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And Wongo Chicago Begins!

Producer/co-writer Dave Ogrin and director David Rigano rushed (slightly bleary eyed) off their early morning plane from New York City, grabbed the blue line to Belmont and headed over to the Porchlight Theatre rehearsal space where the first day of the Chicago production of Wild Women Of Planet Wongo began. It was the official Meet and Greet and everyone working on the show was invited.

Most of the cast attended as did the fabulous design team. After everyone introduced themselves to the group, David had everyone play a game of Two Truths and a Lie (David’s lie was he had fallen off a stage during a performance, his two truths were he had split his pants and been hit in the face with a cream pie during performances). It was a great ice-breaker and the room got to share some secrets about each other.

Freya Falkenstein, Katherine Wettermann

Sabrina Harms, Jen Connor

And then onto reading the script aloud. Seeing words on the page is much different than hearing them coming out of the mouths of these young talented Chicago actors, most of whom had only briefly met at the auditions months earlier. The room rang with laughter and everyone felt the zany tone of the show come to life. Recordings of the music were played so everyone could get into the mood.

Jimmy Mann, Michael Sprenger, James Mueller read script. Chicago Immersive Theatre
Jimmy Mann, Michael Sprenger, James Mueller, Planet Wongo, Immersive Theatre in Chicago
Jimmy Mann, Michael Sprenger

During one of the breaks, costumer Kate Kamphausen dressed the whole cast in their wacky 60s outer-space costumes. Because Wild Women Of Planet Wongo is immersive, the audience gets very close to the actors so the costumes become a vital part of the mood and tone of the show. Kate did an incredible job of making each actor look just right for the part. Although there were no wigs or makeup yet, the costumes themselves were enough to make the room gasp!

Kate Kamphausen, Costume Construction, Planet Wongo

David and Kyra Leigh (Musical Director) also got to try out one of the few props in the show … the cooking pot. I don’t want to give too much away about the plot, but let’s just say that on Planet Wongo, sometimes things get a little steamy!

David Rigano, Kyra Leigh, The Cooking Pot
Greg Kolack (production manager), Mike Rathbun (lighting designer), Syndey Genco (makeup design), Molly Weaver (assistant stage manager)
Syndey Genco, Kate Kamphausen, Greg Kolack – Makeup Design, Costume Construction, Production Manager

It was a wonderful afternoon and a terrific beginning to a month of rehearsals and installation into the Chopin Theatre for our June 8 opening. It felt great for the team to all finally meet and start to become a family. That is what theatre is … a family … a bond forever …. on Planet Wongo.

Alec Long, Scenery and Prop Design
Mike Rathbun, LightingDesign
Robert Hornbostel, Video And Sound Design
Actors Jen Connor, Jimmy Mann, Michael Sprenger and James Mueller – in costume, read the script

Wild Women Of Planet Wongo opens June 8 at the Chopin Theatre in Chicago. Come see what immersive theatre is all about. Tickets at

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