It is with extreme frustration and sadness that I must tell you of Waiting For Godot’s cancellation.

Losing one play is hard, but losing two in a row for reasons beyond our control is unbearable. I was so excited to show off The West Side Show Room’s amazing new work.

The truth is that one of our leads, decided to leave the play because he had not memorized his lines in time for our Saturday opening.

This actor is a very talented, hardworking, and proud actor who simply refuses to go on stage if he feels he cannot deliver his best performance.

We all disagreed with the actor about his decision. We believed in him.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to find a replacement for this challenging role in time for our scheduled dates.

Although this is a setback, I can only feel discouraged for so long before my determination to succeed returns. Our plan is to recast and bring Waiting For Godot back later this year. We will issue refunds immediately to all advance ticket holders, and hope you will return to support us in the future.

Thank you all for understanding, for supporting our fledgling organization through this awkward startup time, and for believing in our mission to bring a new kind of theater experience to Rockford, Illinois.

Mike Werckle
Artistic Director
The West Side Show Room

West Side Show Room Buys Time By Producing Absurdist Comedy Rockfordians Can Relate To

PRESS RELEASE 05/15/2015

The West Side Show Room presents

Waiting For Godot a play by Samuel Beckett

Location: The Nordlof Center - 3rd Floor, 118 N Main St, Rockford, IL 61101

Dates: Saturday June 13
Sunday June 14
Saturday June 20
Sunday June 21

Time: 7pm

Tickets: $15 online, $20 at the door

Reserve Seats: www.thewestsideshowroom.com/tickets

Website: www.thewestsideshowroom.com

Contact: thewestsideshowroom@gmail.com

West Side Show Room Buys Time By Producing Absurdist Comedy Rockfordians Can Relate To

While waiting to open in a new location, The West Side Show Room is producing Samuel Becket's masterpiece of absurdist comedy Waiting for Godot at the Nordlof Center. Two tramps wait endlessly for the arrival of a man named Godot, who never arrives, passing the time by distracting themselves with increasingly comic situations. The play was recently revived on Broadway with Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan.

Appearing as the tramps in The West Side Show Room's version are David Causey and Alex McIntyre, two veteran Rockford actors who will appear on stage together for the first time. “David and Alex make the perfect comic duo. I’m thrilled to be getting them together in this classic comedy” says director Mike Werckle. Causey was most recently seen as Mrs. Forrest in Psycho Beach Party at The West Side Show Room and as Godfrey Crump in Crumbs From The Table of Joy at Artists’ Ensemble. McIntyre last performed as Freddy Benson in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at Pec Playhouse. Rounding out the cast is West Side Show Room regular Carolyn Cadigan in the role of Pozzo, the pompous landowner, and Werckle as overburdened servant Lucky.

Four performances will be held Saturdays and Sundays, June 13-21, at 7pm on the 3rd floor of the Nordlof Center. Tickets are $15 online, and $20 at the door. Beer and wine bar will be provided by Kryptonite.

The West Side Show Room is currently performing at The Nordlof Center while it seeks a permanent home. The difficulty of finding a permanent space lies behind Werckle’s decision to stage Waiting For Godot. “In a way, ‘Godot’ is a precursor to ‘Seinfeld,’” Werckle says. “Nothing happens, but you laugh the whole time at the ridiculous situations the characters find themselves in.”

Werckle believes that Waiting For Godot will even have appeal beyond the most ardent theater supporters. “I’m sure many Rockfordians can relate to the idea of waiting for something that never arrives,” he says.

Waiting for Godot opens June 13th, 2015 at the Nordlof Center.

The West Side Show Room was founded by a diverse group of theater artists who are committed to bringing exciting, locally produced theater back to downtown Rockford. Waiting for Godot is their fifth play.

Mike Werckle (Artistic Director). Mike Werckle completed the intensive Foundation Acting Program at California Institute of the Arts, and received his BFA in Character Animation in 1992. After a long career in the video game industry, he earned his MFA in Film Production from The University of Texas in 2006. Using his mastery of both animation and film, Mike helped design thrilling sequences on films such as Superman Returns, Live Free or Die Hard, I Am Legend, Tropic Thunder, Machete, and Predators. Most recently, Mike worked on the dinosaur sequences for Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life (Palme d'Or, Cannes Film Festival, 2011) and with Lana and Andrew Wachowski on Jupiter Ascending. In 2013, Mike opened The West Side Show Room in Rockford. He directed and acted in their first two plays: Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, and MilkMilkLemonade.

For more information please contact Mike Werckle at (512) 796-1772 or at thewestsideshowroom@gmail.com

WSSR is CANCELLING our upcoming performance of Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge

Every play is a struggle with a unique set of challenges, and sometimes the challenges are too much to overcome. Mrs. Bob Cratchit lost it’s lead to a family tragedy with only a week to go before the show opened. We met as a cast and talked over all of the options, but in the end we decided it was best to cancel the play. After all it is just a play, and there will be many more.

The WSSR refuses to put on a show that we feel is not going to meet our own high standards and the level of quality our audience has come to expect from us. This was an especially hard decision given the fact that Mrs. Bob was our last show at 410 Mulberry Street before the end of our lease-- and the last show of the WSSR’s first season.

Our thoughts are with our fellow cast member who is going through a difficult time. The play would not have been the same without this wonderful actor’s presence.

Although this is a discouraging setback, rest assured the WSSR will be back next year someplace new with more crazy surprises, cardboard, and feathers!

Thank you for being a part of our first year.

Mike Werckle
Artistic Director

Psycho Beach Party - Susie Wallin

Come see the amazingly talented Susie O'Dierno as the hopeless nerd Berdine in Psycho Beach Party! 

Susie is very excited to be performing with this incredible cast of the West Side Showroom. 

"I would like to thank Mike for giving me this wonderful opportunity, Deborah for the continuous support through the years, and Angelo for getting me out of my shell and giving me the confidence to get back on the stage."

Come see Susie-- reserve tickets for Psycho Beach Party Today!!

Psycho Beach Party - Addison Clearwood

Addison Clearwood makes her WSSR debut as sex kitten Bettina Barnes in Psycho Beach Party.

A sophomore Musical Theatre major at Rockford University, Addison is excited to be a part of this fantastic cast. In addition to community theatre work in her hometown of Madison, WI, Addison has been seen most recently in Rockford University’s production of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

Addison would like to thank her family for supporting a little girls wacky dream of living a life of theatre.

Come see Addison as Bettina Barnes-- reserve advance tickets for Psycho Beach Party!

Psycho Beach Party - Erin Farste

Erin is thrilled to make her debut as tomboy surfer Chicklet Forrest at The West Side Show Room.

Erin is a native of Kansas City, MO and is in her senior year at Rockford University as a BFA Musical Theatre Major. Her previous acting credits include Alice’s Daughter in Big River at Maples Reparatory Theatre, Ernestine Crump in Crumb from the Table of Joy and Lucille Ballard in Meet Me In St. Louis with Artists’ Ensemble Theatre. Candela in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Eva Jackson in Absurd Person Singular, and Cassandra in Trojan Women at Rockford University.

Erin would like to say ‘Thank You’ to her mother for her everlasting support of her theatrical journey thus far. To her family and friends, she would like to extend a loving thank you and for the amazing support system and love that has helped her through.

Don't miss Erin's tour de force performance as the girl with multiple personality disorder-- reserve tickets for Psycho Beach Party today!

Psycho Beach Party - Mark West

Mark makes his WSSR debut as surfer bum Provoloney in Psycho Beach Party.

Mark is  a Rockford native and is happy to bring more theater to his hometown. He received his training through the Professional Actor Training Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and went on to perform in Chicago, China and as the Beast in a national tour of Beauty and the Beast. 

Mark also choreographed the incredible fight sequences in Psycho Beach Party that have audiences raving!

Come see Mark as Provoloney-- and his masterful fight choreography. Reserve Tickets for Psycho Beach Party today.

Psycho Beach Party - Kenyai O'Neal

Kenyai is making his WSSR debut as the supper slutty beach bimbo Marvel Ann.

Kenyai just transferred to Rockford University from McLennan Community College.  He is known for his roles as Teen Angel from Grease and Doris Miller in Cotton Palace, and  recently played roles in Spamalot as Prince Herbert and the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland the Opera.  

Kenyai would like to thank God for the opportunity and his mother, who has supported him from the beginning.

Come see Kenyai display animal magentism as Marvel Ann-- reserve tickets for Pyscho Beach Party today! 

Psycho Beach Party - Joshua Hoover

Joshua makes his WSSR debut as teen heart throb Star Cat in Psycho Beach Party!

Joshua is currently a student at RVC and Star Cat is his first major role.  He would like to thank everyone supporting/encouraging live theater in the Rockford area, and warns audiences to "prepare to have your underwear blown off due to pure laughter."

After Psycho Beach Party you will be able to see Josh as the gentleman caller Jim in The Glass Menagerie at VCCT in Rochelle.

Lastly he would like to remind the audience that yes he used "spray-on abs" for this show. And that his short shorts make him feel the breeze between his knees.

Come have your underwear blown off by Joshua-- reserve your tickets for Psycho Beach Party today!

Psycho Beach Party - Kurtis Lawler

WSSR is very excited to have Kurtis in his WSSR debut as the hilarious surf bum Yo Yo in Psycho Beach Party.  Kurtis has previously appeared in Thoroughly Modern Millie at Starlight Theatre and 12 Angry Men at Pec Playhouse.  

Kurtis hopes "you enjoy everything our little Malibu beach has to offer.  Thanks to Mike, the crew, and the incredible cast."

Come play in the sand with Kurtis!  Reserve your tickets for Psycho Beach Party today!

Psycho Beach Party - Glen Wiegert

Glen Wiegert makes his Rockford debut as the surf guru Kanaka in The WSSR's production of Psycho Beach Party!  

Glen is a Pecatonica native and has been active with Pec Playhouse Theatre and Freeport’s Winneshiek Theater on and off the stage for over 10 years.  Past  Luddie in The Trip to Bountiful, Jake in Jakes Women, Ranerd in Christmas Belles and several roles in A Tuna Christmas. When not on or behind stage Glen works at the Pecatonica Library and is a “gentleman” farmer with his wife Laura.  Glen says "it’s been a great experience working with Mike and the cast of this show."

Come see Glen tear it up in Psycho Beach Party-- save $5 when you reserve your tickets online!

Psycho Beach Party - David Causey

David Causey makes his WSSR debut in Psycho Beach Party.  A Veteran of Chicago and Rockford theater, David was most recently seen in Crumbs From The Table Of Joy at Artists' Ensemble Theater.  In Psycho Beach Party, David plays the domineering Mrs. Forrest who only wants the best for her daughter Chicklet.  

Psycho Beach Party is a hilarious mashup of Gidget, Frankie and Annette beach party epics, and Hitchcock psychological thrillers. Chicklet, a teenage tomboy, desperately wants to be part of a surf gang on Malibu Beach in 1963-- but getting in her way is her unfortunate tendency towards split personalities.

Come see David Causey as you have never seen him before-- IN DRAG!!  Save $5 when you reserve tickets online for Psycho Beach Party!

The West Side Show Room announces casting for THE CHALK BOY

The West Side Show Room is casting The Chalk Boy, by Joshua Conkel.


Beneath its boring facade there is more going on in the tiny town of Clear Creek than the opening of the new Taco Bell.  Four of the town's local girls are here to take you on a tour of their funny, yet brutal reality.  They struggle with faith, friendship, sex, the occult, algebra, and the disappearance of... the Chalk boy.  The Chalk Boy  is a deathly black comedy that punches as hard as your high school bully.

"If the satire is at times wickedly funny, Conkel makes his teenage girls, and the pressures they have to cope with, real enough that we want to take them seriously."

- San Francisco Gate


The Chalk Boy has four leading roles.  The characters are female, but may be played by actors of any gender, or ethnicity-- age 18+  


15, maladjusted, melancholy, and on a search for meaning.

BREANNA STARK:                           

15, Penny’s best friend. Introspective and masculine. Wears her heart on her sleeve.

LAUREN RADLEY:                           

15, a nice Christian girl. Also plays MOM, GILL, and MRS. CHALK.

TRISHA SORENSEN:                           

15, an athlete and Breanna’s best friend.




The Chalk Boy will be performed October 24 - Nov 8.  Rehearsals will be scheduled generally Sun-Thu from 6 - 10pm.  Some weekend rehearsals are also a possibility.


Auditions will be held by appointment, contact thewestsideshowroom@gmail.com to set up a time, or to request a script.


Up With (Some) People - Genny Bonavia & Raymond Fanara

Genny Bonavia (Kris)

Genny received her BA in Theater arts, her MAT in elementary education, and MAT in Special education from Rockford College. By day she is a Special Education Teacher in the Harlem School District and by night she freelances as a costume designer for Artists’ Ensemble.

She was last seen in Christmas Carol at New American Theater where she played the Ghost of Christmas Past. She has also been in The Vagina Monologues, as well as numerous productions at Rock Valley College's Studio Theater.

Genny says "Thank you to all the cast members. You have been my oasis."

Raymond Fanara (Chris)

Raymond is elated to be making his debut in Up With (Some) People at the West Side Show Room, and to be working with such amazing and talented people. Raymond was recently featured at Rock Valley College's Studio Theater as Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, Tin Man in Wizard of Oz, and Fyedka in Fiddler on the Roof.

In his spare time, Raymond has been studying the force as well as the art of lightsaber combat, and is hoping to reach his goal of Jedi Master. He also likes to collect Daniel Day-Lewis movies and vinyl records.

Much love and gratitude goes out to his wonderful family, his handsome good-looking friends, Colton Crain for the awesome lighting, and to The West Side Show Room for involving him in this great experience.

Come see Genny and Raymond in Up With (Some) People - reserve tickets for MilkMilkLemonade today!  (or come see a free performance Friday, March 14th at 10:15pm after MilkMilkLemonade)


Ray Fanara as Chris and Genny Bonavia as Kris in Up With (Some) People

MilkMilkLemonade - Colton Thompson

Colton Thompson (Elliot) is thrilled to be performing in this wonderful production of MilkMilkLemonade with such a talented cast.  Colton is from the Byron area where he is very active in community theater, and has also performed in a number of productions in Rockford. 

When Colton is not performing he enjoys sunbathing, dressing up his dogs and gossiping with his book club.  He really hopes that you take the time to come out and see this very special production and appreciate the touching story it tells. 

As always, love to all who love him and remember to laugh whenever possible.

Come see Colton tear up the stage as Elliot-- reserve your tickets for MilkMilkLemonade today!

MilkMilkLemonade - Tori Mays

Tori Mays (Rehearsal Stage Manager) is a BFA Light Design major at Rockford University. She is originally from Columbus, Ohio. MilkMilkLemonade is her first production with The West Side Show Room, and she loved being a part of the rehearsal process! She has done tech work for Rockford University and Artist's Ensemble Theater.  Recent Credits include: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Stage manager RU ), The Gifts of the Magi (Asst Stage Manager AET), Directing Scenes at RU (Light Designer), The Mystery of Irma Vep (Master Electrician).

Tori would like to thank her family for supporting her and hopes you enjoy the show!

The cast of MilkMilkLemonade adores Tori and could not have done this show without her. Reserve tickets for MilkMilkLemonade today!

MilkMilkLemonade - Rosemary Million

Rosemary has been “playing” in theater for over 25 years. At one time or another she has performed in most of the local community theater venues, RVC, Beloit Civic, Byron Civic, Main Street Players of Boone County, and Pec Playhouse. Some of her more favorite roles in recent years have been Sister Aloysius in Doubt, Amanda in Glass Menagerie, Gertie in Fuddy Meers. When not performing on stage she is often found at Pec Playhouse working on productions as prop goddess, set painter/decorator and occasionally as a stage manager. When not “playing” she works by day as Cardiac Services secretary/medical transcriptionist and department jack-of-all-trades at Rockford Memorial Hospital. She lives in downtown Rockford with her ‘fella’ Michael, two cats and an awfully smart dog.

Come see Rosemary shred some chickens as Nanna-- Reserve tickets for MilkMilkLemonade today.

Rosemary Million as Nanna (with Andrew Harth)

MilkMilkLemonade - Andrew Harth

Andrew is delighted to make his debut with the West Side Show Room and is thrilled to be part of such a wonderful show with a great company.

Most recently, Andrew worked with The Round Barn Theater in Nappanee, Indiana on their production of 9 to 5 The Musical and then had a blast doing Absurd Person Singular at the amazing Rockford University.  During his time at Rockford University, Andrew performed various roles including Harry the Horse in Guys and Dolls, Jimmy Smith in No, No, Nanette, and the simple minded Goat in The Robber Bridegroom. When not spending time on stage, Andrew enjoys his position as Assistant Technical Director of the Performing Arts at Rockford University.

Andrew would like to thank his family and friends for all of their love and support and also give a special thanks to Ramaad for EVERYTHING.  "Enjoy the Show!"

Come see Andrew in the role of a lifetime as Emory in MilkMilkLemonade.  He does a mean ribbon stick dance too.  Reserve tickets for MilkMilkLemonade today.

MilkMilkLemonade - Carolyn Cadigan

Carolyn Cadigan returns to the West Side Show Room as Lady in a Leotard in MilkMilkLemonade, where (among other things) she plays a spider, a parasitic twin, translates chicken clucking into common English, and sings Charlene's "I've Never Been To Me."

Carolyn has been performing for the past couple of decades on most of the stages in town – Clock Tower Dinner Theatre, Rockford University, NAT, Artists’ Ensemble – and most recently, touring the area in her husband Rufus Cadigan's Rockford history musical, “Old River Tales."

Carolyn says she "is so pleased to be part of this exciting new theater in Rockford and looks forward to helping the West Side Show Room prosper and grow!"

Come see Carolyn translate chicken clucking-- reserve tickets for MilkMilkLemonade today!


MilkMilkLemonade Choreography by Amy Wright

The West Side Show Room is incredibly fortunate to have Amy Wright designing the dances for MilkMilkLemonade!  From the zany Fosse inspired opening number, to a fabulous ribbon stick dance, plus a super secret sequence at the end, Amy pulled out all the stops.

Amy is Assistant Professor of Dance at Rockford University and holds an MFA (2013) and a BFA (2007) in Dance from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Her work has been seen in many concerts and festivals in Texas including the Houston Dance Gathering and Venturing Out concerts and Corpus Christi’s Bailando festival. Amy has served as a stage manager, lighting and costume designer, and technician with the Dominic Walsh Dance Theatre, NobleMotion Dance, and the Rednerrus Feil Dance Company.  She also runs the Bad Wolf Dance Theatre, a newly established modern dance company in Rockford.  

Amy says she "is thrilled to be joining the Rockford arts scene in this partnership with the West Side Showroom!"

Come see Amy's amazing work-- reserve tickets for MilkMilkLemonade today!