The Waiting Room, March 2006The Waiting Room poster

Spring 2006

  A dark comedy about the timeless quest for beauty  and its cost. Three women from different centuries meet in a modern doctor’s waiting  room. Forgiveness From Heaven, is an eighteenth century Chinese woman  whose bound feet are causing her to lose her toes. Victoria is a  nineteenth century tightly corsetted Englishwoman suffering what is  commonly known as "hysteria."  Then there is Wanda, a modern gal from  New Jersey who is having  problems with her silicone breasts.  Husbands, doctors, Freud, the drug industry and the FDA all come under  examination. The play is a wild ride through medical and sexual  polities, including the politics of the ever present battle with  breast cancer. (Dramatists Play Service Catalog)
The Waiting Room

The Waiting Room The Waiting Room

Photographs from NEIU_ImageAC - Northeastern Illinois University's Photo Club



Place
New York City, England, and China
Time
The past, and the present, and often both at once

Cast
        Melanie Bujan ................ Bridget, Health Club Attendant, Jade Ornament,
                                                    Female Lawyer, Masseuse, Cerisse, Nurse Bruce
        Linnea Carrera ................ Cabbie, Screamer
        Susan Colon ......................Wanda
        Kimberly S. Crawford ...... Brenda
        Shama Dardai ................... Forgiveness From Heaven
        Christopher Leonard .........Oliver, Male Lawyer
        Joe Mack .......................... Douglas
        Jeff Roll .............................Ken
        Hugo Rosado .................... Larry, Waitress
        Stephanie Tichenor ...........Victoria
        Giau Truong ......................Blessing From Heaven, Johnny, Masseuse, Intern

                                                    Production Staff
        Producer ...................................................Rodney Higginbotham
        Director ...................................................Nanci Carol Ruby
        Assistant Director ....................................Linnea Carrera
        Stage Manager ........................................Viviana Scrima
        Scenic Designer/Co-Technical Director ..Lizz Otto-Cramer
        Lighting Designer/Co-Technical Director .John Rodriguez
        Costume Designer .....................................Jana Anderson
        Sound Designer .........................................Pat Nagaro
        Sound Design/Sound Board Operator ...... Leroyd Manuel
        Dialect Coach .......................................... Christopher Leonard
        Box Office Manager .................................Brigid Blume
        Assistant Box Office Manager ..................Mimi Pounds
        Graphic and Playbill Designer ...................David Ropinski
        Lobby Display Designers ......................... Lauren Bonner, Timothy McGaughey
        Light Operator...........................................Efran Ulloa
        Prop Crew head ....................................... Linnea Carrera
        Running Crew ..........................................James Mallory, Wanda Norris,
                                                                          Mary Santana, Linnea Carrera
        Set Construction .......................................Theatre Practicum class

Director’s Notes

When you look in the mirror do you see the fairest of them all? Do you see a beautiful human being starring back at you, one who has worth and value beyond comparison to a trumped up image on a magazine cover? Sadly, for most of us, looking into a mirror is a daily fault-finding ritual. In order to stop this vicious cycle we look for help outside of ourselves. We turn to anyone, in any profession who will promise and deliver beauty, however temporary, on demand.

In Lisa Loomer’s The Waiting Room, boundaries of time are released as three women from different periods in history meet in one common waiting room. Each of these women is seeking options for survival. Lisa Loomer explores women’s quest for beauty and the subsequent mutilations that have occurred through various centuries and cultures in an attempt to conform to societal standards of beauty. Ms. Loomer weaves a tapestry of poignancy, humor and acidic commentary on modern medicine as well as the pharmaceutical industry in America.

And so the Snow White fable, which is retold in the final moments of this play, carries a message through the ages in and out of The Waiting Room to each of us. What will we see when we look in the mirror? Will we have the courage to recognize and accept the beauty in ourselves and in each other? The choice is ours.

Nanci Carol Ruby, Director


Profiles - Cast
(alphabetical)

Melanie Bujan
Melanie Bujan (Bridget, Health Club Attendant, Jade Ornament, Female Lawyer, Masseuse, Cerisse, Nurse Bruce) appreciates the opportunity to return to NEIU’s Stage Center Theatre in The Waiting Room. Melanie previously appeared as Miss Prism in The Importance of Being Earnest in 2002, but portraying the feminine/servant class of many times and cultures has been quite a different challenge from the propriety of Oscar Wilde. Melanie wishes to thank the talented cast and crew for their support and encouragement, especially Chris for helping her with some tricky dialects. Melanie also sends a special thank you to her husband and wishes to add: Cerise vous attend, mon amour! Ooh-la-la!

Susan Colon
Susan Colon (Wanda) is pleased to be appearing in her first Stage Center performance. Susan’s artistic activities include an ongoing volunteer stint as set builder and stage manager for the Redmoon Theater Dramagirls youth program. Hey, everyone needs to learn how to handle a staple gun! Day gig: Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication, Media and Theatre. Those of you who have taken her Communication and Gender class might be wondering what motivated Doc to play this role, but wait...by the end of the play that should be rather clear.

Kimberly S. Crawford
Kimberly S. Crawford (Brenda) is an Early Education Major at NEIU, a partner of Vinnie and Kimberly’s Boutique and most importantly, Mother of 7 year old genius Darien Lavon Crawford.

Shama Dardai
Shama Dardai (Forgiveness From Heaven) is an English major at NEIU, dabbling in theatre and sociology. She has participated in other NEIU productions such as, The Real Inspector Hound, Life’s A Dream, and most recently, Boy Gets Girl. (She has also been seen wandering around campus aimlessly, and cursing at cabs that won’t stop for her.) She would like to thank the cast and crew for their time and dedication. (She is not Chinese.)

Christopher Leonard
Christopher Leonard (Oliver, Male Lawyer, Dialect Coach) Chris is the great-grandson of Bolossy Kiralfy, a Hungarian born dancer/acrobat turned producer. In 1874, with the assistance of Thomas Edison, Kiralfy produced The Deluge, the first known stage production to employ electric lighting! Chris is a graduate student here at NEIU studying linguistics and is especially interested in working with accents and dialects. He is pleased to be performing in his fourth production at the Stage Center, having previously appeared in DraculaLife is a Dream and The Real Inspector Hound.

Joe Mack
Joe Mack (Douglas) is excited to be working with Nanci Carol and the entire the cast. He recently appeared and co-produced A Walk in the Woods. He has also appeared in Peer Gynt, True West, Hamlet, Brilliant Traces, and Much Ado About Nothing. He is a graduate of Brown University and the University of Chicago. I love you, Kerry.

Jeff Roll
Jeff Roll (Ken) has always had a great love for the stage, in fact, so great was his love for it, that he turned down a multi-million dollar movie contract to happily accept the part in this performance. Shut up it IS true!!! Jeff is also a student at NEIU majoring in Communication, Media and Theatre, and is enjoying this, his first, year at NEIU. In his free time Jeff enjoys working on his musical, handicapped only by his complete and total lack of any musical talent whatsoever, but what he lacks in talent he makes up for with good intentions. He sends out his love to M&D, Red, Kat, Dahle, Superbest, Dr. Love, Marie, Feds, and of course those lovable folks in the cast.

Hugo Rosado
Hugo Rosado (Larry, Waitress) is a returning student at NEIU, and this is his second semester and third production with the Stage Center. Hugo was recently in Boy Gets Girl and Dracula last semester. Hugo’s training includes working and training with The Second City, Theatre on the Lake, numerous city parks, and with his group, ¡Salsation! Theatre Company. Hugo is very grateful to be accepted in the Stage Center Theatre. A very special thank you to Chris and Nanci for the ironic twists of fate.

Stephanie Tichenor
Stephanie Tichenor (Victoria) is a senior Communication major and Theatre minor here at NEIU. She was last seen on stage as Mina in the Stage Center production of Dracula. She is just beside herself to be working alongside such a fabulous cast, crew and director. She would like to thank her momma Katie, Iceman, Lester, the governor and her favorite beast for their love, affection, support and cookies & cream soda! I love y’all!

Giau Truong
Giau Truong (Blessing From Heaven, Johnny, Masseuse, Intern) This is Giau’s Debut with the Stage Center. He is currently working with Music Theatre Workshop as a teaching artist, and is a member of Dream Theatre, which is in the process of putting up Antigone. He enjoys watering his plants, but will never water them when his cat is watching. On weekends he likes to unstaple all his pile papers and then restaple them on the opposite end. He has enjoyed working with the entire ensemble and hopes one day to have a watering/staple cast party.


Design/Production Staff

Nanci Carol Ruby
(Director) is pleased to collaborate with the Stage Center Theatre to bring the powerful message of Lisa Loomer’s The Waiting Room to life at NEIU. Nanci Carol is Adjunct Performance Faculty at DePaul University’s Theatre School and has recently joined NEIU’s Dept. of Communication, Media and Theatre as a part-time instructor. As a freelance theatre artist, she has worked with many Chicago theatres including Apple Tree Theatre, The American Theatre Company, Northlight Theatre, Court Theatre, Light Opera Works and Candlelight Dinner Theatre. Nanci Carol is married to Dr. James Ruby, of NEIU’s Dept of Counselor Ed. and together they are the proud parents of David and Wesley.

Jana Anderson (Costume Design) after working on
Dracula in the fall, is delighted to be working with Stage Center Theatre again. Her work has been featured by numerous theater groups including Redmoon Theater, Light Opera Works, Irish Repertory Theatre, Rivendell, Experimental Theatre and Collaboraction. Prior to coming to the United States, Jana created elaborate costumes for classical opera productions at the Slovak National Theater in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. She also attended the University of Art in Bratislava, where her interest in working on period pieces originated. For this production she had to find a way to incorporate unique and completely different styles of various historical periods and make them work together side by side. Since moving to Chicago in 1997 her focus has been to create costumes for theatres. However her costume designs have also be featured in fashion photo shoots and advertising campaigns. When she is not preparing costumes for theatrical productions, Jana is busy designing and creating unique haute-couture fashions for individual clients in the United States and Europe.

Lizz Otto-Cramer (Co-Technical Director, Set Desiger) is pleased to be a new faculty member here at Northeastern. Lizz earned her Master of Fine Arts at the School of the Arts in Winston-Salem North Carolina. She has been working professionally since graduation and has designed and painted in Milwaukee WI, North Carolina, and Washington D.C. Her credits include
Dracula, Fiddler on the Roof, A Christmas Story, and Cole among others.

John Rodriguez (Co-Technical Director, Lighting Desiger) joined the theatre faculty at Northeastern two years ago and has been teaching courses in technical theatre as well as working as a designer on Stage Center productions. This year John has taken on the shared responsibilities of Technical Director along with new arrival Lizz Otto-Cramer. John most recently designed the set and lighting for
Dracula and will be designing the lighting for Picasso at Lapin Agile.

Viviana Scrima (Stage Manager) is happy to be a part of this production of The Waiting Room. This is her first attempt at stage managing and is thankful for the experience. Viviana has spent the past two years here at Northeastern and is excited to be graduating in May with a B.A. in Communication, Media and Theatre. She would like to thank her family for being so supportive.

Linnea Carrera (Assistant Director) is currently a student at Northeastern Illinois University, where she is majoring in Communication, Media and Theatre. She was most recently seen in the Stage Center production Simply Maria as Carmen, and as a member of InFusion in the studio series of Backwardly Mobile. She is a currently working with ¡Salsation! Theatre Company, and can be seen in their upcoming production The Fanta Menace at the Gallery Mextli in Pilsen. When not at school or working she likes to geek out over Jane Austen and Harry Potter. And when she’s not doing that, she’s working on her music, piano and vocal, even occasional composition. She is excited for the production and wants to thank the cast, crew and the director for making this such a wonderful experience. She would like to send a huge shout out to all her friends and family for their support and love.

Pat Nagaro (Sound Design) is delighted to be collaborating again with Nanci Carol after The Christmas Gift last season. Pat works for ECLA by day, designing sound and video in the corporate world and enjoys the different creative processes of designing sound for stage.

Leroyd Manuel (Sound Design/Sound Board Operator) is just happy to have some kind of recognition in the playbill. "I made it everybody, whutetdo?" He has designed the sound and music arrangement for recent Stage Center productions, The Love of Don Perlimplin and in Belisa in the Garden,
Simply Maria, Dracula and Boy Gets Girl. He was forceably introduced to all aspect of theatre sound by running the sound board for Life is a Dream and the above mentioned plays. He should be a junior or senior at NEIU majoring in Communication with minor in Mass Media. He would like to thank those who supported and those who didn’t support him, because he mentions, "It’s only going to get better from here on now, folks."



Susan Colon (Wanda)
Stephanie Tichenor (Victoria)
Shama Dardai (Forgiveness From Heaven)


       THE WAITING ROOM explores women’s quest for beauty and the subsequent mutilations that have  occurred  through various centuries and cultures in an attempt to conform to  societal  standards of beauty.   Ms. Loomer weaves a tapestry of poignancy,  humor and  acidic commentary on modern medicine as well as the pharmaceutical  industry  in America. 

    A "talk back" discussion in response to the challenging questions  posed by The  Waiting Room followed two performances of this play.

The Waiting Room - 2006
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Pictures by Rodney Higginbotham, Producer
Acknowledgements
A very special thanks to those who have donated goods and services:
Adventist GlenOaks Hospital in Glendale Heights,
Melanie Bujan, Linnea Carrera, Dr. Charles Lin,
Kerry Roesch, Hugo Rosado, Dr. James Ruby, United
Health Care, UW Parkside and Maria Scrima.


Backstage at The Waiting Room