Actor, Dancer, Singer, Teaching Artist
Vanessa is a Chicago-based performer, director, choreographer, teaching artist, and arts administrator.
She serves as the Education Manager at Mudlark Theater, as well as teaching and directing for the company. She is psyched to continue to teach for Northlight Theatre and Actor's Gymnasium, working with young mind and bodies to facilitate agency, skills, and play.
She graduated from Northwestern in June 2018 with a B.S. in Theatre, minor in Political Science, certificate in Musical Theatre, and module in Musical Theatre Choreography. While at Northwestern, Vanessa served as Outreach Director and a teaching artist for Seesaw Theatre and lead community outreach and accessibility efforts for The Waa-Mu Show.
She's passionate about inclusive and accessible theatre as a teacher, administrator, and artist. Talk with her about creating accessible, interactive theaterical experiences for kids on the Autism Spectrum with Seesaw Theatre or about her capstone project exploring the use of ASL as the basis for choreography.
When she's not in rehearsal or teaching, you can find her doing yoga, dancing, in circus class, boxing, listening to true crime podcasts, at her local candy store, or re-watching The West Wing on Netflix for the 32nd time.
Stop by Joel Hall Dancers & Center on February 29th to see me in a new duet, Amygdala, in the Dancers in the Hall Showcase.
Later this spring I'll be co-directing Sleepaway Camp at Mudlark Theater with Dana Anderson! Come to camp with us March 27th-29th & April 2nd-4th.
Finally, I'll round out the spring dancing in What We Carried with Chicago DanzTheatre on May 8th, 9th, 15th, & 16th. Event details and tickets here!
Work with youth
Over my past five years as a teaching artist, I have experienced firsthand the impact of meaningful arts education on students of all backgrounds and abilities. By fostering agency, creative-decision making, self-advocacy, and play through theatre, music, and dance, I hope to create space where young people can become better communicators, collaborators, and community members. Also, silly games will be played.