Cast and Crew
Actress/ Box Office Supervisor/ Property Mistress
AMBER SWANN is another familiar face and talented member of the Abbeville Opera House family. This past Winter Season, Amber was seen in a variety of roles from Nana in Peter Pan to Miss Casewell in Mousetrap. In addition, Opera House audiences will also recognize Amber working in the Box Office and selling Concessions at Intermission. For Rainmaker, this very talented individual has spread her talent around - doing set construction, scene painting, securing props and serving as Assistant Director. Amber has been the Assistant Director for Same Time Next Year and played the role of a policeman in our current summer season production of Wait Until Dark. This fall, she will be seen as one of the evil step-sisters in CINDERELLA
BRAD CHRISTIE is a very familar face to Opera House audiences because of his many appearances on our stage. Brad has been seen starring as Jack in The Boys Next Door - and Opera House audiences will also remember him as Bud Abbott in Vaudeville: Abbeville’s Grand Opera House and Mike Talman in Wait Until Dark. Some of his many other shows on our stage include Heaven Can Wait, Proposals. Opal is a Diamond, Blithe Spirit, Everybody Loves Opal, Death Takes a Holiday, Rumors, The Fantasticks, Death of a Salesman, The Last Hour, Father of the Bride, The Sunshine Boys, and the very popular and moving production of Tuesdays With Morrie. A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Brad has many, many roles to his credit in professional, college and community theatres throughout the country. We are delighted to have him back on our stage this summer in On Golden Pond and The Odd Couple.
Henry Pettit has been the Technical Director of the Abbeville Opera House for more than twenty years and is responsible for the construction of well over 95 Opera House sets. In addition, Henry is anaccomplished magician who handles all of our special effects needs for such shows as The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, The Last Hour, Frankenstein, Dracula and A Christmas Carol – to name only a few. This very talented individual has also appeared on our stage in a variety of roles in such plays as: Sabrina Fair, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, The Rainmaker, Our Town and A Christmas Carol.
Jimmy O. Burdette has been a fixture at the historic Abbeville Opera House for a number of years – beginning as a member of the Abbeville Opera House Youth Theatre many years ago. Since then, this very talented actor has appeared on stages throughout the country – as well as having been seen in a recurring role on television in the very popular Burt Reynolds series Evening Shade. Some of Jimmy’s favorite Opera House shows include: Dracula, Biloxi Blues, A Christmas Carol, The Wizard of Oz, Frankenstein, Phantom of the Opera, Jekyl and Hyde and A Summer Remembered- to name only a few. We are delighted to Jimmy back to the Opera House this summer – as both director and actor. After the summer theatre season, Jimmy O. will be seen as the Baron in the opening production of the winter theatre season, Cinderella and will then turn his attention to directing the second show of the 106th Winter Theatre Season, Carrie: The Musical.
Director of Snap Chat for the Abbeville Opera House
Kaitlyn Crocker has been seen in many productions on the Opera House stage and is a very active member of the Abbeville Opera House Youth Theatre. She works behind the scenes for Summer Season 2016 and has been recently named the Director of Snap Chat for the historic Abbeville Opera House. Welcome aboard, Kaitlyn.
Business and Box Office Manager
Kathy Genevie is the Business and Box Office Manager for both the Winter and the Summer Theatre Seasons here at the Opera House. As if that isn’t enough – she is also married to Opera House Executive Director Michael Genevie. A former native of Amsterdam, New York, Kathy grew up in Abbeville and begins her 21st Summer Theatre Season this year. As Business Manager, she is in charge of the Box Office, Reservations, Ticket Sales, Accounting and Season Membership. She also has scores of Opera House shows to her credit as Stage Manager, Costumer, Property Mistress – you name it! On many occasions, the Executive Director of the Abbeville Opera House has said that he “couldn’t do it –without the love and support of his bride, Kathy.”
Lisa McConnell has been a popular member of both our summer and winter season companies for a number of years. This incredibly talented actress has been very busy lately on the one hundred five year old Abbeville Opera House stage playing the mother in Peter Pan and Sally Applewhite in It’s a Wonderful Life. Last season, Lisa opened our season playing Lily St. Regis in Annie (winning a Best Actress in a Supporting Role in Musical Award). She was then seen as Miss Claythorne in the Agatha Christie mystery Ten Little Indians - followed by the role of Mattie in Southern Exposure. Audiences will also remember Lisa as a number – 7013 – the angel of death who made a mistake in Heaven Can Wait. She has also been seen on our stage as Josie in Neil Simon’s Proposals - and Jo in Little Women. Other Opera House roles include: Deathtrap, Til Beth Do Us Part, Spreading It Around and Seeing Stars in Dixie to name only a few. This beautiful and talented actress has appeared in scores of other productions throughout the state, as well. Equally at home in comedies, dramas or mysteries – Lisa has an impressive list of musical productions to her credit including the starring role in Guys and Dolls, as well as performances in Hello Dolly, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Music Man, The Sound of Music, Oliver, and Carousel – to name only a few. Opera House audiences will also remember Lisa as Louise in the incredibly popular production of Always Patsy Cline, Doris in Same Time Next Year and Suzy in Wait Until Dark. This very talented actress is recognized as the current first lady of the historic Abbeville Opera House stage.
Actress/Cameo Specialist and Stage Manager
LORI ELLER has made a mini-career on the Opera House stage doing cameo roles and was most recently seen on the Opera House stage in the role of Clara in Boys Next Door. She also portrayed Delightful in Dearly Departed- a role which earned her the Best Cameo Award at the 53rd Annual Awards Night Celebration. Her many acting credits include: Whose Life is it Anyway, A Christmas Carol, Rumors and Prisoner of Second Avenue. Lori has worked backstage as Stage Manager, Property Mistress, Lighting and Sound Technician and Costumer - and this past summerl served as primary (as opposed to secondary) Dresser for Same Time Next Year as well as working backstage and in the box office.
Mary Evan Giles
Actress/ Technician/ Youth Theatre Instructor
MARY EVAN GILES is a familiar face to Opera House audiences – having appeared this past season in the opening production of Pump Boys and Dinettes as Rhetta. In our 34th summer season, Mary Evan appeared in the very popular Church Basement Ladies. Mary Evan is a theatre major at Lander University and has worked as an instructor with the Abbeville Opera House Youth Theatre. This past summer she taught the summer theatre camps here at the Abbeville Opera House as well as having served as the Assistant Director for Wait Unitl Dark. Check out the Abbeville Opera House Youth Theatre page to find the classes that Mary Evan will be teaching this fall.
MaryAnne Canaday is a another favorite with Opera House audiences. She can be remembered as Mama Lilly in Hank Williams: Lost Highway. MaryAnne is also fondly remembered by Opera House audiences as Opal Kronkie in a series of Opal plays – a role for which she won a Best Actress Award at our annual awards night celebration. This very talented actress has been in more shows than we can count. Some of her more memorable roles include performances in Dracula, Agnes of God, Something’s Afoot, Blithe Spirit, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown ,I Ought to Be in Pictures, Only an Orphan Girl, The Real Inspector Hound, You Know I Can’t Hear You when the Water’s Running, Inherit the Wind, Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein, Broadway Bound, Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde, A Coupla of White Chicks, How the Other Half Loves, Fiddler on the Roof, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Subject was Roses, Man of La Mancha ,A Summer Remembered, Love Letters, The Sound of Music, The Spiral Staircase, Lost in Yonkers, The Mousetrap, Ten Little Indians, Cheaper by the Dozen, Last Night of Ballyhoo, Other Peoples Money, Come into My Parlor and Dearly Departed.
MaryJane Swygert (Patsy Cline) is no stranger to theatre audiences throughout the region. As an entertainer on various cruise ships, MaryJane has traveled around the world several times. Her home has always been the Abbeville Opera House since she first appeared on our stage as a student at Erskine College. MaryJane’s theatrical talent broke all Opera House Box Office records in her performance of Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly. As Mama Rose in Gypsy, she added another Best Actress Award to her collection and most recently was seen on our stage as Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun. A few of her many Opera House shows include: Same Time Next Year, Witness for the Prosecution, Man of La Mancha, Steel Magnolias,Lend Me a Tenor, I Hate Hamlet, The Sound of Music, Oliver, Lost in Yonkers,Chapter Two, Come into My Parlor, The Foreigner, Beau Jest, Nunsense, Dearly Departed, Smoke on the Mountain and A Sanders Family Christmas.
is the Executive Director of the historic Abbeville Opera House. Michael received his MFA in Directing from the renowned Florida State University School of Theatre and has staged over 130 professional productions throughout the country. He has become a familiar face to national television audiences with his many appearances in films and television shows. As an actor, Michael has worked with Rod Steiger, Andy Griffith, Carroll O’Conner, Tess Harper, Donald Sutherland, Martin Sheen, Richard Thomas, Dennis Franz, Richard Thomas, Rachel Ward, Joe Pesci, Jim Belushi, Christina Ricci, Barbara Hershey, Josie Bissett, Sam Waterston and Fred Dalton Thompson – to name only a few. His list of credits include: My Cousin Vinny, Mr. Destiny, That Darn Cat, Stay the Night, Manhunt in the Dakotas, In the Heat of the Night, Matlock, The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, One of Her Own, Death in Small Doses, Caught in the Crossfire, Dare to Love, A Kiss So Deadly, No Recourse , The Almost Perfect Bank Robbery and The Secret. Among his many other film credits include appearances in Savannah, Dawson’s Creek, The Locket, Chiefs, American Gothic, I’ll Fly Away and The New Professionals – to name only a few. Most recently, you can look for Michael this fall in the upcoming feature film, You Are Here starring Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, Jenna Fischer and Amy Poehler – playing the role of Reverend Theodore – directed by Matthew Weiner (director and writer of The Sopranos and the creator, writer and director of Mad Men). In addition, Michael also teaches Acting, Directing, Scriptwriting and Public Speaking at both Presbyterian College and Erskine College.
Rick Dettmann has made many appearance on our stage over the years - most recently as Harry Jazzbo Haywood in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE. He has also been seen on our stage as Loudmouth in Hank Williams: Lost Highway along with dozens of other Opera House roles. Rick made his Abbeville Opera House stage debut several years ago in You Can’t Take It With You. Since that time, he has become a favorite with Opera House audiences appearing as the Judge in Harvey and as Buffalo Bill in Annie Get Your Gun. Rick is certainly no stranger to the stage and before coming to the turn-of-the-century Opera House stage, he performed as a back-up musician and vocalist touring with Freddy Fender and Tom T. Hall and has appeared on The Donahue Show and Good Morning America. He was also a professional songwriter in Nashville and has penned over 40 published songs recorded by various country music artists. This popular radio show host is known to his legion of listeners as The Train and is recognized as the Prop Master Emeritus for organizing our prop room several years ago.
Actor/ Director of the Abbeville Opera House Youth Theatre
RYAN HEWITT is a recent graduate of Lander University who made his Abbeville Opera house Summer Season debut several summers ago as Ellard in The Foreigner. He first appeared on our hundred and five year old stage when he was a Lander Freshman, starring as Frank, Jr. in Cheaper by the Dozen (a role for which he was nominated and received the Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Play Award at our annual Awards Night Celebration). Opera House audiences will remember Ryan for his many appearances on our stage over the past four years. Some of his favorites include: Junior in Dearly Departed, George Gibbs in Our Town, Laurie in Little Women, and Young Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. You may remember this actor from last summer season as he played Clifford in Deathtrap, and Justin in Fox on the Fairway. Other favorite roles include Link in Hairspray, Snoopy in Snoopy the Musical, and Mortimer in Arsenic and Old Lace. Ryan also serves as the Director of Youth Theatre at the Opera House, and will be taking up a new position as Art's coordinator and teacher at Cambridge Academy this fall. Lately Ryan has been seen more behind the scenes, working as a Director and Choreographer for shows such as, The Music Man, Oliver! , Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, A World Without Memory, and May I Have Your Attention Please! At Lander University he has played Jonathan Harker in Dracula and Alan in Picnic – a role for which he was nominated for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Irene Ryan Scholarship. This past summer Ryan, who is the Director of the Opera House Youth Theatre, began the first Opera House Summer Youth Theatre Camps that proved to be very popular with students, parents and audiences alike.
Actress/ Costume Shop Supervisor
Sommer made her Opera House debut several years ago in Bus Stop. She has since been seen on our stage many times and has become a favorite actress with Opera House audiences. Some of her many roles on our stage include Gwendolyn in The Importance of Being Earnest, the title role in The Reluctant Debutante, Audrey in Leading Ladies, and (one of Sommer’s favorites) Suzanne in the highly popular Winter Season production of Dearly Departed. This very talented actress is a graduate of Lander University and is a Dance Instructor at Wendy’s Dance Academy in Abbeville. She grew up in Williamston, SC and has played the role of Sandy in Grease with the Williamston Heritage Players. Sommer made her Summer Season debut on our stage appearing as Catherine Simms in The Foreigner and some of her more recent roles on our 106 year old stage include: Mrs. Rodgers in Ten Little Indians, Babe Botrelle in Crimes of the Heart, Lilly Langtry in Sherlock Holmes and Honey Raye Futrelle in Dashing Thru the Snow. In addition to her work on the Opera House stage, Sommer serves as our Costume Shop Supervisor and this year has competed in the NPC (National Physique Committee) Upstate Classic where she placed 3rd in the Upstate Bikini Body Competitions and won 2nd Place in the South Carolina NPC State Competition. She is now training to compete in another NPC Classic Fitness Competition. Other roles on the Opera House stage include Peter Pan in PETER PAN and the lovely bride in the southeastern premiere of Always a Bridesmaid. This fall, Sommer will be seen playing Cinderella in CINDERELLA in the opening production of the 106th Winter Theatre Season.
Tony Dunlap is the Musical Director of the Abbeville Opera House and has scores of Opera House roles to his credit as well. He last worked with the Opera House Summer Company for years – as both the musical director and actor. Many Opera House patrons will remember Tony for his wonderful performance of El Gallo in The Fantasticks, Dennis in Smoke on the Mountain, A Sanders Family Christmas and A Sanders Family Homecoming. He has served as Vocal Coach, Musical Director and actor for many shows on our turn-of-the-century stage including: Anything Goes, Oklahoma, My Fair Lady, Godspell, Biloxi Blues, The Music Man, Dracula, They’re Playing Our Song and Phantom of the Opera. This very accomplished singer and actor has appeared in Brevard, North Carolina – as well as the Cincinnati Conservatory. Tony is currently living in Charleston, SC and we are delighted to have him serve as Musical Director for the Abbeville Opera House.
Wendy Capps is another favorite with Opera House audiences who has been seen on our stage in a variety of roles in some of our most popular productions. This very talented actress has delighted Opera House audiences with her debut appearance on our stage as Dolly Tate in Annie Get Your Gun. She followed that southern drawl with a Cockney accent as Ida the maid in See How They Run. This past winter season, Wendy was seen as Grace in Bus Stop and this summer will be re-creating her role of The Waitress in Hank Williams: Lost Highway. Wendy has scores of credits on her resume in theatres throughout the south. Some of her favorite shows include: You Can’t Take It With You, Grease and Sanders Family Christmas – to name only a few. Other favorite Opera House roles include: Annie Get Your Gun, See How They Run You Can’t Take It With You, Grease, The Importance of Being Earnest, Sanders Family Christmas, Bus Stop, The Reluctant Debutante, The Hallelujah Girls and The Dixie Swim Club – to name only a few. Wendy has also served as director and choreographer for many shows including You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown and Grease – she has also directed and choreographed several operas – including The Magic Flute and Cossi Fan Tutti.