Witness History Aboard Avon Players’ ‘Titanic’

More than a century after the disaster, the story of the “unsinkable” Titanic continues to capture the public’s imagination. With lush music and gripping drama, Avon Players kicks off its 71st season with the musical depiction of the tragedy, Titanic running Friday, September 8 through Saturday, September 23.

Based on the infamous 1912 maritime disaster in which a large passenger liner struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank, resulting in more than 1500 casualties, Titanic chronicles the experiences of a large cast of characters, mostly drawn from actual historical figures, representing the doomed ship’s crew and passengers from various classes. Captain E. J.  Smith (Jeff Bednar) is ready for retirement, but has agreed to helm “the largest moving object in the world” on its maiden voyage as his final trek. Smith is continually goaded by White Star Line chairman J. Bruce Ismay (Jim Canu) to sail ever faster, if imprudently, in order to reap headlines. The ship’s designer, Thomas Andrews (Scott Wickson), basks in the glory of his creation while ever dreaming of ways to improve it. Meanwhile, below decks, lead stoker Frederick Barrett (Clay Hargrave) dreams of marrying his sweetheart back home after the voyage and employs junior wireless operator Harold Bride (Brendan Johnson) to help woo his beloved.

Among the first-class passengers is Isidor Straus (Mark Palmer), co-owner of Macy’s department store along with his devoted wife of forty years, Ida (Judy Privasky).  Traveling in second class are Charles Clarke (Bill Davenport) and Caroline Neville (Johannah Steinbrecher-Booker), who are traveling to America to elope against the wishes of Caroline’s father. Second-class passenger Alice Beane (Kirsten Renas) dreams of hobnobbing with the ultra-wealthy first class passengers to the constant chagrin of her husband, Edgar (Mark Misch). The third-class passengers dream of economic opportunity and social mobility in America. Among them is Kate McGowen (Caitlin O’ Brien), who pursues romance with fellow passenger Jim Farrell (Patrick Daniels) and who, in the course of their courtship, reveals to him a secret that necessitated her emigration from their native Ireland.

The original 1997 Broadway production of Titanic earned five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Composer Maury Yeston also earned a Tony for Titanic’s score, as did writer Peter Stone for Titanic’s book. Yeston was inspired by the 1985 discovery of the wreck of the Titanic to develop a story that is at once about humankind’s constant striving for greater and greater artistic and technological accomplishments in the face of the possibility of failure and about the dreams of the individuals of who set out on a journey for a variety of reasons and motives.

Tickets for all shows are $22 ($20 on Sundays for students and Seniors). Call 248-608-9077 for tickets or order online at www.AvonPlayers.org. Group rates are available by calling the box office. “Like” Avon Players Theatre on Facebook for special offers on tickets. Visa and MasterCard are accepted. All seats are reserved.  Show dates and times follow:

  • Friday, September 8                      8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 9                 8:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 10                  2:00 p.m.
  • Friday, September 15                    8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 16               8:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 17                  2:00 p.m.
  • Friday, September 22                    8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 23               8:00 p.m

Founded in 1947, Avon Players is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit community theatre located along the winding banks of Stoney Creek in the quaint Historic District of Rochester Hills, only about two miles from the heart of downtown Rochester. Avon Players has been performing shows in its unique A-frame theater since 1965. With ticket prices set at a fraction of those at professional theatre (plus free parking and concessions on a donation basis) a family of four can experience a sensational live theatrical event for about the cost of one ticket at a “downtown” venue. And for regular theatre-goers, an affordable outing can be an even better bargain by taking advantage of Avon Players’ season ticket packages, which yield discounts of up to 21% per ticket. Additionally, season ticket holders enjoy priority seating selection and voting privileges in Avon’s annual “Stoney Awards.” Additional information regarding tickets and productions is available by calling the Avon Players box office at 248-608-9077 or by visiting the website: www.AvonPlayers.org.

Cast and Production Staff by Community:


Brendan Johnson (“Harold Bride”)

Mark Misch (“Edgar Beane”)

Caitlin O’ Brien (“Kate McGowen”)

Judy Privasky (“Ida Strauss”)

Auburn Hills

Clay Hargrave (“Fred Barrett”)


Scott Wickson (“Thomas Andrews”)


Michele Colosi (“Kate Murphey”)

Clinton Township

Patrick Daniels (“Jim Farrell”)


Kirsten Renas (“Alice Beane”)


Sharon Jourdan (Properties Design)

Matt Kush (Music Director)

Lake Orion

Bill Davenport (“Charles Clarke”)

Bodi Johnson (“Bellboy”)

Oak Park

Christiaan Lafata (“Frederick Fleet”)


Joy Oetjens (Hat Design)

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