Book by Austin Winsberg
Music & Lyrics by Alan Zachary & Michael Weiner
Director Maryanne Rushton, Musical Director Erin Fagan, Choreographer Rebekkah Schoonbeek - Berridge, Vocal Coach Robyn Kennerley
When blind date newbie Aaron is set up with serial dater Casey, a casual drink turns into a hilarious high-stakes dinner. As the date unfolds, the couple quickly find they’re not alone. In an unexpected twist, Casey and Aaron’s inner critics take on a life of their own when other patrons transform into supportive best friends, manipulative exes and protective parents. Can the couple turn what could be a dating disaster into something special before the bill arrives?
PG Recommended: Sexual references. Some language may offend
First Date is presented by permission of ORiGiN™ Theatrical on behalf of R&H Theatricals, www.rnh.com
This is Maryanne’s first time directing, but she has worked professionally in television, theatre and film, as an actor, makeup artist, special effects technician and a wig technician. Over the years Maryanne has played many roles, some of her favourite ones have been, ‘Hairspray’ playing Prudy Pingleton, Matron and the Gym teacher (North Shore Music Theatre), Madame Thernardier (2x) in Les Miserables, (Papakura Theatre Company & Playhouse Productions) which she won a Northern Area Performing Theatre Arts award for Best Supporting Female in a Musical, and Aunt Eller, in ‘Oklahoma’, (Papakura Theatre Company) from which she received a NAPTA nomination for Best Supporting Female in a Musical. She has worked with Tim Bray Productions in children’s theatre and has also appeared on the television series ‘Shortland Street’ as Dr Gwendoline Ryder. But the role of Norma Desmond, in the NZ Premiere of ‘Sunset Boulevard” (Playhouse Theatre) was the most challenging and rewarding role Maryanne has yet done. She won a NAPTA Award this year for Hair and Makeup for ‘Big Fish’ (Papakura Theatre Company) and she has also received the prestigious ‘Scroll of Honour Award’ from The Variety Artist Cub of NZ, in recognition of her skills, talent and commitment to the entertainment industry of NZ. Directing ‘First Date’ has been a very exciting and rewarding challenge, and Maryanne is thankful for all the support from the Dolphin Theatre and her wider theatre family, and the wonderful cast, band and crew, that is ‘First Date’.
Erin is a West Auckland based composer, teacher and pianist. A post-graduate student of Auckland University, Erin achieved First-Class Honours in Composition in 2015 and has since been working as a freelance composer for theatre, musicals and short films. A composer of an eclectic range of musical styles, Erin is the musical director/composer of the Acting Collective and has been the musical director for the NZ premiere of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 21 Chump St and Pan is Dead. Erin is also the composer for such projects as the game ‘Battle to the Beehive’, and the sell-out comedy musical, Love me Tinder.
An in demand professional Dancer, Choreographer, Singer and Actress Rebekkah trained in Auckland and later in New York at “Broadway Dance Centre”. She has had the pleasure of working with some very talented people and brings her knowledge to those she teaches and works with here in New Zealand. Her most recent works have seen her working on “Shortland Street the musical”, prior to that as a dancer/Singer in Pleasuredome The Musical and Chicago (Auckland Theatre Company).
Robyn has her LTCL in singing performance and works as a vocal coach and singing teacher. She has a long association with Music Theatre in Auckland and in 2015 received a merit award from NZMT for services to Music Theatre. Her work with various Auckland groups has won her 5 NAPTA awards. She is very happy to be back at the Dolphin. It has been 25 years since she last worked at the Dolphin as Musical Director for Nunsense with Director Brian O’Connor.
Jeremy joins the Dolphin Theatre whānau for the first time in First Date. Previously, he was Mr Heere and Mr Reyes in Be More Chill (Manukau Performing Arts, 2018), and in the ensembles of Mamma Mia!(Auckland Music Theatre & Amici Production, 2018), Sunset Boulevard (Playhouse Theatre Incorporated, 2017), and In The Heights (Manukau Performing Arts, 2017). When not on stage, Jeremy works in the world of social equity and education.
Kristin is fairly new to New Zealand’s musical theatre community since debuting in North Shore Music Theatre’s production of Bring it On in 2017. In 2018, she was selected to travel to New York City and perform in the end of year showcase for Broadway Dreams. Kristin’s roles include ‘Motormouth Maybelle’ in Hairspray, ‘Michelle’ in Sister Act the Musical, ‘Nettie’ in The Color Purple, and ‘Mimi’ in Rent. Kristin will be a featured ensemble member in We Will Rock You.
as MAN 1
Cam has been involved behind the scenes in theatre for around 2-3 years in various roles, some of which include set building for Time Stands Still and playing in the band for 21 Chump Street. However, this is his first time in the spotlight in a theatre setting. Typically found playing guitar in his 2 bands Fire For Glory and Streetlight Riot, he’s ready to step up and take on a new challenge.
as MAN 2
Karlo began his musical theatre journey just a year and a half ago and hasn’t stopped since, being involved in back-to-back shows since then - most recently MD’ing CYT’s production of Fame. He has thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of playing a variety of eccentric characters in First Date, and is incredibly excited to be bringing this hilarious show to the stage for the first time in NZ.
as MAN 3
Griffin is a musician and performer most frequently seen as a music director throughout Auckland. He is excited to work with many of his fellow cast members again and with Dolphin for the first time. Recent credits include Hunter in [title of show] and MD for Big Fish and Heathers, for the latter of which he received a NAPTA Award. He recently graduated from Auckland Uni studying music and linguistics and received his ATCL in voice.
as WOMAN 1
Bridie’s been involved in theatre since a very young age and is very excited to be back at Dolphin Theatre after playing Naomi Rodriguez in 21 Chump St. Bridie has been cast in many lead roles such as Roxie Hart (Chicago), Christine Canigula (Be More Chill), Belinda Austin (Little Town Liars), Rose Fenny (Dogfight),Nina Rossaro (In The Heights),Stephanie Mangano (Saturday Night Fever) and Scaramouche in the upcoming production of We Will Rock You.
as WOMAN 2
Abbie is a Performing Arts teacher at Onehunga High School. While studying her Masters in Dunedin, Abbie played the roles of ‘Felicity Cunningham’ in The Real Inspector Hound, and ‘Kira’ in the original musical Behind Bars. This is Abbie’s second show at the Dolphin Theatre, she was seen as ‘Carrie’ in the play Goodnight Mister Tom last year. Abbie is excited to be back on the Dolphin Theatre stage!
Following her first starring role as Jesus in her year 2 production Tori realised she might actually like this whole performing thing. Roles such as Rizzo (Grease), Chava (Fiddler on the Roof) and Malvolio (Twelfth Night... an all female production) make up her stage history. Following more recent performances and production team work with Musoc and Dramasoc in Christchurch, Tori is really proud to be supporting such a talented cast in her first Auckland production.
Jonathan is new to theatre having always had a keen interest and appreciation for the field. Having studied music for most of his life and currently completing a music degree at the University of Auckland in Jazz Performance, this is the first musical he has been involved in after high school and is both enjoying and constantly learning more about the world of theatre.
Since moving to NZ four years ago Jahaan has been apart of several productions. Her first being 21 Chump Street, which was performed here at Dolphin Theatre last year as part of the One Act Season. She also played Sister Mary Luke, in the mega musical Nunsense at Harlequin Theatre. Her latest production that she’s been a part of was The Wiz at MPA. She’s super excited to be a part of the First Date cast!