Fun Home

Winner of 5 Tony Awards Including Best Musical
“Easily the finest theatre score in a decade” —The Huffington Post
“Bittersweet, funny, and moving” —The Hollywood Reporter


Regional Theater Premiere


September 19 – November 12, 2017
Music by Jeanine Tesori
Book and Lyrics by Lisa Kron
Directed by Gary Griffin

Hailed as one of Broadway’s most original musicals and the winner of 5 Tony Awards, Fun Home is a groundbreaking story inspired by Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir. In this intimate musical, Alison sets out to unravel the many mysteries of her childhood through a series of memories and conversations – from her coming out to her moving journey to acceptance. Gary Griffin (Hand to God, Never the Sinner) directs this emotionally charged family drama that The New York Times calls “extraordinary,” and “a rare beauty.”

Jeanine Tesori (Music) For Broadway: Fun Home (2015 Tony Award winner); Violet; Caroline, or Change; Shrek the Musical; Thoroughly Modern Millie; Twelfth Night (LCT); John Guare’s A Free Man of Color. Delacorte: Mother Courage (starring Meryl Streep). Opera: A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck (libretto, Tony Kushner; Glimmerglass); The Lion, the Unicorn and Me (libretto, J.D. McClatchy; Washington National Opera). Her songs are featured in the Netflix revival of Gilmore Girls. She is the artistic director/co-founder of A Broader Way, an arts empowerment program for girls from underserved communities; the founding artistic director of Encores! Off-Center; and a lecturer in music at Yale University and Columbia University. Ms. Tesori is a member of the Dramatists Guild.


Lisa Kron (Book and Lyrics) has been writing and performing theater since coming to New York from Michigan in 1984. Her work has been widely produced in New York, regionally, and internationally. Her play Fun Home, a musical written with composer Jeanine Tesori and based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, earned her 2 Tony Awards in 2015, for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score (with Jeanine Tesori); the show also won the Tony Award for Best Musical. Other plays include The Ver**zon Play, which premiered 2012 Humana Festival; In The Wake which received Lortel and GLAAD Media Award nominations, was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, named a “Best Play of 2010” by TimeOut and Backstage, and was included in the Best Plays Theater Yearbook 2010-2011; Well, which premiered at the Public Theater, was named a “Best Play of 2004” by the New York Times, the Associated Press, the Newark Star Ledger, Backstage, and the Advocate, included in the Best Plays Theater Yearbook of 2003-2004, and moved to Broadway where both she and Jayne Houdyshell received Tony nominations for their performances. 2.5 Minute Ride, which had its New York premiere at the Public Theater, received OBIE, L.A. Drama-Logue, New York Press, and GLAAD Media Awards, and continues to be performed by Lisa and others all over the world;101 Humiliating Stories, which received a Drama Desk nomination for its PS122 premiere and was a part of Lincoln Center’s 1993 “Serious Fun!” performance series. Lisa is a founding member of the legendary OBIE and Bessie Award-winning collaborative theater company The Five Lesbian Brothers whose plays, Oedipus at Palm Springs, Brave Smiles, Brides of the Moon and The Secretaries have all been produced by their theatrical home, New York Theatre Workshop, and have been performed widely throughout the country both by the Brothers and by other companies. Their plays are published by T.C.G. in the anthology, “Five Lesbian Brothers/Four Plays” and also by Samuel French. Lisa has received playwriting fellowships from the Lortel and Guggenheim Foundations, Sundance Theater Lab, the Lark Play Development Center, and the MacDowell Colony, the Cal Arts/Alpert Award, a Helen Merrill Award, and grants from the Creative Capital Foundation and New York Foundation for the Arts. She was a resident playwright at the American Voices New Play Initiative at Arena Stage. As an actor, Lisa’s professional career as began in 1983 when Michael Kahn chose her as member of the ANTA Company, which toured three plays in rep for a season. Since then she has acted in her own plays and the plays of the Five Lesbian Brothers, and also seen in such productions as the Foundry’s Good Person of Szechwan at LaMama, The Normal Heart at the Public Theater, Spain at M.C.C., and The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, at NYTW. Lisa is a member of Actors Equity and serves on the Council of the Dramatists Guild of America.


Gary Griffin (Director) Victory Gardens Theater: Hand to God, Never the Sinner, Appropriate. London: Pacific Overtures (Donmar Warehouse, Olivier Award, Best Musical Production and Olivier Nominee, Best Director). Broadway: Honeymoon in Vegas, The Color Purple. Off-Broadway: Saved (Playwrights Horizons); The Apple Tree, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Pardon My English, The New Moon (Encores). Regional: Antony and Cleopatra, Camelot, West Side Story (Stratford Festival); work at McCarter, Alliance, Hartford Stage, Signature, Kansas City Rep., The Muny. Chicago: Road Show, Gypsy, Sunday in the Park With George, Follies, Amadeus, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); The Merry Widow, The Mikado, Oklahoma (Lyric Opera of Chicago); The Detective’s Wife, Loot (Writers Theatre). Associate Artistic Director, Chicago Shakespeare Theater. 10 Joseph Jefferson Awards for Directing.


McKinley Carter

McKinley Carter* (Helen Bechdel) is thrilled to make her Victory Gardens debut with Fun Home. Her most recent credits include Parade (Writer’s Theatre); My Way (Theatre At The Center); Deathtrap (Drury Lane Oakbrook); The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes (Mercury Theatre); The Merry Widow, Carousel (Lyric Opera). Other Chicago credits include: Road Show, Julius Caesar, and Sunday In The Park With George (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); Putting it Together (Porchlight Theatre); The Sound Of Music, Ragtime (Drury Lane Theatre); John and Jen (Apple Tree Theatre); Turn Of The Century, The Visit, Floyd Collins (Goodman Theatre); Forbidden Broadway (Royal George Theatre); Winesburg Ohio (Steppenwolf Theatre); Into the Woods (Marriott Theatre); James Joyce’s The Dead, Cymbeline, and Pericles, (Court Theatre). McKinley is a proud member of AEA and is represented by Gray Talent Group.


Preetish Chakraborty (John Bechdel) is in 8th grade and enjoys singing and acting. Preetish has been trained in Indian classical vocal music since age 6 and was the 2nd runner up in the very popular Indian singing reality show Saregamapa Lil Champs by Zee TV (in Mumbai, India). He has done several stage shows in many cities in the US as well as in India.  Preetish has been a member of the Young Naperville Singers boys choir and he was recently offered admission in the prestigious American Boychoir School in Princeton, NJ after his performance with them. Preetish is a natural performer and a gifted student who enjoys playing the piano, singing, acting, and everything Math and Science related. Preetish would like to thank Nirmalya Roy (his Indian classical teacher from India) and Ms. Roberta Duchak for his vocal training and coaching. He would also like to thank everyone at Shirley Hamilton for their continuous guidance.


Danielle Davis

Danielle Davis (Joan) is thrilled to join the cast of Fun Home. Credits include: An Octoroon (Definition Theatre); Ragtime (Griffin Theatre); Rent (Theo Ubique); Love, Loss, and What I Wore (First Folio Theatre); Women at War (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble); The Hundred Dresses (Chicago Children’s Theatre); Velveteen Rabbit (Lifeline Theatre); Spark, Six Stories Tall (Adventure Stage Chicago); From Doo Wop to Hip Hop and Ain’t No Crying the Blues…Howlin’ Wolf (Black Ensemble Theater); The Wiz (Theatre at the Center). Television credits: “Chicago PD;” “Sense8;” “Empire.” She holds a BFA in Acting from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Danielle is represented by Paonessa Talent Agency.


Leo Gonzalez (Christian Bechdel) is thrilled to be a part of the Fun Home family. He feels very lucky to make his first professional on-stage debut with this amazing cast.  Leo is 13-years-old from Oak Park, Illinois. He is actively involved in the BRAVO! Performing Arts Academy at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School and has performed in multiple musical theater shows under the direction of Tina Reynolds.  Leo would like to thank his acting coach, Janet Louer Artistic Director for Another Door Theatre Project, for guiding him on this journey and his family for being so supportive.

Sage Elliott Harper (Small Alison) is ecstatic to be making her Victory Garden Theater debut with such a significant role.  Sage’s recent credits include Mary Poppins (Jane Banks at Mercury Theater as well as at Night Blue Theater), Seussical (Jojo at Marriott), Billy Elliott (Keeley Gibson at Drury Lane), The Christmas Schooner (Marie Claire at Mercury Theater), Les Misérables (Young Cosette at Drury Lane), Ruthless (Big Noise), as well as local productions of Annie (Annie at Winnetka Children’s Theater), and Les Misérables (Young Cosette at New Trier High School).  Sage studies ballet, voice, guitar and tumbling, and enjoys writing songs, reading and doing tricks on the trampoline.  Sage would like to thank her family, especially her parents and little sisters, for taking her to endless lessons and rehearsals!  She would like to thank her amazing girlfriends and teachers for always being supportive as she follows her dreams, and a special shout out to Robin and Marisa at Paonessa Talent, and Gary Griffin for being super awesome.   


Stella Rose Hoyt (Small Alison) is thrilled to be making her debut with Victory Gardens Theater.  She is a 5th grade student at Clark Middle School and has been singing Broadway tunes since she was three.  Recent credits include Molly in Theatre at the Center’s production of Annie Warbucks, Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden at the Drama Group Theatre, and Young Cosette in Les Misérables.  Stella recently filmed a commercial for McDonald’s and is represented by Gray Talent Group.  When she’s not onstage, Stella loves to dance, swim, write scary stories, and play with her friends.  She would like to thank everyone involved with this show for this tremendous opportunity, her Mom and Dad for their love and support, and her brother Cooper for being her biggest fan.


Rob Lindley* (Bruce Bechdel) is making his Victory Gardens Theater debut, and has been seen on stage at About Face Theatre (The Tempermentals), Northlight (Funnyman), Goodman (Candide), Asolo Rep (My Fair Lady), Court Theatre (Carousel, James Joyce’s The Dead, Caroline or Change, Secret Garden, and Angels and America: Part 1 & 2), Writers’ Theatre (Bach at Leipzig, and Oh Coward! – which won Rob a Jeff Award for Best Actor in a Revue). Rob directed the Off-Broadway and National Tours of 50 Shades: The Musical! and many productions for Porchlight Music Theatre including Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, Far From Heaven, and How to Succeed in Business… Rob also directs many star-studded gala concerts for many organizations including the annual Chicago Sings!, concerts for Porchlight and the Flory concert for the Chicago Humanities Festival. Rob’s vocal trio Foiled Again has two recordings available on iTunes and other online outlets, “Foiled Again: Live” and “Blanket of Winter.” 


Joe Lino

Joe Lino (Roy) is thrilled to be joining the cast of Fun Home for his Victory Gardens debut. Regional credits include Romeo and Juliet (Teatro Vista); Peter and the Starcatcher (Drury Lane); This is Our Youth (Steppenwolf); Chagrin Falls (Agency Theatre); Even Longer and Farther Away and Displayed (The New Colony Theatre); That High Lonesome Sound, Dracula, and A Christmas Carol (Actors Theatre of Louisville). Off-Broadway: The Glory of the World (BAM Harvey). He is a proud alum of the Acting Apprenticeship at Actors Theatre of Louisville and graduate of Ball State University.


Danni Smith* (Alison) is so happy to join the cast of Fun Home. She recently appeared as Sally Bowles in Cabaret at Theatre at the Center. Other Chicagoland theater credits include Bridges of Madison County, Mamma Mia, Man of La Mancha, and City of Angels (Marriott Theatre); A Christmas Story: The Musical  and Mamma Mia (Paramount Theatre); Chess (Porchlight Music Theatre); The Wild Party, See What I Wanna See, and Violet (Bailiwick Chicago); Jesus Christ Superstar, Always Patsy Cline, Passion, and Pump Boys and Dinettes (Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre); Romeo and Juliet, Comedy of Errors, Richard III, and Twelfth Night (Lakeside Shakespeare); Macbeth and Henry VIII (Illinois Shakespeare Festival). She stars in indie feature film The Gateway. Danni is a proud graduate of Ball State University and has been honored with four Joseph Jefferson Awards. She is co-founder of women-focused musical theatre company Firebrand Theatre.


Hannah Starr (Medium Alison) is a performer, writer, and artist originally from Eau Claire, WI.  Most recently Hannah played the Emcee in No Stakes Theatre Project’s production of Cabaret and last fall was seen as Olive Ostrovsky in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at pH Comedy Theater. Hannah’s solo show, BOOMBOX, premiered last December at The Beat Lounge at the Second City Training Center, where she is now known as “that girl who always carries around that old boombox”. She is a proud member of 99 Problemz: Chicago’s Improvised 90’s Sitcom and performs improv and sketch comedy regularly throughout the city. She’s a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, The Conservatory at The Second City Training Center, and has trained at the MacPhail School of Music, iO, Brave New Workshop, and HUGE Improv Theater. You can follow her on social media @heyohannahstarr.

* Denotes a member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers. Those designers and scenic artists identified by USA are members of United Scenic Artists, IATSE Local 829, AFL-CIO

Production Team:

Doug Peck, Music Director
Charlotte Rivard-Hoster, Conductor, Accompanist
Yu Shibagaki, Set Design
Melissa Ng, Costume Design
Paul Whitaker, Lighting Design
Ray Nardelli, Sound Design
Mealah Heidenreich and Alec Long, Props Masters
Jessica Forella, Production Stage Manager

Public Programs is an event series designed to enhance your experience by exploring themes and issues within Victory Gardens’ productions. Connecting our theater to the world beyond the stage and rehearsal room, Public Programs bridge ideas, provoke dialogue, and deepen the relationship between our audiences and our productions.

Public Programs are free and open to the public and do not require an RSVP. Come to one or come to all. We’d love to have you!


Post-Show Conversation
After Every Performance of FUN HOME (Unless Otherwise Noted)

Join us for one of our intimate post-show conversations. Led by members from the Victory Gardens community—artistic affiliates, Artistic staff, Teen Arts Council members, The Council of Community Leaders, and community partners—reflect on what you’ve seen and share your response.

02-BookClubFun Home Book Club

Post-Show Group Conversation | GET TICKETS*
October 1 | Sunday
Show begins at 3:00 pm | Group Conversation begins at 5:00 pm

“FUN HOME, the graphic novel, looks back. In FUN HOME, the musical, we watch characters as they move forward in time,” begins Lisa Kron in the foreward of the musical. But how is a graphic novel made into an award-winning musical? Come celebrate FUN HOME at our Victory Gardens graphic novel book club, complete with book club staple — wine and cheese!

* Tickets include the 3:00 performance of Fun Home and the Fun Home Book Club Conversation at 5:00

03-PitchPerfectPitch Perfect

Post-Show Karaoke | GET TICKETS*
October 5 | Thursday
Show begins at 7:30 pm | Karaoke begins at 9:00 pm

We’re all virtuosos in the shower. But want to test out those pipes at Victory Gardens? Think you have what it takes to be in FUN HOME? Just want to belt along to some of your favorite musical theater show tunes? Join us after the performance of FUN HOME for discounted drinks and karaoke, and show off your inner Idina Menzel.

* Tickets include the 7:30 performance of Fun Home and Pitch Perfect Karaoke at 9:00

04-Outloud-pressurecookerOUTLOUD: Pressure Cooker

Post-Show Panel Discussion | GET TICKETS*
October 12 | Wednesday
Show begins at 7:30 pm | Panel discussion begins at 9:00 pm

LGBTQ youths are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. In FUN HOME, societal pressures affect both Bruce and Alison in ways that many queer folks can identify with today. How do we create a safe and healthy environment for everyone to thrive? Join us after FUN HOME for a discussion with local experts in queer mental health and wellness, and how we can do better.

FEATURING: Ashley Molin (Center on Halsted), Dr. Reese Minshew (Intraspectrum Counseling), Liz Weck (Howard Brown)

* Tickets include the 7:30 performance of Fun Home and OUTLOUD: Pressure Cooker post-show panel discussion at 9:00

05-QueertheStageQueer the Stage

Post-Show Performance | GET TICKETS*
October 14 | Saturday
Show begins at 7:30 pm | Post-show performance begins at 9:30 pm

Join us for this post-show performance celebration featuring performances of different disciplines including performed by Chicago based artists who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Let’s queer the stage and make some noise!

FEATURING: Alex Grelle (Comedian), Dominique Watson (Bambi Banks—Drag Performer), Morgan McNaught (Performance Artist/Playwright)

* Tickets include the 7:30 performance of Fun Home and Queer the Stage post-show performance at 9:30

06-CollegeNightCollege Night: Family Secrets

Free Post-Show Performance | GET TICKETS*
October 20 | Friday
Show begins at 7:30 pm | Post-show performance begins at 9:30 pm

In FUN HOME, Alison looks back through her memories to understand her father, and how his identity affected her family and their relationship. What sort of secrets do family members keep? What changes when those secrets are revealed? Join us for a pre­-show reception in the lobby featuring delicious drink specials & free pizza. Then, stick around for FUN HOME and stay for post-­show performances featuring short scenes written, directed, and performed by college artists from local universities.

* Tickets include the 7:30 performance of Fun Home and College Night: Family Secrets post-show performance at 9:30

07-GraphicContentGraphic Content

Pre-Show Celebration | GET TICKETS*
October 21 | Saturday
Pre-show Celebration begins at 6:30 pm | Show begins at 7:30 pm

We’ve all heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.” But what does that mean in the world of graphic art? How does a visual artist tell stories with their work? Come out to Saturday’s performance of FUN HOME early for an evening of live art demonstrations and exhibitions featuring Chicago-based graphic artists. Join us for free food and art!

FEATURING: Quinn Rivenburgh, Gabe Howell, Kat Leyh

* Tickets include the 6:30 pre-show celebration and the 7:30 performance of Fun Home

08-AfterTheHoneymoonAfter the Honeymoon

Pre-Show Celebration | Post-Show Town Hall | GET TICKETS*
October 26 | Thursday
Show begins at 7:30 pm | Post-show town hall begins at 9:30 pm

In our current political climate, rights won by the LGBTQIA+ community are at risk and under attack. How far have we come? How much more is still to come? Join us for this special post-show town hall event where we will be joined by scholars, activists, and local politicians as we begin the process of uncovering where we need to go from here.

* Tickets include the pre-show celebration, the 7:30 performance of Fun Home and post-show town hall at 9:30

09-WreckingBallI Came Out Like a Wrecking Ball

Post-Show Performance | GET TICKETS*
November 2 | Thursday
Show begins at 7:30 pm | Post-show performance begins at 9:30 pm

Although every queer person has their own individual coming out experience, the act is universal. Sharing your truth with your loved ones can be terrifying, but it helps to know that you aren’t alone. Join us after the evening’s performance of FUN HOME to laugh, cry, and come together as queer comedians, performers, and storytellers share their stories.

FEATURING: Ike Holter, Gwen LaRoka, Brittany Meyer

* Tickets include the 7:30 performance of Fun Home and I Came Out Like a Wrecking Ball post-show performance at 9:30

Embodying Butch/Femme
by Scott C. Morgan, The Windy City Times
September 6, 2017

Looking for a Favorite Title for Fall?
by Chris Jones, The Chicago Tribune
September 6, 2017

“Bittersweet, funny, and moving”
by David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
April 19, 2015

“Easily the finest theatre score in a decade”
by Steven Suskin, The Huffington Post
April 19, 2015

“FUN HOME is a thing of rare beauty: a Broadway musical of enormous intelligence and sensitivity”
by Adam Feldman, Time Out New York
April 19, 2015

“An uplifting musical drama of rare intensity, honesty, and beauty”
by Joe Dziemianowicz, New York Daily News
April 19, 2015

Stella Hoyt, Leo Gonzalez, and Preetish Chakraborty

Stella Hoyt, Leo Gonzalez, and Preetish Chakraborty

McKinley Carter, Preetish Chakraborty, Stella Hoyt, Leo Gonzalez, and Rob Lindley

McKinley Carter, Preetish Chakraborty, Stella Hoyt, Leo Gonzalez, and Rob Lindley

Rob Lindley and McKinley Carter

Rob Lindley and McKinley Carter

Rob Lindley and Stella Hoyt

Rob Lindley and Stella Hoyt

Hannah Starr, Joe Lino, Danielle Davis, and Sage Elliott Harper (foreground)

Hannah Starr, Joe Lino, Danielle Davis, and Sage Elliott Harper (foreground)

Hannah Starr

Hannah Starr

Stella Hoyt

Stella Hoyt

Joe Lino and Rob Lindley

Joe Lino and Rob Lindley

Danni Smith

Danni Smith

Hannah Starr, Danielle Davis, and Danni Smith

Hannah Starr, Danielle Davis, and Danni Smith