Janey Bell is pursuing a BFA in Fiction Writing with Playwriting at Columbia College Chicago. Along with being a 2011 California Arts Scholar, she also currently interns for Gumbo Fiction Salon, a monthly New Orleans-inspired reading event with an emphasis on genre work. She’s script supervised and participated as a playwright in the first NWaC 24 Hour Fest. She also looks forward to working with this crazy bunch of artists and creating amazing shows together with them!
Sarah Collenge is a graduate of the University of Chicago with a degree in Theatre and Performance Studies. She is a lighting designer and stage manager, and has previously worked with The New Colony, First Floor Theatre, and Third Eye Theatre Ensemble. She is also an artistic associate with First Floor Theatre and a company member with Third Eye Theatre Ensemble.
Mari DeOleo, born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is an emerging actress, writer and producer. She is overjoyed to be an Artistic Associate with Nothing Without A Company. Mari is a trained classical vocalist, and has also studied commedia dell'arte and clowning. Currently, she is a student at Green Shirt Studio and the Second City Conservatory programs. She has been writing, performing, and developing her unique voice at No Shame Theatre; Sunday Morning Stories; Here, Chicago; and various stages throughout Chicago. She can be seen performing with her improv team Cold Feet at Second City’s Donny’s Skybox Theatre in February, in an upcoming Second City Training Center sketch show in March, and her solo show “On the Edge of Puberty” at the Chicago Fringe Festival in September.
Taylor Figura moved to Chicago from Jacksonville, Florida to pursue professional theatre. Before that, she studied both theatre and chemistry at Presbyterian College. She has worked primarily as a Stage Manager with NWaC, including Big Bad Spooktacular and the 24 Hour Fest. She spends her days working in the scene shop at Lookingglass Theatre Company or roasting coffee with Metric Coffee Co.
Rose Freeman has been directing, producing, and stage managing theatre in Chicago for 10 years. Freeman has created national fine art shows for M Gallery of Fine Art, acted as managing producing director for Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, and directed found-space work, burlesque, and opera. Previous productions include Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Meadium, Pippi’s’Lost Stockings: a Burlesque Satire, Forest Fantasies with Lingerie Lyrique, and Alice by Michael Wise. Freeman has been honored to assist and collaborate with great artists such as Elizabeth Margolius, Sean Graney, and Joanie Schultz. Favorite burlesque collaborations include Siren Jinx, Po’Chop, and Mia Divine. She has spoken on the emerging artists panel during the 2011 Chicago Theatre Symposium and has participated in the 2012 Chicago Directors Lab. Freeman is a company member of Third Eye Theatre Ensemble and an Artistic Associate with Nothing Without a Company.
Tate A. Geborkoff is a poet, playwright, and actor working and living in Chicago. As a playwright, he most recently produced and performed the role of “The Tailor” in his dramatic poem Chicago Afterdark - A Heart of Tweed at the Chicago Fringe Festival 2014. His play All Around the Mulberry Bush was selected as a semifinalist in the Great Gay Play and Musical Contest for 2014 by Pride Films and Plays, and his work has been produced by Step Up Productions and been seen at the Rivendell, Athenaeum and The Den theatres. His poetry has appeared in Curbside Splendor’s “Best of 2014” as well as several literary journals, most recently Curbside Splendor (The Gin Man and Pulp), The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review (Tubilustrium), and Burningword (The Carnal Flower). He is co-founder of electrobureau.com, a quarterly queer-tinged gaming zine, and his articles have appeared on Critical Distance. Tate is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America, and has studied human behavior and the arts with Audrey Francis and two-time Tony® nominee, Amy Morton. He is excited to join NWaC as an Artistic Associate and is honored they are producing his adaptations of nine fairy tales in their production Down the Moonlit Path.
Jimmy Jagos graduated in 2012 from Illinois State University where he received his BS in Theatre. Originally focusing on Biochemistry, he could not help following his heart back to the theatre. Jimmy enjoys all aspects of theater including makeup, painting, costumes, acting, and design; however, he concentrates on scenic design and properties, including puppets. He has worked with NWaC in the past as Properties and Puppet Master for Alice. He has also designed for Mary Arrchie and Kid Brooklyn. He has also appeared on stage with North Central College, Latitude 41, Joliet Junior College, and the Sigmond Brothers. He is honored to be a part of Nothing Without a Company and is ready to create and inspire!
Valerie Lyvers has been a company member of NWaC for 6 years, and has had the privilege to play a guinea pig, a Logan square park clown, a poetic lover, a dueling government agent, a puppeting roustabout, a haoli in a tiff, a cat witch, an international art thief, and whatever else has been thrown her way. She loves playing in festivals; favorites including Sketchfest, Abbiefest, Fight Nights, and 24 Hour Fest . She also loves scarves and studying Chinese medicine.
Edgar Miguel Sanchez was born in Dominican Republic and raised in Miami, Florida. He received his B.F.A. in Acting as well as a minor in Sociology. Chicago credits: Water By The Spoonful and Native Son (Court Theatre), The Wheel (Steppenwolf), Romeo And Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), This is Our Youth (Sankofa Theatre Company), The Ghost Is Here (Vitalist), Fever Chart (Eclipse), Brothers of the Dust (Congo Square), Sinbad: The Untold Story (Adventure Stage), 1001 (Collaboraction), Red Noses-Remount (Strawdog), Welcome To Arroyo’s (American Theatre Company), Wilson Wants It All (The House), and Twelfth Night (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre). Regional Credits: title role in Hamlet (The Gable Stage); Twelfth Night, Richard III, Troilus and Cressida, and The Admirable Crichton (American Players Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, and The Comedy of Errors (The Oregon Shakespeare Festival). Major TV credits: Sense 8. His next show will be STOP.RESET at the Goodman Theatre.
Rachel Stalens is incredibly excited to be apart of Nothing Without a Company! She first worked with the company as stage manager for the premiere of Alice in 2009, and she loves the site specific nature of NWaC's work. Currently, she is directing Down the Moonlit Path for NWaC and she directed their Big Bad Spooktacular: Electric Boogaloo this past fall. Recent non-NWaC credits include production managing the Chicago Fringe Festival and stage managing "Tell Me What You Remember" with Erasing the Distance. More information on Rachel's work can be found at http://rachelstaelens.weebly.com.
Josh Sumner came to Chicago in 2002 to attend the Masters Program at The Theater School, DePaul University and never left the city. Lucky for him, he found this group of great people to work with. After serving as President of the Board for a few years, Josh became a full time company member of NWaC. You may have seen his work as a Producer in our 2012 hit LOOM, as a Director for The Big Bad Spooktacular 2013, or as a performer in our 24 Hour Fest and Fight Night! in 2014. Josh has also worked with other local theaters such as Route 66, First Folio, Infamous Commonwealth, Emerald City, Chicago Dramatists, and Greasy Joan and Company, as well as other local and regional theaters across the Midwest and southern United States. Josh's lead role in 2008's The Human Trace helped it earn the award for Best Feature Film at the Cedar Rapids Film Festival. He currently works at The Arts Club of Chicago, where he is the Gallery and Facilities Manager. Josh is also a lover of gardening and solar panels, and spends much of his day dreaming of perpetual motion machines.
Ryan Tang made the move to Chicago from sunny Arizona in 2010. With a degree in Fashion Merchandising in his hand, he landed in the Musical Theatre Department at Columbia College Chicago. Since moving to the Windy City he has had the opportunity to perform full productions as well as several staged readings with Chicago Shakespeare, The Foundry, The Inconvenience, Pride Films and Plays, and of course NWaC, to name a few. In 2013, Ryan was a finalist in the Windy City Gay Idol competition. He has been a Fly Homie in the Fly Honey Show with The Inconvenience since 2012, and has danced with them throughout the city. An appreciation of dance and movement has led to many exciting dance and choreography opportunities including dancing in the "David Bowie Variety Hour" at the MCA with The Salts. His fashion degree has come in handy while costuming his first feature film, Scrooge and Marley, and the 2014 remount of NWaC's Alice. He is also an artist-in-residence with the newly relocated, LA-based, Lora Michael Cosmetic Artistry. A lover of interdisciplinary arts and creative forms of storytelling, Ryan is excited to be taking on the challenge of Associate Artistic Director of Nothing Without a Company.
Derek Rienzi Van Tassel is thrilled to be a part of Nothing without a Company! Derek was last seen in NwaC's "The Big Bad Spooktacular" as Slinky and played The Mad Hatter this past summer in the remount of "Alice". Also an accomplished director, Derek work-shopped the new musical "Toulouse" with both NY Theatre Barn and the Athenaeum (www.toulousethemusical.com). Other favorite directorial credits include; "Into the Woods" (Circle Theatre), "A Funny Thing Happened...", "Dames at Sea" (both with The Musical Theatre Collective), "The Romans", "Miss Fortune" (both with Lincoln Square Theatre), "Fatima & Maama" (Point of Contention Theatre), "Crossed Wires" (Appetite Theatre), "Attractions Tend to Lend Themselves to be Fatal" (Silent Theatre), "The Apocalypse: Now in 3D!" (Quixotic Comedy), "Joe Jane's 365 Sketches: Weenus" (Strawdog Theatre), and "Drunk" written by NwaC's own Hannah Ii-Epstein. "Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"