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Adults: $23
Seniors/Students: $20
Members/Children Under 12: $15


Friday, April 12& 19 | 8:00PM

Saturday, April 13 & 20 | 8:00PM

Sunday, April 14 & 21 | 2:00PM


George Frey Performing Arts Center
10-10 20th Street, Fair Lawn, NJ

About the Show

A New Brain is a show about making the most out of life in the face of tragedy. When a neurotic, frustrated composer is confronted with a terminal illness, he finds comfort in the healing power of art. The show is in fact William Finn’s autobiographical account of his own battle for life when he was afflicted with a seemingly terminal illness. As the central character, Gordon Michael Schwinn struggles to survive, he finds salvation in the healing power of art.


PATRICK DWYER (Gordon Schwinn) is delighted to return to Old Library Theater where he appeared in The Prom (OLT Award: Featured Performance in a Musical). Patrick is an alum of NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, where William Finn was among his professors. Credits as a composer/lyricist include Thirtywhatever, Ten Reasons Why I Am Going to Hell (two MAC Award nominations), and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (TheatreworksUSA: Off-Broadway, national tour). Local performances include It’s a Wonderful Life (George Bailey; also musical arrangements—Hawthorne Pride Alliance), Godspell (John/Judas; Bergen County Players), A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (StageworksNJ). Favorite NYC shows: The Music Man (Harold Hill), Curtains (Cioffi), How to Succeed (Finch), Once Upon a Mattress (Dauntless). By day, Patrick is the Creative Services Manager for The Princeton Review/ He dedicates this performance to the memories of his real-life Mimi and Rhoda, Mary Lou Dwyer and Erin Coleman. 


JONATHAN KROUSE (Roger Delli-Bovi) is so thrilled to be a part of this talented group of performers. He was last seen in The Prom with OLT Theater as well as on the Indianapolis and Pittsburgh stages in such roles as: Jake in Burnt Part Boys, Tommy in The Who’s Tommy the Musical, Phoebus in The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, Abel in Children Of Eden, Lord Farquaad in Shrek, Leaf ConeyBear in 25th Annual Putnam County SpellingBee and Joseph in Joseph And The Technicolored Dreamcoat—to name a few. He would like to thank his sister, and friends for all the love and support in pursuing his passion over the years. Enjoy the show! IG: JonnyBoySinger

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MELISSA MILLER (Rhoda)-This is Melissa’s first time on the OLT stage! Playing Rhoda in A New Brain has always been a dream of Melissa’s, and she can’t imagine a better cast and crew to do it with! Some prior theater credits include: Evelyn Nesbit in Ragtime and Alexi Darling in RENT at Bergen County Players, Cinderella in A Night of Disney at Players Guild of Leonia, Elizabeth Benning in Young Frankenstein, Sally Slaton in Parade, Bianca/Lois Lane in Kiss Me, Kate, Hildy in On The Town, The Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods, and Ado Annie in Oklahoma! Melissa has a BFA in Acting from Montclair State University, and a Masters in Education from LIU. Melissa would like to thank her director, Jess Katz for believing in her, the cast and production staff of A New Brain, her friends, parents, and Dan for all the support and love!

JEFF PARSONS (Minister) is thrilled to be a part of this amazing show with such a talented cast and creative team. Earlier this season he played devilish Bruce Ismay in Titanic at OLT, and now, he's a minister. Previous local credits include The Prom (OLT), Elf (CDC Theatre), Falsettos (Antrim Playhouse), Greater Tuna (Studio Players), and A Year With Frog and Toad (Teaneck New Theatre). He is also often found off stage or in the booth, having most recently stage managed Deathtrap (Players Guild of Leonia), Hand to God (Nutley Little Theatre) and his OLTY award-winning experience as the stage manager for It Shoulda Been You. Jeff spent many years producing and stage managing, for film and stage, including the first middle school pilot production of Wicked Jr at Teaneck Community Charter School. Thanks to his incredibly supportive family.

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DAVE TOUSSAS (Richard) is excited to be back at OLT as Richard in this production of A New Brain! He was recently seen in OLT's Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play. Prior to that he was Santa Clause in The Barn Theatre's production of One Magical Christmas. Dave was also in OLT's Autumn Opulence Fundraising Cabaret, and OLT's Titanic - The Musical where he portrayed Herbert Pitman and Henry Etches (2023 OLT Award Winner: Best Supporting Role in a Musical). Prior favorite roles include Mr. Krabs in The SpongeBob Musical, Maurice in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at the Rosen Performing Arts Center; General Harrison Howell in Kiss Me, Kate at Madison Public Theatre; and Sergeant Carlino in Wait Until Dark at Stageworks 237 (formerly Rhino 237). Dave wishes to thank the amazing production staff for casting him, as well as his friends and family for all their love and continued support!

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PAUL FOSTER (Dr Berensteiner)  Paul is delighted to return to OLT as Dr. Jafar Berensteiner, who provides ( in his own mind at least ) the neurosurgical courage, discipline, and skill to snatch this musical from its desperate premise.


Paul has been enjoying playing parts where men grapple with their fading powers. Most recently, in OLT’s fall production of Titanic, he struggled to contain his excitable younger wife as Edgar before going down with the ship. In Clifton’s Jesus Christ Superstar, he explored the corruption inherent in power as Caiphas. And in a Baltimore production of Mama Mia, he played Harry, the father who discovers that in his commitment to life as a competent banker, he had forgotten his joyful youth.


Paul denies that these roles reflect in any way the themes of his own life and career as an academic internist, husband and father.

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KATIE LUPFER (Waitress/Nancy D.) is thrilled to be making her OLT debut with this wonderfully talented cast and creative team. Other theater credits include Godspell (Joanne) Leading Ladies (Audrey), The Emperor’s New Clothes (Queen Carlotta the Least), Pinocchio (The Blue Fairy), Rapunzarella White (Queen Millicent) and Sleeping Beauty (The Queen) at The Bergen County Players. Katie has also performed at the Player’s Guild of Leonia in Closer than Ever, Hair, Lovers and Other Strangers and A Christmas Carol. She has also costumed and wiged many productions and received the PerryAward for Outstanding Costume Design of a play for A Shayna Maidel and Perry nominations for Ragtime, Whodunnit? and The Man Who Came to Dinner. Katie would like to thank Jess for giving her this opportunity to get back on stage and her parents for always being supportive of her creative endeavors.


KATHY MONROE (Mimi Schwinn) 

is thrilled to be playing Mimi in OLT’s A New Brain , Kathy is so grateful to be working with this incredible creative team & cast. It is truly a gift to tell THIS story with THESE people.  She was most recently seen in D.R.E.A.M. VTC‘s  production of Legally Blonde in January 2024 and Doreen Oliver’s Everything is Fine Until It’s Not  for the Illuminating New Voices festival in May 2023 at Vanguard Theatre Company.  Some favorite past roles include Sister Amnesia in MeshuggahNuns -Theatre League of Clifton, Miss Hannigan in Annie-Trilogy Rep, Monette in Always a Bridesmaid- RosenPAC , & Paulette in Legally Blonde-Rhino Theatre.  BIG thanks to her parents, husband & kids for enabling her addiction to musical theatre.  Kathy would like dedicate this performance to the memory of Barbara Cohen Finn- who taught her son that no one’s stronger than mother…. And no one fights as hard when something’s in the way. 

Josie- 11:11. Jamie- I.H.W.Y. Ken- S&S.


SAM SZENTMIK (Homeless Lady) is so excited to be part of another OLT production! Previous credits include The Prom (Dee Dee Allen), Much Ado About Nothing (Don Pedro), Little Shop of Horrors (Chiffon), and Urinetown (Little Becky Two Shoes). When not on stage, Sam is a full-time content marketing manager and business owner who also enjoys podcasting with her husband, Zack. She would like to thank the aforementioned Zack, family, friends, her cats, and the incredible cast and crew for making this beautiful show possible.

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PETER VAIKNORAS (Mr. Bungee) is excited to be making his OLT debut! By day, he proudly works as a Stage Manager for the Pushcart Players, an AEA affiliated organization that focuses on Theatre for Young Audiences. He went to college, which is a thing people write in these for some reason. If you’re dying to know, feel free to ask him where after the show; he just likes to keep some of the romance and mystery alive with his audience. Recent credits include Marty Kaufman (It Shoulda Been You - Bergen County Players), Jim Baxter (Perfect Arrangement - Nutley Little Theatre), and Tommy (Grand Horizons - Players Guild of Leonia). Past and favorite credits include Whizzer (Falsettos), Hunter [title of show], Lord Farquaad (Shrek! The Musical), Charlie Brown (YAGMCB), and Cabaret (direction). Peter is excited to bring others deep into the inner maniacal world of A New Brain, and would like to thank Jess, Evan, Erin, Lyss, the cast and crew, as well as his amazing partner Nikki for their support! He would be remiss to not mention his dog (and his muse) the bark-tastic Mr. Bungee! Cheers to a great run!

Production Team


JESS KATZ (Director) is beyond excited to be directing "A New Brain" as her first show with Old Library Theatre. Jess has recently joined the OLT Executive Board where she is serving as Digital Marketing Manager. Recent Directing Credits include "Guys and Dolls Jr" at Haledon Public School, "Weight Class" which she wrote and directed the premiere production with Offbook Productions, and "Matilda Jr" at Haledon Public School. Recent Acting Credits include Mary Hatch in "It's a Wonderful Life- A Live Radio Play" with the Hawthorne Pride Alliance, Motel The Tailor in "Tradition- An All Female Concert featuring songs of Fiddler on the Roof" with Offbook Productions and Mrs. Mozart in "Chamber Music" with the Radburn Players. Thanks to the cast, crew, production team, OLT, Richie and their three cat boys. "And so I sing, that I feel so much spring." 

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EVAN T. CHARPENTIER (Music Director) has no idea how she ended up MDing a musical about a queer musician with imposter syndrome and a broken brain. Well…maybe one idea. Evan directed last season’s Titanic for OLT, and later this year, will return to her Shakespeare roots to direct A Midsummer Night’s Dream (December 13-15th, 2024). Evan has MD’d BatBoy, Little Miss Sunshine, All Shook Up, and numerous Cabarets and Concerts. You may have seen her perform in Avenue Q (Lucy), The Vagina Monologues, Dogfight (Mama), The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Jeannie), Children of Eden (Mama Noah), Baby (Arlene), It Shoulda Been You (Jenny), Beauty and the Beast (Mrs. Potts), Little Shop (voice of Twoie) and Head Over Heels (Pamela). for more. Big love to Jess and the Production Team. For Queerida and Daddoo, thank you for the “Heart and Music.”

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ERIN SABAT (Stage Manager) (they/them) is very excited to be back working with OLT after having stage-managed their 2019 production of Mary Poppins. Sabat is currently serving as the Vice President of Nutley Little Theatre, and the Chief of Staff for Wolfsmouth Players Company. Recent stage management credits include: The Valley of the Shadow (Wolfsmouth Players Company), tick…tick, BOOM! (Nutley Little Theatre), Effigy: Staged Read (Wolfsmouth Players Company), and Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde (Nutley Little Theatre). Much appreciation to the A New Brain company. Infinite love to their friends and family, the High Council, and to Asuka.


LYSS WORTMAN (Assistant Stage Manager) is a 2020 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Wagner College, located in Staten Island, NY, where they earned their B.A. in Theatre, as well as pursued a NYS Teaching Certificate in Special Education. During their time in college, they worked as an Actor, Director, Choreographer, House Manager, and Stage Manager on student and class productions. Additionally, they were selected as the Assistant Director for the Mainstage production of “On The Town” (dir. Theresa McCarthy). Lyss was also the teaching assistant for Wagner College’s Directing Classes, under professor Michael Tennenbaum. They have written, directed, and choreographed youth shows at Camp Lou Henry Hoover, in Newton, NJ. Professionally, Lyss has been a teacher, coach, and Stage Manager at the Professional Performing Arts School in Manhattan, NY through Waterwell and Manhattan Youth. Lyss has appeared on stage in works and shows in New Jersey, New York, and Edinburgh, Scotland. Lyss has previously worked with Old Library Theatre on The Prom and Titanic the Musical.  Additionally, Lyss is currently pursuing a master's degree in Education Theatre through NYU Steinhardt, where they are currently working with the NYU Youth Ensemble.

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AMY KURFIST (Prop & Set Designer /Producer)  is thrilled to be back participating behind the scenes at Old Library Theatre as the co-producer for A New Brain. She was previously seen on stage in OLT's productions of Urinetown, Legally Blonde, A Night At The Movies Fundraising Concert, It Shoulda Been You, The Prom, Broadway Mashups Fundraising Concert, and Autumn Opulence Cabaret as well as backstage as producer for Legally Blonde (2022 OLT Award Winner: Best Production), Fly By Night, Autumn Opulence Cabaret, and Vintage Hitchcock: A Love Radio Play, director/producer of the 2023 Youth Showcase and Broadways Mashups Fundraising Concert, and costume designer for The House of Blue Leaves, It Shoulda Been You, Prom, and Titanic (2023 OLT Award Winner: Best Design). Thanks to the cast, crew, and everyone at OLT for continuing to be such a welcoming theater family!


JESSIE BLUM (Costume Designer) is delighted for her return to costume designing after a brief two decade hiatus! She has designed and created costumes for various productions, including The Importance of Being Earnest, The Star Spangled Girl, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, all with the Princeton Summer Theatre; and Ragtime, The Last Five Years, and many other original productions at Drew University. Most recently she has used her skills to create top tier Halloween costumes for her sons. A life long lover of musical theatre who sadly cannot sing on key, Jessie spends her days creating educational content for NYU’s research enterprise. Sending lots of love to Eli, Max, & M.J.


CASSANDRA BARCKETT (Choreographer) is very excited to be back at Old Library Theatre as the choreographer! Previous shows she choreographed include Shrek jr.(Stageworks) and We Will Rock You jr. (Hertiage Middle School). Other credits include One Magical Christmas(Molly the Doll), Cinderella(Charlotte), Our Town(Emily Webb), Nunsense(Sister Mary Leo), Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat(The Narrator), Legally Blonde(Kate), Jesus Christ Superstar(Dance Captain), Godspell(Robin), Fame(Iris Kelly), Urinetown(Little Becky Two Shoes), Wizard of Oz(Dorothy Gale) and more. She studied dance at 5-6-7-8 dance for 14 years since she was 4 and has been singing since she was 6. She graduated from William Paterson University in 2020 with a BA in Communications with an Emphasis on Theatre and Comedy. By day she is a substitute teacher and paraprofessional for Pequannock Township and Passaic NJ. She is also a Dance Teacher at Dynamic Dance Academy in Verona, New Jersey, Gotta Dance in Elmwood Park, New Jersey, and Theatre Next Door and Dance Life Academy in Livingston, New Jersey. She would like to thank her family and friends for all of their love and support, her teachers, and a special shoutout to Jess, Erin, Evan, Amy, and everyone at OLT for giving her this opportunity. “Break a leg Everyone!”

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