Northlight Education Department
Amanda Dunne Acevedo (Director of Education) has served as Director of Education since 2013. She served for three years as Northlight’s Education Associate/Performing Arts Camp Director, and spent the three prior summers as the camp’s Senior Director. As a Teaching Artist she currently works with Steppenwolf, and has worked with the education programs at Writers, Chicago Public Library, American Theatre Company, Chicago High School for the Arts, Dream Big Performing Arts Workshop, Redmoon and the Los Angeles-based Fringe Benefits. Her essay written about her experiences conducting theatre for social justice institutes with Fringe Benefits was published in Staging Social Justice: Collaborating to Create Activist Theatre (SIU Press). She is a founding company member of the Chicago-based Genesis, with whom she is a performer and curator creating experiential performances. As a graduate from Miami University’s theatre program, she has returned to continue her work with The Walking Theatre Project, a theatre for social change organization she co-founded in 2005. She completed the inaugural Lincoln Center Education Teaching Artist Training Program in 2014 and is a 2015 graduate of the Teaching Artist Development Studio at Columbia College where she participated in the TAD Alumni Special Projects Lab. Amanda is currently a Field Leader on Ingenuity’s Partnerships & Professional Learning Track.
Mara Stern (Education Associate/Camp Director) has been a member of the Northlight education staff since serving as a counselor in our Senior Camp during the summer of 2008 and has served as Senior Camp Director for the past two summers. Mara has been a Teaching Artist with Northlight since 2011 working in our Season Access, Speak Up! and Northlight on Campus programs. Mara is also a Teaching Artist with Lookingglass where she has piloted several new programs on health and wellness, physical theatre and adaptation. Mara spent two years in Lookingglass’ box office as the Manager of Audience Services and as Group Sales Manager. She is a Teaching Artist with Steppenwolf in their pre- and post-show residency program and she works with Turning the Page, a non-profit dedicated to creating community in North Lawndale’s public schools. Mara is a director and producer in Chicago, working with EX-Pats, Jackalope, Pride Films and Plays, The Kinematics and The Hypocrites. Mara is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago and The British American Drama Academy in London.
Northlight Teaching Artists
Jessica Alldredge (Teaching Artist) is thrilled to teach for Northlight on Campus again! Jessica moved to Chicago from Birmingham, AL where she graduated with a B.A. in Theatre Performance from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In Birmingham, she frequented the stage with Theatre UAB, the Birmingham Park Players, and the Bards of Birmingham as well as appearing in the film Awakened. Jessica founded the drama program at Creative Montessori School in Homewood, AL for preschool and elementary students and served as a mentor, actor and director for the Bards of Birmingham. In Chicago, Jessica’s acting work includes projects with CUBE Ensemble, Fury Theater, Dream Theater Company and Transcendent Ensemble Theatre Company. As a teaching artist, she has also worked with American Theater Company, Mudlark and the Viola Project, and is a member of the Teaching Artist Development Studio 2015 cohort through CCAP at Columbia. For Northlight, she has worked with awesome kids at Orrington, Middleton, Beidler and Gale schools, as well as summer camp.
Sindy Isabel Castro (Teaching Artist) is currently a teaching artist with Northlight Theatre, Writers Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, ProjectAIM (Columbia College), and Adventure Stage Chicago. Since graduating from Florida State University (B.A. Theatre), she has worked for summer camp programs at the Miami Theater Center (formerly The PlayGround Theatre) in Miami Shores, Florida and as Leadership Director and Camp Director for Northlight’s Performing Arts Camp. She was a selected participant of Young IDEA in Paris as part of the IDEA Congress in the summer of 2013, graduated from the 2014 Teaching Artist Development Studio at Columbia College, and participated in the Lincoln Center Education Intermediate Teaching Artist Lab in 2016. She is currently an Ensemble Member with Adventure Stage Chicago. For more information: www.sindyicastro.com
Jazmín Corona (Teaching Artist) is happy to be a part of this extraordinary team of teaching artists at Northlight Theatre. As a bilingual (Spanish/English) teaching artist, she’s worked with youth of all ages and backgrounds, teaching theatre, dance, and photography. In Chicago, she has worked with Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE), ElevArte, American Theater Company, The Beverly Arts Center, Boom Troupe, The Viola Project, and Steppenwolf. In Cleveland, where Jazmín is originally from, she worked with Great Lakes Theater Festival and Cleveland Play House. As an actress, she’s had the pleasure of working with Steppenwolf, Chicago Dramatists, Free Street, First Folio, Teatro Luna, Goodman Theatre, Collaboraction, Urban Theater Company, Prop Theatre, Babes With Blades, and Adventure Stage. She has worked on such films as Dawn and The Southside Has Many Beauty Queens, both having been shown at the Chicago Latino Film Festival with the latter winning the Audience Choice Award for Best Short Film.
India Duranthon (Teaching Artist) is a playwright, teaching artist, and director with a passion for theater for social change. Since graduating from Emory University in 2014 with a B.A. in Theater Studies, India has completed a production management apprenticeship at American Theater Company, has become a teaching artist for Northlight Theatre, a produced playwright with 20% Theater Company, and directed A Woman Alone by Dario Fo and Franca Rame at Gorilla Tango Theatre. India is interested in a type of theater that takes humanity, stands it up, lights it up, and puts it onstage.
Matt Farabee (Teaching Artist) is an actor and teaching artist in Chicago. He works as a teaching artist for Northlight at Fairview South School directing their middle school plays. He also directed Seussical! The Musical with area students at Northlight. As an actor, Matt has worked with Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Court Theatre, Eclipse Theatre Company, Pavement Group, Steppenwolf, Route 66, Chicago Dramatists, Rivendell, and Theater Wit. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Theatre and Recreational Therapy. Matt is also a teaching artist and faculty member with the National High School Institute Cherubs Program at Northwestern University.
Jasmine Henri Jordan (Teaching Artist) graduated from Florida State University with a B.A. in Theatre and Humanities. In addition to teaching for Northlight, she has also taught for Mudlark Theater, the Viola Project, and for American Theater’s Mosaic program. Jasmine was introduced to Northlight when she served as education intern. She recently became Victory Gardens Theater’s Audience Development Manager. Jasmine is a deviser, dramaturg, and performance artist around the city. For more info, check out her website jasminehenrijordan.weebly.com.
Andrew Marikis (Teaching Artist) is a teaching artist, actor and storyteller who is excited to join the Northlight teaching artist community. As a teaching artist he works with young people of all ages with Writers Theatre, Dream Big Theatre, and Adventure Stage Chicago’s Neighborhood Bridges program. He is also the Lead Teaching Artist with ASC’s Trailblazers – a mixed-age ensemble of youth and adult artists who devise original theatre based on the truth of their own lives. As an actor he’s worked with Adventure Stage, Seanachai (Irish Theatre of Chicago), Lifeline, BoHo, Sideshow, Filament, and The Artistic Home Theatres among others. As a storyteller, Andrew has performed with Story Sessions, Fillet of Solo, You’re Being Ridiculous, This Much is True, Here Chicago, Story Club North Side and Tellin’ Tales Theatre; his writing was featured on WBEZ’s Pleasure Town Podcast; and he hosts and produces Story Club South Side on the third Tuesday of every month – currently in its third year.
Tuesdai B. Perry (Teaching Artist) is thrilled to be joining Northlight’s education team! She recently completed Northlight’s education apprenticeship with the Speak Up! and Northlight on Campus programs. She holds a degree in Directing and Creative Writing from Western Illinois University. Tuesdai also works with Northbrook Park District, Northbrook Theatre, Northbrook Theatre Junior Company, and Northbrook Community Theatre as a teacher, choreographer, performer, director, and stage manager with ages 5 and up. Additionally, she teaches with Oak Lawn Park District and has worked with Beverly Theatre Guild, Chicago’s oldest community theatre.
Will Quam (Teaching Artist) joined Northlight in 2012 as a Senior Camp counselor, and has since served as the Senior Camp Assistant Director in 2014 and 2015, and Director in 2016. During the school year, Will has taught with Northlight’s Northlight on Campus and Speak Up! programs in Evanston, Skokie, and Chicago. He is also a teaching artist with Mudlark Theatre Company, teaching improv and ensemble in Evanston. Will is a company member with Two Pence Theatre Company and serves as Education Programs Manager, developing and teaching programs that bring Shakespeare into the lives of young people. Before moving to Chicago, Will directed and toured abridged Shakespeare to schools and libraries across Ohio as the co-founder and artistic director of The Billy Shakes Project at Kenyon College. Will is a director and designer in Chicago, and has worked with Jackalope Theatre Company, Walkabout Theatre Company, Fearless Theatre, and Rhinofest, amongst many others. His writing has been published in the literary magazine The Calling Bell and performed as part of the Valentine’s Play Festival. He is a graduate of Kenyon College and a proud Minnesotan.
Wilfredo Ramos Jr. (Teaching Artist) is an educator, dramatist, and improviser in Chicago. As an educator, Wilfredo urges his students to be curious, to be playful, and, above all, to be bold. Wilfredo has been teaching with Northlight since the spring of 2016. In addition to his work with Northlight, Wilfredo currently serves as an Assistant Teaching Artist with the Steppenwolf for Young Adults program. He also teaches with Chicago Improv Productions and has taught with American Theater Company and Mudlark Theater. Wilfredo is a member of El Semillero, a playwriting collective that fosters the development of new works by Latinx playwrights, as well as the founder of the Surfboard Poems, a forum where writers who have been targets of systemic discrimination can share messages of hope and healing. In May 2015, Wilfredo received a BA in English from Yale University. He is bilingual in Spanish and English and conversational in French. www.wilfredoramosjr.com
Ashley Roberson (Teaching Artist) has been teaching with Northlight since 2011. She also teaches with the Center for Community Arts Partnership (CCAP), Victory Gardens, PureArt, Court Theatre, 16th Street Theatre, Writers Theatre and Steppenwolf. She first discovered her love for teaching in college when she was hired as a camp counselor and has been working with kids ever since. During her last year in college, she established and ran a theatre day camp called D.I.V.A. Drama Day, whose mission was to service the students of the surrounding D.C. area. As a performer she has been seen in Collaboraction Sketchbook series with Four Women (Pure Art), Home (Court Theatre), in the world première of Southbridge (Chicago Dramatists’) and most recently in the world premiere of Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money (Chicago Children’s Theatre). Ashley studied acting at The School at Steppenwolf, the British American Drama Academy (BADA), and is a proud graduate of Howard University where she earned her B.F.A. in Musical Theatre.
Alejandro Tey (Teaching Artist) is a Chicago-based actor, director, writer, and teaching artist. Alex is so proud and honored to be joining the Northlight teaching artist team- he also teaches Imaginastics and Beginner Circus Arts with Actors Gymnasium; Creative Improv with Mudlark Theater Company; and Performance-Based Sexuality Education with For Youth Inquiry. His plays for young audiences (and performers!) have been seen onstage at The Actor’s Gymnasium, Mudlark Theater, and McAllen Parks and Rec. Alex is the founding Artistic Director of Thirteen O’Clock Theatre in South Texas, and has worked nationally as an artistic associate with Sojourn Theatre, most recently as a performer/facilitator in the professional premiere of HOW TO END POVERTY in collaboration with Portland Playhouse. He is also a proud touring ensemble member of Theater Unspeakable and a company member with Rabid Bat Theatricals. Chicago acting credits include: The Compass (Steppenwolf for Young Adults), Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Portage Park (Filament Theatre); and Since I Suppose (one step at a time like this/Chicago Shakespeare Theatre). Oh, and don’t tell anyone, but he’s also Spider-Man.
Lindsey Barlag Thornton (Teaching Artist) is an interdisciplinary artist and director of devised performance. Her recent projects have been shown at Archer Ballroom, The Copernicus Center, Defibrillator Gallery, The Foxhole, Hyde Park Art Center, Links Hall, Mana Contemporary, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sullivan Galleries, Tritriangle Gallery, and Whitebox Studio Gallery, as well as in abandoned storefronts and on the streets of Chicago. She holds an M.F.A. in Performance from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Lindsey currently teaches Movement at ChiArts and is a Teaching Artist for the Museum of Contemporary Art, and formally taught for American Theater Company, Auditorium Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, and Writers Theatre. She was the 2015 Producer for SAIC’s MFA & BFA thesis festivals and for New Blood IX Festival of Performance. She works collaboratively under the name Genesis with artistic partner Amanda Dunne Acevedo. Lindsey most recently directed the devised performance, THIS…, at Links Hall as part of the IN>TIME 16 Performance Festival and performing in the ensemble of Michael Rohd’s devised play, The Compass, at Steppenwolf.
Emily Wills (Teaching Artist) has worked professionally as a teaching artist with Raven Theatre, Lifeline Theatre, Northlight and Mudlark. Emily is also a storyteller with the Lifeline Storytelling Project, and has appeared on stage in The Boy at the Edge of Everything, and The Reluctant Dragon at Northwestern University. Emily studied Theatre with a concentration in Theatre for Young Audiences and Community Development at Northwestern University and is a graduate with the class of 2015.