Signal Ensemble Theatre Presents The Chicago Premiere Of

East Of Berlin & 
The Russian Play

Two Plays By Hannah Moscovitch

Directed By Co-Artistic Director Ronan Marra

October 15 - December 18, 2011


"The cast of Fenderson, McGrath, and Keller...give Moscovitch's characters heart, humour, and a harrowing sadness" - The Globe & Mail

"The play blew me away" - Chris Jones - Chicago Tribune

"★★★½ - "Riveting and deeply affecting...It nearly pulls you all the way out of your seat" - Chicago Tribune

"A pair of one-acts serves as a tantalizing Chicago calling card for Canadian playwright Hannah Moscovitch...Utterly Captivating" - Time Out Chicago

"Billy Fenderson's slo-mo demolition as Rudi is riveting...equal parts funny and devastating" - Chicago Reader

"The cast is so charming" - NewCity Chicago

About The Show

In East of Berlin, it has been seven years since Rudi left his family and its Nazi past behind him. Questioning redemption, love, guilt and the sins of the father, this play is a tour-de-force that follows Rudi’s emotional upheaval as he comes to terms with a frightening past that was never his own. Set amidst the doomed men and rotten ideals of Stalinist Russia, The Russian Play tells the story of a flower-shop girl who falls in love with a gravedigger - a bleak, bittersweet and darkly satiric ode to the dangerous joys of love.


  • Billy Fenderson - Rudi / Kostya
  • Tom McGrath - Herman / Piotr
  • Melanie Keller* ‡ - Sarah / Sonya
  • Allison Cook - Violinist

Production Team

  • Costumes: Elsa Hiltner
  • Dialects: Elise Kauzlaric
  • Lights: Mark Hurni †
  • Music Dir.: Anthony Ingram*
  • Props: Mary O'Dowd
  • Set: Melania Lancy*
  • Stage Manager: Stephanie Ingram*

Signal Ensemble Theatre Presents The Chicago Premiere Of


By Co-Artistic Director Ronan Marra

Directed By Ensemble Member Aaron Snook

January 28 - March 3, 2012

"This is an exceptionally clever and amusing script with plenty of laughs" - Chris Jones - Chicago Tribune

"As a smart and entertaining microcosm of an outsized industry, though, it wins" - Time Out Chicago

"RECOMMENDED - Aaron Snook's premiere staging is smart and convincing" - Chicago Reader

"RECOMMENDED - Marra’s script crackles with wit and topicality" - NewCity

About The Show

How hard can it be for two organizations to split a nine-billion dollar pie? Impossible, apparently. Drew is a hotshot agent hellbent on making his blue-chip but troubled client the number one pick in the pro football draft, until the team that owns the pick hires his ex-wife to rebuild the long-suffering franchise. Obstacles surmount as Drew angles to get the best possible deal for his client, but does any of it matter when labor discord threatens the very existence of the game? From the writer of Signal’s hit jukebox musical Aftermath, Ronan Marra.


  • Meredith Bell Alvarez*
  • Stephanie Chavara
  • Vincent Lonergan*
  • Tim Martin
  • Joseph McCauley
  • Glenn Stanton
  • Bries Vannon*
  • Philip Winston*
With Special Guests:
  • Anderson Lawfer
  • Eric Roach

Production Team

  • Asst. Scenic Artist: Mollie Alexander
  • Costumes: Jenilee Houghton
  • Dialect: Elise Kauzlaric
  • Lights: Julie Ballard*
  • Props: Mary O'Dowd
  • Set: Melania Lancy*
  • Sound: Anthony Ingram*
  • Stage Manager: Stephanie Ingram*
  • Technical Director: Buck Blue

The Eric & Andy Show

Heard in the lobby during MOTION, The Eric & Andy Show - voiced by Eric Roach and Anderson Lawfer - provide running commentary about the goings on in the world of the play.

Signal Ensemble Theatre Presents The Chicago Premiere Of

Hostage Song

Book By Clay McLeod Chapman
Music & Lyrics By Kyle Jarrow
Arrangements By Nathan Leigh

Directed By Co-Artistic Director Ronan Marra

May 5 - June 9, 2012

"A haunting presence...quite moving performances from both Roos and O'Connell" - Chicago Tribune

"Undeniably moving to its breathtaking end" - Time Out Chicago

"With a ripped-from-the-headlines plot and compelling performances, the show brings a glimmer of hope to a horrific nightmare." - Chicago Theatre Beat

"HOSTAGE SONG is an eye-opening, stomach-churning, soul-stirring, rock and roll fantasy" - The Fourth Walsh

"It's refreshing to see efforts as brazen and unconventional as Hostage Song" - Chicago Reader

About The Show

Bound and blindfolded in a war-torn country, two hostages take refuge in music, memory and each other in the Chicago premier of this provocative indie-rock musical. The New Yorker called it "A high-decibel romantic comedy with a seriously unnerving edge" and Time Out New York called it "A devastatingly poignant, strangely philosophical meditation on salvation that just happens to sport a sick downbeat." Stories and book by Clay McLeod Chapman, music and lyrics by Kyle Jarrow, and directed by Ronan Marra.


  • Brigitte Ditmars - Mother / Wife
  • Steve O'Connell - Jim
  • Simone Roos* - Jennifer
  • Dave Skvarla - Father
  • Joseph Stearns* - Frontman / Son


  • Dolan McMillian
  • Brent Moore
  • Jon Steinhagen*
  • Chris Wysoglad

Production Team

  • Costumes: Elsa Hiltner
  • Lights: Mark Hurni†
  • Music Direction: Jon Steinhagen*
  • Props: Mary O' Dowd
  • Sound / TD: Anthony Ingram*
  • Stage Manager: Michelle Roth

* Indicates An Ensemble Member
† Indicates An Artistic Associate
‡ Appears Courtesy Of Actors' Equity Association