Lori is pleased to be returning for her fourth season with the Festival after playing the Duchess of Gloucester in last season’s Richard II. Other ISF acting credits include: Henry VIII, Macbeth and Richard III. Local audiences may have seen Lori in Love Letters, Iron, Woman In Mind, Tiny Island and The Beauty Queen of Leenane at Heartland Theatre. Lori directed the off-Broadway production of Falling in 2012 (which received three Drama Desk Award nominations). Lori serves as Head of Acting at Illinois State University. Love to John, Anna and Nathan.
Chris Amos is exceedingly happy to return to Illinois Shakespeare. Chicago credits include Remy Bumppo, Northlight, BoHo, American Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare, and Broadway in Chicago. Regional credits include multiple seasons at the Utah Shakespeare Festival and here at ISF. He holds an MFA in acting from Roosevelt University in Chicago, and BAs in both music and theatre from Oklahoma State University. Chris can be seen this fall in Pirandello’s Henry IV at Remy Bumppo in Chicago.
Nathaniel is beyond thrilled to join ISF this summer. Born and based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Nathaniel graduated from PCPA: Pacific Conservatory Theatre in Santa Maria, CA. He was seen on stage at PCPA as Alf in Peter and the Starcatcher, Larry in Company and understudied in Hamlet, Noises Off! and The San Patricios. His most recent credits include: Marco in A View from the Bridge (Northside Theatre Company), Hamlet / Ophelia in Hamlet (SF Shakes on tour), Frank in Mrs. Warren's Profession (Douglas Morrison Theatre), Leontes in The Winter's Tale and Launce in Two Gentlemen of Verona (Central Coast Shakes).
Eva Balistrieri is thrilled to be returning to Illinois Shakes where she was last seen as Nelly Fail in Failure: A Love Story, the Third Weird Sister in Macbeth and in the ensemble of The Comedy of Errors. Other credits include: Aaron Posner & Teller's The Tempest (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Romeo & Juliet (Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival Tour); Sense & Sensibility, The Comedy of Errors (Utah Shakespeare Festival); Hamlet (Tennessee Shakespeare Company); As You Like It, Merchant of Venice (Riverside Theatre: In the Park); To Kill A Mockingbird, Pride & Prejudice, The Crucible, Othello, 10 seasons of A Christmas Carol (Milwaukee Repertory Theater); and Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Tempest, and Pericles (Great River Shakespeare Festival). Eva received a BA in Theatre from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and trained at the Accademia dell’Arte in Tuscany, Italy. www.evalouisebalistrieri.com
Mark Corkins is thrilled to be making his ISF debut this summer. He has worked with many theatres around the country: Berkeley Rep, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Stage West, Arena Stage, Berkshire Theatre Festival, and SITI Company - to name a few. Mark has been a long-time member of the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre's resident acting company, where memorable productions include: END GAME, TRUE WEST, SEASCAPE, THE FOREIGNER, DRACULA, and KING LEAR. He has also spent many summers in Spring Green, WI with American Players Theatre - a few favorite productions: ANTONY & CLEOPATRA, UNCLE VANYA, YOU NEVER CAN TELL, THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR, and THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ERNEST. Most recently Mark performed his first 1-actor play (with 24 characters!) LAMPS FOR MY FAMILY at In Tandem Theatre in Milwaukee. Mark has spent many years studying and working with internationally renowned director Tadashi Suzuki, and is among a small number of westerners designated as master teachers of the Suzuki Method of Actor Training.
Jon is a veteran of the regional theatre, having joined Actors' Equity Association in 1977. He has been a member of resident acting companies at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (1977-81), Great Lakes Theater Festival ( 1982-84), PCPA Theaterfest ( 1984-97), Milwaukee Repertory Theater ( 1998-2012), and the Great River Shakespeare Festival ( 2004-13). Some of his favorite classical roles include Prospero in The Tempest, Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, both Malvolio and Feste in Twelfth Night, Falstaff in Henry IV Pt 1, and King Lear. Musical roles include Herr Schulz in Cabaret, the Proprietor in Assassins, and Edward Bloom in Big Fish. He has appeared over the years in plays at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Arizona Theatre Company, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Repertory Theatre of Saint Louis, Actors Theater of Louisville, Clarence Brown Theater, American Players Theater, Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey, and PCPA Theaterfest. He is the author of the musical memoir, The Daly News, and a drama, To the Promised Land. He is currently working on a one-man play, titled An Evening with Carl Sandburg. Jon and his wife Gale Childs Daly, who is serving as text coach at ISF this summer, are the parents of Samuel, a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, and Emily, a graduate student in the actor training program at the University of California-Irvine.
Robert R. Doyle is originally from Westhampton Beach on Long Island, New York where he performed in such companies as The Long Island Shakespeare Festival, and Royal Productions Ltd. before he moved to Spring Green, Wisconsin upon receiving an Acting Apprenticeship and subsequent Journeymanship at the American Players Theatre. Since moving to the midwest he has also appeared in A Christmas Carol and other assorted readings and workshops at Milwaukee Rep. Favorite roles include Macbeth (Macbeth), Slender (The Merry Wives of Windsor), Cyrano (Cyrano de Bergerac), and Tom (The Glass Menagerie). Many Thanks to ISF for this great opportunity, and much love to Nicole and Hagen.
Paul is thrilled to be making his ISF debut this summer. A native of California, his recent regional credits include: Ensemble in Macbeth, starring Frances McDormand, at Berkeley Rep; Claudius/Ghost in Hamlet for SF Shakes On Tour; Juan in Man of La Mancha and the Percussionist for Peter and the Starcatcher, both at PCPA - Pacific Conservatory Theatre; The Constable in Fiddler on the Roof at Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre; and Harry Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life: The Musical at Sacramento Theatre Company. Paul holds a BA in Acting from CSU, Fresno and is a graduate of PCPA- Pacific Conservatory Theatre. Visit www.paulhenry.me to learn more.
Mark Tyler Miller is beaming with excitement to be part of the 2016 ISF acting company and to work with such a talented cast and crew! He proudly holds his B.F.A. in Theatre from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. Last year, Mark Tyler was offered the chance to begin working on his M.F.A. in Theatre at the University of Illinois, so he hopped in his car and drove 31 hours from Washington to Illinois to take advantage. He will complete his M.F.A in 2018. Previous credits include: Claude in Hair, Mike Clark in 33 Variations, Woodson Bull III in Third all at ArtsWest Playhouse, Orsino in Illyria and Bellamy in Le Club Noel both at Taproot Theatre Company, and Bobby in Postcards From Hotel Cassiopeia at the NYC Strawberry Theatre Festival.
Ben is hopelessly pleased to make his debut with Illinois Shakespeare Festival. Originally from San Rafael, CA, he earned a B.F.A in Acting from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. His most recent credits are Alceste in Martin Crimp's adaptation of The Misanthrope at Piccolo Theatre, and Oscar Wilde in The Judas Kiss by Sir David Hare with Dead Writers Theatre Collective. He has also worked with First Folio Theatre, Lifeline Theatre, The Chicago Mammals, and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. When not Shakespeare-ing, he spends the occasional summer weekend as one half of the clown duo "Bubble and Trubble."
Christopher is thrilled to be working with Illinois Shakespeare Festival. He was recently seen in The Gift Theatre’s Richard III at the Steppenwolf Garage. Other credits include Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest (Door Shakespeare); Hamlet, School for Scandal, Othello, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Complete Works…Abridged, Ah, Wilderness! and Red (Riverside Theatre, Iowa City); Hamlet, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Tempest (Montana Shakespeare in the Parks) The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet (Montana Shakespeare in the Schools) as well as a season with American Players Theatre. Originally from St. Paul, MN, Christopher attended the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program.
Tom is pleased to be returning for his twelfth season with the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, where his favorite roles include the title role in King John, Kent in King Lear, John Dory in Wild Oats, Chorus in Failure: A Love Story, and Tom in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). An M.F.A. graduate of Illinois State University’s School of Theatre and Dance, he has appeared on a host of stages around the country including Arena Stage in Washington D.C., Center Stage in Baltimore, The Goodman, Briar Street, Steppenwolf, Commons, and Drury Lane in Chicago, New Stage in Jackson, Mississippi, American Inside Theatre in Milwaukee, The Theatre at Monmouth in Maine, and Clarence Brown Theatre in Knoxville, Tennessee. He has created over seventy roles for the professional stage and dozens more for academic theatre. On television, Tom co-starred in the mini-series, Burden of Proof, written by Scott Turow for ABC. Locally, he has appeared on stage as a student of Illinois State University, a guest artist at Bradley University, and for three seasons with Summer Studio at the University of Illinois in Urbana- Champaign. Tom has just completed his twelfth year on the faculty of Illinois Wesleyan University, where he serves as the Director of the School of Theatre Arts.
Previous roles at the Festival include Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard in Richard III, Porthos in Three Musketeers, Richard in Richard II, and both Dromios in Comedy of Errors. Acting experience also includes Milwaukee Shakespeare, Chicago Shakespeare, Kentucky Shakespeare, Shakespeare and Company, Portland Center Stage, San Jose Rep, Yale Rep, and the American Theatre Company. He is a member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA and a Certified Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework®. He holds a B.A. from Grinnell College and an M.F.A. in Acting from Yale School of Drama.
Deborah is thrilled to return to the Illinois Shakespeare Festival where she played Elizabeth (Elizabeth Rex) and Cleopatra (Antony and Cleopatra), and was honored to be the John Stevens Memorial Award recipient for 2014. This spring found Deborah at Next Act Theatre in Motherhood Out Loud, where she has also appeared as Ms. Kelly in Ten Questions and directed Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter. She’s an Associate Artist with Milwaukee Rep (20 seasons) where favorites include Billie Dawn (Born Yesterday), Nora (A Doll's House), Jean Louise (To Kill A Mockingbird), and the title roles in Mary Stuart, Anna Karenina, Anna Christie, and Mirandolina. Also at The Rep, she's performed the one woman shows The Amish Project and The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead (also Jeff Award nominated at Writers’ Theater). Other favorites of her 100+ stage credits include Amanda (Private Lives), Beatrice (Much Ado), Helena (All's Well), Phedre (Phedre), Yelena, (Uncle Vanya), and Ariel (Tempest) at American Players’ Theater; Lady Macbeth (Macbeth) and Kate (The Taming of the Shrew) at Wisconsin Shakespeare; and Cressida (Troilus & Cressida) and Desdemona (Othello) at Chicago Shakespeare. Deborah is a voiceover artist, the mother of two fabulous girls and is the proud wife of David Cecsarini, to whom she dedicates her work this season with all her love. Thank you for coming to The Festival! DeborahStaples.com
Eliza is thrilled to be working with Illinois Shakespeare Festival this season. She was most recently seen in A Splintered Soul at Stage 773 in Chicago. Other recent Chicago productions include A Loss of Roses at Raven Theatre, Fallen Angels at Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, where she is an Ensemble Member, and Doubt at Writers’ Theatre. Regional credits include Riverside Theatre in Iowa and Montana Shakespeare in the Parks and in the Schools. Eliza is represented by Paonessa Talent Agency and is a proud graduate of Loyola University Chicago. www.elizastoughton.com
Jonah is overjoyed to be making his Illinois Shakespeare Festival debut in his first Summer with the company. Recently seen in the great city of Chicago as Mr. One in The Hypocrites Theatre production of the cult hit Adding Machine: A Musical, Jonah is native of Indianapolis, Indiana where he attended the Butler University Jordan College of the Arts; graduating in 2008 with a Bachelor's Degree in Theatre and Vocal Music. He is also a Master of Letters holder from the Flinders University School of Drama in Adelaide, South Australia where he also studied. Some of Jonah's favorite roles include The Maitre' D in The Merry Widow (The Lyric Opera of Chicago), Jud Fry in Oklahoma! (Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre), Caiaphas in Jesus Christ Superstar (Theo Ubique Theatre) Esteban in Kiss of the Spider Woman (Bohemian Theatre Ensemble), Viejo Cactus in Wild Horses (Indiana Repertory Theatre) and Eddie Satin in Golden Boy the Musical (Porchlight Music Theatre). Television and commercial credits include Chicago Fire, Skittles, and Senior Wooly.