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Mercury Theater Chicago Hosts Stephen Sondheim Panel After INTO THE WOODS Tonight

Mercury Theater Chicago and The Hypocrites will feature Stephen Sondheim: The Man and The Music, a post-show talk back discussion on the renowned composer with Dr. Mark E. Lococo, Professor and Director of Theatre at Loyola University Chicago; Dr. Sarah Gabel, Chairperson for the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Loyola University Chicago; and Director Geoff Button, following the 8:00 p.m. performance of INTO THE WOODS tonight, February 7 at the Mercury Theater Chicago, 3745 N. Southport Ave. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and the book by James Lapine, The Hypocrites bring their heightened and playful sense of theatricality to the musical INTO THE WOODS through March 30.

Dr. Mark E. Lococo has served as Director of Theatre at Loyola University Chicago for the past six years, during which time he has directed Urinetown, Measure for Measure, Pippin, As You Like It and Mnemonic on Loyola's stages. He also directed The Gifts of the Magi at the Porchlight Music Theatre, A Chorus Line at the Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre in September 2010 (Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination for Best Director of a Musical), The Producers at Milwaukee's Skylight Theatre in November 2008, Wings at the Apple Tree Theatre in February 2009, and Once On This Island at Porchlight May 2009. He directed The Miser at the Northlight Theatre in 2007, for which he received a Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination for Best Director of a Play. In 2006, he directed Mountain for the Apple Tree Theatre, where he is an Artistic Associate. Previous productions there include: the Midwest premiere of Dessa Rose (Joseph Jefferson Award nomination for Best Director of a Musical), Uncle Vanya, the Chicago premiere of A Man of No Importance (winner of the 2004 After Dark Chicago Award for Best Production of a Musical), The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, Indian Ink, Syncopation, The Dresser, The Swan, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Waiting for Godot, and Sugar. Also in 2006 he directed The Elephant Man at the Peninsula Playhouse in Wisconsin.

Dr. Sarah Gabel is the Chairperson for the Department of Fine and Performing Arts. She teaches a variety of acting and directing classes as well as a Community-based Arts service learning class for the Multi-cultural Learning Living Community. She has served on a several university committees including Academic Council for the College of Arts and Sciences, Faculty Council, and the 2009-2014 Strategic Plan Steering Committee. She is a member of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans and the American Theatre Association for Higher Education. Dr. Gabel received her Ph.D. and M.A., Bowling Green State University| and her B.A., Albion College. Dr. Gabel has a strong interest in musical theatre, particularly the works of Stephen Sondheim. On the Loyola University Chicago Mullady stage, she has directed Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Assassins, Into the Woods, A Little Night Music, West Side Story and Little Women: The Musical.

Geoff Button (Director) is a longtime company member of The Hypocrites and directed their productions of Coriolanus, Desire Under the Elms and True West (Non-Equity Jeff Nominations - Best Play, Best Director). Around Chicago he's directed at Mary Arrchie (Harold Pinter's The Homecoming), Strawdog (State of the Union), Depaul University (I Am Bradley Manning by Sarah Gubbins), North Park University (Urinetown), and the Side Project (Sean Graney's Sugarward). Also an actor, he has performed in several Hypocrites' productions, including Woyzeck, Sophocles: Seven Sicknesses, Mud and Equus (Non-Equity Jeff - Best Actor). He studied directing in Northwestern University's MFA program, where he teaches in the music theater certificate program and directed The Who's Tommy and Spring Awakening.

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