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Divas! 2023

April 22, 2023

Cantey V. Sutton Theatre (Reserved Seating)

Divas! returns to RLT’s Sutton Theatre for its 17th anniversary in 2023! Who will be crowned our 2023 Diva? To find out, save the date for an evening of glitz, glam, and giving on April 22.

Saturday, April 22, 2023
Pre-show reception at 6:30 p.m.
Show begins at 7:30 p.m.

Directed by Alison Lawrence
Musical Director: Michael Santangelo
Choreographer: Rhonda Brocki
Event Chair: Suzanne Ruggles

Divas! is presented by Curi Capital.

How does it work?

Leading up to and throughout the evening, support your favorite Diva with your dollars! This can be done by making donations on Bidpal, our website, or in person via check or credit card on the night of the event. You can also bid on amazing silent and live auction items and decide which Diva your bid will support! Every dollar raised is one vote for your chosen Diva. The Diva with the highest fundraising total by the end of the night wins the coveted crown (and bragging rights)!

Pre-show reception | April 22nd at 6:30 p.m.

All ticket holders are invited to join us for a pre-show reception an hour before the show begins! Mingle with fellow attendees and current and past Divas, browse our silent auction items in-person, and enjoy refreshments and light bites from Mitchell-Casteel A Fine Catered Affair. Food and drink will be outside in the plaza area in front of the Sutton lobby.

Bid on items & support a Diva!

You don’t have to be present to win our incredible silent auction items! Browse and bid on an assortment of beautiful items (more items are being added daily!) on our Bidpal page. The auction will close during intermission of Divas! on Saturday, April 22, around 9:00pm. Please bid generously – all funds raised support RLT!

There will also be a few exclusive packages available as live auction items! Bidding will occur at Divas!, so come prepared to open your hearts and wallets. Live auction previews coming soon!

Meet our Divas!

Click each Diva’s name below to head straight to their BidPal page! You can also vote for your favorite Diva by donating on our website. Thanks for voting and supporting RLT and your 2023 Divas!

Benaiah Adesoji

Benaiah Adesoji is a local performance artist who has found that in this life he had trouble avoiding two things: drama and musical theatre. So he became a performer. This is his fourth time competing for the DIVAS crown raising several thousand dollars for the theatre he considers a second home and safe space. Benaiah is a document review specialist at SECU’s operations center by day, artist ALL DAY! Benaiah’s surname ADESOJI is Yorubic meaning “royalty has awakened; the king is awake!” Benaiah is ready to don that DIVAS crown and is hoping this is the year!

Watch Benaiah’s campaign video!



Mairym Azcona

Mairym is honored to take the stage with such amazing DIVA contenders. Triangle Credits include THE VIEW UPSTAIRS (INEZ) at North Raleigh Arts & Creative Theater, ON YOUR FEET (Ensemble and Featured Singer) with the North Carolina Theater, IN THE HEIGHTS (DANIELA) and CINDERELLA (Ensemble) with Raleigh Little Theater. Mairym is a Homeschool Spanish High School teacher and mom of 6 amazing children. She would like to thank her husband Manolo and family for supporting her dreams. She’s beyond grateful for this wonderful opportunity.

Watch Mairym’s campaign video!



Krystin Bailey

Krystin Bailey is so excited to be joining the Divas stage for the second year in a row. She is currently finishing her BSW degree at NC State and looks forward to entering the field of Social Work this summer. When not competing for your love, money, and affection, Krystin can be found playing live music around the Triangle, providing music education through Transit Vocal Band, and performing in local theatre productions. A few of her recent roles are Philia (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), Lynette Fromme (Assassins), and Portia (Something Rotten).

Watch Krystin’s campaign video!



Joshua Faggion

Joshua Faggion is very excited to be making his Raleigh Little Theatre debut as a DIVA competitor! He’s coming fresh off of his run as Hero at the North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre in Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. While he’s just beginning his journey into the Raleigh theatre scene, Joshua has been active in music and theater since a young age, and ever since has been enjoying exploring what it means to tell a good story.

Watch Joshua’s campaign video!



Cassie Ford

Cassie is thrilled to join the RLT family as a Diva! She recently returned to theater after a long hiatus to pursue a career in science. Recent roles include Domina in A Funny Thing Happened … Forum (NRACT), Mrs. Peters in Trifles (Firebox Theatre), and various characters in Freaky Friday (Gallery Players). Cassie sends love and gratitude to her husband, Ross, and to her boys, Ryland and Hudson for their unending support.

Watch Cassie’s campaign video!



Jess Hill

Jess Hill has been active in the Triangle theater community since 2012, both on stage and behind the scenes. She has been onstage in shows at North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre (Carrie the Musical, The Wild Party, Seussical the Musical), Cary Players (Legally Blonde), and Tin Pan Players (Siren Songs; a Musical Revue). Jess made her Raleigh Little Theatre stage debut last summer as Rona in the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. She also directed short plays for the Women’s Theatre Festival and hopes to direct more shows in the future. Jess has been waiting for her chance to join the ranks of the RLT Divas since she appeared as a “Diva in Training” in 2017. Her 2 passions in life are musical theater and rescuing puppies. When she’s not on stage, you’ll most likely find Jess covered in a pile of foster puppies—possibly even singing to them!

Watch Jess’s campaign video!



Alfredo Hurtado

Alfredo is an Artistic Associate and founding member of Black Box Dance Theatre. As a teaching artist, Alfredo has lead workshops and residencies for K-12 students since 2013. On stage, he has been in Native Gardens: PlayMakers Repertory Company, In The Heights: Raleigh Little Theatre, and ACCORD(ing): Burning Coal Theatre. Honors: Purple Heart Combat Wounded Warrior who served three tours with the 118th Military Police Company/82nd Airborne Division of the US Army during the Global War on Terror.

Watch Alfredo’s campaign video!



Bobby Kaufman

An actor, director, singer, juggler, lighting designer and playwright. Favorite roles are Oscar, in “On The 20th Century”, Jesus in “Godspell”, Nathan Detroit in “Guys and Dolls”, John Dickinson in “1776 “(w/ Burning Coal), Charlie Davenport in “Annie Get Your Gun” (w/NCT). And many more. He’s performed in so many plays for decades, he doesn’t know how old he is. He’s performed so many roles, he doesn’t know WHO he is. He knows he’s happy to be somewhere. Performing. Especially here, for such a good cause. Please donate in my name.

Watch Bobby’s campaign video!



Kelley Keats

Kelley is thrilled to be making her RLT debut in this year’s Divas! Broadway – Annie (Connie,Annette,u/s Grace). Tour – Big (Abigail,u/s Susan); Will Rogers Follies (Ziegfeld’s favorite,u/s Betty); Camelot (u/s Guenevere). Triangle: Into the Woods (The Baker’s Wife – SSTC); Side By Side By Sondheim (NRACT); Something Rotten; Sound of Music, Children of Eden (NCT). Regional: world premiere of Jones & Schmidt’s Mirette (Goodspeed); The Music Man (Marian); Carousel (Carrie); The Fantasticks! (Luisa). BFA – NYU Tisch/CAP 21.

Watch Kelley’s campaign video!



Dominic MacAuley

Dominic MacAulay is ecstatic to participate in this year’s Divas! concert. Having just made his entrance into the Raleigh theatrical community as Captain Miles Gloriosus in Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, he is looking forward to continuing his endeavor with the excellent productions of Raleigh Little Theatre. Enjoy! That the curtains would never close…@dom.bombsquad

Watch Dominic’s campaign video!



Susan Shank

Susan Shank is thrilled to return for her second year as a Raleigh Little Theatre Diva! Susan has spent the last year working out her arms for pushing others down the stairs and belting to the gods in order to take home the crown. Recent roles include Torrey in Freaky Friday and the Witch in Into the Woods. You can catch her in June in the Justice Theatre Project’s production of Urinetown as Pennywise. Love and thanks to Alison, Adam, Simone, and to everyone for donating to the beautiful RLT community!

Watch Susan’s campaign video!



Tina Vance

Tina Vance has performed with several theater companies in West Virginia, North Carolina, and the Washington DC area. Whether on stage, backstage or in the director’s chair, Tina loves the process of creating live theater. Most recently, Tina was seen in Sweet Delilah Swim Club with Theatre in the Park. Tina is thrilled (and a little nervous) to be participating in this year’s Diva Fundraiser for Raleigh Little Theatre. Thank you for your generous support.

Watch Tina’s campaign video!



Ryan Vasconcellos

Ryan is incredibly excited to be a DIVA for the first time! Ryan is a local theatrical artist with skills in acting, stage-management, and playwrighting and has worked with several theatres in the area. Recent credits include “The View Upstairs” (Freddy) at North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre. “Putnam County Spelling Bee” (Chip) “In The Heights” (Sonny) “Elephant and Piggy” (Elephant Gerald) at Raleigh Little Theatre.

Watch Ryan’s campaign video!



Thanks to our sponsors!

Title Sponsor ($5,000 level)

Curi Capital

Diva Sponsor ($2,500 level)

Cantey & Jim Tanner

PNC Bank

Raleigh Brewing Company

Diamond Sponsor ($1,000 level)

Alec and Georgia Donaldson
Cece & Peter Scott
David and Elaine Petrone
Dee Penven-Crew
Dunes Realty Beach Vacations
Rebecca Johnston
Rosemary and Smedes York
Steve & Lisa Zaytoun
Urban Durham Realty – Kelley Keats, Broker
Williams Mullen
Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP

Gold Sponsor ($500 level)

Debbie & Larry Robbins
Fran and Ed Anderson
Jim Allen & Timothy E. Locklear
Mary and Neil Saunders
Medlin Davis Cleaners
Natasha Gore and D.A. Oldis
Pam Swanstrom
Poyner Spruill LLP

Silver Sponsor ($250 level)

Andrea Nixon & Brent Friedenberg
Baker Roofing
Beirne Donaldson & Wood Huntley
Black Box Dance Theatre
Brooke & Jeff Cummings
Emily Steinhoff James & Christopher James
Goulding Construction
Judy and Kent Dove
Magnus & Freyja Sindemark
Rick McElroy
Robert Hill
Skate Dad
Suzanne Ruggles and Rod Abernethy
The Morgan-Williams Family
Thomas Mauney
Walton & Maready Orthodontics

Ticket Information

Tickets on sale now!

Runtime is approximately 2.5 hours, including one intermission. Recommended for age 13+.

Show Times:

  • Dress rehearsal: Friday, April 21 at 7:30pm*
  • Divas! pre-show reception: Saturday, April 22 at 6:30pm
  • Divas! 2023: Saturday, April 22 at 7:30pm

Single ticket prices:

  • All ages: $60
  • Dress rehearsal: $10*

Donate to your favorite Diva on Bidpal or on our website!

*Friday, April 21, is the final dress rehearsal for Divas. There will not be a reception, auction items, or a winner announced at the end of the night. We open the rehearsal up as an opportunity for more people to enjoy the performances that our Divas have been working so hard on since the night of traditionally sells out. Please email our box office if you have any questions about the performance!

Accessibility Information

  • The Cantey V. Sutton Theatre is wheelchair accessible.

  • Assistive listening devices are available.

  • Audio description for those with visual disabilities upon request.