Meet the Cast of
The Gin Game
PAULA SCROFANO (Fonsia Dorsey) and JOHN REEGER (Weller Martin) were honored to receive the 2015 Equity special Jeff Award for Career Achievement in “recognition of their theatrical contributions to the Chicago theatre scene over the past five decades.” Paula and John met and married as students at Northwestern University’s theatre school. The acting couple has appeared together in forty-eight Equity productions. Here at Drury Lane they were featured in eleven musicals (Guys and Dolls, My Fair Lady, Jesus Christ Superstar, Annie, On the Twentieth Century, Meet Me in St. Louis, King and I, A Christmas Carol, Once upon a Mattress, Curtains, Sound of Music). They also performed together at Court Theatre (The Seagull, Putting It Together, Hay Fever and James Joyce’s The Dead), Steppenwolf (The Ballad of Little Jo), Marriott Theatre (Baby, Phantom, Sunset Blvd, Little Women, The Drowsy Chaperone, Mary Poppins), Theatre at the Center (Hello Dolly, A Christmas Memory), Paramount (My Fair Lady) , Chicago Shakespeare (Wizard of Oz), Apple Tree (Tale of the Allergist’s Wife), Body Politic (Rough Crossing), Candlelight Playhouse (Fiddler on the Roof, Boy Meets Girl, A Funny Thing Happened…, Mame, and Saturday, Sunday, Monday), Pheasant Run (I Do! I Do!), and Fulton Theatre in Lancaster, PA (42nd Street, Les Miserables), among others. Paula appeared last summer at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego as Mrs. Jennings in Sense and Sensibility, a role she first performed at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. She was previously seen at CST in A Comedy of Errors and Willie Wonka. She appeared as Abuela Claudia (In the Heights) at Paramount Theatre, Aunt Eller (Oklahoma!) at Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Mary Todd Lincoln (A Civil War Christmas) at Northlight. Here at Drury Lane she was Frau Blücher (Young Frankenstein), Julie (Showboat), Blanche (Broadway Bound) Mrs. Baskin (Big!), Gooch (Mame) and Mrs. Meers (Thoroughly Modern Millie). She was seen at Marriott Theatre as Mickey (My One and Only), Golde (Fiddler on the Roof), Signora Naccarelli (The Light in the Piazza), Jack’s Mother (Into the Woods), the title role in Victor/Victoria, Ida (Honk); Meg (Damn Yankees), Gooch (Mame) and Eva Peron (Evita - Sarah Siddons Award). She appeared at Theatre at the Center as Mama Rose (Gypsy), Signora Fioria (Do I Hear a Waltz?), and as Muriel (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels). She portrayed Desirée (A Little Night Music) and Dot/Marie (Sunday in the Park with George - Sarah Siddons Award) at the Goodman Theatre. At Apple Tree Theatre she was seen in Necessary Targets and Denial, and at the Royal George Theatre she was featured in Lend Me a Tenor and Lost in Yonkers. In addition, she appeared in more than twenty shows at the Candlelight Playhouse. Paula is the 2014 recipient of the Guy Adkins Award for “Excellence in the Achievement of Musical Theatre in Chicago.” John appeared at the Harvey Theatre (BAM) in New York as Cecil Lewis in the Goodman Theatre’s production The Iceman Cometh, a role he had originally played at the Goodman in 2012. His other Goodman credits include Romeo and Juliet, Richard II, Cry the Beloved Country, The Good Person of Setsuan and three seasons in A Christmas Carol. He was seen in twentyseven productions at Drury Lane, portraying Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock’s Last Case) Capt. Hook (Peter Pan), John Barrymore (I Hate Hamlet) and Fagin (Oliver!). He appeared at Chicago Shakespeare Theater in The Winter’s Tale, The Moliere Comedies, Gypsy, King John, Amadeus, Richard III and Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, which then toured to the RSC in Stratford, England. He was featured in thirty-three shows at Court Theatre including Gaev (The Cherry Orchard), Polonius (Hamlet), Malvolio (Twelfth Night), Pridament (The Illusion) and the title role in Woyzeck. He was Capt. Shotover (Heartbreak House) and Kaufmann (Bach at Leipzig) at Writers’ Theatre,
and at Marriott he was Billy Flynn (Chicago), Judge Turpin (Sweeny Todd) and Mayor Shinn (The Music Man). He co-authored the musical The Christmas Schooner with Julie Shannon, which has received 150 productions nationally. The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes, which he coauthored with Julie Shannon and Michael Mahler, premiered at the Mercury Theatre last year and received the 2016 Jeff Award for “New Work.” He has received a “Principal Actor” Jeff Award, an After Dark Award and an Illinois Artist Fellowship. Their son Adam and his wife Jenny live in Iowa City, IA. , where he is pursuing his Ph.D. Their daughter Alison and her husband David reside in Gainesville, GA, where she works at Brenau University. She is the author, A. R. Cook, of the YA Fantasy Fiction series, The Scholar and the Sphinx (Knox Robinson Publishing) available at amazon.com.
JIM MCCANCE (Understudy for Weller Martin) appeared at Drury Lane Oakbrook as Victor Velasco in Barefoot in the Park. He has been a Chicago area actor for over four decades, appearing at the Body Politic, the Goodman, Court, Victory Gardens, Remy Bumppo, Drury Lane Evergreen Park, and at other local theatres. Last year he portrayed the title character in Jeeves at Sea at First Folio Theater in Oak Brook, where he played that character in three previous adaptations of P.G. Wodehouse's stories. Credits accrued in the current millennium include Grandpa in Indian Blood at Artists' Ensemble in Rockford, Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird at the Bog Theatre in Park Ridge, Peter Lombard in Making History for Chicago Irish Rep, and Malone in Remy Bumppo's production of Man and Superman.
JILL SHELLABARGER (Understudy for Fonsia Martin) has appeared at Drury Lane in Bye Bye Birdie (Mayor's Wife), Oliver (Mrs. Bedwin) and 1776 (Abigail Adams). Regional credits include: Death and the King's Horseman (Jane Pilkington) Goodman/Kennedy Center; Driving Miss Daisy (Daisy) 1st Folio; Battle of the Bands (Janet), The Play's the Thing (Ilona) Victory Gardens; The Club (Freddie), Quartermaine's Terms (Anita), Northlight; The Sound of Music (Elsa) Marriott. She has voiced audio books, radio and TV commercials and radio dramas, and appeared with the Chicago, San Diego, and Cincinnati Symphonies in various Beyond the Score presentations.