Lisle actress Tammy White featured in funny farce

L to R: Actors Rich Kropp of Glen Ellyn, Laura Leonardo Ownby of La Grange, Tammy White of Lisle and Thom Serafin of La Grange Park play cops and robbers in “Unnecessary Farce.” Photo by Peter Bosy.
L to R: Actors Rich Kropp of Glen Ellyn, Laura Leonardo Ownby of La Grange, Tammy White of Lisle and Thom Serafin of La Grange Park play cops and robbers in “Unnecessary Farce.” Photo by Peter Bosy.
Tammy White of Lisle is one of the leading actresses in the Theatre of Western Springs' (TWS) 3rd Mainstage play of the 85th season – the hilarious comedy “Unnecessary Farce” - written by Paul Slade Smith and directed by David Knezz. Performances take place from Jan. 23 – Feb. 2, 2014, at TWS, 4384 Hampton Ave., Western Springs. The play is suitable for adult audiences.

•    8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays – Jan. 23, 24, 25, 30, 31, Feb. 1
•    2:30 p.m. Sundays, Jan. 26 and Feb. 2
•    2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1
•    7:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26

Audience members are guaranteed an evening of non-stop, uproarious laughter at “Unnecessary Farce,” winner of seven regional theatre awards. The play is defined as a contemporary American farce.

In an economy motel room, an embezzling mayor is supposed to meet with his female accountant, while in the room next-door, two undercover cops wait to catch the meeting on videotape. But there's some confusion as to who's occupying which room, who's being videotaped, who's taken the money, who's hired a hit man, and why the accountant keeps taking off her clothes.

“The script is so funny that the actors and I laugh out loud during every rehearsal,” Director David Knezz said. “It has all the comedic value and physicality of the classic historical farces combined with a modern setting and unforgettable characters.”
"A farce this good ought to be a crime," said the Chicago Tribune in a review of another production of “Unnecessary Farce.”
Tickets are $18 and $20. Call the box office at 708-246-3380 or go to: http://www.theatrewesternsprings.com. Free parking is available.
Director David Knezz

David Knezz received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from National-Louis University in 1992 after enjoying a successful, decade-long career as a trader on the Chicago Board of Options Exchange.

He studied theatre and improvisation at Second City and Victory Gardens Theatre. Today, he works as Chicago actor and director and continues to serve as resident faculty member at the Children’s Theater of Western Springs where he has taught creative drama to children since 1992.

In1998 he was awarded a Legacy Award for excellence in teaching, and in 2009 the Illinois Theatre Association (ITA) honored him with its annual award for Excellence in Creative Dramatics.

Knezz was a founding member and director of the improv troupe Laughing Gas as well as director and designer of his own puppet company, Znkster Puppets. He also has an extensive background behind-the-scenes - as a prop master, lighting designer and tech director. For more than a decade, Knezz has created props, puppets and theatrical special effects for numerous theaters in Chicago and New York.

A mask-training workshop he attended in New York in 1998 unleashed his passion for the power of mask work to inform character. Unwilling to settle for the dismal supply of Halloween-style masks available, he harnessed his own abilities as an accomplished sculptor and started making his own masks. In Feb., 2007, he studied mask-making in Bali through an internship with Dell’Arte International.Today he is a revered international mask maker (http://www.mask-maker.com/) who creates masks for theatres and university drama programs around the world. He also teaches acting with masks as well as the art of mask-making.

The Playwright
After fifteen years working as an actor in Chicago, Paul Slade Smith began writing plays. The award-winning comedy “Unnecessary Farce” is his second play. Since its premiere at the Boars Head Theatre in Lansing, MI, in October of 2006, it has been produced more than 100 times.
Smith was named one of “50 To Watch: Writers of Exceptional Merit and Promise,” by the Dramatist magazine in 2007. He is currently at work on his next play, “A Real Lulu.”

As an actor, Paul Slade Smith has appeared in the national touring companies of “Wicked” and “The Phantom of the Opera,” as well as The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.

What is Farce?

Farce is a style of comedy that makes use of highly improbable situations, larger than life characters, exaggerations and physical humor. These comedies often included stock characters satirically depicting human traits such as lust, greed, jealousy, snobbery and deceit.
Despite its basic characterizations and improbable plots, farce has maintained popularity throughout the Western world since its beginnings in Greco-Roman times. From Shakespeare to the Marx Brothers, the appreciation for extraordinary characters in ludicrous situations has captivated every generation.
“The characters in ‘Unnecessary Farce’ mimic some of the classic Commedia Del Arte’ characters of the 1500s,” Knezz said. “The young lovers, braggart Capitano, the wily servant Arlecchino, and the bumbling Dottore are all recreated in modern form as the mayor, rookie cop, and reluctant hit man.”

Some popular modern American farces include “The Producers,” Book of Mormon,” “The Hangover,” Ghostbusters” and “Some Like It Hot.”



Mayor Meekly -     Jack Calvert of Western Springs
Todd -         Jonathon Kraft of Indian Head Park
Eric Sheridan - Rick Kropp of Glen Ellyn
Karen Brown -     Laura Leonardo Ownby of La Grange
Mary Meekly -    Ginny Richardson of Burr Ridge
Agent Frank -    Thom Serafin of La Grange Park
Billie Dwyer -     Tammy White of Lisle


Director – David Knezz of Homer Glen
Stage Manager – Amy Turner of Naperville
Assistant Stage Manager – Kathy Kovarik of Chicago
Tech Director – Thad Hallstein of Chicago
Costumes – Jen Torchia of Lombard
Costumes – Carrie Cerri of La Grange Park
Dramaturg – Dick Jacoby of Willowbrook
Hospitality – Mary Smith of Western Springs
Lights – Linda Bugielski of Indian Head Park
House Manager - Mike Janke of Downers Grove       
Makeup – Martha Niles of Chicago
Production Coordinator – Liz Steele of Western Springs
Program Editor – Debbie Angellilo of Oak Brook
Props – Tim Feeney of Downers Grove
Publicity – Margie Heitz of Addison
Set Construction – Tim Gannon of La Grange Park
Set Design – Deanna Markos of Western Springs
Set Dresser – Cheryle McKay of Clarendon Hills
Set Dresser – Michael Bolton of La Grange
Set Painting – Sandy Squillo of Clarendon Hills
Sound – John Brackett of Hinsdale   

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