Grey Ghost Theatre Presents:
THE BOOK OF SPECTRES
The Ghost Stories that Inspired Frankenstein
Translated & Adapted by Evan Chung
From the Tales by Johann August Apel
Directed by Amber Robinson
September 28-October 20, 2013 at Chicago Dramatists
Grey Ghost Theatre presents The Book of Spectres, an original adaptation of ghost stories by German writer Johann August Apel. Originally published in 1811, these eerie tales famously inspired the horror writing contest among Lord Byron, Mary Shelley, and Percy Bysshe Shelley that resulted directly in the composition of Mary Shelley's masterpiece Frankenstein.
Framed by a classic "old dark house" narrative, The Book of Spectres reimagines an actual event in the legendary summer spent by the Shelleys, Byron, and two other English writers on Lake Geneva, Switzerland in 1816. When perpetual dark and stormy nights strand them inside a spooky villa, the companions entertain themselves by reading aloud from a collection of ghost tales. The arrival of a mysterious woman launches a series of unexplainable events within the house which blur the boundary between the writers' reality and the supernatural tales. Ranging from traditional haunted house stories to medieval mysteries to madcap fairy tales, the inventively staged stories are simultaneously charming and bone-chilling, delightful and disturbing.
The Book of Spectres runs Thursdays through Sundays from September 28-October 20, 2013 at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL. Thursday-Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m., while Sunday performances are 2:00 p.m. matinees.
Chicago Dramatists is located at the intersection of Chicago, Milwaukee, and Ogden, directly outside the Chicago Blue Line stop. The #66 Chicago Bus also takes you straight to the theatre. If you are arriving via car, you can take the Kennedy Expressway to the Ogden or Augusta exits. The theatre entrance is located on the south side of the building, at the convergence of May and Aberdeen.
Advance tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets. Tickets are $20. $15 tickets will be available for students and seniors. Tickets are also available for industry on Thursday nights for $15 at the door. For more information, please email greyghosttheatre [at] gmail.com or call (773) 828-9710.
Andrew Bailes (Lord Byron) is thrilled to be working with Grey Ghost Theatre. In Chicago, Andrew has had the pleasure of working with Strawdog Theatre Company, Chicago Dramatists, Tympanic Theater Company, Twenty Percent Chicago, and Victory Gardens. He recently traveled to Scotland to perform in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with Wishbone Theatre Collective. Andrew received an MFA in Acting from the University of Florida. Prior to UF, he was a Resident Actor and Teaching Artist at Florida Studio Theater.
Hilary Holbrook (Claire Clairmont) is thrilled to be a part of this ghoulishly fun production! Previous credits include In the Shadow of His Language (Chicago Dramatists and Chicago Cultural Center), Improbable Frequency (Strawdog Theatre), Crimes of the Heart (Steel Beam Theatre), Peer Gynt (Polarity Ensemble Theatre), Big River (Bohemian Theatre Ensemble and remount at Theatre on the Lake), BigTop JoJo and His Phenominal Phantasmagoria (Jonny Stax Presents), and The Robber Bridegroom (Griffin Theatre). Thanks to Amber and the cast for this great opportunity, and Mom and James for their never-ending support. Cheers!
Aaron Lawson (John William Polidori) is proud to be working with such a fantastic group of people in his first show with Grey Ghost Theatre. Aaron is originally from St. Louis, Missouri and has been working as an actor in Chicago for over four years. He was last seen in TUTA's production of The Silent Language and as Joel in Wake: A Folk Opera with The Whiskey Rebellion Theatre. Aaron has also worked with such companies as City Lit, Emerald City, Hell in a Handbag, Promethean, Adventure Stage, where he played Jonas in The Giver, and New Line Theatre in St. Louis, which earned him a Kevin Kline nomination for best supporting actor in a musical for High Fidelity. Aaron would like to thank the whole cast and crew for an amazing experience. Big shout out to Amber Robinson for the awesome direction and for being a huge geek. Seriously. Props.
Maggie McCally (Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin) is beyond psyched to be working again with Grey Ghost, after appearing in their 2012 production of Melancholy Play. She moved to Chicago after a two year San Francisco black box theatre escapade (Boxcar, Sleepwalkers, Pianofight, Crowded Fire (matchbox series), Woman's Will). In Chicago, she has understudied for the Victory Gardens (The Gospel According to James), and will be appearing as Edna in Remy Bumppo's An Inspector Calls this winter. Thanks for coming :)
Tim Parker (Percy Bysshe Shelley) lives and works in Chicago. He is an actor and a writer. He is originally from San Diego, California, where he is an ensemble member of New Village Arts Theatre.
Alexis Randolph (Lorelei) is very excited to be working with Grey Ghost Theatre! Chicago credits include Strawdog, Steep Theatre, Chicago Fringe Festival, The State Theatre, Redmoon Theater, The Raven, and Knife and Fork where she is also an Artistic Associate. Alexis also teaches at Emerald City, St. Clement School, and the North Park University Opera Program. She would like to thank the cast and crew for all their incredible work and dedication and Josh for his constant support and love.
Andy Junk (Understudy, Male Roles) is an actor and improviser in the Chicago. He is a founding member of Grey Ghost Theatre and was featured as Frank in their inaugural production of Melancholy Play. You can see him in his web series "Drunk in a Trunk with Andy Junk" and as a member of Dogs (iO) and Bella (The Playground).
Mary Nash (Understudy, Female Roles) began her acting experience with her mentor, Beau O'Reilly and The Curious Theater, in the production of Evanston, Which is Over There. As a recent MFA in graduate from the School of the Art Institute, she studied playwriting and scientific illustration. Additionally, she hopes to continue to fuse her knowledge of and passion for costume construction and fashion design with performance writing.
Amber Robinson (Director) is excited and proud to be back directing Grey Ghost's first original work. Amber is a co-founder of Grey Ghost Theatre and directed their inaugural production of Sarah Ruhl's Melancholy Play in 2012. In addition to her work with Grey Ghost, Amber is an actress who has worked with various Chicago companies, including Tuta, Strange Tree, Emerald City, Redmoon, and Collaboraction. Thanks to my family. Thanks to my friends. Thanks to everyone who has worked on this production with such brilliance and generosity.
Evan Chung (Playwright) is a co-founder of Grey Ghost Theatre. He has produced radio work for Chicago Public Radio programs including Eight Forty-Eight, All Things Considered, and Hello Beautiful and was the recipient of the Tony Hawkins Award for Excellence in Radio Art. Evan also writes and performs each month for the literary variety show The Encyclopedia Show. He hosts a weekly show on CHIRP Radio and has been a prolific programmer at Doc Films. He is also involved in several musical projects, including as founder of MeatBute, Chicago's only Meat Loaf tribute band. Evan holds a degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Chicago.
Lauren Nigri (Set & Props Design) is a native of Illinois and a freelance artist in the areas of scenic design, illustration, and fine art. After graduating from the University of Iowa in 2009 with a BFA in Printmaking and Painting and a BA in Theatre Design, she worked for the University as a Scenic Painter and designed multiple new plays including Angel Bones by Jen Silverman. She has also designed The Wizard of Oz for Davenport Junior Theatre and Red at the QC Theatre Workshop, to name a few. Lauren is currently attending Northwestern as an MFA candidate in Scenic and Costume Design.
Morgan Fogarty (Choreography & Movement) is from St. Charles, Illinois and received her BFA in Dance from the University of Kansas in 2007. At KU she had the pleasure of performing works of the Cohan/Suzeau Dance Company, William Whitener, Carl Corry, Jose Limon (reconstructed by Sarah Stackhouse), Kate Skarpetowska, Patrick Corbin, and Wally Cardona. After graduating, Morgan performed and collaborated with New York based companies: Amanda Selwyn Dance Theater, KerPlunk Dance, Laura Peterson Choreography, and Corbindances. As a performer she has been praised as a"Company standout... Ravishingly beautiful, she is one to watch" (Edge Boston). Morgan now serves as an adjunct faculty member at Northern Illinois University, and choreographs for the Northern Dance Theatre.
Michael Huey (Sound Design) is an award-nominated composer active in both the film and theatre industries in Chicago and Los Angeles. Recent music and design credits include: Freshly Fallen Snow (Chicago Dramatists), and several productions with the Strange Tree Group: The Half-Brothers Mendelssohn, Alvin, and The Spirit Play (Jeff nomination for Best Music). He has worked with Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakes, Barrel of Monkeys, Lookingglass, and more. He recently composed the score to the brand-new Lance Henriksen film Nevermore. www.officialmichaelhuey.com
Stuart Seale (Composer) is a composer and pianist. He has written and arranged music for dance, film, concert, and theater settings. Currently, Stuart is the musical director for Charangueo (a Chicago-based, Cuban music band), vocalist Amy Yassinger's ensembles, and Suena Latin Jazz. He also plays with many other jazz and Latin groups in Chicago, as well as MeatBute (Chicago's premier Meat Loaf tribute band) and Fannheim Steamroller (Mannheim Steamroller tribute).
Anna Lafontant (Stage Manager) is a Chicago based Stage Manager. Anna has a B.A. in technical theater from Columbia College Chicago. Recent credits include the remount of Jackalope Theatre Company's Long Way Go Down for Theater on the Lake, a hearty run as a stagehand for Mercury Theatre's Barnum, Rich and Famous (Jackalope Theatre Company), and In Pigeon House (Seanachai Theatre Company). Thanks Mom! "Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray." - Byron
with Piper Hubbell-Robinson (Costume Design), John Weygandt (Lighting Design), and Alyson Kulin (Assistant Stage Manager).
About Grey Ghost Theatre
Grey Ghost Theatre is a new storefront theatre company in Chicago, dedicated to productions of contemporary plays, original works, and new adaptations of classic texts. Its inaugural production was the Chicago premiere of Sarah Ruhl's Melancholy Play: A Contemporary Farce in spring 2012.
We'd like to offer tremendous thanks to our generous sponsors: Bob and Joan Hubbell, Eric Stolze, Jenn Gibbons, David Schermer, Karin Fjellman, Anne Marie Sticksel, Estelle Berger, John Bierbusse, Steven & Jan Junk, Ella Chung, Diane Teng, Tom Chung, Daniel Herman, Lauren Summers, Madeleine Hannes, Bart Pappas, Shannon Maney-Magnuson, William Reed, Linus Gog, Alex Hartzler, Erin Hickey, Melanie Faetz, Kim Miller, Nikki Hurt, Donnacha Kenny, Lyudmila Kizer, Mina Bloom, Asher Perlmlan, Nicholas Krause, Megan Hincks, Ryan O'Neill, and Cheryl Nakata.
Additional thanks for the help provided by Kara Moore, Kyle Blair, Madeleine Hannes, Jenn Gibbons, Brian Morrison, Dan Billups, Dan Andruss, Mollie Slattery, Paul Karner, Bart Pappas, Nicholas Krause, Adam Mohundro, Scott Goodhart, Lauren Summers, Adam Tanguay, Julian Antos, Jim Weber, Willow Creek Community Church, Entertainment Cruises, and Jackson Junge Gallery.
Grey Ghost Theatre is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of Grey Ghost Theatre must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Poster design by Ryan Duggan. Illustrations by Brian Morrison.