Alissa Nelson (Herb) says she’s been singing since she was a child “and has taken lessons from an amazing teacher who has made me the person I am today.” In addition to her work in Godspell she has performed in Annie Get Your Gun at Urbandale High School.
Now studying at DMACC in Ankeny, for a degree in animal ecology, her goal is to work at a zoo or the Department of Natural Resources.
Amanda Samuelson (JoAnne) is a nonprofit and small business fundraising and marketing consultant, as well as the head cheerleading coach and choreographer for Des Moines Roosevelt High School. She is the better half to Jason Juran and mother to Nolan. A New Hope United Methodist Church member, she belongs to the Chancel Choir.
She has held several roles in musicals, including; Bebe in Chorus Line, Frenchie in Grease, Sandy in Grease (for two separate productions) and Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls. Amanda has over 20 years trained dance experience, was a collegiate cheerleader and has belonged to some form of formal choir since the age of 12.
Brandi Allen (Sonia) has performed multiple shows at the Des Moines Playhouse and sings the National Anthem every year for the Iowa Cubs. This 20-year-old has attended Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago to become a chef, and also plans to return to continue her education at Columbia College Chicago, majoring in theater. Her dream is to perform on Broadway. Hobbies include performing on the piano, singing karaoke, and cooking for her family and friends.
Craig Ferguson (Director) attended Waldorf College in Forest City and the University of Northern Colorado, where he received his BA in Musical Theatre performance. His stage experience spans dinner theaters and large stage shows, as well as a variety of community theaters. He’s played in Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour), My Fair Lady (Freddy), Kiss Me Kate (Hortensio), Curious Savage (Hannibal), and Closer than Ever (Lead).
Craig is currently serving as lead pastor at Johnston River of Life worship service on Saturday evenings at 5 PM--the second campus of New Hope UMC.
Eldon Cross (Music Director) currently serves as the Director of Music for New Hope UMC. Besides directing the Chancel Choir, he oversees 5 volunteer choirs and is part of the Praise Band. While Eldon is no stranger to the theater (having played roles at the Des Moines Community Playhouse in the late ‘80s and early 90’s), this is his first opportunity on the “other” side of the stage.
Eldon is married to his wife of 25 years, Cathy, and has two sons, Alec (24) and Ian (20). He has been employed by Allied/Nationwide Insurance for the last ten years as a Claims Service Representative.
Jeff Duis (Jesus) is a Des Moines native and a Lincoln High School and Simpson College alum. Jeff has acted in the Des Moines Playhouse productions of The Buddy Holly Story (Ritchie Valens) and All Shook Up (Dennis).
When he is not on stage, you can find Jeff at every Iowa Energy home game as “Surge.” He is a versatile musician, with experience playing guitar, drums, and piano, as well as an accomplished singer/songwriter. Jeff is an avid sports fan and is a die-hard Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bears, Chicago Bulls, and Pittsburgh Penguins fan.
Jody Ferguson (Robin) is a Godspell veteran. This is her second time performing in a production of Godspell, this round playing a different character. She really loves how this musical portrays the life and lessons of Christ.
She is a teacher associate at Johnston High School, and her hobbies include singing, playing the piano, and taking nature photos. She is excited because her daughter is also performing in this production as one of the chorus members.
Kelsey Leppert (Gilmer) is a Grimes native, having graduated from Luther College in May 2011 with majors in Spanish and Business Management. She plans to attend law school this fall.
This is her first production since her days at Dallas Center-Grimes High School, where she had roles in Carousel (Julie Jordan), Our Town (Mrs. Webb), Treasure Island, and Bye Bye Birdie, among others.
Marty Martin (Jeffrey) has been involved in multiple productions over many years, including Big River, Pippin, West Side Story, and Once upon a Mattress, to name a few. His favorite roles include Jim in Big River, and the Leading Player in Pippin.
He is a native of Rockford, Illinois and a graduate of the Kingsway Bible College here in Des Moines, Iowa. Special thanks go to native Iowan and High School drama/English teacher Gordon Odegard for introducing him to the arts at Jefferson High School.
Sebastian Gillespie (John/Judas) is a high school junior at Van Meter Community Schools. His acting credits include Pippi Longstocking (Schoolboy) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Naphtali) at the Des Moines Playhouse. He is intrigued to be playing both John and Judas. John is “such a wild, crazy guy paving the way for Jesus,” and Judas seems as much like a lost soul as an “inherently bad person.”
Spencer Sutton (Director) has been involved in music and theater for more than 30 years, with credits in everything from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Charlie Brown) to Much Ado About Nothing (Benedick). He has appeared in performances at The Ingersoll Dinner Theater, The Drama Workshop, The Des Moines Playhouse main stage and The Theater in the Ground. Most recently, he performed in the Playhouse's 2008 production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Hipockets Duncan/Jack Daw). This is Spencer's first directing venture. A native of Johnston, he is married to Andy, the Stage Manager, and they have two delightful and dramatic children, Allyson, 5, and Zane, 2.
Trey McCracken (Lamar) has been busy performing all over town. His credits at the Des Moines Playhouse include The Wedding Singer and Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. He’s also performed in Men of Steel (Damon) at the Des Moines Social Club and Caucus the Musical! at the Stoner Theater. Trey also works at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines.
Wendy Musgrave (Peggy) is performing in her first musical, and loving every minute of it. After reserving her voice for the shower or singing silly songs with her children, Wendy is dusting it off to join the cast of Godspell.
She is a freelance designer and is designing all promotional materials for the show. She is also the mother of two fabulous girls. Wendy and her family are members of New Hope Church.