current

Cornucopia!

A Virtual 24-Hour Short Play Festival

November 14th at 7:30pm CT

You choose the titles, we write the plays.

A virtual 24-hour play festival, where 5 playwrights, 5 directors, and 8 actors are locked in a Zoom call and create the plays that you want to see performed! All within one day!

The Actors

GABRIELA DIAZ is so excited to be working with Avalanche again! Previous credits include: Thin Mints (Greenhouse Theatre Center); Always, Patsy Cline (Firebrand Theatre u/s); Bury Me (Dandelion Theatre); Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally (Bower Theatre); La Ruta (Steppenwolf u/s); The Escape (Art Institute of Chicago); The Wolf At The End of the Block (16th Street Theatre); 50 Shades of Shakespeare (rediscover theatre); Tony n' Tina's Wedding (Chicago Theatre Works); In The Heights (R-S Theatrics); Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Found At Sea (Shakespeare Festival St. Louis). Gabriela received a BFA in Acting from Webster Conservatory and is represented by Lily's Talent Agency.

RAE HAMILTON-VARGO is a nonbinary actor originally hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They hold a BA in Theatre from Northwestern University, where they also studied French and Japanese. Some of their favorite recent Chicago credits include going on as an understudy for Dull Gret/Angie in Remy Bumppo's Top Girls and portraying Drowsy in Chicago Kids Company’s Snow White, and you can look for them on-screen in the webseries The Life of Harold.

BILLY JONES is a graduate from the Johnny Carson School of Theater and Film and since moving to Chicago he has completed The Second City Conservatory the IO Program and the Second City Music Program. This is his first project working with Avalanche Theatre and thanks the company for including him in their 24 Hour Play Festival!

MOLLY MERMELSTEIN graduated from Occidental College with degrees in Theater and Psychology and is currently waiting out the theater shutdowns in her NYC studio apartment. Some of her favorite NYC/Regional roles include Urinetown (Little Sally), Oklahoma! (Ado Annie), Into the Woods (Rapunzel), The Spitfire Grill (Shelby), La Cage Aux Folles (Jacqueline), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Hippolyta/Titania), Marat/Sade (Simmone), Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure (Madge). Along with her stage credits, she has also worked extensively as a director, playwright, costume designer, theater teacher, and voice over artist.

ELISE SOEDER is a Chicago-based actor, and the Company Manager for Avalanche's friend, Theatre EVOLVE. She has worked with Avalanche previously in her role as Ratgirl in Hark!! She has other credits, but let's be real, those feel like 5,000 years ago and recent activity has mostly revolved around reading and eating mac n cheese, with one day working as an election judge. For more information, please visit www.elisesoeder.com.

LAROSE WASHINGTON is excited and honored to be working with Avalanche Theatre again. After portraying Freida in Avalanche's Hark earlier this year, she had to jump on board for this exciting virtual festival. Other recent credits include: Bunny's Book Club (Lifeline Theatre), Happy Birthday Mars Rover (The Passage Theatre), and Countess Dracula (Otherworld Theatre). LaRose received her B.A. in Theatre from the University of Southern California and is repped by BMG Talent. She would like to thank her family and friends for their constant support, especially throughout this crazy year. And with being said, she hopes that you enjoy this virtual adventure!

The Directors

BRITTNEY BROWN (she/her) is a Chicago based actor and director who is extremely excited to team up with Avalanche Theatre. Brittney has assistant directed productions of May the Road Rise Up (Factory Theater) and Wolves (Exit 63) and was a featured director in Broken Nose Theatre’s Bechdel Fest last year. She has also directed productions of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Calvin Berger, & [title of show] as well as several cabarets. Some select Chicago acting credits include: Blank Theatre’s Nine (upcoming), Pride Films and Plays' All That He Was (Jeff Nomination—-Best Performer in a Supporting Role), Theo Ubique's Hedwig and the Angry Inch & Sweeney Todd, New American Folk Theatre’s Hot Pink or Ready to Blow, Kokandy Production’s Bonnie and Clyde, & Griffin Theatre’s Ragtime & Violet. She is also the Casting Director for Factory Theater.

GABRIELA DIAZ is so excited to be working with Avalanche again! Previous credits include: Thin Mints (Greenhouse Theatre Center); Always, Patsy Cline (Firebrand Theatre u/s); Bury Me (Dandelion Theatre); Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally (Bower Theatre); La Ruta (Steppenwolf u/s); The Escape (Art Institute of Chicago); The Wolf At The End of the Block (16th Street Theatre); 50 Shades of Shakespeare (rediscover theatre); Tony n' Tina's Wedding (Chicago Theatre Works); In The Heights (R-S Theatrics); Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Found At Sea (Shakespeare Festival St. Louis). Gabriela received a BFA in Acting from Webster Conservatory and is represented by Lily's Talent Agency.

BRETT KLACZYK cannot thank Avalanche Theatre enough for bringing him onto such a great project. A Niagara University Alumnus, Brett has acted in a variety of roles, including Poseidon in MEDUSA UNDONE, Lancelot in SPAMALOT, Joe Pendleton in HEAVEN CAN WAIT, and the Sheriff of Nottingham in ROBIN HOOD. Brett has also served as a combat choreographer/fight captain for multiple productions as well as

written several short pieces. His most proud directing accomplishments are collaborating with Avalanche Theatre tenet Alexander Utz to create and perform an early version of Alexander’s original musical, THE MOST HATED MAN IN AMERICA and directing, co-writing and co-producing the original play FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH alongside Connor Graham and Silas Panfil.. Brett plans to open his operate his own production company in the future, with a focus on producing socially progressive material while exposing and employing young artists in search of a start to their careers. “Love for all who have love for all.” www.nami.org

CLAIRE K REDFIELD is a director, educator, and community-engaged artist originally hailing from Chicago, Illinois but currently based in Tempe, Arizona. Claire recently completed her MFA in Theatre for Youth and Community at Arizona State University where she pursued a thesis on trauma-responsive rehearsal practice: Rocks in the Riverbed: Building a Trauma-Responsive Workbook for Theatre Practitioners. Claire has worked as a director and dramaturg at numerous Chicago theatres including Sideshow Theatre Company, Something Marvelous, Next Theatre, Women's Theatre Alliance, The Waking Theatre, and her own theatre company focused on gender, identity, and representation: Eleusis Collective. Claire also holds a B.A. in Drama and Anthropology from Tufts University and currently serves as co-artistic director and co-founder of Sleeveless Acts, a new community-based theatre company located in Phoenix, Arizona. More info at clairekredfield.com.

PAULA SJOGERMAN has been doing theater for over 50 years, since her stunning debut as Cinderella at age four. Some of her accomplishments in that time are: starting two theater companies (Gaia Theater, Vaudeville Chicago), birthing two children, and learning to love the world of clown. She has directed many people to do many things, sometimes in the context of theatrics. Some of the excellent folks she has worked with include The Conspirators, The Interns, Thin Ice Theater, and the Cream City Semi-Circus.  

BEC WILLETT is an Australian, Chicago-based director, designer, writer and educator. She has worked on projects with an array of Chicago theatre companies including Avalanche Theatre, Promethean Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, City Lit, Dandelion Theatre, Actors’ Gymnasium, MMPACT Solo Jams, Prologue Theatre, Waltzing Mechanics, Three Cat Productions and Bower Theatre Ensemble, where she was also the Founding Artistic Director. Bec also directs and designs for film, most recently for Garden Unit’s music video ZOMBIE. She has been nominated for Best Director for “Avenge Our Blood”(Broadway in Chicago), is an alumni of Directors Lab West and has served as a critic for Perform.ink. To find out more about her work and upcoming projects, please visit becwillett.com.

The Playwrights

FELIX ABIDOR is many things: a playwright, an actor, a world famous karate master. Above all, though, he is thrilled to be involved in this production.

BEN BRAUN is a Milwaukee based playwright and actor. A graduate of Carthage College (class of 2019), he holds a BA in Acting and has performed with Three Brothers Theatre and First Stage. He was also a participant in the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, performing with Carthage College in Eric Simonson's play "Up and Away". His plays have had readings and productions at Carthage College and Three Brothers Theatre, where he is proudly a playwright in residence.

DC CATHRO is a Chicago-based playwright, actor, and director from the Washington DC metropolitan area. His musical "Till," written with award-winning composer Leo Schwartz, was one of three winners in the 2016 Main Street Musicals Festival, selected by Gregory Mosher, and was also accepted into the 2019 New York Musical Festival (NYMF). "The Book of Merman," another musical written with Leo Schwartz, enjoyed a five-month run Off-Broadway. In 2014, he became the only playwright to have two shows in the Pride Films and Plays Festival in Chicago, IL; "Pen, A Musical" (with Schwartz) and the comedy "Family Holiday." DC's works have been read at theatres and festivals across the U.S., including The William Inge Festival in Independence, Kansas, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and St. Luke's Theatre, Off-Broadway in New York City.

OWEN HICKLE-EDWARDS is a performer and writer from High Point, North Carolina. His most recent work with Avalanche Theatre includes playing the part of Leland in Hark!: A Virtual Choose Your Own Adventure Play, and as a contributing playwright for their "Bad Plays for Unwitting Actors" Fundraiser. He was last seen performing onstage in Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom, as a member of Bower Theatre's 2019 Ensemble.

MARJORIE MULLER is a Chicago-based playwright, actor, and producer. Marjorie's work has been performed in Chicago and across the US with companies such as City Lit Theater, The Women's Theatre Festival, and Arc Theatre Company. Her play, Regular, was a finalist in Urbanite Theatre's Modern Works Festival and was also featured in Avalanche's Spring 2020 Biannual. Most recently, Marjorie was commissioned by the Latin School of Chicago to adapt Dracula as a play for Zoom. The adaptation, Lucy Westenra is Not (and Will Never Be) a Vampire, premiered in October of 2020. And coming up, her 10-minute play, Untitled Mantis Play... will be featured as part of the Impostors Theatre Company's Footholds: A Socially Distanced Film. Marjorie is an alum of the acting program at the Theatre School at DePaul and Jackalope Theatre's Playwrights Lab. For more, visit marjoriemuller.com or find her on Instagram @idesofmarge.

Artemis Books

and the

Well-Meaning Man

by Paul Michael Thomson

directed by Brittney Brown

COVID-19 Update:

This production has been postponed until 2021.

More information to follow.

Regina (Reggie) runs a femme-centric feminist bookstore in Tucson, AZ. Artemis Books is a safe space for queer people, free expression, and womxn of all kinds. When her boss unexpectedly jumps ship, Reggie is stuck with a new-hire: straight, white, cisgender JJ. Workplace romances, existential anxieties, and some questionable spell casting abound as Reggie tries to reclaim her safe space. Does identity have to influence ideology? Does colonialism ever stop? And what in the actual hell is a “good guy”?

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