Music by Jenny Giering
Book & Lyrics by Beth Blatt
Directed by Kurt Johns
Musical Direction by Diana Lawrence
Julia Zayas-Melendez, AEA Stage Manager
Erin Fast, Costume Designer
Dave Ferguson, Lighting Designer
Amy Jackson, Set Designer
Daniel Pellant/Jesse Gaffney, Prop Designers
Steve Ptacek, Sound Designer
The Mistress Cycle breaks the mold of the traditional book musical, instead offering audiences a 'song cycle' that illuminates stories of passion, sacrifice and strength of spirit. The Mistress Cycle explores the lives and loves of five notorious mistresses: Tess Walker, a contemporary Manhattan photographer; Anais Nin, the famed sexual adventurer of the early 20th century; Diane de Poitiers, the mistress of King Henri II of 16th century France; Lulu White, a turn-of-the-century New Orleans bordello Madame; and Ching, a 14-year-old concubine in 12th century China.
Charissa Armon (Tess) happily rejoins the Mistresses and Apple Tree Theatre where she also appeared in Dessa Rose. Chicago credits include: Catherine in Tomorrow Morning at the Greenhouse Theater; Mother in Ragtime (After Dark Award, Jeff Award Nomination), Clara in Passion, Anne in A Little Night Music at Porchlight Music Theatre; Woman 1 in I Love You You're Perfect, Now Change at Noble Fool Theatricals; Dolly/Ensemble in The Merry Wives of Windsor at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Sister Leo in Nunsensations at Drury Lane Oakbrook; Fay Apple in Anyone Can Whistle at Pegasus Players' Theatre; Mae in LaChiusa's The Wild Party at Circle Theatre. Regional credits include: Lady Capulet in The People vs. Friar Laurence, the Man Who Killed Romeo and Juliet at BoarsHead Theater; and Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream at Heritage Theatre Group. Charissa is an Artistic Associate of Porchlight Music Theatre and a proud member of Actors' Equity Association.
Christine Bunuan (Ching) is excited to make her debut with Apple Tree Theatre and to work with this amazing company of artists. Her credits include The 25 th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee in Chicago & First National Tour, the world premier of Kafka on the Shore at Steppenwolf Theatre, Miss Saigon at Drury Lane Oakbrook, A Christmas Carol at The Goodman Theater, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast at Marriott Theater Lincolnshire, Jewtopia at The Mercury Theater, and Peter Pan The Musical at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. She is a graduate of The Theater School, DePaul University and a proud member of AEA. Much love and thanks to her family and the love of her life, Sean.
Angela Ingersoll (Anais Nin) happily reunites with the Apple Tree team, reprising the role that earned her a Jeff Nomination. She appears this fall as Lady Anne in Richard III at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, where credits include a Witch in Macbeth, Luciana/Alice Boggs in The Comedy of Errors, and Riley How Can You Run With a Shell On Your Back?. Other Chicago credits include Martha in The Secret Garden (Jeff Nomination, Porchlight Music Theatre); Nellie Forbush in South Pacific (Light Opera Works); I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change (Metropolis); as well as staged readings of High Fidelity (Route 66 Theatre Company) and Rex (Stages Festival). She can also be seen with her husband in his concert Steppin' Out with Michael Ingersoll. Regional credits include Julie Jordan in Carousel (Madison Repertory Theatre); Belle in Beauty & the Beast (Ostrander Award), Lucy in Jekyll & Hyde (Ostrander Award), Lady Macbeth in Macbeth (Ostrander Award), Shelley in Bat Boy: The Musical (Ostrander Award), Aldonza in Man of La Mancha (Ostrander Nomination), Evelyn Nesbit in Ragtime (Ostrander Nomination), Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz; Carla in Nine (Playhouse on the Square, Memphis); and Thomasina in Arcadia (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company). www.angelaingersoll.com
Susie McMonagle (Diane de Poitiers) Broadway credits include: Fantine in Les Miserables. National Tours include: Donna in Mamma Mia!, Martha/Ensemble in The Secret Garden; Fantine in Les Miserables; and The Sound of Music. Regional credits include: The Papermill Playhouse, Denver Center Theatre, New American Theatre, Mill Mountain Theatre: Mrs. Lyons in Blood Brothers; Dot/Marie in Sunday in the Park with George; Hypatia in Misalliance; Sally in Me and My Girl (Denver Drama Critics Circle); and Rhetta in Pump Boys and Dinettes. Recent Chicago credits include: Rock ‘n' Roll at the Goodman Theatre, All Night Strut at the Marriott Theatre; The Court Theatre's award winning production of Man of La Mancha and Annie in Annie Get your Gun (After Dark Award.) Susie's favorite Apple Tree Theatre productions include: Hello Again; Mae/Jo in Dirty Blonde and Flora in Indian Ink. New works include: Jane Grant in At Wits End at Northlight Theater. Susie is a 9 time Joseph Jefferson nominee for her performances of Shelby in The Spitfire Grill at Apple Tree Theatre; the Baker's Wife in Into the Woods, Annie in Annie Get Your Gun, Ellen in Miss Saigon, Florence in Chess , Eva Peron in Evita , Grizabella in Cats - all at Marriott Lincolnshire Theater; Reno in Anything Goes at Drury Lane Oakbrook; and Daisy in Side Show at Northlight Theater. She holds a B.F.A. from Stephens College.
Karen Marie Richardson (Lulu) is overjoyed to be a part of The Mistress Cycle. She is excited to work with the Apple Tree Theatre for the second time. You may have recently seen her in The Buddy Holly Story at Drury Lane Water Tower. Additional credits include The Wild Party with The Bohemian Theatre Ensemble, The Wild Women of Boho, Respect, A Musical Journey of Women in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Nell Carter in Ain't Misbehavin' at Timberlake Playhouse. She also participated in the re-recording for the demo of So Happy I Could Scream the musical. A runner-up at Showtime At the Apollo on Tour, Karen Marie is currently working on her first album. She would like to thank Jesus, her parents, EDDE, EEG, CBU, and Music for its constant friendship.