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.
Ensemble MembersJuly 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022
Appeared in 2019 Ripped Festival, 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.
Currently she teaches and directs children’s theater in Oak Park. She 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, as well as WI grocery store chain (because balance). Voiceover for Chicago’s Big Bus Tour downtown.
Lawrence, KS 2016
Currently he’s commissioned for a 4-play collection, here at American Blues Theater.
New York, 2013
Currently working as a writer, arranger, music producer, and Broadway music director in New York, NY.
IAN PAUL CUSTER
Recently, he appeared in 2020 It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!, here at American Blues Theater.
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.
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
Currently nominated for 2 Tony Awards (Best Score and Best Sound Design for a Play). Upcoming projects for Northlight and Cincinnati Playhouse.
Recently he guest starred in episodes of “The Good Fight” and “FBI: Most Wanted”, and slated to perform in Steppenwolf’s remount of Bug.
Recently he appeared in Shear Madness at Mercury Theater.
Currently he’s working with Invictus Theatre Co. and Elgin Community College as Sound Designer this fall.
Currently he’s writing for several film and theatre projects and returns to It’s a Wonderful Life here, at American Blues.
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 the 20th anniversary of 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.
Office & HR Manager for American Blues Theater. Currently, she stage manages “The Room” reading series and “The Garage” concerts.
Recently she performed a musical tribute to her mother in “The Garage” series. She also completed work on the indie film “Peter 58”.
Recently, seen in “The Room” series, here at American Blues. She will perform in Cinderella at Paramount Theater this fall.
Currently she teaches for “Classes for the Masses” and her play “Neutral Ground” appears in 2020 Ripped Festival, both here at American Blues.
Recently he directed two staged readings for “The Room” series, here at American Blues.
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.
Artistic Director for American Blues Theater. She directs the 20th anniversary of It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!, here at American Blues.
Rick Cleveland, Dennis Cockrum, Lauri Dahl, Kevin Kelly, James Leaming, William Payne, and
Artistic AffiliatesJuly 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022
Board of DirectorsJuly 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022
BURT X. ROSENBERG
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