MEET THE CAST
Krista Overby (Ronnette) is a Jones county native. A graduate of South Jones High School, she went on to study music both at Jones College and at the University of Southern Mississippi. Krista spent several years as choral director in the Laurel School District. She has served as a minister of music at local churches for over 20 years. She has recorded to gospel albums and has performed with some of the greatest gospel artists in the industry, such as Tamela Mann, Yolanda Adams, and Leandria Johnson. Krista has traveled overseas to perform in gospel concerts in Spain, Trinidad, and the Czech Republic. She also performs regularly with the popular Gulf Coast cover band, Unfazed Show & Band LLC, and is a regular performer with FestivalSouth.
Latisha Hamilton Earnest (Crystal) is a native of Sylvarena, MS, and has always been passionate about music. Latisha began singing and playing guitar at an early age. Latisha received her associate’s degree in Music Education from Jones College, Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Music Education from the University of Southern Mississippi! Earnest has performed roles such as Velma Kelly in Chicago, Regyna in the musical Rock of Ages, as well as Deloris van Cartier in Sister Act. Earnest has been a part of the Hub City Players since 2014. Latisha is the wife of Ryan Earnest of Laurel and they have two children Laila and Garrison Reese. She currently serves as Choral Director at Laurel High School. Outside of the classroom, Earnest performs as a gospel quartet singer and guitar accompanist for her family group, The B&H Gospel Singers. She is a church musician and lead singer of her soul band “Latisha and Friends”. Latisha is grateful to be able to spread her love for music to others daily!
Timeiya Harris (Chiffon) was born in Spring Valley , New York but grew up in Meridian , MS. She got her start doing live theatre at Meridian Community College and Meridian Little Theatre starring in shows including Tarzan, My Son Pinocchio, A Time To Kill, Dreamgirls , White Christmas, Anything Goes, and Disco Inferno. After MCC , she attended The University of Southern Mississippi where she studied Dance and Theatre as well. Exclusive roles she performed include Blues for an Alabama Sky, Guys and Dolls, Peter and the Starcatcher, and many more . Recently she has been involved in The Play That Goes Wrong (Murder at Haversham Manor) and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. She enjoys dancing, singing, modeling, and having the time of her life with friends and family!
Joseph VanZandt (Seymour Krelborn) is a math teacher and debate coach at Purvis High School. VanZandt has appeared in the Hattiesburg Civic Light Opera productions of Barnum (Barnum), Footloose (Willard), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Joseph), The Music Man (Harold Hill), The Producers (Leo Bloom), Big River (Huckleberry Finn), Godspell (Jesus), Les Miserables (Marius), Jesus Christ Superstar (Jesus/Judas), Cabaret (Clifford Bradshaw), The Wizard of Oz (Scarecrow), Camelot (Mordred), Evita (Juan Peron), and The Rocky Horror Show (Riff Raff). VanZandt was also in Smoke on the Mountain (Reverend Oglethorpe) for Jones County Junior College, Return to the Forbidden Planet (Cookie) for Jefferson Performing Arts Society, Hairspray (Corny Collins) for Command Performance Broadway Intensive, and The Drowsy Chaperone (Man in Chair) for Southern Opera and Musical Theatre Company. With the Hub City Players, VanZandt has appeared in Rock of Ages (Lonny Barnett), James and the Giant Peach (Centipede), and The Play That Goes Wrong (Dennis/Perkins). Most recently, VanZandt appeared in the Hub City Players production of Beauty and the Beast (Lumiere). VanZandt has directed Little Shop of Horrors, Legally Blonde, and Once Upon a Mattress for Purvis High School, and The Who’s Tommy and Return to the Forbidden Planet for HCLO. Joseph would like to thank his friends and family for their support, especially his amazing wife Sara.
In her career, Mississippi native Dr. Meredith Melvin Johnson, has coached collegiate level and professional singers in multiple genres as well as trained future music educators in diction, pedagogy, and literature. She frequently presents vocal seminars and workshops for singers and ensembles throughout the region. Her variety of performance credits and stage appearances inspire her students and encourage them to pursue a life-long cultivation of the art of singing, performing across genres with healthy vocal production regardless of style. Maintaining an active performer-teacher career is a vital part of her teaching philosophy. Dr. Johnson specializes in both classical and belt techniques and is an active adjudicator and vocal clinician, offering workshops for choral groups, showchoirs, musical theatre students, and church ensembles. She maintains a thriving private studio catering to a wide variety of musical styles and is the creator of the online courses “Virtual Vocal Academy,” “Audition Bootcamp,” and “College Choir Audition Assistant.” In her current role as a voice professor at The University of Southern Mississippi, Dr. Johnson teaches applied voice, vocal pedagogy courses and serves as vocal coach to the musical theatre productions. This summer, she acted as associate director of musical theatre and voice faculty at International Performing Arts Institute in Kiefersfelden, Germany. Previously, Johnson served 9 years on the voice faculty at Jones College where she built a flourishing musical theatre workshop program producing large-scale musicals and student created productions. As a performer, Johnson graced the stage in numerous musicals, operas, operettas, and concerts. Some of her favorite roles include Into the Woods (the Witch and Cinderella), Les Misérables (Fantine), The Drowsy Chaperone (Drowsy), La Bohème (Musetta), Pirates of Penzance (Ruth), and Turandot (Liù). Johnson appeared in her first musical as a college freshman in a production of Little Shop of Horrors (Ronette). She would like to dedicate tonight’s performance to the memory of Carrie Hayes Valentine (1978-2013), the quintessential Audrey,
Seth Lamar Karas (Mr. Mushnik) is a native of Summit, MS where he first began his love of classic movies, fantasy worlds, and, of course, the stage. A veteran of more than 60 shows, Karas spends his spare time writing his fantasy series Tales from Eldysia and creating content for social media. Community Theatre: with Pike County Little Theatre- The Curious Savage (Hannibal), Macbeth (Malcolm), Noises Off (Gary/Roger), Little Shop of Horrors (Voice of Audrey II), The Drowsy Chaperone (Aldolpho), 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Chip), Lend Me a Tenor (Tito), Little Women (John Brooke), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Director/Francis Flute), Smokey Joe’s Café (Ensemble), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Sweeney Todd), The Mousetrap (Director), Red (Director/Ken), Disaster the Musical (Tony), You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Charlie Brown), God of Carnage (Michael), Assassins (John Wilkes Booth); with Brookhaven Little Theatre- Beauty and the Beast (Cogsworth); with Hattiesburg Civic Light Opera- A Christmas Carol (Fred), Cabaret (Ernst), The Wizard of Oz (The Cowardly Lion), Camelot (Sir Dinadan), Oliver! (Fagin); and Regional Theatre: with the Hub City Players- The Play that Goes Wrong (Jonathan/Charles), Beauty and the Beast (Monsieur D’Arque/Ensemble). @thenerdyballadeer on Instagram, Threads, and TikTok
Jay Baggett (Orin Scrivello, DDS) has performed in numerous musical productions and plays throughout his life with credits including Hattiesburg Civic Light Opera productions of Footloose (Ren McCormack), Cats (Skimbleshanks), and The King & I (Lun Tha). His credits also include many productions at Laurel Little Theatre such as On Golden Pond (Bill Ray), Annie (Daddy Warbucks), The Wizard of Oz (The Cowardly Lion), Aida (Radames), A Christmas Story (The Old Man), Big Fish (Will Bloom), and Something Rotten (Shakespeare). Jay manages a team of 9 developers from all across the globe as a product manager for The Meridian Cooperative, a software solution company for utilities throughout the US. Jay would like to thank his family and friends for their endless support.
Mike Lopinto (Audrey II) On stage, his favorite theatrical credits include Les Misérables (Thenardier), Hairspray! (Edna Turnblad), The Producers (Roger DeBris), Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey II), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Cogsworth), Cats (Old Deuteronomy), A Catered Affair (Mr. Halloran), Annie (Daddy Warbucks), Carousel (Mr. Snow), Die Fledermaus (Frosch) and many, many more. His voice can be heard at all Southern Miss games as “The Voice of The Pride” and on commercials across the South. Learn more at consultm.net. He is grateful to be able to somewhat return to the stage and dedicates this one to Stephen.
Alex Miller (Audrey II puppeteer, Ensemble) is a Math Teacher with HPSD and a proud dad to beautiful pups. This will be his first Hub City Players performance and first performance as a man-eating plant. He cannot express enough thanks and love to his parents, sisters, friends, and students for their constant support, and especially thanks to Joe VZ and Mike Lopinto for the opportunity!
DeLovitt Rogers (Wino/Bum/Customer/Mr. Bernstein/Mrs. Luce/Skip-Snip), an Alabama native, grew up with a love of dance and musical theater. In highschool, he routinely attended dance lessons and performed in a nearby production of The Nutcracker (The Nutcracker/Spanish male/Arabian male). He has also appeared locally in productions including West Side Story (Big Deal), Phantom of the Opera (Ensemble), and was most recently seen with The Hub City Players in Beauty and The Beast (Villager/Castle Staff/Ensemble). Rogers moved to Hattiesburg in pursuit of his dreams of Dance Education and is now teaching at local studios including On Your Toes. When he's not teaching, he can be found serving great food and cocktails behind the bar at Chesterfield's. He's elated to be joining The Hub City Players for a second time and is grateful for this opportunity to perform in one of his favorite musicals!
Mike Lopinto (Producer, Co-Director, Lighting Design)
Brett Barnes (Co-director, Choreographer)
Tammy Mansfield (Producer, Music Director)
Joe VanZandt (Producer)
Wes Hanson (Technical Director, Set Design)
Patricia Garner and Chris Wooten (Costumers)
Danielle Gray (Assistant Stage Manager)
Caroline Parks (Assistant Stage Manager)
Beau Roberts (Assistant Stage Manager)
Sara Hale VanZandt (Props, Assistant Stage Manager)
Camp Stewart (Construction Assistant, Assistant Stage Manager)