A Drink With…Manny Tamayo

Bartender, I’ll have a…One of those $2 Bartender’s Special Beers. Shit, gimmie 2.

I’m SURE you remember me from such Factory shows as…The Willing Participant, Lab Rats, Dick Danger – DJ Crime Solver
(Editor’s Note: And Menage A Trailer, GIs in Europe, Top Shelf Gash, Toast of the Town (Original), Easy Six, 1985, The Lonesome Hoboes, Here Comes a Regular, Among the Dead…and more. He also wrote Operation Infiltration, Dead Wrong, and Incident on Run 1217. The guy is busy.)

I got involved with the Factory because…Nick Digilio told me I would get along with those guys. “They drink like YOU.”

My current/next gig is…Directing the “Soon to be Factory Classic”, THE LAST BIG MISTAKE.

I give a shit about our move to Rogers Park because…It’s about time we moved into our own space. It’s also about time we did something for the community. It’s win-win (NO RISK) = we force ourselves to grow up and get what we want in the process.

If I had to force you to listen to 2 albums, they would be…LAYLA AND OTHER ASSORTED LOVE SONGS – Derek and the Dominos (1970) When Clapton was still GOD and before Duane Allman danced the Obituary Mambo with a Flatbed Truck. This shit is the real deal. If you don’t own it, you must not enjoy Rock and Roll. No exceptions.

My favourite Factory memory is…The time Chas Vrba shot a man…..just for snorin’ too loud.

I’m switching drinks, I’ll have a…A shot of Old Granddad. Fill it over the line…..this ain’t my first Rodeo!

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A Drink With…Carrie “Sully” Sullivan

Bartender, I’ll have a… carafe of wine. YES A CARAFE shut up.

I’m SURE you remember me from such Factory shows as…If you actually remember me from a Factory show, I’ll be impressed! I’ve only graced the Factory stage a handful of times: Mop Top Festival (a Beatles-themed show? I HAD to), Shameless Shamuses (they needed someone who could shred a blow-up guitar, which I just happen to have a PhD in from Harvard), and I went in as an understudy for Siskel and Ebert Save Chicago (always there when needed). I think that’s it. I also wrote The Guardians of Rock for 2012’s Abbie Hoffmann Festival. I really enjoyed penning a play and hope to do more of it when I get more time… someday…

I got involved with the Factory because…I GOT FOOLED! But seriously… I worked with Angelina Martinez at Jam Theatricals back in 2001 and she needed a Stage Manager for a show that her company, Hi-Volt Theatre (RIP), was doing. Our boss at the time suggested I’d be a good SM. Angie asked me to do it and I said, “Sure! Um, what do I have to do?” and from there I SM’d my first show and eventually met Allison Cain, who hired me to ASM Among the Dead. After working on that show – which was a huge hit – I was hooked by Factory’s tenacious dedication to original work, irreverent style and familial atmosphere. Now I can’t imagine NOT doing original plays with these knuckleheads.

My current/next gig is…Sleep!

I give a shit about our move to Rogers Park because…My goodness, where to start?! From a business perspective, I anticipate taking Factory to the next level, and aim to grow our budgets on all fronts, from operations to administration to production. I also find being able to create and develop a leadership role in the community to be a formidable challenge and incredible opportunity for us. The outpouring of support has already been overwhelming and we haven’t even opened our doors yet!

If I had to force you to listen to 2 albums, they would be…”Magical Mystery Tour” by a band you may have heard of….
and, oh, what the hell, “Siamese Dream.”

My favourite Factory memory is…You can’t make me pick!! But! A short list:

• Ebert coming to opening night of Siskel and Ebert
• The opening dance number in Top Shelf…
• The opening credits in Siskel and Ebert
• The moment Scott OKen and I looked at each other and realized that this crazy plan for a space in Rogers Park might actually work
• Every time I stand at the back of a packed house who’s loving one of our shows; when I can hear people laughing their heads off, and I can see the joy of pure entertainment on their faces… knowing that I was instrumental to creating that moment… I never get tired of that one. Yeah. That one’s the best. Every time.

I’m switching drinks, I’ll have a… More wine. MORE WINE. When I switch…. bad things happen. Just… trust me on that one.

A Drink With…Jermaine Edward Thomas

Bartender, I’ll have a…Long Island

I’m SURE you remember me from such Factory shows as…Mop Top Festival, 1985, Dead Wrong, Easy Six, The League of Awesome, Black and Blue, Hey! Dancin’!, Toast of the Town (remount), Street Justice, and most recently, Take the Cake.

I got involved with the Factory because…Joe Gehr asked if I would assistant stage manage a show called Mop Top Festival. I accepted the job and enjoyed working on the production. I continued to ASM and SM different shows with Factory over the years. One lovely year, I was overjoyed to join the ranks of the ensemble.

My current/next gig is…working on Zombie Broads.

I give a shit about our move to Rogers Park because…it is pretty thrilling to begin this new chapter in Factory’s history. It’s exciting to have our own space to call home after all these years. I’m looking forward to getting to know the community in Rogers Park. It’s been pretty awesome to see how welcoming they have been for to us join the area.

If I had to force you to listen to 2 albums, they would be…”The Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd and “Stop Making Sense” by the Talking Heads.

My favourite Factory memory is…in the middle a performance of Hey! Dancin’! an obnoxious drunk guy is sitting right in front of the booth. He is commenting on everything happening on stage pretty loudly. When Phil got a chance, he politely taps the guy and tells him to be quiet. He does for a little bit and then he shouts out at some point, “Who wrote this shit?!” At that point, the box office guys had to come in to escort him out. He didn’t leave quietly, and he wanted pick a fight with them.

I’m switching drinks, I’ll have a…Jameson neat.

A Drink With…Mike “Beav” Beyer

Bartender, I’ll have a…“HEY, RICHIE! WHERE’S MY COKE?”

I’m SURE you remember me from such Factory shows as…Attack of the Killer B’s, Bitches, Hooray!, My Period, Alive, Win Place Or Show, Here Comes A Regular (the Chicago Trilogy) White Trash Wedding And A Funeral, Being At Choice, Preying Manthis, Herb Stabler, Surface Dwellers, Gooooooo Speech Team!, Toast Of The Town, Dirty Diamonds, Hey! Dancin’! (co-writer)….AND MANY, MANY MORE!!!!

I got involved with the Factory because…My roommate Kirk got cast in Reefer Madness. Sean Abley was writing Attack of the Killer B’s and they needed someone to play Jason. My superior audition as a power-drill wielding psychopath got me the part!! (I stayed at the Factory after I read the script for Bitches)

My current/next gig is…I wrote Backstage Genesis, which tells the REAL story behind one of our world’s most important musical acts. Once this gets fleshed out into the fourteen-hour epic that such a tale deserves, the script will be presented to the Factory powers that be for staging and presentation. Suck on that, All Our Tragic! [Editor’s Note: The opinions and horrible script ideas of Mike “Beav” Beyer do not necessarily reflect those of The Factory Theater. We don’t have the attention span.]

I give a shit about our move to Rogers Park because…This is a space that WE CONTROL! We aren’t beholden to anyone for the first time in a while, and that’s exciting. We are FLUSH WITH CASH right now. [Editor’s Note: WE ARE?!] Combined with our particular brand of quality stage entertainment, we will rule the Howard Street/Rogers Park area, and continue our unchecked dominance of the Chicago theatrical scene for the next two decades, at least.

If I had to force you to listen to 2 albums, they would be…
Black Sabbath – “Black Sabbath”
Led Zeppelin – “Led Zeppelin”
My son’s YouTube channel.

My favourite Factory memory is…ALL THE GREAT PERFORMANCES….here are but a few:
o Mike Mazzara and Brooke Dillman in Being At Choice
o Laura McKenzie, Anthony Tournis in Toast Of The Town
o Mike Meredith in Alive
o Steve Walker, Scott OKen in Preying Manthis
o Sean Patrick Leonard in Incident on Run 1217
o Manny Tamayo in Lonesome Hoboes
o Heather Tyler in Dirty Diamonds
o Chas Vrba in Siskel & Ebert Save Chicago
o Molly Brennan in Battle Axe Betty
o Jennifer Pompa, Matt Engle in Ren Faire
o Amy Seeley in Amy Seeley And The Moline Madman
o THE WHOLE ENSEMBLE in Nuclear Family
o Matt O’Neill in Vinyl Shop
o Dan Granata, Wm Bullion in The League Of Awesome!
o Jenny Laffey in The Barbara Walters Interviews
o Nick Digilio, Scott OKen, Sean Abley, Molly Brennan, Joey Meyer, Robyn Coffin in White Trash Wedding And A Funeral
o Shannon O’Neill in Jenny and Jenni
o Kirk Pynchon in Man Card
o Eric Roach in Top Shelf…
o And Tim Amos – the Kurt Russell of the Factory

I’m switching drinks, I’ll have a…Water…..on the ROCKS.

A Drink With…Rachel Sypniewski

Bartender, I’ll have a…White Russian.

I’m SURE you remember me from such Factory shows as…Janice Dutts Goes to Life Camp, Siskel and Ebert Save Chicago, Dirty Diamonds, Shameless Shamusues, Ren Faire! A Fistful of Ducats, Ceres, Mop Top Festival, Dead Wrong, 1985, Hey! Dancin!, The League of Awesome, 1985 (DCA remount), Easy Six, White Trash Wedding and a Funeral (remount), Toast of the Town (remount), Incident on Run #1217, ‘Namosaur!, Street Justice: Condition Red, Hey! Dancin! Hey! Musical!, Hotel Aphrodite, The Guardians Of Rock (Abbie Hoffman), and 30 Days in the Rabbit Hole (Abbie Hoffman). BUT YOU HAVE PROBABLY NEVER ACTUALLY SEEN ME.

(Editor’s Note: Rachel was the costume designer for all of these shows, which is why you’ve never seen her. She’s also a ninja who works on 70,000 shows simultaneously.)

I got involved with the Factory because…[Factory Emeritus and former Executive Director Allison] Cain asked me to come on board for Operation Infiltration and I couldn’t and was pretty sad about it. So the next opportunity came along, Janice Dutts. LMACK, POMPA, ROACH, SHANNON, CISSY, and ENGLE sealed the deal for me. Beside the awesome people, it’s all new work. New work created by these crazy people I admire and respect. So yeah, who needs to do another production of “OKLAHOMA!”.

My current/next gig is…how much space do I have? And when does this get posted? Seriously though, ones immediately coming up: Universal Wolf at Trap Door, Merchild at 16th Street Theater, Fugue for a Particle Accelerator with 20% Theater and ZOMBIE BROADS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I give a shit about our move to Rogers Park becauseIT’S A REALLY BIG DEAL. There’s a certain validation and recognition that comes with having a permanent home that is yours. It’s a foundation, it’s roots and it screams WE ARE HERE. To have a theater company hang in for as long as the Factory has and only produce ORIGINAL WORK written by its ENSEMBLE MEMBERS. That’s an artistic force.

If I had to force you to listen to 2 albums, they would be…I dread this question. Rusted Root’s “When I Woke” and Jimmy Buffet’s “Songs You Know By Heart.”

My favourite Factory memory is…the laughing. All the laughing. There isn’t some epic story I have, but whether it is at an ensemble meeting, performance, production meeting, load-in, strike, read through, rehearsal, hanging out at a bar or whatever, I call them the “Factory Laughs.” You cannot mistake them for anything else. It’s the laugh that vibrates through a room and is infectious. It’s the blend of those distinctive big laughs and the support of the quiet wheezing gut shakers. It is joy in its purest form and it happens every time.

I’m switching drinks, I’ll have a…Caucasian

A Drink With…Johnny Moran

Bartender, I’ll have a…A Half Acre Daisy Cutter

I’m SURE you remember me from such Factory shows as…Ren Faire: A Fistful of Ducats and the subsequent remount, Black and Blue, Easy Six, and the New Adventures of Popeye.

I got involved with the Factory because… I was working on a show at Strawdog directed by Kyle Hamman. He invited me to audition for a Factory show he was working on next called Ren Faire: AFoD. I had seen Factory shows before and was totally looking for an opportunity to work there. I haven’t looked back since. (Editor’s Note: Only the coolest of kids make that into an acronym. Nice work, Johnny Mo.) 

My current/next gig is… I’m going in to Body and Blood at the Gift Theater this Thursday (7/23) and Friday (7/24). I am also on the wildly popular radio show “The Game Show Show and Stuff” on Tuesdays from 6 to 8pm on 88.7 WLUW.

I give a shit about our move to Rogers Park because…Our own place! We’re able to build it to our specs, work on material, and use our funds more efficiently. Also, we get to be a part of a diverse arts community in a cool part of town.

If I had to force you to listen to 2 albums, they would be… AC/DC’s “Razor’s Edge” (totally underrated album) and The Gaslight Anthem’s “Handwritten.”

My favourite Factory memory is… Watching Jen Pompa improv as Tammy in Ren Faire. So weird, wonderful and hilarious.

I’m switching drinks, I’ll have a… Bulleit bourbon Manhattan

A Drink With…Colin Milroy

Bartender, I’ll have a… Vodka tonic with a splash of lime

I’m SURE you remember me from such Factory shows as… Writer & performer: Street Justice: Condition Red, The Gray Girl, The New Adventures of Popeye
Strictly actor: Toast of the Town (remount), Bustin’ Out of The Hell, Siskel & Ebert Save Chicago, Operation Infiltration, GIs in Europe
Production Manager: Easy Six, Hey! Dancin’! 
Assistant Director: Mop Top Festival

I got involved with the Factory because…They gave me the nicest rejection ever. My first audition for the company was in 2005. The ensemble people leading it were so happy and welcoming that they made me feel special just because I showed up. The audition was so fun. When I wasn’t cast, I was told that my time at the audition was greatly appreciated and I was thanked excessively for coming out to play. The company exuded respect for people who wanted to work with them. When I got cast in my first Factory show, the company showed the same respect and appreciation to everyone in the cast and crew for their time. It was good, hard work. It was also a joyful process. Professional and artistic with the occasional potty humor bit thrown in. The Factory loves their work and loves those who work with them. The Factory is a family. They support and nurture artists while encouraging daring original works. The Factory is a haven and a home. I’m very grateful for every moment with the Factory Theater.

My current/next gig is…Continuing to manage the Factory Writer’s Workshop. Setting up a new house in Jefferson Park and trying to squeeze a bit of writing in.

I give a shit about our move to Rogers Park because…We’re back home but out of our parent’s basement. We now have our own independent space to play with as we will. It’s back in the neighborhood where the company started over 20 years ago. The Factory invests itself in the community around it. Rogers Park wants to grow its arts scene and we’re ready to do our part.

If I had to force you to listen to 2 albums, they would be…Boston’s self-titled album from 1976. Timeless, non-stop jams. Also the first album I ever heard on vinyl. The Top Gun soundtrack. Some of the finest 80s cheese lumped together in dramatic, swishy packaging. A perfect encapsulation of the decade.

My favourite Factory memory is…There’s so many. Cliff notes version:
– OKen trying to break Corri Pasko onstage by asking her to the Bingus Tournament, missing his next line and cracking himself up.
– Our stage manager frantically whispered that Roger Ebert was in the audience right before a performance of Siskel & Ebert Save Chicago. I thought she was joking but found out during the performance she wasn’t. Feeling spine-tingling glee that we were performing for him and having my heart burst with joy when Ebert gave us a thumbs up.
– The wonderful mood & setting of The Gray Girl.
– Writing and performing Street Justice: Condition Red with Tournis.
I got lots more but I need   to shut up now. Buy me a drink sometime and we’ll talk some more.

I’m switching drinks, I’ll have a…Dogfish Head 90-Minute IPA. Extra chilled to stab your insides a little harder.