CHRISTINE MARY DUNFORD

CHRISTINE MARY DUNFORD

Ensemble Member

Since 1989

Teaching Artist

CHRISTINE MARY DUNFORD (she/her/hers) has appeared in nearly two dozen Lookingglass productions. Christine’s three most recent productions include Blood WeddingTrust, and Our Town. For Lookingglass’ 25th Anniversary Season in 2013, she directed her own original adaptation (Jeff nominated) of Still Alice, based on the book by Lisa Genova, which has been translated into multiple languages and is being produced in small theatres across the world. Over the years Christine has served the company as managing director and director of development, and she co-founded and taught with Lookingglass’ Education and Community program. Christine is Director of the School of Theatre and Music at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and she co-founded and helps run the Memory Ensemble —a partnership between Lookingglass and Northwestern’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center (CNADC)—that uses improvisational performance activities to improve life for people with memory loss. 

Bio as of 2021

Adapted and Directed by ensemble member Christine Mary Dunford from The New York Times bestselling novel by Lisa Genova, Still Alice is “riveting from first second to last… this altogether masterful world premiere is not to be missed.

– Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

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LOOKINGGLASS PRODUCTIONS

EDUCATION

Ph.D. in Performance Studies, Northwestern University
M.A. in Anthropology, University of Illinois at Chicago
B.S. in Theatre, Northwestern University

CREDITS AND AWARDS

  • THEATRE CREDITS

    ACTING
    Regional:

    • Iktu Blas (The Actors Gymnasium, Chicago International Puppet Theatre Festival)
    • Eleven Rooms of Proust (Lookingglass and About Face Theatre)
    • Othello (Shakespeare Repertory Theatre, u/s)
    • Woman’s Day (Zebra Crossing Theatre)
    • Lady Chatterley’s Lover (Buffalo Theatre Ensemble)
    • The Great Gatsby (Wisdom Bridge Theatre)
    • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Arts-Lane Productions)
    • Jesus Christ Superstar, Gypsy (Mill Mountain Theatre)
    • Endgame, Serious Money (Next Theatre Company, Next Generation Project)

    Lookingglass LAB Series:

    • Under the Fig Tree
    • Grail Quest

    DIRECTING/ADAPTING/WRITING

    • Still Alice, Based on the novel by Lisa Genova (Lookingglass Theatre Company)
    • Manuscript Found in Saragossa (Northwestern University)
    • Under the Fig Tree (Lookingglass Lab Series)
  • AWARDS

    • Jeff Award Nomination for Best New Adaptation for Still Alice (Lookingglass Theatre Company, 2013)
    • “Top 10 plays in 2013” by Chicago Sun-Times for Still Alice
    • Jeff Award for Best Ensemble for The Arabian Nights (Lookingglass Theatre Company, 1993)

LAWRENCE E. DISTASI

LAWRENCE E. DISTASI

Ensemble Member

Since 1988

Lawrence E. DiStasi is an actor, writer, and director and founding Ensemble Member, and has appeared in more than 30 Lookingglass productions, including : Metamorphoses, Treasure Island, Thaddeus and Slocum: A Vaudeville Adventure, The Old Curiosity ShopLookingglass AliceMetamorphosis (the Bug Show), Eastland: A New Musical and The Arabian Nights. In addition to Lookingglass, he has helped to create The Actors Gymnasium Circus and Performing Arts School.

His directing credits include The Baron in the Trees at Lookingglass (which he also co-adapted) and Dream, Science Fiction, Lost and Found and Skooled at The Actors Gymnasium. He’s appeared in the Flying Griffin Circus, on TV in Early Edition, in a film called Since You’ve Been Gone and in an opera called Galileo Galilei.

Bio as of 2017

ARTIST MEDIA

CREDITS AND AWARDS

  • THEATRE CREDITS

    ACTING
    Broadway:

    • Metamorphoses (Circle in the Square Theatre)

    Off-Broadway:

    • Metamorphoses (Second Stage Theatre)

    DIRECTING
    Chicago:

    • Dream, Science Fiction, Lost and Found, Skooled (The Actors Gymnasium)
  • FILM CREDITS

    • Since You’ve Been Gone
  • TELEVISION CREDITS

    • Early Edition
  • AWARDS

    • Jeff Award Nomination for New Adaptation for The Baron in the Trees (Lookingglass Theatre Company, 1999)

THOMAS J. COX

Thom Cox

Ensemble Member

Since 1988

Teaching Artist

Thomas J. Cox is a founding Ensemble Member of Lookingglass Theatre Company, a dedicated theatre educator, and proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Screen Actors’ Guild, performing in theaters around the region.

Since graduating from Northwestern University in 1988, Thom has worked with Lookingglass as an actor, director, adapter, and educator. He has appeared in more than thirty productions, most recently Her Honor Jane Byrne, and including: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Cascabel (with Rick Bayless); as Quilp in The Old Curiosity Shop (Joseph Jefferson Nomination, Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role); Algren in Nelson Algren: For Keeps and a Single Day (Jeff Nomination, Solo Performance); Big Lake, Big City, (directed by David Schwimmer); The Great FireThe Master and Margarita; Steven Berkoff’s West; Charles Mee’s SummertimeThe Jungle; James Joyce in Dreaming Lucia; Hook in Peter Pan (A Play); Winston Smith in 1984; and Mary Zimmerman’s productions of The OdysseyThe Arabian Nights, and S/M. As an understudy for Lookingglass, he has performed three out of four tracks in Lookingglass Alice, more roles in that show than any other actor. Additional understudy roles include: Moby Dick (Ahab/Stubb), Title and Deed, Still Alice, and Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. He has also appeared in productions at Goodman Theatre (where, for the past three seasons, he has appeared as Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol), Steppenwolf Theatre, Court Theatre, Northlight Theatre (notably The Outgoing Tide with John Mahoney and Rondi Reed, also at the Galway Arts Festival in 2012), Writers Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, The House Theatre, Gift Theatre, Big Leap Productions, Madison Repertory, and Illinois Theatre Center. Thom directed his own Joseph Jefferson-nominated adaptation of The Scarlet Letter for Lookingglass and Chicago Theatres On the Air, as well as his original adaptations of several short stories in a show titled American Voices for Piven Theatre Workshop, and Suddenly Last Summer for Eclipse Theatre. In 2001, a television version of For Keeps and a Single Day was co-produced by Lookingglass and WTTW Network Chicago, which was nominated for a Chicagoland/Regional Emmy Award. Film/television: Since You’ve Been Gone (Miramax); Brotherhood (Showtime); Chicago Fire (NBC).

Over ten years, he and his wife, Steppenwolf stage manager Christine D. Freeburg, worked at the Weston Playhouse Theatre in Vermont, where Thom performed in numerous and wide-ranging shows and served as the Director of the Playhouse’s Young Company, organizing and leading workshops related to the theatre profession, including workshops with Tony-Award winning composer Adam Guettel, as well as directing Weston Playhouse’s inaugural children’s theatre production, A Year with Frog and Toad and Adventures from Ezra Jack Keats.

Thom has been a teacher for most of his adult life, working with organizations such as Eileen Boevers Performing Arts Workshop, Piven Theatre Workshop, LakeShore Academy of Artistic Gymnastics, Lookingglass’ Education and Community Program, Indiana/Purdue University in Fort Wayne, and DePaul and Roosevelt Universities. In recent years, he has served as an adjunct faculty member in the Departments of Theatre at Northwestern University and at the University of Illinois at Chicago, teaching a variety of acting classes. He was an original faculty member of the Actors Gymnasium of Evanston, for which he created Imaginastics, a storytelling and tumbling class which became the Gym’s most popular, and was cited by Chicago Magazine as Best Children’s Drama Class (June 2004). For 11 years, he served as Master Teacher for Lookingglass’ Education and Community Program, and, as a teaching artist for Lookingglass, he worked in schools all over Chicago for more than 25 years, including: Bell Elementary; Hamilton Elementary; Mary Meyer Preschool; Burr Elementary; Hawthorne Academy; Agassiz School; Lincoln Park High School; Stevenson High School; Lookingglass’ Summer Camp at Lincoln Park Zoo; and many tour performances and workshops. He directed the Lookingglass Outreach Tour production of Romeo and Juliet, and directed ten original productions with the Lookingglass Young Ensemble between 1999 and 2016. For five years, he was the Lookingglass Artist-in-Residence and Director of the Drama Program at the AN Pritzker School, directing eight original productions, as well as in-class curriculum units.

Thom and his wife live in West Ridge in Chicago with their daughter, Joanie.

Bio as of 2019

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CREDITS AND AWARDS

  • THEATRE CREDITS

    Chicago:

    • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Writers Theatre)
    • Electra, Man in the Ring, Agamemnon, Orlando, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Raisin, Fraulein Else (Court Theatre)
    • The Book of Will, The Outgoing Tide, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Pride and Prejudice (Northlight Theatre)
    • Bernhardt/Hamlet, Blind Date, A Christmas Carol, Rock n Roll (Goodman Theatre)
    • The Elephant Man (Steppenwolf Theatre)

    Regional:

    • End of the Rainbow (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre)
    • The Mikado, Urinetown, Blithe Spirit, Kiss Me Kate, Big River, The Full Monty, Tartuffe, Morning’s at Seven, Ragtime, Hello Dolly!, Oklahoma!, Chicago, An Ideal Husband, Gypsy, Pirates of Penzance (Weston Playhouse Theatre)
    • Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (Big Leap Productions)
  • FILM CREDITS

    • Since You’ve Been Gone (Miramax)
  • TELEVISION CREDITS

    • Chicago Fire (NBC)
    • Brotherhood (Showtime)
  • AWARDS

    • Jeff Award for Best Ensemble for The Arabian Nights (Lookingglass Theatre Company, 1993)
    • Jeff Award for Best Ensemble for West (Lookingglass Theatre Company, 1992)
    • Jeff Award for Best Ensemble for Eurydice (Lookingglass Theatre Company, 1992)
    • Jeff Award for Best Ensemble for The Odyssey (Lookingglass Theatre Company, 1991)
    • Jeff Award for Best Ensemble for The Jungle (Lookingglass Theatre Company, 1991)
    • Jeff Award Nomination for Best Solo Performance for Nelson Algren: For Keeps and a Single Day (Lookingglass Theatre Company, 2007)
    • Jeff Award Nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role as Quilp for The Old Curiousity Shop (Lookingglass Theatre Company, 2006)
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