Theatre Guest Artists

The Department of Theatre maintains close working ties with theatre companies and theatre artists in the Chicago area. In any given year, several major industry professionals work alongside faculty professionals with our students in the classroom and on departmental productions, introducing our majors to industry standards and new working methods for professional artists. Our students also use their experiences with our guest artists to explore internship placements and future work with leading Chicago organizations.

Current and Recent Guest Artists

(Click on names below to view websites and portfolios)

Claribel Gross

Claribel Gross (she/her) is a freelance theater maker, director and teaching artist. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and a BA from the University of Minnesota. As a teaching artist Claribel also works with Steppenwolf Theater, Lookingglass Theatre and Mudlark Theater in Evanston. Claribel is a founding member of The Midwives Artistic Collective, whose mission is to nurture the public creative spirit.  Directing credits include: Ride the Cyclone (North Central College), Hedda Gabler (Aurora University), The Empathy Project (Full Circle Theater), The Phantom Tollbooth (Olympia Family Theater).

Jasmine Henri Jordan

Jasmine Henri Jordan (she/ her) is a writer, performer and educator. She is an ensemble member of The Neo-Futurists, a company member of Playmaker’s Lab, and a founding member of Hot Kitchen collective. She teaches for these companies as well as Northlight Theatre and the Viola Project. She is an alumnus of Florida State University’s School of Theatre.  Jasmine co-taught and directed our production of The Neo-Futurists Present: North Central Goes Viral.

Laura Alcalá Baker

Laura Alcalá Baker (she/her/hers) directed Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom at North Central College. She is a Chicago based director and casting director. She served as the Casting Director/Artistic Programs Manager at Victory Gardens Theater from 2016-2019 leading programs such as The Access Project and Directors’ Inclusion Initiative. Most recently, Laura directed the world premiere of Isaac Gomez’s The Leopard Play, or sad songs for lost boys (Steep Theatre) and The Way She Spoke: A Docu-mythologia (DCASE, Greenhouse Theater Center). She also directed the audio drama BRAVA by Nancy Garcia Loza (Make-Believe Association) which is available on all podcast platforms. Other select works include: The Pillowman (The Gift Theatre), Equivocation, The Giver, 11:11, and Collapse (B Street Theater) There is No Message in the Message, Shamed (The Gift Theatre’s TEN), Project Potential (Broken Nose Theatre’s Bechdel Fest), and Jets, Sharks, and Beckys (Collaboraction's Peacebook Festival). Laura has continually sought out creative means for accessibility in the theatre through directing programs such as Chicago Cultural Accessibility Consortium’s Access Live, which provides theatre leaders a live example of growing practices integrated with accessibility in mind. She has led new play workshops and readings in institutions such as The New Colony, Paramount Theatre, and The Goodman. Laura is a proud member of the Alliance of Latinx Theatre Artists and was nominated for 'Best Casting Director' at the 2018 ALTA Awards and “Best Director - Brava” at the 2019 ALTA Awards. She was also Jeff Award Nominated for "Best Director" for her work on The Leopard Play, or sad songs for lost boys.

Sheryl Williams

Sheryl Williams is a frequent collaborator on Intimacy Consultancy and Choreography at North Central. From Phoenix, Arizona, Sheryl received her B.A in Musical Theater from Columbia College Chicago and has been working in and around Chicago since 2017. Along with coordinating support for several universities such as Roosevelt, North Central and DePaul as an Intimacy Professional, her recent credits include: Anything Goes (Porchlight Music Theater) , The Nacirema Society (The Goodman Theater), Cabaret (Porchlight Music Theater) , Spring Awakening (Roosevelt CCPA), Fen ( Court Theatre), Antigone (Court Theatre), Silent Sky (Citadel Theater) and more. She has also been published as a contributor in Intimacy Directing for Theatre and T.I.E Stunt Coordinator Affiliate.

David Fiorello

David Fiorello music directed The Addams Family Musical and Renascence at North Central. He is a Jeff Award-winning Music Director, Performer, Director, Composer, Orchestrator & Arranger who's toured internationally, had his work on several albums, and has worked in both the theatre world as well as film & television. As a Music Director, his recent credits include the Jeff Award-winning BLUES IN THE NIGHT at Porchlight Music Theatre (starring Tony-nominee Felicia P. Fields), GYPSY starring E. Faye Butler, Off-Broadway's DANNY & SILVYA and DEITRICH & CHEVALIER, as well as the national tour of John Doyle's re-imagining of SWEENEY TODD. He served as a music consultant and actor in Netflix's SOUNDTRACK, as well as the Disney Film CHRISTMAS AGAIN. David currently serves as Founder & Artistic Director of THE BEAUTIFUL CITY PROJECT, a theatre company committed to raising funds for local Chicago charities & non-profits, using some of the city's finest musical theatre talents. As a writer, he's written the plays GIFTS and CONSTITUTE, the 10-Episode television series AFTER THE 10TH, as well as 15 70-minute shows featuring the music of John Mayer, Aerosmith, Jason Mraz, Kelly Clarkson and others.

Tom Vendafreddo

Tom Vendafreddo music directed Little Women at North Central College. He is a Jeff Award-winning music director/actor with Chicago credits at Paramount Theatre, Marriott Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare, Writers Theatre, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Porchlight Music Theatre, and Bohemian Theatre Ensemble. Regional credits include: Signature Theatre, Old Globe Theatre, Mason Street Warehouse, Capital City Theatre, Musical Theatre Heritage, Chestnut Fine Arts Center, and Red Mountain Theatre Company. Tom is the proud founding Artistic Director of the Chicago Artists Chorale and the recipient of the Illinois Theatre Association's 2020 Award of Excellence in Professional Theatre. BM: Eastman School of Music. MFA: San Diego State University.

Eleanor Khan

Eleanor Kahn has worked extensively as an international theatrical designer, as well as an experiential, immersive, event and community-focused artist and designer. Career highlights include: scenic design for Iron & Wine on the national Outside Problems tour; creative director + designer for an immersive lobby activation at the Harris Theater for English National Ballet’s production of CREATURE; designer for a 2019 installation in Millennium Park as well as two live events at J.Pritzker Pavillion; details designer for Hebru Brantley’s Nevermore Park; and scenic designer for NOVA which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Eleanor has an MFA in Scenic Design from Boston University. Her full portfolio can be viewed at

Jason Lynch

Jason Lynch is a Chicago-based lighting designer for theatre, dance, opera, and other live performance art who designed our recent productions of Tristan and Iseult and Little Women. Chicago credits include: Fannie (The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer)School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls PlayI Hate It HereOhio State MurdersThe Sound InsideLottery DayHow To Catch Creation (asst.) and An Enemy of the People (asst.) (Goodman Theatre); Choir BoyGuards At The Taj (assoc.) (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); I,CinnaI, Banquo (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); The First Deep Breath (Victory Gardens Theater); Mr. Dickens’ HatHow A Boy Falls (Northlight Theatre). Recent regional credits include work with Alley Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Minetta Lane Theatre in NYC, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. He is honored to have his recent work on the Goodman Theatre’s real-time, online ‘Live’ series and an immersive 360° production of The Wild Party at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts featured in American Theatre Magazine. Jason was also the recipient of the 2019 Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award which recognizes emerging theatrical designers within the Chicago area. He is a proud member of The Association for Lighting Production and Design and is represented by The Gersh Agency.

Paul Deziel

Paul Deziel is a New York & Chicago based projection designer who designed the projections/animations for our production of Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom. Selected credits include: I Hate It Here (Goodman Theatre), P.Y.G or the Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle (Jackalope Theatre), Middle Passage (Lifeline Theatre), The Color Purple (Drury Lane Theatre), Photograph 51 (Court Theatre), Tilikum (Sideshow Theatre Company), The Vagrant Trilogy (Mosaic Theatre Company), Sotto Voce (Theater J), Beauty’s Daughter (American Blues Theater), and Churchill(SoloChicago). He has received 2 Joseph Jefferson awards for his designs and is a proud Artistic Affiliate with American Blues Theater. Paul holds a B.A. in Technical Theatre from Columbia College Chicago and an MFA in Projection & Multimedia Design from the University of Maryland.

Sully Ratke

Sully Ratke is a frequent collaborator with the North Central College department of theatre. She is a Jeff nominated costume designer working in Chicago. She completed her MFA in stage design at Northwestern University, and her BA in Drawing and Painting and Italian at the University of Notre Dame. Sully has collaborated with various Chicago theater companies, including Steppenwolf Theater, The Lookingglass Theatre Company, Drury Lane Theater, The Griffin Theater, The Gift Theater, The Actor's Gymnasium, Twopence Theater Company, and Chicago Fringe Opera Company. 

Lindsay Mummert

Lindsay Mummert connects space with story. Her design work spans multiple mediums including theatre, film, exhibitions, and themed entertainment. In each project, she aims to create bold, sculptural environments that facilitate captivating moments of storytelling. Lindsay designed the scenery for our recent production of Witch. Lindsay holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago and training from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Credits include the world premiere of Spay at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble (2022 Equity Jeff Award Nominee), A Mile in the Dark with Rivendell/Interrobang (upcoming), At the Vanishing Point with the Gift, Innogen with Forest Park Theatre, and A Wrinkle in Time and Water by the Spoonful at DePaul University. She has experience in scenic art, props, and set dressing. Lindsay also assists Geoffrey Curley of Geoffrey M. Curley and Associates, an exhibition and theatrical design consulting firm.

Meg McGuigan

Meg McGuigan designed the scenery for our recent production of Tristan and Iseult.  She is a designer specializing in stage and space based in New York City. Her work includes design for theatre, events, and window displays. She has worked as a freelance artist for companies such as B Street Theatre, Spaeth Design, Squeaky Bicycle Productions, Randomly Specific Theatre, and Stagedoor Manor and has earned her MFA in Scene Design from Boston University.  Her joy in exploration brought her to this medium, and remains the reason she continues to pursue it."

Alex Gendal

Alex J. Gendal is a Chicago-based Projection Designer and Creative Technologist, who designed projections for our production of Love and Information. He graduated from Purchase College Conservatory of Theatre Arts with a BFA in Theatre Design/Technology, and the University of Texas at Austin with an MFA in Integrated Media for Live Performance.  Alex’s design experience covers a range of Contemporary and Middle Eastern dance, musicals, and dramas. His design credits include Love and Information (Madden Theatre, IL), What A Wonderful World (Timber Lake Playhouse, IL), Middle Passage (Lifeline Theatre, IL), It’s Your Funeral (Laboratory Theatre, TX), Eugene Onegin(McCullough Theatre, TX), SHOULDERS (B. Iden Payne Theatre, TX), Anon(ymous) (Oscar G. Brockett Theatre, TX), Into The Woods (Fisher Theatre, NH), The Laramie Project (Fisher Theatre, NH), and Belly Dance Masters (Double Tree, FL).


Fine Arts Production Staff

  • Jennifer Berosek
    • Coordinator of Fine Arts 
  • Andrew Butler
    • Production Manager
  • Colin Trevor
    • Technical Director/Facilities Manager
  • Jon Richert
    • Assistant Technical Director