Bolt of Talent: ‘Lightning Thief” Musical to Delight All Ages February 3-4, 2023

Dozens of students at Gowanda High School have been working hard since November 2022 to bring a special story of identity, trust and collaboration to the stage and share the production with the community. 

The Gowanda Thespian Society will present “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” – a rock-and-roll adaptation of the popular novel by Rick Riordan with book by Joe Tracz and music/lyrics by Rob Rokicki – on Friday and Saturday, February 3-4, 2023, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. A special, free preview for senior citizens is scheduled Wednesday, February 1, 2023, at 1 p.m.  

The plot centers on teenager Percy Jackson, who discovers he’s a demigod. Percy and his friends embark on an epic journey to find Zeus’ missing lightning bolt and prevent a war among the gods.

“This show has been particularly fun and exciting due to the stage combat aspect, inclusion of mythical monsters and magical elements,” says musical director and teacher Ms. Robin Smith, choral director for the middle and high schools. “Making it all come to life has been a labor of love for the creative team and actors alike!”

To succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the thief. He must travel to the Underworld and back; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and come to terms with the father who abandoned him. 

The action-packed mythical adventure features an original rock score, runs approximately two hours and is appropriate for all ages. 

Tickets – $8 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens – will be sold at the door. 

“The Lightning Thief” is presented via an arrangement with Concord Theatricals. Learn more at


Grown-ups: Gabriella Whipple as Bianca, August Krebs as Bus Driver, Sydney Smith as Elvis, Kaeden Salzman as Farmer, Braydon Boler as Gabe Ugliano, Maddison Smith as Greyhound Bus Passenger 1, Patricia Griffith as Greyhound Bus Passenger 2, Hayleigh Hooper as Janis Joplin, Makayla Kuras as Kurt Cobain, Samuel Latimore as Mr. Brunner aka Chiron, Abril Corrales Cascante as Newscaster, Sydney Smith as Sally Jackson, Natalie Baco as Train Conductor, and Summer Jones as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Kids and Campers: Hailey Christopher as Annabeth Chase, Riley Tighe as Clarisse LaRue/Ares, Hudson Smith as Grover Underwood, Madilyn Pawlak as Katie Gardner,  Zayne Laskey as Luke Castellan, Jack Warrior III as Percy Jackson, Avery Wilson as Silena Beaureguard, and Gabriella Whipple as Bianca/Thalia Grace. 

Monsters and Magic: Makayla Kuras as Aunty Em, Kurt Cobain, Medusa and Mrs. Dodds; Alyssa Golden as Charon, Alhanna Gabel as Echidna, Alexander (Kaeden) Salzman as Hades/Kronos, Braydon Boler as Gabe Ugliano/Minotaur/Cyclops, Sara Lillie as Dodds Sister/Fury 1, Caitlyn Gangi as The Oracle, Danielle Krajewski as Prophecy Spirit, and KaeVii Yasurek as Squirrel.

Statues: Braydon Boler, Alyssa Golden, Madilyn Pawlak, Avery Wilson, and Gabby Whipple.

Gods: Kaeden Salzman as Hades, Conner Wilson as Mr. D aka Dionysus and Hayden Kaus as Poseidon.


 Artistic and music director Mrs. Robin Smith, assistant to the director Mrs. Melanie Kessler, choreographer Ms. Brittany Sobilo, stage combat/fight choreographer Mr. Steve Vaughan, stage combat assistants Ms. Kristen Wielgasz and Mr. Shawn; producer Mrs. Kim Nobles, costume design Mrs. Lea Golden, set design Mr. Garry Smith & Mrs. Robin Smith, head of set construction Mr. Garry Smith, set construction Mr. Sean Christopher, Mr. Derek Kessler, Mr. Zachary Nobles, Mrs. Kim Nobles, Mr. Garry Smith, Mr. Daniel Smith; set artist Mrs. Krissy Smith, stage manager Mr. Garry Smith, head of properties Ms. Cassidy Smith (GCS alum); properties Mrs. Kim Nobles, Ms. Cassidy Smith, Mrs. Melanie Kessler; lighting design Mr. Pat Murphy, Lite Trix; sound design Mr. Matthew Estep; hair design Mrs. Michelle Valone, make-up design Mrs. Cynthia Ripley (retired GMS music teacher), photography Mrs. Mandy Pickering, visual arts Bill Peglowski, pit band director Mr. Riley McDonough, guitar 1 Mr. Jacob Swanson.


"Lightning Thief" cast






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