First Date Program

Cast:

Bussy Gower – Casey

Jake Bell – Aaron

Michaela Lamb – Gabe/Stoner Ex/YouTube

Tracy Denver – Lauren/Grandma Ida/Facebook/Aaron’s Mother

Nick Martinez – Reggie/Rocker Ex/Aaron’s Future Son/Instagram

Erika Intfen – Allison/Google

Jack Cordray Griffin – Waiter/Casey’s Christian Father/Blaze/Twitter

Band:

Gabe Maldonado – Drums

Matt Channing – Guitar

Kevin Sakai – Woodwinds

Crystal Pelham – Bass

Michelle Bredine – Piano (Opening Night)

Production:

Kathryn Gourley – Director

Kelly Bidstrup-Graham – Music Director

Kim Hutchinson – Stage Manager

Liz Neuhauser – Assistant Music Director/Conductor

Bussy Gower – Choreographer

Jessica Jewell – Sound Designer/Mix

Kevin Taylor – Light Designer

Stephen Gourley & Kathryn Gourley – Set Design & Build

Nick Martinez – Non-Equity Deputy

Cast Biographies

Bussy Gower (She/Her) – Casey

Bussy is returning for her third production with Equinox. Previous Colorado credits include: Baby! (Lizzie), Footloose (Urlene), The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Pippi) – 2019 True West Award, South Pacific (Nellie). Regional credits: Into the Woods (Little Red), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hermia), Legally Blonde (Margot), The Hot l Baltimore (The Girl). National tour: A Christmas Carol (Lucy). Bussy is originally from Anchorage, Alaska and studied acting at Radford University in Virginia.

Jake Bell (He/Him) – Aaron

Jake is thrilled to be making his Equinox debut with this awesome show! First Date was the first Broadway show he’s seen so he’s happy to share this weird full-circle moment with you. He was last seen performing as a dancing disciple in Ovation West Performing Arts’s production of Godspell. Favorite credits include Rubble (Paw Patrol Live: Race to the Rescue; VStar Entertainment Group), Prince Eric (Disney’s The Little Mermaid; Round Barn Theatre), Melman (Madagascar: A Musical Adventure; New Stage Theatre), and Robert (With or Without You, Theatre Row NYC). Jake wants to thank Kathryn for this opportunity and his family for all their love and support!

Michaela Lamb (She/Her) – Gabe/Stoner Ex/YouTube

Michaela is absolutely thrilled to be working with Equinox Theatre Company again! She has been seen in several shows in and around Denver and is excited to have theatre back in full swing.  Some of her favorite roles include: Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls, Narrator in Side By Side By Sondheim, an ensemble member in Godspelland an ensemble player in Pippin. She would like to thank the entire production team for giving her this opportunity and her parents, family, and friends for the incredible support through it all!   

Tracy Denver (She/Her) – Lauren/Grandma Ida/Facebook/Aaron’s Mother

Tracy is so pleased to be returning to Equinox in her first show post-COVID!  She was last seen in Equinox Theatre’s production of The Great American Trailer Park as Jeannie.  Other favorite credits include:  Sarah (Company), Vera (Funny Girl), Mrs. Pambeck O’Malley (Few Thy Voice) and a Gargoyle/Gypsy in Colorado’s Regional Premiere of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  Immense love to her husband and two daughters for their unwavering support and encouragement.  

Nick Martinez (He/They) – Reggie/Rocker Ex/Aaron’s Future Son/Instagram

This is Nick’s second show with Equinox (Heathers 2019) and he is so excited to be back on stage for the first time since before the start of the pandemic. He is so happy that this show is finally making its way to the stage after the first casting happened early March 2020. Equinox has made wonderful changes to their mission and vision for the company, and he hopes that these changes are seen and that each person has a voice and is heard.

Erika Intfen (She/Her) – Allison/Google

Erika is over-the-moon to appear in her first Equinox production, First Date, playing the role of Allison alongside such a spectacular group of people! She is a Denver transplant from Kansas City who received her BFA and BA in Acting and Vocal Performance respectively.

Though returning from a brief stage hiatus with First Date, some of Erika’s more recent performances include Judy in 9 to 5, Inga in Young Frankenstein, and Mattie Fae in August Osage County. She wants to thank her parents Laura and Tim, her partner Josh, her friends near and not so near, and her partner in cat-crime Catniss who are all so consistently loving and fiercely supportive as she pursues her passions.

Jack Cordray Griffin (He/Him) – Waiter/Casey’s Christian Father/Blaze/Twitter

Jack Cordray Griffin (he/him/his) is excited to be making his Equinox Debut as Man 3! He recently obtained his BFA in Musical Theatre from Drake University last year! Previous show credits include the Courier in 1776 (Performance Now Theatre Company), Male Swing in Clue: The Musical (Parker Arts/Sasquatch Productions), Dan in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Stagedoor Theatre), and Mac in 42nd Street (Spark Performing and Creative Arts). Jack would like to thank his family and friends for their support, as well as the cast and crew for making this a wonderful experience!

Production Biographies:

Kathryn Gourley (She/Her) – Director

Kathryn is excited to finally have this show premiere with this incredible group of artists! A graduate of the University of New Mexico, she has worked within the Denver Theatre community since 2011 as a director, stage manager and actor and is currently on the board of Equinox. This is her 6th production with Equinox having stage managed I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Heathers & The Great American Trailer Park and assistant directed Sweeney Todd and Bubble Boy. Other favorite projects include Goneril in King Lear (Upstart Crow), Lysander in Midsummer Nights Dream (5th Wall Productions) and Madame Mariska is A Sherlock Holmes Mystery (MO Productions), as well as founding the comedy podcast Travesty Hall, stage managing Young Frankenstein (Vintage Theatre) and directing the 2021 world premiere of There Will Be Light (Wellspring by Backstory). Kathryn would like to thank her friends, family and her love Christian, for their incredible love and support.

Kelly Bidstrup-Graham (She/Her) – Music Director

Kelly Bidstrup Graham is thrilled to finally get to put on this fun show with such a talented cast! This is her 5th Equinox production, previously performing as Mrs. Vernon Williams in Cry Baby the Musical, and music directing I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, the Great American Trailer Park Musical, and Sweeney Todd. Kelly works in the community as a theater educator, accompanist, composer, conductor, instrumentalist and vocalist. She is the founder of the Co New Musical Festival and composer for the original musicals There Will Be Light and Not Just Anything. Check out her work (and super cute new baby) on instagram! @ILove_APiano

Kim Hutchinson (She/Her) – Stage Manager

Kim Hutchinson (she/her) is ecstatic to be back in the booth after more time away from theatre than was good for her. When she’s not stage managing, you can also find her volunteering front of house with Miner’s Alley Playhouse and Phamaly. Thank you to everyone, particularly her Dad, her coworkers, and her new Equinox friends, for putting up with her while she relearned how to balance work, life, and theatre. “Let me say it again: the present moment is all you ever have.” -Eckhart Tolle

Jessica Jewell (They/Them) – Sound Designer and Mixer

Jessica Jewell is a Denver-based live sound and studio engineer. Jess graduated in 2020 from CU Denver with a degree in Recording Arts. They work frequently with Equinox Theatre Company as a mixer and sound designer. They also have mixed and designed various musicals for different companies in Colorado such as the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, The Spark Theatre, the Colorado New Musical Festival, and the Cactus Club. In 2019 they won BroadwayWorld Denver’s award for Best Sound Design of a Musical for their work on Equinox’s production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. When Jess isn’t mixing for musicals or local bands they work at Tenderdyn Arts, one of the few Dolby Atmos music and film studios in Colorado. Jess is very excited to be back with Equinox as a sound designer, mixer, and board member!

Liz Neuhauser (She/Her) – Assistant Music Director

Liz is elated to be back to working in professional theatre after a 2-year pandemic-induced hiatus. While this is her first production with Equinox wearing an Assistant Music Director hat, Liz stage managed for Equinox’s past productions of Disaster! and Little Shop of Horrors. Before the pandemic brought live theatre to an abrupt halt, she was last seen producing and directing Puffs with her theatre company, Lost & Found Productions. Liz would like to than Kelly for the opportunity to take on a new role, and her girlfriend Lara, her best friend Bryan, and the Fram for all their love and support. Enjoy the show!

Band Biographies:

Gabe Maldonado (He/Him) – Drums

Gabe Maldonado is extremely excited and grateful to be a part of First Date, and this will be his umpteenth production with the Equinox Theatre Company. Gabe began drumming many eons ago and has never looked back. When not creating rhythym you can find him spending time with his wife and daughter.

Crystal Pelham (She/Her) – Bass

Crystal is very excited to be a part of the show! This is her first production with Equinox, but has played shows at many venues across CO. She has played in shows like A Christmas Carol, Sweeney Todd, Take to the Highway: The Music of James Taylor, Nunsense, Pippin, and many others. Crystal also plays with orchestras, jazz ensembles, and wind ensembles in CO, WY, MT and NE. Crystal would like to thank Liz Neuhauser for the opportunity to play this show, along with her boyfriend Zach, her mom, and the Fram for all of their patience, support and love. Enjoy the show!”

Matt Channing (He/Him) – Guitar

Matt studied music at the Lamont School of Music, but hasn’t let that stop him. For some reason he always got picked last for softball. He has committed senseless guitar crimes on such shows as Ignite Theater’s productions of Spring Awakening and Rent, and such Equinox shows as Evil Dead, Carrie, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Bonnie and Clyde and Great American Trailer Park Musical. For a time, and for reasons that are a mystery to everybody involved, he played in the modern country band Shotgun Lullaby and he is told he composed scores for Industrial Arts’ productions of Titus Andronicus, Agnes of God, and Reckoning with Marlowe. His baffling ambient music can be found at mattchanning.bandcamp.com.

Kevin Sakai (He/Him) – Woodwinds

An active and multifaceted performer, woodwind specialist Kevin Sakai inspires young students and captivates audiences through his high level of musicianship. With his performance ability ranging from classical to pop to jazz, he has performed in the orchestra pit of several musical productions on all consorts of clarinets, saxophones, and flutes with several theater companies in Colorado including Equinox Theatre Company, Candlelight Dinner Theater, Parker Arts Center, Vintage Theatre, Venue Theatre Company, and University/High School productions. Based in the Denver area, Kevin also performs in classical settings all around Colorado/Wyoming and currently holds the second clarinet position with the Longmont Symphony Orchestra, Boulder Symphony, and clarinetist with the Colorado Wind Ensemble. He regularly performs with Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, Centennial State Ballet Orchestra and many more as guest musician. 

While Kevin is an avid performer, he maintains a private clarinet and saxophone studio in Denver and Castle Rock influencing and guiding students of all levels from beginning to advanced. Kevin is currently the clarinet and saxophone instructor at several schools from Denver, Aurora, to Douglas County. He holds performance degrees from California State University, Long Beach (BM 2015) and University of Denver (MM 2017, Certificate 2018).

Special Thanks to:

  • Lost & Found Productions
  • Rachel Graham/RDG Photography
  • Book Bar