The Director’s Haven gives directors in the earliest stages of their professional careers a rare opportunity to take risks, hone their crafts and talents and share their vision through a fully staged production of a short play. Giving directors support to produce during their formative years, which includes a full design team, budget, marketing support and more, allows these artists to create quality work as well as provides a platform to further their artistic visibility through the creation of said work. 


OCTOBER 15 - 31, 2018

The Den Theatre, Theatre 2A
1331 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago IL 60622

Previews: Monday, October 15 at 7:30 pm and Tuesday, October 16 at 7:30 pm
Run: Wednesday, October 17 – Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Sundays at 3 pm, Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesday at 7:30 pm

“I have been overwhelmed by how the Director's Haven continues to evolve and grow year after year, and this year is no exception with our 4th cohort of early-career directors. These are three exceptionally exciting burgeoning visions, distinctly contemporary, curious about the sheer potential of the art form and deeply, immensely personal. I invite you to join us at the ground floor of what’s next as we showcase some of the next generation's emerging artistic leaders and visionaries. Join Haven Theatre as we continue our mission to invest in the future.”
~Josh Sobel, Artistic Director



By Madame Rachilde, translated by Daniel Gerould
Directed by Charlotte Drover
Mentor: Krissy Vanderwarker

The Crystal Spider is a surreal horror play that dives into the mind of Terror-Stricken, a young person plagued by their Mother's social and sexual pressures and haunted by their strange and paralyzing fear of mirrors. They revive this story for their Mother, awakening the suppressed memories trapped within the looking glass. This story – told through poetry, dance and physical theatre – forces Terror-Stricken into a final confrontation with their mirror self and every demon they run from.

CAST: Emily Butcher (Ensemble), Elena Dern (Ensemble), Sarah Ellen Miller (Ensemble), Jessica Morales (Ensemble), Mollyanne Nunn (Ensemble), Alec Silver (Terror Stricken) and Kate Staiger (Mother). Swing: Berit Godo (Ensemble).


By William Inge
Directed by Dani Wieder
Mentor: dado

A girl bursts into a roadside diner, panicked. Something on the greyhound bus she has been riding cross-country is not right. But everyone else is also on the run, fixated on the hope that this Kansas wind will blow them as far west as possible. So what’s a girl to do? William Inge’s one act, which would eventually become the first draft of his play Bus Stop, explores the chaotic effects of the American Dream, and how the quest for a perfect life can make us blind to the pain of others.

CAST: Kristen Alesia (Elma), Kylie Anderson (Girl), Lynne Baker (Professor), Grayson Heyl (Old Lady), Gregory D. Hicks (Driver), Hillary Horvath (Old Lady), Amy Hunt (Grace) and Andrew Rathgeber (Man). UNDERSTUDY: Sophie Neff (Elma).

In the early 1950's, William Inge -not yet the famous playwright he would become- taught English at a local Kansas college. Feeling increasingly purposeless in this job, Inge would often take the overnight bus into Kansas City often to see a psychiatrist. At the beginning of what would be a long relationship with psychoanalysis, Inge wrote his therapy journal in the form of short one acts. One of these plays was People in the Wind, which was inspired by a real encounter he witnessed one night on this bus. The one acts on the whole focus on forbidden desire and failure to be a successful person, anxieties which were overwhelmingly powerful in Inge's life at the time. They live somewhere between fantasy, memory, and nightmare. You can find Inge in this play as the Professor, an academic who does not know how to make use of the knowledge she has. 

Inge eventually re-wrote People in the Wind, and in an effort to make a box office hit, removed some of the sadness and danger to create the romantic comedy Bus Stop. I wanted to bring to life his original work because I feel that this one act has perfectly preserved a moment of coming of age in the playwright's life. The play explores the guilt and frustration we experience when we realize that we had the real power to help someone, yet did nothing. It the story of realizing your actions matter to others, and that in life, no one is an audience member.
  ~Dani Wieder


By Josefina Lopez
Directed by Airos Sung-En Medill
Mentor: Jess McLeod

Simply Maria, or the American Dream is an episodic telling of Maria and her family's migration from Mexico to the United States and what it means to be a woman in her family in the past, present and future. Desperate to change their story, Maria is forced to face the collision of her family and her new home while navigating the definitions of gender and culture that are passed on from one generation to the next.

CAST: Diana Camacho (Girl, Ensemble), Sarah “Sar” Cohen (Girl, Ensemble), Natalie Hanson (Girl, Ensemble), Jennifer Ledesma (Carmen), Ernesto Moreta (Jose, Ensemble), Esme Perez (Maria), Rolo Rodriguez (Priest, Ensemble) and Jorge Silva (Ricardo).

The production team for DIRECTOR’S HAVEN 2018 includes Will Tople (scenic design), Amanda Rabito (costume design), Blake Cordell (lighting design), Emily Boyd (props design), Sarah D. Espinoza (sound design), Jurrell Lewis (object design, People in the Wind), Jeffrey Levin (composer, The Crystal Spider), David Da Legend Ingram (choreographer, The Crystal Spider), Marika Mashburn (casting director), Nik Whitcomb (assistant casting director), Itzel Blancas (dramaturg, Simply Maria), Abhi Shrestha (literary manager/dramaturg), Angela Salinas (production manager), Josh Prisching (technical director), Liz Larsen (stage manager, People in the Wind), Corbin Paulino (stage manager, Simply Maria, or The American Dream) and Haley Schmidt (stage manager, The Crystal Spider).