Lookingglass Theatre Announces Casting For Mary Zimmerman's THE STEADFAST TIN SOLDIER: A CHRISTMAS PANTOMIME

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Lookingglass Theatre Announces Casting For Mary Zimmerman's THE STEADFAST TIN SOLDIER: A CHRISTMAS PANTOMIME

Lookingglass Theatre Company announces casting for the world premiere of The Steadfast Tin Soldier: A Christmas Pantomime, from the story by Hans Christian Andersen, conceived and directed by Ensemble Member Mary Zimmerman. This family-friendly, holiday show runs November 7, 2018 - January 13, 2019 at Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson. Single tickets go on sale September 4, 2018 at Noon and can be purchased online at lookingglasstheatre.org or by phone at (312) 337-0665.

"Mary's ability to transform stories for the stage has thrilled Lookingglass audiences for years," notes Artistic Director Heidi Stillman. "The Steadfast Tin Soldier will be highly visual, physical, poetical, and musical, and we've assembled an incredibly talented group of actors, musicians, and designers to bring her vision to life. It's going to be a glittery, tinselly visual feast, and perfect for the Holidays!"

The cast features Artistic Associates Christopher Donahue (Ensemble) and Kasey Foster (Ballerina), with John Gregorio (Ensemble), Anthony Irons (Ensemble) and Alex Stein (Steadfast Tin Soldier).

Original music for The Steadfast Tin Soldier: A Christmas Pantomime is composed by Andre Pluess and Amanda Dehnert. Musicians include Leandro López Várady (Music Director/Piano), Greg Hirte (Violin), Michal Palzewicz (Cello) and Constance Volk (Flute, Voice).

The creative team includes Todd Rosenthal (scenic design), Ana Kuzmanic (costume design), TJ Gerckens (lighting design), Andre Pluess and Chris Laporte (sound design), Tracy Walsh (choreography), Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi (circus choreography), Blair Thomas (puppet design), Amanda Hermann (properties) and Isaac Schoepp (rigging consultant).

Unlock this jewel-adorned music box for the whole family!

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Ensemble Member Mary Zimmerman (Metamorphoses, Treasure Island) fashions an extravagant and exhilarating spectacle. The unlikely adventure of a little tin soldier, brimming with love and unblinking bravery, is infused with Zimmerman's dazzling blend of storytelling through image and movement, accompanied by live musicians. Unsuspecting travelers make unexpected discoveries in this luminous tale, destined to enchant any and all of us not made of tin.

About the Artists

Mary Zimmerman is a writer and director and has worked with Lookingglass for more than 25 years. For Lookingglass, she has adapted and directed?The Odyssey,?The Secret in the Wings,?The Arabian Nights, S/M, Metamophoses, Eleven Rooms of Proust?(Co-production with About Face Theatre),?Argonautika,?and?Treasure Island. Mary is also part of The Goodman Theatre artistic team where she adapted and directed?The White Snake, The Jungle Book,?Candide,?The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci,?Silk,?Journey to the West,?Mirror of the Invisible World,?and a re-creation of The Odyssey, as well as directing Wonderful Town,?Pericles,?The Baltimore Waltz,?and All's Well That Ends Well. She has twice directed for the New York Shakespeare Festival in the Park. Regionally, her work has appeared at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Huntington Theatre Company, McCarter Theatre, Arena Stage, and Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. In New York, her work has appeared at Lincoln Center, Second Stage Theatre, Brooklyn Academy Of Music, and on Broadway at Circle in the Square Theatre.

In the world of opera, she directed and co-wrote the libretto?Galileo Galilei?(composed by Philip Glass) that was produced at Goodman Theatre, Brooklyn Academy Of Music, and the Barbican Theatre in London. Additionally, she has directed four operas at Metropolitan Opera in New York City:?Rusalka,?Lucia Di Lammermoor,?La Sonnambula, and Rossini's Armida, each of which has been broadcast live into movie theatres worldwide.

In 1998, Mary received a MacArthur Fellowship and in 2002, the Tony Award for Best Director of a Play for Metamorphoses on Broadway. She is a Professor at Northwestern University, where she holds the Jaharis Family Endowed Chair in Performance Studies.

Christopher Donahue (Ensemble/Lookingglass Artistic Associate) has previously appeared at Lookingglass in The Odyssey, Eurydice, The Arabian Nights, Metamorphoses, Still Alice, Moby Dick, and Treasure Island. He has also performed at ALLIANCE THEATRE, American Repertory Theater, Arden Theatre Company, Arena Stage, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Boston Lyric Opera, Circle in the Square Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, City Theatre Company (Pittsburgh), Classic Stage Company, Court Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Hartford Stage, Huntington Theatre Company, La Jolla Playhouse, Manhattan Theatre Club, McCarter Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, New York Shakespeare Festival, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Public Theater, Remains Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Second Stage Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Stories on Stage, Two River Theater, Weston Playhouse Theatre Company, and Yale Repertory Theatre.

Kasey Foster (Ballerina/Lookingglass Artistic Associate) is a performer, choreographer, producer, and director. She is an Artistic Associate at Lookingglass Theatre, a member of Actors' Equity Association, and is represented by Gray Talent Group. Kasey was most recently seen on stage at Lookingglass as Professor Morgan Aronnax in 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas. Other recent acting credits include: A Journey for the Sun (The Actors Gymnasium); Mementos Mori (Manual Cinema); and touring the country with Moby Dick (Lookingglass Theatre). On camera credits include: Chicago Med and IFC's Documentary Now!. Kasey sings with Chicago bands Grood, Babe-alon 5, Old Timey, This Must be the Band and a mysteriously nameless private events band. She has created over forty original works, and produces an annual series called Dance Tribute.

John Gregorio (Ensemble) makes his Lookingglass debut with The Steadfast Tin Soldier: A Christmas Pantomime. Regional credits include: The Villain Supper Club (Merrimack Repertory Theatre); The Royale (Milwaukee Repertory Theater); Little Shop of Horrors, The 39 Steps (Geva Theatre Center); A Christmas Carol (Actors Theatre of Louisville); A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (North Shore Music Theatre); The Legend of Pecos Bill (ALLIANCE THEATRE); and The Mystery of Irma Vep (Dad's Garage Theatre Company). Off-Broadway credits include: Around the World in 80 Days (The New Theatre at 45th St); Silent Laughter (Lamb's Theatre); The Nuclear Family (founder/performer, The Belt Theatre); and Clinton the Musical (New York Musical Theatre Festival). TV credits include: Extended Family (Sundance Channel), Good Eats (Food Network), and Smoking Gun TV (Court TV). John is a founding member of Dad's Garage Theatre Company (Atlanta) and a faculty member of the Heifetz International Music Institute.

Anthony Irons (Ensemble) returns to Lookingglass. He is a Congo Square Theatre Ensemble Member, where he has performed in over a dozen productions and garnered Black Excellence Awards, Black Theatre Alliance Awards, and a Jeff Nomination. Recent Chicago credits include: Support Group for Men (Goodman Theatre), How to Use a Knife (Shattered Globe Theatre), Jitney, (Congo Square Theatre) and Waiting for Godot (Court Theatre). Regional credits include: Second City Mile High (The Second City), Black Eagles (Penumbra Theatre), Hamlet (Illinois Shakespeare Festival), and As You Like It (Georgia Shakespeare Festival). TV/Film credits include: Empire, Sirens, Chicago Fire, Boss, Let's Go To Prison, and The Lucky Ones.

Alex Stein (Steadfast Tin Soldier) makes his Lookingglass debut with The Steadfast Tin Soldier: A Christmas Pantomime. Chicago credits include: A Shayna Maidel (TimeLine Theatre), The New Sincerity (Theater Wit), A Night Out (A Red Orchid Theatre), Kiss (Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago), and The Merry Wives of Windsor (First Folio Theatre). TV/Film credits include: Chicago PD, Death to Metal, and World of Facts. Alex received his B.A. in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Chicago. alexchandlerstein.com

LEANDRO LÓPEZ VÁRADY (Music Director, Piano) was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He graduated from the Catholic University of Argentina (UCA) in 1992 as Licentiate in Music, majoring in Composition with a Gold Medal and Awards. He traveled Asia from 1997 to 2000 with the Eldeé Young Quartet, and worked in Saint Martin's Episcopal Church as Music Director from 2001 to 2011. Leandro has performed at venues and festivals around the world, including Chicago's Symphony Center, Harris Theater at Millennium Park, and Auditorium Theater at Roosevelt University; the Chicago Jazz Festival, Taste of Chicago, and Made in Chicago Festival in Poznan, Poland; Havana Jazz Festival in Havana, Cuba; and the Jazzy Pop Festival in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Currently, Leandro is the pianist for the Orbert Davis' Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, as well as being a member of Doug Lofstrom & The New Quartet, Steve Hashimoto's Sueños, Juli Wood's Chicago Calling, and the Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre Music Ensemble. He also teaches Piano and Latin Jazz Ensemble at Lewis University in Romeoville, IL.

Greg Hirte (Violin) is an actor, musician, and composer in LA and Chicago. He was most recently seen at Lookingglass in Treasure Island. Other recent theatre credits include: his 19th season with Goodman Theatre's A Christmas Carol, Luther in Ring of Fire: Music of Johnny Cash, and Leon in Hank Williams: Lost Highway (American Blues Theater). Other Chicago credits include: performance and musical compositions for Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Court Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, and Piven Theatre Workshop (Jeff Award Nomination for Best Original Score, Sarah Ruhl's Melancholy Play), as well as several international theater and music festivals. Greg is a member of several bands both local and national.

MICHAL PALZEWICZ (Cello) has performed extensively throughout the United States and Europe, both as a soloist and ensemble player. Michal was the founding member of the Elsner String Quartet, which earned him the Saunderson Award at the 52nd Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition and was the winner of the Young Concert Artists Auditions in Leipzig. Michal attended Warsaw Conservatory of Music in Poland and then The Manhattan School of Music. He has performed as a soloist with several orchestras, including the Juneau Symphony Orchestra, the Rogue Valley Symphony Orchestra, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He was a part of Mary Zimmerman's The White Snake, which originated at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and went on to tour the US, as well as China. Other recent credits include: playing cello, viola, and banjo in Oklahoma! and Love's Labour's Lost at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Michal is currently teaching cello at Southern Oregon University.

CONSTANCE VOLK (Flute, Voice) is a founding member of Ensemble Dal Niente, with whom she performs regularly. She also performs with Bridging Memory Through Music, an ensemble that presents concerts tailored to specific individuals with memory loss and their family members. Constance has served as the principal flutist of the New Millennium Orchestra, the Southern Illinois Music Festival Orchestra, and the Highland Park String Orchestra. She has performed as soloist with the Advent Chamber Orchestra, the Spokane Symphony, and the New Millennium Orchestra. Constance has collaborated with the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Spektral Quartet, the Fulcrum Point New Music Project, and Sympathy For Astronauts. She also sings, mainly in the jazz and metal genres, and has performed at such venues as Velvet Lounge, Green Mill, Subterranean, Abbey Pub, Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Palmer House Hotel Ballroom, and Reggie's Rock Club. Several of her compositions and arrangements were premiered at the Museum of Modern Ice exhibit in Millennium Park and at the Hideout. Constance was awarded the Ella Fitzgerald Award for outstanding vocalist for her performance at the Essentially Ellington Competition at New York's Lincoln Center. In addition to her musical endeavors, Constance works as a visual artist in a variety of styles. Constance is a graduate of DePaul University, where she completed her Bachelor's Degree in Flute Performance in 2005.

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