Allee is an alumnus of the University of Iowa where she double-majored in Theater Arts and Cinema & Comparative Literature. Her work for both departments enjoyed numerous staged readings and screenings. During her time at Iowa, she was also active in Student Video Productions which saw airings of her local access shows KRUI-TV and The Girl Show, where she served as head writer and co-producer for each. As an emerging playwright, Allee has collaborated with Chicago-based Dream Theater, participating in their "Theater of Women VI" festival and 20% Theater as part of their "DarkRoom" reading series. Her favorite past time is writing with her husband Matt while their chubby hound Mollee looks on indifferently.
Bartek is honored and excited to be a part of the Mosaic Players, and especially its emphasis on embracing diversity through vocal, dance and theatrical performance.
Much of Bartek's theater experience comes from the Round Lake Area Park District, where he has participated in 10 productions over the past four years. As a student of Dancenter North for the past five years, Bartek has enjoyed studying and performing a wide variety of dance, from hip hop to Broadway to ballet and even Boys Fusion.
Bartek's love of music, movement and art includes playing piano and saxophone in his free time as well as love for travel, science and math, in which he thinks and challenges himself in ways that complement his dance and theatrical pursuits.
His curiosity, sense of humor, love of adventure, intellectual focus joy in working with others keep his family and friends in a constant state of amazement at where his abilities and accomplishments have led him so far, and very excited for his future impact on everyone around him.
Since the age of 6, Bella has acted in over 2 dozen theatrical productions, and has been featured in commercials, videos, and television episodes. Recently, she starred in her first short film earning her IMDb film credits. Her love for acting is fearless, and her passion for communicating meaningful messages through her performances is limitless. Bella looks forward to a lifelong career in film and theater, while contributing her imaginative and creative skills to all aspects of the behind-the-scenes activities. In her free time, Bella enjoys playing the piano, dancing, contortion, drawing, golf, reading, and writing.
Professor Benjamin R. Caras
Professor Caras is an artist, teacher, designer, fabricator and all around advocate for all things creative. He teaches Art and Design at Northeastern University and manages a thriving architectural fabrication studio in Boston, Massachusetts.
“In creative work, there is no failure. Only experiences that lead to truth. Get to work!”
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
Since the age of 5, Chase has performed in several theatrical productions, commercials, videos, and television episodes. This fall, he will be starring in a short film, earning his first IMDb film credits. His outgoing personality brings a natural and refreshing aspect to his performances that move an audience to feel and see life through the eyes of a child. Chase thrives on the importance of social justice and wants to be a part of the necessary needed change in today’s world. In his free time, Chase enjoys playing the alto saxophone, baseball, golf, and video gaming.
Founding Member, Technical Director
Christopher has an appropriately eclectic past for an actor. He has lived in 9 states, 2 countries, and even a territory. He has had jobs ranging from Fast Food Cook to Army Photographer, Carnie to Retail Manager, Entrepreneur to Uber Driver. He has sung Opera professionally (although very briefly), worked in the costume industry for 15 years, is proficient in numerous computer related skills, and builds a new computer when the old one isn’t fast enough anymore.
He has been past president of the McHenry High School performing arts booster organization known as TEMPO, is currently on the It’s Showtime Huntley Theatre Advisory board, and is very active with Theatre 121 in Woodstock as well.
He has been lucky enough to have been married to his high school sweetheart for over 33 years and is a father to two grown men (ouch).
For the stage he can act, sing, dance, design and build sets & props. Design lighting and has even done sound, and video work. Writing and directing are also skills used in the past.
Christopher’s hopes for Mosaic Players, is to provide an outlet for a wider range of people to be able to express themselves through theater, and for a large audience to be able to experience theater for themselves firsthand.
Claire is proud to be a founding member of the Mosaic Players. She is a strong, confident and passionate young lady who is known for speaking her mind, standing up for the underdog and never shying away from hard work.
Claire has been acting in local stage productions since she was 5 years old and LOVES a challenge. Claire has enjoyed playing a wide variety of characters including RHODA in THE BAD SEED at PM&L Theater, Gomez Addams in the ADDAMS Family at the Round Lake Park District Theater, Ursula in The Little Mermaid at the Round Lake Park District Theater, Scar in THE LION KING at Standing Ovation Theater, Alice Wendleken in THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER at PM&L Theater, and so many more.
Claire is an accomplished singer who enjoys exploring drama and strength in her music. She LOVES the emotion and storytelling of each song she sings. When she was younger, Claire was a print model for BMG Models appearing in national campaigns.
Claire is an old soul, who loves to read, who loves history and all of its lessons and who wants to use her voice, her talent and her determination to shape our future.
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 has been taking ballet for the last two years, and is a percussionist. She likes swimming, hanging out with her friends, and reading.
Board Member, 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.
Cristianna is a Palatine resident with nearly twenty years of theatrical experience. After growing up doing school, church, and community theatre in Mid-Michigan, she attended Concordia University Wisconsin, where she graduated with degrees in Theatre and Humanities. Cristi and her husband Josh have been involved in theatre in the Northwest Suburbs for over six years. When not travelling to rehearsals or preparing for auditions, Cristi enjoys crafting costumes and props, and playing Dungeons and Dragons with her friends.
Gary L. Luz
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.
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.
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.
Jamie is an elementary school speech-language pathologist with a love for singing, dancing, and performing.
Jamie Lee is an actor, writer, singer, director, radio DJ, and more. A graduate of Northwestern University, she’s performed with Second City, Six Flags Great America, Corn Productions, PM&L Theatre, Donley’s Wild West Town, Kirk Players, and more, and has even produced work for her own company, Jackalope Productions. Jamie hosts “Jammin’ with Jamie” Saturday mornings at 6 am CT on 89.3 WNUR FM, with select episodes on her YouTube channel. Jamie’s currently represented by Dream Team Talent and Chicago Talent Network. Visit her website at http://JamieLeeCortese.com and follow her on Twitter @JackalopeJamie.
Board Member, Founding Member
Jennifer is excited and proud to be a Mosaic Player. She is a storyteller, writer, musician and Library Director who loves the stage. You may have seen her as Mrs. Hawkins and a lady pirate in PM&L’s “Treasure Island”, as Professor Trelawney or Madame Maxime in the Antioch Chamber’s Wizards Weekend, or telling an Irish scary story at Antioch Public Library District’s Afternoon of Storytelling. She is a self-proclaimed “bird lady”, youngest of nine and lives in Antioch with her husband Joe and Timneh African Grey parrot Gracie.
Jordan is a Chicago-area engineer and actor who studied Physics, Theatre, and Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University. She is passionate about science communication and fighting systematic inequality through education and performance. She has also held the titles of “tour guide of space,” “game show host,” and “axe-throwing instructor.”
Meghan has been involved with community theater for a long time. Whether onstage as Katherine, Helena and "Wall" in Sounds and Sweet Aires part of the Shakespeare First Folio tour, Lorraine in The Man Who Came to Dinner, Cassandra in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, backstage Stage Managing and Directing, or currently a Board Member for not-for-profit community theater The Kirk Players in Mundelein; it’s her passion. Meghan’s ‘day’ job has been in the legal field for over 20 years. Melding her passion for theater as well as social justice issues, one of her most recent memorable roles was as a suffragette in "A Woman’s Influence," written by suffragette Gertrude Jennings in 1909, produced in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Meghan believes Mosaic Players will be an opportunity to enhance her passion yes, but much more importantly, educate the community by bringing light via the stage focusing on all cultures, races, and human rights.
Board Member, 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.
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.
Renee C. Johnson
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.
Ryan is an all-around renaissance man. He is a set-designer, actor, artist. "Shoot for the moon; if you miss, you'll be among the stars."
Sara is a creative maverick, on a mission to create artistic encounters which challenge people to reflect upon themselves and society, and make conscious choices toward healing and wholeness. In addition to acting, she is a successful writer, musician, and visual artist.
After traveling the country with a theater troupe for a few years after college, Sheri put down roots in the McHenry area, and has been directing and performing throughout Lake, McHenry and Cook County for 20 years! She is thrilled to be a small piece of this mosaic and excited for new possibilities.
Board Member, Founding Member
Shola is currently a third-year student at the University of Illinois at Chicago majoring in public health and minoring in public policy and international studies. While her course of study is seemingly unrelated to the arts or humanities, as an upcoming public health professional, she envisions her practice engrossed in the intersection of public health and the arts. To Shola, the (performing) arts are a palpable mechanism of advancing the psychosocial and emotional well-being of historically dispossessed peoples, reflecting public health's fundamental tenets in advocating for holistic community wellness. In particular, amongst communities across the African diaspora, Shola aspires to use engagement with the arts as a radical, pedagogic tool of subversion -- to empower, mobilize, and regenerate in one's own image. Post-undergrad, she intends to pursue a graduate degree in acting or theater and performance studies.
In her previous life, Stacey was a global project manager for Baxter International and Motorola Inc. She recently transitioned to a work-at-home parent, and now spends most of her time supporting and managing her children’s acting careers. Through her children, she discovered the art of theater and film making, and shares their passion to bring attention to important messages that need to be told through theatrical storytelling. Stacey is excited that her family is part of Mosaic Players, and is looking forward to contributing toward a successful and fruitful future them!
Board Member, 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.
Tara Lee Petrozelli
Tara was born in Queens, New York. After graduating from American Musical Dramatic Academy and Lee Strasberg Institute, Tara began a small career in off Broadway shows. At 27, she moved to Burlington, WI where she continued her career in theatre and film. She is so incredibly grateful to see growth in the theatre world with Mosaic Players. To know a theatre stands and supports true equality for every single human being and isn't afraid to show it brings immense joy to Tara and she couldn't be happier to be part of it!
Board Member, 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!
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.
Hi. I'm Tony. I'm excited to be here for the commencement of Mosaic Players. My fondness of theatre started more with performance art, street performers, Ren Faire, and the occasional puppet show. When I became a parent is when I started to appreciate classic theatre and musicals more. My daughter has been acting in school, which has drawn me in to volunteer to help with set builds and painting. So looking forward to helping where I can.
Board Treasurer, Founding Member
Ivan currently works in Marketing Analytics, which means he spends the day analyzing data, building and validating data models, hypotheses, and general data trending. He writes code, builds charts, reports, dashboards ... pretty much anything that will help him convey the message we are trying to impart.
Early In his life, he received an associate's degree in finance and then went off to study computer programming. A short 20 years later, he returned to complete his bachelor's degree in business management. He is currently looking at Masters programs in computer science.
Ivan joined the board of Mosaic Players last year as Treasurer. He felt it would be an excellent opportunity to learn about the early stages of a non-profit and be a part of helping it grow. He likes the causes that Mosaic Players stands for and the mission of inclusion and diversity.