Northeastern Illinois University
Stage Center Theatre
The Main Stage Season Fall 2003
Directed by Dan Wirth
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?
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
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
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.
(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
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.
(Garret West Dotson) attempts to restrain Carol from punching her
brother Kenny while Marjorie (Rosemary Bradley) gets to know
|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.
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
Bracknell in the spring 2002 production of The Importance Of Being
Earnest. After earning a B.S. from Central Michigan University
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
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
Tomabene, Brandon Wenlnger
Prop Master.......................................... Brenden Hennigan
Box Office Manager.........................................Eric Steier
Assistant Box Office Manager.............................Bridgid Blume
Publicity Coordinator....................................... Zach Neff
Assistant Publicity Coordinator........................Vivlana Belisle
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