Judge Lawrence Driver was a powerhouse on the bench but a failure at home. Now retired and widowed, Lawrence volunteers to help Tanya, a young African American single mother caught up in legal red tape—and the kind of woman he regularly put behind bars. But do-overs don't come easy for either Lawrence or Tanya, especially when race, class and the long-simmering resentments of Judge Driver's adult children boil to the surface in this searing and surprising drama.
Theatre credits in Chicago include Griffin Theatre's Balm in Gilead, The Ruckus Theater's The Deer and Theatre Seven of Chicago's Unwilling and Hostile Instruments. Echaka is a graduate of The School at Steppenwolf. She is represented by Paonessa Talent.
Robyn has worked with Silent Theatre, Jackalope, Fine Print and became an ensemble member of The Factory Theater. She is a recurring character, “Cindy Herrmann”, on NBC's Chicago Fire. She's worked on numerous commercials including her favorite, Hefty "party hard mom's". She can be seen in a few feature films coming out soon including Life and Death of an Unhappily Married Man, Finding Hope and Unexpected.
Andrew graduated with his BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2013. Soon after, he moved to Chicago where he has been pursuing a career in acting both on stage and on camera. He is happy to have the opportunity to work with this great group of people and to be a part of this story.
Theatre: About Face (seven productions including Take Me Out, The Homosexuals and The Pride), 16th Street, Goodman, TimeLine, House, Sankofa, LiveWire, Steppenwolf, Strawdog, Griffin (2011 Jeff nomination, Actor in a Principal Role - Musical), Steep, CityLit, Bailiwick, Mark Taper Forum, and Pasadena Playhouse. Television: Chicago Fire, Will & Grace, and Passions.
Fresh from his 2014 win as Best Supporting Actor at the Non-Equity Jeff Awards for his role as “the father” in Griffin Theatre’s Golden Boy. Woodel’s Chicago stage credits include Eric Argyle and Festen at Steep Theatre, Tony Winner – Joe DiPietro’s F**King Men with Bailiwick, and Sideshow Theatre Companies – Stupid F**king Bird. TV and Movie credits list Matlock, The Client, and a music video with Dolly Parton. He is honored to be a part of Haven Theatre’s brand new adventure.
CODY ESTLE (Director) is thrilled to be directing at Haven Theatre. Directing credits include Dividing the Estate, Vieux Carré, Good Boys and True, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Boy Gets Girl and the world premiere of Dating Walter Dante at Raven Theatre; Watch on the Rhine at The Artistic Home; Uncle Bob at Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company and Hospitality Suite at Citadel Theatre Company. He’s had the pleasure of assistant directing at Northlight Theatre, Goodspeed Musicals, Court Theatre, Writers Theatre, Next Theatre and Strawdog Theatre. Estle is the Associate Artistic Director at Raven Theatre, Artistic Assistant at Northlight Theatre and Artistic Associate at Haven Theatre. He serves on the faculty of Cherubs at Northwestern University and is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago.
CAROL COHEN (Producer, Costume Design) is the Executive Director and Founder of Haven Theatre Company and is serving as both Producer and Costume Designer on this production of Don’t Go Gentle. This is Carol’s fifth producing credit with Haven Theatre. Previous Haven productions include Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Wedding Singer, Seminar and Hot Georgia Sunday. She is thrilled to be working with her co-founder and former artistic director, Cody Estle. Costume credits include Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Haven Theatre), Sherlock Holmes and the Sign of the Four (City Lit), A Christmas Carol and Other People’s Money (Citadel Theatre), and The Off Chekhov Festival (Neopolitans). Carol attended Columbia College Chicago majoring in Theatre with concentrations in Costume Design, Dramaturgy and Theater Management.
JOSH SOBEL (Artistic Director) is also an ensemble member and literary manager with Strawdog Theatre Company, where he directed the world premieres of The Hunting of the Snark (subsequently remounted with Chicago's "Night Out In The Parks" and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland) and Best Beloved: The Just So Stories in Strawdog Theatre Company’s Hugen Hall. Directing credits include work at Steep Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, A Red Orchid Theatre, LiveWire Chicago Theatre, Collaboraction's Sketchbook, WildClaw Theatre, The Ruckus, Tympanic Theatre, Polarity Ensemble Theatre, The Fine Print Theatre Company, the side project, Citadel Theatre, The Greenhouse Theater Center, Abbie-Fest and New Leaf Theatre. His production of Idris Goodwin's How We Got On received Honorable Mention from Kerry Reid in the Chicago Tribune's "Best of the Fringe 2013" listing. From 2010 - 2013 he served as associate director of the National Theater Institute summer "Theatermakers" program at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. Sobel is the recipient of a Stage Directors and Choreographers (SDC) Observership on Hamlet at Writers' Theatre and is an associate member of SDC.
JEFFREY D. KMEIC (Scenic Design) is a Chicago-based Scenic Designer, whose local credits include: A Christmas Story, Les Mis (Paramount Theatre-Aurora). Spelling Bee (Drury Lane-Oakbrook). Tom Jones, Commons of Pensacola, Butler, Funnyman (Northlight Theatre). Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, Double Trouble, Ain't Misbehavin', Sweeney Todd, Sondheim on Sondheim (Porchlight Music Theatre). Good Boys and True, Dividing the Estate, The Old Friends (Raven Theatre). Watch on the Rhine (The Artistic Home). Regional credits include: American Player’s Theatre, The Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, Heritage Theatre Festival, and the Children's Theatre of Charlotte. Jeffrey received his MFA from the University of Virginia.
CHRIS LAPORTE (Sound Design, Composition) design and composition credits include: Antigonick, Stupid F-ing Bird,Tyrant, The Golden Dragon, 9 Circles, Idomeneus, The Gacy Play, Heddatron (Sideshow Theatre), Sondheim on Sondheim (Porchlight), First Look Reparatory 2014 (Steppenwolf), Dividing the Estate, Good Boys and True (Raven Theatre), Really Really, Owners, The Pitchfork Disney, Terminus (Interrobang Theatre Project), A Good Dive (United Solo Festival NYC), Appropriate (Victory Gardens), The BFG, Charlotte's Web (Emerald City) numerous Garage Reps (Steppenwolf). Chris is an artistic associate with both Sideshow Theatre Company and Interrobang Theatre Project and is also the head of sound at Lookingglass Theatre Company, where his work can be heard in most designs.
SARAH HUGHEY (Lighting Design) Recent Chicago credits include Doubt: A Parable, The Diary of Anne Frank, Port Authority, Hamlet (Writers’ Theatre), Samsara (Victory Gardens), The Hundred Flowers Project, Brahman/i, Lake Effect, Yellow Face, Scorched—Jeff Award for Lighting Design (Silk Road Rising), Luce (Next Theatre), The Commons of Pensacola, Tom Jones, Black Pearl Sings (Northlight Theatre), Women Beware Women (Two Pence Theatre), Methtacular, The Kid Thing (About Face Theatre), Othello, Suicide, Inc. (The Gift Theatre), Grounded, Collected Stories (American Blues Theater), Martyr, Motortown, Moment, Festen, Parlour Song (Steep Theatre), The Mountaintop (Court Theatre), Wilson Wants It All, Iron Stag King—Jeff nomination for Lighting Design (House Theatre of Chicago). Ms. Hughey is an Artistic Affiliate of American Blues Theater; has been the Resident Lighting Designer for Silk Road Rising; is a Collaborating Artist with performance collective Yellow House; and was the 2013 recipient of Chicago’s Maggio Emerging Designer Award. Ms. Hughey holds an MFA from Northwestern University where she also teaches. skhughlighting.com
JAMIE KARAS (Properties Design) is excited to be working with the Haven Theatre for the first time! She is a local to Chicago and has done props for theatres all around! These theatres include; Next Theatre, Teatro Vista, Buzz22, Ashlawn Opera, Steep Theatre, About Face Theatre, Griffin Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Steppenwolf, House Theatre, Rivendell Theatre, Bluebird Arts, and Strawdog Theatre.
SAM HUBBARD (Fight Choreography) is happy to be working with Haven for the first time. Recent Chicago design credits include White Guy on a Bus (Northlight Theatre), Martyr (Steep Theatre Company), Tamer of Horses (Teatro Vista), Watch on the Rhine (The Artistic Home), Hank Williams Lost Highway (American Blues Theatre), Lord of the Flies (Steppenwolf for Young Adults) with Ryan Bourque and Quiz Show, Great Expectations, Miss Marx and Charles Ives Take me Home (Strawdog Theatre Company). Sam is a Strawdog Theatre Company ensemble member, a graduate of Columbia College Chicago and a member of the Society of American Fight Directors.
TARA MALPASS (Stage Management) is happy to be working with Haven Theatre for the first time. Most recently, Tara has worked with Raven Theatre’s Dividing the Estate. She’s also had the privilege of working with fantastic Chicago theatre companies including Collaboraction, Stage Left, InFusion Theatre, Circle Theatre, Babes with Blades, Seanachi, The Side Project, Eclipse Theatre and New Leaf. Love to Mike!
AARON SHAPIRO (Production Management) is excited to be working with Haven for the first time! Aaron was the founding Artistic Director for Oracle Productions, and the founding Executive Director for Studio BE/MCL Chicago. He is currently an Artistic Associate with Porchlight Music Theatre where he serves as resident production manager. Aaron has also production managed for such Chicago companies as Chicago Commercial Collective, About Face, Sideshow, Oak Park Festival, Infusion, Studio BE and Oracle Theatre companies. He has freelanced in various capacities for over 60 different Chicago theatre companies and educational institutions.
RON WHITAKER (Producing Associate) is a co-founder of Haven Theatre Company and is serving as Executive Producer and Assistant Director on this production of Don’t Go Gentle. Ron’s past experience includes directing and/or acting in many productions in the Kansas City area, but this is his first foray into professional theater. Ron holds a BFA in Vocal Performance from Avila University and an MA in Directing from Roosevelt University. He wants to thank Cody and Carol for their support and guidance and has thoroughly enjoyed working with this talented cast and crew.
ELI NEWELL (Assistant Director) is a native of St. Paul, Minnesota. He has been fortunate to work at regional theaters in the twin cities such as: The Guthrie Theatre, The Playwrights’ Center, Hennepin Theatre Trust, Minneapolis Musical Theatre, The Children’s Theatre Company, Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company, and many more! Education: Northwestern University, School of Communication.
SHAWN KRONK (Master Electrician) is excited to be working with Haven Theatre for the first time. Shawn has worked as master electrician at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble and Sideshow Theatre Company. He also works as a freelance electrician at various theaters around Chicago, including Lookingglass, Chicago Shakespeare, Marriott Theatre—Lincolnshire, and The House Theatre. Shawn is the artistic director of Dear Stone Theater Company, where he recently directed Yasmina Reza’s ART. Shawn graduated from Wheaton College with degrees in theater and English writing.
ALLISON GRISCHOW (Assistant Stage Manager) is a recent graduate from Valparaiso University with majors in Theatre and Music. Last summer she worked with Sideshow Theatre Company as a production intern. She is thrilled to be working with Haven Theatre on this production!