Waltzing Mechanics

Chicago's Home for Documentary Theatre

Meet Our Newest Mechanics!

Waltzing Mechanics is thrilled to announce our newest company members!  As Chicago’s only stage dedicated to original documentary theatre, we continually aspire to adapt non-fiction dramas that engage a dialogue with our community.  The addition of these five dynamic performance artists to our company will enable us to premiere two new full-length documentaries in primetime each year in addition to our continuing EL Stories late night series. Please join us in welcoming Patrice Foster, Kanome Jones, D.J. Reed, Elise Spoerlein, and Lew Wallace!  Find out more about them below!

Patrice Foster

Originally from Wilmington, DE, Patrice Foster recently completed a 15-month acting contract as a Barter Player at Barter Theatre in Abingdon, VA. Patrice received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting from the University of Arkansas and while in Chicago has worked with Knife & Fork, Theater Unspeakable, Prologue Theatre Company, The Arc Theatre, and Pride Films and Plays. With the Waltzing Mechanics,she has been in EL Stories IV and Holiday Train.  In addition to acting, Patrice also enjoys teaching and directing and is currently directing for both The Arc Theatre's ArchiTEXT Festival and the Indie Boots Theatre Festival. She is so excited to be joining Waltzing Mechanics and can't wait to get to work!

Kanome Jones

Kanome’ Jones has moved over seventeen times in her life and is super glad that Chicago romanced her into calling this place home. She has her BFA in acting from Missouri State University and also completed the acting apprenticeship at Actors Theatre of Louisville. In Chicago, she has performed for Prologue Theatre Company, Halycon Theatre, Waltzing Mechanics, Midsommer Flight, Broken Nose Theatre and Collaboraction. She also moonlights as a sassy latte goddess (a.k.a. Starbucks barista) and an equally sassy, but super tough, group fitness instructor at an all-women's gym.  Kanome gets all this sass and wit to share with the world from her loving mom, her amazing friends and all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls.

D.J. Reed

D.J. Reed graduated from Ball State University in 2005. He began freelance designing props at Drury Lane for SWEET CHARITY and MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS.  He has also designed for ATC, Victory Gardens, Timeline, Strawdog, Strange Loop, Chicago Opera Theatre, and Emerald City Children's Theatre. D.J. started dabbling in costume design when he was asked to coordinate them for EL Stories and has now worked with Chemically Imbalanced Comedy & Underscore Theatre Company. Last Fall, he started working full-time at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre as the First Assistant in the Costume Craft Shop. He dedicates all of his work in tribute to his two high school directors and teachers who unfortunately passed away too soon.

Elise Spoerlein

A graduate of Ball State University and former acting intern at Simon Casting, Elise Spoerlein was seen last year as Past Kate in Kate’s Dates as well as EL Stories XII,and will be seen in the upcoming production of EL Stories XV. Currently, she is the project leader on the marriage documentary play called Forever Hold Your Peace. Chicago credits include working with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Strawdog, Knife and Fork, The Arc Theatre, Street Tempo Theatre, and CIC. She is a proud company member of Broken Nose Theatre and serves as Profiles Theatre’s assistant literary manager. Elise recently became a vegan after seeing what happens to baby chicks in one too many Netflix documentaries. She also has an overwhelming and unhealthy relationship with Sour Patch Kids…so there’s that.

Lew Wallace

Lew Wallace is an actor, playwright, and human being from Cleveland, OH.  He studied acting at Cleveland State University and is the creator of 30 Awkward Minutes with Pat and Glenn and Jesus is Dead... and Jerry Garcia is God.  He was a part of the Cleveland Ingenuity Festival with his short play The Myth of Cleveland. These plays only add to the countless others, which have been written in the privacy of his home and currently reside in Google Drive. He was a teaching artist for Cleveland’s Y-Haven program, and cast in Akarui. Most recently, he was in back-to-back EL Stories XII and XIII and is excited to get started on telling stories with the Mechanics.  Also, his thumbs are different sizes.