An Immersive Theatre Experience. A dark and bloody thrill ride inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe.

Performance Program

CREATIVE

WRITTEN BY Aly Amidei*, Cara Beth Heath & John Henry Roberts*
DIRECTED BY Janet Howe, Anderson Lawfer* & Eli Newell

ARTISTIC PRODUCER Michael Dailey
CASTING DIRECTOR
Kanomé Jones
SCENIC DESIGN
Tom Burch
LIGHTING DESIGN Shelbi Arndt, Claire Chrzan*, Daniel Friedman,
COSTUME DESIGN
Virginia Varland
SOUND DESIGN
Heath Hays*
PROPS DESIGN Lacie Hexom
VIDEO & MEDIA DESIGN Kyle Hamman
TECHNICAL DIRECTION
Mike Sanow
VIOLENCE DESIGN
Bobby Wilhelmson
GORE DESIGN
Aliza Feder
INTIMACY DIRECTION
Kate Lass
DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION
Becca Levy*
STAGE MANAGER Megan Gray

CAST

Andrew Bailes ELI
Dan Cobbler MILES
Katie Gonzalez GRETA
Henry Greenberg PRESTON
Adam Hinkle WILLIAM
Brian Hinkle WILSON
Patrick Kelly TODD
Laura Nelson ANNABEL
Ella Raymont SAM + Fight Captain
Michael Reyes* BRADDOCK
Collin Quinn Rice QUINN
Shaina Schrooten BERENICE
Anne Sheridan Smith NADIA
Julian Stroop VICEROY

OTHER CREATIVE + PRODUCTION TEAM

ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER Chelsea Allen
ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER Liam Collier
ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER Hannah Cremin
ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER Alyssa Maldonado


SCRIPT SUPERVISOR Aliza Feder
SCENIC DESIGN ASSISTANT Evan Frank
ASSISTANT VIOLENCE DESIGNER Bobby Duncalf
ASSISTANT INTIMACY DIRECTOR Sophia Sinsheimer
COSTUME DESIGN/PRODUCTION INTERN Gianna Charon

CUSTOM CONTENT WRITER Shannon Hoag
CUSTOM CONTENT WRITER Kat McDonnell
PUBLICITY David Rosenberg Public Relations

UNDERSTUDIES

Eric Parmer WILLIAM, WILSON, VICEROY
Turner Frankosky MILES, TODD, PRESTON
Brandon Boler ELI, BRADDOCK
Mikey Gray GRETA, ANNABEL
Sonia Goldberg QUINN, NADIA
Annemarie Friedo BERENICE, SAM

*Strawdog Ensemble Member


CAST BIOGRAPHIES


CREATIVE & PRODUCTION TEAM BIOGRAPHIES

Chelsea Allen (Assistant Stage Manager) is fairly new to the Chicago theatre scene by way of the great wide west. A graduate of Arizona State University, Chelsea has most recently served as Stage Manager for The Cuckoo's Theatre Project’s summer production of Barbeque Apocalypse. Previously, she served as Stage Manager for The Cuckoo's Theatre Project’s spring production of She Kills Monster. She is thrilled to be a part of the Masque Macabre team and has loved the opportunity work with this talented cast and crew. She hopes you enjoy this unique and exciting theatrical experience.

Aly Renee Amidei* (Writer) has worked as a designer, playwright, and maker based in Chicago for the last eighteen years. She is an Assistant Professor of  Costume Design at UNC-Charlotte. She is proud ensemble member of Strawdog Theatre Company and Lifeline Theatre. Her plays and audio dramas have been produced at Lifeline Theatre, WildClaw Theatre, Strawdog Hit Factory, College of DuPage, and Cartage Theatre of Charlotte.

Shelbi Arndt (Lighting Designer)

Nicole Bloomsmith* (Composer) is an ensemble artist and eponymous cabaret host here at Strawdog. Chicago actor credits include the likes of Steppenwolf, Northlight, The Hypocrites, and many others. As singer-songwriter, she newly celebrated the release of her debut album, “Find Me”, available anywhere you get your music. She will next be on the Strawdog stage in Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins this holiday season. @nikkibloomsmith

Tom Burch (Scenic Designer) is excited to return to Strawdog where he previously designed Puntilla and his Man Matti, and Uncle Vanya (Jeff nom). Other Chicago credits include shows at Goodman, Chicago Shakespeare, Court, Northlight, VIctory Gardens, Hypocrites, House, Lifeline and many others. He's received 5 Jeff nominations for design (and 1 win).  Regional designs include shows for Actors Theatre of Louisville, Pasadena Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, American Repertory Theatre, Olney Theatre Center and many others. New York credits include NYU-Skirball Center, Symphony Place, and the off-Broadway production of Mistakes Were Made (which transferred from Chicago's A Red Orchid Theatre). He teaches at UNC-Charlotte.

Gianna Charon (Costume Design/Production Intern) is a student at the University of Cincinnati and is interning at Strawdog this season with a focus on costume design. The fashion design program at UC requires students to alternate between full time school semesters with full time work semesters, so for the past three and a half years, she has gotten to experience a lot of different working environments, from bridal boutiques to corporate, as well live in a lot of different cities, like New York, Texas, and even Italy, which is pretty crazy, but also amazing! This semester brought her to Chicago and to Strawdog and she is very excited to have Masque Macabre as her first ever theatre experience! 

Claire Chrzan* (Lighting Designer)

Liam Collier (Assistant Stage Manager) is thrilled to make his stage managerial debut with Masque Macabre.  Born and raised in New York, Liam moved to Chicago last September to pursue his passion for immersive theatre and arts education. Since arriving in Chicago, he has worked as an education intern and teaching assistant at Goodman Theatre. Other credits include Car Play: A Motor Performance (Co-Creator and Performer, TheatreFirst), Beowulf (Directors’ Assistant, We Players), Cat (Director, Dixon Place), and The Mayor of Baltimore (Director, The Experimental Theater of Vassar College). Liam has also performed and directed with Britomartis, a devised theater ensemble at Vassar College.

Hannah Cremin (Assistant Stage Manager) is super excited to make her Chicago theatre debut with Strawdog! She recently graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in Stage Management. Some of her favorite credits include: Activate Midwest New Play Festival (Production Stage Manager), Sister Act (Stage Manager, The Naples Players KidzAct), Million Dollar Quartet (Asst. Stage Manager, Farmers Alley Theatre), The Pillowman Project (Asst. Director/Ensemble), The Crucible(Mary Warren, WMU), Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (Stage Manager, WMU). Hannah would like to thank Mom and Dad for supporting all her crazy adventures. She promises to always look both ways before crossing the street.

Bobby Duncalf (Assistant Violence Designer) is new to Chicago and is excited to be working with Strawdogs. He got his Bachelors from Western Illinois University, and has spent the last few years traveling and performing Children's theater. Bobby has been an Advanced Actor Combatant with the SAFD for awhile and enjoys putting those skills to work when he can. He would Like to thank Bobby Wilhelmson for the opportunity to work with him. You can follow Bobby on Instagram at @bduncalf

Aliza Feder (Script Supervisor/ Gore Design) is a director, writer, and makeup/SFX artist. She previously assistant directed for Elly Green in Strawdog's The Night Season. Prior to moving to Chicago, she was the artistic director of Fermat's Last Theater Co in Madison, WI. She is a DIY Theater/Performance contributor for Scapi Magazine. Thanks to Andy and Strawdog for the opportunity, and to her family and friends for their unwavering support. www.alizafeder.com

Evan Frank (Scenic Design Assistant) is so thrilled to be working with Strawdog for the first time. After graduating from Columbia College Chicago last year he has been lucky enough to design the sets for A Little Night Music for BoHo, Les Miserables at ChiArts as well as the Chicago premieres of Everybody for Brown Paper Box Company and Lysistrata Jones for Refuge Theater Project, where he is a company member. You can check out his website here: efrankdesign.com

Daniel Friedman (Lighting Designer) is a Chicago based lighting designer.  Daniel has designed lighting for productions with Red Tape Theatre, The Jacobians, Three Things Productions, Redtwist Theatre, Jackalope Theatre, First Floor Theatre, Red Tape Theatre, The Gift Theatre, Matter Dance Company, Emerald City Theatre, The Blind Owl, and Haven Theatre among many others across Chicago.  He has also served as an associate and assistant lighting designer on productions at the Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Writers Theatre, Timeline Theatre and Drury Lane Theatre.  Visit danielafriedman.com.

Megan Gray (Stage Manager) is thrilled to be making her Strawdog debut! A recent Chicago transplant, Megan is honored to have worked with Adventure Stage Chicago, the Black Ensemble Theater, and Halcyon Theatre. Megan recently completed a yearlong Artistic Direction Apprenticeship at Magic Theatre in San Francisco where she assistant directed the world premiere of Han Ong’s Grandeur and worked as an ASM on The Baltimore Waltz alongside Paula Vogel. An aspiring director and proud educator, other regional theatres Megan has worked at include: First Stage, The Bloomington Playwright’s Project, The Jacob’s School of Music, and Utah Festival Opera.

Kyle Hamman* (Video/Media Designer)

Heath Hays* (Sound Designer)

Cara Beth Heath (Writer) has an MFA in Playwriting from Western Michigan University and a BA in Creative Writing from the College of Charleston. She is the Literary Manager at Strawdog Theatre Company. She's also been invited to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for dramaturgy, directing and playwriting. Her work has been read and produced in several festivals and workshops across the midwest, including her award-winning play Good Enough about the women of the Gibson guitar factory during WWII. She's been in Chicago for a couple of years now, developing her plays and advocating for local playwrights. She's thrilled to have this opportunity to write for her Strawdog family and looks forward to producing more work in Chicago and elsewhere.

Lacie Hexom (Props Designer)

Janet Howe (Co-Director) is a director, immersive theatre consultant, and Co-Artistic Director of (re)discover theatre. Over the past four years, Janet’s work has focused exclusively on immersive and site-specific works. Janet directed and spearheaded projects such as FOR ONE: a series of plays built for an audience of one and Farewell My Friend an immersive melding of Romeo & Juliet and Tristan & Iseult. Other directing credits include Lysistaratra, Fifty Shades of Shakespeare, and Jason & (Medea). Starting October 2018, Janet will be studding immersive theatre at Middlesex University: London, focusing on accessibility in immersive forms. www.janetkhowe.com

Kate Lass (Intimacy Director) is an actor and fight and intimacy choreographer who is thrilled to be working with Strawdog for the first time. Recent choreography credits include fights for Romeo and Juliet (Teatro Vista) and intimacy for Smart People (Nashville Repertory Theatre). She is an advanced actor combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors and a member of Intimacy Directors International. For updates on all upcoming projects: katelass.com

Anderson Lawfer* (Co Director) is a Co-Artistic Director of Strawdog as well as a Co-Director of Masque Macabre. He was the previous Artistic Director of Strawdog's Hugen Hall and focused on new works, adapting and directing Pontypool, Fail/Safe and Kill Shakespeare. He is the creator and host of many Strawdog late night shows including Theatre Wars!, The Direct Off! and The Game Show Show and Stuff! He will also be directing a new musical in the spring written by Mark Guarino and Jon Langford called Take Me.

Becca Levy (Director of Production) is seriously spooked and honored to PM Masque Macabre, her 7th Strawdog production and 2nd as an ensemble member! She's a Chicago production manager, stage manager, and teaching artist, who has also worked with Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Emerald City Theatre, Jackalope Theatre, and Red Theatre. Outside Chicago: Seabright Productions and Starvox Touring (Potted Potter) and Networks Touring (Elf: The Musical). BFA Stage Management, WMU. Big love to BL, PS, and BN!

Alyssa Maldonado (Assistant Stage Manager) graduated from Iowa State University with a B.A. in Performing Arts, emphasis in Acting and Directing. She was involved in Chicago Shakespeare Theatre's stage management internship program for their production of Othello, as well as Drury Lane’s Crazy For You. Alyssa previously worked with Strawdog in their production of Pillars of the Community and is thrilled to be back for Masque. She would like to thank her fearless fellow SM team for their ability to be both level headed and zany in the rehearsal room. 

Eli Newell (Co-director) returns to Strawdog after having previously assistant directed DAMASCUS. He is a Chicago-based director from the Twin Cities, Minnesota. In Chicago, Eli has worked on productions at Goodman Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Raven Theatre, Strawdog, Haven Theatre Company and Windy City Playhouse. In the Twin Cities: Guthrie Theater, Children’s Theatre Company, Hennepin Theatre Trust, the Ordway Center and the Playwrights’ Center. Graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Communication.

John Henry Roberts* (Writer) joined the Strawdog ensemble in 2004. Previous writing credits include Strawdog’s production of The Sweeter Option, and the Neo-Futurists’ production of True Dreams of Annie Arbor. Recent acting credits include Pillars of the Community, Barbecue, and The Night Season (Strawdog), Neverwhere and Miss Holmes (Lifeline Theatre), The Little Flower of East Orange (Eclipse Theatre, Jeff Nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role), Diamond Dogs and The Hammer Trinity (The House Theatre). He’ll next appear in Twelfth Night at Writers Theatre. He is represented by Paonessa Talent. Love to the amazing Ada Grey.

Mike Sanow (Technical Director)

Sophia Sinsheimer (Assistant Intimacy Director) is a recent graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied Theatre and Gender and Sexuality studies. Favorite intimacy directing credits include Stop Kiss and Midsummer: A Play With Songs. She is also a playwright and director, and is proud to have had two plays premiere at Northwestern (R&JMedea in the Underworld). She is delighted to be making her Chicago debut at Strawdog!

Virginia Varland (Costume Designer) is a costume designer with additional interests in fiber arts, adaptation, devised works, and teaching. Recent Chicago design credits include 9 to 5 (Firebrand Theatre), The Wiz (Kokandy Productions), Two Mile Hollow (First Floor Theater), and Tonya and Nancy: A Rock Opera (Underscore Theatre). In 2017, Virginia was honored to receive a non-equity Jeff Award nomination for The Wiz, for which she also received the Chicago Hawk award for Best Costume Design. She has also enjoyed working as an Assistant Costume Designer at Writers Theatre, Drury Lane, and Victory Gardens, and served as Costume Manager at Northlight Theatre and for The Waa-Mu show at Northwestern. She received her MFA in Costume Design from Northwestern University. During her time at Northwestern she designed costumes for The Tempest, Green Day’s American IdiotFabulation, or The Re-education of Undine, and Hit the Wall.  Virginia hails from Richmond, Virginia where she completed her BFA in Costume Design at Virginia Commonwealth University. In Richmond she worked and assisted in local theatres including Virginia Repertory Theatre, The Firehouse Theatre Project, and Stage B Theatre Company. She also served as a costume assistant to Toni Leslie James on the Broadway premiere of Nora Ephron’s Lucky Guy. To see more of her work visit virginiavarlanddesign.com

Bobby Wilhelmson (Violence Designer) is excited to be working with Strawdog for the first time. Bobby received his MFA in Acting from Western Illinois University and concentrated in Movement and Stage Combat. He is thankful for working with brave artists and the Strawdog Family for being so welcoming and patient. When not creating fights and acting, Bobby loves donuts, working out, and going on roadtrips with Jessi and Leche.  www.bobbywilhelmson.com


SPECIAL THANKS

Trevyn Cunningham, Heather Gilbert, Shayne Kennedy, Joe McNaney, Spencer Meeks, Jim Moore, Donna Palkovic, Alex Quiñones, Cassandra Rose, Raphael Schwartzman, Jason Shivers, Mercury Theatre, (re)discover theatre


THANK YOU TO OUR DONORS

Strawdog is hugely grateful to all of its supporters.
We are pleased to recognize below donors who have contributed $100 or more between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.

INSTITUTIONAL & CORPORATE DONORS
The Illinois Arts Council Agency
The Alphawood Foundation
The McCarthur Funds for Arts & Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
The Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation
The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation
PepsiCo

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
Bayless Family Foundation
Daniel R Cyganowski in memory of Carol K Cyganowski, Scholar & Theatre Lover

PRODUCERS
Camille & Ian McLeod

DIRECTORS
Michael Aden & JD Miller
Michael & Jennifer Banys
Meaghan Clayton
Thomas Linguanti
Jennifer Lynne Nelson
Pat Yuzawa Rubin & Jack Rubin
Tim & Ada Zingelman

SUSTAINERS
Kristin Conley
Jim & Lois Hobart
Prairie Star LLC
Judith & David Sensibar
Barbara & Randolph Thomas

CONTRIBUTORS
Anonymous
JoAnne Bogacz-Boyle
Dick Clark and Mary Munday
Malachy Boyle and Sarah Goeden
Matthew & Leah Haran
The Michael & Mona Heath Fund
Melanie & Johnpaul Higgins
Chiara Paretsky-Wright
Norm Sloan

SPONSORS
Joan & Hank Bliss
Susan & Robert Boone
Victor M. Cassidy
Kristin Collins
Pat & Jim Corirossi
Matthew DeYoung
Favia Family
Ronald & Susan Goeden
Ethel and Bill Gofen
Harriet Hirschfeld in honor of Mr. and Mrs. James D. Hobart
Patrick R. Ireland
Jim Kirkhoff
James & Christine Lentz
Maguire Family
Cathleen O'Farrell & Peter S. Meyer
Rebecca M. Hoag
Renee Nelson
John Jendras & Judith Paice
James R. Richardson
David & Peggy Rickard in honor of Seth Rickard
Rick Stoneham in honor of Michaela Petro
Karen & Frank Schneider
Bruce and Nancy Woodruff

IN KIND SUPPORTERS
John Kelly
Begyle Brewery
Crystal Head Vodka
Prairie Star LLC
Miku Sushi