Lakeside Shakespeare Theatre’s 2017 Company


FullSizeRenderRaquel Adorno
Costume Designer (

Ms. Adorno is a designer living in Chicago. Credits include We Gotta Bingo (Chicago Theatre Works), Cymbeline (Lakeside Shakespeare Theatre), Motel 666 (WildClaw Theatre); Murder Ballad, Princess Mary Demands Your Attention, and CARRIE: The Musical (Bailiwick Chicago); Angry Fags (Steppenwolf Garage), Book of Merman, The Submission, Some Men, Songs from an Unmade Bed, and The All-American Genderf*ck Cabaret (Pride Films and Plays); Barefoot in the Park, Crimes of the Heart, Dead Accounts, three productions of HoliDAZE, Darlin’, and The BenchMark (Step Up Productions); Dust (Lower Case Theatre), Scenes from an Execution (Runcible Theatre Company), Robin Hood and Maid Maria, The Long Christmas Ride Home, Desperate Dolls (Strawdog Theatre Company), Trafford Tanzi and Patria Libre (Prologue Theatre Company).

Christy Arington
Director (The Merchant of Venice)
Volumnia (Coriolanus)

Christy is proud to return with LST to beautiful Benzie county for her 12th summer. Last season she appeared as Elizabeth (Richard III) and Antonia (Twelfth Night)  and directed  She has been seen as Gertrude (Hamlet), Kate in Taming of the Shrew, Calpurnia in Julius Ceasar, The Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, and Mistress Quickly in Henry V (just to name a few). She also directed Much Ado About Nothing in 201, Macbeth in 2010 and Alls Well That Ends Well in 2008, and is the educational director and casting director for LST.  Recently in Chicago she appeared in The Life of Death  with Wild Claw and as Stubbs in The Mammals’ All Girl Moby Dick.  She has worked with many Chicago Theatre companies, including Seanachai Theatre Company, Wing and Groove, Tri Arts, Strawdog Theatre Company, and The Factory. Having earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Performance from The University of Georgia, Christy has been a teacher for several years both on the collegiate and high school levels. In 2001, she was honored with the Mark Twain Comedic Acting award at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC.

Laura Bevington
Lorenzo (The Merchant of Venice)
Titus Lartius (Coriolanus)

Laura is delighted to be joining Lakeside Shakespeare this summer! They are currently pursing a BA in theatre from the University of Chicago, where they are very active with the Dean’s Men, the on-campus Shakespeare troupe. Laura’s favorite acting credits include Romeo (Romeo and Juliet) and Perdita (The Winter’s Tale). They also recently tried their hand at directing, and had a blast at the head of Shakespeare’s Henry VI (Parts 1, 2, and 3).

Allison Cain
Antonia (The Merchant of Venice)                  Sicinius Velutus (Coriolanus)

Allison is pleased to be joining Lakeside Shakespeare Theatre for the first time.  She has acted with many Chicago theatres and serves as the Managing Director for Lifeline Theatre.



Jeff Christian
Producing Director
Duke/Gobbo (The Merchant of Venice)             Tullus Aufidius (Coriolanus)

Jeff is a founding member of Lakeside Shakespeare and directed the inaugural production, A Midsummer Night’s Dream — as well as writing the music and playing Bottom, Oberon and Theseus. Other credits with LST include:  The Winter’s Tale (Polixenes), The Rivals(director), Cymbeline (Iachimo/Belarius), The Taming of the Shrew (2015, Grumio), Richard III (Richard), Twelfth Night (2014, Sea Captain/Priest), Romeo & Juliet (2013, director), The Comedy of Errors (Dromio of Syracuse), Hamlet (Claudius), Much Ado About Nothing (Leonato), Macbeth (Macduff), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2011, Egeus/Snug), As You Like It (director, original music), King Lear (Kent), Love’s Labours Lost (director), Henry V (Chorus/Fluellen/King of France/Ambassador of France), Henry IV (Falstaff), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Falstaff), Julius Caesar (Brutus), Twelfth Night (Malvolio), The Two Gentlemen of Verona (director, Proteus) and Romeo & Juliet (2002, Lord Capulet). Jeff was the Artistic Director of The Shakespeare Project of Chicago for eight seasons, adapting and directing some 20 plays and playing such roles as Iago, Richard III, Brutus, Mercutio, Caliban, Ajax, Proteus and Hamlet (in his two-person adaptation, 50 Minute Hamlet). Jeff has acted and directed on stage in Chicago and throughout the country, and is a member of Irish Theatre of Chicago, and directs for the Roosevelt University Theatre Conservatory. Film and television work includes Batman Begins, Chicago PD, Witches’ Night, The Express, The Poker House, Pickman’s Muse, Helix, Happy Hour, Cyrus, Good People and Showtime’s Shameless. He also writes and directs for production companies, plays in the band Ingenious Whittler, teaches directing in Cinema Art and Science at Columbia College (where he received the Excellence in Teaching Award), and has kissed the Stanley Cup.

Connor Ciesil
Music Director (The Merchant of Venice)
Sound Designer (Coriolanus)

Connor Ciesil is a Chicago based Composer and Sound Designer. Originally from Wauconda Illinois, Connor Ciesil began composing at the age of 15. He graduated from The Theatre School at DePaul Universities Sound Design program in 2017 and continues to compose both professionally and recreationally in the city of Chicago. This summer Connor is excited to be returning to Lakeside Shakespeare for his second season. He will be sound designing Coriolanus directed by Scott Cummins, and Composing original music for The Merchant of Venice directed by Christy Arington. Other upcoming shows include Yellowman (June 2017), Sweet (July 2017), and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill (August 2017) with Fleetwood Jourdain Theare Company in Evanston, as well as The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (August 2017) directed by Jeremy Aluma and produced by Red Theatre Company.

Scott Cummins
Bassanio (
The Merchant of Venice)    Director (Coriolanus)

Throughout his career, Scott has been involved in over 70 productions throughout the United States either as an actor, director, and/or fight choreographer.  His recent directing credits include Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He appeared as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing for Lakeside Shakespeare. He directed Bunbury and Disco Pigs at Northwestern University, as well as the World Premiere of Carmilla for WildClaw Theatre Company.  Other Chicago credits include the Midwest premiere of Scenes From the Big Picture for Seanachai Theatre and I’m Spritual Dammit by Jenniffer Weigel for Route 66 Theatre. Scott’s Los Angeles directing credits include the LA premieres of Killer Joe (Four 2005-Ovation Awards including Best Direction and Best Production as well as Critics Choice LA Times) and Bug (Critics Choice LA Times, LA Weekly, Backstage West, among others) both by Tracy Letts with Lost Angels Theatre, And Neither Have I Wings To Fly (Ovation Nomination-Best Direction) as well as The Pagans  (ADA Award Best Ensemble, ADA nomination Best Direction) both by Ann Noble with The Road Theatre Company, Mr. Kolpert (Critics Choice LA Times) and Moonlight & Magnolias both at The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, and Bright Ideas with Morgan Productions & Boys’ Life at USC.   Other Chicago directing credits include Marked Tree (After Dark Award – direction) and Calamity Meat for Seanachai Theatre, Bloody Bess (After Dark Award – Ensemble) for Red Hen Productions, Missing Angel Juan for Powertap Productions, and Sawdust & Spangles for Prop Theatre/Powertap.  He has acted with such companies as The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, The Next Theatre, Noble Fool Theatricals, The Organic Theatre, Famous Door Theatre, Apple Tree Theatre, Strawdog Theatre, The Odyssey Theatre (LA) and Syzygy Theatre (LA) to name a few.  He has received two Joseph Jefferson Citations (one for Actor in Principle Role, one for fight direction) and a Jeff Award (Ensemble). He is an Artistic Associate for both WildClaw Theatre Company and Lakeside Shakespeare Theatre.  He has also appeared in several TV shows and few films…but that’s not important right now.

Corina Dougherty
Assistant Stage Manager

Daniel D. Drake
Production Stage Manager/Company Manager

Daniel is thrilled to be working on his first season with the incredible individuals at Lakeside Shakespeare as the Production Stage Manager and Company Manager! Daniel is currently the Production and Facilities Coordinator for Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts as well as a freelance Stage, Production, and Company Manager in Chicago. Selected previous productions include: Mame (Light Opera Works), Susannah and The Tender Land (Northwestern Opera), Last Train to Nibroc (Haven Theatre); Pygmalion (Oak Park Festival Theatre); The Plough & The Stars, The 39 Steps, Middletown and Cabaret (Roosevelt University, CCPA); The Life and Death of Madam Barker (Red Tape Theatre); Metamorphoses, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, and Still Alice (LookingglassTheatre); The Iceman Cometh, RED, and A Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre). Danielspent four seasons with the Illinois Shakespeare Festival as the company manager and member of stage management. Daniel is also the Executive Director and Production Manager for the Bitter Jester Foundation for the Arts, an organization founded to produce and support artists of all ages in Chicago.

Pete Dully                                                          Production Manager/Technical Director

Pete Dully is excited and grateful to be a part of Lakeside Theatre and to get to work in, with, and for the Benzie area community. Pete does all things theatre production and works at Columbia College Chicago, managing theatre and event venues. Pete is also a company member of Steep Theatre Company in Chicago, IL. Favorite Lighting design credits include: Posh, The Life (and Sort of Death) of Eric Argyle, The Knowledge, Luther, Lakeboat (Steep Theatre), Zastrozzi The Master of Discipline (the Division Theatre), and The Maids (Writer’s Theatre).

Mario Guzman
Aragon/Tubal (The Merchant of Venice)
Lieutenant  (Coriolanus)

Mario Guzman makes his Lakeside debut. Other Chicago credits include Lolita de Lares (Urban Theater Company); Alice (Upended Productions); and Love’s Labor’s Lost (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre). Mr. Guzman is a BFA graduate from Roosevelt University.


Tom Hickey
Gratiano (The Merchant of Venice)
Cominius (Coriolanus)

Tom returns to Lakeside Shakespeare having last performed in the Elberta bandshell in Love’s Labours Lost and Henry V.  Tom llives in Chicago where he has appeared in many productions including Sycamore (Raven Theatre), Chimerica (Timeline), Life and Limb (Steppenwolf), Dirty (The Gift), Seminar (Haven), and The Pillowman (Redtwist). As a company member of Strawdog Theatre he was seen in two dozen show including Fail/Safe, Uncle Vanya, The Cherry Orchard, The Master and Margarita and The Aristocrats. Television credits: Chicago P.D., Chicago Fire, Betrayal, Crisis, and Underemployed. He is represented by Gray Talent. Love to Rita and Charlie.

Michael Jones
Morocco/Salerio (The Merchant of Venice)
Aedile (Coriolanus)

Michael Jones is a proud graduate of Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts class of 2017 with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Last seen in Angels In America (CCPA) and Grapefruit Moon: The Music of Tom Waits (CCPA), he’s excited to work on his first full productions of Shakespeare show(s). Much love to my mom who always believed in me, my brothers who always rooted for me, and all my Christmas lights.


Patrick KellyPatrick TJ Kelly
Launcelot Gobbo (The Merchant of Venice)
Virgilio (Coriolanus)

Patrick is thrilled to be returning to Lakeside this summer where he was last seen as Faulkland in The Rivals and Dorcas in The Winter’s Tale. He recently graduated from The Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University where he received his BFA in Acting and recently played John Dodge in Middletown, Clifford Bradshaw in Cabaret and Jack Clitheroe in The Plough and the Stars.  Other credit include You Can’t Take it with You and Something Shaw at CCPA and The Revenger’s Tragedy with The Shakespeare Project of Chicago.

laidlawElizabeth Laidlaw
Founding Artistic Director              Nerissa (The Merchant of Venice) Coriolanus (Coriolanus)

Elizabeth Laidlaw is the Artistic Director and Founder of Lakeside Shakespeare Theatre (LST), producing or co-producing every season. Onstage with LST she has appeared as the title role in CORIOLANUS, Nerissa (TTHE MERCHANT OF VENICE,) Hermione (THE WINTER’S TALE,) Kate (THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, 2015), Caius Lucius (CYMBELINE) The Prince, (ROMEO AND JULIET 2013,) The Courtesan (THE COMEDY OF ERRORS,) Laertes (HAMLET), Beatrice (MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING), Lady Macbeth (MACBETH), Hippolyta/Starveling (A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, 2011), General (KING LEAR), Jaques (AS YOU LIKE IT,) Helena (ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL, Viola (TWELFTH NIGHT), Marc Antony (JULIUS CAESAR), Mercurio (ROMEO AND JULIET 2004), Silvia (THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA), Titania/Hippolyta (MND, 2003), and various roles in HENRY V, HENRY IV, and THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR. She directed THE TAMING OF THE SHREW (2008) and ROMEO AND JULIET (2004), and co-directed the inaugural 2003 production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM.  Additionally, she toured the US promoting the critically acclaimed film HENRY GAMBLE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY, in which she appeared as Kat Gamble.  Ms. Laidlaw has worked in Chicago Theatre professionally since 1993, appearing at Chicago Shakespeare, Steppenwolf, Writer’s Theatre, Court Theatre, About Face, The Next, Strawdog and many, many others. Her regional credits include THE THREE MUSKETEERS and THE CRUCIBLE with Indiana Repetory Theatre, A SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS and MRS. WARREN’S PROFESSION (Irish Classical Theatre Company, Buffalo NY) and THE BIRTHDAY PARTY (American Repertory Theatre, Cambridge MA.) Other film credits include the feature films, INTO THE WAKE (directed by LST member John Mossman), EASTERN COLLEGE, DIMENSION, and THREE DAYS.  Television included CHICAGO PD and CRISIS (NBC), BETRAYAL (ABC), and BOSS (Starz), THE CHICAGO CODE (FOX).  Her voice can be heard narrating Hard Earned, a documentary produced by Kartemquin Films for Al-Jazeera America, and in numerous television commercials, audiobooks, and video games. She received her BFA from Illinois Wesleyan University and completed post-graduate Shakespeare studies at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art of London, UK. Over the years she has taught theatre at elementary, high school, and collegiate levels, including directing and producing the Frankfort, MI Jr/Sr High Drama Club in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2006. As always, she thanks her son, Owen, for cheerfully going along with all of this.

Joanna Melville
Costume Designer (
The Merchant of Venice)

Joanna returns for her seventh season with Lakeside Shakespeare, and was the costume designer of last season’s The Rivals.

Phoebe Moore
Jessica (The Merchant of Venice)
Young Martius (Coriolanus)

Phoebe is thrilled to be working with Lakeside Shakespeare! She is a recent graduate of Northwestern University, where some of her favorite acting credits include Charlotte in Everything Will Be Different, Woman in The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Mary in Mauritius, and two years of workshopping new plays as an actor in the Agnes Nixon Festival. Before attending Northwestern, Phoebe studied vocal performance at Interlochen Arts Camp and Academy, and she couldn’t be happier to return to northern Michigan this summer.

Phillips_Kelsey Headshot webKelsey Phillips
Portia (The Merchant of Venice)
Valeria (Coriolanus)

Kelsey is absolutely delighted to return to Lakeside Shakespeare Theater for her fourth season. She previously appeared in LST’s The Rivals, The Winter’s Tale, The Taming of the Shrew, Cymbeline, Romeo and Juliet, and The Comedy of Errors. Other credits include By the Bog of Cats (The Artistic Home) Much Ado About Nothing, Top Girls (The Arc Theatre), Duck & Cover (Prologue Theatre), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Robin Hood (The Windy City Players). Regional credits include Love’s Labour’s Lost, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Coriolanus, and Tartuffe (The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey). She has also choreographed two children’s theatre productions for Spotlight Youth Theatre. Kelsey holds a BFA in Acting from Illinois Wesleyan University.

Noah Simon
Shylock (The Merchant of Venice)
Brutus (Coriolanus)

This season marks Noah’s fifth with Lakeside Shakespeare. He was previously seen with LST as Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Duncan in Macbeth, Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing, and the Gravedigger in Hamlet. He is an actor and director, and has been working professionally in Chicago and regionally for 20 years. He most recently played Tuzenbach in The Hypocrites highly acclaimed production of Three Sisters. Noah has a BA in Theatre from Butler University and an MFA in Acting from The Theatre School at Depaul University.

Danny Taylor
Education Director                                                Salarino (The Merchant of Venice)                    Menenius Agrippa (Coriolanus)

Danny is thrilled to be returning to Lakeside for a sixth season! Previous roles with Lakeside include Puck, A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Witch, MacBeth; Balthazar, Much Ado About Nothing and Osric/Player Queen, Hamlet; Paris, Romeo and Juliet; Angelo, The Comedy of Errors; Gremio/Widow, The Taming of the Shrew; and Andrew Aguecheek, Twelfth Night. In addition to performing with Lakeside, Danny helps lead the educational workshops each summer and throughout the year. Regional acting credits include: Cincinnati Shakespeare Company; Utah Shakespeare Festival; Chanhassen Dinner Theatre. Chicago credits include: Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Cor Theatre, The New Colony, Signal Ensemble Theatre, Strawdog Theatre, Emerald City Theatre & Griffin Theatre. Thank you Benzie County for making us feel at home during the summer months, in which we can share the joy of Shakespeare!

Allison Lewis Towbes
Salanio (The Merchant of Venice)
First Citizen (Coriolanus)

Allison is overjoyed to be joining Lakeside this summer! She is currently studying Theatre and Dance at Northwestern University, and is a graduate of London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts Acting Shakespeare Program. She spent two summers at On the Verge Theatre Festival of new work in Santa Barbara, California. Recent credits include Irina (Three Sisters), Iphigenia (Agamemnon), Juliet (R&J), and Viola (Twelfth Night). She is eternally thankful for the love and support of her friends and family (and golden retriever, Audrey).

Interns:  Eve Beiting, Sam Buzzel, Rachel Colby, Becca Fayhee, Hannah Glass-Chapman, Quinn Jonas, Thomas Karunas, Ella Shriner, Lucy Straubel, Mairead Thistle