Category Archives: Ensemble Activities

An interview with Elise Kauzlaric

At the heart of every show you see at Lifeline Theatre is the work of our dedicated artistic ensemble. These 27 Chicago artists are continuously proposing new titles for production, hosting script readings, providing feedback on projects in development, commissioning music, meeting with designers, attending rehearsals, and slating projects for future seasons of award-winning shows. 

To continue our work throughout the 2013-14 season, we’ve launched our Page To Stage Campaign to raise $25,000 by February 28th. As part of this campaign, Alex Kyger, Lifeline’s Development Director, interviewed two of our ensemble members. Today, Alex presents an interview with Elise Kauzlaric.

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Q: How did you first get involved with Lifeline?

A: I first auditioned for Bunnicula in 1999, and I ended up understudying two roles and I had a ton of opportunities to perform. And then two ensemble members that had been involved in Bunnicula, Shole and Sandy, cast me in another KidSeries show the next year, My Father’s Dragon.

Q: How did you end up becoming an ensemble member?

A: I acted in several more shows after My Father’s Dragon, with Queen Lucia, Strong Poison, and The Silver Chair. And I was also asked to direct a KidSeries show, Frances’ first Emperor’s Groovy New Clothes. And then I started coaching dialects for shows as well. So I had worn a few different hats after a few years and I had the chance to work with nearly everyone in the ensemble at that point. And I was asked to join the ensemble 2005.

Before being asked, I had already considered it an artistic home for many years. I had worked here more than any other theatre and felt really connected to it. And since joining, I’ve had a chance to wear even more hats. I started to direct more and I wrote my first adaptation after joining the ensemble.

Q: What has surprised you most about working with Lifeline?

A: I don’t think it’s surprising, but something that’s really notable is the fact that there’s such support from everyone in the organization for you to try and do new things. I had directed one KidSeries show and didn’t have a ton of experience when I began directing Mariette in Ecstasy. Christina, who adapted it, had such faith in me and she supported me throughout the process. And I think that’s something very special about Lifeline is that everybody is here to support you and really encourage you to try different things.

Q: What was the first show you adapted?

A: At the first ensemble meeting I attended as a member of the company, I brought up The Velveteen Rabbit. We were looking for KidSeries titles, and I thought “surely this book has come up,” because to me it was a well-known title and I had read it a lot growing up. And it turned out that the title was in the public domain so it was easy to get started on it. It was a natural project for me to do and a really comfortable one for me to do as my first adaptation.

Q: How does the ensemble support you when you’re taking on a production capacity for the first time?

A: Well, I think the biggest form of support comes from the group saying “Yes, you should do this adaptation” or “yes, you should direct.” Honestly, that’s the biggest step. And because our rehearsal process is set up to allow for support along the way, you consistently hear feedback from your peers from the first rehearsal to the opening performance. And ensemble members do that for you because they care about the show and they care about your own personal development as well.

Q: How do you think other ensemble members would describe you?

A: Artistically, I would hope that they would say that I have a lot of passion for the projects that I’m involved with. That the stakes are always high for me because my heart is always in it what I’m doing. I want the final product to be excellent, so I work hard.

Q: What do you wish other people knew about Lifeline?

A: I hope our audience members know how much care and attention we put into the choices we make. When adapting a show we have to decide what will be moving, exciting, and entertaining for our audience. And in that process, the small things are very important. I think people would be amazed at some of the things that we debate, it could be something that just goes by them and they don’t even notice. But that’s because we are really passionate about properly telling the story.

Q: How do you think you’ve grown as an artist since joining the Lifeline ensemble?

A: As an ensemble member, working with Lifeline has allowed me to continually grow as an artist in an intentional way. I have the chance to say for example, “I think this project will allow me to direct, which I’ve never done before.” It’s allowed me to be mindful about my growth.

And then, because I’m part of an ensemble, my ideas are often challenged and it forces me to articulate why I’m making specific choices. I can’t make arbitrary decisions. Because even if I don’t take a person’s suggestion, I will have to articulate and justify my choice.

Q: Do you have a favorite Lifeline memory that you would be willing to share?

A: I think that we all remember watching one of the early rehearsals for The Island of Dr. Moreau as a really special moment. It was before the set had been built and it was in a bare room with no technical elements and no costumes. The show was tight, the actors were committed, and it was stunning. And I remember thinking that THIS is what we want to share with our audiences: simply great storytelling.

And I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve spent with other ensemble members. Even though we have a lot of debates, we also laugh hysterically together – it’s definitely a family. And these are people that I never would have met without this theatre. The relationships I’ve made here are really important to me. I’ve developed a lot of wonderful friendships.

Ensemble member Elise Kauzlaric accepted into London Master’s Degree program!

All of us at Lifeline are busting our buttons over Elise Kauzlaric‘s recent acceptance into an intensive Master of Arts program in Actor Training and Coaching at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London.  Elise packed her bags shortly after The Woman in White opening and will not return to us until late summer 2013.

First, I have to totally crow about this honor because Elise is too modest to do so.  When I shrieked, “This is a hugely competitive program you got into, isn’t it????”   She said, “Oh I don’t think….I really don’t have any idea….”   Pressed, she admitted that her class is quite small and that no one she auditioned with seems to be in it.   Doing my investigative journalistic research, I see that the school holds auditions in London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Toronto, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco — and only a handful of applicants are accepted.  So…. am I right?  She totally rocks.

Elise has been acting in Chicago since 1997 and dialect coaching since 2002.   In recent years she has been directing more and loving it.  She has also had the opportunity to teach as adjunct faculty at both DePaul and Roosevelt and loves that too.   Her interest in graduate programs came from feeling she could benefit from focused work in her new areas of passion.  The Master’s program at the Central School was perfect — it is geared specifically to directors and teachers so it will be useful to her in both areas.  She’ll have the opportunity to explore different acting techniques and theories while also overlapping with the voice and movement departments.   (And there’s an acting program there, so she’ll be trying out all her new methods on real actors!)

Elise was born in Louisiana, spent five years in California and then went to elementary school in Anchorage, Alaska.  There was little theatrical opportunity there but her Dad likes to sing, her Mom plays piano and when shows came to Alaska Rep, her family attended.  She remembers seeing the first Broadway tour of Annie in California when she was seven and finding it very exciting.  At the age of ten, she saw Tartuffe at Alaska Rep., which also made a big impression.

The family returned to Slidell, Louisiana, where Elise attended junior high and high school.  Here, too, there was little theatrical opportunity, but there was a high school speech club and it would go to a statewide forensics competition.  The competition included dramatic interpretations:  Elise did some monologues for these and, as a senior, she directed a one-act.  (Her one-act won.)

Once Elise was old enough to drive, she was able to participate in Slidell’s community theater, where she was in the chorus of Cinderella, played Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest, and was a Ronette in Little Shop of Horrors in a production by a local youth organization.

When Elise headed off to college, her parents headed off to Malaysia for her Dad’s job.  Elise planned to study theater and her father encouraged her to consider a conservatory:  if she was going be a theater major, he thought she should go to a place that specifically focuses on her area of passion.  This turned out to be great advice.  Elise chose Webster Conservatory in St. Louis, and she not only loved the school but she also met her husband Rob there.  She noticed him in her early days on campus, but they got to know each other when they were cast together in John Patrick Shanley’s The Red Coat.

Elise’s first Lifeline show was when Shole cast her as  an understudy for the 1999 version of Bunnicula.  Then Sandy cast her in My Father’s Dragon.  The Silver Chair and the original Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle followed and in 2005 Elise became an ensemble member at Lifeline, where she acts, directs and adapts.  And she’s a dialect coach.  Did I mention she’s a singer too?  And also a dancer!

Elise is probably our most-traveled ensemble member.  Family visits alone have taken Elise around the globe as her parent’s stint in Malaysia was followed by 6 years in Scotland.  In addition,  Elise’s older sister works for the Foreign Service and her duties have taken her to Mali (West Africa), Italy, and Mongolia.   Elise hasn’t made it to her sister’s current post in Mongolia (yet!) but she has also traveled to Hong Kong, Thailand, France, and Czechoslovakia.

With all that travel, Elise has never had the opportunity to spend time in London before.  She’s been through London a couple times:  once in college staying overnight at a hostel and one time with Rob when they were also just passing thru.  This school year will be a real opportunity to get to know the city — and she is armed with a gift from ensemble member Paul Holmquist.  Paul gave her  a collection of “London Walks” that he used on his visit to London when he was doing research prior to directing the play Neverwhere at Lifeline. Elise, who was in that cast, will be able to visit these locations and immerse herself in London history — and relive Neverwhere as a bonus!

All of us at Lifeline are cheering Elise on in her adventure.  Our buttons have totally burst off.  We look forward to many stories — and we also look forward to benefiting from her new skills and expertise when she returns to Chicago.

Lifeline Welcomes Aly Amidei to the Lifeline Artistic Ensemble!

Aly Amidei is one of the busiest, most sought-after women in show business and we are honored that she accepted our invitation to join the Lifeline artistic ensemble. Aly is both a writer and a designer and has designed costumes for Lifeline productions of Watership Down, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Woman in White and (upcoming this spring) The Three Musketeers. She is also a company member at Strawdog Theatre, the artistic director of WildClaw Theater and is the Costume and Makeup Coordinator for student theater and dance productions at the College of DuPage, where she also teaches part-time (classes in makeup and in theater appreciation).

Aly’s first show at Lifeline was in 2011, but we have been following her career for years prior — and she’s been aware of Lifeline for too. The first show she saw here was The Mark of Zorro, but she has heard many Lifeline tales from her husband Brian who appeared in The Killer Angels, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King at Lifeline before she had met him.

Aly’s path to theater could be viewed as random coincidence…or perhaps as destiny. Aly grew up in the northwest suburbs. Her family spent every weekend at the go-cart track, where her dad and sister raced go-carts and she and her mom worked at the track. Aly was interested in science, played sports and began sewing at the age of four. Aly is tall, her sister is taller and they required clothes for tall, athletic girls. “Forget about buying a prom dress,” Aly explains, “we would just ‘Hulk, smash!’ store-bought clothes. So we just made our own.”

Aly was exposed to Chicago theater in high school. In her sophomore year, Aly worked at the Dairy Queen with a comic book store next door. Trading ice cream for comic books, she became an avid fan of the horror genre and particularly of Clive Barker. Imagine her ecstasy when she learned that the Organic Theater in Chicago would produce In the Flesh, a Clive Barker adaptation. She couldn’t drive yet, but wrangled a friend’s dad into driving them to see the preview benefit hosted by Clive Barker himself. This was the first show Aly had ever paid to see — and she still has the signed poster.

It turns out that In the Flesh was an important production in many ways. It was the genesis for the eventual founding of WildClaw Theatre. It featured Ray Wild in the cast (the actor for whom WildClaw is named) and fellow WildClaw ensemble members Charley Sherman, Steve Herson, Paul Foster and Aly’s now-husband Brian Amidei were all involved in that production. Aly’s Chicago family was already waiting for her and she didn’t know it yet.

Aly intended to be a scientist when she grew up and in her junior year was in a small AP Bio class which got to take a lot of field trips with their science teacher — who was also a theater geek. So when AP Bio took a trip to Chicago to tour a Water Reclamation Plant, they also stayed to see The Man of La Mancha, or paired a morning at Fermi-lab with an afternoon matinee of Annie Warbucks (the sequel to Annie… you heard me). Her interest in theater (as an audience member) continued to grow. But the idea of participating creatively had still not occurred to her.

Aly went to Knox College, three hours from Chicago with an eye to their science programs. Since she’d AP-ed out of all the freshman classes, Aly was left with little to do in her freshman year so she took some electives, one of which was painting. She liked art and thought perhaps she could combine her science and art interests and become a medical illustrator. But fate once again raised its hand. The resident assistant in Aly’s dorm was a costume designer in the theater department. When she discovered that Aly could sew, she got her a job in the costume shop. This was the first time it occurred to Aly that there were jobs in theater. And since she wasn’t taking any major classes her freshman year, she was absorbed into the theater department and then never left it. She tried acting and did not find it exciting. But the costume stuff? The tech stuff? All her interests converged here — her science geek passion for problem-solving, for using materials in new ways — these were muscles she could flex in theater.

Aly almost went to Champaign-Urbana instead of Knox and marvels at how her life might have been different. It feels unlikely that she’d have stumbled into theater at such a large school. “Would I have been happy as a biologist?” she asks herself. “I do still love science, but . . . now I can write about it!”

Aly writes a lot. About ten years ago she started writing some Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan fiction. Then Hank Boland at Strawdog began a program called Wireless and Aly helped generate content for that, creating radio plays with Chris Hainsworth, Anita Deely, Sean Mallary, Andy Lawfer, John Henry Roberts and Mike Dailey in what became known as The Hit Factory. Aly created a comic book character, Stella Stargirl (whom she also featured in some radio plays as well as her comic books). Her first full-length adaptation was Carmilla with WildClaw, which was chosen for production in early 2011 at the Department of Cultural Affairs Storefront Theater where it received glowing reviews.

Aly looks forward to writing for Lifeline. She is eyeballing our KidSeries as a first foray and is excited about participating in Lifeline’s script development process, which she has closely observed as a designer here. She also looks forward to continuing to design. She finds designing for an adaptation particularly fun because you have access to all this extra information from the book, rather than having just the script alone to mine. As the designer she can pick and choose where she wants to put her own stamp on things and fight against people’s expectations — and where she has the opportunity to make fans happy with little insider touches that no one who hasn’t read the books would know. For The Count of Monte Cristo it was fun to exactly replicate the description of Edmond Dantes’ costume from the book. But it was also thrilling to struggle through the interpretive challenges of Watership Down, which she names as the hardest and most exciting thing she did all last year.

On a personal note, Aly met her future husband, Brian, at Strawdog Theatre in 2005. She was hired as an emergency last minute replacement costume designer for Impossible Marriage and Brian was an emergency last minute replacement to play the part of the randy Reverend. They bonded over the Chicago Bears, author James Lee Burke (the Dave Robicheaux series) and New Orleans. Brian made a pass on opening night and the rest, as they say, is history.

Aly’s next project at Lifeline will be the costume design for this spring’s The Three Musketeers. We are proud and happy to welcome her as a new ensemble member of Lifeline Theatre.

Dorothy Milne
Artistic Director

Lifeline is all over the freakin’ NATION!!

Check it out Los Angeleños:  L.A. Theatre Works celebrates the 200th Anniversary of Pride and Prejudice with Christina Calvit’s acclaimed stage adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel, returning from the first leg of a 25-venue national tour for five performances, Nov. 15-18, at UCLA’s James Bridges Theater. There, the production will be recorded in front of a live audience for later broadcast on public radio and SiriusXM Satellite before heading back out on the road.  Read more here.

Meanwhile, Dallas Children’s Theater is currently in the midst of a national tour of their production of Rob Kauzlaric‘s adaptation of Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith’s The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs. They’ll be hitting at least 30 states in their travels – you can see dates and locations here.

In other Ensemble news, our own Patrick Blashill is playing James Tyrone in Eclipse Theatre’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night beginning November 1st. Check him out:

Ensemble members Jim Grote, Katie McLean Hainsworth, and Chris Hainsworth performed Spooky-awesome Poe Stories to a sold-out crowd at the annual Glessner House Museum event on October 27th. Katie performed The Tell-Tale Heart and The Conqueror Worm, Jim did Berenice and The Raven, Chris did Annabel Lee and The Black Cat, and then all three performed Never Bet the Devil Your Head. Performances were at the venerable Clarke House (the oldest buiding in Chicago).

And there’s more Poe — that you still have time to see: Phil Timberlake and Rob Kauzlaric will be performing The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven, and The Cask of Amontillado at Uncommon Ground on Clark at 8pm on November 11th in conjunction with Chicago Opera Theater who will be singing some songs from their upcoming February production of The Fall of the House of Usher.

And last but not least, our Managing Director, Allison Cain, will be appearing in The Factory Theatre’s Toast of the Town, running Novemeber 2nd through December 15th.  Break legs, one and all!

Dorothy Milne

Artistic Director

Congratulations!

The 2012 Non-Equity Jeff Award nominations were announced today, and…

Congratulations to ensemble member John Hildreth (New Adaptation), Mikhail Fiksel (Sound Design), Richard Gilbert & David Bareford (Fight Design), and Joanna Iwanicka (Puppet, Mask & Video Design) for their Jeff nominations for Watership Down!

And to Christopher Kriz (Original Music and Sound Design) and Aly Renee Amidei (Costume Design) for their nominations for The Count of Monte Cristo!

And to ensemble member Kevin Gawley (Lighting Design) and Andrew Hansen (Original Music) for their nominations for Hunger!

Congrats as well to ensemble members Elizabeth Wislar for her Costume Design nominations for “A Little Night Music” and “The Women” and to Elise Kauzlaric for her Dialect Coaching nomination for “Punk Rock”

AND additional congrats to recent collaborators Joey deBettencourt for his Principal Actor nomination for “Punk Rock’ (Joey played Zorn in The 13 Clocks this season) and Scott Barsotti for his New Work nomination for “We Live Here” (Scott appeared in Watership Down last season and is adapting “The Mystery of the Pirate Ghost” for us next season).

Donuts and fables

The doughnut is out of the box! (Again!) Arnie goes to New York!!!
Remember just last spring, when Frances and George wrote a delicious little musical called Arnie the Doughnut? Well, Arnie has received a big honor. It is one the musicals selected for the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF). So Arnie is packing his sprinkles, hitting the road and he’s even got his own website! He is a doughnut with a dream! And he’s headed to the Big Apple. Go Arnie!

And the Fairy Tale peeps are hitting the road too!
Okay, they’re not going as far — just a few blocks south on Glenwood Avenue — to the first annual Edgewater Fable Fest! How to Survive a Fairy Tale will perform (in a stripped down festival-version) at Senn High School on Friday May 18th at 4:30pm and Saturday May 19th at 3:00pm. So in case you missed it here at home, the Fairy Tale continues!

And more about Fable Fest and Lifeline (the Storytellers are going too!):
In addition to their (almost) every Monday performances at The Glenwood Bar (one block north of Lifeline) the Lifeline Storytelling Project will be doing a storytelling show, Beer and Fables, on Friday May 18th at 8pm at the Kitchen Sink on Berwyn. The Lifeline Storytelling Project is a writing/performing workshop featuring young professional artists affiliated with Lifeline Theatre. The Storytellers have their own Facebook page where you can get more scoop.

Dorothy Milne
Artistic Director

Ensemble update

Our ensemble members are busy, busy, busy this winter! See below for a short list of just some of the projects our company members are working on right now.

You can currently see Patrick performing in A Number with BackStage, and there’s still five more weekends to catch Alan, Jim & Shole‘s contributions to our very own How To Survive A Fairy Tale.

CURRENTLY PLAYING
Patrick Blashill: A Number, with BackStage Theatre Company (through Feb 11)

Alan Donahue, James E. Grote & Shole Milos: How To Survive A Fairy Tale, at Lifeline Theatre (through Feb 26)

UP NEXT
Alan Donahue: The Fisherman, with Stage Left Theatre (Feb 18-Apr 1)
Victoria DeIorio: A Catered Affair, with Porchlight Music Theatre (Feb 21-Apr 1)

Kevin D. Gawley, Peter Greenberg, Chris Hainsworth, Robert Kauzlaric, Katie McLean Hainsworth, Jenifer Tyler & Christopher M. Walsh: Hunger, at Lifeline Theatre (Feb 3-Mar 25)

Paul S. Holmquist & Robert Kauzlaric: Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, at Lifeline Theatre (Mar 17-May 6)

Christina Calvit, Elise Kauzlaric & Phil Timberlake: Pride and Prejudice, at Lifeline Theatre (Apr 20-Jun 10)

Autumn goings-on

THE NEW YORK FREAKIN’ TIMES calls The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! “One of the best children’s shows of the year. Case closed.” Yowza!

This adaptation by ensemble member Robert Kauzlaric (from the book by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith) first played at Lifeline in 2007 and has since had productions all over the nation. It is currently being performed by Atlantic Theater Company in NYC thru the end of October. Check out the article in The New York Times and another review too!

NEW TECH DIRECTOR!
We are thrilled to welcome Joe Schermoly as Lifeline’s new Technical Director. Joe is a scenic designer who also works as a TD and we are super lucky to add him to the Lifeline team in both capacities. You can see Joe’s design work on our stage right now as the scenic and props designer (and the tech director) for The Count of Monte Cristo (now extended through November 13th). You can find out more about Joe by checking out his website.

We are also bidding a fond and sad adieu to our former tech director, Ian Zywica. Ian spent the last two years at Lifeline, tech directing our shows and also designing The Moonstone, The Last of the Dragons, and The Blue Shadow. We will miss him greatly and are hoping he will visit us often.

NEW LIFELINE BABY!!!!
Ensemble member Paul Holmquist and his wife Kristina Fluty are new parents!

Gus Carlson Holmquist arrived on Monday September 12th. He is hale and hearty and beautiful.

OPEN HOUSE CHICAGO
In the midst of six shows this past weekend, Lifeline was honored to participate in Open House Chicago! It’s an event produced by the Chicago Architectural Foundation and this is the first time the Rogers Park neighborhood was on the explorer map! Shuttle buses brought people to the neighborhood and we were toured by over 200 people this past weekend (although most of them didn’t actually see the performance space because we had so many performances going on)! Our visitors were thrilled to see all our secret areas of the building and many vowed to return to see a show. It was great fun to introduce so many new people to our building.

THE 13 CLOCKS got a nice preview feature in the Sun-Times and a great review in Time Out Chicago Kids and is a visual treat. It features “mini-me” puppets and other theatrical devices that are brand new to our KidSeries. Amanda Delheimer Dimond directs for the first time at Lifeline and we are so happy and lucky to have her with us.

The 13 Clocks is a Rob Kauzlaric adaptation with both new faces and old favorites in both the cast and production teams: Scenic designer Chelsea Warren (Mr. Hatch, Mrs. Caliban, Flight of the Dodo, The Dirty Cowboy), sound designer Mikhail Fiksel (Neverwhere, Watership Down, The Last of the Dragons), props designer Katherine Greenleaf (Arnie the Doughnuti), costume designer Nathan Rohrer (assisted on Treasure Island), plus newbies Melanie Berner (puppet associate), Heather Gilbert (light designer), and Clare Roche (stage manager). The cast includes newbies Joey DeBettencourt, Mildred Marie Langford, and David Guiden, plus Lifeline returners Mike Ooi (Neverwhere, The Last of the Dragons, Zorro) and Jonathan Helvey (Zorro). Rockin’ understudies that are more than ready are: Ariel Begley, Jacquis Neal, and Morgan Maher — all new to Lifeline!

HUNGER at MILLENIUM PARK
The City of Chicago has invited us to participate in its In the Works series! There will be a reading of Hunger on the Pritzker Pavillion Stage for three performances November 17-19. (Don’t worry, it’s not outside! The stage will be in it’s “indoor” configuration – audience sits on stage, actors backs are to the glassed in wall overlooking the park.) This includes a talkback with Chris Hainsworth (adapter), Rob Kauzlaric (director) and Elise Blackwell (novelist), whom they’re flying in for the weekend.

We hope to see you in the neighborhood soon!

Dorothy Milne
Artistic Director

News

Welcome to new ensemble members, Hainsworth and Walsh!

We are joyful and proud to announce our newest ensemble members: Chris Hainsworth and Christopher Walsh. You’ve seen them both a number of times at Lifeline (most recently Treasure Island and Neverwhere!


Chris Hainsworth as Isreal Hands in Treasure Island



Christopher Walsh as Mr. Vandemar in Neverwhere

Fun fact: Chris Hainsworth is engaged to ensemble member Katie McLean and they will marry in August. Congrats to Katie and Chris! A Lifeline wedding!


Katie and Chris in Neverwhere

Neverwhere is dust and rubble

It always breaks our heart a little when we have to rip apart a show we loved. Ian and Barney took a day to destroy what it had taken them weeks to build. If you pass by Lifeline in the next couple days, you’ll see a dumpster in our driveway being filled with the unsalvageable scenic elements, chopped up into little bits.


The Neverwhere set, before strike.


Barney and Ian, mid-strike.

We are hurrying to clear the way for Fillet of Solo, next up at Lifeline. And, yow! Right on its heels is Season 2010-11: Wuthering Heights began rehearsal this week. Click, Clack, Moo is cast. Mr. Hatch auditions next week while we also have workshop rehearsals for a project in development across town. We have so much going on we are bursting out of our building! This is how crowded we are: below is a recent rehearsal for Fillet of Solo….in our basement laundry room!

Dorothy Milne
Artistic Director

Eric Lane Barnes news

Lifeline emeritus ensemble member Eric Lane Barnes making splashes across the nation
It has been 10 years since Eric left Chicago for Seattle to become the assistant artistic director of and composer for the prestigious Seattle Men’s Chorus.  You can check out all that he’s doing and his ginormous catalogue of musical compositions and the recent feature article on him by Seattle Magazine at his website, www.ericlanebarnes.com.  Lifeline KidSeries fans will be pleased to know that the kids’ shows that Eric created at Lifeline Theatre continue to play across the nation.   Remember these goodies…?

The Amazing Bone
Adapted from the book by William Steig (Shrek, Doctor DeSoto) The Amazing Bone was originally presented at Lifeline Theatre in 1997.  It follows Pearl the pig and her adventures with a magic, talking bone. If you happen to be in California in January, you can see it at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica.

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Adapted from the book by Virginia Lee Burton, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel premiered at Lifeline Theatre in 1998 and was remounted here in 2003.   It was toured by TheatreWorksUSA and has been performed by several notable children’s theater companies in the USA.  Know anyone who might be in North Carolina this winter?  Look for the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte’s production February.

Simple Jim and His Four Fabulous Friends
An original creation by Eric Lane Barnes, this 3-person tour-de-force was a big success at Lifeline, where it was first performed in 1999 and then remounted by Lifeline in Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs’ Storefront Theatre in 2002.   There are no current productions of this piece… but we’ll keep you posted when it next hits the road!

Dorothy Milne
Artistic Director