Something Rotten! (2022)

Stage director
Kevin Smathers
Kevin Smathers is the Senior Naval Science (Navy Junior ROTC) Teacher at Farragut High School and a retired Navy Commander. Mr. Smathers was last seen by Tennessee Valley Players audiences as Sam Carmichael in Mamma Mia. He has appeared locally with Tennessee Stage Company (New Play Festival), Oak Ridge Playhouse, Pellissippi State Community College and Foothills Community Players. Roles at which he would like a second chance: Frederik Egerman (A Little Night Music) and Lieutenant Frank Cioffe (Curtains) - now that one was fun! Mr. Smathers has been a member of the TVP Board of Directors since 2007. Hats off to Edmund Bolt, my mentor and friend.
Producer
Edmund Bolt
Edmund Bolt has moved from the role of stage director to the role of producer of Something Rotten!. He and his wife Susan have been active in the Knoxville theatre scene for fifty years starting with the Clarence Brown production of the musical 'Oliver!' in 1972. In 1980, he was involved in the re-establishment of Tennessee Valley Players which has specialized in the production of musicals. Since 2004, TVP has worked in partnership with Dr. Angela Batey, Director of Choral Activities at the University of Tennessee School of Music to provide the community the summer musical each year. Since 2011, TVP has been performing summers at the historic Ula Love Doughty Carousel Theatre. Sadly, this will be the last show to be performed in this lovely old theatre before being reborn as the Jenny Boyd Carousel Theatre in a couple of years.
Music director
Dr. Angela Batey
Dr. Angela L. Batey (Music Director) is Associate Dean in the University of Tennessee College of Arts and Sciences. She is Director of Graduate Studies of the School of Music, as well as Director of Choral Activities. Dr. Batey is recognized as a prominent conductor, clinician, adjudicator and teacher whose wide variety of experience encompasses professional, university, high school, community and church choruses. She conducts the UT Chamber Singers, and teaches conducting courses at the graduate level. Additionally, she is Director of Music at Farragut Presbyterian Church. In June of 2007, she made her conducting debut at Carnegie Hall to a rare standing ovation. In July 2012 and again in 2018 she led the UT Chamber Singers on an invited Cathedral Choral Residency to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and in 2015 did the same in London and Canterbury, England. In May, 2017 the Chamber Singers sang an invited Choral Evensong at Washington National Cathedral. Dr. Batey holds two degrees from Birmingham-Southern College in music education and musical theatre; a master's degree from The Florida State University in music education and the doctor of musical arts degree in choral conducting from the University of South Carolina.
Primary Accompanist
Tami Newsom
Tami Newsom is an accomplished musician and choral director and is proficient on a variety of instruments including the piano, organ, flute, and mountain dulcimer. She is a Past-Dean of the Knoxville Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. She first began her musical career at the age of 6, learning to play piano. At age 13, under the guidance and tutelage of her music instructors, Robbie Roseberry and Peter Picerno, she began playing the organ at First Cumberland Presbyterian in Memphis, where she remained for 25 years. As an accomplished singer, Ms. Newsom was a member of a Memphis-based auditioned ensemble, The Wolf River Singers. Simultaneously, she was part of their elite Ensemble Singer program. She has sat in as a juried member in the euphonium section of many music students' final exams. She is the accompanist for the University of Tennessee Chamber Singers as well as collaborative artist for conducting classes at UT. She is Associate Director of Music at Farragut Presbyterian Church and pursuing her second career as a double major in sacred music and religious studies at the University of Tennessee.
Choreographer
Gayle Greene
Gayle Greene studied ballet with former members of the American Ballet Theatre and has a master's degree in ballet, jazz, modern, and tap in Santa Barbara, California. She attended the University of Tennessee, majoring in dance with a minor in theatre, where she was a principle dancer in the university's New Repertory Dance Company. She taught dance and choreographed extensively in the Knoxville area for over thirty years. Gayle's affiliation with Tennessee Valley Players began in 1998 when she choreographed The Mystery of Edwin Drood and played the role of 'Helena Landless.' Over the years, she has choreographed and performed in numerous Tennessee Valley Player productions. Gayle is also an award-winning playwright and the author of three children's books; Because You Are Mine, The Snail's Pace, and The Rat's Race (scheduled for publication later this summer). Shout out to her husband, Rick, for his unending support and sitting on the couch with Ranger and Dickens all the nights she was at rehearsal. Gayle would also like to thank the entire production team and cast, it's been a joy!

'Why do we do this? Because it's entertaining! 5-6-7-8!'
- Something Rotten!
Stage Manager
Logan Williams
Logan Williams is thankful to be a part of her third show with the Tennessee Valley Players. She previously stage managed, as well as played the Grandmother, in the 2018 production of Into the Woods, and participated in the ensemble of Mamma Mia in the summer of 2019. She graduated from Central High School in 2017, and is attending the University of Tennessee as a vocal performance major and a proud member of Chamber Singers. She would like to thank her voice teachers, friends, family, the wonderful cast and crew of this show, and her faith in God for getting her this far.

CAST MEMBERS

Ensemble/Bard Boy
Grayson Belt
Grayson Belt is a recent graduate of Knoxville Catholic High School and is excited to be in the cast of Something Rotten!, his favorite musical. Having performed in countless shows, including 42nd Street, Music Man, and Shrek, the Musical, he is ecstatic to be a part of his first show with the Tennessee Valley Players. Grayson is excited to continue his acting and singing, as well as performing in Tennessee's All-State Choir. He is thrilled to enroll at Murray State this fall as a Zoology major. Grayson would like to thank Ms. MR, his family, and friends for supporting him.
Nigel
Peyton Bennett
Peyton Bennett is excited to perform in his first show with Tennessee Valley Players. He has been in Children of Eden Jr. (Music Director), Mamma Mia! (Sky), A Chorus Line (Dancer), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (St. Aphrodisious), The Drowsy Chaperone (Robert), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Rueben), and Big Fish (Don). Peyton is a music teacher for Knox County Schools. He is a graduate of Carson-Newman University with a music education degree. Peyton would like to thank his amazing wife, family, and friends for their support.
Shylock
William Bolt
William Bolt has been in far too many Tennessee Valley Player shows to count, starting from 1996 in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Since then, he has appeared in UT's Oklahoma! (2002), TVP's Strike Up the Band, Of Thee I Sing, West Side Story, Pirates of Penzance, and most recently Into The Woods, most of these shows at the lovely Carousel Theater. He is excited to be in Something Rotten! and be the swan song for this theater!
Minstrel/Chef/Lady Clapham
Roxanne Cabrera-Blaine
Roxanne Cabrera-Blaine is once again thrilled to be a part of another Tennessee Valley Players production. A graduate of UT's music education and graduate choral conducting programs, and where she was a graduate teaching assistant, Ms. Cabrera-Blaine is the music and theatre teacher at Knox County Virtual Secondary Schools and the Director of Music at Luminary United Methodist Church in Ten Mile. Previous credits include Rosie in Mamma Mia!, Little Red Ridinghood in Into the Woods, Erma in Anything Goes, Edith in Pirates of Penzance, Eponine in Les Miserables, Anita in West Side Story, and Nurse Janet in South Pacific. In her spare time, you can find her planning her next scuba dive, spending time with her family and fur babies, or eating junk food.
Francis Flute/Ensemble
Sam Hacker
Sam Hacker is excited to be in his first production with the Tennessee Valley Players. He is a member of the December 2019 class of Carson-Newman University and has had a love of music and theater his whole life. Some of his recent productions include Anything Goes, Almost Maine, and Freaky Friday the Musical. He was struggling not to 'crack up' at every moment of this production, and hope you 'yolks' will do the same.
Ensemble
Mary Ellen Haig
Mary Ellen Galloway Haig is happy to be a part of the 2022 Tennessee Valley Players' production of Something Rotten. This is her first on-stage event with TVP. She has also enjoyed behind the scenes work as a stage manager on Mamma Mia and serving on the TVP board. She has had lots of fun in the past performing in plays, with choral groups, and in local television productions. Mary Ellen would like to thank Something Rotten's amazing music, stage and choreography directors and talented performers for making this production a success and so much fun! Special thanks also to Thom for his encouragement and support.
Ensemble
Nina Hethmon
Nina Hethmon is excited to be in her first Tennessee Valley Players show. She hasn't been able to participate in theatre since high school and is ready to get back on the stage. She just completed her fourth year at the University of Tennessee majoring in Physics. Nina is grateful for her parents's support and especially grateful Something Rotten! is finally happening after being postponed for two years.
Ensemble/Bard Boy
Michael Hines
Michael Hines is ecstatic to be in his seventh production with Tennessee Valley Players. Most recently, you might have seen him in the role of Rapunzel's Prince in Into the Woods. Some of his previous credits with TVP include South Pacific (Yeoman Herbert Quale), West Side Story (Action), Les Miserables (Joly), Pirates of Penzance (Pirate), and the illustrious Sailor #1 of the Sailor Quartet in Anything Goes. Michael is a alum of UT with a degree in Nuclear Engineering, and was a ong-time member of the University of Tennessee Chamber Singers. In his day-job, Michael is proud to be one tiny cog in the Y-12 machine. Special thanks to his wife Claire for all of her support and patience during the rehearsal process, as well as to Dr. Batey for putting up with him for yet another summer.
William Shakespeare
Brett Hopper
Brett Hopper is excited to be a part of his fifth Tennessee Valley Players production! Mr. Hopper is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, where he earned his bachelor's degree in music education and his master's degree in choral conducting. During his matriculation, he was a proud member of the UT Chamber Singers, Concert Choir, Men's Chorale, and director of VOLume. He is the music teacher at Shannondale Elementary School. Mr. Hopper would like to thank his family, friends, and mentors for always supporting him and pushing him to be a better musician!
Ensemble/Chef
Wendy Hopper
Wendy Hopper is excited to perform in her first show with Tennessee Valley Players. Wendy has been on the TVP Board since 2018. She is a member of the Akima Club of Knoxville and has been a member of the Knoxville Choral Society. Wendy is quietly enjoying semi-retirement and has thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this talented cast!
Nick Bottom
Matt Huckaba
Matt Huckaba is pumped to perform in his fifth show with Tennessee Valley Players. His recent credits include Dulcamara (L'Elisir d'Amore) and Elder McLean (Susannah). Matt graduated with a bachelor of music education degree from Carson-Newman University in 2019 and currently works as a Wholesale Order Fulfillment Specialist for Pilot Flying J #FreightGeeks. Matt would like to thank Dr. Batey and Kevin Smathers for the opportunity to take on this role and Justin Lytal, John Minnich, Matthew Rogers and Wesley Sewell for their limitless support!
Bea Bottom
Jessica Magers-Rankin
Jessica Magers-Rankin is thrilled to be finally sharing Something Rotten! with East Tennessee audiences. Recent local credits include Diana in Lend Me a Tenor, Betty Jean in The Marvelous Wonderettes (Oak Ridge Playhouse), and Izzy in Rabbit Hole (TKD), Favorite roles include Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray and Joy in Cinderella (Oak Ridge Playhouse), as well as Cathy in The Last Five Years (Caritas Players). Favorite roles from her days in California include Florence in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Donna/Oolie in City of Angels, and Judy Denmark in Ruthless (Shellie Award Winner). Eternal love & gratitude to the Home Team. #onetheatreonefamily
Ensemble/Puritan
LisaKay Matchen
LisaKay directed several productions at ACT1 Theater in Alpharetta, of which some favorites are The Littlest Angel , Faith County: An Evening of Culture, Oliver! and Come Blow Your Horn. She was music director/choreographer for several shows including Honk!, The Wizard of Oz, and Two By Two. Favorite roles include Rachel in Two By Two, Martha in 1776 and the heroine in several melodramas . LisaKay began acting professionally at age 5 in The Sound of Music, and studied ballet for more years than she wants listed here! She danced with Milwaukee Ballet for a number of years and taught private ballet lessons when she and her husband moved to Georgia. She and her husband and son moved to Tennessee in January 2022 to be closer to their daughter and son-in-law in Ohio. LisaKay is a programmer by day, which supports her acting habit!
Ensemble
Wade McGarity
Wade McGarity is excited to perform in his third show with Tennessee Valley Players. He was previously seen on the TVP stage in Anything Goes (2017) and Into the Woods (2018). Wade also sings with the Knoxville Gay Men's Chorus (celebrating their 10th year!). He is a graduate of Halls High School, where he was member of the Madrigal Ensemble, and at the University of Tennessee was as a member of the Pride of the Southland Band. Wade would like to thank his family & friends for their support.
Ensemble/Bard Boy
Andy Moyer
Andy Moyer is ecstatic to be performing in Something Rotten!, his first theatrical show outside of high school. He was a part of every single show his high school has produced and is glad he gets to continue on after graduation. He would like to thank his family for their support. Andy recently got 100% in the first Lego Harry Potter game and wanted anyone who read his biography to know it. Enjoy the show!
Ensemble
Isabella Murrell
Isabella Murrell is egg-static to be in her first show with Tennessee Valley Players. She has participated in various musicals in her career. Some of her favorites include Sound of Music (Maria), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Truly Scrumptious), and Cinderella (Stepsister). She attends the South Carolina School of the Arts at Anderson University, and is majoring in musical theatre with a minor in worship leadership. Isabella would like to thank her family and friends for their love and support, her teachers and most of all God for getting her to where she is now.
Ensemble/Production Assistant
Nancy Pevey
Nancy Pevey is pleased to add her talent to this production of Something Rotten!, having previously appeared on stage for the Tennessee Valley Players productions of No, No, Nanette, Of Thee I Sing, and South Pacific. Pevey played horn in the orchestras of Thoroughly Modern Millie, Anything Goes, Kiss Me, Kate and Curtains. She is the former Dean of Mathematics at Pellissippi State Community College and QEP Director for the college. Pevey is President of the TVP Board of Directors.
Ensemble/Robin
Ron Pevey
Ron Pevey is a retired professor from the Nuclear Engineering Department of UT. He got into theatrical performances after moving to Knoxville at the age of 40 and appearing with the Farragut Performing Arts Theater (FPAT, under Victoria Bolen) since he had to be at the rehearsals anyway with his daughters. He met the Bolts while performing with Susan in FPAT's 42nd Street, and was coerced to be in the chorus of Lady Be Good, and the rest is history. (He finds it amusing he started out as a king in Cinderella and has ended up as a queen in this production.)
Ensemble/Bard Boy
Tim Pope
Tim Pope is excited to perform his first show with Tennessee Valley Players. He has participated in the musicals The Twenty-Fifth Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Urine Town. His recent credits with Knoxville Opera include comprimario roles in Romeo et Juliette and Mefistofele. He recently graduated from the University of Tennessee with his masters degree in vocal performance. Tim would like to thanks the ever-patient music and stage directors as well as the incredible choreographer for their diligence and leadership in making this production a success!
Ensemble/Bard Boy
Ben Rorabaugh
Ben Rorabaugh feels welcomed in his debut show with Tennessee Valley Players. A tenor and pianist, he teaches voice at Johnson University, Tennessee Wesleyan University, and LeGrand Music Studios. Recently, Rorabaugh has performed with Knoxville Opera, Marble City Opera, and Vickery Chamber Live; he also has credits with University of Mississippi Opera, Opera in the Ozarks, Center Stage Theater (Biloxi), and Gulfport Little Theatre. His roles include Tony (West Side Story), Fyedka (Fiddler on the Roof), Curly (Oklahoma!) and Ralph Rackstraw (HMS Pinafore). He would like to thank his wife Whitney for her support.
Portia
Laura Schoonmaker
Laura Schoonmaker is delighted to take part in her second TVP summer production. She was last seen in TVP's Curtains!, but has more recently appeared with the Knoxville Opera, Clarence Brown Theatre, Oak Ridge Playhouse, and WordPlayers. You may also recognize Laura from various local films and commercials. Laura is a voice and piano instructor and the Assistant Director for Knoxville Catholic High School's Irish Arts Theatre Company and Youth Ensemble. She would like to thank the cast and creative team for their patience, optimism, and perseverance through the ups and downs of this pre-pandemic production. At long lastů Bottoms up!
Ensemble
Olivia Squires
Olivia Squires is so ecstatic to make her Tennessee Valley Players debut! She avidly participates in her high school shows and music program. Olivia is also involved with Primary Players Community Theatre, where most recently she understudied for Mary Poppins and Mrs. Banks in their production of Mary Poppins Jr. When not on stage, she works with The Teenboard of Knoxville serving our local community. She would like to thank the directors, stage managers, choreographer, her voice teacher, and her family. Enjoy the show!
Ensemble
Emi Tippens
Emi Tippens is thrilled to be in her first Tennessee Valley Players production. She is a graduate of First Baptist Academy and previously performed in Much Ado About Nothing at Maryville College. Emi also participated as a scare actor in Maryville's Ghost Tours. She plans to attend college as a theatre major and music minor. Emi would like to thank everyone involved in the production, her family, and her dogs, cat, and goats for their support.
Brother Jeremiah
Barry Wallace
Barry Wallace has worked in Knoxville community and professional theatre for over 30 years as a director, music director, actor, and playwright. He is a 1989 graduate of the University of Tennessee with a BA in Theatre. Something Rotten! is his first production with Tennessee Valley Players. He most recently was seen in Theatre Knoxville Downtown's Murder on the Orient Express, and also acted in several online Zoom productions during the pandemic, Turpentine, High Ground, Smite Me and X's and O's. Past directing credits include Wait Until Dark, Night Must Fall, Happy Ending, Hay Fever and It's a Wonderful Life. He has music directed The Fantasticks, The Music Man, Little Shop of Horrors, Chicago, Little Women: The Musical, Peter Pan, Grease, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Into the Woods and many more. His original work, Snallygaster, is part of the New American Folk Theatre's Jubilee production in Chicago, an anthology of stories about Appalachia.
Thomas Nostradamus
Mike Watkins
Mike Watkins is happy to be returning for another Tennessee Valley Players production. Previously, he has appeared in the TVP shows Anything Goes, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and Blithe Spirit. This summer marks Mike's 39th year doing community theater. He and his wife, Kimberly (whom he met doing a musical), passed on their love of performing to their daughter, Riley, who can be seen as Sister Mary Robert in Sister Act Jr. this summer at Knoxville Children's Theater.
Ensemble
Courtney Wheeler
Courtney Wheeler is extremely proud to be joining the Tennessee Valley Players for the third time in this year's musical Something Rotten! Previously, she has joined TVP for Of Thee I Sing and Mamma Mia! Some of her favorite shows she has participated in include Oklahoma, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Once Upon a Mattress. She is a graduate of Karns High School and Lincoln Memorial University with a degree in Psychology. Courtney would like to thank her family, friends, and TVP family for all of their support.
Ensemble/Chef
Denise Williams
Denise Williams is back on 'the wicked stage' again! She has been active in area community theatre for over thirty years including productions with Theatre Knoxville, Oak Ridge Playhouse, TVP, UT Theatre and others. Favorite roles include Maria in The Sound of Music, the Widow Corney in Oliver, Anne Collier in 1940s Radio Hour, and Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls. As always, she is thankful for the talent God has blessed her with and for the patience and support of her loving husband, Bill.
Ensemble
Logan Williams
Logan Williams is thankful to be a part of her third show with the Tennessee Valley Players. She previously stage managed, as well as played the Grandmother, in the 2018 production of Into the Woods, and participated in the ensemble of Mamma Mia in the summer of 2019. She graduated from Central High School in 2017, and is attending the University of Tennessee as a vocal performance major and a proud member of Chamber Singers. She would like to thank her voice teachers, friends, family, the wonderful cast and crew of this show, and her faith in God for getting her this far.

PRODUCTION SUPPORT

Keyboard
Christy Lee
Christy Lee continues to lead a diverse career as a collaborative pianist, chamber musician, vocal coach, conductor, and educator. Dr. Lee has worked as pianist, coach, and assistant conductor at Opera Memphis, Chattanooga Opera, Pensacola Opera, Cleveland Opera, Knoxville Opera, Crested Butte Music Festival, Lake Placid International Voice Seminar, Pine Mountain Music Festival, Lyric Opera Cleveland, and Dorian Opera Theatre. For six years Lee was on the faculty of the College of The Bahamas where she was a founding member of C Force, the premiere chamber group of the College of The Bahamas. She holds degrees from Florida State University, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the University of Alabama. She is on the faculty of Mississippi State University.
Lighting/Sound Designer
Matt Cogburn
Cogburn is enjoying his 18th season with the Tennessee Valley Players. Previous work includes Mamma Mia, Into the Woods, Pirates of Penzance, Les Miserables, West Side Story, South Pacific, Of Thee I Sing, Girl Crazy, Curtains, Anything Goes, and many more wonderful shows done by the talented group Tennessee Valley Players always attracts. He would like to thank his wife Jill, ten-year-old daughter Lilly, and seven-year-old son James as well as the cast and crew. Matthew works as a Senior Retail Technology Engineer at Pilot Flying J. Enjoy this final performance in the Carousel!
Percussionist
Don Lordo
Don Lordo is delighted to play for the Tennessee Valley Players for the first time with this production of Something Rotten! He most recently played in the pit with the Oak Ridge Playhouse with their productions of 9 to 5 and Meet Me in St. Louis. Outside the pit, he holds down the drum set chair for the Ensemble Swing Time Big Band, plays in various concert bands and orchestras, or with whomever else might need a drummer. He currently lives in Oak Ridge with his wife Beth and three children.
Bass
Daniel Shifflett
Daniel Shifflett is a professional string and electric bassist. This is his tenth consecutive season with the Tennessee Valley Players. Mr. Shifflett has toured nationally, with Broken Bow Records artist, Jackie Lee, along with touring internationally to countries including India and Canada, with rock band, Gone in April. He has performed with country music star, Easton Corbin. Mr. Shifflett is an active clinician and teacher of the electric bass and string bass. He performs regularly with the Chattanooga Symphony and Brevard Philharmonic, Symphony of the Mountains and Marble City Opera. Currently, Mr. Shifflett serves as the Technical Director of Concord United Methodist Church.