Aaron Mays is an emerging director and playwright in Chicago with a passion for stories of the African diaspora and the narratives of marginalized voices. Aaron’s most recent directing credits include Gem of the Ocean (South Bend Civic Theatre), 2 X 2 (Haven), Waiting for Godot (Tympanic Theatre) with an all-Latinx cast and Tug of War (CIRCA Pintig), a series of short plays on war, trauma and immigration. In addition, he has worked with Chicago’s top directors, serving as the assistant director for such productions as Sweat (Goodman Theatre), Two Trains Running (Goodman Theatre) and Whorl Inside a Loop (Second Stage). As a writer, Aaron's plays include Black Santa, Sticks and Stones, and The Street Corner. Aaron is a proud graduate of Northwestern University.
WHY I’M EXCITED FOR THIS PROJECT
I’ve always had a keen interest in radio dramas. As a listener, it requires more imagination in order to visualize the setting and characters. As a stage writer, it stretches you in the manner of how you tell a story because you lead with your ear rather than the eye. It’s a challenge that I’ve been longing to tackle and I’m thrilled for Deep Shadows to be my first audio project as a writer.
Colette Cullen is a writer and director based in Dublin, Ireland. Current online productions include EVERYONE’S SORRY (Writer/Director, LAVA Centre, Greenfield, MA) and SLOW DATING (Director, Thematic Theatre, London). Colette has just directed an audio version of her play WHEN RACHEL MET FIONA (Porcelain Theatre, Dublin). Her play FAMILY TREE was long-listed for UK Papatanga’s New Writing Prize. She directed an extract of FAMILY TREE in Scene + Heard 2019, Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin. Her short plays have been performed in the UK at Theatro Technis, Tristan Bates Theatre, Jack Studio Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, Cockpit Theatre, Theatre Deli, Tabard Theatre and as part of Slackline Production’s Cyberstories and Aktualize Theatre’s Cyber Scratch. She directed her plays TENDER MERCIES in Scene + Heard 2017, Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin and the Garter Lane Theatre, Waterford; YES in the 2016 International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival; BLIND DATE in the 2015 International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival a radio version of which was shortlisted for RTE’s PJ O’Connor Radio Drama Awards 2015. She directed BEASTS for Collaborations 2015, Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin; The Mill Theatre, Dundrum and The Millbank Theatre, Rush. She has written for RTE’s flagship TV drama series FAIR CITY and written and directed a number of prize-winning short films.
WHY I’M EXCITED FOR THIS PROJECT
As well as containing all of the excitement of a crime drama series DEEP SHADOWS tackles important themes of race, gender, sexual orientation and class, themes I like to explore in all my work. DEEP SHADOWS combines my love of audio drama, drama series and crime drama. I love the intimacy and immersiveness of this medium which puts the audience right in the centre of the action. I’m also excited to be working for the first time with Eclectic Full Contact Theatre, my co-writer Aaron Mays and director Christina Casano.
CHRISTINA CASANO is a theatre artist based in Chicago. Her training includes a BA in Theatre from Miami University and the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's Summer Professional Training Program. She was selected for Victory Gardens Theater’s Directors Inclusion Initiative for the 2019-2020 season, and served as the Assistant Director for How To Defend Yourself. Selected directing credits include: Poison (The Plagiarists), Anne Frank, Sleepy Hollow (GreatWorks), The Living Newspaper Festival (Jackalope Theatre), Fighting Words Festival (Babes With Blades), and the New World Play Festival (Nothing Without A Company). Other favorite projects include Some Like It Red and The Epic of Gilgamesh, etc. (The Plagiarists), Bury Me (Dandelion Theatre), The Light Fantastic (Jackalope Theatre). She is the Artistic Director of The Plagiarists.
Why I'm excited to be working on the project:
I'm excited to be working with Eclectic Full Contact Theatre for the first time on this audio drama series! The topics Aaron and Colette are exploring are achingly relevant and I can't wait to dig into them. With so much Zoom fatigue going around, I'm inspired by this as an alternative medium. At our heart, theatremakers are storytellers even without all the bells and whistles, and I can't wait to work with the writers and actors to create this story in audio form.
Dee Dee Batteast—Joelle
Dee Dee Batteast is currently adjunct acting faculty for Ball State’s BFA program, where she teaches courses in beginning acting, audition, one-person show, and Shakespeare, as well as coaching Ball State’s professional showcases in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. Dee Dee is a proud alumnus of Ball State’s undergraduate program (07’).
After the completion of her undergraduate career, Ms. Batteast relocated to New York where she lived and worked as an actress, social activist, and youth advocate. While in the city she volunteered at Girl Be Heard, a not-for-profit theatre company dedicated to social justice and issues affecting young women. She currently spends her time in the summer working with Hidden Voices, as well as the Blue Ribbon mentor group in North Carolina.
During her time at Ball State, Dee Dee is the faculty advisor of The Ethnic Theatre Alliance (ETA), a multi-cultural alliance group formed by Ball State’s theatre students, dedicated to providing all students, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, with the opportunity to connect their art with their activism.
Ms. Batteast is also a writer. Her self-produced one-woman show, NO AIDS, NO MAIDS, enjoyed a successful run at the Washington DC Fringe Festival, where it received the Capital Fringe Honors, Favorite Show of Fringe, Favorite Solo Performance, and Favorite Performance(s). She is looking forward to touring the performance again next summer.
Dee Dee received her MFA in acting from UNC-Chapel Hill, where she spent 3 years as a company member of PlayMakers Repertory Theatre. Some of her favorite roles at PlayMakers include 'Elizabeth' in IN THE NEXT ROOM, 'Ruth Younger in A RAISIN IN THE SUN, and Montjoy in HENRY VI". She has a great love of storytelling, and teaching other to tell stories. She is a writer and activist who believes in the power of art to change the world, and to change the conversations that shape the world.
May every artist in the room approach the work with empathy, gratitude and generosity.
Lesleyann is an actor and playwright living in Galway, Ireland. Her first play, Beryl, was brought to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2016. Since then she has written and staged six other plays, one of which was in the Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival in 2019. Deep Shadows was her first audio drama and she hopes to work with Eclectic Theatre again in the future!
Justice Hall is an American actor/voice actor, with a Theater degree from Southern University and A&M College, Baton Rouge, La. He has been performing on stage, for over 20 years. He added voice acting to his resume, 2 years ago, and has already voiced several hundred projects - audiobooks, commercial, ESL courses, games, and much more. His natural voice is deep and commanding, yet friendly. However, he also has the versatility to bring characters to life; whether it's a light-hearted Leprechaun or a gentle grandpa. No matter the role, he can do it Justice.
Nevada Montgomery played Ms. Allen in Canamac’s “The Defamation Experience”, Fayth In Glass Apple’s, “Shadows of Birds”, various roles in the SouthSide Community Art Center’s “Imagining Bronzeville In Color And Sound”, herself in her one person show “Instersectional Lovin” and Yaya in MPAACT’s "Mother of the Dark Water" Tour. She plays various roles in Murder Mystery productions through American Immersion Theatre. She toured with Great Works Theatre Company as well as For Youth Inquiry performing theatre for youth audiences. Montgomery played leading roles in St. Martin’s Repertory Theater’s productions of "No Child" and "Karma." She earned a B.F.A in Acting from Wright State University.
Caitlin is a company member & regular performer with Hell in a Handbag (Christmas Dearest, Rudolph, Miracle, Lady X, Skooby Don’t, Poseidon, Rip Quarantine, Out Damn Spot, Bewildered,) where she most notably created and starred in a recreation of Bette Midler’s NYC Bathhouse performances in Bette, LIVE at the Continental Baths for multiple successful remounts including a stint as part of the Steppenwolf Lookout Series in 2017; New American Folk Theatre (Hot Pink, Trash, Witches Among Us, Dark of the Moon, Marvelous Land of Oz); Cowardly Scarecrow (Musical of the Living Dead, Musical Horror Story, You've Got Red On You) where she most recently played “Sally Bowles” in Cabaret. She also regularly performs with Black Button Eyes (Evil Dead: The Musical, Coraline, Shockheaded Peter, Nightmares and Nightcaps). She received a Jeff Award Nomination for Best Musical Theatre Performance for her work in Evil Dead and has performed with many Chicago theatre companies, including Factory Theatre, Wayward Productions, Strangeloop, Refuge Theatre Project (High Fidelity - Jeff Award for Best Musical, Nominated for Best Ensemble) & Circle Theatre (The View Upstairs). She is very happy to join EFCT Audio on Deep Shadows and hopes to work with them again in the near future!
Jordan Arredondo is super stoked to be a part of Deep Shadows! Chicago credits: Twisted Tales of Poe (AstonRep); Day of Absence (Congo Square Theatre Company); Laura and the Sea (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble); Much Ado About Nothing (OPFT); First Love is the Revolution (Steep Theatre Company); American Jornalero and Romeo and Juliet (Teatro Vista); Waiting For Godot (Tympanic Theatre); The Party House (The Runaways Lab Theater). TV/Film Credits: Chicago Fire, Killing Eleanor, An Offering, Under the Skyway and Tantalization. He graduated with his B.F.A in Acting from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
From an early age I decided that the only thing in life I wanted to be, and had any real talent for, was an actor. I stayed up late at night improving dialogue to my favorite cartoons and tv shows, trying to insert myself into the stories other people were so fortunate to be able to tell. Now as an adult, I have found my way into this industry by working in video games, animation, and audio drama's (much like this one), to bring characters, and people to life.
It has been my immense honor to tell this story, I hope wherever you are, whatever you have gone through, that this one can help keep you distracted for a little while.
You can hear me in games like Best Friend Forever, Luminous Plume, and Crowfall, but you can see all of my work on my website; luisbermudezvo.com