By J.B. Priestley

Directed by Dan Wirth
Fall - 2009

Synopsis of An Inspector Calls
 
On a comfortable spring evening in 1912, the prosperous Birling family is celebrating the engagement of their daughter to a promising young businessman.  They make a toast to the future and to their individual prosperity.  There is a knock on the door, an inspector calls.  He quickly turns their merriment to bewilderment with the news of a young woman’s tragic death.  As the evening unfolds, it becomes increasingly apparent that the innocence of everyone in the room is in question.  But who (or what) is the inspector? 
Our true nationality is Mankind.  - H.G. Wells

All three acts, which are continuous, take place in the dining room of the Birling’s house in Brumley, an Industrial city in the North Midlands of England. It is an evening in spring, 1912.

Produced by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.


Cast ______________________________
Arthur Birling………………………………………………...Mark Heard
Gerald Croft…………………………………....Hans DeBartolo (Oct 8-15)
                    …………………………………....David Mitchell (Oct 16-24)
Sheila Birling……………………………………………….Caitlin Inman
Sybil Birling………………………………………….….Elisabeth Jackson
Edna………………………………………………..……Laura Gryfinski
Eric Birling………………………………………...…….Andrew Berlien
Inspector Goole……………………………………………...Daniel Ochoa
 
 
Production Staff __________________________________________
Assistant Director………………………………………...Cassi Vestweber
Stage Manager………………………………………….Herschel Sloslberg
Assistant Stage Manager.......................................................Laura Gryfinski
Scenic Designer/Co-Tech Director……...………………...Jessica Kuehnau
Light Designer/Co-Tech Director………………………….John Rodriguez
Costume Designer………………………………………….Jana Anderson
Wardrobe………………………………………………..Caitlin Varpness
Sound Designer……………………………………………..James Mallory
Artistic & Managing Director……………………………..Anna Antaramian
Theatre Manager……………………………………….Colleen McCready
Box Office Manager………………………………………...James Watson
House Manager……………………………………………Laura Aldmeyer
Theatre Bookkeeper………………………………Becca Raven Uminowicz
Light Board Operator……………………………………….Cesar Miranda
Sound Board Operator………………………………….Cynthia Rodriguez
Run Crew…………………………………………………Pauline Miliotis
Dialect Coach……………………………………………….Melanie Bujan
Set Construction………………………………………..Theatre Practicum
 


Cast Profiles ________________________________



Mark Heard (Arthur Birling) is very excited to be performing in his fourth Stage Center Theatre production, having been seen in Charley’s Aunt, Pieces of Eight, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Originally from California, Mark has been involved in theatre for many years, appearing in several productions such as, Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell and The Roar of the Greasepaint Smell of the Crowd, just to name a few. Mark would like to thank Dan Wirth for casting him, and a special thank you to Anna Antaramian for her support and guidance. Also thanks to my roommates Thom and Corky and the wonderful cast that I am privlaged to work with.


Hans DeBartolo (Gerald Croft) was a pole-vaulter in high school and an aspiring fashion model until a hypnotherapist in West Hollywood, California suggested he become an actor. After high school, he majored in theatre arts at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn and has appeared in several films and television shows. He played the police officer at the beginning of Michael Smith’s film “The Minx” and was in the film “Old School” as an extra. He also has done some writing and has one treatment and one concept registered with the Writer’s Guild of America-West Coast. He performed the role of Victor Frankenstein in Naper Settelement’s All Hallow’s Eve in 2005. He is very grateful to Dan Wirth for this   opportunity and his family for their support.

David Mitchell (Gerald Croft) (Oct 16-24) is very excited to be appearing in his fourth production with the Stage Center Theatre.  He was seen in such past productions as Charley's Aunt (Charley), Mrs. Warren’s Profession (Praed), and The Skin of Our Teeth (Fred Bailey), all with the Stage Center.  Other favorite roles: The Dispute (Mesrou, SIUE) Grease! (Ensemble, RSTC) , and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Lefou, RSTC).  Thanks to the CMT Department, family and friends for support and love….”wanna hear a story?”

Caitlin Inman (Sheila Birling) is appearing for the first time at Stage Center Theatre, and is in her first semester at N.E.I.U. She is a transfer student from Michigan who dedicated several years to studying theater and acting at Lansing Community College. She is now a junior majoring in Communication, Media, and Theatre with a minor in Theatre. Upon graduation she hopes to further delve into the professional world of acting. She would like to thank her mother for always being there for her, and above all else, always believing in her.


Elisabeth Jackson (Sybil Birling) is a new face on N.E.I.U.’s stage, she is thrilled to continue her training as an actor. A graduate of Waubonsee Community College, she has performed in many of their academic productions. Also with Waubonsee and with Curtain Up Classroom in Glen Ellyn, IL, Elisabeth has worked as an assistant director for several shows. She has done professional work through Curtain Up at the Merit School of Music in Chicago and the Chicago History Museum: American Association of University Women as well as some improv dinner theatre. Elisabeth has also choreographed for Curtain Up’s children’s theatre productions as well as children’s summer workshops with Indian Valley Theatre in Sandwich, IL.


Laura Gryfinski (Edna) is in the “homestretch” in her pursuit of a Bachelor’s Degree here at NEIU in both Elementary Education (with a minor in History) and Communication, Media & Theatre. Involved in theatre since the age of eight, she had the thrill of a lifetime when she traveled to and performed at Edinburgh’s International Fringe Festival in Scotland with Guerin’s production of Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?  She has performed at NEIU in the Children’s Theatre production of Monkey Magic, and productions of Stage Door, Electra, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and has worked behind-the scenes in various capacities, most recently as Stage Manager for Arms and the Man. She thanks Dan for giving her the opportunity to be a part of this cast and hopes you’ll be intrigued with just why An Inspector Calls!


Andrew Berlien (Eric Birling) is a native of Chicago, Andrew is delighted to be acting at the Stage Center Theater once again. He was last seen in Stage Left's Loopshop production of NightSongManChild, Thymely Theater's production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Studio Series production of Queer Strindberg, and Stage Center Theater productions of Electra, and Charley's Aunt. Andrew would like to thank Dan and the entire cast and crew for allowing him this wonderful opportunity. Oh, and Mom? Dad? My shoes hurt for you.


Daniel Ochoa (Inspector Goole) is a Chicago native who, until two years ago had not so much as acted as “Tree” in the third-grade play. An egregious oversight by someone in the casting department mistakenly allowed him to work as an extra in The Dark Knight. After spending much of his time on set gawking at how cool everything was, he decided to move from the suburbs to the city and take classes at Act One Studios. An Inspector Calls makes his first feature length principle role, and he is excited to be working with his fellow cast and the director to bring J.B. Priestley’s socially-conscious vision to life.


Artistic Staff Profiles _________________________

Dan Wirth (Director) has been involved with theatre for forty years. As a professional actor, he toured throughout the United States with The Acting Company. He performed in seven Off-Broadway theatres in New York City. 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 14th year at Northeastern where he has directed 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 seven Summer Transition Program Drama Workshops. Dan has also taught at seven other colleges in Chicagoland. He has an M.F.A. from The University of California, San Diego, and a B.S. from Central Michigan University. He is the proud parent of two terrific young adults, Ian (19) and Kailey (14).

Cassi Vestweber (Assistant Director) swept in like a tsunami, and is set to get her feet soaked with the N.E.I.U. Theatre Department. On a British fling, she has recently closed as lighting designer for the opera GREEK!  Assistant Direction is a new avenue for her and it has been an amazing ride with the Birlings.  She thanks her parents for supporting her tumultuous theatre career.  After being lassoed in by John Rodriguez, she looks forward to working on more productions this season.  In closing, she would like to find out who this Inspector is, and most importantly, does he like cookies?

Herschel Slosberg (Stage Manager) comes to the theatre from the world of television and news production where he was most recently an Emmy nominated Associate Producer for CNN's highly acclaimed documentary crew.  A former member of the US Olympic Diving team, Herschel looks forward to the challenges of stage managing a live show while welcoming the opportunity to work with such a talented cast and crew.

Jessica Kuehnau (Scenic Designer) is pleased to be designing her third season for Stage Center Theatre and third year as tech faculty for N.E.I.U..  Since completing her MFA in Scenic and Costume Design at Northwestern University, Ms. Kuehnau has been designing sets and costumes for such notable theatre's as Pegasus Players, Circle Theatre, Griffin, Lifeline Theatre, MPAACT, Adventure Stage Chicago, Metropolis Performing Art Center and Backstage Theatre.  She is also the resident set designer at North Park University and a founding ensemble member of Adventure Stage Chicago. 

John Rodriguez (Lighting Designer)
joined the theatre faculty at N.E.I.U. four years ago and has been teaching courses in technical theatre as well as working as a designer on Stage Center Theatre productions.  This past season he designed the lights for the four main stage productions: Charley’s Aunt, Electra, The Illusion, and Lettice and Lovage, and for the two Thymely Theatre productions last summer: Stage Door and Taking Steps, as well as The Stage Center’s recent productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Arms and the Man.

Jana Anderson (Costume Designer) has designed numerous productions at Northeastern Illinois University over the last five years. A native of Czechoslovakia, she can not be more excited to work on this production. A Graduate of Textile Design from Fine Arts University in Bratislava, Jana loves to create elaborate costumes from past centuries. During the school year, she works with students at Roosevelt University in the costume shop and designs shows for various theaters in the Chicago area.




Act I The opening tableau
Act I Toasting the Bride and Groom
Act I The couple toast each other



Act I Gerald presents the ring
Act I The Inspector is welcomed by Edna
Act I The Inspector conceals the picture



Act I Sheila's Milwards monologue
Act I The Sheila Confessional
Act I What is it, Sheila?



Act I Sheila slaps Gerald
Act I ends - Act II begins The Inspector Knows
Act II Grilling Gerald



Act II Sybil sees Eva
Act II Grilling Sybil
Act II ends - Act III begins Eric stumbles in



Act II Even a coat lining can be symbolic
Act II Sybil comes to a realization
Act III We don't live alone



Act III Eric gets a drink
Act III Eric strangles his mom
Act III Birling gets a surprise

Act III Final moments
Curtain Call The Final Tableau
Additional pictures from the collection by David Ropinski

Director's Notes

Biography of J.B. Priestley

About the Playwright

J.B. Priestley Calls

Glossary



Left to Right:
The Inspector (Daniel Ochoa,) Eric (Andrew Berlien,) Sheila (Caitlin Inman,) Arthur (Mark Heard,) Sybil (Elisabeth Jackson,) and Gerald Croft (Hans DeBartolo)

Special Thanks to
The Department of Communication, Media and Theatre Faculty and Staff, Katrina Bell-Jordan, Colleen McCready, Ian Wirth, Kailey Wirth, Becca Raven Uminowicz, and the Department of Acounts Payable, Budget, and Purchasing
   

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