Leslie Buxbaum Danzig

collaborating director

LESLIE is a collaborating director with Julia Rhoads/Lucky Plush Productions, where she co-created The Better Half, and The Queue. For over a decade, Leslie was resident director of the Chicago-based nationally touring physical theater company 500 Clown, whose shows (Macbeth, Frankenstein, Christmas and Elephant Deal) performed in Chicago at venues including Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Lookingglass Theatre. Other credits include stage directing Wild Sound, composed by Wilco’s Glenn Kotche for Third Coast Percussion, with performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, and with upcoming tours in the US and Europe; directing Damon Kiely’s The Revel (House Theatre), Redmoon’s Hunchback, and About Face Theater’s Float; co-directing Redmoon’s The Elephant and the Whale; and touring nationally and internationally as an actor with NYC’s Elevator Repair Service. Leslie has taught for University of Chicago’s Theater & Performance Studies and Northwestern’s MFA Directing program. She received her PhD in Performance Studies at Northwestern University and trained in physical theater at Écoles Jacques Lecoq and Philippe Gaulier. She is the curator of the University of Chicago’s Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, a laboratory for experimental collaborations between artists and scholars.

Michael Caskey

composer/sound designer

MICHAEL composed music for Lucky Plush Productions’ Cinderbox 2.0Trip the Light Fantastic: The Making of Superstrip, and created the sound design and performed live with The Claudettes for The Queue. He creates music under the moniker Bunny Patootie, and has performed with Chuck Mangione, Koko Taylor, Toni Tenille, Danilo Perez, Marvin Hamlisch, John Sinclair, Grazyna Auguscik, oh my god, Goran Ivanovic, Hood Smoke, Leslie Hunt, Ron Perillo, and the Grammy-nominated Heritage Blues Orchestra. As a member of Eastern Blok, a pan-cultural Chicago-based ensemble, Michael has presented concerts and master classes at educational institutions such as Princeton, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, and University of Michigan, among others. A DownBeat jazz magazine award winner and five-time Detroit Music Award recipient, Michael has performed for audiences throughout North America and Europe. He has also created original music and sound design for Hedwig Dances, Zephyr Dance, Same Planet Different World, Peter Carpenter, and members of Mad Shak.

Bradford Chapin

audio engineer

BRADFORD is a sound designer and engineer from Grayslake, Illinois. Chicago sound design credits include Pocatello (Griffin Theatre Company) Cymbeline (The Waking Theatre), Your Problem with Men (Teatro Luna), Seven Doors (Premiere Theatre), and Arrangements (Pavement Group). He has worked as a sound engineer for American Players Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater, Theatreworks, Utah Shakespearean Festival, and Krannert Center for the Performing Arts where he helped create A History (Bebe Miller Company), Stardust (David Rousseve/REALITY), and WOLF (Deke Weaver). Bradford holds an MFA in Sound Design and Technology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Liviu Pasare

video designer

LIVIU is excited to work with Lucky Plush Productions for the first time. He has a Chicago-based practice creating works and visual experiences using new media and technology. He works as a video designer, cinematographer, editor, animator, and has produced, directed and performed for live multimedia experiences. He has been affiliated with theaters and artists such as Luftwerk, Collaboraction, Redmoon, Manual Cinema, Blue Man Group, The Seldoms, Claudia Hart, Maria Marshall, Takao Kawaguchi.


Kevin Rechner

lighting designer

KEVIN has worked with Lucky Plush Productions on Trip the Light Fantastic: The Making of SuperStripCinderbox 18Cinderbox 2.0The Sky Hangs Down Too Close, and Punk Yankees. Other designs include Natya Dance Theatre’s Alakshaya, and Mordine and Company’s 40th Anniversary. Kevin has been the production manager, technical director, and lighting designer for the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago since 1996 where he has collaborated with many visiting artists, including designing the set and lights for Trisha Brown’s Set and Reset/Reset. He has also served as the LD / TD for the Dance Division of the National High School Institute for five years. Kevin has a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre from Illinois State University and spent three years in Paris studying movement theatre with Jacques Lecoq and Daniel Stein. He has created four solo performance works including I AM HUGO.

Mikhail Fiksel

sound designer

MIKHAIL was the sound designer for Lucky Plush Productions’ Trip the Light Fantastic: The Making of SuperStrip and The Better Half. Based in Chicago and New York, Mikhail is a sound designer, composer, musician and DJ. Mikhail is a resident artist with Albany Park Theatre Project, a member of Strawdog Theatre Company and 2nd Story, and an artistic associate with Timeline Theatre and Teatro Vista. Recent Chicago credits include projects with the Goodman Theatre, Writers Theatre, The Seldoms, Redmoon, Victory Gardens, The Inconvenience, Lifeline, Northlight, and The Hypocrites. New York and regional credits: Manhattan Theatre Club, The Pearl, The Flea, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Dallas Theatre Center, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Geffen Playhouse, 2nd Stage and The Playwright’s Realm. International credits: TukkersConnexion (Arnhem, Holland) and Festival FILO (Londrina, Brazil). Mikhail recently composed film scores for GlitchThe Wise KidsIn Memoriam, and both/and. He has received eight Joseph Jefferson Awards, the Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award, a Lucille Lortel Award, and an After Dark Award for Original Musical. He performs under the moniker “DJ White Russian” with his band Seeking Wonderland and with the DJ duo The Ordeal. Mikhail is an instructor at Loyola University and University of Chicago.

Jeff Hancock

costume designer

JEFF designed costumes for Lucky Plush Productions’ Trip the Light Fantastic: The Making of SuperStrip, Cinderbox 18, Punk Yankees, The Better Half, and The Queue. His company -ish design was formed in 2007, for which he designs and constructs costumes. Recent designs include Parson’s Train by Robert Battle, River North Dance Chicago’s In the End, Khecari’s Cronus Land, and Colin Dunne’s Listen for Trinity Irish Dancers. Jeff was a founding member of River North Dance Chicago, and has danced for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Dance Kaleidoscope, and Same Planet Different World Dance Theater, where he was a co-artistic director. He has appeared in many productions with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and has toured nationally and internationally with productions of West Side StorySong and DanceOklahoma, and Romeo and Juliet. Recent choreography includes And We Shall Be Rid of Them with Molly Shanahan, Impolite Society at The Kennedy Center, and Miss Saigon at the Paramount Theatre. Jeff has created work for River North Dance Chicago, Hubbard Street 2, Columbia College, Northwestern University, the Edinburgh Festival, Same Planet Different World, The Dance COLEctive, Pegasus Players, and Ohio Northern University, among others. He was nominated for a McCormick Distinguished Lecturer Award, Ruth Page Awards for his dancing and choreography, and is an Illinois Arts Council grant recipient.