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The Picture of Dorian Gray: Cast & Crew
Sep 12 – Nov 2, 2008

Don Bender (Basil Hallward, Elder)
Don returns to Lifeline where he appeared as Don Alejandro Vega in the initial run of The Mark of Zorro. He has acted in Chicago for the past 25 years, including work with Writers Theatre, Next Theatre, Silk Road, City Lit, Stage Left, The Hypocrites, Shakespeare's Motley Crew, Signal Ensemble and many others.
Adam Breske (James Vane, Younger)
Adam is proud to be making his first appearance in a Lifeline production. His previous Chicago credits include Much Ado About Nothing for Oak Park Festival Theatre, Date Night for Adjusted Gratuity, and Earl the Vampire for Thunder and Lightning Theatre Ensemble. Non-Chicago credits include the east coast tour of Pinocchio with the Hampstead Players, A Number with the Virginia Choices and Challenges Symposium, and Fuddy Meers and Proof with the Blacksburg Summer Arts Festival.
John Ferrick (Alan Campbell, Elder)
John returns to Lifeline for his fifth show - he has appeared in The Two Towers, The Return of the King, The Killer Angels, Talking It Over, and most recently The Mark of Zorro. An ensemble member of Strawdog Theatre, he was last seen in their world premiere of Brett Neveau's musical, Old Town, and will be leading the charge in their upcoming Spring production of Red Noses, a comedy about the black plague! Some other theatres John has performed with include: Goodman, Court, Eclipse, Famous Door, About Face, National Jewish, Roadworks, and many others.
Kyle A. Gibson (Alan Campbell, Younger)
Kyle is a lifelong Chicagoan and is thrilled to be making his Lifeline Theatre debut with such a talented group of folks. A graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University, Kyle has appeared in productions at Vittum Theatre, The Actors Gymnasium, Big Brother, and most recently, Disney’s Aladdin with Emerald City Theatre. He has also appeared in numerous industrial films and can be seen as a doctor in the Step In My Shoes series at children’s museums across the country.
Paul S. Holmquist (Lord Henry Wotton, Younger)
Paul returns to the Lifeline stage after appearing in Strong Poison and The Talisman Ring and directing The Island of Dr. Moreau (winner of 5 Non-Equity Jeffs including Best Production-Play). He is thrilled to work with this incredible cast and crew, and again with brilliant adaptor Robert Kauzlaric. Paul is a Lifeline Ensemble member and also an artistic associate of the Griffin Theatre where he last acted in Journey's End and directed The Constant Wife. Around town, he's worked with Timeline, Shattered Globe, and the Factory among others. Coming soon, Paul will direct Flight of the Dodo for Lifeline's KidSeries, The Robber Bride Groom for the Griffin and Busman's Honeymoon for Lifeline's Mainstage.
Melissa Nedell (Sibyl Vane)
Melissa is very excited to be making her first appearance with Lifeline Theatre. She was last seen in Theatre Wit’s production of Feydeau Si Deau. Other credits include The Seagull, Book Of Days, A Few Good Men, and Dancing at Lughnasa, all with Raven Theatre; the world premiere production of The (W)hole Thing with Stage Left; as well as work with Steppenwolf Theatre and Collaboraction Theatre. She has also worked on numerous commercials, industrials, independent films and voice-overs in and outside Chicago. Melissa holds a BFA in Acting from The University of Connecticut and an MFA in Acting from Indiana University.
Sean Sinitski (Lord Henry Wotton, Elder)
Sean was a member of the late Defiant Theatre where he performed such roles as Hamlet, Macduff, Marcus Andronicus and a guy that got his thumb stolen in Action Movie - The Play! Other Chicago credits include: Theatre MIR - The Prisoner’s Dilemma; Silk Road - Back of the Throat; Strawdog - Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, Detective Story; Chicago Shakespeare - Winters Tale; Writers Theater - The Doctor’s Dilemma; Next Theater - Accidental Death of an Anarchist, The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer; Hypocrites - Henry V, Balm and Gilead; Walkabout Theater - Human Interest Story; Stage Left - Fellow Travelers; Famous Door - The Living.
David Skvarla (James Vane, Elder)
David is happy to be back at Lifeline having appeared as Winston Niles Rumfoord in their production of Kurt Vonnegut’s The Sirens of Titan. Most recently, Dave co-fight-directed, armed, and played Calico Jack Rackham for Back Stage Theatre’s Bloody Bess, fight directed Infamous Commonwealth’s Lewis and Clarke Reach the Euphrates, and played Morris Fishman aka Billy Santucci in Factory Theatre’s Dirty Diamonds. Dave has also had the honor to perform with Shaw Chicago, Oak Park Festival Theatre, Mary-Arrchie, Defiant, Open Eye, Open Cage, the Hypocrites, Rising Moon, Hope and Non-things, Big Game, SMC, and is the Artistic Director of Careening Theatre.
Aaron Snook (Basil Hallward, Younger)
Aaron returns to Lifeline where he was last seen as the Hyena-Swine Man in The Island of Dr. Moreau. His Chicago credits include Fool for Love, Hamlet, Closer, She Stoops to Conquer, Seascape (Jeff Citation nomination), Waiting for Godot, Catch-22, and Much Ado About Nothing for Signal Ensemble; The Devil Inside for the RBP; and Only the Sound for Chicago Dramatists. He has also directed The Dumbwaiter and The Birthday Party for Signal. He is a member of Signal Ensemble and Associate Artist with Chicago Dramatists. Aaron has a double major in English and drama from Duke University and studied at ACT in San Francisco.
Nick Vidal (Dorian Gray)
Nick is thrilled to be in his first Lifeline production. Previous credits include Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream with Arts Lane, Peredur in The Pendragon with Riddlemark, and Sylvestro in Scapino at New American Theater.
Anthony DiNicola (Understudy)
Anthony is proud to be working with Lifeline for the very first time. He was previously seen in Chicago in Early Times with Chicago Script Works, and a staged reading of Bill Norris' new play Hunting in Dreams/R.E.M with the Tin Fish Theatre Company. Last summer he was down at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, doing Samurai 7.0 with the Beau Jest Moving Theatre CompanyAt Bowdoin College he appeared in Angels in America: Millenium Approaches, Othello, Enemy of the People, and Waiting for Godot.
Josh Nordmark (Understudy)
Josh is a recent graduate of Illinois State University, Josh received his B.S. in Acting with a minor in Music. He was last seen in the world premier of Yes, This Really Happened To Me. Previous credits include: A Christmas Carol (Fred), West Side Story (Tony) and Romeo and Juliet (Friar Lawrence).
Laurel Schroeder (Understudy)
Laurel is excited to be working with Lifeline for the first time. She received a BA in theatre from Colorado State University and spent a year abroad in London studying classical acting, vocal technique, and playwriting. Previous roles include Helena in Midsummer Night's Dream, Sara in Stop Kiss, Corie Bratter in Barefoot in the Park, and Lucy in Chemically Imbalanced Comedy's production of Mr. Marmalade.
Robert Tobin (Understudy)
Robert has worked with a number of different theatres in Chicago (Astonrep, RedTwist, A Sense of Urgency, Pegasus, A Red Orchid), Los Angeles (MET Theatre, Sacred Fools, The Complex, etc.) and regionally with the Utah Shakespearean Festival and Colorado Shakespeare Festival. Along with various film and television work, he also teaches Shakespeare and stage combat to young adults from time to time.
Robert Kauzlaric (Adaptor)
Robert is a Lifeline ensemble member. His adaptation of The Island of Dr. Moreau received five Non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Awards, including Best Production-Play and New Adaptation, and is published by Playscripts. His adaptation of The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! will be produced in Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Georgia, North Carolina and California in 2008/09. Robert has appeared as an actor in ten Lifeline productions, most recently The Mark of Zorro and A Room with a View, and served as Assistant Director for Johnny Tremain.
Kevin Theis (Director)
Kevin returns to Lifeline for a third time as a director, having previously staged The Silver Chair and The Sirens of Titan. In the past year, he worked both on stage and off, directing The Hound of the Baskervilles at City Lit and Robin Hood for the Oak Park Festival Theatre and performing in A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre, Feydeau-Si-Deau with Theatre Wit and as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing at the Oak Park Festival. Previous directing credits include work with, among others, Seanachaí Theatre (where he is an ensemble member), greasy joan & co., Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, Circus Tortellini and CT20 Ensemble. He has received three Jeff nominations for his directing work. He is also a founding member of Shanghai Low Theatricals, a not-for-profit company devoted to developing works for the stage.
Kimberly Percell (Stage Manager)
Kimberly is happy to be working at Lifeline Theatre again on another gore-filled show! Originally from Oklahoma, she has stage managed The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, The Island of Dr. Moreau and Journey's End since moving to Chicago in 2007. She would like to thank her husband, Nate, and her family for their love and support.
Charlie Athanas (Portrait Designer)
Charlie is the Creative Director and Co-Owner of The Devil's Candy Store, Inc. and a WildClaw Theatre company member. He has been creating graphics for Chicago theater since 1981 for such plays as Clive Barker's In The Flesh, William Gibson's Burning Chrome, and the latest, Arthur Machen's The Great God Pan. Highlights from his other careers include: concept design work for the band U2's interactive project, U2i; artist on the first computer-generated comic book, SHATTER; animated John Madden Football II; co-designed Shadow President, the first computer game simulation to be reviewed by The Economist; built an exact replica of Jimi Hendrix's Stratocaster; and consulted with Paul Allen's Silicon Valley thinktank, Interval Research Corporation. Only one of these things is not true.
Tom Burch (Scenic Designer)
Tom is thrilled to return to Lifeline where previous designs include The Island of Dr. Moreau (Jeff nomination), The Shadow, The Sirens of Titan, and Strong Poison (After Dark Award). Other Chicago credits include Gas for Less and Talking Pictures for Goodman; touring productions of Romeo and Juliet, Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, and Comedy of Errors for Chicago Shakespeare; The Lady With All the Answers, Bad Dates, Red Herring, and The Good War at Northlight. He's the recipient of 2 After Dark Awards, a Jeff Citation (for Pyewacket's Misery) and the Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award. Regional credits include shows at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville and Peninsula Players, among others. He also teaches at the University of Chicago. His online portfolio is at www.tomburch.com.
Kevin D. Gawley (Lighting Designer)
Kevin has been an ensemble member of Lifeline Theatre since 2001. As a designer at Lifeline Theatre, Kevin won non-equity Jeff Awards for his designs of last season's production of The Island of Dr. Moreau and Jane Eyre, received the After Dark Award for his design of Strong Poison, and was Jeff nominated for Gaudy Night. As a freelance lighting/scenic designer in Chicago, Kevin's work has appeared in numerous productions at the Bailiwick, Organic, Porchlight, OperaModa, Blindfaith, Theatre on the Lake, Metropolis, StoreFront, Loyola University Chicago, Revels Chicago, Midwest Jewish and at the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival theatres. Kevin is the Lighting and Scenic design Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire and has taught Lighting Design and Technology courses previously at Loyola University Chicago and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Kevin holds an MFA and BFA in Lighting Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA in Finance from DePaul University.
Andy Hansen (Original Music and Sound Design)
Andy is pleased to be making his Lifeline debut and to be working again with director Kevin Theis. In Chicago, he has designed for Writer’s Theatre, Northlight, Apple Tree, Shattered Globe, Babes With Blades, Remy Bumppo, Caffeine, greasy joan, The Gift, Eclipse, The Steppenwolf, The Goodman, and at TimeLine Theatre where he is an Associate Artist. Upcoming projects include A House With No Walls at TimeLine and Old Glory at Writer’s Theatre.
Branimira Ivanova (Costume Designer)
Branimira is a graduate of the University of Connecticut - MFA Costume Design and the International Academy of Design and Technology- BFA in Fashion Design. The Picture of Dorian Gray is her third collaboration with Lifeline Theatre after recently designing The Mark of Zorro and Talking it Over. She has worked with Citylit Theare, Emerald City Theatre, The Gift Theatre, Pegasus Players, Infamous Commonwealth Theatre, Bailiwick Repertory, Black Sheep Productions, and dance companies- Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance, Breakbone Dance Company and Thodos Dance Company. Out of state she has worked with Connecticut Repertory Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Festival (MA) and Miniature Theatre of Chester (MA). Branimira is a recipient of Certificate for Excellence in Theatre Design by USITT in 2007. Her work was part of the United States National Exhibit at the Prague Quadrennial World Stage Expo in Prague 2007.
R&D Choreography (Violence Designers)
Richard Gilbert and David Gregory form the violence design partnership of R&D Choreography. They are thrilled to be working with Lifeline again, having designed violence for The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Piano Tuner, Around the World in 80 Days, Trust Me On This, The Silver Chair and Scary Home Companion. R&D was founded for the purpose of improving the power and effectiveness of Chicago area theatre through the art of violence design. They have worked with dozens of area theatres, including About Face, Apple Tree, ATC, Azusa, Bailiwick, Blindfaith, Circle, First Folio, Griffin, National Pastime,New American Theatre, Piven, Profiles, Shakespeare’s Motley Crew, and Trapdoor.
Jenniffer Thusing (Props Designer)
Jenniffer is thrilled to be returning to Lifeline after designing props for last season's Half Magic. Her work as a props designer will be seen later this season for Busman's Honeymoon. Jenniffer serves as the resident props designer for Northbrook Theatre and as this season's props designer for Chicago Dramatists. Her work as props designer has also been seen at Next Theatre, Noble Fool, Writers, and Drury Lane Oak Brook. She is the resident stage manager for Northbrook Theatre for Young Audiences. Jenniffer also stage manages Flanagan's Wake, Late Nite Catechism, and Put the Nuns in Charge. www.jennifferjthusing.com.
Elise Kauzlaric (Dialect Coach)
Elise is a member of Lifeline's artistic ensemble and most recently appeared on the MainStage in Talking it Over. She has coached dialects for Lifeline's productions of The Mark of Zorro, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Piano Tuner, Johnny Tremain, The Killer Angels, The Shadow and Trust Me on This. Other dialect coaching projects include Angels in America, Equus and Henry V (the Hypocrites); Wintertime (Reverie) and A Christmas Carol, To Kill a Mocking Bird and Cabaret (Metropolis Theatre).
Amy Sobotta (Costume Assistant)
Amy is working at Lifeline for the first time as a costume assistant although she has worked at Lifeline before as box office and house management staff and as a photographer for the past three seasons. She has been working as a costume assistant for Cybele Moon for the past year on SMART at the Side Project and Requiem for a Heavyweight at Shattered Globe Theatre.
Cortney Hurley (Production Manager)

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