World Premiere play by Brian Townsend
Produced by Barefoot Productions Theatre, Livonia, MI
On stage Feb. 7-23, 2020
Wealthy Buoso Donati is on his death bed, and his greedy family is desperate to know the details of his will. When rumors circulate that all of Buoso’s riches are going to the monastery next door, the relatives decide to do anything to get their hands on the money, including enlisting the help of Gianni Schicchi, a local ne’er-do-well. With time running out, collection agents at the door, romance blooming, and the bickering family hounding his every step, can Schicchi concoct the perfect plan for a happy ending?
Our talented cast:
Brian Townsend – Director, Playwright
Brian is happy to have the chance to share his work with Barefoot Productions again, having directed his show Murder Comes to Uptight Abbey a season ago. He is also the author of Therapy, Is This Seat Taken?, and Pass the Ducks, all of which were staged throughout the Metro Detroit area. On other stages, he directed Peter and the Starcatcher, Fools, South Pacific, Boeing Boeing, Inspecting Carol, and Epic Proportions, just to name a few. Brian has appeared onstage as the dastardly D’Ysquith Family in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Nicely-Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls, Max Bialystock in The Producers, Man in Chair in The Drowsy Chaperone, Millet/The Widow Tillou in Is He Dead?, and Acaste in The Misanthrope, among others. Brian was inducted into the Dearborn Theatre Hall of Fame in 2013. When not doing something theatrical, he is a freelance graphic designer.
Norb Nowak – Buoso Donati / Dr. Spinelloccio / Amantio
This is Norb’s first appearance with Barefoot Productions, and he is very excited to be part of this wonderful cast and truly funny show. He has worked with various groups in Southeast Michigan and Northwest Ohio. His favorite roles include Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, George Milton in Of Mice and Men, Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple, and Remnar Sody in Escanaba in Da Moonlight. Norb is retired and spends his time doing exactly what he feels like doing. He wishes to thank his wife, Colleen, for her support and patience as he spends weeks being someone else. He also thanks you, the audience, for spending this time with us; and hopes you enjoy watching the show as much as we enjoy putting it on!
Patti Jones Martin – Zita Donati
Patti counts herself quite fortunate that she has appeared in previous works written by Brian Townsend. She has also appeared in shows directed by Mr. Townsend at the Players Guild of Dearborn such as Epic Proportions and On the Town. Patti has worked with other theaters such as University of Detroit Mercy's Theater Company and North Rosedale Park Players. Some of her favorite roles include Miss Shingle in Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Julia Gibbs in Our Town, Mrs. Van Daan in Anne Frank, and Eulalie Shinn in Music Man. She is happy to have this chance to work with the great people at Barefoot Productions. She lives in Farmington Hills with her husband Brad, and works at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
David Wood – Simone Donati
Although this is David’s first time on the Barefoot stage, he has been an active member of the Players Guild of Dearborn for more than 10 years, both on stage and behind the scenes. He has appeared in productions of White Christmas, The Wizard of Oz, You Can’t Take It with You and Guys and Dolls. He hopes everyone enjoys the show!
Ronya Rose – Celia Donati
This is Ronya’s fifth production with Barefoot. She last appeared as Violet Bick in It’s a Wonderful Life. Earlier this season she appeared in Bell, Book and Candle as Gillian Holroyd. She also previously appeared in Milestones & Mishaps and Almost, Maine. Ronya has also made appearances at Schoolcraft College as Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet, The Doctor in Spite of Himself, Ophelia in Hamlet, Anne Deever in All My Sons, Elvira in Blithe Spirit, Sophie in The Star Spangled Girl, and Katherine in A View from the Bridge. She later made her stage debut at the Farmington Players Barn as Gabriella in Boeing-Boeing. Ronya moved back home to Michigan after working as a Cast Member at Walt Disney World. She would like to thank her mentor and long time director, the late Professor James R. Hartman for “everything I bring to the stage at every performance.” In the real world, she enjoys her job in title insurance but loves to escape the everyday life once stepping on stage.
Matt Van Houten – Marco Donati
This is Matt’s debut performance at Barefoot Productions taking on the role of Marco Donati. His most notable roles include Noah (Children of Eden); Karl Lindner (A Raisin in the Sun); Flick, and years later, the Old Man (A Christmas Story); Fighting Prawn (Peter and the Starcatcher); Ferris Layman (The Diviners); Kolenkhov (You Can’t Take It With You); Oliver, and Amiens (As You Like It); Rev. Lionel Toop (See How They Run). He has also performed in shows such as The Wizard of Oz, Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Fools, and The Zoo Story. Matt dedicates his performance to his supportive family.
Stan Guarnelo – Gilberto Suppino
Stan is very excited to be back at Barefoot Productions. The last time Stan was part of this exciting group was when he directed Rehearsal for Murder back in 2017. He is the current Lights and Sound Governor for the Players Guild of Dearborn and is one of the founding members of their Improv group Guild-Y By Association. In everyday life, Stan is a producer and editor for the city of Dearborn Heights as well as a freelance Motion Graphic Artist. Stan wants to thank everyone who came out to see the show as well as God for all the wonderful blessings in this life.
Valerie Haas – Nella Donati-Suppino
Valerie wears many hats at Barefoot, including Artistic Director, actor, and director. She just directed the evening of short plays in January. She also directed last season’s production of ‘Swonderful, ‘Smarvelous: The Music of George and Ira Gershwin. As an actor, Valerie was most recently seen in our production of Norma & Wanda as Wanda, as well as Arsinoe in The Misanthrope, and the Nurse in her husband Kirk’s adaptation, Of Juliet and Her Romeo. She also directed Barefoot’s first ever youth theatre production, Scraps: The Patchwork Girl of Oz. As an acknowledgement for 25 years of work in area theatres, she was inducted into the Dearborn Area Theatre Hall of Fame in 2016. Offstage, Valerie holds Master’s Degrees in Theatre and in English and teaches writing and speech at Henry Ford College. Valerie and actor/director/designer husband Kirk live in Inkster with their sons, Ian and Cole.
Nathan Booth – Gilberto Suppino, Jr.
This is Nathan’s first show on the stage at Barefoot Productions. He has performed most recently at the Players Guild of Dearborn in productions of Spamalot, Cheaper by the Dozen, and The Lion in Winter. He would like to thank the rest of the cast for making him laugh uproariously and the production staff for allowing him to have such a wonderful opportunity to work on this show in such a great space.
Graham Dallas – Matteo Donati
This is Graham’s first time on stage with Barefoot Productions, and he couldn’t have picked a finer show to be a part of! You may have previously seen Graham on stage at the Players Guild of Dearborn, Dearborn High School, and at Crestwood high school in roles such as Monty in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Dan in Next to Normal, Fred Graham in Kiss Me Kate, and Tony in West Side Story. Graham would like to thank the cast and crew of Gianni Schicchi, his friends and family, and his girlfriend Maddie for their support, encouragement and love. Divertiti!
Philip Booth – Bernardo Scarlucci
Phil Booth is new to Barefoot. He usually haunts the Players Guild of Dearborn, where he has appeared in Romantic Comedy, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Pass the Ducks, Epic Proportions, The Producers, Spamalot, South Pacific and Fools. He hopes you will enjoy tonight's performance while he shares the stage with his real life son Nathan Booth. He sends his love to his wife and family and eight grandchildren.
Samantha Odom – Lauretta Schicchi
Samantha has appeared in several shows at Barefoot Productions in the last few years including An Adult Evening with Shel Silverstein, Almost Maine, and The Misanthrope. Some of her favorite things include eating glue, falling on stage, and throwing snowballs. Outside of theater, she is a staff accountant for a battery recycling company and enjoys playing video games. A huge thank you to her husband Tyler for understanding her passion for theatre and always being her biggest fan.
Stephen Sedore – Gianni Schicchi
Steve has appeared in productions at Albion College and in Minnesota and Germany as well as several at Barefoot. Favorite roles include Tony Wendice in Dial ‘M’ for Murder, Mortimer Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace and Richard Hannay in The 39 Steps. By day he teaches German at Edsel Ford High School in Dearborn. He’s thrilled to be working with eminent former student “Oliver” Booth and would like to thank Brian for the opportunity to be in this brilliant show. Vielen Danken auch an Betsy, Griffin, Cooper und Buford – ich liebe euch sehr!