Casts and Design Team Announced for DIRECTORS HAVEN 2018

Casts and Design Team Announced for DIRECTORS HAVEN 2018

Pictured (top, l to r): Kristen Alesia, Kylie Anderson, Lynne Baker, Emily Butcher, Diana Camacho, Sarah “Sar” Cohen, Elena Dern, Berit Godo, (center, l to r) Natalie Hanson, Grayson Heyl, Gregory D. Hicks, Hillary Horvath, Amy Hunt, Jennifer Ledesma, Sarah Ellen Miller, Jessica Morales, (bottom, l to r) Ernesto Moreta, Mollyanne Nunn, Esme Perez, Andrew Rathgeber, Rolo Rodriguez, Jorge Silva, Alec Silver and Kate Staiger.

Haven Theatre has announced the design team and casts for DIRECTORS HAVEN 2018, the company’s annual initiative showcasing the talents of three rising directors. This  year’s productions are helmed by Charlotte Drover, Airos Sung-En Medill and Dani Wieder.

Comments Artistic Director Josh Sobel, “I have been overwhelmed by how the Director’s Haven continues to evolve and grow year after year, and this year is no exception with our 4th cohort of early-career directors. These are three exceptionally exciting burgeoning visions, distinctly contemporary, curious about the sheer potential of the art form and deeply, immensely personal.”

DIRECTORS HAVEN 2018 includes (from the press release):

By Madame Rachilde, translated by Daniel Gerould
Directed by Charlotte Drover
Mentor: Krissy Vanderwarker

Cast: Emily Butcher (Ensemble), Elena Dern (Ensemble), Sarah Ellen Miller (Ensemble), Jessica Morales (Ensemble), Mollyanne Nunn (Ensemble), Alec Silver (Terror Stricken) and Kate Staiger (Mother). Swing: Berit Godo (Ensemble).

“The Crystal Spider” is a surreal horror play that dives into the mind of Terror-Stricken, a young person plagued by their Mother’s social and sexual pressures and haunted by their strange and paralyzing fear of mirrors. They revive this story for their Mother, awakening the suppressed memories trapped within the looking glass. This story – told through poetry, dance and physical theatre – forces Terror-Stricken into a final confrontation with their mirror self and every demon they run from.

By Josefina Lopez
Directed by Airos Sung-En Medill
Mentor: Jess McLeod

Cast: Diana Camacho (Girl, Ensemble), Sarah “Sar” Cohen (Girl, Ensemble), Natalie Hanson (Girl, Ensemble), Jennifer Ledesma (Carmen), Ernesto Moreta (Jose, Ensemble), Esme Perez (Maria), Rolo Rodriguez (Priest, Ensemble) and Jorge Silva (Ricardo).

“Simply Maria, or the American Dream” is an episodic telling of Maria and her family’s migration from Mexico to the United States and what it means to be a woman in her family in the past, present and future. Desperate to change their story, Maria is forced to face the collision of her family and her new home while navigating the definitions of gender and culture that are passed on from one generation to the next.

By William Inge
Directed by Dani Wieder
Mentor: dado

Cast: Kristen Alesia (Elma), Kylie Anderson (Girl), Lynne Baker (Professor), Grayson Heyl (Old Lady), Gregory D. Hicks (Driver), Hillary Horvath (Old Lady), Amy Hunt (Grace) and Andrew Rathgeber (Man).

A girl bursts into a roadside diner, panicked. Something on the greyhound bus she has been riding cross-country is not right. But everyone else is also on the run, fixated on the hope that this Kansas wind will blow them as far west as possible. So what’s a girl to do? William Inge’s one act, which would eventually become the first draft of his play Bus Stop, explores the chaotic effects of the American Dream and how the quest for a perfect life can make us blind to the pain of others.

The production team includes Will Tople (scenic design), Amanda Rabito (costume design), Blake Cordell (lighting design), Emily Boyd (props design), Sarah D. Espinoza (sound design), David Da Legend Ingram (choreography, “The Crystal Spider”), Jurrell Lewis (object design, “People in the Wind”), Marika Mashburn (casting director), Nik Whitcomb (assistant casting director), Angela Salinas (production manager), Josh Prisching (technical director), Liz Larsen (stage manager, “People in the Wind”), Corbin Paulino (stage manager, “Simply Maria, or The American Dream”) and Haley Schmidt (stage manager, “The Crystal Spider”).

DIRECTOR’S HAVEN 2018 will play October 15 – 31, 2018 at Haven Theatre’s resident home, The Den Theatre (2A), 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. The three productions run back-to-back in one program. All performances are pay-what-you-can. Tickets are currently available at

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