Derek is Artistic Director of The Comrades and Associate Artistic Director for AstonRep Theatre Company. Chicago directing credits include Mary-Kate Olsen Is In Love, Prelude To A Kiss (The Comrades), Design for Living (Jeff Award Winner for Best Costume Design, Pride Films & Plays), The Children’s Hour (Jeff Award Winner for Best Supporting Actress, Pride Films & Plays), The Lyons, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Wit, Doubt, Next Fall, Eleemosynary (AstonRep Theatre), God of Carnage, The Dinner Party (BrightSide Theatre), You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown (Wilmette Park District) and Number the Stars (GreatWorks). Assistant directing credits include RACE (Goodman Theatre), Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Bailiwick Chicago) and Angry Fags (Steppenwolf Garage). Regional credits: Love, Sex & the IRS, Red Herring, Boeing-Boeing, Rumors, Monty Python’s Spamalot (Timber Lake Playhouse), The Wizard of Oz (Shawnee Summer Theatre) and Brighton Beach Memoirs (Festival 56).
Angela Horn (Director of Audience Engagement)
Angela's previous Chicago credits include work with Chicago Dramatists, AstonRep, Pride Films & Plays, and Something Marvelous. Before relocating to Chicago, Angela worked Off-West End as General Manager of London’s Finborough Theatre and performed in the 60-city national tour of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs with Dallas Children’s Theater. She is actively involved in the arts accessibility programming at Steppenwolf and Jackalope theatres, and studies contact improvisation with movement collaborative Creative Wellness. Most recently, Angela was seen as Mary-Kate Olsen in The Comrades' inaugural production, Mary-Kate Olsen Is In Love.
Mike Newquist (Director of Communications)
Mike is a Chicago based actor and improviser. Notable credits include: Prelude to a Kiss, Mary-Kate Olsen Is In Love (The Comrades), Design for Living (Pride Films & Plays), The Brig (Mary-Arrchie). He has also performed alongside Polarity Ensemble, Prop Theatre, Commedia Beauregard, Theatre-Hikes, Robot vs Dinosaur, Strawdog and Jackalope Theatre. Commercial: Illinois Tourism. New Media credits: The Dreamers, Dudes, Coffee Talk, POST, Pilgrim, Ashtray, The Heat of the Moment. An alumni of The Second City’s Comedy Studies Program (’09) and Columbia College Chicago (’10), Mike teaches improv for St. James Common’s Congregational Wellness Advocacy Training Program and performs with his sketch group, Awkward Silence. He also performed with 360’s Peter Pan in their preshow swords demonstration as Mike the Pirate. Along many of Chicago’s finest actors, Mike performs in an annual holiday staged reading of The Muppet’s Christmas Carol as Bunsen Honeydew and Peter Frog (most recently performed at SoHo House). Mike is a freelance cartoonist, follow him on Instagram @newqcartoons.
Alison Plott (Casting Director)
A native Californian, Alison moved to Chicago in 2013. Favorite projects include; Chicago: Susie/Wit (Aston Rep, Chicago); Beatrice/Much Ado About Nothing (The Arc, Chicago); U/S The Woman/The Vandal (Steep); Hamlet/The Hamlet Project (Los Angeles and Chicago companies); Sabine/Unbearable Lightness of Being (Creative Wellness). Regional: Maria/Or What You Will (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Adriana/Comedy of Errors (New Swan Shakespeare Festival, CA); Belize/The Learned Ladies and Celia/As You Like It (Texas Shakespeare Festival), Ellen/Little Dog Laughed (Theatre Out, Los Angeles), Julia/The Wedding Singer (SRT Rep, CA). She is a certified instructor in the Loui Movement Technique and teaches with Creative Wellness, a mobile fitness company (www.createlivewell.com). Alison holds an MFA in Acting from the University of California, Irvine and a BA in Theatre from the University of California, Riverside.
Cydney Moody (Company Member)
Cydney moved to Chicago in 2015 from her hometown, Peoria IL. She is proud to be represented by Stewart Talent! You can see her in Episode 2 of Chicago Med (Kara) on NBC and she was involved in the Mary Page Marlowe (Wendy) workshop at Steppenwolf. She became a member of The Comrades in May 2016, and has acted in Mary Kate Olsen is in Love (Ashley) and Preludeto a Kiss (Leah) with the company, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Sylvia) with The Little Things Theatre. You can also see her in Out of the Heart (Beth), the feature film shot in her hometown, and in the short film Tied Up (Girl) with Ghosts of Vaudeville. She has a Bachelors of Science from Illinois State University.
David Coupe (Company Member)
David is a native New Englander who has been a Chicago based actor/writer since 2006. He was most recently seen in Mary-Kate Olsen Is In Love (The Comrades), Super-Wellesian (Hawkeye Plainview Productions), and Shakespeare’s Star Wars (Shakes, Not Stirred Productions). He also performed in When Angels Wept (Grippo Stage Productions), Kill Me, Please! (Wishbone Theatre Collective), Giving Ground (Modofac Productions), The Ruling Class (Goat Song Theatre), and A Klingon Christmas Carol (Commedia Beauregard). David is a film/TV actor having completed work on the upcoming feature film 2 Jennifer (LA Horror Productions) and currently filming dual webseries, Contacts and Post (which he also penned). He is the senior editor for www.filmthusiast.com. David studied improvisation at Second City, received his A.A. from Dean College, and his B.F.A. from Columbia College Chicago.
Raymond Jacquet (Artistic Associate)
Raymond is excited to be an Artistic Associate with The Comrades. He was most recently seen in Prelude To A Kiss in the role of Tom. He is graduate of University of Maryland-College Park and the Act One Conservatory. Recent Acting credits include Butcher Boggle (Dozu) and The Subject (Garth).
Melanie Kulas (Artistic Associate)
Melanie is a native Wisconsinite and has been in Chicago since 2015. Chicago stage management credits include Venus in Fur (Circle Theatre), Prelude To A Kiss (The Comrades), Oh, Coward! (DWTC), In a Word (Strawdog), Design for Living (Pride Films & Plays), and Les Liaisons Dangereuses (AstonRep). Before moving to Chicago, Melanie lived in NYC, stage management credits include Republic (JACK), Beckett Solos (Hoi Polloi), and The Lady in Red Converses with Diablo (In the Basement). Each year, Melanie returns to her alma mater of University of Wisconsin-Madison to join the stage management team for the Varsity Band Spring Concert. Other notable Madison credits in stage management include The Pleasure of His Company: Our Love Affair With William Shakespeare (UW-Madison Arts Institute) and the production team for Panel Discussions with His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama in 2013 and 2016.
Alex Nolen (Artistic Associate)
Hailing from Phoenix Arizona, Alex came to Chicago in 2012 to complete her BA in theatre at Loyola Chicago University. After graduation in May 2016, Alex has begun immersing herself within the theatre community. Recent credits include ensemble in Prelude To A Kiss with the Comrades and Giant Human Female Fetus Baby in Elizabeth Archer’s Troll at Trap Door Theatre. She loves spending time with friends at music festivals as well as cooking delicious vegan grub!
Taylor Wisham (Artistic Associate)
Taylor is an Artistic Associate with the Comrades. She hails from south suburban Chicagoland, and is glad she can "officially" call herself a true blue Chicagoan, since relocating to the city limits in 2015. Recent credits include: The Dictionary Project (at The Frontier), Absolutely Unbelievable (Otherworld Theatre Company), a staged reading of Tiresias (at The Greenhouse Theatre), and Mary-Kate Olsen Is In Love (The Comrades). Upcoming projects include: The Festivities (w/ Little Things Theatre), and web-series Post (w/ Whiskey Delta Films). She holds a B.S. in Acting from Illinois State University.
Kate Leslie (Artistic Associate)
Kate has been directing, teaching, and writing in Chicago for four years. Currently, she is the Director of Programming for Emerald City Theatre. She proudly worked with The Comrades to direct a reading of Lauren Gunderson's The Taming and she also assistant directed Dying City by Christopher Shinn. After graduating from Sewanee: The University of the South, Kate was a teacher and director in her hometown of Oxford, MS. Chicago credits include: Exit the Queen, The Blasphemy of Bees, and From These Fatal Loins (assistant director). As a playwright, her ten-minute plays have been produced by Theatre Oxford and 20% Theatre Company, and her play for the very young, Mother Goose's Garden, opens at Emerald City's Little Theatre in May of 2017.
Nicholas Coso (Artistic Associate)
Nicholas is excited to be an Artistic Associate with The Comrades. His most recent work was as Lighting Designer for The Comrades’ most recent show; Prelude To A Kiss. Other notable works include Almost Maine (Lighting Designer/Technical Director), Little Shop of Horrors (Master Electrician), Rumors (Lighting Designer), Jekyll and Hyde (Lighting Designer), and Twelfth Night (Lighting Designer). Additionally, he worked as an Assistant Stage Manager for The Shuler Awards. Prior to moving to Chicago in 2016, Nicholas was a school teacher in Atlanta, GA. He received his B.A. in Theater from Florida Southern College.
Becca Venable (Artistic Associate)
Becca Venable is a Dallas, Texas native now living in Chicago where she is the assistant technical director at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the technical director for Chicago Children’s Theatre and Red Theater, and an artistic associate with The Comrades. Becca also works as a freelance technical director, lighting designer, and sound designer around the city. Some of Becca’s credits include The Nutcracker (Ballet Lubbock), Beauty and the Beast (Lubbock Moonlight Musicals), Weekend Comedy (Oil Lamp Theater), Dying City (The Comrades), Reckless (Eastern New Mexico University), The Country Wife (Texas Tech University), and Gender Breakdown (Collaboraction Theatre Company).
Carol Ann Tan (Artistic Associate)
Carol Ann Tan is a Singapore-born, Chicago-based director, writer, and dramaturg. Her work focuses on issues surrounding race and immigration, particularly those involving the Asian diaspora. Directing/writing credits: Domestic Departure for the Director's Haven 2016 (Haven Theatre); Apartment Complex, Domestic Departure (University of Chicago). In 2015, Domestic Departure was awarded second place for the Olga and Paul Menn Foundation Prize by the University of Chicago. Upcoming directing projects: assisting Elly Green on You for Me for You(Sideshow Theatre). Dramaturgy credits include peerless (First Floor Theater), In The Wake (The Comrades), and assisting on The Audience (TimeLine Theatre). Upcoming dramaturgy projects include Two Mile Hollow (First Floor Theater), Wild Boar (Silk Road Rising). Education: B.A. University of Chicago. www.carolanntan.com