Producing Artistic Director
John Saunders is honored to be working alongside this fantastic cast, crew, box office team, ushers, coffeehouse gang, and the amazing volunteers. As an actor here: 1776 ( Adams), MY FAIR LADY (Higgins), CAROUSEL (Jigger), THE SECRET GARDEN (Archie), and HAIRSPRAY (Edna). As a director here: THE BAKER’S WIFE, THE PRODUCERS, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, THE FULL MONTY, LES MISERABLES, CHICAGO, OLIVER! and many others. Elsewhere: National Tours: MY FAIR LADY, OLIVER!, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG. Regionally: The Papermill Playhouse and Northshore Music Theatre. Tremendous gratitude to his fellow directors, designers, and choreographers for the incredibly dynamic and brilliant work they present here. Thanks to Monica, Paul, Neal, James, Dee, Josh, Kevin, Jimm, Jeanne, Larry and Barbara for your constant support. And finally, a special thank you to Lynne Haydn for 16 years of opportunities, knowledge, guidance, friendship, and too many laughs to count. Enjoy the show!
James Rodgers has over 10 years working professionally in the arts industry as a Performer, Director, Administrator, Producer and Educator. He is the founder and principal of Hemis Digital and an associate teacher for the Badiene Magaziner Vocal Studio.
James has appeared with The MDR Sinfonieorchester, The Kurt Weill Festival, The Ravinia Festival, The Argento Ensemble, The Merola Opera Program, Toledo Opera, Opera Omaha, The Theatre Workshop of Nantucket, The Little Orchestra Society of New York, The Otago Arts Festival, The Auckland Festival, The Mac-Haydn Theatre, The Beijing Modern Music Festival, The Orpheus Choir, The Banff Centre, The Paul Dresher Ensemble and New Zealand Opera.
James has won both the Lotte Lenya and the Joy in Singing competitions. He is a passionate advocate of the art song repertoire and a champion of new music. In 2014 he released his debut album – Exiled: The Evolution of Kurt Weill. Based in New York, James holds degrees from Victoria University of Wellington and the Manhattan School of Music.
Monica M. Wemitt
Associate Producer / General Manager
Monica M. Wemitt, born in Pittsfield, MA and raised in Chatham, started with the Mac-Haydn Theatre as a volunteer on the Fairgrounds. After Monica moved to NYC., she tended bar, waitressed, & temped in the accounting departments of The Metropolitan Opera Guild, I. M. Pei, and British Telecommunications (BT) as her “survival” jobs. After a rather intense audition, Monica found she was going to be one of 12 women performing with Liza Minnelli at Radio City Music Hall. After the amazing response the show received in NYC, it toured nationally, Europe, and came back to Radio City. Later she auditioned and landed the role of Ernestina Money with Carol Channing in Hello, Dolly! when she made her Broadway debut. She later landed the 3rd National Tour of Beauty & The Beast & toured for four years. Monica was approached to be the office assistant, and gal Friday at Mac-Haydn. With the amount of office/bookkeeping experience in the temp jobs she’d had, and with meeting new people all over the country for several years while touring, it was pretty much a perfect fit. Monica was then made the Company Manager/Asst Producer in 2013 and still performs at Mac-Haydn as often as possible.
Financial and Box Office Manager
Dee Lashway – Starting as an usher the first year on the fairgrounds and working her way up to Box Office Manager and Administrative Assistant, Dee Lashway has dedicated almost 50 years to The Mac-Haydn Theatre. The theatre has always been an important part of Dee’s life. “I look forward to each new season, meeting the talented cast and crew and visiting again with so many of our long-time patrons”.
Technical Director / Master Electrician
Kevin Gleason has been involved in many theaters since his first years in college. Spending well over a decade with Silent G Productions, he has assisted Andrew Gmoser in lighting many productions, at The Westchester Broadway Theatre, Hudson Stage, Tuckahoe High School, and many others. On his own he is a Set Designer, Lighting Designer, and Technical Director working at Yorktown High School, New Canaan High School, and Nyack High School. For the past 20 years, Kevin has been the Technical Director/Master Electrician at the Mac-Haydn Theatre in Chatham, NY. At the Mac-Haydn, Kevin has also designed the lights or sets for Mamma Mia, Joseph….., Sweeney Todd, My Fair Lady, Guys & Dolls, High School Musical, Footloose and Bye, Bye Birdie. Kevin is a voracious reader, enjoys time spent at Disney World, and is always receptive to any new recipe involving bacon.
Assistant Company Manager
Amanda is beyond thrilled to be joining the administrative staff this season! She also currently manages the Children’s Theatre groups in the MHT box office and has served as a head usher in past seasons. A rising sophomore arts administration major at Wagner College, Amanda is heavily involved in student-run theatre and holds a position on an executive board of student producers. Favorite past credits include Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Judy Hanes), 42nd Street (Annie), and Spring Awakening (ASM). So many thanks to John, Monica, James, Dee and Erin for this incredible opportunity.