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Graphic Design by Andrew McArdle

Teeny and Lena grew up together in a rural midwestern town, dreaming of leaving for the big city. But now Teeny is the town sheriff and Lena is a newly-single mother. When the body of Lena’s daughter is found near the lake outside of town, their friendship is stretched to the breaking point. Teeny's investigation raises more questions than answers. Have girls been going missing for years? Why are the loons acting so strange? What has the town's lake witnessed? Strange Heart Beating is a darkly fantastical look at the rural Midwest, the murky nature of justice, and the prejudices that lie just beneath the surface.


Strange Heart Beating runs July 9-28 at The Frontier (1106 W. Thorndale) in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood. Cloudgate's Open Door program offers free tickets at the door for every performance, or PWYW tickets in advance starting at $5. The Frontier is ADA accessible. Questions about the show, the venue, or anything else? Email us at!

Content advisory: Strange Heart Beating contains discussions about sexual violence against women, suicide, racism, xenophobia, and capital punishment. This production may not be suitable for audience members under the age of thirteen. If you have specific questions about the content, please email us at or call us at 312.469.0779.

Strange Heart Beating was developed with support from the Playwrights' Center Jerome Fellowship Program, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Photos by Austin D. Oie

Creative Team

Lena: Leah Raidt

Teeny: Jyreika Guest

Ramon: Brandon Rodriguez

Lake: Stephanie Shum

Director: Addie Gorlin

Playwright: Kristin Idaszak*

Casting Director: Tara Branham*

Dramaturg: Tanuja Jagernauth*

Production Manager: Lila Gilbert*

Scenic Designer: Angela McIlvain

Costume Designer: Anna Wooden*

Lighting Designer: Kaili Story

Sound Designer: Averi Paulsen

Technical Director: Dominic DiGiovanni*, Evan Sposato

Movement Facilitator: Jyreika Guest

Stage Manager: Jay Epps

Props Supervisor/Scenic Charge: Nic McNulty

Assistant Director: Elena Gonzalez Molina

Wardrobe Supervisor: Lucy Elkin

Production Intern: Gerrit Veldt

*Indicates Cloudgate Artistic Associate

Previews: Tuesday, July 9, Thursday, July 11,

and Friday, July 12 at 7:30p

Opening: Saturday, July 13 at 7:30p

Sunday, July 14 at 5p

Industry Night: Monday, July 15 at 7:30p

Thursday, July 18 at 7:30p

Friday, July 19 at 7:30p

Saturday, July 20 at 7:30p

Sunday, July 21 at 5p

Industry Night: Monday, July 22 at 7:30p

Thursday, July 25 at 7:30p

Friday, July 26 at 7:30p

Saturday, July 27 at 7:30p

Closing: Sunday, July 28 at 5p

About the Cast & Creative Team

Addie Gorlin hails from Minneapolis and is an director, educator, and aspiring artistic director invested in the regional theater movement. Her most recent directing credits include Next to Normal (Brown University undergrad mainstage), Good Person of Szechwan, Eurydice, Twelfth Night, and Streetcar Named Desire (Brown/Trinity), Charm and According to Coyote (Mixed Blood Theatre), Laramie Project (Children’s Theater), I and You (Phoenix Theater), and Five Tries (Cutting Ball Theatre). Addie has developed new work at The Playwrights Center, The Lark, Mixed Blood, Riverside Theater, Ivoryton Playhouse, Brown University, and has served as assistant director at The Guthrie, The Public, and Trinity Rep among various others. Fellowships include Artistic Management and Directing at the Cutting Ball Theater and the National New Play Network (NNPN) Producer-in-Residence grant through which she apprenticed in artistic direction at Mixed Blood Theatre. While not in school and freelance directing, Addie stays actively engaged in civic theater practice, is a member of the NNPN's Affiliated Artist Council and strategic planning committee, and continues to teach: she holds a credential as a 6-12th grade English and Drama teacher which she obtained via Teach for America. B.A. Dartmouth College. M.F.A. candidate Brown/Trinity 2019. (she/her/hers)


Addie Gorlin

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Kristin Idaszak, a two-time Playwrights’ Center Jerome Fellow, has received the Kennedy Center’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award and the Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award for her play Second Skin. Her play Another Jungle (Relentless Award Honorable Mention) received its world premiere with Cloudgate Theatre and The Syndicate in April 2018. She was the Shank Playwright in Residence at the Goodman Theatre and a member of the 2017-2018 Goodman Playwrights Unit. Her play The Surest Poison was commissioned by Ensemble Studio Theatre/The Sloan Foundation, and she has also received commissions from Cleveland Play House and Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. Her work has been seen at or developed through the Goodman Theatre, The Playwrights’ Center, La Jolla Playhouse’s WoW Festival, SPACE at Ryder Farm, Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Directing Studio, The Drama League, Pasadena Playhouse, Circle X, Renaissance Theaterworks, Perishable Theatre, and elsewhere. Kristin is an adjunct instructor at the Theatre School at DePaul University. Previously, Kristin served as Associate Artistic Director/Literary Manager of Caffeine Theatre and Associate Artistic Director of Collaboraction. MFA: UC San Diego.


Kristin Idaszak


Tara Branham is a theatre and opera director, producer, and casting director in Chicago. Recent Directing Credits: Another Jungle, Cloudgate Theatre; octagon, Jackalope Theatre Company; good friday, Self-Produced with Oracle Productions; Bars and Measures, Prop Thtr. Assistant Directing Credits: La Traviata, Opera Theatre of St. Louis; The Consul, Long Beach Opera & Chicago Opera Theatre. Tara is currently the Artistic Producer at Chicago Dramatists where she is the Casting Director and the Curator for Monday Night Drama. She is the teacher and creator of the Unbridled Sound - a physical/vocal technique for actors. Tara is a graduate of Ball State University (cum laude) and a student of Black Box Acting Studio.

Casting Director

Tara Branham

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Tanuja Jagernauth is a playwright and dramaturg who believes in the necessity of creation during times of destruction. She is honored to have her new play, FIRST DATA GOLD, presented as part of Our Perspective: Asian American Play Readings at Steppenwolf Theatre. Her short play, BATTLEGROUND, was recently part of Revolutionary Acts, the 6th National Asian American Theater Conference & Festival, and her short play, SKIN, was recently part of the Our Perspective: Asian American Play Readings at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and workshopped by The Pulp Stage in Portland, OR. Tanuja is currently serving as dramaturg for Prop Thtr's NEVERLAND and looks forward to serving as dramaturg for Kristin Idaszak's STRANGE HEART BEATING. Recent dramaturgy credits include Pegasus Theatre's production of ECLIPSED, Sideshow’s Freshness Initiative workshop and staged reading of PRO-AM by Brynne Frauenhoffer, Stage Left's production of Robert Schenkkan's BUILDING THE WALL, Pegasus Theatre's production of THE GREEN BOOK by Calvin A. Ramsey, and Cloudgate Theatre's production of ANOTHER JUNGLE by Kristin Idaszak.


Tanuja Jagernauth


Lila Gilbert is a Chicago-based freelance production manager. She holds a BFA in Theatre Technology from The Theatre School at DePaul University and serves proudly as the General Manager for Cloudgate Theatre. Previous production management credits include SMALL WORLD (The New Colony), SECOND SKIN (WildClaw Theatre), ANOTHER JUNGLE (Cloudgate Theatre), and The Theatre School's annual fundraising gala. In her spare time, she advocates for mental health education and suicide prevention, practices yoga, and admires local birds. See more or get in touch at

Production Manager

Lila Gilbert


Angela McIlvain is a Scenic Designer who works across theatre, film and stop motion animation. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts In Scenic and Production Design from The Theatre School at DePaul University. Recent collaborators include Emerald City Theatre, Free Street Theatre, Piven Theatre Workshop, and Cloudgate Theatre. She currently lives in Chicago with her partner, Carly, and their cat, Pumpkin.

Scenic Designer

Angela McIlvain


Anna Wooden is a costume designer, craftsperson, and maker. Recent credits include Second Skin with Wildclaw, Another Jungle with Cloudgate Theatre, First Dance with Project Blue Light, and The Shepherd with Vertical Church. She also is co-owner if the crafts company Craftiga Ltd. She is drawn to stories that encourage empathy and examine socio-political themes. Most days, she can be found working in her Rogers Park studio with her best dog Banjo. Look for her designs at upcoming The Man Who Was Thursday with Lifeline theatre and Pinocchio with The House. Website:

Costume Designer

Anna Wooden


Kaili Story earned a Master of Fine Arts from Northwestern University in Stage Design and a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Production and Management from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Kaili has designed internationally in Australia, Korea, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Selected design credits include: Insurrection: Holding History (Stage Left Theatre), Second Skin (WildClaw Theatre), Brave Like Them (About Face Youth Theatre), and 33 Variations (Wheaton College Arena Theater). In her spare time, Kaili is also a metalsmith and has her own jewelry line, that is composed of metal collars and other statement pieces, called Savage GRL; you can find this line at Kaili began working with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago as the Lighting Supervisor in Summer of 2017. This year, Kaili has joined Pilobolus on the road, touring Shadowland: The New Adventure as their Lighting Supervisor. For more info on upcoming work, visit

Lighting Designer

Kaili Story


Averi Paulsen is a Junior studying Sound Design at The Theatre School at DePaul University. Their recent design credits include I and You, King Oedipus, and Mud, all Theatre School productions. Averi is drawn to stories that lend way to magical realism and is particularly excited about sharing their first professional design in Chicago with the Cloudgate team.

Sound Designer

Averi Paulsen

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Coming to theater after a relatively 'drama-free' childhood in Oakland, California, Dominic turned a Bachelor's in Engineering into a decade of work in major production houses on both coasts (with a brief foray as a boardgame bar manager). He is currently the Scene Shop Foreperson for The Theater School at DePaul, as well as the school Safety Coordinator.

Technical Director

Dominic DiGiovanni


Evan has spend the last two decades in and around the theatre as an actor, director, stage manager, technical director, and production manager. He spent eight years at the Waterville Opera House in Waterville, Maine, working both onstage and behind the scenes. During the Opera House's centennial renovation, he was the technical advisor to the building team and wrote grants totaling more than $2 million. While in Maine, Evan also served as the longtime president of the board of directors of Aqua City Actor's Theatre and worked with Bossov Ballet Theatre and Everyman Repertory Theatre. Since moving to the Chicago area, Evan has built shows for Jackalope, Redtwist, City Lit, and others. When Evan isn't in a theater, he works with political campaigns on voter contact and digital outreach.


Technical Director

Evan Sposato


Jayden Epps works for Lambda Legal by day and is a freelance Stage Manager by night.  Jay's other Stage Management credits include; Route (Aegis Theatre), Cicada Summer (Rough House Theatre), Beatrix Holiday Tea Party (Chicago Children's Theatre), OCTAGON (Jackalope Theatre), and more. They hold a Bachelor of Special Studies in Theatre for Community Engagement from Cornell College. Jayden is grateful for all of the support they receive from their loved ones to continue to do the work they love.  

Stage Manager

Jay Epps


Nic is a scenic artist and props master based in Chicago. He is a senior at The Theatre School at DePaul University pursuing a BFA in Theatre Technology. Some of his notable work around the city is the Assistant Paint Charge of Mercury Theatre’s, Avenue Q and Assistant Scenic Designer for Shattered Globe’s How to Use a Knife.

Props Supervisor/Scenic Charge

Nic McNulty


Elena Gonzalez Molina is a theatre artist based in Chicago, IL. She is currently a BFA Theatre Arts student at The Theatre School at Depaul University studying playwriting and directing. Some of her latest projects include assistant directing Epic Tales from the Land of Melanin devised by FeMelanin under the direction of Alyssa Vera Ramos for the Latinx Theatre Commons TYA Sin Fronteras Festival and Convening and a reading of her latest play as part of The Theatre School’s Wrights of Spring Festival.

Assistant Director

Elena Gonzalez Molina


Lucy Elkin is a Chicago based costume designer. She is currently working on her BFA costume design student with The Theatre School at DePaul Universityr. Past credits include assistant design on The Wong Kids and the Secret of the Space Chupacabra, GO!, Water by the Spoonful, and the world premiere of Jeff and the Dead Girl (DePaul). This upcoming winter she will be designing Brooklyn Bridge at the Merle Reskin Theatre (DePaul).  She can be reached at

Wardrobe Supervisor 

Lucy Elkin


Gerrit Veldt is a theatre-maker and writer, currently pursuing a B.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University. Recent mainstage credits at Brown include The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise (Stage Manager); Next to Normal (Assistant Director); and Bulrusher (Lighting Designer). Gerrit is thrilled to be making his professional theatre debut with Cloudgate Theatre — thank you, Chicago!

Production Intern

Gerrit Veldt

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Leah Raidt proudly hails from Louisville, Kentucky. Theatre credits include T and Columbinus at American Theatre Company, Letters Home and Punk Rock with Griffin Theatre Company, and work with Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Pavement Group, Jackalope Theatre, Emerald City Children's Theatre, and more. Leah is a freelance teacher and mentor with The Green Room, Actor's Training Center, and Statera Arts. Assistant-director credits include Master Class with Nick Bowling at Timeline Theatre, and Steep Theatre's Birdland directed by Jonathan Berry. She holds a B.F.A from The Theatre School at DePaul University, and is a graduate of The School at Steppenwolf. Proudly represented by DDO Artists Agency. Learn more at 


Leah Raidt

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Ms. Guest boldly made Chicago home six years ago and is so excited to make her Cloudgate Theatre debut! From Louisville, KY, by way of Cincinnati, OH, she's an active actor, dancer, poet, and blooming director in Chicago and has been seen most recently in Red Tape Theatre's "In The Blood" as Hester and Windy City Performs production of "Wizard of Oz" as the Wizard of Oz! Other theatre credits include: Redlined, Have a Great Summer, Incendium with formerly Chicago Slam Works,  Frankenstein(Agatha/Dream Creature) with Remy Bumppo, columbinus (Adult Track) with The Yard Theatre Company, I Saw Myself (Ladder) at Red Tape, Fly Honeys Show with The Inconvenience Project,  The Wiz (Addeperle U/S, Dance Captain) with Kokandy Productions, Octagon (Asst. Director and watcher named pen U/S) with Jackalope, The Adventures of Robin Hood (Robin Hood) with Filament Theatre, Piece of My Heart (Steele) with Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble, Rhinoceros (Boss of Cafe/ Fireman, Once on This Island (Peasant/Storyteller), Children of Eden (Storyteller), and  for colored girls (Lady in Blue). She is proudly represented by Shirley Hamilton Talent!

"Teeny" and Movement Facilitator

Jyreika Guest

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Brandon is a born and raised Chicago-based actor. He is very excited to be making his debut with Cloudgate Theatre. His most recent credits include Plainclothes with Broken Nose Theatre (u/s Llermo) and Mike Pence Sex Dream with First Floor Theatre (u/s Gary). He is a proud graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago (Bachelors in Acting) and the ACADEMY at Black Box Acting.  He would like to thank his family and friends for their unwavering support.  He is represented by BMG Talent.


Brandon Rodriguez

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Stephanie Shum is excited to make her Cloudgate debut! Past credits include The Crucible (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); Men on Boats (American Theater Company); A Story Told in Seven Fights (The Neo-Futurists); Plainclothes (Broken Nose); All Childish Things (First Folio); Harbur Gate (16th Street Theater); Second Skin (Wildclaw); The Adventures of Spirit Force Five (Factory Theater); Merge, Kin Folk, reWILDing Genius, and Kate and Sam Are Not Breaking Up (The New Colony); Mother of Smoke (Walkabout Theater/Red Tape); The Realization of Emily Linder (Redtwist); among others.  She is Co-Artistic Director of The New Colony, a company member with Red Tape Theatre, a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf and is represented by Shirley Hamilton Talent. Up next: We Are Pussy Riot at Red Tape.


Stephanie Shum

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