Episode 20 – Laura Stephenson and Rinska Carrasco

Rinska Carrasco is so pumped to direct a grim Latinx fairy tale at Halcyon Theatre and after talking with her, I’m super pumped to see it.  I sat down with Rinska and Laura Stephenson, casting director for Halcyon Theatre to talk about their upcoming show THE RIVER BRIDE, their amazing cast as well as Halcyon’s…

Episode 19 – Lavina Jadhwani

Lavina Jadhwani is a director, playwright and casting director who is fascinated by the art of the mash-up.  She recently adapted Uncle Vanya for Rasaka Theatre Company, the midwest’s first South Asian American theatre company where she previously served as Artistic Director.  Lavina spoke with me about the kind of work that’s important to her,…

Episode 18 – Lauren Sivak

Growing up, Lauren Sivak always knew she would move to Chicago, she just didn’t know why.  In 2009, she came for an education internship at American Theatre Company.  Now she’s the Managing Director at 2nd Story, a storytelling collective located in Albany Park.  Lauren and I sat down in 2nd Story’s new home to talk…

Episode 17 – Delia Kropp

Actress Delia Kropp took a ten year hiatus from the Chicago theatre scene. When I asked her if that was hard she replied, “it was necessary.” Delia is a transgender woman and has only in the last few years returned to auditioning–now as her true gender. She spoke with me about her work as an actress, the challenges facing transgender actors in Chicago, and what she and others are doing to make our stages more inclusive.

You can catch Delia’s work when she directs the winner of the Pride Films and Play Trans Play Festival on June 11th and 12th. To learn more about her creative and activist work, you can visit her website.

Episode 16 – Loose Chicks

“I have had a long and interesting life,” says producer Roberta Miles. She chronicles her experiences (“Sex gone wrong stories–I have a lot of those”) in one woman show and in her monologues performed at Loose Chicks, a bi-monthly storytelling performance co-produced by Jillian Erickson. Roberta began writing after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and found herself spending a lot of time in bed. In this episode, Roberta and her collaborator Holly Beaudry discuss what it’s like to hear raw and revealing stories from Chicago women as well as what makes a great monologue.

Episode 15 – Erica Vannon

Director Erica Vannon is drawn to the kind of work that makes you “giggle into a bit of horror.” Or stand up and scream like you’re at a football game. Or cry (a lot (if you’re me)). She produces the impossible, like a devised opera performed in a hotel room or a 3 minute piece with 47 actors.

Episode 14 – Avi Roque

When I saw The Jades’ production of An Alamanc for Farmers and Lovers in Mexico last year, I was totally captivated by the actor who played San Cristobal: Avi Roque.  I did a little research and learned that Avi is just as cool and interesting as they seemed. Avi is gender neutral and uses the pronouns they/them/theirs.  We…

Spiel Chicago Episode 13 – Maren Rosenberg

Maren Rosenberg is a local performer who moved to Chicago after a stint as an artist in residence in the West Bank. Now her company, Escape Artistry, is opening a second location this year featuring five new room escape events. What is a room escape? Listen in to learn about it as well as Maren’s time as an artist in residence overseas.

Spiel Chicago Episode 12 – Not In Our House

In June of 2015, actress Lori Myers heard–for the fourth time in two months–a story from yet another colleague about extreme abuses of power in the Chicago theatre community.  Frustrated, she posted a now infamous Facebook post asking, “If your friend, sister, daughter, or coworker was working under a sexual predator—what would you do about it?”…

Spiel Chicago Episode 11 – Kara Tesch

Throughout her academic career Kara Tesch promoted herself as a costume designer.  When she got to the world of professional theatre she found that her training has prepared her for a job she’d love even more.  We discuss this along with her recent move from DC to Chicago and the the weirdest costume piece she’s ever had to…