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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 recently served on 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.
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.
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.
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.
Jessica is excited to be part of Mosaic Players. She received her BMed from VanderCook College of Music in 2018 graduating as Valedictorian. Jessica currently teaches band, choir, and general music at Grass Lake School in Antioch. She also directs her district's musicals. Jessica has been involved with theatre since she was 8 and loves to perform. She is thrilled to contribute to making Antioch a loving and accepting community through theatre.
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.”
Kristy Warren is in her third theatrical life after a pair of stints including a run at the Metropolis Performing Arts Center in the 2010s. Most recently, she returned to the stage again in “We Will Rock You” with the Haylofters of Burlington WI.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sarah lives in Grayslake with her husband and five children. Though a theatre fan from a young age, Sarah has become more involved as an adult due to having two sons who have performing since they were very little! She loves being a theatre mom and enjoys helping out with any and all aspect of the productions. Sarah particularly loves the inclusivity that she has seen in many of the productions her sons have been a part of, and is thrilled to be a member of the Mosaic Players because of their mission to focus on social justice, human rights, and anti-racist issues while promoting dignity, equity, inclusion, understanding, and respect. She is so excited that her sons have the opportunity to learn about essential and important human rights issues though their passion for live theatre!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
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.