The House Theatre of Chicago to Stage World Premiere of Sci-Fi Thriller DIAMOND DOGS

By: Dec. 15, 2016
The House Theatre of Chicago presents their initial production in 2017, Diamond Dogs, adapted from Alastair Reynolds' science fiction adventure by Althos Low and directed by Artistic Director Nathan Allen, playing at the Chopin Upstairs Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., January 13 - March 5. Diamond Dogs is also a participant in the 2017 Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, January 19 - 29. Preview performances are January 13 - 20. Opening/press night is Sunday, Jan. 22.

The performance schedule is Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. Preview tickets are $15 and regular run tickets are $30 and $35. $15 same-day tickets for students and industry professionals are available for all dates, seats permitting. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or call 773.769.3832.

Diamond Dogs follows a 26th century team of humans and transhumans as they investigate a mysterious alien tower, bent on brutally punishing all intruders. Uncovering clues and solving puzzles, each crusader will make dangerous, eye-popping sacrifices to get to the mysteries atop the spire. Blood will spill. This thriller is one of 16 stories set in novelist Reynolds's expansive Revelation Space Universe. Artistic Director Nathan Allen teams up with The House's most inventive designers and guest artists to bring this unique universe to life. Body modification is the norm in the future, and award-winning puppet designer Mary Robinette Kowal, who is also an award-winning sci-fi author, articulates and re-shapes the actors' human forms into powerful mechanized players battling for their lives. Reynolds is one of a new generation of hard science-fiction authors, a craft he began during his decade-long career as an astrophysicist with the European Space Agency. Diamond Dogs is a pure example of the "Deadly Maze Story," a staple of Science Fiction since H. P. Lovecraft. This world premiere production at The House Theatre of Chicago marks the first of Reynolds' works to be adapted for another medium.

The cast includes: Chris Hainsworth (Childe), John Henry Roberts (Swift), Elana Elyce (Hirz), Katherine Keberlein** (Celestine), Abu Ansari* (Forqueray) and Joey Steakley* (Trintignant). Lindsey Dorcus is the puppeteer and understudies are Benjamin Hertel, Katherine Bourne and Ryan McBride.

The design team includes: Nathan Allen*, director; Jesse Ross, assistant director; Derek Matson, dramaturg; Lee Keenan*, scenic and lighting designer; Izumi Inaba, costume designer; Kevin O'Donnell*, Sound Designer; Mary Robinette Kowal, puppet designer; Eleanor Kahn, props manager; Brian DesGranges*, stage manager.

*House Company Member
**Actors' Equity Association member


Alastair Reynolds is an award-winning British science fiction author specializing in dark hard sci-fi and space opera. Originally an astrophysicist by trade, born in Barry, Wales, and receiving his PhD from St. Andrews, Scotland, Reynolds worked with the European Space Agency (ESA) for over a decade before turning to writing part-time in 1995 and subsequently leaving the ESA in 2004, after establishing himself as one of a revisionist generation of authors whose work is often identified under the sub-heading New Space Opera.

He has penned fourteen novels and over sixty short works thus far. Sixteen of those, including the thriller Diamond Dogs, comprise the Revelation Space Universe, an epic chronicle set in the Epsilon Eridani star system between the 25th and 28th centuries, and beyond. Reynolds's second novel Chasm City won the 2001 British Science Fiction Award for Best Novel, following previous BSFA nominations for Absolution Gap and The Prefect. His short story "Weather" won the Japanese National Science Fiction Convention's Seiun Award for Best Translated Short Fiction, and he has been nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award three times: for Revelation Space, Pushing Ice and House of Suns. In 2010, he won the Sidewise Award for Alternate History for his short story "The Fixation," and his novella Troika made the shortlist for the 2011 Hugo Awards. In 2013, he was engaged by the BBC to write the throwback novel, Harvest of Time, as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of Doctor Who. 2016 sees the publication of two new Reynolds novels: Revenger, "a distant future caper set in the rubble of a ruined solar system," The Medusa Chronicles, an authorized sequel to Arthur C. Clarke's seminal sci-fi story "A Meeting with Medusa," written in collaboration with author Stephen Baxter, as well as Reynolds's first retrospective best-of collection, Beyond the Aquila Rift. For more information about Alastair Reynolds, please visit


Althos Low is the pen name for Shanghai Low Theatricals, an adaptation development group headed by Chicago stage veteran Steve Pickering. Most recently the company received critical note for their 2014 adaptation of George Orwell's Animal Farm, commissioned for the Steppenwolf Theatre For Young Adults, and Conan Doyle's Hound of the Baskervilles, staged by Idle Muse Theatre in 2016 - a production for which they also designed the puppetry. 2017 projects include a commission from Lookingglass to join David Kersnar's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Seas project as co-Adaptor, from NYC's Hang A Tale Theatre for a new adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, and an original work based on the life of Joan of Arc entitled Afterburn, being developed this winter at DePaul University. For Alastair Reynolds' Diamond Dogs, Pickering serves as adaptor, with editorial support from the company, and SLT House Artists Fred Baxter and Tom Kyzivat provide pre-production concept art and dramaturgy.


Nathan Allen founded The House Theatre of Chicago with friends in 2001 and continues to lead the company as Artistic Director. Writing and directing credits include Death & Harry Houdini, The Sparrow, Rose and the Rime, and The Hammer Trinity (The Iron Stag King, The Crownless King, and The Excelsior King.) He also wrote and starred in The Valentine Trilogy (San Valentino and The Melancholy Kid, Curse of the Crying Heart, and Valentine Victorious) and directed The Magnificents by Dennis Watkins, with whom he created the weekly magic show, The Magic Parlour. Nathan's work has been seen on the stages of The House, The Steppenwolf Merle Reskin Garage Theatre, The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, The Stoneham Theatre in Boston, Strawdog Theatre, The Neo-Futurarium, Collaboraction, and The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Nathan has received acknowledgements from the Joseph Jefferson Awards, The Orgie Awards, and The American College Theatre Festival. He has been named an Associate Artist at The Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami, and received the Emerging Leader Award from his alma mater, Southern Methodist University. ABOUT MARY ROBINETTE KOWAL, puppet designer

Mary Robinette Kowal is a Chicago-based Hugo-award winning author, a novelist, voice actor and professional puppeteer. Her debut novel Shades of Milk and Honey (Tor 2010) was nominated for the 2010 Nebula Award for Best Novel. In 2008 she won the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, while three of her short fiction works have been nominated for the Hugo Award: "Evil Robot Monkey" in 2009 and "For Want of a Nail" in 2011, which won the Hugo for short story that year. Her stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Asimov's, and several Year's Best anthologies, as well as in her collection Scenting the Dark and Other Stories from Subterranean Press. Kowal is also an award-winning puppeteer. With more than twenty years of experience, she has performed for LazyTown (CBS), the Center for Puppetry Arts, Jim Henson Pictures and founded Other Hand Productions. Her designs have garnered two UNIMA-USA Citations of Excellence, the highest award an American puppeteer can achieve.


The House is Chicago's premier home for intimate, original works of epic story and stagecraft. Founded and led by Artistic Director Nathan Allen and driven by an interdisciplinary ensemble of Chicago's next generation of great storytellers, The House aims to become a laboratory and platform for the evolution of the American theatre as an inclusive and popular art form.

The House was founded in 2001 by a group of friends to explore connections between Community and Storytelling through a unique theatrical experience. Since becoming eligible in 2004, The House has been nominated for 66 Joseph Jefferson Awards (23 wins), became the first recipient of Broadway in Chicago's Emerging Theater Award in 2007, and was awarded a 2014 National Theatre Company Grant by the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards. The 15th anniversary year of original work is underway and The House continues it mission to unite Chicago in the spirit of Community through amazing feats of Storytelling.