The Lab Committee

Alice Bever

Director of Alumni Relations

Alice Bever is a performer, director, educator and playwright, currently living between Europe and Wyoming. She is developing project1979, a multi-platform storytelling performance about the 30-something generation.

The art of performance inspires Alice to investigate, exchange, share stories, amuse and bemuse. Theatre makes her happy, is how she serves the world and how she is about to be the best version of herself.

Alice is an honored to collaborate with DirectorsLabChicago. Attending the Lab in 2011 served as a pivotal time in her career and perspective as an artist and for that she is truly grateful.

Wm. Bullion

Artistic Director

Wm. Bullion is honored to have the opportunity to serve the directing community as DirectosLabChicago’s new Artistic Director. Bullion has been a director, actor and producer in Chicago for 25+ years. His newest venture is The Conspirators, where he has created, directed and performed The Resistible Rise of Herr Helmut Drumpf. He joined the ensemble of The Factory Theater in 2016 and has subsequently directed Born Ready for them. As a freelance director, Wm. has directed world premieres for Hell in a Handbag Productions (Scream Queen, Scream!) and Babes With Blades Theater Company (L’Imbécile). He’s an emeritus member of Akvavit Theatre, for whom he directed the U.S. premiere of Andri Snær Magnason’s Blue Planet, as well as the Chicago premiere of Jon Fosse’s A Summer’s Day.

Back in the day, Billy founded Sliced Bread Productions for whom he directed and produced works by the likes of Shakespeare, Brecht, Bullion, Durrenmatt, Charles Ludlam and renowned painter-playwright Jeff Whipple. As an actor, Mr. Bullion has also been seen around Chicago with groups like Strawdog, Factory, Lifeline, Oak Park Festival, Prop Thtr, City Lit, Stage Left and Building Stage. More to come!

Vickie Daignault

Intern Program Director

Vickie Daignault works primarily as an actress but is delighted whenever she gets the chance to direct! With a emphasis on theatre for young audiences, directing credits include Story Theatre, The Dining Room, Quilters, Girls Just Want to Have Fun (original), The Dragon of Nitt (Children’s Theatre of Charlotte); A Joyful Noise (Reader’s Theatre Workshop NY); and How to Eat Like a Child (Children’s Theatre of Charlotte and Apple Tree Theatre). Outside of the realm of TYA, she directed Overtones for New Branch Theatre Co. and Blade for 3 Women at Once, both in Chicago.

As a performer, Vickie has been seen in The Dawns Are Quiet Here (The Lamb’s Theatre); Hats!, the Musical starring Melissa Manchester (The Royal George); On the Brink, Daughter of Beijing (Theatre Building Chicago); Big River, Kindertransport, To Kill a Mockingbird (Apple Tree Theatre); Gauguin, the Musical (Myriad Productions); WTTW’s Great Food Fan Van (WTTW, Chicago); Sondheim in the Park (Cabarah); Stampede of Zebras (Pegasus Players); various other productions with Virginia Theatre Company, North Carolina Shakespeare, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte and The DeBron Center in the Netherlands.

Vickie is a graduate of North Carolina School of the Arts and may be seen in the film Alien Hand and in a number of commercials and industrials. She is a member of Screen Actors Guild and Actors Equity Association and is active on a number of Equity’s committees.

Rose Freeman

Steering Committee

Rose Freeman stage directs, produces, and stage manages theatrical performance in multiple performance mediums. Rose has created national fine art shows for M Gallery of Fine Art, acted as managing producing director for Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, and production managed a national tour for Feld Entertainment’s Monster Jam Monster Truck Show.

Rose stage directs found space work, burlesque, and opera. Previous productions include Nico Muhly’s Dark Sisters, Po’Chop’s Black As Eye Wanna Be, Hannah Ii Epstein’s Punk Punk, Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Medium, Pippi’s Lost Stockings: a Burlesque Satire, Forest Fantasies with Lingerie Lyrique, and Alice by Micheal Wise.

Rose has been honored to assist and collaborate with great artists such as Elizabeth Margolius, Sean Graney, and Joanie Schultz. Favorite burlesque collaborations include Siren Jinx, Po’Chop, and Mia Divine.  Rose is a company member of Third Eye Theatre Ensemble, an Artistic Associate with Nothing Without a Company, a member of the Directors Lab Chicago Steering Committee, has spoken on the emerging artists panel during the 2011 Chicago Theatre Symposium, and participated in the 2012 Chicago Directors Lab.

Kevin Hanna

Social Director

Kevin Hanna splits his time between theater and film, take a look on Vimeo. He co-produced and directed the award-winning mockumentary short film The Exorsister (watch and vote for it!), which won Best Screenplay and Best Use of Genre at Filmapalooza 2007 Film Festival.

He most recently won the Gold Medal for Concepts/Treatments for his television pilot Public Access, from the World series of Screenwriting, with the script itself placing Top Ten. You can watch the trailer here. The pilot also won 2nd Place in Comedy TV Pilot categories for the Cinerockom Film Festival and The International Indie Gathering Film Festival in 2015, among others.

In both film and theater, Kevin looks for stories that have never been told, or never told in a particular way because these are the ones that give him the best challenges, like recent stage projects:The First and Last Musical on Mars, and The Cowboy and The Showgirl Cycle.  

Toma Langston

Development Director

Toma Tavares Langston is a freelance theater director and producer. Associate artist with Black Lives, Black Words International Project. Victory Gardens: 2015 Directors Inclusion Initiative Director. (Assistant Director) Sucker Punch. Sideshow Theatre: (Assistant Director) Truth and Reconciliation and Give It All Back. Directorial credits include: The Last Five Years, The Shadow Box, For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf. Toma has worked with Chicago Dramatists, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, and Prologue Theatre. Toma is proud to be member of the DirectorsLabChicago steering committee.

Tobi Mattingly

Director of Marketing & Communications

Tobi has been an actor, director, music director, and all-around creative revolutionary for close to twenty years, and is proud that she’s been able to call theatre-making her full time job since 2007. With a passion for the next generation of world-changers, she’s served as a director and teaching artist with organizations like American Theatre Company, the Auditorium Theatre/Roosevelt University, Long Lake Camp for the Arts, Improv Playhouse, the Beverly Arts Center, and the Northbrook Park District, to name a few. She’s worked as a music director for Shedd Aquarium since 2011, overseeing the live and recorded music for multiple holiday shows, special events, and the long-running One World. As an actor she’s been seen onstage most recently with Nothing Without A Company and New American Folk Theatre.

In 2012 Tobi founded Artistic Conspiracy, an arts organization dedicated to creating and enabling world-changing theatre. Through this organization, she helps professional theatremakers take control of their theatre careers through learning and balancing artistic craft, bodymind practices, and business/marketing management.

Aileen McGroddy

Director of Programs & Curriculum Management

Aileen McGroddy is a director, movement director, and clown. She is the Artistic Director of The Forks & Hope Ensemble, where she has most recently directed A Hero’s Journey. She is a company member of TUTA Theatre, where she most recently movement and assistant directed Gentle. As a founder of The Whiskey Rebellion, Aileen curates and directs The Whiskey Radio Hour, a recurring evening of new live radio plays and music. She has also directed for Emerald City Theatre, Theatre-Hikes, The Plagiarists, The Ruckus Theatre, Mudlark Theatre, and The Chicago Fringe Festival. She has assistant directed at The Hypocrites, The House Theatre, Court Theatre, Lifeline Theatre, The Actors’ Gymnasium, and Theatre Y. Aileen is also the Communications Director for The Chicago Physical Theatre Festival.

Jenny Montgomery

Director of International Relations

Jenny Montgomery is a stage director who focuses on plays that explore themes of transcultural connection. Originally from the U.S, she has lived in Quebec since 2009, when she moved to Montreal for a Fulbright grant to create a bilingual play from interviews with immigrants, Québécois and people in between cultures. Déraciné explored cultural belonging, identity and concepts of “home,” and these themes continue to inform her work.

Before living in Québec, Jenny spent seven years directing and assistant directing in Chicago. She also wrote three plays: When All Other Lights Go Out, Stain and Raining Season. Her assistant directing credits include the world premieres of Arthur Miller’s Finishing the Picture, directed by Robert Falls (Goodman) and Joanna McClelland Glass’ Trying, directed by Sandy Shinner (Victory Gardens). In 2008, Jenny was the SDCF Observer for Tina Landau and assistant to Tracy Letts on the world premiere of Tracy Lett’s Superior Donuts (Steppenwolf).

In Quebec, she was a directing observer on Robert Lepage’s Lipsynch in 2007, as well as in 2015 for his new dance project in development. Also in 2015, she assisted directed Kevin McCoy’s Norge (Le Trident). She did the English translation of Robert Lepage’s Needles and Opium.

Jenny is an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, an associate member of the Dramatists Guild, and an alumna of the 2005 Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab and the 2014 Directors Lab North. She has worked with DirectorsLabChicago since the first Lab in 2005. Jenny trained with SITI Company at Skidmore College and in Chicago, and she takes ballet at L’École de danse de Québec. She is currently developing a new theatre-dance piece.

Jonald Reyes

Steering Committee

Jonald Jude Reyes is a writer, performer, and director from Chicago. As a graduate of Rutgers University (NJ), he went on to learn from Second City, iO, Annoyance, and the Chicago Dramatists. He currently performs improv/sketch comedy with Stir Friday Night and Dustin with a J. Jonald has performed in the Chicago Improv Festival, Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival, and the Just for Laughs Festival.

As a director, Jonald has been honored to be named as Chicago Reader’s Best of Stage Director (2012, 2013, 2014 & 2016).  He is also an Associate Producer for Chicago’s Sketch Comedy Festival and Women’s Funny Festival. Jonald was the Producer of the Chicago Improv Festival 2015. If you’re interested to learn more, visit

Anna Trachtman

Managing Director

Anna Trachtman is a freelance director, producer, and arts advocate originally from New York, currently living and working in the Chicago area. She holds a degree in directing and arts management from Emerson College, where she was the Managing Director for RareWorks Theatre Company. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Nonprofit Management at DePaul University while working Front of House at Lifeline Theatre and The Den Theatre.

Anna has previously worked with The Ruffians, Haven Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival, Lyric Stage Company of Boston, and Theatre on Fire, and was proud to bring free, accessible theatre to communities in Delmarva with Brown Box Theatre Project. Her goal is to increase equity and access in the performing arts.

Elizabeth Margolius

Co-Founder / Artistic Director Emeritus

Elizabeth Margolius is a stage director with a primary focus in developing and directing new and rarely produced musical theatre, operetta, and opera. She has worked with theaters and universities in various capacities throughout the country, including the Santa Fe Opera, Florida Studio Theatre, the Virginia Shakespeare Festival, New York’s Encompass New Opera Theatre, Millikin University, the University of Northern Iowa, and the University of Nebraska. In 2015, Elizabeth was invited back to her alma mater, Converse School of Music in Spartanburg, South Carolina, to direct the world premiere of a new opera/oratorio, Troiades.

Her Chicago directorial credits include:  Sitayana for Gift Theatre’s TEN Festival, L’Occasione Fa Il Ladro (A Thief by Chance) for DePaul Opera Theatre, The Girl in the Train for Chicago Folks Operetta, Twelfth Night for DePaul Opera Theatre, Goldstar, Ohio for American Theater Company, The Ballad of Baby Doe for North Park University, The Merry Wives of Windsor for Chicago Shakespeare Theater (Assistant Director to Barbara Gaines), The Mikado for the Savoyaires, The Last Cyclist for Genesis Theatrical Productions, The Land of Smiles and The Cousin from Nowhere for Chicago Folks Operetta, Death Takes a Holiday for Circle Theatre, Opus 1861 for City Lit Theater, nominated for three Joseph Jefferson Awards, including her nomination for Best Adaptation, Violet for Bailiwick Chicago nominated for five Joseph Jefferson Awards, including Best Musical and her nomination for Best Director of a Musical, Broadway Sings the Silk Road for Silk Road Theatre Project, Bernarda Alba and Songs for a New World (Chris Jones’ Hottest Ticket) for Bohemian Theatre Ensemble, as well as works with:  Harper College, Theatre Building Chicago/New Musical Development, Theatre on the Lake, Stage Left Theatre, Live Bait Theater, and the Center for Cultural Interchange.

Elizabeth is an alumna of the 2004 and 2005 Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab in New York, a 2007 recipient of a full directorial scholarship at the Wesley Balk Opera-Music Theater Institute in Minneapolis, a 2009 respondent and workshop artist for the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival, and a 2010 finalist for the Charles Abbott Fellowship. Elizabeth is an associate mem­ber of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

Karin Shook

Co-Founder / Artistic Director Emeritus

Karin Shook is a director and playwright. As the former Artistic Director of Tripaway Theatre (Chicago), she adapted and directed Aristophanes’ The Acharnians (Tip of the Week, New City) and Love’s Labour’s Lost (Critic’s Choice, Chicago Reader). Other credits include The Lover (First Five Theatre, London) and The Lurker Radio Hour (Best Production – Sketchbook 8 at the Steppenwolf Garage).

She has directed for the One Minute Play Festival (Dominic D’Andrea, prod.) and recently worked with NY Madness, directing both Locked at Urban Stages, and her own play Seedlings at Ensemble Studio Theatre. Her play The Horse and Carriage was selected to be part of Primary Stages’ 2012 ESPA*Drills (dir. Daniel Goldstein), and her prize-winning scripts The Method and Colored Scribbles were produced in Chicago and North Carolina, respectively. Upcoming projects include a production of Seedlings in Seoul, Korea; and a piece in Primary Stages/ESPA’s Detention Series at Jimmy’s No. 43.

Karin is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Actors’ Equity Association, SAG-AFTRA, and the Dramatists Guild; an alum of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, and a proud member of the Lit Wing’s steering committee at the Lark Play Development Center. She lives in New York with her family.