Artistic Director Message
Welcome to the first 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. As Covid restrictions continue to loosen, we plan to return to the Athenaeum with a live production. 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!
Literary Manager Welcome
Hi, I wanted to use this opportunity to introduce myself as Stage Left’s new Literary Manager. After a year and a half, it’s such a relief to be creating live theatre again. While I enjoyed seeing how theatre adapted to the virtual format, I missed this communal sharing of space. I believe Spring Fling represents the best of Stage Left- we came together as a disparate group of artists and created these wonderful and diverse stories, offering different glimpses of “How Has the World Changed?”. Each play reflects how this past year has impacted us both as individuals and as a community. As we slowly emerge from the “Great Pause” and return to our “New Normal,” let’s remember the lessons we have learned and strive to do better for ourselves and our greater community. I am looking forward to sharing more stories with you!
click playwright name for video
WHY THE KIDS DON’T PLAY OUTSIDE ANYMORE
Director: Anna Jones
Craig: Griffin Bear Madeline: Maggie Dickinson
Director: Christian Helem
Blu: Jabari Khaliq Maroon: MarieAnge Louise-Jean
YOU WANTED ME TO WRITE WHAT I KNOW
Director: Brittany Gillepsie
Lena: Jazmine Mazique Grant: Timo Stites
Director: Bobbi Masters
Lavender: Tristin Hall Sage: Darren Jones Zinc: Robert Mosby, Jr
Director: Seth Wilson
Louise: Heather Meyer Mike: Jamie Link
TOFU CHITLIN’ BURRITO SUPREME
Director: Monet Felton
Mark: Michael Morrow Miguel: Manny Sevilla
A YEAR GONE BYE
By Ben Bishop
Director: Rachel Van
Pearl: Pearl Paramadilok Nolan: Nolan Scates
Stage Manager: Kyle Aschbrenner
Promotional video/videographer: Ben Bishop
A Special Thank You to…
Northcenter Town Square Chamber of Commerce
Chicago Parks Department
MEET THE ARTISTS
*denotes Stage Left ensemble member
PrincessHana Anderson is a Public Health Administrator for the City of Chicago, and independent artist with roots in community theatre. Her career trajectory started as a counselor for mental health CILA programs and managing services for children and youth. Her work has allowed her to experience narratives from many voices, which spurred a natural journey as an independent artist concerned with documenting Black American life, and the collective human experience. She prefers street photography, mixed media, and found materials, which allows her to explore the intersections of humanity, our environment, and racial inequities.Her work with other artists, galleries, and collectives allows her to conceptualize projects in conversation with a diverse audience while bringing awareness of the unpretentious spirit of art. She is creating new partnerships through arts & culture that will activate healthy spaces that embodies the lived experience and human connections. Hana’s latest project: "Pandemic Pitchas: Isolation and Yard Intercessions" is a photo-series of self-portraits and social distancing events that provides space for supportive connections during the pandemic.
Kyle Aschbrenner moved to Chicago in 2019 after graduating from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Prior to the pandemic, he stage managed a couple professional shows at The Miracle Center and University of Illinois at Chicago while teaching teens Technical Theatre through After School Matters.
Griffin Baer is overjoyed to return to the stage after the longest year ever picking up the following credits: Zoom Teaching Artist, Daily Walker in "His Neighborhood", and The Dish Washer in the classic, "His Sink is Full of Dishes... Again!"
Ben Bishop is a theatre trained actor who found a love for writing, and is now an award-winning Chicago filmmaker that writes, acts, and directs. This is his second stage writing credit, first with Stage Left. He’s very excited about the festival’s theme, writing for outdoors, and being part of Chicago art again.
Maggie Dickinson is an actor and writer that currently lives in Andersonville. She also has a book podcast called Novel Finds. Most importantly, she is a dog mom to the cutest dog alive. Anyway, thanks for being here and supporting the arts!
Monet Felton is a director, producer, writer, teaching artist, and company member at Jackalope Theatre. Monet earned their BFA in Acting at The University of Illinois at Chicago, where they currently teach as an adjunct professor for their non majors theatre class. They are currently studying on a scholarship to be certified in Alexander Technique. Monet is a proud member of the Steppenwolf teaching artist cohort. They have had the opportunity of working theatre's such as Jackalope Theatre, Writers Theatre, Steppenwolf for Young Adults, and Bluebird Arts. They are excited for their first time working with Stage Left.
Antwon Funches s a Chicago based theatre, music, and visual artist who centers Black, urban narratives and experiences. Antwon Funches entertains and educates from a humanistic, Nichiren Buddhist perspective.
Brittany Gillespie*is a Chicago based freelance director, event producer, and storyteller. She is an Ensemble member of Stage Left Theatre and was the Artistic Producer for the virtual production of The Project(s). Directing credits include: The Volunteer (Stage Left Theatre); Tall Tales Twice Told (Theater at Monmouth); Un-Likeable (Ski-Productions); Pasquinade Parade (monthly show at Crowd Theater); The Velveteen Rabbit (Millbrook Playhouse); and for Drekfest (Stage Left Theatre) & Big Shoulder Festival (American Theatre Company). Assistant director credits: The Source (Route 66); What of the Night? (Stage Left & COR); The Body of an American (Stage Left Theatre); Bruise Easy (American Theatre Company).
Tristin Hall is an actor, Fight Choreographer, and currently working towards their certification in Intimacy Direction. Most recent acting credits include Sugar Plum Fairy in "12 Fights of Christmas" (Otherworld), Phineas in "A Separate Peace" (Point Theatre Project), Lisa in "Falling" (Interrobang Theater), and Carrie in "Carrie and Francine" (Haven Theater).
Christian Helem is happy to be returning to Stage Left after recently directing "The Project (s)". His artistic belief is that if it doesn't scare him a little it isn't worth doing. That is why the imaginative, musical and complex theatre calls to him. His directing credits include: "Marcus; or the Secret of the Sweet" (Pride Arts), the musical "21 Chump Street", a queer version of "The Glass Menagerie", and assistant directing for A View From the Bridge and Middle Passage. He's an Alum of UIC. He is the Associate Director of the Chicago August Wilson Monologue Competition and teaches playwriting at ChiArts H.S.
Anna Jones is a director in Chicago, where she has lived since graduating with her BAs in theatre and creative writing from Hope College in 2018. This is her first production with Stage Left, and she is so thankful to work with such dedicated creatives on this beautiful piece!
Darren Jones is a stage, television and voice actor based in Chicago. Recent stage credits include LABYRINTH (Broken Nose Theatre); KING LEAR (Redtwist Theatre); ONE 4 THE ROAD, NEVER THE MILK AND HONEY (MPAACT); CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, THE HEAVENS ARE HUNG IN BLACK (Shattered Globe Theatre Company), where he is an Artistic Associate. Darren is represented by Lily's Talent Agency Chicago.
Hannah Kfoury is very excited to contribute to this dynamic team of artists as the world readies itself to reopen minds and hearts to new ideas. As the historically resilient art form that theatre is bounces back yet again, she can't wait to continue working with Stage Left on this and future thought-provoking and powerful productions.
Jabari Khaliq is happy to return to live performances after a long break! Previous productions he has taken part in includes Black Magic at Perceptions Theatre and Leftovers with Something Marvelous. He sends his love and thanks to his family at home for supporting him and can't wait for what the future has in store!
Jamie Link is SO EXCITED to be working w/ Stage Left for the first time. She's also pumped to be back onstage and surrounded by such incredible talent. Special shoutout to my Corn family!
MarieAnge Louis-Jean is an ascending actor, dancer & writer. They’re born, raised & based in Chicago, IL. Louis-Jean graduated recently from UIC with a BFA in acting & is now thriving in their art with Gill Talent Agency. Their next steps are to gain more training in acting and further their foothold in the literary world.
Bobbi Masters* is an artist/educator with a passion for new works. She is the Literary Manager at Stage Left Theatre in Chicago. Primarily a director, Bobbi’s work has been seen regionally at theatres such as Kitchen Dog Theatre (where she served as artistic associate) to Off-Off Broadway at Theatre for the New City. www.bobbimasters.com
Jazmine Mazique graduated from Harold Washington city college with an Associates in Science. She is currently majoring in Biology and Sociology at Roosevelt University. Her favorite performing experience was being a character performer at Walt Disney World. She loves animals and spending time with her family.
Heather Meyer is thrilled to be returning to in person performing by living her best crustacean life in Cheddar Biscuits. You might have seen her at Corn Productions over the last few years, either performing, writing, directing, or dancing in an oversized dinosaur onesie.
Michael Morrow- Tofu Chitlin' Burrito Supreme
Robert Mosby, Jr. was trained at Harold Washington College. He has landed roles such as "Knox" in HARRY & THE THIEF by Sigrid Gilmer for the Loop Players Showcase, and "Edward" in SPIKE HEELS by Theresa Rebeck, as well as "Tray" in an indie short film AUGUSTA in which he also directed.
Stephanie Murphy is thrilled to be working with Stage Left! A playwright, director, and actor, local credits include work with Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, the Illinois Shakespeare Theatre, Corn Productions, and Eclectic Full Contact. She is currently directing Hard Candy for Dragonfly Theatre, to premiere at BorderLight Fringe in Cleveland.
Pearl Paramadilok is elated to be a part of "A Year Gone Bye" and working with Rachel, Ben, and Nolan. She's a native Chicagoan, working in Theatre, Film, Commercials, and Improv. During the pandemic, Pearl had been doing Twitch (@TorchyBerry), trying to adopt a pet, and has made Dalgona coffee. @pearlnp10
Nolan Scates did improv and now not so much. He enjoys acting, hanging with his girlfriend and cat in their North Center estate.
Manny Sevilla is a Latino Actor from the Southeast Side of Chicago. He is very excited to be apart of his first Spring Fling. He wants to thank his family and friends for helping him get to where he is now and for continuing to support him to where he’s going to go.
Timo Stites Hey! When Timo isn’t staying in place or working on a performance you‘ll find him at a farmers market buying fresh vegan vittles with his dog GuruBae or picking out what plaid pants match whatever shirt that he happens to find that’s clean enough to wear. He’s grateful for his fiancé Jessie for initiating spontaneous and exciting trips to the dog beach.
Rachel Van is pleased to work with Stage Left and her partner, Ben Bishop. Rachel is a Chicago-based actor, director, singer, and producer. Her favorite endeavors include playing Claudia Nardi in Nine, the Musical; directing two short play festivals; and filmmaking with Ben. Rachel is represented by Promote Talent Agency.
Deana Velandra is a Chicago-based playwright and actor. Deana graduated from Hope College in 2018 with at BA in Theatre and Women's and Gender Studies. She is thrilled to be getting back to doing what she loves in her first project with Stage Left! Deana is a company member at Cornservatory, and you can learn more about her virtual and past work there by visiting cornservatory.org or following Corn Productions on Facebook.
Seth Wilson is a director, dramaturg, and theatre historian based here in Chicago. He's thrilled to be making his debut with Stage Left with this show.
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 2020-21 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: James Yost
Literary Manager: Bobbi Masters
Artistic Producer: Brittany Gillespie
Jessi D. Hill
John Kohn III
Coming soon to a screen near you- Stage Left’s new monthly virtual play reading series starting in July!
WHITE PEOPLE BY THE LAKE
by Rachel Lynett (Stage Left Resident 2017/18)