Cast Announced for Kokandy Productions' ASSASSINS, Running 6/13-7/20

Cast Announced for Kokandy Productions' ASSASSINS, Running 6/13-7/20

Kokandy Productions has announced casting for ASSASSINS, directed by Rachel Edwards Harvith with music direction by Kory Danielson and choreography by Mike Ford. ASSASSINS begins performances on Friday, June 13, 2014 with Press Opening on Saturday, June 14th, and runs at Theater Wit in Chicago through Sunday, July 20, 2014.

From John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald and Squeaky Frome, Stephen Sondheim's time-bending and darkly comic one-act musical ASSASSINS explores the minds of nine Presidential assassins (some successful, some failed) throughout America's history, inviting the audience on a rollercoaster ride through the underbelly of the American Dream.

The cast features Neala Barron (Sara Jane Moore), Patrick Byrnes (Leon Czolgosz), Cole Doman (Balladeer), Greg Foster (Charles Guiteau), Nathan Gardner (Lee Harvey Oswald), Alex Heika (Giuseppe Zangara), Allison Hendrix (Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme), Eric Lindahl (John Wilkes Booth), Jeff Meyer (Proprietor), Michael Potsic (John Hinckley, Jr.), and Jason Richards (Samuel Byck).

In addition to their primary roles as the assassins, the cast will play all of the additional characters in Sondheim's masterpiece - from the targeted presidents and related historical and political figures, to members of the general American public.

States Director Rachel Edwards Harvith, "There's a danger in dismissing violent crime by saying, 'that person is different than me' - a danger we seek to explore with ensemble casting for ASSASSINS. By blurring the lines between the individuals whose actions make up the play's history, and the 'average' Americans who lived alongside them, we invite the audience to address the idea that anyone, everyone, might one day be capable of violence."

ASSASSINS premiered off-Broadway in 1990 where it received mixed reviews before moving to a hit run on London's West End. A 2001 Broadway revival was postponed for three years in light of the events of September 11th, but the 2004 staging won five Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, and three Drama Desk Awards.

About Kokandy Productions: Founded in 2010, Kokandy Productions seeks to leverage the heightened reality of musical theater to tell complex and challenging stories, with a focus on contributing to the development of Chicago-based musical theater artists, and raising the profile of Chicago's non-Equity musical theater community.

For more information, visit www.kokandyproductions.com.

About the ASSASSINS cast

Neala Barron (Sara Jane Moore): A NEW BRAIN (Brown Paper Box), KATE'S DATES (Waltzing Mechanics), THE LOCKOUT: A MUSICAL (Six Hours Short), BEAUTIFUL BROKEN (Broken Nose Theatre) ALL'S WELL and TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA (Great River Shakespeare Festival), and A PHANTOM IN THE OPERA (Chicago dell'Arte). Neala holds a BA from U of IL at Urbana-Champaign.

Patrick Byrnes (Leon Czolgosz): AMADEUS (BoHo Theatre Ensemble), MAHAL (Bailiwick Chicago), SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE (Chicago Shakespeare), PAJAMA GAME (Music Theater Company), A TWIST OF WATER (Route 66), PINKALICIOUS (Emerald City), ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, MAN OF LA MANCHA, CAMELOT, and THE STUDENT PRICE (Light Opera Works).

Cole Doman (Balladeer): RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER (Broadway Playhouse Water Tower Place), PINK MILK (Oracle), INTO THE WOODS and A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD (Crane River Theatre), and PETER PAN & WENDY (Prince Music Theater). Currently represented by Gray Talent Group, Cole is training towards a BFA in Musical Theatre at Roosevelt University.

Greg Foster (Charles Guiteau): EDGES (Circle), A VERY MERRY MADRIGAL (Theo Ubique), SPAMALOT (NIghtBlue), 5 COURSE LOVE (Metropolis), 6 DEGREES OF SEPARATION (Electic Theater Co.), HOW TO SUCCEED... (Big Noise Theatre), and FLOYD COLLINS (BoHo). Greg is a company member of BoHo Theatre Ensemble and is represented by Grossman & Jack Talent.

Nathan Gardner (Lee Harvey Oswald): ORDINARY DAYS (York Theatre Company - Off-Broadway), TOY STORY (Disney Cruise Lines) LES MIS (Drury Lane), SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (Kokandy), TRIUMPH OF LOVE (Music Theatre Company), COLE PORTER SONGBOOK (Theo Ubique), SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD (NightBlue), HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON (Chicago Children's Theatre).

Alex Heika (Giuseppe Zangara): THE WEDDING SINGER (Haven Theatre), FIDDLER...(Paramount), BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (Bailiwick), A NEW BRAIN (Pastiche Productions), AVENUE Q (NightBlue), RENT (CCPA), and THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES (Chicago Shakespeare). Alex is a Collective member at Bailiwick Chicago and a graduate of the Chicago College of Performing Arts.

Allison Hendrix (Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme): INTO THE WOODS (Hypocrites), THE LAST FIVE YEARS (Kokandy Productions), ENCORES (Piven), ANYTHING GOES (Clinton Showboat), as well as Assistant MD/Conductor/Pianist for FLOYD COLLINS (BoHo), Jimmi/Music Director for CITIES OF LIGHT (Piven), and Music Director for THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL (Kokandy).

Eric Lindahl (John Wilkes Booth): SIDE SHOW (BoHo - Jeff Citation and After Dark Award), THE WHO'S TOMMY (Circle - Jeff Nomination), SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (Circle - Jeff Nomination), THE NORMAL HEART (Timeline), 1776 (Signal Ensemble - Jeff Award Best Production), THE BRIG (Mary-Arrchie), FOOTLOOSE (Theater at the Center), and SWEET AND HOT (Theo Ubique).

Jeff Meyer (Proprietor): INTO THE WOODS (Hypocrites), ANYONE CAN WHISTLE (Porchlight), IT'S A BIRD, IT'S A PLANE...IT'S SUPERMAN (Griffin), THE WEDDING SINGER (Haven Theatre), BULLY GOATS GRUFF (AlphaBet Soup), CABARET, PIPPIN, INTO THE WOODS, THE SECRET GARDEN (Northwestern), LUCKY STIFF (The Music Theatre Company), and WHEN ANGELS WEPT (Prop).

Michael Potsic (John Hinckley, Jr.): RENT (Paramount Theatre), FLOYD COLLINS (BoHo), A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Theater At The Center), and MOTHER COURAGE AND HER CHILDREN (WMU). He wrote music and lyrics for THE BULLY SHOW (AlphaBet Soup), and his original musical FLIGHT debuted this season as part of Kokandy Productions' New Musical Staged Reading Series.

Jason Richards (Samuel Byck): SHREK! (Chicago Shakespeare), AVENUE Q (NightBlue - Jeff Award), SHEAR MADNESS (Gem), ROCKY HORROR (MeadowBrook), A NEW BRAIN (Brown Paper Box), ANYONE CAN WHISTLE (Porchlight), PAJAMA GAME, THE 48 HOUR MUSICALS (The Music Theatre Company), MEN EXPOSED (Metropolis Theatre Center), and SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK (TheatreBAM).

About the Director

Rachel Edwards Harvith is a founding member of Mortar Theatre and an associate artist at Chicago Dramatists, and has worked with ATC, American Blues, Stage Left, Teatro Luna, Pegasus Players, City Lit, and Bailiwick in Chicago as well as regionally with Iowa Summer Rep, Syracuse Stage, Riverfront Theatre, Hedgerow Theatre, and Dreamwell. Recent directing credits include THE INVASION OF SKOKIE (ShPIeL-Performing Identity), BOMBS, BABES AND BINGO (Mortar), MOTHER'S HOUSE (Raven), and CABARET (Artists of Concordia Theatre). She has served as dramatic literary manager for Bailiwick Chicago and interim literary manager for Long Wharf Theatre and Syracuse Stage. Rachel holds a BA in Theatre from Grinnell College and an MFA in Directing from the University of Iowa.

Tickets are available online at www.theaterwit.org/boxoffice; by phone at 773-975-8150; or at the Theater Wit box office at 1229 W Belmont Avenue in Chicago. For more information and box office hours, visit www.theaterwit.org. Preview night for ASSASSINS is Friday, June 13, 2014 at 8pm. The Press Opening is Saturday, June 14, 2014, at 8pm. The production runs through July 20, 2014. There is no performance, Friday, July 4th.

Regular run tickets are $38. Preview tickets (Fri, June 16th) are $25. On industry nights (Wednesday, July 9th & Wednesday, July 16th), theater professionals can get $20 tickets by presenting a headshot and resume or union card at the Box Office. Groups of 10 or more save up to 30% on tickets. Student group rates are available.

Theater Wit has complimentary parking behind Cooper's restaurant across the street. Valet parking is also offered for $10, starting two hours before showtime. Limited non-metered street parking is available on Belmont and on Lakewood.

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