Committee on Theater & Performance Studies

Greg Allen
Seth Bockley
Michael Bodeen
Molly Brennan
Terrance T. Brown
Heidi Coleman
Matthew Van Colton
Andrew Cutler
Devon de Mayo
Mike Durst
Sarah Geis
Emily Lansana
Evan Linder
Marti Lyons
Mickle Maher
Derek Matson
Frank Maugeri
Jess McLeod
Rob Milburn
Shade Murray
Darci Nalepa
David New
Julie Nichols
Pamela Pascoe
Thom Pasculli
John Petrakis
Julia Rhoads  (TAPS Director of Dance)
Samuel Taylor
Sandor Weisz
Calamity West

thumb_Greg Allen Color Headshot.jpg  Greg Allen is the Founding Director of all three nationwide branches of The Neo-Futurists and creator of "Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind" and over sixty other productions. His work as director and playwright has been seen at the Goodman, Steppenwolf, The Public, Lincoln Center, HERE, Woolly Mammoth, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, as well as in dozens of store-front theaters in Chicago, all over North America, and around the world (just this year he had productions in Tokyo, Rome, Edinburgh, Korea, Australia, and Tanzania). His scripts include "The Strange and Terrible True Tale of Pinocchio (the Wooden Boy) as Told by Frankenstein's Monster (the Wretched Creature)", "Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious", "The Last Two Minutes of the Complete Works of Henrik Ibsen", and "K.", his award-winning adaptation of Kafka's The Trial. Greg’s show “The Complete Lost Works of Samuel Beckett as Found in an Envelope (partially burned) in a Dustbin in Paris Labeled “Never to be performed. Never. Ever. EVER! Or I’ll Sue! I’LL SUE FROM THE GRAVE!!!” has had eleven international productions, and his adaptation of all 9 acts and 7 hours of “Strange Interlude” was met with hecklers and instantaneous standing ovations as part of the Goodman Theatre’s Eugene O’Neill Festival. His play "What Happened in Pinkville? (A Cubist Dialectic on the Massacre at My Lai)" was a finalist for the 2015 National Playwright's Conference, and this season his original adaptations of “Ibsen’s Ghosts” and “Moby-Dick” premiered in Chicago and Virginia. His current projects include adapting the works of Kafka for master-puppeteer Michael Montenegro and creating a show based on the life and works of Edgar Allan Poe with Blair Thomas and Company. Greg teaches performance and playwriting at University of Chicago, The Theatre School at Depaul University, and at the National Theater Institute at the O’Neill Center in Connecticut, as well as at his Neo-Futurist branches and in residencies worldwide.

Seth Bockley's writing credits include Rip Van Winkle; or, Cut The Old Moon Into Stars (commissioned and produced by Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival); CHARISMA! (with Greycoats); 2666 (Jeff award for Best New Adaptation with co-adapter Robert Falls, from the novel by Roberto Bolaño); Journey For The Sun with Actors Gymnasium; Wilderness with En Garde Arts, February House, a collaboration with lyricist and composer Gabriel Kahane, which premiered at The Public Theater in 2012 under the direction of Davis McCallum; Ask Aunt Susan (premiered at the Goodman in June 2014); adaptations of George Saunders’ short stories CommComm and Jon, which won the 2008 Equity Jeff Citation for Best New Adaptation, and sketches for A Prairie Home Companion with Chris Thile. Directing credits include En Garde Arts’ Wilderness and Basetrack Live; 2666, co-directed with Robert Falls; the English-language premiere of Ewald Palmetshofer’s hamlet is dead. no gravity with Red Tape Theater; Philip Dawkins’ Failure: A Love Story with Victory Gardens Theater; Jason Grote’s Civilization (all you can eat) with Clubbed Thumb; Jon and Jason Grote’s 1001; numerous events and spectacles with Chicago’s Redmoon; and the clown play Guerra, developed with Devon de Mayo and Mexico City-based troupe La Piara. He is a recipient of TCG’s New Generations and On The Road grants and teaches at the University of Chicago.

thumb_Headshot.jpg Michael Bodeen with his collaborator, Rob Milburn, have Broadway credits which include sound designs for The Price, Fish in the Dark, This Is Our Youth, Of Mice and Men, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Superior Donuts, reasons to be pretty, A Year With Frog and Toad, Hollywood Arms, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and music composition for Waiting for Godot & No Man’s Land, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Miracle Worker, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and My Thing of Love. Off Broadway, he composed music and sound for Checkers, Inked Baby, After Ashley, Boy Gets Girl, Red, Space, and designed sound and directed music for the original production of Ruined. Other recent sound designs include Aubergine at Berkeley Repertory and Head of Passes at The Public Theatre. Recent collaborators include directors Anna D. Shapiro, Sean Mathias, Pam MacKinnon, Kate Whoriskey, Terry Kinney, Tina Landau, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Emily Mann, Gregory Boyd, Jonathan Demme, Maria Aitken, Tony Taccone, David Esbjornson, Marion McClinton, Amy Morton and Gary Griffin. Michael has also composed music and sound for film, interactive CD-ROM and both museum and civic installations. His music or sound has traveled to the Kennedy Center and Arena Stage in D.C., Guthrie Theatre, Huntington Theatre in Boston, New York Shakespeare Festival, Circle in the Square, Second Stage, MCC Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons in New York, New York Stage & Film, Brooklyn Academy of Music, McCarter Theatre in Princeton, Dallas Theater Center, Hartford Stage Company, Geffen Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Long Wharf Theatre, Rhode Island’s Trinity Rep., Seattle Rep., Arizona Rep., Milwaukee Rep., Rep. of St. Louis, Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Mark Taper Forum and the Ahmanson in L.A., the Comedy Theatre in London’s West End, Barbican Center, and the Subaru Acting Company in Japan. Michael’s compositions and performances have also been heard in several dance pieces. He is the recipient of a Drama Desk nomination, a Helen Hayes nomination, an LA Ovation nomination, a Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Theatre Awards nomination, a Lucille Lortel Award, an LA Garland award, an Acclaim Award, three Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award; two for original score and one for sound design, and fifteen Joseph Jefferson nominations resulting in 6 awards; four for original music and two for sound design. For more information please visit

Molly Brennan is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater. She has been a professional actor in Chicago since 1993, working on the Goodman, Steppenwolf, Lookingglass, Second City, Lyric Opera, American Theatre Company, About Face, Lifeline, Museum of Contemporary Art, Salonathon, House Theatre of Chicago, and Factory stages. A 12-year member of 500 Clown, Molly toured the United States as "Kevin", an industrial-strength clown demon child from 2000-2012. She has also toured extensively with Lookingglass Alice, from 2010-2015. She was most recently seen hosting the Fly Honey Show at the Den Theater, and as The Ghost of Christmas Past at the Goodman. She has a featured role in the award-winning independent films "Signature Move" and "The Cheese Shop". She is the Director of Physical Theatre at the Actor's Gymnasium in Evanston, and a freelance artist, activist and agitator.

Terrance T. Brown is a screenwriter, playwright and lecturer in Chicago. His credits include work for Comedy Central, The Onion and The Second City as well as staged work at iO Chicago and Victory Gardens. He earned a BA from Vanderbilt University followed by an MFA from Northwestern University and lectures on screenwriting, creating web series and finding your comedic voice at various institutions including The University of Chicago, The Harold Ramis Film School at Second City/DePaul, Northwestern University and Loyola University.

thumb_DSC_6223.jpgHeidi Coleman has worked professionally as a director and dramaturg in New York City and San Francisco as well as Chicago. She has collaborated with Anne Bogart, Andrei Serban, Tina Landau, Frank Galati, and Tony Kushner; taught in Columbia University’s Theater MFA and English departments; and most recently participated in Steppenwolf’s First Look Series. At the University Theater she has curated the New Work Week and initiated the summer arts residency program, Summer Inc., and co-curated the University of Chicago Presidential Fellows in the Arts Program as well as the TAPS Commissioning Project. Her work focuses on the integration of theory and practice, in both artistic and programmatic arenas. 

Matthew Van Colton is a Chicago-based performer, instructor & director. Partial credits include Second City Theatricals, the Musical Improv House Ensemble at Second City, Best Musical, One Night Only, Chicago Dramatists, Northlight, Porchlight, UP Comedy Club, Victory Gardens, iO, and TUTA. He is a founding member of Mansical and the Improvised Sondheim Project and a cast member of Blank! The Musical, the first improvised musical to appear Off-Broadway, at New World Stages in New York. He is a faculty member at Second City, where he teachesin the Advanced, Teen & Youth and Music Improv Conservatory. Additionally, Matt has facilitated, taught or coached for Columbia College Chicago, Family Haircut (NYC), Evanston Township High School, Annoyance Theatre New York, Acting Studio Chicago, North Coast (NYC), and many workshops for businesses and learning institutions. Matt is the “man” in the one-man improvised musical, The Answer is Yes, and a member of Actor’s Equity. He currently serves as the Artistic Director of MCL Theatre Chicago.

Andrew Cutler is the Associate Artistic Director of First Floor Theater, as well as an actor and teacher. First Floor Theater was founded by Andrew and several friends while all were still enrolled at the University of Chicago, and is now an award-winning theater company working on its seventh season. As an actor, Andrew has played a variety of roles at First Floor, including Benjamin in Refrigerator, Max in World Builders, Pete in Paranoid Style in American Politics, Skinheadboy in Polaroid Stories, and Bernie in Sexual Perversity in Chicago.  He will appear as Fielder/Dionysus in FFT's upcoming production of Hooded or Being Black for Dummies by Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm. In addition to his work with FFT, he has worked on productions with many Chicago companies, including A Red Orchid, The Artistic Home, Remy Bumppo, Broken Nose, and The Sound. Outside of Chicago, he has appeared onstage at Actors Theatre of Louisville in the 2017 Humana Festival of New American Plays as Jake in We're Gonna Be Okay, and as part of the ensemble in The Many Deaths of Nathan Stubblefield. He is a graduate of the ACADEMY at Black Box Acting. After graduating from the program, he became a proud member of the Black Box Teaching staff, and has taught in both the Studio and ACADEMY programs. He received a B.A. in Theater and Performance Studies from the University of Chicago in 2012.

thumb_Headshot.jpg Devon de Mayo is a director, devisor and teacher.  She is currently directing You on the Moors Now for The Hypocrites. Most recently, she directed Animals Out of Paper for Shattered Globe Theatre and You Can't Take it With You for Northlight Theatre.  Last year, Devon worked as the Resident Director under Stephen Daldry on the  Broadway production of The Audience. Other Directing credits: Jet Black Chevrolet (side project); Compulsion and Everything is Illuminated (Next); Roadkill Confidential, The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, Clouds (Dog & Pony); Infiltrating Bounce (Luminaria, San Antonio); and 52 (Canal Café, London). Directing & devising credits: Guerra: A Clown Play (performances in Chicago, New York, Albuquerque, Madrid, Bogota, and Mexico City); The Whole World is Watching, As Told by the Vivian Girls (Dog & Pony), and The Twins Would Like to Say (Dog & Pony, Steppenwolf Garage Rep). She received her MFA from Middlesex University in London with further studies at the Russian Academy of Dramatic Arts in Moscow and the Indonesian Institute for the Arts in Bali.  She has been a Lecturer at the University of Chicago since 2012 where she also directed An Actor Prepares.

thumb_MDURST_pic.jpg Mike Durst has designed the lighting for plays at venues including The Huntington Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Broad Stage, The Black Dahlia, Theater Wit, Remy Bumppo, The Neo-Futurists, About Face Theatre, and A Red Orchid Theatre, where he is an ensemble member. His work has been seen Off-Broadway with Primary Stages, Cherry Lane, and 59e59. His national Tours include 'It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s' The Nightman Cometh and Buyer&Cellar as Associate Designer.  His RocknRoll work includes Pete Townshend in concert at La Jolla Playhouse and X 25th Anniversary Live at The House of Blues Sunset Blvd. Mike has also served as a lighting consultant for theatrical renovations including The Gray Center at The University of Chicago and The Circle Theater in Los Angeles.  His awards include Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Award, Los Angeles’s Ovation Award, and San Diego’s Craig Noel Award.  Mike is a member of I.A.T.S.E Local #2 and United Scenic Artists #829.

thumb_Headshot.jpg Sarah Geis is an independent audio documentary producer, editor, and a former artistic director of the Third Coast International Audio Festival. She began her career traveling the country with the StoryCorps oral history project, and has spent the past decade evangelizing on behalf of narrative audio around the globe. She lectures in radio and podcasting at Northwestern University and the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Recent work has aired on BBC Radio 4 and the podcasts Love Me and Love + Radio.

ELansana_thumb.jpgEmily Hooper Lansana is an arts administrator, educator and performing artist, she is Associate Director of Community Arts Engagement at the Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago. She performs with In the Spirit. She has been featured at the National Storytelling Festival, the National Association of Black Storytellers Festival, and at many venues. She enjoys passing on traditions as a coach and mentor with Ase Youth Group and Rebirth Poetry Ensemble. She received her BA in Theater Studies from Yale University and MA in Performance Studies from Northwestern University.

thumb_Linder Headshot by Joe Mazza (1).jpg Evan Linder is a founding member and the former co-artistic director of Chicago's The New Colony, a theatre company founded in 2008 devoted to world premiere plays and musicals. He works in Chicago as a playwright, actor and director. Evan is a proud graduate of the College of Charleston where he was named Alumni of the Year in 2016. His plays include Byhalia Mississippi, 11:11, The Warriors, The Bear Suit of Happiness, B-Side Studio and 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, which was named Best Overall Production at the 2012 NYC International Fringe Festival and is published by Samuel French. His play Byhalia, Mississippi received simultaneous world premiere productions on January 8th, 2016 at theatres in Chicago, Toronto, Memphis and Charleston SC. The following week, theatres in Boulder, Los Angeles and Birmingham produced staged readings of the play before a live online World Premiere Conversation was held connecting audiences and creative teams in all seven cities. Byhalia received six nominations including Best Production at the 2016 Non-Equity Jeff Awards where Evan was given the Jeff Award for Best New Work. In summer of 2016, Evan reprised his role as Jim in the remount of Byhalia, Mississippi at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Byhalia was recently announced as part of the Kennedy Center's 2018-2019 Season. His play The Hunted, co-written with Paul Oakley Stovall was named a finalist for the 2017 O’Neill Playwrights Conference. The Hunted received further development at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Black Swan Lab in August 2017. His newest play Jo & Liv was commissioned by the Goodman Theatre and received a staged reading there in July 2017 directed by Krissy Vanderwarker.

thumb_Headshot.jpg Marti Lyons most recently directed Shakespeare in Love for the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Botticelli in the Fire for Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, The Wolves by Sarah Delappe at Studio Theatre and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner for the Court Theatre in Chicago. Marti has also recently directed Native Gardens by Karen Zacarías for Victory Gardens Theatre, Twelfth Night for Montana Shakespeare, The Mystery of Love and Sex by Bathsheba Doran for Writers Theatre, Short Shakes! Romeo and Juliet for Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Wit for The Hypocrites, Give It All Back by Calamity West for Sideshow Theatre, and The City of Conversation by Anthony Giardina for Northlight Theatre Company. She directed Wondrous Strange by Meg Miroshnik, Martyna Majok, Jen Silverman, and Jiehae Park for the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville, as well as Will Eno’s Title and Deed for Lookingglass Theatre Company and a reading of Martín Zimmerman's On the Exhale for the New Stages Festival at Goodman Theatre, where she received the 2015 Maggio directing fellowship. Other projects include Laura Marks’ Bethany, Marks' Mine, and Will Nedved’s Body and Blood for The Gift Theatre; Catherine Trieschmann’s Hot Georgia Sunday and Theresa Rebeck's Seminar for Haven Theatre; Prowess by Ike Holter, The Peacock by Calamity West, and The Last Duck by Lucas Neff for Jackalope Theatre; The Play About My Dad by Boo Killebrew for Raven Theatre; Mai Dang Lao by David Jacobi, 9 Circles by Bill Cain, Maria/Stuart by Jason Grote, and co-directing The Golden Dragon for Sideshow Theatre. Next Marti will direct Witch by Jen Silverman for Writers Theatre, Kings by Sarah Burgess for Studio Theater, Macbeth for Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee for Victory Gardens Theater. Marti is an ensemble member with the Gift Theatre Company, an Artistic Associate with Sideshow Theatre Company, and a proud member of SDC.

thumb_Frank-Maugeri1.jpgMickle Maher is a cofounder of Chicago’s Theater Oobleck. Plays include: Song About Himself; There Is a Happiness That Morning Is; The Strangerer; The Hunchback Variations; Spirits to Enforce; An Apology for the Course and Outcome of Certain Events Delivered by Doctor John Faustus on This His Final Evening; Cyrano (translator); The Cabinet; Lady Madeline; The Pine; and An Actor Prepares (an adaptation of Stanislavsky's seminal book). His plays have appeared Off-Broadway and in theaters around the world, and have been supported by grants from the NEA, the Rockefeller MAP fund, and Creative Capital. He has taught playwriting and related subjects at the University of Chicago, Columbia College, and Northwestern University.

Derek Matson is a dramaturg and translator of theater and opera. His dramaturgical work has included productions, readings, and development workshops for Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Lookingglass Theatre, the Metropolitan Opera, Court Theatre, The House Theatre of Chicago, the Hypocrites, American Theater Company, TimeLine Theatre Company, About Face Theatre, Strawdog Theatre, the Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Opera Vanguard, DePaul University, and Northwestern University. Derek studied acting at the Cours Florent in Paris, and serves as a diction instructor of French, Spanish, and Russian for the Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chorus. He’s a regular pre-performance lecturer at both the CSO and Lyric Opera. His translations of French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, German, and Catalan have been featured on ARTE in France and at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, the Montreux Comedy Festival, the Eastman School of Music, and Cornell University, where he earned his M.A. in Theater and Performance Studies. Derek is a former recipient of a Fulbright Assistantship to France and a Rotary Cultural Ambassadorial Scholarship to Russia. Closer to home, he’s a company member of The House Theatre of Chicago.

thumb_Frank-Maugeri1.jpgFrank Maugeri is an artist, director, producer and designer of unique art, education, ceremony and event. His creations are highly visual, design-driven, movement-inspired, object-centered and range from intimate miniature-scale to mammoth public spectacle. Throughout his career, he has been an inventor and designer of worlds, events, and objects; choreographer of people and mechanisms; and ritual and ceremony maker. He is the founder of Cabinet of Curiosity Events. He is also the Community Programs Artistic Director at the Chicago Children’s Theatre where he develops educational classes and camps for children 0 – 14, and selects and supports the CCT teaching community.  Prior to joining CCT as the Community Programs Artistic Director, Frank was a 22-year veteran Producing Artistic Director at Redmoon Theater, where he mentored hundreds of young artists, sculptors, puppet-makers, set designers, performers, and educators from across the United States, while simultaneously helping to guide the institution's art, education and community engagement. With Redmoon, Frank created art and experiences for The White House, developed original works for the CSO, the MCA, The Los Angeles Music Center, and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. He proudly co-directed a number of public spectacles for the City of Chicago and other Chicago-centered civic events, including: The Art Institute’s groundbreaking of the North Wing, Millennium Park opening evening, Looptopia. His productions, art and events toured to Amsterdam, Charleville-Mézières (France), Brazil, and Japan. In his time at Redmoon Theater, Frank also authored, designed, and created Redmoon's longest running and most acclaimed production, The Cabinet, and created and led Redmoon’s celebrated annual Boneshaker and New Year’s Revolution events, featuring numerous memorable objects of his own creation, including some of Redmoon’s most remarkable inventions—The Momentary Opera, The Monkey Butlers, The Libation Machine and most famously, The Bubble Man. Frank was trained in the discipline of animation and soon found he was drawn to puppetry and material objects, pursuing the desire to realize animation through live theatre experiences. He currently makes his teaching home at the University of Chicago.

thumb_Frank-Maugeri1.jpgJess McLeod is the 2018 Next Generation Samuel G. Roberson Artistic Fellow at Victory Gardens and the Resident Director of Hamilton Chicago. Chicago credits include five short operas developed with Chicago community groups (Lyric Opera of Chicago); Stacy Osei-Kuffour’s Hang Man (The Gift); Idris Goodwin’s How We Got On (Haven); Short Shakes! A Midsummer Night’s Dream (CST); Marry Me A Little (Porchlight); Shawn Pfautsch’s Season on the Line (The House); Kevin Coval’s L-vis Live! (Victory Gardens); Venus (Steppenwolf Next Up!); Lauren Yee’s in a word (Strawdog); and Fugitive Songs and The Pajama Game (The Music Theatre Company). New York credits include work by Joyce Carol Oates, Rachel Axler, Harrison David Rivers, and The Unauthorized Musicology of Ben Folds at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, where she served as Director of Programming from 2005-08. An avid teaching artist and believer in youth and community engagement, McLeod coordinated the Louder Than A Bomb Youth Poetry Festival for Young Chicago Authors from 2016-17 and has worked as a teaching artist with Storycatchers Theatre. 2017 Michael Maggio Directing Fellow (Goodman Theatre). M.F.A., Northwestern University. Upcoming: Abe Koogler’s Fulfillment Center (A Red Orchid), Sharyn Rothstein’s Landladies (Northlight).

thumb_robandmichael.jpegRob Milburn (before beginning his partnership with Michael Bodeen in 1999) was a composer and resident designer at Goodman Theatre for seventeen seasons and worked extensively with Steppenwolf Theatre composing music and sound. Broadway credits include sound designs for King Hedley II, Buried Child, The Song of Jacob Zulu (featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo), The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, The Grapes of Wrath and music composition for The Speed of Darkness. Off Broadway he composed music and sound for Sin and Marvin’s Room and it’s productions in Chicago, Boston, L.A., D.C., and London’s West End, designed sound and directed music for Sam Shepard’s, Eyes for Consuela and designed sound for August Wilson’s Jitney. He also designed sound for the national tour of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, and national resident theater tours of Dinah Was, Jitney and King Hedley II. His music or sound has traveled to the Kennedy Center and Arena Stage in D.C., Guthrie Theatre and the Children’s Theatre in Minneapolis, Huntington Theatre in Boston, the Public Theatre, Circle in the Square, Second Stage, Minetta Lane Theatre, Union Square Theatre and Playwrights Horizons in New York, Brooklyn Academy of Music, McCarter Theatre in Princeton, Crossroads Theatre in New Brunswick, Dallas Theater Center, Hartford Stage Company, La Jolla Playhouse, Rhode Island’s Trinity Rep., Seattle Rep., Arizona Rep., Milwaukee Rep., Rep. of St. Louis, Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Mark Taper Forum and the Ahmanson in L.A., the Comedy Theatre in London’s West End, Barbican Center, National Theatre of Great Britain, Cameri Theatre in Tel Aviv, Subaru Acting Company in Japan, and festivals in Sydney, Perth, Dublin and Galway. He is the recipient of a Drama Desk nomination, a Lucille Lortel nomination, two Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards, an Adelco Award, an Adelco nomination, three Helen Hayes nominations, a L.A. Drama Critics nomination, three L.A. Ovation nominations, a NAACP Image nomination, a Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Theatre Awards nomination, a L.A. Garland Award, an Acclaim Award and twenty-five Joseph Jefferson nominations (receiving the award ten times; three for original music and seven for sound design).

thumb_shademurray.jpg Shade Murray's directing credits include work at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, A Red Orchid Theatre, Writers' Theatre, Second City, The Inconvenience, Wildclaw, Next Theatre, Strawdog Theatre, Roadworks, the MCA, Shattered Globe, About Face Theatre and Chicago Moving Company. Shade has collaborated on the workshop and development of new work with playwrights Marisa Wegyrzyn, Carlos Murillo, Joel Drake Johnston, Brett Neveu, John Fournier, Janine Nabers and Scott Barsotti. Shade is an MFA candidate in directing at Northwestern University, an associate artist with A Red Orchid and has taught at Northwestern University, DePaul University, Act One Studios, National Louis University, National High School Institute, Piven Workshop and the Actor's Gym.

Darci Nalepa has been acting in Chicago for over ten years. In 2009, she was fortunate enough to start her Meisner training with Audrey Francis and Laura Hooper and find a place to call home at Black Box Acting. In 2010, she continued her training in Meisner and Viewpoints at The School at Steppenwolf. She is now an Instructor at both Black Box Acting and The School at Steppenwolf. She is a Jeff-nominated actress and is an ensemble member with The Gift Theatre Company. She has also worked with Steppenwolf Theatre Company, American Theatre Company, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, American Blues Theatre, Steep Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Griffin Theatre and many others in Chicago. She can be seen in Stephen Cone’s feature film, Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party and has appeared on Chicago Fire, Shameless and Patriot.

David New graduated from The Goodman School of Drama, DePaul University with a BFA in acting. Since then he has worked in Chicago and regionally as an actor, director, arts educator, and administrator. He has appeared in over 70 productions at theatres such as Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Court Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Northlight, Marriott Lincolnshire, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Victory Gardens, Writer’s Theatre of Chicago, Apple Tree Theatre, Body Politic, Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, and Wisdom Bridge. Regionally, he has appeared in productions at the Ontario Stratford Festival, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Huntington Theatre, Madison Repertory Theatre, New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, and Peninsula Players. In addition, he has appeared on Broadway in Thou Shalt Not (Lincoln Center) and in the National Tour of Scrooge with Richard Chamberlain. David’s television credits include: Law & Order SVU, All My Children, Walker, Texas Ranger, and the NBC mini-series A Will of Their Own. He was associate artistic director at Steppenwolf Theatre Company from 2004-2009. He is a multiple-time Jeff Award nominee, Sarah Siddons Award recipient, Chicago Stratford Associates Fellow.

Julie Nichols is a composer, musical director and sound designer based in Chicago. She recently finished a four year run as the Musical Director for The Second City Mainstage, composing and sound designing four revues. Prior to life on the Mainstage, Julie was the Associate Musical Director at Boom Chicago in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. While at Boom, she learned production skills for the highly technical, multi-media theater, while composing and sound designing three of their mainstage revues. Julie currently plays keyboards in The Dead River Revival, composes for commercials and freelances for Second City. She has composed music for corporate videos and events, independent films, TV pilots, musicals, plays, and everything in between.

thumb_FullSizeRender-1.jpgPamela Pascoe is a member of AEA and SAG since 1979, her New York performances include Broadway as well as Off- Broadway productions at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, New Dramatists, Writers’ Theater, Theater for the New City, Primary Stages, Lamb’s Theater, Lincoln Center Lab, and the Women’s Project, and comedy clubs such as Caroline’s and the Comic Strip.  Regional appearances include the Williamstown Festival, the Berkshire Festival, Baltimore Center Stage, Syracuse Stage, San Diego Repertory, and the Huntington Theater. With a BA from UCSD in Drama (Presidential Fellowship) and MFA from Brandeis (Shubert Fellowship), among her teachers were Arthur Wagner, Eric Christmas, Richard Foreman, Ted Kazanoff, Nola Chilton, and Charles Marowitz.
Upon moving to Chicago in 1996 to teach at U of C, her focus shifted to adapting works from Euripides, Calderon, Chekhov, Odets, Shepard, Melville, Steinbeck and other canonical literature. Devised in collaboration with students and exploring myths, dreams, topical events and themes, she has directed and occasionally performed in over 40 plays, site-specific pieces and performance art installations at U of C.  Her ongoing collaboration with the creative team at Tribeca Performing Arts Center in NYC has produced, most recently, an adaptation of Measure for Measure; an adaptation of Miss Julie is in development.

Thom Pasculli is a director, performer and the artistic director of Walkabout Theater Company in Chicago, a laboratory ensemble that creates new performances for theaters and public spaces.  Recent directing credits include Walkabout’s international touring performances, The Brink! Or Nobody’s Ever Kissed Me Like That and The Wild, both of which were presented at Links Hall, Steppenwolf, and the National School of Drama in India. Recent outdoor spectacles include Monuments, Tall Girl and the Lightning Parade, and A Persephone Pageant, co-directed with Jessica Thebus. Other Chicago directing credits include Mother of Smoke with Walkabout and Red Tape Theatre, Core of the PUDEL at Trap Door Theatre and Circle-Machine at Oracle Productions. Thom’s work has been greatly influenced by his time working and studying at Double Edge Theatre in MA, the Odin Teatret in Denmark, Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Redmoon Theater in Chicago as well as by significant international collaborations in India, Russia and South Africa. Thom teaches acting and movement at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Chicago.

John Petrakis is an associate adjunct professor in the Film, Video and New Media Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he has been teaching screenwriting since 1993. He is currently teaching a lecture class at The Gene Siskel Film Center at SAIC on “The History Of The European Art Film.” Previously, John taught screenwriting at Chicago Filmmakers, The Center for New Television and the Chicago Dramatists Workshop.  John was a regular film reviewer for the Chicago Tribune for 10 years, including three years writing the weekly “Screen Gems” column. He currently writes film essays for Christian Century Magazine and was the lead critic at New City from 1988 through 1993. John is a member of the Writers Guild of America, East. His script for Song of Songs, directed by Peter Bogdanovich, played on Showtime as part of its “Picture Windows” series.

Julia Rhoads (TAPS Director of Dance) is the founding Artistic Director of Chicago-based Lucky Plush Productions, a dance-theater company that creates original productions with a signature blend of technical choreography, casual dialogue, surprising humor, and socially relevant themes. Her work for Lucky Plush has been presented in over 55 US and international cities, and commissioning partners include Harris Theater (IL), Clarice Smith Center (MD), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (IL), Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (VT), Krannert Center at University of Illinois, The Yard (MA), and Links Hall (IL). Independent choreography credits include Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Walkabout Theater, Redmoon, and River North Chicago Dance Company, among others. Under her leadership, Lucky Plush received the prestigious MacArthur Award in 2016, and creation and touring awards include National Endowment for the Arts, National Dance Project, National Theater Project, and National Performance Network. She is the recipient of an Alpert Award in Dance, fellowships from Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, Illinois Arts Council, Chicago Dancemakers Forum and the Jacob K Javits Foundation, and her innovative arts management practices were recognized with a Fractured Atlas Arts Entrepreneurship Award. She is a former member of the San Francisco Ballet and ensemble member of XSIGHT! Performance Group, and received her BA in History from Northwestern University and her MFA in Performance from the School of the Art Institute Chicago.

Samuel Taylor is co-founder & partner in the Back Room Shakespeare Project, established 2011. The Project does Shakespeare in a style closer, probably, to the intent with which the plays were written: Serious Actors, No Director, One Rehearsal, In a Bar. He is author of the book: My Life With the Shakespeare Cult, and of a forthcoming followup: How to Build a Shakespeare Cult, which are about that kind of work. He is a graduate of the Guthrie Theater / University of Minnesota BFA program, 2006. Samuel has taught residencies at Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, University of New Mexico, Pacific University, and Door Shakespeare, with shorter workshops at Tricklock Theatre, Chicago Youth Shakespeare, and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Samuel is an artistic associate with Lookingglass Theatre Company. Lookingglass credits include Mr. & Mrs. Pennyworth, Thaddeus & Slocum: a Vaudeville Adventure, Lookingglass Alice, and Peter Pan: a Play. Other Chicago credits include Steppenwolf Theatre Company, The Actors Gymnasium, Redmoon (RIP), and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Regional Credits include time at American Players Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Syracuse Stage, the New Victory, and the Guthrie Theater. On Camera credits include appearances on Chicago Fire and Mob Doctor, with recurring roles on Crisis and Boardwalk Empire. He is also owner and operator of Long Table Pancakes: small batch pancakes from Chicago.

Sandor Weisz is the commissioner of The Mystery League, a company of creative puzzle makers. He’s built puzzles for Google, Chicago Architecture Foundation, The University of Chicago, The House Theatre, The Art Institute of Chicago, Marbles Game Store, NPR, and Cards Against Humanity. He’s spoken about puzzles at TEDx, the Cusp Conference, and Creative Mornings. He has been making puzzles and games since he was a teenager. His previous career was designing for the web. He lives in Chicago with his wife and two kids.

Calamity West is a Chicago-based, award-winning, Kilroys-cited playwright. Her newest play IN THE CANYON is scheduled for its world premiere at Jackalope Theatre Company in the fall of 2018. Most recently Calamity’s work was seen at Steep Theatre Company with the world premiere of her play HINTER in the winter of 2018. In January 2018 her play ENGINES AND INSTRUMENTS OF FLIGHT: A FANTASIA IN THREE ACTS, originally commissioned at The Goodman Theatre, had its first New York reading at The Roundabout. Her play IN THE CANYON is currently in development at Jackalope Theatre Company and will be given its first public reading with Sanguine Theatre Company of New York in March 2018. Another of her plays, GREETINGS FROM MOSCOW! A LOVE STORY, is currently in development at TimeLine Theatre Company’s Playwrights Collective. Other plays by Calamity West include: GIVE IT ALL BACK (2016, Kilroy-cited); ROLLING (2016.); IBSEN IS DEAD (2014); THE PEACOCK (2013, Kilroys honorable mention); THE GACY PLAY (2012); and COMMON HATRED (2012). In 2014 she was recipient of the 3Arts Award. Calamity is a company member of Jackalope Theatre Company and an artistic associate of Sideshow Theatre Company. She teaches playwriting at the University of Chicago, Webster University, The New Colony’s Writers Room, and the Artist Development Workshop based in Chicago. She is represented by The Gersh Agency.