That Night follows the story of Dana Holland—wrongfully incarcerated for over a decade—and his path toward exoneration. Karen, his attorney, is also depicted. Brian Weddington and Susie Griffith will be performing the roles respectively, you can learn more about Brian and Susie here.
As we head into tech we want to introduce you to our talented production team.
Jana Ross (Co-Adapter) is a documentary theatre artist, poet, and arts administrator. She is proud to serve on the staff of Erasing the Distance as Custom Programs Manager, where she has the joy of partnering with a wide variety of clients to help disarm stigma, spark dialogue, educate, and promote healing for audiences in Chicagoland and beyond. She has previously held positions with Touchstone Theatre, Cornerstone Theater Company, Actors Theatre Workshop, and American Theatre Company. She is deeply grateful to have held the words of Dana and Karen for the past three years, and to be sharing them with you now.
Simean Carpenter (Scenic & Light Design) is a young African American designer originally from Baltimore, MD. He has been designing theater/stages since the age of 13. He is currently a freelance teaching artist, lighting, projection and set designer in Chicago, IL. As a designer and assistant designer, his credits include: Hannah & Martin, In The Blood, HELA, A Soldier’s Play, Dutch Masters, That Night, Eclipsing Festival, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Native Son, Cat In The Hat, Eurydice, CRAZY, Christina the Girl King, Legally Blonde, DePaul Dance Company, After Mrs. Julie, Man of La Mancha, Hookman, Pippin, Ramayana. simcarpenter.com
Frankie Charles (Technical Director) is thrilled to work with Erasing the Distance for the first time.
Cage Sebastian Pierre (Co-Adapter, Assistant Director) is an actor/director honored to be telling this story. It’s a true epic that speaks to the grievous pitfalls in our justice system, the necessity for empathy, and the resilience of a spirit. He hopes that all of these are illuminated in this piece.
Gillian Ruggeri (Lobby Display) is a junior at Loyola University Chicago, studying psychology and criminal justice and criminology. Currently, she works part-time as a manager at Felice’s Kitchen on Loyola’s campus. She is the Vice President of Membership Programming in her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, the Iota Rho Chapter. She is also an associate member of Alpha Phi Sigma, a criminal justice honors society. Gillian has enjoyed being back in a theatrical setting, since she used to participate in theatre in high school, and she really hopes you enjoy the interactive lobby display!
Melanie Thompson (Co-Adapter, Stage Manager) is proud to call That Night, and return to ETD for her second show! Past Credits include: Good Enough!, KOALAS (16th Street Theatre Co.), Evil Dead, Shockheaded Peter (Black Button Eyes Productions), I Know My Own Heart (Pride Films & Plays), DocFest 2018: Learning 101 (Erasing the Distance), The Lonesome West, The Laramie Project (AstonRep). She’s a company member at AstonRep & received her BA at Dominican University! Endlessly thanking her friends, family & Prince the Cat for their endless love & support!
Heather Bodie (Director, Co-Adapter, Sound Design) is an actor and director with a deep commitment to new work, specifically documentary theatre. She was first introduced to Erasing the Distance in 2013 as an actor in the original production of Veteran’s Voices. Then, in 2016 she joined the staff as the Associate Artistic Director and in April of 2018 she was honored to accept the role of Artistic Director. She has been working with fellow adaptor Jana Ross on the story featured in this project since 2016, while developing the show from the Pop-Up Series titled The Forgiveness Project. Three years in the making and with nearly 10.5 hours of interview audio collected for this show, she is so grateful to be a part of the team of people helping to bring this story to the stage.