arciTEXT (May 2017)
Dina was a part of this year's arciTEXT Short Play Festival presented by the arc theatre. The theme was "United We Stand," where playwrights, directors, and actors explored poignant and vibrantly new 10 minute pieces.
"Join us for our 5th annual New Works Festival- where the best of Chicago Playwrights, Directors and Actors riff on a theme- taking any and all liberties."
O'Connor Casting (March-June 2017)
Dina was excited to be a part of the casting intern team with O'Connor Casting! The internship program included working the front desk, helping out with auditions in the session rooms, or hiding away in the office with Dexter, the office pup. Valuable lessons learned during her four month training:
- Arrive to your audition early
- Come prepared
- Know which audition you're coming in for
- Adjustments in the audition are a gift!
- Be yourself in the room
- Everyone in the room is rooting for you
We work in a crazy industry, but once we realize we have control over our preparation and demeanor, we can conquer the audition process. You will become a reliable actor, and a joy to work with.
Groundswell (January/February 2017)
Spoiler alert: climate change is NOT a hoax invented by the Chinese.
Dina wrapped up Karen Fort's new play Groundswell directed by Elyse Dolan at Prop Thtr. The description read:
In Groundswell, by Karen Fort, rough weather, a lucrative mining offer and an upcoming wedding pressure the people who own or work this farm on a hillside. The human response to learning the hard way about the effects of climate change cause fear of judgment and hurt feelings. Faced with an emergency that forces choices, the characters find a path forward, and the earth abides.
Groundswell was in conjunction with Curious Theatre Branch and Prop Thtr's Rhino Fest, Chicago's longest running multi-fringe featuring 40 new plays.
The Irregular (December 2016)
Back in May, Dina shot a short scene in a webseries pilot episode, The Irregular, written and directed by Chad Cheatham with WiseOwl Productions. The pilot encapsulates the conversations overheard at a bar in Logan Square as we get a glimpse at the people that come and go.
XV (December 2016)
Dina participated in the Living Room Playmaker's winter show XV. The performances consisted of six 10-minute plays all about a 15-year high school reunion. The audience was invited in as guests to the party, and were promptly given a name tag and a drink upon entering. She was in the one titled Only Real Cougars written by Tony Werner and directed by Rachel Edwards Harvith. The teaser read:
Did you go to your high school reunion? Was it everything you wanted? Was it a nightmare?
Now it's time. Time to relive the glory days. To set the record straight. To dance the night away.
Join Living Room Playmakers for an immersive 15-year high school reunion experience in Ravenswood, Chicago.
Chicago Classes (November 2016)
When not in a show, Dina's learning all she can get...
- Dina completed six weeks of On-Camera II earlier this year with the wonderful Janelle Snow at Acting Studio Chicago. They explored examples of commercial, procedural, comedic, and other types of TV script. The class also familiarized themselves with the specifics of Chicago casting.
- She also got some private coaching from Kurt Naebig at Acting Studio Chicago on approaching contemporary monologues following Michael Shurtleff's 12 Guideposts to Acting.
- She took eight weeks of Intermediate Jazz Dance with Nancy Teinowitz at the Old Town School of Folk Music and has enjoyed the one-on-one coaching to improve her technique and vocabulary.
This month, Dina also read for Jim Sherman's staged reading of Commedia Erudita at DePaul University with some pretty fantastic Chicago actors. She loved the collaborative atmosphere and great sense of play!
Chicago Med (October 2016)
For six days, I experienced being an extra on Chicago Med at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. This was my first time on a set of this caliber, and my job was to be a visitor to the hospital looking for the elevators but not looking too lost. Sometimes I'd even get to hang out in the lobby and check in at the front desk! Whatever the adventure was for the day, it provided me with the perfect opportunity to observe up close actors, directors, AD's, production assistants, lighting technicians, sound technicians, prop artists, makeup artists, and other background extras and see what their processes were for creating a smooth day of filming. Let me say, those props artists are particularly talented at creating realistic and lifelike pieces. Their body parts were, shall we say, faint-worthy. I also got a strong sense of the goal for each day: be efficient, be adaptable, and keep a fresh mind throughout the long day. We certainly had some early call times, but I knew there was always someone who had to be there even earlier to get everything set up for the arrival of the crew. Now when I watch television I take special notice of the people in the room giving life to the environment and I have a better understanding the thousands of components that come together to create one episode of a popular television series!
Jeff Recommended! (July 2016)
After a successful opening night, First Folio Theatre's A Midsummer Night's Dream was Jeff Recommended!! Congratulations to our wonderful cast and crew!
"Jeff Recommended" indicates at least one element of a production was deemed excellent by opening night judges. The entire production is then eligible for nomination at the end of the season.
Chicago Tribune's 20 Hot Shows to See this Summer (July 2016)
A Midsummer Night's Dream was one of The Chicago Tribune's Hot Shows to See This Summer! Steve Johnson wrote,
"Few settings are as perfect for Shakespeare’s magical romantic comedy as First Folio’s al fresco stage, nestled against the woods of the Mayslake Peabody Estate. Puck and Co. should feel right at home. Hayley Rice, daughter of First Folio co-founders Alison C. Vesely and David Rice, directs."
First Folio Theatre's A Midsummer Night's Dream (July/August 2016)
Dina was seen as Cobweb in First Folio Theatre's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in Oak Brook, Illinois directed by Hayley Rice. She also understudied the roles of Helena and Titania and went on as Helena the last Sunday of the run. First Folio introduced their production as:
The perfect show for families — come experience the joy as the mischievous Puck turns the world upside-down for the quartet of lovers, not to mention the crazed, ass-headed Bottom. Come laugh as they are driven to wild antics in the forest…all while you enjoy the peaceful setting of the western suburb’s premier forest preserve.