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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 nationally and internationally, 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). A staged version of her radio adaptation of Pride and Prejudice recently toured the country with LA Theatreworks and a newly imagined version of Jane Eyre will be staged at Lifeline in Fall 2014.
Heather has appeared in the Lifeline KidSeries productions of Duck For President; Click, Clack, Moo; Cows That Type; Dooby, Dooby Moo; How To Survive a Fairy Tale; and Click, Clack, Boo! A Tricky Treat. In Chicago she has worked with Circle Theatre, American Blues Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Stage Left, Whiskey Rebellion Theatreís Whiskey Radio Hour, Abbie Fest and Handbag Productions, where she appeared as Robin Black in the long running Sexy Baby. Heather holds an M.F.A. in Acting from the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film at The University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Before returning to Chicago in 2004, Heather was the head of the acting program at Clemson University where she taught acting, voice and movement. While at Clemson she directed many productions including The Fantasticks, South Pacific, Schoolhouse Rock Live!, and Baby With the Bathwater. Past acting credits include: Sarah in Spinning Into Butter at The Warehouse Theatre, directed by Jennifer Hubbard; Frankie in Frankie and Johnny in the Clare De Lune (M.F.A. Thesis Role), directed by Judy Hart; and Sister Robert Ann in Nunsense at The Foundation Theatre, directed by Drucie McDaniel. She currently teaches screenwriting and script analysis in the department of Cinema Art + Science at Columbia College Chicago, as well as screenwriting and film aesthetics in the department of Motion Picture/Television at College of DuPage. Heather has also been writing, directing and performing as a solo cabaret artist for many years, and can be heard singing in The Nitz and Howe Experience every Saturday night at Davenportís Piano Bar and Cabaret.
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.
Amanda Delheimer Dimond
Amanda was thrilled to be invited to join the Lifeline Ensemble in 2013, and her Lifeline credits include directing The 13 Clocks (2011), The Three Musketeers (2013), and Lions in Illyria (in the 2014-15 season). After completing her Masterís in Theater and Spanish at the University of Chicago in 1999, Amanda worked for a couple of years in Los Angeles and Mexico before returning home to the Windy City. She currently serves as the Artistic Director of 2nd Story (www.2ndStory.com), a position she has held since 2007. As a director, choreographer, and teaching artist, she has had the pleasure of working with Steppenwolf, Goodman Theatre, Court Theatre, Next Theatre Company, Redmoon, Collaboraction, Strawdog Theatre, Teatro Vista, and Adventure Stage Chicago, among others. She was also an inaugural recipient of the Leadership U: One-on-One Fellowship program, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by the Theatre Communications Group, which placed her in residence at Lookingglass Theatre Company, working with their Artistic and Executive Leadership on visioning and long-term planning.
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. Other Lifeline roles: MacBride in the extension of Busmanís Honeymoon, Israel Hands/Captain Flint in Treasure Island, the Marquis de Carabas in Neverwhere, the titular role in The Count of Monte Cristo, Dhatt in The City & The City, Athos in The Three Musketeers, General Buford/Major Taylor in The Killer Angels (2013), and The Marquis/John Barsad in A Tale of Two Cities. His first adaptation, Hunger, from the novel by Elise Blackwell, was staged in the 2011-12 season and he most recently adapted Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett for the 2013-14 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 Non-Equity Jeff Award-winning Detective Story, Mike in the Non-Equity Jeff Award-Winning A Lie of the Mind, Ruddy in the Non-Equity 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. When not performing with Lifeline, Chris can also be seen at area high schools performing Shakespeare with A Crew of Patches. 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 Theater, 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, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, and The Mystery of the Pirate Ghost. Other area directing credits include The Constant Wife and The Robber Bridegroom (Non-Equity Jeff Award Nomination: Director-Musical) with Griffin, Under Milk Wood for Caffeine Theatre, Winter for Akvavit Theatre, and The Dead Prince for the Strange Tree Group. 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. She directed Lifeline's MainStage productions of A Tale of Two Cities, The Woman in White, Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, and Mariette in Ecstasy (Non-Equity Jeff Nomination: Direction-Play), and KidSeries productions of Arnie the Doughnut and The Emperorís Groovy New Clothes. 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 adaptations of Half Magic and The Velveteen Rabbit, and dialect coaching for numerous productions, including The Mark of Zorro, The Piano Tuner, The Killer Angels, and Busman's Honeymoon (Non-Equity Jeff Nomination: Artistic Specialization). Other area acting credits include King Lear (Goodman Theatre, directed by Robert Falls), Tartuffe and The Importance of Being Ernest (City Lit), Nine (Circle Theatre), Cabaret and A Christmas Carol (Metropolis), A Midsummer Night's Dream (First Folio Shakespeare), and On the Shore of the Wide World (Griffin Theatre, Non-Equity Jeff Nomination: Supporting Actress). Elise is a graduate of The Webster Conservatory of Theatre Arts with a BFA in Musical Theatre and received her MA with Distinction in Actor Training at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London. She is also a member of the adjunct faculty of The Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.
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, The Woman in White, and Monstrous Regiment. 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, the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, 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), Love's Labour's Lost (Wilde Award: Best of the Bard), She Stoops To Conquer (Wilde Award nomination: Best Comedy), and Cymbeline (Wilde Award nomination: Best of the Bard) 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, which was a Next Link Selection in the 2012 NY Musical Theatre Festival. Her plays have been seen in such regional theatres as the Cleveland Playhouse in Ohio, the PTC Performance Space in New York, Taproot Theatre in Seattle, and the Manitoba Theatre Center in Winnipeg. At Lifeline, Frances directed Simple Jim And His Four Fabulous Friends, The Story Of Ferdinand, Miss Bianca, Half Magic, Cooking with Lard, and the new musical Queen Lucia. 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.
Amanda joined the ensemble in 2013. At Lifeline, she directed The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! (2014) and has appeared in Click, Clack, Boo! A Tricky Treat; Duck For President (2008 and 2012); How To Survive A Fairy Tale; Dooby Dooby Moo; Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (2009), and Half Magic. This season she will be directing The Velveteen Rabbit, and will be the Assistant Director and Dramaturg for One Came Home. Also at Lifeline, she choreographed and assistant directed The Emperor's New Threads, assistant directed and did movement design for The City & The City, and assistant directed Pride and Prejudice. Amanda is a proud member of the Lifeline Storytelling Project. She was recently in Hey! Dancin'! Hey! Musical! at the Factory Theater. She also performs in Kasey Foster's ongoing Dance Tribute series. Other Chicago credits include work with Griffin Theatre, the side project, The Mill, The Anatomy Collective, Inconceivable Theatre, HealthWorks Theatre, Sandbox Theatre Project, and Theatre-Hikes. A graduate of the Conservatory Program at the Second City training center, she has also performed in several sketch shows at Donny's Skybox. Amanda has a BFA in Acting from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University.
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 Monstrous Regiment, A Tale of Two Cities, The Three Musketeers, 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, Katie has made Chicago her home for over twenty years and has worked on productions with Black Sheep, BlindFaith, the Hypocrites, Bailiwick Repertory, 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 over 20 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 past thirty 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 25 years where she specializes in portraits for actors.
Maren first worked with Lifeline in 2010 as the dramaturg for Neverwhere. She has since worked on The Moonstone, Hunger, Pride and Prejudice, and The Woman in White. She also has worked on over forty productions in Chicago with Court, Strawdog, Eclipse, Caffeine, Greasy Joan, and Camenae theaters. Maren is also a company member at TimeLine Theatre, where she has been dramaturg for 23 productions. She has toured with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, and was an artistic intern at Steppenwolf. She holds a Masterís degree in Humanities from the University of Chicago, where she won the Catherine Ham Award for her original play Anonymous and companion thesis paper. She has taught or lectured at the Newberry Library, the Chicago Public Library and various Chicago universities, including The Theatre School at DePaul where she is an adjunct instructor. She is currently the Associate Director of the Master of Arts Program in Humanities at the University of Chicago. Maren is a member of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.
Phil most recently appeared as Mr. Collins in Lifeline's production of Pride and Prejudice (Non-Equity Jeff Nomination: Best Supporting Actor). Previous Lifeline roles 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 has been a member of the artistic ensemble since 2010. He made his first Lifeline appearance in 2008 in the remount of The Mark of Zorro at the Theatre Building (now Stage 773). Other Lifeline acting credits include Busman's Honeymoon, Treasure Island, Neverwhere, Watership Down, Hunger, The Woman in White, The Three Musketeers, and Monstrous Regiment. Also at Lifeline, Christopher adapted The Count of Monte Cristo, The City & The City, A Tale of Two Cities (Non-Equity Jeff Nomination: New Adaptation), and the upcoming Soon I Will Be Invincible. Other acting credits include productions with the Factory Theater, The House Theatre, Strawdog Theatre, Signal Theatre Ensemble, A Red Orchid Theatre, Black Sheep Productions, Backstage Theatre, Griffin Theatre, Right Brain Project, and City Lit. Christopher is also a member of A Crew of Patches, a company dedicated to performing Shakespeare for student audiences in the greater Chicago area. Originally from Michigan, Christopher attended Columbia College in Chicago, where he studied acting and fiction writing. Keep up with his thrilling adventures at christophermwalsh.com.
Elizabeth has designed over 150 shows and built more than 100 productions in the Chicago area in collaboration with many of the prevailing theaters, opera companies and local universities. Elizabeth graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, BA/BFA, cum laude, and earned an MFA in Costume Design and Technology from Pennsylvania State University. She spent 5 years (1996-1999, 2002) as the Assistant Designer/Head Draper for the annual Baroque Handel Opera Festival in Göttingen, Germany. She received the 2004 Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award; a Chicago After Dark Costume Design Award for Design for Living and a Non-Equity Jeff Award for An Ideal Husband, both with Circle Theater; and another Non-Equity Jeff Award for Queen Lucia with Lifeline Theatre, as well as multiple nominations. Elizabeth is the owner of Chicago Custom Costumes, Inc. To see more of her and her shop's work, please visit www.chicagocustomcostumes.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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