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Meet the Cast 





October 12-21, 2018

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Anastasiya Newkirk (Wendla)

Originally from Ukraine, Anastasiya Newkirk started performing when she was around 8 years old and that's all she ever dreamed about ever since. That is why she is very grateful to Dino and Tina for giving her another opportunity be a part of Spring Awakening once again! Anastasiya is a business owner, full time wife and mama of 3, aspiring model/actress, and an avid heel wearer." She would like to thank her husband Craig, daughter Amber, sons Wyatt and Leo, and her parents Stepan and Larisa for always supporting her. All the performances are dedicated to Tim Cook. You will always live on in our hearts! ❤️


Kassidy Holdridge is so excited to get the honor to be performing for the first time with The Center. She is so incredibly grateful to Dino and Tina for giving her a home away from home and for giving her the role of Ilse/Swing/ ensemble. Kassidy graduated from Bettendorf High School and will be attending Samford University come January to peruse her love of teaching, Christ, and theatre! She wants to thank her parents and friends for their support, Ben for the endless love and encouragement, and the whole cast and crew. We truly are a family, it’s not just for the stage, all feelings are real and genuine. Lastly, she wants to thank and dedicate her performances to Tim Cook, we will always love you and have a huge space in our hearts for you. Thank you Tim for the constant inspiration and love.


Aaron Lord is both excited and a little sad to bring Moritz to life one last time. After 6 years and 4 reprisals of the role, he finally feels like he's figured it out. Aaron works for the Davenport Police Department as a Community Service Specialist and has been heavily involved in theatre for the past ten years. He credits this role and his long-time mentor, Dino Hayz, for giving him the opportunity to really find the meaning of developing a character. He would like to thank his parents and Madison for their continued love and support. A special thank you and dedication to our brother Tim Cook for teaching all of us what it means to be loved


Chelsea Ward is honored to play the role of Thea in The Center for the Living Art’s production of Spring Awakening. Chelsea, an Alabama native, is also known for appearing in Empire, playing Rosalia in the Quad City Music Guild’s production of West Side Story, and playing Hero in Genesius Guild’s production of Much Ado About Nothing. Chelsea recently graduated with her Master’s degree in psychology from William James College and plans to move to New York in a few years to pursue her career. Until then, Chelsea plans on workshopping her own musical here in the Quad Cities, acting her heart out and annoying her cat, Mushu Fiyero. Chelsea wishes to thank her family, friends, and the cast and crew of Spring Awakening for their support and dedicates all performances of this show to the ultimate rebel and artist, Tim Cook, who is never gone.


Alice Guzman is elated to return to the Center stage, in its fourth iteration of Spring Awakening. Having had the privilege to have participated in two of the last stagings of this show, she is proud to be a part of this final, and ultimately best performance yet. Checking the part of Martha off of her “Roles of a lifetime” list, she is both thankful and saddened to share this last production with you all, in honor of her lost cast mate, Tim Cook. She’d like to thank Dino and Tina, for forever being the most genuinely kind and supportive people, as well as all of her fellow actors, for making this experience the best, regardless of the circumstances. 
Alice owns the French bakery Carousel of Delights, and has been doing theatre since she was 6, and is also an avid burlesque performer for Bottoms Up. Most recently involved in “Some Girls” at Playcrafters Barn Theatre, and a Manscape boylesque show. 
She hopes that you all are as impacted by this show as she has been, year after year.


Sophia Kilburg is excited to help tell this powerful story, and to be a part of yet another show at the Center! A senior at Davenport Central High School, Sophia is also a member of Blue Devil Productions and thespian troupe 2951. Some of her favorite roles include Heather McNamara in Heathers (Center for Living Arts), Chiffon in Little Shop of Horrors (Blue Devil Productions), and Catherine in Pippin (Center for Living Arts). Sophia would like to thank her family, friends, and every single person involved in bringing this show to life.


Madison Duling is excited to be returning to the Center for Living Arts stage performing Spring Awakening for the second time. Madison was involved in the 2016 production and is so happy she’s been able to grow not only as an actor, but as a human being with this cast. Madison is a 20 year old junior studying Criminal Justice and Psychology pursuing her dream of becoming a counselor in a maximum security prison. You may have seen Madison in previous productions all around the Quad Cities, but her favorite roles include, Pinocchio in Shrek the Musical, Smitty in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Waitress #1 in Rock Of Ages. She’d like to thank Dino and Tina for helping all of us tell this beautiful story and for sharing their love and passion for theatre for the past two months. And as always she would like to thank her parents, family, and friends for always enduring her breaking into spontaneous song and dance. Madison would also like to thank her caring, loving, amazing, and talented boyfriend, Aaron, for supporting her, loving her, and for always joining her in spontaneous song and dance in the grocery store. Finally, Madison would like to thank Tim for always sharing his art and love with everyone he encountered. This ones for you Tim.


Krianna Walljasper is more than excited to be able to get back up on the stage. The Center has always had a special place in her heart and is overwelmed with joy to be able to portray the role of Anna in Spring Awakening. Krianna's most recent production was Bridges of Madison County at Circa 21 and will soon be stepping back on the Circa stage as an orphan in Annie. Krianna is a spohmore at Moline High School. She is a out of the box teenager who spends her time living life to the fullest. She couldn't have done this without the support of her friends and family. This performance is dedicated to Tim, for all the love he had for this place, these people and most importantly the art of theatre.

Tina Hayz is very honored to get to be a part of this wonderful cast. She is reprising her role as the Adult Woman for the third time, though this is the first time she does not have Tim Cook at her side. Godspeed, my dear friend. Along with being co-owner of the Center for Living Arts, Tina teaches preschool all day as Director at Blessed Beginnings Preschool. She is the mother to Atticus, Eli and her two fur babies, Chassy and Sadie. She is eternally grateful to her husband, partner and best friend, Dino for sharing this experience and life with her. I love you, babe!

Little is known about Doug Johnson. Some say he was born in the burning embers of a fallen dragon - others have said he’s simply a mortal man who enjoys making people laugh. 

He’s incredibly excited to a part of Spring Awakening again in his reprisal role of the Adult Man.

He would like to dedicate this performance to Tim Cook and also to Doug’s beautiful bride Becca for all of the support and love she has given him.

Other than his family and friends, he enjoys baguettes and other assorted breakfast foods.


Heather Jo Whan is thrilled to be joining the cast of Spring Awakening at the Center for Living Arts as Ilse Neumann. Heather has been performing since she was 3, and is so excited to be making her Quad City theater debut. She is currently a 19 year old sophomore studying English Literature and Secondary Education at Loras College in Dubuque Iowa. She would like to thank her family and friends for the endless amount of love and support. She would also like to thank Dino and Tina for giving her this opportunity of a lifetime. Lastly, she would like to thank this cast of fabulous weirdos. You all have a special place in her heart. All for you Tim. All for you.

This is Lucas’ first show at The Center, with recent credits including Ms. Darbus in High School Musical, Dr. Fine/ Dr. Madden in Next to Normal, both at Davenport Central High School, and Baby John in Quad City Music Guild’s production of West Side Story. He would like to thank his parents for being so supportive of all his endeavors and pushing him to reach his full potential, and Dino and Tina Hayz for giving him this incredible opportunity to be part of such a powerful show. He dedicates all performances in memory of Tim Cook, and his love and passion for theatre. Fare thee well.


 Drew Dowda is very excited to part of this very talented cast for Spring Awakening! This is Drew's first show at the Center! Drew is a junior at North Scott High School, and is also involved in Lancer Productions (Troupe 739), choir, jazz choir, and speech team. His most recent role was Butler/Issachar in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Lancer Productions). Drew is also an Iowa All-State Musician for choir. He would like to thank Dino and Tina for giving him the opportunity to be part of this great experience, his friends and family for being so supportive of him, and his cast. All performances are dedicated to Tim and all the love that he shared.


Connor McDonnell is over the fricken moon to be playing Georg in Spring Awakening in his first big "adult" show. He loves the stage and has been performing at the Center for nearly 3 years. Thanks to his friends and family for their support. He dedicates his performance to Tim Cook.


Konnor Kirkbride has been performing at the Center since he was six years old. He would have never guessed that he would some day be playing Hanschen in Spring Awakening as an adult. He's had a blast working with all his fellow cast mates and dedicates his performance to Tim. "The guy always made me feel good about being me."

Elena Vallejo is a Junior at Alleman High School. She has been acting since she was in 5th grade where she did her first show in this very building. Since then she has been in almost 30 shows at not only the Center For Living Arts but other theatres in the quad cities. Some of her favorite roles include Mayor Matilda in All Shook Up (Center for Living Arts), Wendy in The Uninvited (at Alleman High School), Andrea in Once on This Island, and being a Mentor in the two Penguin Project show she was in. She hopes to be able to continue performing for a very very long time. Elena would like to thank her family and friends for supporting her, Dino and Tina for teaching her all she knows in performing, her mom for doing literally everything (I love you mom), and finally God for letting her share the gifts he has given to her. This performance is for Tim and all the love he shared.


Emily Keiner is proud to be making her Quad Cities Theatre debut here at the Center for the Living Arts with such a meaningful and powerful show! Emily from Sycamore, IL, is studing vocal music education at Augustana College, and is a Soprano II in the Augustana Choir. Past credits include Hairspray (Noreen), Oliver (Mrs. Sowerberry), and High School Musical (Martha Cox). She would like to thank her family and friends for continuing to support her in all her endeavors! Her as well as the entire cast dedicate every performance to the awesome legend, Tim Cook. Emily hopes you brought your tissues, because she definitely brought hers.

Below was Tim Cook's bio from our last production if Spring Awakening in 2016. His words are timeless and is he.

Tim Cook (Adult Male 2016) "Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do. Make good art." ~Neil Gaiman

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Dino Hayz (Director) Spring Awakening has become one of Dino's favorite shows of all time. He finds magic in the story. He has found magic with this remarkable cast. There is little in this world as satisfying, nor as nourishing to the soul, as gathering a group of passionate and diverse artists  to create a moving, living work of art. This show is dedicated to his brother and dear friend, Tim Cook who we lost just 16 days before we opened this show. His heart and spirit will live on with us throughout our lives.

Special praise to Tina Hayz, his wife and muse. "The woman is beyond my amazement. She is the life blood of my inner most heart. Thank you, T."

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