The American Blues Team

OUR TEAM

Welcome to the American Blues team. Learn more about our Staff, Ensemble, Artistic Affiliates, and Board of Directors. Originally founded in 1985, we are the second-oldest professional Equity Ensemble theater in Chicago. Reorganized in 2009, we are a multi-generational company committed to our mission of telling stories of American identity and serving our community.

Gwendolyn (Wendy) Whiteside joined the Ensemble in 1998 and has served as the executive artistic director since 2010.

Ensemble Members

July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024
DAWN BACH

DAWN BACH

Joined 1993

Currently coaches high school speech and continues to run Eye to Eye Interiors.

AUDREY BILLINGS

AUDREY BILLINGS

Joined 2022

Next, she will appear in It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago! at American Blues.

MATTHEW BRUMLOW

MATTHEW BRUMLOW

Joined 2001

Recently served at Executive Producer of the short film “The Model” and is currently producing the feature “Lone Wolves”.

MANNY BUCKLEY

MANNY BUCKLEY

Joined 2012

Recently he directed and acted in the 2023 Blue Ink Festival at American Blues.

DARA CAMERON

DARA CAMERON

Joined 2013

Currently plans events for the Jewish United Fund. Next, she returns to It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago! at American Blues.

CASEY CAMPBELL

CASEY CAMPBELL

Joined 2008

Currently the voice over for “Cubs Cornerstones” on the Marquee Sports Network and the voice of “The General” for General Auto Insurance.

DARREN CANADY

DARREN CANADY

Joined 2016

Currently he’s commissioned for a 4-play collection at American Blues Theater.

.LIZ CHIDESTER
.LIZ CHIDESTER

Joined in 2023

Currently, she’s touring and playing music.

DENNIS COCKRUM

DENNIS COCKRUM

Joined 1988

Currently in “Pretty Freekin’ Scary” on Disney+ playing Theodore Snickering. He can also be seen as Terry Milkovich in “Shameless” on Netflix.

AUSTIN COOK

AUSTIN COOK

Joined 2013

Currently working Keyboard 1 and Assistant Music Director of Broadway’s Some Like it Hot.

IAN PAUL CUSTER

IAN PAUL CUSTER

Joined 2016

Recently he played in Grant Park for Chicago’s “Switch on Summer” to turn on the iconic Buckingham Fountain.

ELYSE DOLAN

ELYSE DOLAN

Joined 2018

Associate Artistic Director for American Blues. She recently directed in the 2023 Blue Ink Festival at American Blues.

JARED GOODING

JARED GOODING

Joined 2018

Current light designs: (Regional) Milwaukee Rep & First Stage Theater; (Chicago) Court. Recently nominated for Jeff Award for lighting design on Fences at American Blues.

MARTY HIGGINBOTHAM

MARTY HIGGINBOTHAM

Joined 1991

Currently, he’s the Director of Marketing and Audience Engagement at Virginia Samford Theater in Birmingham, AL.

PHILIP EARL JOHNSON

PHILIP EARL JOHNSON

Joined 2018

Currently touring the United States with MooNiE.

JOSLYN JONES
JOSLYN JONES

Joined 2023

Recently, she appeared in Zoom readings at American Blues Theater.

LINDSAY JONES

LINDSAY JONES

Joined 1998

Current sound designs: (Regional) Utah Shakespeare Festival, Old Globe Theatre, Contemporary American Theatre Fetival, and Alley Theatre.

STEVE KEY

STEVE KEY

Joined 2011

Recently he appeared in the 2023 Blue Ink Festival at American Blues.

_ED KROSS

_ED KROSS

Joined 1998

Currently, he’s creating a series of video teasers to show the journey of constructing of new permanent home.

WARREN LEVON

WARREN LEVON

Joined 2012

Recently he understudied for Fences at American Blues.

MICHAEL MAHLER

MICHAEL MAHLER

Joined 2013

Recently, his musical adaptation of An American Tail with Alan Schmuckler and Tony Award-winning playwright Itamar Moses ran at Minneapolis Children’s Theatre Company.

HEATHER MEYERS

HEATHER MEYERS

Joined 1996

Recently she wrote for the 2023 Ripped Festival at American Blues Theater.

CHRISTOPHER J. NEVILLE

CHRISTOPHER J. NEVILLE

Joined 2016

Next, he’ll design costumes for It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago! at American Blues.

JIM ORTLIEB

JIM ORTLIEB

Joined 1998

Jim was Jeff Award nominated for his solo performance in Stand Up If You’re Here Tonight, at American Blues.

CARA PARRISH

CARA PARRISH

Joined 2020

Recently, she stage managed August Wilson’s Fences at American Blues.

SUZANNE PETRI

SUZANNE PETRI

Joined 1999

Recently she worked with Pathways Summer Camp with youth from Blind Service Association and participated in readings with Ubiquitous Players and Perennial Theatre Chicago.

CAMILLE ROBINSON

CAMILLE ROBINSON

Joined 2020

Recently, she performed at Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

EDITHA ROSARIO-MOORE

EDITHA ROSARIO-MOORE

Joined 2001

Recently she wrote for the 2023 Ripped Festival at American Blues Theater.

CHUCK SMITH

CHUCK SMITH

Joined 2018

Next he’ll direct a Chicago premiere in Season 38 at American Blues Theater.

J.G. SMITH

J.G. SMITH

Joined 2022

Recently she appeared in feature film “The Dancing Monkey” which won Best Feature and Best Director at Rhode Island’s Block Island Film Festival.

ZACHARY STEVENSON

ZACHARY STEVENSON

Joined 2022

Recently released a debut EP of original music celled “Listen to the Oh Boys” with his Chicago-based trio, The Oh Boys.

MICHAEL TRUDEAU

MICHAEL TRUDEAU

Joined 2022

Facilities Manager at American Blues Theater. Next he is the technical director for It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!

DENZEL TSOPNANG

DENZEL TSOPNANG

Joined 2022

Currently he’s the principal standby on the 1st national tour of Moulin Rouge! The Musical.

WANDACHRISTINE

WANDACHRISTINE

Joined 2018

Recently she wrote for the 2023 Ripped Festival at American Blues Theater.

GWENDOLYN WHITESIDE

GWENDOLYN WHITESIDE

Joined 1998

Exec. Artistic Director for American Blues Theater. Next she’ll direct It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago! at American Blues.

EMERITUS MEMBERS

EMERITUS MEMBERS

Rick Cleveland, Lauri Dahl, Kevin Kelly, James Leaming, William Payne, and Carmen Roman.

THE NEXT ACT

THE NEXT ACT

John Mohrlein

Artistic Affiliates

July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024
ERIC BACKUS
ERIC BACKUS
DEXTER BULLARD
DEXTER BULLARD
GLORIA BOND CLUNIE
GLORIA BOND CLUNIE
JOE COURT
JOE COURT
JOE DEMPSEY
JOE DEMPSEY
PAUL DEZIEL
PAUL DEZIEL
AJAX DONTAVIUS
AJAX DONTAVIUS
TOM GERATY
TOM GERATY
MACKENZIE JONES
MACKENZIE JONES
HALENA KAYS
HALENA KAYS
ZACH KENNEY
ZACH KENNEY
CISCO LOPEZ
CISCO LOPEZ
MARTEL MANNING
MARTEL MANNING
KATARZYNA MULLER
KATARZYNA MULLER
MANNY ORTIZ
MANNY ORTIZ
TANIA RICHARD
TANIA RICHARD
WILLIAM ANTHONY SEBASTIAN ROSE II
WILLIAM ANTHONY SEBASTIAN ROSE II
EILEEN ROZYCKI
EILEEN ROZYCKI
GRANT SABIN
GRANT SABIN
RICK SIMS
RICK SIMS
CHARLES SMITH
CHARLES SMITH
JAMES STILL
JAMES STILL
CHRISTINA TELESCA
CHRISTINA TELESCA
ANA VELAZQUEZ
ANA VELAZQUEZ
ADRIENNE WALKER
ADRIENNE WALKER
LILY WALLS
LILY WALLS
RACHEL WEST
RACHEL WEST
NATE WALCZYK
NATE WALCZYK

Board of Directors

July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024
MANNY BUCKLEY
MANNY BUCKLEY
DAVID COFFIN
DAVID COFFIN
KIMBERLEE HEROLD
KIMBERLEE HEROLD
KEITH KARLSON

KEITH KARLSON

MICHAEL LEVINSON
MICHAEL LEVINSON
CHRIS MOTOGAWA
CHRIS MOTOGAWA
RAMA RANGANATHAN
RAMA RANGANATHAN
EDITHA ROSARIO-MOORE
EDITHA ROSARIO-MOORE
GWENDOLYN WHITESIDE
GWENDOLYN WHITESIDE
BURT X. ROSENBERG
BURT X. ROSENBERG
CHIP PRINGLE
CHIP PRINGLE

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