To launch Writers’ Theatre’s 20th Anniversary 2011/12 Season, Artistic Director Michael Halberstam has assembled a collection of Chicago’s finest actors to take on Stoppard’s modern classic. With a blend of new and familiar faces, including some Writers’ Theatre favorites, this is a cast you’re sure to fall in love with!
Carrie Coon makes her Writers’ Theatre debut as Annie. Coon recently starred in her breakthrough role as Honey, opposite Amy Morton and Tracy Letts in Steppenwolf’s production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf. She will reprise the role of Honey when the production transfers to Broadway in fall 2012. Coon has also appeared in productions at Goodman Theatre and Remy Bumppo Theatre Company. She can be seen in the film One In A Million (Fulton Market Films) and various commercials.
Sean Fortunato, a Writers’ Theatre favorite, returns this season as Henry. Fortunato has captivated our audiences as Aunt Augusta/Henry in Travels With My Aunt, Rosencrantz in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, The Chosen, Rough Crossing, A Phoenix Too Frequent and Spite For Spite. A multi-Joseph Jefferson Award nominee, Fortunato has made his mark in the Chicago theater community appearing in productions at Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, Theatre at the Center, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Court Theatre and The Old Globe Theatre. In addition, he can be seen in the film The Merry Gentleman directed by Michael Keaton.
Rae Gray makes her Writers’ Theatre debut as Debbie. She most recently appeared in That Face (Redtwist Theatre), Circle Mirror Transformation (Victory Gardens Theater) and Jailbait (Profiles Theatre), and is currently a sophomore at the University of Chicago. Other Chicago credits include work at The Gift Theatre Company, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace/Gateway Playhouse, New York, Northlight Theatre, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, Ravinia Festival, Goodman Theatre, TimeLine Theatre Company and Theater at the Center.
Ryan Hallahan returns to Writers’ Theatre as Brodie. Hallahan last appeared on the Tudor Court stage playing The Young Collector in the hit A Streetcar Named Desire. He has also appeared in Sideman (Metropolis Performing Arts Center) and The Chicago Landmark Project (Theatre Seven of Chicago). Hallahan is a graduate of the School of Theater at Illinois State University and has competed nationally in Washington DC in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.
Natasha Lowe returns to Writers’ Theatre as Charlotte. Lowe has been performing on Chicago stages for many years, garnering numerous awards and accolades. Lowe received a Joseph Jefferson Award for Actress in a Leading Role for her portrayal of Blanche DuBois in Writers’ Theatre’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Other Writers’ Theatre appearances include Picnic and Benefactors, for which she received an After Dark Award for Best Actress. A Chicago favorite, Lowe has appeared in productions at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Roadworks Productions, American Theater Company, Next Theatre Company, Live Bait Theatre/Prop Theatre and City Lit Theater.
John Sanders returns to Writers’ Theatre as Max. Previous Writers’ Theatre appearances include Oh Coward!, A Minister’s Wife and The Uneasy Chair. Sanders is an Ensemble Member Emeritus at Stage Left Theatre, an Associate Artist with Chicago Dramatists and a regular on the Chicago stage. Recent Chicago credits include Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace, First Folio Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Visions & Voices Theatre Co. and Stage Left Theatre. Film and television credits include Last Man Standing (Lifetime Television Movie), Alleged and No God No Master.
Jordan Lane Shappell makes his Writers’ Theatre debut as Billy. Shappell’s Chicago credits include Sketchbook: Evolution (Collaboraction), The Lady And The Tyger (Point of Contention Theatre Company) and several productions at the Theatre School at DePaul University. His film credits include Dear Hope, Sloppy Joe and Sometimes (RLS Creative). Shappell is not only an actor, but a playwright as well, having published two plays that have been adapted to film. He is also an acting teacher and forensics coach all across the country.