company & artistic associates
CAROLINE RUARK (Managing Director) joined the Tympanic team in January 2016 as Managing Director and is responsible for overseeing all management, administration and operations for the company. Prior to Tympanic, Caroline worked in public relations and marketing for Actors Theatre of Louisville and Kentucky Shakespeare. She is a graduate of Murray State University and is currently pursuing her master's in arts management at Columbia College Chicago. Caroline also works in marketing at Carol Fox and Associates, an arts and entertainment PR/marketing agency in Chicago.
HOMETOWN: Louisville, KY
EDUCATION: MA: Arts Management, Columbia College Chicago (in progress), BS: Theatre and PR, Murray State University
FAVORITE BOOK and/or MOVIE: The Little Prince / The Breakfast Club
FAVORITE THEATER PRODUCTION YOU'VE SEEN IN CHICAGO: Constellations at Steppenwolf
FAVORITE THING TO DO IN CHICAGO: Sit on the Lakefront with a nice glass of red cabernet sauvignon
HOBBIES and INTERESTS: Brunch, Coffee, Music Festivals, Hip Hop Dancing, Yoga!
KELSEY CHIGAS (Development Director) officially joined Tympanic Theatre Company in January 2016 as Development Director, where she oversees fundraising, audience engagement and throwing great parties. She has worked creatively and administratively with theatres across Chicago including Steppenwolf, Northlight, American Theater Company, Mudlark Theater Company, Genesis and the side project. She also currently serves as Writers Theatre's Education Outreach Coordinator, where she assists in the execution of arts education programming that reaches 10,000 students and community members each year. Kelsey holds a BA in Theatre and English from Cornell College.
JOSHUA ELLISON (Literary Manager) joined Tympanic in 2011. For Tympanic, he has directed Julia Pastrana, Deliver Us From Nowhere, and Today We Escape. Joshua is also founding member of Area IV Theatre where he directed Vacation, Service Sanctuary Call, MARCH (Edmonton International Theatre Festival) and From the Nightshade Family (Chicago Fringe Festival). His work has also been seen at Oracle, where he directed Samuel Beckett, Andre the Giant, and the Crickets.
DIRECTOR OF VISUAL MEDIA
CHRISTOPHER WALDRON (Director of Visual Media) has been a Tympanic Company member since 2014 performing in productions like Deliver Us From Nowhere and Today We Escape. After studying criminology and theater from Florida State University, he moved over seas for a short time. Since being in Chicago, Christopher has worked with other theater companies including Mudgeonsoul, The Arc Theatre, The Ruckus, the side project, and Idle Muse. He is also a proud company member of Hobo Junction. Currently Christopher is the Director for Visual Media for Tympanic.
HOMETOWN: Tallahassee, FL
EDUCATION: FSU for Criminology
FAVORITE BOOK and/or MOVIE: Book- Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban. Movie- Leon, The Professional
FAVORITE THEATER PRODUCTION YOU'VE SEEN IN CHICAGO: Exit Strategy at Jackalope Theater.
FAVORITE THING TO DO IN CHICAGO: Exploring parts of the city I have not been to yet.
HOBBIES and INTERESTS: Sports, board games, DnD, hiking, outdoor activities.
LEIGH BARNHOLT (Executive Coordinator) joined the Tympanic Team in January 2016 as the Executive Coordinator and is responsible for assisting with event planning, fundraising, community outreach, and overseeing the coordination of House Management. Leigh is a Colorado girl from Denver who, after graduating from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a BA in Theater and a minor in Business, traded her mountains for skyscrapers and came to Chicago where she spent her first year working as the Audience Services Manager at Windy City Playhouse. She is a brunch enthusiast, lover of fine wine (6 dollar bottles from Trader Joe's qualify), and concert junkie who loves to travel or do anything outdoors. Leigh also works full time as a Travel Consultant for Liberty Travel.
CHRISSY MCGONAGLE (Web Administrator) received her Bachelors of Arts degree from Columbia College Chicago in 2007. After graduating she was cast in Tympanic's first production. Since then she has performed in, and/or designed costumes and make-up for a number of Tympanic shows as well as becoming the company's Web Administrator. She has worked as a make-up artist for a few other companies and most recently completed the Writing and Improv programs at The Second City's Training Center.
HOMETOWN: Chicago, IL
EDUCATION: Bachelor of Arts in Acting from Columbia College Chicago and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from The University of Illinois Chicago.
FAVORITE BOOK and/or MOVIE: This is tough to answer! I love love love to read! But I think my favorite books are the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. It was nearly impossible for me to put those books down when reading them. Not only do I love the story (I've re-read the books a few times) but I love how these books brought so many people back to reading. In today's electronic world it was amazing to see people lined up waiting for the next book to be released!
FAVORITE THEATER PRODUCTION YOU'VE SEEN IN CHICAGO: It's so difficult to pick one! However, I saw a sketch show at The pH Comedy Theatre a few years back called The Assemblers. It was a spoof on The Avengers and the show had me in tears at times! It was so funny and I had such a good time. I definitely recommend pH shows to anyone looking for a good laugh.
FAVORITE THING TO DO IN CHICAGO: Seeing live theatre of course! I know, big surprise that a theatre person would say that. But I love seeing all kinds of performances and Chicago is such a wonderful place for it! There are so many different theatres and theatre companies in this city that you can see any type of show any day of the week. It's so fantastic to see a show and be moved to tears laughing or crying, or be inspired to go out and help others, create something, or accomplish something. How awesome to get to watch an artist create something in front of you that can have a real impact on us and those around us. Gah!! It's so great!
HOBBIES and INTERESTS: Improv, Sketch Writing, Make-up, Crafting, Scrapbooking, Decorating, Reading, Concerts, Summer Festivals, and Travel.
MARKETING MANAGER and RESIDENT PHOTOGRAPHER
SERGIO SOLTERO (Marketing Manager and Resident Photographer) has been a proud Chicagoan since 2008 and is a graduate of Florida State University. Sergio's Chicago credits include work with The Ruckus, Chicago Dramatists, Right Brain Theatre Project and The Side Project, as well as various film projects.
HOMETOWN: Lake Worth, FL
EDUCATION: BA in Theatre from FSU
FAVORITE BOOK and/or MOVIE: The Fountainhead and 2001: A Space Odyssey
FAVORITE THEATER PRODUCTION YOU'VE SEEN IN CHICAGO: Clybourne Park
FAVORITE THING TO DO IN CHICAGO: Explore.
HOBBIES and INTERESTS: Photography and reading Yelp reviews.
RESIDENT STAGE MANAGER
ERIN ALTEKRUSE (Resident Stage Manager) first worked with Tympanic on their production of The True Story of the Tragic Life and Triumphant Death of Julia Pastrana:The Ugliest Woman in the World. She has also worked with theater companies such as Colectivo El Pozo, Oak Park Theater, and A Red Orchid Theater, among others. Erin is a preschool teacher here in the Chicago area.
HOMETOWN: Chicago is the place I have lived the longest (7 years) so I would have to say that!
EDUCATION: Columbia College Chicago
FAVORITE BOOK and/or MOVIE: All the Light We Cannot See and The Little Prince
FAVORITE THEATER PRODUCTION YOU'VE SEEN IN CHICAGO: Black Watch
FAVORITE THING TO DO IN CHICAGO: Go to all the different festivals during the summer.
HOBBIES and INTERESTS: Reading and traveling
RESIDENT LIGHTING DESIGNER
CASEY BENTLEY (Prop Artist) graduated from Florida State University with a BA in Theatre Production in 2008. After working with theatre companies around the U.S., she settled in Chicago and joined the Tympanic team in 2011. Casey currently works at Blue Man Group and Trapeze School New York: Chicago.
HOMETOWN: Raised in Port Charlotte, Florida.
EDUCATION: Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Production with a Psychology Minor from Florida State University.
FAVORITE BOOK and/or MOVIE: The Great Ideas. Movie: Jaws. Book/Movie: IT.
FAVORITE THEATER PRODUCTION YOU'VE SEEN IN CHICAGO: You've Seen in Chicago: It's not a "theatre production" specifically, but El Circo Cheapo never disappoints.
FAVORITE THING TO DO IN CHICAGO: Climb on roofs.
HOBBIES and INTERESTS: Juggling, Rube Goldberg Machines, and Writing.
TED BRENGLE (Literary Committee member) has Masters degrees in both English (Creative Writing) and Theatre (Playwriting) from Miami University of Ohio. His scripts for Tympanic include the plays Daughters of Necessity and B.E.M., the short film All The Pleasures Prove (an Official Selection at the 2015 Orlando Film Festival), and the audio play Best Show Ever. His plays have also been produced regionally, as well as in New York City. He lives in Chicago.
CELESTE BURNS (Company Member) is a brand new addition to the Tympanic Theatre family. Celeste has been acting professionally in Chicago since 2009. Past Tympanic credits include Paper City Phoenix and Today We Escape. You will see her this fall in the world premiere production of Sweet Analytics. In addition to her work with Tympanic, Celeste has worked with many of Chicago's storefront theatres including Indie Boots, Hobo Junction and Piccolo Theatre. Celeste is a graduate of Illinois State University and is represented by Shirley Hamilton Talent.
HOMETOWN: Minooka, IL (where the eff is Minooka, IL you ask? I have no idea.)
EDUCATION: Illinois State University, Black Box Acting Studio
FAVORITE BOOK and/or MOVIE: A Farewell to Arms and The Wizard of Oz
FAVORITE THING TO DO IN CHICAGO: Taking the water taxi to Chinatown for Dim Sum!
HOBBIES and INTERESTS: Gardening, watching cartoons, hanging out with my cat, Ernest, going to concerts, spending time with family.
Board Of Directors
VICE CHAIR and TREASURER
Paul E. Martinez
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR EMERITUS and SECRETARY
DAN CAFFREY (Artistic Director Emeritus and Secretary) is a playwright and pop-culture writer who has written extensively for Consequence of Sound, The A.V. Club, Pitchfork, Vox, Guerrero-Howe, and Comic Book Resources. In addition to having his plays produced in Chicago by the likes of Tympanic, The Ruckus, the side project, and many others, his scripts Matawan and The Tusk Hunters were Finalists and Semi-Finalists, respectively, for the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference.
MICHAEL CARNOW (Artistic Associate) is an Artistic Associate with Tympanic where he has directed the world premiere of Blueberry Toast, The Great Story…(in Today We Escape), and The Drive (in Deliver Us From Nowhere). He has also directed at The Gift, ATC, American Blues Theatre, The Whiskey Rebellion and WNEP. In Detroit, he was nominated for a Wilde Award for the Best Production of a New Play for Snowbound and his production of A Trois was a Patron’s Pick at the Windsor International Fringe Festival.
HOMETOWN: Los Angeles
EDUCATION: Brandeis University
FAVORITE BOOK and/or MOVIE: American Gods
FAVORITE THEATER PRODUCTION YOU'VE SEEN IN CHICAGO: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Steppenwolf
FAVORITE THING TO DO IN CHICAGO: Eat
HOBBIES and INTERESTS: Does being a dad count?
STEVIE CHADDOCK (Artistic Associate) happily joined Tympanic as an Artistic Associate...a while ago. She's not sure when, but that's probably because she has felt like part of the family for so long. Acting credits with Tympanic: Brewed (co-produced by The Ruckus), Sandalwood, and Paper City Phoenix. Some other Chicago credits: London Wall, Poscatello (Griffin); Motel 666 (WildClaw); The American Clock (Redtwist); The Illusion (The Right Brain Project); The Strange, 15 Minutes, The Gay American (The Ruckus); Smudge (Ka-Tet).
HOMETOWN: Portage, IN
EDUCATION: BA in Theatre and Political Science from Purdue University
FAVORITE BOOK and/or MOVIE: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and probably The Godfather
FAVORITE THEATER PRODUCTION YOU'VE SEEN IN CHICAGO: The Downpour (Route 66), Byhalia, Mississippi (New Colony), American Buffalo (Steppenwolf)
FAVORITE THING TO DO IN CHICAGO: Go to Cubs games, drink Dark Matter coffee, eat ice cream at Margie's.
HOBBIES and INTERESTS: Being with the people I love
ALI DELIANIDES (Artistic Associate) is a graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre. Ali has been seen onstage around Chicago with Genesis Ensemble, Saint Sebastian Players, Chicago Kids Company, Tympanic Theatre Company, with weAREproductions (founding member) and Public House Theatre. Ali is the Education Assistant and a teaching artist at TimeLine Theatre Company.
Amanda Dunne Acevedo
AMANDA DUNNE ACEVEDO (Artistic Associate) is a performer, deviser, and arts educator. Her artistic home is with Genesis (genesisensemble.org) but her work has been seen during the IN>TIME 16 Performance Festival, South Side Story Club, Chicago Artists Month, and the Chicago Home Theatre Project. She has collaborated with Dandelion Theatre, Vintage Theatre Collective, Red Tape, and Tympanic, where she is an Artistic Associate. Amanda is the Director of Education at Northlight and a Teaching Artist with Steppenwolf. She studied arts education at Lincoln Center and with the Teaching Artist Development Studio at Columbia College Chicago.
HOMETOWN: Gages Lake, IL
EDUCATION: Miami University (Ohio)
FAVORITE BOOK and/or MOVIE: I love the book and movie versions of High Fidelity
FAVORITE THEATER PRODUCTION YOU'VE SEEN IN CHICAGO: The Sparrow by The House Theatre of Chicago
FAVORITE THING TO DO IN CHICAGO: Exploring the Art Institute
HOBBIES and INTERESTS: The Beatles, cooking, making strange art with my friends, Abbies the cat
Charlotte Mae Ellison
AARON PAGEL (Artistic Associate) Kennewick, WA is Aaron's hometown. After getting his BA in theatre with a focus in film from FSU, he did his time in LA as an actor and wannabe stunt guy. In 2010, he moved to Chicago to stretch his “art” muscles. Now he's currently working on his MBA in Operations Management at DePaul with the hopes of becoming an asteroid miner. On the side, he sometimes makes films, reels, and voiceover demos through his film company, Kentalago Productions.