Guest Artists

Rachel Edwards Harvith has worked as a director, actor, literary manager, and dramaturg. The constant? A passion for new play development. Representative Chicago-area directing credits include Bombs, Babes and Bingo, I Am Montana, and Under America (Mortar Theatre); Mother's House (Raven Theatre, Workshop Series); Our Kind of Violence (Stage Left, LeapFest); The Body Snatcher and The Blue Hotel (City Lit Theater Company, Art of Adaptation Festival); Historic Election (American Theatre Company, Silver Project); Chiaroscuro: A Study in Shadow (Bailiwick Repertory); Moonlight and Magnolias (Riverfront Theatre); and Next Stop Spinsterland (Not Quite Coy Productions); as well as numerous staged readings and workshops with such companies as Chicago Dramatists, American Blues Theatre, Teatro Luna, and Bailiwick Chicago. Outside of Chicago, Rachel has directed for Iowa Summer Rep, Syracuse Stage, Hedgerow Theatre, and Dreamwell Theatre, among others. She has also served as dramatic literary manager for Bailiwick Chicago and interim literary manager for Long Wharf Theatre and Syracuse Stage. This spring, Rachel will be directing The Invasion of Skokie for ShPIeL - Performing Identity. A founding company member of Mortar Theatre and an associate artist at Chicago Dramatists, Rachel has a BA in Theatre from Grinnell College and an MFA in Directing from the University of Iowa.

Allison Hendrix is a Chicago music director, pianist and actor. Recent credits include Music Director for Kokandy Productions' The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Associate MD/Conductor for Boho Theatre's Floyd Collins, and Pianist/Actor for Piven Theatre Workshop's Cities of Light. Upcoming projects include Kokandy Productions' The Last Five Years August 2013. 

Halena Kays is the Artistic Director of The Hypocrites where she both performs and directs. She is the co-founder and former Artistic Director of Barrel of Monkeys, where she created and directed the majority of their public performances. She is a founding member of the newly formed, artistic collaborative, The Ruffians, and directed their recent hit production of Torrence’s Burning Bluebeard. She is a UT-Austin grad, former member of the Big Apple Circus Clown Care unit, Co-artistic Curator for Theatre on the Lake and a professor at The University of Chicago.  Halena is an Artistic Associate with the Neo-Futurists, where she directed 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, Burning Bluebeard, and co-created and directed Daredevils and Daredevils Hamlet, and the sight specific extravaganza Fake Lake.  

Halena has been nominated for a Jefferson Citation for Best Supporting Actress and Best Direction, named one of the top 50 “players” in Chicago theatre by NewCity, and received a signed letter from Mr. Rogers saying she was “special” in 1978. She also recently made an awesome kid named Ripley Rose.

 Halena is equally proud to have worked with many other respectable and disreputable theatre companies in Chicago over the years. For a full list, visit

Robert Kuhn is a freelance costume and scenic designer based in Chicago. Recent design credits include The Last Five Years (Kokandy Production), The Cat in the Hat, The Frog Prince Continued, Knuffle Bunny, Alice in Wonderland (Emerald City Theatre), Cabaret and Romeo and Juliet (Concordia University - Chicago), Wonka Ball: Circus Maximus and We Three Lizas  (About Face Theatre), CPS Hamlet  and CPS Othello (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre). Upcoming projects include the remount of We 3 Lizas (About Face Theatre).  Robert has his BA in Studio Art from the University of Central Arkansas and MFA in Costume Design from Penn State University.

Melissa Lorraine became a company member of Studio K in Budapest, Hungary upon graduating from Northern Illinois University in 2002 with a B.F.A. in acting. During that year she was handed the newly-translated Juliet, and András Visky proposed that she perform the English premiere when she returned to the States. Three years later, she co-founded Theatre Y with director Christopher Markle, and Juliet began her international tour, which has included over two hundred performances worldwide. I Killed my Mother, written by András for Melissa, premiered in Chicago at the Greenhouse Theater (Chicago's Best Actress Orgie award), and most recently ran at LaMama ETC in New York. She created a new production of Juliet with Karin Coonrod for Theatre Y at the Royal George Theatre in Chicago last September. She played Bertha in Exiles by James Joyce, Martha in The Misunderstanding by Albert Camus, and directed the critically acclaimed Vincent River by Philip Ridley in the Theatre Y's summer Exiled Trilogy. She played the title role in Porn: 1989. A Butterfly, by András Visky, and just directed The Binding by Evan Hill. 

Meghan Beals McCarthy is a Chicago-based director and dramaturg.  Recent directing credits include Me, My Mom and Sharmila Tagore (Fawzia Mirza), Freshly Fallen Snow and Bordello (Chicago Dramatists), Wild Nights with Emily (Caffeine Theatre), Keys to the Kingdom (Stage Left’s Leapfest), Arrangements (Pavement Group) and Kingsville (Stage Left’s Leapfest). Additional workshop and reading credits include work with Goodman, Steppenwolf, Northlight, Chicago Dramatists, Stage Left, Collaboraction, Pavement Group, Caffeine Theatre and Theatre Seven (Chicago) and the Women’s Project, Abingdon Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre and The Pearl (New York), among others.   Meghan is the Curator and Producer for the Chicago Park District/DCASE’s Classics in the Parks.  Previously, she served as the Associate Artistic Director at Chicago Dramatists, the 2012 co-curator for Theater on the Lake, as Literary Manager and Resident Dramaturg at Northlight Theatre, as Project Assistant for the First Look Repertory of New Work at Steppenwolf and as Interim Artistic Director for Caffeine Theatre.  Before Chicago, Meghan was the Artistic Associate at the Pearl Theatre Company, a classical theatre company in New York City. Meghan earned her B.A. in Theatre at the University of Southern California and her M.F.A. in Directing at The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago, IL.  She was the recent grant recipient of TCG’s Leadership U Continuing Education Grant, which allowed her to visit new play development centers across the country.

Jay Torrence is a Chicago based writer and performer. He has written three critically acclaimed plays: Roustabout, Burning Bluebeard and Ivywild. Torrence is the former Neo-Futurist artistic director and a twelve year Neo-Futurist ensemble member. He received an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia and his writing has won the Prairie Fire Award for Creative Non Fiction and The Annie Dillard Award for Creative Non Fiction. Torrence is also a founding member of the Chicago based artistic collective The Ruffians and currently teaches writing and performance at The University of Chicago.

Josh Walker is thrilled to be making his Concordia University debut!  Josh is a Music Director for both Mainstage and CTEYA shows at Circle Theatre. Past Circle music directing credits include: A Little Night MusicBest Little Whorehouse in TexasLegally BlondeSeussicalHairsprayDrowsy ChaperoneRagtime, and Les Miserables. Jeff nominated Sexy BabyScarrieThe Birds (Hell in a Handbag), CT-Hey!, Bright Lights Dark City & Friends of Dorothy (Chicago Cabaret Project). Acting credits include: Sideshow  (Kennedy Center), Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Radio City Music Hall) 2005-2013. Composition credits include: Toulouse! (NY Theatre Barn/Cameo Center) Six   Stories Up on Ellis Island, Six Stories Up on Mt Olympus, Six Stories Up in the Windy City (Tellin’ Tales Theatre) and Maxwell, Toulouse! (Midwest New Musicals). Music Arranger for John Hersey High School and Euclid High School.

Stephanie Alison Walker is an award-winning and published playwright whose work has been produced around the world. American Home was the 2011 winner of the Blue Ink Award and a semi-finalist for the 2010 Princess Grace Award for playwriting. Her play Three Fittings was the winner of the 2008 South Florida Theatre Festival Audience Favorite Grand Prize for The Women’s Theatre Project production, The Art of Disappearing was a finalist for the Princess Grace Award for playwriting in 2008 and a semi-finalist for the 2009 HotCity Greenhouse Festival of New Plays in St. Louis. Stephanie is also a three-time Heideman Award Finalist for the National Ten-Minute Play Competition.

In print, her play The Chocolate Affair is published in Ten 10-Minute Plays (Black Box Press) and 2009: The Best Ten Minute Plays for Two or More Actors (Smith & Kraus). Hollywood Hills is published in Best Ten Minute Plays 2008: 2 Actors (Smith & Kraus). On screen, her play Back Roads was turned into a short film that premiered at the 2008 Women’s Int’l Film Festival in Miami.

 In 2008 Stephanie faced foreclosure and lived to tell the tale on her blog Love In The Time of Foreclosure which has been called “A heartbreaking work of staggering acceptance” and has been featured on the front page of the Los Angeles Times, NPR’s Planet Money, American Public Media’s The Story with Dick Gordon, Business Week Magazine, Chicago Magazine, The Huffington Post and ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer. Love in the Time of Foreclosure is also published as an ebook by Outpost19 and is available at all major online retailers. Stephanie was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago and currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband Bob, toddler Malcolm and Pug Dog Pablo. She is a member of Lizard Claw Playwrights, Chicago Dramatists Network Playwrights and The Dramatists Guild of America.