by Caryl Churchill
directed by Keira Fromm
January 16 – February 22, 2020
You need a hard head to smash a glass ceiling and Marlene’s got what it takes! But success comes at a price and the past is never far behind. Whip-smart, funny, and ultimately very moving, Caryl Churchill’s groundbreaker brilliantly debates questions about female empowerment, career, and family.
– Chicago Tribune
– Chicago Theatre Review
Linda Gillum – Marlene
Annabel Armour – Isabella Bird / Louise
Aurora Real de Asua – Dull Gret / Angie
Rebecca Hurd – Waitress / Nell
Karissa Murrell Myers – Lady Nijo / Win
Amber Sallis – Griselda / Kit
Rebecca Spence – Joyce / Pope Joan / Mrs. Kidd
Vahishta Vafadari – Jeanine / Shona / Waitress
Keira Fromm – Director
Mara Sagal – Stage Manager
Sarah Illiatovitch-Goldman – Dramaturg
Courtney O’Neill – Scenic Designer
Raquel Adorno & Meeka Postman – Costume Designers
Becca Jeffords – Lighting Designer
Sarah D. Espinoza – Sound Designer
Amanda Herrmann – Properties Designer
Kristina Fluty – Movement and Intimacy Coordinator
About The Cast
ANNABEL ARMOUR (Isabella Bird/ Louise)
ANNABEL ARMOUR (Isabella Bird / Louise) is a Core Ensemble Member at Remy Bumppo where some of her favorite roles have been in Bloomsday, hang, Fallen Angels, The Clean House (Jeff Nomination), Northanger Abbey, Seascape, The Goat or, Who is Sylvia (Jeff Award), Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Power, A Delicate Balance, Top Girls (in 2001), and Hapgood. Other Chicago credits include Cabaret (Marriott Lincolnshire); At Home at the Zoo, and Before My Eyes (Victory Gardens); Picnic (Writers); Sunday in the Park with George (Chicago Shakespeare); Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Irish Rep); Angels in America Pts. I & II (Journeymen); and The First Look Series (Steppenwolf). Other credits include Clybourne Park (Asolo Rep); Pride and Prejudice (Cleveland Playhouse); and The Grapes of Wrath (Ford’s Theatre D.C). Film credits include The Amityville Horror, Conviction, and Contagion. Annabel can be seen in this season’s Chicago Med and has been the recipient of three Joseph Jefferson Awards and two After Dark Awards.
LINDA GILLIUM (Marlene)
(Marlene) is a Core Ensemble member with Remy Bumppo and has performed in 23 productions notably Top Girls (2001), Holiday, A Delicate Balance, The Real Thing, Old Times, Night and Day, Our Class, Great Expectations, and The Father. She is thrilled to join Annabel again in Top Girls after 19 years. Linda has enjoyed working on Caryl Churchill having directed the Chicago Premiere of Skriker for Defiant Theatre, directing Far Away for Carthage College, and performing in Love and Information with Remy Bumppo. She has also worked with A Red Orchid, Chicago Dramatists, Court, Famous Door, Lyric Opera, Mercury, Next, Noble Fool, Northlight, Roadworks, ShawChicago, Steppenwolf, and Theatre at the Center. Linda teaches at Acting Studio Chicago, Remy Bumppo, and is an adjunct at the DePaul Theatre School. She is also a speech consultant for corporate executives. TV/Film credits include Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Prison Break, Early Edition, The Photographist, Haunting Hour, Bruised Orange, Casting About, and Dorkumentary. Linda is represented by Stewart Talent.
KARISSA MURRELL MYERS (Lady Nijo/Win)
KARISSA MURRELL MYERS (Lady Nijo / Win) is thrilled to work with Remy Bumppo for the first time. Chicago credits include Pinocchio, Borealis (House); Gloria, King of the Yees; (Goodman u/s); The Holidays Unwrapped (Erasing the Distance); Farewell My Friend, For One (rediscover theatre). Regional credits include Top Girls (Renaissance Theaterworks). Television credits includes Chicago Med, Chicago PD, The Exorcist, and Electric Dreams. Karissa is a graduate of The School at Steppenwolf and earned an MFA in Performance from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a BA in Theatre Arts in Directing and Acting from Boise State University. She is also a member of SAG-AFTRA. She is represented by Big Mouth Talent.
AURORA REAL DE ASUA (Dull Gret / Angie)
AURORA REAL DE ASUA (Dull Gret / Angie) is stoked to work with Remy Bumppo for the first time. Chicago credits include The Wickhams (Northlight); The Adventures of Augie March (Court); Pipeline (Victory Gardens); The Wolves (Goodman); The Firebirds Take the Field (Rivendell); You On The Moors Now, and Dracula (Hypocrites); and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Metropolis Performing Arts Center). Aurora was recently named one of The Chicago Tribune’s Hot New Faces. She graduated from Northwestern University and is proudly represented by Gray Talent.
AMBER SALLIS (Griselda / Kit)
AMBER SALLIS (Griselda / Kit) is thrilled to work with Remy Bumppo for the first time. Chicago credits include Mosquitoes, Pomona, Birdland, Earthquakes in London, Zurich, and Hinter (Steep); and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Eclectic Full Contact Theatre). Amber is an Ensemble member at both Steep Theatre and Imagination Theatre where she educates young students about social issues. She was named one of the Chicago Tribune’s Hot New Faces, studied at the Moscow Art Theatre School (MXAT) in Russia, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.
REBECCA SPENCE (Pope Joan / Mrs. Kidd / Joyce)
REBECCA SPENCE (Pope Joan / Mrs. Kidd / Joyce) joyfully returns to Remy Bumppo having appeared in Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Jeff Nomination) and The Voysey Inheritance. Chicago credits include Every Brilliant Thing (Windy City Playhouse); The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mary Page Marlowe, The Crucible, Our Lady of 121st Street, and Pacific (Steppenwolf); Continuity (Goodman); In The Garden (Lookingglass); Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West (TimeLine); This (Theatre Wit); and Dracula (Defiant). Rebecca is the Associate Artistic Director at Rivendell Theatre where she appeared in The Firebirds Take the Field, How the World Began, WRENS, and These Shining Lives (Jeff Nomination). Other credits include Cyrano (Milwaukee Rep). Film include CandyMan, Princess Cyd, Slice, Man of Steel, Fools, Tiger Tail in Blue, One Small Hitch, Contagion, The Dilemma, Public Enemies, Grace is Gone and The Break-Up. Television credits include Utopia (Amazon Prime), Empire (FOX), Easy (Netflix), Boss (STARZ) Crisis (NBC), Chicago Fire (NBC), Betrayal (ABC), The Mob Doctor (FOX), Detroit 1-8-7 (ABC), The Chicago Code (FOX), The Beast (A&E) and Prison Break (FOX). Rebecca is a member of SAG-AFTRA.
VAHISHTA VAFADARI (Waitress / Jeanine / Shona)
VAHISHTA VAFADARI (Waitress / Jeanine / Shona) is excited to work with Remy Bumppo again having appeared in Pygmalion and understudied Love and Information. She was the Dialect Coach for Frankenstein and the Assistant Dialect Coach on Bloomsday, hang, and Great Expectations. Chicago credits include I Know My Own Heart (Pride Films and Plays); Cyrano (BoHo); As You Like It (First Folio); A Wrinkle In Time (Lifeline); A Widow of No Importance (Rasaka); and Two Gentlemen of Verona (Oak Park Festival). Vahishta received a Jeff nomination for I Know My Own Heart, got her MFA in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul, and is represented by Gray Talent Group. www.vahishtavafadari.com
About The Director
KEIRA FROMM (Director)
KEIRA FROMM (Director) is excited to work with Remy Bumppo again having previously directed hang. Favorite recent Chicago directing credits include Bright Half Life, Significant Other, A Kid Like Jake, and Dada Woof Papa Hot (About Face); The How and the Why (TimeLine); The Columnist (American Blues); Broadsword (Gift); Charles Ives Take Me Home (Strawdog); Fallow (Steep); How the World Began (Rivendell); Luce (Next); Bent (Other Theatre); Enfrascada (16th Street); and Lobby Hero (Redtwist). Regional credits include A Doll’s House (American Players Theatre); Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (TheatreSquared). Keira earned an MFA in Directing from DePaul University, a BFA from Boston University, and is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Upcoming directing projects include the Chicago premiere of The Last Match by Anna Ziegler (Writers) and A Phoenix Too Frequent by Christopher Fry (American Players Theatre). Say hi at www.keirafromm.com
About The Playwright
CARYL CHURCHILL (Playwright)
CARYL CHURCHILL (Playwright) is a deeply political playwright renowned for her experiments with form and her broad interests in far-ranging topics. While many prolific playwrights employ an identifiable voice or style, Churchill’s works varies wildly—from blending realism with fantasy to critique Thatcherism and feminism in the episodic and non-linear Top Girls to a forty-five minute duet wherein a gay couple symbolizes the way the United States seduces its allies into misguided foreign conflicts in Drunk Enough to Say I Love You (2006). She is easily one of the most influential and significant dramatists of the last fifty years. She was born September 3, 1938 in London and immigrated with her family to Canada at age 10. She returned to attended Lady Margaret Hall, a women’s college of the University of Oxford, and remained in England after receiving a B.A. in 1960. During the 1960s and ’70s, while raising a family, Churchill wrote radio dramas and then television plays for British television. Owners, a two-act, 14-scene play about obsession with power, was her first major theatrical endeavor in 1972. During her tenure as resident dramatist at London’s Royal Court Theatre, Churchill wrote Objections to Sex and Violence (1974), which led to her successful association with David Hare and Max Stafford-Clark’s Joint Stock Company and with Monstrous Regiment, a feminist group. Cloud 9 (1979), a farce about sexual politics, was successful in the United States as well as in Britain, winning an Obie Award in 1982 for playwriting. The next year she won another Obie with Top Girls (1982). The prolific Churchill continued to push boundaries. Softcops (1984) is a surreal play set in 19th-century France about government attempts to depoliticize illegal acts, Serious Money (1987) , another Obie winner, is a comedy about excesses in the financial world, and Icecream (1989) investigates Anglo-American stereotypes. In 1997 she collaborated with the composer Orlando Gough to create Hotel, a choreographed opera or sung ballet set in a hotel room. She later explored issues of identity in A Number (2002), about a father and his cloned sons, for which Churchill won her third Obie for playwriting. Also in 2002 she won an Obie for sustained achievement. Her subsequent works included Love and Information (2012), Escaped Alone (2016), and Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp (2019).
3759 N. Ravenswood Avenue
Chicago, IL 60613
1229 W. Belmont Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60657
Box Office: 773.975.8150
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