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Mr. Popper's Penguins
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2015-16 Performances:
Miss Buncle's Book
Mr. Popper's Penguins
Midnight Cowboy
Lester's Dreadful Sweaters
Northanger Abbey
Fillet of Solo 2016
Concert Reading Series
Mr. Popper's Penguins: Cast & Crew
EXTENDED through December 13th!
Saturdays & Sundays at 11am & 1pm
Info | Cast & Crew | Press | Calendar | Study Guide

Josh Bernaski Josh Bernaski (Admiral Drake, Reporter & Others)
Josh is very excited to be making both his Lifeline and Chicago debut with Mr. Popper's Penguins. Originally from the Philadelphia area and a proud graduate of Temple University (BA), Josh has since performed across the country at Playhouse on the Square, Nashville Children's Theatre, Arden Theatre Company, and others. Josh recently toured throughout South America and the Middle East performing an original musical for students learning English with ArtSpot Educational Theatre, based in Argentina. Many thanks to the incredible Lifeline team, as well as my ever-supportive family and friends.
Heather Currie Heather Currie (Mrs. Popper)
Heather is a proud Lifeline ensemble member, where she was most recently seen as Ma and Mrs. Garrow in One Came Home and Mrs. Fairfax in Jane Eyre. This spring she will direct Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters for the Lifeline KidSeries. Other Lifeline Theatre credits include: Click Clack Boo! A Tricky Treat; Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type; Dooby Dooby Moo; Duck for President (2008 and 2012); and How To Survive a Fairy Tale. Heather is known for her role as The Wicked Witch in WOZ: A Rock Cabaret at Stage 773 and Victory Gardens Theatre. Heather holds an MFA in Acting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and currently teaches in the department of Cinema Art + Science at Columbia College Chicago as well as the Motion Picture and Television department at College of DuPage.
Amanda Roeder Amanda Roeder (Artie Greenbaum, Mrs. Callahan & Others)
Amanda is thrilled to return to Lifeline Theatre! Her last appearance at Lifeline was as the prosecuting pig Julia in The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs. She also appeared in Lifeline's production of The Emperor's New Threads. Amanda has worked with Factory Theatre, Interrobang Theatre Project, Rivendell Theatre, the Plagiarists, City Lit, Nothing Special Productions, Hubris Productions, Infamous Commonwealth Theatre and Circle Theatre. Amanda received her BA in acting from Illinois State University and has completed Studio training at Black Box Acting Studio.
Jonathan Schwart Jonathan Schwart (Mr. Popper)
Jonathan is making his Lifeline debut. Recent credits include the Paragon Play Festival (Otherworld Theatre) and John Adams in a staged concert reading of 1776 (MCL Chicago). He performs regularly for children as a music improviser with Storytown, and has performed with the Greatest Story Never Told and MINT. Jonathan is a graduate of the ACADEMY at Black Box Acting, the Second City Music Program, and the iO Theater. He holds degrees from the University of Texas at Austin (BBA, BA) and the University of Chicago (MPP). Jonathan dedicates his performance to his nieces and nephews, and especially to his mom.
Nate Buursma Nate Buursma (Understudy)
Nate is a newcomer to Lifeline Theatre and is overjoyed to be working with such an amazing group of artists. Other recent credits include Tomato Queen; Return of Neverland (Quest Theatre Ensemble), The Titus Andronicus Project (The Home for Wayward Artists), Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged with Merry-Go-Round Playhouse in upstate NY, and Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz with Blue Ridge Dinner Theatre in VA.
Michelle Jasso Michelle Jasso (Understudy)
Michelle is thrilled to be making her Lifeline debut! A California native, Michelle recently relocated from San Francisco, where she kept very active within the theatre and opera communities. Favorite roles include Angelica (Suor Angelica), Sally Bowles (Cabaret), The Witch (Into the Woods), The Beggar Woman (Sweeney Todd, Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle award), and Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar. Most recently, Michelle played the role of Gigi in Miss Saigon with JPAC. Nationally she has appeared with Portland Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, and The Industry in Los Angeles.
Anthony Kayer Anthony Kayer (Understudy)
Anthony is absolutely giddy to be returning to Lifeline! Other Lifeline credits include Jane Eyre, Lyle Finds His Mother, The Emperor's New Threads, and Arnie the Doughnut. Chicago credits include: R&J: a techno ballet (inappropriate theatre), SITA RAM (Chicago Children’s Choir/Lookingglass), Iphigenia 2.0 (Next Theatre), The March (Steppenwolf), and Elizabeth Rex (Chicago Shakes). Anthony is an alumnus of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.
Sierra Nibbe Sierra Nibbe (Understudy)
Sierra is very happy to be making her Lifeline debut! Recent Chicago credits include: Sweeney Todd (Porchlight), Seussical (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), A Cole Porter Songbook (Theo Ubique, Theatre on the Lake); Kennedy: The Musical (Proscenium Productions - Broadway Workshop), and two seasons with Northbrook Theatre for Young Audiences. Regional credits include: Les Misérables (Sierra Repertory Theatre); Parade (Music Theatre of Madison); Les Misérables, South Pacific, and Sweeney Todd (Four Seasons Theatre). When she's not on the stage, Sierra works behind the scenes as the costume designer for Spartan Theatre Company. She received her BFA in musical theatre from the Chicago College of Performing Arts.
Robert Kauzlaric Robert Kauzlaric (Adaptor)
Robert is a proud member of Lifeline’s artistic ensemble. He has written over a dozen theatrical adaptations which have been produced all across the U.S., as well as in England, Ireland, and Canada. For Lifeline, he wrote the MainStage adaptations of The Island of Dr. Moreau (Non-Equity Jeff Awards: Best Production-Play and New Adaptation), The Picture of Dorian Gray, Neverwhere (Non-Equity Jeff Award: New Adaptation), The Moonstone, The Woman in White, and The Three Musketeers; and the KidSeries adaptations of The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!, Flight of the Dodo, The 13 Clocks, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, and Lions in Illyria.
George Howe George Howe (Composer, Lyricist, Music Director)
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 five musicals in the Click, Clack, Moo series; Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile; Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch; The Emperor's New Threads; 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. George can be heard belting out showtunes and pop songs at Davenport’s Piano Bar and Cabaret.
Paul S. Holmquist Paul S. Holmquist (Director)
Paul joined the ensemble in 2006. He has previously staged the Lifeline KidSeries shows Rikki Tikki Tavi, Flight of the Dodo, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, and The Mystery of the Pirate Ghost and the MainStage productions of The Island of Dr. Moreau, Busman's Honeymoon, Neverwhere, The Moonstone, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Soon I Will Be Invincible. 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. This one is for Gus Carlson Holmquist.
Clare Roche Kate Reed (Stage Manager)
Kate is thrilled to be working with Lifeline Theatre again after serving as assistant stage manager for Soon I Will Be Invincible, One Came Home, Jane Eyre, and Monstrous Regiment. Her previous stage management credits include The Duchess of Malfi, Bye Bye Birdie, and Amadeus (Northwestern University Theatre and Interpretation Center) and The Xylophone West (Fine Print Theatre Co). She graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Performance Studies.
Elyse Balogh Elyse Balogh (Properties Designer)
Mr. Popper's Penguins is Elyse's first production with Lifeline. Elyse is a Chicago-based designer of scenery, props and scenic art. Her most recent work is prop design for Emerald City Theatre's The Magic Tree House: A Night in New Orleans. Other design credits include scenic design for Fury Theatre's Nobody's Wench, and Borderlands with Underscore. As a charge artist Elyse has worked with Theater Wit on their production of Bad Jews at the Royal Geroge and Windy City Playhouse's Stick Fly. Elyse graduated from DePaul University with a BFA in Scenic Design
Sarah Espinoza Sarah Espinoza (Sound Designer)
Sarah is an alumnus of Loyola University Chicago. She is currently co-sound designing The Last Defender (The House) and Deathscribe 2015(WildClaw), and sound designing Midnight Cowboy (Lifeline). She has recently co-sound designed The Revel (The House), sound designed Motel 666 (Wildclaw), Midsummer Night’s Dream (Two Pence), fml: How Carson McCullers saved my life (Loyola University Chicago), The Arsonists (Strawdog), and Deathscribe 2014 (Wildclaw). She is also a company member of WildClaw.
Noah Ginex Noah Ginex (Puppet Designer)
This is Noah's first production with Lifeline Theatre. In addition to producing his own shows, Noah's other Chicago theatre credits include puppet design work for WNEP Theater, Defiant, Piccolo in Evanston, and numerous others. Noah's non-Chicago work has taken him around the country designing puppets for stage and screen, working for such luminaries as Canadian rockers Barenaked Ladies, the USNA Glee Club in Annapolis, the Florida State University Masters Film program, and many more.
Izumi Inaba Izumi Inaba (Costume Designer)
Izumi is delighted to work on one of Rob Kauzlaric's plays once again after designing Lions in Illyria last season. Other Lifeline credits include The City & The City and most recently, Miss Buncle’s Book. Her work has also appeared in productions with theatre companies such as Griffin, Steep, Strawdog, The Hypocrites, American Blues, Chicago Dramatists, 16th Street, The House, Redtwist, Raven, Northlight, Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakes, and many more. She is a resident designer at Albany Park Theatre Project, and a company member at Red Tape Theatre. She earned her MFA in Stage Design at Northwestern University.
Jordan Kardasz Jordan Kardasz (Lighting Designer)
Jordan is so thrilled to be back at Lifeline, having last designed Lions in Illyria and assistant designed Jane Eyre. She has worked with lots of companies around Chicago over the years but is most proud to be an ensemble member with Strawdog and and artistic associate with Sideshow. Despite the many shows Jordan has worked on, this is her first one involving penguins. She hopes you love this show as much as she does!
Jow Schermoly Joe Schermoly (Scenic Designer)
Joe has been the Technical Director at Lifeline for four seasons, during which time he has designed sets for The Mystery of the Pirate Ghost, A Tale of Two Cities, The City & The City, The Count of Monte Cristo, Lions In Illyria, and The One and Only Ivan. Joe is also an ensemble member with the Griffin Theatre, where he has designed and built many sets including Titanic, Spelling Bee, Flare Path, Punk Rock, Port, and Constant Wife. His other design work includes productions with Theatre Wit (Seven Homeless Mammoths, Completeness), Sideshow (Stupid F***ing Bird, Idomeneus, The Ugly One) and Irish Theatre of Chicago (The Seafarer, Lay Me Down Softly). Joe studied set design at Northwestern University and has received two After Dark Awards and two Jeff Nominations.

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