Ellyzabeth Adler (CDE Founder/Executive Artistic Director)
Director, Adaptor, Performer, and Choreographer for The Wasteland
Ellyzabeth Adler (she/her) is a multidisciplinary artist working in the genre of "Tanztheatre," weaving together theatre, dance, film, spoken word, and music. As founder of Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble (CDE) she has dedicated herself to forming partnerships with artists of all genres and generations to create unique, dynamic, engaging, and meaningful ensemble performances. She also teaches and mentors the next generation of performers who, in turn, serve as visiting artists and teachers in schools and community centers through CDE’s Books Alive and Poetry Alive to enhance literacy, numeracy, and arts awareness for thousands of underserved children in the Chicago area, as well as teaching traditional dance, theatre and visual art in the schools.
Ellyzabeth studied dance at William Reilly Academy of Ballet and danced with the Springfield Ballet Company before earning a BFA in Performing Arts, with a minor in Broadcast Journalism at Roosevelt University. In 2000 she earned a Masters of Arts in Directing and Movement; as her thesis she developed CDE’s techniques for creating multidisciplined, kinesthetic, and socially engaging theatre.
She has created and/or collaboratively adapted, directed and choreographed 10 full-length works including: T.S Eliot’s The Wasteland; Ever Your Own; Edgar; The Yellow Wallpaper; This Is Not A Pipe; Bindis and Bruises; and Touch and Mirrors - one-act plays based on the work of the Persian poet, Rumi. She has also created and choreographed over a dozen concert-length works focused on women’s issues, the female body, the human condition, and pathways to enlightenment. Among these works include HOPE based off the letters of incarcerated men, Unraveling Bill about her friend Theresa Blake who's brother Bill committed suicide after returning from Iraq. While these topic might appear heavy, there is alway a ray of hope and healing in every work that Ellyzabeth created. In 2017, she teamed up with long time colleague, Lucy Vurusic Rhiner of RE Dance to create Ethereal Abandonment based on the photography of Chicagoan Candace Casey about a group of friends who explore an abandoned theater and item they find tells a story of long ago.
Ellyzabeth is also a published author with her short stories Full Moon Soulmate and Last Chapter. As a domestic abuse survivor, she has spoken at several conferences and activism events including for Between Friends, Light Up The Lakefront, Muslim Women's Association and Columbia College.
Ellyzabeth has one very simple goal in life: to change in the world for the better, one person at a time.
Joshua Paul Weckesser (Lighting design)
Joshua Paul Weckesser is a lighting designer who's designs have been seen across the US as well as internationally. Josh's relationship with Chicago Danztheatre is stretching into it's second decade. He is founder of Bread & Roses Productions dedicated to providing production support to art-based organizations. TimeOut Chicago said that Josh’s “name seemed to pop up in every program.” Career highlights include lighting the first ever evening-length production of American Tap at the Kennedy Center, working with Karole Armitage in the Netherlands, and the national tour of Gobsmacked.
Peyton (he/him) is thrilled to be making his debut with Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble! Previous credits include: "Ismene" (Webster Conservatory), "Deadly" (Webster Conservatory), and "Krugozor!" (Theatre Evolve). Peyton is a proud graduate of the Sargent Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University. IG: @p.hooksy
Courtney Reid Harris
Courtney Reid Harris (she/they) is delighted to work with Chicago DanzTheatre again after appearing in This is Not a Pipe last fall.
After spending the last couple of years as an elementary educator, she is so jazzed to prance around a stage again! When she is not doing arts and crafts with her cat, you can see her around town doing stand up, sketch comedy, or watching films at the Music Box. Much thanks to her loving partner in crime, Kerry, and to the Chicago DanzTheatre Ensemble for this wonderful opportunity to create.
Josh Hogan (he/him) is a recent Indiana University graduate. This is part of Josh’s Chicago debut with this production and since moving here has been on tour with Alphabet Soup Productions’ Charlotte’s Web (Homer/ Sheep). University credits include Lonely Planet (Carl), Rabbit Hole (Howe), The Goat, or who is Sylvia? (Billy), Universal Robots (Radius/ Radosh), She Kills Monsters (Orcus), Body Awareness (Jared), Playing on the Periphery (Robert), The Weir (Finbar Mack), Sueño (U/S Segismundo, Clotaldo), and The 39 Steps (U/S Male). Outside of performing Josh is an active playwright, painter, acting teacher, lighting designer, and environmental activist. Josh is a proud member of Phi Kappa Beta.
Conrad A. Panganiban (Playwright)
Conrad A. Panganiban is a Filipino-American playwright representing the San Francisco Bay Area. His plays include THE ACT OF CARE, WELGA, and RIVER’S MESSAGE. Conrad’s work has been produced by Bindlestiff Studio, The Chikahan Company, CIRCA Pintig, and MaArte Theatre Collective. Awards include James Milton Highsmith Award Winner (SFSU), National Ten-Minute Play Festival Finalist (Actors Theatre of Louisville), and Bay Area Playwrights Festival Semi-Finalist (Playwrights Foundation). Resident Artist: Bindlestiff Studio. Member: Dramatist Guild of America, and Theatre Bay Area. MFA. San Francisco State University. He's thrilled to be taking another creative journey with CIRCA Pintig.
Louie Pascasio (Director)
Louie is a long-time member of Circa-Pintig and has directed many of its productions. He was also a member of the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) and has served as musical director of several PETA productions. He has completed his doctoral program on media and community activism. Louie has designed our Community Workshop Series, among other programming.
Demetrio Maguigad (Music/Sound Design)
Demetrio P. Cardona-Maguigad is a long-time collaborator with CIRCA-Pintig. From his early days leading and facilitating Philippine history and cultural workshops, to volunteering on productions, to designing and composing original sound scores through the years. He is known most recently for composing the music for CIRCA-Pintig’s 2018 musical production of Game of Trolls, but also for composing and designing sound for other productions including Sister Outlaw, Mr & Mrs Laquesta Go Dancing, and more. He is currently the Principal of Design Strategy at LimeRed and an active member of the board of directors for the Chicago Cultural Alliance and the Pilsen Housing Cooperative--where he is also a resident with his wife Adriana, and his children Maria-Isabel and Junot.
Larry Leopoldo (Set Designer)
Larry Leopoldo is a founding member of Pintig Cultural Group and played the lead role of Carlos Bulosan in its first production"American is in the Heart." Born and raised in Chicago, he is co-owner of Leopoldo Catering and a Contractor. He has a B.A. in English Literature (DePaul University) and has adapted fiction by Bienvenido Santos and Jose Rizal for the stage and self-published "The Mysteries of the VERM", a sci-fi/fantasy novel on Amazon.
Gabrielle Foreman (Stage Manager)
Gabrielle Foreman graduated from The Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts) in 2013 and later attended Indiana Wesleyan University where she studied Vocal performance. She has performed as the Witch from Into the Woods and Hetty from The Clever Artifice of Harriet and Margeret which she debuted at the National Opera Association in 2016. The Chicago native has also sung with traveling groups and as a soloist, across the United States; Mexico; and Italy. Though Gabrielle has always had a passion for telling stories through music and theater on stage, she is enthused by this opportunity to work behind the scenes. Gabrielle has been on the production team for Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble (CDE) since the fall of 2021 and is the stage manager for CIRCA-Pintig's Daryo's All-American Diner. She is excited to continue her work with this co-billed production!
Ginger Leopoldo (Cast: April Daryo & Producer)
Ginger Leopoldo is an educator, actor, director, producer, and community organizer. She is the founding Artistic Director of the Center for Immigrant Resources and Community Arts (CIRCA), and Executive Director of CIRCA Pintig. Her work includes performing, directing, producing, and facilitating theatre productions and workshops for all ages. Ginger has created youth heritage curricula with techniques that utilize a basic integrated theatre arts workshop methodology as well as Activism & Art workshops, STEAM Education, and programming that support the TEAACH Act for K -12 public school educators and students. Ginger has over 20 years of experience as a teaching artist and literacy coach for public school teachers. In addition, she teaches English to students on a virtual and global platform and is an adjunct lecturer in the ESL program at the University of the Potomac. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in organizational leadership focusing on the pedagogy of the Theatre of the Oppressed, popular education, and diaspora. She received her B.A. and M.A. in theater from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her recent projects include the co-design and facilitation of a UIC-funded program called WAANT - Wellness through Asian American Narrative and Theatre, she is a TEAACH Act PD facilitator with Asian American Advancing Justice Chicago and serves as an advisor for several community boards including the Chicago History Museum, UIC's Global Asian Studies (GLAS) Community and Advisory Board, and Digital Tapestries. Ginger is a proud 1.75-generation Filipino American and lives in Chicago with her husband and three children.
RJ Silva (Cast: Augusto "Jun" Daryo & Graphic Design)
RJ Silva is a theatre professional in Chicago, born and raised in Manila. He is a member of the Artist Auxiliary Board for the Chicago Artist Guide, a playwright at this year’s PlayGround Chicago pool, and an artist with 2nd Story. Extremely excited for the opportunity to return to CIRCA Pintig, having previously performed in ALLOS more than ten years ago. Outside of theatre, RJ produces original content for The Ampliverse at theampliverse.com
Heather Jencks (Cast: May Daryo)
Heather Jencks is a Chicago-based actor and is thrilled to be working with CIRCA Pintig on this important new play. Previous credits include: Top Girls (u/s, Remy Bumppo), Fast Company (u/s, Jackalope Theatre Co.), Richard III (u/s Promethean Theatre), Not One Batu (NWaC), Nanay (Free Street Theatre), King Lear (Eleusis Collective), The Benchmark (StepUp Productions), Patria Libre (Prologue Theatre Company). Heather is a proud alumnus of Black Box Acting Studio, Second City TC, Annoyance, and iO Chicago; and has had the pleasure of studying at L’Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq and the summer Shakespeare conservatory, RADA.
Cary Shoda (Cast: Derek Kim)
Cary Shoda is a Chicago-based actor and graphic designer. His acting credits include The Effect (Strawdog), Cowboy Versus Samurai (A-Squared), Two Dead Guys and a Banjo: A Story of Mourning (Halcyon), The Laramie Project (James Downing), Trial By Water (dueEast/A-Squared), Fish Men (u/s, Teatro Vista/Goodman), A Majority of One (James Downing), and others. He co-founded A-Squared Theatre, an Asian American theatre company for which he served as Producing Artistic Director (2014–2018) and co-curated the A-Squared Asian American Performing Arts Festival with Links Hall and Asian Improv aRts Midwest. On camera, Cary has appeared in the short films Petition for Alien Spouse and 2389: Coming Home in addition to working in commercials and corporate videos. For Helen, Esther, Takeshi, and Carlyle.
Amanda Payne (Cast: Alberta Travenia)
Amanda Payne is a Black and Filipina singer and comedienne from Sacramento, California. She started performing as a child, in piano recitals, choirs, and Filipino dance/music theater groups. After decades of training to be an opera singer and navigating life as an ADHD, multi-racial, bi-sexual, retail manager, Amanda has a story (or two) to tell and a song in her heart. She has recently performed with Lyric Opera, Chicago Fringe Opera, and on WFMT. You can find her in the Chicagoland area and beyond with Forte Chicago, Club Asia, Doki Doki Beats, Hair Affair, and Super Rad: Chicago’s Ska Tribute.
Amanda enjoys streaming video games, playing the ukulele, and spoiling her dogs. @blkbeltsoprano on The Internet.
KC Khan (Cast: Michael Travenia)
Trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts-LA campus, KC was born and raised on Chicago's prominent South Side where he first gained inspiration to act through dance and movies. Also a veteran of the armed forces, KC has lived a dynamic life that serves his creative process with credits such as Frankensteins monster, Othello and currently performing in Dimitriy Yakubov's "Splinter".