in partnership with
as part of the
On-Site/Off-Site Summer Series

About the Concert

In collaboration with Ivoryton Playhouse, join us for a celebration of live performance, featuring concert selections both honoring the Playhouse's past successes and looking ahead to a bright and hopeful future. Performing at three different venues this June.

These events are all FREE and open to the public.

Songs from the Elephant's Trunk is made possible through a generous grant from the

Ivoryton Playhouse
103 Main St | Ivoryton
Sunday, June 6th, 2021 @ 4:00pm
(Rain date: Monday, June 7th @ 7:00pm)

Connecticut River Museum
67 Main St | Essex
Thursday, June 10th, 2021 @ 6:30pm
(Rain date: Wednesday, June 16th @ 6:30pm)

Six Summit Gallery
314 Flatrock Pl | Westbrook
Suites F135/F140)
Saturday, June 19th, 2021 @ 1:00pm

About the Artists


Ryan Bloomquist is a NYC-based performer and writer and is thrilled to be back at The Ivoryton Playhouse! At Ivoryton he’s appeared in The Fantasticks, An Ivoryton Playhouse Christmas Hour, and All Shook Up. He’s also performed in theaters across the country in shows such as Les Miserables, Show Boat, The Robber Bridegroom, It Should Have Been You, and Jekyll and Hyde. Recent NY credits include The Imbible at New World Stages and a one night concert of Bombshell on Broadway from the NBC show "Smash” along with appearances at concert venues including 54 Below, Joe’s Pub, Green Room 42 and Don’t Tell Mama. He is a graduate of NYU Tisch’s New Studio on Broadway and is a proud Connecticut-native having grown up in Branford. Ryan also recently published his first book with Harper Collins, Riverdish: the Unauthorized Case Files of Riverdale a companion piece to his successful podcast Riverdish. Upcoming Brief Cameo Productions appearances include The Last Five Years in January 2022. For more information visit


Recent credits include: Ragtime (Brief Cameo Productions), Mamma Mia, The Fantasticks, An Ivoryton Playhouse Christmas Hour with David Pittsinger and Friends (Ivoryton Playhouse), Downtown Cabaret Theatre’s Phantom (Carlotta), Ivoryton Playhouse’s Playhouse on the Shore (Director/Performer), Opera Theater of Connecticut’s Madama Butterfly (Kate Pinkerton), Romeo & Juliet, In Verse & Music (Lady Capulet) and Die Fledermaus (Sally). Other favorites: Evita (Eva), A Little Night Music (Desiree). National tour: Victor/Victoria. Regional: You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Sally) and Mikado (Pitti-Sing). Edinburgh Fringe: Merrily We Roll Along (Gussie). Upcoming: the Sanibel Music Festival.


Amy Maude Helfer is gaining attention as a versatile singing actor of opera, operetta, and musical theatre, especially noted for her comedic timing and "gorgeous voice." Amy previously appeared as a soloist at Ivoryton Playhouse on the Shore in 2017 and 2018. Operetta/musical theatre: Mrs. Lovett (Sweeney Todd) at Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, Sondheim, Golden Age/Bernstein and Cole Porter concerts with Opera Theater of CT at Sanibel Music Festival, Petra (Night Music) with Madison Lyric Stage, Phoebe (Yeomen of the Guard) at Winter Opera St. Louis, Ruth (Pirates of Penzance) at Utopia Opera. A principal mezzo with NY Gilbert & Sullivan Players (NYGASP), Amy's roles include Iolanthe (Iolanthe), Tessa (Gondoliers), Phoebe (Yeomen), Angela & Saphir (Patience), and national tours as Pitti-Sing (Mikado) and Kate (Pirates). Opera/oratorio: Carmen (Carmen) at Narnia Festival, Dinah (Trouble in Tahiti) with Boheme Opera NJ, Baba the Turk (Rake's Progress) with String Orchestra of Brooklyn, Mercédès (Carmen) with Opera Theater of CT, Vera Boronel (The Consul) and Nancy (Albert Herring) with Bronx Opera, Frade (Dybbuk) at Merkin Hall, Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro) and Artist-in-Residence at Dayton Opera, alto soloist (Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass) at Carnegie Hall. Events cancelled due to COVID-19 include reprising the role of Tessa (Gondoliers) with NYGASP, and alto soloist with Mid-America Productions at Carnegie Hall. Amy was a semi-finalist in the 2013 Lotte Lenya Competition, and joined Actors’ Equity in 2009. Cheshire CT native, NYC and CT based. For Mom.


Morgan Morse is an actor, musician, and writer originally hailing from Ansonia, CT. He's very happy to be back at Ivoryton, having previously been in Godspell (Morgan), Once (Andrej), South Pacific (Professor), and Stand By Your Man (Euple Byrd) here at this historic Playhouse (and very happy to be working with Jim Clark who was the brilliant stage manager on most of those shows!). Other credits include: Once at the Cape Playhouse (Andrej), Ring of Fire everywhere from Texas to Germany and Austria (Jack Cash), and Southern Comfort at the Public Theater in NYC (Storyteller). He'd like to thank Jim for bringing him in to this project, and his parents for making him exist and all their support during this very strange year. He’s also a singer-songwriter - you can check out his original music online at (If you want. No pressure), and he makes silly videos on TikTok under the username @themorsecoda!


Born in Montreal, Nigel has spent most of his professional life in France. After graduating from the Curtis Institute of Music, Nigel spent three years as an apprentice artist with the Centre de Formation Lyrique, at the Paris National Opera, where he performed on both the stages of the Bastille, and Palais Garnier. After completing his apprenticeship, Nigel represented Canada at the 2001 Cardiff Singer of the World, and continued working in many theatres in France, and in Europe. Performing principally on the operatic stage, Nigel has a wide repertoire, having performed extensively from the baroque, to contemporary music. He has been heard with Jean-Claude Malgoire, and the Atelier Lyrique de Tourcoing, in works such as Rameau’s Les Indes galantes, Händel’s Agrippina, and Rinaldo, as well as in Salieri’s Falstaff. On the contemporary side of things, Nigel has created the roles of Lead, for James Rolfe’s Beatrice Chancy; which was produced both live, and for television; the role of Der auskunftgeber, for Philippe Manoury’s setting of Franz Kafka’s “Der Prozess”, entitled K…, at the Opéra National de Paris (Bastille), an encounter which inspired Manoury to write the role of un jeune fugitive, in his chamber opera La frontière for Nigel, which he created with Manoury, and famed actor and director Yoshi Oida, at Paris’ Les bouffes du nord. Nigel also premiered the oratorio Athanor, of Guillaume Connesson, at France Musique’s Festival Présences, as baritone soloist, and, most recently, was the baritone soloist for the world premiere of Joseph Barandashvili’s The Passion of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, with the Israel Camerata Jerusalem, under the baton of Avner Biron. Nigel recently appeared on the Playhouse stage in the Brief Cameo Productions concert staging of the musical Ragtime this past January, singing the role of Colehouse Walker, Jr.


Lisa Williamson happily returns to Brief Cameo Productions having previously been seen as Sarah in Ragtime. Lisa has sung with Washington National Opera (The Rose, The Little Prince; The Flamingo, The Lion, the Unicorn and Me), Portland Opera (soprano, the little match girl passion; Virginia Creeper, The Difficulty of Crossing a Field), The Glimmerglass Festival (soprano, the little match girl passion), Hartford Symphony (Knoxville: Summer of 1915; Carmina Burana), Missoula Symphony (Mozart’s Requiem), Opera Theater of Connecticut (Musetta, La Bohème; Adele, Die Fledermaus; Giannetta, L’Elisir d’amore), Opera Connecticut (Lauretta, Gianni Schicchi), Salt Marsh Opera (Barbarina, Le nozze di Figaro), the Hartford Opera Theater (Laurie, The Tender Land), and the United States Coast Guard Band, where she was the vocal soloist from 2005-2010. Upcoming Brief Cameo Productions appearances include The Last Five Years in January 2022.

JILL BRUNELLE | Musical Director / Piano

Jill Brunelle is a music director and pianist at the Yale School of Drama, Yale Institute of Sacred Music, and Yale College. Her recent music directing credits include Ragtime with Brief Cameo Productions, The Fantasticks at Ivoryton Playhouse, and Songs For A New World, Pippin, The Addams Family, and Violet at Southern Connecticut State University. At Yale School of Drama, Ms. Brunelle directed Fun Home, Steven Sondheim’s Passion, The Apple Tree, Trouble in Tahiti, and The Medium. As Yale Opera Chorus Master she has prepared ensembles for Florencia en el Amazonas, Eugene Onegin, Hänsel und Gretel, Die Zauberflöte, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Le Nozze Di Figaro, and La Bohème. Ms. Brunelle recently celebrated five years as Music Director at the renowned Foote School Summer Theater. Her 2021 season includes The Last Five Years with Brief Cameo Productions. Ms. Brunelle has served as faculty/staff at Boston University, New England Conservatory, Tufts University, Hartt School of Music, Connecticut Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, and Opera Boston. As a collaborative pianist, Ms. Brunelle is highly sought after as a recital partner, performing internationally as well as at Carnegie Hall and Jordan Hall, and has performed world premieres at numerous festivals, including the celebrated Bang on a Can festival in New York City. Ms. Brunelle also collaborates frequently with area companies and ensembles, including Orchestra New England and Long Wharf Theatre.

DAVID UHL | Bass (June 6th & 19th)

David Uhl is one of the busiest freelance bassists in Connecticut. Before the pandemic you could find him playing in the pit for shows at the Ivoryton Playhouse, Norma Terris Theater, Yale Rep, and colleges and high schools across the state as well as with orchestras like the Greater Bridgeport Symphony and the Norwalk Symphony. He is also one of the founding members and the bassist for The Jolly Beggars, a Celtic folk band which plays extensively in and around Connecticut. David is also a passionate educator and has taught for eight years at The Regional Center for the Arts in Trumbull, as well as teaching privately.

MARK GEHRET | Bass (June 10th)

For over 25 years, Mark Gehret of Old Saybrook, CT, has been performing as a genre-spanning professional bassist. He has performed with groups that range from orchestral and musical theatre to jazz trio and 21-piece big band, as well as all-original music bands such as The Rivergods of New London. Mark has backed numerous notable talents over the years including: Frankie Avalon, Wayne Burgeron, Petula Clark, Bob Dorough, Fabian, Eartha Kitt, Nellie McKay, David Pittsinger, Don Rickles, Mike Renzi, Patricia Schuman, Donn Trenner, the stars of the Lawrence Welk Show, and Tom Wopat. Theatrically speaking, Mark has played performances of the National tours of 42nd St. (2003), Annie Get Your Gun (2001), Copacabana (2000), Kiss Me Kate (2002), and Thoroughly Modern Millie (2004). Most recently, Mark performed on stage for the 2019 run of Burt and Me at the Ivoryton Playhouse. Mark also has a weekly Sunday church “jazz-service” at the First Church in Old Saybrook.


Elliot Wallace is a drummer, percussionist, and educator throughout New England and New York City. Highly active as a freelance percussionist, he has a diverse output. Elliot has performed with groups and institutions such as: Apartment Sessions, Powerstation Recording Studio, Ghost Hit Recording Studio, Ivoryton Playhouse, Playhouse on Park, Off Broadway Theater, Schubert Theater, the Fairfield Theater Company, the Yale Alumni Association, Richmond IN Symphony, the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, 10th Intervention, the New Baroque Soloists, New Britain Symphony, Waterbury Symphony, Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra, and many others. Elliot recently toured with Tenth Intervention performing "Eight Songs for a Mad King." He also toured Iceland in October with the group Apartment Sessions, recording more than ten new live music videos. Elliot also holds the position of dance accompanist at the University of Hartford. Elliot is also versed in world percussion, studying with conga greats Michael Spiro and John Amira, as well as Brazilian music expert Rogerio Boccato and African percussionist Joe Galeota. In January 2014, Elliot traveled to Ghana to study ewe drumming from master drummer Bernard Woma. Elliot's primary teachers were Dr. Larry Snider and Benjamin Toth. Elliot is currently the percussion instructor at the Hartt School Community Division, the Loomis Chaffee School, as well as professor of percussion at Holyoke Community College and Naugatuck Valley Community College. He also recently served as sabbatical replacement for Benjamin Toth at the Hartt School of Music. Elliot holds a bachelor degree from the University of Akron and a masters degree from the University of Hartford.

JIM CLARK | Director

Jim's credits include serving as a teaching artist, director, actor, or stage manager for Brief Cameo Productions, Ivoryton Playhouse, Long Wharf Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Foote Summer Theater, Synapse Theatre Ensemble, Columbia University, Roebling and Driggs Productions, Yale Opera, The New York Financial Writers’ Association’s annual Financial Follies, New Haven Theater Company (including the first community production of Paula Vogel's A Civil War Christmas), The Hugo Kauder Society, Act II Theatre, Grassroots Theater Company, Sacred Heart Academy, New Haven Ballet, Fairfield University and the Chancel Opera Company.