Home Entertainment News The Mill’s – THE EMPLOYEES


by Mike Cutino
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The Mill and Theaterlab

The World Premiere of


A workplace novel of the 22nd century
Based on the critically acclaimed novel by Olga Ravn

Translated from Danish by Martin Aitken

Adapted by Jaclyn Biskup and Lauren Holmes

June 13-30, 2024

357 W 36th St, 3rd floor | NYC, 10018

For high-resolution photos, click here


Wed-Sat at 7 pm; Sun at 5 pm

Wednesday, June 26

Thursdays: June 13, 27

Fridays: June 14, 21, 28

Saturdays: June 15, 22, 29

Sundays: June 16, 23, 30

Press coverage is requested on all shows

Chicago-born theater ensemble The Mill (Jaclyn Biskup, Artistic Director) and Theaterlab are proud to present the world premiere of The Employees: A Workplace Novel of the 22nd Century, a show based on the International Booker Prize and the Ursula K. Le Guin Prize shortlisted homonymous novel by Olga Ravn ( “[A] weird, beautiful, and occasionally disgusting novel”– The New York Review of Books.) Adapted by Lauren Holmes and Jaclyn Biskup, who also directs, the show utilizes the novel’s structure of first-person reports and memos and its unique satirical tone to tell a story about the human condition, the future of work, and the ills of late-stage corporate capitalism. Performances will take place at Theaterlab’s Gallery space (357 W 36th St, 3rd floor, NYC, 10018) and run from June 13 through 30, 2024. Tickets (Sliding Scale, $25-50) can be purchased at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/1201639.

The Employees takes place in the 22nd century as humankind embarks on a search for a new home. The crew on board the Six-Thousand Ship, consisting of humans and humanoids, reaches the planet New Discovery where a collection of strange objects is discovered. When brought to the ship, the mysterious artifacts cause an unusually strong emotional reaction in both human and non-human team members, bringing the mission to the brink of collapse. 

Jaclyn Biskup explains: “I’ve always been an avid reader with a passion for novels written by women. I’m excited to combine my love of books with the theater. I was immediately struck by the possibility of adapting and staging The Employees and thought it would be the perfect piece for Theaterlab’s intimate gallery space. The book’s take on the absurdity of work culture and the employee’s uprising against a faceless corporation resonated as a perfect cautionary tale for what the future of work may look like if we continue on the path of valuing profit over people and alienating employees in an increasingly AI-dominated, corporate-owned domain of work. I am very excited to reunite on this project with my longtime artistic collaborators Kristy Hall (Costumes), Jackie Fox (Lighting Design), and Nora Marlow Smith (Scenic Design), who will build sculpture-like objects and create an immersive, installation-like experience for the audience, allowing them to feel as though they are part of the ship’s doomed mission.”

Cast of The Employees features Paul Budraitis, Molly Leland, Christopher McLinden, and Aurea Tomeski. Scenic Design is by Nora Marlow Smith, Lighting Design by Jackie Fox,
Sound Design by Sabina Mariam Ali, and Costume Design by Kristy Hall. Sam Kersnicki is the show’s Production Stage Manager. 

This project is made possible in part with funds from Creative Engagement, a regrant program supported by The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) in partnership with the City Council, The New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and the Howard Gilman Foundation, and administered by LMCC.


Jaclyn Biskup (Adaptation and Director) is a Chicago-born, NYC-based director and producer with over two decades of experience working in theatre, television, and film. She received an Emmy nomination and was a Peabody Finalist for her work on the digital series The Secret Life Of Muslims and currently works as the Associate Artistic Director at The Brick. She was the assistant director to Tony Award-winning director Anna D. Shapiro on the Broadway productions of The Minutes (Tracy Letts) and Straight White Men (Young Jean Lee). As the founding artistic director of The Mill, she has directed and produced over 20 productions, including the Chicago premiere of Venus (Suzan-Lori Parks) and The Private Of Lives Of Eskimos (Or 16 Words For Snow) (Ken Urban). Her work has been seen at New Ohio Theatre (where she also served as Creative Producer), Theaterlab, MCC Playlabs, New Dramatists, Rattlestick, Dixon Place, Town Stages, and the NYC International Fringe Festival. Jaclyn has assisted on productions at Steppenwolf, The Public, and The American Musical Theatre Workshop. Her digital projects include work for PBS NOVA, Vox, Delta Air Lines, Caltech, Harvard, and others. She is a New Georges affiliated artist and a first-generation college graduate with a BA in Theater from Northern Illinois University and an MFA in Directing and Theatrical Production from Northwestern University. www.jaclynbiskup.com

Lauren Holmes (Adaptation) is a writer based in NYC. Her work has been supported by LPAC’s Rough Draft Festival, the Woodward Residency, The Brick’s Quick + Dirty, and Hunter College, and recognized by The Playwrights Realm, The Civilians, WP Lab, The Bushwick Starr Reading Series, and the Risk Theatre Prize. Before playwriting, Lauren worked for UN agencies in Rome and New York, as well as a stint in corporate America. Hunter College MFA in Playwriting in 2023. laurenholm.es

Paul Budraitis (Performer) is a director, performer, and generative artist, based in Berlin. With the support of a Fulbright grant, he studied directing at the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy under the mentorship of visionary director Jonas Vaitkus. Paul worked with many acclaimed Lithuanian institutions, including the National Drama Theatre, the State Youth Theatre, the Kaunas State Drama Theatre, and more. While based in Seattle, Paul directed the world premieres of Elizabeth Heffron’s Bo-Nita (Seattle Repertory Theatre) and Kristen Kosmas’ The People’s Republic of Valerie (On the Boards), as well as the Northwest premieres of Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses (New Century Theatre Company), among others. As a founding member of Seattle performance collective The Violet Triangle, he collaborated with lead artist Timothy White Eagle to co-create the world premiere of The Indigo Room at La MaMa E.T.C., where it returned in 2023 as part of the Under the Radar Festival. His most recent work, an intimate solo performance called I Love That For You, premiered at Acker Stadt Palast Theater in Berlin last fall and will have its U.S. premiere at La MaMa E.T.C. in December, followed by performances at On the Boards in Seattle in January 2025. www.paulbudraitis.com

Molly Leland (Performer) is a TV, film, and theatre actress. Her TV credits include FBI: Most Wanted, The Missing, Ozark, Grey’s Anatomy, Legends, Law and Order: SVU, and The Player. Her favorite theater roles include Hennie Burger in Awake and Sing! ( A Noise Within Theater Company), Christina Mundy in Brian Friel’s award-winning Irish drama Dancing at Lughnasa (Chrysalis Theatre Company), and the title role in Candida, by George Bernard Shaw. Molly received her degree in Theatre Arts from Brandeis University. Molly is also a filmmaker who has won festival awards for her short films Signal Problems and Bruise Hunters. https://www.mollyleland.com

Christopher McLinden (Performer) New York theater credits: Red Hills (En Garde Arts) Tempest (LaMaMa) Everything That Rises Must Converge (Compagnia de Colombari) Nicholas, Maeve, Marianne (New York Fringe). Regional: Merchant of Venice (Peak Performances); Ibsen in Chicago (Seattle Repertory Theater); King Charles III (A.C.T., The Shakespeare Theater Co., Seattle Repertory Theater); Last of the Boys and Diary of Anne Frank (Steppenwolf Theater Co.); The Lion in Winter, Seagull, and Duchess of Malfi (Writer’s Theatre); Taming of the Shrew (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); Twelfth Night and Cymbeline (Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival); Speak American (City Theatre, Pittsburgh); Celebrity Row (American Theatre Company); Vincent in Brixton (Appletree Theatre); Midsummer Night’s Dream (First Folio Shakespeare); The Lady From the Sea (Greasy Joan & Co.); The Vortex (Boxer Rebellion). Film and TV: The Night Agent; FBI: Most Wanted; Blacklist; Law and Order: SVU; Boardwalk Empire; Alpha House, Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, 5-25-77. Member of The Actors Center. www.chrismclinden.com

Aurea Tomeski (Performer) is a New York-based actor, voiceover artist, and teaching artist. She has performed on stages across New York City, as well as regionally, and has appeared in numerous national web series, independent films, and commercials. Since 2015, Aurea has toured all over the United States, performing a one-woman version of Lois Lowry’s classic young adult novel The Giver, and in conjunction, has led numerous workshops centered around solo storytelling and empowerment through personal narrative. She has done extensive work in underserved communities, including correctional facilities and juvenile detention centers, in partnership with Literature to Life and Freedom Reads. In 2020, Aurea completed a theatrical co-adaptation of the acclaimed autobiography The Latehomecomer, which is currently touring across the United States. She previously collaborated with Jaclyn Biskup in a production of Untitled Ukraine Project at the New Ohio Theatre. Aurea holds a B.S. degree in Pre-Med/Psychology from NYU and an M.F.A. in Acting from the New School. She is also a Drama Curriculum Specialist and teaching artist at The Juilliard School. www.aureatomeski.com

Nora Marlow Smith (Scenic Design) is a Brooklyn-based scenic and costume designer, scenic painter, educator, and performance artist, working predominantly in Chicago and NYC. She teaches Design at the University at Albany (SUNY) in the Department of Music and Theatre. She received her MFA in Stage and Costume design from Northwestern University, as well as a BA in Set Design and English Literature from Mount Holyoke College. She also holds a Teaching Certificate from the Searle Center for Teaching and Learning at Northwestern University. Nora is a member of the Communications Honor Society Lambda Pi Eta and the 2022 recipient of the Michael E. Merritt Award for Excellence in Design and Collaboration. www.noramarlowsmith.com

Kristy Leigh Hall (Costume Design) has worked in Chicago, Washington, DC, New York, and regionally. She is the Costume Director with Chicago’s Definition Theatre Company. Her previous designs include: An Octoroon (Goodman Theatre and Definition Theatre), The Play About My Dad (Raven Theatre), I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Tosca and The Wizard of Oz (Skylight Music Theatre), The Who and the What and Pipeline (Victory Gardens), Byhalia, Mississippi, (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Stick Fly, This and Apartment 3A (Windy City Playhouse), Pygmalion (Joseph Jefferson Award Winner), Frankenstein (Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination) and Howards End (Remy Bumppo Theatre Company). Off-Broadway designs include Woody Harrelson’s Bullet for Adolf, Feather: A Musical Portrait and I Forgive You, Ronald Reagan at Theatre Row. In Washington, DC, she has designed: The Illusion (Forum Theatre), Minnie the Moocher (Pointless Theatre), Genesis Reboot (Synetic Theatre), and That Face with the Studio Theatre. Her designs have been seen internationally in the Czech Republic and Brazil. She designed the film Holy Irresistible with Local Cinema Studios. Upcoming design: Catching the Moon with Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. Kristy has been featured in American Theatre Magazine and holds degrees from Northwestern University and the University of Maryland. www.kristyleighhall.com

Jackie Fox (Lighting Design) is a Brooklyn-based artist and lighting, scenic, and projection designer. Jackie has designed both regionally and internationally. She earned her MFA in Stage Design at Northwestern University where she was awarded the Merritt Academic Prize and the John Woodbridge Award. Selected credits include The Who and The What (The Juilliard School), The Wolves (McCarter Theatre Center), Dear Jack, Dear Louise (Northlight Theatre), Comedy of Errors (Wagon Wheel Theatre), Untold (PARA/MAR Dance Theatre), Sister Act (Mercury Theater), re: CLICK (American Music Theatre Project). Select scenic credits include: House of Desires and Do You Feel Anger (Grinnell College), Pride and Prejudice, and Comedy of Errors (Wagon Wheel Theatre). www.jackiefoxdesigns.com

Sabina Mariam Ali (Sound Design) is a sound designer based in New York City. Her credits include Fordham University Mainstage: Water by the Spoonful (Assistant Sound Designer), Everybody (Assistant Sound Designer), Continuity (Assistant Sound Designer), The Drag (Assistant Sound Designer), La Cocina (Sound Designer), The Wedding Gift (Sound Designer). Educational Sound Designs: Jumbee and Rum (MICA), Winter Break (PPAS), [BLANK] (PPAS), Dog SeeI’s God (AADA). sabinamariamali.com

Sam Kersnick (Production Stage Manager) is a NYC-based stage manager, originally from Colorado. She graduated from The University of Northern Colorado in 2019 with a BA in Theatre Arts. Selected credits: ASM at Northern Stage 2022-23 season; ASM for The Railway Children by Carol Dunne and Eric Love, PSM for Jar of Fat by Seayoung Yim; PSM for Bonefruit by Leah Plante-Wiener; and ASM for The Dastardly Thornes v. The Town of Goldhaven by Ben Holbrook and Nate Weida.

The Mill was founded in 2002 by artistic director, Jaclyn Biskup, as Experimental Theatre Chicago. After the company evolved and broadened its scope, the name was changed to represent its new mission: to produce theater progressive in form and content. Biskup’s father worked at US Steel – unaffectionately dubbed “The Mill” –  for over thirty years and the name is an homage to him and her family’s south side of Chicago working-class roots. The Mill is known for its stylish energetic stagings and bold theatricality including the Chicago premieres of Venus (Suzan-Lori Parks) and The Private Of Lives Of Eskimos (Or 16 Words For Snow) (Ken Urban) and in NYC, Come Here to Me at Theater Lab, Worse Than Tigers and Raw Pasta at New Ohio Theatre and Nicholas, Maeve, Marianne, one of Indie Theatre Now’s 20 Best of NYC Fringe. www.themilltheatre.org

Theaterlab is a women- and artist-led laboratory dedicated to researching the nature of live performance, including theater, music, and hybrid forms. We also focus on audience development as a creative project, regarding the theatrical experience as a creative public assembly and audience members as a key partner in fulfilling our mission. In addition to producing and presenting new work, Theaterlab provides affordable space for rehearsal and project development, including resident and affiliate artists programs.