This week we're featuring a member who has gained a bit of a reputation as a "Mad Scientist" for creating furniture out of sticks, motorizing set pieces, and making items that transform themselves on stage. For nearly a decade, Marty Weisenbacher has been CST's hip "Jack of All Trades." He has dabbled in all aspects of technical theatre. Last season was a big one for him as he created incredible sets for Snow White and The Graduate, co-directed the latter of the two to SOLD OUT shows, appeared as Jonathan Harker in Dracula, and became a new father. As with other couples at CST, Marty and his talented wife Kelley met while working on shows together. In fact the couple had their wedding at Chicago Street on stage in 2006.
Kelley said that they had met when she was working on CST's 2004 production of Julius Caesar. "Marty was friends with Shannon Hite who was designing the sound. She asked him to compose some original music for Caesar's theme music and for some transitions in the play." She says that the couple began dating the summer after that and that Marty was hanging around working sound and tech for other shows CST was doing.
"I used to work in Chicago," Kelley says, "And Marty would pick me up from the train and take me to rehearsals. He'd always be there at the station, waiting with a bottle of Gatorade and some Swedish Fish for me." She says that Marty loves to learn and figure out "how things work" and that by being at the theatre he would work sound on a show and then bounce over and learn lights for another one. Kelley shared that she told Marty that if he wanted to be with her he needed to work shows with her.
"He saw every performance of Alice in Wonderland when we did it for the Popcorn Festival during the 50th season," she says, " His only contribution to that show was that he got me gloves and toe socks for my Cheshire Cat costume." Kelley added that Marty loves watching shows and that he often quotes lines from the shows he's working on.
Marty has worked on sets, lights and sound for numerous CST productions like Fuddy Meers, A Murder in Green Meadows, The Boys Next Door,Camping with Henry and Tom, The Pillow Man and both productions of A Tuna Christmas. For several years in a row both Kelley and Marty worked on every single holiday show with the tech and stage managing. One year during the production of It's a Wonderful Life, Marty got his fist big break stepping into a role when another actor couldn't make it to one of the touring performances. Since then he has acted in last season's Dracula andThe Man Who Came to Dinner.
In addition to his stage work, Weisenbacher is a musician who plays with two different bands: The Smoking Suits and The Way of Man. Both bands have some members from his CST family in them. He has also tried to pass along his love of the theatre to his niece who appeared last season in Snow Whiteand his daughter, Lucille, who took part in last year's Little Black Dress Partyfashion show.
Recently, Marty created the motorized exclamation point that will be featured on this year's Popcorn Festival float and he'll also be working out some speakers, so that the float will have music. He says that he's looking forward to the new season and whatever creative projects he can work on to help out his CST family. In the mean time he's happy about starting a new job and spending time at home with his wife and baby.