The Characters

The Actors

The Artists

RICHARD BEAN (Playwright) was born in East Hull in 1956. After school, he worked in a bread plant before leaving to study Psychology at Loughborough University. Richard has worked as a psychologist and a stand-up comedian. He was awarded the 2011 Evening Standard Award for Best Play for The Heretic and One Man, Two Guvnors; the 2011 Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play and 2012 Award for Best New Comedy, both for One Man, Two Guvors. His work for the stage includes One Man, Two Guvors (National Theatre/Adelphi Theatre/Theatre Royal Haymarket/Music Box Theatre, New York/World Tour); a stage version of David Mamet’s The House of Games (Almeida); The Big Fellah (produced by Out of Joint); Pub Quiz is Life (Hull Truck); England People Very Nice (National Theatre, Olivier Award Nomination for Best New Play); The English Game (produced by Headlong); Up On Roof (Hull Truck. Nominated for TMA Play of the Year); In the Club (Hampstead Theatre); a version of Moliere’s The Hypochondriac (Almeida); The Heretic, Harvist (Nominated for Evening Standard and Olivier Best New Play Awards, Winner Critics’ Circle Best New Play), Honeymoon Suite (Pearson Play of the Year), Under the Whaleback (George Devine Award), and Toast (all at the Royal Court); The God Botherers (Bush Theatre); Smack Family Robinson (Newcastle Live!); The Mentalists (Lyttelton Loft, National Theatre); and Mr. England (Sheffield Crucible Theatre). His radio plays include “Of Rats and Men,” “Yesterday,” “Unsinkable,” and “Robin Hood’s Revenge.” 

GRANT OLDING (Composer) trained as an actor at the Central School of Speech and Drama before turning to music when the Bridewell Theatre created the post of composer in residence for him in 2003. His play scores include: Timon of Athens; Travelling Light; One Man, Two Guvnors; England People Very Nice; The Man of Mode; The Alchemist; and Southern Fair (all at the National Theatre, directed by Nicholas Hytner); James and the Giant Peach (Birmingham Old Rep and UK tour); Broken Glass (Tricycle, and Vaudeville); Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Theatre Royal Haymarket); and many others. Grant’s musical theatre scores include: Robin Hood (The Castle, Wellingborough); Simply Cinderella (Curve, Leicester); Tracy Beaker Gets Real (Nottingham Playhouse and UK tour); Yeti: An Abominalmusical (Edinburgh fringe); Spittin’ Distance (Stephen Joseph Theatre and National Theatre Studio); and others. TV and film scores include: The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff (BBC 2); Theatreland (Sky Arts, six-part documentary series); Losing the Plot (Bongo Reef Pictures, short film), as well as a viral musical video for which won the Cannes Lions award for best viral. Grant was nominated for a Tony Award in 2012 for Best Original Score for the Broadway production of One Man, Two Guvnors, and won the Drama Desk Award for outstanding score for the same production. His songs have featured on the albums of Gemma Atkins, Annalene Beechey, Caroline Sheen and Stuart Matthew Price, and the One Man, Two Guvnors original cast album (on which Grant performs 9 of the 12 songs) has been released by the National Theatre in the UK and by DRG Records in the USA. Grant is a board member for Mercury Musicals Development.

CHARLES NEWELL (Director/Artistic Director) was awarded the SDCF Zelda Fichandler Award, “which recognizes an outstanding director or choreographer who is transforming the regional arts landscape through singular creativity and artistry in theatre.” Charlie has been Artistic Director of Court Theatre since 1994, where he has directed over 50 productions. He made his Chicago directorial debut in 1993 with The Triumph of Love, which won the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Production. Charlie’s productions of Man of La Mancha and Caroline, or Change have also won Best Production Jeffs. Other directorial highlights at Court include Satchmo at the Waldorf, Agamemnon, The Secret Garden, Iphigenia in Aulis, The Misanthrope, Tartuffe, Proof, Angels in America, An Iliad, Porgy and Bess, Three Tall Women, Titus Andronicus, Arcadia, Uncle Vanya, Raisin, The Glass Menagerie, Travesties, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Invention of Love, and Hamlet. Charlie has also directed at Goodman Theatre (Rock ‘n’ Roll), Guthrie Theater (The History Cycle, Cymbeline), Arena Stage, John Houseman’s The Acting Company (Staff Repertory Director), the California and Alabama Shakespeare Festivals, Juilliard, and New York University. He has served on the Board of TCG, as well as on several panels for the NEA. Opera directing credits include Marc Blitzstein’s Regina (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Rigoletto (Opera Theatre of St. Louis), Don Giovanni and The Jewel Box (Chicago Opera Theater), and Carousel (Glimmerglass Festival). Charlie was the recipient of the 1992 TCG Alan Schneider Director Award, and has been nominated for 16 Joseph Jefferson Director Awards, winning four times. In 2012, Charlie was honored by the League of Chicago Theatres with its Artistic Achievement Award.

DOUG PECK (Music Director) is always thrilled to come home to Court Theatre. He is the winner of six Joseph Jefferson Awards (Jungle Book, Porgy and Bess; Caroline, or Change; Carousel; Fiorello!; Man of La Mancha) and two After Dark Awards (Guys and Dolls; Hello, Again). Other favorite projects include Dreamgirls, Shenandoah, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, James Joyce’s “The Dead,” A Catered Affair, Hair, Grey Gardens, Oh, Coward!, My Fair Lady, Beauty and the Beast, Raisin, Animal Crackers, and Mary Zimmerman’s acclaimed production of Candide. Peck can be heard on the recordings Bright Young People: The Songs of Noël Coward, Foiled Again: Live, and Loving, Repeating: A Musical of Gertrude Stein. He is a creative partner with Goodman Theatre, an artistic associate with Porchlight Music Theatre, and a faculty member of the National High School Institute of the Arts. A proud Northwestern University graduate, Peck also trained at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. Next up isWonderful Town at the Goodman. 

CHRISTOPHER BAYES (Comedia Consultant) began his theater career with the internationally acclaimed Theatre de la Jeune Lune where he worked for five years as an actor, director, composer, designer and artistic associate. In 1989 he joined the acting company of the Guthrie Theater where he appeared in over twenty productions. In New York, he has directed Red Noses by Peter Barnes, Four by Feydeau, The Bourgeois GentlemanThe Moliere One Acts, and The Love of Three Oranges by Carlo Gozzi at the Juilliard School; The Imaginary Invalid by Moliere, The New Place by Carlo Goldoni, We Won’t Pay... by Dario Fo, and his new adaptation of Molière’s The Reluctant Doctor of Love for New York University’s Graduate Acting Program; The Raven by Carlo Gozzi at NYU’s Experimental Theater Wing; Ubu Roi at both NYU’s Experimental Theater Wing and Fordham University; and Timeslips at HERE. Additionally, he has staged several original works at the Juilliard School, the Present Company Theatorium, Touchstone Theater, and the New York International Clown Festival. Outside of New York, his directing credits include Servant of Two Masters (Yale Rep, Shakespeare Theater, Guthrie Theater, Arts-Emerson and Seattle Rep), Doctor In Spite of Himself (Intiman Theater, Yale Rep, Berkeley Rep), Accidental Death of an Anarchist (Yale Rep, Berkeley Rep), a co-production of Scapin at the Intiman Theater in Seattle and Court Theater, Comedy of Errors at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Len Jenkin’s new adaptation of The Birds at Yale Repertory Theater, and Endgame at Court Theater. He has received numerous awards and grants, and he has taught classes and workshops internationally. In 2006, he threw caution to the wind, packed up his family and all of his nonsense and headed back to New York City. He is currently Professor and Head of Physical Acting at the Yale School of Drama. 

JESSICA FISCH (Assistant Director) is thrilled to be back at Court Theatre after working on Agamemnon in the FallJessica was a resident director at Ensemble Studio Theater, the Playwrights Horizons Directing Resident, and a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab. As an Assistant Director, she has had the privilege of working with such awarding winning directors as Anna D. Shapiro, Michael Mayer, Walter Bobbie, Jessica Thebus and Kathleen Turner. Jessica received her MFA in Directing from Northwestern University.

COLLETTE POLLARD (Scenic Designer) is thrilled to be back after having last designed Orlando and The Illusion (Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination for Best Scenic Design). Recent Chicago credits include Arcadia and Isaac’s Eye (Writers Theatre); 1984Head of Passes, and To Kill A Mockingbird (Steppenwolf Theatre); The Happiest Song Plays Last and Fish Men (Goodman Theatre); and In the Garden (Jeff Award recipient for Best Scenic Design, Lookingglass Theatre). Collette is a Company Member at The House Theatre Company of Chicago where she has designed over 20 productions, including The Hammer Trinity, Death & Harry Houdini, The Nutcracker, Rose & the Rime, The Sparrow, and The Magnificents—all of which have moved to The Adrienne Arsht Center of Performing Arts Miami. Regional credits include Great Expectations (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), The Oldest Boy (Marin Theatre Company), A Minister’s Wife (San Jose Repertory Theatre), Geller GirlsGood People and The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls (all receiving Suzi Bass Award and Atlanta Fan Award Nominations, Alliance Theatre), Harriet Jacobs, and The Glass Menagerie (Kansas City Repertory Theatre). International credits include Joan d’Arc (co-production Goodman Theatre and Linz09 in Austria) and Maria Stewart (Linz09). Collette received her MFA from Northwestern University. She is an Artistic Associate at TimeLine Theatre in Chicago where she recently designed Danny Casalaro, The How & The Why, Blood & Gifts, and The Front Page, which she received a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Scenic Design. She looks forward to her upcoming productions Thaddeus and Slocum at Lookingglass Theatre; Death & Harry Houdini at The House Theatre of Chicago; Between Riverside and Crazy at Steppenwolf Theatre; and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet at Shakespeare Santa Cruz. She can’t thank her family enough—Mark, her husband, Ine her mother-in-law and caretaker of her adorable son Hendrik—for their constant support. 

MARA BLUMENFELD (Costume Designer) Previous Court credits include The Secret Garden, The Chairs, The Learned Ladies, Nora, and The Cherry Orchard. Elsewhere in Chicago, she has designed numerous productions for Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and Lookingglass Theatre Company, where she is an ensemble member. New York credits include Mary Zimmerman’s Tony Award-winning Metamorphoses at Circle in the Square and Second Stage, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci at Second Stage, and the premiere of the Stephen Flaherty/Lynn Ahrens musical The Glorious Ones for Lincoln Center Theatre. Opera credits include Mary Zimmerman’s productions of Lucia di Lammermoor and La Sonnambula for the Metropolitan Opera, and The Merry Widow and Oklahoma! for Lyric Opera of Chicago. Regional credits include designs for Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Rep, McCarter Theatre, Asolo Rep, Weston Playhouse, and many others. Her work has been seen internationally in the UK, France, Italy, Australia, China, and Japan. She is the recipient of the 2012 Michael Merritt Award, four Joseph Jefferson Awards and has been honored with nominations for two Drama Desk Awards and London’s Oliver Award.

KEITH PARHAM (Lighting Designer) Court credits include: An Iliad, Angels in America, Proof, The Misanthrope, Tartuffe, M. Butterfly, The Good Book, Satchmo at the Waldorf. Broadway: Thérèse Raquin (Roundabout Theatre Company). Off-Broadway: Between Riverside and Crazy (2econd Stage Theatre/ Atlantic Theater Company); The Model Apartment (Primary Stages); Tribes, Mistakes Were Made, and Red Light Winter (Barrow Street Theatre); Stop the Virgens (Karen O at St. Ann’s Warehouse/Sydney Opera House); Ivanov, Three Sisters (CSC); A Minister’s Wife (Lincoln Center Theatre); Adding Machine (Minetta Lane). International: Homebody/Kabul (National Theatre of Belgrade, Serbia). Regional: TUTA, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf, The Mark Taper Forum, and Arena Stage, among others. Awards: Obie, Lortel.

JOSHUA HORVATH (Sound Designer) is a Chicago award-winning Sound Designer/Composer/Music Producer. Court credits include: Fences, Porgy and Bess, The Secret Garden, Titus Andronicus, Arcadia, Angles in America, Tartuffe, Raisin in the Sun, Native Son, End Game, The Romance Cycle, Guys and Dolls, and Ma’Rainey. Recent shows have included: Into The Woods (Oregon Shakespeare), Little Shop of Horrors (Cleveland Playhouse), The Verona Project and King Lear (California Shakespeare), Blood Wedding (Lookingglass Theatre), Start Down (The Alliance), An Iliad (Geva, Kansas City Rep), A Raisin in the Sun (Milwaukee Rep), Baskerville (Arena, McCarter), Oliver (Arena), Comedy of Tenors (Cleveland Playhouse, McCarter), Immediate Family (The Mark Taper Forum), A Long Red Road (Goodman Theatre), Civil War Christmas (Long Wharf), Crime and Punishment (Centerstage), The Realness (Merrimack Rep), Circle Mirror Transformation (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), and Clay (Lincoln Center). Mr. Horvath has taught sound design for theatre and film at Northwestern University and DePaul University.  He is a four time Joseph Jefferson Award winner and a LA Ovation winner, a company member of The House Theatre of Chicago, an artistic associate of Lookingglass Theatre, and a collaborative partner with The Goodman.

EVA BRENEMAN (Dialect Coach) Court credits: The Good Book, M. Butterfly, Skylight, Angels in America, The First Breeze of Summer, and Carousel. Chicago: Chimerica (TimeLine); Arcadia (Writers); Blood Wedding (Lookingglass); 2666 (Goodman); A Splintered Soul (Chicago Commercial Collective); In the Heat of the Night (Shattered Globe); The Compass (Steppenwolf); and Tug of War (Chicago Shakespeare). Regional: A Streetcar Named Desire and The Island (American Repertory Theatre); Love’s Labour’s Lost (Actor’s Theatre of Louisville); Around The World In 80 Days (Centerstage/Kansas City Repertory), and Mamma Mia! (National Tour/Las Vegas). Eva is an associate artist at TimeLine Theatre Company and a production affiliate of Lookingglass Theatre Company.

AMANDA WEENER-FREDERICK (Production Stage Manager) is thrilled to be spending another season with Court Theatre. Amanda previously stage managed Water by the Spoonful, M. Butterfly, Native Son, Iphigenia in Aulis, Waiting for Godot, The Good Book, The Secret Garden, Gem of the Ocean, Agamemnon, Satchmo at the Waldorf and most recently, Long Day’s Journey Into Night here at Court Theatre. Since moving to Chicago, Amanda has also worked with Lookingglass Theatre Company and Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Previously, Amanda spent eight seasons with Milwaukee Repertory Theater and seven summers with Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona, Minnesota. Amanda is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.   

ERIN ALBRECHT (Assistant Stage Manager) is thrilled to be back at Court having previously worked on Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Agamemnon, The Good Book, and Iphigenia in Aulis. Off Broadway: And Away We Go (original workshop with Terrence McNally); In Acting Shakespeare, The Philanderer, The Bald Soprano, and Wittenberg (The Pearl Theatre); Richard III and Hamlet (New York Classical Theatre); A Touch of the Poet (Friendly Fire); and The Marvelous Wonderettes (West Side Theatre—original cast). Regional Theatre: American Players Theatre, Arena Stage, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Blue Man Group Chicago, Phoenix Theatre, Quest Visual Theatre, BARD Summerscape, and 14 productions at The Utah Shakespeare Festival. Erin holds a Bachelor of Music from The Catholic University of America and a MFA in Stage Management from Virginia Tech. After more than a decade in NYC, Erin now makes her home in Chicago. She is a proud member of The Actors’ Equity Association.  

STEPHEN J. ALBERT (Executive Director) is a founding partner in Albert Hall & Associates, LLC, a leading arts consulting firm. Prior to forming the consulting practice, Albert was recognized as a leading arts manager. He has led some of America’s most prestigious theatres, including the Mark Taper Forum/Center Theatre Group, Alley Theatre, and Hartford Stage Company. Albert began his career with the Mark Taper Forum/Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles where he worked in senior management positions for over a decade, rising to Managing Director. He went on to become Executive Director of Houston’s Alley Theatre where he led a turnaround that stabilized the organization, enabling the Alley to return to national standing, and drove a capital campaign that secured the organization’s future. At Hartford Stage, his partnership with Mark Lamos resulted in some of the theatre’s most successful seasons and reinforced Hartford Stage’s position at the forefront of the regional theatre movement. During his tenure in Hartford, Mr. Albert led the initiative to create a 25,000 square foot, state-of-the-art production center, securing the donation of the facility and the funding for its renovation. Albert has served as both president and vice president of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) and as a board member of Theatre Communications Group (TCG). He has also written and produced a variety of productions for television, is an ACE award nominee, and has been an associate producer of numerous acclaimed Broadway productions. He is a Senior Fellow with the American Leadership Forum, a graduate of the University of Southern California, and holds an MBA from the UCLA Graduate School of Management.