The American Blues Team

OUR TEAM

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

GWENDOLYN (WENDY) WHITESIDE

Artistic Director

Wendy joined the Ensemble of American Blues Theater in 1998 and has served as Artistic Director since 2010.

Ensemble Members

July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022
DAWN BACH

DAWN BACH

Chicago, 1993

Appeared in 2019 Ripped Festival, coaches speech, and runs Eye to Eye Interiors.

MATTHEW BRUMLOW

MATTHEW BRUMLOW

Los Angeles, 2001

Recently appeared in the film “Seven Short Films About Our Marriage” and preparing for film “Righteous Animals”.

MANNY BUCKLEY

MANNY BUCKLEY

Chicago, 2012

Recently he starred in The Brothers Size at Steppenwolf Theatre and joins the cast of It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!, here at American Blues.

DARA CAMERON

DARA CAMERON

Chicago, 2013

Currently she teaches and directs children’s theater in Oak Park. She returns to It’s a Wonderful Life, here at American Blues.

CASEY CAMPBELL

CASEY CAMPBELL

Los Angeles, 2008

Currently he’s the voice of NBA TV and NBA on TNT, as well as WI grocery store chain (because balance). Voiceover for Chicago’s Big Bus Tour downtown.

DARREN CANADY

DARREN CANADY

Lawrence, KS 2016

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

AUSTIN COOK

AUSTIN COOK

New York, 2013

Currently working as a writer, arranger, music producer, and Broadway music director in New York, NY.

IAN PAUL CUSTER

IAN PAUL CUSTER

Chicago, 2016

Recently, he appeared in 2020 It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!, here at American Blues Theater.

ELYSE DOLAN

ELYSE DOLAN

Chicago, 2018

Associate Producer at American Blues. She recently directed If/Then at Brown Paper Box Co, and in process of directing Nine at Blank Theatre prior to the pandemic.

JARED GOODING

JARED GOODING

Chicago, 2018

Recently he designed lights for Roan @ the Gates, here at American Blues. He spends quarantine time on small, personal projects. He will serve as tech director for a radio play series.

MARTY HIGGINBOTHAM

MARTY HIGGINBOTHAM

Birmingham, 1991

Recently he directed Five Presidents, here at American Blues. He continues to work on his home studio and can’t wait to return producing video for live theatre!

PHILIP EARL JOHNSON

PHILIP EARL JOHNSON

Chicago, 2018

Currently he’s working on mosaic art projects and writing, as well as looking forward to doing some socially-distanced performances of his MooNiE show August through October.

LINDSAY JONES

LINDSAY JONES

Los Angeles, 1998

Currently nominated for 2 Tony Awards (Best Score and Best Sound Design for a Play). Upcoming projects for Northlight and Cincinnati Playhouse.

STEVE KEY

STEVE KEY

Chicago, 2011

Recently he guest starred in episodes of “The Good Fight” and “FBI: Most Wanted”, and slated to perform in Steppenwolf’s remount of Bug.

ED KROSS

ED KROSS

Chicago, 1998

Recently he appeared in Shear Madness at Mercury Theater.

WARREN LEVON

WARREN LEVON

Chicago, 2012

Currently he’s working with Invictus Theatre Co. and Elgin Community College as Sound Designer this fall.

MICHAEL MAHLER

MICHAEL MAHLER

Chicago, 2013

Currently he’s writing for several film and theatre projects and returns to It’s a Wonderful Life here, at American Blues.

HEATHER MEYERS

HEATHER MEYERS

Chicago, 1996

Artistic Programming Support for American Blues Theater.  Recently she wrote for The Ripped Festival, here at American Blues.

JOHN MOHRLEIN

JOHN MOHRLEIN

Chicago, 1997

Later this year, he will perform “Mr. Potter” & “Clarence” in the 20th anniversary of It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!, here at American Blues Theater.

CHRISTOPHER J. NEVILLE

CHRISTOPHER J. NEVILLE

Chicago, 2016

Currently he teaches for “Classes for the Masses” and will design costumes for It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!, here at American Blues.

CARA PARRISH

CARA PARRISH

Chicago, 2020

Office & HR Manager for American Blues Theater. Currently, she stage manages “The Room” reading series and “The Garage” concerts.

SUZANNE PETRI

SUZANNE PETRI

Chicago, 1999

Recently she performed a musical tribute to her mother in “The Garage” series. She also completed work on the indie film “Peter 58”.

CAMILLE ROBINSON

CAMILLE ROBINSON

Chicago, 2020

Recently, seen in “The Room” series, here at American Blues. She will perform in Cinderella at Paramount Theater this fall.

EDITHA ROSARIO-MOORE

EDITHA ROSARIO-MOORE

Chicago, 2001

Currently she teaches for “Classes for the Masses” and her play “Neutral Ground” appears in 2020 Ripped Festival, both here at American Blues.

CHUCK SMITH

CHUCK SMITH

Chicago, 2018

Recently he directed two staged readings for “The Room” series, here at American Blues.

WANDACHRISTINE

WANDACHRISTINE

Chicago, 2018

Currently she adapting her novel “I Love You More…Than Shoes!” as a staged radio drama and teaches for “Classes for the Masses”, here at American Blues.

GWENDOLYN WHITESIDE

GWENDOLYN WHITESIDE

Chicago, 1998

Artistic Director for American Blues Theater. She directs the 20th anniversary of It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!, here at American Blues.

EMERITUS MEMBERS

EMERITUS MEMBERS

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

Artistic Affiliates

July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022
SIMONE ALLEN

SIMONE ALLEN

ERIC BACKUS

ERIC BACKUS

AUDREY BILLINGS

AUDREY BILLINGS

ADA CHENG

ADA CHENG

LIZ CHIDESTER

LIZ CHIDESTER

JOE DEMPSEY

JOE DEMPSEY

PAUL DEZIEL

PAUL DEZIEL

JOE FOUST

JOE FOUST

TOM GERATY

TOM GERATY

SHAWN GOUDIE

SHAWN GOUDIE

ZACH KENNEY

ZACH KENNEY

CISCO LOPEZ

CISCO LOPEZ

MANNY ORTIZ

MANNY ORTIZ

ALEXANDER RIDGERS

ALEXANDER RIDGERS

EILEEN ROZYCKI

EILEEN ROZYCKI

GRANT SABIN

GRANT SABIN

RICHARD SHAVZIN

RICHARD SHAVZIN

RICK SIMS

RICK SIMS

J.G. SMITH

J.G. SMITH

ZACHARY STEVENSON

ZACHARY STEVENSON

JAMES STILL

JAMES STILL

CHRISTINA TELESCA

CHRISTINA TELESCA

MICHAEL TRUDEAU

MICHAEL TRUDEAU

DENZEL TSOPNANG

DENZEL TSOPNANG

SHANDEE VAUGHAN

SHANDEE VAUGHAN

ADRIENNE WALKER

ADRIENNE WALKER

LILY WALLS

LILY WALLS

Board of Directors

July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022
MANNY BUCKLEY

MANNY BUCKLEY

PHIL CALIAN

PHIL CALIAN

DAVID COFFIN

DAVID COFFIN

KIMBERLEE HEROLD

KIMBERLEE HEROLD

KEITH KARLSON

KEITH KARLSON

MICHAEL LEVINSON

MICHAEL LEVINSON

RAMA RANGANATHAN

RAMA RANGANATHAN

EDITHA ROSARIO-MOORE

EDITHA ROSARIO-MOORE

KATHY SMITH

KATHY SMITH

MICHAEL WEATHERSPOON

MICHAEL WEATHERSPOON

GWENDOLYN WHITESIDE

GWENDOLYN WHITESIDE

BURT X. ROSENBERG

BURT X. ROSENBERG

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