Stage Center Theatre 2011-2012 Season
Main Stage Productions

Summer 2012
Censored on Final Approach
 by Phylis Ravel
directed by Anna Antaramian

Milwaukee-based playwright Phyllis Ravel creates an homage to the WWII Women Air Force Service Pilots, or WASP’s.  The story is based on the real life experiences of women pilots in 1943 at Camp Davis, North Carolina.  It is a gripping, heart breaking tale of the difficulties of gender discrimination in the armed forces and the price a movement pays to change that.  The play follows four women pilots who want only to fly and help the war effort.

Synopsis:  During World War II a select number of female pilots were selected to serve as WASPs, Women Air Service Pilots.  They were not embraced by their male counterparts and struggled for acceptance daily.  After the war, four WASPs meet to reminisce about their challenges and successes.  The conversation soon shifts to a redacted report about a fellow pilot who was killed while trying to land her aircraft.  What really happened?  Someone knows the truth.  Censored on Final Approach journeys into a time and place often left out of the history books.

Guests of NEIU, visiting as patrons of the Stage Center, will find complimentary parking beginning one hour before the performance until one hour after the final curtain in Level 2 of lot D and the fourth and fifth floors of the parking garage. Parking lot D is just to the west of the Stage Center Theatre. Enter lot D from the access road just off Bryn Mawr Avenue.
Map and Ticket Information

Elizabeth Langley.............................Arbella Albazi
Major Stephensen.............................Clark Bender
Wayne Langhorn.............................Brad Cantwell
Mary O’Conner..............................Ann Dernbach
Lt. Ryder..................................Keith Harkleroad
Catherine Watts...............................Caitlin Inman
Gerry Hansen.............................Colleen Newman
Artillery Officer................................Brian Rogers
Don Foster.............................Patryk Szwankowski
Jacqueline Cochran...........................Sara Wolfson

Production Staff
Director....................................Anna Antaramian
Assistant Director......................Elizabeth Krahulec
Stage Manager......................................Yim Chiu
Assistant Stage Manager.................Nickolena Sellen
Costume Designer...........................Jana Anderson
Set/Light Designer.........................John Rodriguez
Light Operator....................................David Min
Sound Operator................................Larisa Bocka
Sound Designer.................................Luke Sword
Poster Designer..............................Joseph Alaimo
Program/Postcard...........................Maria L. Bejar
Box Office Manager...........................Donna Duraj
Asst Box Office Manager/Publicity....Deveon Bromby
Ads/Publicity run..........................Renee Szkutnik
Archive work for SCT...............Sylvia Alvarado, Briana Pavone,
                                   Adilene Arellano
Running Crew........Isaias Perez, Cristina Maldonado
Set Construction.....Daviel Bailon, Faruk Begovic, Danielle DePasque,
                      Maksim Kauffman, Max Plumpton, Roberto Rivera

Time: The summer of 1943 and 1955
Location: The home of Catherine Watts in Northern California (1955) and various locations at Camp Davis, NC (1943)

~Director’s Note~
     My mother wanted to fly.  She was born too early, reared too ethnically and lived too poorly to do so.  But the desire and the thrill were there noticeably during her 92 years on this earth.  She found a million other ways to apply her indomitable spirit, so many other ways to serve her country and her community, but that spark was never quelled nor quenched.  She spoke of once being able to go up in a single propeller, opened door plane when she was in her 20’s, where the only thing keeping you from falling out was a seat belt.  The excitement in her voice and the sparkle in her eyes said it all.  She was too old to start learning to fly when World War II began, but if she could have she would have.
     The majority of women flying in their country’s hour of need weren’t out to set records or to advance in the military or to get a husband.  They were there to assist in any way they could with the skills they had. Their trials and adversities were balanced with their comradeship with other women and their deep love of flying. 
     It’s to the spirit of those women and the spirit of my mother that I dedicate this production.

Anna Antaramian


Arbella Albazi (Elizabeth Langley) has no words to describe how thrilled she is about being a part of Censored On Final Approach.  A recent CMT graduate from Northeastern, she can honestly say the Stage Center Theatre is her home away from home! Arbella would like to thank her amazing family, friends, cast, and crew for all their love and support, especially Alex and Yim! Last, but not least, she would like to send her sincerest gratitude to Anna and Lisa for their constant encouragement and guidance; ladies and gentlemen these two women are the true definition of a teacher! 

Clark Bender (Major Stephensen) is excited to be back at the Stage Center Theatre taking direction from the delightful Anna Antaramian. Prior Stage Center roles include Sandy in Hay Fever, Mr. Sherwood in My Sister Eileen and Stryver in A Tale of Two Cities. Clark also played veSIwIQ (Fezziwig) for the past two years in Commedia Beauregard’s A Klingon Christmas Carol told in the Klingon language (!). Clark thanks the wonderful cast and crew for their inspiration and dedication; friends and family – especially B & L – for encouragement and support; and most of all his beloved wife Kim who makes it all possible by sharing him with his theater family.

Brad Cantwell (Wayne Langhorn) is thrilled to return to the Stage Center Theatre. Favorite past roles include Limping Man in Fuddy Meers, Orsino in Twelfth Night, Speed in The Odd Couple, Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days, Gordon in Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Richard in Hay Fever, Sydney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities, and Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Brad extends his deepest gratitude to director extraordinaire, Anna Antaramian, for her loving guidance in this and other productions. To beautiful Lisa and McCoy

Ann Dernbach (Mary O’Conner) (aka Annie) is absolutely thrilled and honored to once again be working with the marvelous Anna Antaramian.  She has stage managed four productions at Stage Center Theatre, as well as appearing at Phebe in As You Like It, Gay Wellington in You Can't Take It With You, and Cecily Pigeon in The Odd Couple.  Recently, she was seen moving around set pieces during scene changes as ASM for Bard Fiction for Commedia Beauregard Theatre.  She would like to thank her family and friends for their constant support and showing up, the yesANDwiches for being awesome, her boss for being flexible yet AGAIN, Anna for all the opportunities and inspiration over the past three years, and Lisa for all the encouragement and being the lovely human being that she is.  Heart!

Keith Harkleroad (Lt Ryder) is working on his MA in linguistics at NEIU. He is thrilled to be back at Stage Center Theatre after taking some time away for no good reason really, except maybe just to realize that once the theatre bug has bitten, it never leaves you.   He was last seen last summer in Stage Center Theatre’s You Can't Take it With You as Kolenkhov and Oliver in As You Like It.  He played a handful of characters in Around the World in 80 Days as well as the jester Truffaldino in The Love for Three Oranges.   Keith would like to thank the cast and crew for making this such a great experience and above all Anna for her encouragement and for being such a great teacher and mentor.

Caitlin Inman (Catherine Watts) is thrilled to be appearing in yet another Stage Center production. As an alum of NEIU, she has been in other productions such as My Sister Eileen, Tale of Two Cities and Dead Man's Cell phone. She would like to thank Lisa for always believing in her, her mother for always standing by her side and Anna for giving her the chance to bring the stories of these courageous women to life.

Colleen Newman (Gerry Hansen) is beyond humbled, honored and proud to be appearing with this wonderful cast and crew for Anna’s Stage Center final curtain call. Having taken a few years off to be a grown up- graduate college, get married and buy a house in the suburbs- she is so happy to have her feet on the stage again! Colleen was most recently seen at Stage Center Theatre as Louka in Arms & the Man. Other credits include Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mrs. Cyrus Packard in He Said and She Said, Lyse in The Illusion, Chrysothemis in Electra and Kendall Adams in Stage Door. Colleen would like to thank Mark and Sebastian for their encouragement, love and support; without which she would be nothing. She would also like to thank Anna for… everything.

Brian Rogers (Artillery Officer) is extraordinarily grateful and excited to be a part of Anna's last show at NEIU.  He has had a remarkable time learning from Anna and he is sad to see her leave.  He is very pleased to be working with such an outstanding cast and crew and having graduated in May, he is reluctant to say good-bye to the university.  A special thanks to Lisa Cantwell for all of her enthusiasm and support.  Also, Brian would like to thank his fiancée, Kristen, for everything she does to make his life wonderful. 

Patryk Szwankowski (Don Foster) is very excited to be performing in Censored on Final Approach and working with proficient and talented actors going into another year at Northeastern Illinois University. He has performed for two Children's Theatre Workshop classes (The Wolf and its Shadows, The Love for Three Oranges) while attending school. Majoring in Communication, Media and Theatre, Patryk hopes to one day be a screenwriter or a playwright. He hopes to bring an added element to an already stunning cast. He’d like to thank all of his friends and family for their support!  LWI!

Sara Wolfson (Jacqueline Cochran) is wicked stoked to be a part of this production (her first foray with Northeastern Illinois University).  She has recently been seen with Commedia Beauregard as the Vulcan Narrator in two seasons of A Klingon Christmas Carol, and as Sprint the messenger in Bard Fiction.  She spent more than 7 years with ComedySportz Chicago and 5 years with the award winning late night show The Hot Karl, and has performed with Baby Wants Candy and the Second City theatrical Jewsical! The Musical!.  Sara enjoys referring to herself in the third person and having people buy her beer to compliment her work.

Production Staff_______________

Anna Antaramian (Director) has been a member of NEIU’s Communication, Media and Theatre family for the past twenty-two years. She has been the Managing /Artistic Director of the Stage Center Theatre, Thymely Theatre, the Summer Theatre and is a past president of the Illinois Theatre Association. She holds an M.F.A. from New York University and has worked in various theatrical venues across the country, the most recent being the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre. Special thanks to H-S-A-N-T-J-D and, as always, Mr. McGuire.

Elizabeth Krahulec (Assistant Director) is thrilled to be working with Anna and this amazing cast and crew this summer.  Though she most recently was seen onstage as Gertie in Fuddy Meers and Arsinoe in The Misanthrope, she is no stranger to working behind the scenes and enjoys her time there.  She wants to thank the amazing cast and crew for the hard work and long hours and Anna for exceeding all of her expectations of what an "Anna Show" really is.

John Rodriguez (Set/Lighting Designer) joined the theatre faculty at NEIU nine years ago and has been teaching courses in technical theatre as well as working as a designer on Stage Center Theatre productions.  Most recent designs include Lucky Stiff, Arms and the Man, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lettice and Lovage, The Illusion, Electra, and Charley’s Aunt as well as Thymely Theatre’s productions of Taking Steps and Stage Door.

Jana Anderson (Costume Designer) has worked with the Stage Center Theatre for the last few years.  Her work has also been featured by numerous theatre groups including Redmoon Theatre, Light Opera Works, Irish Repertory Theatre, just to name a few.  Prior to coming to the United States, Jana created elaborate costumes for classical opera productions at the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia  When she is not preparing costumes for theatre productions, Jana is busy designing and creating unique haute couture fashions for individual clients in the US and Europe.

Yim Chiu (Stage Manager)  is a second time stage manager for The Stage Center Theatre at NEIU. She has stage managed The Misanthrope, and assist stage managed The Odd Couple and Fuddy Meers. She is currently studying at NEIU with a major in Communication, Media & Theatre and a minor in Theatre. She is also a student at Makeup First Chicago. She wants to thank Anna for giving her the opportunity to be a part of this production. She also wants to thank the cast of Censored on Final Approach. Big thanks to her family, Anna, Lisa, Pat, Shyla, Nickolena, Bella, Blake and all her friends for believing in her. C&C!

Nickolena Sellen (Assistant Stage Manager)  just completed her first year at Northeastern and is a CMT major and is truly passionate about theatre. She performed in Theatre as a Creative Process as Creative Moderator.  She has assistant stage managed Twelfth Night and has stage managed Fuddy Meers. She would like to thank all the directors she has worked with, especially Anna, for helping her stay as involved as she can and supporting her learning all the tricks of the theatre. Enjoy the show! 

The 2012 Summer Theatre Season is dedicated to the memory of Anne Thurman.

     Mrs. Thurman was an internationally recognized Drama educator, a Professor Emerita of Northwestern University, an author, and a "mover and shaker" of the American Theatre Association and the Illinois Theatre Association.  In her 93 years, she was the recipient of many lifetime achievement awards, including a medallion from the Children's Theatre Foundation of America, honoring her as "a national mentor."
     Among the many people she mentored are Anna Antaramian and Ann Hartdegen, the directors of this summer's plays.  To us, Anne Thurman was the living embodiment of the axiom that one should leave the world better than one found it.  We remember Anne’s curiosity, tenacity and attention to detail, but also her kindness and genuine concern for others.  Generations of children, students, colleagues and friends benefited from her presence on the planet.
     She is sorely missed.

Special thanks to Marquette University, Wright College, the cast and crew of Censored on Final Approach for making my last official production at Northeastern such a lovely one, the Department of Communication, Media and Theatre faculty, staff and students for a wonderful 22 years.

Produced by special arrangement with Original Works Publishing,

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