The Exultant Stag Virtual Program


The Exultant Stag is a surprising and off-beat musical comedy aiming to de-stigmatize mental health struggles and celebrate the bravery of seeking professional support and guidance. Written by local musician Jeff Stolz, this new and original play takes us through the world of Roman mythology combined with live dance and brand-new indie rock music by Stolz’s band The Frightened Stag with a line-up of all-star back-up vocalists – Heidi Gluck, Hannah Novaria, and Raven Naramore.  The Exultant Stag doubles as a vinyl release show of the soundtrack featuring all the songs from the play by The Stag, including a new single by Stolz’s long-term collaboration with Wallace Cochran, and Drakkar Sauna.  Cochran will also be returning to perform in the play.

The Lawrence Arts Center Downtown Underground Concert Series presents

The Exultant Stag

Featuring music from the Frightened Stag 

Written by Jeff Stolz

Directed by Samaria Fleig

Dramaturgy by Ric Averill

Choreography by Gwentessa Alfie

Producing Artistic Director Elizabeth Sullivan

Show Order

Act I


1 “Actaeon”

2 Therapist’s Office

3 Bathroom “Unexpected Things”

4 Therapist’s Office

5 Bathroom “Twenty Million Hits”

6 Therapist’s Office


Act II

1 Forest “Earthly Gods”

2 Therapist’s Office

3 Forest “Bend the Neck”

4 A different part of the Forest

5 Forest “The Sound of Advice

6 Forest “Your Shadow is not Company”


1 Therapist’s Office

2 Dream Training montage “The Italian Disco”

3 Therapist’s Office

4 Forest “Finale”


SONNY Wallace Cochran

THERAPIST Ceri Goulter


SNOOKIE Cliff Hoitt-Lange


SUIT Fred Whinery

DIANA Tatyana Younger

ARETHUSA Ruby Johnson

Dream Team Dance Ensemble Gwentessa Alfie, Kalen Stockton, Pam Roberts


Frightened Stag Band Members

Jeff Stolz, Ryan Johnson, Paul Schmidt, Sam Goodell


Guest Vocalists

Heidi Gluck, Raven Naramore, Hannah Novaria


Production Team & Crew

Director: Samaria Fleig

Playwright: Jeff Stolz

Dramaturg: Ric Averill

Choreographer: Gwentessa Alfie

Stage Manager: Jillian Schwatz

Scenic Designer: Samaria Fleig

Lighting Designer: Samaria Fleig

Sound Engineer: Ben Knight

Running Crew: Lucas Hasiuk & Nico Scales

Mask Design & Build: Juniper Tungpuz

House Manager: Lisa Purdon


Members of HANG 12

Teapot Creations

Maya Smith, Ruby Hull, Prairie Mulligan, Opal Morris, Felipe Reina-Salas, Annika Maximov, Jean-Luc Esperance, Willow, Maisie Hickman



Mary Stolz, Salome Stolz, Rick Wright, Jeff Eaton, Sawyer Harding, Lucas Hasiuk, Alia Leon, Ben Spencer, Graham Hall, Liam Price, Maddy Turner, Max Dahda, Nikki Davis, Olivia Lake, Ben Ahlvers, Josh Davis, Adrienne Pease, Margo Holland


Production Team & Crew

Director:  Samaria Fleig

Playwright: Jeff Stolz

Dramaturg: Ric Averill

Choreographer: Gwentessa Alfie

Stage Manager: Jillian Schwatz

Scenic Designer: Samaria Fleig

Lighting Designer: Samaria Fleig

Sound Engineer: Ben Knight

Running Crew: Lucas Hasiuk & Nico Scales

House Manager: Lisa Purdon



Director of Performing Arts: Elizabeth Sullivan

Associate Director of Performing Arts & Education: Justin Harbaugh

Technical Director & Production Manager: Samaria Fleig

Assistant Technical Director: Lexey Jost

Events Manager: Lisa Purdon

Box Office Manager: Josiah Moreno


Special Thank Yous

Cottin’s Hardware & Rental

Love Garden Sounds

Tom Harper with Stephens Real Estate

Sunflower Bike Shop

Andrew Smith 

Alicia Kelly


Andrew Stowers (Ms. America/Actaeon/Exultant Stag) father to Tweedle and framer of art, studied theatre at Wichita State and KU. He is a founding member of E.M.U. Theatre (Lawrence) where he served alternatively as an actor, director, writer, designer, and producer assisting over 100 new scripts to see the light of stage as well as Shakespeare to Shepard. He’s also performed with Cardtable Theatre, E.A.T., Seem-To-Be Players, and a couple of short-lived, local bands, in addition to appearing in a handful of locally produced movies. He has been a performing member of Lawrence’s Foxy By Proxy Revue since 2012 and is thrilled to be making his return to the theatre stage in a locally written, debut production! Thanks, Jeff! Hope we do you proud!

Ceri Goulter (Therapist) has been an active member of the Lawrence Arts Center theater department since she was a teenager. She has been an actor, director, education support, stage manager, and hair and makeup artist. Her favorite roles include being a part of the cast of The Vagina Monologues, directing for SYT, and her makeup design for Sweeny Todd. When not participating in theater, Ceri is an Events and Learning Manager for the Kansas Association of School Boards. She is thrilled to be part of such an incredible new production! 

Cliff Hoitt-Lange (Snookie) is a queer theater-maker, writer, and experimental violist originally from New York. This is their first time acting in a production at Lawrence Arts Center — usually they’re working offstage or running the light board! Favorite acting credits include The Infinite Hotel, Crave, and Twelve Angry Men. They would love to act in a play by Naomi Wallace, María Irene Fornés, or Sarah Kane (hint, hint, nudge). A big woof, tail-wag & howl for the Exultant Stag team! 

Gwentessa Alfie (Choreographer/Stag/Dream Team) is leaping with excitement for you to see this show! They recently performed in Something Rotten with Theatre Lawrence! When they’re not on the stage or working for UsD497,  you can find them at home snuggling their two cats, Jackie and Poppy, playing ukulele or painting with watercolor. Dream on and enjoy the show! 

Hannah Novaria (Vocalist) Hannah Novaria (they/them) is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Lawrence, Kansas. Over the past decade Novaria has shared the stage with dozens of local and touring artists, both as a core member and a hired hand. They currently play drums in local shoegaze outfit Late Night and provide backing vocals for Heidi Lynne Gluck and her band, in addition to being the primary songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist for Lawrence alt rock band Party Helmet. 

Heidi Gluck (Vocalist)  is a versatile singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with three solo albums, including her recent release “Migrate or Die.” She’s collaborated on stage and in studio with dozens of artists, including Tom Brosseau, John C. Reilly, Juliana Hatfield, Margot & the Nuclear So and Sos, Simrit, The Roseline, The Only Children, Lily & Madeleine, Frogpond, 95 Sweetbird, among others. In 2023, she was honored with the Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contribution in Musical Arts. 

Jeanne Averill -(Mother/Alpheus)  has been a theater artist and teacher in the Lawrence and Kansas City area for her entire career. She ran the Theater Dept. for Lawrence High School for over 36 years and became a member of the Screen Actors Guild and Actors Equity Association within the last 20,  often doing both at the same time. She currently teaches literature classes for Bishop Seabury and acting classes for Wright Laird Casting and Talented Unlimited of Kansas City, and the Lawrence Arts Center. Her most recent appearance at LAW was in their Pulp Fiction experience. She has a commercial for Evergy running right now and will have a Kansas Lottery commercial coming up this Christmas as well as Drunken Christmas Carol here at the Center with her husband Ric and two fabulous talented children,Will and Trish. 

Jeff Stolz (Playwright/Singer/Songwriter) has performed in an array of local musical projects in the past thirty years including the smashingly popular indie-folk cult favorites Drakkar Sauna, the psych-rock band The Hips, and currently The Frightened Stag and 95 Sweetbird. He has also composed and performed the music for LAC’s past productions of Pinnoccio and Alice In Wonderland.  He worked for 20 years as a bartender at the Replay Lounge while touring the country extensively as a performer.  In 2013, he became a licensed Master of Social Work working for ten years with teens and young adults at local non-profit Van Go, Inc.  He is currently the Mental Health and Wellbeing Director at the University of Kansas and lives in East Lawrence with his wife, Mary, and his daughter, Salome.   

Kalen Stockton (Dream Team) graduated from the University of Kansas with her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Performance with a focus on movement theatre and devising. She is an actor, dancer, musician, sound designer, writer, and occasional knitter. Her first show with the Lawrence Arts Center was My Name Is Loofa Tutu earlier this year – you may have seen her throwing a tantrum about hating pink. When not getting her sillies out onstage, Kalen is the Student Staff Coordinator in the Center for Orientation and Transition Programs at KU. She lives in Lawrence with her cats, Charlie and Dottie.

Frederick  Whinery  (Suit) – Originally from Dallas, Texas, Frederick is proud to be a part of this original work, having worked once before with Lawrence Arts Center in the 2022 production, “Threads: Weaving the Tapestry of Lawrence Freedom” as an actor and writer. Now living in Lawrence, Fred works in production with Loud Production Group, as a lighting director, video tech, rigger, stage manager, spotlight operator, and stagehand at various venues, festivals, and conventions both nationally and locally. 

Pamela Roberts (Dream Team) As a longtime lover of the arts, theater, and dance, Pamela is excited for her debut performance in the Exultant Stag. When not on stage, you will find her all around Lawrence in various sports clubs, volunteering, and being active in the community.

Paul Schmidt (Bass and Vocals, the Frightened Stag) – has been active in the Lawrence music scene for more than 30 years, playing multiple instruments on multiple recordings, working in Rock, Soul, Bluegrass, Folk, Country, Surf, Jazz, and Musical Theater.  He has worked on several LAC theatrical productions and concerts, and currently serves on the board of volunteers for the Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championships.

Raven Naramore (vocalist)is a Lawrence born singer/ songwriter and chef. She was a member of the band Podunk Road and released an album of the same name. She has also recorded with Shannon Wurst as a back up vocalist on her Sugar and Kerosene album as well as appearing in multiple live shows. This is her first appearance at the Arts Center.

Ryan Johnson (Drums) Ryan Johnson has played drums and percussion in Lawrence for many eons.

Sam Goodell (keyboard/synthesizer) is from Lawrence. He attended music school and has played in various local and regional groups over the past 15 years. In addition to playing with the Frightened Stag he plays piano at home for his wife and their two cats. 

Tatyana Younger (Diana)- Tatyana Younger (she/her) is a high school therapeutic paraeducator, community activist, and union organizer with a flair for the dramatic. She spent her high school years diving into the arts while learning to dip her toes into political work. Now, she’s Vice-President of the hourly staff union for Lawrence Public Schools, PAL-CWA, and looks for opportunities to blend activism and creativity. She played Margaret “Sis” Vinegar in the documentary film “Then Three Were Taken” and last year she returned to the stage with “Threads: Weaving The Tapestry of Lawrence Freedom” both highlighting Lawrence’s own history with political struggle and racial injustice. She looks forward to supporting more community voices in bringing their visions to life. She lives in Lawrence with her chosen family: feral queer folks, D&D nerds, and loving radicals. She is deeply thankful for them! 

Ruby Mae Johnson (Arethusa) Ruby Mae’s theater experience extends back to grade school, when she held a lead in Ms. Colvin’s 4th Grade production of Hansel and Gretel. She has only rarely had occasion to wear lederhosen since then. Ruby spent years as a theater and dance mom at Lawrence Arts Center, and stepped back onstage herself as one of four grandparents in Willy Wonka in the fall of 2019. Other highlights include time as Mayor Shinn in The Music Man; narrating, singing, and portraying Carrie Nation in Threads at LAC, and a featured “Fairy Glam Mother” role in the ensemble for Priscilla: the Musical. Ruby Mae wishes to express deep gratitude and appreciation to her children, her chosen family within the Lawrence LGBTQ community, and to other regulars at the Replay Lounge Karaoke scene. All of these people have been part of Ruby’s ability to grow, shine, survive, and thrive. 

Wallace Cochran (Sonny)  is a writer and musician. He has been a member of Drakkar Sauna for twenty years. He lives in North Carolina. 

Ric Averill (Dramaturg) is delighted to  share years of new play development techniques sharpened at the Kennedy Center’s New Visions/New Voices (T-Money & Wolf with Kevin Willmott, The Emperor’s New Clothes Opera for Children and Dreams Carved in Stone for the Black Hills Playhouse) and the IUPUI Bonderman Youth Theatre Playwriting Symposium (Alex & the Shrink World & Reliable Junk.).  A Dramaturg’s work is to help the playwright honor and clarify their own vision working with a director and cast who bring their own talents, questions and rewrite suggestions.  Lots of delightful rewrites and suggestions. Thanks to Samaria, Jeff, Jeanne and the whole cast.  See y’all on the Ghost Tour! 

Samaria Fleig (Director, Lighting Designer) graduated from Emporia State University with her Bachelor of Fine Arts and has found her home here in Lawrence. She loves all areas of the theatre, both on and off the stage: performance, scenic design, lighting design and stage management. Previously, in California, she spent five years working with Coast Kids Theatre, New Vision Theatre Group and the Star Theatre Company. She is very proud of the work she’s been able to do with young theatre technicians here at the Arts Center and looks forward to creating more magic in the future.

Elizabeth Sullivan (Producing Artistic Director, Director of Performing Arts) has a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre for Youth and K-12 teaching certification from Arizona State University. She is a community-based artist, teaching artist, director and performer. Elizabeth acted with The Seem-To-Be Players, a nationally touring children’s theatre troupe. She served as lead facilitator and actor for MADE Garden, interactive art and play installation for young children at Mesa Art Center’s SPARK! Festival for Creativity. She worked as Asphalt Art’s Resident Artist at Phoenix’s Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development, where she led homeless youth in poetry, spoken word, drama, performance and digital storytelling. Elizabeth directed, facilitated and performed in the Lawrence Arts Center production of Rethink: I Am a Veteran, an original storytelling project focused on women veterans. She is proud to work with such an incredible performing arts team.

Justin Harbaugh (Associate Director of Performing Arts & Education) has earned degrees in music from Emporia State University and Kansas State University, and a doctorate in clarinet performance from the University of Kansas. He has choreographed productions for several Kansas high schools, including Emporia and Goddard. Justin has danced onboard Holland America Cruise Line, performed with Music Theatre of Wichita, at the Sands Casino in Atlantic City, and at the Tanzsommer festival in Austria. In addition to being on the dance and theatre faculty at the Lawrence Arts Center, Justin also owns and operates a private clarinet studio. He’d like to thank his parents for their endless love and support and his amazing dance teacher Kari Kohls-Bruch for instilling a lifelong passion for dance.

Lexey Jost  (Scenic Designer/Stagecraft Instructor) is a scenographer and Kansas native. An alumna of Emporia State and the University of Kansas, her design, technical and instructional work has covered scenic, lighting and costume production with a focus on props construction and painting techniques for the stage. Her scenic work on the University of Kansas’s 2018 production of Spring Awakening earned honors from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Washington, D.C. Recently, her projects at the Arts Center have included lighting design, scenic design and stage management for shows including Threads, the School of Dance Showcase and Peter and the Starcatcher.

Jillian Schwartz (Stage Manager/Production Manager) is a senior elementary education major at Emporia State University with a minor in theatre. She has just completed her first semester of student teaching in second grade in Olathe, KS and is excited to student teach in kindergarten next semester. Jillian has been a part of the Lawrence Arts Center since 2008 in many different roles, such as a performer,