Alex Balestrieri
Chicago Artist
Wingman/Actor: Vulnerable/Director: 7 Short Pieces

Alex Balestrieri a Chicago-based theater artist currently performing with THE HYPOCRITES in Brecht's THREEPENNEY OPERA at the Steppenwolf Garage.  He was recently seen as MARTIN in the 'bun raku hobo opera' BONEYARD PRAYER with REDMOON THEATER where he has been a consistent collaborator on spectacle and installation theatre in recent years.  He is the opera singer in the award-winning LAIKA'S COFFIN, which was recently seen in the Great Small Works Festival in NYC. Alex is a COLLABORACTION ARTISTIC ASSOCIATE.  Alex has also spent the better part of the last two years touring symphony orchestras across North America with two-man shows about the lives of Beethoven and Mozart.

Jason A. Fleece
Chicago Artist
Director: Vulnerable

Jason A. Fleece has a particular interest in musicals and in new play development.  Some favorite past productions include The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown (thesis production, The Theatre School at DePaul University), The Coming World by Christopher Shinn (the Theatre School), and the world premiere productions of Pound by Sean O'Leary (Gemini Theater, Pittsburgh PA) and Touch and Go by Douglas Harmsen (winner, Outstanding Direction and Outstanding Production, Pittsburgh New Works Festival 2003).  In Chicago, Jason has recently directed the world premiere productions of The Story of Francis and Wild Gil (A Francis and Wild Gil Story) for Wooden Rocket Productions and Love in the Middle Ages: A Baby Boomer's Guide to Love and Sex for Oak Park Village Players Theatre (still playing!), served as assistant director on productions for Victory Gardens Theatre and PEOPLE*S Theatre of Chicago, and directed readings for Chicago Dramatists and Chicago Scriptworks, among others.  Jason holds a B.A. in Acting from Point Park University in Pittsburgh and an M.F.A. in Directing from the Theatre School at DePaul University.  In Spring 2009, Jason will direct Four Dogs and a Bone by John Patrick Shanley at Off The Wall Theatre in Washington, PA and Jesus Hopped the A Train by Stephen Adly Guirgis at Oak Park Village Players.

Jason W. Gerace
Chicago Artist
Director: One Stockinged Foot

Jason W. Gerace holds an MFA in directing from The University of Oklahoma, but hails originally from Anchorage, Alaska.  His credits include Hamlet (Oklahoma Summer Shakespeare),  The Miracle Worker (Theatrikos), Love Letters (Theatre Works),  Antigone, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Theatre for Young People), and Godspell (New School for the Arts).  He also Assisted PJ Paparelli on his Chicago debut, the regional premiere of Speech & Debate, which has been nominated for a Jeff Award for direction of a play.  He was awarded the Rupel J. Jones award for excellence in directing for his production of Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, and again for directing his own original work, The Arthur Miller Project for OU University Theatre.  He is an Associate member of SSDC, and a member of The Arthur Miller Society.  He is currently Artistic Associate at American Theater Company, here in Chicago.

Matt Hawkins
Chicago Artist
Director: We Three

Matt Hawkins' directing credits include: Hatfield & McCoy  (The House Theatre of Chicago); On My Parents’ 100th Wedding Anniversary (Side Project); Alice  (Neo-Futurists); Red Noses (Strawdog, April 2009). Fight Choreography credits include Romeo and Juliet, Edward II  (Chicago Shakespeare); Black Diamond, Brothers Karamozov  (Lookingglass); A View From A Bridge  (American Theatre Company); Dangerous Beauty  (American Music Theater Project); True West, Desire Under the Elms, ThreePenny Opera (The Hypocrites); Peter Pan, Cave With Man, Wizard of Oz, Curse of the Crying Heart, Valentine Victorious  (The House). Acting credits include: The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, Henry IV Parts I and II  at the Royal Shakespeare Company in England (Chicago Shakespeare);  Hunchback (Redmoon). He has also worked with The Kennedy Center, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at Maryland and Chicago Children’s Theatre. He has taught for Northwestern, Loyola, University of Chicago, Lookingglass, 500 Clown and Old Town School of Folk Music. He is currently creating 500 Clown and The Elephant Deal, which opens at Steppenwolf in June 2009.  Next year he will assistant direct and choreograph A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Chicago Shakespeare followed by choreographing fights and movement for Peter Pan at Northwestern. He will teach Stage Combat at Loyola University, choreograph their production of Pirates of Penzance, followed by directing Red Noses for Strawdog in April 2009. He is the recipient of two Jeff Citations, the Dallas Critics’ Forum Award, the Bob Hope Theatre Scholarship and the Greer Garson Award. Matt is a Founding Member of The House Theatre of Chicago and holds a B.F.A. in Theatre from Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts.

Carol Karageuz
Chicago Artist
Director: Retarded

Carol Karaguez received her MFA in Directing/Dramaturgy from the Chicago College of Performing Arts where she directed A Lie of the Mind.  Further training includes the Steppenwolf School and Cal State’s Summer Arts.Some directing credits include: Many Voices (Chicago Dramatists), Sun Sisters (Silk Road), A Lesson Before Dying (Overflow Ensemble), Flood (Amakhosi), When Lithuania Ruled the World (Chicago Cultural Center).  Carol is proudly an Artistic Associate for Silk Road Theatre Project and Urban Theatre Company, where she recently served as Dramaturg for their production of Gandhi Marg.

Bryan Joseph Lee
NTI Fall '06
Poet's Project/Director: Ars Memorativa

Bryan Joseph Lee is an director and actor from Nashville, TN. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College, with a degree in Latin American Studies and Theater. He spent much of his undergraduate career traveling through Central and South America, as well as studying at the O'Neill National Theater Institute in Waterford, CT. Favorite acting projects includeTOPDOG/UNDERDOG, ART, THE DISTANCE FROM HERE. Favorite directing projects include for colored girls..., and OUR LADY OF 121ST STREET. In 2007, he served as Associate Producer of Dartmouth's new visiting artist program, VOICES, which aims to create a space for diversity and pluralism onstage through student and faculty collaborations with professional artists. In 2008, he was awarded the Clifford S. Gurdin Directing Award for his production of OUR LADY OF 121ST STREET, and the Warner Bentley Fellowship for Excellence in Theater. He now works in Literary Management with the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC.

Alexis Randolph
NTI Fall '06 and Chicago Artist
Producer/Director: Ida et al

Alexis Randolph (Stockton, CA, Chicago) graduated in 2007 from Ithaca College with a BA in Drama. From a young age, theatre has been a constant inspiration to her life from acting, designing, stage managing, and directing. She has worked with Dimensions Theatre Project, Changing Faces Theatre Company, Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, and California Music Circus. Recently she returned from a semester abroad at the Moscow Arts Theatre Center in Moscow, Russia.

Erica L. Weiss
Chicago Artist
Director: The Clearing

Erica L. Weiss is a director and dramaturg who works exclusively in new play development: they call her The Playwright Whisperer (who's they? excellent question.) Weiss was the founding Artistic Director of Hypatia Theatre Company, and with creative partner and co-founder Caitlin Montanye Parrish, created a group dedicated to generating new plays with a focus on creating complex and dynamic roles for women. Hypatia Theatre Company is now The Hypatia Project, a theatrical partnership between playwright and director/dramaturg. During Hypatia Theatre Company's run, Weiss directed the world premiere of Lost Love by Peter Papadopoulos, as well as the world premieres of Caitlin Montanye Parrish's Red Georgia Clay, Florida Styx, and a reading presentation of angels/angles, which would eventually become Alice In Circles. Erica has also worked with American Theater Company, Speaking Ring Theatre Company, Northlight Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Stage Left Theatre and Victory Gardens.   Erica holds a BFA in Theatre Studies from the Theatre School at DePaul University.