#SafeSpace for Planned Parenthood
w/ host Sadieh Rifai
Monday, March 19th 2018
Bridget Adams-King, Alexandra Alontaga, Catherine Cable-Barber, Robyn Coffin, Emilie Rose Danno, Colleen DeRosa, Mariah Furlow, Rae Hamilton-Vargo, Sarah Holtschlag, Brittany Meyer, Dani Mohrbach, Rosa Reinemann, Rosie Roche, Carin Silkaitis, and Whitney Wasson
with plays by Amina Henry, Caridad Svich and Jennifer Maisel produced in part with the #ProtestPlaysProject
Photography by Kevin O'Connell Photography
Sadieh Rifai (host) is an ensemble member at American Theater Company, where her credits include the world premiere of The Humans (Jeff Award nomination, Best Ensemble), The Amish Project, Hedwig and the Angry Inch (co-production with About Face), The Original Grease, columbinus, Doubt, Agnes of God and Speech and Debate (After Dark Award for Outstanding Performance.) Other Chicago credits include Evening at the Talk House (A Red Orchid), Christmas Carol (Goodman), Ski Dubai (Steppenwolf First Look) and The Piano Teacher (Next Theater.) Film credits include The Wise Kids, Nate and Margaret and Olympia. TV Credits include Chicago Med and Amazon's Patriot, in which she plays the recurring role of Mahtma El-Mashad. She is a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf and received the Princess Grace Award in 2011. Sadieh and her brother Adal have a podcast on ITunes called Siblings Peculiar.
Robyn Coffin (performer, "Sleep with Me: A Lullaby for Orlando) can be seen as Cindy Herrmann on Chicago Fire. Additional credits include Life and Death of an Unhappily Married Man, Unexpected, Finding Hope and Bernadette. Theatre credits include work with
Jackalope, Silent Theatre, Infamous Commonwealth, Fine Print and Haven Theatre. She is an ensemble member of The Factory Theater. She thanks Stewart Talent for their many years of love and support.
Colleen DeRosa (performer, "After," artistic associate) is excited to read Caridad Svich's After. She'd also like to remind you to vote tomorrow.
Rae Hamilton-Vargo (poetry) is a nonbinary actor who also writes poems sometimes. Look for them in the upcoming web series Symbiotic and Life of Harold, and in the final four performances of Coffee & Whiskey’s production of Sweep at the Greenhouse Theater Center this weekend. You can also look for them on the racetrack at the Chicago Cyclocross Cup, at your next vegan potluck, or in the shadows of the site of the most recent mothman sighting—although I can’t guarantee you’ll find them there.
Jennifer Maisel (playwright, "Gone Silent") Jennifer’s plays have been developed and produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Magic Theatre, Organic Theatre, Rattlestick Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre (New York and Los Angeles), South Coast Repe, Playwrights’ Arena, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, The LARK, The Hypothetical, Epic Theatre Ensemble, Theatre J, Rorschach Theatre, The Victory Theatre, Circle X Theatre, Theatre of NOTE and Teatro da Juventude (Brazil) among others. Her play The Last Seder premiered off-Broadway in 2013.
Brittany Meyer (they/them, stand-up) is a FORCE. With just three years on the scene in Chicago comedy, they’ve become a powerful voice for the LGBTQAI+ community. Their work features biting wit and a true underlying sweetness that pulls you in and draws the laughter out. It’s truly a case study in how to perfectly punch up. If you don’t relate to them, you’re dead inside. They produce Strip Joker, a wildly successful body-positive showcase featuring diverse bodies, voices, and states of undress. When not producing Strip Joker or Chicago mainstay Tuxedo Cat Comedy, Brittany tells jokes all over the city. They’ve traveled the country performing comedy and featured in festivals including Cream City Comedy, Memphis Comedy Fest, and Lady Laughs. They also make mincemeat of opponents regularly as Stone Cold Jane Austen in the Chicago League of Lady Wrestlers. For more about Brittany, visit www.brittanymeyerdoesthat.com.
Carin Silkaitis (performer, "Gone Silent") is the Founding Artistic Director of Other Theatre where her credits include I Do Today, The Realm, Other Letters, Daughters of Ire and Barney the Elf. Notable tv/film credits include: Chicago Fire, Unexpected, Blood and Water. She also recently shot back-to-back commercials for the Arkansas Lottery, a spot for The Onion, and commercials for Progressive Insurance and Instant Care. Notable theatre credits include: Visiting (Artemisia Theatre), Lips Together, Teeth Apart (Eclipse), Sons of the Prophet, Distracted (American Theatre Co.), Richard III (Oak Park Fest), Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England (u/s Theater Wit, 2 weeks performed), and Rabbit Hole (u/s Goodman Theatre). Carin is a proud member of the Actors Equity Association, and she is equally proud to be represented by Gray Talent Group in Chicago.
Whitney Wasson (stand-up) is a Chicago-based comedian and writer. Credits include the Laugh Factory, Zanies, iO, Second City, The Annoyance, Stage 773 and the Cards Against Humanity Theater. She's performed at over a dozen festivals across the country and performs weekly in Chicago. Her blog about recovery and sobriety, Thanks and Sorry, is published every Wednesday at thewhitneywasson.com
Bridget Adams-King (vocalist) is a junior Musical Theatre and Theatre Major at North Central College in Naperville, IL. She made her Chicago professional debut last summer with Random Acts in Strangest Things! The Musical as Lucas. She was also excited to understudy in Greenhouse Theatre Center's production of Machinal. Some of her favorite roles at NCC include Ti Moune in Once on this Island, Nickie in Sweet Charity, Ulysses in Troilus and Cressida and Ronnette in Little Shop of Horrors. With the help of her loved ones, Bridget is excited and hopeful to continue to grow as a strong woman living out her dream, working and performing in theatre.
Alexandra Alontaga (vocalist, company manager) is a Chicagoland actress and has most recently appeared in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Summer Place Theatre) and Strangest Things! The Musical (Random Acts). Previous credits include Columbinus (MunroePark Theatre Guild), The Rocky Horror Show (Latitude 41), and Ordinary People (Joliet Drama Guild). Alex is the Company Manager for Random Acts.
Emilie Rose Danno (performer, "Backfired") is over the moon to be a part of this amazing show with these empowering individuals. Emilie Rose was last seen in Barney The Elf with Other Theatre as Tanya/Pinecone. She also plays in West Side Improv's house team Flexible Boat. Emilie Rose will appear next as Kate Monster in Metropolis Performing Arts Centre's Avenue Q. Emilie Rose has performed original music and covers at local venues such as Schaumburg Fest, The Arcade Theater, and The Tivoli. She also enjoys cuddling and chasing after her Great Dane and parties with her crazy family. She would like to thank her parents for always supporting her, her sisters for letting her practice in front of them and the awesome people behind this wonderful night.
Amina Henry (playwright, "Sleep with Me: A Lullaby for Orlando") is a Brooklyn-based playwright. Productions include: Ducklings and The Animals at JACK (Brooklyn, NY), Happily Ever at Brooklyn College, Bully at Interrobang Theater (Baltimore, MD), An American Family Takes a Lover, produced by The Cell: a 21stCentury Salon and presented by Theatre for the New City (New York, NY), Water (Drama of Works, Brooklyn, NY), The Minstrel Show (13th Street Theater/CSC.) Her work has been developed by/presented at: The New Group, Clubbed Thumb, The Flea, National Black Theater, Little Theater at Dixon Place, The Brooklyn Generator, The Brick, Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland, OR), Kitchen Dog Theater (Dallas, TX), The Brick, HERE Arts Center, HERO Theatre, the Hive Theater, and the Bowery Poetry Club. She was a 2012-2013 Core Apprentice playwright at The Playwrights Center and a 2013 Finalist for the Leah Ryan FEWW Playwriting Prize for her play Bully. She was a featured playwright at the 2013 Black and Latino Playwrights Conference at Texas State University.
Dani Mohrbach (performer) is performing Phrase by Chicago playwright Cassandra Rose. She was last seen in Moonrise Game's interactive theatre experience Chronicles of the Realm, and spent a year living out her childhood dreams as Sailor Moon in Otherworld Theatre's production of Moon Prism Power! A Sailor Moon Musical Parody.
Rosa Reinemann (musical guest) is a part time singer/songwriter, part time cross stitcher of naughty words, and all the time barista at The Coffee and Tea Exchange. While in her day-to-day life she is of average height and snarky, she’ll be keeping this bio short and sweet. Thanks for coming, thanks for donating!
Caridad Svich (playwright, "After") As a playwright, songwriter, editor and translator living between many cultures, including inherited ones, the idea of departure has always been not only an actual or metaphorical basis for writing the work, but also an idea made manifest through the enactment of writing, its performance, and my living of it. Born in the US of Cuban-Argentine-Spanish-Croatian parents, I have felt in a strange kind of exile even while growing up as an “American.” This sense of dislocation extends to the fact that as a child and adolescent, I lived in several states: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida, North Carolina, Utah, New York, and California, not to mention many cross-country road trips in between. The nomadic strain was thus instilled in me and has become an inevitable part of my writing vision. Explorations of wanderlust, dispossession, biculturalism, bilingualism, construction of identity, and the many different emotional terrains that can be inhabited onstage form the basis of my plays and other writing projects. Visions of migration (both physical and spiritual) dominate the plays, which have become, in turn, documents of internal diasporas.As a playwright, songwriter, editor and translator living between many cultures, including inherited ones, the idea of departure has always been not only an actual or metaphorical basis for writing the work.