RON ABEL (Music) is the renowned multi-award winning composer, producer, arranger, orchestrator and musical director. His vast and varied client list ranges from multi-million selling popular recording artists Gladys Knight and Taylor Dayne to opera diva and Kennedy Center Honoree, Jessye Norman. His signature songwriting has been recorded and performed at ceremonies from the White House in Washington D.C.to the Great American Songwriter’s Tribute at the Pasadena Rose Bowl. Ron is proud to have the Drury Lane Theatre guiding his new musical, Hazel, A Musical Maid In America with book by Kleban-Award winning playwright, Lissa Levin and lyrics by his long-time song writing partner, celebrated lyricist Chuck Steffan. Some of Ron’s other new musicals include: Queen Of The Night, Re-Introducing Laurette Bishop, Undressed, and Rockwell, Life On A Palette. The scope of Ron’s music mastery covers Film, Television and Recording events including Musical Direction and Original Music for the Emmy Award nominated I Love Lucy 50th Anniversary Special (CBS) and the gala opening ceremonies of Ford Field, sponsored by the Ford Motor Company. Ron has arranged, orchestrated and conducted for headlining song stylists and luminaries such as Liza Minnelli, Bette Midler, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eric McCormack, Dee Snider, Kim Basinger, Shirley Jones, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Michele Lee, Lucie Arnaz, Marvin Hamlisch and so many more.
CHUCK STEFFAN (Lyrics) Chuck Steffan had the audacity to rewrite a classic Cole Porter song, prompting the entertainment news bible, Variety, to write this: “Cole Porter’s Let’s Not Talk About Love was made even funnier thanks to clever, topical additions by Chuck Steffan. Kudos to Steffan, not everyone can improve on Porter.” Chuck’s lyrics have been performed on recordings, television and concert stages from the famed Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California to the White House in Washington D.C., where his song “Heaven Knows” was the performance highlight at the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. He has written the lyrics for the stage musicals Undressed, Queen Of The Night, Survival Crackers, To Sir, With Love, Different Heroes, and Re-Introducing Laurette Bishop, among others. He is the co-creator and lyricist for the musical comedy expose Is This Your Life? which premiered in Los Angeles, California. “A juggernaut of comedy” (Los Angeles Times). His lyrics have also been sung/recorded by such Tony Award winners as Brian Stokes Mitchell, Christine Ebersole and Raul Esparza as well as Lucie Arnaz, Stephanie Mills, Sam Harris and Michele Lee, among many others. Together with his partner, celebrated composer Ron Abel, Chuck is also writing the lyrics and the screenplay for the film musical, Timeless.
LISSA LEVIN (Book) is the recipient of the prestigious Kleban Award for her libretto for Twist Of Fate; composer, Ron Abel. The musical comedy won L.A. Weekly’s Musical of the Year and two L.A. Drama Critics Circle Awards, and a Los Angeles Ovation Award nomination for Best Musical. Her play, Sex And Education, first presented at the Kennedy Center’s Page-to-Stage Festival, (New York premiere, Penguin Rep), opens in spring of 2016 at the Laguna Playhouse. She also penned book and lyrics for Jewsical, The Low Bar Mitzvah; Hot Blooded, A Vampire in Rio; and the play, What Would Jesus Do? A twenty-five year veteran of television as a writer producer, Levin’s credits include the Emmy Award winning Mad About You and Cheers; Wkrp In Cincinnati, Family Ties, Brothers, Complete Savages (with Keith Carradine), Thunder Alley (with Ed Asner) and Gloria (with Sally Struthers), amongst many others. Her essay, PISSER, a rant about insufficient stalls in women’s restrooms in theaters, was published by Random House in an anthology of noted female humorists: LIFE’S A STITCH; later transformed into a theatrical revue co-produced by Levin, benefiting breast cancer research. Dan, Kanin and Logan – there are no words.
JOSHUA BERGASSE (Director/Choreographer) As Choreographer - Broadway: On the Town (Astaire Award; TONY, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Noms), Gigi; Encores!: Little Me, It’s A Bird...It’s A Plane... It’s Superman!; Carnegie Hall: Guys and Dolls, The Sound of Music; Off-Bway: Cagney (Callaway Finalist), Bomb-Itty of Errors, Captain Louie; Regional: Up Here (La Jolla Playhouse), Bull Durham (Alliance Theatre, Suzi Bass Nom), Nerds (Philadelphia Theatre Company, Barrymore Nom), Secondhand Lions (Fifth Avenue Theatre), West Side Story (Stratford Festival), On the Town, Guys and Dolls, Carousel, and The World Goes Round (Barrington Stage Co.), Director/Choreographer – West Side Story (North Carolina Theater); As Director/Choreographer, Mr. Bergasse Co-Directed and choreographed the Bombshell on Broadway concert at the Minskoff theater; For television, Bergasse choreographed NBC’s Smash (Emmy Award), FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance , PBS's Sinatra; A Voice for a Century.
ROBERTA DUCHAK (Music Director) returns to Drury Lane after working as vocal coach for Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman for the film Les Misérables. Drury Lane MD credits: Billy Elliot, West Side Story, Les Misérables, Young Frankenstein, Hello, Dolly!, Oliver, The Sound of Music, Sweeney Todd, Ragtime (Jeff Award), Spamalot (Jeff nomination), Gypsy, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Miss Saigon (Jeff nomination). Chicago MD credits: Brigadoon (Goodman), The Story of My Life directed by Richard Maltby Jr. (Biograph); The Original Grease (ATC), and Rocky Horror (Mercury) and musical supervisor for A Little Night Music at Writers’. Acting credits: Broadway: Ragtime (Mother); National Tours: Ghost of Christmas Past in Scrooge, Magnolia and Ellie in Showboat and Rona Lisa Peretti in Spelling Bee (Chicago and national tour companies).
KEVIN DEPINET (Scenic Designer) Kevin Depinet returns to the Drury Lane where he has designed over fifteen shows. He has designed for the Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, The Paramount Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Court Theatre, Writers Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Denver Center Theatre Company, Arden Theatre Company, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Glimmerglass Opera, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, American Players Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre and The Mark Taper Forum. Broadway credits include associate designer for August: Osage County, The Motherf**ker with the Hat and Of Mice and Men. National tours credits include Camelot and Ragtime. Mr. Depinet has also designed for the National Theatre of Great Britain in London, the Discovery Channel, Netflix, 21st Century Fox and Disney.
CHRISTOPHER ASH (Projection Designer) Drury Lane Oakbrook: Bye Bye Birdie, Spamalot, Pump Boys and Dinettes, and Charlottes Web Theater: Guthrie, Yale Rep, Soho Rep, Engeman, Theatre Row, Chautauqua Institute, Old Globe, Geffen, South Coast Rep, LATC, Arizona, Steppenwolf, Victory Gardens Opera: Lyric Opera Chicago, Canadian Opera, Opera Delaware, Summer Opera DC. Dance Charlotte Ballet, River North, Hubbard Street 2, Heidi Latsky, Anadolu Ate?i, Hershey Park. Training: BFA SUNY Fredonia, MFA Yale School of Drama. www.christopherash.com
SULLY RATKE (Costume Designer) makes her Drury Lane Theatre debut with Hazel. She is a recent graduate from the stage design MFA program at Northwestern University, with a fascination for all peoples and an intuition for connecting them - particularly through their common use of symbols, rituals, and spiritual ideas. Fresh credits include Project Compass (Steppenwolf Theatre), Richard III (The Gift Theatre), Moby Dick (Lookingglass Theatre), Pocatello (The Griffin Theatre Company), Big Love (Northwestern University), and The Turn of the Screw (Chicago Fringe Opera). Thanks to the costume shop and to Jimmy for making it possible for her do what she loves.
LEE FISKNESS (Lighting Designer) Design credits include; White Christmas, Billy Elliot, Camelot (Joseph Jefferson Nomination), Young Frankenstein (Drury Lane); Spring Awakening (The Marriott Theatre), Yellow Moon (Writers Theatre); Sucker Punch, Gospel of Loving Kindness, L-Vis (Victory Gardens); Balm of Gilead, Burnt Part Boys, Port (Griffin Theatre); You Never Can Tell, Changes of Hearts (Remy Bumppo Theatre); End Days (Next Theatre, Joseph Jefferson Nomination); Souvenirs (Northlight Theatre); Peter Pan (Lookinglass Theatre); Woyzeck (Hypocrites Theatre); Pony, Flowers (About Face Theatre). Regional credits; Ghost Of Versailles (Manhattan School of Music); The Last Savage (Indiana University); Forever Plaid, Ring of Fire, Song Man Dance Man, Liberace, Soultime at the Apollo (Milwaukee Rep); Jacques Brel…(Two River Theatre). Lee is the Lighting Director at The Santa Fe Opera and worked there for 14 seasons. He received a MFA in Lighting Design from Northwestern University.
RAY NARDELLI (Sound Designer) Previous Drury Lane credits include: Bye Bye Birdie, White Christmas, Peter and the Starcatcher, West Side Story, Camelot, The Games Afoot, Spelling Bee, Les Misérables, Young Frankenstein, Hello, Dolly!, Next to Normal, Sunset Boulevard, Singin’ in the Rain, Xanadu, Hairspray, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, Funny Girl, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Miss Saigon (Jeff Award), Meet Me in St. Louis, Buddy Holly, The Full Monty (Sound Designer) and Oliver, Xanadu, Sweeny Todd, and Ragtime (Associate Sound Design). Mr. Nardelli is co-owner of Aria Music Designs, LLC which provides music and sound for theatre, film, and other media ventures. Off-Broadway credits include: Lookingglass Alice at The New Victory Theatre. Regional theatres include The Goodman Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Milwaukee Rep Theatre, The Court Theatre, Hartford Stage, Congo, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, and American Girl Theatre. Memberships include USA #829, ASCAP and IATSE #2.
RICK JARVIE (Wig and Make-up Designer) was with The Lyric Opera of Chicago for 28 years- 11 of them as their wig master and make-up designer. Other credits include six years as supervisor of wigs and make-up at Stratford Ontario’s Tom Patterson Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, The Goodman Theatre, The Court Theatre, The McCarter Theatre, The San Francisco Opera, The Atlanta Opera, The Saint Louis Opera, Northwestern University and the History Channel.
PARKER ESSE (Associate Director/Choreographer) Director/Choreographer: Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival: West Side Story, Crazy For You (upcoming); Omaha Symphony: Christmas Spectacular. Choreographer: New York City Center Encores!: A Bed and A Chair: A New York Love Affair; Arena Stage: Oliver!, Fiddler On The Roof (Helen Hayes Nomination), Smokey Joe’s Café (Helen Hayes Nomination), The Music Man (Helen Hayes Nomination), and Oklahoma! (Helen Hayes Award); Goodspeed: A Wonderful Life, Fiddler On The Roof, The Most Happy Fella, and Carousel; Berkshire Musical Theatre Festival: Bells Are Ringing, Little Shop of Horrors (Upcoming); Canada’s Shaw Festival: Sweet Charity, Guys and Dolls. Associate Choreographer: Broadway’s Finian’s Rainbow and A Tale of Two Cities; New York City Center Encores!: Finian’s Rainbow, Girl Crazy, On The Town, Juno, and Stairway to Paradise.
LUCIA LOMBARDI (Production Stage Manager) At Drury Lane: White Christmas, Beaches, a new musical, West Side Story, Sunset Boulevard, Boeing Boeing, The Game’s Afoot, A Christmas Carol 2014 and Sleeping Beauty. Chicago Theatres worked with include: The Goodman, Northlight, Victory Gardens, Body Politic, NJT, Organic & Remains. Commercial Chicago Productions include; Old Jews Telling Jokes, White Noise, Don’t Dress for Dinner, Bleacher Bums, The Cocktail Hour, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Zoo Plate Special, Comfortable Shoes, Love Janis, ART, Could it be Magic (the Barry Manilow Songbook), The Last Night of Ballyhoo and the unforgettable Uncle Broadway. National Tours include; Love Loss and What I Wore, Billy Elliot, Scrooge with Richard Chamberlain and Disney’s The Lion King.
CODY WESTGAARD (Assistant Stage Manager) Previous Drury Lane Credit: White Christmas. Production management credits: Associate Production Manager at NYU Tisch School of the Arts Department of Drama (2011 - 2015), Associate Production Manager at the Williamstown Theatre Festival (2009 – 2011), Noble Fool Theatricals, St. Charles, IL (2007 – 2008). ASM, The Joseph Jefferson Awards, Chicago, (2006 – 2015). Cody also works for MACE (Movement and Combat Education) as the Operations Manager and helped create the Stage Management Intensive. Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre at Loyola University Chicago and received his MFA in Production Technology and Management at Carnegie Mellon University.
ALAN BUKOWIECKI (Conductor) National Tours: The Book of Mormon, Hair, Beautiful; Off-Broadway: Dr. Sex; Chicago: Music Director of Dee Snider’s Rock and Roll Christmas Tale, Altar Boyz, and I Love Lucy Live on Stage (Broadway Playhouse). At Drury Lane: Music Director of The Little Mermaid and Sleeping Beauty, Conductor of Beaches, Associate Conductor of 7 productions, including West Side Story and Les Misérables, and a memorable summer on stage as L.M. in Pump Boys and Dinettes. Alan is a two-time Jeff Citation recipient for Music Direction with an M.A. from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
WILLIAM OSETEK (Artistic Director) was the recipient of the 2014 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Director of a Musical for Next to Normal (the show also received a Jeff nomination for Best Musical) Other Drury Lane credits include: White Christmas, Peter and the Starcatcher, Young Frankenstein, Spamalot & Thoroughly Modern Millie (each Jeff nominated for Best Direction and Best Production), The Game’s Afoot, Sunset Boulevard, Gypsy, Funny Girl, Mame, The Mousetrap, Of Thee I Sing, The Pirates of Penzance, Camelot, Barefoot in the Park, The King & I and A Christmas Carol. Mr. Osetek has a B.A. in Theatre from Loyola University of Chicago, and an M.F.A. in Directing from Illinois State University.
LAURA STANCZYK (Director of New Works) is an independent producer and casting director based in New York City. She is a lead producer of the Broadway bound musical adaptation of Bull Durham, a consulting producer for Schirmer Theatricals as well as an independent consultant for several individual shows in development. She has multiple projects of her own in development including a revival of Robert Sherwood’s 1938 drama, The Petrified Forest. She was a member of the Senior Artistic staff of McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton New Jersey for five seasons and has been represented on Broadway with over a dozen shows including Bill Condon’s acclaimed revival of Side Show, After Midnight and the award winning revivals of Follies and Ragtime.
JULI WALKER (Production Manager) has been active in the Chicago theatre community since 1981. She has worked as both stage manager and production manager for theaters in the area, including Court Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Chicago Opera Theatre, Evanston Dance Ensemble and Northwestern University’s Cherub program where she also was an originator of the design/tech program. Juli is proud to be a member of Actor’s Equity Association, ordained minister, Shamanic practitioner, Reiki Master, women’s empowerment facilitator and Juli just did her first fire walk (twice!)
MATTHEW D. CARNEY (Company Manager) is thrilled to be part of the Drury Lane family! Drury Lane credits include: Bye Bye Birdie, White Christmas, Peter and the Starcatcher, Beaches, a new musical, Billy Elliot, West Side Story, Camelot, Spelling Bee, Les Misérables, Young Frankenstein, Hello, Dolly!, Next to Normal, and Boeing Boeing. A graduate of Wright State University, he received his B.F.A. in costume design in 2009. Other favorite credits include: Thoroughly Modern Millie, West Side Story, and Urinetown (Costume Designer) as well as big! The Musical (Paul), Les Misérables (Enjolras) and Damn Yankees. Much love and gratitude to mom, dad and Ronnie.
EVAN SPOSATO (Technical Director) A relative newcomer to Drury Lane, Evan is a recent transplant to the Chicago area from central Maine, where his background in theatre and events includes stints as the technical director of the Waterville Opera House and president of the board of directors of Aqua City Actor’s Theatre. Evan is thoroughly enjoying this new opportunity, and he would like to thank his fiancé, Hannah, and his family for their continued love and support.
CASSY SCHILLO (Props Design Supervisor and Warehouse Manager) is thrilled to be with the Drury Lane family. You may have recently seen her work on DL's Peter and the Starcatcher, Beaches or her Jeff Nomination on First Folio's Salvage. Designs in the Midwest include theaters: Marriott in Lincolnshire, Theater Wit, Theater at the Center, Light Opera Works, Theo Ubique, Griffin, BoHo, Stage Left, Porchlight, Northwestern Opera, Piccolo, Sideshow, Black Ensemble, & Mammals. BFA from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater & training at Tisch School of the Arts. Founding member of To the Point, a theatrical combat troupe that specializes in sword fighting & story telling.
HANNAH K. DAVIS (Costume Shop Manager) hails to Drury Lane from Solon, Maine. As a 2010 graduate of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University with a degree in costume technology with a concentration in management. Hannah has worked all over the country from New Hampshire to Colorado, from Boston to Ringling Brother and Barnum and Bailey Circus. Her most recent credits include Wardrobe Supervisor at Commonwealth Shakespeare Festival and Costume Shop and Rentals Manager at The Palace Theatre. Many thanks to Evan, Mom and Dad.
CAREY DEADMAN (Music Contractor) has orchestrated numerous Drury Lane productions since 1987, including Ragtime, City of Angels, Sunset Boulevard, and The Sound Of Music. Carey has scored countless arrangements and orchestrations for film, television, radio, and live performance, including artists Frank Sinatra, Diana Ross, Lyle Lovett, and Peter Cetera. As a trumpet player Carey has performed with Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Sting, Paul McCartney and many others. Television appearances include Brian Wilson, Burt Bacharach, Peter Cetera, Amy Grant, Under The Streetlamp, Oprah Winfrey etc. Favorite local performances include Wicked, Jersey Boys, The Producers (Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick), Fosse (featured trumpet soloist), Sophisticated Ladies (Drury Lane), Movin’ Out (pre-Broadway), and Ragtime. Carey is a proud member of the Chicago Federation of Musicians.
KYLE DESANTIS (Executive Producer) has been associated with Drury Lane Theatre his entire working life. He entered the family business at 16 selling tickets in the box office. Mentored by his late grandfather, Tony DeSantis, Kyle studied all facets of executive management including theatre productions, sales, marketing and food and beverage. In 2001 he received his B.A. in business administration from Loyola University. Since June of 2007 Kyle has held full executive oversight of his multi-faceted enterprise. Hazel marks Kyle’s 49th production as executive producer. He is passionate about continuing the theatrical vision that has made the Drury Lane enterprise a Chicago tradition for so many years.
DREW DESANTIS (Producer) has been apart of the fun and excitement of Drury Lane his entire life. As a child, he played backstage while his Aunt, Chi-Chi, and Grandfather, Tony, developed a world-class theater company. As an adult, Drew has produced the last 48 shows alongside the next generation of the family. Having earned a Mathematics degree at Emory University and a MBA at University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, Drew's main attention now is on the finance, accounting, and data sides of the business. Drew strives to bring updated versions of the classics as well as brand new works to the sophisticated and strong Chicago live arts community.
JASON VAN LENTE (Producer) While Hazel marks his 49th production as a producer, Jason has worked in various capacities at Drury Lane since he was 15. Jason is very excited to be working with his cousins and following in the footsteps of his late mother, Diane (Chi Chi).
ABIGAIL DESANTIS (Producer) Hazel marks Abbie’s 49th production with Drury Lane. She is thrilled to be working with her family as they continue to provide quality theatre to the Oakbrook and Chicagoland area, a tradition set out by her late grandfather.