SYNOPSIS: It’s the last city in the country where you can become an American. Sanctuary City opens its gates to hopeful immigrants from around the world, who work and live in the city in order to gain citizenship. Anyone can get in, it’s just hard to get out. This is the pilot episode of a neo-noir podcast in development.

FRIDAY, MARCH 26 @ 7:00 PM Central

Join us for a powerful, live reading via Zoom. The reading runs about 60 minutes without an intermission. Following the reading, stay in our virtual space for a group discussion and share actions you can take.

Buy tickets HERE or call (773) 654-3103 until Friday, March 26 @ 3:00 PM Central. Suggested donation is $10 or pay-what-you-can. Your Zoom link will be sent the day before the reading and again 1 hour before the reading starts. For any questions or to get on the waitlist, contact us at

Additional Resources

ACLU – works to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties of everyone in this country.

Chicago History Museum – shares Chicago’s stories, serving as a hub of scholarship and learning, inspiration, and civic engagement.

City of Chicago — Community Resources for Immigrant – list of Chicago organizations that provide support to immigrants from all over the world, compiled by the city of Chicago.

City of Chicago — Welcoming City Supportive Resources – information about Chicago’s status as a Welcoming City and a collection of related resources.

Historic Pullman Foundation – non-profit organization that facilitates the preservation and restoration of original structures within the Town of Pullman and promotes public awareness of the significance of Pullman as one of the nation’s first planned industrial communities, now a designated City of Chicago, State of Illinois, and National landmark district.

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant Refugee & Rights -in partnership with member organizations, the Coalition educates and organizes immigrant and refugee communities to assert their rights; promotes citizenship and civic participation; monitors, analyzes, and advocates on immigrant-related issues; and, informs the general public about the contributions of immigrants and refugees.

Illinois Digital Archives – large online collection of photos and records from Illinois history, compiled by the Illinois State Library and the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State.

Creative Team’s Biographies

IAN PAUL CUSTER he/him (creator, director, & Rick) is a proud Ensemble member of American Blues Theater. American Blues credits: The Spitfire Grill, Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story (Jeff Award – Best Ensemble, Best Musical), Little Shop of Horrors, It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!, and Yankee Tavern. Chicago credits: Bad Jews (Theater Wit, North Shore Center, Royal George Theatre); 33 Variations (Jeff Award – Best Production), To Master The Art (TimeLine Theatre/Broadway Playhouse); Annie Bosh is Missing (Steppenwolf Theatre); High Holidays (Goodman Theatre); The Watson’s Go To Birmingham: 1963 (Chicago Children’s Theatre); Princess and the Pea (Marriott Theatre); and Fiddler on the Roof (Paramount Theatre). Regional credits: Hero (Asolo Rep), Cymbeline (Notre Dame Shakespeare), and Peter Pan (360 Entertainment – London, England). Television credits: APB, Empire, Chicago Fire, and Chicago PD. Ian is a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University. Love to Shannon.

SHANNON PRITCHARD she/her (writer) is a Los Angeles born, New York trained, Chicago based writer.  Her plays have been produced and developed by Jackalope Theatre, TimeLine, Chicago Dramatists and Something Marvelous Theatre. Her short plays have been performed at The Second City, A Red Orchid Theater, Chicago Dramatists, and American Blues. She is a two-time Eugene O’Neil Playwrighting Conference semi-finalist,  a Humanitas nominee, and has received commissions from Next Theatre and the DePaul Theatre School.  She is a staff writer on the sci-fi audio comedy Dear Earth, I’m Really Sorry (currently in development). Shannon is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and Northwestern University’s MFA in Writing for the Screen + Stage.

YUCHI CHIU he/him (Link / Voice / Stage Directions) is a Chicago-based actor, teacher, singer/songwriter, and musician. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he moved to Chicago to study at Northwestern University and subsequently taught high school special education for five years. Yuchi then transitioned into acting by enrolling in classes at Acting Studio Chicago as well as completing the ACADEMY program at Black Box Studio. He has had the opportunity to take part in various short films and threatre productions throughout the city and was most recently seen at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival as Amos in BJ’s Mobile Gift Shop. Outside of acting, he can be found reading/writing, teaching virtual bartending classes, and trying to get his new dog to actually return balls while playing fetch. Yuchi is proudly represented by DDO Artists Agency and is grateful and excited to be a part of the American Blues Theater’s reading of Sanctuary City!

BRANDON DAHLQUIST he/him (Hunt) Broadway: Bronx Bombers. Regional: As You Like It (Guthrie Theater); The Glass Menagerie (Milwaukee Repertory); A Little Night Music1776 (American Conservatory Theatre); Shakespeare in LoveRhinoceros1776 (Asolo Repertory); 12 Angry Men (Maltz Jupiter Theater); DogfightCity of Angels (San Francisco Playhouse); Sunday…GeorgeMurder on the NileLombardi (Peninsula Players). Chicago: Secret of My Success (Paramount Theatre), Miracle the Musical (Royal George Theater), A Little Night MusicArcadiaOh Coward! (Writers Theatre); CabaretMeet Me in St. LouisSugar (Drury Lane Oakbrook); It’s a Wonderful Life (American Blues Theater); AssassinsSunday…George, Best Musical! (Porchlight Music Theater). On Camera: The Chi (Showtime), Difficult People (Hulu), Chicago P.D (NBC). A popular photographer, Dahlquist is on social @ IG:@thats_on_brandon & @BrandonDahlquistPhotography. For Mutti & Mom

MARIKA ENGLEHARDT she/her (Gloria / Trixie) Marika’s theatrical credits include The Goodman Theatre, Steep Theatre, A Red Orchid, Chicago Dramatists, and the Comedie Francaise in Paris. Television credits: EmpireChicago Fire, The ChiEasy on NetflixAmazon’s Patriot, and HBO’s Somebody, Somewhere. Recent films include Come as You Are which premiered at SXSW, and a starring role in the feature film Knives and Skin, which premiered last year at the Berlin and Tribeca film festivals. Her performance was singled out as one of the “Top Ten Performances of Tribeca 2019” by Entertainment Tonight. She is a graduate of the DePaul Theatre School where she is also an adjunct professor.

MOLLY HERNÁNDEZ she/her (Paloma)is a recent graduate of the Actors Gymnasium Professional Circus Training Program and is represented by Gray Talent Group. Recent credits include American Mariachi (Goodman Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center) Alice Through the Lookingglass (Lookingglass Theatre), Into the Woods (Writer’s Theatre – Jeff Nomination), Into the Breeches (Northlight Theatre), Masterclass (TimeLine Theatre), The Buddy Holly Story (American Blues Theater – Jeff Award), The Most Happy Fella (Theo Ubique – Jeff Nomination), and Carousel (Timber Lake Playhouse). She can also be seen on Chicago MedChicago PD, Power Book IV: Force and APB. Proud member of AEA and SAG.

PHILIP EARL JOHNSON he/him (Jarvis) is a proud Ensemble Member of American Blues Theater. Other Chicago theater credits include work atGoodman Theater, Paramount Theatre, Writers Theatre, Court Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, TimeLine Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Oak Park Festival Theatre, Bailiwick Chicago and American Theater Company (Jeff Award – The Big Meal). National tour work includes Angels in America: Parts 1 & 2. Recent television credits include Proven Innocent, Empire, Chicago Med, Chicago Fire and Mind Games. One man comedy show: MooNiE: Juggler, Ropewalker, Foolish Mortal!

CISCO LOPEZ he/him (Ozzie) is a proud Artistic Affiliate of American Blues and returns after appearing in Valentunes and Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story. Other Chicago credits include Merrily We Roll AlongWoman of the YearNew Faces Sing Broadway 2001In the Heights (Porchlight Music Theatre); Bonnie & Clyde (Kokandy); In To America, Letters Home (Griffin Theatre); Planted (Rogue Elephant Productions); Dead Man Walking (Piven Theatre); Mutt (Stage Left & Red Tape Theatre); Macbeth (Midsommer Flight); Take Me Out (Eclectic Theatre); Fiddler on the Roof and Damn Yankees (Music Theatre Works). Film credits: Boystown, Closet Memories. He holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from Baylor University and is represented by Shirley Hamilton.

CAMILLE ROBINSON she/her (Regan) is a proud Ensemble member of American Blues Theater. She has been with the company since 2016, after making her debut in the critically-acclaimed production of Little Shop of Horrors. She has also appeared in 4 productions of Blues’ smash holiday tradition, It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago! In the 8 years that Camille has been a professional actor, she has been on many stages in the greater Chicagoland area. Some of her favorites include: Firebrand Theatre, Paramount Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Goodman Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre and American Blues Theater, of course! Camille can also be seen as Nurse Tanya on NBC’s Chicago Med. She is a member of SAG-AFTRA and Actors’ Equity Association and represented by Gray Talent Group.

CARA PARRISH she/her (Stage Manager) is a proud Ensemble Member of American Blues Theater where she is also the Office & HR Manager. Chicago credits: Gem of the Ocean, Electra, Hard Problem, Photograph 51, Five Guys Named Moe, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Lady From the Sea (Court Theatre); WITCH, Port Authority, Yellow Moon, The Letters, The Caretaker, Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf, & The Blond, The Brunette, and the Vengeful Redhead (WritersTheatre); Too Heavy for Your Pocket & The Vibrator Play (TimeLine TheatreCompany); James and the Giant Peach (Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook); Jabari Dreams of Freedom (Chicago Children’sTheatre); Romeo and Juliet & Emma (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); Beauty’s Daughter & Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (American Blues Theater). Cara is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.

We wish to express our gratitude to the Performers’ Unions (Actors’ Equity Association, American Guild of Musical Artists, American Guild of Variety Artists, SAG-AFTRA) through Theatre Authority, Inc. for their cooperation in permitting the artists to appear on this program.

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