Hickory – The role of the ensemble is a crucial one in musical theatre. Ensemble members play multiple roles that fill out the “world” of the show. It’s a big responsibility and the ensemble of Evita, opening Thursday, June 10 at the Hickory Community Theatre, is more than up to the task.

This diverse group of actors includes Lily Bodnar, Zoe Charles, Charlotte Dick, Katie Grace DeHart, Sarah Hefner, Quinn Mullis, Jonathan Ray, David Schell, Fredric Schuttenberg, Cecilia Shoup, Mikeala Skelton, Jeffrey Smith, Bethany Spears, Kenna Walton, Rochelle Walton, and Lucy Weaver.

They all bring something different to the table. Bodnar and Charles have both danced the role of Clara in The Nutcracker. DeHart plays guitar and violin when she’s not acting on stage. Dick most recently played the lead female role of Sheila in Hair at HCT. Hefner graduated from college Magna Cum Laude with dual bachelor’s degrees in exercise science and nursing. Mullis has been in several musicals at HCT and the Green Room. Ray is a theatre professor at both ASU and LRU. Roberts received an Outstanding Newcomer award for Hamlet at HCT. Schell is a graduate of the UNC School of the Arts High School. Schuttenberg is a school psychologist with Catawba County Schools. Shoup has played ensemble roles in six musicals, four of them at HCT. Skelton most recently played the lead female role of Katherine in Newsies at HCT. Smith has been in over a dozen productions, including Fiddler on the Roof at HCT. Spears is a toddler daycare teacher for Hickory Foundation YMCA. Kenna Walton has been with HCT since she started in the RugBug Theatre in 2014 and Evita is her 13th show. Rochelle Walton is making her HCT debut but has been in several productions with other theatres. Weaver’s most recent role was Snow White in HCT’s first-ever virtual production, Disenchanted, last fall.

Evita is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. It concentrates on the life of Argentine political leader Eva Perón, the second wife of Argentine president Juan Perón. The story follows Evita’s early life, rise to power, charity work, and death.

Performances of Evita are Thursdays through Saturdays, June 10, 11, 12, 17, 18 & 19 at 7:30 pm and Sundays, June 13 & 20 at 2:30 pm.

Tickets for all seats are $18 per person and may be purchased online at hickorytheatre.org or by calling the box office at 828-328-2283 between 12 pm and 5 pm, Wed–Fri. Seating is limited in compliance with the governor’s executive order, so advance purchase is strongly recommended. Per the executive order, patrons must wear face coverings at all times while in the building.

Evita is produced by Dr. George Clay III, DDS and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. A Cleaner World, Paramount Automotive, the City of Hickory, Sunbelt Xpress, and Dr. George Clay, DDS are the sponsors of the 2020–2021 Season. The Hickory Community Theatre is a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County.

PHOTO: (back to front, left to right) Rochelle Walton, Charlotte Dick, Quinn Mullis, Fredric Schuttenberg, Jonathan Ray, David Schell. Kenna Walton, Katie Grace DeHart, Sarah Hefner, Jeffrey Smith, Lucy Weaver, Cecilia Shoup, Zoe Charles, Lily Bodnar, Jill Roberts, Bethany Spears, and Mikeala Skelton (not pictured). Photo by Eric Seale.