BREON ARZELL (Oberon, Theseus, Snout) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: Debut. CHICAGO: Little Shop of Horrors, Baskerville (Metropolis Performing Arts Centre); The Color Purple (Drury Lane Theatre); A Christmas Carol, Objects in the Mirror (Goodman Theatre); The Brothers Size (Steppenwolf Theatre Company). TOURS: Superman 2050, Murder on the Midwest Express (Theater Unspeakable, USA); The Comedy of Errors, Neighbours with Long Teeth, among others (White Horse Theatre, Germany); Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, among others (ACLE Theatrino, Italy). TELEVISION: South Side (Comedy Central), Chicago Med (NBC), Empire (FOX). EDUCATION: BA in theater, Miami of Ohio University. AWARDS: 6 Joseph Jefferson Awards, 2 Black Theatre Alliance Awards, New City 50 Players of Chicago 2018 & 2020. Breon is a teaching artist with Goodman Theatre and About Face Theatre.
DANIELLE DAVIS (Puck) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: Romeo and Juliet, Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. CHICAGO: The Music Man (Goodman Theatre); BLKS (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); Fun Home (Victory Gardens Theater); An Octoroon (Definition Theatre); Ragtime (Griffin Theatre); Rent (Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre); Love, Loss, and What I Wore (First Folio Theatre); Women at War (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble); The Hundred Dresses (Chicago Children’s Theatre); Spark, Six Stories Tall (Adventure Stage Chicago). TELEVISION: The Chi, Shameless (Showtime); Chicago PD (NBC); Empire (FOX); Sense8, Easy (Netflix). EDUCATION: BFA in acting, Chicago College of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University. Danielle is an ensemble member of Definition Theatre.
MICAH FIGUEROA (Bottom, Demetrius) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: Debut. CHICAGO: Moby Dick, 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas, Lookingglass Alice (Lookingglass Theatre Company); The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show (Chicago Children’s Theatre); Tall Girl and the Lightning Parade (Walkabout Theater Company). REGIONAL: Dallas Theater Center, Alliance Theatre, Arena Stage, South Coast Repertory, Kitchen Dog Theater, Shakespeare Dallas, Theatre Three EDUCATION: BFA in theatre studies, Southern Methodist University; Acting, British American Drama Academy.
ASHLYN LOZANO (Hermia, Flute) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: Debut. CHICAGO: Pomona (Steep Theatre Company); understudy Doubt (The Gift at Steppenwolf LookOut); understudy Birdland (Steep Theatre Company); Don’t Look Back/Must Look Back (Pivot Arts); The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Oak Park Festival Theatre); The Hamlet Project (The Antidote Theatre Collective). VIRTUAL THEATER: Breaking Point (ETOPiA Northwestern); The LEA Project. EDUCATION: BFA in acting, DePaul University.
DEANNA MYERS (Lysander, Quince) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: Debut. CHICAGO: The Gulf (About Face Theatre); The Great Leap (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); Smart People, The Scene (Writers Theatre); You on the Moors Now (The Hypocrites); King of the Yees (Goodman Theatre, New Stages). REGIONAL: Christmas at Pemberley (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre). TELEVISION: Empire (FOX); Chicago Med, Chicago Fire (NBC); Hot Date (Pop TV), Zen Room with Cheri O’Teri.
MJ D RAWLS (Helena, Titania) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Madagascar. CHICAGO: The Bacchae (Court Theatre); The Healing (Black Ensemble Theater); Pippin (Mercury Theater Chicago). REGIONAL: GhostLight Productions, Coachella Valley Repertory, Creede Repertory Theatre, Portland Center Stage. EDUCATION: BFA in musical theatre performance, Columbia College Chicago.
SHELBY LYNN BIAS (Understudy Helena/Titania) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: Debut. CHICAGO: Isadora in Middle Passage, Eleanor Tilney in Northanger Abbey, Understudy in Miss Buncle’s Book (Lifeline Theatre); Ensemble/Molvik Understudy Wild Duck (Halcyon Theater). INTERNATIONAL: Amiens in As You Like It (Shakespeare’s Globe Education); Phoebe in As You Like It (Bard in the Botanics). EDUCATION: MA classical and contemporary text acting, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, BA in theatre, Columbia College Chicago.
DEVON HAYAKAWA (Understudy Hermia/Flute, Lysander/Quince, Bottom/Demetrius) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE THEATER: Debut. CHICAGO: Kasey in Baked! The Musical (Chicago Musical Theatre Festival at Underscore Theatre Company); REGIONAL: A Little Princess, A Christmas Carol (Sacramento Theatre Company), Newsies, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Annie, Madagascar (Crane River Theater), Annie (Sierra Repertory Theatre); Sutton Foster: A Night In Concert (St. Louis Symphony Orchestra), Hoagy, Jule, and Frank Walk Into a Bar… (Joe’s Pub), Julius Caesar, The Tempest (Braving the Bard). EDUCATION: BFA in musical theatre, Ball State University. AWARDS: Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival National Finalist in Dramaturgy.
JOSEPH AARON JOHNSON (Understudy Oberon/Theseus/Snout, Puck) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: Debut. CHICAGO: As You Like It (Forest Park Theatre Company). EDUCATION: New York University, Meisner Studio. BA in Theatre, University of Illinois at Chicago.
NEIGHBORHOOD ARTS PARTNERS
DJ JEREMY HEIGHTS (DJ) started playing trumpet and singing in a gospel choir at an early age. After honing his skills in audio production and sound design as a teenager, he decided to take on a new task: DJing. Jeremy loves to listen to new music and place his own creative spin on it, and is constantly changing, growing, and developing because that’s where music is going and becoming. “Music is about the here and now, as well as the past and future. In effect, I aim to be timeless.” For more music, remixes, beats, and other creative things follow him on instagram @jeremy_heights
ME’LO THE GENERATION HERO (Soloist–Hip Hop) Manifesting Elevation Loving Optimistically (Me’Lo). Elevation releases after eager anticipation. “Serving Chicago Shakespeare as a neighborhood partner is such a blissful experience.” Me’Lo has headlined “The Promontory,” “Pride Prom” of the Gallery Cabaret, Ravenswood Beer Festival with her band brBra Bush, So Fresh Saturdays with R.A.G.E. Englewood, YesFest Elmhurst, BoBo Emporium, The Double Tree by Hilton Hotel (Mag Mile). Me’Lo started to gain international attention at the African Musical Festival (2017).
JAVIER “RESE” TORRES (Muralist) When he was two years old, Rese was breaking toys apart and making things from nothing. His favorite time of day was when he was allowed to draw and paint. As he got older, this love never faded, and he went on to study Art and Fabrication in college. Now, Rese is a multimedia visual artist specializing in urban styles. At his company UrBan Design Inc., he works with clients to realize their personal design visions for their home or business. As a gifted muralist, Rese also shares his talents by creating public art pieces on unexpected canvases across Chicago.
ALEXIS WILLIS (Soloist–Vocal/ Flautist) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: Debut. CHICAGO: Goose and Gert (Kerfuffle); Footholds 2020 (The Imposters Theatre Co.); #Who’s Next: The Musical (Collaboraction Studios, Chicago); Fabulation, or The ReEducation of Undine (Pulse Theatre Company Chicago). EDUCATION: BA in theatre, Columbia College Chicago. AWARDS: 2016 Most Promising Actress Award (The Black Theater Alliance Awards). Alexis has done local commercial work. Born and raised in Chicago, she discovered a passion for performing in her early 20’s. Alexis is a visual artist as well as a dancer, singer, musician, writer, and actress.
MOVE ME SOUL
BRASSEL CHANEY (The Changeling Boy) is a principal dancer at Move Me Soul Dance Company of Chicago, IL. He began dancing at age 7 and has trained with Move Me Soul since 2012. Brassel has studied and performed with Move Me Soul at the Edna Manley College of the Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica. He was recently featured with Damon Locks and the Black Monument Ensemble. He describes dance as “an emotional outlet.”
RAVEN LEWIS (Fairy) is a principal dancer at Move Me Soul Dance Company of Chicago, IL. She began dancing at age 6 and has trained with Move Me Soul since 2014. Raven has studied and performed with Move Me Soul at the Edna Manley College of the Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica. Raven has had opportunities to perform in a spring break tour in Texas as a backup dancer for Keisha Cole. She has also choreographed for two partnering projects with Move Me Soul and the Museum of Contemporary Art. She describes her dancing as “having a conversation without words.”
DIANA MUHAMMAD (Choreography) is an educator, community activist and artist in Chicago, IL. She has been the Managing Director of Move Me Soul Dance Company since 2010. She is the Dance Teacher at Beasley Academic Center in Chicago Public Schools, and has been dancing, teaching, and choreographing throughout Chicagoland since 1996 with programs such as After School Matters. Diana has a BS in elementary education and a Juris Doctor, both from DePaul University. She has had extended studies in dance at Northeastern Illinois University, Columbia College, and Loyola University. Diana is committed to building “excellence in art, education and character in young people.”
MARY THOMAS (Fairy) is a principal dancer at Move Me Soul Dance Company of Chicago, IL. She began dancing at age 7 and has trained with Move Me Soul since 2011. Mary has studied and performed with Move Me Soul at the Edna Manley College of the Performing Arts, Kingston, Jamaica. In 2015, Mary trained with the “Dancing Dolls” of Lifetime television. She has a certificate in Child Development and works as a preschool teacher. Mary is the proud mother of twins and believes that dance is an opportunity “to tell a creative story.”
SEGUNDO RUIZ BELVIS CULTURAL CENTER
ISAIAH MARTINEZ (Electric Guitar) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: Debut. CHICAGO PERFORMANCE CREDITS: After School Matters Showcase; Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center. AWARDS: 2019 IHSA Music Competition State Champion.
ANGELINA ORTIZ (Trumpet) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: Debut. CHICAGO PERFORMANCE CREDITS: After School Matters Showcase; Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center Teen Arts Tuesdays; UIC Jazz Festival; Ravenswood Block Party Jazz Show; Puerto Rican Parade in Humboldt Park. AWARDS: 2019 IHSA Music Competition State Champion.
TAINA RAMÍREZ (Percussion) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: Debut. CHICAGO PERFORMANCE CREDITS: New Year’s Jazz Performance at Harold Washington Library; After School Matters Latin Jazz Showcase. VISUAL ART: Braided BIPOC pop-up selling homemade jewelry.
ADRIAN RUIZ (Piano) was born in Chicago, where at age 19, he started playing piano professionally. At age 16, he joined his high school jazz band, where he discovered his passion for music. He won the Ravinia Jazz Scholar award his junior and senior year in high school. Adrian studied with Chicago’s own Willie Pickens, pianist for Elvin Jones. He has made several recordings and movie soundtracks and has performed at Goodman Theatre and Aguijon Theatre Company, among others. Adrian has shared the stage with artists Frank Catalano, Von Freeman, Luis ‘Perico’ Ortiz, Brenda K. Starr, Van Lester, Willie Garcia, Jesse Charbonier, Ernie Adams, Frankie Vazquez, Frankie Negron, Alison Ruble, The Drifters, Kayvan Vega, Joan Collaso, Papo Cocote, Tony Vega, Los Bandoleros, Pedrito Martinez, Victor Miranda, Grammy Nominated Angel Melendez and his Mambo 911 Orchestra, Grammy Winners Roberto Vizcaino and Raul Pineda.
MARÍA SARANGO (Percussion) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: Debut. CHICAGO PERFORMANCE CREDITS: Puerto Rican People’s Parade with Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, Plena Libre performance, Abrazo Virtual, Yuba la Marile Bomba performance (SRBCC). Summer After School Matters and SRBCC showcase at The 606. EDUCATION: Bomba and Afro-Caribbean Jazz percussion programs, SRBCC. María attends Lane Tech College Prep High School.
YIN HE DANCE COMPANY
HANA LIU (Enchantments) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: Debut. EDUCATION: BS in Marketing and BS in Information Decision Sciences. AWARDS: 2018 Taoli Cup Midwest Regional; Platinum Rank.
JANICE MEI (Enchantments) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: Debut. REGIONAL: Taoli World Dance Competition East Coast Regionals EDUCATION: Walter Payton College Preparatory High School. AWARDS: Taoli Gold Medal & Honorable Mention, AP Scholar with Distinction.
ANGELA TAM (Enchantments) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: Debut. CHICAGO PERFORMANCE CREDITS: Vice and Virtue, Visions (Yin He Dance), featured soloist at Choose Chicago’s citywide Chinese New Year kickoff events. EDUCATION: BA in East Asian Studies, New York University. AWARDS: Ethnic & Folk Arts Master Apprentice Grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. Angela is the artistic director of Yin He Dance.
JESSICA ZHANG (Enchantments) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: Debut. REGIONAL: East Coast Regional Taoli World Dance Competition. EDUCATION: Walter Payton College Preparatory High School. AWARDS: CIEE Global Navigator Scholarship, AP Scholar with Distinction, Badminton City Championships.
CRUZ GONZALEZ-CADEL (Creative Facilitator) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure. CHICAGO (select): Hope: Part II of a Mexican Trilogy, The Abuelas, La Havana Madrid, i put the fear of mexico in ‘em (Teatro Vista); Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (Lookingglass Theatre Company); Lela & Co. (Steep Theatre, Jeff Award - Performer in a Principal Role); Electra (Court Theatre); You on the Moors Now (The Hypocrites); The Compass (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); The Grown Up (Shattered Globe Theatre). FILM: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. TELEVISION: Fargo (FX), Chicago Med (NBC), The Chi (Showtime), Empire (Fox). EDUCATION: BA in theatre arts, Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Cruz is an ensemble member at Teatro Vista.
CAGE SEBASTIAN PIERRE (Creative Facilitator) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Q Brothers Christmas Carol; Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Short Shakespeare! productions of Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet. CHICAGO: Too Heavy for Your Pocket (TimeLine Theatre Company); A Moon for the Misbegotten (Writers Theatre). REGIONAL: American Players Theatre. TELEVISION: Empire (FOX); Chicago PD (NBC). EDUCATION: BFA, University of Minnesota.
GQ (Writer) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: Othello: The Remix, Q Brothers Christmas Carol; Funk It Up About Nothin’. REGIONAL: Dress the Part (St. Louis Shakespeare Festival); Q Gents (Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Illinois Shakespeare Festival). OFF BROADWAY: Othello: The Remix (Westside Theatre); The Bomb-itty of Errors. INTERNATIONAL: Othello: The Remix; Funk It Up About Nothin’. FILM: Drumline, Taxi, I Think I Love My Wife; What’s the Worst That Could Happen (with John Leguizamo), Werner Herzog’s Rescue Dawn, Just Another Story (Writer, Director, Star - Showtime, Tribeca Film Fest). TELEVISION: Scratch and Burn (co-writer, star - MTV); Chicago PD (NBC); Boston Public, Johnny Zero (Fox); Numbers (CBS); John Herzfeld’s pilot, S.I.S (Sony). EDUCATION: BFA, NYU Tisch School of the Arts Department of Drama Experimental Theatre Wing. He is a member of the Chicago-based comedic hip hop group known as The Rap Pack. @gqtheman @javidmusicparty
JORIAH KWAMÉ (Composer) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: Twelfth Night, To Be 4/23. REGIONAL: Shakespeare Theatre Company, Farmers Alley Theatre. AWARDS: ASCAP Cole Porter Award 20201, Write Out Loud 2019 for Little Miss Perfect
GREGORY GRAHAM (Costume Coordinator) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: associate costume designer on I, Banquo. CHICAGO: Reverb (University of Illinois at Chicago Theatre); The Facts of Life: Satan’s School for Girls, The Drag Seed, Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes Vol. 3, Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes – Valentine’s Day Edition (Hell in a Handbag Productions). EDUCATION: BA in theatre design, University of Illinois at Chicago.
JOSEPH E. DISBROW (Sound Designer) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: Q Brothers Christmas Carol (associate sound designer), The King’s Speech (sound system designer). TOUR: SIX (associate sound designer and production engineer, Norwegian Cruise Lines), The King’s Speech (associate sound designer, National Tour), SIX (sound assistant, North American Tour). EDUCATION: BFA in international theatre production and BM in music composition, Ohio Northern University. He has been a member of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater sound department since 2017, where he has run shows and designed sound systems for countless productions.
PABLO DAVID LAUCERICA (Music Facilitator) is Cuban-American multihyphenate artist and collaborator. Graduating from Northwestern's Bienen School of Music with a degree in voice & opera performance as well as a certificate in musical theatre, Pablo has a broad scope of artistic pursuits—acting, singing, content creating, songwriting, music directing/producing, and storytelling. A through line that connects all these pursuits is his artistic focus on openness: “In the stories we tell, art we create and connections we make, we must strive to get a deeper understanding of ourselves and others.” Pablo hails from Miami, Florida.
LARRY YANDO (Verse Coach) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: Measure for Measure, Twelfth Night (2009, 2021), Emma, Hamlet, Nell Gwynn, Shakespeare in Love, Tug of War: Foreign Fire and Civil Strife, The Tempest (2002, 2015), King Lear (2001, 2014), Julius Caesar, The Taming of the Shrew, Cymbeline, Timon of Athens, All’s Well That Ends Well, Antony and Cleopatra, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Two Noble Kinsmen. CHICAGO: twelve years as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, Bernhardt/Hamlet, The Little Foxes, Candide, The Jungle Book (Goodman Theatre); Buried Child, The Dance of Death, As You Like It, Nixon’s Nixon, Rocket to the Moon, Hamlet, Bach at Leipzig (Writers Theatre); Angels in America, Travesties, An Ideal Husband (Court Theatre); Fake, Mother Courage and Her Children (Steppenwolf Theatre Company). TOURING: three years as Scar in The Lion King. INTERNATIONAL: Battlefield directed by Peter Brook. AWARDS: 2014 Sarah Siddons Society, Chicago Magazine Best Chicago Actor, DePaul University’s Excellence in the Arts, one of nine national recipients of the prestigious 2010 LuntFontanne Fellowship, five Joseph Jefferson Awards. Yando is a freelance acting coach.
LIZ ANNE LARSEN (Stage Manager) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: To Be: 4/23, Chicago Shakespeare Slam: Final Bout, Isango Ensemble’s A Man of Good Hope, Hamlet, Red Velvet. CHICAGO: The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Frankenstein, Plantation!, Hard Times (Lookingglass Theatre Company), The Next Life, Love, Chaos, and Dinner (Teatro ZinZanni); The Great Leap, True West, The Roommate (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); The Escape (Art Institute of Chicago). REGIONAL: Oklahoma City Ballet, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Great River Shakespeare Festival. EDUCATION: BFA in stage & production management, Oklahoma City University.
FULTON STREET COLLECTIVE
DIANE GREEN (Scenic Artist-Flags) Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee Diane Green graduated in 1984 with a BFA in Painting at Memphis College of Art. Selling her paintings on the street, Diane left Memphis to upgrade her art career. In the 1990s, after moving to Chicago and becoming a single mom, Diane created an art clothing company called Original Face. Since 1998, Diane’s paintings have been included in over 35 shows. Today she lives in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, painting, art projects, and screenwriting in her home studio.
EMMA LYONS (Scenic Artist-Trees) is a studio member and guest curator at Fulton Street Collective, where she creates pieces ranging from acrylic abstract and figure paintings to resin decor. Her newest style is called “Art Moves,” where she dances paint on to the canvas in both planned and improvised choreography. While her onstage performing experience has led her to venues like Disney World and Pearl Harbor, Emma’s self-taught artistic career didn’t take off until the pandemic when she had too much time on her hands. She has a solo show at Fulton Street Collective starting October 1.
ALEXANDER PROULX (Scenic Artist-Skirts) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: Debut. VISUAL ART: Featured artist at the Andersonville Galleria; @ doodleyoodles Instagram page; The Doodle Shop (Andersonville Galleria); We Are Storm and Storybook, Solo show (Andersonville Galleria 2021); Featured Artist (Fulton Street Collective); Pieces in group shows (2021): 24x24, Botanicals, Abstracts, Portraits. EDUCATION: BA in creative writing, Rutgers University. He has found kinship in the art community, working along artists at Fulton Street Collective. Alexander also works in software development.
PAT ROSE (Scenic Artist-Trees) CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE: Debut. THEATER: collaborator and rights holder on Tootsie the Musical. ARTS: Art Odyssey, art exhibits at Athenaeum Theatre Gallery, Lost Artists Chicago, Second City. SELECTED EXHIBITIONS: www.patroseartist.com, www. artodyssey.org. ORGANIZATIONS: Arts Connection, NYC, Art Odyssey, Merit School of Music, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Perceptual Motion Dance Company. EDUCATION: AB, UC Berkeley, MA, Roosevelt University, SAIC.
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