Charlie Baker (they/them) is thrilled to return to TVCChi! They can currently be seen on Saturdays in ‘All Fools Greatest Holiday Show...’ at the Den Theatre. When not clowning around, Charlie is a member of the Unrehearsed Shakespeare Company, and a creator of trans educational content. They would like the thank Lars and Molly for making this cabaret possible, and their family for their constant support even when understanding was lacking.
Lars Ebsworth (ze/zir) is a trans*/genderqueer actor and published solo performance writer. Recent credits: Nurse Smith(replacement), Jane, Old Albert u/s, Young Albert u/s in The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier (Permoveo Prod. i/a/w/ PFP), Sammy in Fucking Men (PFP), You Only Live Once More (v. 10, 12, 14) (Solo Crowd Chicago), and Firepit Henry V (staged reading). Ze is also the artistic director/co-producer of Trans Voices Cabaret CHI, one of the ten founders of Chicago Theatre Access Auditions, and a moderator on Chicago Theatre Connection. Shout out to Matt, Molly (zir emergency contact), and the ol'banana chip for keeping it real.
This performance is Garnet's debut in the Chicago theatre scene, and what they hope will be just the first of more to come! After a 7-year break from theatre, during which they came out as genderqueer, Garnet has rediscovered their passion for the stage. They enjoy subverting the importance and expectations of gender through their performance. Sometimes that means casting their fat, black, visibly disabled body in roles usually played by thin, waifish, white women, other times it can mean taking on traditionally masculine characters and portraying them as hard femmes. They hope their work helps break down barriers that often prevent minorities from being cast in a wide range of roles. When Garnet's not performing on stage, you can usually find them petting cat tummies, hanging out at arcades, or playing shows with their queer surf-punk band, Crimson Wave.
In elementary school, Theo Germaine used to fake being sick in the principal's office, only to magically "get better" in time for art class. The first trans person they ever met was when they were 19 - and it was their therapist. Now in Chicago and performing, you've probably seen this little diva onstage in things like Macbeth (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), BOY (Timeline Theatre), Welcome to Jesus (American Theatre Company), and The Matchmaker (Goodman Theatre). They've been seen on screen at Sundance, Open TV, and hopefully, many more places to come. Theo's current interests include ballet, practicing guitar, writing screenplays, and watching every single Star Trek series.
Angelíca Grace is a Chicago-based, Filipino, and trans drag performer. She is the persona of Jimbo Pestano. She’s been doing drag for 6 years having performed at Salonathon, #SafeSpace with Random Acts, Young Lungs with Wild Atlas Theatre Company, Queer Abstract, and Auntie’s Treasures (an all ages monthly show hosted by Auntie Heroine). Outside of drag, Jimbo is an actor and uses they/them/their pronouns. They’ve been an ensemble member of About Face Youth Theatre for 5 years and serve on the Youth Task Force. They are also part of the touring Outreach show, where they teach students around Chicago about gender and sexuality, and serve on the Board of Directors at About Face. Through their work with AFYT, they co-created and host KINSHIP: An All Ages Queer Variety Show. Professional credits include The Route 66 Theatre Company, National New Play Network, Random Acts, Eclectic Theatre Company, The Gift Theatre, Asian Improv Arts Midwest, and Jedlicka Performing Arts. Follow them on Instagram @jimbopestano!
Originally from Lafayette, LA, Parker Guidry is a queer actor and performer based in Chicago. Recent credits include Grand Hotel (Kokandy Productions), Triassic Parq (Circle Theatre), Yank!, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert (Pride Films and Plays), and RENT (Theo Ubique). Upcoming: 110 in the Shade (Boho Theatre Ensemble) and The Buttcracker: A Nutcracker Burlesque ([sub]version productions).
Rae Hamilton-Vargo is a nonbinary actor, poet and bicycle enthusiast originally hailing from Pittsburgh, PA. You may have seen them this year in Coffee & Whiskey’s production of SWEEP, in Invictus’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, or at Random Act’s recurring show #SafeSpace, and you can look for them in the webseries Life of Harold or the upcoming short film Eat Rich.
Lee Hanten (he/him) is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a practicing visual artist who works in sculpture, painting, sewing- really any medium that involves getting a bit dirty. He is a founding member and on the board of ResonaTe, Chicago’s trans choir. He is excited to debut in Trans Voices Cabaret Chicago, his first performance outside the choral realm. According to his coworker Evan, he’s a “radiant joy full of dry wit and Malört”, but most people would just describe him as their favorite bartender.
Em Haverty is a performer and writer. They studied writing at Roosevelt University and Second City, then studied clown with The Neo-Futurists and The Actors Gymnasium. You can see them in The Passage Theatre's The Lessons, a collection of devised solo-pieces, premiering mid-May. They originally hail from the Southwest suburbs and are embarrassed of the riches Chicago has presented thus far.
NORTH RORY HOMEWARD
North Rory Homeward (he/him) has been a working actor in Chicago for three years. He tends to prefer playing cisgender male characters, and is thankful to TVC CHI for giving trans folks an outlet to play whatever kind of character they crave. Despite this preference, North is glad to give true voice to the trans community by playing trans characters, and is proud to be portraying trans man Robert Eads in Pride Films and Plays' folk musical Southern Comfort this spring. As a hobby, North enjoys writing songs on the ukulele, and often jokes that in the last two years he has written half an album. Dream roles include Horatio in Hamlet, the Baker in Into the Woods, and Mark in RENT.
Isaura (they/them) is a Performing Artist/Educator/&Community Organizer from Chicago. Based out of Pilsen, they are working on building brave/healing/creative autonomous learning spaces for families and longtime residents with an emphasis on care for indigenous black and brown youth, trans, queer, undocumented, and femme identifying folks. They are also currently self-producing their first album and one person show!
Kyra Leigh (she/her/hers) is Southern Belle transwoman (transgoddess some might say) with classical training now living safely about the Mason-Dixon Line. She has an extensive background in both music and theatre. In Houston, she acted as a composer and performer two years in a row for the prestigious Stewart Ostrow Musical Theatre Lab. In Chicago, she has performed with the Jeff Award-winning Theo Ubique and this spring will make her debut with Pride Films and Plays playing Lola in Southern Comfort. She’s also written extensively for Prop Thtr. She’s performed as a solo singer/songwriter at venues such at Mary's Attic, Park West, The Abbey Pub, and Davenport’s Cabaret and Piano Bar and earlier this year released her debut full length album, Transfigure. She also serves as a director at the Chicago School of Rock and works as a freelance music director as well (most recently with Underscore Theatre Company). She’s also an active church musician with North Shore Baptist. She is a passionate advocate for trans visibility in both the worlds of pop music, classical music, and theatre. You can find her on social media under Kyra Leigh.
Kelsey McGrath (they/them/theirs) is a Chicago based theatre artist; having most recently dabbled in acting with The Academy at Black Box, producing "The Newness: A Salon" at Davenport's Piano Bar, and theatre criticism with Perform.ink. They believe art is activism and the purpose of theatrical work is to raise societal consciousness through empathy. They are new to the trans community, but has never felt more seen or valid or honest or true before. Mx. Kelsey deeply admires their trans collaborators and is thrilled to share space and stories with such inspirational humans. Love to Mama, Jenny, and Joe.
Rae Madrid (they/them) is a board member of and singer in ResonaTe, Chicago's trans choir. They studied English Literature and Gender Studies at Loyola University Chicago and The University of Chicago, focusing on marginalized voices and literature. For nearly twenty years, Rae has performed a capella jazz covers and originals at various Chicago open mics and variety shows, including featuring at The Encyclopedia Show, Real Talk Live, Urban Sandbox, Mental Graffiti, Yammer, and Polyrhythmic Collective's Safe Smiles.
Micha is a nonbinary multi-instrumentalist, interdisciplinary artist and songwriter living in Chicago. Current projects include new musical The Troubles (composer), music directing for indie improv and sketch teams, improvising with the nonbinary and trans improv troupe Meeting A Journey, and acting with the Dinner Detective Murder Mystery company. As a classically trained vocalist who has changed fachs three times (Soprano, Mezzo, Contralto, now Tenor) he is passionate about helping people find their voices and runs a small voice studio. He is SO excited to finally get to sing as a tenor (in public!), and is exceedingly grateful to Trans Cabaret Chicago for the opportunity.
Shannon Noll is a stand up comedian based out of Chicago, IL. They have opened for Matt Braunger, Beth Stelling and Cameron Esposito, performed all over the city and the country including CYSK (Chicago and LA), Lincoln Lodge (Chicago), Comedy Corner Underground (Minneapolis), SF Sketchfest, and Limestone Comedy Festival (Bloomington). They currently perform as a member of the queer team Baby Wine at The Annoyance Theater and cohost the podcast Murdertown. Shannon's comedy is based in their experiences ranging from working as a chicken wing delivery driver to life as a genderqueer adult often mistaken for a little boy. Their performance style is rooted in years of improv and sketch experience and they bring playfulness to otherwise serious subjects. Shannon is often described as extremely likable and this has been proven by the fact that Shannon gets away with talking about top surgery in small towns across the midwest.
JEROME RILEY JR
Jerome Riley Jr. is a gender non-conforming actor, singer, dancer, writer, and former nightclub performer, who is just trying to figure it out. Jerome received a BFA in Musical Theatre from Columbia College Chicago. A few of Jerome’s credits include: Trevor: the Musical (Writer’s Theatre), The Scottsboro Boys (Porchlight), and Madagascar (Marriott Theatre). Jerome likes to spend their free time reading about race, class, and gender, thrifting, watching Drew Barrymore movies, and writing poetry.
Will Schwab is a trans musician, activist, poet, writer, and aspiring game designer. A native Chicagoan, they wish to create games that better represent the world we live in as a whole and make space for more diverse characters-- specifically openly queer characters-- in the gaming community.
LARRY D. TRICE II
Larry D. Trice II is ridiculously pumped to be back for the Trans Voices Cabaret. Some of Larry's favorite credits include: Shrek (Windy City Performs), Kingdom (Broken Nose), Magic Treehouse: Showtime with Shakespeare (Emerald City Theatre), Akeelah and the Bee (Adventure Stage), Once On This Island (That Was a Show Theatre Co.), Rocky Horror Show (Stage Wright Productions), Waking Lazarus (Prologue Theatre), Spring Awakening (Music For Theatre Chicago), and countless other shows and readings. You can see Larry next twinkling away in Barney the Elf with Pride Films and Plays!
Elle Walker is a transgender actor, musician, writer, and performance artist. Her pronouns are she/her/hers. Through her work she aims to empower other trans*/gender non-conforming folks through laughter and the belief in finding strength through forging new paths, on one's own terms.
Lindsey Weiss (they/them/theirs) is a current undergraduate at Northwestern University, double majoring in Theatre and Gender & Sexuality Studies. They will be graduating in December (so, uh, next week!) Lindsey recently appeared in Fefu & Her Friends and The Little Prince at Northwestern, and will be appearing in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble later this spring! lindseyweiss.tumblr.com
Robin West, Chicagoan singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, has recently returned to the stage after more than two years away. They're also sometimes to be found around the city's cabaret scene, both as a lyricist and a performer. Robin received their degree in Music Education from the DePaul University School of Music, and plans to go to law school with a focus in international civil and human rights. When they're not playing music, West works as a professional photographer, deciphers documents at a law firm, near obsessively follows politics, practices yoga, and reads a lot. They have been known to consume coffee, whiskey, and toast.
Lyla (they/them/theirs) is from a little neighborhood on the NW side called Mayfair. They grew up singing jazz and musical theater and were always pissed about having the range of an ingénue and the personality of Peter Pan/ Little Sally/ literally just children. Dream roles include anything Bernadette Peters has ever touched, Medium Allison, Mrs. Lovette, and Seymour Krelborn. All Lyla wants in this world is to be able to woo a lovely lady on stage in song. Lyla studied musical theater at The Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts), was a youth ensemble member at American Theater Company, and is a 2017 graduate of The ACADEMY at Black Box Acting.