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Spring Musical "Footloose"
March 19-21, 2020
Evening shows at 6:30pm Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
Matinee performance 3pm, Saturday, March 21

Box office opens 45 minutes before curtain
Students $10/Adults $15

Stage Adaptation by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie
Based on the Original Screenplay by Dean Pitchford
Music by Tom Snow
Lyics by Dean Pitchford
Additional Music by Eric Carmen, Sammy Hagar, Kenny Loggins, and 
Jim Steinman

Directed by Mary Beth van der Hoek
Musical Direction by Laura Leigh Spillane
Pit Band Direction by Samuel Crawford
Choreography by Beth Sibert

Fall 2019 Production "The Miracle Worker"
October 3-5, 2019
Evening shows at 6:30pm Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
Matinee performance 3pm, Saturday, October 5, 2019

Box office opens 45 minutes before curtain
Students $5/Adults $10

"The Miracle Worker," by William Gibson
Directed by Mary Beth van der Hoek
Presented through special arrangement with Samuel French

Time:  The 1880’s
Place:  In and around the Keller homestead in Tuscumbia, Alabama; also, briefly, the Perkins Institution for the Blind, Boston
Note:   The production has two short intermissions

This classic play tells the story of Annie Sullivan (Aubrey Charron) and her student, blind and mute Helen Keller (Lauren Jewell). The Miracle Worker dramatizes the volatile relationship between the lonely teacher and her charge. Trapped in a secret, silent world, unable to communicate, Helen is violent, spoiled, almost sub-human, and treated by her family as such. Only Annie realizes that there is a mind and spirit waiting to be rescued from the dark, tortured silence. Annie’s success finally comes with the utterance of a single, glorious word.

CAST: Sebastian Kennett , Noah Nieves, Tommy Carroll, Lauren Jewell, Devon Green, Grace Leffler, Rain-Marie Robertson, Jace Arrigali, Josh Lerner, Aubrey Charron, Madison Irby, Breigha Young, Justice Edwards​, Eva Beresin, Asharyah Alvarado, Kealey Johnson, Lila Parker, Madison Langton, Nicole Frysh, Caroline Hendry, and Abigail Abdi.

CREW: Rebecca Eisenstein (Stage Manager), Jonathan Griffith (Set Design/Builder), Gray Griffith (Color Consultant), Tommy Carroll (Light Design), Cole Spivia (Costume Design), Vivian Lutz (Hair and Make-up), Hannah Suggs (Props), and Justin Williams (House Manager)                                 


Spring Musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown"
March 14-16, 2019
Evening shows at 6:30pm Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
Matinee performance 3pm, Saturday, March 16, 2019

Box office opens 45 minutes before curtain
Students $5/Adults $10

Based on the “Peanuts” comic strip by Charles M. Schulz
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Clark M. Gesner
Additional Dialogue by Michael Mayer
Additional Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa
Directed by Mary Beth van der Hoek
Musical Direction by Laura Leigh Beall
Pit Band Direction by Carlos Rodriguez
Choreography by Beth Sibert

"You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown" (revised) is a fresh approach to the 1967 classic, based on the beloved comic strip by Charles Schultz.

Sally Brown, played by Vivian Lutz, joins Charlie Brown (Josh Lerner), Linus (James Jackson), Lucy (Lillian Oelkers), Schroeder (Hannah Suggs), and Snoopy (Rain-Marie Robertson) in this charming revue of vignettes and songs. Appropriate for the whole family. Happiness is seeing good theatre together!

Fall 2018 Production "You Can't Take it With You"​

October 11-13, 2018

Evening shows at 6:30pm Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
Saturday matinee at 3pm
Students $5/Adults $10  

Box office opens 45 minutes before curtain​

Meet the madcap Sycamore family and their daughter Alice (Michelle Stanek) who falls in love with the boss's son, Tony Kirby (Andrew Cibik). Arriving on the wrong night, the conservative, straitlaced Kirbys come for dinner and experience the crazy Sycamores first-hand. Alice feels the families are too different and the marriage will never work, but Tony believes that it will. Tony is confident of the love and warmth he feels for the Sycamores, especially Alice’s mother Penny (Isabel Jones) and Alice's grandfather (Josh Lerner). It is Grandpa who eventually brings everyone together with his philosophical views on life. Grandpa philosophizes: "You’ve got all the money you need. You can’t take it with you. . . And what’s it got you? Same kind of mail every morning, same kind of deals, same kind of meetings, same dinners at night, same indigestion. Where does the fun come in? Don’t you think there ought to be something more. . .  We haven’t got too much time, you know--any of us."

International Thespian Society Chapter Inducts New Members
The Raider chapter of the International Thespian Society (IST), Troupe 6083, inducted nine new members in May 2018. Congratulations to Lizzie Begle, Tommy Carroll, Sam Cooney, Rebecca Eisenstein, Grace Hirsch, James Jackson, Sha​ne Kleber, Josh Lerner, and Phillia Prior.

The IST Troupe 6083 event, similar to the Academy Awards, featured presenters, envelopes, and acceptance speeches, as well as the induction ceremony of the newest members. The 2017-18 Thespian president was Harris Cohen (Class of 2018); Mary Beth van der Hoek is the chapter faculty sponsor.

The IST, a division of the Educational Theatre Association, is the honor society for high school theatre students. Membership requirements are strict, as each student must complete 100 hours of theatre work – both technical and performance – in addition to their classroom assignments. Fulfilling the requirements is usually a two-year commitment.

Spring 2018 Production "Pippin"

March 15-18, 2018
Thursday, March 15 through Saturday, March 17 at 6:30pm
Matinee performance Sunday, March 18 at 3pm
Tickets $10 students/$15 adults

Box Office opens 45 minutes before curtain​

Pippin (Rain Robertson) tells the story of a young woman trying to find herself and the meaning of life. She takes a journey led by a mysterious Leading Player (Phillia Prior) to explore her options to find happiness, or as Pippin calls it her “Corner of the Sky.” She meets several supporting ensemble members along the way including King Charlemagne (Joe Virgin), his wife Fastrada (Lillian Oelkers), her son Lewis (David Antonino), and finally her love (Harris Cohen). A large ensemble of 30 Thespians help create the world of her life or death journey, taking Pippin and the audience on a fantastic adventure that is sure to entertain, awe, and inspire audiences of all ages.

Directed by Mary Beth van der Hoek
Musical Direction by Michael Dauterman
Pit Band Conductor by Carlos Rodriguez
Choreography by Beth Sibert

Fall 2017 One-Act Play "A Happy Life is:  "

Thursday, November 2, 7:30pm
Friday, November 3, 6:30pm
Black ​Box Theatre
Student-directed by Senior Harris Cohen 

Fall 2017 Production "Crimes of the Heart"

Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley
October 19-22, 2017
Thursday, October 19 through Saturday, October 21 at 6:30pm
Matinee performance Sunday, October 22 at 3pm
Tickets $5 Students/$10 Adults​

Tickets sold ​during lunches starting Tuesday, October 17 through Friday, October 20
Box Office opens 45 minutes before curtain​

This poignant and funny play takes place in Hazlehurst, Mississippi in the home of the Magrath sisters: Lenny, Meg, and Babe. All three are grappling with problems of their own, but have come together to await the news of their grandfather who is gravely ill and in the hospital. Their troubles, difficult and yet somehow hilarious, tell the story of how the sisters escape the past to seize the future. The New York Times review of the play states, “While this play overflows with infectious high spirits it is also, unmistakably, the tale of a very troubled family. Such is Miss Henley’s prodigious talent that she can serve us pain as though it were a piece of cake.”

Lenny Magrath - Lillian Oelkers
Chick Boyle -- Lucy Howard
Doc Porter -- Joe Virgin
Meg Magrath -- Isable Jones
Babe Botrelle -- Caroline Price
Barnette Lloyd -- Jack Kurlander

Stage Manager -- Joe Virgin
Assistant Stage Manager -- Imani Mack
Set Design/Builder -- Jonathan Griffith

"School of Rock" 2017 ​Shuler Hensley Awards

Congratulations to Natalie Peek and Celine Lagrange for being chosen to perform in the 2017 Shuler Hensley Awards Ensemble.
"School of Rock" earns Honorable Mentions from the Shuler Hensley Awards for Costuming, Ensemble, and Orchestra.

Sch​ool of Rock, the Musical

Book by Julian Fellowes

​​​Lyrics by Glenn Slater
New music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Plus, original songs from the film

March 16-19, 2017​
Thursday, March 16 through Saturday, March 18 at 7pm
Matinee performance Sunday, March 19, 3pm
Tickets $10 Students/$15 Adults​

Tickets sold ​during lunches starting Tuesday, March 14 through Friday, March 17
Box Office opens 45 minutes before curtain​

Based on the Paramount movie by Mike White, this musical is sure to Rock the House. Starring junior Harris Cohen as Dewey Finn and senior Piper Gibson as Ms. Mullins.

The rock musical also features many other talented thespians: Chip Carter, Lyndsi Fisher, Caroline Price, Phillia Prior, Celine Lagrange, Carlos Obregon, Skyler Gupta, Ansley Tolbert, Katie Shannon, James Jackson, Robert Breeser, Jayden Richardson, JP Lutz, Josh Lerner, Lillian Oelkers, Lucy Howard, Rebecca Eisenstein, Ellie Addington, Panda Richardson, Cecillia DeBoer, Natalie Peek, Michelle Stanek, Sam Cooney, Adir Man, David Antonino, Jack Kurlander, Divine Supreme, Isabel Jones, Maria Rodriguez, and ​Grace Hirsch.

Pit Band Members: Ethan Hunt, Garret Stack, Hill Belfi, Drew Kaplan, Aidan Jones, Hal Olson, Yoel Alperin, and Haley Gruensfelder​

Directed by Mary Beth van der Hoek
Musical Direction by Michael Dauterman
Pit Band Direction by Carlos Rodriguez
Choreography by Beth Sibert​

Fall 2016 Production:  Lend Me a Tenor

Lend Me A Tenor by Ken Ludwig
October 6-9, 2016
Thursday, October 6 through Saturday, October 8 at 7pm
Matinee performance Sunday, October 9, 3pm
Tickets $10 Students/$15 Adults​

Tickets sold ​during lunches starting Monday, October 3 through Friday, October 7
Box Office opens 45 minutes before curtain​

Lend Me a Tenor is a mad-cap, screwball comedy guaranteed to leave audiences laughing to the point of tears.​


Spring 2016 Production:  The Addams Family

The Addams Family
Book by Marshall Brinkman and Rick Elice; Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa

March 17 - 20, 2016
​Thursday, March 17 through Saturday, March 19 at 7pm
Matinee performance Sunday, March 20, 3pm
Tickets $10 Students/$15 Adults​

Box Office opens 45 minutes before curtain​

That lovable family of creepy kooks is alive and well and living in their super-spooky mansion in Central Park. The Addams family, led by the elegantly gaunt and seemingly undead Morticia (Emma McConnell) and her ever-devoted husband Gomez, (Harris Cohen) is in turmoil. Their daughter Wednesday,(Piper Gibson) now 18, finds herself falling in love—a sensation that is unsettling for both her and her family of endearing misfits. When the teen invites her new boyfriend, Lucas Beineke, (Chip Carter) over with his “normal” family to get better acquainted with the Addams household, comic chaos (including everything from an amorous giant squid to mixed-up potions to a scorching tango) ensues. Other cast members include Max Kantor as Fester, Celine Lagrange as Grandma, William Loux as Lurch, and Joe Virgin and Abby Gibson as Mr. and Mrs. Beineke. Set design is by Jonathan Griffith; light design by senior Isabel Dever. The ensemble, pit band, and crew includes over 50 students.​​

Directed by: Mary Beth van der Hoek

Musical Direction: Courtenay Collins and Dr. Robert Glor

Pit Band Direction: Carlos Rodriguez

Choreography: Beth Sibert​

Fall 2015 Production:  Leading Ladies

Leading Ladies, by Ken Ludwig
October 15-18, 2015​
​Thursday, October 15 through Saturday, October 17 at 7pm
Matinee performance Sunday, October 18, 3pm
Tickets $10 Students/$15 Adults​

Box Office opens 45 minutes before curtain​

Leading Ladies is a mad-cap, laugh out loud comedy that audiences of all ages are sure to enjoy. Two actors, played by Max Kantor and Kento Malm, show up disguised as woman in order to con an inheritance from an aging aunt (Sara Srochi) whom they have never met. As they fall in love with two young woman (Madison McConnell and Eliza Paprin), they become conflicted about revealing their true identity. 

Cast and Crew: Maya AllenCarson BeasleyHarris Cohen, Jamison CollinsIsabel Dever, Megan Holley, Elijah Jenkins, Max KantorCeline LagrangeMadison McConnellKento MalmAllie OwensEliza PaprinNatalie PeekSara Srochi, and Joe Virgin. Directed by Mary Beth van der Hoek.

Spring 2015 Production:  Once Upon a Mattress

Once Upon a Mattress
March 19-22, 2015​
​Thursday, March 19 through Saturday, March 21 at 7pm
Matinee performance Sunday, March 22, 3pm
Tickets $8 Students/$12 Adults

Box Office opens 45 minutes before curtain

Music by Mary Rodgers  Lyrics by Marshall Barer

Book by Jay Thompson, Marshall Barer, Dean Fuller

Directed by:  Mary Beth van der Hoek

Musical Direction:  Dr. Robert Glor and Courtenay Collins

Pit Band Direction:  Carlos Rodriguez

Choreography:  Beth Sibert and Mary Beth van der Hoek

Set Design:  Jonathan Griffith


If you thought you knew the story of "The Princess and The Pea," you may be in for a walloping surprise. Did you know, for instance, that Princess Winnifred (Piper Gibson) actually swam the moat to reach Prince Dauntless (Mathew Boatwright) the Drab? Or that Lady Larken's (Callaway Powlus) love for Sir Harry (Chip Carter) provided a rather compelling reason that she reach the bridal altar post haste? Or that, in fact, it wasn't the pea at all that caused the princess a sleepless night? Carried on a wave of wonderful songs, by turns hilarious and raucous, romantic and melodic, this rollicking spin on the familiar classic of royal courtship and comeuppance provides for some side-splitting shenanigans. Chances are you'll never look at fairy tales quite the same way again. The show also stars Madeleine Sibert as the Queen, Kento Malm as the Jester, Max Kantor as the King, Brett Feldman as the Wizard and  Joe Virgin as the Minstral.  Suitable for the entire family.​

​​Fall 2014 Production:  Brighton Beach Memoirs

Brighton Beach Memoirs 
October 23-2​6, 2014

Thursday, October 23 thru​ Saturday, October 25 at 7pm

Matinee performance Sunday, October 26, 3pm
Tickets $8 Students/$12 Adults

Box Office opens 45 minutes before curtain.​

The Riverwood Players present the comic and poignant play, Brighton Beach Memoirs, by Neil Simon. 

Set in 1937 Brooklyn, the play is the first part of Neil Simon’s autobiographical trilogy about living with his family in a crowded, lower-middle class neighborhood in New York. Eugene Jerome, played by Junior Max Kantor, standing in for the author, is the narrator and central character. Dreaming of baseball and girls, Eugene must cope with the mundane existence of his family life in Brooklyn: formidable mother (played by Seniors Lucy Mulkeen and Madeleine Sibert on alternate nights), overworked father (Senior Jake Steel), and his worldly brother Stanley (Freshman Harris Cohen). Throw into the mix widowed Aunt Blanche (Senior Maria Jackson and Junior Madison McConnell on alternate nights), her two young daughters Laurie (Seniors Tianna Seidel and Stephi Piefke on alternate nights) and Nora (Senior Gina Karseboom and Junior Emma McConnell on alternate nights) and the comedy begins. This bittersweet memoir evocatively captures the life of a struggling Jewish household where, as Eugene's father states, “if you don’t have a problem, you wouldn’t be living here.”​

Directed by Mary Beth van der Hoek, students are filling other major production roles: Kento Malm (stage manager); Isabel Dever (light design); and Tianna Seidel (costume design). Seidel is earning credit for her IB Theatre Individual Project for this production. Set design is by retired Raider faculty member Jonathan Griffith. 

Spring 2014 Production:  The Wedding Singer


Music by                                                     Book by

                          Matthew Sklar                                  Chad Beguelin and Tim Herlihy

Lyrics by

Chad Beguelin

Directed by Mary Beth van der Hoek

Pit Band Direction by Carlos Rodriguez

Musical Direction by Beth Shugart and Greg Smith

Choreography by Beth Sibert

The Wedding Singer comes to campus for four great shows March 13-16, 2014
Thursday, March 13, Friday March 14 and Saturday, March 15 at 7pm

Matinee performance Sunday, March 16, 3pm
Tickets $8.00 Students/ $12.00 Adults
Tickets on sale in advance during all school lunches the week of March 10.

Box Office opens 45 minutes before curtain.

"The Wedding Singer" takes us back to a time when hair was big, greed was good, collars were up, and a wedding singer might just be the coolest guy in the room.

It's 1985 and rock-star wannabe Robbie Hart, played by senior Jake Berne, is New Jersey's favorite wedding singer. He's the life of the party, until his own fiancée Linda, played by senior Mila Freeman, leaves him at the altar. Shot through the heart, Robbie makes every wedding as disastrous as his own.

Enter Julia, played by sophomore Callaway Powlus,  a winsome waitress who wins his affection. As luck would have it, Julia is about to be married to a Wall Street shark named Glen, played by senior Chad Hellem. Unless Robbie can pull off the performance of a decade, the girl of his dreams will be gone forever.  Other senior cast members include Rachel Epstein as Holly, Edward Vear as Sammy and Ben Heller as George.

A top notch ensemble of over 30 cast members sing and dance in many of the rockin ‘80’s numbers in the show. Carlos Rodriguez leads the pit band, with musical direction by Beth Shugart and Greg Smith.  Beth Sibert provides innovative choreography.

Fall 2013 Production:  Almost, Maine

On a cold, clear, moonless night in the middle of winter, all is not quite what it seems in the remote, mythical town of Almost, Maine. As the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, Almost's residents find themselves falling in and out if love in unexpected and often hilarious ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. But the bruises heal, and the hearts mend…almost…in this delightful midwinter night's dream.

On October 17-19 at 7pm, and on Sunday, October 20 at 3pm, please join the Riverwood Players as they present Almost, Maine by John Cariani in the Riverwood Auditorium. The play is directed by Mary Beth van der Hoek, with set design by former faculty member Jonathan Griffith and current student Jake Berne, light design by students Nick Coso and Perry Goldstein, and costume design by student Isabella Levere. The student designers are earning credit for their IB Theatre Individual Projects.

The ensemble includes: Jake Berne, Mila Freeman, Facundo Figueroa, Ben Halpern, Ben Heller, Maria Jackson, Max Kantor, Ryan Key, Isabella Levere, William Loux, Mac McDonald, Lucy Mulkeen, Clare O’Neill, Jenna Scherz, Tianna Seidel, Alima Sore, Edward Vear, Joey Weiss and Harrison Young.

Additionally, the understudy cast will perform the show on Wednesday, October 16 at 7pm. Starring in this ensemble of talented understudies are: Blake Avrett, Sadie Llop, Gina Karseboom, Ida Di Giacomantonio, Carson Beasley, Madison McConell, Stephi Piefke, Sterling Conyers, and Phoebe Jones.

Tickets ($8/students and $12/adults) on sale during all lunch periods in the atrium on Wednesday, October 16, Thursday October 17, and Friday, October 18. Tickets also on sale beginning 30 minutes before each production at the door.

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