Alex Kumin's bold and whip smart standup delights crowds across the city of Chicago and around the US. She is an alumni of the nation's longest running independent standup comedy showcase, The Lincoln Lodge, through which she also teaches Chicago's favorite all-female standup class, Feminine Comique. Her monthly showcase, Diamond Comedy Hour, takes place at the Chicago Laugh Factory on the first Friday of the month, featuring the premiere female comedians in the city and beyond. She has had the pleasure of working with Maria Bamford, Tom Green, Rory Scovel, The Lucas Brothers, Aparna Nancherla, Greg Fitzsimmons, Jen Kirkman, and Todd Barry, among others and was selected as one of eight comedians at Gilda's Laughfest - Best of the Midwest Competition 2017. She made her television debut on WCIU's "Chicago's One Night Standup" and has appeared in NBC Universal's Breakout Festival ('16, '17, '18), Limestone Comedy Festival, Orlando Indie Comedy Fest and The Chicago Comedy Exposition. In 2016 she was named a comic to watch by Timeout Chicago and was one of Chicago Reader's standout comedians of the year. She has been featured in Chicago Magazine as a comedian with "unapologetic honesty", as she tackles heavy hitting social issues like gender inequality and thigh chaffing.
Teaching: International Fiddle
Anna hails from a little town in Wisconsin called Elk Mound, where you won't find much fiddling happening. She started on classical violin, and played with a local folk dance band while in grade school, which sparked her initial interest in fiddling. In addition to teaching at the Old Town School and playing fiddle in various bands around town, Anna also plays the French horn in orchestras and chamber groups! She loves to collect fiddle tunes from around the world and share them with people (and sometimes tries to play them on the horn, too)!
Teaching: Jingle Mingle
Critically acclaimed as a "stunning vocalist," "master teacher," and "folk festival in a box," Barbara Silverman has performed on national radio, Midwest festival stages and concert venues for four decades on solid rhythm guitar, bluesy vocals, piano, washboard, bones and feet. Her multiple bands The Laketown Buskers, The Teflons, The Schticklers and The Mama-Vat's-Nu Orchestra collectively have appeared on Prairie Home Companion, Pritzker Pavilion, Chicago Symphony Center, openers for Emmy Lou Harris, David Bromberg, Odetta, and Arlo Guthrie, and on six CD recordings. A member of the Old Town School of Folk Music's Vocal, Guitar, and Dance Faculty, Barb joined their first international trip to England and Finland, and teaches workshops across the Midwest region. She is also known for her self-crafted Life Story Theatre work which received 15 years of funding from the City of Chicago and the Rothschild Foundation.
Teaching: The Body Talks: Dynamic Characterization
Caitlin Marz is a dance artist and educator originally from Crete, IL. After spending the past decade performing and teaching in New York, she is proud to be reconnecting with Midwest creative communities. She has performed in the work of Kim Brandt, ChameckiLerner, Tess Dworman, Karen O, People Get Ready, Kayvon Pourazar, Jessica Ray, Jen Rosenblit, Eleanor Smith, Larissa Velez-Jackson & Enrico Wey. Her work has been presented by AUNTS and CPR, and Links Hall.
Teaching: Let's Move!
Deanna Myers works in Chicago and New York as a theatre artist, teacher and generally curious person. She's taught and performed for Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Catharsis Productions, Barrel of Monkeys, Writers Theatre, The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, and Actors Gymnasium. This Summer, she plans to spend more time outside, play more piano, ride her bike a ton, and stop to pet every dog she passes.
Teaching: Circus Exploration, Stage Makeup
Emily Perkins has been instructing and performing circus skills for 7 years. Her skills have taken her across the country and beyond. She specializes in hoop but has a background which includes a multitude of circus skills. You can see her performing around town at venues such as Untitled, Comedy Bar, and more!
Teaching: Myk Check
Gregory Geffrard is a Haitian American who was born and was raised in Miami. After earning his M.F.A from the University of Iowa and relocating to Chicago, Greg feels blessed that in his six years of living in Chicago he has had the opportunity to work consistently in the multifaceted Chicago theatre scene. Gregory is an educator all over Chicago: teaching Sexual Assault Prevention and Response at Great Lakes Naval Base through Catharsis Productions; a teaching Artist with Steppenwolf's Young Adult Program and teaching social change classes over the summer with Old Town School of Folk Music since 2015. You can usually find this intersectional feminist spoken word artist rocking a conversation starter shirt or hoodie.
Teaching: Americana Fiddle
Jess grew up in Southeast Wisconsin as a Suzuki kid and followed a love of folk music she found in high school to East Tennessee State University. After studying American music and Appalachian history there, she returned to Wisconsin to finish undergraduate studies in Social Work and Spanish but continued studying and teaching fiddle at camps and workshops in West Virginia and Kentucky. Since moving to Chicago in 2013, Jess spends most of her time fiddling, singing and touring with too many bands to count, arranging & composing music for theatre companies (House Theatre of Chicago, Chicago Children's Theatre), and just released a second album of original music with her songwriting project, Joybird.
Teaching: Muppets, Magic, and Making Puppets, Graphic Scoring, Making a Mystery, Tell Me a Story
Hello! My name is Jordan, and it is so lovely to meet you! I am beyond excited to be returning to Old Town School this summer. This will be my third year being a part of this amazing summer program, and am certain this year will be just as wonderful. I am a recent graduate of Columbia College Chicago who is very passionate about education and advocating for incorporating arts into every possible aspect of life. I originally hail from Hudson, Wisconsin, land of Cheeseheads. My time is mostly spent breaking into song, doodling, and spending time with loved ones. I look forward to learning with you this summer!
Teaching: Storytime through Song
Julia Storke is a multi-instrumentalist with an established international career. She has lived, taught and performed music in a wide variety of countries, including China, the United Arab Emirates, Argentina and Kenya. A native of Evanston, she received her theatre education at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and her music degree at Mills College in California, where she studied composition with Pauline Oliveros and voice with Faith Winthrop. She is a multiple grant recipient with a background in piano, Orff Schulwerk and Kodaly pedagogies and is a certified k-12 music teacher who has taught in private and public schools across the country and abroad. As an artist, Julia began her career on stage as an actress and director and found her voice as a singer-songwriter and spoken word artist as well as a jazz singer. She hopes to empower her students with her unique approach to piano and voice by creating, composing and applying music principles through a unique blend of movement, body percussion and music literacy.
Teaching: Sing, play, move!
Lindsay Weinberg is a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and educator whose musical family encouraged her since day one, inspiring her to spend her days nurturing musical seeds all over the city of Chicago. She started at Old Town School in 2005, founded the school's Young Voices program and preschool summer camp, teaches private piano/guitar/voice lessons and Wiggleworms in Residence, and was honored as a Distinguished Teaching Artist in 2018. She is also a teaching artist for Ravinia's Music Discovery program and a city-wide performer for kids and adults. Lindsay has her Kodaly level II certification from DePaul University.
Teaching: Puppet Storytelling/Fables, Mixtape Musical
Liz's classrooms are calm but playful, and encourage new friendships. While everyone learns at a different pace and has different strengths, Liz believes we can all find a way to play together. Liz Chidester, from the mountains of Virginia, moved to Chicago in 2013 and resides as a singer, songwriter, actor, and teaching artist. Her recordings with her band LIZ AND THE LOVELIES include People Pumping Pedals (2014), Otter Hill EP (2015), Progress Into Simplicity EP (2017) and My Way/Your Way Single (2018). She was a Midwestern Finalist in NPR's NewSong Songwriting Contest 2014, nominated for Best Female Vocalist in the Chicago Music Awards 2015, and was a finalist in the NewSong Leaf Songwriter Competition 2016. Progress into Simplicity was nominated for 'Best Roots EP' in the 2018 Independent Music Awards, and was in the top 4 at the Silversound Showdown Battle of the Bands 2018 in Brooklyn, NY. As an actor, Liz is a Company Member of FIREBRAND THEATRE, the first feminist equity musical theatre company, and was critically acclaimed for her role of "Lizzie Borden" in LIZZIE. She won 2 Equity Jeff Awards for her role "Vi Petty" in American Blues Theatres' BUDDY: THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY in 2018, and a Non-Equity Jeff for her role of "Laura" in Refuge Theatre Project's HIGH FIDELITY in 2017. She has worked with Chicago Children's Theatre, Cabinet of Curiosity, Sideshow Theatre Company, Mercury Theatre, Theatre at the Center, and Route 66 as an actor, teaching artist, and composer. She is represented by Shirley Hamilton Inc. Before moving to Chicago, she was singing all over the world as a lounge singer with Carnival Cruise Lines and Holland America Line. She has her BM from James Madison University in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
Teaching: Dance & Movement
Monica Thomas has been a dance instructor for Old Town School's Kids Dance Program for five years. She taught for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's Movement as Partnership program, partnering with Chicago Public School instructors to create curriculum integrated dance programs, as well as Chicago-area dance studios, and the Music Institute of Chicago's Music Theatre Program. As a performer, she has performed in multiple productions at Drury Lane Theatre, Paramount Theatre, and House Theatre. She was a company member with dance companies Mordine & Co and Winifred Haun & Dancers. She creates dance films as part of her personal choreographic project and was a recent recipient of the Chicago Dancemakers Forum GREENHOUSE grant.montomarts.org
Teaching: Pretty Wild: Art Inspired by the Op-Art Movement
Sara Noori is a maker and creator who enjoys collaborating with others as both an artist and a teacher. Her practice in the classroom is inspired by student choice, enjoyment, interests, and individuality. Nurturing the creative spirit and developing student confidence through material exploration and self-expression are the primary goals of her classes. The opportunity to provide messy, fun, and engaging art experiences to students is what Sara believes makes her work with Old Town School uniquely wonderful!
Teaching: Sound Effects: An Exploration, Songwriting For Musical Theatre
Rawson Vint studied Acting at DePaul University. He is a company member with Barrel Of Monkeys, an arts education company that creates original performances based on Chicago Public School students work. He has also worked for Lookingglass Summer Theatre Camps as a music and movement director. Along with his music background, he has worked at Second City teaching improvisation to young performers.
Teaching: Glam Rock!
Ross Childs has been playing and writing music for the better part of ten years. As a graduate of both the Second City Conservatory and the Second City Writing Program, he has developed a unique talent for music, writing, and performance, all of which he is anxious to share. He has spent a large part of his life studying the history and music of the world of rock and roll in all its forms, and he is so excited to be working with the Old Town School of Folk Music this summer. If you'd like to see Ross in action soon, go see The Buddy Holly Story at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights this summer where he will be performing as The Big Bopper.
Teaching: Horror Film Production, Animating the 90s
Sharon is a Chicago-based filmmaker, director, and playwright. Originally from small-town Maryland, she has studied/lived all over Europe, including Graffiti-smattered Berlin. She received her MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage from Northwestern University, where she discovered her love of teaching. Since then, she has taught everything from video production to playwriting here at Old Town School of Folk Music, Changing Worlds, Chicago Children's Theatre, and American Blues Theater. Here in Chicago, she directed the webseries Symbiosis, assisted on sets from indie films to House Hunters, and worked at theaters like Silk Road Rising & Red Theater. She was a featured playwright in Jackalope Theatre's inaugural Playwrights Lab and self-produced her original punk play ThroatPunch. Most recently, her punchy play Hitting on the Break was part of Dandelion Theatre's Reservoir Series.