L. WALTER STEARNS (Director) As Executive Director of Mercury Theater Chicago, Walter is a champion for Chicago artists and productions and has overseen the physical and cultural revival of a beautiful theatre. He has directed over 30 musicals including his Jeff Award winning productions of The Addams Family and Ragtime as well as the Jeff Award nominated productions of The Producers, The Addams Family, Avenue Q, The Color Purple, Barnum-The Circus Musical, The Christmas Schooner, Nine the Musical, Ragtime, Gypsy, The Secret Garden, Sweeney Todd, Company, A New Brain, Into the Woods, Merrily We Roll Along and Falsettos. He was pleased to produce The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes, which last season was awarded the Jeff Award for New Work. Walter has received the Jeff Award, BroadwayWorld Award, After Dark Awards, the Larry Sloan Advocate Award (for his support of Season of Concern), the first Guy Adkins award for his contributions to the art of musical theatre and the Franny Award as a distinguished alumnus of the University of Illinois at Chicago.
EUGENE DIZON (Music Director/Conductor) is thrilled to be working on one of his favorite childhood movies, Mary Poppins! Last season, Eugene musical directed the 6th season of The Christmas Schooner and The Producers. At the Mercury, he has music directed the Jeff award winning production of The Addams Family, Avenue Q (BroadwayWorld Award), The Color Purple (BroadwayWorld nomination), Barnum, 6 seasons of The Christmas Schooner and A Grand Night For Singing (Jeff nomination). Eugene has been musical directing for over two decades garnering 6 Jeff Awards (Ragtime, Sweeney Todd, Amadeus, Company, Into the Woods, Merrily We Roll Along), as well as Jeff nominations for A Grand Night for Singing, Candide, Nine the Musical, Closer Than Ever, A Little Night Music, Passion, Colette Collage, and Falsettos; 4 After Dark Awards (Ragtime, Sweeney Todd, A New Brain, Merrily We Roll Along). Eugene is honored to have been inducted into the Chicago Filipino Hall of Fame. Eugene has co-produced 4 “Season of Carols” CD’s (with the amazing Cory Goodrich) which features some of the brightest talent in Chicago theater today, for which Season of Concern awarded him the Larry Sloan Advocate Award (2013). Next for Eugene will be music directing Hair at Mercury Theater Chicago. For Jeffrey.
BRENDA DIDIER (Choreographer) is thrilled to be back at the Mercury Theater Chicago where her choreography credits include The Christmas Schooner, The Addams Family, The Color Purple and Barnum. Ms. Didier is a multiple Jeff Award recipient in both direction and choreography, and the recipient of After Dark Awards, BroadwayWorld awards and the National Youth Theatre award. She is the proud owner and Artistic Director of the Lincolnshire Academy of Dance, celebrating its 19th season. Other credits include work at the Goodman, Chicago Shakespeare, Second City, Theatre at the Center, BoHo, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, Stage Left, Porchlight Music Theatre, Six Flags Great America, Busch Gardens Virginia, Cirque Shanghai at Navy Pier, T-Mobile's national commercial "Home for the Holidays", The Kenny Rogers Christmas Tour and the University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin and Carthage College. Thank you for supporting live theatre! Thank you to Walter, Eugene, Kristi, Andrew and this incredible design team, band and cast for the collaboration! Love to Mike and Mom always!
ADAM VENESS (Scenic Designer) is happy to working with Citadel Theatre. He is the resident Scenic designer at Theo Ubique where he received Jeff nominations for his designs of Light in the Piazza and Passion. He is also the resident scenic designer at Light Opera Works where he has served for more than 40 productions. His work can currently be seen in the upcoming productions of Upright Grand at Citadel Theater, The Most Happy Fella at Theo Ubique, 10 out of 12 at Theater Wit, where he received a Jeff nomination for Scenic Design for The New Sincerity, and Little Miss Sunshine at The Chicago Theater Workshop. www.venessdesign.com
NICK BELLEY, U.S.A. (Lighting Designer) Mercury Theater Chicago: The Producers, Addams Family, Avenue Q and The Color Purple. Regional credits include: Rent and Sweeney Todd (Paramount Theatre); Sirens of Song (Milwaukee Rep); Jabari Dreams of Freedom (Chicago Children's Theater); Cinderella: After the Ball and The Velveteen Rabbit (Marriott Theatre); Seussical (Children’s Theater of Madison); Qgents (Tour); Goosebumps: The Musical, Lovabye Dragon, The Snow, Holes, Stargirl and Spookley The Square Pumpkin (First Stage); The Mojo and the Sayso (Theatre LILA); Sondheim on Sondheim, Ain't Misbehavin', Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill and Pal Joey (Porchlight Music Theatre); Hank Williams: Lost Highway (American Blues Theater). Nick is the designer for Illumination Sensation for the State Fair of Texas as well as having designed over a dozen shows for the Cedar Fair amusement parks across the country. www.nickbelley.com
RACHEL BOYLAN (Costume Designer) is thrilled to be back designing at Mercury Theater Chicago where she previously designed costumes for I Left My Heart and Avenue Q. Some of her other design credits include: Leavings (Polarity Ensemble Theater); All Girl Dracula (The Mammals); Who Too (The Right Brian Project); Der Kaiser von Atlantis (New Millennium Orchestra); Antigone and Henry Moore is Melting (Cold Basement Dramatics); Hello & Goodbye (Bluebird Arts). In addition to working as a costume designer, Rachel has worked for the past five years as wardrobe supervisor at Mercury and as a costume stitcher around town. Love always to her family and especially her husband Brian! www.rachelboylan.com
MIKE ROSS (Sound Designer) is an owner of Sound Production & Lighting LLC, a full-service production, rental, and sales company. Mike / SPL has handled audio, video, and lighting production for clients across the country, ranging from corporate events for MillerCoors, Nike, The Chicago Bears, United, Volkswagen, The Chicago Consular Corps to national music acts, educational productions, and installations. Previous theatrical sound designs for Mercury Theater Chicago include The Producers, The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes, The Christmas Schooner (2011 thru 2016), The Addams Family, Avenue Q, The Color Purple, Barnum, and A Grand Night for Singing. Mike also served as the audio department head for the Chicago production of Million Dollar Quartet since 2012 until the show’s closing in 2016. For more information, please visit www.spl-design.com.
DJ REED (Properties Designer) is excited to return to the Mercury and be part of this magical production! Mary Poppins is one of his favorites and he hopes young audiences will be inspired by this production as he was by the movie. It is all about imagination and learning money cannot buy you happiness - the best advice for every young artist. He spends his days constructing costume crafts with the amazing team at Chicago Shakespeare and dedicates this and every show to Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Everidge - two amazing women who never let him give up on his dreams.
ANDREW WATERS (Assistant Choreographer) is thrilled to be back at the Mercury Theater Chicago working with this wonderful artistic team. He most recently collaborated on the creation of Music Theatre International’s new School Edition of West Side Story as well as choreographing the production. He also had the pure delight of assisting Brenda Didier on the Mercury’s Jeff Award winning production of The Addams Family. Other Mercury productions include The Color Purple, Barnum, and previous years of The Christmas Schooner. Andrew has been a freelance choreographer of over 60 productions and has been a proud member of Actors’ Equity for 26 years. He would like to thank you and your family for supporting live theater and this Disney favorite.
KATIE-SARAH PHILLIPS (Child Supervisor) is thrilled to be returning to her Mercury Theater Chicago home where she has spent 5 seasons Child Wrangling on The Christmas Schooner. Other regional credits include: Gypsy at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (Child Wrangler), Crazy For You (Draper/Stitcher) and Hazel (Child Wrangler) at Drury Lane Oakbrook; The Convert at Goodman Theatre (Wardrobe); Dreamgirls at Marriott Theatre (Stitcher). Katie-Sarah also freelances for Ford Models as a tailor and child wrangler for commercial photo shoots.
KRISTI J. MARTENS. A.E.A. (Production Stage Manager) is happy to be at the Mercury Theater Chicago after being the Production Stage Manager for I Left My Heart: A Salute to Music of Tony Bennett. Kristi was also the PSM at the Mercury for The Producers, The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes, The Addams Family (Joseph Jefferson Award Winner - Best Musical Mid-Sized Theater), Avenue Q and The Color Purple. Some other theaters that she has worked at: Drury Lane Theater (Oakbrook Terrace), Northlight Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare, Goodman Theatre, The Royal George Theater, Drury Lane Evergreen Park, Drury Lane Water Tower, Fox Valley Repertory, Oak Park Festival Theater, Fulton Opera House (Lancaster, PA), Maine State Music Theater (Brunswick, ME), Theater At the Center (Munster, IN), WYO Theater (Sheridan, WY), Carousel Dinner Playhouse (Akron, OH), Dallas Theater Center (Dallas, TX). A proud Equity member for over 27 years, Kristi started stage managing with children’s theater. Enjoy!
JERI FREDRICKSON, A.E.A. (Assistant Stage Manager) is a freelance stage manager in Chicago who has worked at Lookingglass, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Chicago Children's Theatre, First Folio, and others. She is an ensemble member of Irish Theatre of Chicago. Thanks, Kristi, for another adventure.