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Miss Nelson is Missing

Miss Nelson Is Missing

Based on the books Miss Nelson is Missing and Miss Nelson is Back by Harry Allard; Illustrated by James Marshall
Book, Music & Lyrics by Joan Cushing

Produced by special arrangement with the Susan Gurman Agency, LLC.



Cast Bios
Production Staff Bios
Creative Team Bios







Miss Nelson is Missing Cast




Ryan Yoder



Sara Bayliss Croninger



Carissa McCurdy



Travis Smith

Pop Hanson (Janitor)


Matthew C. Scott

Miss Nelson


Sarah Philabaum

Principal Blandsworth


Timothy Leonard

Detective McSmogg


Matthew C. Scott


Miss Nelson is Missing Staff


Executive Producer


Richard Pletcher

Associate Producer


George Bush



Jeremy Littlejohn

Music Director


Travis Smith

Production Stage Manager/Props


Monica Gauer

Technical Director


Justin Detwiler

Set Designer


Richard Pletcher

Lighting Designer


Jeremy Littlejohn

Scenic Artist


Matthew C. Scott

Box Office Manager


Jennifer Scheffer

Archive Videographer


Steve Jones




Scenes and Musical Numbers


Scene 1 Assembly at the Borace B Smedley Elementary School


The Horace B. Smedley Alma Mater

The Kids of 207

Scene 2 Room 207; Monday


The Worst Kids of All!

Miss Nelseon and the Kids of 207

Scene 3 Room 207; Tuesday


Carried Away

Mr. Blandsworth

The Swamp Song

Viola Swamp

Scene 4 Outside Miss Nelson's House


What If?

The Kids of 207

Scene 5 Detective McSmogg's Office; the Police Station


McSmogg's Song

Detective McSmogg and The Kids of 207

Scene 6 Room 207; later that week


Miss Nelson is Missing

The Kids of 207

Scene 7 Room 207


Scene 8 Miss Nelson's Bedroom; that evening


I've Got A Little Secret

Miss Nelson

Scene 9 Finale


The Horace B. Smedley Alma Mater (Reprise)

The Kids of 207

The Worst Kids of All (Reprise)



Miss Nelson is Missing Cast Bios

Sara Bayliss Croninger (Allison) I love the color turquoise and listening to music really loud in my car with the windows down!  My favorite snack is cookies with lemonade and my favorite pastime is sewing.  If I could have one super power it would be flying.  My favorite kid’s book is The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone or The Widow’s Broom by Chris Van Allsburg.  I hope you enjoy the show and have lots of fun!




Timothy Leonard (Blandsworth) has been performing for kids big and small since he was in the second grade.  When Tim was done with his homework and got a good report card, he would play video games like Super Mario and Jurassic Park on his Gameboy.  He would also carry a yo-yo in his pocket everyday.  Growing up, every time Tim went out to eat with his family, he would always get chicken tenders, no matter what restaurant it was!  Now that he is grown up, Tim wants to make everyone laugh at how silly he can be onstage, so make sure to laugh if you think it’s funny.


Carissa McCurdy (Cheryl) My favorite color is green and I love mac ‘n cheese!  I am really fond of puppies and hedgehogs.  My favorite kid’s books include Sideways Stories from Wayside School and anything Goosebumps.  I am a big fan of the shows Arthur and Sesame Street. I have really had fun with this show and I hope you do too!  Enjoy!




Sarah Philabaum (Miss Nelson) I’m super excited to play the role of Miss Nelson again this year!  I really love the color pink, singing show tunes, making up dances, knitting scarves, going to the mall and reading books.  My favorite books are definitely the Harry Potter series.  Last Christmas, I even went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios and had a magical time!  I’m happiest when I’m performing and hope that everyone enjoys the show!



Matthew C. Scott (Pop Hanson) I love pizza and any Italian food.  My all time favorite cartoon is Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?  I loved the book Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel when I was a kid.  I used to write plays and act in them when I was little.  I hope you have read Miss Nelson is Missing.  Keep reading as many books as you can.  Enjoy the show!





Travis Smith (Gregory/Music Director) My favorite color is blue and my favorite food is definitely pizza!  My favorite cartoons include Spongebob Squarepants and The Simpsons.  My favorite kid's book is anything by Roald Dahl, but especially Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.  I also really like anything involving Harry Potter.  I hope you enjoy the show!!  I have a lot of fun with it.  Oh, I love roller coasters too!





Ryan Yoder (Adam) Hey kids!  My name is Ryan Yoder, and I grew up less than an hour from here in Shipshewana, IN.  I started acting in plays at church and school when I was in second grade, and I'm really excited about doing the show for you today.  In school, my favorite subjects were reading and history.  When I'm not acting, I love to play sports, watch movies, or work on my parents' farm.  Enjoy the show today!





Miss Nelson is Missing Staff Biographies

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.

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.


Miss Nelson is Missing Creative Team Bios

Harry Allard (Author) was born in Evanston, Illinois, on January 27, 1928. He graduated from Amundsen High School in Evanston in 1946 and went on to receive his B.S. from Northwestern University in 1949. Still thirsty for knowledge, he continued his studies at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, where he completed his M.A. in French. He continued his study of language and was awarded a Ph. D. in French literature from Yale University in 1972. Throughout the years, he has used his foreign language skills to translate two books from German to English. He also prides himself on being fluent in Spanish. Although he never planned to write children’s books, Harry teamed up with his friend James Marshall in the early 1970s and embarked on a remarkable and exciting partnership which lasted until Marshall’s death in the early 1990s. They collaborated on as many as twelve titles, among them the misadventures of the Stupid family and the Miss Nelson books. Harry Allard currently lives in Oaxaca, Mexico.  Source:

Joan Cushing (Book, Music and Lyrics), a former elementary school teacher and cabaret performer, is best known for her political satirical revue Mrs. Foggybottom & Friends, which opened in 1986 at New Playwrights Theatre, and moved to the Omni-Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., where it ran for 10 hit years, and four years on the road, including performances at Don’t Tell Mama and The Triad in NYC. Also in New York, she performed her solo nightclub act Lady Sings the News! at the Ballroom, filling in for Blossom Dearie, appeared in Gary Trudeau’s Tanner for President series on HBO, directed by Robert Altman, and studied musical theatre writing at the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop with Lehman Engel and Maury Yeston.

Recently, she has adapted 13 popular children's books as musicals, receiving over 350 productions and 2 national tours: Miss Nelson Is Missing!, winner of the 2003 Nat’l Children’s Theatre Festival; Junie B. Jones & a Little Monkey Business!; Miss Nelson Has a Field Day!; Petite Rouge: A Cajun Red Riding Hood (2007 NY Musical Theatre Festival); Heidi (w playwright Martha King De Silva); all commissioned by Imagination Stage, Lawrence, commissioned by Gabrielino High School; and Brave Irene, commissioned by Adventure Theatre. According to TYA Magazine, she is “the most produced playwright in children's theatre” and Miss Nelson Is Missing! is “the most produced play.” Source:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Publisher) is an educational and trade publisher in the United States. Headquartered in Boston's Back Bay, it publishes textbooks, instructional technology materials, assessments, reference works, and fiction and non-fiction for both young readers and adults. The company was formerly known as Houghton Mifflin Company but changed its name following the 2007 acquisition of Harcourt Publishing. Prior to March 2010, it was a subsidiary of Education Media and Publishing Group Limited, an Irish-owned holding company registered in the Cayman Islands and formerly known as Riverdeep.  Source:

James Marshall (Author / Illustrator) was born in San Antonio, Texas where his father worked for the railroad and had a dance band. James Marshall studied to play the viola and intended to have a musical career. Then his hand was injured during an airplane flight and his musical career was finished. He met Harry Allard, with whom he later wrote many picture books, when he was a student at Trinity College. James Marshall taught Spanish in a Catholic school near Boston upon graduation from college. His first book, George and Martha, was inspired by a famous play, Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf in which the main characters were named George and Martha.  For many years he divided his time between an apartment in New York City and his home in Mansfield Hollow, Connecticut. James Marshall died in October, 1992.  James Marshall's work is usually gently humorous. He has several books in series: Miss Nelson, George & Martha, The Cut-Ups, The Stupids and The Rats, for instance. In those books, his characters change very little. James Marshall's work can be categorized as fairy tale renditions, series such as The Cut-ups, Miss Nelson, and George & Martha. Look at many books in one series and then try to decide what Marshall is trying to tell us. Source: