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Lettie Program

The Harper Ensemble Theatre Company, Liberal Arts Division, and Cultural Arts Committee Present


by Boo Killebrew



Molly Rosen


Kat Myers


Courtney San Pedro


J. Cole Lebrecht


Brandon Saam


Liliana Renteria



For Lettie

Sage Perkins

For Carla

Elizabeth Michniak

For Minny

Zehra Peksak

For River

Stephen DeWaal 

For Frank

Matthew Taylor 

For Layla

Adilene Cruz

*Understudies will never substitute for a listed player unless an announcement is made at the time of the performance.



Chicago and then Wisconsin. The present.


90 minutes, no intermission.

Content Advisory:  Lettie contains strong language that may not be appropriate for younger patrons.


  • If we can help accommodate you during your visit, please speak with our House Manager.
  • Eating or drinking is not permitted in the theatre.
  • Please turn off all electronic devices.
  • The use of any recording device, either audio or video and the taking of photographs, either with or without flash, is strictly prohibited.



Kevin Long

Scenic Designer

Lauren Nichols

Lighting Designer

Andrew H. Meyers

Costume Designer

Jane DeBondt

Sound Designer

Jenna Moran

Props Designer

Jenna Moran

Production Stage Manager

Kate Stewart

Assistant Stage Manager

Alyssa Maslanka


Mary T. Christel

Fight Choreographer

Brian Gill

Student Assistant Director

Diego Camacho

Student Assistant Dramaturg

Kyla Herr

Lobby Display

Mary T. Christel, Kyla Herr, and Kevin Long


Theatre Technical Director

Chelsea Lynn

Construction Coordinator

Evan Sposato

Scenic Painter

Lisa Giebler

Run Crew

Diego Camacho, Adilene Cruz, Kristin Dawson, Stephen DeWaal, Kyla Herr, Grace Kelley, Sophia Moritz, Aahib Sanjay Rao  

Costume Crew

Manar Basrawi, Emily Lundsgaard

Light Board Operator

Amanda Gouskos

Sound Board Operator

Alex Chrisos

Set Construction Crew

Tom French, Chelsea Lynn, Evan Sposato, Students from THE111 and THE212 


"You know how they always tell us, 'You have to forgive yourself. You have to move forward. Take what you’ve learned and move forward.' I’ll never be able to really do that. … I don’t think there’s really any moving forward. I think there’s just moving along.” – Minny from Lettie

Lettie is based on real Chicago stories of women in re-entry programs. In her research, playwright Boo Killebrew developed close relationships with Grace House and other Chicago based organizations whose mission is to support and advocate for formerly incarcerated women now working in re-entry jobs. We witness the difficulties that Lettie encounters as she transitions back into society struggling to regain and rebuild the life she once had.

The original title of the play was Doing It. After some serious mistakes, Lettie has worked hard to make a clean start. Despite the many difficulties she faces, Lettie is desperately trying to “do it” with the hope that her efforts would be rewarded by gaining back the life she left behind. We witness the journey of an ordinary working class woman trying to find her way back into society and back into her family. But can society and this family really let her “do it”? Through her intimate, funny, and heartbreaking play, Boo gives this “invisible population” space and voice. — Kevin Long, Director


In Lettie, playwright, Boo Killibrew poses a series of questions for the audience to confront: Do only “bad” people go to prison? Do women face the same challenges in prison that men do? How easy is it for recently incarcerated people to re-enter society? Can they move ahead with their lives and shed the stigma of incarceration?

After seven years serving time for drug possession and trafficking, Lettie returns adapting to life in Spring House, where she must conform to the rules of highly structured community living. Her grueling job training program seems designed for failure in a male-dominated workforce. Thinking she can restore her family ties, she strives to connect with her teenage children, who were not allowed much direct contact with their mother over those seven years of incarceration.

The play resists providing easy answers to those questions. It underscores how an incarcerated woman is stuck in time as her children grow and change without her as a mother to nurture and support them. They find themselves a part of the only nuclear family they have ever known, something Lettie never knew herself and did not provide for her children. What can Lettie offer them as a mother, now present rather than absent? How can Lettie expect her sister and brother-in-law to give up the only children they have ever raised? Lettie struggles in so many ways. Can she provide for herself emotionally and economically, let alone for her children? Can she find a way ahead as a valued member of society, as a mother, as her authentic self, free of past stigmas? Therein lies the drama. Many questions, precious few easy answers. — Mary T. Christel, Dramaturg



Playwright Boo KillebrewBoo Killebrew (Playwright), Boo Killebrew was a Lila Acheson Playwriting Fellow at The Juilliard School and the recipient of The Paula Vogel Award at The Vineyard Theater. She is an alumnus of the Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater, a recipient of a NYFA Fellowship, a resident of The SPACE Working Farm, an Affiliated Artist with New Georges, and Usual Suspect with New York Theater Workshop. Her plays include Lettie (Jeff Award, Best New Play; Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, Victory Gardens Theater) Miller, Mississippi (The Leah Ryan Prize, Dallas Theatre Center, Long Wharf Theater); Romance Novels for Dummies (Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, Williamstown Theater Festival), Days Like Diamonds, The Play About my Dad (59e59 Theaters, The Raven Theater, Jermyn Street Theatre), The d Life, Caveat Emptor and The Momentum (NYC Fringe Festival Excellence Award for Overall Production of a Play; GLAAD Media Award Nominee). Her work has been presented at The Roundabout Theatre, The Public Theater, Williamstown Theater Festival, The Atlantic, New York Theater Workshop, Victory Gardens, New York Stage and Film, Perry Mansfield, Portland Center Stage, New Georges, Clubbed Thumb, The Huntington Theatre Co., 59e59 Theaters, The New Ohio, The Labyrinth, The Alley Theatre, and Boston Playwright's Theatre. Boo was an Edward F. Albee Foundation Fellow, an Artist in Residence at NYFA, The MacDowell Colony, Robert Wilson's Watermill Center, New York Theater Workshop, Williamstown Theater Festival, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Boo received a Writers Guild Award and an Emmy nomination for her work on the limited series, Mrs. America (FX), and has been a writer/ producer for the TV series Longmire (Netflix), A Teacher (FX), Painkiller (Netflix), Fleishman is in Trouble (WGA Nominee, FX), Physical (Apple), Lessons in Chemistry (Apple) and is currently developing an original series for HBO MAX.

Kevin Long (Director​),​ Nominated for The 2015 Tony Award® for Excellence in Theatre Education and co-author of the book Bring on the Bard: Active Drama Approaches for Shakespeare’s Diverse Student Readers, Kevin​ is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Harper College, the recipient of the 2018 Motorola Solutions Foundation Endowed Award for Teaching Excellence, recipient of the 2012 Illinois Theatre Association Award for Excellence in College Theatre Teaching, and an Associate Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Kevin is a nationally recognized expert in teaching Folio Technique and frequently presents his workshop “Shakespeare Whispers into Your Ear,” which explores the language and theatre of Shakespeare using the 1623 First Folio. Kevin teaches Folio Technique for Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Education Department, ​for Actors Training Center, and at various institutions and theatres across the country. Learn more at Kevin's website.

Lauren Nichols (Set Designer)design credits include Cinderella (Village Theatre- Seattle); Anna in the Tropics (Remy Bumppo); Tiger Style (Writers Theatre); Rose (Renaissance Theaterworks - Milwaukee); In Every Generation (Victory Gardens); Lighthouses in the Desert (Glass Apple); Falstaff (DePaul Opera); Gloria (UIC); The Pillowman (The Gift); Always Patsy Cline, Queen of the Mist (Firebrand); P.Y.G (Jackalope); Big Fish (Boho); and A Scientific Method (Rivendell). As an assistant she has worked with Julliard, NY Theatre Workshop, St. Louis Opera, Goodman, Steppenwolf, Milwaukee Rep, The Alliance, and Oregon Shakes. She teaches drafting and digital design at The Theatre School - DePaul University. MFA Northwestern. Learn more at Lauren's website.

Andrew H. Meyers (Lighting Designer) is thrilled to be lighting another show at Harper, where he previously lit Pippin, American Idiot and several others. He lights theatre, opera, ballet, and corporate events and fashion shows, and the occasional rock concert, all around the country. He is the Resident Lighting Designer for Music Theatre Works.

Jane DeBondt (Costume Designer) graduated from Millikin University in 1984 and was an equity actor for ten years. She has been a professional designer/stitcher since 1994. For the past four years Jane and her design partner Jesus Perez have been the lead costume designers for RAIL EVENTS Polar Express. Other recent productions include Emma (St. Ignatius High School)​;​Sense and Sensibility, Too Heavy for Your Pocket, Shakespeare in Love (Harper College); and Sister Act, Sweeney Todd, and Disaster! (Rocky Mountain Repertory theater)​. Jane is currently the resident costume designer at Harper College.

Jenna Moran (Sound Designer and Engineer) This is the twelfth show that Jenna has designed at Harper. Select credits include Sense and Sensibility, Too Heavy for Your Pocket, Shakespeare in Love, Follies, Fiddler on the Roof, Driving Miss Daisy, and Parade. Jenna has worked at several of Chicago’s top theaters including Lookingglass Theatre Company, Court Theatre, The House Theatre of Chicago, and Porchlight Music Theatre, where she is a proud Artistic Associate. She has also worked for The Walt Disney Company and represented the US at the 2015 Prague Quadrennial​, where her work was on display throughout the Czech Republic. Jenna is a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University​,​ with her BFA in Sound Design​,​ and studied at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, England.

Mary T. Christel (Dramaturg) currently is the curriculum developer for TimeLine Theatre’s Living History program, which offers classroom residencies and hosts performances for Chicago Public School students. Mary has co-authorized Bring on the Bard: Active Drama Approaches for Shakespeare’s Diverse Student Readers with Kevin Long and feels lucky to contribute to this production as company dramaturg.

Brian J. Gill (Fight Choreographer) is a member of the Theatre Arts Faculty at the University of Wisconsin Parkside serving as an Associate Professor of Performance. A professional stage actor for 30 years, Brian has performed with Next Act Theatre, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, and more. Brian holds numerous weapon certifications with Dueling Arts International, Stage Combat Deutschland, and the Society of American Fight Directors, where he holds the rank of advanced actor-combatant. Brian is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association.

Kate Stewart (Stage Manager) is stage managing her 11th show with the Harper College Theatre Ensemble. While she's a graduate of Columbia College of Chicago, she got her start at Harper. Some of her favorite shows to work on have been Fiddler on the Roof, Boeing- Boeing, and Driving Ms. Daisy. She wants to thank her family for their unending support, and encouragement.

Alyssa Maslanka (Assistant Stage Manager) Alyssa is a Harper graduate who moved to Roosevelt and got their bachelor’s in criminal justice. Alyssa works full time in a drug testing laboratory and is super excited to be working on another show with Kevin and Kate! She is thrilled to be part of another great show with a fantastic cast and crew!

Diego Camacho (Student Assistant Director) will be making his debut as the Student Assistant Director for Lettie. Previously though, he has largely acted in productions growing up, having done theatre work within the local community. He is a current Harper College student who is pursuing a Master’s in Social Work once he transfers. Though of course, he is proud to continue furthering his work with theatre and will always be looking for more!


Cast Member Adilene Cruz

Adilene Cruz (u/s Layla) is so pleased to have been given this understudy role of Layla in Lettie at Harper College. She is a current Harper College student who has had the courage to finally step up and begin a new chapter in her life as an actor. A huge thanks to Kevin and Diego for giving her an opportunity to grow.

Cast Member Stephen DeWaal

Stephen DeWaal (u/s River) is making his first theatrical appearance with Harper College Ensemble Theater Company. Stephen has taken classes and has performed improv comedy at The Second City in Chicago and at local theaters down in Delray Beach, Florida. He has always wanted to be a part of a theater production since he was young but was too nervous to ever audition. He’s excited to transform what he has learned into this production. He is currently working on finish his AA here at Harper College.

Cast member Cole Lebrecht

Cole Lebrecht (River) is excited to make his debut with the Harper College Ensemble Theatre Company.  This is Cole's first show since high school and he's so excited to get back into it.  You may have seen him as a part of Prospect High Rose and the Rime (Jimmy), Horse Play (Kyle), and The Odd Couple (Murray).  Cole wants to thank his mom Kris and his aunt Jeanne and hopes that everyone enjoys the show!

Cast Member Elizabeth Michniak

Elizabeth Michniak (u/s Carla) is excited to perform the role of Carla’s understudy. Most recently, she played the role of Claire in Harper’s fall production of Proof. She is graduating from Harper this spring with an Associate in Arts and plans to pursue a Bachelor’s in Communications. 

Cast Member Kat Myers

Kat Myers (Carla) is making her debut with the Harper College Ensemble Theatre Company. Favorite roles include Kelli Mangrum in Hands on a Hardbody (TheatreWorks Florida), Joanna in Home Free! (WIU Studio Theatre), and the Baker's Wife in Into the Woods (Stahl Family Theatre). Thanks to Davey for holding down the fort, and love to her mom for being Kat's biggest fan.

Cast Member Zehra Peksak

Zehra Peksak (u/s Minny) is thrilled to be making her debut on stage with the Harper College Ensemble Theatre Company. She is a current Harper College student who intends to pursue a career as an actor. She also loves playing piano and singing in her spare time. She is grateful to have been given this incredible opportunity by Kevin Long. Special thanks to family and friends for their love and support.

Cast Member Sage Perkins

Sage Perkins (u/s Lettie) is making her debut appearance with the Harper College Ensemble Theater Company. Other credits include Shirley Holmes in Hound of the Baskervilles (Prairie Ridge High School), The Giantess in Into the Woods (Prairie Ridge High School) and Anabel Lee in Still Life with Iris (Prairie Ridge High School). She would like to thank cast, crew, friends and family for support and commitment to this production.

Cast member Molly Rosen

Molly Rosen (Lettie) is making her second appearance with the Harper College Ensemble Theatre Company after performing as Catherine in Proof last Fall. She is a recent graduate of Harper College and thanks her friends and family for their continued love and support.

Cast member Brandon Saam

Brandon Saam (Frank) is making his first appearance with the Harper College Ensemble Theatre Company. Other credits include George in Mary Poppins (Schaumburg High School) and Colonel Mustard in Clue (Schaumburg High School). He is a recent graduate of Schaumburg High School and wants to thank his friends and family for their love and support. He wants to specially thank his mother for pushing him to pursue his dreams and for giving him the strength to keep going. He hopes you enjoy the show!

Cast Member Courtney San Pedro

Courtney San Pedro (Minny) has loved being a part of this wonderful show and working with all these talented people! Productions you may have recently seen her in are Spongebob the Musical as Sandy Cheeks, Addams family as Morticia, and Little Women as Amy March. Besides performing, in her free time she loves to go bowling and bake. She is extremely passionate about performing and would like to thank her family and friends for unconditionally supporting her in wanting to make this her career and she hopes you enjoy the show!

Cast Member Liliana Renteria

Liliana Renteria (Layla) is thrilled to be a part of Harper College’s production of Lettie, playing the role of "Layla". She is looking forward to working with such an incredible cast and crew. Liliana is sending so much love to her Maywood Fine Arts family! Liliana was last seen in Steep Theatres Production of Our Dear Dead Drug Lord! "Jeff Recommended" and The Chicago Lyric Opera's fall production of Fiddler on the Roof.  

Matthew Taylor Cast Member

Matthew Taylor (u/s Frank) will be making his theatrical debut as Frank’s understudy. This is also his first time performing with the Harper College Ensemble Theatre Company. Matt is a current Harper student who will pursue acting after he transfers.  He’d like to thank his six pets and entire school of fish as well as his parents and his girlfriend for all their support.


Mike Barzacchini, Kurt Billsten, Laura Brown, Box Office Staff, Cultural Arts Committee, Custodial Staff, Susan Dennis, Ashley Eiermann, Brian Gill, Harper College Educational Foundation, Michael Gicla, Tara Gray, Melissa Harrah, Michael Hubatch, MaryAnn Janosik, Wayne Johnson, Lillian Knight, Thom Lange, Steve Liggio, Michael and Elizabeth Maslanka, Kristyn Meyer, Micael Nejman, Scott Nelson, Jesus Perez, Performing Arts Center Staff, Myrna Petlicki, Physical Plant Staff, Kimberly Pohl, Kevin Prchal, Public Safety Staff, Jaime Riewerts, Sue Borchek-Smith, Nick Smith, Adam Stevens, Christopher Sweet, Dana Tenenbaum, Suzette Tolentino, Daniel Vargas, Marguerita Whitby, Heather Zoldak


Manager, Conference and Events Services

Thomas Lange

Performing Arts Center Technical Director

Chelsea Lynn

Event Operations Manager/Box Office Manager

Daniel Miller

Dean of Liberal Arts

Jaime Riewerts

Co-Chair of Communication Arts Department

Kevin Long

Co-Chair of Communication Arts Department

Brian Shelton

Director of Theatre

Laura Pulio Colbert