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Cast Announced for The House Theatre of Chicago's UNITED FLIGHT 232 This Fall

Cast Announced for The House Theatre of Chicago's UNITED FLIGHT 232 This FallThe House Theatre of Chicago has announced the return of the 2016 Joseph Jefferson award-winning show for "Best Production of a Play (midsize)," adapted and directed by Vanessa Stalling+, United Flight 232. The adaptation of Laurence Gonzales' book Flight 232 tells the story of the harrowing July 19, 1989 flight bound for Chicago's O'Hare airport.

United Flight 232 runs September 1 through October 21 and plays at Chopin Theatre's Upstairs Theater, 1543 W. Division St. Previews begin Friday, September 1 and play through Saturday, September 9. Opening/press night is Sunday, September 10 at 7 p.m. Regular performances are Thursdays - Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm from September 14 - October 21. Preview tickets are $15 and regular run tickets range from $25 to $45. $15 same-day tickets for students and industry professionals are available for all dates, seats permitting. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit or call 773.769.3832.

On July 19, 1989, a DC-10 headed for O'Hare with 296 aboard is paralyzed mid-air. For 44 minutes, the aircraft descended towards an emergency landing and crashed at Sioux City Gateway airport. To the astonishment of all who witnessed the event, 184 of 296 passengers and crew survived. Drawing on the interviews and research conducted by Evanston author Laurence Gonzales for his critically acclaimed book, Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival this award-winning original play, United Flight 232, is a reflection on how to comprehend tragedy and celebrate human ingenuity in the face of overwhelming challenges.

The House Theatre of Chicago welcomes back four members the 2016 Joseph Jefferson Award winning cast for "Best Ensemble," which includes Company Members Brenda Barrie*+, Elana Elyce+, and Johnny Arena+, along with guest artist Alice da Cunha who's performances are heralded in Performink as "authentic, heartbreaking and funny." Joining the 2017 cast is Company Member Abu Ansari+ and guest artists Dan Lin, Carlos Olmedo, Mike Tepeli, and Jessica Dean Turner.

The Production and Design team includes John Musial, Scenic Designer; Delia Ridenour, Costume Designer; William C. Kirkham*, Lighting Designer; Kaili Story, Associate Lighting Designer; Steve Labedz, Sound Designer & Composer; Matthew Muniz+, Music Director; Paul Deziel, Projection Designer; Eleanor Kahn, Props Designer, and Brian DesGranges, Stage Manager*+.

United Flight 232 was commissioned and developed by The House Theatre of Chicago and the Chicago Performance Lab through the Theatre and Performance Studies Program at the University of Chicago.


Laurence Gonzales was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and grew up in Houston and San Antonio, Texas. His book about the crash of United Flight 232 at Sioux City, Iowa, July 19, 1989, Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival, from W.W. Norton, was published on July 7, 2014. San Francisco Chronicle called the book, "A richly detailed story that is equal parts heartbreaking [and] inspiring..." while The Washington Post said, "Flight 232 stands alone for its absolutely riveting depiction of the flight's last minutes and the horrendous aftermath: for its vivid sympathetic portraits of many of those aboard the plane, the crew most particularly."

He is also the author of numerous books, including the bestseller Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why and the sequel, Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilience (both from W.W. Norton). Gonzales has won many awards, including two National Magazine Awards and the Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. He has appeared as a speaker before groups ranging from the Santa Fe Institute to Legg Mason Capital Management, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also on the adjunct faculty at Northwestern University in the Medill School of Journalism. His most recent novel is Lucy (Alfred A. Knopf). His essays are collected in the book House of Pain (University of Arkansas Press). He is a Miller Scholar the Santa Fe Institute.

He divides his time between Evanston and Santa Fe. For more, see

ABOUT Vanessa Stalling, adaptor and director

Vanessa Stalling is excited to once again be at The House, where she is now a company member. Most recently, she directed Lauren Yee's Hookman at Steep Theatre.

Her upcoming productions include Sarah DeLappe's The Wolves at The Goodman Theatre. Vanessa is also known for her work as an artist of Redmoon Theater. While at Redmoon, she enjoyed performing, directing and serving as associate artistic director. Redmoon directing credits include a remount of The Cabinet, Winter Pageant, Princess Club, and roaming performances for President Obama's White House Halloween Celebrations. She is also an instructor of theater and has taught students at Columbia College, Roosevelt University, and University of Chicago.


The House is Chicago's premier home for intimate, original works of epic story and stagecraft. Founded and led by Artistic Director Nathan Allen and driven by an interdisciplinary ensemble of Chicago's next generation of great storytellers, The House aims to become a laboratory and platform for the evolution of the American theatre as an inclusive and popular artform.

The House was founded in 2001 by a group of friends to explore connections between Community and Storytelling through a unique theatrical experience. Since becoming eligible in 2004, The House has been nominated for 66 Joseph Jefferson Awards (23 wins), became the first recipient of Broadway in Chicago's Emerging Theater Award in 2007, and was awarded a 2014 National Theatre Company Grant by the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards. The 16th season of original work will begin September 2017 and The House will continue its mission to unite Chicago in the spirit of Community through amazing feats of Storytelling.

*Member Actor's Equity Association
+Company Member of The House Theatre of Chicago

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