Strawdog Announces “Welcome to Keene” Cast and Designers

Strawdog Announces “Welcome to Keene” Cast and Designers

Pictured: (top, l to r) Kylie Anderson, Elise Marie Davis, North Rory Homeward, Marssie Mencotti, James Munson and Bianca Phipps (bottom, l to r) Michael Reyes, Jackie Seijo, Cary Shoda, Anne Sheridan Smith, Jamie Vann and David Weiner.

Strawdog Theatre Company has announced the cast and design team for its world premiere of Brian James Polak’s “Welcome to Keene, New Hampshire,” directed by Artistic Director Leda Hoffmann.

The cast includes Kylie Anderson, Elise Marie Davis, North Rory Homeward, Marssie Mencotti, James Munson, Bianca Phipps, Michael Reyes, Jackie Seijo, Cary Shoda, Anne Sheridan Smith, Jamie Vann and David Weiner.

The production team to date includes Heath Hays (scenic design), Sally Dolembo (costume design), Claire Chrzan (lighting design), Daniel Etti-Williams (sound design), Sam Hubbard (fight director), Julia Atkin (assistant director) and Shannon Rourke (stage manager).

Keene, New Hampshire shares a view of Mount Monadnock with Thornton Wilder’s fictional “Our Town.” Modern day Keene shares many of America’s challenges – guns, opioids, divergent political views.

“I am thrilled to be making my Strawdog directing debut working with so many incredible artists,” comments Hoffmann. “Brian’s play tells a beautiful multi-generational story of a community. Like “Our Town,” “Welcome to Keene, New Hampshire” explores what it means to be human in all its complexities. In contemporary America, we need this more than ever. I cannot wait for Chicago audiences to experience this play.”

“Welcome to Keene, New Hampshire” will play April 17 – May 30 at Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. More information at

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  • Ruth Neaveill#1

    January 30, 2020

    Just a question. All I see are beautiful young faces in the casts. Are playwrights not interested in writing parts for older actors and women in particular? We still are relevant and contribute to society. Too many 40 year olds are cast as 70 year olds.
    Thank you.

    • Brian#2

      February 12, 2020

      Hi Ruth,
      This playwright is thrilled to write plays for older actors and women. The central characters of Welcome to Keene are women and nonbinary. And this cast is multi-generational. Two characters are over 70 years, several are middle-aged, some are in their 20s, and two are teenagers. With the exception of the teenage characters, all roles are filled with age appropriate actors.

      If you’re interested in plays with women and featuring older actors, this is the pay for you.



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