Hamlet-2008 2017-05-17T14:59:41+00:00


Ye Cast
Bernardo-Justin Webb
Francisco-Will Gabelman
Marcellus-Jeff Fischbach
Horatio-Travis Flatt
Hamlet-Patrick Mannle
Ophelia-Heather Fricke
Claudius-Steve Gwilt
Gertrude-Kim Frick-Welker
Polonius-Evan Stevens
Laertes-Sean Dietz
Voltimand-Reid Johnson
Ghost-Bruce Welker
Raynaldo- Will Gabelman
Rosencrantz-James Dale
Gildenstern-James Alder
First Player-Matt Hunter
Second Player-Sarah Young
Lucianus-Ashlyn Bolton
Captain-David Davidson
Servant/Messenger-Reid Johnson
Clown Gravedigger #1-David Davidson
Clown Gravedigger #2-Lucas Flatt
Priest #1-Matt Hunter
Osric-Phil Horne
Lord (Messenger)-David Davidson
Attendants:  Mirrah Johnson, Carole Racine
Musician-Diane Glasgow
Players:  Matt Hunter, Sarah Young, Justin Webb,
Ashlyn Bolton, Hannah Johnson, Jim Dale

Production Staff
Producer—Chad McDonald
Director—David R. Johnson
Assistant Director—Sean Dietz
Production Stage Manager—Liv Sinclair
Backstage Manager—Sandy Dunavan-Johnson
Stage Crew—Joshua Aikens, Jennifer Revalee,
Tammy O’Dell, Ashley Hyde
Lighting Design & Engineer—Brandon Walls
Scenic Design-Chad McDonald
Set Construction—Chad McDonald, Roger Long
Scenic Painter—Kim Frick-Welker
Paint Crew—Roger Long, Sandy Dunavan-Johnson,
Angela Isham, Heather Frick, Matt Hunter,
Marcia Reel, Sarah Young, John Reed,
Will Gabelman, Haley Stewart
Costume Design—Whitney Martin
Costume Crew—Kim Frick-Welker, Angie Hunter,
Joanne Longfellow, Matt Hunter
Marionette Creator—Phillip Huber
Fight Choreographer—John Welch
Props—Angie Hunter, Kim Frick-Welker
Technical Assistance—Keith Revalee, Tom Longfellow,
Roman Bell, Virginia Sinclair
Set Dressing—Kim Frick-Welker, Chad Mcdonald
Catering Services—Carole Racine
Production Mascot—Hamlet Cat
Poster & Program & Artwork…….Wayne Hogan
Poster & Program layout……..Steve Gwilt

Presented by The Dept. of Leisure Services,
Cultural Arts Division & The Drama Center

***Please disarm all electronic devices & other infernal noisemakers***

Thanks to…

The Cookeville Arts Council
The Huber Marionettes
Mark Creter,
TTU Backdoor Playhouse
Cookeville Children’s Theatre
Dave Johnson,
TheJane Ellen Experience
Cookeville Communications
Upper Cumberland Daily News
Leisure Services Parks &Maintenance Division
Charles Long,
Wesley Arena Theatre
Elizabeth Ayres,
Ty Kernea,
Herald Citizen

From the Director:
I would like to dedicate this show to my father, David Reid Johnson Sr. He has been the consistent force of encouragement and confidence throughout my entire life, and continues to inspire me to this day with his wisdom, confidence, and determination. This play is about love and devotion between fathers and sons, as much as anything, and because of my Dad, I didn’t have to do any research on that. Est Ubique

Justin Webb (Bernardo/Fire Breather) lives and works in Cookeville, and has been a full-time professional magician for four years. He was last seen as Troy Bolten in the Cumberland County Playhouse production of High School Musical. Hobbies include bugging Marcellus about his age, grizzled beard, and the volume of his snoring in the castle barracks. He thanks his old music teacher Mr. Choate for showing him what he wants to do with his life, and Dave Johnson for asking him to be in this production.

Will Gabelman (Reynaldo/Francisco) is an eighth grader at Avery Trace Middle School, and has been an actor since he was seven.  He has appeared in numerous shows, his favorite roles include the Dragon in Aladdin and His Wonderful Magical Lamp, Baron in Sleeping Beauty, Sleepy in The Granny Awards, an Osian and Winkie in The Wizard of Oz, and most recently the Bookseller in Beauty and the Beast.  He would like to thank Kim Frick-Welker and Dave Johnson for giving him the opportunity to be in such a great play with such an amazing cast.  He would also like to thank Jennifer Welch for helping him prioritize his theatrical future and Stephen Harris for being a great mentor and friend.

Travis Flatt ( Horatio) will be performing the role of Albert Soady, Jr. in the Drama Center production of Escanaba in Love at the Tennessee Theatre Association conference later this month. He thanks his friends and family.

Jeff Fishback (Marcellus) likes four-wheeling through Dogwood Park.

Patrick Mannle (Hamlet) is happy to be returning to the Dogwood Stage.  This is the role of a life time for him and he thanks Dave, who loves to direct, for believing in him and allowing him this opportunity.  He sends all of his love to his family, especially to his wife Katie and his beautiful daughter Merry Jane for bearing his absence from home.  Dave, he did this for you.

Bruce Welker (Ghost) is a veteran actor with more than 40 years experience on the stage, including the role of President Warren G. Harding in last year’s Backstage Series production of Camping With Henry and Tom, Fenwick/Tom in Experiment with an Air Pump, as well as Hector Nations in Foxfire, Selsdon Mowbray in Noises Off, Cookeville Children’s Theatre’s Li’l Abner and The Wizard of Oz, and TTU’s Backdoor Playhouse production of A Doll’s House. Bruce and his wife Kimberly portray Cookeville’s own Major Richard Fielding Cooke and his wife Margaret for the Cookeville History Museum. Bruce is originally from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, but came to Cookeville from Orlando, Florida five years ago with his family. He has performed in more than 250 theatrical productions in high school, college, community, and professional theatre. He is married to Kimberly Frick-Welker (Queen Gertrude) and has two step-daughters, Heather Frick (Ophelia) and Chelsea Frick, who are involved in dance and theatre in Cookeville. Bruce is the Market Manager of the Cookeville Communications radio stations in Cookeville.

Steven W. Gwilt (Claudius) has ambitions to serve on the Ketchup Advisory Board. He is beloved of Vegas-wife Amy and ale. Thanks to the cat for hanging out at rehearsals and entertaining the crazy cast.

Evan Stevens (Polonius) This will be Evan’s 16th production of one of Shakespeare’s plays.  Many of the previous ones were done at the Utah Shakespearean Festival & at the Globe Playhouse in West Hollywood, CA.  This will be the first time, however, that he has been old enough to play Polonius.

Reid Johnson ( Voltimand/Servant/Messanger) is developing a love for acting.

Matt Hunter (First Player/Priest) is thrilled to be a part of his first Shakespeare in the Park production. He was last seen as Belle’s loving father, Maurice, in the CCT 2008 Summer Production of “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”. He is a junior, home schooled through Daniel 1 Academy, to make more time for his first love, the stage. He would like to thank the entire cast for welcoming him with open arms and helping to help him with all of his “how art thou’s” ha-ha. He would also like to thank his best friend Stephen Harris, who “Because I Knew You, I Have Been Changed For Good”. To Patrick, we couldn’t have asked for a better Hamlet, you are just phenomenal. And to Dave, thank you so much for believing in me and giving me this awesome opportunity to work with such a talented cast and crew. He wants to thank more people, but he was denied his 3-page thank you request ha-ha. Congratulations cast, we have done well! Break a leg everyone!!!

Heather Frick (Ophelia) is pleased to be taking her first dive into the theatrical workings of Shakespeare. Heather has been acting since age 7 but has been on the stage since before birth. Theatre is in her blood and she cannot get enough of it. She has had so much fun working with the wide variety of talent involved in this production and wants to thank Dave for giving her this opportunity. Audience’s may have most recently seen her in The Battle of Shallowford and Escanaba in Love. She will be going to TTA with Escanaba at the end of October. She would like to  send a big hug out to her newfound theatre “big brothers” Travis, Sean, and Patrick. Kisses to my Sweet Stephen!

Kim Frick-Welker (Queen Gertrude) is a thirty year veteran of the stage performing in over two hundred productions. When not acting or directing, Kim and husband Bruce also portray Margaret Cooke and founder of Cookeville Major Richard Fielding Cooke at various community events in support of the Cookeville History Museum and Historic Train Depot.   Working on this show with husband Bruce and daughter Heather makes this experience extra special. She dedicates her performance to daughter Chelsea for “taking care of the family” all these weeks.

Sean Dietz (Laertes) is the name attributed to a man who hijacked a Boeing 727 on November 24, 1971, received $200,000 in ransom, and parachuted from the plane vanishing without a trace.  Despite hundreds of leads through the years, no conclusive evidence has surfaced regarding his true identity or whereabouts, and the bulk of the money has never been recovered. The FBI believes he did not survive…Yet he did, and is here now for your theatrical viewing pleasure.  Three cheers for Edward de Vere!

James Dale (Rosencrantz) would like to thank Nolan for the extensive training in pratfalls, and his parents for the unbridled support.

James Alder (Gildenstern) loves acting.
Hannah Johnson (Player) loves to play.

Director’s Notes

Welcome to our “unweeded garden”, as Hamlet describes the Kingdom of Denmark. In approximately three hours, the garden will be weeded, and the cycle will be ready to start anew. This is an apt theme at this time of year when the leaves are changing, the days shorten, and the park undergoes transformation. You may not be able to understand some of Shakespeare’s English, but you can still savor his playful poetry, particularly all the metaphorical references to the cycles of nature. And we have some amazing actors to lay it before you. Shakespeare’s code reveals how the whims of the human condition mirror familiar patterns of nature. This is a vegetation myth with some great action.

I can’t begin to thank the cast and crew enough for their dedication and commitment to this production. Everyone involved has made significant sacrifices to bring quality Shakespeare to Dogwood Park through a grand collaboration of talented and energetic people . At the risk of leaving some of the deserving out, I want to mention a few who were invaluable to this production.

Chad McDonald’s commitment to the arts, combined with his talent for imaginative design and construction, generates an incredible atmosphere of creative freedom and enthusiasm. His staff of Steve Gwilt, Kim Frick-Welker, and Brandon Walls comprise an amazing production team. They have all gone way above and beyond with their time and energy-especially Kim with her dedication to painting and decorating a set we could all be proud of, while somehow finding the time to create a powerful, unbeatable portrayal of Queen Gertrude. I would also like to commend Dave Davidson for his energy and enthusiasm. His unique mix of performance talent and dramaturgical background has been invaluable. Also- thanks go to Whitney Martin and Angie Hunter for their hard work on the costumes and props.

My deepest appreciation also to my wife, Sandy, for being so supportive througout this process. She not only accepted the grueling schedule, but also took on some significant roles stage managing and helping with set painting. She has provided a significant contribution to this production, and it has been wonderful having her there every night. I am a very lucky guy.