Full given name: Michelle Elise Kritselis
Your role within the Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls family: Dramaturg
(staff) What does that mean/what do you do? Because this show has a lot of unconventional elements, I wrote up a little thematic analysis of the show and included some informational blurbs about komodo dragons, Incan mummies, etc. for the cast and production team.
In 5 words, how do you describe Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls: Funny, bizarre, poetic, wild, relatable
Something you're REALLY bad at: I have never been able to blow a bubble with bubble gum. As a kid, this drove me crazy.
Favorite Chicago neighborhood: None! Suburbs forever! (But seriously, I'm so over the notion that suburbia is this bland, culturally desolate collection of McMansions where passion and authenticity go to die. It's not.)
Your personal idols: Mister Rogers.
Most played song on your iPod: Lately, it's been "And She Was," by Talking Heads.
Who would play you in the Lifetime movie about your life: Burt Reynolds.
Pop culture guilty pleasure: I am embarrassed to tell you that I watched the whole series of TLC's Breaking Amish last year, even though it was the fakest fake that ever faked and all of them had been living "English" for like the last decade and one of them had a kid or whatever. It was somewhat engaging, despite its manufacturedness.
Three things you can't live without: Chicago Mix popcorn, my husband, and a supportive bra. (Not in that order.)
"I'll never understand why…": ...some people don't like seafood. Is this like a landlocked Midwestern thing, that so many people don't like fish? Whatevs, more for me!
Check out Michelle's influence on The Brown Paper Box Co.'s production of Naomi Iizuka's Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls at the Heartland Studio in Rogers Park, May 30 - June 16, 2013. Please visit www.brownpaperbox.org for tickets and additional information.
Full given name: Luke Michael Grimes
Where you were born/where you were raised? I was born in Hinsdale, IL and and raised in La Grange, IL
Your role within the Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls family: Richard and Myrna
How would you describe your character? Richard is nervous and uncomfortable. His life is changing quickly and he's having trouble finding meaning. Myrna is calm and collected. Often pushing people to find simplicity ad joy in unlikely places. She moves in and out of people's lives offering guidance and good humor.
In 5 words, how do you describe Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls: Absurd Touching Smart Funny Magical
Something you're REALLY bad at: I'm terrible at saving money.
Special hidden talent: I'm a very good tap dancer.
Current local show you have been recommending to friends: The Happiest Song Plays Last @ Goodman Theatre
Favorite Chicago neighborhood: Wicker Park
Favorite play: Macbeth
Your personal idols: Neil Patrick Harris, Zachery Quinto, any one who has made a personal sacrifice for something they love.
Most played song on your iPod: "National Anthem" by Lana Del Rey
Who would play you in the Lifetime movie about your life: Chris Culfer - unfortunately.
Must-see TV show(s): Downton Abbey, Parks and Rec, Walking Dead, Veep, Newsroom
Pop culture guilty pleasure: Smash ...enough said.
Three things you can't live without: Music, theatre, and gin
"I'll never understand why..."... people think they can stop moving in the middle of streets to figure out where they're going. I'm late for work! Move!
Full given name:
Derek Randolph Herman Where you were born/where you were raised?
Born and raised in Portland, Oregon. Your role within the Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls family:
I play Pete. How would you describe your character?
Pete is a pretty socially awkward guy who is unable to connect with others around him. He really doesn’t know what direction his life is going but, during the show, he works through it and finds a metamorphic solution to his problem. In 5 words, how do you describe Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls:
Poignant, Quirky, Heartwarming, Funny and Thoughtful. Something you're REALLY bad at:
Peeling oranges, and mapping directions – I get lost very easily. Current local show you have been recommending to friends: Henry VIII
at Chicago Shakespeare
(My roommate’s in it!) Favorite Chicago neighborhood:
Lakeview. There is some great hole in the wall places to eat. Also there are a ton of parks and it’s near the lake – it’s perfect for summer. Favorite play: Hamlet
is on the top of my list. (I feel pretentious for saying so, but it’s true.) Most played song on your iPod: “
Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson Who would play you in the Lifetime movie about your life:
I would want it to be Neil Patrick Harris, but I wouldn’t wish for him to lower himself to be on Lifetime. Must-see TV show(s): Weeds
, Freaks & Geeks
, American Horror Story
, and Portlandia
. Pop culture guilty pleasure:
Honey Boo Boo chiiiiiild. Three things you can't live without:
Dogs, Cereal, and my iPhone. "I'll never understand why…":
There has been 26 seasons of Survivor
Full given name:
Anna Schutz Where you were born/where you were raised?
Skokie, IL Your role within the Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls family:
Joy / Billy How would you describe your characters?
optimistic, protective & persistent / independent, curious & realistic In 5 words, how do you describe Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls:
Finding yourself in the wild Something you're REALLY bad at:
Whistling. Can. Not. Do. It. Special hidden talent:
I can bake! Current local show you have been recommending to friends:
I want to go see Big Love
. Also shout-out to UIUC and Brown Paper Box Co. alumni working in: Yellow Moon
), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
), & Lear
). Favorite Chicago neighborhood:
Lincoln Park Most played song on your iPod:
I've been in a super-pop kinda mood lately, so anything upbeat on the radio. Who would play you in the Lifetime movie about your life:
I want to say Natalie Portman, but probably Sarah Silverman Must-see TV show(s): Mad Men Pop culture guilty pleasure: Smash
... I need help!Three things you can't live without:
music, hair ties & sunshine"I'll never understand why…":
3/4 & 6/8 can't just be the same time signature. I mean I get it, but I don't like it.
Full given name: Robert Andrew Skosky
Where you were born/where you were raised? Saint Louis, MO, the Show Me State
Your role within the Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls family: Jason
How would you describe your character? An overgrown kid searching for a missing Lego piece
In 5 words, how do you describe Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls: Wacky, quirky, funny, and surprisingly sweet.
Something you're REALLY bad at: Math (see the “I’ll never understand why…” section below)
Special hidden talent: I can make a perfect Risotto Milanese
Favorite Chicago neighborhood: Cliché, but I love Lakeview
Favorite play: Wonder of the World by David Lindsay-Abaire
Your personal idols: My Grandma Clem. She taught me everything I need to know in life.
Most played song on your iPod: "I Want You Back" by The Jackson Five
Who would play you in the Lifetime movie about your life: David Schwimmer
Must-see TV show(s): right now I’m all about Bates Motel. I also will never make it through an episode of Parks and Recreation without laughing. No matter how many times I’ve seen said episode.
Pop culture guilty pleasure: It’s been over a year, and it’s STILL “Call Me Maybe.” Sorry, I’m not sorry.
Three things you can't live without: My family (the ones I was born with and the ones I have chosen, my green body pillow, dogs.
"I'll never understand why…”: People enjoy doing math. Really?!
"Hey, where's the fourth founding member of The Brown Paper Box Co.?"
"Weren't there four executive team members at one point?"
"Where the heck is Zev?!?"
Founding members Anna Schutz, Michelle Kritselis, M. William Panek, and Zev Steinberg
during a standard company meeting. Staff gatherings are always a classy affair.
Those questions are what we've been fielding the past several months while Brown Paper Box Co. Treasurer and co-founding member, Zev Steinberg
's, been MIA.
So, where is he and what's he been up to?
Don't fret, Chicago! Everyone's favorite fightin' rabbi is finishing up his first year at Michigan State University
working towards his is Masters in Fine Arts - Acting
. Busy as always but always making time to fill us in on what's been up, Zev shared some highlights from his past school year, plus some exciting upcoming gigs!
-Has been elected to the governing body and is now the Member representative for the Society of American Fight Directors.
-Appeared in Measure for Measure Fall '12
-Appeared as Eddie Ryan in Funny Girl Spring '13
-Fight Directed Measure and Funny Girl at MSU
-Fight Directing My Favorite Year at the Riverwalk Theatre in Lansing, MI
-Taught at the Winter Wonderland Stage Combat Workshop in Chicago in January
-Taught at the Cease and Desist Stage Combat Workshop in Cincinnati, and the Louisiana Tech Stage Combat Workshop in March
-Teaching at the National Stage Combat Workshop in July
-Teaching at MSU Summer '13
-Will be appearing in Charlie's Aunt and Baby Summer '13 at MSU
Zev Steinberg is a founding member of The Brown Paper Box Co. as well as an actor and fight director. His work with the Brown Paper Box Co. includes performing and fight directing Reefer Madness! and And Then They Came For Me. Zev's previous acting credits include: Peter Pan, Cinderella, and Hansel & Gretel (Emerald City Theatre Company), and the JEFF Nominated Poseidon: An Upside-Down Musical! (Hell in a Handbag Productions). As a fight director and stuntman, Zev has been designing violence in Chicago for the last 2 years. Zev is an Advanced Actor Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors, and the SAFD's first Fight Rabbi. Zev is a BFA graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where his credits included A Chorus Line, I Sing! The Musical, and Reefer Madness! Zev really likes chicken nuggets, especially when they are shaped like dinosaurs.
Thanks to Stage 773 for donating a whopping 25 CASES of mislabeled Guinness Black Lager to our company! We can't wait to share them with friends and supporters during our upcoming run of Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls. Thanks again!
Tickets are now on sale for The Brown Paper Box Co.'s upcoming production, ALOHA, SAY THE PRETTY GIRLS
, by award-winning playwright Naomi Iizuka
. The play will run Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2:00 PM from May 30-June 16 at the Heartland Studio in Rogers Park (7016 North Glenwood Avenue, Chicago, IL 60626). Tickets can be purchased through www.brownpaperbox.org
In this quirky comedy, a group of twentysomethings change careers, geographical borders, and even species in a quest to find a place for themselves. ALOHA, SAY THE PRETTY GIRLS questions the nature of love, identity, and evolution in this wild and wonderful world. The play received its world premiere at the 1999 Humana Festival of New American Plays at The Actors Theatre
"This show has some very absurd elements," explains director M. William Panek (Godspell, To Tree, The Brown Paper Box Co.). "People turning into animals and vice-versa, outlandish locales, and cross-gender casting. But the absurd is juxtaposed with these incredibly honest relationships, relatable characters, and natural dialogue. It's hilarious, but then it hits you with really poignant, poetic moments." These seemingly incongruous combinations led The Brown Paper Box Co. to produce the play.
The cast includes Pamela Mae Davis
(Failure: A Love Story,
Victory Gardens; Cymbeline
, RIFF Collective; As You Like It
, (re)discover theatre), Luke Michael Grimes (Teddy Ferrara
, Goodman Theatre
; Fate and Ed
, ARCitext Play Festival; Macbeth
, TheMASSIVE), Justin Harner (I Begin
, Walkabout Theater; WILD
, Kid Brooklyn Productions; Caesura: A Butchery
, The Plagiarists), Christopher Hart
, The Brown Paper Box Co.; The Sandman
, Oracle Theatre), Derek Herman (Almost, Maine
, Chicago College of Performing Arts; Speech & Debate
, Artists Repertory Theatre; Landscape of the Body
, Profile Theatre), Stephanie Rohr
, The Brown Paper Box Co.; Reservoir Dogs
, Roundhouse Productions; Jesus Camp: The Musical
, The Cornservatory), Anna Schutz
* (Reefer Madness
, The Brown Paper Box Co.; Epic Proportions
, Project 891), and Bob Skosky (Sleeping with Straight Men
, Ludicrous Theatre; Our Town
, Blank Page Theater; Aesop's Fable
s, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse).
The production team comprises M. William Panek* (director), Sheila Gleason (set designer), Ian James Anthony* (properties master), Cat Wilson (lighting designer), Laura Wiley (assistant lighting designer), Patrick J. Butterfield* (production assistant), Michelle Kritselis* (dramaturg), and Charlie Sheets* (graphic designer).
About The Brown Paper Box Co.
Founded in 2010 and based in Chicago, The Brown Paper Box Co. creates thought-provoking and accessible theatrical experiences without the glitz of overproduction. This scaled-down approach allows our artists to deliver an elevated focus on the text.
*Denotes Brown Paper Box Co. company member.
Naomi Iizuka's Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls
More information, including casting, coming very soon!
Auditions for our next show, Naomi Iizuka's ALOHA, SAY THE PRETTY GIRLS
are all wrapped up. We are so blown away by the amount of talented people who came out to audition for us. The actors in this city have so much to offer. Go Chicago theatre community!
We extend a special thank you to the Serbian American Museum St. Sava
for hosting our auditions and callbacks in their awesome space and for just being really gracious and accommodating in general. Thanks, guys! (And because they're a cultural/arts center, they often have cool Serbian-related theatrical and musical performances. Check 'em out!)