Director for Theatre UCF’s As You Like It as well as the Assistant Voice Coach. As an actress, she was recently seen in The Crucible (Elizabeth Proctor). Past theatre credits include Theatre UCF’s production of Mojada (Armida) and Scaramouche in Naxos (Bacchante Ensemble). @catherinepatrizia_.

Bridgett Rojas (Assistant Stage Manager) is in her second-year of the BFA Stage Management program. Her previous Theatre UCF credits include Orlando Repertory Theatre’s Youth Academy: Magic Treehouse: A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr (Production Assistant), Fabulation or the Re-Education of Undine (Production Assistant), Spells of the Sea (Assistant Stage Manager), and Working (Assistant Stage Manager). @_xxbridgettxx_

Lukas Royer (Sound Designer) is a third-year transfer in the BFA Design and Technology program. He has previously worked on the Theatre UCF productions of Welcome to the Moon (Assistant Sound Designer), Working (Mixer) and Shrek The Musical (A2). After Bright Star, Lukas looks forward to graduating and continuing his work in sound design and audio tech, hoping to expand into film and television.

Tyler Simons (Deck Crew) is a Senior in the B.A. Theatre Studies program. His past Theatre UCF credits include Working (Assistant Director) Affinity Lunch Minutes (Assistant Director), Thaddeus Blair: Werewolf Hunter (Director), and First Day (Director). He is an award recipient of the KCACTF Best Director of a 10-minute play The Blow-Off (Director). Website:

Pooja Singh (Assistant Director) is a second-year student in the B.A. Theatre Studies Program. This is her Theatre UCF debut. Other theatre credits include Apocaplypseville! The Musical with Project Spotlight and at the Orlando Fringe Festival.

Cameron Sparks (Assistant Stage Manager) is a second year transfer student in the BFA Stage Management program. As an Assistant Stage Manager, he has experience managing plays, musicals, and events of sizes; from the large cast and fast pace of Bright Star, to the small cast and intimacy of Indecent 2022 (Assistant Stage Manager). Other Theatre UCF credits include The Interference 2022 (Assistant Stage Manager) and UCF Celebrates the Arts (Stage Manager).

Magdalena Tronina (Production Stage Manager) is a senior in the BFA Stage Management program. She has previously worked on the Theatre UCF productions of The Grumpiest Boy in the World 2021 (Assistant Stage Manager), Fabulation 2022 (Assistant Stage Manager), First Date (Programmer), Interference (Programmer), and Shrek The Musical (Programmer). She also had the fantastic opportunity to work at the Orlando Shakes as a Stage Manager for Playfest 2022!

Charles Willoughby (Wardrobe/Laundry) is a freshman in the B.A Theatre Studies Program. This is his Theatre UCF debut. Previous credits include Mamma Mia! (ensemble) and Grease (Sonny).

“Come on home to me.” -Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s “When You Get to Asheville”

At its core, Bright Star is the story of homecoming. It is a piece steeped in emotion, empathy, and relatability set against the backdrop of American Southern culture. Its Americana and Bluegrass inspired score invites you to take part in the experience: not as a passive audience member, but as a member of the community created in this theatre.

Bright Star was conceived by bluegrass duo Steve Martin and Edie Brickell. It was adapted from their standalone album Love Has Come For You, which included a song chronicling the myth of the Iron Mountain Baby. This legend originated in the early 1900s and told the story of a baby found in a suitcase floating down the river in Irondale, Missouri. It was assumed that he was thrown from a train going over the river on the Iron Mountain Railroad, though the motive for his disposal has never been agreed upon. He miraculously survived and was taken in by the couple that found him.

The story of this larger-than-life instance quickly gained popularity, inspiring many songs and stories that further exaggerated the mythic quality of this event. The Iron Mountain Baby is one of the many Southern fables preserved by music and oral tradition to shape the rich culture of the American South. Americana and Bluegrass music were influential conduits for this culture.

Bluegrass music as we know it today originated in the American South in the early to mid 1900’s. It is a blend of American Southern string band music (Americana), Blues, and traditional music from Ireland, England, and Scotland. This influence came from the high concentration of European immigrants in the Appalachian region and the Carolinas. These communities had an intense desire to put down roots and preserve their own stories and traditions, but had little formal education to support this endeavor. Instead, they mirrored the ancient art of oral tradition and used the instruments they brought with them to set their stories to music and preserve their history through song.

With only a 5-string banjo, a flat-top guitar, a fiddle, mandolin, and upright bass, these communities established themselves and their history in their new home. These bands unified people and provided connection to other communities in the South. This “Grassroots” music soon fused with African-American musical traditions to expand rhythmic capabilities and add a “Blues” influence to the style. From this merging, Bluegrass was formed.

Bluegrass music concerns itself mainly with everyday subjects. It is representative of the everyday person. Therefore, its topics speak to what most people are going through. Life, death, and love are by far the most popular themes, with most songs using stories and fables to express these concepts. By infusing fictional details with real-life events, Bluegrass is grounded in both history and fantasy. It is inherently theatrical, which is why Bluegrass music blends so seamlessly into the Musical Theatre world.

Musical Theatre is larger-than-life. It is rooted in Vaudevillian structure, but its heightened tendencies trace back as far as Ancient Greece. Its outlandish stories speak to wide audiences and entertain them with spectacle and wonder. It is a medium where anything is possible; dreams can come true, the good guys can win, and the sun can shine again. Bright Star has the advantage of taking all of the rich storytelling aspects from both the Bluegrass and Musical theatre traditions to create an artistic experience that has touched many people’s hearts. It is incredibly earnest, poignant, and impactful. It has the power to unite and foster hope.

As you take part in this experience, I urge you to kindle the hope inside yourself. Let the unwavering perseverance of the characters affect and inspire you to find your own sense of power and potential. Watch as all of these characters pursue their own homecoming. They are all searching for the guiding light to their life… their “bright star”. As you watch, I have only one question for you:

What is your “Bright Star”?


Madison Mintzer


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