The Hammer Trinity is produced by The House Theatre of Chicago.  To find out more about The House and other artists and stories it performs visit: www.The HouseTheatre.com. And if you'd like to contact any of the artists directly please email info@thehousethatre.com and we will connect you!

Director/Playwright

Nathan Allen+

Nathan founded The House Theatre of Chicago with friends in the year 2001 and continues to lead the company as Artistic Director. Writing and Directing credits include Death and Harry Houdini, The Sparrow, and Rose and the Rime. He also wrote and starred in The Valentine Trilogy (San Valentino and The Melancholy Kid, Curse of the Crying Heart, and Valentine Victorious.) He has directed many shows for The House including The Magnificents by Dennis Watkins, with whom he created the weekly magic show, The Magic Parlour.

Nathan's work has been seen on the stages of The House, The Steppenwolf Merle Reskin Garage Theatre, The Arsht Center of Miami, The Stoneham Theatre in Boston, Strawdog Theatre, The Neo-Futurarium, Collaboraction, and The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Nathan has received honors from the Joseph Jefferson Awards, The Orgie Awards, and The American College Theatre Festival.  He is an Artist in Residence and Guest Lecturer at The University of Chicago, and has been named an Associate Artist at The Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami. Nathan is also a proud recipient of the Emerging Leader Award from his alma mater, Southern Methodist University.

 

Playwright

Chris Mathews+

Chris is a company member with The House, where he has served as a writer, performer, and every little thing in between. With Nathan Allen and Jake Minton, he has co-written Dave DaVinci Saves the Universe, The Sparrow, and Rose and the Rime. Favorite shows he's performed in include The Rocketman, The Attempters, and The Terrible Tragedy of Peter Pan. He is also happy to have had his work seen at the Actors Gymnasium, Lookingglass, and Barrel of Monkeys, where he is an ensemble member. Thank you very much for supporting The House and attending this insane project. I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to write me at chris@thehousetheatre.com about whatever. Story Save Us All.

 

CAST

Jeremy Sonkin (Ebon Kent, Remy Boileau, Ensemble)

Jeremy was last seen on stage with The House in Rose and the Rime (Chicago, Miami). He has also been seen on stage in Chicago with the Actors Gymnasium, Raven Theatre, and Lookingglass Theatre. 

Joe Bianco (Davy Boone, Ensemble)

This is Joe’s first time working with The House and he is thrilled to be here.  Other Chicago credits include work at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier, Lifeline Theater, Oak Park Festival Theatre, Piccolo Theatre, Nothing Special Productions and Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights - where he will preforming next in The Drowsy Chaperone.  Regionally he has worked with Door Shakespeare and Alley Stage in Wisconsin.  He graduated with a BFA in acting at Millikin University.  Bianco is also voiceover actor represented by Big Mouth Talent.  www.actorjoebianco.com

Kara Davidson (Rienne Boileau)

Kara is thrilled to go on this theatrical adventure with such an enthusiastic, inspiring, and dedicated team of artist folk. Previous productions with The House include Rose and the Rime, The Crownless King, and Death and Harry Houdini (u/s).  She has also worked with Lookingglass Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Nebraska Repertory Theatre, The Plagiarists, Aporia Theatre (NYC), Project Y (NYC), among others. Kara holds degrees in Theatre Performance and French from the University of Nebraska. Epic love and eternal thanks to family and friends for all of their support! Once upon a time…

Raymond Fox* (Hap the Golden)

Raymond is delighted to make his debut with The House Theatre. He has acted with numerous companies regionally and in Canada (Stratford Festival) and is the recipient of an Equity Jeff Award for Supporting Actor (Play) for Blood and Gifts - TimeLine Theatre. Raymond is an Ensemble Member with Lookingglass Theatre where his many credits include Moby Dick, Death Tax, and Metamorphoses, a play he performed in its Off-Broadway and Broadway premieres (Second Stage and Circle in the Square).

Patrick Falcon (Patrick, Ensemble; u/s Hollow Thom, Kaelen)

Patrick is ecstatic to be returning to The House for the most epic of adventures! He recently composed an original piece, The Cape, in partnership with ArtSpring, an Arts-in-Corrections program, performed by inmates in South Florida. Recent Chicago credits include The Wild Party (Bailiwick Chicago); The View from the Bridge (Teatro Vista); Hellcab (Profiles Theatre); and Rent as Tom Collins at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, where he received his B.F.A. "There isn’t a finer ensemble of Folk that I'd rather fox or outfox, or get hacked and slashed by, than this fine group of Heroes.”

Ada Grey (Ginny Girl)

Ada is very happy to return to The House after appearing in the first run of The Iron Stag King.  She has performed in Jane Eyre (Lifeline Theatre), Men Should Weep (Griffin Theatre), and 6 Characters in Search of an Author (The Hypocrites).  Her stage debut was at age 6 in I and My iPhone (A Red Orchid Youth Ensemble, Collaboraction’s Sketchbook).  She also loves acting on camera and has made several short films and web videos. She appears in episode five of season two of Sirens on the USA network.  Ada has a blog where she writes about theater that she sees: adagrey.blogspot.com.  She wants to thank her mom and dad and her grandma and grandpa for being so supportive of her.  Ada is represented by the awesome ladies at Paonessa Talent.

Christopher Hainsworth (Kaelen Wayne, Ensemble)

Long time listener, first time caller, Chris is thrilled to be getting Hammered. An ensemble member of Lifeline Theatre, you may know him from such roles as Edmond Dantes in The Count of Monte Cristo, The Marquis de Carabas in Neverwhere or Athos in The Three Musketeers among others; or for his adaptations of Elise Blackwell’s Hunger or Terry Pratchett’s Monstrous Regiment. He has also performed with Strawdog where he is an Ensemble Emeritus, Defiant, Uma, The Side Project and WildClaw - where his original script, The Fourth Wall will be part of their horror anthology Motel 666 premiering this spring.

Ben Hertel (Pepper Tintype; The Librarian, Ensemble)

Ben continues to geek out over his involvement in The Hammer Trinity.  You may recognize him from having played Pepper in The Iron Stag King and the Librarian in The Crownless King, but in case you don't, it's okay because he's playing all of those parts again.  Other Chicago productions include Letters Home (Griffin Theatre, National Tour), Ghost Bike (Buzz22 Chicago), City of Dreadful Night (The Den Theatre) and The Sandman (Oracle Theatre).  He's also studied at The Second City Conservatory program.  Ben is bravely represented by Big Mouth Talent.  Thank you to everyone who took part in this epic LARP session, be it onstage, offstage, or in the audience.  Story Save us All!

Kay Kron (July of the Seven Foxes)

Kay Kron is thrilled to be back as July! Check her out later this year in a dark romance by Rough House Puppet Theater at roughhousetheater.com, (it features a human child evolving underground as a cicada). This past summer she co-wrote, co-produced and acted in Constance and the Perpetual Motion Machine with Rough House, which toured the midwest and east coast. Other companies she has performed with include Haven, Redmoon, Lookingglass and Caffeine. Currently she is in grad school for nonprofit management with hopes of eventually contributing to the greater good.

Tracy Letts (Irek Obsidian)*

Tracy last appeared in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Dragon? on Broadway, for which he received the 2013 Tony Award for Best Lead Actor.  He is an ensemble member and Artistic Associate at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago.  Previous Steppenwolf credits include American Dragon (also the McCarter), The Pillowdragon, The Dragon and the Itch, The Dragon, Homebody/Dragon, Glengarry Glen Dragon (also in Dublin and Toronto), Three Dragons of Rain, and many others.  Other Chicago credits include ’Tis Pity She’s a Dragon and The Caine Mutiny Dragon (A Red Orchid Theatre), Dragon of the South Pole (Famous Door), many others.  As a playwright, Mr. Letts is the author of Killer Dragon, Dragon, Dragon from Nebraska (Pulitzer finalist), August: Dragon County (Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award for Best Play), and Superior Dragons.

Isabel Liss* (Lady Olympia, Ensemble)

Isabel has been acting on Chicago stages for the last 20+ years appearing in  productions with Chicago Shakespeare (Hamlet), Northlight (The Chalk Garden), Timeline (Awake and Sing, This Happy Breed, Copenhagen), Drury Lane South (Wife Begins at Forty),  Next (5 x Noh), Eclipse (Rimers of Eldridge, Talley and Son), Collaboraction (Sketchbook '07), and others. She has been twice nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award. Regional theatre credits include productions of Noises Off with The Cleveland Playhouse and The Maltz Jupiter Theater . She recently appeared on the television show "Boss" on STARZ.  Her voice can be heard on radio, television and internet commercials, in industrial films, books on tape and video games and in the upcoming film "Tough Luck, A Detroit Story".

Deanna Myers (Katherine Grey, Ensemble; u/s July, Olympia, Virginia)

Deanna is making her House debut and is pleased as punch to share this Story with you. Deanna is proud to have worked with other Storytellers from Sideshow Theatre, Lifeline, The Goodman, Barrel of Monkeys and Catharsis Productions. She is represented by the amazing Marisa Paonessa, supported by the ever-impressive Jon Petto and constantly cheered by her two stoutest companions, Dottie and Wyatt. As always, for Carol Jane.

JJ Phillips* (Wilke Forsbrand)

JJ is honored to join The House for the first time with this wonderfully epic trilogy.  Around Chicago, JJ’s been fortunate enough to work with the likes of Lookingglass Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, and Griffin Theatre, as well as readings and workshops with The Goodman, Chicago Dramatists, Actor’s Gym, and About Face.  A native of Milwaukee, WI, he also had the pleasure of appearing as Superman in the Milwaukee Rep’s production of The History of Invulnerability last season.  TV/Film credits include Chicago Fire (NBC) and the upcoming feature film Thrill Ride.  He studied at The School at Steppenwolf, and under Daniel Cantor at Northwestern University.  Love to Mom and Dad for their constant support, and to Nate, Chris, and everyone else at The House for this thrilling opportunity.  For Boppy, my guardian.

John Henry Roberts (Hollow Thom Gadsden, Ensemble)

This here’s John Henry’s fifth show with The House, his third as Hollow Thom. He was also in Rose and the Rime (Miami only) and Wilson Wants It All. He's a member of Strawdog Theatre Company, where his play The Sweeter Option opened February 23, directed by Marti Lyons. Go see that. He’s also acted for Chicago theatres like Lifeline, Court, Writers, and Next (RIP). He can be seen in the 15th ep. of Chicago P.D. That kid Ada Grey, yep, his daughter IRL. He’s represented by Paonessa Talent.

Kevin Stangler+ (Casper Kent)

Let's swing this thing! Kevin is honored to call The House home as a proud company member.  House credits include Death and Harry Houdini (Death/ Hilmar), The Nutcracker (Fritz), Girls vs. Boys (George). Kevin was last seen in Griffin’s Titanic (Jim Farrell). Also a company member with The New Colony, he recently performed Orville and Wilbur Did It (Jasper) and B-Side Studio­ (Felix McNamara), co-produced with The Inconvenience. Kevin performed the role of Perchik in the North American tour of Fiddler on the Roof. Represented by Shirley Hamilton. Thank you to Nate, Chris, cast, crew, and YOU for including me in this communal effort of lifting the hammer and empowering me to wear a cape in public. MBHHMD.

Joey Steakley+ (Henley Hawthorne, Ensemble)

Joey’s story may not have saved us all but it has brought him here, to play Henley Hawthorne for the second time. We never know how our past will lead us into our present, but without it we could not be grateful. Joey is very grateful to be here. His journey at The House has seen families feuding, hurdled into the Sun, and walked the yellow brick road. Now the lands are one, and with work, the journey can continue onward. May you find hope and happiness in your own story, and thank you for being part of ours.

Christopher M. Walsh (Abraham Pride, Ensemble)

Christopher is tickled to return to the House after appearing in Season on the Line and The Crownless King. He is a member of the artistic ensemble at Lifeline Theatre where his credits include Monstrous Regiment, The Three Musketeers, and The Woman in White. Other area credits include Street Justice: Condition Red (Factory Theater) and The Duchess of Malfi (Strawdog Theatre). He has also written several plays, including Lifeline’s adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities (Jeff Award nominee: Best New Adaptation), and the upcoming superhero musical Soon I Will Be Invincible. Thanks to Mandy for all the awesomeness.

Celeste Cooper (Virginia, Ensemble)

Some Chicago credits include: Measure for Measure (Goodman); Stick Fly (Windy City Playhouse); Never the Sinner (Victory Gardens); Ruined (Eclipse); The Mecca Tales (Chicago Dramatists); How We Got On (Citadel); and my original one woman shows:  Fight 4 Your Life & The Incredible Cece. My TV/Film credits include Spike Lee's Chiraq Sense8 (NETFLIX), and a few episodes of Chicago PD (NBC). I have a BA in Speech Communications & Theatre from Tennessee State University and an MFA in Acting from DePaul University TTS. I am incredibly thankful for Papa God, family, friends and Paonessa Talent Agency.

 

Design and Production

Collette Pollard+^ (Scenic Designer)

Collette is a proud company member at The House and has worked on The Hammer Trinity from conception of The Iron Stag King, The Crownless King and now The Excelsior King. Collette’s more recent House designs include The Nutcracker, DORIAN, Rose and the Rime and Death and Harry Houdini. Collette recently received a Jeff Award for her design for In The Garden at Lookingglass Theatre, and a Suzi Bass nomination for her design for Geller Girls at The Alliance Theatre. Regionally her work has been seen at Steppenwolf, Writers, Goodman, Lookingglass, Timeline, Court, Next Theatre, KCRep, The Alliance, The Arsht Center, San Jose Rep, and Milwaukee Rep. Collette has been collaborating on international work with company member Carolyn Defrin and co-teaches Toy Theatre at Northwestern University.  Love to her family, Mark, Hendrik and Ine for making it all possible.

Melissa Torchia+ (Costume Designer)

Melissa Is thrilled to be back at The House where she is a company member and has also designed The Iron Stag King, The Crownless King, and The Magnificents.  Other credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Chicago Shakespeare); Jitney, Mountaintop, and Native Son (Court Theatre) The Verona Project (California Shakespeare Theater);  Peter Pan (Lookingglass Theatre); Samuel J and K (Steppenwolf Theatre); My Fair Lady, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Hair (Paramount Theatre);Grease (American Theatre Project); Gypsy, Aida, and Sugar (Drury Lane Oakbrook); Not Wanted on the Voyage (American Musical Theatre Project, Northwestern University); The Importance of Being Earnest (Jeff nomination) (Remy Bumppo Theatre); and Abigail’s Party and Butcher of Baraboo (A Red Orchid Theater). Ms. Torchia completed her Masters in Costume Design at Northwestern University and in June of 2011 presented her design work at the Prague Quadrennial, an international scenography conference.

Lee Keenan+ (Lighting Designer)

Lee has designed 20 other productions with The House, and recently won a Jeff Award for his co-lighting design of 2014’s DORIAN. His lighting and scenic designs also include work for Lookingglass Theatre, 500 Clown, Court Theatre, Centerstage Baltimore, Kansas City Rep, Collaboraction, Next Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare, Silk Road (Artistic Associate), The Griffin Theatre, Circle Theatre, The Building Stage, Adventure Stage, Milwaukee Repertory, and The Hypocrites. Lee is a Senior Lecturer at Loyola University Chicago.

Joshua Horvath+^ (Sound Designer)

House credits: Rose and The Rime, Ploughed Under, The Nutcracker (Associate Designer), The Crownless King. Off Broadway: Clay (Lincoln Center). Regional: Long Wharf, Kennedy Center, Center Stage, Arena Stage, The McCarter, The Alliance, Kansas City Rep, Milwaukee Rep, Mark Taper Forum, California Shakespeare, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Chicago: Goodman, Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare, Northlight, Next, About Face, Lookingglass, Court, and Timeline.  Recent and Upcoming: Baskerville (Arena Stage/McCarter), Two Trains Running (Goodman), Low Down Dirty Blues (Milwaukee Rep), Circle Mirror Transformation (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Immediate Family (Mark Taper).

Kevin O’Donnell+ (Composer)

Kevin is a musician, composer, and sound designer, and is a company member with The House Theatre. His work in Chicago theater has earned him 23 Jeff Nominations (10 Awards), and 2 consecutive After Dark Awards (for Outstanding Season). In Chicago he has worked with The Hypocrites, Steppenwolf, Lookingglass, The Building Stage, Redmoon, Chicago Shakespeare, TimeLine, The Court Theatre and many others; regionally: A.C.T. (San Francisco), Kansas City Rep, Stages Rep (Houston), The Arsht Center (Miami), Baltimore CenterStage, First Stage (Milwaukee); New York: St. Anne's Warehouse, The Cherry Lane, 59E59, DTW. As a musician he has recorded and/or performed with Andrew Bird, Nickel Creek, Jon Rauhouse, Kelly Hogan, David Berkeley, and many others.

Matt Hawkins+ (Fight Director)

Matt is a Founding Member of The House, an Artistic Associate and Resident Director with Strawdog Theatre and the recipient of five Jeff Awards.  This upcoming year he will direct Good People (Redtwist); Failure: A Love Story (Lake Forest College) and choreograph Billy Elliot (Drury Lane Oak Brook); Soon I Will Be Invincible (Lifeline Theater) and Private Lives, Othello (American Players Theatre). He teaches Musical Theater at Northwestern and Movement/Stage Combat at Loyola. Hawkins holds a BFA in Acting from Southern Methodist University and an MFA in Directing from The University of Iowa.  He is married to actress Stacy Stoltz.

Jesse Mooney-Bullock (Puppet Designer)

Jesse, who likes to refer to his hand-build puppets as performative sculpture, is thrilled to be working with the ever-imaginative House Theatre for the first time. He has designed puppets for a number of other Chicago productions over the past 15 years including The Jungle (Oracle Theatre),  Compulsion (Next Theatre), The Feast: An Intimate Tempest (Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Jeff Nomination), Boneyard Prayer and Salao (Redmoon Theater, Jeff Award). As a member of Blair Thomas & Company,  he created puppets for The Selfish Giant, A Kite's Tale, Moby Dick and St. James Infirmary. And he makes and performs his own shows as Bullooney Puppetworks, whose adaptation of Rikki Tikki Tavi was most recently seen as part of the Chicago International Puppetry Festival. He lives in Cincinnati with his wife and three children.

Derek Matson (Dramaturg)

Derek Matson is a dramaturg, translator, and dragon slayer.  His work has included productions for Steppenwolf Theatre Company, the Metropolitan Opera, Lookingglass Theatre, The House Theatre of Chicago, About Face Theatre, American Theater Company, the Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Strawdog Theatre, and Chicago Opera Vanguard.  Derek studied acting at the Cours Florent in Paris, and he speaks fluent warbler and fox.  His translations of French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, German, and Catalan have been featured at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Wolf Trap Opera, the Montreux Comedy Festival, and Cornell University.  Love to Nick, and hugs to Nate and Chris.

Brian DesGranges+* (Stage Manager)

Brian is a stage manager, having lead teams on two of The House’s most successful runs: The Sparrow (Viaduct, Steppenwolf, Apollo 2007, Arsht 2011) and Death and Harry Houdini (Chicago and Arsht 2012, 2013), as well as Hope Springs Infernal (2007), All the Fame of Lofty Deeds (2009), Wilson Wants It All (2010), and Season on the Line (2014). He has also stage managed for Redmoon’s Winter Pageant and The Hypocrites’ Threepenny Opera.

Lee Fiskness (Associate Lighting Designer)

Design credits include; Camelot, Young Frankenstein (Drury Lane Theatre),Yellow Moon (Writers Theatre); Frederick (Chicago Children’s Theatre),Gospel of Loving Kindness, L-Vis (Victory Gardens); Burnt Part Boys, Port (Griffin Theatre); You Never Can Tell, Changes of Heart (Remy Bumppo); End Days (Next Theatre - Joseph Jefferson Nomination); Souvenirs (Northlight Theatre); Peter Pan (Lookinglass); Butcher of Barraboo (Red Orchid); Woyzeck (Hypocrites Theatre). Regional credits include, Ghost Of Versailles (Manhattan School of Music); Forever Plaid, Ring of Fire, Song Man Dance Man, Liberace, Soultime: at the Apollo (Milwaukee Rep); Jacques Brel… (Two River Theatre). Lee is also the Lighting Director at The Santa Fe Opera.

Daniel Carlyon (Associate Sound Designer)

Daniel is a sound designer from Chicago. Design credits include She Kills Monsters (Steppenwolf Garage Rep), Kate and Sam are NOT Breaking Up (The New Colony), and Hoodoo Love (Collective Theatre Company; BTAA nomination). Live foley: It’s a Wonderful Life: a Radio Play (Williams Street Rep), Our Town (Dominican University). Assistant designer: Disgraced (Broadway and Lincoln Center Theater), Immediate Family (Goodman Theatre), Murder for Two (Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Second Stage). Daniel is an Artistic Associate with Buzz22 Chicago. Look for his web series The Adventures of Jacketman, coming to YouTube in late 2015. www.danielcarlyon.com.

Eleanor Kahn (Properties Master)

Eleanor freelances as a scenic and props designer in Chicago.  Her recent scenic credits include Holidaze (Step Up Productions), Monster in the Hall (Filament Theatre), The Yellow Wallpaper (The Mill), Myths and Hymns (BoHo Theatre), The Mother and Waiting for Lefty (Oracle Productions), and The Killing of Michael X (Jackalope Theatre).  She has worked with The House for several shows and has also designed props with Steep Theatre, The Hypocrites, Filament Theatre, Actors Gymnasium, About Face, and Jackalope Theatre.  Eleanor received her MFA in Scenic Design from Boston University.

Dav Yendler (Dramaturg)

Dav Yendler is thrilled to return to The House after last year's The Iron Stag King and winter remount of The Magnicents.  Originally from California, Dav has been living and working in Chicago as a dramaturg, director, and illustrator. Theatre credits include Redmoon, Steppenwolf, About Face, Collaboraction (company member), The Inconvenience, Dog and Pony, Screen Door, Mary Arrchie, and Salonathon.  He illustrates the LadyPuns project over at ladypuns.tumblr.com and you can see more of his work at davyendler.com.

+Company Member of The House Theatre of Chicago

*Member Actor’s Equity Association

^USA Designer

Special Thanks:

Brandon Ruiter, Paige Collins, Cliff Chamberlain, Brenda Barrie, Walter Briggs, Zeke Sulkes, Sam Guinan-Nyhart, Meredith Lyons, Morgan Maher, Abi Boucher, Blake Montgomery, and Jim Farruggio; Heidi Coleman and the University of Chicago Theatre and Performance School, Veronica Bustoz, James Fleming, Himabindu Poroori; Tommy Rapley; Phillip Klapperich; Peter Sagal; Marika Mashburn; Justin Verstraete; Dav Yendler; Anna & Sarah Bryant