Directors, Performers, Writers, Artists, Stage Crew and more .....
Susan grew up in a household filled with music, dance and singing. She started booking bands for the Teen Showcase in Baltimore during Junior High School. At George Washington University, she was responsible for booking and promoting entertainment programs. Professionally, Susan was an executive for global product development and marketing for major telecommunications companies where her team developed and rolled out new technology products. She was a pioneer in Digital Quality Audio and Video working with MTV, Nickelodeon and major networks around the world. In the entertainment field, she worked with collaborative global showcases where musicians from different continents and cities played together, including the New York Music Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival, Big Help, Global ISDN and GIG.com She supported major music and film studios as they started production projects where the entertainers, directors and crew could be located anywhere and still work seamlessly together. She headed a global trade association for Global ISDN and Video that set technical standards in 65 countries. In The Villages, Susan set up many concerts at Temple Shalom of Central Florida, including the Villages Philharmonic Orchestra Summer Residency. This led to the creation of SMASH Productions to give Villagers opportunities to participate in high quality shows. SMASH just celebrated its fifth year. Memorable shows include three Nunsense Shows, When You Wish Upon A Mouse with music from Disney, USO: 75 Years of Entertainment, and the recent Rhapsody in Rhythm. Susan is looking forward to an exciting 2022 with The Honeymooners and Sound of Music.
Barry Corlew, Director
Barry began his theater career in 4th grade and has never stopped! He directed his first show as a student in 6th grade. While in the U.S. Navy, Barry worked with The Rota Little Theater (Spain). Professionally, Barry has worked with Café Lena Theater Project in Saratoga Springs, NY, and performed with Riverview Entertainment Productions (NY). He directed “Embraceable Me” off-off Broadway in NYC. He was assistant director and had a featured role in the film “The Old Livingston House” shot in Central Florida. He appeared in 10 other films. Barry has more than 150 theater credits as an actor and director. His favorite roles include Henry in “The Lion In Winter,” Mr. Lundie in “Brigadoon,” and Ben Franklin in ‘“1776” with KC Productions. He has been the Announcer Voice in the Clouds for SMASH Productions since its first shows. A Villager since 2009, Barry has worked with M&M Productions, VTC, where he recently co- directed with Bob Petrucelli “A Visit From Scarface,”VMT, Lake Miona and Melon Patch. He was Director and is Artistic Director for Broadway & Beyond Entertainment, working with his life partner Bonnie Williams. Barry joined SMASH Productions at our inception when he wrote and directed “Over the Rainbow: the Music of Harold Arlen” and “When You Wish Upon a Mouse… the Music of Disney.” He was Writer and Director for “Rhapsody In Rhythm” and will be Director of the original SMASH play “The Honeymooners: From New York to The Villages”.
Bob Stehman, Director and Performer
Prior to coming to The Villages, Bob performed numerous lead roles in regional and community theater over 50 years. He wrote, produced and directed three original Christmas shows for deaf students in the public schools and regional theater in his home state of Pennsylvania. He brings his wealth of stage experience to direct and support his love of acting, singing and dancing to the incredible cast, crew and production team to performing groups in The Villages. Bob has been an integral part of SMASH Productions since our first USO Show. He performed in all of our musical shows as a singer and dancer, including the recent show “Rhapsody In Rhythm”. Bob was Director for SMASH Productions hits “Nunsense”, “Nuncrackers” and “Nunset Boulevard,” written by Dan Goggins. He was a showstopper in dual roles as Father Virgil and Sister Julia Child. Bob was seen performing the iconic role of Leo Bloom in Villages Musical Theatre’s production of “The Producers” in 2020 and their production of Beauty and The Beast as Lumiere in April 2021. Bob will be Director for SMASH Production’s Sound of Music in November 2022.
Mary Ann Rockenbach, Music Director - Vocal Coach
Mary Ann’s career highlights include musical direction in Holland, Belgium and Germany, eight years of coaching and accompanying at Walt Disney World, and employment with Orlando Opera, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, SAK Comedy Lab, Valencia Community College and Bergamo's Italian Restaurant. Originally from Burlington, Iowa, she has shared her talents with The Villages Community for more than 25 years. Mary Ann was thrilled to join SMASH Productions as Music Director for "Nunset Boulevard" in 2019. She served as Vocal Director for “Rhapsody In Rhythm” and will be Music Director for “Sound of Music” in 2022.
Jeff was a system network (SNA) professional with Apple Computer and the Byte Shop of Milwaukee for almost twenty years. His clients included Wisconsin Department of Tourism, Milwaukee County Executive Office, and the Medical College of Wisconsin. In 1984 Jeff produced and created a website featuring first of its kind stream videos of Olympic Gold Medalist Dan Jansen. He worked with Great American Childrens Theater Company, Performing Arts Center , and the Milwaukee Milwaukee Public Museum as a technology consultant and programmer. Jeff involvement and work continues with the Dan Jansen Foundation, helping more than 1,000 children and families battling cancer. Jeff produces simple online streaming videos to full feature HD videos with special effects. His work as multi-media creator creates lasting impressions with definite WOW factors. Current Central Florida media projects include Interfaith community programs, Holocaust education activities, and Smash Productions’ theater and other special events.
Maximus Alexander, Is our happy playful four legged buddy that often pops up on stage to lend a little levity and laughter.
Joe Mankowski, Music Director
Back in his home town of Buffalo, NY, Joe was organist for the Buffalo Sabres and won the 1985 “Yamaha Electone Organ Contest.” Joe, who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, is a retired high school teacher from the Iroquois Central School District in Elma, NY. After relocating to The Villages in 2015, Joe became quickly involved in the music scene as a piano player in different venues including restaurants as well as stage productions by local theatre groups. He is well known here as a “Cocktail” as well as “Stride” Pianist! He is presently president of The Villages Piano Club and house pianist for the Rose Plantation in Fruitland Park. Joe specializes in the American piano music of the early 20th Century. He loves playing Ragtime and Novelty piano, such as those made popular by piano rolls. His true specialty is in Harlem Stride Piano. This is a style of piano made popular by artists like Thomas “Fats” Waller, where the player tries to imitate the sound of two people at a piano. He regularly competes at the World’s Old Time Piano Championship in Peoria, IL, where he has placed in the top ten for five years. Joe joined SMASH Productions as Band Leader for “When You Wish Upon A Mouse”. He recently served as Music Director for “Rhapsody In Rhythm,” wrote many of the music arrangements that wowed the audience.
Sammie Brassette, Props and Stage Support
Sammie worked in emergency room and intensive care settings for 40 years. As a traveling nurse, she worked around the world, including the Virgin Islands and Saudi Arabia. After moving to The Villages in 2009, Sammie became involved with theater. Her first show as “Chicago” and she fell in love with the confusion and darkness that goes on behind the scenes. It reminded him of the Emergency Room. Sammie brought her love of backstage management and organization to SMASH Productions. He managed props for our first “USO” production. Sammie created the environment on sets for every SMASH Production for the last five years and developed special props to tell the stories, no matter how creative they needed to be.