Artistic Director Message
Welcome to the second annual SPRING FLING new short play festival. Stage Left is excited to be LIVE once again, and even more excited to be presenting seven NEW short plays by local Chicago playwrights. I am hopeful that these plays will inspire you to reflect on the last year, while inspiring hope and community for the coming year. Stage Left plans to return to the stage in the fall, and are hopeful that you will join us. In addition, in keeping with SLT's strong history of nurturing new work, we will be presenting several new play workshops, as well as continuing our year long residency. Of course, none of this would be possible without the support of our patrons. This means YOU! Thanks for being here tonight to support these artists and thanks for supporting the work of
STAGE LEFT THEATRE!
2022 SPRING FLING
By Tommy Martin
Director: Natividad Salgado
By Stephanie Murphy*
Director: Joel Willison
By Jazmine Mazique*
Director: Devin Christor
By Ben Bishop*
Director: Robert Mosby Jr.*
By Peter Ruiz
Director: Kyle Aschbrenner*
READY, SET, SWING
Director: Jazmine Mazique*
GIVE ME MY FLOWERS
Director: Bobbi Masters*
ALTAR OF THE BEYOND
By Rory Leahy
Director: Rachel Van*
MEET THE ARTISTS
Kyle Aschbrenner (he/him) Director, CRUISE
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 shows with the Miracle Center, University of Illinois at Chicago and Stage Left Theatre. Kyle joined Stage Left last year as Spring Fling’s stage manager and he’s very excited to return this year as a director! Other directing credits include: Mr. Marmalade (Director, SIUC), Punk Rock (Director, SIUC), Open (Assistant Director, Stage Left Theatre). He is currently an ensemble member of Stage Left.
Griffin Baer (he/him) Actor, NOW STREAMING / ALTAR OF THE BEYOND
Griffin is an actor and teaching artist who attended Hope College with a BA in Theatre. Before moving to Chicago in 2019, he spent eight months touring in the Pacific Northwest and Southwest with Missoula Children’s Theatre teaching and performing with over 1,000 young artists. Other previous credits include various roles as an acting intern with Hope Summer Repertory Theatre. He is thrilled to be returning to Stage Left performing in Spring Fling for his second year. In his free time you can find him exploring the city with his best friend - his dog, Gulliver. Thanks for supporting the arts!
Ben Bishop (he/him) Playwright, CALL INTERRUPTED
This is Ben’s second year as a playwright for Stage Left’s Spring Fling. Trained as an actor but has grown into a writer for stage and local filmmaker who writes, directs, edits, and acts in films that have been screened in many festivals. Ben is also an ensemble member of Stage Left.
Abigail Bomher (she/her) Actress, CALL INTERRUPTED
Abigail Bomher is a Chicago based actress who has trained at Second City, Acting Studio of Chicago, NIU, and Harold Washington College. Abigail started in and largely remains performing in Shakespeare’s classics such as Romeo & Juliet and The Tempest, however she also is passionate about innovative and inclusive theater that can inspire new ideas and diversity. Loving both performing on stage as well as in film, her recent credits include stage performances of Exit Strategy, Hamlet, and Enhanced, as well as film credits in Ghosted, Blind Rye, and The Fragrance of a Girl. Having worked with several Chicago theaters such as The Goodman Theatre and Fury Theatre, Abigail is ecstatic to be performing in Stage Left’s Spring Fling 2022 and to be bringing an original piece to life!
Devin Christor (he/him) Director, THE FIGHT
Devin Christor is a director that focuses on plays that create a discussion. Since receiving his B.A in Drama from the University of North Texas he has traveled the country working for several professional theaters to observe established directors and study the ecology of regional theater in America. He was recently the Directing Resident at Milwaukee Rep, where he directed “Julius Caesar” & “God of Carnage'' and assisted directed “Indivisible With”. Other directing credits include “Into the Side of a Hill” (Flint Repertory Theatre "New Work" Festival), “Freeze Out” (Trinity Repertory Company “America Too" Festival), and “Oba” (Triangle Rainbow Productions "LGBTQ Short Play" Festival), “The Gift of the Magi” (American Players Theatre). He is the Founder of Nomad Street Theatre. A nomadic site-specific theater company that uses plays in the kitchen sink drama or well made play format. https://www.devinchristor.com/
Kristin Doty (she/her/hers) Actor, GIVE ME MY FLOWERS!
Kristin is an actor, singer, and dancer who made Chicago her home in 2021 after performing with regional theatres across the country. Chicago credits include Talley’s Folly (Oil Lamp Theater), Lighthouses in the Desert (Glass Apple Theatre), and Testosterone (The International Voices Project). Regional credits include A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, and Cabaret (Playhouse on the Square); Little Women and Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook (The Circuit Playhouse); and The Marvelous Wonderettes (Top Hat Productions). Kristin is thankful for the support of her family, and friends old and new in the Chicago community. She is represented by Lily's Talent. www.kristindoty.com
Hannah Kfoury (she/hers) Playwright, READY, SET, SWING
Hannah is a native of the Chicago suburbs. After four years at Bradley University, where she graduated with degrees in Theatre and Television Arts in 2017, she chased her dream of being a writer to Los Angeles. She is so happy to be back in Chicago, and especially excited to be part of Stage Left’s second Spring Fling, through which she has met so many talented artists. She is eternally grateful to be surrounded by such intelligent, passionate, tireless voices, and for the privilege of getting to listen to them.
Carina Lastimosa (she/her/hers) Actor, GIVE ME MY FLOWERS!
Carina Lastimosa is a San Francisco Bay Area native, currently residing in Chicago. Primarily working as an actor, Chicago theatre credits include the world premieres of W.o.W. (Theatre Above The Law), Poison and I Build Giants (The Plagiarists). Selected SF/Bay Area theatre credits include: Sisters Matsumoto (Center REPertory Company), A Dreamplay (Cutting Ball Theater), Dogeaters (Magic Theatre), The Day The Crayons Quit (Bay Area Children's Theatre), Slaughterhouse-Five and Top Girls (Custom Made Theatre Co.), Marat/Sade (Thrillpeddlers), A Kind of Sad Love Story (Bindlestiff Studio) and as a performer/educator for Kaiser’s Educational Theatre. As a playwright, her short play The White Room was selected as one of the recipients of Exposition Review’s Flash 405 contest which received an online publication and a production by Our Digital Stories. In July 2022, she will direct Sarah Lina Sparks’ short play Sunshine and the Sea of Lost Things for Ghostlight Ensemble’s Make/Believe festival. Carina is a recipient of the Theatre Bay Area TITAN Award and a graduate of Indiana University. Carina is represented by Lily’s Talent Agency. www.carinalastimosa.com
Rory Leahy (he/him) Playwright, ALTAR OF THE BEYOND
Rory was born in Evanston IL and has been making things up and acting them out since very shortly afterward. He has written, directed, produced and performed in many plays. His short plays have been published in the anthologies The Best American Short Plays 2012-2013 from Applause Theater And Books and The Best Ten Minute Plays 2013 from Smith And Krauss, and performed all across the United States and the English speaking world, including Canada, Australia and the UK. Not sure why New Zealand doesn't like his work. He is very excited to be working with the venerable Stage Left!
Kenneth Martin (they/them) Sound Mixer
Kenneth is a recent graduate of Beloit College with a BA in Theatre and minors in Political Science and Russian. Kenneth has a long history with Stage Left, from attending ensemble meetings and rehearsals as an infant to working the box office for 2020’s the project(s), and is delighted to be working with them once again. Acting credits include: Machinal (Beloit College), Hamlet (Beloit College), Dead Man Walking (Piven Theatre Workshop), and An Enemy of the People (Stage Left Theatre). Kenneth is excited to continue building their career in Chicago theatre, though they’re unsure what kind of career that will be.
Tommy Martin (he/him) Playwright, NOW STREAMING
Tommy is a hyphenate based in Chicago. He writes for screen and stage while also working as an actor, director, producer, and various crew positions. Monsters Anonymous, his writing debut, was produced into a Halloween-themed short film that can be found on YouTube. Prior to that, he wrote and performed in Too Many Cats for The Den Theater’s 3x3x3 play festival. Recently, Tommy co-directed/produced The West Virginian Starfish, a short film currently on the film festival circuit. He has appeared in An Uncommon Grace, Dhoom 3, Platoon of Power Squadron, and Billi & Theodore. His theatrical appearances have included Death Tax (Redtwist Theatre), Don’t Dress for Dinner (Oil Lamp Theater), and American Idiot (Prop Thtr). Some of his other projects have included The Beginning, Love at First Like, & The Chris & Arnie Show. He’s very excited to have another piece brought to life, and looks forward to seeing everyone’s work. Tommy is represented by Talent X Alexander. www.actortommymartin.com
Bobbi Masters (she/hers) Director, GIVE ME MY FLOWERS!
Bobbi is the Artistic Director here at Stage Left. Since taking the helm almost a year ago, she 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
Jazmine Mazique (she/hers) Playwright, THE FIGHT / Director, READY, SET, SWING / Actor, THE ALTAR OF THE BEYOND
Jazmine graduated from Harold Washington city college with an Associates in Science. She is currently majoring in Biology at Roosevelt University. She has been in theater since she was 8 years old when she was cast in Beauty and the Beast. Her favorite performing experience was being a character performer at Walt Disney World. She loves animals and spending time with her family.
Micah McDonald (He/Him) Actor, THE FIGHT
Micah ‘The Sage” McDonald is a Chicago Based multi-hyphenate from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Full time dance teacher, music producer, and Creative Director for his multimedia start up Little Pot Productions. Micah has studied acting under small directors in Los Angeles, as well as performed on TV with the likes of Jennifer Hudson and Chance the Rapper. Micah also put out his first LP “The Garden Tapes Vol. 1” August, 2021 under the name Micah The Sage. Micah also has production credits and feature credits on the upcoming SHAWN SMITH EP - BEFORE I BEGIN. Most notable credits include: For Colored girls…(Beau Willie Brown| Ebony Road Players, Grand Rapids, MI) Mamma Mia! (Pepper | Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, Grand Rapids, MI) A Chorus Line ( Richie Walters | Circle Theatre, Grand Rapids, MI) https://micah1105.wixsite.com/micahthesage
Robert Mosby Jr. (he/him) Director, CALL INTERRUPTED
Robert is an actor/director based in Chicago,Illinois. He has trained at Acting Studio Chicago, Harold Washington College, and is currently pursuing his BA in Acting from Columbia College Chicago. His acting credits include: “Jamal” in On Fred Gray Avenue (City Lit Theater), “Donnie” in Exit Strategy ( Loop Players Chicago), “Knox” in Harry & The Thief (Loop Players Chicago), and “Zinc” in Another Day ( Stage Left Theatre,”Spring Fling”). He is an ensemble member of Stage Left Theatre, and has also co-directed a reading of White People By The Lake for Stage Left’s Off Stage Left readings.
Stephanie Murphy (she/hers) Playwright, SPLATTER
Stephanie’s plays and sketch comedy have been performed or read at Stage Left, Corn Productions, Three Brothers Theatre, Simple Theatre, Evil Iguana Productions, The Valdez Theatre Conference (Alaska), and No Shame Athens (Georgia). Local credits as an actor, director, and dialect coach include work with Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, Eclectic Full Contact Theatre, HartLife Productions, Brightside Theatre, MadKap Productions, Oil Lamp Theatre, Pride Films and Plays, New World Repertory Theatre, Mercy Street Theatre, Consortium Project, Abraham Werewolf, and others. Regional credits include productions with the Alliance Theatre, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and Rose of Athens Theatre. Stephanie has trained at The Second City and IO, and has an MFA in Performance from the University of Georgia. She is Co-Artistic Director of Dragonfly Theatre here in Chicago.
Nick Page (he/him) Actor, CALL INTERRUPTED / READY, SET, SWING
Nick Page is an actor based in Chicago. A stage performer starting in his college days, Nick has enjoyed a range of roles that tap into his many talents. From working and acting at a children's theater in multiple productions, to drumming in a free roam mystery performance.
He’s performed improv at Second City’s Donny’s Skybox, and studied at Acting Studio Chicago. His recent credits include “Orry Main Scarlet” in Harry and the Thief, and “Ricky” in Exit Strategy (Loop Players Chicago).
Peter Ruiz (They/Them) Playwright, CRUISE
Peter is an actor, playwright, and dramaturg originally from Orlando but based in Chicago. They are a recent graduate of the M.F.A Acting program at Indiana University. Peter is currently freelancing as a teaching artist and dramaturg while writing multiple new plays. Recently their play Reaching For Infinity was a part of Occupy The Stage 22 with The National Women's Theatre Festival. Acting credits include Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Fortitude in Bonnets: How Ladies of Good Breeding Are Induced to Murder, and Elliot in Water By The Spoonful. They are passionate about collaborating with BIPOC and Gender Diverse Playwrights as well as revitalizing the works of BIPOC Playwrights of the past in efforts to decolonize and deconstruct notions of canon. www.Peter-Ruiz.com
Natividad Salgado (she/her), Director, NOW STREAMING
Natividad (Nati), has directed plays for many companies and festivals nationally as well as internationally-- including Creede Repertory Theatre, Tipping Point Theatre, RAW Festival Detroit, BoxFest Detroit, One Year Lease Theater Company, New Theatre Project, The Performance Network of Ann Arbor, Cleveland Public Theatre (w/Teatro Publico de Cleveland), Two Muses Theatre, The (Beat) Theatre Collective, Violet Surprise, and most recently with Eclectic Full Contact Theatre directing an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard III as well as the podcast original audio drama series Monocyte. Since she graduated from Alma College with her BA in Theatre (directing focus), in 2011; she has been nominated for a Wilde Award for Best Ensemble work and the winner of the 2012 BoxFest Detroit Director’s Educational Grant which enabled her to attend a directing apprenticeship program in Greece during the summer of 2013. Nati has also served as acting, directing, and theatre history instructor for students from preschool through the university level. In addition, she has written and devised original bilingual works based on her cultural roots. Nati has served as an administrator for many theatre companies, working in marketing, audience engagement, patron services, and producing. She currently serves as the Executive Director of The (Beat) Theatre Collective while earning her master’s and licensure for Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Northwestern University. Through her art, this proud queer bisexual Latinx mama works to lend voice to those without representation, prioritizing members of BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and disabled communities. Nati dedicates her art to her ride or die, her chosen family, and the favorite part of her heart: her son. I love you, Raiden, and I hope you like mama’s “movie on stage”. www.natisalgado.com
Shawn Smith (he/him) Actor, THE FIGHT / READY, SET, SWING
Shawn is a Chicago based multi-media mogul. He graduated from Colorado State University with his Bachelors in Marketing and NYU/Stella Adler with his Acting certificate. In November 2021, he published a children’s poetry book titled, “Letters From the Farm” because he saw there was a lack of representation in children's poetry by BIPOC. On top of being a published author, Shawn’s very first studio EP, Before I Begin- EP, will be released to all major streaming platforms mid-July. He is an active community player that works full-time in the educational space. He has worked with title one schools using art and theatre as a tool of learning to inspire an increase in American literacy rates. His passion for writing and performing is ever-present as he likes to think of himself as a muse, inspiring change everywhere he goes. In his free time, Shawn can be found making music, watching anime, or socializing with friends.
Julia Stemper (she/her) Actress, SPLATTER
Julia Stemper is a Chicago based actress, a company member with The Plagiarists and the Artistic Director of Stone Soup Shakespeare Theater Company. Most recently she was seen in The Plagiarists production of I Build Giants. Various other Chicago credits include Poison, Some Like It Red, and belladonna luna sonata (also with The Plagiarists), Pericles (Shakespeare Project of Chicago), Commedia King John (Chicago dell’Arte), Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed (Lifeline), Romeo and Juliet (First Folio), and in Spring of 2016 Julia played Prospera at Hope College (Holland, MI) in The Tempest where she was a Visiting Guest Artist. Prior to arriving in Chicago she performed extensively in DC. She holds an MFA from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Teri Talo (They/Them) Actor, CRUISE / ALTAR OF THE BEYOND
Teri Talo is an Actor that has recently graduated from UIC with their BFA in Acting. Teri currently resides in Plainfield but hopes to relocate to Chicago within the year to continue to build their acting career. Teri was a cosmetologist before discovering their passion for the arts of acting. In fact, they recently did make-up, onset, for a QBrothers production. Teri has acted in a short film, Paloma, directed by Ricardo Bouyette and has appeared in multiple shows at UIC. This includes Sarah Good in The Crucible and Abdul Haseeb in The Hunchback of Seville. Starting out with a musical background as Anita in West Side Story, Teri continues to build and grow as an actor in all facets of the field. Teri is a Mexican/Puerto Rican artist a part of the LGBTQ+ community and hopes to use the art of acting to continue to uplift queer black/brown stories. firstname.lastname@example.org
Abby Truett (she/her/her) Stage Manager
Abby is originally from North Carolina and received her BFA from UNC Greensboro in 2019. She recently moved to Chicago and is excited to begin her stage management career. Chicago credits include: Gloria (UIC) and Songs for a New World (Theo Ubique). Other credits include: A Fox on the Fairway (Florida Repertory Theatre), Gypsy (McLeod Summer Playhouse), The Full Monty (McLeod Summer Playhouse), Shakespeare in Love (UNCG). This is Abby’s first show with Stage Left and she is thrilled to have the opportunity to help amplify new works.
Rachel Van (she/her) Actor, NOW STREAMIING / Director, ALTAR OF THE BEYOND
Rachel Van is an ensemble member of Stage Left and is pleased to be involved in Spring Fling for the second year in a row. Rachel is a Chicago-based actor, director, singer, and producer. She has been privileged to direct multiple short play festivals for Clock Theatre Productions in Chicago as well as for Stage Left’s Spring Fling and Off Stage Left reading series. As an actor, some favorite roles include playing Vivienne Kensington in Legally, Blonde, the Musical; Claudia Nardi in Nine, the Musical; and Silvia Pierrot in the locally written and produced Last Laugh. Rachel is also an experienced filmmaker, producing several independent works that have screened at film festivals around the world. She is a classical vocalist and loves performing with choirs around the city. Rachel is represented by Promote Talent Agency.
Deana Velandra (she/her/hers) Actor, SPLATTER / Playwright, GIVE ME MY FLOWERS!
Deana Velandra [pronounced: DEEN-uh] has been a writer/actor in Chicago since she moved here in 2018. Deana graduated from Hope College with a BA in Theatre (Performance) and Women’s and Gender Studies. She is an ensemble member and literary committee member here at Stage Left, and is excited to be part of Spring Fling for the second year in a row. Deana is also an ensemble member and contributing writer at Cornservatory here in Northcenter. Recent Chicago credits include I Build Giants (The Plagiarists, U/S), Sonder: A Story of Girlhood, (Cornservatory), Storefront Theatre Musical (Cornservatory), and As You Like It (Centerstage). When she’s not in rehearsal or writing, you can find her at the beach. She’s thankful to everyone for coming out today and hopes you enjoy the festival!
Tyara Whitted (she/her/they) Actor, CRUISE
Tyara found her love of acting in high school where she had the opportunity to star in numerous plays and musicals. She knew immediately that she wanted to continue her pursuit and love for the stage. Presently, she is pursuing her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree at the University of Illinois Chicago, where she will be enrolled in her junior year this fall. While attending UIC she has had the pleasure of being cast as a supporting role in the play Hunchback of Seville, during her sophomore year. Now, she looks forward to her current role in the play The Strangers, at UIC which will be performed in the fall. She is a very active member of the theater department assisting backstage and behind the scenes when she can, which has taught her so many elements of stage and production. Currently she is the reigning Miss Illinois Coed, and will compete in September for the title Miss American Coed. She is honored to be apart of this production and looks forward to continuing her aspirations of a long career in acting. email@example.com
Joel Willison (he/him) Director, SPLATTER
This is Joel’s first year in Stage Left’s Spring Fling! He attended Knox College where he was the co-coordinator for New Plays Workshop and directed Dutchman, Minnesota Moon, Marigold; a Sibling sketch, and an Honors project for Death of a Salesman. Joel is the Artistic Director of Pocket Theatre VR - a theatre for the metaverse focused on bringing theatre online in a new format.
New 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 $100 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.
Stage Left Staff
Managing Director: David Heimann
Artistic Director: Bobbi Masters
Robert Mosby, Jr.
Jessi D. Hill
John Kohn III