TV Icon John Schneider Comes to the Columbia Gorge – Theatre Camp Enrollment Continues

TV icon John Schneider (The Dukes of Hazzard, Smallville) will be coming to the Columbia Gorge School of Theatre ( to discuss acting in TV, film, singing on the radio, performing on Broadway and directing films.

White Salmon, WA, July 07, 2007 --( The Columbia Gorge School of Theatre ( is excited to announce that once again TV icon John Schneider will be coming to participate in a question and answer session. On Saturday, July 14th, at 10 am at the White Hawk Theatre, CGST will be presenting four original theatre pieces and a short film directed by staff from across the country (Colorado, Kentucky, Phoenix, California, New Jersey and New York City). Afterward, Mr. Schneider will step on stage and answer questions about the business from the CGST students from across the country and from around the world. Parents and other audience members can also participate. Space is limited, so for directions (MapQuest does not work for this) and reservations, please contact Jan James, executive director at 509-493-1213 or 1-800-405-3450.

John Schneider is perhaps best known as Bo Duke on the long-running TV series “The Dukes of Hazzard” and more recently as Superman’s dad on “Smallville.” Additionally, he has appeared on TV series such as “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” and “Heaven Help Us.” His film and tv movies include the Dukes of Hazzard reunions, “Lake Placid 2”, “Michael Landon, the Father I Knew”, “Snow Day”, “Exit to Eden” and the recent Hallmark Movie “You’ve Got a Friend.” He recently produced, wrote and directed a feature film entitled “Collier and Co.” Additionally, he appeared as the Baron in “Grand Hotel” on Broadway and has had eighteen hit singles including four number one hits on the country charts. For the last five years, John’s son has attended CGST. Mr. Schneider has said, “Our son’s acting ability has improved dramatically since he’s been attending Columbia Gorge School of Theatre.”

The Columbia Gorge School of Theatre is a summer theatre camp for students ages 8 – 18 from across the country and from around the world. 2007 marks its 11th year of offering training in Acting, Singing and Dancing and the production of over a dozen shows each year. CGST is located on the 142-acre Blue Moon Ranch in White Salmon, Washington, near Hood River, Oregon and about 90 minutes from Portland. Alumni from CGST have performed in theatre and film across the country and attend the United States’ and Europe’s best theatre schools.

Over 110 students from 15 states and 3 foreign countries have enrolled at CGST for this summer. There is still time to enroll in sessions for two or four weeks. Students can find enrollment information at or by calling Jan at 509-493-1213 or 1-800-405-3450. Details on scholarships can also be found by contacting Jan. CGST is among the most affordable theatre camps in the nation.

CGST is proud to welcome Broadway performer Penny Ayn Maas to its faculty as the new Dance Director. She will teach dance classes and will direct three musicals this summer at CGST. Penny has appeared on Broadway in Cabaret, Crazy For You and Damn Yankees. Additionally, she has appeared in Regional Theatre (5th Avenue, Main State, Cleveland Playhouse), on TV (“Another World”, Letterman, Leno) and in films (“Stepford Wives”). Her BFA in Musical Theatre Performance is from Illinois Wesleyan University. CGST’s new Musical Director, Kary Haddad, earned his Masters Degree in Music Education from the prestigious Eastman School of Music. He’s taught at the secondary and college levels in New Jersey and New York and recently took his choir to Sweden. For more information on the staff, please visit:

Founding Artistic Director, Jesse Merz, grew up in Parkdale, Oregon and graduated from Hood River Valley High School in 1992. He has performed off-Broadway, in regional theatre, summer stock, feature films and 120 cities in 34 states on national tours. He has directed 50 shows including directing Tony-Winner Daisy Eagan in the new musical “Suburban Dreams.” Additionally, he has served as the Artistic Director of Longview Stageworks from 2000 – 2003 and has produced shows in New York City with his own company, Columbia Gorge Repertory Theatre ( Later this year, CGRep will be producing the new musical The Gospel According to Tammy Faye in New York City directed by Broadway choreographer and performer Mindy Cooper. He has studied or worked with such people as Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, David Mamet, Constantine Maroulis, Josh Hartnett, Keanu Reeves, River Phoenix and many others. Jesse earned his BFA in Acting from New York University, his MA in Teaching (drama endorsement) at George Fox University. Currently, he is teaching acting at University of California, Davis, where he is also pursuing his MFA in Acting and serving as the Assistant Artistic Director for the THIRDeYE Theatre Festival.

Contact: Jan James, Executive Director, 509-493-1213

Columbia Gorge School of Theatre
Jesse Merz