Quest Theatre Ensemble to Present A CHRISTMAS WISH, 11/22-12/22

Quest Theatre Ensemble celebrates the season of giving and of love with The People's A Christmas Wish, directed by Andrew Park. The show opens Friday, November 22 at 8:00 p.m. with a press opening on Sunday, November 24 at 2:00 p.m. at The Blue Theater, (On the campus of St. Gregory the Great Church) at 1609 West Gregory (Gregory and Ashland). Tickets and information are available at or through or 312-458-0895.

All seems hopeless when Dasher finds himself separated from Santa and mounted on a wall in a taxidermy shop. The only thing that can right this sleigh is a genuine Christmas miracle. Join Dasher and a host of new animal friends as they hope for the impossible against incredible odds. The People's A Christmas Wish features Quest's signature large-scale puppetry, a rockin' musical score and plenty of holiday cheer for the whole family.

Quest Artistic Director, Andrew Park, states, "While everyone may not be able to attend one of the multiple productions of A Christmas Carol around the city, A Christmas Wish is absolutely free and available to everyone regardless of their financial situation. The music is catchy and contemporary, the puppets are quirky and witty, and the show is both absurd and magical. Also, other Christmas shows can boast talking ghosts and dancing nutcrackers, but A Christmas Wish is the only show in town with a talking beaver and a couple of dancing bears."

Andrew Park (Director, Book and Lyrics) is Quest Theatre Ensemble's founding Artistic Director. A Christmas Wish is the seventh full-length musical he has written with collaborator and composer Scott Lamps. Their new musical, Return of Neverland, received its out-of-town tryout at Indiana's Crossroads Repertory Theater in the summer of 2012 and will be produced at Quest in February of 2014. Their Jeff Award winning musical Evolution/Creation was nominated for five Jeff's including "Best Musical" and "New Work." In addition to his collaboration with Scott Lamps, Park has created multiple shows for the Cirque Shanghai franchise, The John G. Shedd Aquarium, an opening spectacle for the Lollapalooza music festival and Quest Theatre Ensemble. His original show, Blue Nativity, has been performed annually since 2002 and toured Europe in 2007. Most recently, he directed Failure: A Love Story for the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.

Scott Lamps (Composer) is an award-winning American composer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist. He is an Associate Company Member here at Quest. A Christmas Wish is his 8th original musical written with playwright Andrew Park, 6 of which have been produced by Quest. Their 2010 musical playEvolution/Creation was nominated for Jeff Citations for "New Work" and "Best Production, Musical" and was awarded for "Best Artistic Specialty." Lamps composed the score for the Emmy Award winning documentary Kindred, and his collection of piano sonatas Evensong was awarded the MAMA for "Best Classical Album."

Tobi Mattingly (Musical Director) has collaborated with Andrew Park and Scott Lamps to create three Holiday Fantaseas and the One World aquatic show at the Shedd Aquarium, as well as The People's Passion Play at Quest. Tobi graduated from Millikin University with a degree in musical theatre performance, has served as director, music director, actor and singer for groups all over the region, and has done on-camera and print work for various midwest companies. Tobi works frequently as a teaching artist - most recently with the Auditorium Theatre, and previously with American Theatre Company's Mosaic and Bridge programs, Citadel Theatre, Improv Playhouse, Bucktown Music, the Beverly Arts Center, Long Lake Camp for the Arts, and at various schools around Chicagoland. Tobi is the founder of Artistic Conspiracy, an organization dedicated to using the arts to foster understanding and connection. She teaches Shiva Nata, a movement-based meditation system that has similarities to Tai Chi and certain martial arts.

The cast of The People's A Christmas Wish includes: Andrew Behling (Dasher) who has been seen in Quest productions of Shepherd in the Storm andQuestival of New Works and is adjunct faculty at the University of St. Francis, Aurora University and Elmhurst College; Jomar Ferreras (Young Bernie) who makes his Chicago debut and has performed with Duplex NYC and Ucalgary Operetta; Veronica Garza (Turkey) who has been seen in El Storieswith Waltzing Mechanics and Ring of Fire at Theatre at the Center; Kent Joseph (Bernie) who has performed with Quest in The People's Four Seasonsand Enter Love; Molly LeCaptain (Jane Doe) who makes her Chicago debut and recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay;Vince Lonergan (Beaver) who is a company member of Signal Ensemble and has also performed with Porchlight, Pegasus, and The Side Project;Amber Lee Olivier* (Master Puppeteer) who has worked with Quest on The People's Barnum and The People's Passion Play and is a graduate of the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin; Kirk Osgood (Goat) who has performed with The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Lifeline Theatre, Provision Theatre and Emerald City Theatre; Lindsey Spencer (Hooves) who was last seen at Quest in The People's Passion Play; Amy Stricker (Fish) who is a recent graduate of Roosevelt University and Kieran Welsh-Phillips* (Hooves) who has been seen in Quest productions of Males Order Brides and Alas! Alack! Zorro's Back!

The staff of The People's A Christmas Wish includes: JamAl Howard* (Choreography); Nick Rupard* (Scenic Designer); Megan Hovany, Nick Rupard*and Luke Verkamp* (Puppetry Designers); Emma Weber (Costume Designer); Erik Barry (Lighting Designer); Sam Silva (Sound Designer); Julie Taylor* (Scenic Artist); Jason Bowen* (Production Manager); Emily Kefferstan* (Stage Manager) and John Steman Jr.* (Assistant Stage Manager).

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