The Grand Duke (2014)

Artistic Direction by Ann Fredrickson
Musical Direction by Dennis Marzolf

By W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan

The Grand Duke

Rudolph, Grand Duke of Pfennig-Halbpfennig, was engaged to the princess of Monte Carlo in their infancies. This arranged engagement will expire tomorrow.  The Grand Duke is not interested in marrying the Princess because he has heard that her father, the Prince of Monte Carlo, is penniless. Grand Duke Rudolph is a miser, and he has set his eyes on the Baroness von Krackenfeldt, a sturdy, economical Teuton who will dedicate her life to combining (and keeping) their mutual fortune. Tomorrow she will become the Grand Duchess.

The court theater of Pfennig-Halbpfennig is directed by Ernest Dummkopf.  The actors are not enthused about the Grand Duke’s leadership, or his economic policies. They are tired of being underpaid, and are planning a revolution.  A secret society (the Sausage Eaters) has been organized to overthrow the Duke. Ludwig, Ernest’s leading man, is a key point man in the revolution.

Nobody is looking forward to a bloody coup. It’s not the way things are done in Pfennig-Halbpfennig.  The Court Notary, Dr. Tannhäuser explains that there is a unique law that allows for bloodless duels. The revolutionaries agree to adopt this method to replace the Grand Duke. Cards are drawn, and the victory goes to the one who draws the high card. The loser is “as good as dead” and the winner assumes all of the benefits, debts and responsibilities of the loser. This includes matrimonial commitments.

Ludwig wins the statutory duel. As the new Grand Duke he arranges the court according to Ancient Greek costume and practice. Ludwig has been engaged to the actress Lisa, in fact their wedding celebration is about to begin. But Julia, the leading lady of the court theater, insists on her right to stand alongside Ludwig as the new Grand Duchess. Her request is granted, according to the protocol of her contract with the troupe. Lisa’s heart is broken. Before Ludwig and Julia can be wed, however, Baroness von Krackenfeldt AND the Princess of Monte Carlo arrive on the scene in the hope of becoming the new Grand Duchess of Pfennig-Halbpfennig.

Marital mayhem and legal topsy-turvy ensue, and somehow, at the end of it all, happiness abounds.


Rudolph, Grand Duke of Pfennig-Halbpfennig: David Ott
His Bride-elect, the Princess of Monte Carlo: Eileen Heintz
Her Father, The Prince of Monte Carlo: Dustin Edmison
Baroness Caroline von Krakenfeldt, Rudolph’s Bride of Choice: Anna Tecken
Ernest Dummkopf, Manager of the Court Theatre: Luke Meilner
Julia Jellicoe, his leading Lady: Emily Dworak
Ludwig, his leading Comedian: August Jeske
Lisa, a soubrette, and Ludwig’s fiancé: Triah Meyer
Elsa, Bertha, Olga, Gretchen, and Martha: Members of the company: Lindsey Brech, Amanda Johnson, Coryn Deem, Kate Ruschmeyer and Jenna Albrecht
Dr. Tannhäuser, the Notary: Nicholas Lilienthal
Benita Hashbaz, Costumier to the Theater Monaco: Emily Kimball
The Herald (from Monte Carlo): Zachary Rinehart
Viscount Mentone: Tyler Behny

And the rest of the Bethany Choraliers:
Brittany Boyum, Kayla Busch, Amy Edmison, Lauren Farquhar, Katy Faugstad, Caleb Harman, Ivy Heintz, Lydia Langhorst, Kristian Marzolf, Colleen Matzke, Jaakob Maunula, Elisa Mayer, Megan Poehler, David Roemhildt, Anna Schroeder, Michael Schultz, Grace Stromer, Adam Tecken, Brittany Titus, Elisabeth Urtel, Ethan Urtel, Alyssa Winch


Artistic Director: Ann Fredrickson
Musical Director: Dennis Marzolf
Costume Designer: Emily Kimball
Lighting Designer: Jake Yenish
Lighting Board Operator: Hank Heyer
Lighting Crew: Zechariah Bartlett, Luke Meilner
Stage Manager: Elizabeth Eder
Assistant Stage Manager: Molly Brueske
Choreographer: Carissa Ott
Props Master: Adrian Whitney
Scene designer/Technical Director/Scene Shop Supervisor: John Merseth, Jr.
Scenic Painter: Peter Blodel
Set Crew: Zac Carlson, Moriah Barker, Noah Heidorn, Kara Ketcher, Grace Stromer, David Ott, Luke Meilner, Nick Lilenthal, Joseph Lundsten, Michael Schultz, Joey Steinbach, Adrian Whitney, Amanda Johnson, David Roemhildt, Ericka Wood, Melissa Bergemann, Zach Temp, Travis Mord, Justin Kelly
Costume Crew: Kaitlin Bryant, Adrian Whitney, Emily Dworak, Amber Senecal, Laura Kimball, Kara Ketcher


Piano: Dennis Marzolf, Laura Matzke
Violin: Moriah Barker, Adrian Lo
Double Bass: Jacob Finke 
Flute: Leah Kurth, Anna Schroeder, Madelaine Smith
Trumpet: Hayes Schneider
French Horn: Anna Wittig
Percussion: Aimee Bruss
Orchestra Wrangler: Moriah Barker