Lookingglass Theatre Company presents the return of Ensemble Member Mary Zimmerman’s instant holiday classic The Steadfast Tin Soldier, from the story by Hans Christian Andersen. This holiday show, perfect for the whole family, runs through January 26, 2020 at Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson.
The cast features Artistic Associates Kasey Foster (Ballerina) and Anthony Irons (Goblin), with Joe Dempsey (Nursemaid), John Gregorio (Rat), and Alex Stein (Steadfast Tin Soldier).
Original music for The Steadfast Tin Soldier is composed by Artistic Associate Andre Pluess and Amanda Dehnert. Musicians include Leandro López Várady (Music Director/Piano), Greg Hirte (Violin), Juan Horie (Cello), Emma Hospelhorn (Flutes) and Constance Volk (Flutes).
The creative team includes Todd Rosenthal (scenic design), Ana Kuzmanic (costume design), TJ Gerckens (lighting design), Artistic Associate Andre Pluess and Christopher M. LaPorte (sound design), Leandro López Várady (associate arranger), Ensemble Member Tracy Walsh (choreography), Artistic Associate Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi (circus choreography), Chicago Puppet Studio (puppet design), Amanda Herrmann (properties) and Rigability Inc. (rigging design).
True to his loyal and resolute nature, The Steadfast Tin Soldier returns! Hans Christian Andersen’s story about a little tin soldier who never gives up comes back to Lookingglass for a winter-time curtain call. Ensemble Member Mary Zimmerman (Metamorphoses, Treasure Island) fashions an extravagant and exhilarating spectacle, infused with music and movement. Don’t miss the triumphant return of Chicago’s newest Holiday tradition, The Steadfast Tin Soldier.
“I’m very glad that our little Tin Soldier managed to march his way into the hearts of so many, and that he’ll be coming back again in the Holiday season steadfast as ever. We wanted to make something that was visually and emotionally overpowering—as well as very funny—and do that with no spoken language at all,” says Mary Zimmerman. “People of all ages and from around the world are able to watch the show and feel it all the same, no English required. I think the silence of the characters—and the beautiful music that accompanies their adventures—allows older members of the audience to fall into a private, younger part of themselves; and for children, they are watching something in the manner they are used to: gathering up the story through the intensity of their earnest attention, through their intelligence which has no words.”
The Steadfast Tin Soldier is recommended for ages 5+.
About the Artists
MARY ZIMMERMAN is a writer and director and has worked with Lookingglass for more than 25 years. For Lookingglass, Mary has adapted and directed The Odyssey, The Secret in the Wings, The Arabian Nights, S/M, Eleven Rooms of Proust (Co-production with About Face Theatre), Argonautika, Treasure Island, and Metamorphoses, which toured to Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Guthrie Theater the winter/spring of 2019. Mary is also part of the Goodman Theatre artistic team where she adapted and directed The White Snake, The Jungle Book, Candide, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci, Silk, Journey to the West, Mirror of the Invisible World, and a re-creation of The Odyssey, as well as directing Wonderful Town, Pericles, The Baltimore Waltz, All’s Well That Ends Well, and most recently The Music Man. She has also worked with: New York Shakespeare Festival in the Park, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Huntington Theatre Company, McCarter Theatre, Arena Stage, and Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. New York credits: Lincoln Center, Second Stage Theatre, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and on Broadway at Circle in the Square Theatre. In the world of opera, she directed and co-wrote the libretto Galileo Galilei (composed by Philip Glass) that was produced at Goodman Theatre, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Barbican Theatre in London. She has directed four operas at Metropolitan Opera: Rusalka, Lucia Di Lammermoor, La Sonnambula, and Rossini’s Armida, each of which has been broadcast live into movie theatres worldwide. In 1998, Mary received a MacArthur Fellowship and in 2002, the Tony Award for Best Director of a Play for Metamorphoses on Broadway. She is a Professor at Northwestern University, where she holds the Jaharis Family Endowed Chair in Performance Studies.
JOE DEMPSEY (Nursemaid) last appeared at Lookingglass in 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas and previously in Around the World in 80 Days, The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World, Summertime, Baron in the Trees, and My Life in Pop. Recently, Joe was in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Frederick (Chicago Children's Theatre), and The Rembrandt (Steppenwolf Theatre Company). Chicago credits include: Goodman Theatre (Mary Zimmerman's Silk, Trojan Women), Northlight Theatre, Court Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Paramount Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, and Theater Wit. Regional credits: The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis andCincinnati Playhouse in the Park (Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses), Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Centerstage (Laura Eason's Around the World in 80 Days), and City Theatre Company (Pittsburgh). TV/film: Imperfections, Chicago Fire, What About Joan?, E.R., and Early Edition. Joe is an alum of the Neo-Futurists, The Second City National Touring Company, and is an artistic affiliate with American Blues Theater.
KASEY FOSTER (Ballerina/Lookingglass Artistic Associate) is a performer, choreographer, producer, andpuppeteer. She is an Artistic Associate at Lookingglass Theatre, and a member of Actors’ Equity Association. Kasey was most recentlyseen on the Lookingglass stage in last winter’sproduction of The Steadfast Tin Soldier. Other Lookingglass credits include 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas, Treasure Island, Moby Dick, and The Little Prince. Recent on camera credits include: Chicago Med and IFC’s Documentary Now! Kasey sings with bands Babe-alon 5, Grood, Kevin O’Donnell, Old Timey, This Must be the Band, and Nasty Buoy. She has created over fifty original works, and produces two annual series called Dance Tribute and The ACTual Show. kaseyfoster.com
JOHN GREGORIO (Rat) is delighted to return to Lookingglass and The Steadfast Tin Soldier. Regional credits include: The Villain Supper Club (Merrimack Repertory Theatre); The Royale (Milwaukee Repertory Theater); Little Shop of Horrors, The 39 Steps (Geva Theatre Center); A Christmas Carol (Actors Theatre of Louisville); A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (North Shore Music Theatre); The Legend of Pecos Bill (Alliance Theatre); and The Mystery of Irma Vep (Dad’s Garage Theatre Company). Off-Broadway credits include: Around the World in 80 Days (The New Theatre at 45th St); Silent Laughter (Lamb’s Theatre); The Nuclear Family (founder/performer, The Belt Theatre); and Clinton the Musical (New York Musical Theatre Festival). TV credits include: Extended Family (Sundance Channel), Good Eats (Food Network), and Smoking Gun TV (Court TV). John is a founding member of Dad’s Garage Theatre Company (Atlanta) and a faculty member of the Heifetz International Music Institute.
ANTHONY IRONS (Goblin/Lookingglass Artistic Associate) returns to Lookingglass where he was last seen in Act(s) of God. Anthony a Congo Square Theatre Ensemble Member and has garnered Black Excellence Awards, Black Theatre Alliance Awards, and three Jeff Nominations. Chicago credits include: Support Group for Men and Two Trains running (Goodman Theatre), How to Use a Knife (Shattered Globe Theatre), Jitney (Congo Square Theatre), History of Chicago (The Second City) and Waiting for Godot (Court Theatre). Regional credits include: Black Eagles (Penumbra Theatre), Hamlet (Illinois Shakespeare Festival), and As You Like It (Georgia Shakespeare Festival). TV/Film credits include: Empire, Sirens, Chicago Fire, Boss, Let’s Go To Prison, and The Lucky Ones.
ALEX STEIN (Steadfast Tin Soldier) returns to Lookingglass to reprise his role in Mary Zimmerman’s The Steadfast Tin Soldier. Stage: Walt Whitman BodyJolt (Corkscrew Theatre Festival, NYC), A Shayna Maidel (TimeLine Theatre), Between Covers (Goodman Theatre, New Stages Festival), The New Sincerity (Theater Wit), A Night Out (A Red Orchid Theatre), Kiss (Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago), and The Merry Wives of Windsor (First Folio Theatre). TV & Film: Chicago PD, The Last Shift, Death to Metal, Sweaty Scales, and World of Facts. Alex received an honors degree in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Chicago, and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity. Alexchandlerstein.com.
LEANDRO LÓPEZ VÁRADY (Associate Arranger/Music Director/Piano) was previously seen at Lookingglass in last season’s The Steadfast Tin Soldier. Leandro was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and graduated from the Catholic University of Argentina as Licentiate in Music, majoring in Composition with a Gold Medal and Awards. He traveled Asia with the Eldeé Young Quartet, and worked in Saint Martin’s Episcopal Church as Music Director. Leandro has performed around the world, including Poland, Cuba, and Bulgaria as pianist of the Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic; as well as Symphony Center, Harris Theater, Millennium Park, Auditorium Theater, Chicago Jazz Festival, Taste of Chicago, and the Jazz&Pop Festival in Buenos Aires. Leandro is the pianist for the Doug Lofstrom’s New Quartet, Steve Hashimoto's Sueños, Juli Wood's Chicago Calling, and the Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre Music Ensemble. Leandro received a Gold Record Award for his work on Mietek Szcześniak’s Nierówmi album. He teaches at Lewis University in Romeoville, IL.
GREG HIRTE (Violin) is an actor, musician, and composer in LA and Chicago. Greg was most recently seen at Lookingglass in last season’s The Steadfast Tin Soldier and before that, Treasure Island. Other recent theatre credits include: his 19th season with Goodman Theatre’s A Christmas Carol, Luther in Ring of Fire: Music of Johnny Cash, and Leon in Hank Williams: Lost Highway (American Blues Theater). Other Chicago credits include: performance and musical compositions for Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Court Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, and Piven Theatre Workshop (Jeff Award Nomination for Best Original Score, Sarah Ruhl’s Melancholy Play), as well as several international theater and music festivals. Greg is a member of several bands both local and national.
JUAN HORIE (Cello) makes his debut at Lookingglass. He has previously worked with Teatro Vista in The Abuelas as a cellist and musical consultant. Since his arrival to Chicago in 2017, he has performed with prominent Ensemble Dal Niente, is member of the 5th Wave Collective, Unconducted Orchestra, and often joins regional orchestras in the Chicagoland area. In his native Venezuela he was part of the renowned Teresa Carreño Youth Symphony Orchestra, participating in five European tours and one Asian tour, and in festivals such as Salzburg Fetzspiele and Beethoven-fest, and halls like Berliner Philharmonie, and Amsterdam Concertgebouw, among others. Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra became Teresa Carreño Symphony Orchestra after a nation-wide audition, in which Juan earned a seat. He also played in Orquesta Barroca Simón Bolíva. Juan studied cello at Academia Latinoamericana de Violoncello in Caracas, and IUDEM, and Baroque Cello at the Academia Latinoamericana de Música Antígua.
EMMA HOSPELHORN (Flutes) is a flutist, multi-instrumentalist, improviser, and composer who is performing for the first time with Lookingglass theater. She is a member of Ensemble Dal Niente and is one half of The Machine Is Neither, where in addition to playing flute, she uses motion capture technology to make awesome sounds with a wave of her hand. She is the music director for Musical Bridges to Memory, a therapeutic intervention for patients with dementia and their families. She can be heard on recordings for a variety of labels including New World, New Focus, Trouble In Mind, Midwest Action, Addenda, Orindal, and Soft Power, and was a member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra from 2007-2009. Previous theatrical collaborations include stints with the Neo-Futurists and Silk Road Rising.
CONSTANCE VOLK (Flutes) Constance Volk is a returning performer with Lookingglass for The Steadfast Tin Soldier. She performs with and is a founding member of Ensemble Dal Niente. Constance doubles on flute and vocals with Musical Bridges to Memory. She plays with Fulcrum Point New Music Project. Constance has worked with Spokane Symphony, Spektral Quartet, International Contemporary Ensemble, and Sympathy for Astronauts. She sings and flutes with Vicarious Tool Tribute. Constance also works as a visual artist in a variety of styles. Her paintings, poster art, coloring books, and portraits can be viewed at: constancevolk.com
Dive even deeper into the world of the play with the Lookingglass REFLECT Series! This specially-curated series of post-show conversations and panels offers audiences an opportunity to think, hear, and talk about the performance they just experienced. Come hear in-the-field experts offer their insights and leading artists give a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the Lookingglass creative process. REFLECT post-show discussions are free and open to the public, and take place directly following the 2:00 p.m. matinee on select Sundays at Lookingglass Theatre.
REFLECT post-show panel discussions take place directly following the 2:00 p.m. matinees on Dec. 8 and Jan. 12 at Lookingglass Theatre. The discussions are free and open to the public.
Subscriptions are on sale for the 2019-2020 season, with three shows created by Lookingglass Ensemble Members. The season begins with the new holiday tradition The Steadfast Tin Soldier, written and directed by Ensemble Member Mary Zimmerman from the story by Hans Christian Andersen. The World Premiere of Her Honor Jane Byrne, written and directed by Ensemble Member J. Nicole Brooks, takes a look back at Chicago’s first woman Mayor and how times are different—and exactly the same. Concluding the 2019-2020 season is the return of the signature Lookingglass production Lookingglass Alice, adapted and directed by Ensemble Member David Catlin, from the works of Lewis Carroll, and produced in association with The Actors Gymnasium.
Performances will be held at Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson.
Subscribers can choose between a 3-play subscription, 2-play subscription, or two flex pass options: the Gglasspass, or for those under 35, the Madhatter’s Club. 3-play subscriptions range $116-$170, and 2-play subscriptions range from $77–$113. 2-play subscriptions include Her Honor Jane Byrne and Lookingglass Alice.
The Gglasspass is a flex pass available to all ages. Gglasspass holders receive 3 tickets for $150 OR 4 tickets for $200 that can be used in any combination and denomination for any Lookingglass production in the 2019-2020 season.
The Madhatter’s Club flex pass is available to those 35 or younger. The Madhatter’s Club pass is 3 tickets for $75 OR 4 tickets for $100, and members can use tickets in any combination and denomination for any Lookingglass production in the 2019-2020 season, including Theatre Night Out events.
Lookingglass also offers a 3-play subscription for Accessible performances for $75, and a 2-play subscription for $50 during the 2019-2020 season. Patrons can choose between the Touch Tour/Audio Described performances or the Open Captioned performances.
Lookingglass is now also offering a Family Subscription with tickets to two of the company’s most popular productions. Featuring the holiday spectacle The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the high-flying Lookingglass Alice, this package is perfect for the entire family. Subscribers can choose between a 3-person, 4-person, or 5-person package. Packages range from $250 to $350 and are available for Thursday or Saturday matinee performances.
Subscription benefits include access to the best seats in the house, pre-sale opportunities and savings before single tickets go on sale to the general public, special perks at restaurant partners, unlimited ticket exchanges, discounted parking at 875 N. Michigan, Water Tower Place, and Olympia Centre Garage, reduced tuition for Lookingglass’ renowned classes and summer camps, and access to exclusive subscriber-only events. For season subscription and ticket information, call the Lookingglass Theatre box office at (312) 337-0665 or visit lookingglasstheatre.org.
FACT SHEET / The Steadfast Tin Soldier
Title: The Steadfast Tin Soldier
Written and Directed by: Mary Zimmerman
From the story by: Hans Christian Andersen
Featuring: Artistic Associates Kasey Foster (Ballerina) and Anthony Irons (Goblin), with Joe Dempsey (Nursemaid), John Gregorio (Rat), and Alex Stein (Steadfast Tin Soldier).
Music: Composed by Artistic Associate Andre Pluess and Amanda Dehnert. Musicians include Leandro López Várady (Music Director/Piano), Greg Hirte (Violin), Juan Horie (Cello), Emma Hospelhorn (Flutes) and Constance Volk (Flutes).
Creative Team: Todd Rosenthal (scenic design), Ana Kuzmanic (costume design), TJ Gerckens (lighting design), Artistic Associate Andre Pluess and Christopher M. LaPorte (sound design), Leandro López Várady (associate arranger), Ensemble Member Tracy Walsh (choreography), Artistic Associate Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi (circus choreography), Chicago Puppet Studio (puppet design), Amanda Herrmann (properties) and Rigability Inc. (rigging design).
Regular run: November 6, 2019 – January 26, 2020
Tuesdays: 7:30 p.m.
Wednesdays: 7:30 p.m.
Thursdays: 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Fridays: 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays: 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Sundays: 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Location: Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson.
Prices: $45 - $85, Student tickets are available the day of the show for $20 with a valid student ID. Based on availability.
Groups of 8 or more patrons save up to 20%. Call 773-477-9257 X 125 or email email@example.com for details.
Box Office: Buy online at lookingglasstheatre.org or by phone at (312) 337-0665
The Lookingglass box office is located at Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave.
About Lookingglass Theatre Company
Inventive. Collaborative. Transformative. Lookingglass Theatre Company, recipient of the 2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award, was founded in 1988 by eight Northwestern University students. Now in its 32nd Season, Lookingglass is home to a multi-disciplined ensemble of artists who create story-centered theatrical work that is physical, aurally rich and visually metaphoric. The Company, located in Chicago’s landmark Water Tower Water Works, has staged 69 world premieres, received 161 Joseph Jefferson Award Nominations, and produced work all across the United States. In 2016, Lookingglass received the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions and in 2017, was the recipient of the League of Chicago Theatres’ Artistic Achievement Award.
Lookingglass continues to expand its artistic, financial, and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Artistic Director Heidi Stillman, Executive Director Rachel L. Fink, Producing Director Philip R. Smith, Director of Community Engagement Andrew White, General Manager Michele Anderson, a 24-member artistic ensemble, 23 artistic associates, an administrative staff, and a dedicated board of directors led by Chair Nancy Timmers and President Richard Chapman. For more information, visit lookingglasstheatre.org.