About Goodly Creatures
Founded in 2018, Goodly Creatures is a traveling theatre company based in Elgin, IL that specializes in breathing new life into classic works of literature. To fulfill our duty, we produce original plays, and established adaptations of canonized works of literature for the stage in modern, edgy, and thrilling ways. Some have called us Brechtian, others Avant-Garde, and we embrace these titles as the fresh voice of the modern combined with the universal and timeless wisdom of the classics!
WORKING WITH LOCAL ARTISTS
A final performance of any theatrical endeavor combines the work of many artists, and we reflect that in our production philosophy. Since our founding, we have collaborated with a wide variety of local artists and organizations to create an inclusive environment for artists in various media and places. For instance, our costuming team collaborated with Chris Skonieczny of Top Notch Tattoo in downtown Elgin for our original production, Nevermore. We've held art galleries in the lobby of the Elgin Arts Showcase in association with The Awakenings Project for Syrris' Goodly Creatures, Bodine's The Yellow Wallpaper, and Syrris' Nevermore. Our latest collaboration is the featured work of local artist Gordon Audet, for the poster art for our Shakespeare in the Park production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Our productions are community-centric, promoting local businesses around our performance venues. We've hosted several live events at the Blue Box Cafe, including our Lit Ladies series, Poets' Lounge, and Write Night. We collaborated with the Martini Room for After Parties for our original production of Ghosts of Christmas Past, and Wilde's An Ideal Husband. We also worked with Elgin Public House to offer a "dinner theatre" special in association with An Ideal Husband. We have hosted fundraisers for the Trevor Project with our production of Goodly Creatures, To Write Love on Her Arms in collaboration with Lunacek Photography, and Scholarship America with our production of Ghosts of Christmas Past. We believe the arts uplift the community, and seek to create economic opportunity for the small businesses and charitable organizations around us.
During the period of time when many theatres went "dark" or virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic, we continued to produce our virtual production of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, and continued to offer paid opportunities for actors by producing our original mystery mini-series, Ghastly Creatures, our first episode for the Family Services Association of Greater Elgin's Halloween Fundraiser, and the following three sponsored by the Elgin Cultural Arts Commission.
Our mission is to produce theatrical experiences that are personal, exhilarating, and contemporary for our audiences. We believe that our purpose as a company is to uplift our community through art by collaboration with small businesses, charitable organizations, and offering paid opportunities for our hired artists in and around the Kane County Area. We've been recognized three years in a row for our efforts by the Kane County Chronicle, and in 2022, we won first place for the Best Live Theatre in Kane County for the second year in a row. Click to learn more about our past performances.
Founder & Artistic Director
Katrina Syrris is an actor, director, producer, and playwright in the Fox Valley Area, and currently serves on the board of the Elgin Cultural Arts Commission. She has been involved in theatre since she was four years old, after she gripped her chest and screeched while slowly sliding down the giant lazy boy in her living room, prompting her parents to put her into acting classes. Since then, she has starred in and directed shows consistently for the last two decades. She is founder of Goodly Creatures Theatre, previously seen at the Elgin Art Showcase, Stage 773 in Chicago, and festivals including Side Street Studio Arts' Going Dutch Fest, and the Elgin Literary Festival.
Original plays she has written and produced include, Goodly Creatures, Nevermore, and Ghosts of Christmas Past (Or, Dickens, Capra, and Seuss Walk into a Bar). Katrina has also been seen at the Martini Room in Elgin, performing her original hour-long stand up comedy sets, "Mind the Skeletons," "Quarter Life Crisis," "Not Your Venus," and "Luck Ain't a Lady."
As an actress, she has been nominated by Broadway World Chicago for Best Actress for her appearance as Alice in The Drowning Girls and for best Ensemble for The Drowning Girls and Boeing Boeing (Gabriella).
Other favorite roles include Woman #3 in The Big Meal, Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Young Woman in Machinal, Viola in Twelfth Night, Sooze in SubUrbia, Annie in Over the Tavern, and Annie in The Miracle Worker.
Erika Knutson is a BA Theatre Arts Education major and English minor at Elmhurst University (EU). Her previous Goodly Creatures Theatre credits include: Goodly Creatures (Technical Director) and Nevermore (Technical Director). She had the pleasure to work along side Janice Pohl as assistant director for Camp Comedy this spring at EU. Before attending EU she attended Northern Illinois University where she worked on productions including; The Wolves (SM), Troilus and Cressida (ASM), Boy (AMS), and The Importance of Being Earnest (ASM). Other credits include; Bent (Assistant Stage Manager/Chicago Remount: Stage Manager) with Muse Theatre Collective and NIU SOTD collaboration.
Resident Lighting Designer
Jack Cannon is a Chicago-based professional theatre and festival lighting designer and stage manager. He is one of the youngest designers working professional theatre in Chicago. Jack is an affiliate member of the International Association of Lighting Designers for theatrical design and a member of the Illinois Theatre Association. Jack has international recognition for his designs and lighting control development. Jack’s most notable credits for lighting design include the licensed productions of RENT, Chicago, Jasper in Deadland, as well as the World Premiere of God Help Us.