GHOSTS

By Henrik Ibsen
Directed by:  Rodney Higginbotham

122 Years After its Chicago World Premier
Ibsen’s Ghosts Returned to the City

Contemporary English critics called Ibsen’s 17th play An open drain…Candid foulness…Absolutely loathsome and fetid…Gross, almost putrid indecorum. This may have been why the first production of Ghosts was held in Chicago, a city known for prostitution, gambling and drinking. You can’t make people moral by ordinance, said then Chicago Mayor Carter Harrison, and there’s no use trying.

The play premiered on May 20, 1882 at Aurora Turner Hall, 3124 N. Clark Street.  (Want to know more about the Chicago Connection? Find out here!)

Ghosts tells the story of Mrs. Alving, her unfaithful dead husband Captain Alving, and their son Osvald.

Osvald had been sent to boarding school at a young age to keep him from learning the truth about his father. He returns home from Paris where he has been living among artists. Osvald falls in love with Regina, the daughter of the Alving’s maid, unaware that she was the result of an affair between the maid and Captain Alving.

To honor her late husband’s memory Mrs. Alving has built an orphanage, which burns down. The money that was supposed to be used for the orphanage ends up funding a much less honorable establishment. At the end of the play the characters are forced to come to terms with their pasts and Mrs. Alving is forced to make a life and death decision regarding the future of her son.

This famous play by the father of modern drama is a pinnacle in the annals of dramatic composition. Oswald Alving returns for the dedication of the orphanage to his father’s memory and has a flirtation with the maid who, it turns out, is his father’s illegitimate daughter. The orphanage burns down, the maid runs off in disgust when she learns the truth about her parentage, and Mrs. Alving is left alone to care for her hopelessly insane son who has fallen prey to the social disease that killed his father. The role of Mrs. Alving has been played by Liv Ullman, Eva Le Galliene, Minnie Maddern Fisk, Alla Nazimova and Elonora Duse.” (Quotation from the Samuel French, Inc. Catalog)

Written by: Henrik Ibsen
Translated by: 
Nicholas Rudall

Cast List for Ghosts

Michelle-Marie Merrick……………………Regina
David Ropinski…………………………Engstrand
Tim Hughs………………………………Pastor Manders
Rosemary Bradley…………………………Mrs. Alving
Travis B. Paul……………………………Osvald

PROFILES (Cast)_________________________

Michelle-Marie Merrick

Michelle-Marie Merrick (Regina)  is pleased to be appearing once again at the Stage Center in Ghosts. Some of her Stage Center credits include Tartuffe, The Curate Shakespeare As You Like It, Ramshackle Inn, and The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940. Currently, you find her in the Children’s Theatre daytime production of A Cluster of Clowns. Michelle-Marie would like to thank the talented cast and crew of Ghosts as well as family and friends for their support.

David RopinskiDavid Ropinski (Engstrand) is pleased to makeGhosts his sixth stage production at NIEU. His most recent performances include Stage Center's production ofWe Won't Pay!,Won't Pay!,The Good Doctor, and several one act performances at Bailiwick Repertory Theatre's 2003 Director's Series. David is an active student at Northeastern double majoring in Art and Communication, Media and Theatre. He also keeps busy offstage as a sound designer for Stage Center and A Reasonable Facsimile Theatre Co. productions. David would like to thank Mom, Dad, Amy, Becky, Mary, Brandy, Tracey, Alan, Susan, and especially this very talented cast and crew.
Timothy HughesTimothy Hughes (Pastor Manders) a Northeastern graduate, is delighted to be back at the Stage Center Theatre after a four year absence. Previous productions he was involved in include The Dinning Room, The Front Page, and Twelve Angry Men. When Tim isn’t acting he is a physical education teacher and coach at Sewn High School  in Chicago.
Rosemary BradleyRosemary Bradley (Mrs. Alving) is thrilled to be treading the boards in a drama after a string of comedies, at the Stage Center—most recently as Marjorie in the Fall 2003 production of Little Murders—and with A Reasonable Facsimile Theatre Company. She has wanted to play Helene Alving since she was a sweet young thing in her twenties; while she is a strong advocate of turning life’s lemons into lemonade, acting in an Ibsen play is far more satisfying. Ghosts has been a great pleasure from first read through to run. Her only regret is that there are only nine performances scheduled. Rosemary wishes to thank Rodney for his generous spirit, and her fellow cast members for helping to make this a joyous and unforgettable ensemble experience. As always, she is grateful to her loyal and devoted fans, i.e. her friends (especially the sopranos of St. Pauls UCC Chancel choir), family and congenial NEIU students and colleagues for their encouragement and support.
Travis Paul

Travis Paul (Osvald) is very pleased to once again be appearing on the NEIU stage.He was most recently seen here in NEIU's production of The Good Doctor in the role of The Writer.He has also been found in area productions of Big River (Harvey Wilkes), Kiss Me Kate (Bill/Lucencio), Into The Woods (Rapunzel's Prince), The Sound of Music (Rolf), Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? (Ensemble), and West Side Story (Snowboy).Travis is a part-time nanny (believe it or not!) and a full-time student here at NEIU.




from Ghosts, Spring 2004



Osvald (Travis B. Paul) is comforted by his mother Mrs. Alving (Rosemary Bradley) during a tender moment in Ibsen's Ghosts, at the Stage Center Theatre of Northeastern Illinois University.

Pastor Manders (Tim Hughs) lectures Mrs. Alving (Rosemary Bradley) on the necessity of keeping up an honorable public image in a scene from Ibsen's Ghosts, at the Stage Center Theatre of Northeastern Illinois University. Engstrand (David Ropinski) attempts to persuade his stepdaughter, Regina (Michelle-Marie Merrick) to join him in a shady business propostion in a scene from Ibsen's Ghosts, at the Stage Center Theatre of Northeastern Illinois University.
 


Mrs. Alving prepares to reveal the truth to Osvald and Regina.
Mrs. Alving confronts Pastor Manders regarding their relationship.
Mrs. Alving prepares to reveal the truth to Osvald and Regina.
Mrs. Alving confronts Pastor Manders
 regarding their relationship.

Engstrand dupes Pastor Manders while Mrs. Alving looks on.
Mother, give me the sun.
Engstrand dupes Pastor Manders while Mrs. Alving looks on.
"Mother, give me the sun."

CREW ____________________________________

Director.……………………………..………..Rodney Higginbotham 
Rodney Higginbotham (Director) earned his B.A. in speech education from Northeast Louisiana University and an M.F.A. in theatre directing from Southern Illinois University. He has directed for professional, community, and college theatres in the Chicago land area.  He frequently teaches Introduction to Theatre, Improvisation, History of Theatre, Nonverbal Communications, Dramatic Theory, among other courses. He previously served as acting chair of the Department of Communication Media and Theatre and currently holds the position of Managing and Artistic Director of the Stage Center Theatre.

Assistant Director…………………………………....Melanie McCoy
Melanie McCoy(Asst. Director) is excited to be a part of this production of Ghosts. It has been truly a blast to work with Professor Higginbotham and the talented cast as their assistant director.She is studying Communication, Media and Theatre  here at Northeastern.
Stage Manager………….……………………..…….Anna Zimowska
Anna Zimowska (Stage Manager) is thrilled to try on a different hat this semester - the hat of the stage manager. You might have seen her act in several shows over the four years, most recently in Lend Me A Tenor and Little Murders. Anna would like to thank Rodney for giving her this opportunity 

Costume Design………………….….………………..Nancy Sidman

Nancy Brundage Sidman (Costume Design) received her Master of Fine Arts in Costume Design from Northern Illinois University last May.  NIU costume designs include Marisol, Relative Values, and The Three Sisters.  Chicago costume design credits include The Servant of Two Masters  (SummerNITE at the Theatre Building), The Gift of Hope (Organic Theater Company), and Sherlock’s Last Case (Candlelight Dinner Playhouse).  As a costume technician, Nancy has worked for many Midwest area theaters including Chicago Shakespeare Company, American Players Theater and through The Costume Exchange, The Steppenwolf Theater and the film High Fidelity. 

Sound Design….…………………………………...........Tim Porcelli
Sound Operator…………………………………Brendan Hennigan

Light Design………………………………………….John Rodriguez

Light Operator…………………………………………..Elias Morales

Set Design…………………………………………....John Rodriguez
           Set Model  built by the scenic and lighting designer, John Rodriguez.
Stage Crew………………………………………………….Gary Longo
Prop Master………………………………….……..Brendan Weinger

Box Office Manager……………...…………………..…….Eric Steier
Assistant Box Office Manager………………………..Brigid Blume 

Publicity Coordinator…………………..…………………. Zach Neff

Assistant Publicity Coordinator…………………...Viviana Belisle



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