World Premiere
Book, Music & Lyrics by Matthew B.
Directed by Matthew B. Zrebski 
Music Directed by Eric Nordin 
April 12-May 5, 2013 
Brunish Theatre at Portland Center for the Performing Arts 


Drammy Award Winning: 
Original Script and Score  

PAMTA Award Winning: 
Outstanding Original Musical 


We tend to hide from that which scares us. We cover it up. We lock it in a closet. We avoid it for fear of being uncomfortable. Nowhere is this truer than in high schools. In my now twenty years as a teaching artist for teens, I have often noted the unfortunate disconnect between what is often addressed in classrooms –and what is actually going on in the hall-ways and in personal lives. Ablaze began as a non-musical play at Lincoln High School in 2004 and was based on lengthy interviews and discus-sions with teenagers. The idea was to create a high tension, terrifying situation –and in doing so, to lift the veil from difficult subject matter. My hope is that by highlighting challenging themes, the notion of empathy as ultimate power comes front and center. For how can anyone move though life with dignity and integrity if they have not learned how to walk in the shoes of another? For the musical adaptation, I continued to stay engaged with the teenaged voice. Having first developed the musical at Wilson High School where we would talk every day about these characters, I was able to expand many of the ideas in the play, and now with music, there is an abstraction that hopefully creates even greater emotional resonance. And during this journey to this professional premiere, I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to revise further, flesh out stories, and hopefully land on a version that has the most impact. But regardless of the piece itself, the most extraordinary aspect of this process has been the dedication of this young company. Staged! has visionary leadership, and we were all determined to utilize a young cast –for the actors to all be close in age to the characters. It’s important to me that this is not only a piece about young people –but is for them as well. We tend to underestimate youth, to devalue their voices, to over question their abilities –and they are an inspiration. I feel so privileged to be on this journey. There are no words to truly express my gratitude to the scores of people who have supported this concept for nearly a decade. I hope you know how much you mean to me. And I am now so thrilled to be able to offer this collaborative effort to wider audiences here in the city I love so dearly… 

Matthew B. Zrebski


The Trapped 
Lissa: Tayler Harris 
Tess: Jessica Tidd 
Riley: Ashlee Waldbauer 
Vea: Amber Kiara Mitchell 
Davin: Jacob Orr 
Chaz: Austin Mahar 
Manny: Tristan Cornella 
Saul: Christopher James 
The Watchers: 
Jennifer: Amanda Munro 
Cassie: Charlotte KArlsen 
Ben: Daniel Crumrine 
Zeek: Joel Patrick Durham 
The Fire 
Brynn Antaran 
Wilson Captein 
Collin Carver 
Lauren Luiz 
Hunter McAndrew 
Aidan Nolan 
Bailey Olmstead 
Ben Sherman 
Lindsay Spear 
Cyler Winnie 
Fiona Woodman 
Dance Captain: Lauren Luiz 


Director: Matthew B. Zrebski  
Musical Director: Eric Nordin  
Choreographer: Jessica Wallenfels  
Set Design: Tal Sanders  
Assistant Set Design: Ted Jonathan Gold 
Lighting Design: Jeff Woods  
Costume/ Make Up Design: Ashton Grace Hull  
Sound Design: Em Gustason  
Assistant Choreographer: Erin Shannon  
Stage Manager: Amber Peoples 
Assistant Stage Manager: Kacey Manny 
Master Electrician: Meghan McNeal 
Board Op: Connor Anderson 
Production Manager: Paul Angelo 
Light Board Operator: Kiley Yuthas 
Sound Board Operator: Amber Peoples 
Master Electrician: Gillian Tabler 
Props Master: Kacey Manny 
Make Up Intern: Ellen Winter 
Graphic Design: Dustin Dybevik 


This production was supported by the Regional Arts & Culture Council & Miller Foundation, with in-kind support from Oregon Children’s Theatre and Coho Theatre.