Aly Renee Amidei
Aly made her first Lifeline design appearance with her costumes for Watership Down in 2011. Her costumes for The Count of Monte Cristo received a 2012 Non-Equity Jeff nomination, and she is designing both The Woman in White and The Three Musketeers in the 2012-13 season. Aly has been designing costumes, scenery, and makeup in Chicago since 2000 and has worked for Piven Theatre Workshop, American Theatre Company, Teatro Vista, Collaboraction, House Theatre, Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, Dupage Opera Theatre, Artistic Home, Seanachaí, Silk Road, Vitalist, and Lakeside Shakespeare, among others. She has been a Strawdog Theatre Company ensemble member since 2003, designing shows such as Three Sisters, Detective Story, Uncle Vanya, Tooth of Crime: Second Dance, Old Times, Petrified Forest, Red Noses, R.U.R., and Cherry Orchard. Aly is a participant in the Strawdog Hit Factory Writer's Group writing stage and radio plays. Her ongoing radio series "Stella Stargirl" has been performed regularly in Strawdog's Hugen Hall Late Night. Aly is the artistic director and a founding member of WildClaw Theatre, dedicated to bringing the world of horror to the Chicago stage. Her costumes were seen in The Great God Pan, Dreams in the Witchhouse, Legion, The Revenants, Kill Me, Carmilla, and The Life of Death. She also wrote the adaptation for Carmilla in 2010 and is working on two other adaptations for future spooky productions. Aly studied theatre at Knox College and received her MFA in Costume Design from Carnegie Mellon University. She is currently studying Fashion Design at the College of Dupage where she is also the Costume and Makeup Coordinator and Part-Time Faculty.
Patrick has been an ensemble member with Lifeline since 1996 and has been performing at Lifeline since 1994's Miss Bianca, where he played Bernard the mouse. Other favorite Lifeline roles include Old Bailey and the Earl in Neverwhere, Edgar Drake in The Piano Tuner (After Dark Award: Outstanding Performance), Victor in Lizard Music, Hugh Thane in The Talisman Ring, Tom in Pistols for Two (Non-Equity Jeff nomination: Ensemble), Ferdinand the Bull in The Story of Ferdinand, the Mighty Gorilla in The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death (remounted for Chicago Theatre on the Air with guest star Brent Spiner), and Bunter in Strong Poison (Non-Equity Jeff nomination: Ensemble). He is especially proud to have acted in all three of Lifeline's Lord of the Rings trilogy that spanned The Fellowship of the Ring (Bilbo Baggins), The Two Towers (Frodo Baggins), and The Return of the King (Frodo Baggins). Patrick has worked with numerous other Chicago theatres, including Eclipse Theatre (Long Days Journey into Night), Theatre Mir (The Sea), Backstage Theatre Company (A Number), Filament Theatre (Eurydice), Griffin Theatre (Journey's End), and Reverie Theatre (Emma).
Christina has written over a dozen theatrical adaptations which have been performed throughout the United States, including: Wuthering Heights; Mariette in Ecstasy; A Room with a View; Queen Lucia, A Musical Romp, with Composer/Lyricist George Howe (2005 After Dark Award; 2006 Non-Equity Jeff Award for New Work); Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging (Non-Equity Jeff Award, 2004); Jane Eyre; Pistols for Two (Non-Equity Jeff Award, 2001); The Talisman Ring (Equity Jeff Award, 1996); and Pride and Prejudice (Non-Equity Jeff Award, 1986). Original plays include Snowflake Tim's Big Holiday Adventure, Purloined Poe, Chaos (co-writer), and Several Voices from the Cloud (Agnes Nixon Award, 1981).
Combining her careers in theatre and as a singer-songwriter, Victoria has become an acclaimed sound designer and composer in Chicago. Lifeline shows include: Gaudy Night, The Talisman Ring (2005), Sirens of Titan, Snowflake Tim's Holiday Adventure, Long Way from Chicago, Strong Poison, The Shadow, Far From the Madding Crowd, and Around the World in 80 Days. As a sound designer she has received two Joseph Jefferson Citations for Outstanding Sound Design for Around the World in 80 Days and The Shadow (both with Lifeline) and a nomination for Alarms and Excursions (Cobalt Theatre Ensemble). She has received 2 After Dark Awards for The Shadow (Lifeline) and Fiddler on the Roof (Light Opera Works). Victoria was a finalist for 2003 NEA/TCG Career Development Grant for Designers. She has worked Off-Broadway at the Actor's Studio on the new Sam Shepherd play and at Primary Stages. Regionally she has worked with The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Milwaukee Reparatory, Northlight Theatre, Writers' Theatre, The Next Theatre, People's Light (in Malvern, PA), and Geva Theatre (in Rochester, NY). In Chicago she has designed productions with Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, Remy Bumppo, Light Opera Works, and other smaller storefront theatres. She has produced two CD's of her own original music on her independent label Papaya Productions. Victoria has a BFA in Musical Theatre from Syracuse University and studied at RADA and LAMDA in London. For more information visit www.victoria-sound-design.com or www.toyband.com.
Alan joined the ensemble in 2000, although his designs for Lifeline date back to the 1991 production of Jane Eyre. As scenic designer his Lifeline work includes Treasure Island, The Piano Tuner, Pistols For Two, Lizard Music, Johnny Tremain, Far from the Madding Crowd, Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type and its sequel Giggle Giggle Quack, among many others. Lighting designs include The Killer Angels and The Talisman Ring (2005). He received Jeff Citations for his designs of The Little Sister, Jane Eyre (2001), Around the World in 80 Days, and Mariette in Ecstasy at Lifeline. Since joining the ensemble he has adapted Donald E. Westlake's Trust Me on This and Adam Langerís Crossing California for the MainStage and Daniel Pinkwater's Bongo Larry and Two Bad Bears and Eileen Spinelli's Sophie Masterpiece: A Spider's Tale for the KidSeries.
Kevin D. Gawley
Kevin has been an ensemble member of Lifeline Theatre since 2001, where he has designed over two dozen productions in the past decade. For his work at Lifeline, he has won Non-Equity Jeff Awards for his lighting designs of The Island of Doctor Moreau and Jane Eyre, and the After Dark Award for his lighting design of Strong Poison. Other notable designs at Lifeline include Gaudy Night (Projection and Lighting Design, Non-Equity Jeff Nomination) and The Talisman Ring (Scenic Design, After Dark Award as part of Outstanding Technical Season along with Gaudy Night), Queen Lucia (After Dark Award, Outstanding Production), and The Piano Tuner (After Dark Award, Outstanding Production). Kevin was the theatrical lighting designer on the feature film Were the World Mine, released in the fall of 2008. His work also appeared in numerous productions at the Bailiwick, Organic, Porchlight, Griffin, OperaModa, Blindfaith, Theatre on the Lake, Metropolis, StoreFront, Loyola University Chicago, Revels Chicago, Midwest Jewish, Taylor University and at the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival theatres. Kevin is the Lighting and Scenic design professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and has taught Lighting Design and Technology courses previously at Loyola University Chicago and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Kevin holds an MFA and BFA in Lighting Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA in Finance from DePaul University.
Peter has appeared on the Lifeline stage in Jane Eyre, Around the World in 80 Days, The Talisman Ring (1996 and 2005), The Moonstone, Mrs. Caliban, Busman's Honeymoon, Gaudy Night, Strong Poison, Trust Me On This, Far From the Madding Crowd, Whose Body?, Pistols for Two, and Cotillion. Also at Lifeline he adapted the play Talking It Over from the novel and directed the 2004 production of Bunnicula. Other Chicago acting credits include The Beaux' Stratagem with Powertap; The Heidi Chronicles at New American Theater in Rockford; Thank You, Jeeves with CityLit; and The Sweat Offensive with the Sweatgirls. Regionally, Peter has performed the works of Shakespeare, Moliere, Middleton, Chekhov, Dickens, Sam Shepard and Neil Simon in Boise, St Petersberg, Sacramento, Boston, Atlanta, and New York City. In 1988 Peter helped to found the Actors Shakespeare Company in Albany, New York. For seven years he acted in or directed every one of its 23 productions and served as Co-Artistic Director.
James E. Grote
Jim has been a member of the artistic ensemble since 1999. He began performing with Lifeline in 1992, playing Tucker Mouse in the world premiere of The Cricket in Times Square (and reprising that role in 1996). Some of his other favorite roles at Lifeline include Mr. Hatch in Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch; various captains, sailors, and Englishmen in Around the World in 80 Days (Jeff Award: Outstanding Ensemble); John Hancock and Merchant Lyte in Johnny Tremain; Mr. Primm and Mr. Grumps in Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile; and Lt. Col. Fremantle in The Killer Angels. Jim became a playwright for Lifeline in 2000 with his adaptation of C.S. Lewisí The Silver Chair, which was named the best family show of that year by the Chicago Tribune. Jimís other adaptations for the MainStage include The Piano Tuner (After Dark Award: Outstanding Production) and A Long Way from Chicago. For KidSeries Jim has adapted Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type; Giggle, Giggle, Quack; Duck for President (featuring music by George Howe), as well as this seasonís Dooby Dooby Moo, all based on the book series by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin. He has also adapted The Dirty Cowboy and Deep in the Jungle for Lifelineís KidSeries. Outside of Lifeline, Jim has appeared in Everyman at Steppenwolf Theatre, The Secret of the Old Queen at Stage Left Theatre, and has toured with the National Theatre for Children, HealthWorks Theatre, and Windy City Gay Chorus. Jim has also served as one of Lifelineís artists-in-residence at Kilmer Elementary School. Jim is a graduate of Northwestern University.
A Lifeline ensemble member since 2010, Chris first appeared on the Lifeline stage as Oliver in Talking It Over in 2008. He has appeared in the extension of Busmanís Honeymoon as MacBride, Treasure Island as Israel Hands/Captain Flint, Neverwhere as the Marquis de Carabas, and the titular role of The Count of Monte Cristo. His first adaptation, Hunger, from the novel by Elise Blackwell was staged in the 2011-12 season. He is an Artistic Associate with WildClaw theatre and has been a four-time finalist in their DeathScribe Festival; winning the coveted Bloody Axe in 2009 for his audio script Remembrance. An Emeritus Member of Strawdog Theatre, notable roles include Brutus in Julius Caesar and its remount at Theatre on the Lake, Det. Dakis in the Jeff Award-winning Detective Story, Mike in the Jeff Award-Winning A Lie of the Mind, Ruddy in the Jeff Award-winning Marathon í33, and Scotty in the After Dark Award-winning Old Town. Other roles include Frank in Faith Healer with Uma Productions, Mott in The Artist Needs a Wife with the side project, Robby in Scenes from the Big Picture with Seanachaí Theatre Co., Sheriff Raven in The Dreams in the Witch House with WildClaw, and Col. Blood in The Pyrates with Defiant. Chris was also the recipient of the Steppenwolf/Illinois State University Acting Fellowship in '94/'95 and proudly stands by his state school education.
John has been a Lifeline ensemble member since 1999. He directed our MainStage productions of Crossing California, The Shadow and Scary Home Companion, our KidSeries productions of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (2009) and Rumpelstiltskin Revisited, and adapted Watership Down, Treasure Island, Johnny Tremain (Non-Equity Jeff Award: New Adaptation), The Sirens of Titan, Cat's Cradle and Around the World in 80 Days (Non-Equity Jeff Award: New Adaptation). He also appeared in the 2004 KidSeries productions of Bunnicula and Snowflake Tim's Big Holiday Adventure.
Paul S. Holmquist
Paul joined the ensemble in 2006 and has appeared on the Lifeline stage in Strong Poison, The Talisman Ring (2005), The Picture of Dorian Gray (Non-Equity Jeff Award Nomination: Supporting Actor-Play), and Watership Down. Other area acting credits include work with TimeLine Theatre, Factory Theatre, Shattered Globe, and Griffin Theatre, where he is is an Artistic Associate. As a director, he staged the Lifeline MainStage productions of The Island of Dr. Moreau (winner of 5 Non-Equity Jeff Awards including Best Production-Play), Busman's Honeymoon, Neverwhere, The Moonstone, and The Count of Monte Cristo. For Lifeline's KidSeries, Paul directed Rikki Tikki Tavi and Other Just So Stories, Flight of the Dodo, and Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed. Other area directing credits include The Constant Wife and The Robber Bridegroom (Non-Equity Jeff Award Nomination: Director-Musical) with Griffin and Under Milk Wood for Caffeine Theatre. Paul holds a BFA in Acting from the Theatre School at DePaul University and a Graduate Laban Certificate in Movement Analysis from Columbia College Chicago, where he teaches and works.
Elise has worked with Lifeline for many years and has been a member of the ensemble since 2005. Most recently she directed Lifeline's productions of Pride and Prejudice and Arnie the Doughnut. She has appeared in the Lifeline MainStage productions of Neverwhere, Talking It Over, Queen Lucia, The Sirens of Titan, Strong Poison, and The Silver Chair, as well as the KidSeries productions of Hen Lake, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, and My Father's Dragon. Other Lifeline credits include her adaptions of Half Magic and The Velveteen Rabbit, direction of Mariette in Ecstasy (Non-Equity Jeff Nomination for Direction), Wuthering Heights, and The Emperor's Groovy New Clothes, and dialect coaching for numerous Lifeline productions, including The Mark of Zorro, The Piano Tuner, The Killer Angels, and Busman's Honeymoon (Non-Equity Jeff Nomination for Artistic Specialization). Other area acting credits include King Lear at The Goodman Theatre, directed by Robert Falls; Tartuffe and The Importance of Being Ernest at City Lit; Nine at Circle Theatre; Cabaret and A Christmas Carol at Metropolis; A Midsummer Night's Dream with First Folio Shakespeare; and On the Shore of the Wide World at Griffin Theatre, for which she received a Non-Equity Jeff Nomination for Supporting Actress. Elise is a graduate of The Webster Conservatory of Theatre Arts with a BFA in Musical Theatre.
Robert has appeared in the Lifeline productions of The Silver Chair, The Return of the King, Around the World in 80 Days (Non-Equity Jeff Awards: Supporting Actor-Play and Ensemble), Trust Me On This, The Killer Angels, Strong Poison (Non-Equity Jeff nomination: Ensemble), The Sirens of Titan, The Talisman Ring (2005), A Room with a View, The Mark of Zorro (After Dark Award: Outstanding Production), Busman's Honeymoon, Neverwhere, Wuthering Heights, The Count of Monte Cristo, and The Woman in White. At Lifeline, Robert also directed the MainStage productions of Treasure Island and Hunger; adapted The Island of Dr. Moreau (Non-Equity Jeff Awards: Best Production-Play and New Adaptation), The Picture of Dorian Gray (Non-Equity Jeff nomination: New Adaptation), Neverwhere (Non-Equity Jeff Award: New Adaptation), The Moonstone, The Woman in White, and The Three Musketeers for the MainStage; and adapted The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!, Flight of the Dodo, The 13 Clocks, and Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed for the KidSeries. Other area acting credits include Mojo Mickybo, Our Father, War and A Whistle in the Dark with SeanachaŪ Theatre Co. (where he is also an ensemble member); and productions with Strawdog Theatre, Greasy Joan & Co., The Hypocrites, Goodman Theatre, City Lit, Circle Theatre, Bailiwick Rep, A Crew of Patches, New American Theater, Theatre at the Center, and Lakeside Shakespeare. His adaptation of The Three Musketeers premiered at the 2010 Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and he recently directed Tartuffe (Wilde Award: Best Comedy) and Love's Labour's Lost for the Michigan Shakespeare Festival.
Frances has been a member of Lifelineís artistic ensemble since 1995. As an adaptor she created Mrs. Caliban (Non-Equity Jeff nomination: New Adaptation), as well as the popular Dorothy L. Sayers series: Whose Body?, Strong Poison (Non-Equity Jeff Award: New Adaptation), Gaudy Night (Non-Equity Jeff Award: New Adaptation), and Busmanís Honeymoon (Non-Equity Jeff Award: New Adaptation), all for Lifelineís MainStage. For Lifelineís KidSeries she created The Emperor's Groovy New Clothes; Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch; and Arnie the Doughnut with composer/lyricist George Howe. Frances has directed several productions at Lifeline, including Simple Jim And His Four Fabulous Friends, The Story Of Ferdinand, Miss Bianca, Half Magic, Cooking with Lard, and the new musical Queen Lucia. Most recently she directed The Memory of Water for Backstage Theatre Company and Click, Clack, Moo at the Weston Playhouse in Vermont. Her Chicago area acting credits include roles at Goodman, Northlight, Appletree, the Blackstone, Theatre at the Center, the Ivanhoe, Bailiwick, Light Opera Works; and the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse. At Lifeline, she played Hetty in Pistols For Two, Jancis in Precious Bane, the Blue Fairy in Pinocchio, Chester the Cat in Bunnicula, the title role in Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and Jane in Lifelineís production of Pride and Prejudice for Chicago Theatres on the Air, for Lifelineís KidSeries.
Katie McLean Hainsworth
Katie has been a member of Lifeline's artistic ensemble since 2006. Her adaptation of The Mark of Zorro won the 2009 Non-Equity Jeff Award for New Adaptation, and she directed Watership Down and Johnny Tremain for the Mainstage and The Cricket in Times Square for Lifeline's KidSeries. As an actor, she has appeared in Hunger, Neverwhere, Mariette in Ecstasy, Talking it Over, Crossing California, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!, Gaudy Night, Trust Me On This, Far From the Madding Crowd, Whose Body?, Cooking With Lard, and Bongo Larry and Two Bad Bears. She also assistant directed Lifeline's multiple-award-winning Around the World in 80 Days. A native of upstate New York, she has been in Chicago since 1993 and worked on productions with Black Sheep, BlindFaith, the Hypocrites, Bailiwick Repertory (including now then again, a Jeff Citation winner for Best New Play in 2000), Greasy Joan & Co., Shakespeare's Motley Crew, Who Threw That Ham?, and Zebra Crossing.
Dorothy has been the Artistic Director of Lifeline Theatre since 1999 and an ensemble member since 1992. She has directed over twenty productions at Lifeline, receiving a Non-Equity Jeff Award (Direction) for Around the World in 80 Days in 2003; and Non-Equity Jeff Nominations (Direction) for Pistols for Two, Jane Eyre (for which she also received an After Dark Award), Strong Poison, and Gaudy Night. Outside of Lifeline, she directed Little Brother, Stardust, and No More Dead Dogs for Griffin Theatre. Previously, she received an Equity Jeff Nomination for her direction of Eleemosynary at Interplay Theatre Company. Dorothy is also involved in the Chicago storytelling scene: she has been writing and performing with the storytelling collective Sweat Girls for the past 19 years, directs occasionally for 2nd Story and at Lifeline leads The Lifeline Storytelling Project and co-curates The Fillet of Solo Festival.
Shole is a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago with a degree in Theatre and Communications who works as an actor, movement specialist, choreographer and director. An ensemble member since 1999, Shole has directed over 25 of Lifeline's KidSeries productions, including Dooby Dooby Moo; Duck for President; The Dirty Cowboy; Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile; Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type; Giggle Giggle Quack; Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch; Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle; Hen Lake; Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel; and Sophie's Masterpiece. In addition, he directed the mainstage production of Long Way From Chicago, which transferred to Theatre on the Lake. He appeared on the Lifeline stage in Mariette in Ecstasy (2009 Non-Equity Jeff nomination for Ensemble and Production), The Piano Tuner, Johnny Tremain, Whose Body?, Trust Me On This, My Father's Dragon, Simple Jim and His Four Fabulous Friends, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Emperor's Groovy New Clothes, and Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type. In addition to his work at Lifeline, he has appeared in productions of The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui, Breaking The Code, Bouncers, A Chorus Line, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and When She Danced in theatres throughout the Chicago area and Midwest. Shole has also served as choreographer/movement coach for productions of Equus, Piaf, Kismet, Personals and Where The Wild Things Are in addition to directing Emerald City Theatre's productions of Rapunzel, Stellaluna, and Disney's Aladdin.
Sandy Snyder Pietz
Sandy, a graduate of Northwestern University, is a founding member of Lifeline. She performed in Lifelineís very first production of Split. Over the course of twenty-five years, some of her favorite roles have been in Strong Poison (Non-Equity Jeff Nomination: Best Supporting Actress - Play), A Room with a View, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Lizard Music and A Wrinkle in Time. KidSeries roles include Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch and Giggle Giggle Quack. Sandy has also directed My Fatherís Dragon, Bunnicula, and Stuart Little. As a co-founder of Lifelineís educational outreach program, she served as program coordinator and teaching artist for many years. Sandy is now a drama specialist in Evanston/Skokie School District 65.
Suzanne is a founding member of Lifeline. She served as the company's first Managing Director for seven years, and then as Production Coordinator for five years. She takes all of Lifeline's press pictures, and has owned a photo studio for over fifteen years where she specializes in portraits for actors.
Phil most recently appeared as Mr. Collins in Lifeline's production of Pride and Prejudice. Previous Lifeline appearances include Neverwhere, Busman's Honeymoon (Non-Equity Jeff Nomination: Supporting Actor-Play), The Island of Dr. Moreau (Non-Equity Jeff Award: Best Production), Queen Lucia (Non-Equity Jeff Nomination: Supporting Actor-Musical), and The Two Towers. He also coached dialects for Treasure Island, Strong Poison, Gaudy Night, Talking It Over, and A Room With a View. Other Chicago acting credits include First Folio Theatre (Romeo & Juliet, The Tempest), Apple Tree (Violet), Powertap (The Beauxí Stratagem), Shaw Chicago (Misalliance), City Lit (Playboy Stories), and Shakespeareís Motley Crew (Twelfth Night, Midsummer Nightís Dream, King Lear). Phil has also coached dialects at The Goodman (Gas For Less), Stage Left (Fellow Travellers), Signal Ensemble (Closer, She Stoops to Conquer), New World Repertory (A Streetcar Named Desire), and numerous productions at First Folio Theatre where he was the resident voice and dialect coach for several years. He is an Associate Professor of Voice and Speech at the Theatre School, DePaul University. Phil joined the ensemble in 2006.
Jenifer has been a Lifeline ensemble member since 2001. She has been delighted to appear as Harriet Vane in the Dorothy Sayers' mysteries Strong Poison (2004), Gaudy Night (2006), and Busman's Honeymoon (2009). Other Lifeline credits include: Mina in Dracula; Lydia in Pride and Prejudice; Kitty in Cotillion; Jane in Jane Eyre (Non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Award: Outstanding Actress in a Principal Role); Ida/Phyllis in Trust me on This; Bathsheba in Far From the Madding Crowd, and Estelle in Mrs. Caliban. For Lifeline, she also directed the KidSeries production of The Velveteen Rabbit. Jenifer has been seen around Chicago with greasy joan & co., and in many Touchstone/Organic productions including Into the Woods, The Seagull, and Hedda Gabler. Jenifer is also a Sweat Girl; her credits as writer and performer include I'm Sweating Under My Breasts, Sweat Dreams, I Just Oops Until I Wow, (The Sweat Girls are) Pigs at the Trough of Attention, and The Motherlode .
Christopher M. Walsh
Christopher joined the ensemble in 2010. He made his first Lifeline appearance in the remount of The Mark of Zorro at the Theatre Building. Other Lifeline credits include Busman's Honeymoon, Treasure Island, Neverwhere, Watership Down, Hunger, and The Woman in White. Recent Chicago credits include The Duchess of Malfi (Strawdog Theatre), Louis Slotin Sonata (A Red Orchid Theatre), Bloody Bess: A Tale of Piracy and Revenge (BackStage Theatre), Journey's End (Griffin Theatre), The Hound of the Baskervilles (City Lit), and Hamlet (The Building Stage). Christopher has also worked with A Crew of Patches, a company dedicated to performing Shakespeare for student audiences in the greater Chicago area. In 2011, Christopher made his debut as an adaptor with Lifeline's production of The Count of Monte Cristo. Christopher is an experienced fight director, having choreographed stage violence for Strawdog Theatre, Signal Ensemble, WildClaw Theatre, The Building Stage, Black Sheep Productions, Steep Theatre, the side project, and Circle Theatre. He has also dabbled in directing, most notably with the Rogue 8 live-action comic book series at Rogue Theater. Originally from Michigan, Christopher attended Columbia College in Chicago, where he studied acting and fiction writing.
Elizabeth Powell Wislar
Elizabeth Powell Wislar has been designing Costumes in the Chicago area for over 9 years. Eizabeth spent 5 years (1996-1999, 2002) as the Assistant Designer/Head Draper for the annual Baroque Handel Opera Festival in Göttingen, Germany. Elizabeth is the 2004 recipient of the Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award, the 2006 After Dark Award for her design of Queen Lucia with Lifeline Theatre, and 2008 Non-Equity Jeff Award for her design of An Ideal Husband with Circle Theater. To see her work, please visit www.elizabethwislar.com.
Eric Lane Barnes
Eric joined the Lifeline Theatre ensemble in 1996; his Lifeline KidSeries adaptations include The Amazing Bone, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel and Simple Jim and His Four Fabulous Friends. Eric is the author of the critically acclaimed and award-winning Fairy Tales, which has enjoyed successful runs in Chicago, London, New York, Minneapolis and Houston, and continues to run in numerous cities around the country. While living in Chicago, Barnes wrote extensively for such theater companies as Pegasus Players, City Lit, Apple Tree Theater, Poison Nut Productions, Live Bait Theatrical and Bailiwick Repertory, which included the Jeff Award-winning Don Juan on Halsted. Eric is Assistant Artistic Director of Seattle Men's Chorus. Of his many musical tasks with SMC, he particularly enjoys writing for and directing the comedy vocal ensemble Captain Smartypants. Barnes has written pieces on commission for many GALA Choruses, including Seattle Men's Chorus, New York City Gay Men's Chorus, Gay Men's Chorus of Washington DC, Cincinnati Men's Chorus, Windy City Gay Chorus, One Voice Charlotte, and Desert Voices, among others.
Meryl is a co-founder of Lifeline Theatre and served as Producing Director until 1998. Directing credits at Lifeline include: Lizard Music; Precious Bane; The Left Hand of Darkness; The Little Sister; The Phantom Tollbooth; which received a Jeff nomination for best direction; Dracula; The Promise; Jane Eyre; A Wrinkle In Time; Burning Bright; Praying for Sheetrock, Love Medicine and Purloined Poe. Her productions of Jungle Book and Pride And Prejudice both received Jeff Citations for direction. Meryl's adaptation of Journey of Sparrows, produced at Lifeline in 1996, was selected by the American Alliance of Theatre and Education to receive the Distinguished Play Award in the Elementary category. Meryl served as Executive Producer at the Falcon Theatre in California and is currently the Executive Director of The Virginia Avenue Project, a nationally acclaimed arts mentoring program for youth. Her adaptation of Mark Twain's Pudd'n Head Wilson received an LA Weekly Theatre Award for best ensemble, two LA Weekly Theatre Awards nominations for best production of the year and best adaptation, and two Garland award nominations for best direction and adaptation.
Rebecca has designed numerous sets for Lifeline, including Long Way from Chicago, The Motherlode, Cotillion, Love Medicine, The Journey of the Sparrows, The Left Hand of Darkness, The Story of Ferdinand, Dracula, On the Road to Graceland, and Pinnocchio. She has designed extensively in the Chicago area at theaters including Milwaukee Shakespeare, Ars Viva, Apple Tree, Next Theatre, Bailiwick Repertory, Oak Park Festival Theatre, Sheanachai, City Lit Theatre and others. Rebecca is a resident designer and teacher for Mudlark Theater in Evanston. In addition to theater, Rebecca has designed for many public and private institutions, including the Chicago Botanic Garden, Garfield Park Conservatory (Chicago Park District), the Shedd Aquarium, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Music Institute of Chicago, the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation and the League of Creative Musicians.
James has been an ensemble member since 1985 and has written, acted, and directed at Lifeline. As a writer for the stage, he has received a Joseph Jefferson Citation for his adaptation of Island of the Blue Dolphins, for which he was also nominated for director. James has also garnered two Jeff Citation nominations for his Lifeline adaptations of Dracula and A Wrinkle in Time, which was produced at Lincoln Center Institute in New York. He has received an After Dark Award for The Road to Graceland. His other adaptations include Randy Shilts' Talking AIDS to Death and Daniel Pinkwater's The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, which was also broadcast on WFMT's Chicago Theatres on the Air. James resides in Los Angeles.
Steve is a founding member of Lifeline Theatre where he has worked on more than 45 productions in the company's first sixteen years. Performance credits at Lifeline include work in The Overcoat, Pride and Prejudice, The Servant of Two Masters, Stuart Little and Shouts and Whispers for which he received a Jeff Citation for Actor in a Principal Role. At Lifeline he directed Fanshen and Wintery Tails and written adaptations of No Flying in the House, Uncle Lemon's Spring and STRANGE CASE: Jekyll and Hyde. Other Chicago credits include work at The Goodman Theatre, Remy Bumpo, Bailiwick Repertory, and the Next Theatre. In L.A. Steve has performed at The Falcon Theatre, The Blank Theatre, and the Odyssey. He appears in the films The Princess Diaries and The Collaborators. He is an artistic associate with The Playwrights Projects and a frequent collaborator with The Virginia Avenue Project. Steve holds a Ph. D. from Northwestern University and is on the teaching faculty at Pomona College where he teaches classes in performance and playwriting.
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