WSR announces casting for Chicago Premiere of “Any Other Name”

WSR is excited to bring a 2015 LAB Series selection to the Mainstage with the Chicago Premiere of “Any Other Name.” The dark comedy by award-winning playwright George Brant opens March 17, 2017 at Raue Center For The Arts and runs select dates through April 2, 2017. In addition to performances in downtown Crystal Lake, “Any Other Name” transfers to Chicago’s Theater Wit April 21, 2017 and runs select dates through April 30, 2017.

“Any Other Name” is a wry psychological thriller about poetry, madness and identity theft in Victorian England. Edward Ballard, a poetry critic, and his formerly well-to-do American wife, Margaret, are on the brink of poverty, surviving on Edward’s aspirations of becoming a famous poet. Lofty dreams soon give way to reality, and Edward hatches a plan to save them from ruin by enlisting the aid of celebrated poet turned madman, John Clark. Desire, envy and deception build to the play’s surprising conclusion in this Chicago premiere by Williams Street Repertory, McHenry County’s only professional regional theatre company.

“Any Other Name” was the winner of Best Original Play in 2016 at the New Hampshire Theatre Awards and winner of the New Play Festival at Premiere Stages in NYC in 2009. “Any Other Name” has been workshopped at Trinity Repertory Company, WordBRIDGE Playwrights Lab and Shakespeare at Clark Park.

WSR’s production of “Any Other Name” features:

Greg Carere* as Edward Ballard

James Knight*+ as John Clark

Michele Vazquez*+ as Margaret Ballard

Frank Gaughan+ as Andrew Maddock

Brad Raimondo

WSR’s production of “Any Other Name” is directed by Brad Raimondo. In 2016, he was named the Associate Artistic Director of the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY. Raimondo is also the co-founder and Assistant Artistic Director of The Dreamscape Theatre, a NYC-based theater company dedicated to telling epic stories on a human scale.

“The process so far has been terrifically exciting,” says Raimondo. “I think that WSR and I share a certain all-hands-on-deck approach to getting the best possible work in front of the widest possible audience – and that’s always a treat.”

Raimondo has served as an assistant director Off-Broadway and is a proud member of SDC and a Drama League Classical Directing Fellow. He holds a BFA in Theater from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, an MA in Educational Theater from NYU’s Steinhardt School and an MFA in Directing from the New School for Drama.

On the return of “Any Other Name” to Crystal Lake, Brant explains “as I got my start in Chicago, I couldn’t be more thrilled to have WSR bring the play to my hometown – and even more so that Michele [Vazquez] will finally be playing the role that she helped to originate.”

George Brant

Brant’s work has been produced internationally and has received numerous accolades including the Lucille Lortel Award, the Smith Prize, the Fringe First Award and the Keene Prize for Literature, among others. Brant has recently garnered national attention for his award-winning play, “Grounded.” The celebrated play has been produced nationwide, including a high-profile production starring Anne Hathaway directed by Julie Taymor at NYC’s Public Theater.

An Affiliate Writer at the Playwrights’ Center, Brant’s other plays include “Elephant’s Graveyard,” “Marie and Rosetta,” “The Mourners’ Bench,” “Grizzly Mama,” “Salvage,” and “Three Voyages of the Lobotomobile.” Brant received his BFA in Writing from the Michener Center at UT-Austin and is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Tickets for WSR’s production of “Any Other Name” at Raue Center may be purchased online at or via the Box Office at 815.356.9212 or 26 N. Williams Street in downtown Crystal Lake. Tickets for Theater Wit may be purchased via the Box Office at 773.975.8150. Theater Wit is located at 1129 W. Belmont Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657. For more information, please visit

WSR is a member of Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for the American theatre. TCG has existed to strengthen, nurture and promote the professional not-for-profit American theatre for over 50 years.

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

+ WSR Ensemble Member

Founding Artistic Director: Richard Kuranda, SDC

Production Stage Manager: Caitlin I. Quinn

Producing Director: Mike Vandercook

Company Manager: Kate Wilford

Marketing Manager: Miriam Naponelli

Raue Center offers special seating arrangements and hearing devices for patrons with disabilities. Please call the box office at 815.356.9212 to make arrangements prior to the performance.

Raue Center Box Office | 815.356.9212 | 12 to 4p | Mon-Sat | Open Sundays on performance days 1 hour prior to performance.