This year our artists hail from coast to coast! Meet them online here and then join us at the show and say hello in person.
Justin Broom (Caesar/Casca/Octavius/Messala) is excited to make his professional debut with Stone Soup! He is about to enter his final year at Southern Illinois University majoring in Theater as well as Radio, Television, and Digital Media. You may have seen him in Torak the Inadequate (Torak) by Rory Leahy, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (Elf/Evil Army), Lively Stones (Gov. John Winthrop) by Sarah Bowden, or Wife/Worker/Whore (Morris) by Kirsten Easton.
Miquela A. Cruz (Brutus) is a native Chicagoan, who has been performing, directing and teaching various types of theatre and improv for almost two decades. Favorite roles include Titters in The Original Improv Gladiators (Corn Productions), Steele in A Piece of My Heart (A Reasonable Facsimile Theatre Company-ARFTCo) and Fezzik in A Loving Tribute to The Princess Bride (E.D.G.E Theatre). In her spare time she likes to craft, swim and reminisce about the time she was a pirate on the inland seas. She is excited to join Stone Soup Shakespeare on this (literal and figurative) journey! Look for her Super Cool Sunday Brunch Funtime Show and her artsy crafty side hustle #ILoveMyArt, both coming soon!
Originally from the Sunshine State, Eric Mercado (director) is a director, writer, designer, production manager, and all around mensch based in NYC. He attended Tisch (NYU) where he studied creating original work at Playwrights Horizons Theatre School. His directing and devised work has been seen in New York and around the country, and he is a founding member of the devising collective Merkins, Daniello & Sons. As a designer, his work has appeared at numerous New York venues, and he is on the technical staff at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Concerts & Lectures Department and at National Sawdust in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Eric directed As You Like It (Tour 4) and The Comedy of Errors (Tour 6) this year. He is dedicated the making theatre that is challenging and accessible to all audiences.
Alexsia Patton (Fellow/Understudy) is best known for her film work in Walter (2015) and Dig Two Graves (2014). She has been participating in Stone Soup Shakespeare's staged reading series since 2013 (King John, Titus Andronicus, Measure for Measure, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, and most recently Richard III). Patton has also worked on productions at SIC and Marion Cultural Civic Center. She has been accepted into the class of 2021 at Providence College and plans on attending in the Fall. She is super excited to be a part of this year’s tour as a fellow understudy.
Josh Pennington (Cassius/Calpurnia) is thrilled to be touring this spring with Stone Soup Shakespeare! Most recently he was seen in All-Star Theatre’s production of Macbeth in Chicago. Josh a proud graduate from Illinois State University. While at Illinois State University he performed in numerous productions including One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Irene Ryan Nomination) and ¡Bocón! (Irene Ryan Nomination). Other recent credits include Beyond Therapy (Madkapp Productions), The Medium (Colorbox Theatre) and Romeo & Juliet (Illinois Shakespeare Festival: Touring Company).
As Julia Stemper (Caesar/Antony/Portia/Servant/Pindarus) begins her 7th tour with Stone Soup Shakespeare she finds herself routinely feeling supremely lucky as she gets to bring stories she loves to so many communities she has fallen in love with. When not traveling with Stone Soup Shakespeare she calls Chicago home, where she is a company member with The Plagiarists; most recently she was seen in their production of The Epic of Gilgamesh as told by Mr. George Smith Associate Curator of the British Museum (deceased). In Chicago she has also worked with Lifeline Theater, Filament Theatre, First Folio, Red Tape Theatre, Ka-Tet Theatre and Theatre Hikes. Prior to arriving in Chicago she worked in Washington, DC where she was last seen in Captain Squishy's Yee-Haw Jamboree (I Like Nuts). Julia holds a BA from Macalester College (St. Paul, MN) and an MFA from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Glasgow, Scotland).
Theo Zucker (Caesar/Cinna/Cimber/Tintinius/Lucious/Artemidorus/ Lepidus) is thrilled to be joining Stone Soup Shakespeare this summer! She recently moved to Chicago from Holland, Michigan, where she studied acting and creative writing at Hope College. Some of her favorite roles at Hope were Bob's Mom in bobrauschenbergamerica, Antigone in the devised project Goodbye Beauty, Hello Dust, and Stephana in The Tempest. Theo made her Chicago acting debut last fall in Quest Theatre Ensemble's The People's History of the United States.