Raising the bar

Directed by

Kelsey Fisher-Waits


by Kristi Zimmerman:

Bartender –– Kevin Lucas

George –– Aaron Thomas

Sylvia –– Rosie Hauck

Melanie –– Carolyn Stucky


(performed in 3 parts)

by Hannah Ricke:

Devon –– Devon Lovell

Sierra –– Tonee Roper

Millie –– Connie Blick


by Charles Liepart:

Carrie –– Erin Barnard

Sukie –– Kristi Zimmerman


by Terry Noel:

April –– Kat Gregory

Joe –– Tyler Waits


 by Bruce Boeck:

Wes Melton


by Grant Machan:

Eddie –– Ethan Rickard

Adam –– Dave Krostal

Meet the Cast

Meet the Production Team

Director: Kelsey Diana Fisher-Waits is an actor/director and Instructional Assistant Professor of acting at Illinois State University. Recent directing projects include Shakespeare Bootcamp, the Green Show for the 2019 Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and Vinegar Tom through ISU’s Freestage. Kelsey has also directed numerous works in both Texas and Oklahoma, including the world premiere of A Father’s Trial at Texas Tech University. She is about to start production meetings for The Wolves, her next ISU project, which will open this spring. She is excited to be directing the premier production of Nomad Theatre Company—it’s going to be a blast, y’all!

Stage manager: Irene Gasarah is a recent master’s graduate of the School of Theatre and Dance at Illinois State University. She started her theatre career at Benue State University, Nigeria where she studied Theatre Arts with a major in directing. During her undergraduate degree, she directed and stage-managed for both student and faculty directors. Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, she went into full-time production management for film and stage.
After moving to the US, she encountered dramaturgy and fell in love. This love led to her serving as dramaturg for some main and free stage shows at Illinois State University, which included: An Enemy of the People, Blood, and The Illusion.
Irene is currently an adjunct faculty at Illinois Central College and is excited to re-visit her first love, Stage Management.

Judy Stroh is the props goddess of this show. She has been seen on stage most recently at Community Players Theatre in “Barefoot in the Park” as the crazy tipsy mother, and the rapping grandma in “The Wedding Singer.” Judy also works behind the scenes at Community Players as a stage manager. We are grateful to have her helping with Nomad!

Co-Founder and Producer: Connie Blick studied acting at Illinois State University, and after college dove into her most important role yet: motherhood. With the guidance of an immensely supportive husband, Connie found her way back into the local theatre scene once her children reached school age. Armed with the acting itch, she found a home within the local theatre community, most visibly at Heartland Theatre Company, where her credits include Nora in A Doll’s House, Ruth in Pinter’s The Homecoming, and Ruth in Tribes. She has also acted and directed for Heartland’s popular Ten- Minute Play Festival and is proud to now serve as a Heartland Theatre Board Member. Connie’s other local credits include Johnna in August Osage County at Community Players Theatre where she also Assistant Directed The Wedding Singer.
In 2014, Connie co-produced and directed for Sticky in the Sticks, site-specific pop -up theatre that took place in a bar. This one night only event every month filled a void missing in this wonderful community and drew in new patrons and lovers of theatre. After a successful three-year season, she hung up Sticky for good. Now her education, experience, and passion to make theatre more accessible to audiences paired with a partner like Cristen Monson , will help Nomad Theatre thrive. She is excited for this project and its potential to enhance the community!

Co-Founder and Producer: Cristen Monson began her theatre career in El Paso, Texas at The University of Texas at El Paso where she earned a BA in Acting and had the opportunity to play many dream roles including Eva in Evita, Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Adelaide in Guys and Dolls and Florence in Chess at The UTEP Dinner Theatre. Cristen has lived and worked in New York at Don’t Tell Mama, Theatre Works and Rose’s Turn Cabaret. In Baltimore, she worked for The Maryland Arts Festival in The World Goes Round and as Bella in Rags and played Mrs. Lindbergh in a World premiere of Lindbergh Baby Kidnapped at The Baltimore Theatre Project. Cristen moved to the Bloomington Normal area in 2007 and received her MA in Theatre from ISU in 2011. At ISU she played Rona in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. She has appeared at Community Players as Pennywise in Urinetown and Gretchen in Boeing Boeing, and directed A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. For Prairie Fire Theatre she recently appeared as Rose in Gypsy, Desiree in A Little Night Music and directed The Secret Garden. Favorite roles at Heartland Theatre Company include Sarah in Time Stands Still, Beth in Tribes, Theresa in Circle, Mirror, Transformation, Miss Jane in Floyd Collins and Helen in The Electric Baby. In addition, Cristen has directed twice for the 10-Minute Play Festival at Heartland. Last fall she appeared in the Evergreen Cemetery Walk as Emily Vecchi Noble. Cristen works at Illinois State University as the Academic Advisor and coordinates the theatre for youth programs for The Illinois Shakespeare Festival. In addition, she is on the Board of Directors for Heartland Theatre. She is the mother to a beautiful and talented daughter Eden and brave sailor, son Elijah. She is thrilled to work on this wonderful challenge with a dream partner Connie Blick.

Meet the Playwrights

Meet Charles Leipart, a bookwriter, lyricist and playwright.. Leipart has won impressive awards for his writing. Some of those include: CREAM CAKES IN MUNICH was awarded 1st prize in the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival One-Act Contest in 2016. His musical FROG KISS received the most Citations for Excellence at NYMF 2010 and had it’s regional premiere at Virginia Stage Co.,VA, 2013. SWIMMING AT THE RITZ, an intimate portrait of Pamela Churchill Harriman, toured the UK in 2010/2011 supported by the Arts Council England.
Charles is a former Fellow of the Edward F. Albee Foundation. He is a native of Chicago, a graduate of Northwestern University, a member of the National New Play Network’s New Play Exchange. Charles lives and writes in New York City and is a member of The Dramatist’s Guild and ASCAP.
We’re so honored to produce his short play, LA VIE EN ROSE 

Hannah Ricke is a new playwright and aspiring writer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Despite a recent Masters Degree in Social Work, Hannah likes Art better, and hopes to one day open a therapeutic storytelling space. Hannah’s first ever short play, Schizophreniyeah! was selected for the Last Frontier Theater Conference in Valdez, Alaska in 2017, along with two monologues, Queen Captain of the Glittership and Betrayal.
A bit about what inspired Hannah to write WE LIVED: “I am a mental health social worker by education, and worked as a case manager for 4 years. While en route to a client’s house, I saw this delightful billboard with two happy women stating that they had a “sister pact” to always get mammograms together. I was completely swept away by the solidarity, the joy and burden of survival, and the blinding power of Women. And I think probably later that night I started to write We Lived! “.

Bruce Boeck has written over 70 plays, most of them 10 minutes or under. His plays have been performed across North America, from Hawaii to Nova Scotia. One of his plays—“Too Close For Comfort”—was published in Best 5-Minute Plays. He often writes for and acts in the Young At Heartland group. When he’s not writing, he is a local therapist and teaches Psychology at Lincoln College—Normal. He’s lived in Normal for what seems like forever, but really hates moving, so he’s not going anywhere for a while. He serves on the Board for Heartland Theatre. Bruce expresses his eternal gratitude for his editors, his son, Matthew, and his wife of 42 years, Diane. The three cats at home are responsible for lots of typos and gibberish in his writing.

Grant Machan, is a union actor and has appeared on many TV shows and Films and the stages of over 30 US states. He has published two collections of produced short plays in one volume: Don’t Go To London/Depraved Indifference,and a one-act play in four scenes: Meanwhile In Lobster Village. Both are available at Amazon online. Grant is currently looking for a production company for my episodic: Asylum Nights, the pitiful, hilarious, and horrible final 30 years of an extinct institution. He has also directed many staged readings and productions.

Kristi Zimmerman-This is Kristi’s official playwrighting debut – and she’s totally stoked to get to see her words come to life on stage! You might’ve seen Kristi at Heartland Theatre this past summer in “Come Rain or Come Shine” New Plays from the Heartland. She’s performed in several other Heartland productions including Photograph 51 (Rosalind Franklin) and Clybourne Park (Bev/Kathy), and Community Players productions; most recently Streetcar Named Desire (Stella). Kristi started writing at a young age, considering it a more “mature” way to bring her story ideas to life (once she realized she was the only kid in junior high who still played with her Barbies). Her idea for Mostocoliosis blossomed as an adult, after eating copious amounts of pasta. Off the stage, Kristi is a Six Sigma Black Belt (which sounds totally bad ass because… ninjas…) managing the Operational Excellence team at COUNTRY Financial. She also enjoys cotton candy, spinning on her Peloton and playing fetch with her cat, Bruce. She wants to thank her unbelievably amazing parents Bill and Charlene, her brother Nate (she attributes her imaginative ideas to his tutelage), and all of her hilarious and supportive friends and coworkers. Special shout out to Cristen and Connie for giving her play a chance, and Kelsey for being an awesome coach/director.

Special Thanks

Nightshop, Fat Jacks, ISU School of Theatre and Dance, Community Players Theatre, Jennifer Malloy, Heartland Theate Company, Jessie Sweich, Kathi Davis, Terri Ryburn, Michelle Woody, Bruce Boeck, Kat Gregory, Molly Briggs-Yonke, Megan Compton, Tyler Mardis, Casie Golliday, Zach Blick, Laura Kennedy, Brandon James, Dave Krostal

Thanks to Jen Malloy and Community Players Theatre for providing the wedding dress for “La Vie en Rose.”

Coming Soon

The Art Show coming March 5 at 7:00 pm and 8th at 5:00 pm at McLean County Arts Center. We are currently accepting submissions of short plays that are set in an art gallery. 1-4 characters with minimum scenic requirements. submit to Auditions will be announced soon.

Are We There Yet? Coming May 2020 We are currently accepting plays that involve travel. The plays will be performed at the Sprauge Gas Station Terri Ryburn’s Place. 1-4 characters with minimum scenic requirements. submit to

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