Performer, Director, Choreographer, 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.
While my spring projects were delayed/cancelled due to COVID-19, I'll be busy teaching, writing, and directing in Mudlark Theater's virtual summer camps.
Please stay home, stay safe, wear a mask, wash your hands, and listen to what you need.
Consider donating to support those hungry or displaced because of this crisis, donating to or supporting your local artists and arts organizations, and researching how you can get registered to vote by mail in your state.
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 the performing arts, I hope to facilitate spaces where young people can become better communicators, collaborators, and community members. Time and experience have only strengthened my belief in theater as an essential tool of social-emotional learning. Also, silly games will be played.