CAST & CREW of Women of 4G

PLAYWRIGHT

Amy Tofte

Amy Tofte’s (Playwright) plays and solo pieces have been produced throughout the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Her recent play Parts & Pieces was a finalist for the 2019 Todd McNerney Playwriting Award while Righteous Among Us was one of three finalists for the Florida Rep New Play Lab. Her play Helen & Troy was recently seen as part of the Garry Marshall Theater’s New Works Festival. Other plays have been semi-finalists for the nuVoices Festival (Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte), Kitchen Dog Theatre’s New Works Festival, Source Festival, The Bridge Initiative, Headwaters New Play Festival, PlayPenn, Inkslinger, Phoenix Theatre Festival and The Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship. She has developed plays at The Bechdel Group (NYC), Babes With Blades Theatre Company (Chicago), the Kennedy Center, and on a Visiting Scholar Fellowship at the Autry National Center of the American West. She has twice been invited to develop work for Seattle Repertory’s reading series hosted by the Northwest Playwrights Alliance and completed residencies at Yaddo, Brush Creek Ranch and with the National Winter Playwrights Retreat in Creede, CO. She is also a prolific screenwriter and was awarded a 2015 Nicholl Fellowship in screenwriting from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She is a proud member of The Dramatists Guild. MFA, California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

DIRECTOR

Lauren Katz Headshot

Lauren Katz (Director) is a freelance director, dramaturg, and teaching artist, and thrilled to be working with Babes With Blades Theatre Company for the first time! Lauren served as the Artistic Apprentice at Steppenwolf Theatre Company for their 2016/2017 season, and as a fellow in the 2018/2019 Directors Inclusion Initiative at Victory Gardens Theatre. Lauren has worked as a director and dramaturg with various Chicago companies including: About Face Theatre, Firebrand Theatre Company, iO Theater, Theater Wit, Prop Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Victory Gardens Theatre, Writers Theatre, and Windy City Playhouse. As a teaching artist, Lauren works with Lookingglass Theatre and Mudlark Theater.

FIGHT DIRECTOR

Maureen Yasko headshot

Maureen Yasko (Fight Director) is an ensemble member of BWBTC where she has appeared in Julius Caesar, Bo Thomas and the Case of the Sky Pirates, L’Imbecile, Titus Andronicus, and The Promise of a Rose Garden. This her second time fight directing a mainstage show for “The Babes”, having previously choreographed Witch Slap!. Other Chicago companies she’s Fight Directed for include Cor Theatre, L’il Buds, Mary-Arrchie, The Factory Theater, The Chicago Vocal Arts Consortium, The Conspirators, and Midsommer Flight. She’s also choreographed fights out in the suburbs at Aurora University and for The Schaumburg Nutcracker. Maureen is an Advanced Actor Combatant with the SAFD, holds a BA in Theatre, music minor from AASU in Savannah, GA, and is a Certified Yoga Instructor.

CAST

Jillian Leffe headshot

Jillian Leff  (Ensign Pierce) is a BWBTC Ensemble Member who was last seen in THE GOOD FIGHT (Cicely). A Chicago based actor and playwright, her past credits include MISSED OPPORTUNITIES (Max), SHE KILLS MONSTERS (Tilly) and THE FAIRYTALE LIVES OF RUSSIAN GIRLS (Annie) with The Cuckoo’s Theater Project, FIGHT QUEST 4 PEACE (Super-Strength Avatar) with Otherworld Theatre, and GODDAMN GENIUSES (Erwin Schrodinger) with Runaways Lab Theatre. As a writer, her plays MISSED OPPORTUNITIES and SMALL WORLD (co-written with Joe Lino) both received world premieres this past year with The Cuckoo’s Theater Project and The New Colony, respectively. Her play (NON)FICTION will be receiving its world premiere with The Right Brain Project in August. She has a BFA in Acting from Ball State University and is an Advanced Actor Combatant with The Society of American Fight Directors. https://jeleff11.wixsite.com/jillianwebsite

Ashley Yates headshot

Ashley Yates  (Stark) is thrilled to be working with BWBTC for the first time! A graduate of the University of Iowa, she moved to Chicago in 2011 to pursue theater, film, and more. Ashley is also a Factory Theater Ensemble Member and represented by Chicago Talent Network.

LaKecia Harris headshot

LaKecia Harris  (Nataki) is from the south side of Chicago, she has worked on numerous productions in the city and enjoys working in the town she’s proud to call home. Some of her hobbies are dancing, learning languages, and naps! She is represented by Gray Talent Group.

Jazmín Corona headshot

Jazmín Corona  (Wollman) has had the pleasure of working with Babes With Blades, Steppenwolf, Porchlight, Raven Theatre, Collaboraction, 16th Street, Free Street, First Folio, Teatro Luna, Adventure Stage, Eclipse Theatre Company, Goodman, American Blues, Urban Theater Company, Chicago Dramatists, Prop Theatre, and Physical Festival Chicago. She has worked on such films as Dawn and The Southside Has Many Beauty Queens, both having been shown at the Chicago Latino Film Festival with the latter winning the Audience Choice Award for Best Short Film. Television credits include NBC’s Chicago Fire.

Catherine Dvorak headshot

Catherine Dvorak  (Baston) hails from Lincoln, NE and graduated from the Johnny Carson School of Theater and Film. Catherine was drawn to Babes With Blades Theater Company because of their mission and vision and their shared passion for staged combat. She is a proud member of their ensemble and has been seen in their productions of Julius Caesar (Octavius/Conspirator), The Promise of a Rose Garden (Angel/Tina), Henry V (King of France / Pistol), and The Good Fight. Other company credits include Artemisia, Red Theater, Idle Muse, Reutan Collective, Greenhouse Theater and Collaboraction. Catherine is a voice actor and has done work for the radio show Our Fair City and made cameo recordings for several podcasts and answering machines. She’s stepping into the visual art world as well, working mostly with acrylics and chalk. Learn more about Catherine’s performance and visual art work by following her instagram: catherinedoesart.

Renee Lockett headshot

Renee Lockett  (Dr. Cava) is excited to work with Babes With Blades for the first time. With the exception of the 22 years she spent raising her urchin, she’s spent the most of the last 4 decades on or around stages in Chicago. Some of her past theatrical haunts include, Black Ensemble, ETA, X-Bag, Victory Gardens, MPAACT, Collaboraction, Fleetwood Jourdain, 3 Cat, Prologue, Childs Play, Redtwist, Northlight and Steppenwolf. Look for her on the small screen on The Chi and Southside. She’s grateful to her God for the chance to still be a working actor. Renee is represented by DDO Artists Agency.

Judi Schindler headshot

Judi Schindler  (Dr Toulle) believes it’s never too late. She learned how to ski in her 50s; became an actor in her 60s and an author in her 70s. A public relations and marketing consultant for more than 40 years, she began taking acting classes at a time when she was winding down her business career. She was soon being cast independent films, commercials and stage productions. Among her acting highlights was the role of Roberta in Theater Wit’s production of  Admissions by Joshua Harmon. She previously understudied at such theaters as Steppenwolf, Northlight, Shattered Globe and Victory Gardens, where she went on as Hillary in Hillary and Clinton. Favorite roles include Miriam Goldman in Beau Jest, Juanita Bartlett in Sordid Lives and the drunk passenger in Hellcab. Judi can also be seen in various local venues performing her one-woman show, Husbands: An Owner’s Manual which explains how to select a husband and how to maintain him in good working order, including replacement parts, warranties and exchanges.

Samantha Price headshot

Samantha Price  (u/s Pierce/Baston) is thrilled to work with BWBTC! In Chicago, she has worked with A Dead Whale Productions, Rough House’s Nasty, Brutish, and Short, and the Rockwell Theatre Bandits. She’s worked professionally in Philadelphia before with EgoPo Classic Theatre, and is excited to get more involved in the Chicago Theatre scene! Love and thanks to Storm for the constant support (check your higi), Lauren for taking a chance on her, as well as her dope parents and brother. This is dedicated to Queen of the Known Universe, Wilhelmina.