Northeastern Illinois University

Stage Center Theatre

The Main Stage Season Fall 2003

Directed by Dan Wirth

Directors Note:_________

Written in the mid 1960's, Little Murders examines the effects of continued random violence on an urban family. Jules Feiffer's satire, wild and exaggerated in 1968, appears somewhat tame today. The sniper scare in the Washington D.C. area is fresh in our minds, as is September 11th and the power failure that affected almost a quarter of the United States. We almost take these things for granted, but consider the toll they take on us. The paranoia, the stark fear that chills us, that makes us feel small and helpless is what harms us the most. Are we helpless? Isn't there anything we can do? We'd better do something since things are getting worse. Feiffer invites us to consider the sort of world we want to inhabit. Wouldn't it be nice to have something  better?
Dan Wirth

PROFILES (Cast)________________

Rosemary Bradley (Marjorie Newquist) is delighted to be appearing at the Stage Center once again. Although Little Murders is her fifth plunge in a row into the murky waters of comedy, from light and frothy to dark and bitter, she is particularly pleased to be playing Marjorie, whom she describes as the love child of June Cleaver and Hannibal Lector. Rosemary wishes to thank Dan, Cynthia, her felbw cast members and the crew for helping make this a memorable ensemble experience.  Kudos to Mano, the world's most fabulous hairdresser, for making every day a good hair day. She is also grateful to her loyal and devoted fans, i.e. her friends (especially the sopranos of St. Pauls UCC Chancel Choir), family and congenial NEIU colleagues for their encouragement and support.

Sean Sivils (Kenny Newquist) is a student at NEIU; he is making his second appearance at the Stage Center Theatre.  You may have seen him in Isaac I Am last spring. He is currently taking theatre courses at NEIU and is attending the John Robert Powers acting program. He hopes to make many more appearances on the stage in the future.

David Ropinski (Carol) is pleased to make Little Murders his fifth stage production at NIEU and his second with returning diva Garrett West (I knew you'd come crawling back to me)! His most recent performances include Stage Center's production of We Won't Pay!, We Won't Pay!, The Good Doctor, and several one act performances this summer at Bailiwick Repertory Theatre's 2003 Director's Series. David is an active student at Northeastern double majoring in Art & 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 his Mom, Dad, Amy, Becky, Mary, Brandy, Tracey, Alan, Susan, and especially this very talented cast and crew. I'm Idaho!

Garret West Dotson (Patsy Newquist) Making her triumphant return, Garret is originally from Sanford, Florida;, the celery capital of the world, where Spanish moss is cheap and you get amoebas by swimming in the lakes. Her elementary school made her do plays, and through a technique not unlike Pavlov's dog, she can't avoid being on stage whenever a bell rings. So, Garret figured she might as well be an actor. Acting has turned out to be sillier than she had originally thought and much more lucrative. Natch! Actually, you'd have to be a raving lunatic to pursue this as a profession, happily, Garret qualifies.  Garret's long standing love affair with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups has grounded her in an existential truth that transcends any ordinary human relationship. She would like to dedicate her performance to this perfect marriage of chocolate and peanut butter.

Christopher Carter (Alfred Chamberlain) Feel the heat from the footlights-searching for self alongside the loathsome monkey on the stage. Christopher teetering on the brink of forever-exposed, naked soul eviscerated for all to  Judge. Dangling as a marionette asking for love. Who do you see? Do you see? Do you see a monkey on a chain standing behind you? In a reflective puddle of water? In the store front glass?  Beating his chest, beating the clock, beating the drum, being beaten back and upon. Is it me?

Anna Zimowska (Judge) is a Music Education major and a Dance minor, currently in her fourth (but not her last) year at NEIU. She is thrilled to once again be on the NEIU stage. You might have last seen her in We Won't Pay!, We Won't Pay! a year ago, or in a number of Studio Series shows. Anna will also be a part of next month's Stage Center production of Lend Me a Tenor. She would like to thank all her friends and  family members for their continuous support.

Janet Davis (Reverend Dupas) is an up and coming actress in Chicago's theater scene. She recently moved here from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Some of her favorite credits include The Wiz, Into the Woods, Alice in Wonderland, and The Rocky Horror Show. You can find her on both sides of the footlights. Not only does she act and sing, but she also enjoys the technical aspect of theater as well. She is currently studying art education at Northeastern. Theater is not a career she would like to pursue, but she will always keep it as one of her main hobbies.

Christina R. Tornabene (Wedding Guest) will be graduating in May and plans to continue in the Graduate program in Human Resource Development. Theatre is Christina's first love, so Little Murders is her last fling as an undergraduate at Northeastern Illinois University.

Xander O'Conner-DeLosRios (Wedding Guest) is an undergraduate at NEIU and aspires to be a medical doctor in the future. His activities outside of school are skydiving, volunteering, theater, and traveling. He is in his first production and desires to do more soon, and he is delighted to be in this performance.

Melanie S. McCoy (Wedding Guest) being from the small town of Streator, feels she has made it big by joining the talented cast and crew of Little Murders. She is studying Communication, Media, and Theatre here at NEIU. She would like to thank Professor Wirth and Cynthia Gran for giving her this opportunity. Also, she would like to thank her family and really close friends for all their support. When asked what lessons she has learned about living in Chicago, she replies: 1. Always use the club, 2. Speed bumps should not be taken at 45mph, and 3. Kids can kill.

Jonathan Gronli (Wedding Guest) is a freshman at Northeastern. He plans to declare a minor in theater in his sophomore year, and will declare a major in music performance, after gaining some classical experience. Little Murders is his second play under the direction of Dan Wirth, the first one being an adaptation of Plautus' The Merchant done for the Summer Transition Program. His hobbies include playing and listening to music, acting, and writing. He plans to use one of these hobbies for success.

Angela Demarco (Lt. M. Practice) is excited to be fresh off the Windy City Amusement Carnie Circuit to die in Little Murders. Better keep your eye out, you might miss her as she moves through the show like a ghost. Enjoy the show, you right wing conspirators. P.S. thanks Dr. Chang for the new set of teeth.

Moe Dusoperandi (The Breather) is pleased as punch to be making his debut at the Stage Center. He has been heard previously in the touring production of Star Wars on Ice as DarthVader's breathing and as the breathing of the possessed girl Regan in Exorcist! The Musical!.  Moe would like to dedicate his performance to Bronkaid Mist, without which it wouldn't be possible.

At dinner, Alfred (Christopher Carter) discusses his work, which is photographing "shit."
Carol (David Ropinski) accuses his prospective son-in-law of being a nasty bad person.
Wedding guests (Christina Tornabene and Melanie McCoy) pose for some cheesecake photos.

The Breather makes another crank call. Kenny (Sean Sivils) answers and assorted wedding guests look on.
Carol hangs his head in shame during the nightmarish wedding ceremony.
Patsy (Garret West Dotson) attempts to restrain Carol from punching her brother Kenny while Marjorie (Rosemary Bradley) gets to know  Alfred.

After shooting a passer-by from the window, Alfred offers Kenny a turn.
The family celebrates Kenny's shooting of Lieutenant Practice.
Patsy gets her dad in a headlock.

PROFILES (Crew)________________

Dan Wirth (Director) has been "a theatre person" for over 30 years. Here at the Stage Center he directed last year's production of The Curate Shakespeare As You Like It and was seen as a very large Lady Bracknell in the spring 2002 production of The Importance Of Being Earnest. After earning a B.S. from Central Michigan University and an M.F.A. from The University of California, San Diego, Dan toured throughout the United States with John Houseman's The Acting Company. While in New York City, he performed at the Public Theatre, the Harold Clurman Theatre, the 18th Street Playhouse, the Lambs Theatre, Playwright's Horizon, The American Place Theatre, and The Actor's and Director's lab (later renamed the Samuel Beckett Theatre). In Europe, Dan performed at the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival and in London's West End. Regionally, he has appeared at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and in the Utah and Oregon Shakespeare Festivals. Dan worked with the esteemed Alan Schneider, Joseph Papp, Michael Langham, Liviu Ciulei, Garland Wright, Jerry Turner, and Sharon Ott. He appeared in the film Rookie Of The Year. Dan has directed for six theatre companies in the Chicago area. An award winning playwright, his plays have been performed in Ohio, California, and Washington D.C.. Currently in the midst of an eighth wonderful year of teaching at Northeastern, Dan has also taught a variety of theatre and communication courses at Dominican University, Oakton Community College, Harper College, Wright College, Daley College, and Lake Forest College. Also a published poet and film maker, he is the proud parent of two terrific children, lan (13) and Kailey (8).

Lisa Randolph (Assistant Director) is a student at NEIU. After taking Intro to Theatre with Professor Wirth. She finds herself in the audience as an extra set of eyes. It's an eye opening experience! She is thrilled to be working with Professor Wirth and the cast.

Cynthia Gran (Stage Manager) teaches yoga and aspires to teach special education in the future. She is very grateful for all of her opportunities at NEIU thus far. It's been a great school to expand her horizons, and her stage managing skills here at the Stage Center Theatre.

Elizabeth Powell Shaffer (Costumer) received her Masters Degree in Design from Penn. State University in 2002, after graduating from Washington University in St. Louis. She has been designing and draping in the Chicago area for several years. Her credits include: Bailiwick Arts Center, L'Opera Piccola, Opera Theatre Highland Park, Chicago Jewish Theatre, Reverie Theatre, and Lifeline Theatre (where she is an Artistic Ensemble member). She eagerly awaits a call from the Lyric. She is also the Assistant Designer / Head Draper for the annual Baroque Handel Opera Festival in Gottingen, Germany.

The rest of the crew _______

Sound Design............................................David Ropinski
Sound Operator............................................Tim Porcelli
Light Design............................................John Rodriguez
Light Operator.........................................Brendan Henagen
Set Design.............................................Robert G. Smith
Stage Crew........................Christina Tomabene, Brandon Wenlnger
Prop Master.......................................... Brenden Hennigan
Box Office Manager.........................................Eric Steier
Assistant Box Office Manager.............................Bridgid Blume
Publicity Coordinator....................................... Zach Neff
V Assistant Publicity Coordinator........................Vivlana Belisle

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