Stage Center Theatre 2011-2012 Season

David Lindsay-Abaire’s dark comedy,
Fuddy Meers
by David Lindsay-Abaire
directed by Dan Wirth
Jill Matel (Assistant Director)
Nickolena Sellen (Stage Manager)
Yim Chiu (Assistant Stage Manager)

Spring, 2012

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire invites us into the puzzling life of sweet Claire, psychogenic amnesiac, who wakes up each morning as a memory-less blank slate.  She spends each day reconstructing who she is, only to forget it all when she goes to sleep.  On this special day she is abducted by a disfigured, limping, lisping man claiming to be her brother, who says he wants to save her from her evil husband.  The ensuing mayhem is both deliriously funny and oddly touching.
Study Guide - about the play

Director's Notes...
Who Are You?

Memories are killing. So you must not think of certain things, of
those that are dear to you, or rather you must think of them, for
if you don’t there is the danger of finding them, in your mind, little by little.

-- Samuel Beckett
The Expelled (1946)

Who are you? Much of who you think you are depends on what you remember. Human beings construct identities based on reactions to memories, so if we don’t have any memories we lose who we are.

When Claire blocks her memories in order to erase the horrors of her life, she loses who she is. Throughout the course of the play,part of her wants to keep things blocked, but another part strives to be whole. The desire to remember, to reintegrate, to “recollect” is strong.

Fuddy Meers asks us to consider whether or not this type of forgetting is a good long-term strategy.

The play chronicles Claire’s journey of recollection, but she isn’t the only one with trauma in her life. Every character in the play is frag- mented by past traumatic events. Each of them is split in two, and each becomes a kind of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” wrestling with different versions of themselves. And each of them views their lives through distorted filters, through the “funny mirrors” of the play.

In our journeys through life, we may encounter many challenging events. We cope, we adapt, we find a way through. And if by chance we find ourselves broken, we may be able to find a way to make ourselves whole again. In the words of Samuel Beckett in his novel,The Unnamable, “You must go on. I can’t go on. I’ll go on.” Sometimes going on starts with remembering who we are.

When I can’t remember something, I wave my arms and dance around.

Enjoy our dance.

Dan Wirth , Director

Claire.....Lily Stephens
Richard.....Blake Malley
Kenny.....Michael Slas
Limping Man.....Brad Cantwell
Heidi.....Sarah Beckette
Gertie.....Elizabeth Krahulec
Millet.....Andrew Berlien

Sarah Beckette (Heidi), currently at Northeastern working towards her degree in early childhood education, is excited to be making her début at the Stage Center Theatre. She studied improv at Improv Olympics and has done multiple sketch comedy shows around Chicago. She would like to thank the cast of Fuddy Meers for all the laughs and spontaneous sing-alongs, her family and friends for all their love and support, and Jesus...her favorite Barista for helping her to get caffeinated each morning. *Mic Drop*

Andrew Berlien (Millet) is thrilled to be performing at the Stage Center Theatre again. A Chicago native, past productions include Lucky Stiff, Charley’s Aunt, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Lend Me a Tenor among others. Andrew has also worked with Redmoon Theater, Theatre Momovtum, and Funny Umbrella. Boundless love and affection go to Bob, Erin, Kathy, and the entire cast and crew. Dab da puppa!

Brad Cantwell (Limping Man) returns to the Stage Center Theatre where he has appeared as 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 Midsummer Night’s Dream. Brad is thrilled to work with the  cast and crew of Fuddy Meers and particularly thanks the director, Dan Wirth, for the opportunity. Thanks most of all for  love and life to beautiful Lisa and McCoy.

Rayon “The Tube” Hanes (Hinky Binky) is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. He has had a long career in theatre and film starting as an extra in the film Pup- pet Master. Rayon has appeared in many children’s theatre productions including Pinocchio. He recently finished a national tour of Avenue Q. He’d like to thank Andy Berlien for the support and the manicures.He also would like to give a shout out to the gang at The Sock Shop and a special ‘hello’ to Lambchop. “Always take time for yourself and line dry.”

Elizabeth Krahulec (Gertie) is currently a CMT major at NEIU. She has been in such performances as O Come All Ye Faithful as Sue, The Merry Wives of Windsor as Mistress Page, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as the Narra- tor. She has wanted to play Gertie in Fuddy Meers since she first saw a performance of it 10 years ago. She wants to thank her family and friends, Jana for the best slippers in the world, and the cast and crew for making musicals into real life. And to all of you following along, tank oodoll so moo fah kumin!

Blake Malley (Richard) is a Communication, Media and Theatre major at N.E.I.U. He is excited to be in another production at the Stage Center Theatre after playing Peter in O Come All Ye Faithful and Fabian in Twelfth Night. He would like to thank his family for their endless support and the cast and crew of Fuddy Meers for being so immensely talented and so gosh darn fuddy.

Michael Slas (Kenny) was found as an infant in a smoldering crater. He was taught at an early age to use his powers for good. He thought that was totally lame. He also happens to act, write trite poetry, and take little seriously. Mike has also played a Miami gangster, a flamboyant homosexual, a puri- tan, and a boring plain doctor. He is very excited to be in Fuddy Meers and work with such a fun group of individuals. He thanks his friends, his colleagues, and his parole officer for giving him the night off.

Lily Stephens (Claire) is thrilled to be making her Stage Center debut with such a talented and fun ensemble. She is also in the Second City conservatory program and performs in improv shows. A senior and English major at NEIU, Lily hopes to appear interesting at parties by earning a dishonest living, perhaps in piracy. Lily would like to thank her family for being the most incredible people she knows and her friends for being the most incredible people who tolerate her absurdity. To her sister, Fiona: HDIGYA?

Dan Wirth (Director and Fight Choreographer) has been involved with theatre for over forty 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 Thea- tre, the 18th 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.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. This is his 16th year at Northeastern where he has directed An Inspector Calls, Charley’s Aunt, The Skin of Our Teeth, The Birthday Party, Dracula, Buried Child, Little Murders, The Curate Shakespeare As You Like It, and The Nerd, four Children’s Theatre productions, and eight Summer Transition Program Drama Workshops. Dan has also taught at Dominican University, Wright College, Harper College, Oakton Community College, Daley College, Barat College, and Lake Forest College.

Jill Matel (Asst. Director) is very grateful to have had the chance to work with such a talented cast and crew! Although this is her first time as Asst. Director, she has performed at the Stage Center Theatre numerous times and is working on her CMT major at NEIU. Jill is extremely active in theater and dance in the Chicago and Milwaukee areas. She thanks Dan for giving her the chance and wishes broken legs to the entire cast and crew for an awesome show!!!

Nickolena Sellen (Stage Manager) is currently a CMT major at NEIU. Previously, she has been seen as Glinda in The Wizard of Oz, the Sour Kangaroo in Seussical the Musical, and Endora in The M Word. She is very excited to be a part of this production and would like to thank the cast for being truly amazing to work with. Enjoy the show!

Yim Chiu (Asst. Stage Manager) is currently majoring in Communication, Media and Theatre and minoring in Theatre at NEIU. This is her second time assistant stage managing at NEIU’s Stage Center Theatre. She wants to thank Dan Wirth for giving her the opportunity to be apart of this wonderful cast and production of Fuddy Meers. Big thanks to her family, Anna, Pat, Shyla, Bella, and all her friends for believing in her.

John Rodriguez (Lighting Designer) joined the theatre faculty at NEIU nine years ago and has been teaching courses in technical theatre as well as work- ing as a designer on Stage Center Theatre productions. Most recent designs in- clude Around the World in Eighty Days, Bleacher Bums, Odd Couple, A Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as Thymely Theatre’s productions of You Can’t Take It With You and As You Like It.

Jessica Kuehnau (Scenic Designer) is pleased to be designing her fifth sea- son for the Stage Center Theatre. Since completing her M.F.A. in Scenic and Costume Design at Northwestern University, Ms. Kuehnau has been designing sets and costumes for such notable theatres as Pegasus Players, Circle Theatre, Griffin, Lifeline Theatre, MPAACT, Adventure Stage Chicago, Metropolis Per- forming Art Center and Backstage Theatre. She is also the resident set designer at North Park University and a founding ensemble member of Adventure Stage Center Chicago.

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

Sound Designer Luke Sword
Fight Choreographer Dan Wirth
Sound Board Operator Avrohom Steinberg
Light Board Operator Angelika Walczyk
Running Crew Christopher Teng, Ladonna Dejesus
Set Construction Theatre Practicum and Stagecraft Classes

Theatre Personnel_______
Managing Artistic Director……………………………Rodney Higginbotham
Theatre Bookkeeper………………………………………………Lisa Cantwell
Publications & Publicity Staff…………………………Elizabeth Krahulec, Elizabeth Serrano
Newsletter Editor…………………………………………Elizabeth Krahulec
Box Office & House Managers………………………………Marta Mardosz, Seden Odabas

Left to Right
Lily Stephens (Claire), Brad Cantwell (Limping Man), Elizabeth Krahulec (Gertie), Andrew Berlien (Millet)
Left to Right
Michael Slas (Kenny), Sarah Beckette (Heidi), Blake Malley (Richard)
Michael Slas (Kenny), Lily Stephens (Claire), Blake Malley (Richard)
BOTTOM   : Brad Cantwell (Limping Man)

More Pictures from Dave Ropinski's photo galley of Fuddy Meers

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