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INSTRUCTOR BIOGRAPHIES

IAN PAUL CUSTER is a proud Ensemble member of American Blues Theater. He’s a Chicago actor and musician. Chicago credits: Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story (Jeff Award – Best Ensemble, Best Musical – Midsize), The Columnist, Little Shop of Horrors, and It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago! (American Blues Theater); Bad Jews (Theatre Wit); 33 Variations (Jeff Award– Best Production, Midsize), To Master the Art (TimeLine Theatre); Annie Bosh is Missing (Steppenwolf); High Holidays (Goodman); Fiddler on the Roof (Paramount). Regional credits: Hero: The Musical (Asolo Rep Theatre), Cymbeline (Notre Dame Shakespeare), Romeo and Juliet (Cardinal Stage), Peter Pan (360 Entertainment – London, England). Television credits: APB, Empire, Chicago Fire, and Chicago PD. Ian received his BFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University.

WANDACHRISTINE is a proud Ensemble member of American Blues Theater. She has starred on many stages throughout the country in notable productions as the touring company of Fences, The Vagina Monologues, Gee’s Bend, and Thyestes. She received a Joseph Jefferson Award nomination for Supporting Actress and a Best Actress nomination for the noted Ruby Dee/Black Theater Alliance Award for her work in Old Settler. For her work in American Blues Theater’s production of Beauty’s Daughter, she won the Ruby Dee/Black Theater Alliance Award for her solo performance. She’s toured regionally in Danai Gurira’s (Black Panther and Walking Dead) production of Familiar as well as the San Diego’s Old Globe production. Other recent productions include A Wonder in My Soul at Baltimore Center Stage and Incendiary at Goodman Theater. In film she’s worked alongside Whoopie Goldberg in Clara’s Heart and starred in the hit comedy as Mrs. Jones in Me and Mrs. Jones with Kym Fields. She’s appeared in the television series Chicago PD, numerous commercials, and voiced the animated characters in The PJ’s, The Justice League, and Scarface the video game. She’s written a fiction novel, I Love You More…Than Shoes! about four actresses over 50 years old still trying to make it in Hollywood.  As a playwright, she’s written for American Blues Theater’s Ripped Festival for 3 years. Her newest play, Yes, My Name is…Lucy! was commissioned by Ensemble member Chuck Smith. Both her original works, I Love You More…Than Shoes! and Yes, My Name is…Lucy! are being adapted for television projects.

CHRISTOPHER J. NEVILLE is a proud Ensemble member of American Blues Theater. Christopher was first exposed to the mind-body connection yoga can cultivate in 2009, and, has since, found his way into Chicago’s vibrant yoga culture. With a career in theatre design, he became aware of the many physical and mental stressors impacting the artist community. To combat those strenuous conditions, Chris threw down his mat and pursued teacher training with David Duerkop at The Chicago School of Yoga in 2014. Chris’s Vinyasa classes contain a safe and casual environment that allows students comfort and the freedom to deepen their practice- and hopefully with a laugh.

DENZEL TSOPNANG is a proud Artistic Affiliate of American Blues Theater. Hailing from Batavia, IL, Denzel holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Millikin University and is represented by Gray Talent Group. At Blues he has been seen in the Jeff Award winning production of Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story and Five Presidents. Some of his favorite Chicago credits include Five Guys Named Moe (Court Theatre), Ragtime (Griffin Theatre), The Scottsboro Boys (Porchlight Music Theatre), White Christmas (Theatre at the Center), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Drury Lane Theatre), Boys in the Band (Windy City Playhouse), and Heathers: The Musical (Kokandy Productions).

CAROLYN MINOR is a teaching artist at American Blues Theater. She’s been creating theater and performances in Chicago since 2001. She was a company member of the now defunct Knife & Fork Theatre Company that built artwork with a heavy emphasis on devised and movement-based pieces. She is a Production Manager at City Lit Theater. She has written pieces performed at You Only Live Once More for SoloCrowd Chicago, at AbbieFest for Knife & Fork, Brecht 3 High Fest for The Island Theater Company, and Ghostlight Ensemble’s Nightlight Series. As an advocate for empathy and early childhood exposure to the arts, she is grateful to reach students in a new and exciting way.

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