Category Archives: Show Ended

From Much Ado to Much ADONE!

Much Ado about Nothing

August 2023

Directed by Jarrod DeRooi

…there are no actual weak links in DeRooi’s presentation, but its absolute strength is in the fun brought by Luxton and Blouin, who prove well-matched with their facial expressions, delivery, and the physicality…

The Prenzie Players’ Much Ado About Nothing is a gift to the Quad Cities: a true testament to how art can transform a space, and how classical theatre continues to be relevant.

Madeline Dudziak, River Cities’ Reader
JC Luxton (Benedick) and Lily Blouin (Beatrice) [Photo Credit: Mattie Gelaude]

See also John Turner’s interviews with cast and others:

“The People of Much Ado”

After a three-and-a-half-year hiatus, the PRENZIE PLAYERS mounted a production this August [2023].

Prenzie Veteran Jarrod DeRooi directed Shakespeare’s MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. This comedy from Shakespeare’s middle period is one of his wittiest, with Benedick and Beatrice starting out with total disdain for each other that blossoms (with much help) into deepest love. Of course, everything that could possibly go wrong with this love story does, and the ways disaster is defeated are more than half the fun of this engaging work.

The cast is a Who’s Who of talent in the Quad-City area and beyond.

There are founding members of the Prenzie Players — JC Luxton playing the male lead (Benedick) and Denise Yoder as Dona Petra.

There are Prenzie regulars Jess White, Noah Stivers, Jen Brown, Mattie Gelaude and Kitty Israel in major roles.

Noah Stivers (Claudio), Denise Yoder (Doña Petra), JC Luxton (Benedick) [Photo Credit: Mattie Gelaude]

People new to Prenzie include female lead Lily Blouin (Beatrice), who has participated in just about every other theater group in the QC area, and Iowa City actors John Smick and Ryan Elgin.

There are even some new faces to theater here. Mark Garden, who turned heads with his stunning work in his first-ever role in TWELVE ANGRY JURORS (Playcrafters) plays the ‘heavy’ Don John, and the troubadour Balthazar is to be the first role since high school for Davenport musician Jenny Lynn Stacy.

The Watch: Ben Graham (Dogberry), John Smick (Seacoal), Milo Houdyshell (Verges), and Mischa Hooker (Oatcake) [Photo Credit: Mattie Gelaude]

Jarrod DeRooi has been a Prenzie regular for 14 years and had the title role in CORIOLANUS in 2017.

This show promised to re-introduce the Prenzie motto: “Theater is not a passive experience.”

MUCH ADO played at the Village Theatre (2113 E. 11th St, Davenport), August 3-6.



Jessica White
Leonetta, former soldier of Messina

Lily Blouin
Beatrice, Leonetta’s niece

Mattie Gelaude
Hero, Leonetta’s daughter

Denise Yoder
Doña Petra, Princess of Aragon

JC Luxton
Benedick, an officer in Doña Petra’s army

Mark Garden
Don John, bastard brother of Doña Petra

Kitty Israel
Corrada, a soldier in Doña Petra’s army
Ursula, a waiting gentlewoman to Hero

Ryan Elgin
Borachio, employee of Leonetta
Friar Francis

John Smick
Antonio, Leonetta’s brother
George Seacoal, a member of the Watch

Jen Brown
Margaret, a waiting gentlewoman to Hero
The Sexton

Mischa Hooker
Hugh Oatcake, a member of the Watch

Ben Graham
Dogberry, Master Constable of the Watch

Milo Houdyshell
Verges, attendant to Dogberry

And Introducing…

Jenny Lynn Stacy
Balthasar, a soldier and musician


Director: Jarrod DeRooi

Stage Manager: Liz Sager

Producer: Mike Schulz

Artistic Director: Catherine Bodenbender

Costumes: Kate Farence, THE CAST

Lighting Design: Roger Pavey, Catherine Bodenbender, Josef Bodenbender

Fight Choreography: Lily Blouin, Denise Yoder

Set Design: Jeremy Mahr, Jarrod DeRooi

Photography: Mattie Gelaude

Set Construction: Aaron E. Sullivan, Jenny Lynn Stacy, Denise Yoder, Jessica White, Deb Herman, John Herman, Joe DeRooi, Ron DeRooi, Cody Tebbit, Eila Tebbit, Matt Moody, Andrew Bruning, Emily Brehn-Stecher, Alice DeRooi, Jarrod DeRooi, THE CAST

Publicity: John R. Turner, Mischa Hooker, Denise Yoder, Kitty Israel, John Smick

Special Thanks

Matt Moody & The Village Theatre
Brent Tubbs & The Spotlight Theatre
Playcrafters Barn Theatre
Mischa Hooker & The New Athens Players
Jeremy Mahr
Andy Koski
Aaron E. Sullivan
Andrew Bruning
John and Sandy Turner
Deb and John Herman
Thorin Peugh & the Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Henry VIII is History!

Directed by Alaina Pascarella
October 2018

“This Henry VIII is a multiangled love story with pertinent political reverberations layered in. The love, though, is not just textual; it’s a love story between director and play, between a community and the theater, and between a company of actors and Shakespeare. Henry VIII in Davenport, Iowa; that’s as it should be.”

Eric Minton, Shakespeariences

“…impromptu moments of live theatre that will be hard to repeat or forget… the Prenzie Players’ cast was all-around skilled and committed, featuring some truly remarkable women. Taken overall, Henry VIII: All Is True was a satisfying night of history come to life.”

Madeline Dudziak, River Cities’ Reader

“Admirably portrayed. The standout… is Kitty Israel as Queen Katherine, whose regal bearing imbues a royal dignity when treading the tightrope of challenging King Henry…, a righteous fury at her mistreatment, and her ultimate humiliation when Anne is elevated to queen in her place.”

Chris Hicks, Dispatch-Argus

Henry VIII flanked by his queens
Photo Credit: Mattie Gelaude

With an aging wife and no male heir, Henry VIII becomes consumed with doubt about his marriage and the future of the Tudor dynasty. What happens next would change England and the world forever. One of history’s most well-known love triangles, William Shakespeare’s Henry VIII is a story of love, lust, and political ambition.

Cardinal Wolsey
Photo Credit: Mattie Gelaude

Anne Boleyn and Henry
Photo Credit: Mattie Gelaude

Prenzie Players were pleased to welcome Eric Minton, the proprietor of, to the show as part of his plan to see all the plays in the Shakespearean canon over the course of one year. See Jonathan Turner’s Dispatch-Argus article about this project: “D.C. man in Q-C on mission to see Shakespeare plays across U.S.”

The Crown
Photo Credit: Mattie Gelaude

Henry and Anne dance with Katharine in the background
Photo Credit: Mattie Gelaude


Henry VIII program

The Cast

Kate Farence
Sir Thomas Cromwell
Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury

Joe Sager
Duke of Buckingham
Earl of Surrey, his son-in-law

Mischa Hooker
Lord Chamberlain
Griffith, Queen Katharine’s gentleman usher

John Wright
Duke of Norfolk

Michael Carron
Cardinal Wolsey

Kitty Israel
Queen Katharine

Andrew Bruning
Duke of Suffolk

Payton Brasher
King Henry VIII

Collin Jost
Sir Thomas Lovell
Cardinal Campeius

Angela Rathman
Buckingham’s Surveyor
Patience, Queen Katharine’s waiting woman
Duchess of Norfolk

Anna M. Schneider
Anne Boleyn

Liz Sager
Mary Boleyn

The Crew

Director: Alaina Pascarella
Stage Manager: Chris Sanders-Ring
Set Design: Alaina Pascarella
Set Construction: Matt Moody and THE CAST
Set Painting: Andrew Bruning, Kate Farence, Alaina Pascarella, and Collin Jost
Props: Alaina Pascarella
Costume Design: Kate Farence, Alaina Pascarella, and THE CAST
Sound Design: Justin Hager
Lighting Design: Elizabeth Hager
Sound and Light Board Operator: Devin Ring
Box Office and Front of House: Jeremy Mahr
Photography: Mattie Gelaude
Marketing Team: Mischa Hooker, Nathan Klaus (Graphic Design), & Denise Yoder
Artistic Director: Catherine Bodenbender

Special Thanks

Playcrafter’s Barn Theatre
Phil Cathoir
Elizabeth Sager “for schlepping me around”
Quad Cities Theatre Workshop

Recently Ended… Well

Prenzie Players Present: All’s Well That Ends Well
By William Shakespeare

Directed by Catherine Bodenbender
October 2017

“…a rare and fascinating concept that utilizes a tight ensemble cast in an uncommon, intimate setting. The blend results in a shrewd and industrious production of one of Shakespeare’s less-produced comedies.”
Jeff Ashcraft, River Cities Reader

Bertram leaves home, first to be a courtier to the King of France and then to be a soldier for the Duke of Florence. But he can’t seem to escape Helen, who insists that she be his wife. Does she have a rightful claim to Bertram’s heart and hand? Why does Helen continue to pursue him after he rejects her? And how far is “too far” when someone is trying to take control of their life?

Stephanie Burrough and Andy Curtiss in All's Well
Stephanie Burrough and Andy Curtiss in All’s Well

Andy Koski and Matt Moody in All's Well
Andy Koski and Matt Moody in All’s Well

Adam Lewis and Stephanie Burrough in All's Well
Adam Lewis and Stephanie Burrough in All’s Well

Mattie Gelaude and Andy Curtiss in All's Well
Mattie Gelaude and Andy Curtiss in All’s Well

Promo Poster


The Cast

Angela Rathman
The Countess of Rousillon, mother to Bertram

Andy Curtiss
Bertram, Count of Rousillon

Andy Koski
Lafeu, a French nobleman
The Duke of Florence

Stephanie Burrough-McFarren
Helen, daughter of Gerard de Narbonne

Adam Michael Lewis
Parolles, companion to Bertram

Matt Moody
The King of France
Escalus, son of the Duke of Florence

Mattie Gelaude
The Nurse to the King of France
Diana, a maiden of Florence

Nathan Klaus
Dumain, a young French nobleman

Mischa Hooker
Longeville, a young French nobleman

Beth Woolley
Rinalda, steward to the Countess of Rousillon
Berowne, a young French nobleman who joins the Duke of Florence in battle

Denise Yoder as
The Widow of Florence, mother to Diana

The Crew

Director: Catherine Bodenbender
Producer: Jake Walker
Light Designer: Jesse Mohr
Graphic Designer: Nathan Klaus
Front of House: Jeremy Mahr

Special Thanks

The Deere-Wiman House
The Butterworth Center
Aaron E. Sullivan
Lis Athas
Kitty Israel
QC Theatre Workshop


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