Red Tape Theatre is committed to the creation of new and experimental work through collaborations with our ensemble, playwrights, musicians, dancers, and visual artists. Red Tape’s plays invite our audiences to re-imagine their world and serve a vital purpose in our community: to arrest attention and create empathy.
Artistic & Administrative Staff
Artistic Director – Max Truax
Managing Director – Ben Kaye
Marketing Director – Casey Chapman
Associate Marketing Manager – Zoë DePreta
Associate Marketing Manager & Webmaster – Joseph Ramski
Director of Individual Giving and Member Relations – Lyndsay Kane
Director of Development – Emily Nichelson
Audience Engagement Manager – Spencer Ryan Diedrick
Grants Manager – Zach Weinberg
Grant Writer – Eric Turner
Literary Manager – Casey Wright
Company Manager – Ambrose Cappuccio
Line Producers – Ambrose Cappuccio, Jenn Thompson, and Aaron Arbiter
Resident Composer – Nicholas Tonozzi
Resident Graphic Artist – Bridget Schultz
Resident Photographer – Austin D Oie
Maryam Abdi, Company Member. Ms. Abdi hails from Seattle but has toured around the globe as a theatre artist, most recently abroad in Cameroon, Africa, with the solar energy conservation NGO, ANSOLE, where she acted as a Theatre for Development Facilitator. She has spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar in Cameroon. She has worked with theatre in Paris, Avignon, and Tehran, Iran. She was seen most recently in Red Tape’s production of Round Heads and Pointed Heads. She has also worked extensively with Trap Door Theatre where she has starred in Monsieur D’eon is a Woman as well as her Jeff Nominated Performance in Into the Empty Sky.
Aaron Arbiter, Line Producer. Arbiter is a Chicago-based artist and educator. He has directed and assistant directed work for companies from Boston to Chicago including the 16th Street Theatre, 906 Theatre Company, The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, among many others. Arbiter served as Assistant Director for Red Tape’s production of Round Heads and Pointed Heads. He has trained internationally with Complicité and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Derek Van Barham, a member of the ensemble at Red Tape, 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.
Ambrose Cappuccio, Company Manager & Line Producer. Cappuccio is a recent Chicago based playwright and performer. He was most recently seen in Round Heads and Pointed Heads at Red Tape Theatre. One of his original scripts, Cigarettes, will be produced as a part of Red Tape’s (Working Title) workshop series on July 19th. He is also a company member with Trap Door Theatre.
Casey Chapman serves as Red Tape’s Marketing Director. Casey is a Chicago-based actor who has worked for over 11 years in the marketing department at the Goodman Theatre. He is a company member with Trap Door Theatre where he supports social media marketing initiatives. Chapman has worked extensively in film the past 5 years winning the best actor award at the New York City Independent Film Festival and International Film Awards Berlin festival for his role in the independent film Mothers Milk. He is a part of the artistic collective and film distribution company Esemplastic LLC, created by local screenwriter and filmmaker Edward Pionke.
Deirdre Connelly is a Chicago native and has been a stage manager since 2009 for theatre companies in Chicago and Boston, and she currently works for Hubbard Street Dance as the Facilities and Operations Coordinator. Dierdre is a graduate of Brandeis University, where she studied Technical Theatre. Connelly is a longtime collaborator with Red Tape’s artistic director Max Truax, serving as Stage Manager for his productions of The President (Oracle Theatre), No Beast So Fierce (Oracle Theatre), No Matter How Hard We Try (Trap Door Theatre), as well as serving as Production Manager for Red Tape’s collaboration with Walkabout Theatre in 2017, Mother Of Smoke.
Zoë DePreta is an actress, writer and comedian originally from Stamford, CT. She holds a BA in Theatre and Creative Writing from Oberlin College. Most recently, Zoë appeared in Red Tape’s (Working Title) performance of Queen of Sock Pairing. Other Chicago credits include Anna Karenina (Lifeline Theatre), May Day (Rhinofest 2018), and La Ronde (American Theatre Co. CORE). Zoë is currently studying with iO and performs stand-up comedy throughout the city.
Spencer Ryan Diedrick (Audience Engagement Manager) uses he/him/his pronouns, is honored to join the Red Tape family as a Company Member, and looks forward to supporting exciting work with a valuable mission! His credits as a director, deviser, and assistant director include Griffin, American Blues, Route 66, Emerald City, The Runaways, Strawdog, Dandelion, the side project, Raven, TimeLine, Collaboraction, Blue Goose Theatre Ensemble (where he served as Co-Artistic Director), and (re)discover theatre, where he is a proud ensemble member.
Amanda Drinkall serves on the ensemble at Red Tape, where her credits include hamlet is dead. no gravity, Lear, The Skriker, Brand, The Love of the Nightingale, and Pullman, WA. Her Chicago credits include 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.
Sarah Grant previously served as the Development and Community Engagement Director for Red Tape Theatre since 2012. Most recently, she appeared as Thea Elvstead in A Hedda Gabler. Other Red Tape Credits include Hamlet is Dead: No Gravity, 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.
Anthony Guerrero has worked as an actor, director, writer and producer in the performing arts for nearly 30 years. Most recently known for his work as Executive Director of Chicago Dancers United, he took Dance for Life, an annual event that raises money and awareness to support the health and well-being of the Chicago dance community, to the next level as a new nonprofit organization. It was here where he fell in love with the idea and the importance of artists supporting each other. Anthony Co-Founded Hubris Productions (2005-2010), where he directed, produced, and performed in multiple projects. He holds a BA in Performance and Performance Studies from New York University and an MBA in Non-Profit Management.
Izumi Inaba has designed costumes for A Hedda Gabler, 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.
Lyndsay Kane is excited to be the new Director of Donor Relations with Red Tape. She has been very active in the theatre in LA and New York, but is thrilled to call Chicago Theatre home for the past 12 years. She works as an Actress, Casting Director and Movement Director throughout town, and is a proud ensemble member of Trap Door. Her Real Estate career with @properties also allows her to donate a percentage of her commissions back to Red Tape, among other Theatres that refer her services to buyers, sellers and renters, which tickles her philanthropic fancies. Lyndsay works with the District 65 PTA and is an active member of the Women’s Club of Evanston, which also allows her to volunteer and give back to the community, but her most important job is as a wife and mother of a beautiful 9 year old girl. When not making theatre, Lyndsay enjoys practicing yoga, knitting, running in the forest preserve, and camping. Lyndsay looks forward to building a lasting community at Red Tape, and strongly believes that starts with taking care of our Donor Base.
Ben Kaye is a Chicago-based director, performer, administrator, and cultural critic, and is thrilled to be joining the Red Tape Theatre team and supporting the Free Theatre Movement. He currently works as the Audience Services Manager for Emerald City Theatre, as a Producer with Chicago Arts Access, and as a Contributing Writer for Newcity Stage. He has directed, and assistant directed, on world premiere productions with Dandelion Theatre, Nothing Without a Company, The Hypocrites, and The New Colony, and his performance credits include work with Steep Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Haven Theatre, and Porchlight Music Theatre. He directed the Chicago premiere of Nick Flynn’s Alice Invents a Little Game and Alice Always Wins, and his production of Alex Fortune’s Forsythian Dweller’s Club with Bittersweet Arts Co. enjoyed an award-winning run at the Minnesota Fringe Festival.
Nora King, Company Member. Ms. King is an actor/improviser living in Chicago. Her recent credits include House Show: Double Feature with Book Club, The Kansas Collection with Speakeasy Society, as well as starring in Red Tape’s Round Heads and Pointed Heads. Nora is currently studying with the Second City Conservatory as well as iO Chicago. She received her BFA in Acting from California Institute of the Arts, and will be featured in Red Tape’s next (Working Title) new works production.
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.
Charlotte Long is a Chicago-born mover and writer, who graduated from Sarah Lawrence College where she studied Literature and Theater. For over three years she has been 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.
Peter Laughlin, Company Member. Mr. Laughlin received his BFA in Acting from California Institute of the Arts and was most recently seen in Red Tape’s production of Round Heads and Pointed Heads. He was also featured in House Show: Double Feature with Book Club here in Chicago.
Eddie Lynch, Company Member. Mr. Lynch was born and raised in Massachusetts and graduated from California Institue of the Arts with his BFA in Acting. Eddie spent a year teaching English in Thailand and is an Associate Company Member at Trap Door Theatre. He was also featured in House Show: Double Feature with Book Club here in Chicago.
Ruth Margraff, a member of the Red Tape ensemble, 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
Moriah Martel, Company Member. Ms. Martel hails from New England by way of New York and Los Angeles where she was trained. She has performed and studied with Classic Stage Company, Shakespeare and Company, Second City Chicago, CalArts Center for New Performance, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival and more. She was most recently seen in Bittersweet Arts Company’s performance of Stranger on the River at the Den Theatre as well as the independent film The Seed of Doubt.
Felix Mayes, Company Member. Mr. Mayes is an East Coast transplant. He was most recently seen in Red Tape’s production of Round Heads and Pointed Heads. He has had the opportunity to perform on stages from NJPAC to the Lincoln Center to the Rudolfinum in Prague as a singer, actor, and dancer. He has participated in the Philly Fringe Festival and Irene Ryan Acting Festival as well as the American College Dance Festival.
Emilie Modaff (they/them/theirs) is a Chicago-based multidisciplinary artist. They are grateful to be back at Red Tape Theatre after playing Amiga Gringa in Red Tape’s most recent production, In The Blood. Other favorite projects include: In The Canyon (Jackalope Theatre), Les Innocents ((re)discover theatre), Little Flower of East Orange (Eclipse Theatre), Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical (Emerald City Theatre), and Bobby Pin Girls (Nothing Without A Company). They are represented by Shirley Hamilton. You can learn more about their work at www.emiliemodaff.com. Thank you Mom, Dad, Andy, Peter & Selena.
Emily Nichelson serves as the Director of Development for Red Tape Theatre by overseeing the major fundraising events for the company and facilitating the relationships of the large and individual donors to Support the Free Theatre Movement. As a company member, Emily has appeared onstage in I Saw Myself and Round Heads and Pointed Heads. She is also a company member with Trap Door Theatre, and has been onstage with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Writer’s Theatre, Griffin Theatre, StrawDog Theatre, and others.
Joseph Ramski is a native Chicago actor, writer, and visual artist with a BFA in Theatre and English from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. He’s worked with a number of theatres as an actor and designer, including Oracle Productions, Hobo Junction, Otherworld Theatre, The Arc Theatre, The Ruckus, MOZAWA, Organic Theatre Company, Reutan Collective, (re)discover theatre, The Runaways, Mudlark Theatre, The Prop Thtr, Chicago Slam Works, and the Right Brain Project, where he served as Managing Director and Graphic Designer from 2013 to 2017. Joe has also performed his poetry and other written work across the city, and had his first full-length play The Dancing Plague produced in the fall of 2016. Joe can be seen next in Red Tape’s We Are Pussy Riot.
Caleb Roitz, Company Member. Mr. Roitz is an actor, writer, and director originally from San Diego, California. He was most recently seen in Red Tape’s production of Round Heads and Pointed Heads as well as House Show: Double Feature with Book Club. Caleb has received his BFA in Acting from the California Institute of the Arts.
Kiayla Ryann was last seen at Red Tape in In The Blood bu Suzan-Lori Parks and in Young Jean Lee’s The Shipment. Chicago theater credits include Lexi, Hookman (Steep Theater), Ada, The Harvest (Griffin Theater), Ya ya, Mother of the Dark Water (MMPACT theater- JEFF nominated for best ensemble; Black Excellence Award Best Actress nominee) Monica, The Next Big Thing (Factory Theater) and Trisha, Five Women Wearing the Same Dress (Loop Players) as well as understudying the Crucible at Steppenwolf. You can also find Kiayla at your neighborhood open mic singing covers abs spitting original poetry. She who received her BA from Bradley University and is a School at Steppewolf 2016 Alum. She is grateful to her amazingly supportive family, friends, and team at Stewart Talent.
Nicholas James Schwartz (Scenic Designer) Originally from New York , Nick now resides is Chicago as a Scenic Designer, Scenic Artist and Production Manager. He has been recently nominated for best Scenic Design by the BTAA for his work on JUNETEENTH ST at ETA Creative Arts Center and For Harbur Gate at 16th Street Theatre. Nick’s previous works include: Comedy of Errors (Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre), Elephant Man (William Street Repertory), King Lear, Between Riverside and Crazy (Red Twist Theatre), Blood At The Root, Antigone (Elgin Community College), In The Blood, Rounded Heads And Pointed Heads (Red Tape Theatre), Naked (Trapdoor Theatre), Book Of Merman, Defacing Michael Jackson (Flying Elephants Productions), Juneteenth St. (ETA Creative Arts), Green Book, YPF (Pegasus Theatre Company), Memphis, Young Frankenstein (Parkland College), Revolt (Vision Latino Theatre).
Kelsey Shipley joined the RTT team in October 2016 through Max Truax; who she has collaborated with on several productions. As a theatre-maker, Kelsey has had the pleasure of working with a variety of Chicago companies, both onstage and off as an actor, former stage manager, outreach director, and designer amongst other titles. Through awards provided by the Driehaus Foundation, she took DePaul’s grant writing course in 2017 to strengthen her skills and contribution to the company.
Stephanie Shum is responsible for overseeing the successful completion of Red Tape Theatre’s supplementary artistic programming, including Fresh Eyes, staged readings, late-night programming and special events. Stephanie works to ensure that everyone involved in RTT’s programming has the resources necessary to be successful in their respective roles. She sets production goals and ensures artistic excellence in all Red Tape programming. As an ensemble member, she recently appeared in Mother of Smoke. Other credits include Circle-Machine (Oracle Productions), The Realization of Emily Linder (Redtwist Theatre), reWILDing Genius (The New Colony/Steppenwolf Garage Rep), Kate and Sam Are Not Breaking Up (The New Colony), Alice (Nothing Without a Company), 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, is a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf.
Ann Sonneville, Company Member. Ms. Sonneville most recently appeared in Round Heads and Pointed Heads at Red Tape. She is also a member of Trap Door Theatre where she has appeared in Monsier D’eon Is A Woman, Phèdre, How To Explain The History of Communism to Mental Patients, The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, La Bête, Vatzlav and The Balcony. Other credits include Dracula (Actors Theatre of Louisville), Venus (Steppenwolf Garage), Thaddeus and Slocum (understudy – Lookingglass Theatre), Kin (Griffin Theatre, Jeff nomination – Supporting Actress), The Moonstone (Lifeline), The Dead Prince (Strange Tree), The Ghost Sonata (Oracle), WeatherVane (Collaboraction/Sketchbook XIII), The Artist Needs A Wife (side project) Put My __ In Your __ (Chicago Mammals) and numerous original productions with Bruised Orange Theatre Company. Ann is a co-creator and ensemble member of BOTC’s hit comedy show I Saw You. Film credits include Miriam Is Going To Mars (BMA Award – Best Actress), Dig Two Graves, We Grew Up Here, AB-, Low Tide, Flat Chested, Refuge, Carpet Kingdom, the web series Funemployed and the upcoming Hunting God. Ann is a graduate of Northern Illinois University (BFA) and the summer intensive training program at The Moscow Art Theatre School. She is a professional voice-over artist and instructor at Vagabond School of the Arts.
Jenn Thompson, Line Producer. Thompson has been working as a freelance stage manager, designer, and writer throughout the Chicagoland area. Some previous credits include work with Pride Films and Plays, The Gift, The Court, Redtwist, and others. She was the Stage Manager of Red Tape’s I Saw Myself, and is the Resident Stage Manager at Redtwist Theatre as well as a company member with Bower Theatre Ensemble.
Max Truax brings years of experience producing and directing experimental theatre and has been hailed by TimeOut Chicago as “one of the most visually visionary directors in Chicago’s storefront scene.” His work with Red Tape includes his direction of Brand and A Hedda Gabler. Prior to joining Red Tape, 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 Mother received 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). 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 Washington 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 where he has performed in A Hedda Gabler, Elephant’s Graveyard and The Skriker.
Zach Weinberg is a Chicago-based theater director, adaptor, and administrator. He is interested in the creation of new, non-traditional works and finding the perfect medium for the message. Zach is a company member and Grants Manager at Red Tape Theatre, and a graduate of Oberlin College. Selected directorial work includes serving as a Directing Apprentice with the late Redmoon Theatre, the 2016 Director’s Haven at Haven Theatre, two original adaptations at Curious Theatre Branch’s Rhinofest: Love in a Maze (’17) and MAY DAY (’18), and the world premiere of 2 unfortunate 2 travel as part of the Prop Thtr’s 2018-19 season.
Brenda Scott Wlazlo has been an ally and advocate for accessibility in theater since her arrival to Chicago in 2013. With a background in Deaf Studies and performance, she has used her passions to work with companies like Broken Nose Theater, Promethean Theater, Red Theater Chicago and others to support their efforts for inclusive productions and performances. With Red Tape’s founding perspective of erasing barriers between audiences, artists and communities, she couldn’t feel more at home in her new role as Red Tape aims for an even higher level of inclusive theater.
Casey Wright maintains and develops relations with literary agencies and solicits scripts for consideration. As literary manager, Casey oversees all aspects of the script procuring process—negotiating contracts, seeing that royalty fees are paid. The literary manager’s duties also include planning the Fresh Eyes season, our new play development program which can include 1-3 scripts that are work-shopped over a period of 6 months and culminate in a free staged reading. Born and raised in Oologah, Oklahoma, Casey 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.
Board of Directors
President – Scott Hildebrand
Secretary – Jesse Bauer
Treasurer – Bob Jenkins