pygmalion-123012BoHo Theatre and Stage Left Theatre present a joint production of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion. The production runs January 5th through February 10th , 2013, at Theater Wit, and is directed by Stage Left Artistic Director Vance Smith.  Pygmalion represents the Bohemian Pillar of Beauty in BoHo Theatre‘s 2012/2013 Season, and continues Stage Left Theatre’s season exploring societal perceptions and expectations of women. This production celebrates the 100th anniversary of Pygmalion, which was first produced in 1913.



Pygmalion is the classic tale of wily Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle and her transformation into a “proper lady” at the hands of the arrogant dialect expert Henry Higgins. On a bet, Higgins takes Eliza in off the street and trains her to pass for a duchess at an ambassador’s garden party by teaching her to assume a veneer of gentility, the most important element of which, he believes, is impeccable speech. What he isn’t quite ready to accept, however, is that Eliza is a real person, not just an experiment: one with plans and feelings of her own.

Shaw’s biting social commentary on class, manners, and the place of women in society remains as hilarious and challenging as when it was first performed in 1913. In celebration of the play’s centennial, this production offers the original story, using the script as it was first produced, before Shaw adapted it for film, added additional scenes, and before it inspired the beloved musical My Fair Lady. Now, 100 years later, a woman’s rights and place in society continue to be contentious issues. By bringing the past to life onstage, BoHo and Stage Left remind us how far we’ve come on the issues of women’s roles and the definition of beauty, and how far we still have to go.


Pygmalion is a joint venture between Stage Left Theatre and BoHo Theatre. It presents the opportunity for each organization to learn from the other while melding their distinct artistic directions into a single production. Pygmalion will feature regular BoHo artists Theresa Ham (costume design), Cassy Schillo (props design), and Charles Riffenburg (graphic design) working alongside Stage Left company members Jessica Harpenau (lighting design), Adam Smith (sound design) Tara Malpass (stage management) and Kristin Steele (production management), with members of each company appearing in the cast. The production is directed by Stage Left Theatre’s Artistic Director Vance Smith, with BoHo Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director Peter Robel as Associate Director

“A lot of us at Stage Left have long been admirers of BoHo’s work,” says Artistic Director Vance Smith. “This partnership allows the two companies to learn from each other both artistically and administratively.  In addition, the combined resources of the two companies will enable us to produce this play at level that we may not have been able to individually.”

Stage Left Theatre, now in its 31st season, has dedicated their season to examining the perceptions and expectations of women in society.

BoHo Theatre recently received national critical acclaim for its production of Floyd Collins at Theater Wit, with The Wall Street Journal calling it “a major event… I can’t imagine a better revival.” “BoHo is committed to crafting a process-driven experience for both our actors and artists,” says BoHo Artistic Director Peter Marston Sullivan. “We bring that sensibility to our work in both the design meetings and the rehearsal room. Stage Left has established over 30 years of strong theatrical works, and we’re hoping in this partnership to learn ways to grow in our process and reach new audiences as we move into BoHo’s 10th season next year.”



By George Bernard Shaw

Directed by Vance Smith

Associate Directed by Peter Robel

January 5 – February 10, 2013

at Theater Wit, 1229 W Belmont Ave, Chicago

Performance Times:

Press Opening / Opening Night: Thursday. January 10, 2013 at 8:00pm

Previews: January 5 at 8pm, January 6 at 3pm, January 9 at 8pm

Performance run: January 11 – February 10, 2013

Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 3:00 pm.


Stage Left ensemble member Mouzam Makkar as Eliza Doolittle


Steve O’Connell as Henry Higgins


BoHo Company members Rebecca Mauldin, Charles Riffenburg and Stephanie Sullivan;

Stage Left artists Sandy Elias, Lisa Herceg, Mark Pracht and Zev Valancy;

and guest artists Laura Sturm and Jeannie Saracino

Production Team:

Associate Director: Peter Robel

Scenic Design: Eleanor Kahn

Lighting Design: Jessica Harpenau

Costume Design: Theresa Ham

Sound Design: Adam Smith

Props Design: Cassy Schillo

Dialect Coach: Lindsay Bartlett

Dramaturg: Skye Robinson Hillis

Graphic Design: Charles Riffenburg

Stage Manager: Tara Malpass

Production Manager: Kristin Steele


For tickets: call the Theater Wit box office at 773.975.8150

or visit or

Previews (January 5 – 9) ticket price: $20

Regular run ticket price: $25


Vance Smith (Director)

Vance joined Stage Left as Artistic Director in the fall of 2009.  His Stage Left credits include directing Farragut North (at Theater Wit and at Theater on the Lake), Kingsville, The Interview (LeapFest 9) and Mother Bear (LeapFest 7), as well as performing in The Eight: Reindeer Monologues and Fellow Travellers.  In 2007, Vance founded Black Sheep Productions, where he served as Artistic Director and directed Another Day in the Empire, Camp Freedom! and The End. He has also directed workshops, one-acts and readings at Stage Left, Theatre Seven, Chicago Dramatists and the side project. As an actor Vance has worked with Lifeline, Timeline, Hypocrites, Remy Bumppo, Northlight, Victory Gardens, Factory, and many others. He received a Jeff Nomination for his performance as Lenny in Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming at Mary Arrchie Theatre and will be understudying Pinter’s The Birthday Party at Steppenwolf beginning in January.  Vance attended the School at Steppenwolf in 2004 and graduated from Tulane University.

Mouzam Makkar (Eliza Doolittle)

Mouzam is a proud ensemble member of Stage Left Theatre where her previous credits include Here Where It’s Safe, Thirst (LeapFest 8), and Warped (LeapFest 9). Recent Chicago theater credits include Dirty (The Gift Theatre), Gruesome Playground Injuries (Rasaka Theatre), Melancholy Play (Grey Ghost Theatre), The Fever Chart: Four Visions of the Middle East (Eclipse Theatre), and the original and remount productions of 1001 (Collaboraction). She has also worked with First Folio Theatre, Silk Road Rising, Writers’ Theatre, Victory Gardens, American Theater Company, the side project, Theatre Seven, and regionally with Cardinal Stage (IN). TV credits include Chicago Fire (NBC), The Mob Doctor (FOX), and Sirens (USA pilot). Makkar is a graduate of The School at Steppenwolf and the Second City Conservatory and Writing programs. For more information:

Steve O’Connell (Henry Higgins)

Steve’s previous credits with BoHo Theatre include H.T. Carmichael in Floyd Collins, the Reverend Manders in Ghosts, and Dr. Treves in The Elephant Man. Recent Chicago credits include Hostage Song with Signal Ensemble Theatre and the world premiere of The Kid Thing with Chicago Dramatists and About Face. Other credits include work with Timeline, Red Tape, Circle, Metropolis, Infusion, Madison Rep. and The Milwaukee Chamber Theatre. Film and television credits include the Chicago indie, Masterz In Motion and the Lifetime Original, Last Man Standing. As a writer, Steve’s work has been performed at both the Chicago and New York Fringe Festivals and most recently at City Lit Theatre, where his adaptation of The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner took first prize at the 2011 Art of Adaptation Festival. For more information:


Founded in 1982, Stage Left Theatre is committed to developing and producing plays that raise debate and challenge perspectives on political and social issues. Through a full subscription season and our new play development program Downstage Left, Stage Left strives to ask provocative social and political questions by producing a mix of new works, regional premieres and timeless classics.

Stage Left’s 31st Season includes Impenetrable, by a world premiere play by Mia McCullough; Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, a co-production with BoHo Theatre; Rabbit by Nina Raine; and LeapFest, new play development festival now in its 10th year. Stage Left is a resident company at Theater Wit.


BoHo Theatre seeks to challenge convention through literary originality and eclectic expression while fostering an ever-evolving artistic environment in which people are inspired to learn, think, dream, and feel; to teach others and ourselves how to expand, create, and present art through theatre while reveling not only in the process, but also in the journey.

BoHo Theatre structures each of its seasons around the four pillars of Bohemian philosophy: Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Love. BoHo’s 2012/2013 season features: The Spitfire Grill by James Valcq and Fred Alley (Freedom) at the Heartland Studio, Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw (Beauty) in partnership with Stage Left Theatre at Theater Wit, Hauptmann by John Logan (Truth) at the Heartland Studio, and Kiss of the Spider Woman by John Kander, Fred Ebb, and Terrence McNally (Love) at Theater Wit.