Kate Carson-Groner is a Chicago-based actor, musician, and writer originally from North Carolina. This winter, she will be performing at Actors Theatre of Louisville in the Hypocrites' H.M.S. Pinafore, and has also performed at the American Repertory Theatre and Steppenwolf. As a Hypocrites Community Member, Kate has performed in the Gilbert & Sullivan Rep (Pirates, Mikado, and HMS Pinafore) and co-music directed and performed in both the World Premiere and Remount of the epic All Our Tragic at the Den Theatre, and received an Equity Jeff Award for Best Ensemble for this production. Kate is active in the Chicago comedy world, having graduated from the Second City Conservatory and Music Improv Program, and the iO program. She spent three years on Harold teams at iO and has performed in Baby Wants Candy, infinite Sundaes, MiNT, and Storytown Improv. Kate has written and played music around town with her duo Lilac & Crow and has sung at numerous fundraisers and events. She sings and plays accordion, guitar, piano, mandolin, and musical saw. She co-wrote and acted in the comedy webseries "Funemployed Chicago" as well as writing 5 original songs for the series' final season. As a VoiceOver actor, Kate has voiced ads for McDonald's, McCafe, Kohler, Illinois Lottery, JustWink Cards, and more. She is thrilled to announce that she will be appearing in the Hypocrites' World Premiere adaptation "Johanna Faustus" this spring at the Den theater, as well as travelling back to American Repertory Theater and to the Olney Theatre with the Gilbert & Sullivan Rep.
EDUCATION The Second City Chicago Conservatory Program, Music Conservatory, Improvisational Acting A-E Instructors - Anne Libera, Kevin Reome, Micah Philbrook, Norm Holly, Jeff Bouthiette, Andrew Roy Ritter, Jonathan Wagoner iO Chicago Improvisational Acting and Music Improv Instructors – Dave Asher, Seth Weitberg, Christy Bonstell, Susan Messing, Shane Wilson, Matt Higbee Tom Todoroff Master Class – JTF Miami Susan Messing Protecting the Freak Workshop – JTF Miami David Razowsky Instant Characters and Positive Choices Workshop – Sick Puppies Miami iO Intensive in Miami - JTF Miami Instructors – Charna Halpern, Lyndsay Hailey, Tara DiFransisco Kevin Mac Donald Sketch Writing Workshop – SAK Comedy Lab, Orlando Jeanette Hopkins Vocal Instuction Voice Range: Soprano & Alto Skills - Shortform and longform improvisation, sketch and screenplay writer, vocalist, freestyle and basic dance, marathon runner, scuba diver, basic handgun, stage combat, golf, professional fashion design and fine arts Accents: Southern, British, Jamaican, Wicked Witch Cackle
Sabrina Harms hails from the ever-sunny state of Colorado. She received her BFA in Acting from DePaul University in 2015. Her Chicago credits include El Stories: Heroes, with the Waltzing Mechanics and Tales of Fated Love with Clock Theatre. She recently starred in her first indie feature film, The Immediate Unknown, and is currently co-writing and staring in the indie web series DOIN' STUFF!
Claire Kander is a Midwestern gal with intense passion for acting, music, laughter, adventure, wildlife, forests and rivers. Born and raised in a small town in rural Michigan, performance has been an essential part of her life since she was a tiny child. She had the privilege of being a founding member of Michigan Youth Theater with whom she toured Shakespeare and educational shows to schools and festivals around the state for a decade. She moved to New York City when she was 18 to work in a Brooklyn elementary school as an Americorps member. After a year of service, she moved to Chicago to pursue her acting ambitions. She has been seen with many reputable Chicago theaters including Goodman Theatre, Raven Theatre Company, New Leaf Theatre, Collaboraction, Lifeline Theatre, and National Pastime Theater. She also gained on-camera experience, became a member of AEA & SAG-AFTRA, and enthusiastically delved into the voice-over world. Her voice has been heard in numerous TV and radio commercials for Walgreens, McDonald's, The Laughing Cow, Colgate, American Family Insurance, Allstate, Ziploc, Artemis, La Quinta Inns, Cox Internet and many more. Kander is represented by NV Talent for on-camera and Grossman & Jack Talent for voice-over. Kander is also a singer/songwriter and musician. She plays guitar, harmonica, ukulele and synth. She co-founded the band Scuttlebuggs (scuttlebuggs.com), which performed around the country and released their debut album in 2013 and has since released two EPs. Currently writing and performing music solo as HoboLoaf and with her newly founded band Decent People. Kander has also traveled extensively, from living in a van while exploring America (vanlifeinthescuttlebuss.blogspot.com), to working at a wildlife rescue center for a month in Costa Rica. Her best friend is a spitz-mix from the Chicago streets named Yoshi. He is fiercely emotionally intelligent and complex and she has decided he will never die.
Katie Klein began her improv career in Washington DC, where she trained with the DC improv comedy school and performed with Comedy Sportz and iMusical. Now in Chicago, she has trained with iO and The Second City. She performed with Second City's training center house ensemble and BenchCo, their kids show Improv Extravaganza Explosion, and now works with Second City works performing across the country. At iO she performs weekly with The Late 90’s, Virgin Daiquiri and Superhuman. She is a cast member of the Laugh Out Loud theater and performs independently with her partner-in-crime, in their tag-team duo, Ed and Kath.
Mayra Leal is a talented Latina cinema artist of Mexican and El Salvadorian descent, born in Houston, Texas. The University of Houston Communications and Mathematics graduate has discovered a passion for film, TV and digital media and is garnering the attention of veteran producers, directors, business leaders, marketing agencies, fashion designers, and a growing loyal fan-base. She enjoys the business of entertainment, but loves to spend time with her family and friends when not on the set. She currently resides in Malibu. Mayra has over 32 movie and TV credits to her name and has appeared in several music videos, featured in “Locked Up Abroad in Bangladesh” – National Geographic, “Revolution”, “Southland”, and “Memphis Beat”. She has also been introduced in “Machete” by Director Robert Rodriguez, starred in “Playing House” by Director Tom Vaughn and supported in “Sanitarium” with Robert Englund (“Freddy Kruger”) and Lou Diamond Phillips, to name a few. She most recently completed “The Wisdom to Know the Difference” by Director Daniel Baldwin with William Baldwin, Lou Diamond Phillips, Andy Bowles Elle LaMont and Faith Stanek, which resulted in four best pictures with prominent film festivals and two best actor nominations for Mayra.
Julia Merchant was most recently seen in The Revel with The House Theatre, and Say You Love Me: Fleetwood Mac Turns 40! a cabaret tribute to one of her very favorite bands. Julia has previously worked with Underscore Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare, Emerald City, and Collaboraction. Julia has worked as a VO for companies such as McDonalds, Walgreens, Sears, and Proctor and Gamble. Julia is an accomplished singer, performing as a solo artist and in several ensembles. She plays guitar, piano, violin, and anything else she can get her hands on. www.juliamerchant.com
Laurie Carter Rose
Laurie is a Chicago-based actor, singer, dancer and voice over talent. Originally from Cincinnati, she is a graduate of Miami University and a proud member of SAG/AFTRA and AEA. Laurie has been fortunate to live and perform in NYC, LA, Tokyo and London before landing in Chicago and calling it home for the last 20 plus years. She hones her survival and comedy improv skills daily parenting three loud, large, and hungry teenage sons. Laurie most recently played the temperamental leading lady, Irene Livingston, in the Moss Hart comedy ‘’Light Up the Sky’’ at Citadel Theatre in Lake Forest, IL. She was also seen by Michigan audiences last summer as Georgette Howard in the hilarious musical ‘’It Shoulda Been You’’. Favorite past theatre credits include ‘’Jesus Christ Superstar’’ (Broadway National Tour), ‘’Sunset Boulevard’’ (London’s West End starring Betty Buckley), Masha in ‘’Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’’ (Artists’ Ensemble), and ‘’Follies’’ (Drury Lane Oakbrook). As an alto (bordering on bass with each passing year), Laurie sings with Route 66, an all-women’s a cappella quartet that you might hear at your next corporate party or singing the National Anthem at Soldier Field.
Film & TV/Commercial___________________________ Bill Weiner: High School Guidance Counselor Sadie Funny or Die/iO Water Cooler Becoming Newsworthy (Industrial) Molly (Host) North by Northwest Productions It’s a Miracle Kristin Cast & Crew Productions Roaring Springs V/O North by Northwest Productions Hertz Car Sales V/O North by Northwest Productions Salem Center: Back to School North by Northwest Productions Governor’s Council on Sex Education (PSA) North by Northwest Productions Idaho Lottery North by Northwest Productions Theatre_________________________________________ Lay Me Down Softly Emer Irish Theatre of Chicago dir. Kevin Fox The Living Newspapers Susan Jackalope Theatre Winter Formal Ensemble iO Chicago (Harold Team in Residency) Well, Whatever Amy/Zooey/Jen Columbia College Music Dept. The Boxcar Children Violet Idaho Theatre for Youth dir. Carole Whiteleather Hamlet Attendant Idaho Shakespeare Festival dir. Charles Fee Two Gentlemen of Verona Ursula Idaho Repertory Theatre dir. Robert Caisley Wild Oats Marshall Idaho Repertory Theatre dir. Robert Caisley Prelude to a Kiss Various Idaho Repertory Theatre dir. Robert Caisley The Last Paving Stone Ito Idaho Theatre for Youth dir. Mark Lutwak Appleseed John and the Abby Idaho Theatre for Youth dir. Pamela Sternling Book of the Creature Skills___________________________________________ Wexford/Dublin Irish dialect Reads treble clef Plays flute, mellophone, French horn Musical Theatre/Voice Rides a fixed-gear bike Improv