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by Carlo Zenner


Mess by Carlo Zenner follows Marco, 23, a Queer Latinx Chicagoan grappling with the disorienting effects of quarantine and they happen to be a sensitive hopeless romantic, as he navigates the pleasures and pains of casual dating. Marco must learn to advocate for the patience and care that he needs in a relationship, or else, he risks committing to partners who refuse to commit to him, all while trying to find a new job in a pandemic.


Ashley Keys (she/hers)-Director (Mess)  is a Chicago area director and has her BA in Theatre. She has been a part of numerous productions at Columbia College Chicago such as the One-Act Play Festival, Force Majeure; a D2 triple bill, #HereToo and Blood at the Root. Ashley has also worked in Chicago theatre and interned at the Goodman Theatre for the show Lottery Day in 2019 as well as assistant directed The Luckiest at Raven Theatre. This is her first show at Perceptions Theatre, and she is so excited to be here!


Carlo Zenner (he/they)  (as Marco) Carlo Zenner is thrilled to be making his playwright’s debut at Perceptions Theatre with his play “MESS.” Carlo graduated from DePaul University in 2020 and attended Stella Adler’s Studio of Acting in 2018. He most recently played Andrew in Pride Arts Center’s production of “Southern Baptist Sissies” and was cast in the ensemble for the Kirk Player’s “Words of Love.” As a playwright, actor, and educator, he is interested in all facets of theater and hopes to continue contributing to Chicago’s vibrant theater scene.


Jo JB Schaffer (they/he/she) (as Bailey) Jo is an interdisciplinary performing artist in progress of a Bachelor if Art at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Jo is also a company member of The Runaways Lab an experimental new work company. Favorite past roles include Narrator in 'Passing Strange' (UIC Theatre); Abdi Muse in 'Dead Youth...' (Runaways Lab) and Asagai in 'A Raisin in the Sun' (Invictus Theatre).


Just-Us (she/her) (as Jesse) TBA

Dina Perez Headshot 3.jpg

Dina Perez (she/her) (as Jesse) is a Chicago Musical Theatre Artist who is passionate about creating change through theatre. She recently graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre and a Music Minor from Drake University. Some of her recent roles are Jenny in It Shoulda Been You and Jack’s Mom in Into the Woods. Soon, she will be in Oak Park Festival Theatre’s production of The Winter’s Tale. Dina is happy to have gotten to work with Perceptions and hopes to keep doing works that tell the stories we’ve heard less of in theatre- POC and queer voices. 

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