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Plaza Theatre Company Honored With 31 Column Awards Nominations

Little-shop-web  Enchanted-April-web

The 16th annual Column Awards nominations were announced this past Sunday, and among the many worthy nominees from over 30 different DFW Theatre Companies which received nominations, PlazaCo was honored to receive 31 Column nominations. We were especially thrilled that these nominations represented six of our 2014 productions at PlazaCo. We send our congratulations to all who were nominated, to the Column Voting Academy for the recognition, and to the Column Awards organization for the event they work so diligently to provide.

The list of Plaza nominees includes: (Note that all nominees are in the NON-EQUITY category)



Best Director of a Play – JaceSon P. Barrus for ENCHANTED APRIL

Best Musical Director – Soni Barrus for THE KING & I

Best Choreographer – Tabitha Barrus for LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

Best Actress in a Musical – Daron Cockerell as Lilli Vanessi / Katherine in KISS ME KATE

Best Actress in a Musical – Meredith Browning as Guinevere in CAMELOT

Best Actor in a Musical – JaceSon P. Barrus as Fred Graham / Petruchio in KISS ME KATE

Best Actress in a Play – Tina Barrus as Rose Arnott in ENCHANTED APRIL

Best Actress in a Play – Stacey Greenawalt as Lottie Wilton in ENCHANTED APRIL

Best Actor in a Play – Luke Hunt as Stanley Banks in FATHER OF THE BRIDE

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical – Carlee Cagle as Lois Lane / Bianca in KISS ME KATE

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical – G. Aaron Siler as The Plant in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

Best Supporting Actress in a Play – Jennifer Fortson as Caroline Bramble in ENCHANTED APRIL

Best Supporting Actress in a Play – Trich Zaitoon as Mrs. Graves in ENCHANTED APRIL

Best Supporting Actor in a Play – Jay Lewis as Frederick Arnott in ENCHANTED APRIL

Best Supporting Actor in a Play – Jonathan Metting as Mellersh Wilton in ENCHANTED APRIL

Best Featured Actress in a Musical – Kate Vela as Tuptim in THE KING & I

Best Featured Actor in a Musical – Ozzie Ingram as King Pellinore in CAMELOT

Best Featured Actress in a Play – JoAnn Gracey as Costanza in ENCHANTED APRIL

Best Featured Actor in a Play – Michael McMillan as Antony Wilding in ENCHANTED APRIL

Chita Rivera Dance Award Male – Ben Midkiff in THE KING & I

Chita Rivera Dance Award Female – Katherine Balaban in THE KING & I

Best Costume Design of a Musical – Tina Barrus for THE KING & I

Best Costume Design of a Play – Tina Barrus for ENCHANTED APRIL

Best Set Design of a Musical – JaceSon P. Barrus for LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

Best Set Design of a Play – JaceSon P. Barrus for ENCHANTED APRIL

Best Lighting Design of a Musical – G. Aaron Siler and Cameron Barrus for LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

Best Lighting Design of a Play – JaceSon P. Barrus for ENCHANTED APRIL

Best Sound Design of a Musical – G. Aaron Siler for LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

Best Sound Design of a Play – JaceSon P. Barrus for ENCHANTED APRIL

Also note that, while her nomination is for her work at several different theatre companies, Cessany Ford was nominated as Best Stage Manager for 2014 which included work at PlazaCo.

Voting in the final round is open to all Column members and has already begun. Voting in this final round is only open to current Column members and will close on February 20th at 10pm. The Column Awards Gala will be held Sunday, March 22nd at the Granville Arts Center – we hope you will join us in attending this special event. Congratulations nominees!

Our Audience And Critics Agree: THE WIZARD OF OZ Is A Smash Hit! (Reviews Included)


Plaza Theatre Company’s production of THE WIZARD OF OZ has become the fastest selling show in PlazaCo history. And critics and our audience agree its because the show is a thrilling adventure for children AND adults. We strongly encourage those who wish to attend to reserve as soon as possible. Dates are filling extremely fast for this spectacular Plaza production. Call 817-202-0600 or visit for reservations.

Below we’ve included the two critical reviews of the show. PTC sends our thanks and congratulations to directors Jodie and Soni Barrus and the entire cast & crew for their excellent work. Read on for some excellent notices for the show then give us a ring at 817-202-0600 to reserve.

THE WIZARD OF OZ at Plaza Theatre Company
by Angela Newby of The Column by John Garcia

I grew up watching The Wizard of Oz, on TV, and was always enthralled with the magical Land of Oz. I might even admit to having dressed up a time or two as Dorothy, red sparkly shoes and all. I was thrilled to hear that Plaza Theatre Company was bringing this beloved movie to the stage, and I was not disappointed by their production.

The Wizard of Oz was first turned into a musical extravaganza by author L. Frank Baum himself in 1902. It debuted in Chicago and was a success on Broadway the following year. It then toured for nine years. MGM Studios’ rendition bore a closer resemblance to the novel in 1939 and won Academy Awards for Best Song and Score. There have been several musical theater adaptations, including the St. Louis Municipal Opera’s in 1945 and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s in 1987. Plaza Theatre Company performs the RSC version, which is adapted from the MGM movie.

Directors Jodie and Soni Barrus did an amazing job bringing the story together. Each and every element, from scenic design to costumes, was in harmony with one another. It was this synchronization that made their production one the best shows I have ever seen. The cast was perfect and worked well with one another. Soni did an outstanding job as Music Director, and each of the choral pieces were in sync and beautiful.

Set design by JaceSon Barrus was fantastic. From the opening Kansas prairie to the great land of Oz, nothing was amiss. Each scene was given the utmost attention to detail and it showed. The prairie was identified by hay bales, cast iron water pump and white picket fence, while Munchkinland was overly done in bright flowers and the oh-so-familiar golden brick road. The witch’s castle was brought to life with an elevated royal chair and heavy wooden door all must enter through. What really brought the set to life, though, were the amazing scenic paintings by Julie Asher Lee. Fifteen unique backdrops completed each scene to bring the story together. Barrus and Lee’s designs set the stage magnificently, making certain the audience had a full experience of the musical.

G. Aaron Siler and Cameron Barrus did an amazing job with lighting. In the Wizard of Oz, each land has its own mood, and their design did not disappoint. The Kansas prairie was full of yellow and orange undertones for an old-fashioned, sepia feel, while Munchkinland was full of vibrant colors and bright lights. Everything was transferred to green once Dorothy and the gang reached Oz, shifting into deep black and red once the foursome headed to the Wicked Witch of the West’s castle. Mood transitions were immediate and set the tone for each scene, toppling this musical over the edge.

Sound design, also by G. Aaron Siler, was thorough but often lacked implementation. Several times, vocal numbers were overshadowed by the musical tracks, and microphones levels made it hard to hear the words. Sound effects presented wonderful elements, such as hearing a metallic thump when Tinman rapped on his chest, the tornado coming on full force, and of course the clicking of the ruby red slippers.

Costume design by Tina Barrus is always a highlight of any PTC production, and here was no different. There were many costume changes within the ensemble, but also for Dorothy. It was the congruent effort between costuming and lighting that showed the depths of attention to detail. Dorothy originally wore a muted, tan gingham dress that was then replicated into multiple colors as Dorothy enters each of the sections of Oz. The Munchkin women were dressed in brightly colored hooped dresses, while the men wore pants, shirts and suspenders. Glinda was decked out in a pink formal gown with lots of tulle and sparkles to help elude her good witch status. Oppositely, the Wicked Witch of the West was all in black with a tall pointed hat, and gloves that sparkled with a green ring. For me, though, the best costumes were of the Scarecrow, Tinman and the Lion. Scarecrow wore typical brown pants and plaid shirt, but it was the patches with evident stitching, and the constant shedding of hay that made him authentic. Lion was where Barrus outdid herself. Every element of the lion suit was decked with fur and fur overlays to give dimension and body, and then enhanced with a curly mane to show a lion’s wild side. Tinman, created by Parker Barrus, was fully clad in gray/silver underlay with a silver tin covering. The costume was so well designed that, while made for mobility, still had an air of stiffness about it. There was not a single element of costume design not given 100% attention to detail and it showed.

Choreographer Angela Burkey had a small area in which to work, but did magic within in. It was especially true in Munchkinland, where thirteen or more bodies were closely moving in synchronization. “We’re Off to See the Wizard”, and each reprise, was wonderfully danced by the foursome, yet each within the elements of their character. Burkey made certain her choreography complimented not only the scene, but also the characters’ personalities. In “March of the Winkies”, the solemn faces and harsh staccato movements took the musical to the more evil dimension of the Witch. In “Jitterbug”, the ensemble perfectly executed the wild dance to the point of exhaustion, and I could feel the energy being zapped from the audience as well. Each element by Burkey was carefully beautifully planned and executed.

While all artistic design was amazing, it was only equaled by the cast.

Dorothy, played by Bella Murphy, was bright-eyed and full of smiles. In “Over the Rainbow”, Murphy showed off her vocal range and powerful voice. But while vocally adept, her non-verbal actions sometimes belied the script. She mastered Dorothy’s the feelings of joy but lacked when timid and fearful, especially her facial expressions that didn’t quite reach full potential. However, Murphy nailed voice inflection as Dorothy expressed each emotion. I loved seeing the crinkle in her nose as she played with Toto and gushed over Scarecrow, Tinman and Lion, as well as her wide “Oh” face as she experienced the Land of Oz.

Scarecrow, as played by Jason Phillip Cole, was full of energy and excitement the rest of the cast captured. From the moment Cole stepped foot onto the stage, he was in complete character, and I can’t imagine anyone else playing him. Cole’s movements were the highlight of his performance, walking on unsteady legs and acrobatically holding his own as he fell and tumbled around the set. Cole’s wide eyes and wavering voice complimented the script. Cole was solid in “If I Only Had a Brain”, deftly balancing his vocals and choreography. He was giddy and happy-go-lucky, and even after Scarecrow got a brain, his characterization slightly shift to show his knowledge, but always kept a glint in his eye. Cole was made for the role and gave his all to show it.

Nate Milson, as Tinman, was the perfect completion to the famous trio. Milson’s deep baritone voice was rich and full of hope as Tinman eagerly awaited a heart. His “If I Only Had a Heart” was soulful and sorrowful. His physical movements, while somewhat camouflaged by the costume, were natural and never contradicted the stiff movements of the Tinman. When scenes intensified throughout the musical, Milson, in true Tinman style, shook himself so forcefully, down to the knocking of his knees so there was no doubt the fear was real. Milson comically nailed the times when Tinman needed oil, speaking out of the side of his mouth or only moving certain body parts. Milson truly did a wonderful job bringing Tinman to life.

Billy Myers, as Lion, was my favorite character of the whole show. Myers’ portrayal was spot on, as he gave his all to the performance. Physically, Myers would play with his tail, look down, and nervously twitch and jump, all to show Lion’s cowardice. Vocally, Myers was pitch perfect in “If I Only Had The Nerve” and “King of the Forest.” It was in acting, though, that he showed his true ability. Through his deep baritone voice, the Lion came alive, enhanced through purring, a deep laugh, and over- exaggerated facial expressions. In “King of the Forrest”, Myers stood up tall, puffed out his chest, and with clear eyes, transformed the lion into having his courage. Myers never once faltered and made me fall in love with Lion even more.

The Wicked Witch of the West and Mrs. Gulch were both portrayed by Shauna Lewis, and she did not disappoint. The evil cackle of the Wicked Witch echoed off the walls of the theater, and intensified as the show went on. Lewis portrayed evilness with pointed glares and wringed hands to show agitation, and embodied it with her vocal inflections. Kathy Lemons, playing Glinda, was the complete opposite with her constant smiles and calming voice. Her “Optimistic Voices” showed off her vocal talent, bringing out her full range and power. All her movements were fluid, graceful and angelic.

The Professor and Wizard were played by Joel Lagrone and was a beautiful compliment to the rest of the cast. Lagrone’s talent clearly separated the two similar but different characters. As Professor, Lagrone was calm and paternal, enhanced by his kind eyes and gentle harmonic voice. As the Wizard, Lagrone was forceful and deepened his voice to show anger and rage, with his grimaces and scowled face.

Angela Burkey’s Auntie Em was the true depiction of a nice gentle woman. She was poised and confident, but had some fight in her when around Mrs. Gulch. Burkey used gentle smiles, hunched shoulders, and frantic voices as they try to find Dorothy. On the same hand, Jay A. Cornils as Uncle Henry, was calm and fatherly with the family, but downright firm with Ms. Gulch. Cornils’s strong tone and steely eyes showed Henry’s contempt, but then softened with concern for Dorothy, and his gentle pats on the back.

The musical was brought to life through the immense talent of the ensemble. Playing many parts, each were distinct and it was difficult to not believe each one was a completely different person. The comedic relief of the show came mainly from the ensemble and their great one-liners. The joy that radiated off each of them as they played all the supporting characters transferred straight to the audience.

Plaza Theatre Company has outdone themselves with The Wizard of Oz. The children in the audience were full of laughter and excitement, and the adults weren’t far behind. The energy projected from the cast to the audience was easily seen as they left the theater. Plaza brings this wonderful MGM movie to life and gives the movie a run for its money.

by Paul Gnadt of The star Group Newspapers

Because you already know the story, and because the singing and acting is the what-you-expect-it-to-be high quality of a Plaza Theatre Company production, “The Wizard of Oz” is all that more enjoyable because of the wizard of the wardrobe.

The amazingly clever, colorful and creative costumes designed by Tina Barrus are themselves co-stars of the classic musical, now playing at the Plaza Theatre in Cleburne.

Barrus, one of the four founders of PTC, has won multiple Column  Awards — the Metroplex version of the Tony Awards — for costume design and should certainly be nominated for this effort.

Barrus’ design of the Scarecrow, Tinman, Lion and Wicked Witch of the West are good, but probably not much different than what you’d see when your local high school produces the play.

It’s the other costumes where her talent really shines: the colorful Munchkins, Poppies, Ozians, Winkies, Monkeys and Jitterbugs.

Just wondering what’s next puts an element of surprise in the familiar story line.

Kudos to Barrus’ costume construction team of Michelle Cawood, Elizabeth Dalley, Linda Hood, Donna Moore, Noe Myers, Dale Parker and Amy Skinner.

The crew is so integral to the production that, instead of the usual mention in small print in the playbill, they deservedly have their own page right next to the cast.

Another delight is the dance routines choreographed by Angela Burkey, who somehow finds time to play Auntie Em and one of the trio of funny crows.

In multiple dance numbers, Burkey has as many as 20 characters leaping, twirling and maneuvering around Plaza’s intimate floor-level stage surrounded by its 160 theater-style seats.

The costumes and dancing are so good that you forget many of the characters are youth and children. Praise also goes to makeup designer and artist Maria Bautista and her team of Erin Bautista, Noe Myers and Katrina Sellens.

While “Oz” may be a children’s story, it’s the adults who carry the load.
Directors Soni and Jodie Barrus have assembled a quality cast that features Bella Murphy (double cast with Julianna Keller) as Dorothy, Jason Phillip Cole as Scarecrow, Nate Milton as Tinman and Billy Myers as the Cowardly Lion.

Each can sing, with Murphy, as Dorothy on the night I attended, having just the voice you want her to have. After watching the movie, you can’t help comparing her to Judy Garland.

Not all of Barrus’ clever costumes are about people and animals. Three apple trees (Haden Cawood, Drew Sifford and G. Aaron Siler) come to life in a couple of humorous scenes.

While the apple trees can walk on and off the stage, play-goers when arriving can’t help but notice two large prop trees lying on the sidewalk in front of the theater.

They’re just part of the clever set constructed by codirector Jodie Barrus and his son, JaceSon, also a PTC founder. The set includes three video screens for the tornado scenes, designed by Siler, the talking tree, who is yet another founder of the PTC.

The plot follows the movie. Young Dorothy, evidently without parents, lives with her Auntie Em and Uncle Henry (PTC veteran Jay Cornils) on their small farm in Kansas.

Dorothy dreams about adventures in a place at the end of the rainbow, which leads to the iconic song. We’ve all been there, children dreaming about places beyond our back yards where we win the race, rescue the victim or intercept the pass to win the Super Bowl.

Conflict arrises when Dorothy’s dog, Toto, played with perfect doggie decorum by a real mixed breed, bites local sour puss Ms. Gulch, who gets an order from the sheriff to take Toto away.

The dogs are double cast. It was Olive Barrus (owned by the Barrus family) on the night I attended. You might see Olive or Murphy.

When no one supports Dorothy’s plea to prevent Toto’s removal, she takes him and runs away. Mrs. Gulch and the Wicked Witch of the West are both played by 17-show PTC veteran Shauna Lewis, who seems to revel in these type roles, her also having played the rascal Ouiser in the recent “Steel Magnolias.”

Dorothy meets a traveling salesman (Joel Lagrone, who also plays the Wizard) who tries to persuade her to return home, but a tornado transports her to a strange land where the only way home must be granted by the Wizard of Oz.

On her way to meet the wizard, Dorothy befriends a scarecrow who needs a brain, a tin man who needs a heart and a lion who needs courage, three traits that equate to bravery, love and devotion.

The songs, as a result of each meeting (“If I Only Had a Brain,” heart and the nerve), are well done. Dorothy is aided by Glinda, sometimes called the Good Witch of the North, played by Kathy Lemons, whose excellent voice can be heard above the children in many numbers.

Eventually, the wizard is revealed as a fraud, Dorothy douses the evil witch who disappears in a clever scene and Dorothy returns home to utter her timeless line.

This is another Plaza perfecto performance. See it.

Audition Notice for KISS & TELL at Plaza Theatre Company


Plaza Theatre Company is pleased to announce open auditions for its upcoming production of KISS AND TELL. The initial audition is being held on Tuesday, Feb 10 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Audition appointments are available by calling the Plaza Box Office at 817-202-0600 or by visiting and clicking “Auditions”.

The audition will be held at Plaza Academy which is located at 221 S. Mill Street in Cleburne about 1 block from Plaza Theatre Company. The show will be directed by JaceSon P. Barrus with stage management by JoAnn Gracey.

Those auditioning are asked to come prepared to read cold from the script during the initial audition. The directors may ask for additional character interpretation at this initial audition and will spend around 5 minutes with each individual performer at this initial audition.

A call back audition will be held on Saturday, Feb. 14th from 9am to 12pm. Those who the Directors wish to see further will be invited to the call back audition. PLEASE REFER TO THE PLAZA AUDITION GUIDELINES AS WELL AS THE PLAZA AUDITION CREDO WHEN PREPARING YOUR AUDITION. The guidelines and Credo can be found at

The production will play on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings and Saturday afternoons opening on April 24th and playing thru May 16th. Rehearsals will usually take place Monday thru Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings until opening. No Sunday rehearsals or performances.

This WW2 comedy tells of 15 year old Corliss Archer who is a trial and a delight to her family, but she can’t stand not being grown up. She flirts with soldiers and schemes to make a date with one – all to the horror of her neighbor and one-time boyfriend Dexter. When an outrageous feud erupts between the two families, how will Corliss make it right?

Plaza Theatre Company is a 158 seat theatre-in-the-round located at 111 S. Main in Cleburne, TX. The Company produces 10 shows a year usually in the style of family-friendly comedies and musicals. PlazaCo opened in November of 2006 and is currently producing it’s 72nd show. The Company has been the proud recipient of over 46 Column Awards including winning “Best Musical” in 2009, 2010 and 2012 in addition to recently being named “Best Theatre Group” by the WFAA A-List for 2011. Further information about PlazaCo is available by visiting

Mr. Willard, a house painter

Louise, the Archers’ maid

Corliss Archer, going on sixteen

Raymond Pringle, aged twelve

Mildred Pringle, going on eighteen

Dexter Franklin, seventeen-the boy next door

Janet Archer, Corliss’ mother

Harry Archer, Corliss’ father

Private Earhart

Lieut. Lenny Archer, Corliss’ brother, aged twenty

Mary Franklin, Dexter’s mother

Bill Franklin, Dexter’s father

Dorothy Pringle, Mildred’s mother

Uncle George, Corliss’ uncle

Robert Pringle, Mildred’s father

Casting Announcement: 42ND STREET at Plaza Theatre Company


Plaza Theatre Company is pleased to announce the official cast list for its upcoming production of 42ND STREET which will play at PlazaCo from March 13th thru April 18th. The show will be under the direction of Jay Lewis with musical direction by Doug Henry, choreography by Tabitha Barrus and assistant choreography by Rachel Browning with Stephanie Cessna as dance captain and Nathan Glenn as stage manager. Plaza producers wish to thank all who auditioned for the show. Some roles are double cast and are noted in the cast list below.

Dorothy Brock – Rachel Hunt
Peggy Sawyer – Tabitha Barrus
Maggie Jones – Stefanie Glenn / Stacey Greenawalt
Ann Reilly – Stephanie Cessna / Cessany Ford
Julian Marsh – Luke Hunt
Billy Lawlor – Jonathan Metting
Bert Barry – JaceSon Barrus
Phyllis Dale – Monica Glenn
Lorraine Fleming – Katherine Balaban / Kelly Nickel
Andy Lee – Nolan Moralez
Pat Denning – Jay Lewis
Abner Dillon – Jay Cornils
Oscar – Parker Barrus
Mac – Sara Blair / Stormy Witter

Dancers –
Levi King
Cameron Barrus
David Midkiff
Eden Barrus
Rachel Browning / Cricket Almond
Anna Looney

Thug/Doctor/et al – Edward Calderon
Thug/Waiter/et al – Dash Maddox

Ensemble –
Micah King
Arianna Ellis

“Plaza’s ‘The Nerd’ Is A Funny, Funny Show” by Paul Gnadt of The Star Group Newspapers


PlazaCo’s THE NERD, currently playing thru January 24th, has received a fabulous review from Paul Gnadt of The Star Group Newspapers. Congratulations to director Steven Lindsay and to the entire cast and crew. Read on for a great review of the show, then give us a call to reserve – 817-202-0600.

Plaza’s ‘The Nerd’ is a funny, funny show

Jonathan Metting, right, watches as JaceSon Barrus, playing wealthy developer Warnock Waldgrave, plays a game called Shoes and Socks during the Plaza

Jonathan Metting, right, watches as JaceSon Barrus, playing wealthy developer Warnock Waldgrave, plays a game called Shoes and Socks during the Plaza Theatre Company’s production of “The Nerd.” (Courtesy Stacey Greenawalt)

So over-the-top yet dead-on perfect is the backwoods Wisconsin and Minnesota-style voice inflection of the feature character, it took me 10 minutes to realize it was Plaza veteran Jonathan Metting as “The Nerd,” playing through Jan. 24 at the Plaza Theatre in Cleburne.

Not only do the actors hit their targets with the fast and furious dialogue whose rejoinders require split-second timing, but, under the experienced direction of Steven Lindsay, it’s just as funny to watch their facial expressions and body language.

“The Nerd” is “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” only with the guest being the most obnoxious and nerdy person imaginable.

Plaza newcomer Brandon Wimmer, left, is Axel Hammond and Plaza veteran JaceSon Barrus is Warnock Waldgrave in Plaza Theatre Company’s production of

If you’ve seen “The Foreigner,” another community theater-favorite also written by Larry Shue, you have some idea of the zany situations — all in the same room — and surprise ending that awaits in “The Nerd.”

Three roles are double-cast. On the night I attended, Metting, who is one play away from earning as asterisk next to his name in the playbill for having participated on stage or behind the scenes in 20 PTC productions, was joined by PTC regulars JaceSon Barrus, Carlee Cagle, JoAnn Gracey and David Goza along with newcomers Parker Skinner and Brandon Wimmer.

For Barrus, one of Plaza’s four founders, “The Nerd” is his 55th Plaza production, while it’s Goza’s 11th and Cagle’s fifth, although both should continue to earn more credits given their versatility and talent.

Here’s the word about “The Nerd.”
Goza is Willum Cubbert (double cast with Robert Shores on Saturday), a Terre Haute, Indiana, architect who is in love with Tansy McGinnis (Cagle, double cast with Suzanne Lee), a TV weather forecaster who is moving to Washington, D.C.

Their best friend, a sharp-tongued drama critic named Axel (PTC newcomer Brandon Wimmer) is trying to bring the two together because Willum is afraid of making a commitment and concentrates too much on his work and not enough on Tansy.

When Willum hosts a dinner party for a wealthy and powerful new client, Warnock Waldgrave (Barrus), his wife, Clelia (Gracey), and their son, Thor (Parker Skinner, double cast with Corbin Vincent), Willum’s telephone-answering machine reveals a message from Rick Steadman (Metting) a war comrade who saved Willum’s life in Iraq.

The comrades were able to stay in touch via snail mail and, because Willum owns his life to Steadman, promised he would do anything for him.

The thing is, Steadman’s heroic deed occurred during a sandstorm while Willum was unconscious, so Willum has no idea what Steadman looks like.

We soon learn what he acts like. He shows up and is the nerd of all nerds; a rude, crude social misfit who plans to stay at Willum’s house for a lengthy visit.

Willum, already afraid of making a commitment to Tansy, is now afraid to throw Steadman out of the house.

All the while, Steadman displays multiple ways to be annoying, including the invasion of everyone’s personal space, the table manners of a pig, and self-centered impressions of celebrities that are embarrassingly awful.

When the dinner party is dragging because of Steadman’s boorish behavior, he forces the group to play a game called Shoes and Socks, resulting in everyone running around the living room with grocery sacks on their heads. The scene ranks right up there with the living room chase from “See How They Run,” the Ed Sullivan Show scene from “Bye, Bye Birdie,” and the body bag scene from “Cash on Delivery” as one of the funniest in PTC history.

With a 58-minute first act and a 47-minute second act surrounding a 15-minute intermission, you’re there at least two hours, but there are so many laughs and the cast is so good that you get your minutes worth, not to mention your money’s worth.

The set, designed by Barrus and built by him and his father, Jodie, takes advantage of all areas of the theater-in-the-round with clever use of a false balcony for a hilarous bit involving cottege cheese.

This is a good one. See it.

With co-stage management by David Sorter and Amy Wolff Sorter, sound and lights by G. Aaron Siler and costumes by Emily Warwick, “The Nerd” is presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Saturdays through Jan. 24 at the Plaza Theatre Company, 111 S. Main St. in Cleburne.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $14 for age 65 and older and high school and college students, and $13 for children age 13 and under — and can be purchased online at, or at the box office from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, or by phone at 817-202-0600.

Plaza Theatre Company Anticipating Record Crowds For THE WIZARD OF OZ


Plaza Theatre Company is proud to announce the opening of THE WIZARD OF OZ on January 30th, 2015. The production will play Plaza’s newly renovated theatre at 111 S. Main Street in Cleburne, TX opening on January 30th and playing thru March 7th. The show will be the 83rd produced by Plaza Theatre Company since it’s inception in November of 2006.

Everyone’s favorite MGM movie musical comes to life on stage. After a tornado whisks Dorothy away to the magical land of Oz, the young Kansas farm girl starts her quest “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” to find the mighty Wizard who has the power to send her home. Along the way she meets a Scarecrow, a Tin Woodsman and a Cowardly Lion who help her on her journey.

The Cast List for THE WIZARD OF OZ is: (Double Cast where noted)

Dorothy Gale – Juliana Keller, Bella Murphy

Aunt Em – Angela Burkey

Glinda – Kathy Lemons

Uncle Henry – Jay Cornils

Guard – Al Mayo

Lion – Billy Myers

Tinman – Nate Milson

Scarecrow – Jason Cole

Gulch/West Witch – Shauna Lewis

Professor/OZ – Joel Lagrone

Nikko – Hayden Cawood


Emma Whitehorn

Liam Blanton

Ty Drury

Rylee Mullen

Paige Moore

Jonathan Myers

Grace Dalley

Mimi Barrus

Eden Barrus

I.J. Meachem

Victoria Burkey

Henry Cawood


Jay Cornils

Al Mayo

Drew Sifford

Angela Burkey

Rylee Jenkins

Emma Dalley

Sherry Clark

Anna Looney

Noe Myers

Madison Heaps

Harrison Cawood

Hayden Cawood

Aaron Siler


Jay Cornils

Al Mayo

Drew Sifford

Harrison Cawood

Hayden Cawood

Henry Cawood

Aaron Siler


Madison Heaps

Eden Barrus

Emma Whitehorn

Anna Looney

Drew Sifford

Grace Dalley

Emma Dalley

Angela Burkey

Rylee Jenkins

The production is under the direction of Jodie & Soni Barrus with musical direction by Soni Barrus, choreography by Angela Burkey and stage management by Ruth Ann Warwick. THE WIZARD OF OZ will open on Friday January 30th at 7:30pm. The show will then play every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening thru March 7th at 7:30pm with Saturday matinees every Saturday afternoon at 3pm. Ticket prices are $15 for Adults, $14 for Seniors and Students and $13 for Children.

Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 817-202-0600, by visiting or visiting the Plaza Box Office between the hours of 10am and 6pm Monday thru Saturday.

Casting News: The official cast list for THE WIZARD OF OZ at Plaza Theatre Company


Plaza Theatre Company is pleased to announce the official cast list for it’s upcoming production of THE WIZARD OF OZ. The show will open on January 30th and play thru March 7th. It is under the direction of Jodie & Soni Barrus with stage management by Ruth Ann Warwick, musical direction by Soni Barrus and choreography by Angela Burkey. Thank you to all who auditioned and congratulations to those cast.

The cast is: (double cast where noted)

Dorothy Gale           Juliana Keller, Bella Murphy
Aunt Em                    Angela Burkey
Glinda                       Kathy Lemons
Uncle Henry              Jay Cornils
Guard                       Al Mayo
Lion                          Billy Myers
Tinman                     Nate Milson
Scarecrow                Jason Cole
Gulch/West Witch    Shauna Lewis
Professor/OZ           Joel Lagrone
Nikko                       Hayden Cawood


Emma Whitehorn
Liam Blanton
Ty Drury
Rylee Mullen
Paige Moore
Jonathan Myers
Grace Dalley
Mimi Barrus
Eden Barrus
I.J. Meachem
Victoria Burkey
Henry Cawood


Jay Cornils
Al Mayo
Drew Sifford
Angela Burkey
Rylee Jenkins
Emma Dalley
Sherry Clark
Anna Looney
Noe Myers
Madison Heaps
Harrison Cawood
Hayden Cawood


Jay Cornils
Al Mayo
Drew Sifford
Harrison Cawood
Hayden Cawood
Henry Cawood


Madison Heaps
Eden Barrus
Emma Whitehorn
Anna Looney
Drew Sifford
Grace Dalley
Emma Dalley
Skyla Sternberg
Angela Burkey