Time Travel with TesserAct

The Sedgwick Stories Are Almost Ready to be Told

[Palatine, IL March, 2019] Have you ever looked at a building and wondered what stories it could tell you about the people that might have lived, worked or visited there?

Marc Ross must have when he penned The Sedgwick Stories, an absurdist comedic drama being produced by TesserAct Theatre Ensemble, a group familiar with time travel and alternate realities! We won’t get to ask him, though, because sadly, Marc passed away in late 2016. He was an accomplished playwright, poet, artist, producer, director, family man and loyal friend as well as a beloved husband for 46 years to Judith. Known as the dynamic duo, they often performed together in local productions. His loss is still deeply felt in the theater community.

Tessering Up

TesserAct often tackles original works in different time periods, and The Sedgwick Stories has this in spades. The Sedgwick Stories, (double meaning on the word “stories” as the apartment building has several floors), is composed of three tales, (Rabbit’s Foot, Strange Cargo and Prov.e.nance). Each with their own unique story and time period, connected only by their location, a single apartment in a Chicago apartment building on Sedgwick Avenue.

Performance Information
The Sedgwick Stories will be presented Friday, March 15th and Saturday, March 16th at 7:30 pm and Sunday, March 17th at 2:30 pm at The Presbyterian Church of Palatine, 800 E. Palatine Road, Palatine, IL.

Tickets are $15 and available through EventBrite, on TATE’s webpage and as a public Facebook event.


Rabbit's Foot

In the first story, Rabbit’s Foot, a man in the 1920’s wakes up in the apartment after a violent attack, being tended to by an enigmatic woman. The violent attack we are to learn is the infamous Valentine’s Day massacre, which occurred right across the street from the apartment building.

Saul Schroedinger: Hayden Rogin
Lotus Fischer: Anne Arza
Boychik: Derek Dillon

Strange Cargo

In the second story, Strange Cargo, an older couple works with a perplexed Chicago police officer to uncover the unlikely culprit of a bizarre break-in. Adding to the strangeness, the wife seems to possess psychic abilities, which has greatly affected the couple’s social life.

Blonde Intruder: Sheryll Crider
Officer Pauline Olivet: Cathleen Lutz
Dr. Neil Benton: Paul Safyan
Loreen Benton: Jil Robinson
The Three Bears: Glen Murschel, TR Frye, Jim Sullivan


In the third story, Prov.e.nance, Set in the near future, two women look for an heirloom owned by their grandfather: a ticket to the Buddy Holly concert scheduled for the night the singer was tragically killed. We then travel back in time in the apartment to the night of that ill-fated crash.

Admira: Jil Robinson
Thande'wi: Linda Windham
Neely: Sheryll Crider
Fuller: Jeanette Engert
Old Harvey: Stephen Pickering
Harvey Filbridge: Hayden Rogin
Peggy: Devon Elizabeth
Sally: Anne Arza
Ronny: Derek Dillon

Cast Interviews

With opening night fast approaching, The Sedgwick Stories cast, under the inspired direction of Derek Dillon, (2018 Broadway Award Winner for Best Actor in a Play) has been diving deep into Marc Ross’ absurdist drama. Kristin Casner reprises her Stage Manager duties and Tamara Kist is executive and managing producer.

Here are some quotes from ensemble members:

"It is always exciting to bring a character to life in an original production. There are no footprints to follow so your interpretation creates the foundation for future actors. My character is from Africa and speaks French. Therefore, I am enjoying the additional challenge of creating an accent for her voice as well." - Linda Windham

"Neil Benton tries hard to “control” the situation with his wife and Officer Olivet, but his wife’s “peculiar gift” and Officer Olivet’s command cows him. His intellect fails. As someone who likes to master the situation with words, that’s a hoot for me." - Paul Safyan

"This experience has been challenging and rewarding. The opportunity to create a character directly from an original script gives the actor a great deal of freedom to delve into the process with no preconceived ideas." - Jil Robinson

"From my very first experience of working w/ Tamara and the rest of the TesserAct Theatre Ensemble, I have always felt welcome, supported, and encouraged. This group is chock-full of talented people who are more than willing to help guide you from the start of a production and all the way through to the very end. I cannot thank them enough for welcoming me with open arms and for giving me the opportunity to be a part of their amazing group!" - Cathleen Lutz

You can view bios and photos of the entire cast here:

Performance Information

The Sedgwick Stories will be presented Friday, March 15th and Saturday, March 16th at 7:30 pm and Sunday, March 17th at 2:30 pm at The Presbyterian Church of Palatine, 800 E. Palatine Road, Palatine, IL.

Tickets are $15 and available through EventBrite, on TATE’s webpage and as a public Facebook event.


Demographic Info
  • Buffalo Grove: Anne Arza, Derek Dillon
  • Elgin: Linda Windham
  • Evanston: Kristin Casner
  • Libertyville: Hayden Rogin
  • Mount Prospect: Colleen Kaminski
  • Naperville (formerly Palatine): T.R. Frye
  • Palatine : Sheryll Crider, Jeanette Engert, Tamara & Jackson Kist, Cathleen Lutz, Glen Murschel, Jil Robinson
  • Rolling Meadows: Jim Sullivan
  • Schaumburg: Devon Elizabeth
  • Wheeling: Paul Safyan
Redefining Community Theatre

TesserAct, a local community theatre company founded in 1996, believes in keeping the “community” in “community theatre”, so their ensemble and staff are all local folks who are extremely passionate about theatre, and who may also hold full-time jobs and may have families. TATE (TesserAct Theatre Ensemble) was the first in the area to make community theatre accessible to people with full time jobs, and entire families with their exclusive Sunday afternoon rehearsals: a time when most families can attend a rehearsal together without impacting bedtimes during the week and the myriad of obligatory Saturday activities.


In case you think less rehearsals means lower quality shows, think again. Three of the shows TATE has produced in the last couple years have been nominated for Broadway World Awards, including last year’s Our Town, not only nominated for Best Ensemble, but two of its’ leading actors were nominated for Best Actress and Best Actor! TATE’s premiere production, Weaver of Your Dreams, an original musical created by Tamara Kist, with music composed by her brother, Glen W. Jackson, based on the stories of Jane Yolen, received the Boonie Awards for both best musical and best new play. Who says you can't do more with less?

Producing Local Playwrights like Marc Ross

TATE also has a long history of supporting local playwrights’ work. Artistic Director, Tamara Kist co-founded and co-chaired the Wood Street Play Festival with the late Susannah Kist, her sister-in-law. Dozens of local playwrights were able to see their work on the stage. In fact, one such playwright's family was extremely grateful, as not long after he was able to see his musical performed on the stage, the playwright passed away, and they let us know how happy it had made him to see his work performed. TATE enjoys, actually thrives on, making people’s creative dreams a reality.

Educational Content

TATE has performed several pieces which have explored historical events, as The Sedgwick Stories does, giving the ensemble’s work an added educational component. Take for example, Wayne Richards’ A Summer Storm, a fictional examination of the man behind the Scopes Trials, a landmark case deciding whether or not evolution should be taught in schools. That particular production was also unique because Artistic Director, Tamara Kist, was able to stage it in the showroom of a local car dealership, Arlington Toyota. Audiences were both amused and impressed at how well she was able to adapt the piece to the space.

Is there such a thing as a tesseract?

The name of the company, TesserAct Theatre Ensemble, TATE for short, was inspired by Tamara Kist’s favorite book from fourth grade, A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle. In the book a “tesseract” is defined as a gateway to other dimensions, a wrinkle, if you will, allowing you to cross from one place to another, one time to another, in no time at all. In this way, Tamara felt theater could be experienced as a portal, capable of traversing time streams, traveling to alternate realities -- taking audiences places they might never go on their own, both physically and emotionally, and a new theater company was born.

TesserAct Theatre Ensemble is a local community theater group and is a 501c3 Illinois non profit organization Bringing Theater to the Community and the Community to Theater


If you would like more information, please contact, Tamara Kist, Artistic Director of TATE, at

Thank you for your time and interest!