Black Button Eyes Announces Casting for World Premiere of “NIGHTMARES AND NIGHTCAPS: The Stories of John Collier”

Black Button Eyes Productions is pleased to announce casting for its world premiere of NIGHTMARES AND NIGHTCAPS: The Stories of John Collier, a non-musical adaption of British author and screenwriter John Collier’s phantasmagoric short stories, written and directed by Producing Artistic Director Ed Rutherford with choreography by Derek Van Barham.

NIGHTMARES AND NIGHTCAPS will feature Kevin Webb with Megan DeLay, Ellen DeSitter, Kat Evans, Caitlin Jackson, Shane Roberie, Joshua Servantez, Maiko Terazawa and Lee Wichman.

NIGHTMARES AND NIGHTCAPS will play August 17 – September 15, 2018 at The Athenaeum Theatre (Studio Two), 2936 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at, by calling (773) 935-6875 or in person at The Athenaeum Theatre Box Office.

Before the Twilight Zone, there was British expatriate John Collier, writing humorous stories about the bizarre and fantastical for The New Yorker and sardonic screenplays in Hollywood throughout the first half of the 20th century. In this world premiere adaptation, an ominous host weaves together Collier’s comic tales of love, loss and the mysterious for the audience’s delight.

Black Button Eyes Productions’ world premiere of NIGHTMARES AND NIGHTCAPS: The Stories of John Collier will feature (top, l to r) Kevin Webb, Megan DeLay, Ellen DeSitter, Kat Evans, Caitlin Jackson (bottom, l to r) Shane Roberie, Joshua Servantez, Maiko Terazawa, Lee Wichman, Jessica Lauren Fisher and Paul Gene Miller.

The production team for NIGHTMARES AND NIGHTCAPS includes: Jeremiah Barr (scenic design, props design, puppet design, technical director) Beth Laske-Miller (costume design), Liz Cooper (lighting design), Robert Hornbostel (sound design) and Kyle Bricker (stage manager).

About the Artists:

Ed Rutherford (Adapter/Director) For Black Button Eyes, Ed most recently directed the Jeff-Recommended production of Nevermore – The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe (Chicago premiere), preceded by Shockheaded Peter (Chicago storefront premiere), Amour (Chicago premiere), Goblin Market and Stephin Merrit’s musical adaptation of Coraline (Midwest premiere). Recent directing credits elsewhere include the Jeff-Recommended productions of The Liar with Promethean Theatre Ensemble and Paula Vogel’s The Baltimore Waltz at Brown Paper Box Co. He is an artistic associate at Promethean, where he staged his own world premiere adaptation of the Peter S. Beagle fantasy novel The Last Unicorn, Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle and the company’s inaugural production, Christopher Durang’s Beyond Therapy. As an actor, he has performed with Drury Lane Oakbrook, Porchlight, Theater Wit and many others. A graduate of Northwestern’s theater program, he is currently completing his MBA at Kellogg.

Derek Van Barham (Choreographer) is the Associate Artistic Director of Pride Films & Plays, a member of the Red Tape Theatre ensemble, and a former Artistic Director of The Ruckus. For PFP, he has directed Perfect Arrangement, Angry Fags (Steppenwolf Garage Repertory), Songs from an Unmade Bed (Jeff nomination), and PRISCILLA, Queen of the Desert: The Musical (co-directed with David Zak). He also wrote, directed and choreographed BITE: A Pucking Queer Cabaret and Kill Your Boyfriends. Other directing credits include Three Days of Rain (Boho), The View Upstairs (Circle Theatre), Miracle! by Dan Savage and Skooby Don’t (Hell in a Handbag), Trash and HOT PINK (New American Folk Theatre) and From These Fatal Loins (The Ruckus). Choreography credits include The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier (Permoveo/PFP), Nevermore, Shockheaded Peter, Amour, Coraline, Goblin Market (Black Button Eyes). He was named one of Windy City Times 30 Under 30, recognizing individuals from Chicago’s LGBTQ+ community. MFA: Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Up next: Homos, or Everyone in America with PFP.

NIGHTMARES AND NIGHTCAPS was made possible in part by a grant from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events’ (DCASE) Individual Artist Program.

About Black Button Eyes Productions

The 2018-19 season continues Black Button Eyes Productions’ mission to bring to Chicago premieres and seldom-seen works containing elements of fantasy, in which the magical and surreal invade reality. The company was founded in 2014 with the acclaimed Midwest premiere of the musical Coraline, and continued in 2015 by producing the musical Goblin Market in its first Chicago production in over 15 years, attended by the author, Chicago native Polly Pen. In the past few seasons, the company has produced the Chicago premiere of the musical Amour, the Chicago storefront premiere of Shockheaded Peter, and the Chicago premiere of the musical Nevermore – The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe.