Buried Child by Sam Shepard
Directed by Dan Wirth
 Spring 2005

Winner of the 1979 Pulitzer Prize. This powerful and brilliant play probes deep into the disintegration of the American Dream. The setting is a squalid farm home occupied by a family filled with suppressed violence and an unease born of deep-seated unhappiness.  The characters are a ranting, alcoholic grandfather; a sanctimonious grandmother who goes on drinking bouts with the local minister; and their sons, Tilden, an All-American footballer now a hulking semi-idiot; and Bradley, who has lost one leg to a chain saw.  Into their midst comes Vince, a grandson none of them recognizes or remembers, and his girlfriend Shelly, who cannot comprehend the madness to which she is suddenly introduced. Tilden unearths a dark secret and purges the family, at last, of its infamy, and suggests the perhaps slim possibility of a new beginning under Vince, whose estrangement from the others has spared him the taint of their sin. –adapted from Dramatists Play Service, Inc. Catalog

  Cast

Dodge.....Ken Craig
Halie.....Rosemary Bradley
Tilden.....Dan Taube
Bradley.....Brandon Weninger
Shelly.....Rebekah Olmsted
Vince.....Steven Eheart
Father Dewis.....Mark Mendelsohn

Crew

Set Design-Robert G. Smith
Costumes-Nicole Rene Birchfield
Lighting Design & Set Construction-John Rodriguez
Asst. Director-Janet Davis
Stage Manager-Clark Weber
Asst. Stage Manager-Candace Liapis
Prop Mistress-Carrie Peters
Prop Crew-Melanie McCoy
Construction Crew-Practicum and talent-scholarship students
Sound Design-Tom Dawson
Light Board Operator-Jamila Crews
Sound Board Operator-Stella Stephan
Box Office Managers-Eric Steier I Brigid Blume
Publicity Coordinator-Zach Neff

Cast

Ken Craig (Dodge) Ken is thrilled to be involved in this Sam Shepard production and working with such a talented cast and crew. Dan's direction has created an exciting, in­sightful, and enjoyable experience. Ken studied and per­formed in the Chicago area for the past 12 years. He was recently seen in The Odd Couple and A Few Good Men. Other credits include Andy in Love Letters and Mike Talman in Wait until Dark. He would like to dedicate this to Cher because "she's got me on her wavelength" Ooooh MAMA!

Dan
Taube (Tilden) Dan most recently appeared in You Can't Toke It VWth You for Square Root of 347. His past acting credits include Popcorn at Profiles Theatre, Bloodlust and Vanity for the WT A New Play Festival, and Doctor Faus­tus at Trap Door Theatre. A director as well as an actor, Dan has directed productions for the Rogue Theatre, Trap Door, Element Theatre and The Splinter Group. He holds an MFA in directing from DePaul University and a BFA in drama from NYU. Thanks to my friends and family for continuing to support my "adventures".

Rosemary Bradley (Halie) has enjoyed the challenge of bringing Halie to life in the Stage Center production of Buried Child In recent years she's played a motley crew of moms: be­ nignly doting London East Ender Mrs. Briggs in A Reason­able Facsimile Theatre Company's fall 2002 production of the WWII drama Front; succubus matriarch Marjorie Newquist in the Stage Center's fall 2003 production of Jules Feiffer's very dark, dark comedy little Murders; and, again at the Stage Center, noble Helena Alving in the spring 2004 production of Ibsen's Ghosts. She also ap­peared as Rose Schunemann in St. Pauls UCC's fall 2004 musical, Corry On. As always, she wishes to express her gratitude to her loyal and devoted fans, i.e. her family and friends. Big love to Kate, Paula, ROG and the SPCC Sops, AAs and "delord", too: "Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel." William Shakespeare, Hamlet, I, iii, 62

Brandon M. Weninger (Bradley) Brandon recently graduated from N.E.I.U. with a degree from the depart­ment of Communications, Media and Theatre. Being that theatre was his minor, he decided to try being on the stage rather then behind it. This marks his first perform­ance on stage since performing in high school musicals. He would like to thank his family and friends who have always been supportive of his love for acting, and to the cast for making this a very pleasant and special first Stage Center experience. Also, a special thanks to Dan Wirth who pulled him from the depths of the dark, cold base­ment digging for props, to bring him to the stage so he could almost literally: "Break a leg”

Rebekah Olmsted (Shelly)
Rebekah is very excited to be performing in one of her favorite plays, Buried Child. This is Rebekah's first performance in the Chicago area. She just graduated form Rockford College with a B.A. in performing arts. Some of her favorite roles include Alexa Ver Da Ver in As Bees in Honey Drown, the Beggar women in Sweeny Todd and Kate in The Bedroom Force. She would like to thank Dan and N.E.I.U. for giving her this awesome opportunity. She would also like to thank the cast and crew. Last but not least, she would like to thank her friends and family for all their love and support.

Steven Eheart (Vince)
Steven is originally from Champaign, Illinois and is a recent graduate of Valparaiso University, where he studied Theatre and English. He currently plays Abraham Lincoln for Historical Perspec­tives for Children, an educational theatre company that tours the greater Chicago area. Past roles include Vronsky in Anno Korenino, Duke Frederick and Corin in As You like It, Agis in Triumph of Love, and Benjamin in The Yellow Boot. This is his first production with Stage Center Theatre.

Mark Mendelsohn (Father Dewis) Mark, a Chicago native, studied Theatre at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, as well as The Theatre School at
DePaul Uni­versity  He then spent several years acting in and around the Chicago area. Some past roles have included Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, Andrew in The Three Sisters, Hastings in She Stoops to Conquer, Buzz in Rnnian's Rainbow, and Dr. Goat in Dr. Goat: Goat Doctor. Mark then returned to school, receiving his certification in Secondary Education. He is now in his fifth year teaching English at Proviso West High School in Hillside. When he's not grading pa­pers or creating lesson plans, Mark cooks, reads, watches movies, and rides his motorcycle whenever possible. He is delighted to be returning to the stage after a long absence, and would like to dedicate his performance to his won­derful new wife, Melissa

"Buried Child" Spring 2005
"Buried Child" Spring 2005
"Buried Child" Spring 2005
Corn husking on a Sunday afternoon at
 Dodge's (Ken Craig's) house with
Halie (Rosemary Bradley) and Tilden
(Dan Taube.)
Bradley (Brandon Weninger) gives
sleeping Dodge a haircut.
Shelly (Rebekah Olmsted) provides
Vince (Steven Eheart) with some
motivation.
"Buried Child" Spring 2005
"Buried Child" Spring 2005
"Buried Child" Spring 2005
Tilden and Shelly share a carrot
 filled moment while Dodge looks on.
Vince suffers some angst while 
carrots are cleaned.
Shelly suffers some angst while 
Bradley puts his fingers in her
mouth.
"Buried Child" Spring 2005
"Buried Child" Spring 2005
"Buried Child" Spring 2005
Bradley is about to drop Shelley's 
rabbit coat on an immobilized Dodge.
Halie and Dodge face off while Father
 Dewis (Mark Mendelsohn) and Shelly
 look on.
Vince makes it difficult for Bradley
to get to his artificial leg.


Crew

Nicole Rene Burchfield (Costume Designer) She is more than delighted to be back at Northeastern Illinois University. Previous NEIU designs include The Game of Love and Chance and The Good Doctor. During the day, she does craft work and stitching for various Chicago theatres like The Goodman and Chicago Shakespeare. However, she spends most of her time creating designs for theatre, dance and opera in Chicago and around the country. Some of her recent designs include Meet John Doe and Judgment at Nurembergwith Shattered Globe Theatre Company, Pas des Deeses for the Joffrey Ballet Company, The WInter Dance Concert at Ohio University, Another Part of the Forest Oeff Nominated) with Eclipse Theatre Com­pany, Streeterville, The Crucible Oeff Nominated), Awake and Sing!, Hauptmann, The lion in WInter Oeff Nominated), and most recently This Happy Breed with TimeLine Theatre Company. She holds a BA in Theatre and Music from the University of Texas at Arlington and an MFA in Design and Technology from Northern Illinois University. Last, but certainly not least, Ben, thank you for your love and patience.

Janet Davis (Assistant Director) Janet is a Pittsburgh, Pennsyl­vania native that moved to Chicago a year ago. This is the first show she has had the opportunity to be the assistant director. Her favorite productions on her resume include the Rocky Horror Picture Show, West Side Story, and Little Murders. She is glad that she could be a part of this show and she would like to give a shout out to her cat Talula who is probably sleeping right now.

Candice Liapis (Assistant Stage Manager) Candice is a junior majoring in communications, Media, and Theatre at Northeastern. This is her first time working with the Stage Center Theatre and being an assistant stage manager. This past summer she had the opportunity to work on an independent film and a major produc­tion. Candice is really looking forward to working with this theatre again.

Clark Weber (Stage Manager) Clark is currently a junior here at N.E.I.U.. He is majoring in Communications with a minor in Theatre. He received his A.A. from Iowa Central Community Col­lege. Although he is a Chicagoan at heart, he hails from the Nor­man Rockwellian like town of Middlebury Connecticut. His hobbies include Karaoke, origami, and creative writing. His future plans in­clude becoming a Child Life Specialist, preferably at Children's Me­morial Hospital, and perhaps becoming a certified Humor Thera­pist. He would like to thank the very, very talented cast and the hardworking crew. In addition, Clark would like all of us to keep in mind a quote from the visionary Charlie Chaplin who once said "To truly laugh we must be able to take our pain an play with it." Therefore Clark hopes everyone gets a chance to play with his or her pain on a daily basis.

Dan Wirth (Director) Dan has been involved with Theatre for more than 30 years. He has an M.F.A. from The University of California, San Diego, and a B.S. from Central Michigan University. As a professional actor, he toured throughout the United States with The Acting Company. While in New York City, he performed at the Public Theatre, the Harold Clurman Theatre, the I8th Street Playhouse, the Lamb's Theatre, Playwright's Horizons, The American Place Theatre, and the Actor's and Director's Lab (later renamed the Samuel Beckett Theatre.) In Europe, he performed at the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival and in London's West End. Regionally, he has appeared at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, and the Utah and Oregon Shakespeare Festivals. He has worked with the esteemed directors Alan Schneider, Joseph Papp, Michael Langham, Liviu Ciulei, Garland Wright, Jerry Turner, and Sharon Ott. Dan was a Chicago Cub in the film Rookie of the Year. An award winning playwright, Dan's plays have been performed in Ohio, California, and Washington, D.C. Dan has di­rected for six theatre companies in the Chicago area. Also a published poet and a film maker, Dan has taught theatre and communication courses at Dominican University, Wright College, Harper College, Oakton Community College, Daley College, and Lake Forest College.. This is his 9th year at Northeastern, and he appeared on stage here a few seasons back as a very large Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest.


Directors's Notes: Many of the plays of Sam Sheppard share a similar theme ­American society is fragmenting, and it is mirrored or perhaps caused by the breakdown of the American family. He shows us that we don't necessarily know each other or ourselves and that memories can be created or destroyed because of convenience or necessity. Add to this the slogan heard in an anonymous 12 step program "You are only as sick as your secrets." And when the secret things happen the tragedy is endless. In the end Mr. Shepard does not offer catharsis or redemption, he offers the opportunity to sit and listen to the sounds of ourselves with the headphones on.




Shelly (Rebekah Olmsted) administers some persuasion to Vince (Steven Eheart) as Dodge (Kenneth Craig) looks on. Tilden (Daniel Taube), Dodge ( Kenneth Craig), and Bradley (Brandon Weninger) debate the merits of home hair care.
Halie (Rosemary Bradley) faces off with Shelly (Rebekah Olmsted) while the Right Reverend Dewis (Mark Mendelsohn) tries to intervene.





 Return to the Home Page of the Stage Center Theatre
Return to the Scrapbook of the Stage Center Theatre