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Announcing the world premiere of...

Elevator Girl
by Donna Hoke

Directed by Adrienne Matzen

January 11-27, 2019 at The Edge Theatre

Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 PM

Sunday at 3:00 PM

The Edge Theater - Mainstage
5451 N Broadway

Elevator Girl was never meant to be more than an urban legend, a sexual revenge fantasy created by Vanessa and her graphic illustrator boyfriend. But when the comic superhero unleashes her boyfriend’s darkest fantasies, as well as a flesh-and-blood copycat, Vanessa must stop EG in her tracks—with the truth.

A 2017 O'Neill finalist and a 2018 finalist for the Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship.

Elevator Girl is presented as a joint world premiere with InProximity Theatre Company in New York, NY.

Creative Team

Donna Hoke - Playwright

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Donna’s work has been seen in 46 states and on five continents. Plays include BRILLIANT WORKS OF ART (2016 Kilroys List), ELEVATOR GIRL (2017 O’Neill, Princess Grace finalist), and SAFE (winner of the Todd McNerney, Naatak, and Great Gay Play and Musical Contests). She has been nominated for both the Primus and Blackburn Prizes, and is a two-time winner of the Emanuel Fried Award for Outstanding New Play (SEEDS, SONS & LOVERS). She has also received an Individual Artist Award from the New York State Council on the Arts to develop HEARTS OF STONE, and, for three consecutive years, she was named Buffalo's Best Writer by Artvoice—the only woman to ever receive the designation.

Donna also serves on the Dramatists Guild Council and is a blogger and moderator of the 12,000+-member Official Playwrights of Facebook, as well as a New York Times-published crossword puzzle constructor; author of Neko and the Twiggets, a children's book; and founder/co-curator of BUA Takes 10: GLBT Short Stories. Speaking engagements include Citywrights, Kenyon Playwrights Conference, the Dramatists Guild National Conference, Chicago Dramatists, the Austin Film Festival, and a live Dramatists Guild webinar. Her commentary has been seen on #2amt, howlround, The Dramatist, the Official Playwrights of Facebook, Workshopping the New Play (Applause, 2017), and at

Adrienne Matzen - Director


Adrienne is a director, actor, and acting coach. Chicago directing credits include pieces for Bechdel Fest 6 (Broken Nose Theatre at Steppenwolf 1800) and the 2018 Documentary Play Festival (Waltzing Mechanics). Other directing credits include Desdemona: A Play About a Handkerchief by Paula Vogel (Wichita State University), and 10.10. Post 9.11 by Adam Sharp (Theatre on Consignment, Wichita, KS). As an actor, she has worked with Sideshow, 

TUTA, Stage Left, Muse of Fire, The Comrades, Living Room Playwrights, Waltzing Mechanics, and the arc theatre. Adrienne trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

Kamren Smith - Stage Manager

Kamren Smith (Stage Manager) is thrilled to be working with Vanguard Arts Collective on this amazing project! His most recent stage managing credits include: Gift of the Mogwai (InGen Productions,) Warrior Class (The Comrades,) Bangarang! A Neverland Reunion (InGen Productions,) and In the Wake (The Comrades.) Since moving to Chicago in 2014, Kamren has worked in various other positions with Adventure Stage Chicago, Akvavit Theatre, Forth Story Productions, Haven Theatre, InGen Productions, The Ruffians, and Timeline Theatre. Kamren is a company member with The Comrades. Much love and many thanks to his support system.

LaVisa Angela Williams - Costume Designer

LaVisa is an alumna of Columbia College Chicago. She enjoys designing for various genres including: pieces for the circus troop “Forms in Motion”, cosplayers and convention fashion shows, and period plays like City Lit’s "Holmes and Watson", "Bloodhound Law", and “Prometheus Bound”. LaVisa is also expanding her knowledge in LEDs, leather, and metal-work to enhance her designs.


Megan Chaney - Scenic and Props Designer

Megan Chaney received a BFA in Theatre Management and Scenic Design from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Megan is on the board of Vanguard Arts Collective, and is the resident graphic designer. Some of her favorite previous credits include stage managing Private Eyes, Clara and the Nutcracker (Piccolo Theatre), The Woman in Black (St. Sebastian Players), 26 Presents: Net-flix and Kill (Late Night at Pride Arts), A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Richard III (Muse of Fire). Megan was the scenic designer and prop master for Vanguard's inaugural production of Colorado. You can see her work at

Steve Labedz - Sound Designer

Steve Labedz is a composer and sound designer based out of Chicago. Other works include United Flight 232 with the House and The Truth About Santa with Intrinsic. In their free time Steve enjoys working.


John Shane - Illustrator

John Shane is a Multimedia artist who works in a range of artistic disciplines including visual art, music, video and film. He is the creative force behind the Chicago alt-rock band Architects of Beauty. He is currently about to begin production on a short film that he co-wrote and will direct called Uberstar. And he is also planning on releasing a graphic novel that he created called Subterraneans, about David Bowie and Iggy Pop. John is a life-long Chicagoan and lives in Sauganash with his wife Vivian. Check out his website at

Erin Pleake - Projections Designer

Erin Pleake is a lighting and projection designer that works to create vibrant, encompassing environments, not only for the audience, but the performers as well. Erin’s recent credits include projection design for Speech and Debate (Brown Paper Box Co), Big Fish (Illinois Theatre Association), Captain Blood! (First Folio Theatre), and Evil Dead the Musical (Moraine Valley Theatre). Assistant projection design includes [Jeff Award-winning] Elf the Musical (Paramount Theatre), The Christians (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), and Borealis (The House Theatre). 


Michael Goebel - Lighting Designer

Mike Goebel is a Chicago based Lighting Designer and Master Electrician. Recently he was honored to be apart of Netflix's Patton Oswalt Stand Up Special and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah's week long run in Chicago while working at the Athenaeum Theatre. On the design side his work has recently been seen in the midwest premiere of Disney's Freaky Friday and Ballet 5/8ths production of Scarlett. This is Mike's second time working with Vanguard Arts Collective, and he hopes you enjoy the show. 

Chloe Baldwin- Intimacy and Violence Designer

Chloe Baldwin has choreographed for theaters, films, colleges, and high schools across Chicagoland. Recent favorites include stunt and intimacy coordinating for the upcoming film "The Lurker" starring Scout Taylor Compton, and violence and intimacy design for "Vinegar Tom" for Northwestern. She is a proud ensemble member of Babes With Blades Theatre Company and a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul. She can currently be seen onstage in Chicago in the first US national tour of "The Woman In Black".


Alex Madda as Vanessa

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Alex Madda (Vanessa) is excited to be collaborating with Vanguard Arts Collective for the first time! Previous Chicago credits include American Idiot (Hypocrites), Everybody (Brown Paper Box Co.),The Night Season (Strawdog), Musical Therapy (Chicago Musical Theatre Festival), A Year with Frog and Toad and Hundred Dresses (Chicago Children's Theatre), Cabaret (No Stakes Theatre Project), and Shining Lives (Northlight). She is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan and the Second City Music Improv conservatory. She

also serves as an improv music director for shows at Music Improv Night (MINT) and the Annoyance. Thanks to all the people who Madda, eh???

Sean Wesslund as Peter


Sean Erik Wesslund is a master of acting--well, technically he holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting, but he likes the sound of the first one better.  Sean is excited to make his Vanguard debut as Peter in Elevator Girl.  Sean is an actor, singer, Advanced Actor Combatant, and soon-to-be fight choreographer in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.  He holds his MFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University, his BA from Northwestern University, and is represented by Grossman and Jack Talent.  Love always to Laura and Sophie!

Alexander Utz as Richard


Alexander is an actor and playwright originally from Buffalo, NY. Most recently, he was a member of the 2018 Bower Theatre Ensemble, where he appeared as Gordon in Collage of a Dystopian Midwest. Other Chicago acting credits include: Judas in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Eclectic Full Contact Theatre), Dorset in Richard III (Fury Theatre), and Gilliard in Cosmic Events are Upon Us (Waltzing Mechanics). He is currently a Playwright Resident with Three Brothers Theatre, and his plays have received readings 

and workshops with The Plagiarists, Three Cat Productions, 5th Wall Productions, and Eclectic Full Contact Theatre. His world premiere adaptation of Frankenstein was performed by Bower Theatre Ensemble last spring. Much love to his ever-supportive family and friends!

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