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The Emperor's New Threads: Cast & Crew

March 23 – April 28, 2013
(No performances Sunday, March 31)
Extended to May 5th!

Illustration by Charles Riffenburg

Anthony Kayer (Huckster/Dad/Preen)
Anthony is thrilled to be back at Lifeline where he was last seen as Mr. Bing in Arnie the Doughnut. Recent Chicago credits include: SITA RAM (Chicago Children’s Choir), Iphigenia 2.0 (Next Theatre), The March (Steppenwolf), and Elizabeth Rex (Chicago Shakespeare). Anthony is an alumni of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and a proud ensemble member of The Inappropriate Theatre Company.
Mike Ooi (Emperor)
Mike is pleased to return to Lifeline's KidSeries after appearing in The Mystery of the Pirate Ghost, Duck For President, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, The 13 Clocks, and The Last of the Dragons. Other Chicago credits include Neverwhere, The Mark of Zorro (Lifeline Theatre); RenFaire! A Fistful of Ducats, Black & Blue, 1985, Mop Top Festival (Factory Theater); Sinbad: The Untold Tale, Ghosts of Treasure Island (AdventureStage); Three Penny Opera (The Hypocrites at Steppenwolf Garage); Old Town (Strawdog Theatre); and 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. You can also see Mike this summer in Lifeline’s The Three Musketeers.
Amanda Roeder (Mom/June/Marissa/Primp)
Amanda is thrilled to be making her Lifeline debut in this fantastically fun show! She most recently appeared as Annee in Anneepocalypse with Hubris Productions. Other Chicago credits include work with Infamous Commonwealth Theatre, Rivendell Theatre, the Plagiarists, City Lit, Nothing Special Productions, and Circle Theatre. Amanda received her BA in acting from Illinois State University and has taken classes at Black Box Studio.
Kacy Ann Smith (Kid)
Kacy is delighted and honored to be making her Lifeline debut! Favorite credits include You Never Can Tell (Remy Bumppo); Zanna, Don’t! and The 48 Hour Musicals (The Music Theatre Company); a benefit concert of Carousel (Theatre Wit); A Christmas Carol (Metropolis Performing Arts Center); All My Sons, Calvin and Hobbes, Romeo and Juliet, A Connecticut... King Arthur’s Court, Three Days of Rain, A Bright Room Called Day, and Eurydice (Northwestern University); and Anne of Green Gables and The Chalk Garden (A.D. Players). Kacy is an alumna of Northwestern University, where she received a BS in Theatre and in Economics.
Nicholas Reinhart (Understudy)
Nicholas is thrilled to be working with Lifeline Theatre for the first time! Previous Chicago credits include: The Baker's Wife, The Ritz (Circle Theatre); Cabaret (FourPlay Theatre Co.); and Santa’s Dead and Dirty Carol’s Christmas (MidTangent Productions). Regionally, he has performed in Portland, OR (Pippin and Annie Warbucks) and in Amarillo, TX (TEXAS Musical Drama) before settling back in the city he calls home. Nicholas currently holds the title of Producing Director at Circle Theatre and is a proud alumnus of Illinois Wesleyan University. Thank you for supporting Chicago theatre!
Amy Stricker (Understudy)
Amy is thrilled to be a part of The Emperor's New Threads! She is a recent graduate of The Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, where she received her B.F.A. in Musical Theatre. There, she performed in Sweeney Todd, numerous dance and musical showcases, and The Greenwood Tree, during which she made her Auditorium Theatre debut. Favorite credits include: Company (Marta), Footloose! (Wendy Jo), Reefer Madness (Mary Lane), Les Miserables (Eponine), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hermia).
Frances Limoncelli (Adaptor/Director)
Frances has been a member of Lifeline’s artistic ensemble since 1995 and is the adaptor of Mrs. Caliban, Whose Body?, Strong Poison (Non-Equity Jeff Award: New Adaptation), Gaudy Night (Non-Equity Jeff Award: New Adaptation), and Busman’s Honeymoon (Non-Equity Jeff Award: New Adaptation). For Lifeline’s KidSeries she adapted Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch and Arnie the Doughnut with Emperor’s composer/lyricist George Howe. She directed Lifeline’s Simple Jim And His Four Fabulous Friends, The Story Of Ferdinand, Miss Bianca, Half Magic, Cooking with Lard, and the original musical Queen Lucia. Onstage at Lifeline she is best remembered as Chester the Cat in Bunnicula and the title role in Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.
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.
Jennifer Aparicio (Stage Manager)
Jennifer returns to Lifeline, where she last stage managed Arnie the Doughnut. Past stage management credits include Accidental Rapture (16th Street Theater), No Roosters in the Desert (Prop THTR), and Tony Fitzpatrick’s Trilogy (This Train, Station’s Lost, and Nickel History) at Steppenwolf Garage and The Boiler in Brooklyn, NY. She most recently stage managed Juan Francisco Villa’s Empanada for a Dream at 16th Street Theater.
Victoria (toy) DeIorio (Sound Designer)
As a company member, toy has designed 12, directed 1, composed 2, and acted in 1 Lifeline shows! Off-Broadway Productions: Arnie the Doughnut (NYMTF @ The Pearl), Cassie’s Chimera (Joe’s Pub @ The Public Theatre), The Bluest Eye (Steppenwolf Theatre @ The Duke Theatre), and Ophelia (NYC Fringe Festival @ The Connelly). Regional: Oregon Shakespeare, The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Victory Gardens Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Writers’ Theatre, Chautauqua Theatre Company, Syracuse Stage, Centerstage, Cleveland Playhouse, Indiana Repertory, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Peninsula Players, Milwaukee Rep, Geva Theatre, People’s Light and Theatre, Florida Stage, Maltz Jupiter, and many other theatres in and around Chicago, NY, and LA. She has been nominated for 11 and has received 6 Joseph Jefferson Awards, as well as 2 After Dark Awards. She is the head of Sound Design for The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago.
Alan Donahue (Lighting Designer)
Alan has previous designed lighting for Lifeline's productions of Stuart Little, The Killer Angels, and The Talisman Ring (2005). Among his many scenic designs for Lifeline, he received Jeff Citations/Awards for his designs of The Little Sister, Jane Eyre (2001), Around the World in 80 Days, Mariette in Ecstasy, and Neverwhere. For Lifeline, Alan has also created literary adaptations: Donald E. Westlake's Trust Me on This and Adam Langer’s Crossing California for the MainStage and Daniel Pinkwater's Bongo Larry & Two Bad Bears and Eileen Spinelli's Sophie's Masterpiece—A Spider's Tale for KidSeries.
Rebecca Hamlin (Scenic & Properties Designer)
Rebecca has designed scenery for many Lifeline shows, both for the MainStage and the KidSeries. Just a few favorites include A Long Way From Chicago, The Velveteen Rabbit, Dracula, and The Road to Graceland. She has designed scenery extensively for Chicago-area theatres including Apple Tree Theatre, Next Theatre, Ars Viva, Bailiwick Repertory, Seanachaí, City Lit, and Oak Park Festival Theatre. Rebecca’s work with educational theatre includes scenic design for the University of Wisconsin, the University of Tulsa, Harper College, North Park University, and a variety of programs for children and teens. Rebecca’s non-theatre design and production clients include the Chicago Office of Tourism and Cultural Events, the Chicago Botanic Garden, Garfield Park Conservatory, and the Shedd Aquarium. She also illustrated a children’s book called The Animal Store Alphabet Book (available on Amazon).
Amanda Link (Choreographer/Understudy)
Amanda is excited to return to Lifeline where she was recently the movement designer and assistant director for The City & The City. She also assistant directed Pride and Prejudice and appeared in Duck for President, How To Survive a Fairy Tale, Dooby Dooby Moo, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, and Half Magic. She is 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.
Elizabeth Wislar (Costume Designer)
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 is the 2004 recipient of the Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award, an After Dark Costume Design Award for Design for Living and a Joseph Jefferson Award for An Ideal Husband, both with Circle Theater, and another for Queen Lucia with Lifeline Theatre, as well as multiple nominations. Elizabeth is the owner of Chicago Custom Costumes, Inc.
Joe Schermoly (Technical Director)
Joe is a set designer, technical director, and painter. His design work has been seen at Lifeline Theatre (The City & The City,The Mystery of the Pirate Ghost, and 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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