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2011 garage REP

We are delighted to bring you three fantastic (and also fantastical) productions in our Garage Rep this winter: Heddatron, Sonnets for an Old Century and The Three Faces of Doctor Crippen. Each play is the work of a different, upcoming Chicago theater company, and our hope is that you’ll return to see all three, and join us in conversation about them. In our 35th season, the work onstage at Steppenwolf is framed by an inquiry into the divide between the public/private self. In a world of fast-proliferating media, every day brings fresh opportunities to construct new public versions of ourselves.Socially accepted codes of conduct are shifting, as people wear headphones in open-plan offices, fight with their mothers on city buses and send text messages in the middle of movies (never ever at live theater, though!). Down the street from our mainstage, in our Garage Theatre, the questions of public/private self are approached on a more intimate scale, in three productions with very different aesthetics and approaches.

Heddatron, photo by: Jonathan L. Green

Heddatron Heddatron is a strange and singular theatrical remix with an unlikely cast of characters: Jane, a contemporary suburban Michigan housewife; her theatrical predecessor, the late 19th century’s Norwegian Hedda Gabler; Hedda’s creator, the playwright Henrik Ibsen; and a clan of robots living in the rainforest. Amidst a theatrical landscape that combines the absurd and the pedestrian, characters struggle with navigating their public and private selves. Jane and (more famously) Hedda struggle with public expectations of married women and their own private fears and desires; Mr. Ibsen struggles with public opinion about his writing and his private (and, as the play would have it, neurotic) allegiance to his oppressed women characters; and even the robots have to choose between their traditional roles and breaking free to become sentient beings.

Sonnets for an Old Century José Rivera’s play gives a different kind of door between the worlds of public and private, in this piece composed of “sonnets”—none of which follow a traditional verse form. His characters are on a journey into the afterlife, and are given a moment to pause along the way. Before our eyes, they each have one last chance to make a case for themselves, and to convey to us, in the darkness of audience, what vin life was most important. As each character in Rivera’s onstage afterlife takes measure of his or her life, the play invites us to take the measure of our own.

The Three Faces of Doctor Crippen, photo by Tyler Core

Sonnets for an Old Century, photo by: Joel Moorman

All three of these productions are supported by evocative, and varied visual and auditory elements. These worlds come alive not only through the craft and art of actors onstage, directors with vision and the written word. Significantly, each of these fantastical pieces is created through design, and so in this program, we’ve included a “designer’s notebook,” highlighting the work of one designer from each company.

The Three Faces of Doctor Crippen Emily Schwartz’s newly-minted play tells us the story of a mystery made famous a century ago—the 1910 murder of a music hall singer by her husband, a fraudulent homeopath, Doctor Crippen. The Strange Tree Group, experts in creating luscious, handcrafted, strikingly visual worlds, takes us back to the era when the door between the public and private began to open. It reminds us, in the most suspenseful and enjoyable ways, that notions of “public” and “private” are the product of their time and its available technologies.

Rebecca Rugg Steppenwolf Associate Producer

Sideshow Theatre Company presents the Chicago Premiere of


HEDDATRON by Elizabeth Meriwether directed by Jonathan L. Green*

featuring Matt Fletcher*, Brian Grey, Robert Koon, Andy Luther, Jennifer Mathews, Nina O’Keefe, Jennifer Shine, Catherine Stegemann and Nate Whelden*

costume design David Hyman

sound design/composition Christopher M. LaPorte* properties design Angela M. Campos

lighting design Jordan Kardasz* video design Mike Fernandez

technical direction Kyle Gettelman

production management Benjamin W. Dawson

dramaturgy Jeffrey Gardner

stage management Navid Afshar

* denotes Sideshow Ensemble Member or Artistic Associate Produced by special arrangements with Playscripts, Inc. ( Heddatron was originally produced by Les Freres Corbusier; Alex Timbers (Artistic Director), Aaron Lemon-Strauss (Executive Director). Heddatron is made possible in part by grants from JP Morgan Chase, The Alphawood Foundation, the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Saints, the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs Community Arts Assistance Program, and by the support of the Arts & Business Council of Chicago. Heddatron includes material from: Ibsen’s Women by Joan Templeton; Ibsen and His Discontents by Theodore Dalrymple (City Journal, Summer 2005); The Troll in the Drawing Room by Michael Billington (The Guardian, Feb 15, 2003); and Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen, trans. Rolfe Fjelde. Singularity is a theory of engineer Ray Kurzweil, and the ideas in this play are creatively derived from his essays.

Alain St. Borges Nate Whelden* Catherine Stegemann Jennifer Mathews Robert Koon Matt Fletcher* Andy Luther Nina O’Keefe Jennifer Shine Brian Grey

Places: Munich, Germany; Ypsilanti, Michigan; Robotforest, Ecuador Times: Summer, 1890; February, 2006; March, 2006

robots/ scenic design Lisi Stoessel*

The Engineer Film Student Nugget Gordon Suzannah Ibsen Henrik Ibsen Rick Gordon Cubby Gordon Jane Gordon Else August Strindberg

Robot Design...............David Hyman, Bruce Phillips, Lisi Stoessel* Robot Engineering.........Glen Aduikas, Rick Buesing, Mike Fletcher, Salvador Garcia, Stuart Hecht, Terry Jackson, Don Kerste, Al Schilling, Eddy Wright


Body Construction.........Sean K. Walters Robot Operation......Catherine Connelly, Mike Fletcher, Heather Irwin, Lea Pascal, Bruce Phillips Robot Voices..........Jonathan L. Green*, Christopher M. LaPorte*, Karie Miller*

Assistant Director.......................................Brea Hayes Assistant Stage Management...............Catherine Connelly, Meg Lindsey, Chris Notestine Voice and Movement Coaching......................Karie Miller* Puppet Design.........................................David Hyman Wooden Doll Design..................................Lisi Stoessel* Assistant Scenic Design...........................Nadia Garofalo Assistant Costume Design.........................Katie Clarkson Assistant Lighting Design..................Grayson Cunningham Scenic Assistant..............................Francisco Benavides GARAGE REP Technical Direction................Jacob Lorenz Master Electrician/Board Operator...............Patrick Feder Board Operator......................................Casey Bentley Artistic Development Intern............Emily Darlington Cooke Public Relations...........................................Rob Lynch

special thanks/

Michele and Ken Anderson, Antique Resources Inc, Brella Productions, Joshua P. Burns*, Polly Carl, ChiBots: The Chicago Area Robotics Group, Teresa Ciucci, Gina Di Salvo, DJ Outlet Store, Myron Elliott, Evil Mad Scientist, Inc., David Galbreath, Noemi Garcia, Goodman Theatre, Eric Gregori, Michael Halberstam and Writers’ Theatre, Michelle Halek, Alex Higgin-Houser, Joel Hobson, Claire Jakubiszyn, Kaity Licina, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Eric Luchen, LZ Fabrics, Ruth McCormack, Liz Meriwether, Miller Electronics Recycling, Kelsey Miller, Kendra Miller, Becky Mock, Ray Nardelli, Laura Nessler, North Central College, Parallax, Inc., Pololu, Inc., Propabilities, Sir Roland Reynolds, Becca Rugg, Ryan Santa, David Schmitz, Simply Wisconsin, Harriet Sogin, St. Scholastica Academy, Stage Left Theatre Company, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Strange Tree Group, Alex Timbers, TLC Management Co., Alicia Turner, Dixie Uffelman, UrbanTheater Company, Martha Wegener, Andy White, Elizabeth Wisinski, Wright Hobbies Robotics, Eric Ziegenhagen

Sideshow salutes Heddatron’s generous corporate sponsors:

ABOUT SiDEsHoW theaTRE CoMPANY “Familiar Stories. Unorthodox Methods. Perpetually Curious.” Sideshow Theatre Company, an Illinois non-profit, was founded in 2007 in Chicago, Illinois. It is the mission of Sideshow Theatre Company to mine the collective unconscious of the world we live in with limitless curiosity, drawing inspiration from the stories, memories and images we all share to spark new conversation and bring our audience together as adventurers in a communal experience of exploration. Artistic Director: Jonathan L. Green Producing Artistic Director: Matt Fletcher Managing Director: Megan A. Smith Literary Manager: Walt McGough Outreach Coordinator: Karie Miller Marketing Manager: Bruce Phillips Manager of Individual Giving: Scottie Caldwell Grants Manager: Jeff Tinley Box Office Manager: Heather Irwin Company Stage Manager: Navid Afshar Ensemble Megan A. Smith Matt Fletcher Nate Whelden Jonathan L. Green Walt McGough Jenna Berk Joshua P. Burns Scottie Caldwell Stephen Frost Jordan Kardasz

Artistic Associates Christopher M. Laporte Brin Lukens Jane Mayer Karie Miller Bridget O’Connor

Betsey Palmer Nate Patten Lisi Stoessel Autumn Shiley Ben Warner

LEARN mORE AbOuT us AT www.siDEsHOwTHEATRE.ORg! Please consider a donation to Sideshow. Your gift will allow us to explore and create exciting, intriguing new works now and in the future. All donations are 100% tax deductible. You can join the Center Ring on our website - - or you can mail your contribution to: Sideshow Theatre Company, PO Box 409360, Chicago, IL 60640.

defining design

The first thing you notice about the Garage Theatre at Steppenwolf is that it is, in fact, a garage. Not originally intended to be used as a theatrical space, nestled in concrete and surrounded by parked cars, the Garage is a theater on the edge of definition. The rumble of the nearby CTA Brown Line and car horns provide dramatic underscoring, while the occasional unruly pedestrian is heard beyond the large curtained windows. Plays presented on the Garage stage are always in visceral relationship with the events happening right outside creating the perfect laboratory for this Rep’s examination of the divide between our public and private selves. The Garage doesn’t provide the technical bells and whistles of a purpose-built theater. It requires designers who are inspired in a situation with limited resources. Also, working in rotating repertory offers the challenge of three productions inhabiting close quarters. We asked Heddatron’s costume designer David Hyman, Sonnets for an Old Century’s video designer Liviu Pasare, and The Three Faces of Doctor Crippen’s graphic designer Phineas X. Jones to open up their notebooks and share their challenges, inspirations, and processes in creating the Garage Rep experience.

robots vs. humans

David Hyman Costumes in Heddatron

Heddatron spans a wide array of time periods and locations, from modern-day Michigan to Victorianera Germany to a fantastical robot rainforest. To costume the show’s quirky mix of human and robot characters was a thrilling exercise of imagination for costume designer David Hyman, who sought to illuminate the emotional truth of each character while respecting the play’s unconventional voice.

I had a lot of fun with Strindberg, especially, who I wanted to push in a more gritty, Steampunk-y explorer direction in order to create a more dynamic juxtaposition to the domesticated Ibsen.

What was your biggest challenge in costuming each world? For all three worlds, I think the biggest and most exciting challenge was finding the level of specificity in choices that would support the zaniness of the script and of the characters without pushing the worlds into total caricature. It was important to me that the visual quirks and jokes exist in the details of each character’s costume rather than overt, bold gestures. How did you go about thinking about costuming an actor that isn’t human? I designed Aunt Juliebot, Bertabot and three of our ‘Critterbots’. After we sketched out the looks of our robots and compiled a list of desired robotic functions, we met with the engineers and began determining how the look of the robot and the physical needs for the robotic functions would work together. This was a totally new and exciting experience for me—usually I’m working with an actor’s body or blocking in mind, but in this case, I was working with machinery!

Team Robo-Aesthetics started our conversations by discussing each individual robot’s backstory – when it was made, where it came from, who created it and its intended use.

a timely question Liviu Pasare Videos in Sonnets for an Old Century

How did you begin thinking about what that afterlife would look like physically as well as conceptually? The moment the play is working with—the first recognition of an afterlife in the context of recent death—is a moment of greatness and empowerment, as well as concurrent ubiquity and elusiveness. It is a global myth that transcends cultures and ages, that inspires people and frightens them. I am exploring this from a science of the mind perspective and I’m visually inspired by Jorge {Felix}’s vision of a sugar cane field and the processes of growing and harvesting of which burning is an essential part. We’ve drawn connections between that and the circulation that’s intrinsic to stories, be those the ones presented in the play or otherwise. How do you think incorporating video elements into this liveaction production changes the experience? The video medium is there to conceptualize the stories as told, and to enhance the audiences’ experience. As always, we are concerned with the multimedia nature of video, as accustomed as our culture is to multi-tasking. The purpose of the video is to try and make the audience feel that this is the world that the characters inhabit.

José Rivera describes his Sonnets for an Old Century as taking place in simply “the afterlife.” To further specify the production’s location visually and philosophically, designer Liviu Pasare, in collaboration with visual artist Jorge Felix,created an evocative video landscape to capture the sense of being adrift in time.

the Cure for the Common poster Phineas X. Jones Graphic Design for The Three Faces of Doctor Crippen

Drawing inspiration from historical events, period images and text and the Strange Tree Group’s own vividly illustrative work, graphic designer Phineas X. Jones created the distinctive design for the promotional materials of The Three Faces of Doctor Crippen. A longtime collaborator with Strange Tree who has created many of their past marketing images, Jones shares their sense of macabre whimsy that infects every Strange Tree Group production. Historically specific and detail oriented, Jones’ work has helped shape the visual identity of the company on and off the stage.

What research did you do to prepare for the three faces of doctor Crippen? The initial research I did was rather by accident. I had only recently finished Erik Larson’s book Thunderstruck—which is about the Crippen case, framed by Marconi’s invention of the wireless telegraph—so I was already on board before I knew Emily was planning to write a play on the same subject. Beyond that, my research has been mostly finding a lot of visual references for the Doctor himself and the other characters in the story. I’ve also been going through a fair amount of contemporaneous Victorian design (medicine bottles, labels and such like) since the poster is meant to be a label for a notional vial of one of the Doctor’s homeopathic “cures.” The illustrated bottle is of one of Doctor Crippen’s imagined “cures” and draws inspiration from a Victorian era label and Doctor Crippen’s portrait, as sketched by Jones.

COming TO THE gaRagE RObOTS, SOnnETS anD DOCTORS, OH my! yOu’vE SEEn OnE amazing gaRagE REP PRODuCTiOn, nOW SEE THE OTHER TWO FOR $5 OFF. Present your ticket stub to the Steppenwolf box office or call 312-335-1650 with your ticket number to receive $15 tickets for the remaining two GARAGE REP shows.

summer 2011 Animals Out of Paper

Written by Rajiv Joseph Directed by Jaclynn Jutting

Where We’re Born

Written by Lucy Thurber Directed by Brad Akin


Written by Suzan-Lori Parks Directed by Jess McLeod

Support exciting, innovative theater today!

May 31 - June 19 Featuring the designs of Scott Davis, Mekey Guberinic, Nastassia Jimenez, and Emily Tarleton

STEPPEnWOLF STaFF Artistic Director Martha Lavey

executive Artistic BoArD terry Kinney, Jeff Perry and Gary SiniSe

executive Director

ADmiNistrAtiON david M. SchMitZ Managing director

MoLLy KoBeLt Special events associate

racheL doMaracKi director of finance

annie M. LeBedoff individual Giving associate

Lori davidSon director of events Management

david hawKanSon

Scott MacoUn it Manager

Artistic PoLLy carL director of artistic development

cat trieS company Manager

erica danieLS director of casting and the School at Steppenwolf

MeGan ShUchMan human resources & diversity Programs coordinator

Joy MeadS Literary Manager

Brian hUrSt finance associate

reBecca rUGG associate Producer

LUPE GARCIA QUILEs events Management associate

nicK ward casting and School assistant tracy LettS aMy Morton anna d. ShaPiro ricK Snyder JeSSica theBUS associate artists SheLdon PatinKin artistic consultant stEPPENWOLF FOr YOUNG ADULts HALLIE GORDON artistic and educational director, Steppenwolf for young adults LindSey BarLaG education associate whitney diBo Program Specialist JaMie aBeLSon Lara doSSett aManda Jane dUnne Larry GriMM roBert hineS iii Lynn LocKwood MUrPhy nicoLe riPLey eMiLio roBLeS carLa StiLLweLL teaching artists

anGeLa JohnSon office Management associate & receptionist richard KanG it assistant JaMeS PaLMer executive assistant DEVELOPmENt Sandy KarUSchaK director of development Katy e. haLL director of corporate relations rUth Stine director of Major Gifts deBorah Stewart director of foundation and Government relations eric evenSKaaS director of individual Giving and donor Services

hiLary odoM KLine development associate SUZanne MiLLer donor Services associate mArKEtiNG, PUbLicitY & AUDiENcE sErVicEs Linda GarriSon director of Marketing and communications david roSenBerG communications director yaeL eytan Marketing director JULia doSSett MorGan Promotions and Media Manager thoMaS weitZ digital assets Manager LUcaS crawford Marketing associate JoeL MoorMan digital content Producer SUSannah KiM digital design associate LUiS a. iBarra Graphic designer nora tayLor Marketing and Program associate taMara todreS director of audience Services JiMMy freUnd audience Services Manager

Kendra van KeMPen director of Special events

StePhanie heLLer audience Services Subscription Manager

JeSSica Gretch individual Giving coordinator

MiKe BrUnLieB Matthew LyLe audience Services Supervisors

PaUL G. MiLLer development coordinator

aLLan waite Group Sales associate

roSeann BiShoP tara BranhaM reBecca BUtLer BiLLie Bryant aLi hoefnaGeL MeLiSSa KLaaS SotirioS LivaditiS MariSSa McKown MeG SantiSi eLiZaBeth Schewe racheL weLLinG audience Services associates

aden watSon assistant technical director

OPErAtiONs Jay JUSSaUMe director of operations

andria SMith assistant Properties Master

cory conrad facilities Manager anderS JacoBSon ryan PaLMa facilities Staff victor david niLa Khatiwada haroLd KriPPS ethan oZaniec BhaGirath tiMSina custodial Staff evan hatfieLd front of house Manager LiBet wiLfonG house Manager ron BoGacKi Matt caMPBeLL JULia cUrnS KaSSandra deanS heidi GerMann roBert hineS iii JeSSica Lind BecKy MocK chriStine oLivier richard rUBio danieLLe ShindLer catherine SMyKa Mara Stern cat trieS front of house Staff MUStafa chaUdhry donaLd coULSon dUran JohnSon Peter van KeMPen Parking Staff JacK Meyer, the SaintS volunteer Usher coordination PrODUctiON aL franKLin Production Manager diXie UffeLMan Production coordinator rUSSeLL PooLe technical director

roGeLio rioJaS Scene Shop foreman Ken BLenc roBert Brown MarcoS everStiJn Scenic carpenters Jenny diLUciano Properties Master

charLeS MoSer Master Properties artisan ricK haefeLe house carpenter dawn PrZyByLSKi Stage carpenter caryn weGLarZ KLein costume director Mae haSKinS assistant costume designer LaUreL cLaySon head draper Kevin PeterSon Shop foreman

cALL ceNter caSey vanworMer call center Manager PatricK waLSh call center Supervisor Sydney criStoL LaUren fiSher charLeS frydenBerG tyLer Greene MariLyn hiLLary tiMothy McGUire call center representatives APPrENticEs MichaeL hUey Kendra MiLLer JeSSica roSenLieB JoeLLe weBer Maria GerBino aaron PiJanowSKi richard fieLdS MorGan waShinGton LaUren SivaK KeLLy Kerwin henry riGGS erin dodd LieSL Pereira JeSSica KorPeLa oLivia caStiLLon KeLLy crooK aShLey SinGh

STEPPEnWOLF gaRagE REP COmmiTTEE POLLY CARL Director of Artistic Development REBECCA RUGG Associate Producer ERIC EVENSKAAS Director of Individual Giving and Donor Services JULIA DOSSETT MORGAN Promotions and Media Manager DAVID M. SCHMITZ General Manager K. TODD FREEMAN Steppenwolf Ensemble Member DIXIE UFFELMAN Production Coordinator

Myron eLLiott Staff draper

EVAN HATFIELD Front of House Manager

JeSSica Stratton wardrobe Supervisor


erin cooK Staff dresser Martha weGener audio engineer GreGor MortiS assistant audio engineer J. r. LederLe Lighting Supervisor erneSto GoMeZ house electrician MaLcoLM ewen chriStine d. freeBUrG LaUra d. GLenn MicheLLe Medvin deB Styer roSe Marie PacKer KathLeen PetroZieLLo Stage Managers

SPECiaL PRODuCTiOn STaFF: becky mock Production Assistant Jacob Lorenz Technical Director Patrick Feder Master Electrician and Light Board Operator megan Snowder Electrician Liga Rostoks Electrician Steppenwolf’s Garage Rep program, now in its second year, presents the work of three emerging Chicago Companies under Steppenwolf’s banner. Steppenwolf invites applications from storefront companies around the city to produce a new project on the subject of our season theme. We provide three chosen companies mentorship in areas of marketing, production, artistic vision, dramaturgy, producing, and fundraising. With this program, we aim to learn from the next generation about what excites them; we aim to introduce Steppenwolf audiences to their work, and their audiences to ours; and above all, we aim to contribute to the ongoing vibrance of Chicago’s theater ecology. Support for the Garage Rep comes through the “Leading for the Future initiative,” a program of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.


A series of fun, casual events that explore the ideas and themes in our shows through live music, food & drink. Plus we offer discounted tickets to the play! EXPLORE: The World of Sex with Strangers – Friday April 15 EXPLORE: The World of The Hot L Baltimore – Sunday May 14

WinE TaSTing WiTH 2nD STORy

Join us for hilarious, true stories, inspired by our plays from 2nd Story storytellers with DJ White Russian, delicious wine, food, and a ticket to the show. The events start at 6 p.m. in the Balcony Lobby at 1650 N. Halsted Street and tickets are $55. sex with strangers Wine Tasting Wednesday February 23, use code 7451 to order. the hot l baltimore Wine Tasting Wednesday April 13, use code 7452 to order.

FOR mORE inFORmaTiOn On any OF THESE EvEnTS OR TO buy TiCkETS STOP by auDiEnCE SERviCES OR CaLL 312-335-1650.

Garage Rep 2011 Program  
Garage Rep 2011 Program