ChiIL Mama’s ChiIL Picks List
The Actors Gymnasium presents
An original circus theatre production written and directed by David & Kerry Catlin With circus choreography by Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi
February 18, 2023 – March 26, 2023 at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center in Evanston
Recommended for ages 5+ to adult
The Actors Gymnasium has long been a favorite of ours and is a true Chicago treasure. My own son and daughter were cast in their spring and fall youth circus shows for years, and had a wonderful experience there. I'll be out to review on the 19th, with my son, Dugan, who is soon to graduate from Northwestern University with a Theatre Arts degree in performance.
The Actors Gymnasium is proud to announce CIRCUS QUIXOTIC, an original circus theatre production adapted and directed by David and Kerry Catlin, with circus choreography by Artistic Director Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi. The show features Michel Rodriguez Cintra, Amanda Raquel Martinez, Danielle Gennaoui, Ryan Huemmer, Julian Hester, as well as members of the Gym’s Teen Ensemble.
CIRCUS QUIXOTIC is part of Actors Gym's annual Winter Circus tradition, which is one of Chicago's most popular circus shows.
Adapted from Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote, CIRCUS QUIXOTIC is an idealistic, unrealistic, and impractical journey into the mad and noble imagination of an unlikely knight and his dim, yet steadfast squire. Dare to dream of defeating diresome dragons, overcoming evil enchanters, toppling giants disguised as windmills, and bashing the book burners on this hilarious attempt to bring chivalry back into the world!
Opening and press night: Saturday, February 18, 2023
Performances are Saturdays at 4:30 PM and 7:30 PM, and Sundays at 3:00 PM
Circus Quixotic will be participating in Chicago Theatre Week February 18 - 26th. Discounted tickets will be available with code CTW23 during checkout.
Adapter/Director: David and Kerry Catlin Assistant Director: Da Eun Yoon
Circus Choreographer: Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi Production Associate: Griffin DiStasi
Stage Manager: Amalie Vega
Production Manager: Erin Gautille
Rigging Designer: Isaac Shoepp Costume Designer: Sully Radtke Lighting Designer: Daphne Agosin Sound Designer: Grover Hollway Composer: Kevin O’Donnell
Tickets start at $35 for adults and $20 for students and can be purchased online at www.actorsgymnasium.org/shows
Not recommended for children under 5.
All performances are at Noyes Cultural Arts Center at 927 Noyes St., Evanston, IL.
About the Artists
Michel Rodriguez Cintra (Quixote): Michel Rodriguez Cintra is a Cuban born dancer, choreographer, acrobat, actor and teacher. He graduated from Escuela Nacional de Arte (National School of Arts) in Havana, Cuba. Upon graduation he was chosen to join Danza Contemporanea de Cuba where he became Principal Dancer and toured internationally. After moving to Chicago in 2008 Rodriguez danced with Hedwig Dances, where he performed in addition to choreographing his own works on the company. In 2013 Michel became an ensemble member with Lucky Plush productions, generating multiple roles in various works in their signature devised dance-theater style, and touring nationally and internationally. Michel was a founding member of The Cambrians where he performed and co-coreographed and toured nationally. He has been seen as a guest artist with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Concert Dance Inc, Khecari and Chicago Moving Company. Other choreographic credits include Solus for Visceral Dance Company, Dancing in the Parks, and Lit & Luz Festival Chicago- Mexico City, LatinX Chicago Arts Festival, The Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, and at the Latino Artist Festival at Northwestern University. Rodriguez performed in the physical play Atalanta for the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival in 2019. Most recently he was seen with Lookingglass Theater as the White Rabbit in Lookingglass Alice. At The Dance Center of Columbia College Rodriguez was an Adjunct Faculty member, and is currently part of the faculty at the School of Theater and Dance at Northern Illinois University. Other accolades include being a finalist of the A.W.A.R.D. Show Chicago, by the Joyce Foundation, and he was named one of The Men of 2010 in dance by Timeout Chicago. In October 2013, he was the recipient of the prestigious 3Arts Award and was featured in Dance Magazine’s 25 to watch 2014. Michel joined the Actors Gymnasium family in 2015 as an instructor and he’s very very excited to play Cervantes/Quijote in Circus Quixotic
Amanda Raquel Martinez (Sancha): Amanda Raquel Martinez is thrilled to be back in her circus home for Winter Circus with this dream team! Chicago credits include: Somewhere Over the Border (Teatro Vista) American Mariachi (Goodman Theatre); American Bottom; 33 to Nothing (A Red Orchid Theatre); Ghost Quartet* (Black Button Eyes Productions); La Ruta (Steppenwolf); Big Lake, Big City (Lookingglass Theatre); Cinderella at the Theater of Potatoes (Hypocrites); As You Like It; Love, Loss and What I Wore (First Folio Theatre); For the Love Of (Pride Films and Plays); Even Longer and Farther Away (The New Colony); El Stories: The Holiday Train (Waltzing Mechanics.) Regional Credits include: Pirates of Penzance (Skirball Theatre Center); Resurrecting Wildflowers (HERE:Arts Center); Frankenstein (The McCarter Theatre in association with Lookingglass Theatre) Pirates of Penzance (Pasadena Playhouse; Skirball Center); Kitty Hawk (Adrienne Arsht Center); Pirates of Penzance; The Mikado (Olney Theatre Center.) *She is a recipient of a Joseph Jefferson Award for her role in this production.
Danielle Gennaoui (Dutchess): Since she was a little tater tot in St. Louis, MO, she loved to direct plays in her parents’ basement, climb every tree in sight, and spin around in circles until she fell over. Fortunately, not much has changed (though the falling over is fewer and further between).
Danielle began training at The Actors Gymnasium in 2008 and immediately fell in love with Circus. Danielle graduated with Bachelor of Arts in Theatre directing and performance from the Jordan College of Fine Arts at Butler University and is a graduate of Aloft Circus Arts Full-Time Training Program (Major: Lyra). In addition to working with Actors Gym, Danielle has been especially fortunate to perform, coach, and create with: Chicago Center for Dynamic Circus,Aloft Circus Arts, Circus Harmony, MSA & Circus Arts, Gravity Aerial Arts, Thodos Dance Chicago, Apple Tree Theatre, Sussurus Performance Group, and The Alexandrinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia. Danielle is incredibly grateful to be a part of Circus Quixotic and honored to collaborate with such an inspiring group of artists!
Ryan Huemmer (Duke): Ryan is an Actor-Acrobat who’s elated to be sharing the mystical journey of Circus Quixotic and performing in the space he has come to call his Chicago circus home! As a performer Ryan believes in utilizing extreme physicality not only to add a healthy dose of spectacle, but also to broaden the accessibility of his storytelling through the universal language of movement. Recent credits include, Lookingglass Alice (Lookingglass), Red Summer (MPAACT), Frankenstein (Oil Lamp Theater), and The Imagination Circus (The Galaxie). Ryan is a graduate of The Actor’s Gymnasium Pro-Training Program and Boston University’s School of Theatre. Huge thanks to David, Kerry, Sylvia, Griffin and the whole cast for fostering an incredibly playful, spontaneous and supportive environment to grow this story in! IG: @fly.guy.ry
Julian Hester (Barber): Julian is an Equity Jeff Nominated and SAG Award winning* actor based in Chicago. He’s a current Pro-Trainer Conservatory clown and Acro at Actors Gymnasium. Theater credits include productions at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Windy City Playhouse, Writers Theatre, Theatre Wit, and The Artistic Home Ensemble- company member there since 2015- where favorite credits include Jeff nominated work in The Late Henry Moss*, and Konstantin in The Seagull. Directing work includes The Pavilion and Malapert Love at the Den Theatre with Artistic Home. On TV he can currently be seen as Dr. Kendall Murray on Power- Book IV, and in reruns on Chicago Fire/Med/PD as Sorenstein. Film: Amazon’s King Rat, and Trial of the Chicago 7*. He is represented by Paonessa Talent Agency.
About Actors Gym
The Actors Gymnasium is one of the nation’s premiere circus and performing arts training centers, led by master teacher and Circus Ring of Fame artist Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi. Founded in 1995, it provides educational programs for students of all ages and levels, and produces original and daring circus-theatre.The Actors Gym also offers award-winning entertainment for corporate and other special events.
Actors Gym is proud to partner with many performing arts organizations throughout Chicagoland and serves as the exclusive provider of circus performing arts training for Lookingglass Theatre.