Danny Bernardo (Seing To the others)
Danny is thrilled to work with Lifeline for the first time. Chicago credits include Jedlicka’s production of Miss Saigon (The Engineer), White Horse’s production of I Sing! (Charlie), Bailiwick’s productions of Dorian and Kiss of the Spider Woman, and directing/choreographing tonkawa’s production of Hair. He is a member of About Face’s Education Outreach, a teaching artist with the Journeymen at Gallery 37, and adjunct faculty at the Chicago Academy for the Arts. Training: Columbia, Second City and the American Conservatory Theater. Love and thanks to everyone involved, Joanie, and the Bertucelli’s for keeping him sane. Always remember: life is grand.
Patrick Blashill (Edward Drake)
Patrick is excited to be working with Jonathan Berry and the Lifeline team on The Piano Tuner and has been an ensemble member with Lifeline since 1996, first performing at Lifeline in 1994’s Miss Bianca where he played Bernard the mouse. Other favorite animal roles include Ferdinand the bull in The Story of Ferdinand, and the Mighty Gorilla in The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, which was later remounted for Chicago Theatre on the Air with guest star Brent Spiner. Other Lifeline roles include Victor in Lizard Music, Hugh Thane in The Talisman Ring, Tom in Pistols for Two (Jeff nominated for Best Ensemble), Gabriel Oak in Far From the Madding Crowd, and Bunter in Strong Poison (Jeff Nominated for Best Ensemble). He is especially proud to have acted in all three books of Lifeline’s Lord of the Rings trilogy that spanned The Fellowship of the Ring (1997), The Two Towers (2000), and The Return of the King (2002). Patrick has worked with numerous other Chicago theatres (most recently an opportunity to play Mr. Knightley in Reverie Theatre’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma) including Victory Gardens, Organic Lab, Theatre on the Lake, Stage Left, and Shakespeare’s Motley Crew. Patrick is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Nathan Davis (Understudy)
Nathan is thrilled to be working with Lifeline for the first time. Chicago credits include the role of SANTIAGO in A Few Good Men (Raven Theatre) and ensemble roles in The 20th Annual Young Playwright’s Festival (Pegasus Players Theatre) and Imminent Dangers of Love and The Afterlife (Smoke & Mirror Productions). Nathan holds a BFA in Theatre from the University of Illinois where he appeared in productions of Othello, King Lear and A Raisin in the Sun, among others. He would like to thank his wife of four years, Elizabeth, and his daughter of seven months, Olivia, “for your joyful love and support of all my endeavors.”
Kurt Ehrmann (Dr. Carroll and others)
Kurt is pleased to return to Lifeline, having previously portrayed both Gandalf and a tree in their production of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. Most recently, Kurt has been seen in Apple Tree Theatre’s production of Mountain and Hatfield & McCoy for The House Theatre of Chicago. A company member with The Hypocrites, he has performed in nine of their productions including: Roy Cohn in Angels in America, Martin Dysart in Equus, and Charley in Death of a Salesman. This spring he looks forward to rejoining them for his tenth, which will, coincidentally enough, be The Hypocrites’ tenth anniversary production of Eugene Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano. Thanks for joining us and being a part of the play.
Melanie Esplin (Katherine and others)
Melanie loves Lifeline – loves doing shows here – loves that the theatre is so close to her house – loves that she is again able to spend the winter months here – and LOVES that she is not in a swimsuit this time. City Lit, Provision, Noble Fool, European Repertory, A Crew of Patches, Striding Lion and HealthWorks Theatre Company have featured in her recent past. She is currently the Local Coordinator for the 365 Days/365 Plays Festival – a year of free theatre in Chicago!
Joey Eovaldi (Child)
Joey is six years old and in the first grade. He participated in Lifeline’s KidsOnstage summer drama camp last year as one of its youngest actors. During camp he participated in writing and performing an original myth about the origins of Chicago. He recently appeared in Where the Wild Things Are at his school.
Sienna Harris (Understudy)
Sienna is thrilled to be working on such a wonderful story, with such talented people. After graduating from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA, Sienna moved to the Midwest where she worked with the American Players Theatre, The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and Shaw Chicago. Favorite roles include Prossy in Candida (APT), Gloria in You Never Can Tell (Shaw Chicago), Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream(Seattle Shakespeare Co.) and Troilus in Troilus and Cressida (Cornish). This spring Sienna looks forward to playing Cleopatra in Ceasar and Cleaopatra with Shaw Chicago, and Prudence in The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! with Lifeline Theatre.
Yosh Hayashi (The Man with One Story and others)
Yosh is making his first appearance in a Lifeline production. Some of his past credits back in Alaska, his state of origin, include Dr. Posner in Witand Kipps in Woman in Black for Cyrano’s Playhouse, Cassius in Julius Caesar, Randolph in Lake Hollywood, and Slim in Of Mice and Men. Some of his Chicago credits include Ranger Tom in Escanaba in da Moonlight for Circle Theatre, Raymond Brock in Plenty, Montano in Othello, Melvin in Eikon, and Leo Katz in Pentecost for DePaul University’s Theatre School where he received his MFA in Acting.
Somer Kwon (Child)
Somer is making her first appearance in a theatre production at Lifeline. At 6 years old, she has had great fun performing in various Seedlings Children’s Ministry Christmas productions and Parable drama skits at First Evangelical Free Church in the Andersonville neighborhood. As a SAG member, she has been a principal performer for various national and regional commercials and prints. She lives in the Edgewater Beach neighborhood with her parents and loves being Nina’s older sister.
Eric Martig (Nok Lek and others)
Eric is making his first appearance in a Lifeline Production. His Chicago credits include PINS (Bailiwick Rep) and Raised in Captivity (Act One Studios). He has also been seen at the Actor’s Theater of Charlotte in Take Me Out and at the Dobama Theater in Cleveland in Heaven and Hell on Earth. You can catch him this March in the film Relative Obscuritypremeiring at the Cleveland International Film Festival.
Shole Milos (Nash-Burnham and others)
Shole is a Lifeline Artistic Ensemble member who was last seen in Johnny Tremain, Trust Me on This, Whose Body?, The Emperor’s Groovy New Clothes, My Father’s Dragon, and Lifeline’s production of Click Clack Mooat the Lakeshore Theatre. As a director, Shole has staged the Lifeline productions of A Long Way From Chicago (also at Theatre on The Lake), Brave Potatoes, Giggle Giggle Quack, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, Sophie’s Masterpiece, and many others. Shole has performed in theatres throughout the area in productions of Breaking The Code, A Chorus Line, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and Bouncers. He has also served as a choreographer and movement coach in addition to serving as creative dramatics instructor for Lifeline’s residency program.
Fawzia Mirza (Khin Myo and others)
Fawzia is making her first appearance in a Lifeline production. She started her career in Chicago as an attorney but immediately saw the error of her ways. She has since performed with Wing & Groove Theatre, Stir Friday Night!, Chicago Script Works, IO, Silk Road Theatre Project and Urban Theatre Co.; she also performs with and is an ensemble member of Soul Theatre, Rasaka Theatre Co. and Catharsis Productions. She dedicates this performance to her father, a man who embodied and taught her compassion, dignity, laughter and sabr (patience). As-salaam-alaikum, Papa.
Beethoven Oden (Understudy)
Beethoven is happy to make his Lifeline understudy debut with The Piano Tuner. A native of Oakland Ca, who received a B.F.A from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle WA, and attended the school at Steppenwolf, now makes Chicago his home. He’s worked with Chautauqua Conservatory in upstate New York, Seattle Shakespeare, Seattle Rep and Seattle Children’s Theatre, and locally with Lookingglass Theatre (Argonautika). Look for him in Victory Gardens production of My Children My Africa directed by Cecil O’Neil.
James E. Grote (Adaptor)
Jim began working with Lifeline Theatre in 1992, appearing as Tucker Mouse in Lifeline’s world premiere production of A Cricket in Times Square. He became an ensemble member in 1999, and the next year adapted C.S. Lewis’ The Silver Chair, which the Chicago Tribune cited as the best family show of the year. Jim’s adaptation of Richard Peck’s A Long Way from Chicago was remounted by Lifeline at Chicago’s Theatre on the Lake in July 2005, and his adaptation (with George Howe) of Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type was presented by First Stage Children’s Theatre in Milwaukee in the spring of that year. Jim has also appeared in Lifeline’s productions of Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch; The Killer Angels; Around the World in 80 Days (Jeff Award: Outstanding Ensemble); and Johnny Tremain.
Jonathan Berry (Director)
Jonathan is an Associate Artist with the Griffin Theatre, where he has directed Dead End, Time and the Conways (Jeff Nomination, direction) and Picnic, and has co-directed with Rick Barletta Fifth of July and All the Way Home. Other directing projects include productions at Northwestern University, North Park University, the Gift Theatre and Marry Arrchie. He has taught acting and directing courses at Northwestern University and has taught Viewpoints with the School at Steppenwolf and Piven Theatre. He will direct Brecht’s The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui with Steep Theater this coming spring.
Pat King (Assistant Director)
Pat is working for the first time with Lifeline Theatre. He currently serves as literary manager with Greasy Joan, where he is a company member. In the Chicago area, he has appeared onstage in Growing Up Geek (Chicago Scriptworks) and the upcoming Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (Piccolo Players). He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he directed Landscape of the Body and appeared in Much Ado About Nothing (Dogberry) and Mud (Henry), among others.
Michael Caloia (Stage Manager)
Michael is pleased to be joining Lifeline for the first time. Chicago credits include work with Writers’ Theatre, Apple Tree, Victory Gardens, About Face, and Marriott Theatre. He spent a wonderful year at Davenports Piano Bar and Cabaret in Wicker Park as the resident Lighting/Sound Designer and SM. Originally from Baltimore, favorite credits include The Food Chain and Angels in America at Axis Theatre, Amadeus at Everyman Theatre, Son of Drakulaat Baltimore Theatre Project, and Stage Managing or Directing many productions at Towson University (2003 Graduate): The Kathy and Mo Show, bash: latterday plays, Red Noses, Twelfth Night, and Shakespeare’s R&J. Thanks to friends and family for the never-ending love and support.
Alan Donahue (Scenic and Prop Design)
Alan has designed scenery for Lifeline’s productions of Johnny Tremain, Queen Lucia–A Musical Romp, Pistols for Two, and Far from the Madding Crowd, among many others. He received Jeff Citations for his scenery designs of The Little Sister, Jane Eyre (2001), and Around the World in 80 Days at Lifeline. He also designed lighting for Lifeline’s Killer Angelsand The Talisman Ring. Since joining the ensemble in 2000 he has adapted Donald E. Westlake’s Trust Me on This for the Mainstage and Daniel Pinkwater’s Bongo Larry and Two Bad Bears and Eileen Spinelli’s Sophie’s Masterpiece–A Spider’s Tale for the KidSeries. His adaptation of Adam Langer’s Crossing California will play this spring on the Lifeline MainStage. He is currently also designing One Fine Day for Stage Left Theatre and Headin’ West for Silver Dollar City.
Kevin Gawley (Lighting Design)
Kevin is very excited to be working on The Piano Tuner. As a freelance lighting/scenic designer in Chicago, Kevin’s work has appeared on many Chicago stages, including Lifeline Theatre where he won the Jeff Citation for his design of Jane Eyre, the After Dark Award for his design of Strong Poison, and has been an ensemble member and resident lighting designer since 2001. His work also appeared in numerous productions at the Bailiwick, Porchlight, Organic, OperaModa, Blindfaith, NSHI, Theatre on the Lake, Metropolis, StoreFront, Loyola University Chicago, Revels Chicago, Midwest Jewish and at the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival theatres. Kevin is currently the Lighting and Scenic design professor at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire and has taught Lighting Design and Technology courses previously at Loyola University Chicago and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is also one of the resident designers at St. Scholastica Academy. Kevin holds an MFA and BFA in Lighting Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA in Finance from DePaul University.
Joshua Horvath (Sound Design)
Joshua has worked with many Chicago theatres including Court, Goodman, Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare, Northlight, Lookingglass, About Face, Next, Congo Square, Teatro Vista, Rivendell, Shattered Globe, and Eclipse. His regional credits include The Kennedy Center, Mark Taper, Hartford Stage, Kansas City Rep, Milwaukee Rep, Madison Rep, Milwaukee Shakespeare, and Long Wharf. Joshua is a 4-time Jeff nominee, 1-time winner, and a nominee of the LA Weekly Award. He is also a Lookingglass company member and co-owner of Aria Music Designs, LLC. Joshua teaches sound design at DePaul and Northwestern Universities.
Meghan Raham (Costume Design)
Meghan is a scenic and costume designer who completed her MFA studies at Northwestern University. Her work was recently exhibited at the Young Designers Forum (USITT), and she received a costume design fellowship from the Kennedy Center in 2003. Recent projects include CLAY (A co-production of About Face and Lookingglass Theatre Companies), and Moby-Dick with The Building Stage.
Chelsea Warren (Puppet Design)
Chelsea is currently studying Costume and Scenic design at Northwestern University. In Buffalo, NY she trained in puppetry under puppet master Franklin Lavoie. In Chicago, her puppets were last seen as bunraku Glouster and King Lear, in North Park University’s King Lear. Her costume design work includes Infamous Commonwealth’s Betty’s Summer Vacation, the Mill’s Venus and Northwestern’s Saint Joan, Boy Gets Girl, Asphalt Beach and the up and coming Cloud Nine. She is very excited to be working with Jon Berry and for her first opportunity of working with Lifeline Theatre!
Elise Kauzlaric (Dialect Coach)
Elise is happy to be coaching for Lifeline again having coached past productions of Johnny Tremain, The Killer Angels, The Shadow and Trust Me on This. She is also a member of Lifeline’s artistic ensemble. Other dialect coaching projects include Angels in America, Equus and Henry V(the hypocrites); Wintertime (Reverie) and A Christmas Carol, To Kill a Mocking Bird and Cabaret (Metropolis Theatre).
Lavina Jadhwani (Dramaturg)
Lavina received Kennedy Center ACTF Dramaturgy awards for her work on Urinetown and Arcadia; other dramaturgical credits include The Pillowman at the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, Miss Witherspoon at Next Theatre, Caravaggio at the Silk Road Theatre Project, and Assassins, As You Like It, Marisol, and Sly Fox at Carnegie Mellon University. Lavina is a recipient of the 2007 LMDA (Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas) Residency Award for her work at the Silk Road Theatre Project, where she will serve as the dramaturg for David Henry Hwang’s Golden Child and Shishir Kurup’s Merchant on Venice this season. Directing credits include Where the Red Fern Grows (TYA @ Apple Tree Theatre), Santa Fe (Appetite Theatre), and Swingin’ with Petula (Point of Contention). Lavina holds a BFA in Drama and a Masters in Arts Management from Carnegie Mellon University.
R&D Choreography (Violence Design)
R&D Choreography is thrilled to be working with Lifeline once again. R&D is a non-profit company founded by David Gregory and Richard Gilbert for the purpose of improving the power and effectiveness of Chicago area theatre through the art of violence design. While working in Chicago since 1997, R&D has choreographed fight scenes in over one hundred productions, taught stage combat at universities, colleges, and workshops, and performed in professional theatre, live stunt shows, and film. They have designed violence for dozens of Chicago theatres, including About Face, American Theatre Company, Azusa, Blindfaith, Bailiwick, Circle, First Folio, Griffin, National Pastimes, Piven, Profiles, Shakespeare’s Motley Crew, and Trapdoor.
Charlie "Ziggy" Olson (Technical Director)
Charlie is enjoying his first season here with Lifeline. He is a technical director around town, working at City Lit Theatre, A Red Orchid Theatre, Bobkat Productions, and as a carpenter for Chicago Shakespeare. His original training as an actor has been shelved for awhile as he makes a name for himself technically. He can still be seen in productions by Theatre Seven, a company he helped found in 2006. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2004.
Cortney Hurley (Production Manager)
Cortney is excited to be working with Lifeline Theatre for the season. Previous and current production management positions include Ellen Under Glass for the House Theatre of Chicago, Marathon ’33 for Strawdog, One False Note for Plasticene, as well as the Assistant Production Manager at Theater on the Lake for the last 3 years. Cortney is also a company member of 20% Theatre, where she often acts as production manager, lighting and set designer, and dramaturg, among other things. During the school year Cortney can be found at St. Scholastica Academy, where she has been the resident designer (scenery and lighting) and technical theatre instructor/director for the last eight years.