‘Violet’ Program

CofC Stages proudly presents


Music by Jeanine Tesori
Book and Lyrics by Brian Crawley

Directed by Nakeisha Daniel

Music Director
Laura Turner
Kristin Alexander
Scenic Designer
Max Marshall
Costume Designer
Janine McCabe
Lighting Designer
Eddie Frye
Sound Designer
Caleb Garner
Technical Director
JD Stallings
Costume Shop Manager
Ellen Swick

Stage Manager

Mollie Davis


Nora Gore

October 5-13, 2022
Chapel Theatre, 172 Calhoun Street

Proudly presented at KCACTF Region IV
February 10, 2023 • Statesboro, GA

Content warning: this production contains adult themes and depictions of lust, bigotry, and racism. This production also features the use of strobe lighting effects. Sequences with flashing and/or strobe lighting may affect those who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy or other photosensitivities.

Jump to: Musical Numbers | Production Team | Acknowledgments | Director’s Note | Cast and Production Team Biographies


Gillian Huntley | Violet Karl Abbigail Lemaster | Bus Passenger, Mabel, Hotel Hooker, Choir
Skylar Huntley | Young Violet Chris Warzynski | Leroy Evans, Waiter, Radio Singer, Bus Driver, Choir
Clyde Moser | Father Brasia Jones | Bus Passenger, Gospel Trio, Landlady Almeta, Choir
Jaden Jenkins | Flick Noah Anderson | Bus Driver, Club Patron, Choir
Aidan O’Connor | Monty Lauryn Gadson | Bus Passenger, Music Hall Singer, Choir
Spencer Vinzani | Bus Driver, Preacher, Radio Trio Mekhi Gaither | Flick Understudy, Bus Passenger, Club Patron, Choir
Abby Scruggs | Old Lady, Gospel Trio, Bus Passenger, Choir Delaney Faile | Violet Understudy, Bus Passenger, Club Patron, Choir
Sam Rhodes | Bus Passenger, Virgil, Radio Trio, Billy Dean Neecie Owens | Lula Buffington (Soloist), Gospel Trio, Club Patron

Musical Numbers

1. Water in the Well 14. Anyone Would Do (Reprise)
2. Surprised 15. Hard to Say Goodbye
3. On My Way 16. Promise Me, Violet
4. M&M’s 17. Raise Me Up
5. Luck of the Draw 18. Down the Mountain
6. Question n’ Answer 19. In The Chapel
7. All to Pieces 20. Raise Me Up (Reprise)
8. Let it Sing 21. Look At Me
9. Anyone Would Do 22. That’s What I Could Do
10. Who’ll Be the One (If Not Me) 23. Surprised (Reprise)
11. Last Time I Came to Memphis 24. M&M’s (Reprise)
12. Lonely Stranger 25. Promise Me, Violet (Reprise)
13. Lay Down Your Head 26. Bring Me to Light

Original Production Team

CofC Stages Artistic Director: Janine McCabe
Director of Theatre: Nakeisha Daniel
Production Manager: Ellen Swick
Stage Management Advisor: Susan Kattwinkel
Assistant Director: Clyde Moser
Assistant Choreographer: Whitney Green
Assistant Stage Managers: Amari Woodard, Olivia Maness
Dramaturg: Nora Gore
Assistant Dramaturg: Noah Anderson

Properties Lead: Madison Berry
Properties Room Manager: Alex Jones

Carpenters: Students of Stagecraft class
Scenic Charge: Jonathan Wentz
Assistant Scenic Charge: Max Marshall
Scenic Artists: Bristol Barnes, Madison Berry
Scene Shop Staff (select students hired by the Department of Theatre & Dance with support from donor funding): Bristol Barnes, Madison Berry, Glenna Durbin, Isabella Gardner, Caroline Magee, Ella Moore, Ethan Robey, Eli Salas, Riley Taylor

Assistant Costume Designer: Molly Rumph
Costume Research Assistant: Bella Prado
Wardrobe Crew: Grace Ann Garrell, Joy Gay
Pattern Makers: Savannah Fatigante, Zachary Kobylarz
Sewing & Alterations: Arden McNeill, Maura Peecher, Stef Amezcua Barrientos, and students of Costume 1 class
Costume Shop Staff (select students hired by the Department of Theatre & Dance with support from donor funding): Savannah Fatigante, Zachary Kobylarz, Brandon Alston

Lighting Design Advisor: Lauren Duffie
Head Electricians: Alex Jones, Chris Warzynski
Electricians: Mia Bowersox, Duncan Charles, Hava Criss, Joey Kirkman, Zach Kobylarz, Caroline Magee, Jacob Reiss, Steven Witt
Light Board Programmer: Lauren Duffie
Assistant Sound Designer: Eli Salas
Electric Shop Staff (select students hired by the Department of Theatre & Dance with support from donor funding): Alex Jones, Chris Warzynski

Operations Coordinator: Miles Boinest
Marketing & Communications: Nandini B. McCauley
Graphic Designer: Rob Alexander
Photography: David Mandel, Annie Morraye
Box Office: George Street Box Office

KCACTF Production Team

Stage Manager: Mollie Davis
Assistant Stage Managers
: Olivia Maness, Amari Woodard
Technical Director
: JD Stallings

Music Director: Laura Turner
Audio Engineer
: Dustin Brause

Electrics Leads: Lauren Duffie, Eddie Frye, Chris Warzynski
Electrics Crew
: Molly Crary, Kate Yarbray, Isabella Gardner, Delaney Faile

Wardrobe Supervisor: Ellen Swick
Wardrobe Crew: Aidan Wunderley, Zach Kobylarz, Savannah Blake, Mira Turkewitz
Scenic Leads: Ethan Robey, Max Marshall, Glenna Durbin, Madison Berry
Scenic Crew: Annie Morraye, Noah Anderson, Brasia Jones, Jaden Jenkins, Gillian Huntley, Sam Rhodes, Spencer Vinzani, Abby Scruggs, Clyde Moser, Lauryn Gadson, Bea Lemaster, Aidan O’Connor, Nora Gore, Neecie Owens, Mekhi Gaither, Mason Monti, Skylar Huntley, Whitney Green

Violet is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.mtishows.com

Sponsored by Fox Music House Charleston

Special Thanks:

College of Charleston Facilities, College of Charleston’s Office of Sustainability, Anja Kelley, Carolyna Ramirez, the George Street Box Office staff, Fox Music House Charleston, Dustin Brause, President Andrew Hsu, Dean Edward Hart

Thank you to all of our donors!

Become an Impact Sponsor
The Department of Theatre and Dance offers opportunities to become an Impact Sponsor. Impact Sponsors have a direct financial and personal impact on individual students with whom you’ll be connected. You will be honored at special events, receive recognition in the 2022-2023 season programs and other department reports and receive updates from your student. For more information, visit theatre.cofc.edu/support and contact our office at 843.953.6306 to declare your impact.

Impact Sponsor Levels:
BENEFACTOR $2,500+ (for incoming student scholarship)
Add your name here!

GUARDIAN $750 (Clarence Student Award)
Evelynn & Bill Putnam
Mindy Seltzer & Bob Lovinger
Sam & Nancy Stafford
Louis & Andrea Weinstein
Chester & Arlene Williams
Anonymous (3)

Special Gifts: (Leave a lasting legacy. Learn more: 843.953.5348 or cofclegacy.org)
Anonymous – legacy gift
Charleston Academy of Music
John Covington & Robert Lukey – legacy gift
Michael & Susan Master – legacy gift

Become a Season Sponsor
As we transitions back to live in-person audiences and mask-free performances last season, we worked hard to keep our students and audiences engaged. We preserved the student experience during these last two years, but we lost essential revenue that plays a huge role in funding our season’s productions. Your donations contribute to funding the essentials needed for scenery, lighting, sound, and costumes, but more importantly, they help support student employees, student research and travel, and other student-focused experiences. We can’t do this without your generosity!

Season Sponsor Levels:
Karl & Charlene Bunch
Sam & Nancy Stafford
Chester & Arlene Williams

ADVOCATE $750-999
Janine McCabe
Matt & Gretchen McLaine
Evelynn & Bill Putnam
Mindy Seltzer & Bob Lovinger
Nancy & Sam Stafford
Louis & Andrea Weinstein
Jonathan & Janine Wentz

STAR $500-749
Michael & Susan Master
James McKenna

DIRECTOR $250-499
Janice and Jay Messeroff

FAN $100-249
Justin Van Beusecum

PATRON up to $99
Laura C. Bayless, Stephen & Allegra Litvin

Director’s Note

Violet is a story about the scars we all wear internally and externally. In staging this production at CofC, I made the choice not to have a physical manifestation of Violet’s injury. This means at no point in the show will the audience see Violet’s scar. My decision lies in the desire to explore the intersectionality of the collective moment in the 1960s, as well as the journey each character takes to self discovery. Rather than focusing solely on Violet’s disfigurement, I hope the audience’s curiosity will expand to this country’s national scars that are slow to heal.

—Nakeisha Daniel

Dramaturgical Note

Based on the short story “The Ugliest Pilgrim” by Doris Betts, Violet takes place in 1964, after the Civil Rights Act had just been passed and the United States increased their involvement in the Vietnam War. Violet Karl takes a Greyhound bus to Tulsa, Oklahoma to embark on a journey to have her scar healed by a famous televangelist. Like Violet, the people she meets along the way are also on their own personal journeys towards something greater in life, as was American society as a whole. These characters are facing issues brought on by race, war, and religion, yet are able to come together and interact on the issues they are facing. Throughout the story we see their perceptions and responses to each other, more importantly, we get to see those perceptions evolve. Perspective and perception are an integral part of Violet because we see one woman’s limited view of the world, and especially herself. Violet believes that healing her scar and conforming to an unrealistic beauty standard will solve all of her problems and her perceptions are heavily influenced by the people she encounters.

Although this story takes place in the past, the issues and themes within the show are not as far away as we think they are. Our society has made great social progress since 1964, but we are still in a time of change and are still fighting for a better world. Like Violet, we can surround ourselves with different people that can teach us so many things about different cultures, lifestyles, and foster a community that will last a lifetime.

—Nora Gore

Cast and Production Team Bios

Jeanine Tesori (Composer) won the Tony Award for Best Original Score with Lisa Kron for the musical Fun Home. She has also written Tony-nominated scores for Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center; Thoroughly Modern Millie (lyrics, Dick Scanlan); Caroline, or Change (lyrics, Tony Kushner); and Shrek The Musical (lyrics, David Lindsay-Abaire). The production of Caroline, or Change at the National Theatre in London received the Olivier Award for Best New Musical. Her 1997 Off-Broadway musical Violet (lyrics, Brian Crawley) opened on Broadway in 2014 and garnered four Tony nominations, including Best Musical Revival. Opera: A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck (libretto, Tony Kushner; Glimmerglass) and The Lion, The Unicorn, and Me (libretto, J. D. McClatchy, Kennedy Center). Music for plays: Mother Courage (dir. George C. Wolfe, with Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline), John Guare’s A Free Man of Color (Lincoln Center Theater, dir. George C. Wolfe), and Romeo and Juliet (Delacorte Gala). Film scores: Nights in Rodanthe, Every Day, and You’re Not You. Ms. Tesori is a member of the Dramatists Guild and was cited by the ASCAP as the first female composer to have two new musicals running concurrently on Broadway. She was the founding artistic director of Encores! Off-Center at New York City Center, and a lecturer in music at Yale University. Most of all, she is the proud parent of Siena Rafter.

Brian Crawley (Book and Lyrics) is a playwright and screenwriter. He wrote the book and lyrics for A Little Princess (composer Andrew Lippa) which debuted at Theatreworks of Palo Alto in the summer of 2004. He also wrote the book and lyrics for Violet (composer Jeanine Tesori) which was mounted Off-Broadway by Playwrights Horizons in 1997, then remounted in a concert version in 2003 to help inaugurate their new theater. Other musicals he has written include Evangeline with Ted Dykstra, and Down There with composer Lewis Flinn. He appears in the documentary One Night Stand, in which he writes a short musical in 24 hours with composer Gabriel Kahane. For the libretto of Violet, Brian won the Kleban Award. Prior to the Playwrights Horizons production, and on its behalf, Violet was given the Richard Rodgers Musical Production Award and an AT&T OnStage Award. Afterwards, besides a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical, Violet received the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical over all the year’s Broadway offerings (as did Paula Vogel’s play How I Learned to Drive; the first time two off-Broadway pieces took these top awards in the Drama Critic Circle’s history). Brian’s plays have been developed or staged at Lincoln Center, New York Theater Workshop, the National Alliance of Musical Theatre, and the Eugene O’Neill summer theater conference. He majored in Theater Studies at Yale and has an MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Brian is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Guest Artist Eddie Frye (Lighting Designer) is from Lexington, SC and is based in Charleston, SC. He is a recent CofC alum, having received a BA in Theatre (Costume Design and Technology). Eddie is excited to begin his professional career with a musical at his alma mater. He hopes to continue bringing color and light to each show in which he’s involved.

Guest Artist Caleb S. Garner (Sound Designer) is a lighting and sound designer based in Charleston, SC. A North Carolina native, he received his BA and BFA from Catawba College in Salisbury, NC, and his MFA from The University of Southern Mississippi. Caleb’s designs – ranging from concerts and ballets to musicals and straight plays – have earned him eight design awards, including second place at the National Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Washington, DC. Caleb has been a featured designer from New York to Mississippi, designing in the Northeast, Midwest, East Coast and Deep South. As a (sometimes transplanted) southerner, he is proud to come from the Southeast and champions the rich southern tradition of art and design. Caleb serves as the resident lighting designer of the Charleston Stage  Company and Artist in Residence of Lee Street Theatre in Salisbury, NC.

Noah Anderson (Bus Driver, Ensemble) is a junior double majoring in History and Theatre. This is his second mainstage show at the college. He has also been seen in Cabaret and The Swing of the Sea

Mollie Davis (Stage Manager) is a junior majoring in Psychology and a minor in Theater. She has served as an assistant stage manager for Pipeline, Everybody, and Cabaret. She is excited to serve as stage manager for the first time with an amazing cast and crew. 

Delaney Faile (Dance Captain/Ensemble/Violet Understudy) is a sophomore majoring in Arts Management and Theater (Performance). She is so excited to be in Violet for her first mainstage show. Delaney can also be seen performing with local theatre company Footlight Players.

Lauryn Gadson (Music Hall Singer/Ensemble) is a junior majoring in Theatre (Performance). She was last seen in Cabaret and Wanderlust.

Mekhi Gaither (Bus Passenger/Ensemble/Flick Understudy) is a senior majoring in Theatre (Theatre for Youth). He is beyond grateful for the cast and crew and is excited to be a part of this production. He has previously been seen in Pipeline, Everybody and The Arts under the Oaks Festival.

Nora Gore (Dramaturg) is a Junior majoring in Theatre (Performance) and this is the second mainstage show she has worked on as dramaturg. She was previously Dramaturg for Cabaret and appeared in How the Vote Was Won and Center Stage’s The Swing of the Sea.

Gillian Huntley (Violet Karl) is a senior majoring in Theatre (Performance). She has been seen previously in Living Dead in Denmark and How the Vote was Won. She is thrilled to be telling this story. She would like to thank Nakeisha Daniel and Laura Turner for giving her the chance to be on stage. She would also like to thank her voice teacher Diana for helping her with the show. 

Skylar Huntley (Young Violet) is a senior majoring in Theatre (Performance). She was seen previously in the main stage’s Antigone and Center Stage’s The Swing of the Sea. She is so excited to be a part of this show and wants to thank Nakisha and Laura for giving her this amazing opportunity.

Jaden Jenkins (Flick) is a senior majoring in Theatre (Theatre for Youth). This will be his final musical performance at CofC. He has previously been seen in Cabaret, Choir Boy, and Urinetown. He’s excited to hit the stage once again in this production of Violet

Brasia Jones (Ensemble) is a junior majoring in Theatre (Performance). This is her second show at the College of Charleston.

Abbigail Lemaster (Hotel Hooker/Bus Passenger/Ensemble) is a junior majoring in  Theatre Studies and minoring in Arts Management. She is so excited for her first role with the MainStage theatre department, having previously worked backstage and extensively with Center Stage, the student theatre group.

Max Marshall (Scenic Designer) is a Senior majoring in Theatre (Scenic Design and Technology). This is his third mainstage production with the Department of Theatre and Dance. Max was last seen on stage as Herr Schultz in Cabaret, in addition to serving as assistant scenic designer for Cabaret and The Magic Flute. Max would like to thank everyone who helped bring the design team’s vision to fruition!

Clyde Moser (Father) is currently working on his Master of Arts in Teaching in Performing Arts (Theatre). Clyde graduated from the College of Charleston in 2017 with a BS in Middle Grades Education and a BA in Theatre Performance. He has performed in multiple shows in Charleston as well as NYC such as RENT, The Addams Family, Spring Awakening, and A Chorus Line.

Aidan O’Connor (Monty) is a junior majoring in Theatre (Performance). He is extremely grateful to be a member of the Violet cast during his first semester at the College of Charleston. Recent credits include Rumors, As You Like It, Rabbit Hole, and Proof

Sam Rhodes (Virgil/Ensemble) is a sophomore majoring in Theatre (Performance). This is his first mainstage show. He has appeared in the Center Stage productions of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and The Cake.

Abby Scruggs (Old Lady) is a sophomore majoring in Theatre (Performance) and Political Science with a minor in Music. She is excited to make her mainstage debut in Violet

Spencer Vinzani (Preacher/Ensemble) is junior majoring in Theatre (Performance). He appeared on the mainstage last year in Cabaret. He is excited to work alongside the cast to present Violet.

Chris Warzynski (Bus Driver/Ensemble) is a junior majoring in Theatre (Scenic/Lighting Design and Technology). Chris has been in the Charleston theatre scene since high school and is always looking for ways to challenge audiences. Chris was last seen in Cabaret and will be designing three pieces in the Shifting Perspectives dance concert later this season.

Land Acknowledgement: We would like to acknowledge that we are located on the traditional lands of the first people of Charleston: The Etiwan, Kiawah, Edisto Natchez Kusso, Santee, and Wassamassaw people (also known as Varner Town Indians). 

We acknowledge and honor all the indigenous people who lived, labored and were faithful stewards of the land. We express our deep gratitude for the land and continued faithful stewardship to the next seven generations. 

We also acknowledge the lives and labor of the Africans who were enslaved to build Charleston, South Carolina. 

On this campus and in this space, African and African-descended people used skilled labor in ornamental ironwork, historic architecture, and low country agriculture and food production. On behalf of the College of Charleston, we acknowledge the Black lives and labor that built our city and our campus.

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