FIFTY SHADES OF SHAKESPEARE TEAM:
Courtney Abbott (Actor) is thrilled to be working with (re)discover theatre for the first time! She was delighted to play Touchstone last summer at First Folio Theatre, and can often be found shouting in a bar with the Back Room Shakespeare Project. www.courtneyabbott.com
Special thanks: Jenny, Leah, Marcia, Jim, Moe, Dan, & Vahishta!
(She is a majestic unicorn who is killing it all over Chicago. Her hair is cool. Her friend Vahishta wrote this.)
(She has a killer bod and is looking for lust, not love in 2018. Favorite movies are The Godfather trilogy, and Mermaids. Her friend Sarah wrote this bio.)
Charlie Baker (Actor) is thrilled to be a part of (re)Discover Thestre’s 2018 cast. They have previously been seen flouncing around town with the Unrehearsed Shakespeare Company, and can often be glimpsed with Anarchy an Improvised Rock Opera. If music be the food of love, crank that shit.
Ty Carter (Actor) is an actor from Kansas City who is always excited to share his love of Shakespeare! After graduating from Stephens College, Ty has gone one to primarily do Shakespeare (Merchant of Venice with HASF, and Richard III with Fury Theatre) and children’s theatre ( Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer with the Coterie and Montauciel Takes Flight with Lifeline theatre). He would like to thank his family for their ongoing support, his friends for their optimism and encouragement, and the cast and crew of Fifty Shades of Shakespeare: thank you!
Gabriela Diaz (Actor) is brand spankin' new to Chicago and very excited to be a part of this project. Her previous credits include: Tony N' Tina's Wedding (Swing), Julius Caesar (Portia), In the Heights (Carla), Found At Sea (Bear) and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Peaseblossom). Gabriela has a BFA in Acting from Webster Conservatory '16. She would love to thank her unbelievable family for their support, and Kyle, who has made new city a new home.
Lexi Saunders (Director) is a queer director, performer, and teaching artist originally from Los Angeles before graduating from UC San Diego. She has directed various works at Haven, The Gift, Mudlark, Theater of Thought, Pride Films & Plays, and assistant directed at Steppenwolf, Victory Gardens, Steep, and Jackalope. She is also a recurring director for 2nd Story, and was selected for Victory Gardens’ 2016 Directors Inclusion Initiative and Haven Theatre’s 2017 Directors Haven. She currently teaches for TimeLine, ATC, Silk Road Rising, and The Viola Project, and performs in About Face’s Queer Outreach Ensemble. Lexi is so excited to work with (re)discover for the first time and is so thankful to the entire cast and creative team for making this crazy show so much fun!
Daniella Wheelock (Assistant Director) is a recent Chicago transplant originally from San Diego, California. She graduated magna cum laude from the Conservatory for Theatre Arts at Webster University with a degree in Directing, and recently completed the Directing Emerging Professional Residency at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. Recent assistant directing credits include: You Got Older (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); Mr. Burns, a post-electric play (Luminous Theatre Company); The Glass Menagerie (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre). Recent directing credits include: The Fault of Falling (San Diego Fringe); Life, Goat, and Sonder: a Devised Piece (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre); Mr. Burns, a post-electric play (Conservatory for Theatre Arts at Webster University).
Camille Oswald (Stage Manager) This is Camille’s first show with (re)discover and it has been an absolute blast! Originally from Rhode Island, Camille is a recent graduate of UNC Chapel Hill and a recent Chicago resident. Camille has previously stage managed for Midsommer Flight’s production of Twelfth Night, she is a member of the Hangar Theatre’s Lab Company of 2015, and she devised and performed in the original play Half Light, which went on to win the First Fortnight Award at the Dublin Fringe Festival. Camille would like to thank the cast and crew for all of their hard work!
Sarai Moore (Assistant Stage Manager) is excited to be joining the Fifty Shades of Shakespeare team! Her recent credits include For One [(re)discover theatre], Spoon River Anthology: The Dark Currents (E.D.G.E. of Orion), and Barney the Elf (Other Theatre Company). Her next upcoming project is Sweet Sixteen Extravaganza!!! with Blue Goose Theatre Ensemble. She is also a proud ensemble member of (re)discover theatre.
Hannah Todd (Text Coach) and Shakespeare go way back. In DC, where she worked at the Shakespeare Theatre and Folger Theater, among others, Hannah co-founded We Happy Few Productions (wehappyfewdc.com), where she directed Hamlet, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, The Winter’s Tale, and Lope de Vega’s The Dog in the Manger. In Chicago, Hannah has directed at the Apollo Theater Chicago, and assistant directed at Northlight, Lookingglass, and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Hannah is completing her MFA at Northwestern, where her directing included The Tempest in cooperation with the Actors Gymnasium.
Rachel Flesher (Violence/Intimacy Designer) is an Intimacy, Violence, and Movement Designer/Instructor. Select Chicago violence/intimacy credits include Cabaret! (Paramount Theatre); Constellations (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); Women in Jeopardy, The Man Beast! (First Folio); The Burials (Steppenwolf for Young Adults); In the Next Room, or the vibrator play (TimeLine Theatre); Insurrection (Stage Left); Hang Man (The Gift Theatre). Her goal is to create safe space for actors to perform brave work. Rachel is an Instructor with the Fight Directors Canada, and an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College Chicago and DePaul University. Thanks to family and friends for unwavering support. Change the World!
Zack Payne (Assistant Violence and Intimacy Designer) is a violence and intimacy designer as well as an actor. He is ecstatic to create with Rediscover Theatre for the first time. A few other productions he has been blessed to work on are: “In the Next Room...Or the Vibrator Play” with Timeline Theatre, “Burials” with Steppenwolf for Young Audiences, “Manbeast” at First Folio Theatre. Special thanks go to Rachel Flesher (she is an inspiration) and Jim Payne, Zack’s father (for providing encouragement and love and so much support).
Daniel C. Brown (Assistant Violence and Intimacy Designer) is thrilled to be working with (re)discover Theatre as a Junior Intimacy Design Assistant. He is a recent graduate of Oklahoma City University. Other Chicago theatres he has worked with include Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and The Gift Theatre.
Ellie Humphrys (Lighting Designer) Ellie graduated in 2012 with a BFA in Lighting Design from DePaul University and has been working the storefront theatre scene ever since. Previous design credits with (re)discover theatre include For One and 50 Shades of Shakespeare circa 2017. She is a company member with The Agency Theatre Collective and has designed numerous shows with them including Hellcab, Nautilina, Chagrin Falls, At The Center, Truth in Context, and I wish to Apologize to the People of Illinois. Additional designs of note include Belfast Girls with Artemesia Theatre, Faces of Eurydice with CUBE Ensemble, and Ladies First with Laboratory Dancers. www.ellielightstheatre.com
Ralph Loza (Sound Designer) thinks you are amazing, and thanks you for supporting inclusive and collaborative theater! You can find Ralph at WFMT, Experimental Sound Studio, or all throughout the city of Chicago in your local theater.
Janet Howe (Costume Designer) is Chicago based director, costume designer, and Co-Artistic Director of (re)discover theatre. Janet’s work as a director focuses on activating audiences and embracing the power of live experience. Much of Janet's work includes immersive theatre, site-sympathetic works, devising, physical work, and developing new scripts. Most notable projects include, experience directing FOR ONE A series of plays built for an audience of one, and developing and directing the fully immersive Farewell My Friend. janetkhowe.com
Shannon Melick (Props Designer) Scenic designer / Chicago import / MSU grad / Loves cats and lazy Sundays
Mia Vivens she/her/hers (Movement Director) is a Chicago actor/ mover/ maker who is interested in (among many things) exploring the intersections of blackness and queerness and expanding our definitions of both. She is the Associate Director of Outreach and Engagement at About Face Theatre Company and is always figuring out how to be a better ally, friend, and citizen. In Chicago she has worked with American Theater Company, The Inconvenience, Collaboraction, and many others. Happy show-- let's shake it!
Special Thanks to: Epworth United Methodist Church, Hamburger Mary's, Alyssa Wheelock, Wet Personal Lubricants, and The Pleasure Chest
This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency