Chicago Actresses Land LA Pilots
March 11, 2015 by Mike McNamara
The Chicago theatre community has always had a wealth of female acting talent and some new TV shows out west are all the better for it.
Chicago stage and screen standout Kelly O'Sullivan (pictured right), who plays Valentine "Voodoo" Dunacci on the Chicago-made Denis Leary-produced comedy SIRENS and is currently on stage in Steppenwolf's THIS IS MODERN ART, just landed the lead in CBS’ untitled comedy pilot from former MODERN FAMILY executive producer Dan O’Shannon and writer Peter Warren (HAPPYLAND). The show centers on a group of friends and family at three different times in their lives. O’Sullivan will play Katie, a fun, feisty and likable woman who’s been a fireball her entire life. She is soon to be married, and we see her throughout the vibrant and wild days of her past.
"The script for the pilot is really funny, and everyone I've met who's involved is incredibly kind, open, and talented," O'Sullivan commented. "And I think it's going to be a blast to play this character."
Meanwhile, fellow Chicagoan Mary Hollis Inboden (pictured left), whose stage credits include the award-winning House Theatre and American Theater Company and who starred as Jackie Shope in the Starz series BOSS, has landed in the cast of ABC's Dan Savage comedy, FAMILY OF THE YEAR. Inspired by LGBT activist Savage's life, the single-camera comedy revolves around a picture-perfect family turned upside down when Kenny, the youngest son, comes out of the closet. What seems like the end of their idyllic life turns out to be the beginning of a bright new chapter when everyone stops pretending to be perfect and actually starts being real. Inboden's castmates include Martha Plimpton, who plays Eileen O'Neal, Kenny's mother.
And last but not least, the web comedy series TEACHERS has blossomed into a full-blown series for TV Land, is currently shooting in LA and is slated to premiere this summer. The cast is led by the Chicago-based comedy troupe "The Katydids," so named because their names are all versions of "Kate" - Caitlin Barlow, Katy Colloton, Cate Freedman, Kate Lambert, Katie O'Brien and Katie Thomas. Chicago's Cap Gun Collective is producing the comedy alongside Executive Producer Alison Brie, best known for her work in front of the camera on the popular series COMMUNITY.
The series is centered around six elementary school teachers who are trying to help their students build their lives though they haven't been able to get their own acts together. You can watch the original webisodes here.
Congratulations to all, I'll keep you posted as these productions make their way to the screen!
Mike McNamara is the Co-Founder of The Midwest Independent Film Festival, www.midwestfilm.org. Mike pays his rent as an actor in Chicago in theatre, commercials, television and film. More from Mac at www.findmac.com.