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

GWENDOLYN (WENDY) WHITESIDE

Artistic Director

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

Learn more (coming soon).

the Ensemble

July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021
DAWN BACH

DAWN BACH

Chicago, 1993

Appeared in 2019 Ripped Festival, teaches “Classes for the Masses”, 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

Recently she appeared in The Secret of My Success at Paramount Theater and 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.

DARREN CANADY

DARREN CANADY

Lawrence, KS 2016

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

RICK CLEVELAND

RICK CLEVELAND

Los Angeles, 1985

Recently his play Five Presidents had its Chicago premiere, here at American Blues Theater.

AUSTIN COOK

AUSTIN COOK

New York, 2013

Recently he sub-conducted several shows on Broadway, including Hamilton.

IAN PAUL CUSTER

IAN PAUL CUSTER

Chicago, 2016

Currently he’ll appear in our American Blues reading series, as well as performing Shepsu Aakhu’s radio play Starting Over at MPAACT.

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.

JOE FOUST

JOE FOUST

Chicago, 2011

Currently he working with writing partner John Maclay on two different commissioned plays for for First Stage in Mikwaukee and Carthage College.

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

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).

KEVIN KELLY

KEVIN KELLY

Los Angeles, 1993

Currently he’s a realtor in Los Angeles.

STEVE KEY

STEVE KEY

Chicago, 2011

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.

ED KROSS

ED KROSS

Chicago, 1998

Recently he appeared in Shear Madness at Mercury Theater.

JAMES LEAMING

JAMES LEAMING

Chicago, 1985

Currently he’s working (remotely) on a new musical and laying low with PPE in order to stay virus free.

WARREN LEVON

WARREN LEVON

Chicago, 2012

Recently he designed sound at Collaboraction Theatre and Invictus Theatre.

MICHAEL MAHLER

MICHAEL MAHLER

Chicago, 2013

Currently he’s writing for several not-yet-announced film and theatre projects, including a modern musical Frankenstein adaptation for Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

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 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.

SUZANNE PETRI

SUZANNE PETRI

Chicago, 1999

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.

CARMEN ROMAN

CARMEN ROMAN

Chicago, 1991

Recently she appeared in The Children at Seattle Rep.

EDITHA ROSARIO

EDITHA ROSARIO

Chicago, 2001

Recently she wrote a short play for the 2020 Ripped Festival called “Neutral Ground”.

SARAH E. ROSS

SARAH E. ROSS

Chicago, 2011

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.

CHUCK SMITH

CHUCK SMITH

Chicago, 2018

Currently he will direct staged readings, here at American Blues Theater.

WANDACHRISTINE

WANDACHRISTINE

Chicago, 2018

Currently she adapting her novel “I Love You More…Than Shoes!” as a staged radio drama.

GWENDOLYN WHITESIDE

GWENDOLYN WHITESIDE

Chicago, 1998

Artistic Director for American Blues Theater.

EMERITUS MEMBERS

EMERITUS MEMBERS

Dennis Cockrum
Lauri Dahl
William Payne

Artistic Affiliates

July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021

Board of Directors

July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021

SIGN UP FOR BLUES NEWS:

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter for performance updates, special offers, information about our artists, and exclusive events!

Share This