WHO’S WHO IN THE CAST
DANA BLACK (Waitress) is a proud artistic affiliate of American Blues Theater. She is thrilled to be back in the diner again with Hank and American Blues. Recent credits include, Miss Marx (Strawdog Theatre and winner of the 2014 Non-Equity Jeff Award for Best New Work by Philip Dawkins), Silk Road Rising’s Paulus directed by Jimmy McDermott, Rabbit (Stage Left), Brewed (Ruckus/ Tympanic Theatre), After the Revolution directed by Kimberly Senior (Next Theatre), The Count of Monte Cristo (Lifeline Theatre), The Chicago Landmark Project (Theatre Seven of Chicago), Wreckage directed by Joanie Schultz (Caffeine Theatre), Bordello (Chicago Dramatists), Dental Society Midwinter Meeting directed by Megan Shuchman (At Play Productions/Chicago Dramatists), Baal (TUTA), Wild Nights with Eily (Caffeine Theatre), Two by Pinter: The Lover and The Collection (Piven Theatre) and The Happy Breed (Timeline). Dana has understudied at Steppenwolf and Goodman Theatre and is a graduate of The School at Steppenwolf. She is also an associate artist at Chicago Dramatists. Dana proudly works during the day as the assistant to the Executive Director of the Goodman Theatre. Love to Baude.
MATTHEW BRUMLOW (Hank Williams) is a proud Ensemble member of American Blues Theater since 2001 where he has 15 production credits. Favorite Blues’ productions include Catch 22, The Hairy Ape, A View from the Bridge, Oklahoma!, and Tobacco Road. A two-time Equity Jeff Award nominee in Chicago, Matthew has also worked with the Goodman Theatre, Court Theatre, Writers’ Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Timeline Theatre Company, About Face, PROP, and others. Regional credits include Actors Theatre of Louisville, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Kansas City Repertory, Peninsula Players, American Heartland Theatre, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, Door Shakespeare, “Stanley” in a national tour of A Streetcar Named Desire with Montana Repertory Theatre, and ten productions with Indiana Repertory Theatre where favorite roles include “William Gillette” in Games Afoot, “Hannay” in The 39 Steps, and the title role in Hamlet. He can be seen in the independent feature films Endings, Repatriation, Of Minor Prophets, Where We Started (recently screened in L.A. and New York), and Blur Circle. Matthew is a graduate of Lee University and Northwestern University and is represented by Big Mouth Talent.
AUSTIN COOK (Hoss) is a proud Ensemble member of American Blues Theater. Favorite acting credits: 1st National Tour Million Dollar Quartet (Jerry Lee Lewis, tour music director), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (himself), Putting It Together (music director, man 4)*Jeff Award Nomination Music Direction, Some Enchanted Evening (music director/pianist)*Jeff Award Music Direction. Favorite Music Director/Conductor credits: 1st National Tour Million Dollar Quartet, Days Like Today at Writers Theater, Rooms: A Rock Romance, Theo Ubique, Second City. Music Producer credits: Billy Woodward, John Michael Presney, Billy Woodward & The Senders, Yuleberrys & Friends, Cody Slaughter. Austin’s work has been heard across the country as a performer, producer, musician and music director. Austin’s most recently produced album won the Independent Music Award for Best Roots EP. Austin is a Artistic Affiliate of Porchlight Music Theatre. A big thanks to Adrienne for her love and support.
JOHN FOLEY (Shag) Broadway: Pump Boys and Dinettes, co-author and co-producer. Off Broadway: Diamond Studs, Smoke on the Mountain. Regional: As You Like It (Theater Virginia); Merry Wives of Windsor, Texas (Alley, St. Louis Rep); Ring of Fire (Denver Theater Center); Blue Window (Alliance); Smoke and Mirrors (Oldcastle Theater); Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues (Northlight); Cowboys Dream (Ancram Opera House, Theater-by-the-Sea). Improv: Groundlings East (NY company member), Gross National Product (DC company member). Recently completed a screenplay and play (both adaptations). Glad to rejoin the Drifting Cowboys!
GREG HIRTE (Leon) is happy to return to his role as “Leon” in Hank Williams: Lost Highway at American Blues Theater. He most recently appeared in Ring of Fire at Theatre at the Center. Other Chicago theater credits include 17 seasons of A Christmas Carol at the Goodman theater, The Fiddler in Fiddler on the Roof at Marriott Theatre Lincolnshire, and performance and musical composition for the Goodman, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Court Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater and the Piven Theatre Workshop (Jeff Award nomination for Best Original Score for Sarah Ruhl’s Melancholy Play). Other credits include performances for several international theater and music festivals. Mr. Hirte is also a member of several Chicago area bands touring nationally and internationally, including Chicago’s own Mucca Pazza.
JAMES JOSEPH (Radio Newsman and other voices) is a proud artistic affiliate at American Blues Theater. He returns with his fourth season of It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago! At American Blues, he also appeared in Tobacco Road and provided the voiceovers for Hank Williams: Lost Highway. He’s performed on Chicago stages for over fifteen years, including with City Lit, Eclipse, First Folio, Illinois Theatre Center, the Ivanhoe, Live Bait, Metropolis, Next, Northlight, Prop Thtr, Shakespeare on the Green, Shakespeare’s Motley Crew, Steppenwolf, Strawdog, TimeLine, and Victory Gardens. He was nominated for a Non-Equity Jeff Award (Supporting Actor) for his role in Faith Healer with UMA Productions.
JAMES LEAMING (Fred Rose) is a proud Ensemble member and co-founder (1985) of American Blues Theater: Native Son, Tobacco Road, The Hairy Ape, Two Rooms, Bad Moon, A Lie Of The Mind, Catch 22, American Dead, On The Waterfront. Last up: The Great God Pan at Next Theatre and Who Am I This Time at North Coast Rep in Solana Beach, CA. On Going: This Wonderful Life: (solo version of It’s A Wonderful Life) North Coast Rep, CA- 2013, Laguna Playhouse, CA- 2011, Cleveland Playhouse, OH- 2010, Syracuse Stage, NY- 2009 and Asolo Repertory, FL- 2008. Regional Theater: Alliance Theatre, GA, in the world premiere of Broke; 9 seasons at Peninsula Players in Door County, WI: A Few Good Men, Cherry Orchard, Foreigner, A Man For All Seasons; Asolo Repertory, FL: Devil’s Disciple, Winter’s Tale and Inventing Van Gogh. In Chicago he has worked for Steppenwolf, Northlight, Victory Gardens, Goodman, Drury Lane, Body Politic, Fox Theatricals and with Canamac Productions in Botanic Garden with his wife Carmen Roman- directed by Olympia Dukakis. Training: American Conservatory Theatre (San Francisco), Second City (Chicago). Awards: After Dark Award- Best Actor for The Man Who Fell In Love With The Moon; Sarasota Magazine Award- Best Actor and Best Show for This Wonderful Life and a Joseph Jefferson Award for the set design of Tobacco Road (American Blues). Film/TV: Mind Games, Prison Break, Early Edition, Running Scared, Code Of Silence and numerous commercials and voice-overs.
MICHAEL MAHLER (Jimmy) is a proud Ensemble member of American Blues Theater and happy to drift again with the Cowboys. At Blues, he previously appeared in It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago! and Ripped. Other credits include The March (Steppenwolf); Working (Broadway Playhouse); The Fox on the Fairway and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Theatre at the Center – Jeff nomination); The Illusion (Court); Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Drury Lane Oakbrook); and High Fidelity (Route 66). Michael is the composer/lyricist of Hero (Jeff award – best new work: musical) and recently contributed new lyrics to the London revival of Miss Saigon. His band The Lincoln Squares has a debut EP available online. Visit www.michaelmahler.com and thelincolnsquares.com.
SUZANNE PETRI (Mama) is a proud Ensemble member of American Blues Theater. She has worked on many Chicago stages including The Goodman, Steppenwolf, Chicago Dramatists, Victory Gardens and Northlight Theatre. She recently appeared in Gambit with Artemisia Theatre. She was seen in Waiting for Lefty, Tobacco Road, Zorba (Jeff Nomination), Follies, Twelfth Night, Book of Mercy, Kid-Simple, The Hairy Ape, The Threepenny Opera, The People’s Temple and Oklahoma! With the Bernie Sahlins Players: Bertha the Sewing Machine Girl, Lysistrata, Under Milk Wood. An award-winning Cabaret Artist, her tribute to Marlene Dietrich at Millennium Park received raves from the Chicago Tribune: “She Torched the Place.” Recently Suzanne and husband Bob Breuler (SuzBo Entertainment. Inc.) brought their highly acclaimed homage to Noël Coward, A Little Touch of Coward in the Night, to NYC. Film and TV: Pool Week, Lac du Flambeau, Just Visiting, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Early Edition, Evil Has A Face. Look for a run of SuzBo’s Duo; 1 is One, 2 is Math (duothemusical.com), which they recently presented at Steppenwolf’s Late Night. SuzannePetri.com
CORA VANDER BROEK (Audrey) is thrilled to be returning to American Blues for the remount of Hank Williams: Lost Highway. Her recent regional credits include: “Catherine Givings” in In The Next Room or the Vibrator Play (Actors Theatre of Louisville and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre); Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Doubt, and four seasons as “Ghost of Christmas Past” in A Christmas Carol (Indiana Repertory Theatre). In Chicago: Luck of the Irish and Madagascar (Next Theatre); All My Sons (TimeLine Theatre). Cora has also worked with Steppenwolf, Northlight Theatre, Raven Theatre, The Hypocrites, and Montana Shakespeare in the Parks. Cora has received an After Dark Award (Actress in a Principal Role), a Jeff Citation Nomination (Actress in a Supporting Role) and has been featured in the Chicago Tribune as “One of the top five actors to watch now.” She can also be seen in the independent feature films Where We Started and Of Minor Prophets. This coming winter you’ll be able to catch her in Mousetrap at Northlight Theatre directed by Jonathan Berry.
BYRON GLENN WILLIS (Tee Tot) was last seen in Black Ensemble Theater’s Chicago’s Golden Soul. Other credits include: Porgy & Bess and Caroline, or Change (Court Theatre), Once On This Island, Dreamgirls, Treasure Island (Marriott Theatre), Big River and Civil War (Barn Theatre), The Buddy Holly Story (Drury Lane Oakbrook Theatre), Dessa Rose (Apple Tree Theatre), Congo Square’s Black Nativity (Goodman Theatre), Purlie (Goodman Theatre/Pasadena Playhouse), Ragtime (Light Opera Works), My Heart Is Crying, Crying–The Jackie Wilson Story, Sensational Soulful 60’s, and Doo Wop Shoo Bop (Black Ensemble Theatre), Five Guys Named Moe (Drury Lane Evergreen Park), Nefertiti (Deeply Rooted Production), Higher Ground (Human Race Theatre), and the European Tour of Hair (Scala Theatre Company). Film: Barbershop 2, R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet, Detroit 1-8-7, Chicago Code, and a host of commercials. Byron is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
WHO’S WHO IN THE CREW
RANDAL MYLER (Playwright) has received two Tony Award-nominations (Best Musical/Best Book of a Musical) and a Drama Desk nomination (Best Musical Revue) for It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues, which ran at both Lincoln Center and Broadway’s Ambassador Theatre. Love, Janis, Myler’s musical biography of Janis Joplin, reached 700 performances at Eric Nederlander’s Village Theater, where he also staged Dream A Little Dream: The Mamas and the Papas Musical with Denny Dougherty. Lost Highway received its premiere at the Tony Award-winning Denver Center Theatre Company and then moved to the Mark Taper Forum, the Old Globe and the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Myler’s recent projects include Touch the Names: Letters To The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, John Fante’s 1933, the musical version of The Immigrant, and the critically acclaimed Cuban-American play Union City, New Jersey, Where Are You?, starring Rosie Perez. His latest work (co-authored with Dan Wheetman) is Fire on the Mountain: The Music of the Coal Mines and he recently directed Betty Buckley in the new musical, Diner Stories at the Denver Center.
MARK HARELIK (Playwright) Mark Harelik moved to Los Angeles in 1987 where he co-wrote, with Randal Myler, Hank Williams: Lost Highway. He has appeared in the films Election, Jurassic Park III and For Your Consideration. Harelik also appeared in the Broadway musical The Light in the Piazza. Harelik’s play, The Immigrant, also with Randal Myler, has been well received and adapted into a musical of the same name.
DAMON KIELY (Director) is a professional director and writer, as well as a full time professor of directing and acting for DePaul’s Theatre School. He is currently writing a book for Routledge called How to Read a Play: Text Analysis for Directors due out fall 2015. He is thrilled to be remounting last year’s hit show Hank Williams: Lost Highway for American Blues Theater. In Chicago, he has directed regional premieres of work by Lisa Kron, Kirsten Greenidge, and Jordan Harrison for Next Theatre, The Chicago premiere of Gore Vidal’s Weekend for TimeLine Theatre Company, the regional premiere of Gina Gionfriddo’s Becky Shaw for A Red Orchid Theatre, and the world premiere of McMeekin Finds Out for Route 66. He’s also worked at Eclipse Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, WildClaw and others. His world premiere adaptation of Thieves Like Us was produced by the House Theatre of Chicago and the Theatre School. He served as the Artistic Director of American Theater Company from 2002 to 2007. Directing credits at ATC include Oklahoma! (Nominated for 6 Jeff Awards including Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical), The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, Orpheus Descending, A View from the Bridge, and The Hairy Ape. At The Theatre School he has directed many plays for the Showcase and Playworks series including Our Town, the first show in the Theatre School’s new building, A Streetcar Named Desire, Medea, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, and his own adaptation of Nancy Drew and the Sign of the Twisted Candle. Prior to moving back to Chicago he produced, directed, and taught in New York City. In New York he directed for the Public Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, the Ontological Theater, Adobe Theater Company, PS122, Ensemble Studio Theater and New Dramatists. Damon also served as the Artistic Director for Real Time Theater and was a Producing Director at the Ontological-Hysteric Theater as well as the Associate Artistic Director for the Children’s Theater of Maine. He is a winner of the 2000-02 NEA/TCG Career Directing Program, the 2000 Drama League Fall Directing Program and the 1997 Princess Grace Award. He lives in Edgewater with his wife Jennifer and their children, Bella and Finn.
MALCOLM RUHL (Musical Director) Chicago Musical Direction credits include: Hank Williams: Lost Highway (American Blues Theater); A Christmas Carol, Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Goodman Theatre); Eastland (Lookingglass Theatre); The Way West (Steppenwolf Theatre); Ring of Fire, Grease (Theatre at the Center); Hairspray, Pump Boys and Dinettes, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Drury Lane Theatre); Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Oklahoma! (American Theater Company); Woody Guthrie’s American Song (Jeff Award), Blues in the Night, Smoke on the Mountain (Northlight Theatre); Pump Boys and Dinettes (Apollo and Forum Theatres); Big River (Apple Tree Theatre). Malcolm was the Musical Coordinator for Million Dollar Quartet (Apollo Theatre). He appeared as “Jackson” in the 1982-83 Broadway production of Pump Boys and Dinettes.
MICHAEL MAHLER (Associate Music Director) SEE CAST.
JACKIE & RICK PENROD (Scenic Designers) are very happy to be collaborating once again with American Blues Theater ensemble! They previously designed productions of Oklahoma! and A View From the Bridge. Other recent designs include Next’s production of Welcome Home Jenny Sutter, Iphigenia 2.0, and The Girl in the Yellow Dress. Chicago Children’s Theatre’s production of Goodnight Moon, Lookingglass Theatre’s production of The Last Act of Lilka Kadison and Around the World in 80 Days in Chicago, Centerstage Baltimore, and Kansas City Repertory Theatre; Tree for Victory Gardens Theatre Company; Sleuth for Theatre at the Center; Northanger Abby and The Importance of Being Earnest for Remy Bumppo; and Love’s Labour’s Lost for Milwaukee Shakespeare. They received Joseph Jefferson nominations for Oklahoma!, The Last Act of Lilka Kadison, and The Importance of Being Earnest.
NICK BELLEY (Lighting Designer) Selected Chicago design credits include: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grille, Pal Joey (Porchlight Music Theatre); Brighton Beach Memoirs (Raven Theater); The Altruists (Two Lights); Or, The Oxford Roof Climber’s Rebellion (Caffeine Theatre); The Coral King, Spring Awakening, Synergy, The Lonely Soldier Monologues (DePaul University). Nick has worked as an assistant/associate at various theaters such as Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, The Court, Writers Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, and American Blues.
SARAH E. ROSS (Costume Designer) is a proud Ensemble member of American Blues Theater. She is a Chicago-based freelance scenic, properties and costume designer. She has worked with American Blues Theater, The Second City, Paramount Theatre, 16th Street Theater, Writers’ Theatre, Theater Wit, and Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Regionally, she has designed scenery for Peninsula Players Theater, TheaterSquared, and Summer Studio Theater Company. She received a Jefferson Award for costume design for Tobacco Road and scenic design nomination for Collected Stories (American Blues Theater). Sarah is the full-time properties director at Paramount Theatre in Aurora, IL.
RICK SIMS (Sound Designer) has designed sound for numerous Chicago area theatres such as Steppenwolf, Lookingglass, Congo Square, Writers Theatre, Lifeline, Griffin, Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Hypocrites, The House, Court, ATC, Victory Gardens, The Raven, Steep, Northlight, and About Face. Out of town credits include Icarus at the Getty in L.A. with Lookingglass, and Gary at Boston Playwrights. Rick has won a Jeff Award for Lyrics in Hepheastus and a BTAA award for Congo Square’s Brothers In the Dust, and he’s received several nominations for both awards. Rick is an artistic associate of Lookingglass Theatre Company and an associate designer with Aria Music Designs (Ray Nardelli and Josh Horvath). Rick also wrote the book, music and lyrics for Lookingglass’ Hillbilly Antigone.
ARIANNA SOLOWAY (Properties Designer) is a proud artistic affiliate and Outreach Manager of American Blues Theater. At Blues, she’s designed props for It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!, American Myth, Grounded and the original production Hank Williams: Lost Highway. She assisted with props at Lookingglass Theater (Big Lake Big City, In the Garden) and American Blues (Collected Stories and Illegal Use of Hands). Elsewhere in Chicago, she’s designed props for The Glass Menagerie at Mary-Arrchie and productions for Sideshow Theater, Pine Box, and The Ruckus. She recently graduated from Columbia College with a BFA in directing.
KEVIN KINSINGTON (Assistant Director) was born in Texas and raised in Alabama. He moved to Chicago in 2003. His directing work has been seen at Westport Country Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse Square, The Hippodrome (Baltimore), and Capitol Center for the Arts (Concord, NH). He received his BFA from SMU and was the recipient of the Garland Wright Award for Directing and the Edyth Wrenshaw Award. He is currently pursuing his MFA at DePaul’s Theatre School. He is a Company Member at Griffin Theatre.
CHRISTOPHER NEVILLE (Assistant Costume Designer) is a proud artistic affiliate of American Blues Theater and excited to be back with the Hank Williams clan this summer! Christopher has worked with costumes at Victory Gardens Theater, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Chicago Opera Theater, Theatre at the Center, and Signal Ensemble. He has also designed properties for Congo Square Theater, Griffin Theatre, Northlight Theatre and worked as an artisan at Lookingglass Theatre Company and Paramount Theater. Christopher trained at Peninsula Players Theatre as a production intern and received his B.F.A from Oakland University in Rochester, MI. www.cjnevilldesigns.com
DANA M. NESTRICK (Stage Manager) Previous work with the American Blues ensemble includes – Speech & Debate, I Do! I Do!, The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, Goodman Theatre – World of Extreme Happiness (New Stages), Teddy Ferrara, Romance, Binky Rudich or the Revenge of the Space Pandas, Mamet Festival. Writers’ Theatre – Port Authority, The Overcoat (workshop), A Minister’s Wife (workshops & extension run). Teatro Vista – Mamma’z Boyz, Our Lady of the Underpass, Theatre Wit – Santaland Diaries (’09-’11),THIS, American Theatre Company – The Big Meal (Best Ensemble Jeff Award), Welcome to Arroyos’, Buffalo Theatre Ensemble – Sleuth, The Provincetown Repertory – The Mystery of Irma Vep, Hartford Stage –Topdog/Underdog, A Christmas Carol (’02-’05), Metamorphoses, The Mystery of Irma Vep, Tennessee William’s Eight by Tenn, Trip to Bountiful, Much Ado About Nothing, Constant Star, World Premier of Tea at Five starring Kate Mulgrew, Arizona Repertory Theatre- Steel Magnolias, A Flea in Her Ear, Music Theatre Arizona Side by Side by Sondheim. Dana is also a core company member at American Players Theatre where she is the Costume Craft Master.
KATHRYN LOCHERT (Assistant Stage Manager) recently stage-managed American Myth (American Blues Theater). Other Chicago credits include the last fall’s production of Hank Williams: Lost Highway (American Blues Theater); The Happiest Song Plays Last, Teddy Ferrara, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre); Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks: The Taming of the Shrew (Chicago Shakespeare Theater). Kathryn received her B.F.A. in Stage Management from the University of Southern California’s School of Theatre and is a proud member of AEA. Fight on, y’all!
ELLEN WILLETT (Production Manager) began working with American Blues in 2012 as Asst. Production Manager on Illegal Use of Hands. Since then, she has been Production Manager on Hank Williams: Lost Highway (2013) and Grounded (2014) and is happy to be back with Hank Williams: Lost Highway again this year. She stage-manages and production manages with many Chicago theatres including Lifeline Theatre, The Inconvenience, Buzz22 Chicago, and Steep Theatre Company. She also serves on the board of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), a unique and vibrant music ensemble dedicated to advancing the music of our time.
ERIC BACKUS (Sound Engineer) returns for the remount of Hank Williams: Lost Highway, and is excited to help get the band back together! Eric has worked with American Blues Theater most recently on Grounded and Ripped (2014). A transplant to the city, he has designed and engineered sound for many theatre companies around Chicago including Emerald City, Sideshow, Lookingglass, and Steppenwolf. Eric previously spent five seasons as resident sound designer and production engineer at Lyric Opera Theatre at Arizona State University.
ELLIE HUMPHRYS (Assistant Lighting Designer/Master Electrician)
BRIAN CLAGGETT (Technical Director) is a proud Ensemble member of American Blues Theater. Previous credits with American Blues include Grounded, It’s a Wonderful Life: Live at the Biograph!, Tobacco Road and the Lighting Designer for Rantoul and Die. He was recently the Technical Director for Victory Gardens Theater with shows including Failure: A Love Story, and Disconnect. Brian has been the Master Electrician for Peninsula Players for 5 seasons, shows include Around the World in 80 Days, Little Shop of Horrors, Doubt and A Little Night Music. He was also Technical Director for Profiles Theatre’s Body Awareness and the Jeff Award-Winning Killer Joe. Carpentry credits include: Ella, Low Down and Dirty Blues and Better Late all for Northlight and Court Theatre’s Orlando, An Iliad, Invisible Man, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches and Perestroika, and Proof.
GWENDOLYN WHITESIDE (Producing Artistic Director) is a proud Ensemble member and producing artistic director of American Blues Theater. Theater credits: American Blues Theater, Goodman, Steppenwolf, Indiana Repertory Theater, Victory Gardens Theater, Lookingglass, Chicago Dramatists, Northlight Theatre, About Face Theatre, Chicago Humanities Festival, and Los Angeles theaters. She’s received eight (8) Joseph Jefferson Awards, Citations, and nominations. She’s the recipient of two (2) After Dark Awards and a Broadway World Chicago Award. She was named in the top 5 performances (Mary’s Wedding) of 2010 by Indianapolis Star. Producing Artistic Director Whiteside ushered in the annual Blue Ink Playwriting Award, Blueprint Play development, implemented community outreach into the company’s mission, and adapted the education outreach program The Lincoln Project for Chicago Public Schools. She served numerous panels for the National Endowment for the Arts in DC and sat on the national Board of Directors for Network of Ensemble Theaters. She’s a graduate of Northwestern University (cum laude), The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA), and a Kellogg Executive Scholar in Nonprofit management (Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University). She was nominated for Chicagoan of the Year in Chicago Magazine and listed in Newcity’s annual Players list.
JACLYN HOLSEY (General Manager) is a proud Ensemble member and general manager of American Blues Theater. She’s an Equity stage manager and worked with Chicago theaters such as TimeLine, Victory Gardens Theater, Teatro Vista, Rivendell Theatre Company, Collaboraction, and here at American Blues Theater since 2001. American Blues Theater credits: Grounded, Collected Stories, Illegal Use of Hands, Tobacco Road, Half of Plenty, St. Scarlet, and five years of It’s a Wonderful Life. She’s worked with American Blues since 2005 as a stage manager, then an artistic affiliate, Ensemble member, Business Manager, and now General Manager. Before coming to American Blues, she worked as the Regional Operations and Programs Coordinator for First Nonprofit Insurance. Jaclyn also served as the Executive Assistant at Victory Gardens Theater under the leadership of Marcie McVay from 2003-2008. She graduated from Otterbein College with a BA in Theater and received her Certificate in Nonprofit Management through the University of Illinois at Chicago. She sends her gratitude and love to the best partner a gal could have and their little monkey.
LAURA DAHL (Associate Dramaturg) is a proud ensemble member of American Blues Theater. Her roles have included stage-manager (Keely and Du, American Buffalo), Dramaturg (Kid Simple, Oklahoma!, Strictly Dishonorable, Orpheus Descending), and director (selected works in Big Shoulders, Ripped, and Shinsai). Lauri has worked at other theaters in Chicago, including Teatro Vista where she is also an ensemble member, Atlanta, Detroit, and London. She is also a lawyer.v