The Artistic Home Announces Cast of ROCK 'N' ROLL
Complete casting and production team have been announced for The Artistic Home's production of ROCK /N/ ROLL, by Tom Stoppard, set to open Sunday, October 7th. The company's Artistic Director, Kathy Scambiatterra, who is directing the production, made the announcement today. Appearing as Jan, the Czech citizen studying at Cambridge University in England at the time of the Soviet invasion of Prague, will be company member Julian Hester, seen last year in LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST with Chicago Shakespeare and THE SCHOOL FOR LIES with The Artistic Home. Max, a Cambridge professor and mentor to Jan, will be played by guest artist H.B. Ward, seen recently in EVENING AT THE TALK HOUSE at Red Orchid and FOR PETER PAN ON HER 70TH BIRTHDAY with Shattered Globe. Ensemble member Kristin Collins, who last appeared with the company as Hester in BY THE BOG OF CATS and was in BARBECUE with Strawdog Theatre as part of Steppenwolf's LookingOut Series, will play the dual roles of Max's wife Eleanor and their daughter Esmé as an adult.
Other Artistic Home ensemble members in the ROCK 'N' ROLL cast are Associate Artistic Director Kayla Adams as Alice (director of The Artistic Home's Jeff-nominated HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE) and the younger Esmé, Brookelyn Hébert (THE MAIDS with The Artistic Home) as Lenka, Devon Carson (Arsinoe in THE SCHOOL FOR LIES with The Artistic Home) as Magda, Annie Hogan (Celimene in THE SCHOOL FOR LIES with The Artistic Home) as Candida and Mark Pracht (THE SCHOOL FOR LIES with The Artistic Home and PROMETHEUS BOUND with City Lit Theater) as Milan and the waiter.
Also in the cast are guest artists Carter Petray, who has appeared with the Agency Theater Collective (The Piper/Policeman); Raphael Diaz, currently appearing in THE HARVEST with Griffin Theatre Company (Ferdinand); Taylor Cannon, who recently played the Stage Manager in OUR TOWN at Northeastern Illinois University and understudied for YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU at Oak Park Theatre Festival (Gillian and Pupil); Freedom Martin, who was Malvolio in the Chiarts production of TWELFTH NIGHT (Stephen); and Stuart Ritter, who earlier this year understudied the roles of Dex and Ike in TO CATCH A FISH with TimeLine (Nigel and the interrogator).
The ROCK 'N' ROLL production team will include Kevin Hagan (set design), Cat Wilson (lighting and projection design); Zach Wagner (costume design); Mark Bracken (sound design); Mary O'Dowd (properties design); and Sara Ann Dickey (stage manager).
This will be the first Chicago production in nearly 10 years of ROCK 'N' ROLL. Stoppard's sprawling 2006 drama is played on a canvas that stretches from Cambridge University to Prague, and from the Prague Spring of 1968 to the Velvet Revolution of 1989, all framed by rock music of the era. Despite the historical and philosophical themes of the play, THE NEW YORK TIMES' Ben Brantley called it a "triumphantly sentimental." Artistic Director Kathy Scambiatterra explains why now is the right time to bring it back. She says, "Rock n Roll is so current, again. Freedom of expression, rock 'n roll music, the soundtrack of social change in the 60's, is front and center in Stoppard's highly theatrical story of political and personal change." ROCK 'N' ROLL will open on October 7, 2018 following previews from October 3. Tickets will be on sale shortly.
Photo: Top row L-R: Julian Hester, Kristin Collins, H.B. Ward
Second row L-R: Kayla Adams, Taylor Cannon, Devon Carson, Rafael Diaz
Third row L-R: Brookelyn Hebert, Annie Hogan, Freedom Martin, Carter Petray
Bottom row L-R: Mark Pracht, Stuart Ritter