Erasing the Distance

...Professional. Engaged. Compelling.

Ensemble

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Resident Artistic Ensemble

Philip de Guzman
Philip de Guzman is forever grateful to be an ensemble member with Erasing the Distance. Philip serves as Managing Director of Buzz22 Chicago, and is producing She Kills Monsters at the Steppenwolf Garage in 2013. As a performer Philip has worked with Filament Theatre Ensemble and Steppenwolf.
Jason Economus
Jason Economus is thrilled to be a part of ETD. Jason is an actor, writer, teacher, director and stand-up comic. Chicago credits include: Shear Madness at the Chicago Theater, J.B. in J.B. with Chicago Fusion Theatre, Oedipus in Oedpius Rex Play with Vintage Theatre Collective. Jason has worked on orignial pieces with The Building Stage, Buckeye Tree Productions, New Beast Theatre Works, and the Library Theatre. Regionally he has worked with Milwaukee Shakespeare and Door Shakespeare. Be sure to check to check out trailers and information on Jason's new short film Who is Steve Shubert at www.whoissteveshubert.com.
Angela Alise Johnson
Angela is truly blessed to be a part of Erasing the Distance. Originally from from Kansas City, Missouri, Angela moved to Chicago to pursue professional acting. She graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a Bachelors of Arts in Theatre and Sociology. She has been in various educational productions such as A Raisin in the Sun, Sweeney Todd, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, and A Crescent City Comedy of Errors all at Loyola University Chicago. Some professional credits include School Daze (Mahdi Theater Company), Rent (Ouroboros and Big Noise Theatre), All Shook Up (Big Noise Theatre), The Wiz (Dominican University Performing Arts Center), Church (Red Tape Theatre Company), Ribbon Around a Bomb and Tatjana in Color (Prologue Theatre Company), and Hairspray (Jedlicka Performing Arts Center). When Angela is not onstage, she works as the Office Management Associate for Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
Jennifer Mathews
Jennifer is so proud to be a member of ETD's fantastic ensemble, as well as the Communications Director for Erasing the Distance. Previous ETD credits include Good Enough, Finding Peace in This House, Stronger Than Silence: surviving our secrets, What Not to Expect When You're Expecting, and The People I Know. A former company member with the (sadly) now-defunct Infamous Commonwealth Theatre, she appeared many of their productions, most notably The Kentucky Cycle (Jeff and After Dark Awards for Production and Ensemble), Betty's Summer Vacation (Jeff nod, Supporting Actress), My Thing of Love (2006 Chicago Reader Critics' Pick, Performance), and The Grapes of Wrath (Greatest Hits of the Decade, Newcity Stage). Jennifer is also a commercial voiceover actor with Naked Voices Talent Agency and Director of Communications for Adventure Stage Chicago. She has previously acted with Sideshow Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Steppenwolf Theatre, Pride Film & Plays, Circle Theatre, Open Eye Productions, Hi-Volt Theatre, and Will Act For Food. For more information, visit JenniferMathewsOnline.com.
Brighid O'Shaughnessy
Brighid O'Shaughnessy is the Founder and Executive Artistic Director of Erasing the Distance. Since 2005, she has reached over 40,000 people with theatrical performances about mental health issues that she has acted in, directed, devised and/or produced. A sought after speaker and workshop leader, she has presented and taught at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Santa Clara University, the Active Minds National Conference, Cathedral Counseling Center and more. Brighid was granted DePaul University's prestigious David O. Justice Award for her use of theatre to educate communities about mental illness in non-traditional and creative ways. Two years ago, she was also chosen by Extra Mile America as one of 200 heroic leaders in the United States making a difference in their communities and received a 3Arts Vision Award to support her artistic work at Erasing the Distance. Her experience as a director, actor and teacher committed to social change has spanned nearly 20 years, including time co-directing the Thresholds Theatre Arts Project and Redmoon's Dramagirls, and devising original productions with teens in Chicago Public Schools. She taught acting at Chicago's Acting Studio (formerly known as the Audition Studio) for 5 years and has acted at such places as Steppenwolf, Victory Gardens, and Profiles Theatre. She graduated with a Masters of Arts from DePaul University, a B.A. in Theatre from Santa Clara University, studied extensively with The American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, trained with internationally known activist and artist Michael Rohd, and has done her share of voice-over work and corporate training using theatre.
Adam Poss
Adam Poss is an ensemble member with Erasing the Distance, where he has appeared in many productions including the recent Will You Stand Up? Chicago credits: Teddy Ferrara, A Christmas Carol and dark play…or stories for boys (Goodman Theatre), Oedipus el Rey (Victory Gardens Theatre), Animals Out of Paper (Steppenwolf Garage), The Beats (16th Street Theater), Scorched (Silk Road Rising, Jeff Nominee Best Play) and the upcoming world premiere of Rajiv Joseph's The Lake Effect (Silk Road Rising) and Antebellum (Athenaeum Theatre), written and directed by Robert O’Hara. Regional credits include The History Boys (The Studio Theatre, DC, Helen Hayes Nominee Best Ensemble) and the world premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s The North Pool (TheatreWorks, Silicon Valley). TV: “The Chicago Code,” “The Mob Doctor,” “Chicago Fire,” and “Shameless.” Film work includes the upcoming feature film The Drunk. Adam holds a BFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University and is a proud member of Actor’s Equity and SAG/AFTRA.
Ron Rains
Chicago credits: Goodman Theatre - A Christmas Carol (Bob Cratchit x4), Passion Play (Ensemble), Revenge of the Space Pandas (Jester), Animal Crackers (u/s-0 performances); Chicago Theatre/Smock Alley Productions - The Quiet Man Tales (Paddy Bawn - '09 Jefferson Award nom); Steppenwolf Theatre - Ballad of Little Jo (Ensemble); Chicago Shakespeare Theatre - Romeo and Juliet (Peter), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Snout), Henry IV (Pistol u/s), Much ado About Nothing (Watch u/s); Royal George Theatre - I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change (Man #2); Writers' Theatre - Incident at Vichy (Bayard); Northlight Theatre - Studs Terkel's The Good War (Ensemble), Enter the Guardsman (Wigs); Drury Lane Theatre - Big: The Musical (Paul), 1776 (George Read); Marriott Theatre - Carousel (Mr. Snow), Honk (Drake, Greylag). Summer Stock: Notre Dame Summer Shakespeare - Love's Labors Lost (Costard); Montana Shakespeare in the Parks - A Midsummer Night's Dream (Bottom), Love's Labors Lost (Costard); The Winter's Tale (Autolycus, Antigonus). Ron Rains holds a BFA from Cornish College and is a member of Actor's Equity Association.
Jennifer Shine
Jennifer is thrilled and honored to be a part of Erasing the Distance. She has been seen in the ETD production of Finding Peace in This House as Katherine as well as in many of the touring shows at local high schools, colleges and churches. Jennifer is also very excited to serve as the Production Manager for ETD's Artistic Season. Recent credits include My Fair Lady (Paramount Theatre), Heddatron (Sideshow Theatre Company/Steppenwolf Garage Rep), Main Travelled Roads (Milwaukee Chamber Theatre). Jennifer graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI with a degree in Theatre and Peace & Justice studies.
Craig C. Thompson
Craig is honored to be an Ensemble Member with Erasing the Distance. Originally from Kansas City, MO, Craig graduated from Boston University in 1998 and has been living and performing in Chicago ever since. In addition to work with ETD, Craig was most recently seen in Dominican University’s production of Night of the Iguana (Rev. Lawrence Shannon). Craig was also a member of Infamous Commonwealth Theatre company, performing roles in The Crucible (John Proctor), in Lewis and Clark Reach the Euphrates (Capt. William Clark), My Thing of Love, The Kentucky Cycle, Savage in Limbo, and Big Dreams. Craig has also acted with Backstage, Lifeline and Emerald City Theatre among others. Craig hopes that audiences leave ETD shows with a permanent inclination to do their part to help erase the distance between those who are affected by mental health issues and those who aren’t aware of just how common it is. Craig would like to thank Brighid for being a champion, all those who bravely share their stories with ETD and Gen for encouraging him to achieve his full potential.
Katie Worthington
Katie is so delighted and proud to be part of the ensemble of Erasing the Distance. She graduated from Illinois Wesleyan in 2005 with a BFA in Theatre Arts. Since graduating she has been lucky enough to work with New Leaf, Raven, Collaboraction, Chicago Dramatists, Big Picture Group, Metropolis CPA, Tooth & Nail, The Nine, Theatre Seven, Fox Valley Rep, and her home bases: Signal Ensemble and The Gift Theatre.

Artists

Rhonda Marie Bynum
Rhonda is honored and blessed to be a part of Erasing the Distance. Born and raised on the southeast side of Chicago, her recent theater credits include Talking Bones, Stoops and Heat (ETA Theater), Snow Queen (Victory Gardens) and Sketchbook 9 (Collaboraction). Other credits include For Colored Girls, The Vagina Monologues, Big River, and That Takes Ovaries. Rhonda is a recent graduate of the School at Steppenwolf.
Brenda Arellano
Brenda is a theater and film artist currently residing in Chicago, IL. Recent credits include Icarus with Bohemian Theater and Las Soldaderas with Teatro Aguijon. She is also a member of the Neo-Futurists here in Chicago. Brenda enjoys goofing off with her talented friends, jet setting, and a good meal.
Kamal Angelo Bolden
Kamal has recently appeared at the Court Theatre in Home and in Jitney as well as in Chicago Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. You may have also seen him this season at Goodman Theatre in Immediate Family, at A Red Orchid Theatre in The Opponent, and at Chicago Children's Theatre in Bud Not Buddy. Before that, he was in the world premiere of We Are Proud to Present... at Victory Gardens Theater. Kamal originated the roles of Jackie Robinson in the Chicago Children’s Theatre’s world premiere of Jackie and Me and Chad Deity in Victory Gardens Theater’s world premiere of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity. He has also worked at Actors Theatre of Louisville (The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity) and won a BTAA for Best Leading Actor for his work in Athol Fugard’sThe Island at Remy Bumppo Theatre. Kamal has appeared in many independent films and national commercials, and has made guest appearances on BOSS, Lights Out, Chicago Fire and The Row. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration-Entrepreneurship from Bradley University and is proud to be an Artistic Associate of Erasing the Distance.
Wes Clark
Wes has been working with Erasing the Distance since 2007. He is also an artistic associate with the Bruised Orange Theater Company and the Strange Tree Group. Previous roles have included Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath (Infamous Commonwealth), Nicolai Stavrogin in Village of K__ (BOTC), and John Hinkley in Assassins (Boxer Rebellion Theater Company). In addition to acting, Wes has directed plays and one-acts for the Barrington Area Arts Council, Boxer Rebellion Theater, EP Theater, and the Bruised Orange Theater Co. He has also worked as a fight choreographer for Bruised Orange in their productions of The Nebraska Project, Village of K__ , and Daddy Long Legs.
Stephanie Diaz
Stephanie is an actor, puppeteer and educator who relocated to Chicago from the west coast five years ago last fall. She was most recently seen in the critically-acclaimed Kita y Fernanda at 16th St Theatre. She has also had the good fortune to work with Kansas City Rep, Teatro Vista, Remy Bumppo, ShawChicago, First Stage Milwaukee, Drury Lane Oak Brook, Victory Gardens, Mixed Blood Theatre (Minneapolis), American Theatre Company and Teatro Luna. West coast credits include work at Seattle Rep, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, The Magic Theatre (SF), The Village Theatre (Seattle) and 5th Avenue Theatre (Seattle). She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and is delighted to join the wonderful artists of Erasing the Distance.
Amanda Eaton
Amanda's training in Maine, where she earned her B.A. in Theatre and Minor in Dance, and training with Second City have led her to many great opportunities. She is an ensemble member of Imagination Theater and Artistic Associate with Chicago Danztheatre. Other companies she has worked with include Strawdog, Quest, BoHo, and Grey Zelda.
Jared Fernley
Jared is thrilled to be a part of Erasing the Distance. Originally from Philadelphia, Jared studied theater at UNC- Chapel Hill, and has worked with Two Pence Shakespeare, Promethean Theatre Ensemble, Infamous Commonwealth, The New Colony, Vitalist Theater, and Strawdog Theater Company. Jared also performs regularly at Chemically Imbalanced Comedy with his long-form improvisational team, 1941.
Deanna Fiorentino
Deanna is absolutely ecstatic to be part of Erasing the Distance. She has previously directed, acted and staged managed for ETD. She received her B.A. in Performance from Dominican University.
Krista Hansen
Krista believes in using the power of theatre to promote understanding and the human connection, and is honored to be part of Erasing the Distance. She is an Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts at Dominican University, where she also resides as the Artistic Director of the Theatre Arts Lab Series. Krista acts and directs professionally nationwide, and also specializes in individualized coaching to help theatrical, academic and business professionals with optimal work performance and personal health.
David Hornreich
David has been a part of the Chicago theater community for nearly five years. A native of Seattle, he graduated from Western Washington University in 2004 with a B.A. in acting and directing. In addition to "Grown Up" Theater, David has been been fortunate enough to work both teaching and acting in Children's Theater and educational programs with a long list of companies - including Northlight Theater Academy, Greatworks productions, and more. David is extremely proud to be able to add Erasing the Distance to that list.
Millicent Hurley
Millicent recently appeared as Officer Randy Osteen in Superior Donuts at Mary-Arrchie Theatre. She was also Gram/Mrs. Partridge in Adventure Stage’s Walk Two Moons, Agnes in A Delicate Balance and Lettice (Jeff Nomination for Principle Actress) in Lettice and Lovage at Redtwist Theatre. Millie played Mrs. Ruddle in Lifeline’s production of Busman’s Honeymoon and Constance in Lillian Hellman’s Autumn Garden at Eclipse Theatre. At Raven Theatre, her role as Maggie in Dancing at Lughnasa garnered her a Jeff Citation for Best Supporting Actress and an After Dark Award. She also has had the pleasure of working with Timeline Theatre, About Face Theatre, Chicago Children's Theatre, The Goodman Theatre, Bare Bones Theatre, Griffin Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Next Theatre, and Prop Theatre and Steppenwolf Theater. Millicent also pursues voice over, commercial and film work.
Anish Jethmalani
Anish has worked in the Chicago Theatre scene for several years. Some of his stage credits include Wit and five seasons of A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre; Romeo and Juliet at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre; Titus Andronicus, Mary Stuart, The Invention of Love, and Life’s A Dream at The Court Theatre; Homeland Security at Victory Gardens Theater, Citizens of the World at Steppenwolf Theatre; Sita Ram and Around the World in 80 Days at The Lookingglass Theatre; To the Greenfields Beyond at Writers’ Theatre; Omnium Gatherum, Return to Haifa, and The Millionairess at the Next Theatre; Indian Ink and The Sign of the Four at Apple Tree Theatre; Merchant on Venice at Silk Road Theatre Project; The Age of Cynicism or Karaoke Night at the Hog at Chicago Dramatists; and Orphee, The Eiffel Tower Wedding Party, The Knights of the Round Table, Watch on the Rhine, The Lark, A Woman Without A Name, Childe Byron, and Landscape of the Body all at the Eclipse Theatre Company where he is currently an ensemble member and served as their Artistic Director from 2002 to 2007. This summer, he will appear in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night at the First Folio Theatre. Regionally, he has worked at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival appearing in their productions of Henry VIII and Much Ado About Nothing. His film and television credits include Leverage, Early Edition, The Strip, Sugar Mountain, Betaville, and Why is God. He is a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago and also attended The Oxford School of Drama in England.
Jessica Kadish
Jessica Kadish is absolutely thrilled to be a part of Erasing the Distance. Born and raised in Massachusetts, she is a graduate of the University of Chicago. Recent acting credits include The Americans with Coya Paz and La Pasión Según Antígona Pérez with Aguijón Theater. As a director and dramaturg, she has worked with 2nd Story, Chicago Fusion Theater, and Prop Thtr. With ETD, she has directed, translated, story-gathered, and project-coordinated for the Al Raby residency program. She dedicates her work with ETD to her parents, for educating her about mental health issues from day one.
Maura Kidwell
Maura has kept busy on stage at Court Theatre, Royal George, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, The Gift, Chicago Dramatists, and Redtwist, and has also enjoyed her work in films like "The Drunk," "Return to the Hiding Place," and Lifetime Original Movie "Last Man Standing." Maura is a graduate of Beloit College and can also be seen and heard in many commercials and industrial films.
Wannapa Pimtong-Eubanks
Wannapa is a Thailand native. She is a butoh performer, choreographer, actor, and the devoted mother of two children. She has performed both her own choreography and with many great artists at venues throughout Chicago, including Goodman Theatre, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Athenaeum Theatre, MCA, Columbia College Dance Theater (Dance/USA.showcase 2011), Links Hall, and Ruth Page Center for the Arts. A Movement Coach, and a Thai Dialect Coach (King & I at Stage 773 in 2011 for Porchlight Music Theatre). She has debuted her premiere Butoh Dance Theatre production COIN STORY in July, 2010 at Lincoln Square Theatre. Wannapa received her BA. in Journalism and Mass Communication (Radio and Television major) from Thailand. She thanks ETD for having her join in this important mission.
Chris Popio
Chris has worked as an actor, writer and photographer in Chicago since making the move from Cincinnati in the early Nineties. He has appeared on many Chicago stages, most recently with TUTA Theatre in their productions of Brecht’s The Wedding and Uncle Vanya. Other favorite roles include Gary in The Exonerated (Serendipity Theatre), John Freeman in The Fourth Sister (Trap Door Theatre), Redfield in Sons of Liberty (Breadline Theatre) and Tom, Leslie and Phyllis in Sylvia (Buffalo Theatre Ensemble). Chris has also appeared in numerous national and regional commercials, films and television shows. He helped write and create the children’s book series Edgar and Ellen in books and on television. Originally from New Jersey, he currently runs a photography studio with his amazing and talented partner, Heather (www.popiostumpf.com and www.vavoompinups.com).
Amira Sabbagh
Amira is thrilled to be involved with Erasing The Distance and believes wholeheartedly in the ETD mission. Amira has worked with Silk Road Theatre Project, Court Theatre, Piccolo Theatre, Vitalist Theatre, Corn Productions, and the Free Associates. Amira grew up studying several forms of dance and music and has a degree in Modern Dance from the University of Arizona.
Meredith Siemsen
Meredith is blessed to be a part of Erasing the Distance. She also performs for (and with) senior adults every spring in Imagination Theater's participatory 'Senior Spotlight' program. Other Chicago stage credits include: Robyn Hood at Oak Park Festival Theatre, Hamlet with Signal Ensemble, The Ruling Class with Backstage Theatre Company, The Outfit with Serendipity Theatre Collective and The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window with Infamous Commonwealth. On-camera work includes feature film The Lucky Ones, and independent films: Good People (recently screened at Chicago International Film Festival) and Hank’s Auto Repair. Meredith has also curated art exhibits for Flourish Studios and Erasing the Distance and enjoys creating art of her own including children's murals, greeting cards, sculpture and collages made from repurposed paper.
Dwight Sora
Dwight is honored to be part of Erasing the Distance. A River Forest native, Dwight has appeared onstage with Vittum Theater (A Thousand Cranes), Theater-Hikes (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Treasure Island) and Two Roman Senators (Again). He spent three years with the Social Issues Ensemble of Imagination Theater (2003-2006), worked with the Silk Road Theatre Project in its staging of Gilgamesh for the 2008 Chicago Humanities Festival and understudied its Midwest premiere of Julia Cho’s Durango, and also understudied the Chicago premiere of Steppenwolf’s After the Quake. A second-degree black belt in aikido, Dwight has also choreographed fights for A Squared Theater Workshop (The Wind Cries Mary) and Porchlight Music Theater (Pacific Overtures) and fought onstage himself with Lyric Opera Chicago (Romeo et Juliet).