Theatre Guest Artists

The Department of Theatre maintains close working ties with major theatre companies and theatre artists in the Chicago area. In any given year several major industry professionals work closely 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 with leading Chicago theatre companies. 

Current and Recent Guest Artists

DIRECTORS

Tommy Rivera-Vega | Jasmine Henri Jordan | Dan Kerr-Hobert | Laura Alcalá Baker | Jess McLeod | Jason Gerace | Jess Hutchinson

MUSIC DIRECTORS

Tom Vendafreddo

DESIGNERS

Jason Lynch | Sully Ratke | Meg McGuiganPaul Deziel | Eric Broadwater | Kaili Story | Heather Sparling | Anna Wooden | Jeffrey Levin

PLAYWRIGHTS

Brendan Pelsue

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 our recent production of Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom.  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. labdirecting.com

Tom Vendafreddo

Tom Vendafreddo music directed our recent production of Little Women. 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.

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.

www.jasondlynch.com

Sully Ratke

Sully Ratke is a frequent collaborator with the North Central College department of theatre who 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. 

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."

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. Pauldeziel.com.

Past Guest Artists

Alexander Tom

Alexander Tom contributed as music director to our recent productions of Peter and the Starcatcher and Spring Awakening. He also served as production advisor and mentor for the senior musical, Sweeney Todd. As a visiting artist, he provided new and interesting industry-based approaches that students wouldn’t necessarily receive at other institutions.

Jacob Harvey

Jacob Harvey directed our recent productions of Peter and the Starcatcher and Sophie Treadwell's Machinal. His production of Machinal, a joint venture between the North Central College Department of Theatre and the Greenhouse Theater, was nominated for seven 2018 Joseph Jefferson Awards- an unprecedented feat for any regional college show! Jacob, recently named on of Newcity's Players 2017, is a noted Chicago director who previous credits also include the Bret C. Harts Director & Producer Fellow at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Co-Artistic Director for the Mechanicals in Los Angeles, and Director of Programming for the New York Musical Festival. 

Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton recently directed Other Way to Resist, a co-production with the Other Theatre Company of four world premiere plays by Chicago playwrights exploring the performance of activism, social media protest and acts of unconventional resistance. He is a freelance director, choreographer, dramaturg, and teaching artist whose recent productions include Underscore Theatre's Haymarket at the Den Theatre in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood. Recent Chicago credits include movement director and dramaturg of Birds of a Feather (GTC), director in Mudlark Theatre's Short Play Festival, developmental dramaturg of Miss Major Cushman (GTC), and co-movement and associate director of the Greenhouse Theater Center's Machinal (named one of the 10 best shows of 2017 by the Chicago Tribune). Nick also serves as a teaching artist at Pegasus Theatre, mudlark Theater, and Windy City Musical Theatre. 

Kristen Osborn

Kristen Osborn was director of the North Central College production of Sam Chase's Opportunities of Extinction. She currently serves as the Literary and Casting Associate at Northlight Theatre in Chicago. Additionally, Kristen is the Artistic Associate and Outreach Coordinator at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. She has had the pleasure of working at the Geffen Playhouse, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Inner-City Arts, Ensemble Studio Theatre LA, Shakespeare Center Los Angeles, and many other Los Angeles theaters. In Chicago, Kristen has worked with Northlight Theatre, Writers Theatre, The Other Theatre Co., Silk Road Rising, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, and others. 

http://www.kristenosborn.com/about/

Additionally

Will Allan | Kieran Campion | JC Clementz | Will Coeur | Jessie Fisher | Noelle Humbert |  Leah Karpel |  Joseph London |  Becca McCracken |  Michael McCracken |  Caroline Neff |  Carrie Lee Patterson | Sheri Sanders | Larry Yando

Piano and Voice

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson has been hailed as a "staggeringly talented singer" by St. Louis Magazine. Rebecca has been seen on both the musical theater and opera stages. Her credits include the opera-singing Serpent in the Joseph Jefferson-nominated "Seashore to Gutrune" in Richard Wagner's "Gotterdammerung".

www.rebeccawilsonsoprano.com

Dance

Dyanna Daniels

Dyanna Daniels received her MFA in Choreography from Jacksonville University in 2018. Her training consists of several dance genres including Urban, Hip Hop, African, Jazz, Ballroom, Spiritual, and Contemporary. Dyanna co-founded DLD Dance Company 2004 and opened DLD Dance Center in 2011. Her choreography has been featured at World of Dance Chicago, Chicago’s Carnival Choreographer’s Ball, Elgin Ties Dance Festival, Freespace Dance, Dance Chicago, Western Illinois University, College of DuPage, Going Dutch, Noumenon Dance Ensemble’s New Moves, and more. Dyanna also choreographed a Flash Mob that appeared on ABC’s Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition in July of 2013. With experience in the business, performance, choreographic, and commercial aspects of dance, Dyanna aims to offer her students diverse perspectives in any course she instructs. In addition, she strives to create a learning environment that allows individuals to excavate and cultivate the person and artist within them. 

Fine Arts Production Staff

  • Jennifer Berosek
    • Coordinator of Fine Arts 
  • Andrew Butler
    • Production Manager
  • Patrick Doggett
    • Box Office Manager
  • Colin Trevor
    • Technical Director/Facilities Manager