A Twist of Water

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About the Cast and Creative Team

Caitlin Montanye Parrish(Playwright) made her Route 66 debut as the author of the hit play A TWIST OF WATER, which was the latest in a long line of collaborations with director Erica Weiss.  A TWIST OF WATER is her second Off-Broadway production, and her first since she was 19 (A VIEW FROM TALL)  She is a recipient of the Annenberg Fellowship and the Humanitas Award. Ms. Parrish currently works as a staff writer on the CW’s EMILY OWENS, MDCaitlin is delighted to be playing again with Route 66 where she is an (Artistic Associate and Board member), as a path from Los Angeles and back to Chicago is what keeps her going.  She is repped by Paradigm.

Erica Weiss (Co-Creator and Director) Erica Weiss is the Associate Artistic Director of Route 66 Theatre Company and a freelance director in Chicago. She directed the World Premiere of A Twist of Water and along with playwright Caitlin Parrish, was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for “Best New Work.” Erica also directed and conceived Route 66 Theatre’s NEXT STOP: A New Chicago Musical with composer Diana Lawrence and six Chicago playwrights. She recently directed Robert Holman’s Making Noise Quietly at the renowned Steep Theatre Company, and upcoming directing projects include Vigils by Noah Haidle at The Gift Theatre, and the World Premiere of Mahal at Bailiwick Chicago.  Erica was the founding Artistic Director of Hypatia Theatre Company, where she began her collaboration with Caitlin Parrish. She served as Assistant Director to Barbara Gaines on the productions of Elizabeth Rex and Timon of Athens at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. As a director, dramaturg, and assistant director, she has worked with many of Chicago’s biggest Equity Houses and smaller storefront companies, including Victory Gardens Theatre, where she was the Dramaturg for the workshop and world premiere of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz (Pulitzer Prize finalist, Jeff Award winner), Northlight Theatre, American Theater Company, Chicago Dramatists, Stage Left Theatre, MPAACT, and more. Erica is a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University, where she earned her degree in Theatre Studies with an emphasis on directing and new play development.

Stef Tovar (Noah) Stef Tovar is the Founder and Artistic Director of Route 66 Theatre Company, where he was most recently seen as Noah in the world premiere of A TWIST OF WATER. He will reprise his role this fall at 59E59 Theater in New York. Stef starred along with Johnny Clark in the inaugural production for Route 66–the critically acclaimed and Jeff Award-nominated ON AN AVERAGE DAY in both Los Angeles and Chicago and was also seen as Rob in the Route 66 production of HIGH FIDELITY. Recent Chicago credits include Jeffrey Skilling in ENRON at TimeLine Theatre directed by Rachel Rockwell and David O’Selznick in MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS at Fox Valley Rep directed by Dennis Zacek. Stef also can be seen in the movie CONTAGION directed by Steven Soderbergh, giving some bad news to Matt Damon as Dr. Arrington. Stef has worked in Chicago theatre for over twelve years. He has worked at such theaters as Drury Lane Oakbrook, Marriott Theatre, Northlight, Apple Tree, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Theatre at the Center among others with roles such as Knute Rockne in KNUTE ROCKNE: ALL-AMERICAN, Kenneth Tally Jr. in FIFTH OF JULY and Vinal in BLADE TO THE HEAT, for which he won a Jeff Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Play. Stef spent six years in Los Angeles before returning to Chicago in 2008 when he formed Route 66. His Los Angeles credits include Jamie in the L.A. premiere of THE LAST FIVE YEARS, George in SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, Kip in WONDER OF THE WORLD, Homer in FLOYD COLLINS, Che in a national tour of EVITA and numerous commercials and films including THE GYMNAST and EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH (with Matt Dillon). Stef can be seen as Daniel Schwartz in the upcoming NBC television show, CHICAGO FIRE and on season one of BOSS.. He is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and even more proud to be the father of Sam. Stef will play Harold Hill in THE MUSIC MAN in January 2013 directed by Rachel Rockwell.

Alex Hugh Brown (Liam) makes his New York debut. Regional theater: A TWIST OF WATER(world premiere, Route 66), RED HERRING, THE WOMAN IN BLACK (Fox Valley Rep), HAMLET(Downtown Rep), AS YOU LIKE IT(Two Pence), SUBURBIA (The Nine), SKETCHBOOK X (Collaboraction). Film: ONE SMALL HITCH. Proud Northwestern University, iO and Second City graduate. .

Falashay Pearson(Jira) is thrilled to make her New York debut and has been with the role of Jira and TWIST since its conception, which has been a life changing experience for her. She came into the role after graduating from DePaul University’s BFA in Acting program, where she was seen in THE HEIDI CHRONICLES, RICHARD III and URINETOWN.  She was recently seen in MOVEMENT TO MUSIC: A DOCUMENTARY, which looks at actor impulses through music.

Lili-Anne Brown (Tia) ) is honored to reprise the role she originated in the Chicago production of A TWIST OF WATER.  Most recently, she played Joanne in David Cromer’s production of RENT at American Theater Company.  A Chicago native, Lil has appeared at Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Victory Gardens, Writers Theatre and many others.  Lili-Anne recently became the new Artistic Director of Bailiwick Chicago, where her direction of the Midwestpremiere of PASSING STRANGE was awarded a BTA Award for Best Direction of a Musical.


LINDSAY JONES (Orginal Music and Sound Design) Off-Broadway: Rx (Primary Stages), THROUGH THE NIGHT (Union Square/Westside Theatres), THE BROTHER/SISTER PLAYS (Public Theater), THE BURNT PART BOYS (Playwrights Horizons/Vineyard), TOP SECRET (New York Theatre Workshop), IN THE CONTINUUM (Primary Stages) and many others. Awards: five Joseph Jefferson Awards and 16 nominations, two Ovation Awards and three nominations, LA Drama Critics Circle Award, two ASCAP Plus Awards, two Drama Desk Award nominations, as well as nominations for Henry Hewes Design, Barrymore, Austin Critics Circle, AUDELCO and NAACP Theatre Awards. Film/TV Music: HBO Films’ A NOTE OF TRIUMPH (2006 Academy Award for Best Documentary, Short Subject), and FAMILY PRACTICE for Sony Pictures. www.lindsayjones.com

Stephen H. Carmody (Set Design) Recent design credits include PIPPIN for The Music Theatre Company, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYSand BAD DATESfor Fox Valley Rep, GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL!for Milwaukee Rep, NUNSET BLVD. for Theatre at the Center and CHANGES OF HEART for Remy Bumppo,   Stephen has assisted designers Walt Spangler, Dereck McLane, and Linda Buchanan on shows regionally and on Broadway including SCANDALOUS, TUCK EVERLASTING MEDIEVAL PLAY and DISNEY ON ICE. A graduate from DePaul University, Stephen received The John Murbach Scholarship for Collaborative Design, presented at The 2009 Michael Merritt Awards.  www.stephenHC.com

Sean Mallary (Lighting Design) holds a BFA from Texas State University,San Marcos, and is currently working on his MFA at Northwestern University.  He is a proud ensemble member of the Strawdog Theatre Company back in Chicago.  Sean recently finished a four season stint working at the Goodman Theatre.  Recent design credits:  OLD TIMES (Strawdog) and WATERSHIP DOWN (Lifeline Theatre).  Sean would like to thank his friend Jessica for letting him crash on her couch while here in NY, in addition to the various muses in his life that make his work possible. www.seanmallarylighitng.com.

Alarie Hammock (Costume Designer) had the pleasure of working with so many wonderful people in the Chicago theater community. Her design credits include Caffeine Theater’s BRUTAL IMAGINATION, WRECKAGE and OR.  She works as a first hand/ stitcher at the Steppenwolf costume shop, in addition to  projects for Court Theatre, Lookingglass, and Lyric Opera.  She is also the Wardrobe Supervisor at MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET.

Alex Lubisher (Assistant Director/Route 66 Literary Manager) joined Route 66 in 2012 and has helped to coordinate the Monthly Reading Series and the development of an Emerging Artists Outreach Program. His play “Someday” was a part of NEXT STOP: A NEW CHICAGO MUSICAL with Route 66. Other plays include THE XYLOPHONE WEST (The Fine Print Theatre Co.); ACTS OF CONTRITION (University of Southern California / Awarded Best Concurrent Play Lab Script 2008 at the Great Plains Theatre Conference); BRUTE (USC Independent Production Scholarship recipient) and IKE & LAURIE. He is a freelance writer for Windy City Times and Chicago Health Magazine. BA: University of Southern California.

Julia Zayas-Melendez (Stage Manager):  is elated to be making her Off-Broadway debut with A Twist of Water. A resident of Chicago, she’s had the honor of working with many theatres in the area, including Oak Park Festival, Marriott Theatre, Drury Lane, Fox Valley Repertory, ShawChicago, Apple Tree, About Face, Chicago Dramatists, Steppenwolf, Next, Court Theatre, and Madison Repertory. Julia began her stage management career in Boston while at Emerson College, with companies like Opera Boston, Boston Theatre Works, The Theatre Offensive, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, SpeakEasy Stage, and Shakespeare & Company. Julia also runs a small business with her wife, craftybroads.com.

Matt Bonaccorso (Assistant Stage Manager/Route 66 Company Manager) has proudly called Route 66 his home since his serendipitous encounter with the Company in 2009 on HIGH FIDELITY and is humbled to be surrounded by such amazingly talented, dedicated, and inspiring individuals. In addition to serving as the Company Manager of Route 66 Theatre, Matthew is a Collective Member with Dead Writers Theatre and a resident stage manager and performer with Chicago Kids Company.

Alana Parvey-Zalas (Route 66 Business Manager) is thrilled to join Route 66 Theatre Company. She obtained her theatre degree from Northwestern University, and has also constructed props and set pieces for HILLBILLY ANTIGONE (Lookingglass Theater), THE MAN OF LAMANCHA (Court Theater), SILK (Goodman Theater), and CHARLOTTE’S WEB(Emerald City Theater).  All my love and gratitude to Rob.

Special Thanks:  Peter Tear, Elysabeth Kleinhans and everyone at 59E59; Jim Spannon; Aaron Carter (original Dramaturg);  Hannah Fenlon (original AD); The Cradle, and Rita Vreeland.


16 Responses to “About the Cast and Creative Team”

  1. […] A Twist of Water centers on Noah, a gay, widowed history teacher, raising his adopted African-American daughter Jira alone in the wake of his husband’s death in a car accident. When Jira decides that she wants to seek out her birth mother, Noah’s already grief-stricken and strained relationship with his child is pressed to the breaking point. As he struggles to hold on to and rebuild his family, a burgeoning new romance with a younger man serves to complicate matters, but may also be a saving grace. This world premiere introduces us to a seemingly non-traditional family, and at the heart of their story is our beloved city of Chicago, whose history and progress is the centerpiece of the play. A Twist of Water is a love letter to the Windy City, a deeply funny and profoundly touching story of fathers and daughters, and what it means to be a family. […]

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  3. […] clashes are strictly by-the-numbers, with the chaotic first-act ending particularly coerced. Under Erica Weiss’ steady guidance, the seven Bailiwick performers barely need to stretch to fit their comfortable […]

  4. […] Nolan (director, playwright), Alarie Hammock (costumes), Jeff Glass (lighting design), Tom McGrath […]

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