smile medicine
by dakota Parobek
Creative team
Dakota Parobek headshot


Dakota Parobek is a theatre artist, poet, and musician from Louisville, Kentucky. Their work has been produced in Chicago (Merry Christmas Mulch Pile!, PIGS) and Louisville (Prometheus & Io, Lydia) and published by Imagined Theatres (CORRESPONDENCE). They hold an MFA in playwriting from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop.

Paul Kalina headshot

Director | PAUL KALINA

Paul Kalina is an associate professor of movement studies and a founding member of the Chicago physical theatre company, 500 Clown. Paul served as director of clowning for Goodman Theatre's production of Animal Crackers, as well as the fight choreographer and movement director for Steppenwolf Theatre's Closer and The Court Theatre's production of the Romance Cycle. He is a graduate of the Dell Arte School of Physical Theatre and received his MFA in directing from the University of Idaho. He was the 2006 recipient of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers National Directing Fellowship at the Kennedy Center. Prior to his arrival in Iowa, he taught acting and directing at the University of Idaho, DePaul University's School of Theatre, Second City, and the professional training program for 500 Clown. 

R. Eric Stone headshot

Scenic Designer | R. ERIC STONE**

R. Eric Stone is an associate professor, director of graduate studies, and head of the design program. He has designed 18 productions for our department, including Orlando, The Crucible, American Idiot, The Luck of the Irish, and Eurydice, and advised 140 student productions to date. Eric has designed productions in California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Utah, and Wisconsin, with work touring to New York and beyond. He earned a BA, Lewis & Clark College, and MFA, Ohio University. Eric is a member of the United Scenic Artists 829.

Bethany Kasperek headshot

Costume Designer | BETHANY KASPEREK

Bethany Kasperek is a third-year MFA scenic and costume design student at the University of Iowa with a BFA from the University at Buffalo. At Iowa, Bethany's credits include costume design for Bonnets (How Ladies of Good Breeding are Induced to Murder), and scenic designs for Three Sisters and Generation Candyland: A Fable. She hopes you enjoy the show!

Nick Coso headshot

Lighting Designer | NICK COSO

Nick Coso  is a recent MFA graduate from the University of Iowa, and would like to thank those on the team for their collaboration on this project. He is currently a lighting designer/video engineer with Wired Production Group. He has done lighting for artists such as Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Corey Wong, and Wynonna Judd. Previous theatrical work includes Ascend and Sweat at UI. Nick would also like to thank his family and friends for their continued support

Emily Berkheimer headshot

Media Designer | EMILY BERKHEIMER*

Emily Berkheimer is an informatics major with minors in art and theatre arts and a certificate in public digital arts. In her time at the University of Iowa, Emily has done development and production work with UIowa XR Studio and Media Clown. She also assisted in media design for Blue Whale Variations and Trapped in the Folds. This will be Emily's last semester at the University of Iowa, and she wants to thank her peers and mentors for all their support.

Skid Krommendyk headshot

Sound Designer | SKID KROMMENDYK*

Skid Krommendyk is a sophomore majoring in psychology and criminology. She’s been on stage ever since she was a child, often participating in local musicals and plays. She enjoyed the performance aspect, but when she got to college, she began exploring the backstage production. She’s done sound, makeup, hair, and costume design. Needless to say, she was excited to be involved in sound for Smile Medicine with the component of a live band.


Mark Bruckner headshot

Music Supervisor/Arranger/Vocal Coach | MARK BRUCKNER

Mark Bruckner is a New York Innovative Theater, Audelco Award-winning composer, and Henry Hewes American Theatre Wing design nominee. Recent work: original music, sound, and interactive audio installation for Alma Baya by Edward Einhorn (Gural Theatre, A.R.T.NY, 2021); original music and sound design for Body Concert by Kevin Augustine of Lone Wolf Tribe (Les Sage Fous Theatre, Trois Riviere Quebec, 2019), with fall 2021 NYC premiere at LaMama, ETC; original live music, for viola, cello, piano and percussion, music direction, and sound for Ascend developed with Margarita Blush and cast (E.C. Mabie Theatre, UI, 2021); original music  and sound design for 6 by 6: Collected Perspectives on Social Justice (E.C. Mabie Theatre, UI, 2020; original music and sound design for Our Lady of 121st Street (Mabie Theatre, Fall 2021, directed by Mary Beth Easley).

Nate Ferguson headshot


Nate Ferguson is currently in his last year of the MFA program in dramaturgy and in literary translation here at Iowa. Previous productions he has worked on in the university are Effective, Doctor Vysarius, MERRILY, We All Were Sunflowers, Three Sisters, and Still Life. He expects his thesis to be a new translation of a German classic, as yet to be determined. He also isn't quite sure how to express in the third-person program bio format all the big feelings he has about this last year of workshop and productions to come.

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Choreographer | BRADY VAN PATTEN

Brady Van Patten is a Chicago-based artist who plays in the forms of movement, dance, clown, choreography, and improvisation. In Chicago, Brady has had the pleasure to perform and study with the Neo-Futurists Theatre Company and work with other great minds such as Alexandra Beller, Leah Urzendowsk, Anthony Courser, Adrian Danzig, Melinda Jean Myers, Kurt Chiang, and Dan Kerr-Hobert. Currently studying at the University of Iowa, Brady was thrilled and beyond grateful to be a part of this beautiful production!

Mady Davis headshot

Stage Manager | MADY DAVIS

Mady Davis is a third-year stage manager MFA and GCTC student from the Twin Cities. Her past University of Iowa credits include Essential Workers: A Portrait (SM), Breath Behind the Mask (SM), Light in the Piazza (ASM), and MERRILY (SM). She would like to thank her friends and family for all the love, support, and laughs. Thank you to this entire company for an amazing last production at UI!


Jordan Jones headshot

Assistant Stage Manager | JORDAN "J.J." JONES

Jordan “J.J.” Jones is excited to be a part of her first production here at the University of Iowa. This is her first year as an MFA student in the stage management program, and she is anticipatory for the shows and experiences to come. She would like to thank her family for their constant support, the cast and crew for a fun, collaborative experience, and her fellow students for their help and insight. She hopes you enjoy the show!

Assistant Lighting Designer | REESE MORGAN*


*Undergraduate student. UI Theatre is dedicated to providing hands-on theatre experience for both undergraduate and graduate students.
**Member of the United Scenic Artists, Local 829.