Theatre Company

A Place in the Woods

A Place In The Woods



Erik Gernand


Patrick Kenney


April 5 – May 4, 2014
Thurs-Sat 8pm + Sun 3pm


The Alley Stage
4147 N Broadway, Chicago

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A powerful drama about the distortions of memory and the bonds of family

Jeff Recommended World Premiere

Winner of the 2012 Citizens Play Festival, Erik Gernand has since been immersed in development- writing three plays driven by the seed of an idea; how do we come to terms with the past?

Emerging from that process is A Place in the Woods, a powerful drama about the distortions of memory and the bonds of family and community.

When Shaun’s mother Linda is found wandering and confused in the middle of the night, he packs up his 16-year-old son and makes the trip from Chicago to his hometown of Hunter, Indiana. An old friend, and local police officer, tells Shaun this isn’t the first time it’s happened. Now Shaun must reconnect with his alcoholic older brother and help his hostile mother confront the siege of dementia. But a dark and long-buried family secret threatens to rise to the surface, and force the family to confront a past that none of them, including Shaun, have been able to outrun.

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About The Playwright

Erik Gernand

Erik Gernand
Erik Gernand is a playwright and filmmaker. His plays have been in production and/or development at theaters including Redtwist, American Theater Company, Chicago Dramatists, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Barrow Group, and T. Schreiber Studio. His award-winning short films have screened at more than 100 film festivals around the world including SXSW, Mix Milan (Italy), and Cinequest, as well as been broadcast on IFC, PBS, and the Logo Channel (MTV Networks), and distributed on DVD by Strand Releasing and First Run Features. Erik is a lecturer in Radio-TV-Film at Northwestern University.

Erik’s previous play, The Beautiful Dark, premiered at Redtwist Theatre last summer and will open in Manhattan in April with The Barrow Group. The New York Times called the play “Affecting, thought-provoking…awash with resonant dialogue…Mr. Gernand has created complicated, recognizable people who are, like most of us, victims of their own flaws.” The Beautiful Dark was recently recommended for the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, is the recipient of the 2012 New Works Project Winner at T. Schreiber Studio in New York, and was a finalist for the Woodward/Newman Drama Award.


Shaun: James Bould

James Bould
James Bould was born in New York, raised in Florida, and has the speech therapy bills to prove it. He has spent the past 5 years touring the US and Canada and now happy to be settled back in Chicago. If you’d like to know more about James, please ask him; he’s relatively nice.

Alex: Jacob Bond

Jacob Bond
Jacob Bond is a junior at Evanston Township High School. He has been doing theatre professionally for the past two years in Chicago, but has worked on a non-professional level since he was eight years old. He was in a staged reading of A Place in the Woods in January of this year and is thrilled to be a part of the world premiere with Fine Print. Over the summer, he played Charlie in the world premiere of The Beautiful Dark at RedTwist Theatre here in Chicago. He has done two shows at Northwestern University: Falsettos and Jungle Book. He is also involved with theatre at his high school. His most recent show there was Our Town in which he played the Stage Manager. He also does film work professionally.
The Onion – Negligent Father Isn’t Building Castle to Protect Family From Apocalypse

Linda: Barbara Berndt

Barbara Berndt
Barbara Berndt first fell in love with theatre at age 10 in a church basement play and has had the good fortune to continue performing in four states during much of her life. Locally she has appeared with Pegasus, NEIU’s Stage Center, Promethean Theatre Ensemble, City Lit, St. Sebastian Players, and, recently, in I Can Get It for You Wholesale with The Lost Note Theatre Company.

Barbara very much enjoys helping develop new work and has participated in readings, workshops, and play fests with WTA, the Stockyards Theatre Project, Fine Print, and Chicago Dramatists. Thanks to Patrick, Fine Print, and especially Erik for the opportunity to bring this new character to the stage!

Brady: Mike Rice

Mike Rice is a proud founding and company member of EX-Pats Theatre Company…Thanks to all the peeps @Fine Print…This one’s for you, Dave.

Cherry: Natasha Tsoutsouris

Natasha Tsoutsouris
Natasha Tsoutsouris is a performer and writer in Chicago. She is thrilled to be making her debut with The Fine Print Theater and to be working with Erik Gernand.

Production Team

Director: Patrick Kenney

Patrick Kenney
Patrick is the founding artistic director at Fine Print. He first developed a passion for making new plays while working with the Purple Rose Theatre Co. in his hometown of Chelsea, Michigan. Patrick is a professional actor with experience on stage, film and television, and is a proud member of Actors Equity Association. Patrick also works as a freelance writer, most frequently for the magazine Chicago Health.

Assistant director: Emmi Hilger

Emmi Hilger
Emmi Hilger (Assistant Director) is the Artistic Director of Crabapple Productions and created Something Incredibly Marvelous Happens, a Chicago festival of magical realism, for which she produced and directed The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl. Additional credits include The Lover by Harold Pinter which she co-produced in association with Walkabout Theater Company and assistant directing Fucking A for UrbanTheater Company. Emmi assisted the Chicago Dramatists’ productions of Hickorydickory and The Invasion of Skokie; she has directed for Chicago Dramatists, The Fine Print Theatre Company, Piccolo Theatre, Women’s Theatre Alliance, The Arc Theatre, Pegasus Players, and Dark Humour Productions and is looking forward to directing for Collaboraction’s Sketchbook ‘14 this spring. She is an Associate Artist with The Fine Print Theatre Company and a proud graduate of Northwestern University.
Emmi Hilger
Something Marvelous

Stage manager: Tyni Simpson
Production manager: Jarrod Bainter

Jarrod has been involved in starting and developing theatre companies since 2002, while working at The Apollo Theatre in his hometown of Peoria, IL. He currently works as a theatrical designer and technician in the greater Chicago area. Talents and experience include lighting design, scenic design, projection design, stage management, scenic carpentry, and scenic painting.

Scenic designer: Katie-Bell Springmann

Katie-Bell Springmannis thrilled to be working with The Fine Print Theatre Company for the first time. Originally from New Orleans, Katie-Bell is now a freelance scenic designer and scenic artist here in Chicago. Most recently, she designed Cock and Gidion’s Knot at Profiles Theatre. Other design credits include Reefer Madness (Circuit Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, TN), Annie Get Your Gun and The Marvelous Wonderettes ( Heritage Theatre Festival in Charlottesville, VA), Superior Donuts and Speech and Debate (Live Arts Theatre in Charlottesville, VA). Katie-Bell received her MFA in scenic design from University of Virginia.

Associate artistic director, Costume designer: Heather Bodie

Heather Bodie
Heather is one of the co-founders of The Fine Print. She graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Theatre Arts, and studied Improv and Musical Improv at The Second City Training Center. She is a member of the all-female improv group Eleanor and performs often with her folk rock band MIDWEST. Heather participated in the Iowa new play festival four years in a row as both an actor and a director, and is one of the co-founders of the undergraduate directing program at the University of Iowa.

Literary Manager: Alex Huntsberger

Alex is a graduate of Oberlin College. He works around town as a dramaturge and assistant director. He also works with Chicago Commercial Collective and reviews shows for Centerstage.

Lighting design: Eric Vigo

Eric is a professional Lighting Designer living and working in the Chicago area. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in December of 2011 and moved to Chicago shortly after. He is currently the Resident Lighting Designer and Master Electrician at Redtwist Theatre. Eric’s most recent projects include: The Most Ado with Nothing Special Productions, Return of Neverland with Quest Theatre Ensemble, and Happy, Love and Understanding, and 44 Ways to End Your Sex Life with Redtwist Theatre. Eric is thrilled to be a part of this production.
Vigo Designs

Prop design: Bron Schlaefer

Bron Schlaefer
This is Bron’s first production with The Fine Print Theatre Company. She is also currently working as a props intern at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Before moving to Chicago in January, Bron worked as a production intern at Lexington Children’s Theatre where she did paint and props for productions such as Shrek the Musical, Paper Bag Princess, and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever as well as stage managing Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse. Bron has also worked as a freelance stage manager for Tulsa Opera and Central City Opera. She is a graduate of the College of Wooster. When she is not at the theatre Bron an active member of Chicago’s swing dance scene. Bron would like to thank her parents and Tony for their support in a new city, and Cass and The Fine Print Theatre Company for this opportunity.

Sound design: Steve Labedz

Steve is very excited to work with Fine Print again, having previously worked on Boy Small this summer. Other work includes The Life and Death of Madame Barker with Red Tape and Red Hamlet with Red Theatre. Steve attended Nebraska Wesleyan University where he received a BFA in Theatre and moved to Chicago shortly after, he loves it here and thanks you for coming to the show.