ALLISON FRADKIN

Member

Allison is a playwright with thespian tendencies. Scriptly speaking, she creates satirically scintillating stories that enlist their characters in a caricature of the idiocies and intricacies of insidious isms. An enthusiast of inclusivity and accessibility, Allison serves as Literary Manager of Violet Surprise Theatre, curating new works by queer women, trans folx, and non-binary folx; and as Dramatist for Special Gifts Theatre, adapting scripts for actors of all abilities. As an actress, Allison has performed in plays and musicals in such colossally comedic roles as Annelle in Steel Magnolias, Frenchy in Grease, Dolly Tate in Annie Get Your Gun, Mae Peterson in Bye Bye Birdie, Miss Brooks in Our Miss Brooks, and Blair Warner and Lucy Ricardo in parodies of The Facts of Life and I Love Lucy. Allison's auxiliary activities include vintage shopping, volunteering, and designing nifty nostalgic necklaces.

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BONNIE HART

Founding Member

Bonnie fell in love with theatre at age 5 and never left. She hopes to pursue a career in theatre, as well as teach youth theatre. She is excited and proud to be a part of the Mosaic Players and what they stand for. Bonnie believes in the importance of the arts and the role it can play in creating change. “Change will not come if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” -Barack Obama

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CLARA RITER

Founding Member

Clara is excited about being a part of Mosaic Players because she feels this will be a great change for the area. It will be a good company for kids because "we'll be able to talk about the LGBTQ community, racial issues, and will also explore the art of theatre."  Most of her theatre experience has been at PM&L Theatre. She is a percussionist and is a part of the AUGS Jazz Band.  She likes swimming, reading, and listening to music.

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CONNIE WURSTER

Founding Member

Photographer, actress, stagehand, board member, multimedia artist, cook, caretaker, mother of three, grandmother of two. Three cats, one husband, and a partridge in a pear tree.

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GARY L. LUZ

Founding Member

Gary is an actor, musician, singer, videographer, and photographer. A graduate of Columbia College Chicago's music program, he's performed with PM&L Theatre, Townsquare Players (now Theatre 121), and the Round Lake Area Park District. He is an avid Star Wars Fan, and is developing a Youtube channel dedicated to that genre which will launch in January 2021.

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GRETCHEN GRASSL

Founding Member

Gretchen Grassl has performed in many plays and musicals beginning at a young age.  Since joining the Kirk Players in 2010, Gretchen has performed in “The Glass Slipper”, “Enchanted April”, “David & Lisa”, “The Hollow”, “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily”,  “I Remember Mama”, “Red Herring” and “Lord Arthur Saville’s Crime”. She has directed “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”,  co-directed “Velveteen Rabbit” and “Becky’s New Car” with Kirk Players and has directed “The God Committee” and “Over the River and Through the Woods” with James Downing Theatre in Chicago.  She has assistant directed “The Happiest Millionaire”, “Velveteen Rabbit”, “Jack and the Magic Beans”, “The Mousetrap” and “Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up.”   She served as Administrative Director for four years and was elected Artistic Director last year.  She also enjoys writing and reading.

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JAIME CHURCHILL

Founding Member

Jaime is thrilled to be part of mosaic players. Jaime was bitten by the acting bug as a child and has performed on both stage and screen in over 200 productions since. Jaime is a passionate believer in making theater more representative of the changing reality of the world and honored to be able to contribute towards that goal.

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JEANNA DAEBELLIEHN

Member

Jeanna is thrilled to be a part of Mosaic Players. She is no stranger to working in the theater, both onstage and behind the scenes. She has extensive experience performing, directing, and choreographing productions in the Chicago area. When not working in the theatre, Jeanna teaches for the Waukegan School District. She is grateful for any chance to be a part of creating meaningful and inclusive theatre.

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JENNIFER DRINKA

Board Recording Secretary, Founding Member

Jennifer Drinka is above all things a storyteller. She is an aunt and a librarian who believes in the importance of celebrating diversity, fighting for equity, and truly seeing and listening to each other. She is a founding member of Mosaic Players and serves as Board Secretary.  Jennifer enjoys life in Antioch, IL with her husband Joe and Timneh African Grey parrot Gracie. She is excited to bring the transformative power of theatre to our community.

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MELISSA FRANK

Founding Member

Coming Soon

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NATALIE ORTEGA

Founding Member

Natalie is so thrilled to be a founding member of Mosaic Players. Since age 5, she has performed in over 30 community theatre and professional stage productions. Natalie loves Mosaic Players' mission to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in Lake County theatre and she looks forward to performing and contributing to new or adapted works that tell the stories of often under-represented groups and their struggles for social justice.

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NICOLE HEYL

Member

Nicole is passionate about education and is elated to be a part of a company that pledges to use their gifts to educate the community about social justice issues. As a graduate of Purdue University with a focus in Social Studies Education, she has always been intrigued with social history. "It is up to each generation to examine the norms and behaviors of the generations prior and our human duty to work to be better." Nicole has enjoyed twenty years as an educator and has been honored to have facilitated students from birth to age 85. She currently teaches 1st grade at Most Blessed Trinity Academy in Waukegan, IL and is the Choir Director at the United Methodist Church of Antioch. She has a vast background in performance and vocal directing. Nicole has worked with several church choirs, worship teams and community theatre groups throughout Northeastern Illinois and Southeastern Wisconsin. Additionally, she is a vocal performance mentor for the Diva Quest Scholarship Program and member/choreographer for the Riverport Chorus of Sweet Adelines International.

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REBECCA ZELLAR

Artistic Director, Founding Member

Rebecca has a degree in theatre from Michigan State University and has acted, directed, marketed, stage-managed, adapted, written, and collaborated in the medium for over thirty years.  She's thankful time has slowed down enough to allow her to realize that theatre needs to undergo a serious change, both systemically and spiritually, and she and this merry band of players intend to explore everything and anything to allow this new world to emerge and be shared.

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RENEE JOHNSON

Executive Director, Founding Member

Renee is honored to have the opportunity to bring her talent and experience to Mosaic Players. Renee is an actress, orator, and storyteller with over 30 years of performing on the academic and community stages of Lake County, IL. As a storyteller, Renee’s goal is to keep the African American History narrative alive by sharing stories that inspire and highlight the resilient spirit and journey of African Americans. She specializes in dramatic portrayals of historical African American women (Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Marian Anderson, Rosa Parks, Shirley Chisholm and Fannie Lou Hamer). Offstage, Renee is a resident of Antioch, IL, and Retired Army Veteran.

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SUSAN MCCUISTION

Board Treasurer, Founding Member

Susan is a cultural practitioner and creator of Compassionate Diversity®, which integrates concepts from the fields of intercultural competence, emotional intelligence, leadership, science, and more into powerful tools for change. and in our world.  She offers 25 years of human resources speaking, consulting, and facilitating experience, together with specialty skills in national culture and subculture and diversity best practices.

Throughout her career, Susan has amassed a variety of credentials. In addition to being certified in multiple cultural tools, such as Barrett Values Centre Culture Assessments, the Intercultural Development Inventory® (IDI), and Cultural Detective®, she is a HeartMath® Certified Resilience Coach and Facilitator. She has presented at conferences and on webinars for The Conference Board and Human Capital Institute. Her quotes and insights have appeared in articles in The New York Times and for publications by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM).

Susan is founder and host of the innovative online conference, New Diversity SummitTM and co-founder of the Diversity Thought Leader Community. She is a #1 International Bestselling Business Author. On her Compassionate Business ConnectionsTM blog, she offers practical tips on how to create a more inclusive, compassionate, and resilient workplace.

Susan holds an M.S. in Statistics from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is a member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin.

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SUSIE PERKOWITZ

Member

Susie is passionate about the power of live theatre- to teach, to entertain and to connect.  She enjoys performing with theatre groups throughout Chicagoland. Susie holds degrees in both Communications and Theatre, and has background in broadcasting. Through her company, Sheep Jam Productions, Susie creates powerful audio content for clients world-wide. She is executive producer of Be Calm on Ahway Island, a top-ranked children’s bedtime podcast. With over 4 million downloads, Be Calm on Ahway Island brings the message of kindness and inclusivity to children around the world.

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TIFFANY CAPPEL

Board Chair, Founding Member

Have you ever seen those old time skits where the man balances hats on his head? He uses a broom to add more hats to balance, maybe while reading a unicycle. That guy is a great visual for Tiffany Cappel. Her hats are labeled "wife, mother of 3, grandmother to one beautiful little girl, special education advocate to over 30 families in Lake County, foster parent of 3 little ones, board member for Mosaic Players, activist wanna-be, etc." Some days she wears one at a time, proudly. Other days? It’s a balancing act. And often they lay at her feet after falling off.

Mosaic Players is so important and special to Tiffany because all of her hats encompass the mission of the group. She knows we have to do better as a country and if she can be a part of something in her little corner of the world, she's all in. She looks forward to the day when we can come together as a company and change the world!

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TOM CAPPEL

Founding Member

Tom’s love of theatre began in elementary school where he began acting with Cathy’s Creative Kids. Continuing through Lakes High School, Tom had opportunities in musicals such as Mary Poppins, Once Upon a Mattress, and Thoroughly Modern Millie directed by Abra Chusid. He has also participated in PM&L’s A Christmas Carol and The Best/Worst Christmas Pageant Ever. As an adult with a disability, Tom is passionate about creating theatre that teaches others about inclusion. He’s excited to stand beside the other members of The Mosaic Players and change this little corner of the world.

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