Press Release

March 20, 2023 | By Cole Hatcher


Ohio Wesleyan to Present Five Performances of Magical ’80s Musical April 13-22

DELAWARE, Ohio – Join Ohio Wesleyan University for a trip to “Xanadu,” where Kira, a beautiful Greek muse, descends from the heavens of Mount Olympus to inspire Sonny, a struggling artist in Venice Beach, California, to achieve the greatest artistic creation of all time – the first roller disco!

When Kira falls into forbidden love with the mortal, her jealous sisters take advantage of the situation, and chaos abounds. Set in 1980, Xanadu” features a book by Douglas Carter Beane and music and lyrics by Jeff Lynne (co-founder of the rock band Electric Light Orchestra) and John Farrar.

The Ohio Wesleyan Department of Performing Arts will present five performances of “Xanadu” at 7:30 p.m. on April 13, 14, 15, 21, and 22 on the Main Stage of Chappelear Drama Center, 45 Rowland Ave., Delaware. Tickets are free for everyone, but reservations are required by visiting

The play has been described as “a moving, electrifying tale of endless fun that will keep audiences in stitches while the original legendary, chart-topping tunes lift them out of their seats.” It is rated PG.

Brian Granger, Ph.D., assistant professor of theatre, is the director for “Xanadu,” and Jason Hiester, D.M.A., associate professor of music, is providing music direction. Isaiah Harris, part-time instructor of dance, is the show’s choreographer; Justin A. Miller is the technical director and set designer; Alanna Easley, Ohio Wesleyan Class of 2018, is the lighting designer; Jaylene Jennings is the costume designer; and RJ Barnhart is the sound engineer.

Fifteen Ohio Wesleyan students are performing in the musical. The students, their hometowns, and their roles are:

Main Cast

  • Katie Davis of Bryan, Ohio, as Kira
  • Payton Andisman of Akron, Ohio, as Sonny
  • Daniel Smith, Columbus, Ohio, of Danny / Zeus
  • Liz Nebel of Evanston, Illinois, as Melpomene
  • Emerson Freas of Oberlin, Ohio, as Calliope / Aphrodite, Dance Captain
  • Rachel Madore of Galion, Ohio, as Erato / Hera
  • Baylin Bell of Chicago, Illinois, as Terpsichore
  • Wyatt Wells of Marion, Ohio, as Thalia
  • Grace Luxon of Topeka, Kansas, as Euterpe


  • Abby Bennett of Caledonia, Ohio
  • Emily Clausing of Portsmouth, Ohio
  • Pedro Figueiredo of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
  • Abby Parker of Perry, New York
  • Anya Shevchik of Jefferson, Ohio
  • Andrew Staley of Columbus, Ohio

Twenty-four OWU students are filling key production jobs. Their names, hometowns, and responsibilities are:

Stage Management

  • Chloe Williams of Wilmington, Ohio, stage manager
  • Brielle Decarolis of Albrightsville, Pennsylvania, assistant stage manager
  • Nic Laurence of Medina, Ohio, assistant stage manager
  • Elizabeth Sumoza of Chicago, Illinois, assistant stage manager

Light Crew

  • Ami Hartshorne of Columbus, Ohio, lights assistant
  • Sam Miller of Oakwood, Ohio, light board operator

Run Crew

  • Jude Campbell of Blissfield, Michigan
  • Jack Miller of Ellwood City, Pennsylvania
  • Fiona Minton of Darien, Connecticut
  • Ethan White of Columbus, Ohio

Costume Crew

  • Isabelle Tinti-Kane of Marblehead, Massachusetts, costume head
  • Alex Dolph of Middletown, Ohio
  • Kayla Rush of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

Props Crew

  • Maja Todorovic of Chicago, Illinois, props head
  • Evan Van Deusen of Chattanooga, Tennessee

Program and Lobby Display Designer

  • Millie Rocco of Vancleave, Mississippi

Set Crew

  • Sam Conti of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Marcos Crespo of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico
  • Savannah Domenech of Webster, New York
  • Emma Pieterse of Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

Sound Crew

  • Katherine Dunn of Little Rock, Arkansas, sound assistant
  • Maddie Coleman of Avon Lake, Ohio
  • Kaya Ferrell of Delaware, Ohio

House Manager

  • Ella Florkey of Waynesville, Ohio

For more information about the play, OWU’s 2022-2023 performance schedule, or studying theatre, dance, or music at Ohio Wesleyan, visit For questions, call the box office at (740) 368-3855.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 70 undergraduate majors and competes in 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through its signature experience, the OWU Connection, Ohio Wesleyan teaches students to understand issues from multiple academic perspectives, volunteer in service to others, build a diverse and global perspective, and translate classroom knowledge into real-world experience through internships, research, and other hands-on learning. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included on the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “Best Colleges” lists. Connect with OWU expert interview sources at or learn more at