Full given name: Matthew William Panek
Where you were born/where you were raised: Chicago, IL
Your position within the Godspell production team? Director and set designer
What does that mean/what do you do? In charge of bringing our new modern-day, actor-musician, humanistic revival of Godspell to life with as much cohesive clarity as possible... with a ton of help from our amazing production staff.
What's surprised you most about Godspell's rehearsal process so far? Besides how quickly it passed, how incredibly freeing it's been to see and hear a 42-year-old musical in entirely new ways. Thanks to the cast's hard work, you won't recognize some of the show's most famous songs initially. That's so inspiring.
Something you're REALLY bad at: Putting away clean laundry and keeping my car uncluttered.
Current local show you have been recommending to friends: It was Lookingglass' recently shuttered Eastland, but I'm always encouraging people to check out Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind at the Neo-Futurarium. Their plays, performances, and staging elements are consistently brilliant and heartbreaking. The Scene at iO Thursday night is also consistently phenomenal.
Favorite Chicago neighborhood: Something's got to be said for the place where I spend most of my free nights and money, so it's gotta be Lakeview. My current home turf of Andersonville/Edewater (I'monthecuspleavemealone!) is also relaxingly chill and offers wonderful food and drink options.
Favorite musical: Les Miserables started me off. It'll always have a special place.
Favorite play: Angels in America, The Pillowman, A Streetcar Named Desire
You personal idols: Bob Fosse, Sam Mendes, Stephen Sondheim, Tennessee Williams, Elia Kazan, Wes Anderson, Mel Brooks, John Doyle. All men? Odd.
MAC or PC? MACy lappy
Most played song on your iPod: Surprisingly, "I Found Love" by The Free Design. The key change gets me every time. A not-so-surprising #2 is Hunter Parrish's "Save the People."
Must-see TV show(s): Breaking Bad, The Simpsons, Community
Pop culture guilty pleasure: America's Got Talent, The Celebrity Apprentice, One Direction (swoon!)
Three favorite cities: Chicago, Paris, and New York. Amsterdam's a close 4th.
Three things you can't live without: My folks, music, laughter.
"I'll never understand why…": Glee got so bad. Like, so bad. It's unforgivable.
See William's (@mwilliampanek) stamp on The Brown Paper Box Co.'s production of GODSPELL September 20 - October 7, 2012 at Collaboraction Studio 300 in the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 North Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. For tickets and additional information, visit brownpaperbox.org.
Full given name: Michelle Elise Kritselis
Where you were born/where you were raised: Born in Hinsdale, IL, raised in Downers Grove and Naperville. (Western suburbs represent!)
Your position within the Godspell production team? Dramaturg
What does that mean? Ah, the question everyone asks! Basically, I research Godspell and everything surrounding it: its inception and performance history, its context within American musical theatre, important themes within the script, etc. Awesome nerd stuff. I then process this information and distribute it to the cast and production team in the form of a fun, digestible information packet, in hopes that this knowledge will positively influence everyone's performance / interpretation of the show. Dramaturgy: The More You Knooooooow!
Something you're REALLY bad at: Wrapping presents. My presents all look like they were wrapped by a drunk chimpanzee. Now, when it's time to give a present, I rely heavily on A) the aid of other people, or B) decorative gift bags.
Favorite musical: Eh, I don't really have a favorite at the moment. It's like choosing a favorite food. How can one possibly choose a "favorite" between burgers, spanakopita, and pad thai? So it changes from day to day, depending on how I feel. But I will say this: I like Andrew Lloyd Webber. I know it's perilously uncool for a Serious Theatre Person to admit this, but there it is. Deal with it.
Your personal idols: Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Hicks, Ruben Studdard. Oh, wait...
MAC or PC? If you would have asked me this question 5 years ago, it would have been vehemently "PC." But my fiancé is a total Mac-geek and got me totally hooked on Apple products, so...Mac.
Most played song on your iPod: Right now, it's a tie between "Simple Song" by The Shins and "Norwegian Wood" by The Beatles. So good.
Must-see TV show(s): Breaking Bad! I have become almost evangelical about the awesomeness that is Breaking Bad. Definitely the best show on TV right now. If you're not watching it, may God have mercy on your soul.
Performer you would drop everything to go see: The Who, if there were some way to resurrect Keith Moon and John Entwistle from the dead. (Do you like how I managed to squeeze the words "evangelical," "God," and "resurrect" into this Godspell-related blog post? I'm sneaky like that.)
Pop culture guilty pleasure: I'm getting married in less than 3 months, so I'm giving myself license to watch terrible wedding shows on TLC. After the wedding...well, we'll discuss that when the time comes.
Three things you can't live without: Biolage Gelée (my styling gel of choice for the last 11 years), Diet Pepsi, and seasons 1-10 of The Simpsons.
"I'll never understand why…": People take food out of the microwave without clearing out the time. This drives me CRAZY.
See Michelle's stamp on The Brown Paper Box Co.'s production of GODSPELL September 20 - October 7, 2012 at Collaboraction Studio 300 in the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 North Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. For tickets and additional information, visit brownpaperbox.org.
Full given name: Anna Elizabeth Schutz (still haven't changed my name since getting married)
Where you were born/where you were raised: Born in Evanston and raised in Skokie
Your position within the Godspell production team? I'm Production Manager and Stage Manager
What does that mean/what do you do? I'm in charge of all of the logistical and technical things for the show. I do things like booking space and writing notes to running the show once it's up.
What's surprised you most about Godspell's rehearsal process so far? How awesome it is to walk into a room of actors tuning their guitars and practicing piano before rehearsal starts.
Something you're REALLY bad at: Whistling & winking
Current local show you have been recommending to friends: Well it was The Great American Trailer Musical until it closed, since my husband Phil Martin, philmartindrums.com. [SHAMELESS PROMOTION] played drums for it. Now I'm recommending Night Blue's Avenue Q playing at Stage 773. I hear the drummer for that show is amazing and quite handsome.
Favorite Chicago neighborhood: Lakeview
Favorite musical: Company
Favorite play: Oh boy... from a pure enjoyment viewpoint the Bard’s Twelfth Night
Your personal idols: We’re not supposed to have idols according to the research I’ve done for this show.
MAC or PC? Obviously, Mac
Most played song on your iPod: “Keep Your Head Up” by Andy Grammer
Must-see TV show(s): Mad Men
Last good movie you saw: Just re-watched Midnight in Paris which is one of my favorite movies
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Audra McDonald
Pop culture guilty pleasure: Project Runway & Rihanna
Three favorite cities: New York, Honolulu, and Paris
Three things you can't live without: Family, chocolate, and my iPhone
"I'll never understand why…": You park in a driveway.
See Anna's stamp on The Brown Paper Box Co.'s production of GODSPELL September 20 - October 7, 2012 at Collaboraction Studio 300 in the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 North Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. For tickets and additional information, visit brownpaperbox.org.
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