CAST & CREW of OTHELLO
Mignon McPherson Stewart directed last season’s Jeff Recommended production of Kia Corthron’s Breath, Boom for Eclipse Theatre. Other recent work includes Dandelions for Collaboraction’s Peacebook Festival, The Gospel of the New Earth for The Heart Knows at Chicago DanzTheatre Ensemble and The Crooner for Black Lives Black Words. Other work includes Night Vision and Dressing (Goodman Theatre: Facing Our Truth), and Wine in the Wilderness/Florence (eta Creative Arts Foundation). Mignon also curated and co-wrote performances for “The Bang Bang Project” and “In the Hood”, exhibits by award-winning visual artist Cesar Conde. During her time as artistic associate with MPAACT, Mignon directed Lydia Diamond’s Stage Black, Nambi E. Kelley’s MiLK and Shepsu Aakhu’s Fascia, Kiwi Black and Trouble the Water which won the BTAA for best production. Other directing work include Gloria Bond Clunie’s Sweet Water Taste and Shepsu Aakhu’s Softly Blue, (Goodman’s New Stages Series) and Lynn Nottage’s Crumbs from the Table of Joy (Loyola University) among others. Mignon received her BA in Theatre from Loyola and her MFA in Directing/Dramaturgy from Roosevelt University and was a Goodman Theatre Maggio Directing Fellow.
FIGHT DIRECTOR / INTIMACY DESIGNER
Samantha Kaufman* is a fight director, actor, and intimacy director. After being transplanted to Chicago to study circus arts with Actors Gymnasium; she now travels to perform in and fight direct productions across the nation. She has her BFA from the University of Wyoming and her MFA from Florida Atlantic University. She is also an advanced actor/ combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors and an intermediate actor/combatant with Fight Directors Canada. She is a Babes With Babes Theatre Company ensemble member. Her favorite shows she has been Fight Director for have been King Lear (Florida Atlantic Rep), Romeo and Juliet (Florida Shakespeare Theatre), and Pericles (ASOPA Theatre). She is honored to be a part of this process. Samanthakaufman.weebly.com.
Sarah Liz Bell (Desdemona) This is Sarah’s BWBTC debut and she is ecstatic to be working with a company she has admired for some time! During her time in Chicago, Sarah has enjoyed working with theaters such as Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, Redtwist Theatre Co., and Arc Theater, and has originated roles in modern verse-plays with We Three. She received her MA from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and BA from Baldwin Wallace University.
Deveon Bromby (u/s Othello) is thrilled to make her Babes debut as the understudy for Othello. Recently, she was seen in “The God Committee” as Dominique Piero and “The Odd Couple- Female Version” as Renee at Oil Lamp Theatre. Other recent theatre credits include Nona in a reading of (NINE) in Chicago Dramatists’ Tutterow Fellows Showcase, Court Theatre’s Spotlight Reading Series: “Puddin ‘N Pete”, “our perspective: Asian American Play Readings” at Goodman and Steppenwolf Theatres, understudies for Allie in Wildclaw Theatre’s “Future Echoes” and Prix in Eclipse Theatre’s “Breath, Boom”, Silk Road Rising’s “EPIC” play reading series, and Black Ensemble Theatre’s Black Playwrights summer play series, as well as several on-screen/voiceover credits.
Brianna Buckley (Othello) is beyond thrilled to be working with Babes With Blades Theatre Company for their production of Othello. She is always looking to find work that defies the norm and tells a new story, so taking on this role will really be a treat. She is originally from Michigan but made Chicago her home 4 years ago and loves every moment of it.
Currently, she is in “Crumbs From The Table of Joy” (Raven Theatre), and preparing for her first children’s show with Emerald City Theatre, Fantastic Mr. Fox. On top of her passion of acting, she is a director and teaching artist with Lifeline Theatre and Court Theatre.
Meredith Ernst (Cassio) After a short hiatus, Meredith is thrilled to be returning to the stage with the Babes. Originally from Nebraska, she is a Hufflepuff, and a corrupter of words that has lived in Chicago for almost 6 years. She’s been focusing on Shakespeare, while cultivating one of the most confusing resumes out there. Most recently, she has spent her artistic time working with with both casts and individuals as the resident Text Coach for Midsommer Flight. Some of her favorite roles have included a couple different twins, a bastard, a king, and a princess. She would very much like to tell everyone that Black Lives Matter.
Ashley Fox* (Aemilia) is thrilled to be a part of the Babes’ upcoming production of Othello. She was last scene as Judy Butafuco in BWBTC’s The Invisible Scarlet O’Neil. She has worked with many storefronts over her 7 years and has an MFA in Classical Acting from the University of Houston.
Kim Fukawa* (Montano) is thrilled to return for another BWBTC Shakespeare. She got her start with the Babes in their 2009 production of Macbeth. Since then she has not only continued performing with them, she has also choreographed or co-choreographed four productions. Most recently she has been seen at such places as Lifeline Theatre, The House Theatre, and TimeLine Theatre.
Kimberly Logan+ (Duke/Lodovico & u/s Iago) is super excited to return to BWBTC where she is an emeritus ensemble member and work on Othello. Previous BWBTC credits include: Crone (WitchSlap!), Brutus (Julius Caesar), Tamora (Titus Andronicus), Ismene (The Last Daughter of Oedipus) and Hedwige (180 Degree Rule). Outside of the gender-bending, ageless roles with Babes, Kimberly has also been seen on stage as EK Hornbeck (Inherit The Wind), Widow (All’s Well That Ends Well), and Maggie (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof).
Michelle McKenzie-Voigt (Brabantio) is delighted to make her Babes With Blades Theatre Company debut! With roles ranging from Shakespeare to Sondheim, recent credits include The Full Monty (Timber Lake Playhouse), Four by Tenn (AstonRep), Billy Elliot (Porchlight Music Theatre), Coriolanus (Commission Theatre), Mame and Guys and Dolls (Music Theater Works), Beautiful Thing, The Children’s Hour, and The Boy from Oz (Pride Films & Plays), and the Lady Macbeth of musical theater: Rose in Gypsy (Harper Ensemble Theatre). A five-time Chicago Emmy nominee, she has been a soloist with the Southwest Symphony Orchestra [and was a game show champion on The $100,000 Pyramid, winning $23,350 and a trip for two to London].
Izis Mollinedo* (Ensemble & u/s Montano/Roderigo/Aemilia) is a Latinx actor, singer, and musician from right here in Chicago. She earned her BFA in Acting from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Over the years she has also become a company member with The Unrehearsed Shakespeare Company, while also working with Strawdog Theatre Company, The Hypocrites, Pride Films and Plays, Eclectic Theatre Company, and Signal Ensemble Theatre.
Rachel Mock (Roderigo) Rachel is thrilled to be back with the Babes after understudying in their last all-female Shakespeare, Henry V! Rachel moved to Chicago three years ago after completing her MFA at Ohio University. Chicago credits include: very still and hard to see (Betty/Kami/Violet) with Exit 63, Tight End (Darla) with 20% Theatre, Anna Karenina (Betsy Understudy) with Lifeline Theatre, and of course Henry V (Mountjoy/Nim/Michael Williams Understudy) with the Babes With Blades Theatre Company.
Hilary Schwartz (Bianca, Ensemble) is thrilled to be making her debut with Babes With Blades Theatre Company. Other Chicago credits include The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (Eclipse); Hinter (Steep); 8th Annual Living Newspaper Festival (Jackalope); Bechdel Fest 5 (Broken Nose); Bachelorette (Level 11). West Coast credits include John is a Father (Road Theatre, World Premiere, *Ovation Award Winner); Anatomy of a Hug (Road Theatre, West Coast Premiere); Beyond the Horizon (Eugene O’Neill Foundation); The Merchant of Venice (Downtown Repertory); Othello, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Timon of Athens (Porters of Hellsgate). Hilary also works extensively with the Chicago-based production company Very Cool Videos, and you can see her in various upcoming projects including Gancho, Hey, Sorry, War Toys, and Hills Like White Elephants. Much love to Morgan, my family, Larry Moss, and all of the individuals affected by the Pittsburgh shooting.
Mary Eliza Willingham (Ensemble & u/s Cassio/Desdemona/Duke) is over the moon to be making her Chicago debut with the Babes With Blades Theatre Company! Born and raised in Colorado, Mary received her BFA in Theatre Performance from CU Boulder and acted professionally in the Denver area since graduating. She left the mountains this past September for the Windy City to further her acting career, and to finally figure out what humidity feels like – she thinks it’s just ok. You can find more info on Mary and her past credits on her website – www.maryewillingham.com
Kathrynne Wolf* (Iago) is a charter member of BWBTC, and a Chicago storefront theatre veteran, appearing with companies such as Jackalope, Strawdog, Stage Left, Mary Arrchie (Jeff nomination – Best Actress in a Supporting Role), Lookingglass, Redtwist, Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, About Face, First Folio, and others. She took a five year hiatus from BWBTC to produce some personal projects, and then returned for a two-year run as Co-AD, and now serves as Marketing Director. As a VO artist, Kat has recorded voiceovers for TV & radio commercials, video games, one audio book and one pinball machine, and on camera she can be seen in various indie film projects, including two web series; Dark Age: The Web Series, and The Scarlet Line (thescarletlineseries.com
Samantha K. Barr* (Production Manager) Samantha is very please to be working on Othello. Samantha is an artistic affiliate with Babes With Blades Theatre Co, a company member of Aston Rep Theatre Co, and Production Manager for Dominican University. When not working Sam can be seen haunting the CTA, looking up funny cat pictures, or drinking coffee. Sam would especially like to thank the amazing cast and crew for doing such great work, and of course much love to Jeremiah and Edgar.
Leigh Barrett* (Sound Designer) has been making theatre in Chicago since her graduation from Bradley University in 1989. She is a member emeritus of Stage Left Theatre, and of the late Plasticene Theatre Company. She currently stage manages out at Oak Park Festival Theatre, where she is an Artistic Associate. She has been a company member of BWBTC since 2007 – where she has designed lights and sound for many productions, as well as directing The Double, Bo Thomas and the Case of the Sky Pirates, Patchwork Drifter, and The Invisible Scarlet O’Neil. She is proud to have played a part in ten years of BWBTC’s all womxn cast Shakespeare.
Lauren Brady (Stage Manager) is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and is originally from Fayetteville, Arkansas. Some of their recent Chicago credits include SM for The Revolutionists with Strawdog Theatre Company and SM for ILY with UnheardOf Company. They are very excited and grateful to be back with Babes With Blades Theatre Company after working with them as assistant stage manager for The Lady Demands Satisfaction and The Good Fight.
Erin Nicole Gautille (Scenic Design) Erin recently moved back to the Chicago area after working as a scenic designer and technical director for Cardinal Stage. She designed their productions of Rounding Third, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and Robin Hood. Here in Chicago she has designed for multiple companies here in Chicago such as The Plagiarists, First Floor Theatre and others. Additionally she also has worked with her Alma Mater, Taylor University, designing multiple shows including The Amish Project. Erin is excited to be part of this amazing team of women and hopes you enjoy the show.
Lacie Hexom (Props Designer) Lacie is delighted to be working with Babes With Blades Theatre Company for the 1st time! Chicago credits include; Bright Star, Cyrano and Marie Christine (BoHo); Caroline or Change! (Firebrand); The Harvest (Griffin); Masque Macabre and Damascus (Strawdog); The Light Fantastic, Franklinland, 1980 or Why I am Voting for John Anderson, Ideation, and Octagon (Jackalope); Alias Grace (Rivendell). Regional credits; Steppenwolf, Goodman, Chicago Shakespeare, Glimmerglass Opera, Cleveland Playhouse, Dallas Theater Center, Santa Fe Opera. Lacie received her MFA in Props Design from CalArts and BA in Technical Theatre from UW-Stevens Point, and recently received her AWS Welding Certification at JARC Chicago. laciehexomprops.com
Carlie Casas (Costume Design) is honored to be working with Babes With Blades Theatre Company again. Casas previously designed The Lady Demands Satisfaction earlier this season. Recent credits include Route with Aegis Theatre Company and I Am My Story with Piven’s Young Peoples Company. Big thanks to Mom, Dad, Pat, and the Mundil-Dyes.
Hayley Rice* (Dramaturge / Script Adaptor) Hayley is an actor and director originally from Clarendon Hills, Illinois. She has a BFA of Theatre Arts from Illinois Wesleyan University. She has worked (as either an actor or director) with The Factory Theater, AstonRep Theatre Co., Circle Theatre, Prologue Theatre, The Chicago Mammals, The Paradeigma Collective, Focal Point Theatre, Illinois Theatre Center, LiveWire Theatre, Point of Contention Theatre, Rascal Children’s Theatre and Minnesota’s Prairie Fire Children’s Theater. She is also a proud artistic associate at First Folio Theatre. You can find more about Hayley and her future projects at HayleyRice.com.
Sarah Riffle (Lighting Designer) Some of her recent shows include Maria de Buenos Aires (Opera Grand Rapids), Dear Erich [assistant](New York City Opera), Stupid F**king Bird (Ohio University Theater), Trouble in Tahiti/Bernstein Concert (Lyric Opera Chicago), As One (Urban Arias). Sarah has worked with such companies as The New York Botanical Garden, Chautauqua Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, New York City Opera and BalletMet Columbus. She currently holds the position of Assistant Lighting Designer for Lyric Opera Chicago and continues to design between Chicago and New York.
Lauren Valice (Assistant Stage Manager) This is Lauren’s first Chicagoland production since moving from Detroit in the fall of last year. She spent the former half of her time here thus far as a casting assistant with Remy Bumppo Theatre Company. Most recent Detroit credits include scenic designer for Body Awareness (Underground Theatre), director for Lucida (Louise-Heck Rabi Playwriting Festival), director for The Tempest (Underground Theatre), assistant stage manager for Wintertime (Hilberry Studio Theatre), and stage manager for Beneatha’s Place (Hilberry Studio Theatre). laurenvalice.com