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Duck for President: Cast & Crew
October 20 – November 25, 2012

Heather Currie (Pig)
Heather is thrilled to be back "on the farm" at Lifeline. Past Lifeline KidSeries shows include: Click Clack Moo (2010), Dooby Dooby Moo, the premiere of Duck for President in 2008, and she was seen last spring as Grandma, the Witch, and Jack’s Mom in How To Survive A Fairy Tale. Favorite past credits include: School House Rock Live!, The Taffettas, Nunsense, Spinning Into Butter, Frankie and Johnny In the Clare De Lune, and Cloud Nine. Heather holds an MFA in Acting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and teaches in the Film Department at Columbia College and College of DuPage. Heather can also be heard singing every Saturday night in The Nitz and Howe Experience at Davenport’s Piano Bar and Cabaret.
Derek Czaplewski (Farmer Brown)
Derek is pleased to return to Lifeline for another production! He was previously seen as Farmer Brown in Click, Clack, Moo (2010) and as the many "dads" of How To Survive A Fairy Tale. A graduate of the School at Steppenwolf, Derek has also worked with Northlight Theatre, Stage Left Theatre, Piven Workshop, Circle Theatre, TimeLine Theatre, Pegasus Players, and Emerald City, among others. He is also an ensemble member with Handbag Productions. By day, Derek is the Associate Artistic Director for Imagination Theater.
Amanda Link (Hen)
Amanda is so happy to be reprising her role in Duck for President. At Lifeline she has also performed in How To Survive a Fairy Tale, Dooby Dooby Moo, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, and Half Magic. She was the assistant director for Pride and Prejudice and will assistant direct the upcoming The City & The City. She is also a proud member of the Lifeline Storytelling Project. Other Chicago credits include work with Griffin Theatre, the side project, The Mill, The Anatomy Collective, Inconceivable Theatre, and Sandbox Theatre Project. She is a graduate of the Conservatory Program at Second City.
Amy Malcom (Cow)
Amy is excited to be joining Lifeline Theatre for the first time! Some Chicagoland credits include: A Christmas Carol (Metropolis Performing Arts Centre), Barnum! (Quest Theatre Ensemble), Macbeth (First Folio Theatre), Nobody Likes Retsina (Stockyards Theatre Project), Antigone and King Lear: A Radio Play (Framework). Amy also directs children’s theatre and teaches acting, musical theatre, Shakespeare, and improv workshops for companies such as Metropolis, Raven Theatre and The Viola Project.
Nathaniel Niemi (Duck)
Nathaniel is thrilled to be back on the farm after playing Duck in Dooby Dooby Moo. Last year at Lifeline, Nathaniel played Jack in How to Survive A Fairy Tale and Wilbur in Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed. Other recent credits include Phillipe in The Baker’s Wife at Circle Theatre and Jack in Into the Woods at Quest Theatre Ensemble. Other favorite roles include Pirelli in Sweeney Todd, Dewey in The Diviners, and Mortimer in The Fantasticks. Nathaniel also enjoys clowning and puppet making.
Kasey Alfonso (Understudy)
Kasey is excited to be making her Lifeline debut in Duck for President. A recent graduate of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, she was seen in Rent, Crossing Crazytown, and various other musical showcases. She is currently performing in Smokey Joe's Cafe at Theo Ubique through mid-November. She has also performed oversees at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the European premiere of The Sounds of Plaid.
Jeremy Myers (Understudy)
Duck for President marks Jeremy's Lifeline debut. Recently, he has been seen in Hell in a Handbag's Sexy Baby and Pussy on the House. Around Chicago, he has also worked with Circle Theatre, Bailiwick Rep, Light Opera Works, American Girl Theatre, and will appear in City Lit's upcoming production of Peyton Place. Jeremy holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.
Mike Ooi (Understudy)
Mike is pleased to return to Lifeline after last appearing in Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed. Other Kidseries productions include The 13 Clocks, The Last of the Dragons, and the upcoming The Mystery of the Pirate Ghost. Other Chicago credits include Neverwhere and The Mark of Zorro (Lifeline Theatre); Ren Faire! A Fistful of Ducats, Black & Blue, 1985, and Mop Top Festival (Factory Theater); Sinbad: The Untold Tale and Ghosts of Treasure Island (Adventure Stage); Three Penny Opera (The Hypocrites at Steppenwolf Garage); Old Town (Strawdog Theatre); Curse of the Crying Heart and Cave with Man (House Theatre of Chicago). Mike is the Operations Manager for the Factory Theater, where he is also a company member.
Eliza Shin (Understudy)
This is Eliza’s debut with Lifeline. Other Chicago theater credits include The Jammer (Pine Box Theatre), Marvin’s Room (Circle Theatre), The Ghost is Here (Vitalist Theatre), Jade Heart (Chicago Dramatists), The Patriots (The Neo-Futurists), Voyaging (Walkabout Theatre/Lucky Plush Dance), Sketchbook 2008 (Collaboraction), and Family Devotions (Halcyon Theatre). TV credits include Chicago Fire. She also performs as a classical soprano at St. Vincent de Paul, a solo pop acoustic cover artist, and as a keyboardist with the children’s music band Super Stolie and the Rockstars.
Sally Beck Wippman (Understudy)
Sally is happy to be working with Lifeline Theatre! Her most recent credits include: As You Like It (Harper Theater), The Wind in the Willows (Theatre-Hikes), and The Rocky Horror Show (Underscore Theatre). Sally earned a B.A. in Drama from Wash.U. in St. Louis, where her affinity for children's theater was born. Every year, she participated in children's musicals as part of the world's largest annual student-run carnival, Thurtene.
James E. Grote (Adaptor)
Jim joined the Lifeline artistic ensemble in 1999. Along with George Howe, Jim has adapted four plays in the Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type series. The plays have been produced all across the country, from Portland (Oregon) to Dallas to Orlando, and many points in between. Last season, Lifeline produced his first original work, How to Survive a Fairy Tale. Additionally, Jim has adapted C.S. Lewis’ The Silver Chair, Daniel Mason’s The Piano Tuner, and Amy Timberlake’s The Dirty Cowboy for Lifeline. Jim is also an actor, and has appeared at Lifeline in Lyle, Lyle Crocodile; Around the World in 80 Days; and The Killer Angels, among other shows.
George Howe (Music & Lyrics)
George is an award-winning composer/lyricist and a familiar face at Lifeline Theatre. He has written the songs for many Kidseries shows, including the four musicals in the Click, Clack, Moo series; Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile; Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch; and 2011’s hit Arnie the Doughnut, which went on to be performed at the 2012 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF). His musical Queen Lucia premiered at Lifeline and received a Non-Equity Jeff Award for Best New Musical 2006. He recently wrote a song for Perez Hilton which will be featured on the CD Carols for a Cure, which benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. George can be heard belting out showtunes and pop songs at Davenport’s Piano Bar and Cabaret.
Shole Milos (Director)
Shole is a Lifeline ensemble member who has directed more than twenty KidSeries productions, including last season’s world premiere of How To Survive A Fairy Tale. Shole directed the original Duck for President and all of the adaptations in the Click, Clack, Moo series; he directed A Long Way From Chicago on the MainStage, and has appeared onstage in Mariette in Ecstacy and The Piano Tuner, among many others.
Ellen Willett (Stage Manager)
Ellen is glad to be herding the animals on Farmer Brown's farm once again. Her previous Lifeline Theatre credits include How to Survive A Fairy Tale; Click, Clack, Moo; Dooby Dooby Moo; Duck for President (2008); Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle; Talking It Over; Half Magic; Crossing California; Sophie’s Masterpiece; and Strong Poison. In addition, she has worked with Adventure Stage Chicago, The Inconvenience, Eclipse Theatre Company, Steep Theatre, Strawdog Theatre Company, and many more. She also serves on the board of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), a unique and vibrant music ensemble dedicated to advancing the music of our time.
Jana Anderson (Costume Designer)
Jana returns to Lifeline, where she designed Duck for President; Dooby Dooby Moo; and Click, Clack, Moo (2010), among other KidSeries productions. Prior to coming to the U.S., Jana designed for classical opera productions at the National Theater in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. For the last decade she has been designing throughout the Chicagoland area and has collaborated with numerous theatre groups (including the Lyric Opera, Collaboraction, Porchlight, Theatre at the Center, Light Opera Works, and Redmoon) and some of the finest theatre schools (including Loyola, DePaul,and Northeastern, to name a few). Jana works at Roosevelt University, where she supervises the student costume construction crews. She also has loyal clientele in U.S. and Europe for whom she makes unique haute-couture garments.
Anthony Ingram (Sound Designer)
Anthony is very happy to be back at Lifeline after having most recently designed sound for How To Survive A Fairy Tale. As the resident Sound Designer and Production Manager at Signal Ensemble Theatre, Tony has worked on a majority of their productions since 2004 including East of Berlin & The Russian Play, Aces, 1776, Aftermath, The Ballad Of The Sad Cafe, and Seascape. He has also worked with other companies in the Chicagoland area including Shattered Globe Theatre, (The Old) Bailiwick, Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, and The Right Brain Project. On a day-to-day basis Tony can be found at The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago where he is the Technical Associate.
Joanna Iwanicka (Scenic & Properties Designer)
Joanna returns to Lifeline, where she designed set for Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed and The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!, and designed masks/puppets for Dooby Dooby Moo, The Last of The Dragons, The Blue Shadow, and Watership Down. Her recent credits include designing puppets for Chicago Children’s Theatre’s production of Harold and the Purple Crayon, sets for Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, The Division Theatre Company, and Teatr Arlekin in her native Poland. Joanna graduated from UIUC (BFA) and Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, Poland (MA). She will return to Lifeline this spring to collaborate on the MainStage production of Bridge of Birds.
Jordan Kardasz (Lighting Designer)
Jordan is excited to be lighting her third kid's show at Lifeline, having worked on How To Survive A Fairy Tale and Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed last season. Jordan has worked with Strange Tree, Sideshow, Factory, Theatre Seven, and more. Recent credits include assisting on The Woman in White (Lifeline MainStage) and designing Neighborhood 3 and Pontypool (Strawdog). Jordan is a proud ensemble member at Strawdog Theatre.
Joe Schermoly (Technical Director)
Joe is a set designer, technical director, and painter. His design work has been seen at Lifeline Theatre (The Count of Monte Cristo, props for The Moonstone) and around Chicago at Griffin Theatre (Punk Rock, No More Dead Dogs, Port, Constant Wife), Strawdog Theatre (Duchess of Malfi, The Master and Margarita, Richard III), Sideshow Theatre (Idomeneus, The Ugly One), Eclipse (Beyond the Horizon, Trestle at Pope Lick Creek), and more. He has also designed and built shows in London for The Finborough, Bush and Gate theatres among others. Joe studied set design at Northwestern University and has received two After Dark Awards. You can see his work later this year at Lifeline in The City & The City.
Benjamin W. Dawson (Production Manager)
Ben received his MFA in Technical Design & Production Management from Florida State University. He served as the Production Safety Coordinator with The Santa Fe Opera and as Art Director for several television series with networks like Discovery, PBS, MTV and VH1. In Chicago, Ben has served, among other things, as Production Manager for Zombies Attack Chicago; as Technical Director for Remarcable Theatre’s Lips Together, Teeth Apart; and as the Scene Shop Foreman at Goodman Theatre. He is also currently a Company Member and the Production Manager for Sideshow Theatre Company and the Technical Director for American Theater Company.


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