MEET THE PLAYERS OF SKETCHBOOK 2049
Danielle Stack (Production Manager) is excited to returning to Collaboraction's Sketchbook! Originally from Texas, Danielle graduated Baylor University with her BFA in Theatre. She has worked as a Production Manager, Director, Sound Designer and Stage Manager in the Chicago area. Previous theatre companies include Lifeline Theatre, Collaboraction, Broken Nose Theatre, LiveWire Chicago and Fury Theatre.
Andrew C. Donnelly (Stage Manager) is a freelancer from West Texas and a proud member of Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company. He has had the pleasure of working with many talented artists in Chicago, including Pinebox Theatre Company, EX-Pats Theatre Company, Underscore Theatre Company, and Seanachai Theatre.
This is Brian Foster’s (Floor Manager) first year in Chicago and his first opportunity to experience Sketchbook. Brian has had the pleasure of working with a wide range of theater companies and groups in the past year including The Agency Theater Collective, of which he is a proud company member, The Chicago Fringe Festival, Our Fair City, The Hypocrites, and American Theater Company where he just finished working as a Bridge playwright. His fiction can be seen in The Masters Review and the upcoming issue of Great Lakes Review.
Jeff Glass (Lighting Design) is a Chicago-based lighting designer and production manager. Previous productions include Hit the Wall (The Inconvenience); B-Side Studio, Bear Suit of Happiness, Down and Derby, Kate & Sam...(The New Colony); Ghost Bike (Buzz22 Theatre); The Coming World, Good Thing (The Poor Theatre); The Beautiful Dark (Redtwist Theatre); Hunting of the Snark (Strawdog Theatre Company); Cat in the Hat, Teddy Bear's Picnic, 3 Little Pigs, et. al. (Emerald City Theatre Company); What’s the T? (About Face Theatre); Lady M, Sugarward (The Side Project) Sweet Bird of Youth (The Artistic Home, Jeff Nom). Jeff is a lighting consultant for Redmoon Theater and works regularly with Lookingglass Theatre Company.
Michael Stanfill (Projection Designer) is pleased to be working with Collaboraction for the first time. Other Video/Projection Designs around the region include: Hotel Cassiopeia (Wheaton College), Pool (no water) (Vitalist Theater), One Name Only (Black Ensemble Theater), Sunset Blvd., Children of Eden (Timber Lake Playhouse), The Gingerbread House (Red Tape), The Life and Times of Tulsa Lovechild (Roosevelt University), Enola, The Promise (Side Project), …Things I Found on Craigslist (University of Illinois Chicago), Thinner Than Water (The Gift), Completeness (Theater Wit, Jeff Nominated Design), The Normal Heart (TimeLine) He holds an MFA in Lighting Design from Northwestern University. Please visit
Mikey Moran (Sound Designer) Chicago composer, sound designer and musician, recent work includes The Roper for The Den Theatre, Sweet Smell of Success for Kokandy Productions, Caged Dames for Hell in a Handbag, and Crime and Punishment for Mary-Arrchie. He has been honored with two Jeff Award nominations, winning one. He has also worked with Victory Gardens, Teatro Vista, Jackalope, Emerald City, Trap Door Theatre, Factory Theater, Wildclaw Theatre, and Fox Valley Repertory, among others. In addition, he plays with local band Gold Cult. Mikey holds a BFA in Sound Design from The Theatre School at DePaul University, from which he is recent graduate.
Matt Reich (Sound Designer) is very exited to be doing his first show with Colllaboraction. Matt is a third year student at the Theater School at DePaul in the Sound Design program. He has worked and studied in such theaters as The Goodman Theater and The Chicago Shakespeare Theater. His recent designs include Ruined with The Eclipse Theater, Jackie & Me at the Merle Reskin theater and Voolf with the Cock and Bull Theater Company. He has the honor of interning with The Public Theater in NYC this summer.
Kate Cornelius-Schecter (Performance Ensemble) was born and raised in New York City and moved to Chicago to attend the University of Chicago. After graduating from the U of C in 2012, Kate has continued her acting education at Black Box Acting Studio's The Academy and at The School at Steppenwolf. Kate is a founding member of First Floor Theater and most recently appeared with First Floor in "The Reckoning of Kit and Little Boots" at The Den Theater. She has appeared in several independent films and is grateful to continue working on both stage and screen in Chicago. During the day, Kate teaches yoga at CorePower Yoga Chicago.
Amanda Raquel Martinez (Performance Ensemble) is honored to be a part of the wonder and magic that is Sketchbook! Favorite theatre credits include: Big Lake Big City (Maria, Understudy) with Lookingglass Theatre Company, The Generation Sex Tour with Teatro Luna, Resurrecting Wildflowers (Layetta) at the HERE Arts Center, Creating Joan (Joan of Arc), The Magic Tower (Linda), Romeo and Juliet (Benvolio), The School for Scandal (Joseph Surface) at Lawrence University where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance and Theatre Arts Performance. She has studied Meisner with the fabulous teachers at Green Shirt Studio, who helped her find the truth in every moment. She extends her deepest gratitude to Anthony, Sarah, her beloved 49ers and all of the other wonderful artists working on this epic journey of a show. See you in '49!
Sarah Gitenstein (Asshole) is thrilled to be performing in Sketchbook! She is the Associate Artistic Director at The New Colony and a longtime company member at Collaboraction Theater. She is a native of Washington, DC, and earned her bachelor’s degree in theater from Kenyon College. Acting credits include work at Bohemian Theater, Curious Theater, Infusion Theater, Pavement Group, Teatro Vista, Theater Seven, and Timeline Theater. For The New Colony, Sarah has performed in Hearts Full of Blood, 11:11, The Warriors, Psychonaut Librarians and most recently ReWILDing Genius at the Steppenwolf Garage. This past fall, Sarah directed the Jeff Recommended production of The New Colony's Kate and Sam are Not Breaking Up. She also directed 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche (winner Best Production at 2012 New York International Fringe Festival) which ran Off-Broadway at the Soho Playhouse and is now open at the Chopin Theater through the Chicago Commercial Collective.
Jess Hughes (Attic Play) just moved to Chicago after finishing an internship at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Hughes previously interned for the Rude Mechs and worked as a writer, director, puppeteer and performer in Austin, Texas. Austin credits include: Noises Off and Lady Windermere's Fan at Austin Playhouse; Austin is a Place and Violet Crown: Dog's Town with Theatre en Bloc; Pride and Prejudice at Austin Shakespeare; and Middletown at Hyde Park Theatre. Her training includes the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center’s National Theatre Institute and the Rhodopi International Theatre Laboratory in Bulgaria. Hughes holds a B.A. in theatre and dance from Southwestern University.
Well, this has been fun! Damian Conrad (Based on a True Story) is a graduate of Graceland University’s theatre program. He most recently worked with About Face & Silk Road Rising Theatre companies in Brahman/i. He performed in TANGLEKNOT Theatre's Nickel and Dimed, FURY THEATRE's, Much Ado About Nothing, and toured the country multiple times with GRIFFIN THEATRE’S long standing production of Letters Home. You can see Damian as ALEX in the Indie Series Award nominated show, The Dreamers, the Chicago-based web series, Dudes and NBC's new show Crisis. He has so much gratitude for all the people in his life that continue to love and support him fully and unconditionally.
The world is much too beautiful a place to squander the moment we have to spend with it.
Armando Reyes (Based on a True Story) has lived in three different states and pursued a few careers before returning to his hometown to immerse himself in Chicago's Theatre and Improv communities. He is a graduate of Green Shirt Studio, the Second City Writing and Acting programs and has trained at the iO Theater. Armando has appeared in productions at Second City, the 2013 independent film “The Origins of Wit and Humor, and most recently the world premiere of Colectivo El Pozo’s production of El Incas. He is very excited to be a part of this year’s Sketchbook.
Anant Sharma (Based on a True Story) is honored to be part of Collaboraction's 14th annual sketch book festival. He has previously appeared with Green Shirt Production in Seminar (Martin), Glenngarry Glenn Ross (George), Say Goodight Gracie (Steve) and Dinner with Friends (Gabe). He has studied improvisation at Second City. He is a passionate dancer and has performed with Latin dance troops in Salsa and Cumbia performances and is currently working on a Mambo performance. He is a passionate photographer and also enjoys playing Saxophone.
Roy Gonzalez (Boys and Violence) has done many cool shows with many nice companies. He is from Texas. He also wants you to eat well. Get half a banana, one cup of blueberries, two cups of almond milk, a handful of spinach, a handful of kale, seven small ice cubes, and two tablespoons of flax seeds. Mix in blender to desired consistency. Enjoy.
Owais Ahmed (The Distance to the Moon) is ecstatic to be a part of SKETCHBOOK 2049. You can also catch him this summer in The Qualms (Steppenwolf Theatre). Chicago credits include: The Reckoning of Kit & Little Boots (First Floor Theater), Blood & Gifts (Timeline Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Rasaka Theatre), Invasion! (Silk Road Rising), Disconnect (Victory Gardens). Other theatre credits: Anon(ymous), The Merchant of Venice, & Passion Play, Measure for Measure, & Our Town. Film credits: Age Of Ice (dir. Emile Edwin Smith) & GangCity: Little India (dir. Dan Kalish). Owais holds a BA from Illinois State University & is represented by Gray Talent. A special thanks to Jesse & Much love to the entire team.
Antora DeLong is thrilled to make her Collaboraction and Sketchbook premiere in First Floor Theater’s “The Distance to the Moon.” Antora has been dancer, actress, improviser, arts administrator, and general performer-of-all trades in the Chicago area since graduating from Northwestern in 2012. Recent credits include work with Piven Theatre Workshop, Redmoon Theater, and The Cornservatory.
Micah Figueroa (The Distance to the Moon) is a Chicago based performer, director, choreographer and Director of Operations for Odradek Theater. Originally from Dallas, Texas Micah has a deep passion for physical theater. Before moving to Chicago, Micah worked as a teaching artist for Junior Players teaching stage combat and physical theater. Micah’s work has been seen at Dallas Theater Center, Theater Three, Kitchen Dog Theater, Shakespeare Dallas, The Dallas Opera, Lone Star Circus, The Actor’s Lab, as well as a bird trainer for Natural Encounter’s free flight bird show at the Dallas Zoo in addition to many others. In Chicago, he has had the great fortune to work with Redmoon Theater, Ex-Pats Theater, Alluvium Group, Walkabout Theater, First Floor Theater, Kalapriya Dance Company, First Floor Theater and Odradek Theatre. Micah holds a BFA in Theater Studies: Directing and Playwriting from Southern Methodist University and studied at the British American Drama Academy in London.
Kelsey Shipley is continually delighted to work alongside this group of spectacularly talented artists! Hailing from Chattanooga and graduating from Birmingham Southern College, Kelsey has found a home in the Windy City. Her first year in Chicago has certainly been an exciting one, exploring characters with the Forks and Hope Troupe (ASM/understudy The Hunting of the Snark, The Elephant's Child in Just So Stories), Mozawa Theatre Company (inFallen-Tajomaru), The Chicago Fringe Festival (Anonymously Yours), Redmoon Theater, and 5th Kompanie Films, in which she plays Anna Hauptman in The Vanquished. Unable to escape the theatre's attraction, Kelsey designs and manages for theatre production teams. She has worked for Babes with Blades (L'Imbecile), Black Ensemble Theatre (Curtis Mayfield), and of course Strawdog Theatre Company (Detective Partner Hero Villain).She wishes to thank he Forks and Hope Family, her dear friends, and most of all The Distance to the Moon cast for their astounding creativity and vigor.
Michele Stine is ecstatic to be working with First Floor Theatre Company on The Distance to the Moon! She recently moved to Chicago from Andalusia, IL, the land of corn and soy beans. Since moving here she has worked with Collaboraction, trip, Indie Boots, American Theatre Company, and Emerald City. She has also worked with Manhattan Repertory and the Illinois Shakespeare Festival and received her Bachelor’s in Political Science and Acting from Illinois State University. She wants to thank all who have supported her and hopes that you love the show as much as she has loved working on it.
Austin Talley (Dream Scenario) is a member of the 2007 graduating class of BFA Actors. Since graduating from DePaul his credits include: Harriet Jacobs: Incidents in the LIfe of a Slave Girl , Clybourne Park and Head of Passes at Steppenwolf Theatre Company ; Julius Caesar and As You Like It (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); The Luck of the Irish and The Girl in the Yellow Dress (Next Theatre Company); Auctioning the Ainsleys (Dog and Pony Theatre); Closure (Viaduct Theatre); Spin (Theatre Wit); She Calls Up the Sun and Ten Square(Victory Garden Theater’s MPAACT) and 2011 Black Theatre Alliance Award recipient for Best Featured Actor in a play and Best Ensemble for Brothers of the Dust (Congo Square Theatre Company) His film and televison credits include A Letter to Three Men, Brother’s Keeper, Head Games, Dread, Collision, Sons of Kings, The Balancing Game, Nearly Departed, Chicago Fire and winner of the 2012 Las Vegas Film Festival Golden Ace award, KARMA. Austin has also been featured in numerous local and national radio and television spots for McDonald's, Overstock.com, KFC, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Comcast, AT&T, Wal-mart, ESPN, Supervalue Mart, JBL Speakers, Illinois Lottery and Jose Cuervo.
Hannah Alcorn (Good Bye Night) is excited to jump in on the Sketchbook fun this year. She's recently worked with The Factory, The New Colony, Prop Theatre and occasionally dances with some Fly Honeys. She is represented by the lovely people of Big Mouth Talent and Naked Voices. Also, she has a really great rescue dog that you should meet sometime.
Chris Fowler (Good Bye Night) is thrilled to be performing within the ranks of Sketchbook this year. Recently, he understudied ReWilding Genius with The New Colony as part of Steppenwolf Theater Company's Garage Rep series and before that he was right here, at Collaboraction, making coins vanish and such in The Terrible Magic of Gertie Lazarus. Chris writes copy for all sorts of interested parties and has been known to enjoy a cup of tea from time to time. Almost two years ago, Chris transplanted from Omaha to Chicago and has since abandoned his non-regional diction with calamitous disregard. Don't let his winsome charm and Midwestern demeanor fool you-- JUST DON'T. Chris proudly holds a BA in Journalism and English from Creighton University.
Nelia Miller (Good Bye Night) has recently performed in JPAC’s How Can you Run With a Shell on Your Back (Riley) and kor productions’ Boheme in a Bar. In Chicago, she has also worked with Mozawa (Fallen), Collaboraction, and Towle Theater (A Fabulous 50’s Christmas). Los Angeles credits include Laetitia (The Old Maid and the Thief), Kate (The Cripple of Inishmaan), and Slave Leader (The Bacchae of Euripides). A recent graduate of Loyola Marymount University, she has studied at the Moscow Art Theater and helped create Strider with the LOSt ANGELeS ENSEMBLE at Theater im Ballsaal in Bonn, Germany. Special thanks to Thrisa, Nick, the rest of her wonderful cast, her super supportive friends and family, and her wonderful really really nice HM. More information can be found on her website, .
This is Brandon Ruiter's (Good Bye Night) first Sketchbook. He has appeared on the Chicago stage with, among others, Griffin, Eclipse, The New Colony and the House Theatre of Chicago where he is a Company Member. He can currently be seen on NBC's drama "Crisis" and is soon to appear in his first feature film "Into the Storm" in theaters this summer.
Stephanie Shum (Good Bye Night) is a proud Ensemble Member and the Managing Director of The New Colony and is an Artistic Associate with Nothing Without a Company. Recent credits include reWILDing Genius and Kate and Sam Are Not Breaking Up (The New Colony), Alice (Nothing Without a Company), The Bacchae Revisited (The Right Brain Project), and Equivocation u/s (Victory Gardens). By day, she is the Marketing Manager at Lookingglass Theatre Company and is currently in her fourth season.
Alison Banowsky (Let Me Tell You What I See Here) is an actor, improviser and writer from Boulder, Colorado. You can find her performing improv and sketch comedy all over town at The Annoyance Theatre, iO, and The Playground. Last fall she helped found Vivarium Theatre Company, a Chicago company dedicated to producing new work. Many thanks to Anna, the cast and Collaboraction!
Bryan Bosque (Let Me Tell You What I See Here) is glad to appear in Sketchbook for the first time. A new ensemble member with The Ruckus Theatre, Bryan most recently appeared with them in Brooke Allen's The Deer. Prior credits include Harry and the Thief with Pavement Group, The Skriker and Stadium Devildare with Red Tape Theatre, and work with Lifeline Theatre, First Folio Shakespeare Festival and Buffalo Theatre Ensemble. Bryan is also a proud ensemble member with Barrel of Monkeys, with whom he teaches creative writing residencies in Chicago Public Schools and then adapts the students' stories into plays to be performed for the schools.
Galya Loeb (Let Me Tell You What I See Here) is thrilled be a part of Sketchbook 2014! Chicago credits include: El Stories at the Greenhouse Theatre Center with the Waltzing Mechanics and staged readings of As You Like It (Rosalind) and Othello (Iago) with the Foundlings Theatre Company’s No Sleep Shakespeare. Other credits include: The Last Night of Ballyhoo (Lala Levy), Mary Zimmerman’s 1,001 Arabian Nights (Dunyazade, Aziza, Jester’s Wife, and others), and Dream Ticket, a new play (Senator Becky Roberts). She wants to thank Anna, the “Let Me Tell You” cast and crew, everyone involved in Sketchbook, and her parents. Enjoy the festival!
Danny Mulae (Let Me Tell You What I See Here) is thrilled and honored to work with Collaboraction for his third time after appearing in Sketchbook 12 and Sixty Miles To Silver Lake. Danny has performed at Goodman Theatre, Signal Ensemble Theatre, The Right Brain Project, Circle Theatre, Fury Theater, Passion Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Brikenbrak Theatre, Corn Productions, Attic Playhouse, and Big Noise Theatre, in addition to many community theatres. He is a student in the theatre school at the University of Illinois at Chicago pursuing a BFA in acting.
Alex Stein (The Rise and Fall of Everything in the World) makes his Collaboraction debut. Other Chicago credits include VisionFest (LiveWire Chicago Theatre) and AbbieFest (Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co). Later this summer he looks forward to playing in The Merry Wives of Windsor (First Folio Theatre) and appearing in the upcoming short film En Plein Air (Tarwathie Films). He studies Lecoq-based physical theatre at The School for Theatre Creators and has taken classes at A Red Orchid Theatre and Black Box Studio. He received a BA in Theater and Performance Studies from the University of Chicago in 2013.
Alexander Almaguer is thrilled to be making his Sketchbook debut in Sanatorium Story. He is following in his big sister's shoes who has performed multiple times with Sketchbook. Alex has been modeling and acting since the age of 5. He has had lead roles in many practicum films as well as commercials and print. Alex enjoys drawing, swimming, video games and playing the saxophone.
Eve Rydberg (Sanatorium Story) is excited to be working with Collaboraction, where she has previously worked on Our Last Night on Earth (Nathan Green). Recent Chicago acting credits include, Oedipus Rex at The Arc Theatre (Mark Boergers), Summer and Smoke at The Den Theatre (Ryan Martin), For Profit with Abraham Werewolf (Matt Hooks), and Toronto Mississippi at Mary Arrchie (Carlo Garcia). She is a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University. In addition to acting she is also a writer, director, producer and co-founder of The Good Night Ladies, an arts collective committed to empowering female artists by producing outstanding works by women in a variety of media. Learn more about their upcoming projects at thegoodnightladies.com.
Thomas Sparks (Sanatorium Story) is very excited to be working on Sketchbook. A graduate of the CCPA at Roosevelt University with a B.F.A in Acting, Thomas is also a staff-member at The Lookingglass Theatre Company. Previous performances with St. Sebastian Players, Waltzing Mechanics, ProudKate Productions and others. Thank you to everyone who came out.
Carolyn Biery (The Surprise) is thrilled to be working with Collaboraction again! She was previously a contortionist for their Beelzebub Halloween Event and has also been seen in Dream Theatre's 24 Hour Dream Festival, and in She Wears Sex with the Waltzing Mechanics. She is also performing June 4th at Uncommon Ground.
Jeff Dolecek (The Surprise) is excited to be on stage with Collaboraction’s Sketchbook. He is coming off an extended break from the theatre world during which he obtained his Master’s degree in education and teaching certificate at UIC. Previous to that he understudied several shows at Profiles Theatre (Bobby - In a Forest Dark and Deep; Carmichael – Behanding in Spokane; Joe Cooper – Killer Joe). Additionally, he was seen in Premiere Theatre & Performance’s production of Seven Doors. Jeff is proud to be a graduate of Valparaiso University’s Theatre program.
Catherine Dvorak (The Surprise) was born and bred in Lincoln, NE and is a graduate from the Johnny Carson School of Theater and Film. She moved to Chicago in January of 2013 and has since been involved with Babes With Blades (Julius Caesar), acted for festivals such as the Chicago Fringe (Anonymously Yours) and danced her heart out for After Dark at the Art Institute. She is excited to be working with Collaboraction once again!
Gary Henderson (The Surprise) is excited to be part of such a huge, talented cast and to be involved with Collaboraction and Sketchbook for the first time. Since moving to Chicago from Nebraska two years ago, he has worked with Muse of Fire, Waltzing Mechanics, Theatre Hikes, Accidental Shakespeare, Polarity Ensemble Theatre, and the Great River Shakespeare Festival. He is a 2011 graduate from The Johnny Carson School of Theatre & Film. Thanks to Collaboraction and the awesome cast and crew. Enjoy the show!
Danielle Malenock (The Surprise) is thrilled to be a part of Sketchbook this year! She's recently worked with Dream Theatre Company and assistant directed at Gorilla Tango Theatre. She is a member of Red Light School District-UIC's competitive improv team. She is pursuing a BA in acting at UIC.
This is Tanya Mounsey's (The Surprise) first appearance with Collaboraction and she's thrilled to be working on Sketchbook. She has previously worked with The Artistic Home Theatre here in Chicago as well as Furious Theatre Company and Pandemonium Theatre both in Los Angeles. Tanya graduated with a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Texas A&M University.
Jose Nateras (The Surprise) is extremely excited to be a part of Collaboraction's Sketchbook. A proud Loyola Graduate, Jose is currently understudying The Inconvenience & Chicago Commercial Collective's remount of Hit The Wall at The Greenhouse and has been lucky enough to work with Teatro Vista, Buzz 22, Adventure Stage, Steep Theatre, Drury Lane, Montana Shakepseare in the Parks performing in Hamlet and Twelfth Night, among others and recently appeared on Chicago Fire. Love and gratitude to all of his family and friends.
Lauren Twombly (The Surprise) is thrilled to be making her Sketchbook Festival debut! She was most recently seen in Dado's physical interpretation of David Lang's "Little Match Girl Passion" at the University of Chicago. Favorite credits include "All My Sons" and "Sunday in the Park with George." She received her Bachelor's in Musical Theatre from Bryan College, and was recently accepted into the 2014 Black Box Acting Academy Ensemble.
Eric Roach (Tomorrow) is sincerely grateful to Caitlin Montayne Parrish and Josh Sobel for the opportunity to perform at Sketchbook. He is a proud member of the Factory Theater ensemble and has acted, directed, and written for them many times. It is his creative home here in Chicago. You may have also seen him perform at Steep, Lifeline, Raven, Griffin, Strawdog and various other theaters over the years. He is married to the incredible and lovely Angelina Martinez, and father to the best little man in the whole galaxy Simon Ambrose. He hopes you have a wonderful time.
Will Kiley (Until the World is Beautiful) is incredibly grateful to be making his CollaborAction debut with such a wonderful creative team. He moved to Chicago last fall after graduating from the University of Cincinnati (CCM). Will is a proud Jackalope Theatre Company member and has worked with Next, Northlight, The Raven and Buzz 22. This summer he will serve on the theatre faculty for the National High School Institute “Cherubs” program at Northwestern University. In August, he will travel to Scotland with The Lost Compass Collective to perform their new play “Who Rowed Across Oceans” as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
A graduate of the Theatre Conservatory of Roosevelt University, Scott Merchant (10 Things) has had the privilege to perform with Shaw Chicago, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, the Scooty & Jojo Show, Abraham Warewolf, New Leaf Theatre, Dog & Pony, Theatre Hikes and the former Les Enfants Terribles. He was most recently onstage as a performing understudy for the original devised "Tollbooth: A Clown Show" with First Floor Theatre, (also Scott's first time directing.) He can be seen concurrently in Provision Theatre's "Pinocchio" A long time denizen of Collabo design experience, Sketchbook 2049 is Scott's very first production as the newest company member of Collaboraction.
John Rooney (Attic Play) is excited to return to Collaboraction after directing Survey #5 in Sketchbook 13 and assistant directing dark play or stories for boys. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Apprentice/Intern Company at Actors Theatre of Louisville. At Actors, he directed Rules of Comedy, Pieces and Pass the Canoles. He was also the assistant director for The Christians and The Edge of Our Bodies for the Humana Festival of New American Plays. Chicago credits include: assistant director for Teddy Ferrara at the Goodman Theatre and script supervisor for The Qualms, Middletown, The March, Three Sisters and Head of Passes at Steppenwolf Theatre. He is a current Company Member of Dog and Pony Theatre and was recently the Associate Artistic Director at Red Tape Theatre. He is a graduate from The Theatre School at DePaul University and is an alumni from Actors Theatre’s Apprentice/Intern Company.
Sonny Das (Based on a True Story) is thrilled to venture into the future with Collaboraction, and to once again be working with playwright & performer Usman Ally. Sonny is an Artistic Associate at American Theater Company, where he writes, directs, educates, and dramaturged the world premiere of 2013's Pulitzer Prize winner, DISGRACED, which starred Mr. Ally. He has also directed, dramaturged and/or assisted at the Goodman, Silk Road Rising, About Face, the Library Theatre, CENTERSTAGE (Baltimore), A.C.T. (San Francisco) & the American Place Theater (NYC). Sonny is a member of DirectorsLab Chicago, a SDCF Observership Candidate, and an intrepid graduate of "the Program" at St. John's College, Annapolis. In a former life, he studied acting at A.C.T. & Stella Adler (NYC), and this autumn will be joining the MFA Directing Program at Northwestern University. Although born a Hindu, Sonny is a true believer in American Football. One has to have faith as a Buffalo Bills fan.
Marie Cisco (The Big One) is an Interdisciplinary Artist with a focus in Directing. She is a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University and has worked in the city of Chicago as a Freelance Director and Teaching Artist for several companies and organizations including, Steppenwolf Theatre, Northlight Theatre, MPAACT, and After School Matters. Marie is currently pursuing her Masters from Columbia College Chicago in Interdisciplinary Arts. She would like to thank Collarboaction for the opportunity to be a part of this years Sketchbook Festival!
John Wilson (Boys and Violence) is excited about working with his family and friends again at Collaboraction. John hustles as a scenic designer, actor, educator and director in Chicago. He is a company member with Collaboraction and an artistic associate with WildClaw Theater. Past Collaboraction directing credits include Metube and The Franchise. He is the founder of 3031, an outdoor proscenium theater and speak-easy bar built from the trash of 15 different theater companies’ and is used for productions, fundraisers, rehearsals, stage readings, concerts and bad ass soirees. He is a graduate from the School at Steppenwolf and wishes to thank Roy, Tim, Liam and Heather for their talent and support.
Jesse Roth (Distance to the Moon) is a Chicago-based director and dramaturg. She is the Assistant to the Artistic Director at A Red Orchid Theatre. Her recent work includes assistant directing Mud Blue Sky (A Red Orchid Theatre), dramaturging ReWilding Genius (The New Colony/ Steppenwolf Garage Rep), assistant directing Hamlet is Dead: No Gravity (Red Tape Theatre), and directing The Terrible Magic of Gertie Lazarus (The New Colony). She is a graduate of the Theatre and Performance Studies program at the University of Chicago where she directed The Credeaux Canvas, Cymbeline, The Violet Hour, Crime and Punishment, and Lunch.
Dexter Bullard (Dream Scenario) is happy to return to Sketchbook after serving as the first ever Curator of the "Devised" Division in 2009. He is a Chicago-based director and theater artist with credits ranging from Broadway (Grace by Craig Wright) Off-Broadway (Mistakes Were Made, Lady, Tracy Letts' BUG) Chicago (Circle Mirror Transformation at VG, The Big Meal at ATC, Odradek at HOUSE) and many times with the physical theater company he co-founded in 1995, Plasticene, as well as at The Second City where he is an alumni director. He is the Head of Graduate Acting at The Theatre School at DePaul University.
Thrisa Hodits (Good Bye Night) is thrilled to be directing for Sketchbook. When not devising with The New Colony Thrisa spends much of her time with The Hypocrites. This past winter she co-directed (alongside Sean Graney) the remount of the Mikado at the Steppenwolf Garage. Up next she will be directing a piece for First Floor Theatre's Twain's World as well as working as the Second Unit Director on Graney's epic 12 hour experience, All Our Tragic. Following that she will round out the year once again with The Hypocrites on a new adaptation of H.M.S. Pinafore. In addition to The Hypocrites, Thrisa has worked with American Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Strange Tree Group, Victory Gardens, Steppenwolf, 2nd Story, Chicago Children's Theatre, Jackalope Theatre Company, The Inconvenience, The Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company and The New Colony, where she is an ensemble member.
Committed to the development of new work and a diversity of voices, Anna C. Bahow (Let Me Tell You What I See Here) is an Associate Artist with The International Voices Project and Chicago Dramatists. She served as the 2011-2012 Michael Maggio Directing Fellow at Goodman Theatre, has received an After Dark Award for direction and her productions have received JEFF Awards for New Work and Use of Multi-Media. Her work has appeared on many best of the year list including 2013's INVASION! other work in 2013 included Scott Barsotti's BREWED and JEFF nominated COMRADES MINE by Maureen Gallagher at City Lit (To read more about her work go to annabahow.com)
Diana Raiselis (The Rise and Fall of Everything in the World) happily joins Collaboraction for her first Sketchbook! Recently, Diana has directed premieres of new works in Great Fires (White Elephant), Late Night TV (Teatro Vista) and Nightcaps (Buzz22 Chicago), and line-produced Steppenwolf's LateNight @ Garage Rep series. She has also assisted directors at Buzz22 Chicago/Steppenwolf Garage, The Hypocrites, Strawdog Theatre Company, Chicago Children's Choir, and the Goodman's Playwrights Unit. She's a proud graduate of Northwestern University and member of the Amsterdam-based International Network for Students in Theatre Directing. Diana is passionate about building community through theater, both at home in Chicago and abroad. Thanks and congratulations to the whole Sketchbook team!
In the Chicago area, Lydia Milman Schmidt (Sanatorium Story) has directed for Fox Valley Rep, Northbrook Theatre, New Trier High School, Women’s Theatre Alliance, Stockyards Theatre Project and assistant directed with Redmoon Theater. She also teaches throughout the area. In London, Lydia was resident director at the Rose and Crown Theatre from 2010 to 2013, where she directed two musicals per year and co-created and directed the revue Love & War: The Songs of Howard Goodall. She also taught drama at the prestigious Sylvia Young Theatre School. In 2010 Lydia was invited to attend a series of directing workshops at the Royal Shakespeare Company including a workshop with Peter Brook.
Nathan R Green (The Surprise) is a director, musician, and developer originally hailing from Atlanta, GA and Memphis, TN. He is a company member of Collaboraction where he has directed and co-devised many experience design events over the years as well as 2012's Our Last Night on Earth. He is delighted to be directing his third piece for Sketchbook, and is excited to bring Corey Rieger's short piece to life. When not directing, he can be found hacking on interesting projects or playing guitar with funk/rock/soul outfit Funky Hot Grits.
Josh Sobel (Tomorrow) is an Ensemble Member and Literary Manager of Strawdog Theatre Company, where he also directed the world premieres of The Hunting of the Snark and Best Beloved: The Just So Stories in Hugen Hall. Chicago directing credits include Chicago Dramatists, LiveWire Chicago Theatre, The Ruckus, Polarity Ensemble Theatre, The Fine Print Theatre Company, Citadel Theatre, The Greenhouse Theater Center, Abbie-Fest and New Leaf Theatre. Assistant directing credits include The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, A Red Orchid Theatre, The Gift, and Bohemian Theatre Ensemble. Formerly Associate Director of the National Theater Institute summer program at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. Associate Member, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Janet Bookspan.
This is Elana Boulos' (Until the World is Beautiful) 5th Sketchbook. In years past, she has helped cast the festival as an Associate at Two Birds Casting. Last year she directed a short, and this year she is doing the same. Working with Jack is easy because they live at the same address, they both enjoy coffee, they speak the same language and Elana loves the worlds he creates. Elana is a company member and casting director at Jackalope Theatre and she is very happy to call it home. She also works at Steppenwolf Theatre, and around town as a casting director and director. Thanks to Chicago, Kristen and Will for saying yes, Ike for asking, and Jack for being Jack. Elana is directing URINETOWN at the Flat Iron with Awkward Pause Theatre in August - so come!
Emmi Hilger (10 Things) is the Producing Artistic Director of Something Incredibly Marvelous Happens, a festival of magical realism, for which she directed The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl and is looking forward to directing References to Salvador Dalí Make Me Hot by José Rivera this summer. Additional directing credits include The Lover by Harold Pinter with Walkabout Theater Company and Punk Grandpa, a one woman show by Laura Scruggs for the 2013 Chicago Fringe Festival. She loves new work and has directed for Chicago Dramatists, The Fine Print Theatre Company, Piccolo Theatre, Women's Theatre Alliance, The Arc Theatre, Pegasus Players, and Dark Humour Productions. Emmi assistant directed for the Chicago Dramatists' productions of Hickorydickory and The Invasion of Skokie as well as for Fucking A with UrbanTheater Company. She is an Associate Artist with The Fine Print Theatre Company and a proud graduate of Northwestern University.
Usman Ally (Based on a True Story) is best known for originating the role of Bagheera in world premiere of The Jungle Book (Goodman Theatre, Huntington Theatre) for which he received the IRNE Award for Best Actor in a Musical. He also originated the role of Amir in the Pulitzer Prize winning Disgraced (American Theatre Company) for which he received a Best Actor Nomination at the Jeff Awards. Other credits include originating the role of VP in the Award winning The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Victory Gardens, Second Stage, and Geffen Playhouse) as well as many other productions at award winning theatres such as Steppenwolf, Goodman, Lookingglass, Arena Stage, Lyric Opera and more. He is a recipient of the TCG/Fox Foundation Grant, and an ensemble member of ATC. He can be seen on television and film on Damages, Boss, Blue Bloods, Person of Interest, Chicago Code, Mind Games, and Star Trek Into Darkness. His plays have been produced at Remy Bumppo's thinkTANK, ATC's Silver Project and Big Shoulders Festival, as well as the One Minute Play Festival.
Mackenzie Yeager (Boys and Violence) lives in Los Angeles where she writes sketches for Nickelodeon and is the writers' assistant on "The Haunted Hathaways." Previous plays include "The LeVar Burton Experience" starring Ike Holter at The Inconvenience and "Ivan" at The Echo theatre in LA. You can see her play "Shock Treatment at Canter's Deli" at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in June. She received her BFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University. Thank you to everyone involved! mackenzieyeager.com
Ike Holter’s (Dream Scenario) work has been produced at The Steppenwolf Garage, LiveWire Chicago, Theater 7, Nothing Without a Company, Theater on The Lake and The Inconvenience, where he is a founding member and resident writer. He's received fellowships and commissions from The Goodman Theater, The Kennedy Center and The Playwrights Center. His show "Hit The Wall" played Off-Broadway at The Barrow Street Theater in New York and returns to The Greenhouse theater this spring. This May, Jackalope Theater produces his new show "Exit Strategy" at The Broadway Armory.
Jason Gray Platt’s (Let Me Tell You What I See Here) work has been produced and developed around the country by the American Repertory Theater, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Round House Theater, The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, The Playwrights Realm, Prelude NYC, Page 73, Red Bull Theater, Source Festival, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, Abingdon Theatre Company, and through residencies at MacDowell and Djerassi. He received a Helen Hayes Nomination for The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play in 2013 and was the 2007 runner-up for Princess Grace Award in playwriting. Originally from Arizona, Jason now lives in New York. Member of Woodshed Collective. BA: Vassar; MFA: Columbia.
Brooke Allen (The Rise and Fall of Everything in the World) is a graduate of Webster University. Recent credits include; “The Deer” (The Ruckus, 2014), "The Life and Death of Madam Barker" (Red Tape Theatre, 2013), "Coyote" It Comes In Festival (The Side Project, 2013), “Ruby Wilder” (Tympanic Theatre 2012 / New York International Fringe Festival, 2010 / Not Waiting Productions, 2008 ), “House Work” (Not Waiting Productions, 2007 / 2010 Semi-Finalist for the Leah Ryan’s Fund for Emerging Women Writers). Brooke has been an Artist In Residence with The Ruckus since 2012 and was the 2013 Playwright in Residence at Red Tape Theatre. Brooke is also a Chicago Storyteller and has performed with Mortified, Guts and Glory, Solo in the Second City, The Paper Machete and You're Being Ridiculous.
Corey Rieger (The Surprise) is a writer and actor based in Los Angeles. His play Epiphany won the award for Outstanding Playwright in the 2003 Pittsburgh New Works Festival. His play Simmer was a finalist in the 2006 Georgia College & State University Arts & Letters Prizes and received third prize in the 2006-07 Little Theatre of Alexandria One-Act Playwriting Competition. His work has been produced by the Emerging Artists Theatre in New York City, the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company, the North Park Playwright Festival in San Diego, and the World Premiere Weekend at UC-Irvine. He has also written and performed in a couple of one-man shows, as well as for the sketch comedy group, Mr. Goodbird USA, and the two-man comedy band, White Meat. As an actor, he was last seen in the film Out of the Furnace and the independent feature, The Phoenix Project, which premiered at the Sci-Fi-London Film Festival in April.
Sam Graber (To the NSA Agents Listening to this Play) has become widely heralded as the world’s skinniest playwright. His plays have been staged by Abingdon Theatre (off-off-Broadway), Seven Stories Theatre (WV), Mission Theatre (MN), Box Wine Theatre (MN), Seven Collective (NYC), The Warner Theatre (CT), Upstage Theatre (TX), The Pulp Stage (OR), Mildred’s Umbrella (TX), City Theatre of Independence (MO), The Driftwood Players (WA), Venture Theatre (MT), Love Creek Productions (NYC), Radio Theater Project (FL), Collaboraction (IL), Between Us Productions (NYC) and Abstract Sentiment Theatre (NYC).
Jack Miggins (Until the World is Beautiful) is so happy to once again be a part of Sketchbook. As a writer and an actor he has worked with Jackalope, The Inconvenience, Collaboraction, The House Theatre, Griffin Theatre, and Awkward Pause. You can catch Jack every month on the live radio/podcast variety show The City Life Supplement (citylifesupplement.org) where he tells jokes and sings silly songs. Thanks to Ike, the wonderful team of Kristin, Will, and Elana, and of course, Dr. Gustavson.
Scott Tobin’s (10 Things) play Cotton Girls is published by Samuel French and has been produced all over the world and has won several awards. His play Cause Celebre was produced at Live Wire’s Vision Fest IV in Chicago, and he has recently had new plays produced in New York, Massachusetts and Houston. He is a VCCA Fellow and GCAC grant recipient and was also invited to the Last Frontier Theatre Conference with his play “the drunks.” Scott is thrilled to have his worked produced at Collaboraction.