(Top, from L): Tyra Bullock, Kona N. Burks, Jazmín Corona, Monet Felton, Jalyn Greene; (second row) Claribel Gross, Lauren Katz, Alexis A Tornez Martinez, Ayssette Muñoz, Dana Murphy; (third row) Jeremy Ohringer, Abigail Piñon, Alex Benito Rodriguez, Stewart Romeo and Alexus Williams
Tyra Bullock (she/her) is an actor, teaching artist, and arts education administrator. She currently serves as the Education Manager at Writers Theatre. Tyra is also a Lead Teaching Artist at companies such as Goodman Theatre, Northlight Theatre, and Lifeline Theatre. As an actor, she’s had the pleasure of working for several institutions, most notably Lifeline Theatre, Oklahoma Shakespeare, Oklahoma Children’s Theater, Pollard Theater, and GreatWorks Theater. Through her work, she strives to create dialogue that promotes empathy and empowers those who feel unseen by society.
Kona N. Burks (she/her) is a professional actress, educator, and director. She is honored to work with Steppenwolf Theatre as a lead teaching artist. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her Master of Education Degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is also a graduate of School at Steppenwolf, 2012. Kona has been awarded a BTAA Award and Black Excellence Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Play. Kona is also a member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA. This will be her seventh year as a teaching artist in general, and her second year working as a Steppenwolf teaching artist.
Jazmín Corona (she/her) is a Mexican American and bilingual actor, writer, dancer, and photographer. She has worked as a teaching artist with Steppenwolf for Young Adults since 2016. She has also had the pleasure of teaching with Northlight Theatre, The Viola Project, and Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE), to name a few. She has brought numerous works of art to schools all over Chicago. As an actor, she has worked with Steppenwolf, Goodman, First Folio Theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre, Free Street, Raven Theatre, and Babes With Blades, among many others. Her TV credits include NBC's Chicago Fire. She is proudly represented by DDO Chicago.
Monet Felton (they/them) is a director, producer, writer, teaching artist, and company member at Jackalope Theatre. Monet earned their BFA in Acting at The University of Illinois at Chicago, where they currently teach as an adjunct professor for their non majors theatre class. They are currently studying on a scholarship to be certified in Alexander Technique. They have had the opportunity to teach at theatres such as Adventure Stage Chicago, Congo Square, Raven Theatre, Timeline Theatre, Walkabout Theatre, and Steppenwolf for Young Adults. Monet is a proud member of the Steppenwolf teaching artist cohort.
Jalyn Greene (they/she) is an actor, poet, teaching artist. They are driven to explore the intersectional black experience through poetic and generational narratives. Detroit born and Chicago based, they received their BFA from Michigan State University. Recent acting credits include No Child (Mississippi Bend Players), Queen of Sock Pairing as The Narrator (Red Tape Theatre), Crumbs from the Table of Joy as Ermina Crump (U/S) (Raven Theatre) and Breathe, Boom as Angel (Eclipse Theatre). Jalyn thrives on the belief that arts education is key in creating compassionate, bold, and effective leaders. Partnered with Chicago theatres and youth arts organizations such as Lifeline Theatre, Emerald City Theatre and Pegasus Theatre, they’ve provided arts programming to hundreds of students across Chicagoland, with an emphasis on communities with large minority and immigrant populations. Jalyn is also a member of the 2021 inaugural IGNITE cohort, under the mentorship of Nambi E. Kelley.
Claribel Gross (she/her) is a theater maker, director and teaching artist. She has training and experience in Devised Theater, Theater for Social Change, Solo performance, Theater of the Oppressed, Theater for Young Audiences and experimental writing and performance. As a performer, teaching artist and arts administrator Claribel has worked in communities in the United States, Latin America and Europe. Claribel is a founding member of The Midwives Artistic Collective, whose mission is to nurture the public creative spirit. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and a BA from the University of Minnesota. As a teaching artist Claribel also works with Mudlark Theater, Lookingglass Theatre and is an adjunct faculty member at Aurora University.
Lauren Katz (she/her) is a Chicago-based director, educator, and dramaturg. Favorite directing credits include: Cowabunga (Broken Nose Theatre), Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins (Strawdog Theatre), This is a Chair (Haven Theatre), and Women of 4G (Babes with Blades Theatre Company). As an assistant director and dramaturg in Chicago, Lauren has worked with various companies including: About Face Theatre, Firebrand Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, Theater Wit, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Victory Gardens Theatre, Redtwist Theatre, Writers Theatre, and Windy City Playhouse. Lauren served as the 2016/2017 Artistic Apprentice at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and as a fellow in the 2018/2019 Directors Inclusion Initiative at Victory Gardens Theatre. As a teaching artist, Lauren also works with Lookingglass Theatre and Mudlark Theater.
Alexis A Tornez Martinez (he/him) is a Chicago - based actor and educator who uses storytelling elements to confront issues within the Latinx communities. He has a Bachelor in Arts in Theatre and Performance from UIC. During his time at UIC, he has worked as an electrician and participated in projects with his peers to create wonderful stories. He is also a part of the Northlight Theater’s Education Cohort as a Lead Teaching Artist. Alexis is a DACA recipient, who uses his experiences to create art that connects and responds to Latinx issues. Currently, he is writing a play that confronts the issues, struggles, and experience of immigration through the Mexico/US Border. Outside of the arts, he does interior construction and has a passion in learning more about videography/photography.
Ayssette Muñoz (she/her/ella) is a Mexican-American actor, educator, and director originally from the Rio Grande Valley. In 2015, the Chicago Tribune featured Ayssette as one of the “Top 10 Hot New Faces of Chicago Theatre''. And in 2019, she was nominated for "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play" from the Alliance of Latinx Theatre Artists of Chicago. She's acted with Steppenwolf, Teatro Vista, Goodman Theatre, Lookingglass, Chicago Shakespeare, Rivendell, A Red Orchid Theatre, Collaboraction, Definition Theatre, Urban Theater, and Teatro Luna. Her on-camera credits include 'Chicago PD', 'North of the 10' and 'En Algun Lugar'. She is a proud Teatro Vista ensemble member and serves as their co-director of youth and outreach. She recently associate directed Teatro Vista's "Somewhere Over The Border"-- jeff award winner of Best Director, Best Ensemble, and Best Production of a Musical (mid-size). She is represented by Big Mouth Talent.
Dana Murphy (they/she) is a creative collaborator, heart-forward leader, and agile facilitator of joyous and transformative learning spaces with 20 years of experience in the arts education field, currently prioritizing collective care and cultivating abolitionist, antiracist lenses in their practice. She is the Manager of School Programs and a Lead Teaching Artist at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and has taught all over Chicago with Raven Theatre, Creative Root at DePaul, Lookingglass Theatre, Adventure Stage, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Free Street Theatre, UIC and U of C. They are also a long time ensemble member of wender collective (formerly Walkabout Theatre) which has created devised and site specific experimental physical theatre performances throughout the city. Dana is passionate about fostering radical imagination, embodied learning, and compassionate connection in their education work. She trusts young people deeply and moves in reciprocal relationships with both students and educators to create strong trauma-informed containers for creative exploration.
Jeremy Ohringer (he/him) is a director, assistant professor, and teaching artist. In addition to Steppenwolf, he teaches at North Central College, DePaul University, and Writers Theatre. His favorite directing projects include CONSTELLATIONS (North Central College), STUPID F**KING BIRD (DePaul University), RAYMONDO (The Cartographers), ANGELS IN AMERICA: PERESTROIKA (Boston University), WHO WALKED ALL NIGHT… (Rhino Fest), SALVE REGINA (Center on Halsted), SAD SONGS FOR BAD PEOPLE (Rough House Theater), WHO ROWED ACROSS OCEANS (Edinburgh Fringe Festival) and an original adaptation of SPRING AWAKENING (Fearless Theatre). Jeremy is Chair of the board of The Midwives, a national collective of artists supporting each other’s individual projects. He holds an MFA in directing from Boston University.
Abigail Piñon (she/her) is an actor and arts educator who enjoys performing/writing/producing/teaching theatre, improv, and art all throughout the city. She is an ALTA-winning performer in the category of “Outstanding Improviser.” In addition to Chicago, Abi has performed and taught in cities such as: Austin, New York, L.A, San Francisco, Toronto, and more. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Performance, Minor in Disability and Human Development (with Honors) from the University of Illinois (Chicago). Abi's interests lie at the intersection of arts and access. She currently serves as Program Manager at The Warehouse Project & Gallery, a nonprofit org that focuses on utilizing innovative, artistic ways to create positive social change. Abi would like to give a shout-out to her family and loved ones who have supported her every step of the way, “Especially mi mamá, papá, y hermano who’ve always made me feel like anything is possible.”
Alex Benito Rodriguez (he/him) is an actor, theatre maker, and teaching artist. At the core of Alex’s working practice and teaching methodology are curiosity and collaboration. He believes that questions are at the root of creativity and communal exploration fosters the growth and wellness of an artist. As a teacher, Alex has worked with Asolo Repertory Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Mudlark Theater, The University of Illinois at Chicago and the NHSI Cherubs program at Northwestern.
Stewart Romeo (he/him) is an actor, carpenter and teaching artist on the scene in Chicago. Born and bred in Chicago, he began his work at the Goodman Theatre Youth Arts Program (originally known as G.T.S.) in 2013. While studying theatre at Tennessee State University, he participated in multiple shows and honed his skills as an actor and carpenter by working on each set he performed on. Upon his return to Chicago, he began working at Black Ensemble Theatre doing the same. He is an avid lover of the arts and arts education. Stewart is extremely excited to be apart of the StepEd cohort as a new teaching artist contributing to the development of the next generation of theatre participants.
Alexus Williams (she/her) is an actress, writer, and educator from Chicago. She was first introduced to improv acting through a free improv class hosted by the Magnet Theatre at Rutgers University in Newark. She later won a scholarship to study improv at The Second City in Chicago. In college, she studied away in New York City with La MaMa E.T.C while also taking Hip Hop, House and West African Dance classes at Broadway Dance. She was a Pegasus Players Young Playwrights Festival winner in 2013 and this is her first year as a Steppenwolf Assistant Teaching Artist. She teaches for Chicago Charter Schools and is an aspiring television and voiceover actor.
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