STAFF & FACULTY

JERRY R. FOUST

Artistic Director / Director of Education

JERRY R FOUST HEADSHOT-2012Jerry R. Foust is our Artistic Director & Director of Education.  He is responsible for ensuring the quality of classes and performances, hiring and training teaching artists, and developing curriculum.  He also directs most of the mainstage productions at Youth Company Chicago/Windy City Music Theatre.

For Jerry's complete bio, click here.

MARK KOSTEN

Teaching Artist / Director

Mark is happy to be making his directing debut with Windy City Music Theatre. Mark recently Assistant Directed with Michael Halberstam of Writers Theatre on "A Doll's House" with Definition Theatre Company. Mark is Co-founder and former Executive Director for Breaking Ground Theatre Company. Former Artistic Director for the Performing Arts Program for the Park District of Franklin Park. Recently directed "Stage Door" with Leyden High Schools. Other credits: "The Little Prince" (Co-Director) "Peter Pan and the Pirates" "Little Red's Big Adventure" "9to5" (Choreographer) Leyden High Schools, "Once Upon a Mattress" "Grease" "Mulan" (Choreographer/Assistant Director) Hester Jr. High. Mark has performed in venues across the Chicagoland area from the Apollo Theatre, to Broadway in Chicago, to Six Flags Great America. He has appeared on national television, danced in the the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and even performed the National Anthem for the opening day game for the Chicago Fire.

RACHEL HOLLAND

Education Programs Coordinator, Schoolsite Teacher,Youth Director, Teen Director

STAFF-SQUARE---RACHEL-HOLLANDRachel Holland is a native if Mishawaka, IN and has her BM in Musical Theatre from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Rachel has worked professionally as both an actor and a stage manager. In Chicago she recently made her onstage debut as Nellie in The Aantsy Aardvark (Corn Productions). She has also performed as Ruth in Plain and Fancy (Amish Acres Round Barn Theater) and Handmaiden Mary in The Princess and the Pea (Vpstart Crow) Her favorite Chicago area stage management credits include Karma (St. Martin's Repertory Theater),Six Scary Tales (Clock Productions),Twelve Angry Men (Actor Factor Theatre Company), and Lydia Oct-Nov 2013 (National Pastime Theater).

 

ZACHARY FLAX

Teaching Artist / Director

Zachary Flax is very excited to be making his Windy City Musical Theatre debut. He recently moved to Chicago after touring for three years for both the National Theatre for Children and Prairie Fire Children’s Theatre. Past credits include: Mr. Mushnik in Little shop of Horrors, Beast in Beauty and the Beast, and Al Delvecchio in Happy Days: A New Musical. He'd like to thank his Friends, Family, and amazing girlfriend for their continuous support

 

 

KEVIN CARR

Teaching Artist / Professional Actor-Mentor
KEVIN HEADSHOT - OLD

Kevin Carr is an elementary teacher at St. Ferdinand Catholic School in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood.  He received his B.A. in Theater and Psychology at Oberlin College, and he has completed his M.A. in General Education at Northwestern University.  During his time at St. Ferdinand, he has had the fortune to teach a variety of age groups, including Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 6th-8th Grade.  Additionally, he has directed the Theater Club in his school and also tutors students after school each week.  In the past, Kevin has done volunteer work for Redmoon Theater and has acted in a variety of shows in Oberlin College.  He has also worked as the Theater Counselor for Wediko Children’s Services in New Hampshire and as a counselor with the Mad Factory in Oberlin, OH, teaching and performing with children from the community in a production of Once Upon A Mattress.  Now in his third semester, Kevin is exhilarated to work with Youth Company Chicago and is looking forward to nurturing a new generation of actors and actresses!

SHANNON TERESI

Teaching Artist / Director

Miss Shannon is a preschool director by day and performing arts enthusiast by night! She enjoys incorporating the arts into the world of early education. Miss Shannon lives at home in Chicago with her husband and new baby daughter named Lydia. She is excited to join the Windy City Musical Theatre Company family and looking forward to a fun summer!  

 

VICTORIA MONTALBANO

Teaching Artist / Professional Actor-Mentor / Schoolsite Program Teacher

GUYS-DOLLS-MENTORS-SQUARE---VICTORIAVictoria Montalbano has a degree in Drama from Syracuse University, and has been an actress, improvisor, and teaching artist in Chicago since graduating in 2006.  Some favorite performances include Arms and the Man (Louka), Much Ado About Nothing (Ursula/Verges), As You Like It (Le Beau/Audrey), Macbeth (Witch/Murderer/Porter), Dead Man's Cell Phone (Hermia), Hay Fever (Clara), and the long-running hit, Tony n' Tina's Wedding (Donna/Terry).  She is currently a student at the world famous iO theater.  With Youth Company Chicago, she was the lead teaching artist/director for The Wizard of Oz (Summer 2013), The Jungle Book (Fall 2013, Beaubian Elementary, St. Edward School), and Schoolhouse Rock, Live! (Winter Break 2013).  To find out about her upcoming performances, classes, and comedic insights, visit her website, www.victorianotvicky.com.

JEFFREY DELAY

Summer Music Director 

Jeffrey DeLay holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from North Park University and a Bachelor of Music in Composition from Moody Bible Institute. He teaches voice and directs choirs at College of Lake County, is Youth and Choir Director at First Presbyterian Church in Waukegan, and directs the Chicago Swedish Male Chorus and the Waukegan Swedish Glee Club. Jeff also conducts the annual Waukegan Choral Festival and has served as director-in-chief for the American Union of Swedish Singers. Jeffrey has performed as a vocal soloist with such ensembles as the Waukegan Symphony Orchestra and Concert Chorus, the Tower Chorale in Western Springs, the FullScore Chamber Orchestra in Zion, the choirs of College of Lake County, and the Waukegan Municipal Band. As a pianist, he has performed for social events at Waukegan’s Genesee Theatre and for the Bowen Park Theatre Company. He has also performed with jazz guitarist Doug Blake, was part of the Waukegan band Downhome Sophisticates, and is a piano tuner and French hornist. He lives in Waukegan with his wife, Joy, and children Calvin, Christopher, Cory, Genevrie, Timothy and Lucia.

ROBBIE ELLIS 

Teaching Artist / Director

Robbie Ellis is a composer, music director, broadcaster and more. Originally from New Zealand, he settled in Chicago in January 2015. He works as a music director for comedy, improv and sketch at The Second City Training Center, The Annoyance Theatre, ComedySportz, and MCL Chicago. He has composed for orchestras, chamber ensembles, choirs and more; written and arranged musicals; and writes and performs solo comedy songs from the piano. He's also been a producer and presenter for Radio New Zealand Concert, and also works as a tour guide.

DEVIN ZHU

Teaching Intern

 

Devin Zhu is an assistant director and is currently studying education and theatre at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. There, he has helped teach a number of workshops relating to theatre and co-created a workshop exploring gender roles in and through hip-hop. In addition to teaching theatre, Devin is also an avid music lover and enjoys playing board games in his free time.

LASHERA MOORE

Assistant Teacher / Professional Actor-Mentor

GUYS-DOLLS-MENTORS-SQUARE---LASHERA

LaShera Moore is a Chicago Native, Freelance Songstress, Vocal Coach and Graduate from Columbia College Chicago, where she received her B.A. in Vocal Performance. She was involved with Gallery 37 where she did shows like; “My Voice, My Art, My Life” (Spring 2004), with Henry Hendricks and Weddington Company, “The Fugitive Prince” (Summer 2004) and The Journeymen Theater Company under the direction of Frank Pullen, “Pippin” (Summer 2005) and “Once on This Island” (Summer 2006), who she also worked with in July 2012, as the Assistant Director for the mini-show “Oliver.” Later in November 2011, she performed at Mrs. Maggie Daley’s wake, who was the Founder and Chair- Lady of Gallery 37/After School Matters., Wycliffe Gordan, Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor (Queen of the Blues) and more. Ms. Moore had the honor to sing at Mrs. Taylor’s Funeral in June 2009.  LaShera is currently performing with The Forte Band singing lead and backup, with Vocalist/Guitarist and leader, Chris Forte, she’ll also be working alongside with Drummer/Bassist; Keelan Jones in his founding company, Backbeatz Productions and his band The Keelan Jones Experience.  She has been a teaching artist at YCC for three years.

CHANA-LISE WILCZYNSKI

Summer Camp Lead Teacher - Level 2

CHANA-HEADSHOT---150x150Chana received her degree from Illinois State University and holds a B.S. K-12 Certification from the State of Illinois. She double majored in Elementary Education and Theatre. Currently Chana is a special education teacher for K-2 students and directs productions at the school she works at in the north suburbs. To strengthen her acting skills, Chana is currently taking improv classes at Second City.This is her first summer working with Windy City Music Theatre, and looks forward to many more in the future.

 

SUSAN SJODIN

Teaching Artist / Resident ActorSTAFF-SQUARE---COMING-SOON

Susan is glad to be back with Windy City Music Theatre, performing as Sophie in the first-ever Page2Stage show, The BFG. She also appeared in Oliver! with the Company in summer 2014. Susan is a graduate of The Second City Conservatory and I.O. Chicago. Past Credits include Alice Invents a Little Game and Alice Always Wins (Alice), Scarrie the Musical (Diana), Peter Pan and the Pirates (Peter), The Marvelous Wonderettes (Betty Jean), and A Country Christmas Carol (Jane/Fanny). Hope you enjoy the show!

 

GEOVANNI GOMEZ

Marketing Intern

Geovanni Gomez is excited to be working with Windy City Music Theatre to develop his passion for the arts and skill set to make the magic happen. He recently graduated from Grinnell College with a degree in English, where he was involved in creative writing, theater, and on-campus activism. Interests include, reading, dancing, journaling and navel-gazing.

DARCY ROSE COUSSENS

Teaching ArtistSTAFF-SQUARE---DARCY-ROSE-COUSSENS / Resident Actor

Darcy is a Chicago-based actress, choreographer and educator. She began performing professionally in Chicago at the age of ten and learned firsthand how theatre can empower young people whether in the classroom, on stage or from the audience.Darcy is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she directed its first production for young audiences on the autism spectrum and was awarded the Aurand Harris Award for Excellence in Children’s Theatre.

CASI MAGGIOTeaching Artist / Professional Actor-Mentor

GUYS-DOLLS-MENTORS-SQUARE---CASI

Casi Maggio is a California native who relocated to Chicago to experience 4 seasons and join this amazing theatre community. She is happy to return to YCC after directing their first show: Aladdin. Casi received a ‘best actress’ Jeff Nomination for Kate Monster in the Jeff Nominated: Avenue Q and originated the role of Jackie Kennedy in Alan Jay Friedman & Leslie Bricusse new musical Kennedy. Up next she will play a dream role: Snow White in Snow White and the 7 Drag Queens. In Chicago, Casi has worked with NightBlue, Fox Valley Rep, JPAC and Underscore Theatre. She is a conservatory student at Second City and is a Bailiwick Collective Member. She has performed in TV, commercial, web series, voice over and internationally at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

BENJAMIN HOWARD

Teaching ArtistSTAFF-SQUARE---BENJY-HOWARD

Benjamin Howard is a recent graduate of Northwestern University, where he received a bachelor of music in voice & opera performance and a certificate in musical theatre. During his time there, Howard was featured in roles both on the NU Opera Theater stage as well as in NU's oldest theatrical tradition, the annual Waa-Mu Shows. In addition to performance, Howard music directed Northwestern's award-winning Undertones A Cappella group from 2012 through 2014. A native of Los Angeles, Howard will be staying in Chicago for the foreseeable future as a singer with the Chicago Symphony and Grant Park Choruses. He will also make his professional opera debut in August with Main Street Opera, playing the role of Prior in La Dolorosa.