A Comedical Tragedy for Mr. Punch by Kara Davidson. Directed by Shade Murray
The dark and classic puppet show gives children a way to laugh and marvel at the cruelty of the adult world they do not understand. Reality blurs as live actors, marionettes, and hand puppets intersect each other. Each tells a little of the other’s story, and imaginations run wild.
Kara Davidson is a performer and writer in Chicago, and holds degrees in Theatre Performance and French from the University of Nebraska. As an actor she has worked with The House Theatre of Chicago, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare, Manual Cinema, Aporia Theatre (NYC), Actors Theatre of Louisville, and Nebraska Repertory Theatre, among others. She also regularly participates as a performer/writer in The Plagiarist's Salon Series, and co-founded a theatre company in the Twin Cities which specialized in devised works and produced two of her original scripts. She is excited to be in collaboration with the University of Chicago and The House Theatre on her play, A Comedical Tragedy for Mister Punch, which will open The House's 15th season this fall.
Shade Murray is an ensemble member of A Red Orchid Theater where he has directed the world premieres of Brett Neveu's Pilgrim's Progress and Ike Holter's Sender, as well as productions of Marisa Wegrzyn's Mud Blue Sky and The Butcher of Baraboo, Annie Baker’s The Aliens, Nick Jones’ Trevor, Mike Leigh's Abigail’s Party and Kimberly Akimbo by David Lindsay-Abaire. He also performed in the A Red Orchid production of The Mutilated. Other directing credits include Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Steep Theater, Second City, Writers' Theater, Hell in a Handbag, Next Theater, Strawdog, and elsewhere. Shade is a lecturer at University of Chicago and teaches at DePaul University and Actors' Studio Chicago.
The Nutcracker Created by Jake Minton, Phillip Klapperich, Kevin O'Donnell, and Tommy Rapley. Based on the story by E.T.A. Hoffmann. Directed and Choreographed by Tommy Rapley
We bring this wholly original, ballet-free show back year after year because it truly has something for everyone. The show is fast-paced, beautifully choreographed, family-friendly, and moving for even those of us that might be on the grinch’s side from time to time.
Jake Minton has co-authored several plays for The House, including The Nutcracker, Rose and the Rime, The Sparrow, Girls vs. Boys, and Dave DaVinci Saves the Universe. A company member at large, Jake lives in Dallas with his wife and daughters and teaches Kindergarten.
Phillip Klapperich is a Founding Member of The House Theatre of Chicago and served as its Executive Director for 8 years. He is the writer of The Terrible Tragedy of Peter Pan (2002), The Rocket Man (2004, Jeff Nominee - Best New Work), and The Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz (2005). He is the co-writer of The Nutcracker (2007, Jeff Nominee - Best New Adaptation) and Wilson Wants it All (2010, Jeff Award - Best New Work). He now lives in Denver. Find him on Twitter @pklapperich.
Tommy Rapley is a proud Company Member with The House Theatre of Chicago where he has choreographed over 20 world-premiere productions including The Sparrow (Jeff Award), Cave With Man (Jeff Award), The Terrible Tragedy of Peter Pan, The Valentine Trilogy and Death and Harry Houdini. His directing credits for The House include: The Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz, Ellen Under Glass, All the Fame of Lofty Deeds, Hope Springs Infernal, DORIAN and their critically acclaimed productions of The Nutcracker. Other notable Chicago credits: AIDA (Drury Lane Oakbrook), Detroit (Steppenwolf), Threepenny Opera (The Hypocrites), The Hundred Dresses (Chicago Children's Theatre), Seussical, the Musical (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), Yeast Nation (American Theatre Company), Days Like Today (Writer’s Theatre), The Matchmaker and A Christmas Carol (The Goodman Theatre) and The Wild Party (Northwestern University). He has worked regionally with Hartford Stage Company, Stoneham Theatre, Bradley University, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kansas City Rep., Olney Theatre Center, St. Louis Rep., The Adrienne Arsht Center and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Much love to Scott.
Diamond Dogs by Alastair Reynolds. Adapted by Althos Low. Directed by Nathan Allen
A classic deadly-maze story set in Reynolds's "Revelation Space Universe," Diamond Dogs follows a future team of humans and trans-humans as they battle a sentient alien tower, bent on brutally punishing all intruders. Blood will spill."
Althos Low is the pen name for Shanghai Low Theatricals, an adaptation development group headed by Chicago stage veteran Steve Pickering. Most recently the company received critical note for their 2014 adaptation of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, commissioned for the Steppenwolf Theatre For Young Adults, and Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles, staged by Idle Muse Theatre in 2016 - a production for which they also designed the puppetry. For Alastair Reynolds’ Diamond Dogs, Pickering serves as Adaptor, with input from the company, and SLT House Artists Fred Baxter and Tom Kyzivat provide pre-production concept art and dramaturgy. shanghailow.org
Nathan Allen founded The House Theatre of Chicago with friends in the year 2001 and continues to lead the company as Artistic Director. Writing and directing credits include Death and Harry Houdini, The Sparrow, Rose and the Rime, The Hammer Trinity, and The Last Defender. He also directed The Magnificents by Dennis Watkins, with whom he created the weekly magic show, The Magic Parlour. Nathan's work has been seen on the stages of The House, The Steppenwolf Theatre, The Apollo Theatre, The Arsht Center of Miami, The Stoneham Theatre in Boston, and The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Nathan has received acknowledgements from the Joseph Jefferson Awards, The Orgie Awards, and The American College Theatre Festival. He teaches at The University of Chicago where he co-founded the Chicago Performance Lab, a laboratory to support experiments in theatre and performance. He has been named an Associate Artist at The Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami, and received the Emerging Leader Award from his alma mater, Southern Methodist University.
The Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz by Phillip Klapperich. Adapted from L. Frank Baum. Directed by Tommy Rapley
A modern retelling of the classic American Fairy Tale. A girl becomes a hero. Both Witches and Wizards are deposed. Toto dies.
Verboten by Brett Neveu and Jason Narducci. Directed by Nathan Allen
The story of how punk rock saved Dave Grohl's life. It’s 1982. After making the long flight from Seattle, Dave and his parents head to his cousin Tracey’s home in Evanston, Illinois for a summertime visit. Tracey, a serious teen punk rocker stuck in suburbville, blows Dave away with her excellentness.
Brett Neveu's upcoming and recent theatre productions include Miss America with The Greenhouse Theatre (Chicago) and Pilgrim’s Progress with A Red Orchid Theatre (Chicago). Film productions include the short Convo with Breakwall Pictures and the feature The Earl with Intermission Productions. Past theatre work includes productions with 59e59 Theatre in New York; The Royal Court Theatre and The Royal Shakespeare Company in London; The Goodman Theatre, Writers Theatre, The House Theatre, The Inconvenience, TimeLine Theatre Company, A Red Orchid Theatre and American Theatre Company in Chicago. A Sundance Institute Ucross Fellow, Brett is also a recipient of the Marquee Award from Chicago Dramatists, the Ofner Prize for New Work, the Emerging Artist Award from The League of Chicago Theatres, an After Dark Award for Outstanding Musical (Old Town) and has developed plays with companies including The Atlantic Theatre Company and The New Group in New York and The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre and Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago. He is a resident-alum of Chicago Dramatists, a proud ensemble member of A Red Orchid Theatre, a current member of TimeLine Theatre Company’s Writers Collective and an alumni member of the Center Theatre Group’s Playwrights’ Workshop in Los Angeles. Brett has been commissioned by The Royal Court Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, The Goodman Theatre, House Theatre, TimeLine Theatre Company, Writers Theatre, Strawdog Theatre, Northlight Theatre and has several of his plays published through Broadway Play Publishing, Dramatic Publishing and Nick Hern Publishing. Brett has taught writing at DePaul University, Second City Training Center and currently teaches writing for the screen and stage at Northwestern University.
Ellen Bond, Union Spy by Jenni Lamb. Directed by Jess McLeod.
Freed after the death of family patriarch John Van Lew by his abolitionist Quaker wife Elizabeth, Mary Bowser is unsure of what place she can make in the world, given her limited opportunities. Elizabeth Van Lew makes her a proposition: would she like to work for the Union and use her intelligence to steal the Confederacy’s secrets by working as a maid in the Confederate White House?
Jenni Lamb is a Chicago-based playwright and former improviser. Her most recent play, Quiver, received an honorable mention from The Kilroy List and was the inaugural winner of New Play Development with Route 66 Theatre. Other plays include 12th and Clairmount, Candy Store, Memento Polonia, Period Piece (with Lisa LInke), and Suicide Kills. Jenni’s plays have had readings or productions with The Gift Theatre, American Theatre Company, Stage Left Theatre, Black Box Acting Studio, Wordsmyth Theatre (Houston), Northwestern University, The Goodman, and Chicago Dramatists. In addition to traditional plays, she wrote Thou Proud Dream, a site-specific adaptation of Henry V, in collaboration with director Damon Krometis. Jenni is a two-time semi-finalist for the O’Neill Playwrights Conference and has received grants for her writing from the Illinois Arts Council. As an improviser, she performed on many Chicago stages as well as national comedy festivals in New York, Washington DC, and Los Angeles. Currently, she is a producing playwright with the Living Room Playmakers and an artistic associate with Route 66 Theatre. Jenni holds an MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage from Northwestern University.
Missing by Carolyn Defrin
A middle-aged married couple wake up to news that an old friend has died. Memories of the friend haunt their otherwise mundane day of relatively unhappy married life. Incredible projections techniques are explored to create unique interactions between projections, dance, and physical theatre.
Carolyn Defrin is a founding company member at The House. As an actor she has performed in over twenty House shows including "The Sparrow" "The Terrible Tragedy of Peter Pan" and the currently running "Death and Harry Houdini." She holds a BA in Drama from Northwestern University, an MA in Performance and Design from Central Saint Martin's College of Art and Design in London, and is currently pursuing a PhD in collaboration with London South Bank University and Hammersmith United Charities around arts and impact in marginalized communities. As a theatre maker, Carolyn has been experimenting with video technologies and is particularly interested in the relationship between film and live performance. From 2012-2014 she developed a new piece called 'The Balloon' through a series of workshops at The Yard Theatre, Chelsea Theatre, The Barbican and Battersea Arts Centre in London that combined green screening techniques with live actors and miniature sets. Additionally she has worked collaboratively to create several site-specific installations across the UK and Greece. She is thrilled for this opportunity with The House and The University of Chicago to develop "Missing".
Hatfield and McCoy by Shawn Pfautsch. Directed by Matt Hawkins
Shawn Pfautsch’s love letter to R and J in a philosophically polarized America was originally produced in Season 4. This is inspired by the true story of the famous families at war.
Shawn Pfautsch is a House Theatre of Chicago company member and author of the plays Season on the Line, The Attempters and Hatfield & McCoy. He is also an actor and musician whose work has been seen onstage in Chicago, Miami, Boston, Louisville, Berkeley, Dallas, the Michigan Shakespeare Festival as well as on the TV.
Pinocchio based on the works of Carlo Collodi. Adapted for the stage by Joey Steakley and Ben Lobpries.
In this new adaptation, Pinocchio’s struggle to become a “real boy” has very contemporary implications. Despite his best efforts, Pinocchio cannot overcome his physical nature (he is, after all, only “a bundle of sticks”), and his inability to change has potentially grave consequences for both the little puppet and his father, Geppetto.
Joey Steakley is a company member with The House Theatre. Over the years he has played robots, villains, and pink dogs. He is so excited to be on the other side of the table for the first time as an author. But don't fret, you can still look for him on stage in season 15!
Ben Lobpries has been a company member with The House since 2002. Six of his plays have been produced in both Dallas and Chicago, and readings of his fiction have been performed in and around Boston. He holds a BFA in Theatre Studies from Southern Methodist University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. Currently, he teaches first-year writing at DePaul University and English at Solex College. Salome by Ben Lobpries and Tommy Rapley.
A street-poet prophet, a hedonistic prince, a self-obsessed matriarch and a slew of feuding diplomats set the stage for Salome’s greatest act — an act that will have dire consequences for those unfortunate souls who find themselves on the wrong side of history.
Night Country by Alex Lubischer. Directed by Monty Cole
Twins set out to save their parents in a world that has stopped spinning.
Alex Lubischer is a member of Page 73’s Interstate 73 Writers Group 2016 and will begin his MFA candidacy in the Playwriting Program at the Yale School of Drama this fall. His plays include PIG.GOV part 1, Bobbie Clearly, The Xylophone West, Acts of Contrition, Weird Kids, and Survey No. 5. In Chicago, his scripts have been produced by Haven Theatre, The Fine Print Theatre Company, Collaboraction, and Tympanic Theatre Company, among others. He has developed new work at Steep Theatre Company, Victory Gardens Theater, Route 66 Theatre Company, Interrobang Theatre Project, the Great Plains Theatre Conference, and Actors Theatre of Louisville. Alex has been a semifinalist for the P73 Playwriting Fellowship, a two-time finalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, and a resident playwright at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. He received his B.A. from the University of Southern California and is a proud alumnus of the National Theater Institute. Alex grew up on a farm in Nebraska.
Monty Cole is a Chicago-based director and the Artistic Programs Manager at Victory Gardens Theater. This past fall, he collaborated with Alex Lubischer on Weird Kids at Haven Theater Company as part of The Director’s Haven. Monty has directed short plays Paloma by Isaac Gomez for Something Marvelous and How to Use a Flashlight by Marisa Wegrzyn for Red Orchid Theater. He’s also directed staged readings for Victory Gardens Theater (Marcus Gardley’s The Gospel of Lovingkindness and Kristiana Rae Colon’s Florissant & Canfield), Definition Theater Company/ALTA (Isaac Gomez’s The Displaced) and Dianne Nora’s Western Country performed at the Walker Space at Soho Rep in New York. His sold out production of The Hairy Ape with Oracle Productions is being remounted at Theater on the Lake this summer. Monty is an alum of Emerson College in Boston and will attend the California Institute of the Arts this fall as an MFA Directing candidate.
The Winter Farm by William Glick. Directed by Jesse Roth
Just 20 years after a near-apocalypse, Wendy returns to Mammoth Cryogenics with her daughter Alice to release her husband from cryogenic sleep. But when Joe, the head of mammoth cryogenics, reveals that no patients have been released in years, they all must choose whether to continue to live frozen in the past, or to move on to a new life.
William Glick’s plays include Kin Folk (World Premiere The New Colony, 2016), Wilma (PlayPenn Semi-Finalist, 2016), and Faggot Dolls (Workshop Production Cohen New Works Festival, 2015). He was born and raised in South Florida but moved to the Midwest to study politics and theater at the University of Chicago. After graduating, he worked as an assistant dramaturg for Steppenwolf Theatre and Northlight Theatre. He is now a James Michener Fellow at the University of Texas-Austin, where he studies playwriting under Steven Dietz, Liz Engelman, and Kirk Lynn. Currently, he is interested in writing plays that deal with old-fashioned characters coping with rapidly modernizing worlds. williamglick.weebly.com.
Jesse Roth is a Chicago-based theatre director. Her upcoming work includes directing Johnna Adams' World Builders at First Floor Theater. Recently she directed the World Premiere of The Terrible at The New Colony, and assistant directed The Hammer Trinity, The Last Defender, and Death and Harry Houdini at the House Theater. She has also worked at Steppenwolf Theatre, Court Theater, A Red Orchid Theatre, Red Tape Theatre, Polarity Ensemble Theatre, The Den Theatre, Young American’s Theatre Company, and Seattle Shakespeare Company. She is a company member at First Floor Theatre and graduated from the University of Chicago’s Theatre and Performance Studies program.
Nova to Lodestar by Nathan Allen, Lee Keenan, Sandor Weisz.
Nova to Lodestar is a live, asymmetric, cooperative game played by two teams in two separate rooms. Players take on the roles of submariners in a 19th Century science fiction novel.
Lee Keenan is a Company Member here at The House where he has designed over 20 shows. Lee has designed for Lookingglass Theatre, Court Theatre, Victory Gardens Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Albany Park Theater Project, Centerstage Baltimore, Kansas City Rep, Route 66, Next Theatre, 500 Clown, Silk Road Rising, Milwaukee Repertory, Circle Theatre, The Griffin Theatre, Buzz22, Theatre Seven of Chicago, Bailiwick Chicago, Steppenwolf SYA, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre Short Shakes!, and The Building Stage. He holds an MFA from Northwestern, is on the full time faculty at Loyola University Chicago, and is a member of U.S.A.
Sandor Weisz is the commissioner of The Mystery League. He’s built puzzles for the likes of the Chicago Architecture Foundation, The University of Chicago, The House Theatre, The Art Institute of Chicago, Marbles Game Store, and Cards Against Humanity. He has been making puzzles and games since he was a teenager. You can often hear them on the NPR Sunday puzzle, or read them on his blog. His previous career was designing for the web. He lives in Chicago with his wife and two kids, with whom he records The ZED Show podcast. Find him on Twitter at @santheo and @pzlr.
Vamonde Project commissioned by Lou Raizin
Nathan Allen and Sandor Weisz will experiment with technology, performance, game and social applications on the Vamonde.com urban storytelling platform.
Kitty Hawk Arsht Commission
A 60 minute musical for young audiences to premier in Miami Oct 2016.