Tickets on sale for The Suitcase Dreams!

OvertureWeb150x150aTickets went on sale today for our original LILA invention, The Suitcase Dreams. Go to the Overture Center’s box office, call them at 608-258-4141, or buy tickets online here.

Here’s a little bit about the show…Unpacking stories of great and small adventures, brave departures, wrenching farewells, and the things that travelers choose to carry. Theatre LILA weaves drama, comedy, absurdity, and fantasy with their signature physical style and live music. The Suitcase Dreams was created by Tony Award-winning actress Karen Olivo, acclaimed New York City director Tyler Marchant, nationally produced playwright Gwendolyn Rice, and Theatre LILA Co-Artistic Directors Jessica Lanius and Mike Lawler.

Show Times:

Thursday, September 18 at 7:30pm

Friday, September 19 at 7:30pm

Saturday, September 20 at 2:30pm

Saturday, September 20 at 7:30pm

Sunday, September 21 at 2:30pm

Friday, September 26 at 7:30pm

Sunday, September 28 at 2:30pm


The Suitcase Dreams: Cast Profile: Chelsea Anderson

Chelsea B Anderson HeadshotLILA is pleased to have UW-Madison theatre students in our first original Madison work, and Chelsea Anderson is the first of those to be introduced to you here. She is a third year MFA Acting/Directing student at University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned a bachelors in Theatre from University of Indianapolis, and has acted in productions at Indianapolis Civic Theatre, Acting Up Productions, Vagabonds’ Bridge Theatre, and Great River Shakespeare Festival.

Five Questions for Chelsea

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Evansville, Indiana. A small town feel in a major Indiana city!
What was the last role you played?
I played Queen Margaret and the Duchess of York in the University Theatre production of Richard III. It was a Kabuki-fusion piece directed by David Furumoto.
What is the most memorable trip you’ve ever taken?
I loved going to the Smoky Mountains with my family. We hiked up to waterfalls, strolled through streams, and explored local interests. It was a joy!
What is exciting to you about The Suitcase Dreams?
I cannot wait to explore storytelling through movement. It is not an aspect of theatre with which I often get to play. I look forward to discovering new avenues of storytelling!
Okay, last question: what three things would you take with you to a deserted island?
A copy of To Kill A Mockingbird, a camera with lots of memory, and sunscreen (SPF 50+, of course)


The Suitcase Dreams: Cast Profile: Emma Dias

Emma Dias Outreach for youth is an important part of what we do at Theatre LILA, so creating a role for a young person in our original work, The Suitcase Dreams, was something we wanted very much to make happen. And it has. We were so pleased with the talent of the youth we auditioned for this part, and can’t believe our luck in finding Emma Dias. She is not a stranger to the Madison stage, having performed in Fiddler on the RoofAlexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and Disney’s Aladdin with Children’s Theater of Madison–and that’s just what she’s done in the last year and half or so! She is also an active member of the Madison Youth Choir and a co-host on the TV show Into the Outdoors.

Five Questions for Emma

Where did you grow up?
I was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but have lived in Madison for 10 years.
What was the last role you played?
Bielke in Fiddler on the Roof
What is the most memorable trip you’ve ever taken?
New York City
What is exciting to you about The Suitcase Dreams?
Working with new actors and directors.
Okay, last question: what three things would you take with you to a deserted island?
My bunny Nibbles, my iPhone loaded with Broadway songs, and a dozen donuts

The Suitcase Dreams: Cast Profile: Clare Haden

Clare Haden Headshot SmallLILA has been lucky to have Clare around for most of our time in Madison. She is an active member of our Actors Lab 360º and has even stepped in as a teaching artist for us in our Intro Training class. In addition to working with us on The Suitcase Dreams, she’ll be part of the creative team on our upcoming collaboration with CTM: A Midsummer Night’s Dream in March 2015.

Clare received her MFA in Acting with an emphasis in Voice for the Actor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has worked as a voice and speech coach, actor, and teaching artist for professional theaters throughout the Midwest, including American Players Theatre, Wisconsin Story Project, Children’s Theater of Madison, First Stage, Renaissance Theaterworks, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, and Madison Opera.  Clare currently serves as the Oral Communications Specialist at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology and is a proud member of AEA, VASTA, and TESOL.

Five Questions for Clare

Where did you grow up?
In Waterloo, Wisconsin. Not too far from Madison. 🙂
What was the last role you played?
Mary Bailey in A Wonderful LIfe with CTM.
What is the most memorable trip you’ve ever taken?
Any road trip ever with my husband. Our honeymoon in Akumal, Mexico, was also unforgettable. I can still smell the ocean if I close my eyes.
What is exciting to you about The Suitcase Dreams?
It’s an original work created in the spirit of all things that I love about good theater: through great collaboration, inspiring dreams, and lots of heart. I’m excited about all of it.
Okay, last question: what three things would you take with you to a deserted island?
A good book, my music, and beer. Remember, I’m a Wisconsin girl, always and forever.

We have a cast, a most amazing cast!

We are very pleased to introduce you to our cast for The Suitcase Dreams. Without much fanfare or hullabaloo, here they are in alphabetical order (click on hyperlinked names for more). Look for more information about all of these great folks and other  Suitcase collaborators soon.

Chelsea Anderson

Amanda Connors

Emma Dias

Clare Haden

Di’Monte Henning

Michael Herold

Michael Huftile

Emily Janik

AJ Juarez

Marvette Knight

Mark Snowden

Jessica Jane Witham

Welcome to LILA Now

Jessica Lanius & Mike LawlerHello, and welcome to LILA Now, our Theatre LILA blog. You’ll find a growing collection of stories, information, and interesting stuff here — all about us and people we collaborate with. Check back often and keep up with what we’re doing!


Jess & Mike

Co-Artistic Directors

Theatre LILA