Atra last appeared at Lookingglass in Blood Wedding and made her debut before that with Bengal Tiger at The Baghdad Zoo. Past performances include: 1984 (Steppenwolf for Young Adults), A Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre), Heartbreak House (Writers Theatre), Dirty (The Gift Theatre), Seminar (Haven Theatre), and Inana (TimeLine Theatre). She is an understudy to The Second City Touring Company, and a member of the sketch group, Damn Gina. Atra is a graduate of Loyola University, Second City, and iO—where she is on the Harold team, Lil Tooties. Atra is also 1/2 of the improv/sketch duo, The Perm.
Brian Sidney Bembridge
Brian has designed over 15 productions at Lookinglass, including Life Sucks, Cascabel, Summertime, and Hard Times (Jeff Award). His extensive design credits include Off-Broadway: The Public Theater, Second Stage Theatre, Jean Cocteau Repertory, Kids With Guns and Theatre at St. Clement’s. International: Theatre Royal Stratford East in London, Town Hall Theatre in Galway, Ireland, Illawarra Performing Arts Centre and Platform Hip Hop Festival in Sydney, Australia, among others. Regional: Guthrie Theater, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago and California Shakespeare Theaters, ACT Theatre, TimeLine Theatre (Artistic Associate), The Second City, Arden Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Alliance Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, Court Theatre, Writers Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Northlight Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, Ravinia Festival, Children’s Theatre Company; Asolo, St. Louis, Milwaukee and Madison Repertory Theaters, City Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Circle X Theatre Company (Company Member), Route 66 Theatre Company (Artistic Associate), Visceral Dance, Opera Omaha, and Virginia Opera, among others. Film production designs include Marie and Bruce, Holding Out, Stray Dogs and Late for Church, and sets for Muppets from Space.
Credits & Awards
Off Broadway: Jean Cocteau Repertory, Kids With Guns Theater Company, Theatre at St Clement’s.
National Tours: Chicago Shakespeare.
Chicago: Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, The Second City, Court Theatre, Chicago Theater, Writers’ Theatre, Ravinia Music Festival, Timeline Theatre Company (Artistic Associate), Teatro Vista (Artistic Associate), UMA Productions (Artistic Associate), Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower/Oakbrook, Luna Negra Dance Theatre, Chicago Civic Ballet, Next Theater, Famous Door Theater Company, The Gift Theatre, Pine Box Theatre Company, Naked Eye Theatre Company, Bailiwick Repertory, Noble Fool Theatricals, Live Bait Theater, among others. Regional: Guthrie Theatre, Virginia Opera, Opera Omaha, The Arden Theatre, The Second City Toronto, Milwaukee Repertory, Madison Repertory, Circle X Theatre Company, Boston Court Theatre, The Power House Theater, Golden Mean Productions, among others.
Film Production Design: Wallace Shawn’s Marie and Bruce, Holding Out, MANFAST, Stray Dogs, Late for Church. He also designed sets for MUPPETS FROM SPACE.
Brian has been honored with six Joseph Jefferson Awards, two Gregory Awards, two LA Drama Critic Circle Awards, LA Weekly Theater Awards, three Back Stage Garland Awards, and an Ovation Award. Brian represented the U.S. at the Prague Quadrennial in 2011 with his design of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity.
Christine A. Binder is a native Illinoisan who first studied dance in college, but a knee injury led her to lighting design classes at the same university. “When I understood the power of lighting, I was hooked,” says Binder. “As a dancer, I was only interpreting someone else’s ideas. But as a designer, I saw that I could participate in the creative process in a more meaningful way, and make a bigger impact on the final product.” Ms. Binder has designed over 200 productions in Chicago and around the country. Her theatre designs include work with The Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Writer’s Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare, The Court Theatre, Northlight, Redmoon Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the McCarter Theatre and Hartford Stage. Recent designs include Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo and Eastland at Lookingglass; The Whipping Man at Northlight; and Oklahoma! and Don Pasquale for the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Ms. Binder’s opera designs include work at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Opera Theatre, San Diego Opera, New York City Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, and Houston Grand Opera. She has been Jeff nominated for her work with The Court Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, and Northlight Theatre and has received 2 Jeff Citations for her work with Redmoon Theatre (Frankenstein and Frankie and Johnny). Christine is married to Claude Binder, the General Manager at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. The Binders have one son, Cody, and reside in Oak Park, Illinois.
Walter Owen Briggs
Walter has appeared at Lookingglass in Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, The North China Lover, and Moby Dick. Walter appeared in the world premiere of Hit The Wall (The Inconvenience) at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, All Our Tragic (The Hypocrites;Jeff Award for Best Ensemble), and The Glass Menagerie (Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co.;Jeff Award for Best Supporting Actor). Other Chicago credits include: Victory Gardens Theater, A Red Orchid Theatre, Steep Theater, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Chicago Dramatists, About Face Theatre, and The House Theatre of Chicago. Regional credits include: Alliance Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Arena Stage, American Repertory Theater, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and The Getty Villa. TV/Film credits include: Chicago Med, Jessica, A Good Person, Ballad and Older Children. Walter is a founding member of The Inconvenience and a community member with The Hypocrites. He is a graduate of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.
Christopher has performed at Lookingglass in The Odyssey, Eurydice, The Arabian Nights, Metamorphoses, Still Alice, Moby Dick, and Treasure Island. New York credits include: Dogeaters, Measure for Measure (The Public Theater/NYSF), The Notebooks of Leonardo DaVinci (Second Stage Theater), Monster (Classic Stage Company, Obie Award) and Metamorphoses (Circle in the Square Theatre).
Deanna has appeared at Lookingglass in Death Tax and The North China Lover. Her most recent Chicago performance was last fall in Marvin’s Room (Shattered Globe Theatre). Though she has appeared in over 20 Chicago area theaters (earning three Jeff Awards, three After Dark Awards, and the Sarah Siddons Award), she is best known as Violet in the Steppenwolf Theatre Company production of August: Osage County, which moved to Broadway (Tony Award Recipient), and toured to London and Sydney, Australia. Last spring she participated in the Sundance Theatre Lab held near Marrakesh, Morocco. Her best known film role is Nana in the M. Night Shyamalan movie, The Visit. Television credits include: The Exorcist, The Strain, and House of Cards. Her directing credits include directing her play The Legend Of Pecos Bill (Dallas Theater Center) and assistant directing Marvin’s Room (Shattered Globe Theatre).
Kasey has performed at Lookingglass in Treasure Island, Moby Dick and The Little Prince. She has been performing, producing, and directing in Chicago since 2004. She has worked with Chicago-based theatre companies: Manual Cinema Studios, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Blair Thomas & Co., Redmoon, Dog n Pony, Trap Door, Theater Wit, Red Tape, Oracle, and Collaboraction. Currently, she is on tour with Lookingglass’ Moby Dick. Foster sings with Chicago bands: Grood, Babe-alon 5, Old Timey, and This Must be the Band. She has directed/choreographed over thirty original works, and produces an annual series called Dance Tribute.
Sara Gmitter has stage managed 41 productions in her 15 adventurous years working with Lookingglass including the Lookingglass Alice tours to Princeton, New York, Philadelphia and Louisville. She is thrilled that her play In the Garden: a Darwinian love story will be part of the 2013-2014 Lookingglass season. She has written several other plays and short stories, including Harold which was heard on WBEZ’s Stories on Stage.
In 2011 she received an MA in Peace Education from the U.N. mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. She is a teaching artist for Lookingglass and is deeply proud of her work with the Young Ensemble, where she helped create the original works Waging Peace and, most recently, Mending the Peace. She has also taught stage management at Northwestern University.
Lauren Hirte is a native Chicagoan, and has been working with Lookingglass since 2001. She has worked on numerous Lookingglass shows including, Hard Times, Heaphaestus, Fedra, Icarus and originated the role of Alice in Lookingglass Alice which she has performed in multiple tours, and has a running count of over 350 shows. Lauren “learned to fly” at the Actors Gymnasium in Evanston, where, when not teaching has been seen performing in multiple shows including the Flying Griffin Circus, The Tempest and Dream. She has also been seen in Festival of Jewish Stories at the Piven Theatre where she is also sometimes a teacher, and proud alum of their Young People’s Company. Regionally she has performed at The Arden Theatre, McCarter, New Victory, Actors Theater of Louisville and most recently as the title character in Milwaukee Repertory Theatre’s Diary of Anne Frank. She was also seen in David Schwimmer’s film Trust. When not performing on the ground or in the air, Lauren has taught and choreographed Circus and Aerial Arts all around the Chicagoland area, and as of the beginning of 2013 is trying to add the West Coast to that list as well. Currently she is teaching at the Santa Barbara Centre for Aerial Arts and living in Los Angeles, looking for where that next square in life may pop up.
Eric Huffman has worked with Lookingglass since 1990, receiving four Jeff Citations for original music and sound design. His Lookingglass work includes sound design and original music for The Odyssey, The Jungle, The Secret in the Wings, West, Eurydice, All Souls Day, In the Eye of the Beholder, The Master and Margarita, HereAfter, The Great Fire, and La Luna Muda. Eric has also created sound, music, and technology for Midway’s Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Virtual World’s BattleTech and RedPlanet, DisneyQuest’s Invasion, LucasArts’ Fracture and other productions. His current position is with Citadel LLC, a global financial institution.
Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi is the Artistic Director of The Actors Gymnasium in Evanston. She also serves as master teacher, choreographer and director of The Professional Training Program. An Artistic Associate of Lookingglass since 1999, she won three Jeff Awards for choreography with the company. Her Lookingglass credits include; The Master and Margarita, The Baron In The Trees (Jeff Award), The Vanishing Twin, Her Name Was Danger, Hard Times (Jeff Award), La Luna Muda, Manuscript Found In Saragossa, Black Diamond, Lookingglass Alice (Jeff Award) Icarus (Jeff nomination )Little Prince and Moby Dick ( Jeff Award for Best Production 2015 ) Thaddeus And Slocum: A Vaudeville Adventure . Other theater credits include Marriott Theater (Jeff Award, All Night Strut) Steppenwolf Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, among others. Sylvia is a recipient of the 2014 3Arts Award for Design and the Illinois Theatre Associations 2015 Award of Honor for Outstanding Contributions. She was last seen performing on stage in Marney and Phil: A Circus Love Letter at The Actors Gymnasium.
Tony Hernandez recently completed his 1000th show with the runaway Las Vegas hit, Absinthe, at Caesars Palace. Most recently with Lookingglass, Tony co-created, co-directed, co-wrote and starred in the delicious smash hit feast for all the senses, Cascabel with Rick Bayless (with Heidi Stillman). Tony grew up in the circus with his family traveling the world with Ringling Bros. and other circuses. In 2001 he set a Guinness World Record on the highwire with the Wallendas, performing an 8-person pyramid 30 ft. in the air. He has been working with Lookingglass since 1998. His onstage credits include The Baron in the Trees, La Luna Muda, Hard Times, (Chicago & Philadelphia) Lookingglass Alice (LTC Chicago, The McCarter Theatre in NJ, and The New Victory Theatre in NYC), The Old Curiosity Shop, Argonautika and Hephaestus. Tony created, co-produced, co-directed & co-wrote with (Heidi Stillman) and played the title character in Hephaestus which was also performed at The Goodman Theatre in 2010. Tony also appeared in UP at the Steppenwolf Theatre, directed by Anna Shapiro. As a child Tony was also featured on Captain Kangaroo (when he was six) and many other children’s shows.
Joshua Horvath is an award-winning composer, music producer and sound designer. His Lookingglass credits include: The Great Fire, Mr. Ricky Calls a Meeting, Eastland, Fedra, Around the World in 80 Days, Clay (co-production with About Face), Hephaestus, 1984, La Luna Muda, and They All Fall Down: The Richard Nickel Story. Josh’s music and sound have been heard in Chicago at: The Goodman, Court, Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare, Northlight, Writer’s Theatre, About Face, Congo Square, The House Theatre, Next, Steep, Timeline, Lifeline, and Eclipse. Regional credits include: Hartford Stage, Long Wharf, Centerstage, The Alliance, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Kansas City Rep, Center Theatre Group, California Shakespeare, Illinois Shakespeare, Great River Shakespeare, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Madison Rep, and Milwaukee Rep. Horvath has won four Joseph Jefferson awards, an LA Ovation Award, and has been nominated for an LA weekly Award. Joshua teaches sound design for theatre and film at Northwestern University, is a member of ASCAP and USA 829, a collaborative partner of the Goodman, and co-owner of Aria Music Designs, LLC. Check his upcoming shows out at www.horvathsound.com.
J . SALOMÉ MARTINEZ JR.
Salomé has appeared at Lookingglass in Cascabel and Big Lake, Big City. He recently appeared in Goodman Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol. Other theatre credits include: Parachute Men (Teatro Vista); This is Modern Art, How long will I cry? (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); After (Profiles Theatre); As You Like It, Man of La Mancha, The Seagull (Constance Theatre); and The War of the Worlds (Hippodrome State Theatre). Salomé has also appeared on several TV shows and films such as Empire, Sirens, Law & Order, Castle, Chicago Fire, Emmy winning HBO mini-series Generation Kill, NYC Underground, New York, I Love You and the Oscar Nominated film The Messenger. He received his B.A in theatre from Barat College and his M.F.A in acting from the University of Florida.
Andre Pluess is a composer/sounder designer based in Chicago. His credits include composition and sound design for numerous productions for Lookingglass Theatre, Court Theatre, the Goodman, Steppenwolf, Northlight, Victory Gardens Theater, About Face Theatre and many other Chicago and regional theaters. Broadway credits: Metamorphoses, I Am My Own Wife, 33 Variations and The Clean House (Lincoln Center). Andre has received multiple Joseph Jefferson Awards, an L.A. Ovation Award, Barrymore Award, Drama Critics Circle Award, and Drama Desk/Lortel nominations for composition and sound design. Recent projects include: Eastland, Cascabel (Lookingglass); Equivocation (Arena Stage); Stage Kiss and the Jungle Book (Goodman Theatre); Endgame (Steppenwolf); Milk Like Sugar (La Jolla Playhouse/Playwrights Horizons); Arabian Nights and Argonautika (LTC and regional productions); Ghost Light and White Snake, King Lear and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (all at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival) and Macbeth and Titus (both at the California Shakespeare Festival).
Ericka has performed at Lookingglass in Black Diamond: The Years the Locusts Have Eaten, Around the World in 80 Days and Peter Pan: A Play. Ericka is an ensemble member with Congo Square Theatre Company.
is a co-founder (with Matt Hoffman) of the 17-time Emmy Award winning production company HMS Media. A classically trained pianist through the Baldwin Piano Pathways Program, where he won the Jose Iturbi Scholarship and the Merit Certificate from the Guildhall School of Music in London, Scott has been awarded 6 Chicago-Midwest Emmy Awards for producing arts television series and specials, including Dance For Life, The Chicago Dance Project, Steppenwolf Theatre Company: 25 Years on the Edge, River North Rising, Why Am I Hiding and Artbeat Chicago; he has also been nominated for producing Our City Our Shakespeare, Just Passing Through (with Julia Fordham, Shawn Colvin and October Project),Dance From The Heart (with Ben Vereen and The Joffrey Ballet), Second To None (with Tina Fey and The Second City), and Getting There: Jump Rhythm Jazz Project. More recently, Scott has produced the national PBS specials First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb and A Christmas Carol: The Concert, and associate produced Celtic Woman: Emerald, Gentleman’s Rule and three specials with Under The Streetlamp. Scott has won three Ruth Page Awards for collaborations with Chicago dance companies; the Gold and Silver Plaques from the Chicago International Film Festival; and the Arts and Business Council’s Abby Award. He has produced promotional video, television commercials and web content for numerous Broadway shows and tours, including On The Town, Follies, Company, The Color Purple, August: Osage County, Young Frankenstein, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Farnsworth Invention, Rock and Roll, The Seafarer, High Fidelity, Mamma Mia, Hairspray, The Drowsy Chaperone, Sweeney Todd and many others. He and the HMS team have created video design for Lookingglass’ 1984 (Jeff nomination), and continue to produce marketing, development, archival and web content. Scott is also a board member for Arts Alliance Illinois, a statewide advocacy organization for Illinois arts organizations.
Rick Sims first appeared on stage at Lookingglass Theatre Company during the Company’s benefit for The Jungle. His first collaboration with Lookingglass as a musical director/composer was 1991’s West. In addition, he has contributed musically to several productions including Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Big Lake Big City, The North China Lover, The Little Prince, The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World, Her Name was Danger, The Vanishing Twin, and Up Against It among many others. Rick is a freelance sound designer and composer for theatre production in Chicago and nationally. He additionally wrote the book and music for Lookingglass’ Hillbilly Antigone. Rick has two new musicals currently in development. Visit ricksimsmusic.com for more information.
Alison Siple started working with Lookingglass as an intern in 1999. Her work at Lookingglass includes Still Alice, The Great Fire, Mister Rickey Calls a Meeting, Icarus, Fedra: Queen of Haiti and Black Diamond along with assisting on Lookingglass Alice and The Arabian Nights. Her recent work includes The Pirates of Penzance (A.R.T.), Ivywild: The True Tales of Bathhouse John (Hypocrites), Pinklalicious: The Musical (First Stage) and Our Town (Huntington, The Broad Stage, Barrow Street and Hypocrites). Alison won the 2010 Equity Jeff Award for The Mystery of Irma Vep (Court Theatre) and won Non-Equity Jeff Awards for Cabaret (Hypocrites 2011), for Time and the Conways (Griffin 2006) and for Leonce und Lena (Hypocrites 2005). She was one of 12 Chicago artists to receive a 3Arts Artist Grant in 2011. Alison is an undergraduate of Northwestern University, a company member of The Hypocrites and an artistic associate of Steep Theatre. Check out her work at alisonsiple.com.
Samuel has appeared in Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth this winter at Lookingglass, where he last appeared in Thaddeus and Slocum: A Vaudeville Adventure and previously appeared in Lookingglass Alice. He is a Stakeholding Partner in the Back Room Shakespeare Project. Chicago credits include: The Feast: An Intimate Tempest and Hunchback (Redmoon Theater); Hot L Baltimore (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); and several productions at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Regional credits include: Doctor’s Dilemma (American Players Theatre); Christmas Carol (Actors Theatre of Louisville); The Boys Next Door (Syracuse Stage), and Henry V on tour with The Acting Company. TV Credits include appearances on Boardwalk Empire, Chicago PD, Mob Doctor and Crisis.
Lisa Tejero initially performed with Lookingglass in their production of S/M as Madame le Presidente (she believes it was the early 90’s). Other productions with Lookingglass include the last four months of the first time the company produced Metamorphoses in Chicago (as well as subsequent productions in Berkeley, Seattle, L.A., St. Louis & Cincinnati off & on Broadway & most recently at Arena Stage in DC). She has appeared in 1984, & as Betsy Quilp & Sally Brass in The Old Curiosity Shop, & the goddess Hera in Argonautika, Enone in Fedra and as the ever so cuddly Zeena in Ethan Frome.
Troy West has been a friend of Lookingglass Theatre for many years appearing in: Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, The Wooden Breeks, George, The Idiot, The Old Curiosity Shop, Great Men of Science #’s 21 & 22, HARD TIMES (3 incarnations including the Philadelphia run at the Arden) The Great Fire (the original and the remount) and a cameo appearance in Her Name Was Danger. Elsewhere in Chicago, Mr. West has appeared at Steppenwolf in the original productions of August:Osage County (also on Broadway and in London and Sydney) and Picasso at the Lapin Agile (also NYC, Los Angeles and San Francisco). Other Chicago credits include; stints with the Goodman Theatre, A Red Orchid Theatre, Next Theatre, Interplay, Remains, Famous Door, Roadworks, Wild Life and The Illinois Theatre Center among others. Regional credits include; Indiana Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, Theatre-By-The-Sea and New Harmony Theatre among others. Television credits include Early Edition, Nash Bridges, The Pursuit of Happiness, The “Canned” Film Festival. Film credits include: The Dilemma, Hellcab and the soon-to-be-released Advantage: Weinberg.
Lindsey Noel Whiting
Previous Lookingglass credits include Cascabel, The Great Fire, Icarus and Lookingglass Alice. Lindsey has performed regionally with Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Alliance Theatre and Syracuse Stage. Chicago credits include: The Snow Queen (Victory Gardens); Once Upon A Time (or The Secret Language of Birds), The Golden Truffle, The Cabinet, and Sink, Sank, Sunk (Redmoon); as well as Dream and Lost & Found at Actors Gymnasium. Lindsey is also a member of Barrel of Monkeys and performs with Mucca Pazza, a circus punk marching band. As always, thanks to Mom for her continued support.