VG Completes Casting for CIRCLE MIRROR and BOYS ROOM


Victory Gardens proudly announces casting for the World Premiere of Joel Drake Johnson's The Boys Room directed by Associate Artistic Director Sandy Shinner and for the Chicago Premiere of Annie Baker's Circle Mirror Transformation directed by Dexter Bullard.
The Boys Room will feature Joe Dempsey (Ron), Steve Key (Tim), Allison Torem (Roann) and Mary Ann Thebus (Susan).
Circle Mirror Transformation will feature Steve Key (Schultz), Joe D. Lauck (James), Lori Myers (Theresa), and Carmen Roman (Marty). The role of Lauren is yet to be announced.
The World Premiere of
The Boys Room
Written by Joel Drake Johnson
Directed by Associate Artistic Director Sandy Shinner
Run dates: January 21 - February 20, 2011
What happens when the American Dream slips out of reach? In The Boys Room, ensemble playwright Joel Drake Johnson walks the line exquisitely between laughter and tears. Two middle aged brothers try to escape their responsibilities and race each other back to their boyhood bedroom-that sanctuary where they can dream and scheme and, hopefully, recover from the pressure of the outside world. One is unemployed; the other is making a living but is not sure why he should live. Two of the women in their lives have dreams too ... and they are knocking on the door, filled with questions and, sometimes, love.

Joe Dempsey (Ron) Recent plays include The Illusion at Court Theatre, Art at Steppenwolf and Strange Interlude (Neo-Futurists in the Goodman's O'Neill Festival) and regionally he appeared at Kansas City Rep and Centerstage, Baltimore in Around the World in 80 Days which he originated at Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago. Other Chicago work include shows at Goodman, Chicago Shakespeare, Northlight, Victory Gardens, About Face, The Second City and many others as well as regional work at St. Louis Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse, City Theatre (Pittsburgh), Milwaukee Rep and Madison Rep. TV/film credits include Early Edition, What About Joan?, Turks, Fiona's Fortune, Tenfold and Counting Backwards. Joe is a graduate of the theatre program at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Steve Key (Tim) Chicago theater credits include A Red Orchid, About Face, American Blues, Famous Door, Goodman, Lookingglass, Next, Northlight, Remy Bumpo, Steppenwolf and Victory Gardens. He has also worked with The Town Hall Theatre in Galway Ireland, The Tectonic Theatre Project, The GeVa Theatre and The Public Theatre in NY. Most recently he played Little Charles Aikens in the original national Broadway tour of Tracey Lett's Tony Award winning, Pulitzer Prize winning August: Osage County (including extended stints at the Ahmanson Theatre in LA and the Kennedy Center in DC). Steve has received 5 Jeff Awards and 5 nominations for Principal and supporting actor and ensemble (equity and non-equity).

His film credits include 1,000 Acres, Blackmail, Public Enemies, Salvaging, and Three Days, and TV credits include Ride Along (a mid-season replacement which will air on FOX TV in Jan of 2011), Law & Order - SVU and Family Practice.  Steve became a member of Chicago's Shattered Globe Theatre (SGT) in 1991 while performing in their formative Talk Radio, for which he received a non-equity Jeff for actor in a supporting role. The following decade provided Steve with opportunities to wear various artistic and administrative hats at SGT, including Co-Artistic Director, Artistic Advisory Panel member, designer, director of marketing and PR, and actor. In addition to Talk Radio Steve has performed in 15 SGT productions including: A View From the Bridge, God's Country, All My Sons, In A Pig's Valise and Coyote On a Fence. Steve has appeared in World Premieres by writers such as Frank Galati, Larry Gelbart, Rebecca Gillman, Noah Haidle, Moises Kaufman, Jim McDermott, Heidi Stillman, Jeffery Sweet, and Craig Wright.
Allison Torem (Roann) makes her Victory Gardens debut in The Boys Room. Allison is the newest member of Profiles Theatre, where she made her professional acting debut as Jennifer in Neil LaBute's In A Dark Dark House and later appeared as the Young Woman in their Midwest Premiere of Great Falls. Allison can currently be seen as Demi in Profiles' World Premiere of Kid Sister by Will Kern. Prior to that, she appeared in Trust at Lookingglass Theatre, for which she was nominated for a Jeff Award for Actress in a Principal Role. Allison recently finished filming the independent film The Wise Kids in South Carolina. She was a member of the Second City Youth Ensemble for two years. Later this season, Allison can be seen in Steppenwolf Theatre's production of Hot L Baltimore.
Mary Ann Thebus (Susan) is returning to Victory Gardens for the tenth time having first performed here in Close Ties in 1980. This is Thebus' fourth time working with Sandy Shinner and Joel Drake Johnson. She has been seen on most Chicago stages and has been performing in the Chicagoland area for 20 years. She is the recipient of numerous Jeff nominations and the 2002 After Dark award for her work in The Organic's Painting Churches. She was most recently seen in Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Richard lll and is currently on stage at The Next Theatre in The Piano Teacher. She is a teacher of Acting both privately and at The Artistic Home.
The Chicago Premiere of
Circle Mirror Transformation
Written by Annie Baker
Directed by Dexter Bullard
Run dates: February 25 - April 10

What do a flirty former actress, a pouty 16-year-old, a hippie husband and a divorced carpenter have in common? Very little, or at least that's what they think until they take a six week community acting class. In this hilarious and touching play we catch glimpses of the poignant drama that animates ordinary lives. Called an "absorbing, unblinking and sharply funny play" by the New York Times, Circle Mirror Transformation celebrates the subtle and surprising power of creativity.

Circle Mirror Transformation recently premiered in New York at Playwrights Horizons, won the 2010 Obie Award for Best New American Play and was voted one of the top ten plays of 2009 by The New York Times, Time Out New York, and The New Yorker. It was recently named one of the best plays of 2009-2010 in the latest edition of The Best Plays Theater Yearbook.
Steve Key (Schultz) see above bio.
Joe D. Lauck (James) is once again thrilled to be working at Victory Gardens. He was last seen at VG as "the Father" in Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice in the Fall of 2008. Since then Joe played Sir Osgood Fielding in the musical romp Sugar at Drury Lane Oakbrook which was directed by VG favorite Jim Corti.
Lori Myers (Theresa) was last seen as Mrs. Gibbs in David Cromer's award-winning, critically acclaimed, and record-breaking production of Our Town in both New York and the original production in Chicago. Favorite roles include Mother Courage in Vitalist Theatre's critically acclaimed Mother Courage and Her Children, for which she received an After Dark Award for Outstanding Performance, and 'Most Memorable Female Performance 2007' from The Chicago Tribune; Adela Quested in A Passage to India; Gertrude in The Building Stage's Hamlet, Xiang Xhang in Lee Breuer and Leslie Mohn's White Boned Demon at the Kennedy Center, and The Fool and Cordelia in Vitalist's King Lear. She has worked at Steppenwolf, Redmoon Theater, Next Theatre, Shattered Globe, Plasticene, and Bailiwick. Favorite London roles include Paula in Mrs. Klein, Aquilina in Venice Preserv'd, and Marina Oswald in The Happiness Compartment at the George Wood Theatre.

Carmen Roman (Marty) last performed with Victory Gardens in The Glamour House, directed by Sandy Shinner. She is a company member at American Blues Theater where she most recently performed in ABT's Tobacco Road at the Richard Christiansen Theater.  This past summer, she celebrated her 11th season at Peninsula Players Theater in Door County, Wisconsin. Other credits include: Off-Broadway: The Iphigenia Cycle (Theater for a New Audience from The Court Theatre, Chicago), The Mysteries (Classic Stage Company), Paradise (Gary Allen productions), Regional: Botanic Garden, with husband James Leaming, directed by Olympia Dukakis. Coconut Grove, Walnut Street Theater, Indiana Repertory Theater, Syracuse Stage, Centerstage Theater, Baltimore, The Huntington Theatre, Hartford Stage Company, Coconut Grove Theater, Steppenwolf, The Goodman Theatre, Northlight Theatre and Columbia Artists Tour. Film/Television: The Falcon, (a co-production shot in Soviet Georgia), All My Children, Early Edition, Law and Order, Law and Order SVU, Criminal Intent and Damages. Features: Savages, with Phillip Seymore Hoffman and Laura Linney.  Company member: American Blues Theater, Chicago, and Circling the Drain, New York. Awards and Honors: 2002 Fox Fellow, Sarah Siddons Award, Florence Herscher Award, Joseph Jefferson Awards for Master Class and Wit.   
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Dennis Zacek and Executive Director Jan Kallish, Victory Gardens Theater is home to the bold voices of world premiere theater. The company features the work of its own 14-member Playwrights Ensemble, as well as that of exciting playwrights who are changing theater in the U.S. and abroad. Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. The company's dedication to developing, supporting and producing new work makes Victory Gardens an American Center for New Plays.
In 2006, Victory Gardens completed an $11.8 million renovation of Chicago's famed Biograph Theater, one of the city's most celebrated historic landmarks. Renamed Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, this beautiful new space is home to two theaters, which expand the company's artistic flexibility and provide very different audience experiences. The Zacek McVay Theater is a state-of-the-art 299 seat space.
The new Richard Christiansen Theater is an intimate 109 seat space, named in honor of the Chicago Tribune chief critic emeritus and longtime champion of Chicago's live theater scene. This theater was dedicated with a moving tribute in March 2010 which included the launch of Victory Gardens $1 Million Campaign for Growth. Visit for more information.
Victory Gardens Theater receives major funding from Alphawood Foundation, John T. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Boeing Company, Chicago Community Trust, Shubert Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, Allstate Insurance Company, Motorola Foundation, REAM Foundation, and Crown Family Philanthropies.  Additional funding is provided by: National Endowment for the Arts, Illinois Arts Council (IAC), a State Agency, CityArts Program 4 Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Charles and M.R. Shapiro Foundation, and by 3Arts, Harry S. Black and Allon Fuller Fund, Charles H. and Bertha L. Boothroyd Foundation, Elizabeth Cheney Foundation, John R. Halligan Fund, Illinois Tool Works (ITW), James S. Kemper Foundation, Irving Harris Foundation and Wrightwood Neighbors Association

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