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
Wendy joined the Ensemble of American Blues Theater in 1998 and has served as Artistic Director since 2010.
Learn more (coming soon).
the EnsembleJuly 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021
Appeared in 2019 Ripped Festival, teaches “Classes for the Masses”, coaches speech, and runs Eye to Eye Interiors.
Los Angeles, 2001
Recently appeared in the film “Seven Short Films About Our Marriage” and preparing for film “Righteous Animals”.
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.
Recently she appeared in The Secret of My Success at Paramount Theater and returns to It’s a Wonderful Life, here at American Blues.
Los Angeles, 2008
Currently he’s the voice of NBA TV and NBA on TNT.
Lawrence, KS 2016
Currently he’s commissioned for a 4-play collection, here at American Blues Theater.
Los Angeles, 1985
Recently his play Five Presidents had its Chicago premiere, here at American Blues Theater.
New York, 2013
Recently he sub-conducted several shows on Broadway, including Hamilton.
IAN PAUL CUSTER
Currently he’ll appear in our American Blues reading series, as well as performing Shepsu Aakhu’s radio play Starting Over at MPAACT.
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.
Currently he working with writing partner John Maclay on two different commissioned plays for for First Stage in Mikwaukee and Carthage College.
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.
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
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.
Los Angeles, 1998
He’s doing podcasts The Committee for Children and Micromass, scoring TV pilot “Brothers-In-Law”, and co-chairing Executive Board of the Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association (TSDCA).
Recently he appeared in Bug at Steppenwolf Theatre. Currently he’s in New York City, doing a bit of writing and wondering when and how things will open again.
Recently he appeared in Shear Madness at Mercury Theater.
Currently he’s working (remotely) on a new musical and laying low with PPE in order to stay virus free.
Recently he designed sound at Collaboraction Theatre and Invictus Theatre.
Currently he’s writing for several not-yet-announced film and theatre projects, including a modern musical Frankenstein adaptation for Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Artistic Programming Support for American Blues Theater. Recently she wrote for The Ripped Festival, here at American Blues.
Later this year, he will perform “Mr. Potter” & “Clarence” in It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!, here at American Blues Theater.
CHRISTOPHER J. NEVILLE
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.
Currently she is sharing and collaborating with friends and colleagues in the theater and music from Blind Service Assoc to Writers Block Chicago, Perennial Theatre, and more.
Recently she appeared in The Children at Seattle Rep.
Recently she wrote a short play for the 2020 Ripped Festival called “Neutral Ground”.
SARAH E. ROSS
Currently she’s devising a digital theater piece celebrating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment with students and faculty at University of Wisconsin Stevens Point to premiere this fall.
Currently he will direct staged readings, here at American Blues Theater.
Currently she adapting her novel “I Love You More…Than Shoes!” as a staged radio drama.
Artistic Director for American Blues Theater.
Dennis Cockrum – Lauri Dahl
Kevin Kelly – William Payne
Artistic AffiliatesJuly 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021
Board of DirectorsJuly 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021
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