Ethan Arnold (Little Plane), known as “Willa Arnold” at the time of the production, is from Evanston, IL. He has played the violin for 11 years and is a two-time first place winner at the Midwest Fiddle Championship, youth division. Ethan performed with the Young Stracke All-Stars for three years and now plays with the String Strangs. Although acting and the violin are his main passions, Ethan also enjoys writing poetry, songs and short stories.
Elliott Brotherhood (Ghost of Visalius) is thrilled to be a part of THE PLANE THAT TOOK A TRAIN. He is currently a sophomore at Ohio University majoring in English. Elliott is a playwright who wrote Pathways High School’s 2018 production FINDING THE SUIT as well as the staged reading of BRAWLING, BOISTEROUS SCOTTISH WENCH at First Stage in Milwaukee. Some of his performances include BIG RIVER; SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE BAKER STREET IRREGULARS; THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH; HENRY V, MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR; TWELFTH NIGHT; THE HEART OF ROBIN HOOD; JULIUS CAESAR, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM; AND LOST GIRL. Currently, Elliott is working on his first children’s novel. He would like to thank Bob Druker for the opportunity to help share the wonderful story that is THE PLANE THAT TOOK A TRAIN.
Luke Brotherhood (Freckles) is a freshman at Fordham University and thrilled to be part of THE PLANE THAT TOOK A TRAIN! Past theatre credits include: HENRY V, MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR; JULIUS CAESAR; A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM; TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD; THE SNOW DRAGON; LES MISERABLES; SO THRIVE MY SOUL; THE HISTORY OF INVULNERABILITY; RAGTIME; ASSASSINS; A CHRISTMAS CAROL; BIG RIVER; THE WIZ, THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH; JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH; RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL; ANATOLE; JACKIE & ME; and BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER.
In high school, Luke was a member of the Milwaukee Repertory Professional Training Institute’s inaugural class of 2017 and First Stage’s Young Company pre-professional training program.
Lara Carling (Big Plane #2) works as an actor, singer, puppeteer and voiceover artist in Chicago. She devises and performs in the annual Beatrix Potter holiday show, now also a film series, at Chicago Children’s Theatre. Here, Lara also performed in THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR and in numerous Red Kite Project productions created specifically for young audiences on the autism spectrum. As a teacher, she enjoys helping kids to create their own puppets and stories at Chicago Children’s Theatre camps and residency programs.
Additionally, Lara has worked with Lookingglass Theatre Company, Chicago Musical Theatre Festival, Rhino Fest, the iO Theater and ideafarm films. She received her formal training at Drama Centre London and the Boris Schukin Institute in Moscow.
Lara serves as the lead singer in a power ballad cover band, Glamshock. She also has appeared at such music venues as the Green Mill, Tonic Room and Martyrs’.
Steve Dawson (Martin) is Co-Creator and co-songwriter of THE PLANE THAT TOOK A TRAIN. A Chicago-based singer, songwriter and teacher, Steve has been called “one of the most underrated songwriters in American music.” Steve has released six albums with his long-time band, Dolly Varden, and four solo albums, including 2020’s critically-acclaimed “Last Flight Out” with his folk/jazz ensemble, Funeral Bonsai Wedding. His upcoming album, “At The Bottom Of A Canyon, In The Branches Of A Tree,” will be released on Pravda Records in 2021.
Originally from San Diego, CA, Steve spent his teen years in Hailey, ID, where he learned guitar and started writing songs. After a few years at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Steve moved to Chicago and formed the band Stump The Host with his now wife, artist and singer, Diane Christiansen. Steve also teaches songwriting at the legendary Old Town School of Folk Music and co-wrote a book on songwriting and the creative process with Mark Caro called, “Take It To The Bridge: Unlocking The Great Songs Inside You.”
Bob Druker (Joe) is Co-Creator, author and co-songwriter of THE PLANE THAT TOOK A TRAIN, and has been a board-certified psychiatrist for thirty years, which inspired him to create this musical play podcast. He graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago and trained at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics in Madison. Prior to returning to medical school, he worked as a pediatric occupational therapist for several years in school and child psychiatry settings.
In addition to his medical pursuits, Bob is a singer-songwriter with particular interest in folk and country music. His lifelong interest in theater stems from acting in high school, college and community productions. Bob is lead vocalist and banjo player in the Kitchen Boys, an Appalachian and Celtic music Milwaukee duo, and released his debut album, “Life Size Dollar,” in 2015.
Bob feels grateful and blessed to have had the support of so many talented actors and musicians. He wishes to thank Steve Dawson, his teacher for many years; Kay Kron, whose participation contributed to the completion of THE PLANE THAT TOOK A TRAIN; and his duo partner Aaron Heffernan, who played piano on this production and has been a selfless source of support over the years.
Dexter Ellis (Big Plane #1; Wowser, a palace guard dog) is a Louisiana-born educator, director and actor that misses the crawfish and gumbo, but is humbled by the Chicago theatre community. After being with Chicago Children’s Theatre for more than four years, Dexter now proudly serves as their Director of Education and Community Programs where he creates a wide variety of programming for ages 0–14 throughout Chicago. Most recently, he was seen in SURPRISE! DEATH IS NOT THE END with Cabinet of Curiosity and THE TICKET BOOTH with Dandelion Theatre. Dexter is represented by Ambassador Talent.
Genna Ellis (Queen Ravenna) feels lucky to be a part of THE PLANE THAT TOOK A TRAIN! She is a first grade collaborating teacher at GEMS World Academy Chicago and is currently pursuing her master’s in Education. Genna loves the Chicago theatre scene and was most recently seen in the Jeff-recommended production at The Factory Theater titled THE LAST NIGHT IN KARAOKE TOWN. Additional credits include THE ADVENTURES OF SPIRIT FORCE FIVE; AWKWARD SANTA; ONE THOUSAND WORDS; THE TICKET BOOTH; A CHRISTMAS CAROL; ROMEO AND JULIET; and CINDERELLA: THE TALE OF THE GLASS SLIPPER.
Genna felt a deep connection to Queen Ravenna and enjoyed getting to play such a powerful female role. She also loved the opportunity to work with such a talented group of creatives in the making of THE PLANE THAT TOOK A TRAIN. Genna is represented by Ambassador Talent.
Taylor Galloway is the Director and had a great time working on THE PLANE THAT TOOK A TRAIN. He is a Chicago-based actor who is a company member with Play Makers Laboratory Theatre. His favorite past work includes THE RUSE OF MEDUSA; THE NUTCRACKER; and THE DRAG SEED. He has also performed in FUGUE; AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE; and THE INSTITUTION.
Taylor graduated from Butler University with a BA in Theatre and Music, along with the National Theatre Institute’s semester at the Moscow Art Theatre. Recently, Taylor became an Artistic Associate with Barrel of Monkeys.
Jenna Grossman Spiers is the Creative Consultant for THE PLANE THAT TOOK A TRAIN and is currently the Education Associate at Children’s Theater (CTM) of Madison. She runs CTM’s outreach programs at Lussier and Goodman community centers. Jenna has a master’s in Theater Education from Emerson College and a bachelor’s in Drama from Ithaca College, and has presented at arts education conferences nationally. She is a teaching artist with nearly a decade of experience working in school, theater and community education settings across the country. Jenna has worked with companies such as Portland Stage Company and Children’s Theater Company among others. Jenna is an improviser and dramaturge in the Madison community.
Kay Kron (Bowser, a palace guard dog) is an intersectional feminist, theatre maker and arts administrator, with a special place in her heart for puppets. Her written work includes the recently produced THE STRANGER AND THE SHADOW; DIS-REPLACEMENT; WINTER PAGEANT 2013; DIA DE LOS MUERTOS SINFONIETTA; AND DEVIL’S CABARET. As an actor, Kay has performed at Chicago Children’s Theatre, The House Theatre of Chicago, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Haven Chicago and First Floor Theater.
In 2019, Kay traveled to Dijon, France, to co-present a case study at ENCATC (European Network on Cultural Management and Policy) in collaboration with DePaul University, examining DCASE’s 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre initiative. She holds a bachelor’s in Acting and a master’s of Nonprofit Management from DePaul University, and serves as the Associate Director of Development at Chicago Children’s Theatre.
Thatcher Jacobs (Eorik) is a Milwaukee, WI, based stage, TV and film actor who began performing at First Stage Professional Theatre Company at six years old. Thatcher has performed in productions at the Milwaukee Youth Theatre, Greendale Community Theatre and West Allis Players. His performances include THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER; JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAM COAT; and A CHRISTMAS STORY. Most recently he performed in the National Broadway Tour of FALSETTOS. Thatcher had a recurring role in the first season of Joe Pera Talks with You (Cartoon Network).
Thatcher plans to continue his acting career in the future and into college. His other interests include improv, comedy and skateboarding, and he is a talented sketch and graphic artist. Thatcher enjoyed playing Eorik in THE PLANE THAT TOOK A TRAIN and being able to do a creative project with other actors during the pandemic.
Michael E. Martin (Cete) is a Chicago-based actor and singer with a bachelor’s in Music Education and a master’s in Music Theatre. Originally from Florissant, MO, Michael is currently working on recording a debut EP with his newly formed band, “Judy’s Basement.” Michael’s credits expand from TV such as Chicago Fire and Cougar Woman to concerts like “New Faces Sing Broadway Now” and regional theatre including: UNITED FLIGHT 232; KENTUCKY; SISTER ACT; SWEENEY TODD; JESUS; JONAH; THE LITTLE MERMAID; TITANIC; TARZAN; SHREK; HANDS ON A HARDBODY; and MISS SAIGON. THE PLANE THAT TOOK A TRAIN allowed Michael to keep his creative juices flowing during a time when live entertainment was at a standstill. He enjoyed playing a villain as it enabled him to use some of the darker qualities of his instrument. He looks forward to this creative work reaching more people! Michael is represented by Paonessa Talent Agency.
Carly Meyer (Kaytaiya) prides herself in being interested and equally committed to classical opera and modern musical theatre. Some of her performances include THE SECRET GARDEN; LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS; SHREK THE MUSICAL; INTO THE WOODS; SEUSSICAL; and IN THE HEIGHTS.
In 2017, Carly won “Best High School Actress” at the Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards (IHSMTA). She was also the fan favorite winner of Suburban Chicago’s Got Talent, performed in the Wilmette Music Festival and featured at KIDZ ROC in Branson, MO. Carly has been able to pursue her passion for classical repertoire and is also trained in Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop, Contemporary and Tap.
Additionally, Carly received top honors at the Sinfonietta Bel Canto Vocal Competition and was a featured singer in Seth Rudetsky’s Master Class through the Illinois Theatre Festival.
Allyson Womack (Martina) is excited to be a part of A PLANE THAT TOOK A TRAIN as a crow that comes to the aid of Kaytaiya and her friends. Most recently, she completed the short film “Fletcher,” which was accepted into the Arkansas Cinema Society and Cinema Femme short film festivals. Allyson will soon have a voiceover feature with Camera Ambassador. In addition to her writing talents, she has acted in and produced “Phosphorescence.” She has her bachelor’s in Theatre from Butler University and had the privilege of studying at the Moscow Art Theatre for a summer intensive. Allyson loved working with everyone on A PLANE THAT TOOK A TRAIN.