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Casting Announced for Black Button Eyes Productions' WHISPER HOUSE

Casting Announced for Black Button Eyes Productions' WHISPER HOUSE

Black Button Eyes Productions is pleased to announce casting for its Chicago premiere of WHISPER HOUSE, featuring music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening), book and additional lyrics by Kyle Jarrow (Spongebob Squarepants Musical), with direction by Artistic Director Ed Rutherford, music direction by Micky York and choreography by Derek Van Barham.

The cast includes T.J. Anderson, Karmann Bajuyo, Kate Nawrocki, Leo Spiegel, Mikaela Sullivan and Kevin Webb. Understudy: Huy Nguyen.

Concluding the company's 2019-20 season of "Ghost Stories," WHISPER HOUSE will play January 10 - February 15, 2020 at The Athenaeum Theatre (Studio Two), 2936 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at, by calling (773) 935-6875 or in person at The Athenaeum Theatre Box Office. The press opening is Sunday, January 12 at 2 pm.

When Christopher's father is shot down in the Pacific during World War 2, the young boy is sent to live with his foreboding aunt in her very remote - and very haunted - lighthouse. Despite any lurking spirits, the most fearsome demons Christopher will need to confront lie within.

The production team for WHISPER HOUSE includes Nikolaj Sorensen (scenic design, technical director), Rachel Sypniewski (costume design), Liz Cooper (lighting design), Robert Hornbostel (sound design), Adrian Hadlock (props design), Brendan Hutt (fight choreography) and Cecilia Koloski (stage manager).


Music and Lyrics: Duncan Sheik

Book and Additional Lyrics Kyle Jarrow

Director: Producing Artistic Director Ed Rutherford

Music Director: Micky York

Choreographer: Derek Van Barham

Cast (in alphabetical order) T.J. Anderson (Charles), Karmann Bajuyo (Yasuhiro), Kate Nawrocki (Lily) Leo Spiegel (Christopher) Mikaela Sullivan and Kevin Webb (The Ghosts).

Understudy: Huy Nguyen

Location: The Athenaeum Theatre (Studio Two), 2936 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago

Dates: Previews: Friday, January 10 at 8 pm and Saturday, January 11 at 8 pm

Press performance: Sunday, January 12 at 2 pm

Regular run: Thursday, January 16 - Saturday, February 15, 2020

Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 2 pm

Tickets: $30. Tickets are currently available at, by calling (773) 935-6875 or in person at The Athenaeum Theatre Box Office.

Ed Rutherford (Director) Directing credits for Black Button Eyes include Ghost Quartet, Evil Dead the Musical (Jeff Nomination, Best Director), Nightmares & Nightcaps: The Stories of John Collier, Nevermore, Shockheaded Peter, Amour, Goblin Market, and Coraline. He is an artistic associate with Promethean Theatre Ensemble, where he directed The Liar, his own adaptation of Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn, Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle and the company's inaugural production, Christopher Durang's Beyond Therapy. Directing with Brown Paper Box Co: The Baltimore Waltz. As an actor, he's performed with Drury Lane Oakbrook, Porchlight, Theater Wit and many others. A graduate of Northwestern's theater program, he recently completed his MBA at Kellogg.

Micky York (Music Director) has worked in performing arts venues throughout the country, most recently as the resident musical director at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights, where he worked on productions of Peter and the Starcatcher, Young Frankenstein, Spamalot, and too many others to count. Other Chicagoland credits include Happy End (After Dark Award - Outstanding Music Direction) and Jacques Brel (Brown Couch), Make Me a Song (Eclectic), Pr0ne (Underscore) and Sarita (Halcyon). Micky regularly performs as a cabaret artist and is the host of After Party, designed to showcase the talents of some of Chicago's most sought-after performers, alongside emerging singers and storytellers.

Derek Van Barham (Choreographer) is the Producing Artistic Director of Kokandy Productions and a member of the Red Tape Theatre ensemble. He previously served as Associate Artistic Director of Pride Films & Plays and Artistic Director of The Ruckus. Recent directing credits: Head Over Heels (Kokandy), The View Upstairs (Circle), Poseidon (Hell in a Handbag) and Taylor Mac's A Walk Across America for Mother Earth (CCPA/Roosevelt). Recent choreography credits: Ghost Quartet, Evil Dead the Musical (Jeff nomination), Shockheaded Peter (Black Button Eyes). He was named one of Windy City Times 30 Under 30, recognizing individuals from Chicago's LGBTQ community.

The 2019-20 season continues Black Button Eyes Productions' mission to bring to Chicago premieres and seldom-seen works containing elements of fantasy, in which the magical and surreal invade reality. The company was founded in 2014 with the acclaimed Midwest premiere of the musical Coraline, followed by Goblin Market, Amour, Shockheaded Peter, Nevermore-The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe, the world premiere Nightmares and Nightcaps: The Stories of John Collier and their smash hit Chicago Storefront Premiere of Evil Dead the Musical. Most recently, the company presented the Chicago premiere of Dave Malloy's Ghost Quartet.

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