Meet the Artists

BUNNY BUNNY Cast

(click image to see artist bio)

BUNNY BUNNY Creative Team


ALAN ZWEIBEL (Playwright) An original Saturday Night Live writer, Alan has won multiple Emmy, Writers Guild of America, and TV Critics awards for his work in television, which also includes It’s Garry Shandling’s Show (which he co-created and produced The Late Show With David Letterman and Curb Your Enthusiasm. A frequent guest on all of the late night talk shows, Alan’s theatrical contributions include his collaboration with Billy Crystal on the Tony Award winning play 700 Sundays, Martin Short’s Broadway hit Fame Becomes Me, and six off-Broadway plays including Bunny Bunny – Gilda Radner: A Sort of Romantic Comedy which he adapted from his best-selling book. All told, Alan has written eleven books including the 2006 Thurber Prize winning novel The Other Shulman, the popular children’s book Our Tree Named Steve, the novel Lunatics that he co-wrote with Dave Barry, and most recently a parody of the Haggadah titled For This We Left Egypt? which he wrote with Dave Barry and Adam Mansbach. Alan’s humor has also appeared in such diverse publications as The New Yorker, Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times Op-Ed page, The Huffington Post and MAD Magazine.  He has also penned a bestselling e-book titled From My Bottom Drawer. The co-writer of the screenplays for the films Dragnet, North, and The Story of Us, Alan has received an honorary PhD. from the State University of New York and because of the diversity of his body or work, in 2010 the Writers Guild of America, East gave him a Lifetime Achievement Award. Alan is currently preparing Bunny Bunny for a return to the New York stage, is writing a cultural memoir titled Laugh Lines – 40 Years Trying To Make Funny People Funnier for Abrams Books, and is developing a limited TV series based on his novel The Other Shulman for Sony television. On the TV screen, he’s also appeared in episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Law & Order, and can currently be seen on the big screen in the documentary The Last Laugh about humor and the Holocaust; as well as Gilbert about the life of Gilbert Gottfried. But the production that Alan is most proud of is the family he’s co-produced with his wife Robin; their children Adam, Lindsay and Sari; and their grandchildren Zachary, Alexis, Jordan, Kylie and Sydney. Alanzweibel.com

WARNER CROCKER (Director) is thrilled to return to Mercury Theater Chicago for this adventure with Gilda and Alan, where he most recently directed the world premiere of the award winning new musical The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes. As a producer, director, and playwright his work has been seen on numerous stages in the US and Russia. Some recent work includes the world premiere of The Seven-Per-Cent Solution for City Lit Theatre, Barnum for The Old Creamery Theatre, Snapshots and Boeing Boeing for Circa 21 Dinner Playhouse, and work with Pegasus Players Young Playwright’s Festival and the International Voices Project. Following a 20-year career in Chicago theatre, he served as artistic director of the Wayside Theatre in Middletown, Virginia from 1999 to 2013. In Chicago he was the founder of the Absolute Theatre Company and Plan B Productions and served as Artistic Director for New Tuners Theatre and Pegasus Players. A short list of his directing work in Chicago and regionally includes Pentecost, The Kentucky Cycle, Passion, La Bête, Edward II, Good, Kiss Me Kate, Man of La Mancha, Cotton Patch Gospel, Southern Crossroads, Romeo and Juliet, Ballad of the Sad Cafe, Forever Plaid, Othello, Noises Off, Tuesdays With Morrie, and Stonewall Jackson’s House. He is the recipient of a number of Joseph Jefferson Awards (Non-Equity) and other awards for his work as a director and designer. He is the author of Robert E. Lee and John Brown: Lighting the Fuse; with composer Steve Przybylski the musicals Southern Crossroads and Southern Crossroads: New Orleans, a musical version of A Christmas Carol; and a musical adaptation of The Three Musketeers with Gregg Opelka.  

ROBERT KUHN (Costume Design) is pleased to be returning to Mercury Theater Chicago, where he previously designed HAIR, The Bardy Bunch and The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes. Recent design credits include: Peter Pan (Music Theater Works), Bonnie and Clyde, Heathers (Kokandy Productions), I Am My Own Wife (About Face Theater), and SS! Macbeth (The Chicago Shakespeare Theater). Other Chicago Credits include works with Drury Lane - Oakbrook, Emerald City Theater, Northwestern University, Concordia University-Chicago, Pegasus Theater, Piven Theatre Workshop, Light Opera Works, Lookingglass Theater Company, Marriott Theater, Paramount Theater, Cock and Bull Theater, Mortar Theater Company, and Theatre-Hikes. Regional design credits include: Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Pennsylvania Centre Stage) and Dracula and Othello (The Arkansas Shakespeare Theater). Upcoming projects include Time is on Our Side (About Face Theater) and Company (Venus Cabaret Theater). USA 829 www.robertskuhn.com

KRISTOF JANEZIC (Lighting Design) is a lighting and scenic designer working in and around the Chicago area. Most prominent Chicago Design credits include The Roustabouts (Lighting and Scenic Design for Put Your House In Order), Albany Park Theatre Project (Lighting Design for Take Your Place), Theo Ubique (Lighting Design for RENT), and Redmoon Theater (mid 2014 to early 2016 Lighting Designer for main stage and rented events). Currently he is the Lighting Designer for The Grelley Duvall Show, Scenic Designer for Little Prince at Walter Payton, and just closed the Polar Express Train Ride as Lighting Director in New Jersey, Chicago and New Orleans. For more information about his work, please contact janezic.design@gmail.com.

JACQUELINE AND RICHARD PENROD, U.S.A. (Scenic Design) are very happy to once again be at the Mercury Theater Chicago designing this production of Bunny Bunny. The Penrod’s also designed the sets for Mercury Theater Chicago’s annual production of The Christmas Schooner and their production of Barnum. Their award-winning design work has been seen locally and regionally. Some of their recent designs include: The Book of WillThe legend of Georgia McBride, and Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley for Northlight Theatre; The Legend of Georgia McBride and West Side Story for Cardinal Stage; Richard III for The Gift Theater produced at Steppenwolf Theatre; A Wonderful Life, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Big Fish, All Shook Up and A Christmas Carol at Theatre at the Center; Stick Fly for Windy City Playhouse; Hank Williams: Lost Highway at American Blues Theater; Mud Sky Blue for A Red Orchid Theatre; Welcome Home Jenny Sutter for Next Theatre; PygmalionLove and InformationNorthanger Abby and The Importance Of Being Earnest for Remy Bumppo Theatre Company. They have received many nominations and awards for their design work.  They are both members of United Scenic Artists.

MIKE PRZYGODA (Sound Design) is a freelance composer and multi-instrumentalist from Chicago.  He has performed as a pit musician at the Mercury in The Color Purple, Hair, and multiple seasons of The Christmas Schooner.  Other recent credits include composer/lyricist for Chicago Songs (Lyric Opera of Chicago) and music director for Another Word for Beauty and The Matchmaker (Goodman Theatre). By day he works in the dance department at The Chicago High School for The Arts, by night he leads the indie-rock band The Przmatics. He has a Jeff Award for Artistic Specialization in Percussion (Moby Dick, The Building Stage).

KEVIN BARTHEL (Wig/Hair Design) celebrated his 20-year anniversary as a Chicago based actor/designer. He has been the resident wig designer at Theatre at the Center since 1999. He started his wig career in college working in the costume shop and the wig responsibilities fell into his lap. As a self-taught wig man his work has appeared at Drury Lane Oakbrook, Drury Lane Evergreen Park, Drury Lane Water Tower, Marriott Theatre, Porchlight Music Theater, Six Flags Great America, The Fireside Playhouse, The Palace Theatre, as well as numerous special events, films, high school and college productions around the country. He is honored to be returning to Mercury Theater Chicago again, where he started with The Christmas Schooner. He is also the producer/creator of a DIY Web series, At Home with Kevin Barthel.

KRISTI J. MARTENS* (Stage Manager) is happy to be back at Mercury Theater Chicago with Bunny Bunny. She also had the privilege of being the PSM for Hair, Mary Poppins, I Left My Heart, The Man who Murdered Sherlock Holmes, The Producers, The Addams Family, Avenue Q, The Color Purple. Some other theaters that she has worked at: Drury Lane Theater (Oakbrook Terrace), Northlight Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Goodman Theatre, The Royal George Theater, Drury Lane Evergreen Park, Drury Lane Water Tower, Fox Valley Repertory, Oak Park Festival Theater, Fulton Opera House (Lancaster, PA), Maine State Music Theater (Brunswick, ME), Theater At the Center (Munster, IN), Carousel Dinner Playhouse (Akron, OH), Dallas Theater Center (Dallas, TX). A proud Equity member for over 28 years, Kristi started stage managing with children’s theater. Enjoy!

L. WALTER STEARNS (Executive Director) As Executive Director of Mercury Theater Chicago, Walter is a champion for Chicago artists and productions and has overseen the physical and cultural revival of a beautiful theatre. He has directed over 30 musicals including his Jeff Award winning productions of The Addams Family and Ragtime as well as the Jeff Award nominated productions of Mary Poppins, The Producers, The Addams Family, Avenue Q, The Color Purple, Barnum-The Circus Musical, The Christmas Schooner, Nine the Musical, Ragtime, Gypsy, The Secret Garden, Sweeney Todd, Company, A New Brain, Into the Woods, Merrily We Roll Along and Falsettos. He is pleased to produce The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes, which was awarded the Jeff Award for New Work. Walter has received the Jeff Award, BroadwayWorld Award, After Dark Awards, the Larry Sloan Advocate Award (for his support of Season of Concern), the first Guy Adkins award for his contributions to the art of musical theatre and the Franny Award as a distinguished alumnus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Next for Walter, directing Company in the new Venus Cabaret Theater.

EUGENE DIZON (Business Manager) has worked in human resources and accounting at a number of Chicago firms including HFR, Navteq, Jenner and Block, and Hunter Douglas. In theater, Eugene has been musical directing for over two decades garnering 6 Jeff Awards (Ragtime, Sweeney Todd, Amadeus, Company, Into the Woods, Merrily We Roll Along), as well as Jeff nominations for A Grand Night for Singing, Candide, Nine the Musical, Closer Than Ever, A Little Night Music, Passion, Colette Collage, and Falsettos; 4 After Dark Awards (Ragtime, Sweeney Todd, A New Brain, Merrily We Roll Along), a BroadwayWorld Award for Mercury’s Avenue Q and a BroadwayWorld nominations for this past season’s Hair and Mary Poppins, as well as The Color Purple. Additionally, he has musical directed The Producers and Barnum at the Mercury. Eugene is honored to have been inducted into the Chicago Filipino Hall of Fame. Eugene has co-produced 5 “Season of Carols” CD’s (with Cory Goodrich) which features some of the brightest talent in Chicago theater today, for which Season of Concern awarded him the Larry Sloan Advocate Award (2013). Next for Eugene, musical directing the debut production of Venus Cabaret Theater’s Company.