"Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life..."
Alma 5:24

2007 Vancouver, Washington Directors and Designers (Workshop Production)


Candi Alvarez (Stage Director) majored in Theatre for two years at Brigham Young University, but ultimately graduated with a degree in Political Science. Upon graduation in 1981, she took a respite from the theatre as she pursued what would be the second love of her life—a career as an Army Aviation Officer, flying helicopters stateside and overseas. She left the service in 1990 to be a full time mother, and returned acting in1994 when she played a lead in And Some Cried Fraud, which toured for five months, performing 39 times from Sequim to Chehalis, Washington. Since then, Sister Alvarez has been involved in numerous productions including directing; her greatest achievement to date being the 2003 production of the musical Abinadi, performed at the Washburn Theatre in Washougal, Washington. Candi is currently serving as a seminary teacher. She and her husband, Andy, have five children.

Lori Williams (Stage Director) studied piano for nine years with the Toronto Conservatory. She has spent her adult life serving in ward, stake, and regional music callings, including fifteen years directing numerous choirs in Utah, Maine and Washington State. Two of the highlights in her conducting career include leading the regional choir which sang for the prophet during a visit to Maine, as well as a dedicatory choir for the Boston Massachusetts Temple dedication in 2000. Her greatest accomplishment however, is her four children, all of whom grew up as active performers; one of which went on to graduate with a degree in music. She is married to Daniel Williams and currently serves as the director of the Ridgefield ward choir. Lori is also an accomplished seamstress; the actual creator of the Tree of Life in the original production.

Keenan Roylance (Musical Director) began studying percussion 40 years ago with Norman Martin of the Utah Symphony. He also studied timpani with Robert Lentz of the Utah Symphony. Brother Roylance toured Mexico as a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s mariachi band and recorded with them on their album, “Cielito Lindo.” He has also participated as a percussionist in several of their weekly broadcasts. Recording over a half-dozen albums as a member of the Mormon Symphony in Salt Lake City, Utah, he also performed as a member of the American West Symphony in Sandy and as a member of the Nauvoo Brass Band in SLC. Brother Roylance is currently a member of the Northwest LDS Symphony and the Portland Mormon Orchestra. He is married to Kimberly Koyen Roylance and they have four children and one grandchild.

Coleen Tolva (Assistant Musical Director / Show Accompanist) is and has been a teacher of piano, violin, and organ for 38 years. She is a choir director, composer and was the concert-mistress for the Salt Lake Opera Theatre Orchestra, and has performed with the University of Oregon Symphony and Mesa Arizona Symphony. She is the founder and director of the Northwest LDS Symphony from 1988-1998. In 2003 she was the Orchestra Conductor for the musical play Abinadi and was in The Peanut Gallery Theatre "pit" orchestra for years. Colleen has directed a choir for the dedication of the Portland Oregon Temple. She is currently the President of the Society of the Washington Artist and is serving as an Ordinance Worker in the Portland Oregon Temple, directing the Vancouver 1st Ward Choir and accompanying the Vancouver West Stake Choir. She is married to Daniel Tolva and they have 5 children and 12 grandchildren.

Joseph Hoffman (Assistant Musical Director / Vocal Coach) Joseph Hoffman moved his family to Portland, Oregon May of 2007 from Provo, Utah (with wife Kelly and 18-month-old son Isaac) to teach voice and piano lessons, with the long-term goal of starting a music academy. In Provo, Joseph accumulated 5 years experience as a piano and voice teacher, with a studio of over 35 students. Joseph holds a Masters degree in Music from Brigham Young University, where he also served on the music faculty for 2 years, teaching music theory, sightsinging and conducting the University Chorale. When he can find the time, Joseph also loves composing and arranging hymns, and has several published titles to his name. If you are looking for a piano or voice teacher, Joseph would love to hear from you. You can also find out more by visiting his website: www.hoffmanacademy.com.

Susan Cahoon (Choreographer) is a former BYU Ballroom Dancer, featured on the first-string Tour Team. Dancing since age 4, Sister Cahoon is skilled in a wide array of dance styles including ballet, jazz, tap and of course, ballroom. Members in the Vancouver area remember Susan’s direction as she led over 200 couples in the 2000 Vancouver Dance Festival.

Don Wilson (Lighting Designer) received his BA from BYU in Art & Design, he was an Apprentice to the Curator at the Portland Art Museum, then did free-lance art exhibit design and installation throughout Oregon. After earning his MFA in Technical Theater at BYU, he went to New York City to work with a prestigious designer lighting museums (including the Museum of Art at BYU), residences and penthouses for art collectors, and corporate art collections around the US. Eight years later he moved back to Oregon, designing concert lighting for Jim Band Productions and the 2006 Portland Regional Dance Festival at the Memorial Coliseum. The real Don has always wanted to be a professional composer for either movies or especially musical theater, and he’s done a little of both. Currently, he composes and arranges mostly for choirs, but he always has some theater pieces in the works.

Ed Arrington, Cris Sandberg , Russ Craft (Technical Directors) Fedora AV was founded in February, 2007 by Ed Arrington, Cris Sandberg, and Russ Craft, all experienced veterans in providing professional audio, video, and lighting services. The team has provided audio and lighting services for Jim Band Music, a promoter of high-quality, family friendly concerts in Portland, three LDS Performer’s concerts, numerous church plays and events, as well as Joyful Noise, a Hillsboro community choir. They have worked in a variety of indoor and outdoor venues including Portland State’s Lincoln Performance Hall, George Fox University, several high schools and churches with audiences from a few dozen to thousands. Ed, Cris, and Russ led all technical aspects of the 2006 LDS Youth Regional Dance Festival held in the Portland Memorial Coliseum with 3000 participants and an audience of more than 20,000. In addition to their work at Fedora AV, Ed drives new business initiatives at Intel Corporation, Cris manages technical support for Rodgers Instruments, and Russ is responsible for Information Technologies at Intel Corporation. They all are active in the Hillsboro Stake. With some of the most cutting edge digital technology equipment on hand, Fedora AV provides audio, lighting, and video services to businesses and non-profit organizations in the Portland area. (ed@fedoraav.com)

Debra Woods Hamilton (Set and Properties Designer) started designing sets the same time she began her stage career - at 14 - and has received training and experience in scenic design in high school, at Miami University of Ohio, at Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Acting, designing, writing and directing for the stage make up her over 30 year theater background, she loves being involved with every aspect of theater. For the past ten years, Debra has been an LDS author and webmaster – the mastermind behind Latter-day Village (latter-day villiage.com). She lives with her husband Jerry in their Saratoga Springs, Utah home. They are the parents of five grown children and three granddaughters (with one more on the way). Debra conceived and designed the Tree of Life, the Liahona, and Nephi’s set in the original production.

Ramona Taylor (Stage Manager) Ramona has been active in many community theater productions in Vancouver, Anchorage and Olympia. While living in Olympia, she became a member of Olympia Little Theater and served on their board of directors. Her years of participating in community theater has given her the opportunity to work in many varied capacities, including actor, stage manager, light board operator and any other job that needed to be done. Most recently, Ramona was the stage manager for the Vancouver West Stake’s production of Abinadi. Ramona currently lives in Vancouver and is a legal assistant in a local law firm.

Brian Astle (Lighting Operations & Crew Chief) has been interested in sound and lighting technology since he was in his early teens. He has worked on musicals such as The Music Man, Oklahoma!, Finian's Rainbow and The Wizard of Oz, as well as Church Dance Festivals. After serving a mission to Atlanta, Georgia, he returned and was a member of the stage and lighting crew for the Hill Cumorah Pageant in Palmyra New York in 1984. He currently sings Tenor in the Vancouver West Stake Choir with his wife of 22 years, Kimberly and their three children who are sang in the original Stage Choir.

Kelly Wilson and Dani Walker (Costume Design and Wardrobe) Kelly is well-known in the Vancouver area for her skills and experience creating fabulous costumes (not to mention her killer soprano!)

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