Meet the Production Team
Bonni Dichone is ecstatic to be a part of this artistic team. She is a multi-hyphenate creative based in the Pacific Northwest, with a primary focus on acting for film and television. Her artistic foundation includes an extensive background in dance, musical theatre, classical ballet, and classical piano. She was a principal dancer for a small contemporary ballet company, as well as performed on professional musical theater stages. She is also an award-winning choreographer and faculty member at Artistry in Motion Dance and Performing Arts studio in Spokane. Bonni has a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Washington State University and recently retired from Gonzaga University where she was a tenured Professor of Mathematics. She calls Spokane home and lives a full, rich life with her husband, Paulo, and their beautiful children, Georgina and Rafael.
Henry McNulty has served as Music Director of Spokane Civic Theatre since 2017. A vocalist and self-taught pianist, he earned his degree in Music Composition from Eastern Washington University. As an actor, he spent five seasons performing with Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre, including Jerry Lee Lewis in Million Dollar Quartet and Smudge in Forever Plaid. His most recent appearance on the Civic stage was playing Dr. Frederick Frankenstein in Young Frankenstein. Henry is proud to call Civic his “home theatre,” having started here at a young age, performing in various summer camps, Main Stage shows, and as a member of the Box ‘n’ Hat Players.
Jake Schaefer is a musician, theater-maker and, proudly, Civic’s Executive Director. His passion for collaborative creative work caught fire at a young age while studying music and performing at Civic. Jake moved to Los Angeles in 2005 to pursue a college education and career in show business. In 2010, he founded a music co-op called EMPHATIC which has since evolved into a recording and live production company. Jake and other EMPHATIC artists have contributed to recordings and live endeavors for artists including Beyoncé, Frank Ocean, LA Phil, Madonna, Ricky Martin, Rufus Wainwright, and Quincy Jones; commercial clients include Cirque du Soleil, Marc Jacobs, and Nike; favorite regional theater credits include Evita (director), It Must Be Him (original/LA workshop music director), and The Night of the Black Cat (original production workshop music director); consulting clients include Live Nation, The Nederlander Organization, and Universal Music Group. In October 2021, Jake worked on the grand opening of Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena, supporting Coldplay concert opening act We Are KING. For Civic, Jake has directed The Addams Family, Alice by Heart, Follies in Concert, Jersey Boys, Young Frankenstein, and more as well as led Civic collaborations with Spokane Symphony (West Side Story) and Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (Dressing The Abbey: The Costumes of Downton Abbey).
Suzanne Ostersmith, M.F.A.
Gonzaga University | Dance Chair, Associate Professor, Theatre and Dance; Robert and Marion Oster Endowed Chair
Suzanne founded the Academic Dance program at GU in 2000. In the years since she has created the Dance Major, Minor and Interdisciplinary Arts Minor, developed the Dance Season and Presenting Series, hosted the American College Dance Association Conference for the Northwest Region, and put Gonzaga Dance on the map. Audiences may have seen her signature passion and craft as director and choreographer to over 25 stage productions including the opening gala production for the Myrtle Woldson Performing Arts Center of A New Season, audience-record setting staging of Jesus Christ Superstar, A Chorus Line, Pippin, Seussical, Chicago, Gonzaga original Weaving Our Sisters Voices and the annual Spring Dance Concert.
As a dance, theatre, and visual artist, professor, and scholar Suzanne believes the ideas expressed by the body are part of a universal language that unlocks creativity and innovation. She develops opportunities for students to grow and learn about themselves and the world around them through community, collaboration, and creativity. Her philosophy of seeing the potential and humanity in each student (be they undergraduate or masters candidates) enforces a classroom and production culture that lifts each student to their highest good. Suzanne’s areas of research and creative inquiry are in the intersection of the art forms of theatre, dance, and visual arts, which can be seen in what she produces including her textbook with Dr. Kathleen Jeffs on Interdisciplinary Arts published by Human Kinetics.