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“MAN OF THE PEOPLE”

by Dolores Díaz

 

and features: 

Michael Peters as..................Brinkley

Joan Nahid as.......................Minnie

Andrew Bosworth as..............Fishbein

Shawn Smith as........Maxwell/Morriss

Sandy Spatz as........................Fanny

Rob Koon as............Stitsworth/Hassig

 

Directed by Anna C. Bahow

Assistant Direction and Stage Management by Kyle Aschbrenner*

Production Management by Eric Cope

Scenic Design by Jonathan Berg-Einhorn

Sound Design by Hannah Foerschler

Costume Design by Andrés Mota

Lighting Design by Ellie Humphrys

Intimacy Design by Charlie Baker

Properties Design by Laura De Croocq

Properties Design Assistance by Carlos Lux

Assistant Stage Management by Kenneth Martin

Casting by Caleb Jenkins*

Understudies: Chris JensenMelissa Nelson, Adam Schulmerich,

and Laura Mazzuca Toops         

*Indicates Ensemble Member

DIRECTORS NOTES

There have always been charlatans, confidence men, and hucksters  but through technology they can  whisper to us in the dark, come into our living rooms, and follow us in our pockets should we choose to open portable Pandora's boxes. Offering an easy fix, stoking our outrage, seeping in through the cracks of our consciousness, they offer a connection, an answer to our ills. They fill in the gap for those who feel unseen, and those unserved. Who has access to actual solutions, who is prioritized in getting answers and who turns away when our system fails? These are questions that we asked in our process and hope we inspire you to contemplate - not alone in the dark but with us. - Anna C. Bahow

 

MEET THE ARTISTS

Andrew Bosworth (Fishbein): Andrew recently performed in Redtwist's ANTIGONE and Glass Apple’s DRACULA. He is currently working toward teacher certification with the International Demidov Association, and will be one of four people in the world trained to teach the approach, along with colleagues in London and Athens. 

Rob Koon (Stitsworth/Hassig): Robert recently appeared in MIDDLE PASSAGE for Lifeline Theatre and HAMLET for Invictus Theatre. He is an ensemble member with Broken Nose Theatre, where he appeared in LABYRINTH and HUMAN TERRAIN. Other credits include CASA L.VAENTINA for Pride Films and Plays, A DICKENS CAROL for Madison Street Theatre, FUN HARMLESS WARMACHINE for The New Coordinates, PILLARS OF THE COMMUNITY for Strawdog, THE WOMAN IN BLACK for Wildclaw Theatre, THE TAMING OF THE SHREW for Oak Park Festival Theatre, and CHAGRIN FALLS for The Agency (Jeff nomination). Robert is a Resident Playwright alumnus at Chicago Dramatists, and his plays include the Jeff-nominated ODIN'S HORSE and VINTAGE RED AND THE DUST OF THE ROAD (Joseph Jefferson Award for New Work). He is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Joan Nahid (Minnie): Joan is an Iranian Chicago-based actor, writer and voice artist. Her Chicago credits include ANTIGONE (Redtwist Theatre), THE MADNESS OF EDGAR ALLAN POE (Oak Park Festival Theatre), KISS (Haven Theatre), TANGO (Trap Door Theatre), THE MADNESS OF EDGAR ALLAN POE (First Folio Theatre), THE LOCKETEER (Trap Door Theatre), THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA (Saint Sebastian Players), THE MALTA PLAY (Artemisia Theatre), THE BACCHAE (Saltbox Theatre). She holds a M.F.A in Theatre from Tehran University.

 

Michael Peters (Brinkley): Michael's notable credits include Rudge in THE HISTORY BOYS at TimeLine Theatre (Equity Jeff Awards for Best Production, Best Ensemble) and Cliff in CABARET with The Hypocrites (Non-Equity Jeff Award for Best Production). He is also a co-founder of Chicago-based The New Coordinates where he is proud to serve as Associate Artistic Director. He is a proud alumnus of Columbia College Chicago.   

Shawn Smith (Maxwell/Morriss): Shawn Smith is an actor, writer, singer, composer, musician, and producer, these words define the artistic being known as Shawn Smith. Since he was a child he has performed in various theatrical plays and musicals throughout the Midwest and Los Angeles, CA; Tyrone in Fame, Black in Fahrenheit 451, Simeon in Joseph and the Technicolor DreamCoat, and Ernst in Spring Awakening. 

 

Sandy Spatz (Fanny): Sandy favorite roles include Woman in "NOW AND THEN", Clairee in "STEEL MAGNOLIAS", Aunt Gert in "LOST IN YONKERS", First Lady Julia Grant in "DEMOCRACY", 14 different women in "ORWELL DOWN AND OUT", Jackie in "HOT L BALTIMORE", and several roles in the world premiere of "THE GRAPES OF WRATH" at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Sandy is also extremely honored to have played Nurse Bethany in the independent feature film "GINGER". 

Chris Jensen (Fishbein U/S): Chris received his theatrical education from the University of Michigan and the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. His educational credits encompass roles such as Nathan 1/2/3 in Nora: a Doll’s House and Tartuffe in Tartuffe. Previous regional credits include Bert (u/s) in All My Sons (Pacific Coast Conservatory), Billy Bunco in Death at Devil’s Cave (Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville), Ralphie in A Christmas Story (SLO Repertory Theatre) and Orson Welles' Dracula (Glass Apple Theatre). https://seasjensen.com/

Melissa Nelson (Minne U/S): Melissa graduated from Illinois State University and roles have included Andrea, Thicker Than Water (Genesis Theatricals), Marianne Faithful, The David Bowie Hepzicat Funky Velvet Flarny Solstice Special: Dave Bowie Christmas Special Network Edit (New Millennium Theatre), and Sonia, Poser (Count Films/Mobula Productions on Amazon).

Adam Schulmerich (Brinkley U/S): Adam is a graduate of the SUNY Purchase College Conservatory of Theatre Arts & Film. Recent Chicago Credits include "Black Sox on Trial," "Rasheeda Speaking," and "Don't Dress for Dinner."  He is thrilled to be joining the "Man of the People" team, and would like to extend his thanks to the wonderful cast and crew and the team at Stage Left

Laura Mazzuca Toops (Fanny U/S): Laura is an actor and playwright who is involved in all aspects of local community theater as well as independent films, music videos and commercials. Credits include directing her one-act play, Crossing Over (Hammond Community Theater, 2021); the short film Leaving Michiana (Sofia Lynch, dir., 2021); Sue Bayliss in All My Sons (4th Street Theater, Chesterton, Ind., 2019); and Anna Mae in Talking With (Crown Point Community Theater, 2018). She has taken playwrighting classes at Chicago Dramatists and acting at Second City Chicago.

DIRECTION AND DESIGN:

 

Dolores Díaz (Playwright) is a Chicago-based Chicana playwright originally from the border city of Laredo, Texas. Most recently, Goodman Theatre produced ZULEMA (2021)—in partnership with Sones de México, the Chicago Park District, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA), and the National Museum of Mexican Art—the show toured the Chicago Parks District with a finale in Millennium Park. Díaz is currently a resident at Chicago Dramatists and most recently served as a playwriting resident at TimeLine Theatre. Dolores has taught students at Columbia College Chicago, Texas Tech University, Northwestern University, and various Chicago public schools. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s MFA Program in Writing for the Screen and Stage and serves as a Dramatists Guild Representative in Chicago.

Anna C. Bahow (Director)  is an award-winning Chicago-based theatre director committed to developing new work and a diversity of voices. She is an Artistic Associate with Silk Road Rising -foregrounding Asian, South Asian, and Middle Eastern artists, an Associate Artist with The International Voices Project -bringing plays from around the world to Chicago, an Associate Artist at Chicago Dramatists, and a member of Promethean Theatre. Her productions have received JEFF Awards for New Work and Use of Multimedia. She was a directing fellow at the Goodman Theatre and a recipient of a 3ARTS WAVE Grant and several Chicago Individual Artist Grants.  AnnaBahow.com

Kyle Aschbrenner* (Assistant Director /Stage Manager)  Kyle is a Director, Dramaturg & Stage Manager from Central IL. He moved to Chicago in 2019 after graduating from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Since then, he’s stage managed and directed shows with the Miracle Center, University of Illinois at Chicago and Stage Left Theatre. Kyle has a passion for new works and is very excited to be playing a part in this world premiere! Other directing credits include: Mr. Marmalade (Director, SIUC), Punk Rock (Director, SIUC), Cruise (Director, Stage Left Theatre’s Spring Fling), Open (Assistant Director, Stage Left Theatre). He is currently an ensemble member of Stage Left.

 

Eric Cope (Production Manager) is a lighting designer for theatre, dance, and corporate events.  His theatre work has been seen in New York, Florida, Texas, and Indiana.  Currently, he designs and manages a team of corporate lighting designers providing lighting for special events, trade shows, and specialty exhibits across the country.  He earned an MFA in Stage Design from Southern Methodist University.

Jonathan Berg-Einhorn (Scenic Designer) Jonathan is a Chicago based designer and artisan. Favorite scenic design credits: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Mercury Theater),Hand to God (Paramount Theatre), Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Citadel), Isaac’s Eye (Redtwist), Who Killed Joan Crawford? (Glitterati Productions), Alice in Wonderland, The ARC Trials (Mudlark Theatre); Curious George: The Golden Meatball (Hope Summer Repertory Theater); Brooke Astor’s Last Affair (Chicago Musical Theatre Festival), The Seven Deadly Sins, Endgame (Boston University). Jonathanbergeinhorn.com.

Hannah Foerschler (Sound Designer) Hannah is a Chicago-based sound designer and musician. She holds an MA in Sound Arts & Industries from Northwestern University and a BA in Music from Kenyon College, and she apprenticed with the Purple Rose Theatre Company during their 2015-2016 season. Her design credits span from podcasting to theatre, including work on the audio dramas UNWELL: A MIDWESTERN GOTHIC MYSTERY and THE VANISHING ACT, and performances by Third Avenue PlayWorks (Sturgeon Bay, WI), The Actor's Gymnasium, Jackalope Theatre Company, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, Strawdog Theatre Company, and other Chicagoland performing arts organizations. Hannah is currently the Interim Sound Manager for Theatre & Performance Studies at the University of Chicago and a proud member of the Theatrical Sound Designers & Composers Association.

Andrés (Andy) Mota (Costume Designer) Andrés Mota is a Mexican costume designer now based in  Chicago. Graduated from The National School of  Theater Arts (Mexico City) B.A. degree in Theatre set design with specialization in Costume Design and Diplomas in Costumes for TV. Film and Advertising; Costume in the Clown. Some Mexican credits includes:  EL CASAMIENTO, OPCIÓN MÚLTIPLE, AURA (Opera version), TANTO RUIDO PARA NADA (National School of Fine Arts), TELEFONEMAS (Hefesto Teatro, University Theater Festival Finalists); Short films:  VERONICA, ADIOS HAMBURGO (Argos Productions) NADA CAMBIA? (SAE Institute Mexico); Dance performances: EN EL OMBLIGO DE LA LUNA (Contempo-Danza), HIBRISTOFILIA (National School of Classic and Contemporary Dance Mexico). Chicagoland credits “SOUTHERN GOTHIC” as Assistant Costume Designer/Wardrobe Coordinator, Costume Designer for BURIED CHILD (AstonRep), currently working as Costume Shop Manager at Dominica University and very proud and excited to be part of MAN OF THE PEOPLE with Stage Left Theater! 

Ellie Humphrys (Lighting Designer) Ellie graduated in 2012 with a BFA in Lighting Design from The Theatre School at DePaul University and has been working the Chicago theatre scene ever since. Select design credits include: Last Night in Karaoke Town (The Factory Theatre), Gather (Filament Theatre), The Queen of Sock Pairing (Red Tape Theatre), Detour Guide (Silk Road Rising/Stage Left Theatre), Hellcab (The Agency Theatre Collective), Belfast Girls (Artemesia Theatre), and Ladies First (Laboratory Dancers). More information and an online portfolio can be found at www.ellielightstheatre.com

Charlie Baker (Intimacy Designer)

Laura De Croocq (Properties Designer)

Carlos Lux (Properties Design Assistant

Kenneth Martin (Assistant Stage Manager

Bobbi Masters* (Artistic Director) Since taking the helm as Artistic Director,  Bobbi has directed the online streaming production of Crystal Skillman's OPEN and created the monthly new play reading series, Off-Stage Left. Throughout her career, she has worked in various roles in the development of countless new works. As a director, her work has been seen regionally at theatres such as Kitchen Dog Theatre (where she served as an artistic associate) to Off-Off Broadway at Theatre for the New City. She previously served as Resident Director at Coffee Black Productions and an Artistic Associate at Milk Can Theatre. Bobbi currently teaches Theatre and Speech at City Colleges of Chicago. She earned her MFA in directing at Southern Illinois University- Go Saluki's! For more information, please visit her website www.bobbimasters.com

David Heimann (Managing Director) enjoys working in every aspect of theatrical production from performance, to direction, to producing. His last performance with Stage Left Theatre was in The Secret of the Old Queen. Over 20 years of performing and directing in Chicago has privileged David with working with numerous theatre companies including Pegasus Players, Chicago Kids Company, Theo Ubique Theatre, and Porchlight Theater. David directed the shows for the World Scout Jamboree in 2019. AMDG.

 

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Membership Program

Stage Left fans and supporters can help Stage Left through these challenging times for live performance, get access to all our public programming for the 2022-23 Season, and receive invitations to special VIP-only events, by taking advantage of our new Membership program. Annual Memberships are $115 and replace our traditional subscription programs. Memberships can be purchased on our website.

 

About Stage Left

Founded in 1982, Stage Left Theatre is committed to developing and producing plays that raise the level of debate and challenge perspectives on political and social issues. Through a full mainstage season and our new play development program Downstage Left, Stage Left strives to ask provocative social and political questions by producing a mix of new works, regional premieres and timeless classics.

 

Board of Directors

President: Angelique Sallas, Ph.D.

Melissa Lindberg, Ph.D.

Carl Nyberg

Ron Schofield

 

Stage Left Staff

Managing Director: David Heimann

Artistic Director: Bobbi Masters

Artistic Ensemble: 

Kyle Aschbrenner

Ben Bishop

Caleb Jenkins

Darren Jones

Hannah Kfoury

Jazmine Mazique

Robert Mosby Jr.

Stephanie Murphy

Rachel Van

Deana Velandra

Christopher Wayland

Seth Wilson

Brenda Winstead

Emeritus Ensemble 

Leigh Barrett

Kate Black-Spence

Larry Dahlke

Cat Dean

Melanie Derleth

Christine Gatto

Marguerite Hammersley

Kevin Heckman

Lisa Herceg

Jessi D. Hill

John Kohn III

Cory Krebsbach

M.E.H. Lewis

Melissa Lindberg

Mia McCullough

Brian Plocharczyk

David Rush

John Sanders

David Schmitz

Jack Short

Jacki Singleton

Vance Smith

Don Tieri

Jack Tippett

Sandra Verthein

 

Special Thank You To:

Lost Eras

Amy Peter

Eric Luchen

Amanda Herrmann

Jesse Gaffney

Ariel Madrid

Artistic Director Message

 

Welcome to Stage Left Theatre’s production of “MAN OF THE PEOPLE” by Dolores Díaz. We are so excited to open our 41th season with in-person performances after producing live virtual and outdoor performances during the pandemic. We hope you enjoy “MAN OF THE PEOPLE” and will continue to support the mission of Stage Left Theatre by attending and donating to our company. We continue to exist because of your support. - Bobbi Masters