On the Playhouse Stage
Shows, Auditions, Special Events and More
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Playhouse Merced's Annual Gala
"A Night at the Sands"
A great time was had by all!

Our all-new 2014-2015 season is here!
Season Tickets on Sale Now

Fiddler on the Roof
August 29 - September 14, 2014

I Hate Hamlet
September 26 - October 5, 2014

Carrie: the Musical
Saturday, August 30 at 1:00




On Saturday, August 16, 2014, we celebrated our brand new 2014-2015 season, “Traditions,” with our annual fundraising Gala.

With 300 guests in attendance, we turned Bob Hart Square into a recreation of 1960s Las Vegas. 

Here's some highlights.

photo - fishbowl 360

photo by Merced Sun Star

photo by fishbowl 360

photo by fishbowl 360

photo by Merced Sun Star



New 2014-2015 Season was just announced
Season Tickets on sale NOW!

Call (209) 725-8587 or
click the button below for more information

Fiddler on the Roof
Book by Joseph Stein
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Based on Sholem Aleichem’s stories by special permission of Arnold Perl

August 29 - September 14, 2014

Set in the little Russian village of Anatevka, Fiddler on the Roof centers on Tevye, a poor dairyman, and his five daughters. With the help of a color ful and tight- knit Jewish community, Tevye tries to protect his daughters and instill them with tradition in the face of changing social mores and the growing anti-Semitism of Czarist Russia. Rich in historical and ethnic detail, Fiddler on the Roof ’s universal theme of tradition cuts across barriers of race, class, nationality and religion, leaving audiences crying tears of laughter, joy and sadness.

Rated: A (All Ages)


I Hate Hamlet
by Paul Rudnick

September 26 - October 5, 2014

A young and successful television actor relocates to New York, where he rents a marvelous, gothic apartment. With his television career in limbo, the actor is offered the opportunity to play Hamlet onstage, but there’s one problem: He hates Hamlet. His dilemma deepens with the entrance of John Barrymore’s ghost, who arrives intoxicated and in full costume to the apartment that once was his. The contrast between the two actors, the towering, dissipated Barrymore whose Hamlet was the greatest of his time, and Andrew Rally, hot young television star, leads to a wildly funny duel over women, art, success, duty, television, and yes, the apartment.

Rated T: Teens 13 and above


Carrie: the Musical
Music by Michael Gore
Lyrics by Dean Pitchford
Book by Lawrence D. Cohen
Based on the novel by Stephen King

October 17 - November 2, 2014

Carrie White is a misfit. At school, she’s an outcast who’s bullied by the popular crowd, and virtually invisible to everyone else. At home, she’s at the mercy of her loving but cruelly over-protective mother. But Carrie’s just discovered she’s got a special power, and if pushed too far, she’s not afraid to use it. Based on Stephen King’s bestselling novel, the musical of CARRIE hasn’t been seen since its legendary 1988 Broadway production. Set today, in the small town of Chamberlain, Maine, this is the perfect show for the Halloween season.

Rated “M” For Mature Audiences


Music, Lyrics & Book by Lionel Bart

November 21 - December 7, 2014

Adapted from the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist, Oliver tells the story of a young orphaned boy who, after running away from the orphanage run by the heartless Mr. Bumble, meets the Artful Dodger and is recruited to pick pockets for Fagin. There, Oliver finds a friend in Nancy, but neither she nor the boy are fit for a life of crime. Featuring hit songs such as “Food, Glorious, Food,” “Where is Love,” “Consider Yourself,” “As Long as He Needs Me,” and “ You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two,” Oliver has remained one of the most beloved family musicals of all time.

Rated: A (All Ages)


The Pirates of Penzance:  In Concert
Libretto by W.S. Gilbert
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Orchestrations by Peter Murray

January 16 - January 25, 2015

The Pirates of Penzance; or, The Slave of Duty is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. The story concerns Frederic, who, having completed his 21st year, is released from his apprenticeship to a band of tender- hear ted pirates. He meets Mabel, the daughter of Major-General Stanley, and the two young people fall instantly in love. Frederic finds out, however, that he was born on 29 February, and so, technically, he only has a birthday each leap year. His apprenticeship indentures state that he remains apprenticed to the pirates until his 21st birthday, and so he must serve for another 63 years. Bound by his own sense of duty, Frederic’s only solace is that Mabel agrees to wait for him faithfully.

Rated: A (All Ages)


Written by Regina Taylor
Adapted from the book by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry

February 6 - February 15, 2015
Crowns is the story of a young black woman who has come down South to stay with her aunt after her brother is killed in Brooklyn. Hats are everywhere in exquisite variety, and in this movingand celebratory musical play, hats provide a theatrical springboard for an exploration of black history and identity. The characters use the hats to tell tales concerning everything from the etiquette of hats to their historical and contemporary social functioning. There is a hat for every occasion - from flir ting to churchgoing to funerals to baptisms, and the tradition of hats is traced back to African rituals and slavery and forward to the New Testament and current fashion.

Rated T For 13 and Above


Into the Woods
Book by James Lapine
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

February 27 - March 15, 2015

The Brothers Grimm hit Broadway with an epic fairytale where worlds collide. James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim take everyone’s favorite storybook characters and brings them together for a timeless yet relevant piece and a rare modern classic. The story follows a Baker and his wife who wish to have a child, Cinderella who wishes to attend the King’s Festival, and Jack who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch’s curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone’s wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results.

Rated T For 13 and Above


The Crucible
Written by Arthur Miller

April 10 - April 19, 2015

This exciting drama about the Puritan purge of witchcraft in old Salem is both a gripping historical play and a timely parable of our contemporar y society. The story focuses upon a young farmer, his wife, and a young servant-girl who maliciously causes the wife’s arrest for witchcraft. The farmer brings the girl to court to admit the lie—and it is here that the monstrous course of bigotr y and deceit is terrifyingly depicted. The farmer, instead of saving his wife, finds himself also accused of witchcraft and ultimately condemned with a host of others.

Rated T Ages 13 and up


Book & Lyrics by Eric Idle
Music by John Du Prez and Eric Idle
From the original screenplay by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam,
Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin

May 8 - May 24, 2015

Lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL, SPAMALOT retells the legend of King Ar thur and his Knights of the Round Table, and features a bevy of beautiful show girls, not to mention cows, k iller rabbits, and French people. Monty Python’s SPAMALOT has been hailed as: “A no-holds-barred smash” The New Yorker “Funnier than the Black Death” Brother  Maynard,  Friars  Weekly incorporating Nuns Illustrated

Rated T Ages 13 and Up


Greater Tuna
Greater Tuna, Tuna Christmas, Red, White and Tuna, Tuna Does Vegas
Written by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears, Ed Howard

June 5 - June 14, 2015

Greater Tuna is a series of 4 comedic plays each set in the fictional town of Tuna, Texas, the “third-smallest” town in the state. The series was written by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears, and Ed Howard. The plays are at once an affectionate comment on small-town, Southern life and attitudes but also a withering satire of same. The plays are notable in that two men play the entire cast of over twenty eccentric characters of both genders and various ages. Come watch as the Hypes brothers tackle The Greater Tuna series in an unprecedented event.  That’s right, four shows, two weeks, 60+ characters and two actors.

Rated T For 13 and Above



Fiddler on the Roof
Book by Joseph Stein
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Based on Sholem Aleichem’s stories by special permission of Arnold Perl
August 29 - September 14, 2014

Set in the little Russian village of Anatevka, Fiddler on the Roof centers on Tevye, a poor dairyman, and his five daughters. With the help of a color ful and tight- knit Jewish community, Tevye tries to protect his daughters and instill them with tradition in the face of changing social mores and the growing anti-Semitism of Czarist Russia. Rich in historical and ethnic detail, Fiddler on the Roof ’s universal theme of tradition cuts across barriers of race, class, nationality and religion, leaving audiences crying tears of laughter, joy and sadness. Rated: A (All Ages)

Directed by Rob Hypes
Musically Directed by Dennis Brown
Choreographed by Noelle Chandler


Tevye: RC Essig
Golde: Theresa Hong
Avram: Glen Singer
Bielke: Claudette Asenjo
Chava: Katie Bordona
Fruma-Sarah: Alicia Bohlke
Fyedka: Jeshamon Volkerts
Grandma: Tzeitel Page Stayer
Hodel: Stephanie Rogers
Lazar Wolf: Jesse Stofle
Mendel: Christopher Ingle
Mordcha Rich Barnes
Motel: Matt Capron
Nachum: Robert Porta
Perchik: James McIntyre
Rabbi: Rick Morrison
Shaindel: Karen Linn
Shprintze: Jade Seymour
The Constable: Paul Wegner
Tzeitel: Melissa Beckwith
Yente: Melissa Proietti

The Russians
Henry Flores
Chris Espinoza
Tyler Botill
Ron Daily

Dob Francise
Bridget Mitchell
Nicole Terry
Elina Sahagun
Hannah Emily Glenn
Colby Hanning
Lauren Miller
Cossette Asenjo
Sologne Patterson
Emily Johnson
Casie Bonstein
Chelsea King


Cast List for:

I Hate Hamlet
by Paul Rudnick

BARRYMORE: Colton Dennis
GARY: John Mayer
DEIRDRE: Rachel Pearre
LILLIAN: Heike Hambley
FELICIA: Bridget Mitchell

Thanks to all who auditioned!


Audition Information
Auditions for the 2014-2015 will be announced here as we get close to each show.
We hope you'll consider coming out and auditioning for a show at Playhouse Merced. We're your community's theater and would love for you to come and be a part of our theatre family.

Watch this space for announcements coming soon!




Carrie: the Musical
Music by Michael Gore
Lyrics by Dean Pitchford
Book by Lawrence D. Cohen
Based on the novel by Stephen King

Directed by Rob Hypes
Musically Directed by Darrel Lingenfelter

When: Saturday, August 30th at 1:00 pm
Where: Playhouse Merced (452 West Main St, Merced CA 95340)
How to audition: Come on down, sign up in our lobby and bring 16 bars of sheet music that shows off your voice the best.

Please keep in mind that this show deals with adult themes and language.

For more information or to schedule a different audition date, please contact Rob Hypes at robh@playhousemerced.com

Character Breakdown

Carrie White: Actress to play late teens. A painfully shy outsider who, in spite of her best efforts to belong, has been a victim of her classmates’ cruel jokes since childhood, as well as her mother’s strict, biblically-ordained control at home. She transforms from ugly duckling into graceful, and then vengeful, swan.

Margaret White: Actress, Mid 30s–Mid 40s. Carrie's mother. A woman of visceral extremes, she balances her fervent religious convictions with equally sincere true-believer spirituality and tender, maternal love for Carrie. In the end, she proves to be a religious extremist.

Sue Snell: Actress to play late teens. Sue acts as a narrator to events of the past in which she was a participant. Sweet, straight-A smart and well-liked good girl who’s been popular all her life. She finds herself participating in an unthinking act of cruelty that changes everything, and a moment of conscience causes her to embark on a different path that sets her apart from her peers and tests her.

Tommy Ross: Actor to play late teens. Tommy is the most popular senior, varsity star athlete, valedictorian, and all-around handsome good-guy. Yet within this icon, also sweetly self-effacing and blessed with the quirky sensitivity of a poet who is not afraid to stand up to peer pressure and do the right thing.

Chris Hargensen: Actress to play late teens. Chris is a rich, spoiled-rotten, popular beauty who radiates a natural ringleader and a bully. She’s arrogant, and has a sense of entitlement that makes her think she deserves to get her own way. She has serious daddy and anger management issues.

Billy Nolan: Actor to play late teens. Now in his 6th year of high school, he’s a bad boy whose wise mouth troublemaking has led him to spend more time in detention than in class. Chris manipulates him to do her bidding.

Miss Gardner: Actress, Mid 30s –Mid 40s. The girls’ Physical Education teacher. Can be disciplinarian when the situation calls for it, but also a warm “fairy godmother” (vs. Margaret’s nightmare mother). Goes from angrily wanting to take Carrie and shake her in the shower to protective and encouraging Carrie to dream – only to find herself in a situation that’s way over her head.

Mr. Stephens: Actor, Mid 30s–Mid 40s. A well intentioned English teacher and guidance counselor who struggles to help students realize their potential.

Norma: Actress to play late teens. Gossipy and suck-up to authority, Norma is second in command to Chris’ queen bee.

Frieda: Actress to play late teens. Sue’s brainy pal, she’s an easy going, get-along follower and a tireless extracurricular committee volunteer.

Helen: Actress to play late teens. Giggly and easily shocked, her immaturity and need to belong make her the perfect example of the herd mentality.

George: Actor to play late teens. Tommy’s jock wingman since childhood, George idolizes him. Perhaps a little too much.

Stokes: Actor to play late teens. A bit of a nerd, he’s happy to be included as one of Tommy’s posse.
Freddy: Actor to play late teens. The wise-cracking class clown and official yearbook photographer, he can’t believe any girl would give him the time of day.

Teen Ensemble: A total diversity of colors, sizes and types to embody the particular American high school. Energetic and emotive

Carrie: the Musical performance dates: Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 and Sundays at 2:00 October 17 - November 2, 2014

Rehearsals: At Playhouse Merced, rehearsals typically start 5-6 weeks prior to the opening of the show.  Rehearsal times are typically weekday evenings at 6:30 - 9:30 and weekends from 12noon - 5:00.  These times would depend on availability of cast members. More information will be available on the day of auditions.


Rental Information

Need a unique space for your business conference, music recital or other special event?  Rent the Playhouse!  Our unique Mainstage Space can host up to 200 people with stadium-style seating. Rental of our Mainstage starts at $450.00. For more information regarding the facility availability and more detailed rental rates, please contact us at (209) 725-8587.


News & Media

Your media contact person for Playhouse Merced is Rob Hypes
Have questions about a show?  Need photos or other collateral matieral?



Playhouse Merced Archives
Past Seasons, Past Shows -- What do you remember?

2013-2014 Season

Les Miserables
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
A Christmas Carol
I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
The Piano Lesson
Shrek: the Musical
The Three Musketeers
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
Noises Off

2012-2013 Season
"There and Back Again"

9 to 5: the Musical
A Few Good Men
Richard O'Brien's The Rocky Horror Show
Dearly Departed
The Hobbit
Jesus Christ Superstar
Urinetown: the Musical
Merced Born and Raised
West Side Story

2011-2012 Season
"There's No Place Like Home"

Charley's Aunt
Sweeney Todd
Frost / Nixon
The Wizard of Oz
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
The King and I
The Odd Couple (Female Version)
Almost Heaven: The Songs of John Denver
The Elephant Man
The Music Man

2010-2011 Season
"Dreams, Fantasy, Drama...and All That Jazz!"

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
12 Angry Men
Reefer Madness
Lend Me a Tenor
Mid-Life: The Crisis Musical
All Shook Up
The Scarlet Pimpernel
The Heart of the Lion

2009-2010 Season
"Our Season of Pure Imagination"

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill
Beauty and the Beast
Little Shop of Horrors
The Bible: The Complete Word of God: Abridged
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka
Always...Patsy Cline
Big River
The Secret Garden
Bye Bye Birdie

2008-2009 Season

The Sound of Music
Something's Afoot
Little Women: The Musical
Greater Tuna
Our Town
I Do!  I Do!
The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged)
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Children of Eden
It's a Wonderful Life (Rado Play)
Moon Over Buffalo
Jekyll and Hyde: The Musical

2007-2008 Season

Annie Get Your Gum
The Baltimore Waltz
Five Women Wearing the Same Dress
On Golden Pond
A Streetcar Named Desire
Biloxi Blues
Crazy for You (In Concert)
Guys and Dolls
I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
Some Enchanted Evening
 2006 - 2007 Season

Fiddler on the Roof
Of Mice and Men
You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
Charlotte's Web
Honky Tonk Angels
Much Ado About Nothing
Steel Magnolias

2005 - 2006 Season

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
James and the Giant Peach
The Diary of Anne Frank
A Year with Frog & Toad
Nuncrackers Amen!
A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline
L.A. Real
The Underpants
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Man of La Mancha

2004 - 2005 Season

The Complete History of America (Abridged)
Suessical the Musical
A Taffeta Christmas
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Titanic: A New Musical
Noises Off
Songs for a New World
Pump Boys and Dinettes
The Glass Menagerie
The Wizard of Oz
Judy Speaks
The Guys
DNA & the Dancing Fool
Four Guys Names Jose and a Girl Named Maria
Alice in Wonderland
Bye Bye Birdie

2003-2004 Season

By the Hand of the Father
Stuart Little
Christmas in the Valley
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
Black History
The Taffetas
The Laramie Project
Annie Jr.
A Chorus Line
Schoolhouse Rock!

2002-2003 Season

My Way
The Gift of the Maji
Forever Plaid
Anne of Green Gamles
Always...Patsy Cline
The Jungle Book
The Little Mermaid

 452 West Main Street; Merced, CA 95340  209-725-8587                      boxoffice@playhousemerced.com




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