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The Mystery of the Pirate Ghost: Cast & Crew
January 12 – February 17, 2013

Casey Cunningham (Otto)
Casey is thrilled to be making her Lifeline debut in this amazing show! Recent credits include The Life of Death, Kill Me, and Deathscribe 2012 with WildClaw Theatre, where she is a company member and casting director. Casey has also worked with Adventure Stage Chicago, Route 66 Theatre Company, the Ruckus (where she is a current Artist in Residence), and many others. Casey is a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf and sings in a band called ElvisBride.
Josh Douglas (Uncle Tooth)
Josh is excited to make his Lifeline Theatre debut in The Mystery of the Pirate Ghost. In his short time in the Windy City he has performed in The Circus Princess and The Cousin From Nowhere with Chicago Folks Operetta and was last seen as the Jester in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Elektra. Past St. Louis credits include: The Who’s Tommy (Uncle Ernie), Urinetown (Officer Barrel), Tape (Jon), Guys and Dolls (Nicely Nicely Johnson), As You Like It (Oliver), and Lend Me a Tenor (Tito Merelli). Josh received his B.S. in Theatre Performance from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in 2009.
Conor McCahill (Joe Puffin/Ducky Doodle)
Conor is a 2010 graduate of the Theatre School at DePaul University, where he received a BFA in Acting. He was born and raised in the cold mountain air of Colorado and fell in love with theatre at a young age. He integrated himself into every level of theatre during high school becoming involved in makeup, costumes, scenic design, properties, and found himself a niche in playwrighting and on the stage itself. He is a working company member of Nothing Without a Company with whom he is exploring new interests in graphic design and slam poetry. He recently appeared in Adventure Stage's production of And A Child Shall Lead and Griffin Theatre's No More Dead Dogs and in the 2012 indie film Nate and Margaret, directed by Nathan Addloff.
Deanna Myers (Auntie Hick/Widow Mole)
Deanna is thrilled to be making her debut with Lifeline in this exciting adventure! Chicago credits include Cinderella in The Weaver’s Tales (Fifth House Ensemble), El Stories (The Waltzing Mechanics), Steppenwolf’s First Look Series, Second City’s Mary Scruggs Festival, Catharsis Productions, and Barrel of Monkeys. Her first feature film, The Drunk, will be released this winter. Deanna holds a BA in Theatre and Philosophy from University of Illinois, Chicago.
Mike Ooi (Captain Poopdeck)
Mike is pleased to return to Lifeline after appearing in Duck For President. Other Kidseries productions include Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, The 13 Clocks, The Last of the Dragons, and the upcoming The Emperor’s Groovy New Clothes. Other Chicago credits include Neverwhere and The Mark of Zorro (Lifeline); Renfaire! 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); Curse of the Crying Heart and Cave with Man (House Theatre). Mike is the Operations Manager for the Factory Theater, where he is also a company member.
Veronica Garza (Understudy)
Veronica is so excited to be working with Lifeline Theatre! As a new actor to the Chicago theatre scene, Veronica has most recently been seen in Godspell as Robin with the Brown Paper Box Co. and as Clarence in It's a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play at William Street Repertory. She has a BA in Theatre from Penn State and likes to play guitar in her spare time.
Kirk Osgood (Understudy)
Kirk is making his Lifeline Theatre debut with The Mystery of the Pirate Ghost. Kirk was last seen in the sold out run of Showgirls: The Musical at Stage 773, and Jack and the Beanstalk at Provision Theatre. Other Chicago credits include Emerald City Theatre, Piccolo Theatre, Navy Pier Entertainment, Tony N' Tina's Wedding, and Gorilla Tango Theatre. Kirk is a graduate of the Second City Detroit.
Greg Wenz (Understudy)
Greg is extremely thrilled to be returning to Lifeline Theatre after appearing in The Woman in White this past fall. Recent Chicago credits include: Marat/Sade with Right Brain Project, F*cking A (Urban Theater Company), Boy in Black (Chicago Fusion Theatre), My Filthy Hunt (Right Brain Project), Suburbia and Eiffel Tower Wedding Party: Radio Silence (The Nine). Since arriving in 2006, Greg has performed with several other Chicago companies including: Profiles, Prop, Theatre Seven, Victory Gardens, Halcyon, Circle, and Rooms among others. He is a member of SAG/AFTRA and holds a BFA in Acting from Ohio University.
Scott T. Barsotti (Adaptor)
Scott is thrilled to bring The Mystery of the Pirate Ghost to the Lifeline stage, having previously worked with Lifeline as an actor in Watership Down (as Fiver) and The Count of Monte Cristo (as Albert, for a day). Scott is a company member with WildClaw Theatre, Chicago’s horror theatre, where he has had two of his plays produced (The Revenants and Kill Me) and acted in productions of Carmilla and Legion. Scott’s plays have been seen all around Chicago and nationwide, and he recently had his adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Body Snatcher produced in Brisbane, Australia. Scott is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists.
Paul S. Holmquist (Director)
Paul joined the Lifeline ensemble in 2006 and has directed Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and Other "Just So" Stories, Flight of the Dodo, and Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed for Lifeline's KidSeries. Lifeline MainStage productions include 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. 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.
Troy Martin (Co-Composer/Musical Director)
Troy is very excited about his first collaboration with Lifeline Theatre. He is a musician, songwriter, and performer who has worked in and around Chicago for nearly 17 years. A founding member and composer for The Billy Goat Experiment Theatre Company, and a member of the Curious Theatre Branch, Troy has strummed, sung and/or acted with The Free Associates, Teatro Vista, The NeoFuturists and numerous others. He also sings, plays ukulele, guitar, trombone or whatever’s handy in local bands such as The Crooked Mouth, ElvisBride, and TunT.
Matt Test (Co-Composer/Musical Director)
Matt is extremely happy to be working on his first show at Lifeline. He is a company member with the Curious Theatre Branch, where he has written, performed in, and/or composed for over 20 productions since 2006. He recently workshopped his first operetta, Rung, and helped devise Elise Mayfield Is Samuel Clemens, Samuel Clemens is Mark Twain, both with The Ruckus Theater. He plays banjo, accordion, piano, and occasionally drums and cello in the bands ElvisBride, The Crooked Mouth, TunT, and Ab Wolf. He is a graduate of UC San Diego and studied graduate creative writing at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Katie Messmore (Stage Manager)
Katie is very excited to be stage managing The Mystery of the Pirate Ghost, her first show here at Lifeline. Katie graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a BA in Technical Theater and an emphasis in Stage Management. She is excited to be working with Lifeline again to close their season with The Three Musketeers.
Michael James Brooks (Sound Designer)
Michael is thrilled to return to Lifeline Theatre after designing sound for last season's Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed. Regionally, his sound design credits have included original music for the World Premiere of Seven Passages, as well as The Tempest, Elizabeth Rex, and Sense and Sensibility. He received a Kennedy Center Achievement Award for his original score of the US Premiere of Disciples, by Hungarian National Playwright Andras Visky. For over six years, Michael has also been writing and performing with Chicago-based rock band, Common Shiner.
Gary C. Echelmeyer (Lighting Designer)
This is Gary's first collaboration with Lifeline Theatre. Chicago credits include: Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Fox Valley Repertory, Norris Cultural Arts, Provision Theater, Circle Theater, Factory Theater, The Gift Theatre Company, Genesis Theatrical Productions, Porchlight Music Theater, Polarity Ensemble Theater, Theatre Seven of Chicago. Opera credits include: Houston Grand Opera, Chicago Conservatory Opera Illinois, and Tulsa Opera. Regional credits include: Texas Repertory Theater, Theater Under The Stars, Clinton Area Showboat Theater. Dance credits include: Chicago Dance Crash. Touring credits include: Here To Stay: The Gershwin Experience. Educational credits include: Elgin Community College Music Theater, Saint Ignatius College Prep H.S., Saint Francis High School. Gary received his B.S. in Theatre Design & Production at Illinois State University.
Matt Engle (Fight Choreographer)
Matt is excited to be back at Lifeline Theatre after working on Hunger and Wuthering Heights. Other Chicago violence design credits include: fml and The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter (Steppenwolf); 2000 Feet Away, Insignificance, and Breathing Corpses (Steep Theatre); Hot 'N' Throbbing (Pine Box Theatre); Marathon '33 (Strawdog Theatre); The End (Black Sheep); and The Gray Girl, League of Awesome, Siskel & Ebert Save Chicago, and Ren Faire! A Fistful of Ducats (Factory Theater). Matt is also a company member with Chicago's Factory Theater.
Kimberly G. Morris (Costume & Puppet Designer)
Kim is pleased to be working again with Lifeline Theatre. Based in Chicago, she freelance designs and builds costumes, wigs, makeup, props, puppets and special effects for numerous venues around the country including Fox Valley Repertory, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Babes with Blades, Shedd Aquarium, Stage Left Theatre, The Griffin Theater, Niles West High School, Maine East High School, and the American Shakespeare Center (VA). Upcoming projects include Julius Cesar with BWB, The Art of Murder with FVR, The Importance of Being Earnest with NWHS, and In The Heights with MEHS.
Joe Schermoly (Scenic & Properties Designer/Technical Director)
Joe is a set designer, technical director and painter and a proud Griffin company member. His design work has been seen around Chicago at Lifeline Theatre (The Count of Monte Cristo), Griffin Theatre (Punk Rock, No More Dead Dogs, Port, Constant Wife), Strawdog Theatre (Duchess of Malfi, 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 is the Technical Director at Lifeline Theatre. You can see his design work in Lifeline's winter MainStage production of 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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