THE BENGSONS (BOOK, MUSIC, & LYRICS)
have appeared at such venues as Joe’s Pub (NYC), MASS MoCA (North Adams, MA) and the Market Theater (Johannesburg, South Africa). Their music has been featured on So You Think You Can Dance (FOX) and in The Lucky Ones (Ars Nova); Anything that Gives Off Light (National Theatre of Scotland/The Team); Sundown, Yellow Moon (Ars Nova/WP); Hurricane Diane (NYTW/WP, Two River Theatre); you’ll still call me by name (New York Live Arts, Jacob’s Pillow) and Iphigenia in Aulis (Classic Stage Company). They have been nominated for the Drama Desk, Drama League and Lucille Lortel awards. Abigail Nessen Bengson has toured as a member of tUnE-yArDs, including an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
SARAH GANCHER (BOOK)
Ms. Gancher’s writing has been seen on such stages as London’s National Theatre, Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre, The Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Steppenwolf, Seattle Rep, Hartford Stage, RoundHouse, Ars Nova and The Flea. Honors include New York Stage and Film Founder’s Award, Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, AR Gurney Prize, Lortel and Drama League nominations. With The Bengsons, she also wrote The Lucky Ones. Co-writer of The TEAM’s Mission Drift (Edinburgh International Festival Fringe Prize, Scotsman Fringe First, Herald Angel; international tour to Europe, Asia and Australia). Alumna: P73, Playwrights Realm Writing Fellows, Women’s Project Lab and Ars Nova Play Group. Resident playwright at New Dramatists. M.F.A.: NYU.
LUCKY STIFF (DIRECTOR)
Lucky (they/them) is a trans nonbinary director, writer, and performer working in Chicago and New York. They build original experiences that combine nightclub culture and performance art which have been featured at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Blue Man Group Chicago, Boy Friday Dance Company, and Bushwig Festival of Drag, among many others. They hold an MFA in Directing for Theater from Northwestern University and have lectured in performance and directing at UC Santa Cruz, Northwestern University, University of Illinois Chicago, DePaul University, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. luckystiffdrag.com
MATTHEW MUÑIZ (MUSIC DIRECTOR)
Matthew (he/him) is a pianist, composer, songwriter and teacher. He’s a company member with The House Theatre of Chicago, where his music direction and performance credits include The Nutcracker (2010-2018), Verböten (2020), United Flight 232 (2016), The Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz (2017), and Hatfield & McCoy (2018). As a composer, he most recently created music for The House Theatre’s production of Pinocchio (2019). His work has appeared in two short films and in one feature-length zombie horror flick, and in plays and podcasts. In 2013, he produced and released a full-length album of his songs with his band, The Live Debate! (available on all streaming services). His music can be heard in The Last Defender, an Escape created with Cards Against Humanity, and in the upcoming Escape, Nova to Lodestar. When Matthew isn’t making music, he’s probably making (or playing) games himself. www.matthewmunizmusic.com
COLLIN QUINN RICE (CHOREOGRAPHER)
Collin (they/them) is a queer actor, dancer, and multi-media artist based in Chicago. Recent movement credits include The Hilary Duff Projectv (2017 & 2020); The Dog, The Night, and The Knife; Disco Pigs (Silencio); and Big Love (Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts). They were most recently seen as an actor in The Tasters (Rivendell), All Quiet on the Western Front (Red Tape Theatre), Mike Pence Sex Dream (First Floor Theater), The Harvest (Griffin Theatre Co.), Hatfield & McCoy (The House), Le Switch (About Face Theatre), Masque Macabre (Strawdog Theatre Company), Going to a Place… (Redtwist Theatre), and The Ode at Pint’s End (Birch House Immersive). Film credits include The Right Swipe and The Play Cycle. Collin is a graduate of Northwestern University, and they are represented by Big Mouth Talent. Collin also moonlights as a headshot photographer—their comprehensive work can be found at www.collinquinnrice.com.
JACKIE FOX (SCENIC & LIGHTING DESIGNER)
Jackie (she/her) is an artist and designer interested in, above all else, telling stories that explore the vulnerability of the human condition and human behavior in the face of conflict. She believes that the best art is disruptive, subversive, and pushes us to examine the most difficult elements of our psyche. Jackie has designed both regionally and internationally. She recently earned her MFA in Stage Design at Northwestern University where she was awarded the Merritt Academic Prize and the John Woodbridge Award. Selected credits include: Kiss (PARA.MAR Dance Theatre), re: CLICK (American Music Theatre Project), Peter and the Starcatcher and Mamma Mia (Wagon Wheel Theatre), Hundred Days (Kokandy Productions). During her tenure at Northwestern, Jackie designed The Cherry Orchard (Louis Theatre), Ascension (Louis Theatre), The Flick (Wallis Theatre), Machinal (Louis Theatre), Legally Blonde (Barber Theatre), and Turn of The Screw (Ryan Center for the Musical Arts). For more information about Jackie’s work go to jackiefoxdesigns.com
PATRICK O’BRIEN (SOUND DESIGNER, ENGINEER)
Patrick’s (he/him/his) previous Kokandy shows: Head Over Heels; Grand Hotel; Bonnie & Clyde; Heathers; Loving Repeating; The Full Monty. Other design/engineering work: Steel Magnolias; Year with Frog and Toad; Kiss Me, Kate (Big Noise Theatre); Good Fight (Babes with Blades); Beowulf; R + J: The Vineyard (Red Theater Chicago); Story of a Story (Underscore Theatre). He also contributes to chicagolandmusicaltheatre.com, and he still thinks quips in bios about writing in the third person are hilarious.
HENRY MULLER (MASTER ELECTRICIAN)
Henry (he/him) is a senior at Northwestern University studying theatre and psychology, with a focus in theatrical design. Lighting design credits include Pippin, Godspell, Our New Town, and Ghost Quartet. Assistant credits include Legally Blonde, Voyeurs de Venus, and A Chorus Line at Northwestern University and THAWEN with Para Mar Dance Theatre.
NICHOLAS REINHART (PRODUCTION MANAGER & CASTING DIRECTOR)
Nicholas (he/him/his) is thrilled to be working again with Kokandy Productions. Previous Producing/Production Management: Songs for a New World (Theo Ubique), Titus Andronicus (Haven), PROXY (Underscore Theatre), Head Over Heels (Kokandy Productions), The View UpStairs, Venus in Fur, 35MM: A Musical Exhibition (Circle Theatre). Upcoming: 8-Track (Theo Ubique), Get Out Alive (Haven). During The Great Pause, Nicholas worked with CPA Theatricals to develop and produce two original musicals (The Mystery of Custodia, The Moment) designed for virtual production, as well as a new musical (Miley Chase: The Science Ace) which is currently being developed for television.
NOAH WATKINS (ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR)
Noah (he/him) is a Chicago-based director focused on cultivating moments of awe in elevated texts. Currently, he is developing a new immersive play performed via phone call with Candle House Collective entitled “Where Did Everybody Go?” Directing credits include Bull, Jasper in Deadland, tick, tick…BOOM! and XR: a new musical. Recent assistant directing credits include A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder at Porchlight Music Theatre, Titus Andronicus at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood with Blank Theatre Company. B.S, Northwestern University.