“An uplifting tale of friendship, teamwork and appreciating one another’s differences.” –Jennifer Burklow, Chicago Sun-Times
“A delightful flight of fancy” –Robert Andersen, Chicago Stage Review
Tired of getting pooped on? So’s Penguin, when one too many geeses (gooses?) uses his new jacket as a target. Together with his flightless friends Ostrich, Kiwi and Cassowary, he takes to the skies to teach those geese a lesson. Fly with this misfit crew on their scatological journey as they learn to look beyond their differences and work together. A new musical!
Recommended for kids 5 and up. Children under 2 are not permitted.
Based on the hilarious new story by Peter Brown
Adapted by Robert Kauzlaric
Music by Victoria DeIorio
Directed by Paul S. Holmquist
Patrick Blashill (Penguin)
Patrick has been an ensemble member with Lifeline since 1996 and has been performing at Lifeline since 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 favorite Lifeline roles include Edgar Drake in The Piano Tuner (After Dark Award for performance), Victor in Lizard Music, Hugh Thane in The Talisman Ring, Tom in Pistols for Two (Jeff Citation nomination for Best Ensemble), and Bunter in Strong Poison (Jeff Citation nomination 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 including Victory Gardens, Organic Lab, Theatre on the Lake, Stage Left, Reverie Theatre and Shakespeare’s Motley Crew. Patrick is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
John Ferrick (Penguin)
John returns for a 7th appearance on the Lifeline stage where he previously appeared in The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Mark of Zorro, Talking It Over, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, and The Killer Angels. An ensemble member of Strawdog Theatre, he was last seen in their world premiere of Brett Neveau’s After Dark Award winning outstanding new musical, Old Town. Some other theatres John has performed with include: Goodman, Court, Eclipse, Famous Door, About Face, National Jewish, Roadworks, and many others. John will next be seen in Strawdog Theatre’s production of Red Noses directed by Matt Hawkins of The House Theatre in Spring 2009.
Sienna Harris (Ostrich)
Sienna returns to Lifeline Theatre, where she appeared in The Island of Dr. Moreau and The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! She has worked with Shaw Chicago, Collaboraction, Congo Square, Milwaukee Rep, American Players Theatre, Arkansas Repertory Theatre and Seattle Shakespeare Co. Sienna is a proud graduate of Cornish College of the Arts (Seattle) and The School at Steppenwolf.
Jenny Lamb (Cassowary)
Jenny is super excited to work with the fine folk of Lifeline Theatre again after understudying for their production of The Velveteen Rabbit. Favorite children’s theatre roles include Certainly Fairweather in The Enchanted Attic, the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web. Jenny is co-founder and co-Artistic Director of Li’l Buds Theatre where she works as an actor, playwright, director and Teaching Artist. In the spring, she will be seen up the street at the No Exit Café in Evita with Theo Ubique Theatre.
Eliza Stoughton (Kiwi)
Eliza is making her debut appearance in a Lifeline production. Her other recent credits include the Jeff-nominated Wit at Gift Theatre, the 2007 Young Playwright’s Festival at Pegasus Players and Ghostwatch at Polarity Ensemble Theatre. She just wrapped two short films, On Graves Farm and Morgan’s Last Call, and one feature length film, South Loop, all of which are soon to hit the festival circuit.
Jennifer Reeves Wilson (Geese, Puppeteer)
Jennifer is pleased to making her first appearance on the Lifeline stage. Her recent Chicago credits include Miss Saigon and Kiss Me Kate for NightBlue Theater Company, of which she is also a Program Assistant and an Ensemble Repertory Member, as well as The Empire Builders and A Devil Inside for Right Brain Project. Jennifer is a member of the Women’s Theatre Alliance. She received her BA in Theater at Missouri State University where she studied under Dr. Michael Mauldin. She has also studied with Darrell W. Cox at Profiles Theatre in their Advanced Scene Study class.
Danielle Cochrane (Understudy)
Danielle is making her first appearance in a Lifeline production. Her Chicago credits include The Giver with TYA at Apple Tree Theatre; Twelve Angry Jurors with Oil Lamp Theatre; A Christmas Carol, Fractured Fairytales, Chicago – A Musical Mosaic, and The Diary of Anne Frank with Great Works Theatre where she is an ensemble member.
Robert Kauzlaric (Adaptor, Lyricist)
Robert is a Lifeline ensemble member. His adaptation of The Island of Dr. Moreau received five Non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Awards, including Best Production-Play and New Adaptation; and his Jeff Recommended adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray opened Lifeline’s MainStage season this year. His adaptation of The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! has been produced in California, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina and Oregon. Robert has appeared as an actor in ten Lifeline productions, most recently The Mark of Zorro and A Room with a View, and served as Assistant Director for Johnny Tremain.
Victoria DeIorio (Composer, Lyricist, Sound Designer)
Lifeline shows: The Mark of Zorro, The Island of Dr. Moreau (Non-Equity Jeff Award), The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! (Director), Velveteen Rabbit, A Room With A View, Gaudy Night, The Talisman Ring, The Sirens of Titan, A Long Way from Chicago, Strong Poison, The Shadow (Jeff Citation), Far From the Madding Crowd, and Around the World in 80 Days(Jeff Citation). Productions with: Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Victory Gardens, Milwaukee Shakespeare, LA Theatre Works, Northlight Theatre, Writers’ Theatre, The Next Theatre (artistic associate), Remy Bumppo, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble (Ensemble member), and other storefront theatres in Chicago. Off-Broadway: Steppenwolf’s The Bluest Eye at the Duke Theatre, and Ophelia at the Connelly. Off-Broadway Associate Design: Actor’s Studio, Primary Stages, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and Urban Stages. Victoria was nominated for 5 Non-Equity and 1 Equity Jeff Award – receiving 3 of them; and 2 After Dark Awards (The Shadow and Fiddler on the Roof). Victoria is the head of Sound Design at DePaul University
Paul S. Holmquist (Director)
Paul returns to Lifeline’s KidSeries after directing Rikki Tikki Tavi. He collaborated with adaptor Robert Kauzlaric and soundsmith Victoria DeIorio on the multiple award winning production of Lifeline’s Mainstage The Island of Dr. Moreau and is delighted with this wonderful tale. An Ensemble member since 2006, recently Paul was seen in The Picture of Dorian Gray and will direct Busman’s Honeymoon.
Jessica Wright (Stage Manager)
Jessica returns to Lifeline, where she previously ran the soundboard and did backstage tech for The Picture of Dorian Gray, and was a set painter for The Mark of Zorro remount at the Theatre Building. Other Chicago credits include Fran in Beau O’Reilly’s Madelyn Dangles the Noose. She is currently directing A New Nation, her original compilation of letters, speeches, and songs from the American Civil War, to go up in mid-January at the Prop Thtr. Jessica has a BA in English from the University of Chicago.
Kimberly G. Morris (Costume/Mask Designer)
Kimberly is thrilled to be working again with Lifeline Theatre. Based in Chicago, she freelance designs and builds props, wigs, makeup, costumes, puppets and special effects for numerous venues around the country. She received a Jeff nomination for costumes for Stardust with Griffin Theatre, and a nomination for costumes as well as a Jeff Non-Equity Award for Mask Design for The Island of Dr. Moreau with Lifeline Theatre. For the same production, she also received an After Dark Award for costumes and masks. In her spare time, she runs the prop and costumes shop for Niles West High School theatre department, where she teaches students the basics of costume and prop design, manufacture and management. Past designs with Lifeline include Riki Tikki Tavi and The Island of Dr. Moreau. Some of her upcoming projects include MacBeth with Babes With Blades, The Day Of Knowledge with Stage Left, The Hundred Dresses with Chicago Children’s Theatre, and The Taffetas with Noble Fool Theatricals.
Seth E. Reinick (Lighting Designer)
Seth is very excited to be lighting Flight of the Dodo; previous design work includes Plaza Suite and Spinning into Butter (After Dark Award) with Eclipse Theatre Company, The Latino Theatre Festival 2008 in the Owen Theatre at the Goodman Theatre, Richard III and A Lie of the Mind with Strawdog Theatre Company. Recent assisting work includes Million Dollar Quartet, Shining City, A Christmas Carol, Passion Play, Mirror of the Invisible World, and Vigilsat the Goodman Theatre.
Chelsea Warren (Scenic Designer)
Chelsea is excited to be working on her third project with Lifeline Theatre, having designed shadow puppets for The Piano Tuner and scenery for The Dirty Cowboy. Other Chicago projects include: Infamous Commonwealth’s Betty’s Summer Vacation and The Mill’s Venus. Her International project include: designing Air/Stone, an unveiling event for an International Sculpture Park in the Outback of Southern Australia; as well as, designing the Set, Costume and Lights for Woman In the Dunes with Parisian company, Unikaji in residency in Zagreb, Croatia. Chelsea received her MFA in Stage Design from Northwestern University. Upcoming projects include: Urinetown at the University of Chicago, Alan Infintium at The House Theatre, and creating an original work with the new company B-Lo for The Building Stage’s Object Theatre Festival this March.
Elise Kauzlaric (Dialect Coach)
Elise is a member of Lifeline’s artistic ensemble and most recently appeared on the MainStage in Talking it Over. She has coached dialects for Lifeline’s productions of The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Mark of Zorro, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Piano Tuner, Johnny Tremain, The Killer Angels, The Shadow and Trust Me on This. 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).
Cortney Hurley (Production Manager)
Cortney is excited to be working with Lifeline Theatre for the ’08-’09 season. Previous and current production management positions include Ellen Under Glass with the House Theatre of Chicago; One False Note with Plasticene; Old Town, Richard III, Aristocrats, A Lie of the Mind, and Marathon ’33 with Strawdog Theatre, where she is the mainstage production manager; as well as the Assistant Production Manager at Theater on the Lake since 2004. 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 nine years.
Ian Zywica (Technical Director)
Ian moved to Chicago about a year ago after completing his M.F.A. He has really enjoyed it thus far, designing and picking up freelance work along the way.
From the Chicago Sun-Times
KidSeries’ ‘Dodo’ takes glorious flight
January 2, 2009
By Jennifer Burklow
On its face, “Flight of the Dodo” may seem like a simple scatological story complete with the bathroom humor adored by its target audience, 5- to 10-year-olds. But this new musical at Lifeline Theatre is about much more than scat. At its core, the play– based on Peter Brown’s charming book of the same name — is an uplifting tale of friendship, teamwork and appreciating one another’s differences.
This world-premiere KidSeries production highlights those attributes through Robert Kauzlaric’s accurate adaptation, Victoria Delorio’s bouncy music and lyrics (with Kauzlaric) and Paul S. Holmquist’s deft direction. All are Lifeline ensemble members.
The story takes flight when Penguin (Patrick Blashill/John Ferrick) is pooped on by a gaggle of high-flying Canada geese. Miffed because he has just donned a spiffy new jacket, Penguin calls a meeting of his fellow Waddlers (as non-flying birds are known): Ostrich (Sienna Harris), Cassowary (Jenny Lamb) and Kiwi (Eliza Stoughton). Penguin’s goal is to take to the sky to get a bird’s-eye view of the world and show the Flappers (as the flightless birds refer to their flying brethren) a thing or two.
That, of course, is easier said than done. As the cheerful crew of misfits experiments with different types of inept flying machines, we learn more about these earthbound creatures. Incorporating interesting facts into a script is one of the many things Lifeline adaptations do so well. As the Waddlers learn to work together, they and the audience learn about each bird. Ostrich, for example, is the largest and fastest bird on Earth. Cassowary is shy and secretive; Kiwi is nocturnal with a keen sense of smell, and Penguin is a super swimmer.
Adding to “Dodo’s” delightfulness is that each of Penguin’s friends gives voice to the accent of its native habitat, so Ostrich (from Africa) speaks in a regal tone, and Cassowary (Australia) and Kiwi (New Zealand) affect Down Under accents complete with slang. Curiously, Penguin sounds American even though penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere. Jennifer Reeves Wilson, who adroitly handles all the other acting parts including the geese, provides the honkers with a Canadian accent.
The Waddlers finally solve their dilemma while singing the catchy “Four Birds Are Smarter Than One.” As in the book, the solution is a hot-air balloon — named in tribute to the flightless and extinct dodo bird. Making a hot-air balloon “fly” in a small space creates a directing and acting challenge; director Holmquist and his cast are up to the task. With a puffy-looking blue-and-white sky as the backdrop, it’s easy to believe that Penguin and his friends are flying as they move the gondola around.
From Chicago Stage Review
Flight of the Dodo SOARS!
January 5, 2009
By Robert Andersen
Lifeline Theatre’s latest adaptation of Flight of the Dodo is a delightful flight of fancy. In general, children’s books are based on fantasy and the fantastic and as such provide great exercise for the imagination. Bringing this to the stage, a world of fantasy in itself requires a delicate yet determined mind. The collaborative efforts of Lifeline’s artistic ensemble members Robert Kauzlaric (Adaptation), Victoria DeIorio (Original Music) and Paul S. Holmquist (Director) have done a wonderful job bringing Peter Brown’s fanciful story of community co-operation to life.
While showing off his new expensive coat Penguin receives an unwelcome deposit from a flock of Geese flying by. Incensed that he will never be able to payback their disregard he gathers his other flightless feathered friends (Ostrich, Cassowary, and Kiwi) and rallies them to his cause – the need to fly. The entertaining foursome of “waddlers” arrives at their final solution, a hot air balloon, and they’re off. Each member of the team has dreams of what being high in the sky would be like from licking a cloud to “target pooping”. After a death defying stunt show for a passing group of Canadian geese, our heroes find themselves being tossed about by a dark and scary storm. Unable to summon help by yelling to the geese, now on the ground don’t ya know, Penguin uses his new found talent to let one fly right at them.
There are many enjoyable aspects to this show. The story’s adapted dialogue blends nicely with the original music and lyrics of Victoria DeIorio, which were well sung by the entire ensemble. Penguin’s opening song seems a little rushed and as I result I missed some of the lyrics; however the harmonies and choral work is wonderful. The only music decision I question is putting a microphone on the Storm Cloud. Kimberley G. Morris’s costume designs are exceptionally delightful. The four female players all use accents to highlight their bird’s countries of origin, and have studied their bird’s personalities. They are all entertaining but I have to say Eliza Stoughton, as the Kiwi, captured my attention from start to finish. As a show about “poop” there is not an excess of potty humor.
Flight of the Dodo is a charmingly creative production that engages the audience on many levels. The children are captivated and adults have a wonderful time as well. Once again, Lifeline Theatre’s Kidseries proves to be a perfect destination for family fun! I recommend this show for all ages, 5 and up.
3 ½ STARS