Meet the Cast of Cinderella the Musical!

Lisa Podulka


Lisa (Cinderella) is thrilled to return to the Player’s Theatre after appearing last fall in Alice in Wonderland (March Hare/Dodo Bird)! Off-Off-Broadway: Aging is Not a Fairytale (Theatre for the New City). Regional: Stardust Road (dir. Susan Shulman); Ragtime (Evelyn Nesbit), Saturday Night Fever (Annette) – Interlakes Summer Theatre; Beauty… Beast (Babette) – Constellation Stage and Screen, and The Last Night of Ballyhoo (Sunny) – Jewish Theatre of Bloomington. On YouTube, check out her music video “Both Feet,” which spreads awareness for nonviolent relationship abuse. Proud Indiana University BFA Musical Theatre alum! Favorite credit: “Mom,” to Sasha, the best kitty in the world.

Eric Fletcher


Eric is very pleased to return the Players Theatre stage. His Off-Broadway credits include A Christmas Carol the Musical (Scrooge), Frankenstein (Victor Frankenstein), Hollow (Henry and Van Ripper), Phantom of the Opera (The Phantom), Beauty and the Beast (Papa), The Little Mermaid (Fish Witch), Cinderella (Madame), Alice in Wonderland (Queen of Hearts), The Selfish Giant (Giant) and Treasure Island (Ben Gunn). Eric earned a BFA in theatre per-formance form Virginia Commonwealth University. He can also be seen around New York as his drag persona Sparkle Monster. Thanks to friends, family and Michael Capecci.

Avery Ilardi

Young Cinderella, Mouse, Ensemble, U/S Nadine

Avery is excited to be returning to the role of Young Cinderella and FiFi the Mouse. Her Off-Broadway credits include Alice In Wonderland (Alice), A Christmas Carol (Paper/Turkey Boy/Young Scrooge), The Little Mermaid (Solo) and Beauty and the Beast (Young Spirit). Avery can be seen in the Kars4Kids Commercial, co-staring along side Eric Roberts and Matt Rife in the Elevator Movie and horror film The Undead. Much Love to Mother, Father, Rosie, Giulia all 3 sets of my grandparents and everyone who has helped me along this journey. @averyilardi

Heidi-Liz Johnson

Bernice, U/S Madame

Heidi-Liz Johnson (Bernice, Madame u/s) is elated to be in her second production with Literally Alive, the company responsible for her Off-Broadway debut as the White Rabbit / Mock Turtle (Alice in Wonderland). She enjoyed a decade of exhilarating theatre experiences in Arizona; her favorite roles include Alice (Bright Star), Jo March (Little Women), Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins), Miss Adelaide (Guys & Dolls), Sally Smith (Me & My Girl), Miss Dorothy (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Jerusha Abbott (Daddy Long Legs), and Fiona (Shrek the Musical). She hopes this sweet retelling of the classic fairy tale warms your heart and makes you ponder the importance of family. “I’m off to the ball”!; @heidilizjohnson

Josephine Maureen


Josephine Maureen (Charlotte) is delighted to be making her Off-Broadway debut at The Players Theatre. She recently graduated from Millikin University with a BFA in Musical Theatre and a Minor in Dance. Some of her favorite credits include INTO THE WOODS (The Witch) and LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (Audrey). Love and thanks to her family and Franklin for their support and inspiration. @josephinemaureen.g,

Brenda Bell


Brenda is thrilled to return to the role of Giselle in this production of Cinderella and to collaborate with Shino Frances and this talented cast and team. Recently she has appeared as Agy and Ghost of Christmas Past in A Christmas Carol, The Fairy La Fee in Beauty and the Beast, FIfi in Furever Home and is a regular in the Murder on MacDougal annual Agatha Christie series in April. Brenda formed Literally Alive Family Theatre in 1996 to provide a valuable and affordable theater experience for families, focusing on the retelling of classic children’s literature, digging deeper into the story and characters, and specifically presenting strong heroines that overcome their obstacles with dignity. This year she released her book Letters from Coral the Little Mermaid as part of an on-going No Damsel in Distress series as a companion to the Literally Alive musicals. She has written 13 original musicals with husband and writing partner Michael Sgouors and produced over 50 Off-Broadway plays and musicals. Special thanks to Michael for always supporting her and being the music to her words, Bravo for being the hardest working dog Off-Broadway and the entire team at Literally Alive and the Players Theatre for bringing literature life and making the journey magical.

Austin Blake Sasser


Austin Blake Sasser is currently an NYC based actor. Some credits include: Titus Andronicus, Pass Over, Polaroid Stories, As You Like It, and Ragtime! He made the big move to NYC in 2021 for attendance at The Atlantic Acting School’s full time conservatory which he graduated from this past fall. He would like to thank all his loved ones for helping him get to this point. He is very happy to get the privilege of performing for you all, and hope you enjoy the show! And with that being said….IIITTSS SHOWTIIIIIME!!!!

Maxwell Swangel


Maxwell is thrilled, and thankful, to be returning to the Player’s Theatre stage for CINDERELLA. His recent credits include MY FAIR LADY ON THE RIVER (Henry Higgins, JWM Theatricals), THE BLUEPRINT: A DNA MUSICAL (James Watson/RGW Norrish, ), A CHRISTMAS CAROL THE MUSICAL (John/Scrooge u/s, Be Bold! Productions), and in the premier reading of ILLUSION, A NEW MUSICAL. Many thanks to his long suffering partner, Kia.

Amanda Sweeney

Nadine, U/S Cinderella

Amanda Sweeney (Nadine & Cinderella u/s) is beyond excited to be in Cinderella at The Players Theatre. Previous performances include Grease (Sandy), Spring Awakening (Thea), The Wizard of Oz (Dorothy Gale), Alice in Wonderland (Alice u/s, Ensemble), & A Christmas Carol (Fan & Patricia Cratchit). Amanda has also performed solo performances at Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, was in the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra Choir at Carnegie Hall, and the Walt Disney World Cast Choir. Amanda is thankful for her family, friends, and the wonderful cast and team of Cinderella. IG: @amanda.sweeneyy

Shea Coughlin

Ensemble, Dancer, Dance Capt, U/S Sisters & Giselle

Shea is thrilled to be in Cinderella the Musical! Previous Players Theater Credits include Frankenstein, and Sleepy Hollow, A Christmas Carol. Other Credits include Jesus Christ Superstar and Nickel Mines (ACT of CT) and Mamma Mia! (CT Repertory Theater.) Instagram: @Shea_Coughlin.

Rob Chen

Ensemble/Dancer, U/S Prince and Francois

Rob is excited to perform in his first Off-Broadway musical! He’s been on shows like Law & Order: SVU and The Sinner, and most recently, he was an audience wrangler for the first all Filipino cast on Broadway, Here Lies Love. He is also the creator of his one man show, The Blu Room Show, which celebrates AAPI identity. When he isn’t acting, Rob enjoys eating dimsum, taking Polaroid pics, and making TikTok videos. Follow him on @robchenhere

Sara Horiuchi

Ensemble, Dancer

Sara Horiuchi is delighted to return to The Players Theatre, having been a featured dancer in “A Christmas Carol” during the 2023 Holiday season. Originally from Tokyo, Japan, Sara pursued musical theater studies in Wyoming before relocating to NYC in 2022. NYC performance credits include “A Christmas Carol” – The Players Theatre, “Coppelia” – CityDanceNY, and “Awake” – AT Dance Company. She sends “big love” to her family.