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2014-2015 Season

Imagine and Discover

Main Stage performances are at the New Hazlett Theatre Center for Performing Arts

Performances are typically 2 hours long.

Showtimes: Friday & Saturday @ 8:00 PM
Sunday @ 2:30 PM



Animal Farm

by Andrew Periale
based on the novella by George Orwell




Chelsea Bartel (Clover) is excited to make her Prime Stage Theatre debut this season with her role as Clover. Chelsea is known for her most recent roles as The Ghost of Christmas Present in A Christmas Carol with HobNob Theatre, and Alice Beineke in The Addams Family Musical with Mon River Arts Theatre. She is also known for her past roles as Charlotte Hay in Moon Over Buffalo and Stacy Wells Peake in the original production of Duplex as a member of Scotch‘n’Soda Theatre at Carnegie Mellon University. There, she also had ensemble roles in Reefer Madness and The Rocky Horror Show after playing her first lead role as Carmen Bernstein in Curtains. Chelsea studied Creative Writing, Art, and Drama at Carnegie Mellon before graduating in 2014. She is a percussionist and a versatile artist with interests in painting, filmmaking, and sewing, to name a few. Chelsea wishes to thank her family for supporting her in pursuing her dream, and everyone who has given her a chance to shine. She credits Mary Tyler Moore as her source of inspiration and role model, and truly believes she’s “gonna make it after all”.

Ryan Borgo (Cat) is thrilled to be a part of his first Prime Stage production! Ryan is a student at Point Park University. Past shows include A Streetcar Named Desire (Barebones), The Producers (Stage 62), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Broadway Across America), Children of Eden, Les Miserables (Pittsburgh Musical Theater), Footloose, 42nd Street, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Catch Me If You Can (West Allegheny High School). Ryan was nominated for the Gene Kelly Award for Best Actor for his portrayals of Freddy Benson (2013) and Frank Abagnale, Jr. (2014). He won the 2014 Best Actor Award for Catch Me and proceeded to perform on Broadway at the 2014 National High School Musical Theater Awards. Many thanks to my supporting family, my amazing teachers, my inspiring friends, and to Prime Stage for this wonderful opportunity!

Josh Brelsford (Benjamin) is very excited to be playing the role of Benjamin in his second Prime Stage Theatre Company show. Josh previously played Ben Finney in Prime Stage’s production of Walk Two Moons. Other credits in Pittsburgh theatre include Tom of Warwick in The Public Theatre’s production of Camelot. Josh recently completed performing in a play in the Philadelphia Fringe Arts Festival, entitled Skin in the Game. In addition, he has also portrayed roles such as Frederick Fellowes in Noises Off, and Miles Gloriosus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum for his high school, Winchester Thurston. Josh acquired his love for the Hammer Dulcimer while on a sunset cruise in the Florida Keys.

Stefan Lingenfelter (Napoleon) This is Stefan Lingenfelter's first production with Prime Stage. He has worked as an actor and director professionally and nonprofessionally his entire adult life. Favorite local roles include George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life-A Radio Play, Howie in Rabbit Hole at the Butler Little Theatre, Billy Flynn in Chicago at the Kean Theatre, Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd for the Butler Musical Theatre Guild, Chris Keller in All My Sons at the New Castle Playhouse, Ben Hecht in Moonlight and Magnolias at The Legacy Theatre. Stefan moved to Butler five years ago from New York City, where he lived and worked for 20 years. Stefan is proud to be a part of this exciting show.

John Michnya (Boxer) is a local actor, director, and teaching artist, hailing from Staten Island NY and a graduate of both the College of the Holy Cross and the University of Pittsburgh. His recent acting credits include The Tell-Tale Heart (In Between Theatre), As You Like It (Jacques; Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks), Angels in America: Parts 1 & 2 (Rabbi/Henry/Martin/Bolshevik; Throughline Theatre Co.), The Devil's Arithmetic (Hannah's Father; Prime Stage), and Midnight Radio Jr. (Vocal Artist; Bricolage). His recent directing work includes Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s Boom at the University of Pittsburgh and assistant directing Tribes’ transition to City Theatre. He is also an illustrator and screen printer with Fallout Print Shop in Lawrenceville. More info at

Joseph David Rittenhouse (Moses)
) is a film and stage actor from Collegeville PA and recently graduated from Point Park University with a BFA in Acting. Some past roles include Howie Lee in Howie The Rookie, Lt. Governor Danforth in The Crucible, Sir Oliver Surface in School for Scandal, Caliban in The Tempest, Otto Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank, and Daisy in Baby with the Bathwater. Joseph also has a thriving career in film with 2 films set to release this year; All Raccoons are Bandits and The Last Witch Hunter starring Vin Diesel. Joseph is incredibly grateful to the Cast and Crew, thank you for an amazing opportunity. Keep up to date with Joe at "Don't think, Act!"

Bill Smolter (Snowball) is excited to be working with Lisa again, as well as making his debut with Prime Stage Theatre in Animal Farm. Recent credits include Cloud 9, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Big Love and Comedy of Errors with Seton Hill University. When Bill is not acting, he enjoys directing and working in the costume shop. He has previously worked as a stitcher for the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company in Weston, Vermont. Bill will graduate from Seton Hill University in May with a BA in Performance Theatre and a BA in History. For more information on upcoming projects, feel free to visit Bill’s website at

Natalie Spanner (Mollie)
is ecstatic to be making her debut Pittsburgh theatre performance with Prime Stage’s production of Animal Farm. Recent performance credits include a wild and wonderful 2014 season with the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival. A proud 2014 graduate with a B.A. degree in Honors from Seton Hill University, her most recent credits there include A Comedy of Errors (Solina), The House of Bernarda Alba (Bernarda), and We Had a Very Good Time (Nicole/Anna). Besides practicing yoga, experimenting in the kitchen, and generally learning how to take care of herself out of college, Natalie has spent a lot of time volunteering at the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society. She is a lover of all kinds of animals and hopes you will enjoy the beasts of this land as much as she has – with or without the ribbons.


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The Hazlett Theater Performing Arts Center where Prime Stage performs is accessible for people with disabilities.  For information on seating and/or to request an ASL signed student matinee performance, please email Prime Stage at