“I wired the money plus I bought a package for the Manor Hotel at Celebrity Center in Hollywood! I was on my way! ” - Cathy Schekelberg, Squeeze My Cans
Writer and Performer
OK, quick story: In 3rd grade I wrote in my journal, “I want to be an actress who never gets a divorce.” Maybe I should’ve been more specific.
From my early days as a GoGo dancer at family parties to eventually working 1-900 #’s, I loved performing and I did it all - as long as it was legal. I sang at clubs, on cruise ships, (was even a singing wench) and did lots of theater in Chicago. I did impersonations of Dolly Parton, Madonna and Marilyn Monroe, all at the same time, and was Pepper the Clown on WGN’s Bozo Show! I didn’t want fame, I just wanted success and I found it in voice-over work. I had campaigns that ran for years; Sears, Kohl's, Applebees, SC Johnson and feminine hygiene ads which paid out big time! And then I got lost for a while… a really long while…
So fast forward to my freedom and getting back to what I love, the STAGE. In recent years I've had the glorious good fortune to play Madame Thenardier in Les Miz, Violet/ Zuzu in It's a Wonderful Life and Sue Ellen in Honky Tonk Angels at Sierra Repertory Theatre in Sonora. I performed as Veronica in God of Carnage at American Stage in St Pete, FL (right next to Clearwater where I spent many of those lost years). But, it was doing spoken-word in LA and Chicago at such venues as Write Club, Spark off Rose, and Louder then a Mom where Squeeze My Cans was conceived. There are many wonderful people I need to thank, but this bio’s a tad long. You know who you are and please know that I love you!
Oh, and I had a baby, raised her myself and never got married. So, I guess I underestimated the wisdom of my 3rd grade self.
Producer and Director
A Northwestern alum, Shirley spent the 90s in Chicago, adapting, producing and performing a solo adaptation of Dorothy Parker’s short story Big Blonde, at the Red Lion Pub, then in jazz clubs, colleges and theaters in Chicago, Edinburgh and Los Angeles. Shirley has written and performed as a solo performer ever since, in Chicago and Los Angeles. In 1993, Shirley collaborated with Molly McNett on, Sculpture in Vitro: Growing Up Female in the Age of Liposuction at Live Bait Theater after premiering the work in cooperation with Lookingglass and before touring the show to high schools and colleges. She’s collaborated with Lookingglass, Plasticene and Studio 108 in Chicago and Sacred Fools, Theater Movement Bazaar, Zoo District, Son of Semele and Theater of NOTE in Los Angeles, where she currently lives, directing business operations for Blum & Poe art gallery. Cathy’s Squeeze My Cans has become a labor of love with a mission to explore issues of identity and trauma caused by destructive cults.
Brandon's design highlights include Ghost Road's Asterion (Atwater Village Theatre); Vieux Carre (Coeurage Theatre Company); VATIC (LA, Long Beach, and NYC); Wood Boy Dog Fish (Bootleg Theater); American Idiot (Vortex LA); The Temptation of St. Antony (Four Larks - Ovation Award Nomination, Stage Raw Award Nomination); Queenie Pie (Long Beach Opera and Chicago Opera Theater); The Second City’s A Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens (Kirk Douglas Theater); bare - A Rock Musical (The Hayworth Theater); and Spring Awakening (The Arena Stage at Theatre of the Arts - Ovation Award Nomination). Brandon's theatrical design was featured in an episode of Freeform's "The Fosters" and its companion full length, online-only bonus episode. He is Company Lighting Designer for Lost Moon Radio and Staff Lighting Designer for the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Brandon is also an award-winning playwright, and his plays Me Love Me and NO HOMO have been staged in Los Angeles and New York City. www.brandonbaruch.com
Victoria Deiorio is a critically acclaimed sound designer and composer for theatre, based in Chicago. With a BFA in Musical Theatre from Syracuse University, and studying classical acting in London at RADA and LAMDA, she transitioned from the performance artistry to the technical. She has also written a few plays and musicals, directed along the way, production managed, and produced theatre. Her compositions and sound design have been heard in many theatres over the past 18 years. Off-Broadway sound design: A Christmas Carol (St. Clements); Two Point Oh with Active Theatre (Primary Stages); Arnie the Doughnut at the NYMTF (The Pearl); Cassie’s Chimera at Joe’s Pub (The Public); The Bluest Eye with Steppenwolf (The Duke Theatre); Ophelia at the NYC Fringe Fest (The Connelly); The God of Hell at the Actor’s Studio (Associate); Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams at Primary Stages (Associate); Live Girls at Urban Stages (Associate); Luminescence Dating at Ensemble Studio Theatre (Associate); and Boy at Primary Stages (Associate). She is the first woman to have been nominated for 13 Joseph Jefferson Awards (winning 7) and she has received 2 After Dark Awards. Victoria is the head of Sound Design at DePaul University and has produced 2 CD’s of original music with her band ToyBand.
Brett Newton Design, Inc.
Publicity Creative & Media Graphic Design
A professional Art Director & Creative Director for over 3 decades, Brett Newton has a background in journalism, photography and theatre, which allows him to work seamlessly as conceptualizer, strategizer, photo art director, designer and closet copywriter. He has developed and directed projects for such companies as Lenscrafters/Luxottica, FTD, Sears Holdings, Office Depot, The Home Depot, True Value, Ulta, Cintas, and Frontgate. Although he has appeared onstage with the likes of Tommy Tune, Joel Grey and Luciano Pavarotti, his focus now is to to help good people develop exciting visual brands for their professional adventures. www.brettnewton.com