Cast Announced for American Theater Company's Midwest Premiere of KILL FLOOR

American Theater Company (ATC), 1909 W. Byron Street, announces casting for its Midwest Premiere of Kill Floor, a contemporary drama written by Abe Koogler and directed by Jonathan Berry, being presented March 25 - May 1, 2016 (Press opening: Tuesday, March 29). The cast, all making their ATC debuts, includes: Audrey Francis (as Andy), Sol Patches (B), Eric Slater (Rick), Darci Nalepa (Sarah), and Louie Rinaldi (Simon).

Kill Floor takes place in a small town in 2003. Following a long incarceration, a mother returns to her hometown to restart her life. After securing a job at the local slaughterhouse, the challenges of re-entry unfold as she reunites with her teenage son, a staunch vegetarian. Koogler's thought provoking, surprising and moving search for connection in modern America had its World Premiere at New York's LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater in October 2015.

Said newly named ATC Artistic Director Will Davis: "I'm thrilled to be joining ATC as the company begins work on Abe Koogler's Kill Floor. I had the pleasure of listening to this play develop in Austin where Abe and I were both in grad school. Even then it was clear to me that Abe was in the midst of writing a deeply moving and difficult new play that beautifully illustrates what it feels like to never have enough. Kill Floor takes a close up look at what it means to be the working poor in our country and this lens puts the piece in deep conversation with ATC's mission question: What does it mean to be an American?"

ARTIST BIOS

Abe Koogler (Playwright) was born and raised in Washington State. He earned an MFA from UT-Austin and is currently a fellow in Juilliard's Playwrights Program. He is a Theatre Masters Visionary Playwright, a runner-up for the Yale Drama Prize, and winner of the Kennedy Center's Paula Vogel Award for Kill Floor. Koogler's plays have been developed at the Playwrights' Center, Kitchen Dog Theatre, the Great Plains Theatre Conference, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Black Swan Lab. He is under commission from Manhattan Theatre Club.

Jonathan Berry (Director) is a Jeff Award-winning Chicago freelance director, and Artistic Producer at Steppenwolf Theatre Company alongside Artistic Director Anna Shapiro whom he frequently assists here and in New York. He is Associate Artistic Director of the Griffin Theatre, and Artistic Associate with Steep Theatre, for which he most recently staged the critically-acclaimed U.S. Premiere of Laura Wade's Posh. In addition, Berry has also directed plays for Steppenwolf, Goodman Theatre, Remy Bumppo, Lifeline, The Gift, Theatre Mir, Eclipse, and Fox Valley Theatricals; and in New York, at Roundabout Theatre Company. He teaches directing at Columbia College Chicago and The School at Steppenwolf, and pursued his MFA in directing from Northwestern University.

Audrey Francis (Andy) is the founder and co-owner of Black Box Acting and has worked in Chicago as an actor and director for over ten years. Theatre credits include: The Herd (Steppenwolf); Where We're Born, Life and Limb, Drunken City (Steppenwolf Next Up); Want (Steppenwolf First Look); Talking Pictures, The Actor (Goodman Theatre); Othello, Another Part of the Forest (Writer's Theatre), Awake and Sing! (Northlight Theatre), and Between Riverside and Crazy (summer 2016, Steppenwolf). Television credits include: Chicago Med, Chicago Fire (Seasons 1 and 2), ER, and Written Off (current shooting). Film credits include: Dig Two Graves, Medal of Victory, Dustclouds, and Chicago Overcoat. In addition to acting and directing, Audrey also teaches at the School at Steppenwolf, the University of Chicago, and Black Box Acting's ACADEMY.

Sol Patches (B) are a senior at St. Patrick's High School who graduates in May 2016. Their acting experience launched just after 8th grade, at Ricardo Gamboa's Commercial-Free summer employment program at the National Museum of Mexican Art. Patches continued their training at Free Street Theater, where they wrote and performed in productions of Dope, Nerds, Sluts, Commies, Jocks, B is for Bang! and in summer touring productions of The Paleta Project and The Park is the Place Project. In 2013, Patches joined The Young Fugitives for the professional remount of their controversial hit play about youth violence, Cold Summer at Free Street Theater, and then portrayed the central figure of Deonta Mackey in Young Fugitives' production of TRACK 13. Last summer Patches were awarded a full-tuition scholarship to NYU's Tisch School of the Arts Summer Institute for Acting. When not at Free Street, Patches writes spoken word for Goodman Theatre's Louder Than a Bomb team.

Eric Slater (Rick) most recently appeared in Feathers & Teeth at the Goodman Theatre. Other Chicago credits include Noah Haidle's Smokefall and Revenge of the Space Pandas (Goodman); Diary of Anne Frank, Misalliance (Jeff Award Nominee for Best Ensemble 2002), and Butley (Writers Theatre); What The Butler Saw (Court Theatre); and Honus and Me (Chicago Children's Theatre), among others. Off and Off-Off Broadway, he has appeared at the Public Theater, York Theatre, The Kitchen, Theater for the New City, The Kraine and The Brick. Regional work includes shows at American Repertory Theater, Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, Grand Arts (MO), Detroit Institute of Arts Museum, Madison Rep. and Dobama Theatre. Slater is a company member of Rivendell Theatre Ensemble and a founding member of the New Ensemble, a N.Y.C. based immersive theater company. TV credits include Chicago Fire.

Darci Nalepa (Sarah), an ensemble member of The Gift Theatre, has appeared in its productions of Good for Otto, Othello, and Thinner Than Water. Other Chicago credits include: Yankee Tavern (American Blues Theater), Northanger Abbey (Remy Bumppo), The Drunken City (Steppenwolf Theatre - Next Up), Flare Path (Griffin Theatre), and Love and Money (Steep Theatre). She has appeared as an Entertainment Anchor for The Onion and can be seen in Stephen Cone's feature film, Henry Gamble's Birthday Party. She is a graduate of The School at Steppenwolf and proudly works as an Instructor at Black Box Acting and The School at Steppenwolf.

Louie Rinaldi (Simon) recently appeared in Dear Evan Hanson (Arena Theatre) along with The Scavengers and Assassins (both at the Theatre School of DePaul). His TV/film credits include We're Different, Sia's "You've Changed," and We Need to Talk About Kevin. Louie is a graduate of DePaul University.



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