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 Equity 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 joined the Ensemble in 1998 and has served as the artistic director since 2010.

Ensemble Members

July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023
DAWN BACH

DAWN BACH

Chicago, 1993

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

AUDREY BILLINGS

AUDREY BILLINGS

Chicago, 2022

Recently she appeared in The Room’s reading of 17 Minutes, here at American Blues.

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

Assistant Producer for American Blues. Currently he appears in Fences, here at American Blues.

DARA CAMERON

DARA CAMERON

Chicago, 2013

Next, she returns to It’s a Wonderful Life, here at American Blues and works at JUF.

CASEY CAMPBELL

CASEY CAMPBELL

Los Angeles, 2008

Currently he’s a regular voice over artist for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and the voice of NBA TV and NBA on TNT.

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 Associate Music Director and Keyboard 1 of Broadway’s Some Like It Hot in NYC.

IAN PAUL CUSTER

IAN PAUL CUSTER

Chicago, 2016

Recently, he appeared in The Room’s reading of 17 Minutes, here at American Blues. Next, he appear in Fiddler on the Roof at The Lyric Opera.

ELYSE DOLAN

ELYSE DOLAN

Chicago, 2018

Associate Artistic Director for American Blues. She recently directed The Room reading of The Thanksgiving Play, at American Blues.

JARED GOODING

JARED GOODING

Chicago, 2018

Currently designed lights for Fences, here at American Blues and Pearl Sings the Blues at Writers Theater. Next, he’ll design lights for Campaign, INC at TimeLine.

MARTY HIGGINBOTHAM

MARTY HIGGINBOTHAM

Birmingham, 1991

Currently, he’s the founder/CEO of Stage Channel. Next, he directs a musical in Birmingham, AL.

PHILIP EARL JOHNSON

PHILIP EARL JOHNSON

Chicago, 2018

Currently he’s finishing a run of MooNiE in Connecticut. Next, he’ll perform the summer at The Bristol Renaissance Festival.

LINDSAY JONES

LINDSAY JONES

Los Angeles, 1998

Current sound designs running at Utah Shakespeare Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and Next Chapter Podcasts. Next, an audio drama for Marvel to be released in Dec.

STEVE KEY

STEVE KEY

Chicago, 2011

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

.ED KROSS

.ED KROSS

Chicago, 1998

Recently he performed in Sister Act at Mercury Theater.

WARREN LEVON

WARREN LEVON

Chicago, 2012

Currently he’s an understudy for Fences, here at American Blues.

MICHAEL MAHLER

MICHAEL MAHLER

Chicago, 2013

Currently writing musical adaptation of An American Tail, set to premiere next spring at Minneapolis Children’s Theatre Company with Alan Schmuckler and Tony Award-winning playwright Itamar Moses.

HEATHER MEYERS

HEATHER MEYERS

Chicago, 1996

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

CHRISTOPHER J. NEVILLE

CHRISTOPHER J. NEVILLE

Chicago, 2016

Recently he taught 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 Fences, here at American Blues.

SUZANNE PETRI

SUZANNE PETRI

Chicago, 1999

Recently she collaborated with Chicago Writers Bloc and offers audio description and touch tours for Chicago theaters.

CAMILLE ROBINSON

CAMILLE ROBINSON

Chicago, 2020

Recently, she performed at Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

EDITHA ROSARIO-MOORE

EDITHA ROSARIO-MOORE

Chicago, 2001

Recently she appeared in The Room’s reading of 17 Minutes and featured in the 2022 Ripped Festival, both here at American Blues.

CHUCK SMITH

CHUCK SMITH

Chicago, 2018

Recently he directed at Goodman Theater. Next he directs Gem of the Ocean at Nashville Shakespeare Festival.

J.G. SMITH

J.G. SMITH

Chicago, 2022

Currently featured in ads for Andre Champagne and Cannabist. Next she’ll perform in I and You at Peninsula Players.

ZACHARY STEVENSON

ZACHARY STEVENSON

Chicago, 2022

Recently he performed at Chicago Park District & ComEd’s “Switch on Summer” event at Buckingham Fountain.

DENZEL TSOPNANG

DENZEL TSOPNANG

Chicago, 2022

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

WANDACHRISTINE

WANDACHRISTINE

Chicago, 2018

Recently she wrote for the 2022 Ripped Festival, here at American Blues.

GWENDOLYN WHITESIDE

GWENDOLYN WHITESIDE

Chicago, 1998

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

EMERITUS MEMBERS

EMERITUS MEMBERS

currently -

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

THE NEXT ACT

THE NEXT ACT

as of December 2021

John Mohrlein

Artistic Affiliates

July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023
SIMONE ALLEN

SIMONE ALLEN

ERIC BACKUS

ERIC BACKUS

ADA CHENG

ADA CHENG

LIZ CHIDESTER

LIZ CHIDESTER

YUCHI CHIU

YUCHI CHIU

JOE DEMPSEY

JOE DEMPSEY

PAUL DEZIEL

PAUL DEZIEL

TOM GERATY

TOM GERATY

SHAWN GOUDIE

SHAWN GOUDIE

JOSLYN JONES

JOSLYN JONES

ZACH KENNEY

ZACH KENNEY

CISCO LOPEZ

CISCO LOPEZ

MANNY ORTIZ

MANNY ORTIZ

JIM ORTLIEB

JIM ORTLIEB

ALEXANDER RIDGERS

ALEXANDER RIDGERS

EILEEN ROZYCKI

EILEEN ROZYCKI

GRANT SABIN

GRANT SABIN

RICK SIMS

RICK SIMS

JAMES STILL

JAMES STILL

CHRISTINA TELESCA

CHRISTINA TELESCA

MICHAEL TRUDEAU

MICHAEL TRUDEAU

SHANDEE VAUGHAN

SHANDEE VAUGHAN

ANA VELAZQUEZ

ANA VELAZQUEZ

ADRIENNE WALKER

ADRIENNE WALKER

LILY WALLS

LILY WALLS

RACHEL WEST

RACHEL WEST

Richard Shavzin

Board of Directors

July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023
MANNY BUCKLEY

MANNY BUCKLEY

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

MICHAEL WEATHERSPOON

MICHAEL WEATHERSPOON

GWENDOLYN WHITESIDE

GWENDOLYN WHITESIDE

JEREMY ZEDNICK

JEREMY ZEDNICK

BURT X. ROSENBERG

BURT X. ROSENBERG

CHIP PRINGLE

CHIP PRINGLE

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