Fans of live bluegrass music, theater, and good ol’ fashioned Appalachian storytelling will all have a reason to cheer this May. Flashback Theater Co. (FbTC) & CHI Saint Joseph Health London present Brother Wolf, a powerful reimagining of Beowulf that blends folklore, myth, music, and mountain religion. Directed by Sommer Schoch, performances will run May 9-19 at Stoner Little Theater on Somerset Community College Campus. The show features an impressive lineup of local artists, including a live bluegrass band led by Elizabeth Loiacono which features Deborah Thompson, Tommy Cate, Jonathan New, and Maia Loiacono.



“When I first read this script, I immediately recognized the storytelling I grew up hearing at family events – cookouts, weddings, funerals.” says Director Sommer Schoch, who grew up locally in Pulaski and Russell Counties. Unlike a traditional play, where sets and costumes are designed to create a sense of realism, the designers and production team have created a “campfire” concept for the production, where audiences will be drawn into a storytellers circle.  “As we hear it (the story), we also get to see it played out by the storytellers putting on character pieces and actively participating in making the story come alive,” muses Schoch.

Brother Wolf  stands out amongst musical productions because of the way its music takes center stage; musicians will literally appear onstage with the actors. Elizabeth McQueary-Loiacono, the Music Director for the production, was tasked with putting together a band that had an authentic feel: “The music for Brother Wolf is a patchwork quilt of old Appalachian fiddle tunes, country church hymns, and original bluegrass songs by Laurelyn Dossett.” 

As a life-long musician, Loiacono had connections in the local scene that drew in some of the best traditional musicians in the region. Audiences will recognize Maia Loiacono (Fiddle), Deborah Thompson (Banjo & Dulcimer), Jonathan New (Guitar), and Tommy Cate (Harmonica) from their regular musical appearances such as Sunday Morning services, Master Musicians Festival,  Jarfly Open Mics, and even Contra Dances. To say that Schoch was excited would be an understatement: “When I first heard the rehearsal tracks she (Loiacono) and the band made for us, I knew we had something special. It was inspirational for the cast to come into rehearsal knowing the quality of the musicians that we are sharing the stage with.”

The story of Brother Wolf begins with a small but devout congregation in a present day mountain community. When their congregation is threatened by a Rattler Man (Seth Hart) peddling a starved salvation that preys on an individual’s fears, Hessie (Martha Pratt) and her son Enoch (Tyler Fish) set out to find the only man for the job: Brother Wolf (Billy Christopher Maupin). A legendary traveling preacher who wields the Bible in one hand and a long knife in the other, Brother Wolf must be found by telling his tale. Each member of the congregation takes on roles within the story, flashing back to the mountains of the 1840s, as the lines between myth and reality begin to blur.

Mirroring the legend of Beowulf, Brother Wolf is a legendary figure even within the 1800s, where Old Man Speerdane (Johnna Atkinson Bigelow) and his family have built a thriving homestead up on Speerdane Knob. When the old man opts to build a church, he stirs up the dark spirits that live within the hills, and his livelihood is threatened by a demon by the name of Grin Dell (Brian Herrmann). In a fierce battle of good against evil, Grin Dell kills Speerdane’s only son, Enoch. His headstrong daughter Mabel (Jenny Williams) swears she’ll exact her revenge. Soon, much as Beowulf came to the aid of Hrothgar to defeat Grendel, Brother Wolf comes to the aid of the family in a battle against Grin Dell. Mabel has heard the legends of his good, but isn’t much impressed by preachers. Thus – the two join forces to defeat the demon together.

Together, using their wits, strength, and the power of true faith, Mabel and Brother Wolf defeat Grin Dell. Mabel is thoroughly impressed by the power of Brother Wolf’s message, and chooses to join him not only as his bride, but by his side at the pulpit as Sister Wolf. But just as Hessie and Enoch are still fighting evils in the present day, there is still a long road ahead for Brother and Sister Wolf. Their faith will be tested, and again and again, they must find a way to return to the core truths of who they are to remain strong in the face of adversary. Along their path they meet friends and foe, played by a talented ensemble including Michele Hinton, Rylee Moore, and Zachary Vaught.

Leading a large production like Brother Wolf is no easy task, and FbTC is lucky to have a strong team backstage as well as on. Resident Stage Manager Renate Dopp leads the team as Stage Manager, joined by up-and-coming theatrical jack-of-all-trades Mahayla Mounce as Assistant Stage Manager. Joining the design team is C.J. Bloomer as Set Designer and Traci Bray as Costume Designer, as well as Mahayla Mounce lending an additional hand as Propmaster.

It is integral to Flashback Theater’s mission in our community to produce work that tells the story of our community. FbTC is thrilled that Brother Wolf celebrates the power of our mountain heritage and traditions to serve as a guiding light for the next generation.

Cast Bios

Sommer Schoch (Director), is the founder and Producing Artistic Director at FbTC. She studied Theatre & Entrepreneurship at Northern Kentucky University before pursuing a dual Master’s degree in Arts Administration and Business Administration at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. Her directing credits include many FbTC shows, such as The Book of Will, Rosies: The Women Who Riveted the Nation, and Pirates of Penzance.

Elizabeth McQueary-Loiacono (Music Director), a life-long resident of Pulaski County, graduated from Berea College with a degree in Music and went immediately into the field of Music Ministry, leading choirs and accompanying at St. Mildred Catholic Church, and more recently at St. Patrick Episcopal Church with her father, John McQueary. Elizabeth has worked as production assistant for MMF, organizes Somerset Contra Dances with her family, and plays piano with Celtic music ensemble Pleasant Company.

Maia Loiacono (Fiddle) is a rising junior at Northern Kentucky University pursuing a degree in instrumental music performance and theater. She loves violin and has been playing for thirteen years, currently studying under Dr. William Herzog. Thanks to her family’s eclectic palate, she enjoys playing a variety of musical styles including Celtic, electric violin, traditional fiddle, and classical.

Deborah Thompson (Banjo and Lap Dulcimer) is a singer and instrumentalist specializing in folk music of the Appalachian Region. She performs solo and with various bands, and has choreographed dances for the premiere of Silas House’s play This is My Heart for You and for A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Berea College.

Jonathan New (Guitar) is a multi-instrumentalist and lifelong resident of Somerset, growing up playing and singing in his father’s church.  Jonathan has been a part of several local bands and projects including The Flint Ridge Millers, Reverend John and the Backsliders, and currently performs solo, guitarist for the Rachel Crowe Band, bassist for Spooky Fox , and Jonathan will be found every Sunday playing guitar at church.  Jonathan has won awards for his musicianship and currently has two albums of original songs to his credit.  Jonathan can be found performing at local events and all over the bluegrass during the weekend.  Jonathan currently lives on his farm in the Slate Branch community with his wife, Elleen, and several cute critters.

Tommy Cate (Harmonica) is from Somerset and is a mild-mannered geologist during the day but becomes a wild-eyed harmonica player at night. This is his first time performing with Flashback Theater.

Martha Pratt (Hessie/Grin Dell’s Maw) has been with Flashback since 2018. Credits include Miss Bennett: Christmas at Pemberly, Pirates of Penzance, The Dollmaker, Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some), The Mousetrap, The Book of Will, and  most recently, Uncle Vanya.  She’s also appeared in plays at Somerset Community College and Good Neighbors Theatre.

Tyler Fish (Enoch/Adger) is ready to return to the Stoner stage for the first time since his college days as Enoch/Adger. His Flashback credits include The American Parade, Miracle on 34th Street, The Book of Will and As You Like It. He has also enjoyed his time as the artist behind FbTC’s Season Artwork this season, creating the images you see on posters and programs all season long.

Seth Hart (Rattler Man/Ensemble) returns for another FbTC production, having previously performed in The Mousetrap (Giles Ralston), The Book of Will (John Hemmings) and Uncle Vanya (Doctor Astrov). His additional acting credits include a wide range of plays at Good Neighbors Theatre inByrdstown, TN, such as Arsenic and Old Lace, The Diviners, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Blithe Spirit, Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol and more. Seth is a fine arts program assistant, instructor and coordinator for the Wayne County Cooperative Extension Service and also works independently as an artist, potter and sculptor.

Billy Christopher Maupin (Frank/Brother Wolf)
FbTC: The 39 Steps, Sweeney Todd, The Mousetrap, All Together Now! Directing: The Children’s Hour (Tabby Award), Carrie the Musical (RTCC Award), Becky’s New Car. Acting: Smoke on the Mountain Trilogy (Rev. Oglethorpe), Bootleg Julius Caesar (Brutus), The Fantasticks (Matt). Associate Artist, Carpenter Science Theatre Company. Co-founder and Associate Artistic Director Emeritus, 5th Wall Theatre.

Johnna Atkinson-Bigelow (Old Man Speerdane/Vernon/Old Brother Wolf) is excited to return to the FbTC stage after performing in Uncle Vanya, The Thin Place, Sweeney Todd, The Book of Will, and Mary: Her Story with Flashback, as well as Steel Magnolias at Somerset Community College. After receiving her Theater degree from Georgetown College and Communications degree from UK, she has been teaching at SCC for 30 years. She wants to thank her kids, Braden and Brynlee and husband/biggest fan, Brad for all the love, laughter, and lessons. 

Brian Herrmann (Grin Dell) is a transplant from Michigan, but moved to Kentucky a decade ago and hasn’t looked back! He’s excited to join the cast of Brother Wolf and share this story with you! Acting credits include: The American Parade and As You Like It with Flashback, and Almost Maine with SCC.

Jenny Williams (Paula/Mabel) is excited to join Flashback for her first stage production. With her youngest having left for college in the fall, the lifelong singer, and native of rural religion saw the casting call and hoped this role might be just the way to begin a new stage of life. A yoga and pilates teacher for nearly 20 years, Jenny is the co-owner of Embody Yoga and Pilates studio. She is the Vice President of the Jones Educational Foundation, on the board of directors for Chill Out and Proud, and a recently-adopted full-time member of Tiny Tiny, an indie pop band led by her husband Boone Williams with new music and shows coming this summer. She is a prolific writer of personal essays and has authored a children’s book to be released late this year or early next.

Michele Hinton (Hunter/Ensemble) is a self-published, multi-genre author of several novels, children’s books and poetry and short stories. She recently performed in Somerset Community College’s production of Almost, Maine and Flashback Theater’s summer production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It. She also had a cameo appearance on America’s Got Talent, Season 13.

Rylee Moore (Ensemble) is a young upcoming actress who enjoys acting, singing, writing and spending time with friends and family. Active in multiple community theaters for the last nine years her favorite roles include Miss Hannigan in Annie Jr. with Lake Cumberland Children’s Theater and Celia in As You Like It at Flashback Theater.

Zachary Vaught (Ensemble)
A relatively new actor, Zachary was born and raised in Pulaski County and educated at Somerset Community College and the University of Kentucky. This will be his first (or perhaps last depending on the reception) role in any form of acting.

Renate Dopp (Stage Manager) Favorite FbTC stage management highlights: The 39 Steps, Sweeney Todd, The Mousetrap, Every Christmas Story Ever Told (2016 and 2021), Pirates of Penzance, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.  Previous FBTC performances include Mary: Her Story, Little Shop of Horrors, A Nightmare on Backstreet and season announcement cabarets.

Mahayla Mounce (Assistant Stage Manager & Propmaster) is a local artist and musician with theater experience both on and behind the scenes, having performed in her highschool’s production of The Music Man, worked as an Assistant Stage Manager and prop-master on The 39 Steps, and is currently the Stage Manager for the 10th Annual Cabaret. She is very excited to be working on a play that provides new perspectives, challenges, and a feeling of home.

C.J. Bloomer (Set Design) is a proud Appalachian that hails from the mountains of South-West Virginia, but now haunts the hills and hollers of Kentucky.  He is excited to help bring Brother Wolf to the stage and share the culture and stories of Appalachia.C.J. is an alumnus of Berea College.

Traci Bray (Costume Designer) Traci uses her extensive knowledge of fiber arts to help tell the story; expressing what she sees and feels to the audience through costumes.  A first responder and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; she enjoys being able to experience life from all different angles and hopes that complexity is celebrated in her art.

Production Information

Brother Wolf
book by Preston Lane, music and lyrics by Laurelyn Dossett
Directed by Sommer Schoch
Music Direction by Elizabeth McQueary-Loiacono
May 9 – 19, 2024
Stoner Little Theater

Blending folklore, myth, music, and mountain religion, Brother Wolf is an Appalachian adventure tale based on the story of Beowulf. High in the mountains of North Carolina, a family is threatened by a demon named Grin Dell. When a preacher named Brother Wolf arrives to lend a hand, the death of the demon sets off a cycle of revenge that can only be stopped by learning to forgive. Featuring evocative bluegrass songs, this skillful musical traces the complex art of storytelling and the fear that divides good and evil

Performance Dates and Times

Thursday, May 9, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 10, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 12, 2:30 p.m.
Friday, May 17, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 18, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 19, 2:30 p.m.

Ticket Information

Tickets can be purchased online at: 

Single ticket pricing for the 10th Season of Flashback productions will be:

Adults – $23 Advance, $25 Door
Students – $12 Advance, $15 Door
Seniors – $20 Advance and Door

Season Sponsors & Supporters

Flashback Theater is grateful to our 2023-24 Spotlight Sponsors: Applied Behavioral Advancements, M&W Printing, Kentucky Tourism Arts & Heritage Cabinet, The Shubert Foundation, The City of Somerset, David Daring Rentals, and Fenix Digital; as well as our Footlight Sponsors: Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital & Lake Cumberland Residency Programs, First & Farmer’s National Bank, The Weigel Family, United Cumberland Bank, T. Ronald Kidd Trust, Kinetic by Windstream, Somerset Community College, Toyotetsu America, Inc. (TTAI), Brad Bigelow of Century 21 Advantage Realty, and Buffalo Wings & Rings.

Brother Wolf is presented with support from the show’s Title sponsor: CHI Saint Joseph Health London. Additional support is provided by Artist Sponsors, Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, Pepsi Somerset, Community Trust Bank, and Harry & Janice Kennedy, as well as Design Sponsors St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, L&N Federal Credit Union, Modern Signs & Graphics and Watershed Arts Alliance.