Artistic & Administrative Staff
Artistic Director – Max Truax
Managing Director – Josh Johnson
Development & Community Engagement Director – Sarah Grant
Development Assistant – Lauren Sheely
Literary Manager – Casey Wright
Graphic Designer – Bridget Schultz
Photographer – Austin D Oie
Board of Directors
President – Sanjay Keswani
Treasurer – Josh Johnson
Company Member Bios
Derek is the Artistic Director of The Ruckus and an Artistic Associate with Pride Films & Plays. Directing: Miracle! (Hell in a Handbag), Angry Fags (PFP/Steppenwolf Garage), Some Men (with David Zak), Kill Your Boyfriends (an original piece), and Songs from an Unmade Bed (Jeff nomination). Movement: Coraline the Musical (Black Button Eyes), La Chingada (Inappropriate Theatre), Matawan (The Ruckus), and pieces for Salonathon. Acting: The Skriker, Stadium Devildare, The Life & Death of Madame Barker (Red Tape Theatre), Hauptmann (Boho Theatre), and Wallace Shawn’s The Fever (The Island Theatre). This year, Derek was named one of Windy City Times’ 30 Under 30, honoring individuals from Chicago’s LGBTQIA communities. He currently improvises at The Annoyance with the team Baby Wine. MFA: CCPA/Roosevelt University.
Carrie has been a proud Red Tape ensemble member since 2010. Red Tape credits include: The Life and Death of Madam Barker, Stadium Devildare, The Skriker, Elephant’s Graveyard, Brand, Church/Pullman WA, The Love of the Nightingale, and Phenomena (CFANN 2012). Other Chicago credits: Amok! (Links Hall), Pink Milk (Oracle & White Elephant Productions), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Circle Theatre), as well as numerous film and video projects. She holds a BFA in Theatre from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, having focused on musical theatre in the CAP21 program and film acting at Stonestreet Studios. Carrie is also a personal trainer and co-founder/owner of boutique personal training studio, Comfy Fitness, in the Bucktown neighborhood.
Red Tape credits: hamlet is dead. no gravity, Lear, The Skriker, Brand, The Love of the Nightingale, and Pullman, WA. Chicago credits: Measure for Measure (Goodman Theatre), Pride & Prejudice (Lifeline Theatre), understudy roles at Victory Gardens Theatre as well as About Face Theatre, and Othello, Romeo & Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, A Winter’s Tale, Taming of the Shrew, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream all with Back Room Shakespeare Project. Regional credits; Michigan Shakespeare Festival’s Comedy of Errors and Romeo & Juliet, and North Carolina Shakespeare Festival’s King Lear and Much Ado About Nothing. Amanda holds a BFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is represented by Paonessa Talent.
As Red Tape’s newest ensemble member, Sarah is very excited to be joining the company, after appearing as Bine in hamlet is dead. no gravity. Other Red Tape Credits include Church/Pullman, WA. Chicago credits include: A Very Merry Madrigal (Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre), Cleave (The Inconvenience), Sleeping Beauty and Godspell (Provision Theatre), Ephemera (Polarity Ensemble Theatre), Bah, Humbug! (Piccolo Theatre) and understudy roles at The House Theatre. She holds an M.A. in the humanities from the University of Chicago.
has been a Chicago based performer since 2009. He has been seen in Red Tape Theatre Company’s productions of The Life and Death of Madam Barker and Taylor Mac’s The Walk Across America For Mother Earth which was one of the 2015 Steppenwolf Garage Repertory productions. Recent work includes his own show: Shelley Duvall’s Women Under the Influence Theatre that was a part of an artist residency at University of Chicago through Salonathon. Alex has also been seen in Hell in a Handbag’s productions of: SCARRIE, L’imitiation of Life, The Birds, TROGG and Sexy Baby.
Izumi has designed costumes for hamlet is dead. no gravity, Obscura,Tragedy: a tragedy, Elephant’s Graveyard, and The Skriker. Earlier this season she was invited to be invited to be Red Tape’s resident costume designer. Chicago credits include works with A Red Orchid, Porchlight, Chicago Shakespeare, Chicago Dramatists and About Face, Griffin, Steep, Building Stage, The Hypocrites, Side Show, Mary-Arrchie, etc. She is a recipient of Jeff Award 2011 for makeup design of Cats (Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre). MFA in Stage Design, Northwestern University.
Josh Johnson-Managing Director
Josh has been directing in Chicago for over 10 years, working with Strangeloop Theatre, Chemically Imbalanced Comedy, Black Elephant Theatre and Oil Lamp Theatre among others. In addition, he was a founding member and Artistic Director of Rubicon Theatre Project from 2005-2009 and has held administrative positions at the Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater and currently with the University of Chicago at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts.
Emma Ladji has worked with several theater companies in Chicago. Favorites include Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Red Theater and, of course, Red Tape, where she appeared in Mnemonic. After graduating from Columbia College, Emma and a group of fellow alums formed the experimental performance collective Room 916, which has staged performances at the Chicago Home Theater Festival and the New Now Festival in Amsterdam. Emma can currently be seen in Red Theater’s production of Year of the Rooster. She is represented by Shirely Hamilton Talent.
Steve Labedz is a sound designer and composer working in and around Chicago. He loves working on experimental theatre as he feels it gives him room to fully express his medium. Steve is also a managing partner with Bread & Roses Productions and the projection designer for the band Celine Neon, and thinks that writing in third person is hilarious.
Kyle is a freelance Director, Designer, Technical Director, Carpenter/Welder/Scenic Painter, and Stagehand. He has been a member of Red Tape Theatre Company since Technical Directing and Lighting Designing Enemy of the People, and has since served as Lighting Designer for Mouse in a Jar, Obscura, Church/Pullman Wa. and Tragedy: A Tragedy, as well as Assistant Directing for The Love of the Nightingale. Area credits include various work with Steppenwolf, Adventure Stage, Fillament, Last Match, Theo Ubique, Metropolis, New World Rep, Side Project, House, and Timeline; along with technical directing for the National High School Institute “Cherubs” Program for the last three years. Kyle came to Chicago by way of Emporia State University where he received a BFA in Theatre Arts and a BA in English, then stayed on to serve as Technical Director for four years after graduation. Back in Kansas, Kyle co-founded both L.I.T.E. and IF Theatre, and directed the inaugural shows for both companies: How I Learned to Drive andFool for Love. He also directed several shows at ESU including A Bright Room Called Day, The Woman in Black, and My Left Breast, as well as, scenic and/or lighting designing numerous productions including Waiting for Godot, Cabaret, and Urinetown.
Lona has worked with the company 8 years and recently joined the Board of Directors. Red Tape credits include Jeff Nominated Love of the Nightingale and Elephant’s Graveyard. She also performed in Brand, Obscura, Enemy of the People and her favorite, hamlet.is.dead,no gravity. Other Chicago credits include working with Sideshow, Wildclaw, New Leaf, Prologue, Aston Rep and Red Theatres. She was the Director of Corporate, Foundation and Government Relations at Columbia College Chicago and serves on the Board of the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus.
Charlotte is a Chicago-born mover and writer, who graduated from Sarah Lawrence College where she studied Literature and Theater. For the last 2 years, she has been making and touring with the award-winning animation and cinematic shadow puppet company Manual Cinema, most notably at the International Puppet Festival at the Museum of Contemporary Art and to the Noorderzon festival in the Netherlands. Credits with them include: Mementos Mori, My Soul’s Shadow, The Blow Up Bra, and The Secret Lives of Objects. Other non-puppet Chicago credits include: Social Creatures (Tympanic Theater), King Ubu, and Ulysses (The Plagiarists), Salome (Right Brain Project) as well as work with Oracle Theater, Lifeline Theater, The Factory and Whiskey Rebellion. She assistant directed for The Ruckus’ Matawan and advised on the creation of the Neo Futurist’s new series The Arrow. With her dance background, Charlotte has taken her interest in movement and applied to it devised performance training in Viewpoints and Pig Iron’s Lacoq-based physical improvisation. You can see her short dance-theater pieces at Salonathon. Charlotte is represented by
Grossman & Jack.
Ruth has been called a leader and one of America’s most singular and daring theater artists known for her “audaciously original” (Moscow Times) use of language that provides “layer after layer of richly textured emotion…and imminent danger” (Dallas Morning News). Best known in the US for her collaborations since 1997 with the late composer Fred Ho with whom she wrote six martial arts operas for the Apollo, Guggenheim Museum, Brooklyn Academy of Music and several national tours, Ruth’s “Night Wind from Afghanistan” for the play SEVEN has toured all over the world, introduced by Hillary Clinton featuring Meryl Streep at the Broadway Hudson Theater (NYC). She performs regularly with her Café Antarsia Ensemble, receiving awards from Rockefeller, McKnight, Jerome, NEA, TCG, TMUNY, NYSCA, IAC, Fulbright foundations, published by Dramatists Play Service, American Theatre, Theater Forum, Performing Arts Journal, Playscripts, Inc., Backstage Books, Autonomedia, New Village Press, Innova Records, NoPassport Press. She performed Flower in Red Tape’s Taylor Mac play at Steppenwolf Garage, after working with Red Tape on her play Stadium Devildare in 2013. She’s currently writing Previously Blue with Dah Teatar (Belgrade) and 7Stages (Atlanta) presenting her Locket Arias with Nautilus’ Rough Cut new opera series (Mpls), etc. She’s been a New Dramatist, a Chicago Dramatist and is Associate Professor/Chair of Writing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. www.RuthMargraff.com
Austin is about to celebrate his 10th year in Chicago! He’s been working in many areas of artistry, including acting, photography, music, composition… the list goes on. In addition to being a company member at Red Tape, he also is a member with Forks & Hope Theater Ensemble. The rich life is the artists life.
Stephanie is excited to join Red Tape Theatre where she appeared in Mnemonic. Other credits include Circle-Machine (Oracle Productions), reWILDing Genius (The New Colony/Steppenwolf Garage Rep), Kate and Sam Are Not Breaking Up (The New Colony), Alice (Nothing Without a Company), and understudying The Hundred Flowers Project (Silk Road Rising) and Equivocation (Victory Gardens). She is also an Ensemble Member at The New Colony (where she serves as Managing Director), an Artistic Associate at Nothing Without a Company, a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf and is represented by Big Mouth Talent. She may next be seen in The Realization of Emily Linder at Redtwist Theatre.
Jake was last seen as Draco Malfoy in Badfic Love (Den Theater). He also was in the long running Midwest premier of Mike Barlett’s Cock (Profiles Theatre). Other theatre credits include Burn This (Shattered Globe Theatre), Mnemonic (Red Tape Theatre), Unwilling and Hostile Instruments (Theatre Seven), Changes of Heart (Remy Bumppo Theatre), Urinetown (Circle Theatre), and more, including work with Sideshow Theatre, Pride Films and Plays, The Hideout, (re)Discover Theatre, Silk Road Rising, Baliwick and the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. A proud former member of the late Pavement Group Theatre, Jake is also a graduate of the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana Acting Program.
Max served as Artistic Director of Oracle Productions from 2011 until 2016, where he directed No Beast So Fierce, The President, The Mother, The Sandman, Woyzeck, The Ghost Sonata and Termen Vox Machina. His production of The Motherreceived several Jeff Awards, including awards for Best Production and Best Ensemble. Prior to his tenure as Artistic Director of Oracle, Max served as Oracle’s Director of Outreach and as Company Manager. Max has been a Resident Director at Trap Door Theatre since 2008, where he directed several productions, including No Matter How Hard We Try, The Balcony, They Are Dying Out, Hamletmachine, A Couple of Poor Polish-Speaking Romanians, and No Darkness Round My Stone. His production of A Couple of Poor Polish-Speaking Romanians performed at the Fun Underground Festival in Arad, Romania and at the Bagatela Theatre in Krakow, Poland. Other notable directing credits include A Dream Play at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts (University of Illinois) and Brand for Red Tape. Max studied visual art, performance art, and post-modern choreography at Oberlin College, and he received his MFA in Theatre Directing from California Institute of the Arts.
Johnard recently moved to Chicago by way of Houston, Texas. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Southern Methodist University studying theatre. There, he was seen in a variety of roles: La Discreta Enamorada (Hernando); The Laramie Project (Greg Pierotti, et al.); Trouble in Mind (John Nevins); Our Lady of 121st Street (Flip Johnson); An Ideal Husband (Lord Goring) and many independent projects. Mr. Washington also worked closely with Kitchen Dog Theatre and the Orchestra of New Spain under the direction of Tina Parker, Gustavo Tambascio and Grover Wilkins III. In Chicago, Mr. Washington has worked primarily with Red Tape Theatre. He was Hungry Townsperson inElephant’s Graveyard directed by James Palmer and now can be seen in Churchill’s The Skriker where he plays Yallery Brown directed by Eric Hoff. Mr. Washington is happy that Red Tape has been so welcoming to him and looks forward to growing as an artist doing cutting edge theatre.
Casey Wright-Literary Manager
Casey is thrilled to serve as Red Tape’s literary manager. Born and raised in Oologah, Oklahoma, he has experience in just about every facet of the theatre, and has worked as dramaturg in Chicago, Oklahoma, and New York. He received his MA in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Literature from the University of Oklahoma.
William J. Davis
Mackenzie May Brown
Paul G. Miller
James D. Palmer