Welcome to the Voice of the Vespers Universe 

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Cast and Crew



Matthew James Van Howe

matthew j van howeWriter/Director/Producer – Born in Chicago in 1980, Van Howe has been creating alternate worlds since an early age playing with He-Man action figures.  A classically trained musician, Van Howe transferred his skills to another time-based medium, film.

In 2009, Van Howe directed his first professional short film, More Than You Can Chew, which was well received. The music video for Fashion Bomb’s The Meek was released in 2011. The follow up video for Fashion Bomb’s The Vow was a personal expression from Van Howe looking at a couple, in love, and their last moments together on Earth.

He has labored on Voice of the Vespers since October of 2009, and is excited at the prospect of nearing the end of a long road.







Kyle Dal Santo

kyleActor (Salem) – Dal Santo was born and raised on the south side of Chicago, and from his early days quickly developed a love for entertaining others. Following a short term in the Marines, he caught the bug for acting, and has spent the last two years pursuing it. This is his first time working with Van Howe, and he would like to thank him from the bottom of his heart for allowing him to portray such an insane and awesome character. He would also like to thank his mom and dad for letting him spend hours in his backyard playing with toy guns as a child, in order to properly prepare for his role in this movie.







Preston Taub

preston taubActor (Dartagnon) – Taub is honored to be a part of this very exciting film. He welcomes Dartagnon into his life as he sees him as a great opportunity for both personal and professional growth.   Film:  Dead of Night, The Dark Knight, Thinking Speed, Klya’s Law, Widow’s Fix,  Only the Money is Real, Television:  Animal Witness, Utopia, Conspiracy:  The Oklahoma City Bombing,  Voice-Over:  Sex Scenes.








Kate Froehlich

kate froehlichActress (Saturdae) – She is pleased to be working with Van Howe and Navmachine Films for the first time.  She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, Duluth’s BFA Acting program.  She has been seen on stage and in independent films around Chicago for the past 5 years.  Some of her favorite roles include Alexa Vere de Vere, in Douglas Carter Beane’s As Bees in Honey Drown, Belle, in Steve Allen’s The Wake, Maria, in Christopher Hong’s independent short film “Dear Gerbil,” and Lizzy in the Independent Feature Film QWERTY, directed by Bill Sebastian.  In addition to acting she loves going to plays, attending Chicago’s great street festivals, jogging on the lake walk, and dancing!







Derek Garza

derekActor (Lazarus) – Garza is the Artistic Director and a Founding Member of Mortar Theatre Company. He is currently playing Doug in Mortar’s Inaugural production of Inherit the Whole and was in Armed with Peanut Butter as Nick, both written by company member Dana Lynn Formby. Derek has worked both internationally and regionally. Derek recently finished doing two new works in Toronto, ON with Native Earth & was Almighty Voice in Native Earth’s production of Almighty Voice and His Wife written by Daniel David Moses and directed by Michael Greyeyes, which toured to London, UK and will have a Canadian Tour this fall. Derek has worked regionally with Pennsylvania Centre Stage, Next Stage, Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre, and Montana Shakespeare Company. He graduated with his MFA in Acting from Penn State University & graduated with his undergraduate degree with a BA in Theatre Arts & Communication from Adams State College. He is originally from Denver, CO, but mostly grew up on the Reservation in Southern Oklahoma & is an enrolled Tribal Member of the Wichita Nation.






Eleni Lotus

eleni lotusActress (Penelope) – Lotus is thrilled to be a part of this movie and has trained in various theaters, such as Loyola University and the Second City, where she also performs improvised comedy theater.  She has performed in a few small theater and comedy shows in Chicago.  Lotus has been creating art (painting), acting, writing, and making small films since age 7.  She is passionate about her various art forms and enjoys the study of people most of all.








Petro Andryvyz

petroActor (Caesar) – Born in Minnesota in 1985 to a very traditional ethnic Romani family, Andryvyz grew up to achieve minor notoriety in the greater Chicagoland area as a mischief-maker and vandal.  He is currently studying Entomology more out of academic curiosity than from a sincere desire to follow a career involving that field.








Kate Jacobsen

kate jacobsenActress (Jezebel) – Jacobsen has returned to theatre and film after a 12 year adventure as a fashion designer. She is happy to be onstage with the world premier of “The Terrible,” at the Gorilla Tango Theater, in Chicago, and playing Jezebel in “The Voice of the Vespers.”  She also writes short stories in her spare time.








Valerie Meachum

ValerieMeachumBorn in the Downriver suburbs of Detroit, Valerie Meachum grew up an Air Force brat, logging fifteen addresses by age twelve. Now based in the Chicago suburbs, she’s equally at home in new plays on storefront stages, musicals and classics in the burbs, and the vibrant independent film scene of “Hollywood Midwest.”

Audiences have recently seen Valerie on stage with GreenRoom Productions in the heartwarming musical Little Women and as Lady Macbeth in GreenMan Theatre Troupe’s highly successful first Shakespeare outing.

Forthcoming film releases include Rose White, Words Like Knives, and Witchfinder.

When not on stage or in front of the camera, Valerie can be found in her sewing room, blogging at divababble.blogspot.com, or (when she can get into writing gear) working on a one-woman show about Pre-Raphaelite icon Elizabeth Siddal.





Anthony Adcock

anthony adcockProduction Designer – is a professional artist working out of Chicago and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a specialization in oil painting from the American Academy of Art.  He has been honored with numerous awards including Best of Show in the annual juried exhibition during his years at the Academy.  Although living in the Chicagoland area his entire life, his experiences are not limited to Chicago.  He has spent time studying plein air painting in Tuscany and has put those skills into practice in his current work. His classical training contributes to his versatility and his ability to create representational paintings.  Anthony’s work has been featured in multiple venues throughout the Chicagoland area, including exhibitions at the Merchandise Mart and the River East Art Center.  Being a lifelong Chicagoland resident, Anthony is enthusiastic to share his work with the city.







Ben Krueger

benCo-Producer –Krueger’s recent film credits are Stay the Sweet (sound designer), and he has been the production sound mixer for Qwerty , Fugue,  and Lottery Heaven.  Ben’s live theatre credits include Lucinda’s Bed at the Chicago Dramatists (assistant sound designer), and What We May Be at Gorilla Tango Theatre (sound designer).  He has also worked post-production audio at:  Airstream Audio, Big Teeth Productions, and Ben Mahoney Productions. Ben is a graduate of School of Cinema and Interactive Media at DePaul University.








Preston Taub

preston taub 2Producer – plans to bring his skills as an entrepreneur to Voice of the Vespers.  He thanks Matthew for his faith in a novice producer and hopes the film will be enriched by his efforts.









Kerri Burke

kerri burkeAssistant Director – is making her assistant directorial debut with this project.  She currently holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree that are both in education.   She is a closet writer with aspirations of being published.  Aside from writing fiction, Kerri has dabbled in songwriting.  She has been involved with choir and choral groups including high school, the university choir at UIC, and the most recent was being a member of the Lincoln Way Area Chorale in New Lenox, Illinois.








Michael R. Oldham

michael r oldhamComposer – Oldham is a freelance composer with a dual degree in Film Scoring and Composition from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. Michael has been keeping very busy since scoring Vespers, collaborating on cues for new documentary Sky High from Newfangled Studios, as well as a theme song for children’s book series Pond Punkies by Lisa Reibe. He is also working on edits to his first published composition for wind ensemble entitled, A Short Tale Describing the Day Ms. Eunice Weatherbee’s Classroom was Overtaken by the High Seas, soon to be released on JW Pepper and Sheet Music Plus. For more information on Michael R. Oldham, please visit www.michaelroldham.com and be sure to check out his YouTube creations at www.youtube.com/user/MichaelROldhamMusic.







Sid Jones

SidSid Jones – is a freelance audio engineer operating in the Chicago area. In 2005 he received a BS in Music Technology from the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, which he promptly followed with a MS in Recording arts at the University of Colorado in Denver in 2009. Some of Sid’s credits include the documentary Cloud: Challenge of the Stallions (asst. sound editor) and the radio play Arctic Autograph at Jazz89.3 KUVO (sound designer). Currently, he is a freelance sound mixer/audio engineer at the financial network TastyTrade.com. Outside of audio, Sid loves watching obscure movies from the 60-70′s and has a particular love of japanese action movies of that period.

Jen Brazas


jen brazasComic Author/Artist – At a very young age, Brazas was exposed to Star Wars and since then, she’s been stuck with a rather over-active imagination. Luckily, a few years later she discovered the medium of comics, and has since married her love of drawing with her love of telling stories. She pursued this passion at the American Academy of Art, graduating with a degree in illustration. Her webcomic, Mystic Revolution, has an audience of over 100,000 followers, and she has successfully self-published two graphic novels with a third one due out this June/July. Jen’s artwork can also be seen in the Reading with Pictures anthology, a charity anthology series aimed at getting more comics into schools and libraries as teaching materials and literacy aids. Jen currently lives in Chicago, and her webcomic can be found at www.mysticrev.com.  It updates with new pages every Monday and Friday. To learn more about Jen’s illustrations, please visitwww.savagesparrow.com, her portfolio website.






Jennifer Grelk

jen grelkCostume Designer, Seamstress – The daughter of an art teacher, Grelk has always had an enthusiasm for art and creativity. She has won several awards for ceramic pieces entered in the Visual Arts Classic competition, and is currently employed as a ceramic artist. She started her sewing career in 2007 designing and creating custom costumes for live action role play, and has dedicated thousands of hours perfecting her craft. Confident that she is mastering her skills, she ambitiously accepted the challenge of becoming costume designer for this movie production. Grelk enjoys collaborating to create unique and personalized pieces.







Carolyn Neumann

carolynAssociate Producer – was born and raised in Chicago and has always believed the city she loves to be a character unto itself. She is an active participant in V-Day (domestic violence awareness), an award winning speaker, a volunteer for the American Legion Auxiliary, an avid reader, and thoroughly looking forward to the day she finally allows herself to take a day off.








Cathy Nolan

catAssistant Hair and Makeup Artist –Nolan has been a middle school art teacher for 17 years, and also has a degree in school counseling.  Cathy performed in her high school drama productions, but more recently appeared in Navmachine’s Out of the Equation. Cathy enjoys exploring the creative arts, nature, and relaxing with friends and family in her spare time.








Kimberley deJong – Translator (Dutch) – de Jong is an English student from Amsterdam, currently living in the U.K. and is a freelance writer and translator.

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