Casting Announced For Haven Theatre's DIRECTORS HAVEN

Casting Announced For Haven Theatre's DIRECTORS HAVENHaven Theatre is pleased to announce casting for its fourth DIRECTORS HAVEN, the company's ever-growing initiative annually showcasing the talents of three rising directors. The 2018 productions are helmed by Charlotte Drover, Airos Sung-En Medill and Dani Wieder.


Madame Rachilde's surreal horror ballet THE CRYSTAL SPIDER, translated by Daniel Gerould and directed by Charlotte Drover will feature Emily Butcher, Elena Dern, Sarah Ellen Miller, Jessica Morales, MollyAnne Nunn, Alec Silver and Kate Staiger.


Josefina Lopez' heartfelt and healing SIMPLY MARIA, OR THE AMERICAN DREAM directed by Airos Sung-En Medill will feature Diana Camacho, Sarah "Sar" Cohen, Natalie Hanson, Jennifer Ledesma, Ernesto Moreta, Esme Perez, Rolo Rodriguez and Jorge Silva.


William Inge's drama PEOPLE IN THE WIND, directed by Dani Wieder will feature Kristen Alesia, Kylie Anderson, Lynne Baker, Grayson Heyl, Gregory D. Hicks, Hillary Horvath, Amy Hunt and Andrew Rathgeber.


DIRECTOR'S HAVEN 2018 will play October 15 - 31, 2018 at Haven Theatre's resident home, The Den Theatre (2A), 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood. The three productions run back-to-back in one program. All performances are pay-what-you-can. Tickets are currently available at


Comments Artistic Director Josh Sobel, "I have been overwhelmed by how the Director's Haven continues to evolve and grow year after year, and this year is no exception with our 4th cohort of early-career directors. These are three exceptionally exciting burgeoning visions, distinctly contemporary, curious about the sheer potential of the art form and deeply, immensely personal. I invite you to join us at the ground floor of what's next as we showcase some of the next generation's emerging artistic leaders and visionaries. Join Haven Theatre as we continue our mission to invest in the future."


DIRECTORS HAVEN 2018 includes:


By Madame Rachilde, translated by Daniel Gerould
Directed by Charlotte Drover

Mentor: Krissy Vanderwarker
Cast: Emily Butcher (Ensemble), Elena Dern (Ensemble), Sarah Ellen Miller (Ensemble), Jessica Morales (Ensemble), MollyAnne Nunn (Ensemble), Alec Silver (Terror Stricken) and Kate Staiger (Mother). Swing: Berit Godo (Ensemble).

The Crystal Spider is a surreal horror play that dives into the mind of Terror-Stricken, a young person plagued by their Mother's social and sexual pressures and haunted by their strange and paralyzing fear of mirrors. They revive this story for their Mother, awakening the suppressed memories trapped within the looking glass. This story - told through poetry, dance and physical theatre - forces Terror-Stricken into a final confrontation with their mirror self and every demon they run from.


By Josefina Lopez
Directed by Airos Sung-En Medill

Mentor: Jess McLeod

Cast: Diana Camacho (Girl, Ensemble), Sarah "Sar" Cohen (Girl, Ensemble), Natalie Hanson (Girl, Ensemble), Jennifer Ledesma (Carmen), Ernesto Moreta (Jose, Ensemble), Esme Perez (Maria), Rolo Rodriguez (Priest, Ensemble) and Jorge Silva (Ricardo).

Simply Maria, or the American Dream is an episodic telling of Maria and her family's migration from Mexico to the United States and what it means to be a woman in her family in the past, present and future. Desperate to change their story, Maria is forced to face the collision of her family and her new home while navigating the definitions of gender and culture that are passed on from one generation to the next.


By William Inge
Directed by Dani Wieder
Mentor: dado

Cast: Kristen Alesia (Elma), Kylie Anderson (Girl), Lynne Baker (Professor), Grayson Heyl (Old Lady), Gregory D. Hicks (Driver), Hillary Horvath (Old Lady), Amy Hunt (Grace) and Andrew Rathgeber (Man).

A girl bursts into a roadside diner, panicked. Something on the greyhound bus she has been riding cross-country is not right. But everyone else is also on the run, fixated on the hope that this Kansas wind will blow them as far west as possible. So what's a girl to do? William Inge's one act, which would eventually become the first draft of his play Bus Stop, explores the chaotic effects of the American Dream and how the quest for a perfect life can make us blind to the pain of others.


The production team for DIRECTOR'S HAVEN 2018 includes Will Tople (scenic design), Amanda Rabito (costume design), Blake Cordell (lighting design), Emily Boyd (props design), Sarah D. Espinoza (sound design), David Da Legend Ingram (choreography, The Crystal Spider), Jurrell Lewis (object design, People in the Wind), Marika Mashburn (casting director), Nik Whitcomb (assistant casting director), Angela Salinas (production manager), Josh Prisching (technical director), Liz Larsen (stage manager, People in the Wind), Corbin Paulino (stage manager, Simply Maria, or The American Dream) and Haley Schmidt (stage manager, The Crystal Spider).

About the Directors


Charlotte Drover is a director, choreographer, and teaching artist (Lookingglass, Northlight Theatre), working in Chicago since 2013 after graduating from Drew University with a BA in Theatre Arts. Directing credits include: Deathscribe X (WildClaw Theatre), Venus in Fur (Circle Theatre), Van Gogh: After Dark (Art Institute Chicago), Associate Director on Octagon (Jackalope Theatre) and choreography for Bobby Pin Girls (Nothing Without A Company), The After (Collaboraction), Jerusalem (Profiles Theatre) and the Chicago Home Theatre Festival - Garfield Park.


Airos Sung-En Medill (they/them/theirs) is a theatre director, Equity Diversity and Inclusion facilitator and a teaching artist. They work to make space for QTPOC, centering them in the stories they tell; moving bodies in space as a means to heal. They work to change the world around them by gathering family, infusing spaces with joy, breath and imagination. They are currently a company member at For Youth Inquiry (FYI), a teaching artist with the Goodman and an Adult Educator for ICAH.


Dani Wieder is a director of movement and object driven performance in Chicago. Recent theater credits include La Ronde (American Theatre Company, CORE), Josephine the Mouse Singer by Franz Kafka (Curious Theatre Branch, Rhinofest), Look Down, Keep Counting (The Runaways), Miley Cyrus is Still Twerking, or I Know You (Women's Theatre Alliance), Miss Julie and All choiceless She (University of Chicago). Dani has assistant directed and dramaturged plays across Chicago at theaters such as at The Goodman Theatre, American Theater Company, Walkabout Theatre Company, Steep Theatre Company, the House Theatre, and Court Theatre. She studied Theater and Performance Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Chicago, where she was granted the 2016 Performance Studies Award for her critical writings on the performer-spectator relationship. Coming up: In the Canyon by Calamity West (dramaturg, Jackalope Theatre), Cool for Five Seconds by Calamity West (director, short film).


About Haven Theatre




We exist to be a Haven for The Future. We achieve this through championing the next generation of playwrights, directors and actors by producing and promoting plays and performances that are staking their claim as the immediate future of this art form, and by investing in those at the very beginning of their professional journeys. Through this inspiration, we seek to ignite in each audience member a hope for the Future - the Future of theatre and performance, the Future of each other, the Future of our community.

PHOTO CREDIT: Haven Theatre's DIRECTORS HAVEN 2018 will feature (top, l to r) Kristen Alesia, Kylie Anderson, Lynne Baker, Emily Butcher, Diana Camacho, Sarah "Sar" Cohen, Elena Dern, Berit Godo, (center, l to r) Natalie Hanson, Grayson Heyl, Gregory D. Hicks, Hillary Horvath, Amy Hunt, Jennifer Ledesma, Sarah Ellen Miller, Jessica Morales, (bottom, l to r) Ernesto Moreta, MollyAnne Nunn, Esme Perez, Andrew Rathgeber, Rolo Rodriguez, Jorge Silva, Alec Silver and Kate Staiger.


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