"The Magic Play" Cast and Creative Team

Posted 15 February 2018

The Magic Play
By Andrew Hinderaker
Directed by Halena Kays
with magic created by Brett Schneider


Brett SchneiderThe Magician
Sean ParrisThe Diver
Jack BronisAnother Magician


Lizzie Bracken
Scenic Designer
Alison SipleCostume Designer
Jesse BelskyLighting Designer
Matthew M. NielsonSound Designer/Original Music
Philip AllgeierMedia Designer
Jim Steinmeyer
Magic Consultant
Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasiAerial Consultant
Kelsey Daye LutzStage Manager
Danny RosalesProduction Assistant

The Actors and Stage Manager in this production are members of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.


Jack Bronis
Another Magician
Jack Bronis is thrilled to be making his debut at The Armory. Jack also played the role of Another Magician in Actors Theatre of Louisville’s production of The Magic Play. He was a founding member of The Noble Fool Theater, with whom he performed in The Underpants, Roasting Chestnuts, The Baritones and Flanagan's Wake. Films include The Last Rites of Joe May, Chicago Overcoat, Best if Used By and For a Good Time. Television roles include Chicago Fire, Early Edition, The Playboy Club and Unsolved Mysteries. Jack is a longtime faculty member of The Second City Training Center and Acting Studio Chicago. He is the original director and a co-creator of Flanagan's Wake, and wrote the book and lyrics for Vikings! A Musical in Two Axe.
Sean Parris
The Diver
Sean Parris is excited to make his debut at The Armory. He was born in Los Angeles and raised in Miami and Georgia by his amazing mom. He currently lives in Chicago, where his credits include The Magic Play (Goodman Theatre); Space Age, a two-man show created with his real-life intimate partner Ricardo Gamboa (Free Street Theater); Blues for An Alabama Sky (Court Theatre); Compass, Animal Farm and The Drunken City (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); The Whipping Man (Northlight Theatre); and A Girl With Sun in Her Eyes (Pine Box Theater). Television credits: Sickos (Cap Gun Collective); Chicago P.D. (NBC); The Chi (Showtime); and Brujos (OpenTV’s original web series). Sean received his M.F.A. from DePaul University Theatre School and is a graduate of The Academy of Black Box Acting. He is represented by Paonessa Talent Agency. 
Brett Schneider
The Magician/Magic Creator
Regional: The Magic Play at The Goodman Theatre, Olney Theatre Center and Actors Theatre of Louisville; The Glass Menagerie at Steppenwolf Theatre Company; and Peter and the Wolf at Lookingglass Theatre Company. Off-Broadway: The Magic Play (workshop) at Roundabout Theatre Company. Television: Rise (NBC); Chicago Fire (NBC); Chicago P.D. (NBC); Chicago MED (NBC); Vinyl (HBO); and Sirens (USA). Other theater credits include The Great God Pan at Next Theatre; The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle at Steep Theatre; Homecoming 1972 at Chicago Dramatists; Rose and the Rime at The House Theatre. Schneider is a graduate of Northwestern University and The School at Steppenwolf. He is also a professional magician, illusion designer and a member of the Magic Castle in Los Angeles, California.


Andrew Hinderaker
Andrew Hinderaker is an ensemble member of The Gift Theatre in Chicago, where his play Suicide, Incorporated premiered before subsequent productions in New York and throughout the world. Additional plays include I Am Going To Change The WorldDirtyKingsville and Colossal, which received the 2015 Helen Hayes Award for Best New Play. Hinderaker is thrilled to be working at The Armory and presenting The Magic Play, an almost five-year collaboration with actor/magician Brett Schneider and director Halena Kays. Hinderaker holds an M.F.A. in playwriting from The University of Texas at Austin and also works as a television writer, where recent credits include Penny Dreadful (Showtime), Pure Genius (CBS) and The Path (Hulu). He was recently nominated for another Helen Hayes for The Magic Play (Olney Theatre Center), as well as a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Individual Episode of a Television Series. 

Halena Kays
Halena Kays is thrilled to be working at The Armory for the first time. Regional theater: The Magic Play at Goodman Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville and Olney Theatre Center; Lord of the Flies at Steppenwolf Theatre Company; Feast (part of a collaborative directing effort) for The Albany Park Theatre Project at Goodman Theatre. Chicago credits: Pop Waits, Burning Bluebeard, 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, Daredevils, Daredevils Hamlet and Fake Lake at The Neo-Futurists (artistic associate); and Endgame, Ivywild and Six Characters in Search of an Author at The Hypocrites. Kays is the former Artistic Director of The Hypocrites and co-founder and former artistic director of Barrel of Monkeys. She has been nominated for a Jefferson Citation for Best Supporting Actress and Best Direction and is a recipient of the 3Arts Award. She is the professor of directing at Middle Tennessee State University.

Lizzie Bracken
Scenic Designer
Lizzie is delighted to be designing at The Armory for the first time. Regional theater: The Magic Play at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Olney Theatre Center and Goodman Theatre; Lord of the FliesThe Book Thief, Blacktop Sky and See What I Wanna See at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Chicago credits: Burning Bluebeard with The Ruffians; EndgameIvywild and Six Characters in Search of an Author with The Hypocrites; PopWaits and 44 plays for 44 Presidents with The Neo-Futurists. Lizzie received her M.F.A. from The University of Texas at Austin and B.Arch. from University of Notre Dame. Lizzie was an assistant professor at North Central College for several years and, prior to her career in theater, was an architect with Fairfax & Sammons Architects in New York. 

Alison Siple   
Costume Designer
Recent projects include Lost Laughs (Merrimack Repertory Theatre), You Got Older (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), In the Next Room, or the vibrator play (TimeLine Theatre Company); Angels in America, Airness and The 39 Steps (Actors Theatre of Louisville); Earthquakes in London, Motortown (Steep Theatre); The Yeomen of the Guard (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Our Town (Almeida Theatre, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company, The Broad Stage, Barrow Street Theatre, The Hypocrites); All Our Tragic, The Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado, H.M.S. Pinafore (The Hypocrites). She is a graduate of Northwestern University, a community member of The Hypocrites, an artistic associate with Lookingglass Theatre Company and an associate company member of Steep Theatre. alisonsiple.com

Jesse Belsky
Lighting Designer
Jesse Belsky is delighted to be working at The Armory. Regional credits include The Year of Magical Thinking (Arena Stage); Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Ford’s Theatre); Lydia and Rough Crossing (Yale Repertory Theatre); Handbagged and The Book Of Will (Round House Theatre); The Mystery of Love & Sex (Signature Theatre); Sense & Sensibility and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Folger Theatre); The Year of Magical Thinking (PlayMakers Repertory Company); The Magic Play (Olney Theatre Center); The Effect, Three Sisters, No Sisters and ANIMAL (Studio Theatre); and Everything is Illuminated (Theater J). New York City designs include The Body Politic (59E59 Theaters); Lysistrata and Women of Troy (La MaMa Annex); and My Trip Down the Pink Carpet (starring Leslie Jordan). Mr. Belsky holds a B.A. from Duke University, an M.F.A. from Yale School of Drama and has taught lighting design at Connecticut College and UNC Greensboro. jessebelsky.com

Matthew M. Nielson
Sound Designer/Original Music
Off-Broadway: The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, 59E59 Theaters and Lincoln Center. Regional: Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Delaware Theatre Company, Arena Stage, Ford’s Theatre, The Kennedy Center, The Smithsonian, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Barrington Stage Company, Contemporary American Theater Festival, Signature Theatre, Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Olney Theatre Center, Round House Theatre and Theater Alliance. Film and television: The Hero Effect, Death in Time, Elbow Grease, BlueEpix Drive-In, From Hell to Here, The Good Ways of Things and The Long Road. Nielson is a founding member of the audio theater company The Audible Group and creator of the audio web series Troublesome Gap. He has won several Helen Hayes Awards and various film festival awards for his work in theater, film and television. He is currently running Sound Lab Studios, a recording studio and post-production house. curiousmusic.com

Philip Allgeier
Media Designer
Philip Allgeier has performed multiple media-related duties for television and live events across the country. Philip has been the media technologist for Actors Theatre of Louisville since 2008, where he has designed media for more than 50 productions, including many world premieres for the Humana Festival of New American Plays, such as Lucas Hnath's The Christians, Charles L. Mee's The Glory of the World and Will Eno's Gnit. Additional credits at Actors Theatre of Louisville: The Mountaintop, At the Vanishing PointThe 39 StepsThe Last Five YearsPeter and the StarcatcherAngels in America (part one and two), The Hour of Feeling and The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity. Philip has also designed media for productions at Playwrights Horizons, Mark Taper Forum, Brooklyn Academy of Music and others. Mr. Allgeier is a graduate of Western Kentucky University.          

Jim Steinmeyer
Magic Consultant
Jim Steinmeyer has been called the “celebrated invisible man, designer and creative brain behind many of the great stage magicians of the last quarter-century” by The New York Times. Mr. Steinmeyer’s illusions have been featured by Doug Henning, Siegfried and Roy, David Copperfield, Ricky Jay and many others. He created special illusions for the Broadway productions of Beauty and the Beast, Into the Woods, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Mary Poppins and Aladdin. He is also the author of best-selling books on the history and practice of magic, including Hiding the Elephant, The Glorious Deception and The Last Greatest Magician in the World.

Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi
Aerial Consultant
Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi has been creating her unique brand of circus-inspired choreography since leaving her career as a circus acrobat in the early 1990s. She is a co-founder and the current artistic director of The Actors Gymnasium outside of Chicago, where she serves as master teacher, choreographer and director of The Professional Circus Training Program. Sylvia has been an artistic associate of the Tony Award-winning Lookingglass Theatre Company since 1999. She has worked on more than 15 productions with the company, winning three of her four Joseph Jefferson Awards with them. She also won the 3Arts Award for Design (2014) and the Award of Honor for Outstanding Contributions by The Illinois Theatre Association.

Kelsey Daye Lutz
Stage Manager
The Armory credits include stage manager for Twist Your Dickens (2017), His Eye is on the Sparrow, Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, Hold These Truths, The Pianist of Willesden Lane (2016 and 2017), Each and Every Thing, Forever, The Santaland Diaries, The Lion, The People’s Republic of Portland (2015), Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, The Typographer’s Dream, The Last Five Years and A Small Fire. Kelsey Daye is a graduate of University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She would like to thank her pups for all their unconditional love and Shamus for being wonderful. 

Danny Rosales
Production Assistant
Danny is excited to return to The Armory after making his debut as production assistant for Every Brilliant Thing. Born and raised in Oregon, he is a recent graduate of Portland State University with a degree in theater arts. During his time at PSU, he stage managed many shows. His favorites include The Importance of Being Earnest, Eurydice and Sons of the Prophet. When he’s not busy working on shows, you can usually find him either playing the piano or eating ice cream. Silliness aside, Danny is grateful to be working on this fantastic show with such amazing people. Lastly, he would like to thank his friends and family for all their love and support.

ZFX, Inc.
Flying Effects
Founded in 1994, ZFX, Inc. is the complete service provider for flying effects. They don’t just handle the rigging or flying harnesses. They’re not just skilled at automation, choreography and flying design. ZFX, Inc. covers every aspect of flying possibilities. From high schools to Broadway, churches to special events, ZFX, Inc. zealously pursues its goal of worldwide domination of the performer flying industry (galactic domination coming soon). Their infectious enthusiasm comes at no additional charge. They don’t wake up and put their pants on one leg at a time like the others do. They wrap themselves in kilts and stride boldly out into the world.

Don't miss The Magic Play.
Running March 3 to April 1 on the U.S. Bank Main Stage.

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The Magic Play
Mar 3 – Apr 1
Feb 3 – Mar 18
    • Mar

    • 17

    • Sa

    • 2:00 PM

    • Sold out

    • Sold out

    • Mar

    • 18

    • Su

    • 2:00 PM

    • Sold out

    • Sold out

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