House Announces “Nutcracker” Cast and Design Team

The House Theatre of Chicago has announced the cast and design team for this year’s production of the “The Nutcracker,” their all-original, ballet-free and family-friendly production playing at The Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division, November 8 – December 29.

Adapted by company members Jake Minton, Phillip Klapperich, Kevin O’Donnell and Tommy Rapley and based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story, the production is directed and choreographed by Rapley and features Amaris Sanchez (Clara), Dwayne Everett (Fritz), Rachel Shapiro (Phoebe the doll), Johnny Arena (Monkey), Amanda de la Guardia (Drosselmeyer/Really Quite Scary Rat), Benjamin Sprunger (Marty/Really Scary Rat/Teddy), Nicholas Bailey (David/Quite Scary Rat), and Colin Morgan (Hugo).

Pictured: (L to R) Amanda de la Guardia, Amaris Sanchez, Benjamin Sprunger, Colin Morgan, Wayne Everett, Johnny Arena, Nicholas Bailey and Rachel Shapiro

The design teams includes Collette Pollard (Scenic Designer), Debbie Baer (Costume Designer), Mieka van der Ploeg (Associate Costume Designer), Jerika Hucke (Costume Director), Lee Keenan (Lighting Designer), Clare Roche (Associate Lighting Designer), Michael Griggs (Sound Designer), Grover Hollway (Associate Sound Designer), Chicago Puppet Studio (Puppet Designers), Jon Schniedman (Music Director), Matthew Muñiz (Orchestrations), and Miranda Anderson (Stage Manager).

The 10th-anniversary production paints a new family portrait featuring two gay fathers, a son, a daughter, and their matriarchal Aunt, as they take this holiday journey of love and loss.

“As we have continued to work on the play, the effort of inclusion has extended to the kinds of families we represent to our audience. Families who are deeply bound by love and hardship and heartache rather than appearance. Families that everyone in our audience could hopefully see themselves within as they watch the story unfold. That this family could be their family. My hope is that as we produce this story year after year, we continue to examine the many different types of bonds within our communities and expand our definition of what it truly means to be a family,” says Rapley.

For more information on “The Nutcracker” visit

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