Coronavirus Updates: Click here for more information

First Date

Theatre UCF

First Date

Theatre UCF

Book by Austin Winsberg, Music and Lyrics by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner
Directed by Earl D. Weaver

Casual drinks at dinner spiral into humor, horror and humility of embarking on a first date, with surprises, and maybe even true love, around every corner in this musical comedy.

First Date is a hilarious, quirky musical comedy that takes you on a journey set to relive all the angst, humiliation and surprises of a first date. The pop-rock score throws the audience headfirst into the ups and downs of a mismatched blind date when a cool, edgy, 30-something woman and a tightly wound, traditional guy embark on a comical, high-energy journey to find love in the city.

This production of First Date contains strong language, religious mockery, mature content (sexual situations and talk of death), haze and strobe effects.

Register in advance to join us for a post-show talkback on Sunday, Oct. 24 at 5:30 p.m.

Don’t miss a single moment on the stage! By purchasing a season subscription, you'll save up to $42 on a standard package, get the best seats in the house and have the flexibility to exchange your tickets within the same show for no fee. And the best part of it all is that your purchase helps fund theatre education!

Choose a full season package to get the most savings or build-your-own package of 3 or 4 shows for the most flexibility.

Performance Schedule

  • Thursday, October 14, 2021, 7:30  p.m.
  • Friday, October 15, 2021, 7:30  p.m.
  • Saturday, October 16, 2021, 7:30  p.m.
  • Sunday, October 17, 2021, 2:00  p.m.
  • Thursday, October 21, 2021, 7:30  p.m.
  • Friday, October 22, 2021, 7:30  p.m.
  • Saturday, October 23, 2021, 7:30  p.m.
  • Sunday, October 24, 2021, 2:00  p.m.
Back to the full schedule

Playbill

CREATIVE TEAM

Director:
Earl Weaver

Vocal Director:
Tara D. Snyder

Music Director:
Heather Langs

Stage Manager:
Sydney Whittaker*

Scenic Designer:
Tim Brown

Lighting Designer:
Ben Lowe*

Sound Designer:
Autumn Kreidler*

Choreographer:
Reese Abrahamoff*

*Theatre UCF student


CAST

CASEY: Kayla Rose Ginty*
AARON: Woodrow Jackson Helms*
MAN 1: Jackson McGwire*
MAN 2: Jared-Austin Roys*
MAN 3: Andrew Lofredo*
WOMAN 1: Shayna Gilberg*
WOMAN 2: Hayley Sanz*
U/S CASEY: Emilee Fruscella*
U/S AARON: Johnny Flannagan*

* Theatre UCF student

U/S MAN 1: Joseph Trewin*
U/S MAN 2: Reese Abrahamoff*
U/S MAN 3: Sean Andric*
U/S WOMAN 1: Alexa Boese*
U/S WOMAN 2: Amy Lacey*
U/S AARON, U/S MAN 1: Jameson Stobbe*
U/S CASEY: Manuella Guerra Canal*
U/S WOMAN 1, U/S WOMAN 2: Hannah Beatt*
U/S MAN 2, U/S MAN 3: Brandon Diaz*

'First Date' cast headshots
'First Date' cast headshots
'First Date' cast headshots
'First Date' cast headshots
'First Date' cast headshots
'First Date' cast headshots

 

PRODUCTION TEAM

Assistant Stage Managers: Jennifer Balestra*, Cassandra McKay*
Production Assistant: Bianca Antonetty*
Tech Production Assistant: Kayla Amburgey*
Dramaturg: Caroline Hull*
Intimacy Coordinator: Elizabeth Cortelyou*
Assistant Scenic Designer: Kassandra Cardenas*
Paint Charge: Bonnie Sprung
Props Manager: Emma Carbone*
Assistant Props Manager: Sophia Debora*
Programmer: Magdalena Tronina*
Production Electrician: Helen Strickland*
Assistant Production Electrician: Audrey Casteris*, Katherine Polgar*
Followspot Operators: Valarie Kutemeier*, David Jackson*
Light Board Operator: Kierstin Day*
A2s: Aneil Rampersad*, Kaitlyn Gamory*
Draper: Karina Rodriguez-Toledo*
Wardrobe Supervisor: Alyssa Marrero*
Wardrobe Crew: Donna Bess*, Chloe Campbell*, Danilo Gonzalez-Castano*, Alexandra Borsellino*
Deck Crew: Erin Stephens*, Sabrina Smith*

* Theatre UCF student


 

BAND

Conductor/Piano: Heather Langs
Reed: Erik Cole, Michelle Territo
Guitar 1: Stephen Luciano
Guitar 2: Neal Faul
Bass: Elliot May, Nathan May
Drums: Don Sanderson, Larry Hendrixson


PRODUCTION STAFF, FACULTY, AND ADVISORS

Director of the School of Performing Arts: Michael Wainstein
Artistic Director: Julia Listengarten
Director of Production: Bert Scott

Faculty Dramaturg/Advisor: Chloe Edmonson
Assistant Dramaturgy Coordinator: Joni Newman*
Faculty Stage Management Advisor: Claudia Lynch
Faculty Advisor/Dialect Coach: Vivian Majkowski
Production Manager: Gary Brown
Box Office Manager: Bridget Parry
Technical Director: Tramaine Berryhill
Assistant Technical Director: Michael Waldron
Sound Designer/Advisor: Casey Deiter
Costume Shop Manager/Designer/Advisor: Daniel Jones
Costume Workroom Supervisor: Allison Rexrode
Assistant Marketing Director: Nicole Wills
Faculty Lighting Design Advisor: Rob Siler
Production Electrician: Beth McAshan

 

* Theatre UCF student


Reese Abrahamoff (U/S Man 2, Choreographer) is a sophomore in the BFA Musical Theatre program. Reese has been seen in Theatre UCF’s Much Ado About Nothing (Verges) and Songs of Inspiration (Soloist). He spent his summer working in the theme park industry as an actor at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. Other theatre credits include Spring Awakening (Moritz) and Newsies (Crutchie). Instagram: reese.abrahamoff

Sean Andric (U/S Man 3) is a third-year transfer student in the BFA Musical Theatre program. He was originally supposed to make his Theatre UCF debut in Urinetown but is excited to make it instead in First Date! Favorite credits include The Addams Family (Uncle Fester) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Simeon).

Hannah Beatt (U/S Woman 1, U/S Woman 2) is a senior pursuing her B.A. in Theatre Studies with a minor in Music. First Date will be her Theatre UCF debut. She was last seen as Sophie Sheridan in Mamma Mia! at the Athens Theatre in DeLand, Florida last spring. Other theatre credits include: Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins) and Into the Woods (Baker’s Wife).

Alexa Boese (U/S Woman 1) is a junior in the BFA Musical Theatre program. She was most recently on the Theatre UCF stage in Scaramouch in Naxos (Bacchante Ensemble). Professional credits include Sister Act (Sister Mary Celeste), 9 to 5 (Ensemble) and Mamma Mia (Ensemble) at the McLeod Summer Playhouse. Other theatre credits include The Drowsy Chaperone (Janet Van de Graaff), Once Upon A Mattress (Lady Larkin) and Bring It On (Skylar).

Manuella Guerra Canal (U/S Casey) is a freshman in the BFA Musical Theatre program. This is her Theatre UCF debut. Professional credits include Urinetown (Soupy Sue). Other theatre credits include Beauty and the Beast (Belle), Heathers (Martha Dunnstock), The Little Mermaid (Ursula) and Bring It On (Kylar).

Brandon Diaz ( U/S Man 2, U/S Man 3) is a second-year student in the BFA Musical Theatre program. This is his second Theatre UCF production, his first being the Zoom production Mojada (U/S Jason, U/S Acan). Previous credits include Guys and Dolls (Arvide) and My Fair Lady (Ensemble).

Johnny Flannagan (U/S Aaron) is a first-year student in the BFA Musical Theatre program from Jacksonville, FL. This is Johnny's Theatre UCF debut. Past credits include: The Spongebob Musical (Patchy the Pirate), Much Ado About Nothing (Benedick), Newsies (Pulitzer) and Young Frankenstein (The Monster).

Emilee Mari Fruscella (U/S Casey) is a first-year student in the BFA Musical Theatre program. This is Emilee’s Theatre UCF debut. Some of her favorite credits include The Addams Family (Morticia), Oklahoma (Laurey) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (U/S Narrator).

Shayna Gilberg (Woman 1) is a senior in the BFA Musical Theatre program and a Dance minor. She was most recently seen on the Theatre UCF stage in Songs of Inspiration and A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love & Murder. Other credits include Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Ella), Sunday in the Park with George (Celeste), Chicago (Harrison) and Singin’ in the Rain at the Athens Theatre. Shayna can be seen performing as Princess at Pirate’s Dinner Adventure Orlando. shaynagilberg.com

Kayla Rose Ginty (Casey) is a third-year student in the BFA Musical Theatre program at UCF. Previous Theatre UCF credits include The Rover (Ensemble, U/S Valeria) as well as Songs of Inspiration. Other theatre credits include American Idiot (Libby) and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Arturo Ui). @kaylaginty

Woodrow Jackson Helms (Aaron Goldfarb) is a junior in the BFA Musical Theatre program. Theatre UCF credits include Blood at the Root (Colin) and A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder (Inspector Pinkney). Other theatre credits include American Idiot (Chase, U/S Johnny) and 9 to 5 (Franklin Hart). @woodrow.helms

Amy Lacey (U/S Woman 2) is a sophomore in the BFA Musical Theatre program. Theatre UCF credits include Scaramouch in Naxos (Columbine) and A Knight of Dance at UCF Celebrates the Arts. She was most recently in the world premiere and original cast recording of McBride’s Call (Julia Peel). She is also a two-time ACT Cincinnati Orchid Award winner for Excellence in Musical Theatre Performance. Instagram: @amylacey_ 

Andrew J. Lofredo (Man 3) is a senior in the BFA Musical Theatre program. He was recently seen in Theatre UCF’s productions of Songs of Inspiration (Featured Vocalist), The Rover (Boy, U/S Blunt) and Titanic (Ensemble, U/S Charles, U/S Rogers, U/S Bellboy). Other theatre credits include Tuck Everlasting (Hugo), The Addams Family (Lucas) and Heathers: The Musical (Geek). He has also worked as a playwright and a stage manager.

Jackson McGwire (Man 1) is a senior in the BFA Musical Theatre program. He is a singer, actor and musician. As an actor he has appeared in Beauty and the Beast (Gaston), Titanic (Jim Farrell) and Urinetown (Officer Barrell) at Muntz Theatre, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and Theatre UCF. As a singer, he was featured in Theatre UCF’s performance of Songs of Inspiration (Featured Soloist). Jackson is new to the musician scene with his main instruments being guitar (acoustic/electric) and piano. jacksonmcgwire1.com  

Jared-Austin Roys (Man 2) is a third-year transfer student in the BFA Musical Theatre program. Previous Theatre UCF credits include The Rover (Sancho) and Scaramouch in Naxos (Harlequin). Other favorite credits include Waiting for Godot (Vladimir) and Titanic (Harold Bride). Jared can also be seen performing at Legoland Florida. Instagram: @jared.roys 

Hayley Sanz (Woman 2) is a senior in the BFA Musical Theatre program. She was last seen in Theatre UCF’s production of Songs of Inspiration. Other Theatre UCF credits include Much Ado About Nothing (Margaret). Other theatre credits include Titanic the Musical (Kate Mullins/Madeleine Astor), Into the Woods (Little Red) and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Olive). hayleysanz.com

Jameson Stobbe (U/S Aaron, U/S Man 1) is a second-year student in the BFA Musical Theatre program. He had his Theatre UCF debut last year in Much Ado About Nothing (First Watchman, U/S Claudio), and he was also featured as a soloist in Songs of Inspiration last semester. You can find some of his work in his IGTV videos on his Instagram @jamesonstobbe.

Joseph Trewin (U/S Man 1) is a freshman in the BFA Musical Theatre program. His favorite credits include Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour) and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Chip). Joseph can also be seen in productions with Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Instagram: @joseph.trewin

Kayla Amburgey (Technical Production Assistant) is a first-year transfer student pursuing her second bachelor's degree in the BFA Stage Management program. This is her first show with Theatre UCF.

Bianca Antonetty (Production Assistant) is a first-year transfer student in the BFA Stage Management program. Theatre credits include Significant Other (Stage Manager) and The Harvest (Stage Manager) at the State College of Florida.

Jennifer Balestra (Assistant Stage Manager) is a second-year student in the BFA Stage Management program. She has previously worked on the Theatre UCF production of Sombra Del Sol (Asst. Stage Manager) and at UCF Celebrates the Arts 2021 (Stage Manager).

Donna Bess (Wardrobe) is a first-year transfer student in the BFA Design and Technology program. This is her Theatre UCF debut. 

Alexandra Borsellino (Wardrobe) is a second-year transfer student in the BFA Acting program. Past Theatre UCF credits include The Wolves (U/S #00, U/S 7), The Amphibians (Stage Directions, U/S Simone, U/S Bryn), Dear Helena (Stage Directions, U/S Diana, U/S Mia) and Scaramouch in Naxos (Bacchante Ensemble). Other Theatre UCF credits include Absolute Power (Diana) and Therapy (Director) with Project Spotlight and #CaseyandTommyGetHitched (Viv) with Moment2Moment Productions. @alexandraborsellino

Chloe Campbell (Wardrobe) is a junior in the B.A. Theatre Studies program. This is the first show Chloe has worked on with Theatre UCF. Previous theatre credits include performing at Feinstein’s 54 Below, Bottom of a Glass Blues (feature film), and working in Disney entertainment. chloeraeann.com

Emma Carbone (Props Manager) is a fourth-year transfer student in the BFA Stage Management program. Her previous Theatre UCF credits include UCF Celebrates the Arts 2020 (Assistant Stage Manager), UCF Celebrates the Arts 2021 (Lead Stage Manager), El Wiz (Assistant Stage Manager) and Water by the Spoonful (Assistant Stage Manager). Other credits include The Laramie Project (Stage Manager) and Romeo and Juliet (Stage Manager).

Kassandra Cardenas (Assistant Scenic Designer) is a senior in the BFA Design and Technology program. Previous Theatre UCF credits include: Titanic (Props Master), Sweat (Assistant Technical Director), A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (Props Master), The Rover (Master Carpenter) and Scaramouch in Naxos (Assistant Scenic Designer).

Kierstin Cameron Day (Qlab Operator) is a first-year transfer student in BFA Design and Technology program. This is her Theatre UCF debut. Kierstin enjoys problem solving and being creative and is looking forward to what she is going to be learning at UCF. kierstin.day@gmail.com

Kaitlyn Gamory (A2) is a second-year student in the BFA Design and Technology program. Previous Theatre UCF credits include To Saints and Stars (Sound Designer), The Amphibians (Sound Designer) and Knights’ Ghostlight Podcast.

Danilo González-Castaño (Wardrobe) is a third-year student in the B.A. Theatre Studies program with a minor in Film. He has been seen on the Theatre UCF stage in Sombra Del Sol (Etay/Bandido III).

Caroline Hull (Dramaturg) is a senior double majoring in Theatre Studies and Creative Writing. Previous Theatre UCF credits include As It’s Written (Playwright), Kill Move Paradise (Dramaturg) and Street of Crocodiles (Instrumentalist). She is the Artistic Director of Project Spotlight at UCF.

David Jackson (Show Crew) is a first-year transfer student in the BFA Design and Technology program. His work has been seen on Eastern Florida State College’s stage in Antigone (Haemon), A Comedy of Errors (Antipholus of Ephesus, Prop Designer), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Demetrius, Scenic Assistant) and Guys and Dolls (Rusty Charlie). In addition, he has worked with The Ensemble Company in W;T (Ensemble).

Autumn Kreidler (Sound Designer, Engineer, Mixer) is a fourth-year student in the BFA Design and Technology program. Her previous Theatre UCF credits include Titanic (A2), They Must Be Women Now! (Lighting and Sound Designer), #GodHatesYou (Assistant to the Sound Designer, Sound Board Operator), Water by the Spoonful (Assistant Master Electrician), The Rover (Assistant Sound Designer), Much Ado About Nothing (Co-Sound Designer) and The Grumpiest Boy In the World (Sound Designer).

Ben Lowe (Lighting Designer) is a senior in the BFA Design and Technology program. Ben has previously worked as the video designer for Theatre UCF's productions of Water by the Spoonful and Blood at the Root. He will also be the video designer for Shrek the Musical later this year.

Alyssa Marrero (Wardrobe Supervisor) is a second-year student in the BFA Design and Technology program. Her previous Theatre UCF credits include Sombra Del Sol (A2) and Knight’s Ghostlight Podcast. 

Cassandra McKay (Assistant Stage Manager) is a second-year transfer student in the BFA Stage Management program. Past Theatre UCF credits include A Knight of Dance 2021 (Production Assistant) and Dear Helena (Stage Manager). Other credits include Noises Off, Once, The Importance of Being Earnest, A Chorus Line and Little Shop of Horrors at Cape Playhouse; as well as Evita, Showboat, La Cage Aux Folles and Newsies at Interlakes Summer Theatre.

Aneil Rampersad (A2) is a senior in the BFA Design and Technology program. He has been previously involved with Theatre UCF in El Wiz (Lighting Designer) and Water by the Spoonful (Assistant Master Electrician). Other theatre credits include Holiday Inn (A2) and #GodHatesYou (Master Carpenter).

Erin Stephens (Show Crew) is a junior in the B.A. Theatre Studies program. Her most recent production was American La Ronde (The Famous Singer) at FSCJ. Some previous credits include The Taste of Sunrise (Izzy Ricks), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Ms. Meers), Cinderella (The Evil Stepmother) and The Wizard of Oz (Wicked Witch of the West).

Helen Strickland (Production Electrician) is a third-year student in the BFA Design and Technology program. Previous Theatre UCF credits include The Grumpiest Boy in the World (Stitcher) and The Amphibian (Lighting Designer).

Magdalena Tronina (Programmer) is a third-year student in the BFA Stage Management program. Her previous Theatre UCF credits include Dear Helena (ASM), The Grumpiest Boy In The World (ASM), Dance Concert 2020 (PA) and The Rover (Light Board Op).

Sydney Whittaker (Production Stage Manager) is in her last semester of the BFA Stage Management program. Her Theatre UCF credits include #GodHatesYou (Production Stage Manager), Our Country’s Good (Asst. Stage Manager) and multiple roles at UCF Celebrates the Arts 2018, 2019 and 2021. Other theatre credits include Hunchback of Notre Dame (Production Stage Manager), Playfest at Orlando Shakes 2019 (Stage Manager) and Writes of Spring 2020 at Orlando REP (Asst. Stage Manager). whittakersm.com

"There's no such thing as the perfect soulmate. If you meet someone and you think they're perfect, you better run as fast as you can in the other direction. 'Cos your soulmate is the person that pushes all your buttons, pisses you off on a regular basis, and makes you face your shit." – Madonna

When Austin Winsberg, Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner initially sat together to breathe life into this 2013 musical, all they had to begin with were mutual experiences of first dates gone awry. When contemplating what can cause a relationship to fizzle out before it ignites, there are many differing circumstances to consider; One of which being the predetermined prospect of "the one."

The possibility of meeting "the one" is a fabricated ideal that is heavily imposed upon individuals throughout various components of society such as religion, culture, literature and virtually all forms of digital media. According to a 2011 poll, approximately 73% of Americans believe they each have a singular true soul mate out there in the world. Statistically, this belief is seen more commonly in men (74%) than in women (71%) and more frequently in people under the age of 45 (79%) than over 45 (69%). In a more recent 2018 survey, 60% of Americans reported that they believe it's better to hold out for a soulmate than to "settle" for anything less.

While it should not be seen as impractical to aim for a healthy, successful relationship with a prospective partner, what is unattainable about "the one" is anticipating perfection. Humanity is an unapologetically imperfect species, which means not a singular heart on Earth is without fault. The way a person presents themselves at the start of a friendship or relationship is often contradictory to their true personality, as we feel the need to censor or hide parts of ourselves that may make us seem less desirable.

Each character in First Date is an immaculate example of how individuals are so much more than they appear to be; "first impressions" are not enough to determine whether someone belongs in your life. A study conducted using 2,000 Americans determined that 7 of every 10 Americans will form an opinion about someone before they even have a chance to speak — and the average person feels they can tell within 15 minutes whether a potential partner is worth pursuing. Being so quick to judge can often cause singles to completely overlook possible connections, all because of the notion that they should wait for a supposed right person.

Here is what First Date teaches us: a truly meaningful relationship does not begin with finding the right person, because there will never be someone who checks every box. A strong relationship begins with the decision to try. Soulmates are not borne from infatuation, only from honesty and trust. Love is found after a person quietly admits to themselves, "I think this could work."  There are no statistics or research that can determine if someone is meant for you, as that is something everyone needs to experience for themselves. This production aims to authentically capture both the terrors of being truly vulnerable in the dating world and the rewards that come with deciding to pursue a relationship with someone entirely new. Not because they are perfect — but because you see them for who they are.

– Caroline Hull

Aaron's Playlist:

Casey's Playlist:

Visit the First Date Theatre UCF Dramaturgy website to listen to more character playlists, share your first date stories and find out which character you're most compatible with!

SUPPORT OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS

Orlando Shakes season ad
Orlando Philharmonic ad