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A Second Helping: the Church Basement Ladies Sequel

April 10 - May 26
Inspired by the books of Janet Letnes Martin and Suzann Nelson, authors of the best-seller Growing Up Lutheran.
Written by Greta Grosch
Music and Lyrics by Drew Jansen and Dennis Curley

Produced by special arrangement with Troupe America, Inc.
PG - Parental Guidance Suggested

Due to the thrilling success of the first production and the phenomenal audience response, The Round Barn Theatre has decided to continue the story of this unique group of women. Originally produced by Troupe America, A Second Helping: the Church Basement Ladies Sequel, reassembled the original creative team, picking the story up in 1969 with the world changing. As protests of the Vietnam War increase and the women everywhere are demanding equal pay for equal work, in their small rural Minnesota community, the ladies of the Lutheran church basement kitchen are dealing with changes of their own. With their heartwarming humor and antics, A Second Helping: The Church Basement Ladies Sequel takes us from the High School students at the Luther League Banquet to a church sponsored Missionary night.

Scenes & Musical Numbers
Director Notes
Cast Bios
Production Staff Bios
Theme Dinners
A Second Helping Press Release
Read a Recent Review of A Second Helping: the Church Basement Ladies Sequel in The Paper


Church Basement Ladies 2:
A Second Helping

Archive Photographs


A Note from the Director…

Amish AcresWith the huge success of the original Church Basement Ladies at The Round Barn last year, it comes as no surprise that we were asked to serve up the Second Helping. This time around, the year is 1969 and the world around this small Minnesota town is changing. As the Vietnam War rages, and protesters march in the streets, the four ladies of the Lutheran church basement kitchen are facing changes of their own…all while still laughing together and finding strength in one another. What I’ve noticed about this show is that everyone can relate to one of the characters on stage. They may even see themselves, or someone they know. As a child, I remember the church basement ladies of my small Methodist church laughing, telling stories and cooking away. When you can connect with a show in that fashion, and laugh while doing it, that says it all. I am pleased to be returning this year, not only as the humble pastor, but also as the director of this endearing piece. In a time when things seem so uncertain, I’m so glad you are able to join the ladies as they dish up some laughter, and yes, some tears, from below the house of God. This is most certainly true!

Matthew C. Scott


A Note from the Music Director…

Amish AcresWelcome back to the basement! After the enormous success of the first installment of Church Basement Ladies last spring, it only seems fitting that we return to the ladies’ lower haven for more laughter, tears, and fun! The music in this installment has some witty lyrics accompanied by some catchy tunes. As always, the ladies will be singing to you about their fears, family, friends, and above all else, their food! So please enjoy the show and thank you for helping us kick off our exciting new season! Enjoy!

Travis Smith



A Second Helping Cast


Pastor E.L. Gunderson


Matthew C. Scott

Mrs. Lars (Vivian) Snustad


Maggie Leigh Walker

Mrs. Gilmer (Mavis) Gilmerson


Sarah Philabaum

Mrs. Elroy (Karin) Engelson


Carissa McCurdy

Beverly Signe (Engelson) Hauge


Sara Bayliss Croninger


A Second Helping Staff


Executive Producer


Richard Pletcher

Associate Producer


George Bush

Artistic Director


Jeremy Littlejohn



Matthew C. Scott

Music Director


Travis Smith

Production Stage Manager/Props


Monica Gauer

Technical Director


Justin Detwiler

Company Manager/Sound


Timothy Leonard

Costume Designer


Drew M. Baker

Set Designer


Richard Pletcher

Lighting Designer


Jeremy Littlejohn

Dance Captain


Sarah Philabaum

Master Carpenter


Gary Balough

Box Office Manager


Jennifer Scheffer

Archive Videographer


Steve Jones


Time & Place

The action takes place in the basement kitchen of a rural Lutheran Church in Minnesota.


Scenes & Musical Numbers

Act I

Scene 1 May, 1969



Everyone Knows a Church Basement Lady



God's Way of Sayin'


Mavis, Karin, Vivian

God's Way of Sayin' (Reprise)


Mavis, Karin, Pastor

Scene 2 Fall, 1969



Cardamom, Cinnamon, Ginger and Clove



You Never Know


Karin, Cast




Act II

Scene 1 January 11, 1970



Old Dog, New Tricks


Pastor Gunderson

Get Back in the Game


Karin, Mavis, Vivian

Scene 2 May, 1970



Cardamom, Cinnamon, Ginger and Clove (Reprise)



Vivian's Bad Trip


Vivian, Cast

The Tales of Your Heart


Vivian, Karin, Mavis, Beverly





A Second Helping Cast Bios

Sara Bayliss Croninger (Beverly) originally hails from Maine but has called Raleigh, North Carolina home for the past six years. Sara was last seen as Martha Cratchit on the National Tour of A Christmas Carol with NTC Productions. Prior to that, Sara was a swing for RWS and Associates. A recent graduate of Meredith College, Sara loves spending time with her friends, family and her wonderful fiancé. 

Enjoy the show!


Carissa McCurdy (Karin) is delighted to be making her debut at The Round Barn Theatre with this production of Church Basement Ladies 2: A Second Helping. She has been singing and performing in many different settings since the age of five and went on to receive a BAC in Musical Theatre from Bowling Green State University. Originally from Sherwood, OH, she has been performing in the Northwest Ohio area for many years. Her favorite roles include the Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods, Penelope Pennywise in Urinetown and Roxie Hart in Chicago. 

I would like to thank my family and friends for all their support. As always – for mom!

Sarah Philabaum (Mavis) is thrilled to be returning to The Round Barn Theatre for her third season in a row! You may remember her from last year’s productions of State Fair, Hank Williams: Lost Highway and Plain and Fancy. Sarah earned her BFA in Musical Theatre from Shenandoah Conservatory and for the past few years has been traveling around the country performing for audiences both young and old. She has really enjoyed touring with the National Theatre for Children as well as the National Tour of A Christmas Carol. Sarah loves coming back to The Round Barn each year and would like to thank the many patrons who continually support live theatre.

Enjoy the show!

Amish AcresMatthew C. Scott (Director / Pastor Gunderson) is from Orbisonia, PA and has been a professional Actor / Director for 17 years. He is thrilled to be returning to the humble Pastor he originated last season! Some of his directing credits include Run For Your Wife at Cornwell’s Dinner Theatre, Forever Plaid at the Grace Theatre, and Pump Boys and Dinettes, Plain and Fancy, and the extremely well received 2012 production of Miracle on 34th Street here at The Round Barn. Some of his favorite roles around the country include John Dickinson in 1776, George in She Loves Me, Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, Trevor Graydon in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Hucklebee in The Fantasticks and the Baker in Into the Woods.


Maggie Leigh Walker (Vivian) is from Laurel, Maryland, and graduated Cum Laude from Catholic University in 2011 with a BM in Musical Theatre performance. She was most recently seen as Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray and Sister Margaretta in The Sound of Music at Midtown Arts Center in Fort Collins, Colorado. She would like to thank her family and friends for always being so loving, supportive and understanding of her gypsy lifestyle!



A Second Helping Staff Biographies

Drew M. Baker (Costume Designer) started performing at age four and has been a part of almost 400 productions over the years. Although acting and directing top his list of favorites, designing costumes definitely resides at a close second. He is the Founder / Director of Central Pennsylvania theatre companies Faces and Places Ministries, a not for profit theatrical company which brings the gospel to life through various art forms, and Faces and Places Alive!, which brings wholesome family fun productions to schools and other children’s organizations. He currently serves as the Artistic Director for the Moshannon Valley YMCA Youth Theatre in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania. Having seen several of the Church Basement Ladies shows, Drew is excited to combine his love of costuming with a great ensemble of characters. From a young age, he was at the apron strings of his angel; his grandmother, who worked in the church kitchen for many years.  He dedicates his work on this show to Meme, the Church Basement Lady looking down on him from above.

George Bush (Associate Producer) is a Nappanee native and proud graduate of Northwood High School! George began his work at Amish Acres as a trash collector at age 14 and spent much of his educational career (both high school and college) with Amish Acres as an intern, clerk in the hotel, Art Festival food runner and in retail.  George started a family in Muncie where he attended Ball State University and worked in the property development world for ten years. He returned to Nappanee in 2011, where he was named Chief Operating Officer for Amish Acres and Associate Producer for the Round Barn Theatre. He is extremely happy to have his family relocated back home and is looking forward to a wonderful 2013 season.

Justin Detwiler (Technical Director) is a life long resident of Nappanee who graduated from Northwood High School in 1995. Upon graduating from high school, Justin studied at Defiance College. After studying at college for 1 year, he decided to join the working class, and spent the next 15 years working as a carpenter in the construction field. For 13 of those years, he was a job sight foreman. In 2010, Justin started his work for Amish Acres as a sub contractor. Later that season, he was named Supervisor of Property and Grounds and in January of 2013, he was named Technical Director for The Round Barn Theatre. Justin has been happily married to his wife Stacey since 2001 and they have two daughters; 9 year old Haley and 7 year old Olivia. Justin is very excited to begin his new assignment as Technical Director for the 2013 season!

Monica Gauer (Production Stage Manager) had so much fun stage managing last year; she decided to stick around for another year! Monica grew up in Laporte, Indiana (surrounded by friends and family), then graduated from the University of Southern Indiana (where she made new friends), after which she got married (turning her best friend into her family), and now she is helping to build a bigger Round Barn family (and she hopes you will become part of it).  When she isn’t busy around the Acres she loves to read, watch cartoons and listen to stories…and storytelling is what theater is all about!  So relax and enjoy a story that Monica and her Round Barn family are about to tell you.

Timothy Leonard (Company Manager) attended Florida School of the Arts for Musical Theatre before moving on to the National Tour of A Christmas Carol in 2008. Since then he has performed in such shows as Oklahoma!, Smoke on the Mountain, and various children’s theatre projects. In 2011, Timothy began performing here at The Round Barn Theatre where he has enjoyed playing a diverse assortment of roles including Judge Heppenstall in State Fair, Vinnie in The Odd Couple and Hank in Hank Williams: Lost Highway among others. When asked about his continued work here at Amish Acres, he said: “We’re a family – the audience and community feel that way to me.  I recognize many faces each season, and do my utmost to give them an enjoyable experience every time they visit.”

Jeremy Littlejohn (Artistic Director) is a native Hoosier who is thrilled to celebrating his fifth season as Artistic Director for the RBT. Jeremy has worked at Amish Acres in three different decades both on the Joseph Stein Stage and in the Historic Area. He is probably remembered for his performance credits, but is most proud of introducing straight plays to the Round Barn audience by way of the Second Stage. He has logged nearly 800 performances of Plain and Fancy playing all of the male roles, and directed the show five times; including the 20th Anniversary season. Some of his other directing projects include Nunsense, The Glass Menagerie, Bye Bye, Birdie, Miss Nelson is Missing, Driving Miss Daisy, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Lost in Yonkers, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Kiss Me Kate, Guys and Dolls (with Bethel College), and his Masterwork, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel. In addition to being an Actor / Director, Jeremy is also an accomplished Lighting Designer, Stage Manager and Teacher.

“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.”  - G.K. Chesterton

Richard Pletcher (Executive Producer) founded Amish Acres with his father LaVern in 1968. The Amish farm was preserved and restored and is now listed in The National Register of Historic Places. Following a one year experiment in dinner-theatre with George Bledsoe in 1971, he added musical theatre to the interpretation of the historic farm by producing Plain and Fancy in the Locke Township Meeting House in 1986. It moved to The Round Barn Theatre in 1991. The play has been running for 26 consecutive years having surpassed 3,700 performances before audiences of over 355,000 people. Plain and Fancy’s Tony Award® winning author Joseph Stein and Tony Award® winning composer Albert Hague have attended Plain and Fancy at Amish Acres.

At Joseph Stein’s urging, Amish Acres became a regional musical repertory theatre in 1996 with the addition of five shows in rotation with Plain and Fancy each season. Amish Acres has now produced nearly one hundred Broadway musicals and The Round Barn Theatre stage is named for and dedicated to Joseph Stein. Seven of Mr. Stein’s musicals have been produced on his stage, including Plain and Fancy, Fiddler on the Roof, The Baker’s Wife, and Zorba, plus staged readings of Take Me Along, Rags and a second stage production of Enter Laughing.  

In October of 2006, Dick and his wife Susan were guests of Joseph and Elisa Stein in New York City for the York Theatre’s Mufti Series production of Plain and Fancy, the last in a month long, three show festival of Stein’s work that included Take Me Along and Carmelina. Artistic Director James Morgan recognized Amish Acres’ 20 year production of Plain and Fancy in the program and in his introductions from the stage. The Pletcher’s and Jeremy Littlejohn attended the York’s presentation of the Oscar Hammerstein Lifetime Achievement Award in Musical Theatre to Joseph Stein in November of 2007.  Stein was further inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in February of 2008. He passed away in 2010 and the Joseph Stein Memorial Fund was created to provide free season tickets for children.

Travis Smith (Music Director) is excited to be back at The Round Barn Theatre this year after being active here as both an actor and music director since 2009. Previous productions here include State Fair, Sisters of Swing, Smoke on the Mountain: Homecoming and Miracle on 34th Street. He is also a composer and arranger currently working on a new production titled Steeple People about a southern gospel quartet.  Please visit his website for more information.

Enjoy the show and thank you for supporting live theatre!


A Second Helping: the Church Basement Ladies Sequel
Theme Dinner: April 19 and May 3

Each Round Barn theatre Musical production calls for a Theme Dinner and Wine Bar, a joyous celebration with menus written with tongue-in-cheek show references and double entendres, often obscure and ridiculous. the responsibility for such frivolity rest solely with Richard Pletcher. The ensuing menus are lovingly prepared by chef Ruth Miller whose sense of humor make it into it kettle and skillet.

Theme Dinner reservations required. 
For reservations call (800) 800-4942.

Pot Luck Carry-In Dinner

Menu Includes:

Chicken and Noodle

Vegetables and Whipped Peanut Butter Dip
Rye Party Puffs

Spring Greens Celebration
Ladies Aid Fruit Salad

Communion Bread
Hot Cross Buns

Apple Butter Barbeque Meat Loaf
Broasted Chicken

Spaggattii Casserole

Brown Sugar Baked Beans
Green Beans

Lemon Pie
Cherry Pie
Chocolate Cake
Ruth's Famous Crème Brule'

Iced Tea, Lemonade, Coffees
Beer and Wine available for purchase