Good Ol' Country Gospel at the St. Jacobs Schoolhouse Theatre

Artist Bios

The Cast

Ben Cookson Ben Cookson
Drayton Entertainment debut. Other theatre: Red Robinson in Red Rock Diner (Stage West Calgary), Ensemble in Chariots of Fire (The Grand Theatre), Bud Frump in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Theatre Sheridan), Soloist in Scotland Sings (Victoria Petrolia Playhouse), Professor Higgins in My Fair Lady (The Grand Theatre's High School Project). Film/TV: Forbes Duthie in Disasters at Sea (Exploration Production). Ben Cookson is a graduate of the Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance Program at Sheridan College. I would like to thank my family for surrounding me with unending love, support, and music.
 

Kevin Dempsey Kevin Dempsey
Drayton Entertainment: Jack and the Beanstalk: The Panto, Kings & Queens of Country, Hairspray, Lucky Stiff, Red Rock Diner, Anything Goes, White Christmas, Footloose, A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline, Big Band Legends, The Songs of Sinatra, Country Legends, Swing!. Kevin is happy to be returning to Drayton Entertainment to perform in Good Ol’ Country Gospel. Kevin is an active member in the Toronto jazz scene and can be heard frequently on CJRT. He has also been on the McMaster University and Mohawk College music faculties for the last 30 years. Kevin has been performing with Drayton Entertainment since 1994.
 

Leah Grandmont Leah Grandmont
Drayton Entertainment: Fiddler on the Loose, Ghost: The Musical. Other theatre: Vigilante (The Grand Theatre), East Coast Kitchen Party, Scotland Sings, Women of Country, The VPP Jamboree, Fiddler on the Loose 2 (Victoria Playhouse Petrolia). Leah appeared on America’s Got Talent as a member of Stacey Kay’s band, and has performed across Canada, Germany, and Scotland for the past two summers as a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Leah began studying the violin with Professor Patrick Burroughs at age 3, and has recently completed her Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance at Wilfrid Laurier University from the studio of Dr. Jeremy Bell.
 

Zachary Knowles Zachary Knowles
Drayton Entertainment: Million Dollar Quartet. Other theatre (selected): Brother Jay in Million Dollar Quartet (Stage West Calgary), Claude understudy in the National Tour of HAIR (Starvox), Starveling/Peaseblossom in A Midsummer Night's Dream (St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival). Thank you to my friends, family, and all the wonderful people at Drayton Entertainment.


 

Mark MacRae Mark MacRae
Drayton Entertainment debut. Other theatre (selected): Mark in Ring of Fire (Chemainus Theatre/Western Canada Theatre), Wade Jenson in Queens of Country Music, Olin in The Music Man (Port Hope), Jack Daw in Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story (Sudbury Theatre). Film/TV (selected): Good Witch (W Network), The Talk (Tent Productions), Condor (Audience Network), Designated Survivor (ABC), Covert Affairs (GEP Productions). Mark is an avid sailor who has appeared on FailArmy. www.markmacrae.ca

 

Daphne Moens Daphne Moens
Drayton Entertainment: Rocky: The Musical, Rock of Ages (Fallsview Casino), Marathon of Hope (workshop), Footloose. Other theatre: Freaky Friday, The Full Monty (Theatre Aquarius), Legally Blonde, Rock of Ages, Uptown Country Girls (Stage West Calgary), Ring of Fire (Grand Theatre). Film/TV: Tormented. Daphne is a graduate of Queen’s University with a B.A.H. in Drama and Music, and attended Sheridan College’s Music Theatre Performance Program. She was a featured performer for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines for many years. Love and many thanks to her family, friends, and everyone at The Talent House. Daphne’s newest CD North Country Girl is now available for purchase in the lobby! Instagram: @daphnemoen
 

Paul Jerry Schwarz Paul Jerry Schwarz
Drayton Entertainment debut. Other theatre: Maxwell Andrews in The Andrews Brothers (Victoria Playhouse Petrolia). Paul studied Vocal Performance at the Eastman School of Music, and Acting at the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York City. Thank you to David Rogers and Max Reimer for the opportunity, and to my wife, Cerah, for her unwavering support.


 

Kate Suhr Kate Suhr
Drayton Entertainment debut. Other theatre: Tess in Bloom (4th Line Theatre), A New Brain (New Stages), Nine in Concert (Podium) and Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins (LOT). In 2017, Suhr released her first full-length album called Selkie Bride and has appeared on numerous stages in Peterborough and beyond, performing solo and with friends. Kate attended both Humber College (Bachelor of Contemporary Music) and Western University (Opera). She is thrilled to be part of this show and wants to thank her family, friends, and da Costa Talent for their unwavering support. www.katesuhr.com
 

The Creative Team

David Rogers (Director & Choreographer) David Rogers (Director & Choreographer)
Drayton Entertainment: Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, Harold Hill in The Music Man, Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Che in Evita, Broadway Heroes (one-man show), Fiddler on the Loose (Creator), Canada 151 (Director), The World Goes ’Round (Director). David is currently the Co-Artistic Director at the Victoria Playhouse Petrolia, and in addition to directing, writing, and designing, he has played many leading musical theatre roles across North America. David is happy to be part of presenting this very special show and its beautiful music to all of you.
 

Mark MacRae (Assistant Director) Mark MacRae (Assistant Director)
Drayton Entertainment debut. Other theatre (selected): Mark in Ring of Fire (Chemainus Theatre/Western Canada Theatre), Wade Jenson in Queens of Country Music, Olin in The Music Man (Port Hope), Jack Daw in Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story (Sudbury Theatre). Film/TV (selected): Good Witch (W Network), The Talk (Tent Productions), Condor (Audience Network), Designated Survivor (ABC), Covert Affairs (GEP Productions). Mark is an avid sailor who has appeared on FailArmy. www.markmacrae.ca

 

Monique Lund (Assistant Choreographer) Monique Lund (Assistant Choreographer)
Drayton Entertainment: Priscilla Queen of the Desert, 42nd Street, Leader of the Pack, Swing!. Other theatre: Lili in Kiss Me Kate, Patricia in Crazy For You, Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha, Flavius in Julius Caesar, Sister Berthe in The Sound of Music, Max in Cabaret, Nimue in Camelot (Stratford Festival), Donna in Mamma Mia! (U.S. National Tour), Miss Andrew/Bird Lady in Mary Poppins (Theatre Aquarius), Judy in White Christmas (The Arts Club). Monique also appeared in the original Toronto companies of The Lord of the Rings, Mamma Mia!, Tommy, Crazy For You, Joseph and CATS. She received the 2017 Brian Mcdonald Award in support of emerging directors at the Stratford Festival.
 

Lyle Franklin (Lighting Designer) Lyle Franklin (Lighting Designer)
Drayton Entertainment: Kings & Queens of Country, Out of Order, Office Hours, Hilda’s Yard, A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline, The Affections of May, Lend Me A Tenor, Too Many Cooks, The Love List, Perfect Wedding, Twelve Angry Men, Separate Beds, The Odd Couple, Funny Money, Boeing Boeing. Other theatre: The Last Enchanted Forest (Petrolia), Walking on Water (Fanshawe College), The Anger of Ernest and Ernestine (Lost & Found Theatre), A Funny Thing Happened… (Ryerson University). He is a graduate of Ryerson University. Lyle is pleased to be working on another lighting design with Drayton Entertainment.
 

Charles Russell (Stage Manager) Charles Russell (Stage Manager)
Drayton Entertainment: Grease, The Miracle Worker, Jack and the Beanstalk: The Panto, Hairspray, Kings & Queens of Country, Million Dollar Quartet, The 39 Steps, All Shook Up, Red Rock Diner, Anything Goes, Sexy Laundry, The Music Man, The Crazy Time, The Wizard of Oz, A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline, Look No Hans!, Godspell (U.S. National Tour), Oliver!, The Love List, Blue Suede Shoes, Harvey. Other theatre: The Wizard of Oz (Charlottetown Festival), Extraordinary, Canada In Love, Dr. Magnificent’s Travelling Medicine Show (Young At Heart Musical Theatre for Seniors). Charles would like to thank Catherine and Norman for their inspiration and continued support, and all the chicks back on the farm.
 

Laurel Oneil (Rehearsal Stage Manager) Laurel Oneil (Rehearsal Stage Manager)
Drayton Entertainment: Fiddler on the Loose, Annie. Other theatre (selected): BOOM X (Theatre Calgary/ Manitoba Theatre Centre), BOOM (Theatre Calgary/Thousand Islands Playhouse), Jersey Boys, Legally Blonde, Rock of Ages, Avenue Q, The Producers, Game Show, The 39 Steps, Chicago, Spamalot, Young Frankenstein, Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story (Stage West Calgary). Laurel has also taught Stage Management at the University of Lethbridge. She would like to thank her family and friends for their unending love and support.
 


Nadene Riehl (Assistant Stage Manager) Nadene Riehl (Assistant Stage Manager)
Drayton Entertainment: You’ll Get Used To It! … The War Show, Hairspray, Kings & Queens of Country, Million Dollar Quartet, Red Rock Diner, Legends of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Canadian Legends, Snow White: The Panto, Footloose, Twist and Shout: The British Invasion, Legends of Harmony. Other theatre: Seussical The Musical, Grease, Bye Bye Birdie, The Full Monty, Hairspray, The Sound of Music (KWMP) and KW Glee. Since training at Sheridan College, Nadene continues to be heavily involved with KW Glee and numerous community theatres in the region. She’s excited to return for another season at Drayton Entertainment. Enjoy the show!