The Stinky Cheese Man
adapted by John Glore
from the book by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
directed by Jessica Kubzansky
May 23, 2014 - June 8, 2014

The Stinky Cheese Man logo

Familiar fairy tales take on lives of their own, often go berserk right onstage and occasionally burst into song. Rumplestiltskin turns up in Cinderella’s story. Jack sends the Giant back up the beanstalk (which he hasn’t even planted yet). Chickens can’t wait for their cues. The audience can’t wait to applaud—and you’ll never want it to end.

Previews: May 23 – 30, 2014
Regular Performances: May 31 – June 8, 2014

Recommendation: Theatre for Young Audiences … and Their Families is just that, a multi-generational experience for all ages (except children under the age of four and babes-in-arms). The only requirement is that each audience member occupies a seat and sits quietly through the performance while having a wonderful time.

John Glore (playwright), SCR’s associate artistic director, is an award-winning playwright whose produced plays include On the Jump, The Company of Heaven, City Sky (scenario for a dance piece), Wind of a Thousand Tales, Folktales Too, Rhubarb Jam, The Day After Evermore and an adaptation of The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz, which premiered at SCR in May 2013.  His adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time debuted at SCR in 2010 and has since moved on to more than a dozen productions nationwide.  With the performance trio Culture Clash he has co-authored adaptations of two plays by Aristophanes, The Birds and Peace.  His work has been produced at South Coast Repertory, Berkeley Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Children’s Theatre Company, the Coterie, the Getty Villa and elsewhere.  He received a 2000 Playwrights Fellowship from the California Arts Council and has occasionally taught playwriting and related subjects at UCLA and Pomona College.

Jon Scieszka (author) is the National Ambassador for Children’s Literature emeritus and the bestselling author of more than 25 books for kids, including The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Math Curse, Robot Zot!, and the Time Warp Trio series. Scieszka founded Guys Read to encourage a passion for reading among young boys, with the philosophy that boys love to read most when they are reading things they love. A former elementary school teacher, he lives in Brooklyn with his family.

Lane Smith (author) has written and illustrated a bunch of stuff. Most recently Grandpa Green, which was a 2012 Caldecott Honor book, and It’s a Book which was on the New York Times bestseller list for over six months and has been translated into over 20 languages. His other works include the national bestsellers Madam President and John, Paul, George & Ben. His titles with Jon Scieszka have included the Caldecott Honor winner The Stinky Cheese Man; The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs; Math Curse; and Science Verse. Lane's other high profile titles include Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! by Dr. Seuss and Jack Prelutsky; The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip by George Saunders; Big Plans by Bob Shea; and James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. In 1996, Lane served as conceptual designer on the Disney film version of James and the Giant Peach. His books have appeared on the New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year list four times. 

Learn about the production, cast & creative team with a peek into the program. Read full artist bios, in-depth articles and more.

Larry Bates
Larry Bates (Cow Patty Boy/Cocky Locky/Prince/ Stepsister #1/Owl/Stinky Cheese Man). Hey guys! I am super excited to be in The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales for the SECOND TIME!!! WOO-HOO. Forgive me if I smell like cow patties or stinky cheese. I love TYAs. The last one I did was called Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing, which was a blast. Before that, The BFG (Big Friendly Giant), where I got to play a mean ol’ giant named Bloodbottler. Finally, in another one of my favorites, I was Toby (better known as Power Boy) in The Only Child. I have also done some TV here and there, like playing a cop on “NYPD Blue,” “The Unit” and “Huff;’ a real BAD GUY on “Dark Blue;” a Coast Guard member who saves the day on “Numb3rs;” and a mortician who gets to be around dead people all day (ugggh) in “Boston Public.” Once I was placed under a spell by “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.” I haven’t been quite right since.

Brad Culver
Brad Culver (Surgeon General/King/Frog/Rumplestiltskin/ Little Old Man/Cow Head/Legal Guy). I have been an actor since I was a much smaller person. In my very first play, Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, I ate too much candy backstage and ran around the stage like a monkey. There is no monkey character in The Giving Tree. I completely embarrassed my mother. It was during that performance, at the age of 5, that I first fell in love with the stage. Since then, I have acted in movies, TV and a lot of plays. I have done the voices for a few characters on Cartoon Network’s "Regular Show." I have performed in places like Croatia, Germany and Scotland. I love to write music and I play bass guitar in a band. I grew up in Pasadena and received my a bachelor of fine arts from the California Institute of the Arts.

Tracey A. Leigh
Tracey A. Leigh (Red Hen/Goosey Loosey/ Queen/Stepmother/ Little Old Lady). My dad was in the army, so my family moved around a lot. Always “the new kid,” I got really good at watching how people acted so I could fit in. It was sometimes hard and sometimes fun, but always interesting—so I went to school to become a professional actor. I still travel a lot doing theatre, but I’ve also done some TV shows like “Law & Order” and “Modern Family.” You might recognize me from TV commercials: in one, I’m a mom who seems to be driving a race car really fast, but instead, I’m dropping my daughter off at field hockey practice; in another, I’m a stunt woman in a crazy office with a man on fire, a woman falling from the ceiling and a motorcycle rider named Larry.

Matt McGrath
Matt McGrath (Jack/Tortoise). When I took piano lessons at the age of 5, I had no idea where an introduction to the study of music would lead. My local piano teacher happened to be the Mistress of the Children's Chorus to the Metropolitan Opera and the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center, where I made my stage debut. Mildred Honer taught me how to sing in many different languages and I soon became a boy soprano soloist in many famous operas including Madame Butterfly, Carmen, Billy Budd, Hansel and Gretel, Street Scene, Tosca, Pagliacci/Cavaleria Rusticana and La Boheme. I owe many thanks to Mildred Honer who gave me the greatest gift of all, a life in the theatre. For Paige and Ryan.

Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper
Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper (Foxy Loxy/Ugly Duck/Wolf/Giant/ Stepsister #2/Fox). I’m so excited to be working at South Coast Repertory again! You might have seen me here last year looking for cherries as Skuggle the squirrel in The Night Fairy, or before, when I got to play Spiller in The Borrowers, Clem the Coyote in Lucky Duck, or when I played TWO ROLES (Meanie Jim and Grandpa Miller) in Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business. Gosh, that was fun! I've also performed for some other young audiences just like you: like when I played the lead role in Ferdinand the Bull at the Lewis Family Playhouse. Before moving to California, I acted a lot in New York City, where I was born. There I did plays by Shakespeare like Julius Caesar and a ton of new plays and musicals. I went to New York University for college and the High School of Performing Arts before that. I’m so lucky to have had so many terrific teachers, plus my mom and dad, and everyone here at SCR!

Amanda Pajer
Amanda Pajer (Chicken Licken/Princess #1/Little Red Running Shorts/Rabbit). As a kid, I loved being in plays based on fairy tales. While growing up in Ohio, I was Mr. Cricket in Pinocchio, Sterling the Silver Fairy in Twelve Dancing Princesses and Beauty in Sleeping Beauty. My friends and I belonged to a children’s/teen’s theatre company where we performed and took acting classes together. As an adult, I continued to play many characters in well-known stories including a singing monkey in Aladdin, a talking, singing and dancing dog named Tock in The Phantom Tollbooth—directed by the same director of the play you are seeing today—and 5 characters in A Wrinkle in Time, adapted by the same guy who adapted this play! I have also done other plays, movies and TV shows. Your family may have seen me at Griffith Observatory narrating a show called Water is Life and the popular Centered in the Universe. I hope you enjoy our play! Keep reading!

Erika Schindele
Erika Schindele (Ducky Lucky/Princess #2/Cinderella/ Cow Butt). My mom loves to tell the story from my childhood when I would run around as Alice chasing the White Rabbit. Since I can remember, I’ve loved playing in a world of make-believe. As an actor, I have met people and visited places I could only imagine. I’ve been shipwrecked in Twelfth Night and married to Thomas Jefferson in 1776. I was last seen at SCR as Belle in A Christmas Carol, and before that I showed my stripes in Jane of the Jungle, was a girl with long braids in Sideways Stories, a princess in Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! and Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business, and I made new friends in The Brand New Kid and spent A Year With Frog and Toad. Before that, I was a bride on her wedding day chasing after her husband who was trying to find An Italian Straw Hat. Though I’ve encountered many people in my theatrical journeys who have touched my life, my Dad and Mom will always be my heroes.
Creative Team
Jessica Kubzansky (Director). Jessica's mother predicted she would be a director because in nursery school, she managed to get the other kids to fold her blanket for her. When she was 12, she wrote, directed and acted in a musical called The Horse with Two Lovers. The play told the story of two people who wanted to own the same horse because they thought the horse would win a race. Jessica played the horse, her sister played her rightful owner and her brother played everyone else. In the end, the bad guy was foiled, the horse won, she and her true owner were reunited—and sang about it. She loved it. And she still loves directing, because her job is to take stories that start as words on the page and bring them to three-dimensional thrilling human life. To this day, children’s literature is her favorite, because it’s an E-ticket to the imagination. The theatre is the only place where a person makes a “knocking” motion in the air and the entire audience imagines a door. In theatre, anything’s possible.

Tim Horrigan (Musical Director) beat on his little wooden chair with Lincoln Logs at the age of 2 and has been making music ever since! He has written music for movies and musicals and provided musical direction for Pinocchio, The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Hoboken Chicken Emergency here at SCR. “Working with a talented cast and crew in creating a world on stage that didn’t exist before is just about the most fun you can have,” says Tim. And, if you live in the Northwood section of Irvine, you just might have him as your English teacher at Northwood High School when you get older. In the meantime, Tim says, “Keep taking those piano lessons!”

Susan Gratch (Set Designer) is the oldest of 10: eight sisters and one brother (the youngest!). Susan’s mother is an accomplished fabric artist and her father was a highly regarded chemical engineer—partially explaining why Susan chose to become a scenic designer, a combination of art and engineering. In fifth grade, Susan’s parents took her to see My Fair Lady at Detroit’s Masonic Temple. The music and the acting were nice, but the scene changes from Covent Garden to Henry Higgins’ study to the street in front of it were riveting! Susan was hooked on design! After completing her master of fine arts degree in theatre design at University of Michigan, Susan eventually ended up in California as a professor of design at Occidental College. Her award-winning scenic, lighting and puppet designs have been seen in Los Angeles; Portland, Oregon; Salt Lake City; Atlanta Olympics; and now Costa Mesa. She loves her job!

Ann Closs-Farley (Costume Designer) recently designed Cunning Little Vixens, Last Act of Lilka Kadison, Carnage, Discord, House is Black, Rabbit Hole, Fast Company, Broadway Bound, Annapurna, American Misfits, Coney Island Christmas, Eric Idle’s What About Dick?, The Pee-wee Herman Show (on Broadway), Disney’s Toy Story: The Musical, An Evening Without Monty Python, The Grönholm Method, Cabaret of Souls and Around The World in 80 Days. She has received multiple Ovation Awards and the Center Theatre Group’s Richard E. Sherwood Award for Emerging Artists. She is a longtime member of the Evidence Room and The Actors’ Gang theatre companies. Closs-Farley also designs for Disney, the World Poker Tour and Kaiser Permanente Theatricals.

Jeremy Pivnick (Lighting Designer). Jeremy is excited to be back for his fourth show at SCR. It's pretty exciting to take a classic story and reimagine it in some new way that no one has seen.  Jeremy designs shows all over the world, including in New York, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Scotland and Ireland. Thanks to everyone who made this show such fun to work on!

Jaymi Lee Smith (Lighting Designer). When Jaymi Lee was 12 years old, one of her teachers made her work backstage during a school play. That was possibly the nicest thing the teacher could have done for her because she fell in love with theatre and with the magic of storytelling. Lighting design is a weird job to have, she says. Not a lot of people do it, but she absolutely adores her work. While the actors are helping to tell you a story with their bodies and voices, she’s helping to tell the story with light. For the last 15 years she has gotten to design shows at theatres all over the country, as well as in places like China, Italy, Spain, Ireland and Scotland. Currently, she teaches students about lighting design at UC Irvine where she gets to work next door to one of her best friends, Vinnie Olivieri, who is also the sound designer on this show.

Vincent Olivieri (Sound Designer) started playing the pots and pans when he was 2 years old. He started playing piano when he was 5. He created his first sound design when he was in high school in Virginia, in between acting and directing projects. In college, he studied math and music, but he spent all of his free time with the drama students. He studied sound design at Yale School of Drama, where he hunted through junk yards for fun sound effects. Now, he teaches sound design and composition at UC Irvine, where his office is next door to one of his best friends, lighting designer Jaymi Lee Smith.

Jennifer Ellen Butler (Stage Manager) started doing theatre in the fifth grade and she loved it so much she never stopped. She was an actor and crew member until she learned about the wonders of stage managing! She went to college and got a degree in theatre from the beautiful University of California, Santa Cruz and now stage managing is her full-time job. Stage managers don’t get to act crazy on stage, but they still have a lot of fun (yes, organizing and paperwork are fun). During the show, she sits behind you in the back of the theatre in a room called the booth and tells everyone what to do and makes sure the show goes smoothly.
From the Blog
John GloreA Perfect Match
It’s hilarious, fun and crazy—that’s how playwright John Glore describes his adaptation of the children’s book The Stinky Cheese Man. Learn more about how the book went from page to stage from Glore and director Jessica Kubzansky. read more
Stinky Cheese SetA Real "Stinker" of a Play
Fairy tales usually have elements of wonder and enchantment, with a happily ever after ending. That's not the case in a send-up of popular fairy tales: The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Talesread more
A Fun Cast Brings The Stinky Cheese Man to Life
Seven actors portray nearly three dozen characters in The Stinky Cheese Man. Meet the cast—who are SCR veterans and new faces!read more
Stinky Cheese LogoThe Story of the Sassy (Stinky) Cheese Man, Other Fairly Stupid Tales
Most fairy tales are filled with magic, enchantment and a happily ever after. These fairy tales will leave you and your family more


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