The Theatre School at DePaul University presents two world premiere productions

Michael Jordan
“Michael Jordan in Lilliput,” by Mickle Maher and directed by alumna Erica Weiss, will be performed in the Sondra and Dennis Healy Theatre. (Image by Grip Design)
CHICAGO
­— The Theatre School at DePaul University will present two world premiere productions in May directed by school alumni. “Michael Jordan in Lilliput” by Mickle Maher is directed by alumna Erica Weiss and will be performed in the Sondra and Dennis Healy Theatre. “Mrs. Phu's Cleansing Juices (and Also Salads)” by Emily L. Witt is directed by alumna Krissy Vanderwarker and will be performed on the Fullerton Stage.

“Michael Jordan in Lilliput” runs through May 14. “Mrs. Phu's Cleansing Juices (and Also Salads)” opens May 19 and runs through May 27, with previews May 17 and 18. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays.

About “Michael Jordan in Lilliput”: What happens when the tiny inhabitants of a secluded island seek to join the developed world and form a basketball team? When one of their players, a down-at-heel American journeyman named Michael Jordan (not “the” Michael Jordan), won't shoot or pass the ball, he ensures a losing season for his vertically challenged team. Playing out entirely in the Q and A format of post-game conferences, “Michael Jordan in Lilliput” combines the fantastical with the mundane and the expansive with the irrelevant.

About “Mrs. Phu's Cleansing Juices (and also Salads)”: Entering Mrs. Phu's means crossing a gauntlet of steadfast Reaganites and pro-lifers. Just on the other side of the trenches lies a world where a waiter wrangles eccentric customers, a hippie lady floats aimlessly, and three very different women gather to receive abortions under the constraints of stringent federal mandates.​​​​​​​​​ Recommended for mature audiences.​​​​​​​​​​​​

Both performances will be held at The Theatre School, 2350 N. Racine Ave. Tickets are $15, preview tickets are $10, and student tickets are $5. Subscriptions and group rates for six or more people are available. All tickets are reserved seating. Tickets are available by calling the box office at 773-325-7900 or visiting http://theatre.depaul.edu.

For patrons who are blind or have low-vision, the 7:30 p.m. performances May 12 and May 27 will include audio description services, as well as a pre-performance touch tour. Call 773-325-7900. The performances May 12 and May 27 will also be interpreted in American Sign Language. TTY: 773-325- 7975.

May 10 and May 24 are USO of Illinois Nights and U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their families can attend the performances for free. Visit www.tixfortroops.org to reserve tickets, or call 773-325-7900 for more information. Additional special events and post-show discussions May 7, 11, 21 and 25.

The cast for “Michael Jordan in Lilliput” features Jerome Beck (Michael Jordan), Mélisa Breiner-Sanders (Mrs. Horton), Clint Campbell (Magic), Elsa Guenther (female reporter), Elise Randall (Lilli), Michael Stock (Pippin), Adam Welsh (male reporter), Elizabeth Weiner (Bird) and Greg Wenz (Phil Jackson).

The production team for “Michael Jordan in Lilliput” includes Erica Weiss (director), Sophia Blood (scenic designer), Elizabeth Martinez (costume designer), Alexandra Jonasse (lighting designer), Haley Feiler (sound designer), Alyssa Kerr (sound designer), Patricia Mahoney (dramaturg), Mariah Schultz (dramaturg) and Erin Collins (stage manager).​

Weiss is a Jeff-nominated theatre director and filmmaker based in Chicago. She was the recipient of The Goodman Theatre's Michael Maggio Directing Fellowship, is an ensemble member of The Gift Theatre Company and was the associate artistic director of Route 66 Theatre Company for four years. She recently directed The Gift's critically acclaimed production of “The Grapes of Wrath.” Her primary passions lie in the development of new work and bringing female voices to the stage and screen. Her directing work includes the world premieres of Jerre Dye's “Cicada” (Route 66 Theatre), “Distance” (Strawdog Theatre) and Caroline V McGraw's “The Bachelors” (Cole Theatre).

Weiss is a longtime and frequent collaborator with writer Caitlin Parrish, directing their world premiere productions of “The Downpour” (a Joseph Jefferson Nominee for Best Production, Best Director, Best New Work, and Best Lead Actress), “A Twist of Water” with Route 66 Theatre Company and Off-Broadway at 59E59, and “The Burials” at Steppenwolf Theatre. She and Parrish co-directed their first feature film “The View From Tall,” which has screened at the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Chicago International Film Festival. Their original pilot “Red Line” is in development with Warner Brothers Studios and Berlanti Productions. Weiss is an alumna of The Theatre School at DePaul.

Michael Jordan
​"Mrs. Phu's Cleansing Juices (and Also Salads),” by Emily L. Witt and directed by alumna Krissy Vanderwarker, will be performed on the Fullerton Stage. (Image by Grip Design)
The cast for “Mrs. Phu's Cleansing Juices (and Also Salads)” features Jack Disselhorst (Mr. Milshake/Ron), Danny Gadaj (Donald), Rebecca Keeshin (Sarah), Nikhaar Kishnani (Niko), JJ McGlone (waiter), Carolyn Moore (Ann/Sympathy), Vinh Nguyen (James), Shea Peterson (Ian/Max) and Dekyi Ronge (Polly).

The production team for “Mrs. Phu's Cleansing Juices (and Also Salads)” includes Krissy Vanderwarker (director), Mara Zinky (scenic designer), Megan Pirtle (costume designer), Mattias Lange-McPherson (lighting designer), Tyler Blakeman (sound designer) and Alexa Santiago (stage manager).

Vanderwarker is a freelance director and co-artistic director of Dog & Pony Theatre Co. Dog & Pony directing credits include: “Breach,” “Counterfeiters,” “The Dinner Party Project,” “God's Ear,” “As Told by the Vivian Girls,” “Mr. Marmalade,” “Ape,” “Osama the Hero,” “Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake)” and “As Much As You Can.” Other professional directing credits include: “Thaddeus and Slocum: A Vaudeville Adventure” (Lookingglass), “Harry & The Thief” (Pavement Group), “The Grown-Up” (Shattered Globe), “Bethany” (First Look Festival/Steppenwolf), “As Fat As You Can” (Next Theatre), “CLEAR” (About Face), “What Once We Felt” (About Face) and “As Much As You Can” (Hendel Productions West). Vanderwarker graduated with her MFA in Directing from The Theatre School at DePaul where she is a faculty member.

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Media contact:
Anna Ables
aables@depaul.edu
773-325-7938