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A Tale of Two Houses:
Things That Go Bump
In the Night

Ridgeville Park

908 Seward St, Evanston, IL

June 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25  --  4:00pm


William Powers State Park

Pavilion 1, 12949 S. Ave. O, Chicago, IL

July 1  --  11:00am and 4:00pm

Future Performances

Details coming soon!

Devised, written, and improvised by the Ensemble

Directed by Martin Downs

Synopsis & Setting

Chicago, Italy "1623"

Pantalone's Ghost

Tomorrow is Lucia's wedding - but that can wait - today is Pantalone’s birthday. His family and friends plan a surprise to celebrate, only Pantalone mistakes their actions as a plot to kill him! He fakes his own death and disguises himself as a ghost, the better to haunt his family and friends. Who can the family call to bust the ghost? And with Pantalone “dead,” who is going to inherit all his wealth and assets?

The Storm Show

It’s a dark and stormy night at Pantalone's house! An unexpected visitor demands his attention, while his daughter Flaminia frets about an argument with her finance Lelio. When the storm hits, everyone is stuck inside. Will Pantalone ever get some peace and quiet? Will Flaminia make it to her rendezvous? And what are those strange sounds coming from upstairs!?

Pantalone's Ghost

Cast List


Lucia............Shea Lee*

Pantalone............Jennifer Mohr*

Lupino............Helena Scholz-Carlson*

Pedrolino............Jeffrey Rubin*

Dottore / Capitano Fracasso............Martin Downs*

The Storm Show

Cast List


Bagattino / Lelio............Martin Downs*

Coralina............Jennifer Mohr*

Flaminia............Helena Scholz-Carlson*

Pantalone............Jeffrey Rubin*

Dottore............Shea Lee*

​​*Denotes Ensemble Member

Artist Bios

Asterisk denotes LST Ensemble Member


Jeffrey "JR" Rubin* (He/Him)

Pedrolino / Pantalone

JR is beyond excited to be returning in another Laughing Stock Theatre production. Previous credits with the company include Pedrolino (Over My Dead Body), Capitano (Birdcoin, the second production), and Pantalone (Birdcoin, the first production). Other favorite previous roles: Proteus (Two Gentlemen of Verona), Peter (Diary of Anne Frank), and Demetrius (A Midsummer Night's Dream). He thanks his family for their support, and especially his Dad who always encouraged him to follow his artistic dreams.


Jennifer Mohr* (She/Her)

Pantalone, Coralina, Costume Designer

Jennifer is so excited to be returning to the stage with Laughing Stock and to be taking on a new role as Laughing Stock's Education Director.  She was most recently seen in The Last Queen of Camelot with Idle Muse Theatre.  Jennifer has spent the last five years as a teaching artist and performing with various theatres in Chicago including First Folio, Birch House Immersive, Babes with Blades, Artemisia, Idle Muse, and Midsommer Flight. She is a proud ensemble member with Laughing Stock Theatre, Idle Muse Theatre, and Babes With Blades! So many thanks to her friends and family for their constant support.


Martin Downs* (He/Him)

Dottore / Capitano / Bagattino / Lelio

Like many actors, Martin first heard the term "Commedia dell'Arte" in a high school theater history class. He began to study it in earnest in 2013, as Company Manager and Artistic Director of "The Panini Players" at Northwestern University, He branched out to the Commedia troupe "At Your Service" at the Bristol Ren Faire from 2016-2018. He was one of the founding members of Laughing Stock Theatre in 2019, and traveled to Reggio Emilia, Italy that summer to study with Antonio Fava. After directing and performing in numerous Laughing Stock shows, he returned to Reggio Emilia for Fava's Advanced Class in August 2022. And yet somehow, there is still so much more to learn! Other theatre credits include "Mama's Boy," Hope & Gravity," and "Venus in Fur".


Shea Lee* (She/Her)

Lucia / Dottore / Propsmaster

Shea Lee is the Company Manager of Laughing Stock Theatre. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where her focuses included musical theatre, theatre for young audiences, and Asian American studies. Favorite credits include Giggle Giggle Quack (Lifeline Theatre national tour), Mr. Kotomoto is Definitely Not White (NoMads Art Collective), The Masquerade; or, Love is Queer to Stay (Laughing Stock Theatre), and most recently, The Conductors (Kerfuffle TVY). Shea is represented by Shirley Hamilton Talent.


Helena Scholz-Carlson (She/Her)

Lupino / Flaminia

Helena performed Commedia for the first time last summer in Laughing Stock’s BirdCoin; or, the one where they learn to respect women and is delighted to be returning! She is an Evanston-based actor, playwright, and artist. She graduated from Northwestern University where she studied theatre, with a focus on playwriting. At NU she directed Macbeth and appeared as Vivian Bearing in W;t, Romeo in R&J, and Laura in Tea & Sympathy. Helena also studied classical performance at the Great River Shakespeare Festival.

Artistic and Production Credits


Scenic Design

Shea Lee


Martin Downs

Artistic Director

Jennifer Mohr

Costume Designer

Graphic Design


Play A Part

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Our Mission

Making Commedia dell'Arte Accessible

Laughing Stock Theatre creates and performs substantive, high-quality Commedia dell’Arte that spectacularizes the mundane and delights our audiences.

LAUGHING STOCK THEATRE is an LLC officially operating as a for-profit business, however our guiding principal is providing financially accessible Commedia dell’Arte. We operate our performances on an entirely Pay-What-You-Can model.

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