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 40 musicals including his Jeff Award-winning productions of The Addams Family and Ragtime as well as the Jeff Award nominated productions of Mary Poppins, 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 was awarded the Jeff Award for New Work. Most recently, he opened the new Venus Cabaret Theater with Stephen Sondheim’s Company. Walter has received the Jeff Award (Ragtime), BroadwayWorld Award (Avenue Q), 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 (Musical Director) is ecstatic to be collaborating with this talented cast and crew of Pippin at Venus Cabaret Theater. His work is Collage, Falsettos; 4 After Dark Awards (Ragtime, Sweeney Todd, A New Brain, Merrily We Roll Along), and BroadwayWorld nominations for Hair, Mary Poppins and The Color Purple. Additionally, he has musical directed Company, The Producers and Barnum, all at the Mercury, and Company at Venus. He is honored to have been inducted into the Chicago Filipino Hall of Fame. Eugene has co-produced 6 “Season of Carols” CD’s (with Cory Goodrich) which features some of the brightest talent in Chicago theater today, for which Season of Concern awarded him the 2013 Larry Sloan Advocate Award and the Season of Concern 2018 Larry Sloan Legacy Award for consistently and passionately being a trailblazer on behalf of Season of Concern. 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), Jeff nominations for A Grand Night for Singing, Candide, Nine the Musical, Closer Than Ever, A Little Night Music, Passion and Colette.
BRENDA DIDIER (Choreographer) is thrilled to make her Venus Cabaret debut! Dider’s Mercury Theater choreography credits include Barnum, The Color Purple, The Addams Family, The Christmas Schooner, Mary Poppins and directing last season's Hair. Didier is a freelance director/choreographer and recipient of multiple Jeff Awards in direction and choreography, After Dark Awards, the National Youth Theatre Award and was honored last spring with the 2018 Guy Adkins Award for the advancement of music theatre in Chicago.
RACHEL BOYLAN (Costume Design) is excited to be a part of Venus Cabaret’s inaugural season after having spent many years working at Mercury Theater Chicago. Her Mercury Theater Chicago design credits include: Avenue Q (2014 and 2018), Mary Poppins and I Left My Heart. Additional selected Chicago credits include: Leavings (Polarity Theater Ensemble); Hello & Goodbye (Bluebird Arts); All Girl Dracula (The Mammals); Who Too, The Dancing Plague (The Right Brain Project); Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (St. James Community Theater).
DUSTIN L. DERRY (Lighting Design) is excited to return for his fourth project with Mercury Theater Chicago after recently working on Avenue Q, Company and The Christmas Schooner. Selected theatrical work includes Bullets Over Broadway (Nightblue). Select dance credits include Ensemble Español, Inaside Chicago Dance, Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre and the Moscow Ballet.
G. "MAX" MAXIN IV (Video Design) is excited to be working with Mercury Theatre again after last working on Avenue Q. Selected Chicago credits include: Avenue Q (Mercury Theater); Cyrano (Jeff Award Nominated); A Little Night Music, Urinetown (Jeff Award Nominated); Oklahoma (Marriott); Pippin, Chorus Line, Little Women, Cabaret, Bare (Another Door); The View Upstairs (Circle Theatre); Homos or Everyone in America, Perfect Arrangement and Angry Fags (Pride Films & Plays).
CARL WAHLSTROM (Sound Design) is ecstatic to be working on Pippin, his 16th show at Mercury Theater Chicago. Carl’s recent design credits include the Venus Theater Cabaret inaugural production of Company and the currently running Mercury Theater Chicago production of Avenue Q. Wahlstrom is the resident sound engineer at Mercury Theater Chicago.
SHANNA VANDERWERKER (Associate Choreographer) is delighted to make her Mercury Theater Chicago debut. Selected choreography credits include 42nd Street, Newsies, South Pacific, Beauty and the Beast, Singin’ In The Rain (Fireside Theatre); Lysistrata Jones (Refuge Theater Project, Jeff Award Nominated). Selected performance credits include Dance Captain of the 1st National Tour of Wicked as well as a swing in the Broadway company, company member of dre.dance in NYC, and “Kids of the Kingdom” at Walt Disney World.
SCOTT FLORES-DETER* (Stage Manager) is excited to be working with Venus Cabaret Theater. Selected credits include: Pinkalicious: The Musical (Emerald City), The Nutcracker (Peoria Ballet), Late Nite Catechism (Nuns4Fun Entertainment), and various productions with The Second City. Flores-Deter is currently working on the Mercury Theater Chicago stage in the long-running hit, Avenue Q, after an incredible run in 2014 (BroadwayWorld Award).