Jan 25th, 2011


directed by Vanessa Stalling
a Midwest Premiere co-production with Stage Left Theatre

January 9 – February 14, 2016
at Theater Wit



The Republican Party finally—finally!—realizes it has a problem with race. So it decides its best chance for success in the 2016 presidential election is to back a mixed race candidate of white and Asian decent. They think they’ve found their man in Len, a multiracial war hero who can check off every single box—and maybe a couple more boxes no one knows about. A blisteringly funny satire that skewers not only the elephants in the room but the donkeys too, Mutt burns down the entire house of racial cards.

“a major – and highly entertaining – accomplishment.”
– San Francisco Chronicle

“a wonderfully crazy, seemingly out-of-control political comedy.”
– San Jose Mercury News

photo by Johnny Knight

The Profiles

Haskins,NicoleMichelle_Headshot2Nicole Michelle Haskins (Witness/Karen) is beyond thrilled to join this amazingly talented cast and production team. With a set of pipes built in the Motor City and a sense of humor fraying at the edges with unnecessary candor, she is proud to call herself a Chicago Actor. Most recent credits include: World Premiere of For her as a Piano (Pegasus Theatre), Sounds So Sweet (Black Ensemble Theatre) and Hang your Hat at Mr. Kelly’s (Three Cat Productions) School at Steppenwolf Acting Fellow 14’ and MOSAIC Youth Theatre of Detroit Alum. Love you Pop! Catch more at

Ian McLaren

Ian Daniel McLaren (Zach, et al.) is a Stage Left Ensemble Member and is excited to be working with Red Tape for the first time. Previous Stage Left credits include Farragut North and The Coward. Other Chicago credits include work with Steppenwolf, Victory Gardens, The Gift, and About Face among others. TV Credits include Mind Games (ABC), Chicago Fire (NBC), Sirens (USA), and Underemployed (MTV). He is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago and the School at Steppenwolf and is an Instructor at Black Box Acting. He is represented by Paonessa Talent.

reyes_0011_FINALMichael Reyes (Nick, et al.) is very happy to be working with Stage Left once again – this time as an Artistic Associate! – having performed with this great company last spring in All’s Well That Ends Well. He was most recently seen in the world premier of Animals Commit Suicide with First Floor Theater. He has played with other great companies, here and gone, including Theo Ubique, Promethean Theatre Ensemble, Muse of Fire, 20 Percent, New Suit, Pegasus, Backstage, Organic/Touchstone, Next, Chicago Opera Vanguard, and About Face. He is also a professional singer and voice talent, and can be seen around town at various cabarets, and benefit performances. Thanks to Vanessa for this opportunity and humble thanks to you for coming out to see us!

SmithDaniel_288x375Daniel Smith (Len, Caruthers) is working with Stage Left and Red Tap for the first time. Chicago credits include King of the Yees, Measure for Measure and The World of Extreme Happiness (Goodman Theatre); Fugitive Pieces (EX-Pats Theatre Company); The Three Sisters, The Lady with the Dog and Ivanov, (Piven Theatre Workshop); Roadkill Confidential (Dog & Pony Theatre Company); Never the Sinner (Victory Gardens Theater); and Space ( Steppenwolf Theatre and off-Broadway at The Public Theater). His film and television credits include High Fidelity, Fiona’s Fortune, The Ride, Crisis, Early Edition and Turks.

Alejandra Vivanco TheaterAlejandra Vivanco (Quinn, et al.) is delighted to be working with Red Tape and Stage Left for the first time. Recent Chicago credits include Bechdel Fest 3: Find Your Voice (Broken Nose Theatre), DB Does Drugs (Democracy Burlesque), and Splendour Without Diminishment (Chicago Fringe Festival). After receiving her MFA from the New York Film Academy in California, Alejandra moved to Chicago in 2014 to pursue her love for theatre. She is grateful for the warm welcome this city has given her.

Mary_Williamson_pic2_11-13-15Mary Williamson (Miriam/Elizabeth/ Nick’s Mom) is excited to be making her Red Tape and Stage Left debut! She is the head of the Art Department with The Inconvenience, hosts and devises their annual extravaganza The Fly Honey Show, and originated the role of Madeline in Ike Holter’s Hit The Wall. Since graduating from The Theatre School at DePaul University with a BFA in acting, Mary has worked with several companies around Chicago including: Steppenwolf, The Goodman, The Hypocrites, Northlight, A Red Orchid, Next, TimeLine, Griffin, Redtwist, ATC, Redmoon, Dog and Pony, Lifeline, Jackalope, Emerald City, Strawdog , Sideshow, Haven, and The New Colony. When she is not acting she is working as a designer, director, stylist, curator, visual artist and all around rad dude.

Aurora Adachi-Winter HeadshotAurora Adachi-Winter (Hannah) is a hapa who was born and raised in Chicago. She is overjoyed to be working with both Stage Left & Red Tape for the first time. Some of her favorite credits include roles at The Goodman Theatre, Court Theatre, The Paramount Theatre, The Inconvenience, First Floor Theater, and Buzz22. She is proudly represented by Gray Talent Group. Thank you to Vanessa, Lesley, Jason, Jen, and the whole cast & crew. Love to Mom and Dad, Bran, and Prince.

Vanessa Stalling (Director) is delighted to be working with Red Tape & Stage Left for the first time. Most recent Chicago area credits include America Play at Oracle Productions and Circuscope for the Actors Gymnasium. This spring, she’ll be directing her adaptation of Laurence Gonzales Flight 232, called United Flight 232, for The House Theatre. She is most known for her work with Redmoon, where she served as Associate Artistic Director. Redmoon directing credits include Last of My Species, Winter Pageant, the remount of The Cabinet, and Princess Club. Vanessa is also an instructor at Columbia College and at The University of Chicago.

Christopher Chen (Playwright) has had full-length works produced and developed across the United States and abroad, at companies such as the American Conservatory Theater, Asian American Theater Company, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Beijing Fringe, Central Works, Crowded Fire, Cutting Ball, Edinburgh Fringe, hotINK Festival, Impact Theatre, InterAct, Just Theatre, The Lark, Magic Theatre, Playwrights Foundation, San Francisco Playhouse, Silk Road Rising, Sundance Theatre Lab, Theatre Mu and The Vineyard. Honors: Glickman Award; Rella Lossy Award; shortlist for the James Tait Black Award, nomination for the Steinberg Award; 2nd Place in the Belarus Free Theater International Playwriting Competition; PONY finalist; Jerome Finalist; the 2013 Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, through which he was playwright-in-residence at The Vineyard Theatre. Current commission: San Francisco Playhouse. In Chicago, his play The Hundred Flowers Project received its Midwest premiere at Silk Road Rising in 2014 and his play Caught (first produced at InterAct in Philadelphia) will be produced by Sideshow Theatre Company in 2016. Chris is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, and holds an M.F.A. in playwriting from S.F. State.

Emmaline Keddy-Hector (Production Manager) Stage Left credits include The Firestorm, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Keys of the Kingdom, The Coward, Principal Principle, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (at Theater on the Lake) and two LeapFests. Other credits include PM/SM for the tour of Q Gents (The Q Brothers), PM for After Miss Julie (Strawdog Theatre), SM for Since I Suppose, YPS for Seussical, and Animal Wrangler for Gypsy (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), and SM for Unwilling and Hostile Instruments (Theater Seven of Chicago). Emmaline is the Associate Production Manager at Chicago Children’s Theatre, and spent two years as the Production Management Apprentice at Chicago Shakespeare. Emmaline is from Texas and graduated from Vassar College.

Katherine Arfken (Scenic Design) is a proud Stage Left ensemble member and thrilled to be working with Red Tape for the first time. With Stage Left, she has designed scenery for A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, and The Coward and props for Leap Fest X. Additional Chicago credits include A Doll’s House, Escape from Happiness, and Odin’s Horse (Infamous Commonwealth Theatre). She received her B.A. from Knox College and M.F.A. from Brandeis University and is currently a faculty member and resident scenic designer at Indiana University Northwest.

Jon Beal (Violence Design) is very excited to be working with Red Tape and Stage Left! Some of Jon’s other fight directing credits include Lunacy! (Jackalope), Butcher (Signal Ensemble), Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet (Muse of Fire), as well as fight assisting All Our Tragic (The Hypocrites), Feathers and Teeth (Goodman), and An Issue of Blood (Victory Gardens). You can also see Jon on stage in Bel Canto (Lyric Opera of Chicago) and The Duchess of Malfi (Trap Door Theater).

 Emily Breyer (Props Design) is a props designer, maker, and artist in Chicago. Recent props design credits include: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (Chicago Children’s Theatre), The Terrible (The New Colony), The America Play (Oracle Theatre), Hobohemia (Odradek Theater), and Red Kite Blue Sky (Chicago Children’s Theatre). She also has a hand in the puppet world, most recently designing creatures for Dracula (Chicago Mammals), and The Hammer Trinity (The House Theatre).

 Paul Deziel (Projections Design) freelances as a Projection/Video Designer throughout Chicagoland. Design Credits include: Churchill (SoloChicago), Twisted Melodies (Congo Square Theatre), Quiz Show (Strawdog), Redletter (The Neo-Futurists) and Heatwave (Cold Basement Dramatics). Upcoming Projects: Estrella Cruz [the junkyard queen] (Halcyon Theatre), The Glass Menagerie (The Hypocrites), The 39 Steps (Theatre at the Center), and United Flight 232 (The House Theatre). Paul is an Artistic Affiliate with American Blues Theater and SoloChicago Theatre. Outside of theatre, Paul designs games with the MegaGame Society of Chicago. For more info on his design work, visit

 Izumi Inaba (Costume Designer) is a proud company member at Red Tape, and so thrilled to be working with Stage Left for the first time. Her recent credits include The Revel (The House), Miss Buncles Book and Mr. Poppers Penguins (Lifeline), Charm and You Cant Take It With You (Northlight), No More Sad Things (Sideshow), etc. She received Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award and Non-equity Jeff Award in 2014. M.F.A. in stage design, Northwestern University.

 John Kelly (Lighting Design) has been designing lights around Chicago for 7 years. Other current and upcoming projection include The Realish Housewives … (Second City – National Tour), In a Word (Strawdog Theatre), The Hairy Ape (Oracle Theatre) and Night Mother (The Neofuturists). Previously he has worked with Chicago Shakespeare Theater, The Hypocrites, Sideshow Theatre, Red Twist, Red Tape, Wild Claw Theatre and Victory Gardens. He is an ensemble member at Strawdog Theatre and a Community Member at The Hypocrites.

Steve Labedz (Sound Designer) is excited to be working with Red Tape again and Stage Left for the first time. He worked previously with Red Tape on The Life and Death of Madame Barker. Upcoming shows include United 232 at House Theatre and No Matter How Hard We Tried at Trap Door. Steve is also a partner at Bread & Roses Productions.

Lesley Fisher Chapman (Assistant Director) is excited to be working with both Stage Left and Red Tape Theatres for the first time. Chicago credits include Circuscope (The Actors Gymnasium), The Boxer (Pursuit Productions) and Mr. Shaw Goes to Hollywood (MadKap Productions). Lesley spends her days teaching theatre to kids all over the city with Dream Big Performing Arts. This spring, she will be directing two new works with Forget Me Not Theatre Company. Lesley wants to thank her family, especially Charlie, for their love and support.

Lisa Giebler (Technical Director) is a freelance technical director, carpenter, and painter in the Chicagoland area.  She works at Northbrook Theatre regularly, & has also recently done work for Harper College, Interrobang Theatre Project, and Chicago Folks Operetta. She is excited to be working with Stage Left and Red Tape for the first time, & thanks her family & friends for everything!

Jenn M. Thompson (Assistant Stage Manager) is excited to be making her Stage Left and Red Tape debut. Previous Credits include: Production Assistant How the World Began (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble), Properties Master Beehive (Mason Street Warehouse). When not at rehearsal Jenn can be found at Theater Wit where she works as a House Manager. Jenn received her BFA from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. Thanks to the cast and production team for an amazing process.

Zev Valancy (Dramaturg) is delighted to be working with Red Tape and Stage Left on Mutt. At Stage Left, where he is the Literary Manager, he coordinates new play programming—including the Downstage Left Playwright Residency and LeapFest—and has dramaturged over a dozen productions and workshops, including the world premieres of Principal Principle (Jeff Nomination, Best New Work), Keys of the Kingdom, and Impenetrable. He recently dramaturged Quiz Show at Strawdog Theatre, and is an Artistic Associate with The Right Brain Project. Thanks to Vanessa, Red Tape and Stage Left folks, husband Adam, and dog Myra.

 Cisco Lopez (Understudy) is thrilled to be working with Red Tape and Stage Left for the first time. Chicago credits include Macbeth (Midsommer Flight), Take Me Out (Eclectic Theatre), Fiddler on the Roof, Damn Yankees (Light Opera Works), and Letters Home (Griffin Theatre Company). A recent graduate of Baylor University, he holds a BFA in Theatre Performance. He also serves as Marketing and PR Coordinator for Mercy Street Theatre Company.