Do it Now!
by Jonathan Jensen & Rich Espey
Directed & Choreographed by Timoth David Copney
July 15 - July 31, 2022
A musical about the man who wanted Baltimore to dream big, get it done, and "Do it Now!": former Mayor William Donald Schaefer who believed hard enough for the whole city.
Produced in partnership with Baltimore Playwright's Festival
This production is fully sold out. An in-person (only) wait list will open one hour before showtime and any unused or returned seats will be offered on a first-come first-served basis to those present and waiting in the lobby. Signing up on the standby list does not guarantee that a seat will become available.
Proof of Vaccination or a negative PCR test (72 hours) is required for entry for all patrons over 12 years old. Masking is required at all times while in the building.
When I first became involved with this project 10 years ago, I was so impressed that I wanted to raise the money, hire a hall and do it now - er, then! Fast forward eight years and, as the chair of the Baltimore Playwrights Festival, I found myself able to make a formal presentation to our board, receive a green light to proceed and embark on one of the most satisfying episodes in my more than 50 years in the theatre.
Along with our producing partner, the Fells Point Corner Theatre team, and with a generous grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, we hope we have done justice to book writer/lyricist Rich Espey and composer and lyricist Jonathan Jensen's outstanding project. I have tried to capture the essence of their vision, and I, along with our incredibly talented band of actors and theatre artists hope that the audiences come away from the performance with a renewed or newly discovered appreciation for the amazing contributions to the city of Baltimore and the State of Maryland by William Donald Schaefer.
Taking on the task of helming the first full-scale, completely realized version of the words and music of these writers was daunting, to say the least. I sincerely hope that I and everyone else involved in bringing this production to the stage have made an evening of enjoyment and enlightened entertainment.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. And thank you so very much for your support of both the Baltimore Playwrights Festival and the Fells Point Corner Theatre. Without you, there would be no us!
-Timoth David Copney
Cast & Creative Team
William Donald Schaefer - John Covaleskie
Ella/Tululu - Wendy Baird
Bonnie - Vanessa Kinzey
Dan - Anthony Case
Jack Hoffman - Darren McGregor
Ed Rutkowski - Paul Ballard
Dorothy/Carol - Kay-Megan Washington
James/Murray - Keith Snipes
Bertha Rutowski - Adele Russell
Hyman Pressman - Rich Espey
Jean Mazoli - Joan D'Adamo
Robert Irsay - Mitch Fishbein
Old White Guy - Andrew Grossman
Mike DeVito - Conductor/Piano
Chris Peterson - Guitar/Banjo
Yoshiaki Horiguchi - Bass
Stage Manager - Charles Green
Assistant Stage Manager - Kat Zotti
Music Director - Jonathan Jensen
Costumer - April Forrer
Lighting Designer - Brad Ranno
Properties - Sharon Weaver
Booth Tech - Willow Hagen
Producers: Miriam Bazensky & Laura Malkus
Pictures Coming Soon
Photo by Kiirstn Pagan
Media & Reviews
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Bruce Kapplin, Kevin Kohlhafer, Larry Lambert, Larry Malkus, Donna Ward, Robert Welton
The Maryland State Arts Council and The Baltimore Office of Promotion and Arts
Wendy Baird (Ella Jane/Tululu) has been performing on the musical theater stage, in the studio and cabarets, and with big bands, orchestras and ensembles for more than 30 years, including playing these same two roles 10 years ago when Do It Now! was just being created. Favorite roles include Diana in Next to Normal, Meredith in Bat Boy, Sara Jane Moore in Assassins, Mrs. Johnstone in Blood Brothers, Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, and many more. Owner of insight180 brand consulting and design firm by day, Wendy is delighted to be back on stage to play with this great group of people.
Paul Ballard (Ed Rutkowski) is delighted to join this terrific cast in the premiere of this wonderful musical — a show he has very much wanted to act in after seeing its staged readings. Most recently seen in the role of Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music, Paul has played a wide variety of dramatic and comedic roles, including George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, Sancho Panza in Man of La Mancha, and Professor Bhaer in Little Women. Paul thanks his wonderful wife, Jan Danek, for her enduring love and support of his many theatrical endeavors.
Anthony Case (Dan) is thrilled to make his first appearance at Fells Point Corner Theatre! Anthony has appeared in shows in the Baltimore area since he was eight years old. Some of his favorite roles include a Bad Idea Bear in Avenue Q (Cockpit in Court), Georg in Spring Awakening (Stillpointe Theater), Mike in A Chorus Line (Phoenix Festival Theater), and Rooster in Annie (Scottfield). He wants to thank Timoth and the entire production team for allowing him to be a part of this amazing show.
John Covaleskie (William Donald Schaefer) is beyond thrilled to be making his FPCT debut with this wonderful original work. He is a retired teacher who has always worked in theater in his spare time, and is happily pursuing theater more seriously in retirement. His most recent role was Ernie Cusack with the Jewel Box Theater in Oklahoma City. Baltimore credits include The Foreman in 12 Angry Jurors (Vagabond Players) and The Magistrate in Lysistrata (Spotlighters). During COVID-related theater closures, John was fortunate to be involved in several virtual productions, including his role as Warren in Ellie (Baltimore Playwrights Festival). He wishes to express his gratitude to all involved in creating this production and giving him a part in it, and to his wife, Leah, for helping him prepare for the role of a lifetime.
Joan D’Adamo (Jean Mazol) is thrilled to be performing at Fells Point Corner Theatre for the first time! Most recently, she participated in a staged reading of The United States vs. Susan B. Anthony through Baltimore Playwrights Festival. She also had featured ensemble roles in My Fair Lady, Jekyll and Hyde, and Jesus Christ Superstar at Third Wall Productions, as well as Godspell and Oliver! with Memorial Players. During the day, Joan works as a Clinical Social Worker and Psychotherapist. She would like to thank this fabulous cast and creative team for bringing this show to life and supporting her in many ways. A special thanks to her daughter, Clare, for the coaching and great support during this process, and for Timoth, who put his heart and soul in this production.
Rich Espey (Playwright/Co-Lyricist/Hyman Pressman) is grateful to every single person who has been on the 11-year journey of Do It Now!, but especially to Jonathan, whose email out of the blue got the ball rolling. A three-time winner of the Carol Weinberg Award for Best Play at the Baltimore Playwrights Festival, Rich has been fortunate to have had more than 100 productions of his plays worldwide, including six here at FPCT. As an actor, his first appearance onstage at FPCT was in Smash! way back in '98, and other favorite performances have been in Parade ('02) and the almost-one-man-show QED ('05). The biggest thanks go to my husband Paul, for everything.
Mitch Fishbein (Robert Irsay) is thrilled to return to the FPCT stage in this new musical. Mitch has previously appeared at FPCT in the improvised musical, Santa Claus Must Die!, as well as the improvised play, Brain Sucking Aliens From Beyond the Moon. Mitch has been involved with improvisational theater for the past six years and co-founded the musical improv troupe, Bad Karaoke Experience, which creates one-act musicals on the spot. The group had the honor of performing as part of the New York Musical Improv Festival at the Magnet Theater and UCB’s Del Close Marathon. Mitch also performs regularly at the Lou Costello Room in Hampden with the short form improv troupe, Bear Trap, and sings with the Beth El Choir. Originally from the D.C. area, Mitch has worked locally as a Chemical Engineer and Process Engineering Manager for the past 43+ years. Special thanks to my wife Yvonne, who has supported my theatrical pursuits, as well as my three sons, daughters-in-law, and two grandchildren. Also, many thanks to my improv teachers, coaches, and teammates; Zumba instructors; and choir for helping me along this wonderful journey.
Andrew Grossman (Old White Guy) is thrilled to be involved with this production of Do It Now! and its talented cast and crew. He previously performed in Spotlighters Theatre's production of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change! as well as a number of Baltimore Playwrights Festival's readings including Free Fall Baltimore 2021. Outside of the theater, Andrew works in software development and enjoys rock climbing, yoga, and fostering cats.
Vanessa Kinzey (Bonnie) is pleased to be back as William Donald Schaefer's "girl Friday'' in this fully-staged production of Do It Now! after 10 years and three readings and workshops. Previous roles include Lucy in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Mary Jane Morkan in James Joyce’s The Dead, and Beverly in My Other Mother — The Musical.
Darren McGregor (Jack Hoffman) is delighted to be cast in this original production. Darren renewed his theatrical interests as both an actor and director soon after moving to Baltimore in 2004. He feels fortunate to have performed in productions like Oliver and Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well, as well as directed shows like Reginald Rose’s Twelve Angry Jurors and Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia. He looks forward to doing more of it once he figures out that work/life balance thing. When not performing, he dutifully works for Maryland to help individuals in crisis or at risk of incarceration. Darren would like to thank Timoth for once again casting him as a less-than-honorable character. He is honored to work with this talented group of composers, playwrights, stage managers, technical crew, and, of course, fellow actors. He also thanks his wife for her support and understanding.
Adele Russell (Bertha Rutowski) is appearing in her fifth show at FPCT. Her previous shows here were Side Man (Terry Glimmer), Sunday in the Park with
George (Frieda & Betty), The Immigrant (Ima Perry), and Life x 3 (Inez). Adele has performed in plays, musicals, revues, cabarets, audiobooks, TV, and film
over the years. She has a BA in Radio, TV, & Film from the University of Maryland and an AFA in Music (Voice) from CCBC, and has studied acting and voice at various studios in New York City, Washington D.C., and Maryland. She is also a Teaching Artist, a member of the SAG-AFTRA union, and an Equity Membership Candidate.
Keith Snipes (James/Murray) is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. He is a narrator, poet, lyricist and vocalist, (keithsnipes.com). At age 16 Keith began acting through a summer through the Baltimore Cultural Arts program. Keith has appeared in numerous stage plays, such as Jitney, The Meeting, A Raisin in the Sun, Fences, and Anne of the Thousand Days. He wrote and performed his own one-man show on the life of Malcolm X, entitled Malcolm X, Then and Now. Keith regularly performs with the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, appearing in Julius Caesar, Romeo & Juliet, Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 and Measure For Measure. He is currently featured in the CSC Monument Project and is working with the company on the development of a Black classical acting company.
Kay-Megan Washington (Dorothy/Carol) is thrilled to return to Fells Point Corner Theatre, where she most recently appeared as Dr. Vivian Bearing in Wit, and pre-pandemic, was featured as Gertrude in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Favorite roles include Madame de Volanges in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Grandma in Fabulation...or the Re-education of Undine, and a trio of Sondheim villains: Joanne in Company, The Witch in Into the Woods, and Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd. It has been a delight to work with Jonathan and Rich again after playing Dorothy and Carol in the 2018 staged reading of Do It Now! at Stevenson University.
Creative Team Bios
Timoth David Copney
(Director/Choreographer) has decades of experience in theatre and he is delighted to be working on his sixth production for Fells Point Corner Theatre! A classically trained dancer, Timoth is a veteran of several Equity tours, a Canadian television series, and has worked on more than 50 productions in the Baltimore area as a dancer, director, choreographer, singer, and actor. Highlights include directing and choreographing Oliver, Sweet Charity, and Jacques Brel, choreographing Godspell, The Wiz, Ragtime, Hello Dolly, Carousel, Guys and Dolls, and playing Bobby in A Chorus Line, Jacob in La Cage Aux Folles, Jo(Ann) in Company, Dr. Frankenfurter in Rocky Horror Show, and Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar. Additionally, he has served as the Artistic Director of Liberty Showcase Theatre, and has been a member of several local theatre boards. He is currently the Board Chair of the Baltimore Playwrights Festival. Timoth and his husband of 24 years reside in Baltimore in Original Northwood with their four-legged furry canine son, Wolfie.
Jonathan Jenson (Composer/Lyricist/Musical Director) A self-described musical chameleon, Jonathan began making up songs as a child while absorbing folk music, jazz, musical theater, the Great American Songbook, and classical music. He is in his 39th season as a bassist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, while playing piano in folk and ballroom dance circles, and continuing to compose and write songs, including a couple humorous ditties that went viral on video. Some of his compositions and arrangements have been performed by the BSO. Do It Now! was begun on a whim soon after William Donald Schaefer died in 2011. Jonathan is extremely grateful to everyone who has made it possible for this dream to be realized!
Chuck Green Sr. (Stage Manager) fell in love with theatre at an early age. Not a performer, Chuck uses skills developed in his Project Management background to be involved in the production process of a show as Stage Manager. Chuck had his first opportunity as Assistant Stage Manager on the Baltimore Rock Opera Society’s production of Chronoshred: The Adventures of Stardust Laserdong and continues to work on BROS productions. He has also worked with many other local theater companies including Interrobang, Stillpointe Theatre, Cohesion Theatre Company, BPF, and Rapid Lemon Productions.
Kat Zotti (Assistant Stage Manager) is a local artist, small business owner, and busy bee. They're buzzing somewhere backstage helping the talented troupe of Do It Now! to do it, now.
April Forrer (Costume Designer) is thrilled to be costuming for Do It Now! Designing for over 11 years, she is excited to be part of the Baltimore Playwrights Festival. Some favorite shows she costumed are: The Rocky Horror Show, She Kills Monsters, The Merchant of Venice, and Peter Pan. She would like to thank David and her three wonderful children, Ethan, Quintin and Lilly, for their support.
Brad J. Ranno (Lighting Designer) is currently the Operations and Production Coordinator at UMBC's Performing Arts and Humanities Building. He was formerly an assistant technical director at the Bowie Center for Performing Arts and Theatre Technician at CCBC Essex. He has also worked for Baltimore Theatre Project, St. Paul's School, The Washington National Opera, and Spotlighters Theatre. Brad graduated with a BA in Theatre from the University of Maryland College Park, and earned a master’s degree in arts administration from Goucher College. Some favorite lighting designs include: The Well of the Saints (PWT), Equus, and Into the Woods (Spotlighters), Compleat Female Stage Beauty (FPCT); and A Doll's House, Inherit The Wind, and The Glass Menagerie (Vagabonds). Brad is so glad to be back in a theatre working on his first show since the pandemic started.
Sharon Weaver (Props) has worn many hats in the past 55 years involved with community theatre. She is delighted to be part of Do It Now!
Willow Hagen (Booth Tech) is a lighting designer and electrician from Albany, NY. They most recently designed the award-winning lighting for Siena College’s Peter and the Starcatcher. This is Willow’s first theater experience in Baltimore and is thrilled to join the team.