MEET THE CAST
Father of the Bride
Haley Grassia is making her GECA directorial debut with Father of the Bride. Formerly known as Haley Pearson, she took the GECA stage by storm in various roles such as Sally Brown in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Chava in Fiddler on the Roof, Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast and many more. Her last role before taking a 6 year hiatus from GECA was in 2011 when she played the lead role of Elaine Wheeler in Night Watch. Haley moved to Georgia where she met and married her husband, Albert Grassia. In 2017, Haley, Albert and their daughter Chaplin moved from GA back to where Haley grew up. Haley immediately got back involved with her GECA theatre family and resumed her acting by taking the GECA stage as Yonah in Children of Eden. Haley and her husband Albert both plan to stay involved with GECA for the foreseeable future.
Tom Jeter first walked on stage at ECHS as part of the HAM club. While in Atlanta he learned to be a magical birthday clown and other costumed characters. He became involved with GECA in 2010 and been involved with most show since. From walk on roles up to principal and lead. He has also worked back stage and with tech. He is also on the board of directors.
SHARON FALK POULSEN
Sharon Poulsen is a retired schoolteacher who started her GECA obsession as a member of the nuns’ chorus and a dancer in GECA’s first production, The Sound of Music. She was immediately sucked into the “GECA Vortex” and has been apart of almost every show GECA has done, either on stage or behind the scenes. Sharon has played roles such as Aunt Eller in Oklahoma, Dolly Levy in Hello Dolly, Mama in The Glass Menagerie, and M’Lynn in Steel Magnolias as well as many more. Sharon is currently serving as GECA’s CEO.
HANNA DAWN BOUTWELL
Hanna Dawn Boutwell is 17 years old. She has participated in many church and school plays. Hanna attends J. U. Blacksher High School. Hanna will be a senior in high school starting the Fall of 2018. She will also be known as the Majorette Captain of Blacksher’s Marching Band. You can catch her at any football game twirling fire and 3 batons!! Hanna will be playing the lead role of Father of the Bride, Kay Banks, the bride!
Zack Smith is excited to be performing in his 5th GECA production. He is currently cast as Tommy Banks in Father of the Bride. His previous roles include Lurvy in Charlotte’s Web, Prince Good-hearted in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs of the Black Forest, the Bartender in the Philip Marlowe radio show, The Red Wind, and Mr. Dobbins in Tom Sawyer. In addition to acting, Zack enjoys playing the guitar and is learning to play the piano.
Rob Arrant began his life at GECA two years ago when he played the role of Fyedka in GECA’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof”. As he stared out into the audience on opening night and sang the first note of his solo, he became forever apart of the stage and desired to be a part of more and more productions. The love of theatre was not the only thing that kept Rob coming back. The fellowship that is shared between the cast and crew of GECA so endeared the people to him, that he found himself coming to help work on sets of shows that he was not even acting in just so he could be apart of a production with these people that he grew to love. Rob is playing the role of Buckley in the production of “Father of the Bride” and hopes to see many more years as part of GECA’s phenomenal stage.
Natalee Presley is a freshman at Baldwin County High School in Bay Minette, and involved in JROTC and Key Club. This is Natalee's fourth production with GECA and she is, "excited to be apart of the cast for Father of The Bride!"
DANA JANEL LANDIS
Dana Landis has been performing with GECA for almost 20 years, with her earliest role at 18 months carrying a diaper across stage. Born and raised in Atmore, she teaches baton twirling classes to young girls and is also very involved in the children’s ministry at her church.
BRIANNA SUE GUEST
Brianna Guest is playing the role of Delilah. This is her third production with GECA, including her prior two appearances in Annie and Children of Eden. She received a B.A. in Music Education in 2015 from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL and will be beginning her third year as the band director at J.U. Blacksher in August.
Charity Strength is the wife of a bearded man by the name of James Strength, mother of two little hurricanes, Stormy and Juniper and is a personal assistant at My Father's Arrows. After five adventurous years, she is ecstatic to be back with her GECA family.
JASMINA A. STAHLY
Jasmina Stahly, who will be playing Miss Massoulla, the wedding planner, graduated this May from Atmore Christian School. Though her parents, Jerry and Judi Stahly, are from Pennsylvania and New York respectively, Jasmina was born and raised in Atmore. At three years old, she was introduced to stage performance as an extra in Fiddler on the Roof in 2003, and she has been a member of the GECA family since her first speaking role as Dill in To Kill a Mockingbird in 2012. Throughout junior high and high school, Jasmina has performed in sixteen plays and musicals in the community—at school, at Grace Fellowship, and at the GECA. Among her most notable roles are those of Oliver in the musical Oliver!, Anne in The Diary of Anne Frank, Alice in Alice in Wonderland, Anne in Anne of Green Gables, Mayella Ewell in To Kill a Mockingbird, and Jo in Little Women of Orchard House. This fall, Jasmina is planning to study at Rosedale Bible College in Rosedale, Ohio, but, wherever she ends up, her experiences at the GECA have been a major highlight of her youth.
Joseph K. Seltzer is an actor from Birmingham, AL. He got brought into GECA when they needed someone to play Tom Robinson in "To Kill a Mockingbird." After playing that role, he assumed the various hats of the adult Ralphie (Red Ryder, Christmas Tree Salesman, Delivery Man), an obnoxious neighbor, and radio announcer Pierre Andre in "A Christmas Story." While a student at Alabama State, he played a Roman Guard in "Jesus Christ Superstar" and Jason's Man in "Medea."
PAMELA GARDINER DEES
Pamela Dees has been with GECA since the organization was founded. While she loves being onstage for the sheer joy of singing and dancing with the group, her favorite role of all was playing Winnie the Pooh. In addition to acting, she also enjoys finding and creating props such as Pharaoh’s staff, a bowl of fake ice cream, and a sacrificial lamb.
Lacey, a Mobile native, is new to GECA. She has a musical and theater background from performances in and out of high school and college. After school, she spent a couple years in a small traveling group perfoming everything from comedic skits, improv, dance, and story telling.
Todd Smith is thrilled to be returning to stage to perform in his 5th GECA production. He is currently cast as Pete in Father of the Bride. His previous roles include Mr. Arable in Charlotte’s Web, King Absent-minded in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs of the Black Forest, Philip Marlowe in the Philip Marlowe radio show, The Red Wind, and Muff Potter in Tom Sawyer. Outside of GECA, he performed in Happy Being Me, which was part of a theater camp held at Coastal Alabama Community College hosted by Tonea Stewart (In the Heat of the Night). Todd is a freshman at CACC and enjoys playing the bass guitar.
This is David Landis’ first GECA production, pulled into this play by his wife Dana Landis. David works as a PC support specialist for Infirmary Health in Atmore and enjoys photography- landscape and people candids are his favorite. He lives in Atmore with his wife and two rambunctious dogs, Havoc and Mina.
Buckingham Caterers Crew
Jordan Taylor is going into her Junior year at the University of West Alabama where she majors in theatre and art. Her dream job is to be an actor but teach high school or college level theatre and art courses for a more steady income. This is her second show with GECA, technically, as she filled in for the cook in Alice in Wonderland in 2016 when the actor couldn’t perform during school shows. She hopes to continue being in summer GECA shows when she comes down from college.
Buckingham Caterers Crew
Nathaniel has been with GECA for two and a half years, and has been juggling schoolwork and rehearsals for all of it, both high school and now college. He says he wouldn't trade it for the world, though, because even if he's indecisive about what he's even going to school for, GECA has always been there and has been one of the key parts of his personal growth over these short few years, him enjoying performing and the strong bonds he has with many other veterans of the Theater, even if he occasionally makes them want to pull their hair out.
Gretchen McPherson's priority is painting the set, beginning with "Arsenic and Old Lace" about 8 years ago. In the play after Arsenic, she painted the set and debuted on stage, singing "Fax Me To Heaven" to the tune of Patsy Cline's "Crazy." Since then, she has taken on some speaking roles, but mainly works to create memorable sets that will keep audience members coming back for every show!
Austin Swartzendruber a videographer, YouTuber, cabinet maker, musician, and an all-around creative guy. He has been filming GECA’s plays for almost six years now and has loved every second of it…well almost every second. Let’s face it, there can be a lot of just standing around times. If you want to check out more about Austin or see some of the projects he’s worked on, check out his YouTube channel to see more - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeekIw0QbBdywj4fa-MvTFA.