Teaching Artist Community

The Chicago Children’s Theatre Teaching Artist Community is comprised of professional, Chicago-based artists, actors, filmmakers, storytellers, dancers, singers, painters, sculptors, designers, and costumers devoted to theatre making, creative education, and courageous play. Enroll in a Class or Camp.



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Time Brickey is a tap dancer, singer, and entertainer from Chicago. He is a graduate of Millikin University’s School of Music and an Apprentice Member of M.A.D.D. Rhythms. Time received his initial tap and theatrical training from Studio BE, under the direction of Tamara Drew. From there he received training from Reggio McLaughlin, and then Tristan Bruns of M.A.D.D. Rhythms, where Time is now finishing his professional training. Additionally, Time has performed with the Chicago Human Rhythm Project in Dance for Life Chicago, and as a soloist at the Billy Strayhorn centennial, where he was described by the Chicago Tribune as a “Literal Loose Cannon.” As well as performing, Time has composed, arranged, and choreographed for his own various projects and productions.


Liz Chidester is a multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter and actor from Virginia. Liz teaches at the Old Town School of Folk Music as a summer camp songwriting teacher for 7-11yrs and teens, and as an adult ukulele teacher. She worked with the Youth Guidance program at Ravenswood Elementary, and continues to work with Ravenswood Elementary as a ukulele teacher to K-2nd through the Columbia College Community Arts Partnerships Program. She also teaches private ukulele, piano, and a 4-5yr old “Uku-lala” class at Sherwood Music School. She is so excited to sing Campfire Songs with CCT!


Nick Davio is a Chicago-based music director, multi-instrumentalist, teaching artist and songwriter who holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Millikin University, with an emphasis in Vocal Performance.  He currently holds teaching artist positions at The Old Town School of Folk Music. Nicholas also served as the rehearsal guitarist for the Chicago production of Million Dollar Quartet for 5 years, and has been nominated twice in the “Musical Direction” category by the Jeff Awards committee.


Leon J. Evans is an up and coming Choreographer/Actor from the Sunshine State, settling in just fine here in Chicago. He’s grateful enough to have shared the stage with amazing artist in productions such as, Magic Treehouse Showtime with Shakespeare (Emerald City Theatre), Peter Pan and Gypsy (Music Theater Works), The Toilet (Haven Theatre) and many more! If you asked what keeps him going he’ll simply reply, “DANCE!”



Micah Figuroa is Chicago based teaching artist, actor, director, and choreographer. As an actor, Micah was most recently in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Moby Dick at Lookingglass Theatre. Micah is a frequent collaborator with Walkabout Theatre, having most recently performed in Tall Girl and the Lightning Parade, and has worked with Writer’s Theatre, Erasing the Distance Theatre Company, First Floor Theatre, 20% Theatre Company, and Redmoon Theatre in Chicago. Regionally he’s has worked with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Shakespeare Dallas, Theatre Three, Kitchen Dog Theatre, Stolen Shakespeare Guild, and the Dallas Theatre Center. As a teaching artist, Micah has been fortunate to work with students ranging from kindergarten through college investigating and expanding their physical limits for nearly eight years. Micah has been fascinated by nonverbal communication since a very young age. He was inspired by his Grandfather “Pops” who spoke very little English, and who instead used gesture and sound to tell intricate stories to him and his cousins. Specializing in physical theatre, Micah has strived to, like his Grandfather, not only to bridge the language divide but also to inspire students to communicate with their entire bodies and to safely eliminate “I can’t” from their vocabularies.


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Allison Grischow is a Chicago based actor, improviser, musician, and teaching artist. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Music from Valparaiso University, and she continued her training with the Moscow Art Theatre School studying acting, movement, and Russian History. In addition to teaching musical improvisation, Allison has taught and led students to create fully devised musicals at Valparaiso University. She is also a teaching artist with Emerald City Theatre and House Call Music where she teaches piano and voice lessons privately.


Seeta Khanna is a Chicago-based music enthusiast working as an International Tax professional for a consulting company in the city. She started learning to sing Indian Classical Music and play the harmonium at the age of 6. She has had singing performances at various settings, competitions, including the radio as a child. It has been her dream to teach children and is excited to bring the “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa – Indian Vocal Music Class” to the Chicago Children’s Theatre.


Yuri Lane is a world renown human beatbox and harmonica player living in Chicago since 2003.  He’s been a professional actor, musician and teaching artist for over 20 years and is excited to bring Hip-Hop for Tots to Chicago Children’s Theater in 2017.


Originally from the east coast, Nicole Laurenzi is happy to find herself in Chicago, where she has been performing, writing, and teaching for the past three years. Nicole holds a BFA from NYU’s TISCH School of the Arts, where she studied at both the Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting and the musical theater program CAP21. After graduating Nicole went on the Broadway National Tour of Mamma Mia! on which she had the pleasure of playing the role of Lisa in theatre’s all across the country.

Since arriving in Chicago she has had the pleasure working with Griffin Theatre, Victory Gardens Theatre, Kokandy Productions, Goodman Theatre, The Marriott Theatre, and Cabinet of Curiosity Events. You may have seen her on your tv in an episode of Chicago PD or walking the isles of Lowes during a commercial break. She has also appeared online for The Onion as the recurring culture commentator Shaun Ditko. In addition to being an actor and singer, Nicole also plays guitar and composes original music.


Born and raised in Allentown, PA, Evan Richter is a trained Actor, Director, and Clown. Evan recently graduated from Muhlenberg College where he majored in theatre. He now lives in Chicago where he works for Metro Chicago Hillel and does theatre work for The Conspirators and Cabinet of Curiosity.


Beth Reinstein is a singer living the dream in Chicago.  Hailing originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Beth came to Chicago to pursue her bachelor’s in vocal jazz and contemporary music at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. While in school, Beth discovered her love for songwriting and ended up creating her solo project Elle Casazza. As Elle she has performed all over Chicagoland, toured nationally and was named “8 Young Chicago Artists Making a Dent in Music” in Paste Magazine.


Matthew Shimmel is a filmmaker and editor based in Chicago, IL. He studied Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago, where he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Documentary Production. Since then, he’s been fortunate to work as a freelance videographer and editor for a variety of projects. But above all, Shimmel loves telling stories through still pictures and moving images, always finding it gratifying to share those passions with others.


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Ellie Terrell is a Chicago-based teaching artist, prop and object builder, and painter. Her work has been seen in productions with Albany Park Theater Project, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre, The House Theatre, Halcyon Theatre, and Redmoon. In addition to her work with theater companies around Chicago, Ellie taught at Gallery 37’s After School Matters program and ran the After School Art and Tutoring programs at San Miguel Gary Comer School and St. Angela School with St. Joseph Services. Ellie holds a BA in Literary and Cultural Studies from the College of William and Mary.


Steph Vondell is a bilingual actress and teaching artist from Mexico City. She got her BFA in Performance from University of Illinois at Chicago. Steph is a teaching artist at the Chicago Children’s Theatre, Silk Road Rising, and Barrel of Monkeys. Her acting credits include Neverland at the Prop Theatre, Firefly Love with Something Marvelous, The Nance at Pride Films and Plays. Grossman and Jack Talent represent her. Steph is so excited for Bubble Jams! I can’t wait for you all to POP on by!