Now Running: Icelandic author Andri Snær Magnason’s Blue Planet

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★★★ 1/2 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED


"BLUE PLANET IS OUT OF THIS WORLD! A stunning visual feast... whimsical and fanciful and amazing to watch! Its message needs to be taken to the halls of Congress!" — Chicago Stage Standard


RECOMMENDED!


"Akvavit Theatre’s idiosyncratic, eco-conscious production features puppets, aerial arts, and gobs of wisdom." — Chicago Reader

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The U.S. premiere of Blue Planet, by Andri Snær Magnason (based on his own award-winning children's book The Story of the Blue Planet) will be directed by Akvavit company member Wm. Bullion (dir.: A Summer’s Day).


Best friends Hulda and Brimir live on a planet much like Earth, but populated only by children. They live a simple but ideal life. When they meet an adult—the mysterious Jolly-Goodday—they are promised a life of greater joy, even more spectacular fun, and cannot resist. But, what are they willing to trade for an immediate reward? The exuberance of Peter Pan, the wonder of the myth of Icarus, mixed with an eco-conscious message, Blue Planet is a family-friendly and lively integrated theatrical experience that is sure to illuminate, entertain and inspire.

February 13–March 15, 2015
Thursdays–Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

DCASE Storefront Theater
66 East Randolph St.

Regular ticket prices are $15 for single tickets, $10 for industry students/seniors, and $5 for children under 12 (with accompanying adult).

Special previews are Wednesday, Feb. 11 and Thursday, Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m. ($10 adults/$5 children)

This production is presented in association with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE).

This program is partially supported by grants from the Illinois Arts Council (a State Agency) and the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.

Cast:
  • Sarah Scanlon (Hulda)[+]
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    Sarah Scanlon is thrilled to be playing in so many of her favorite art forms on the beautiful Blue Planet. She has been combining acting, music, aerial arts, masks, makeup, and puppetry into her work throughout Chicago and has been seen on the ground and/or in the air with Lifeline Theatre, Redmoon, WildClaw, The Building Stage, Babes with Blades, and Factory Theater, among others, and is also an artistic associate with the Strange Tree Group. She holds a BA from Western Michigan University and an MFA in acting from the American Repertory Theatre and The Moscow Art Theatre School. She dreams of French bulldogs, Italian ice, how much she loves her friends (and YOU, for supporting theatre!), and being in a superhero movie someday. For more information and upcoming projects, visit her at sarahscanlon.com
  • Joshua Davis (Brimir) [+]
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    Joshua Davis received his MFA from Brandeis University before making his way to Chicago. This is his first production with Akvavit and he's pretty dang excited. You might have seen his face in The Duchess of Malfi (Strawdog Theatre Company), Lear (Red Tape Theatre Company), Idomeneus (Sideshow Theatre Company), or various other shows with his longtime artistic home, The Ruckus. Josh is a big fan of toast, soup, the Muppets, and socks without holes in them.
  • Michael T. Downey (Jolly-Goodday)[+]
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    MICHAEL THOMAS DOWNEY* (Jolly Goodday) has been in plays before and he hopes the knowledge of that makes you feel like the two hundred bucks you're shelling out for a celebrity impersonator to join you at the "legitimate theater" isn't going to waste. The important thing to remember is that Mike is getting out there and is no longer aware of his grotesque limitations. Mr. Downey (Janet if you're nasty) likes huffing gin, shouting at cars, and collecting wall hangings that have printings of that footprint dealie about Jesus. He's six foot one inch tall and would love to talk about the 1984 film "2010: The Year We Make Contact" with you over frigid tea and Bavarian sage rugelach. His wife and children tolerate his frequent Finish Jenkka dancing…barely. He'd like to thank Akavivot...Akaveevo...Admrial Akavava...Akavavadingdong Theatre Company for letting him use his work-study summer credit for this play. What a country! 
     
    (*) Denotes “Loud”

  • Moira Begale (Elva)[+]
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    Moira Begale is an actor/producer in Chicago.  A graduate of ISU with a double major in Acting and Theater Management, Moira has also trained in Meisner at Black Box Acting.  Moira's spirit animal is a Red Panda.  She enjoys gaming, combat, chocolate fudge brownies and one of her favorite childhood memory involves bubblegum ice cream.  Thanks Akvavit for filling the well of youth in her heart!!
  • Kim Boler (Loa)[+]
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    Kim is excited as a kid sprinkled with magic butterfly dust that when the sun hits it, makes her belly tingle and her whole body lift into the air and burst straight through a huge white fluffly cloud and soar and dive and spin and spin and whoa…dizzy…and then take a break to eat some chocolate because that made me a little tired but then I’m back up because I’m looking for my trusty bullwhip which I will use to fight the other pirates (because I am one) and steal their gold and then I’ll turn into a Monster and burn their ships and cackle with glee but I won’t stop for a nap…but maybe more chocolate…and maybe some Led Zeppelin…but then it’s back to work flying over the sea to see the sharks and the dolphins and tickle a whale and high five a seal as I come in for a perfect slide landing and then the sun sinks low and now I’m REALLY hungry and will need a steak and more chocolate and hugs from the Akvavit Tribe and then I’ll be exhausted and need to Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    Kim Boler is so thankful to be working with Theatre Akkavit for the first time and delighted to be working with this fantastic Tribe. Favorite roles include Tonker in
    MONSTROUS REGIMENT at Lifeline, the Duck in PETER AND THE WOLF, and that show I will do in Chicago where I get to use my Bullwhip!!!! As always, much love to my effervescent husband Kevin.
  • Mark Lancaster (Magni)[+]
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    Mark was born in Nebraska, raised in Texas, and finally reached an adult level of responsibility upon moving to Chicago in 2007. He got an MFA in 2012, and married in 2014. He specializes in stage combat and obliteration of buffets.  According to one online poll, he could take a swarm of 32 Justin Biebers in a fight. He dreams of one day being known as "The" Mark Lancaster.
  • Linsey Falls (Bjarki)[+]
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    Linsey is pleased as punch to have landed on Blue Planet as Bjarki. His past work includes Chicago productions such as Factory Theater’s Namosaur (TigerAss/Cohort Doctor), Hotel Aphrodite (Counsilman Joe Alton), Prop Thtr’s Slaughter City (Sausage Man), Drumming in the Night (Glub) and Debris of the Prophet (Athiest Gunman), Akvavit Theatre’s A Summer’s Day (Man), CityLit Theatre’s The Sign of the Four (Abdullah Kahn/Jameson) and Frankenstein (Karl, Constable, Judge), Adventure Stages Chicago’s Ghosts of Treasure Island (Tom Morgan), Commedia Beauregard's She Sings for You (Patron 1) and See You Soon (Man) and Lifeline Theatre's Lyle Finds his Mother (Mr. Primm/Hector P. Valenti). Linsey can't fly in real life but he's come thiiiis close on 4 occasions. 
  • Kirstin Franklin* (Tribe)[+]
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    Kirstin Franklin * has secretively traveled off the Blue Planet on occasion to participate in Nordic Theatre with Akvavit Theatre for several shows including Red and Green, Kokkola, Autumn Dream and Mishap. She eats ice cream every day without fail. And if she’s not pretending to fly or act like an animal she just might be teaching other kids how (big kids that attend schools like Harold Washington College or North Park University).  And if she’s not doing that then she’s probably snuggling with her two favorite children in the whole world: Gunnar (4) and Margot (6 months) who inspire her to look for the butterflies everyday. 
  • Beau Forbes (Tribe)[+]
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    Beau is thrilled to be working with Akvavit Theatre once again! Last seen stepping in as David in The Frozen on the Square, Beau also played Man in Autumn Dream as part of Gjenganger for Akvavit. Other favorite roles include Vance Pepper in Allotment Annie and Jefferson in The Improv Play (Infusion Theatre Company), Brandon in F*cking Men (Bailiwick Chicago), James Dean in A Love Lost Life, Viktor in Kill Viktor (New Millenium Theatre Company), and Jack Jingly  (Promethean Theatre Ensemble) in The Last Unicorn. Beau is also a fight choreographer, with recent projects including Princess Mary Demands Your Attention for Bailiwick Chicago and the independent film Hunter for Skyfire Productions. Beau will be appearing in An American Clock at Redtwist Theatre later this spring, and would like to dedicate this show to his beautiful fiancée Jamie.
  • Deborah Craft (Tribe)[+]
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    Deborah Craft is a keen rainbow hunter and excels at reading street signs in funny accents. Some of her favorite signs are billboards for Tire Shops, street signs with two or more words and anything neon.  She first tested her skills at flight (which you'll enjoy watching tonight) on a favorite rainbow hunt involving a tree sloth, bubblegum, and brussels sprouts.  Amazing tale.  She'd like to thank Akvavit for allowing them to play with her again and for this fantastic cast for their willingness to play in general.
  • Tom McGrath (Tribe)[+]
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    TOM McGRATH lives here. Sometimes! I work with theatres like Right Brain Project and Promethean Theatre Ensemble and Signal Ensemble where I pretend to be The Doctor and Guildenstern and Germans and Russians and stuff. Other times! I take pictures with a camera. (www.tcmcgphotography.com) I have a doggie named Waffles and a kitty named Elphie and a wife named Laura, and they're all pretty much the best. Go 'Cats!
  • Amber Robinson (Tribe)[+]
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    Once upon a time, Amber Robinson was born in a town called Elmhurst. She had a Mother and a Father, a Grandma and a Grandpa, and two sisters. They all told her she could be anything she wanted to be, so she decided she would become an Actor (until age 35, when she would become president of the United States.)
    So she travelled the world, from Illinois Wesleyan University all the way to the Moscow Art Theatre (in Russia!) to learn how to be an actor. Finally, she moved to the big city (Chicago), where she performed and directed with all the best theatres (Strange Tree, Grey Ghost, Redmoon, Emerald City, Collaboraction, TUTA, and Akvavit). 
    She continued to perform in Chicago until the year 2024, when she became the first female president of the United States. 
    And lived happily ever after. 
    The end. 
  • Bridgette Hammond (u/s Hulda)[+]
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    Bridgette Hammond (u/s Hulda) is so excited to be working with Akvavit for the first time! She received her BA in Theatre from Northwestern University in 2013, and since then she has worked with Factory Theater (Hotel Aphrodite), Walkabout Theater Company (Beach Party at the End of the World), Irish Theatre of Chicago (Lay Me Down Softly), and Redmoon Theater.
Production Dream Team
  • Wm. Bullion* (director)[+]
    Wm. Bullion was born on a planet called Berkeley and lived on such strange planets as Iowa, Bogotá, Caracas, Evanston and Los Angeles before settling on Planet Chicago to make theater for you. He’s so happy to be part of Akvavit Theatre, having directed a merry little burlesque ditty called A Summer’s Day by Jon Fosse, and a weighty poetic treatise on the bleakness of the human condition called Pippi’s Lost Stockings. Wait—strike that, reverse it—thank you. Perhaps you thought you just saw Wm. dressed as your grandmother for the Factory Theater’s Hotel Aphrodite? That was him!
  • Chad Eric Bergman* (scenographer)[+]
    Chad Eric Bergman actively collaborates in the Chicago Storefront scene having worked with Stage Left, Live Bait, Chicago Dramatists, MPAACT, parker, Plasticene and Akvavit in various artistic ways. He has been an artist in residence at the Ragdale Foundation and the University of Chicago’s Summer Incubator. He spent a year in Finland on a Fulbright exploring bilingual theatre. At North Park University, he has been developing a theatre curriculum that is based on the Chicago Storefront Theatre model.
  • John Kelly (lighting)[+]
    John Kelly (lighting designer) is very excited to be working with Akvavit for the first time! Other upcoming and current design credits include The One and Only Ivan (Lifeline Theatre), 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, Quiz Show (Strawdog Theatre), Teeth Together, Lips Apart (Eclipse Theatre), MacBeth (Asst' Lighting Designer-Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), Endgame (Asst' Lighting Designer-The Hypocrites). He was nominated for a 2014 Non-Equity Jeff Award for his lighting design of Great Expectations (Strawdog Theatre) where he is also an ensemble member.
  • Kimberly G. Morris (costumes & puppets)[+]
    Kim is excited to join the team with Akvavit. Based in Chicago, she freelance designs and builds costumes, wigs, makeup, props, puppets and special effects for numerous venues around the country. Upcoming projects include No Way To Treat a Lady and Unnecessary Farce with Fox Valley Repertory; Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with MEHS; On The Razzle and Shrek with NWHS; and Titus Andronicus with Babes with Blades.
  • Adam MacAleavey (puppets)[+]
    Adam McAleavey is a puppeteer, prop-designer, mask-builder, writer, occasional stand-up, and semi-reluctant actor that has called Chicago his home for the past 7 years. He has built puppets with IBEX Puppetry, and also writes/performs as part of SNORF, an all-ages puppet variety show with the Noah Ginex Puppet company. He has also performed with Plan 9 Burlesque as both a variety act and emcee. Recently, he has been constructing various contraptions for InGen Productions, adapting a number of Shakespeare scripts, and is currently writing for an as-yet-unnamed ensemble Podcast for the fall. Whee!
  • Will Huff (composer and sound)[+]
    Will Huff’s (b. 1986) compositions draw their inspiration from American and European minimalism & post-minimalism, and are informed by philosophy, spirituality, art, and the physical environment. The landscape and music of Iceland has been a source of inspiration ever since first encountering the music of Sigur Ros in his high school years. His music has been featured on festivals including Omaha Under the Radar, Exchange of Midwest Collegiate Composers, Midwest Composers Symposium, and the Eastern Trombone Workshop. Recent focus has been devoted to algorithmic composition, Max/MSP, and research in liminal phenomena driven by timbral ambiguity. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa where he studied with David Gompper and Lawrence Fritts. Other mentors include Michael Schelle, Frank Felice, and Robert Mueller.
    http://www.huffcomposer.com
    https://soundcloud.com/willhuff
  • Nicole Jordan (movement choreography)[+]
    Nicole is a professional Mover and Shaker, though not in the business sense, holding an M.F.A. in Physical Theatre from the Accademia dell'Arte in Arezzo, Italy. She is well-trained in devised movement, storytelling, Commedia dell'Arte, the Roy Hart voice technique, various circus arts, slapstick, and mask performance. Nicole had her Chicago debut in May of 2014, performing in Redmoon Theatre's Spring Spectacle Bellboys, Bears and Baggage. Since then, she's been fortunate to work on several other productions, including Red Theatre's Romeo and Juliet in ASL and Kurt Weill's lost masterpiece, Magical Night, alongside master mimes T. Daniel and Laurie Willets. A Miami, FL. native, Nicole spends an abundance of her time in Chicago answering the question, “What the HECK are you doing HERE?!” and hugging people for awkward lengths of time to stay warm. When she's not teaching people to fly or be trees with Akvavit Theatre, Nicole teaches circus arts to children with CircEsteem.  
  • Krista Mickelson (production manager)[+]
    Krista Mickelson (Production Manager) is excited to be working with Akvavit as their Seasonal Production Manager. This is now her second show with them. Recently she has production managed for the Hypocrites, Theater on the Lake, Red Tape Theatre, InGen Productions and North Park University. She has also stage managed for Haven Theatre, Six Hours Short Productions, as well as assistant stage managed for the Ruffians and Barrel of Monkeys.
  • John Morrison (assistant director)[+]
    John Morrison is thrilled to be working with Akvavit for the first time. Current theater tribes include Bruised Orange Theater Company and Red Theater Chicago. Favorite directing adventures include Autumn Leaves, Wyrd Sisters, The Bugaboo Room, Daddy Long Legs, Determination, The Nebraska Project, and Heftjmorrisondirect.com
  • Alan Weusthoff (technical director)[+]
    This is Alan's fourth show with Akvavit Theatre where he previously built the sets for They Died Where They Lied, Mishap! and The Frozen on the Square. Other Chicago credits include building sets for Redtwist Theater, Red Tape Theater, North Park University, and most recently The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle at Steep Theatre. Alan is a graduate of the Theatre program at Truman State University.
  • Phil Claudnic (stage manager)[+]
    Phil Claudnic (Stage Manager) has returned to Akvavit. It seems like yesterday that he was looking over the fjord on that chilly Summers Day. It was quite cold. Now we’re on the Blue Planet where he is reminded that sometimes managing actors is like managing children—fun, adventurous, and WILD! Phil often has other adventures with Adventure Stage Chicago and Lifeline Theater. And he will always go home to Factory Theater Company where he manages operations in our NEW SPACE!
*Indicates Akvavit Theatre company member.
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