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Lisa Wagner-Carollo 
Founder/Executive Director

Lisa Wagner-Carollo is the Founder and Artistic Director of Still Point Theatre Collective. She founded the company in 1993, motivated by a strong desire to combine ministry and theatre. Ever since, she has toured the country and overseas with Haunted by God: The Life of Dorothy Day. Wagner has also performed in and produced (for Still Point), the internationally toured Points of Arrival: A Jean Donovan Journey, a play that explores the life and commitment of one of the four North American church women killed in El Salvador in 1980. Lisa also works as a facilitator in Still Point’s outreach programs. Her education includes a B.S.E. from Emporia State University. She completed her certification as a spiritual director at Siena Center in Racine, Wisconsin and has begun a spiritual direction practice in the Chicago area. Awards: Outstanding Recent Graduate, Emporia State University, 1997 Seeds of Hope Award, Wheatridge, 2009. Click here to view Lisa's book, Above Along Inside and Through, published in 2017.

Carmen Romero
Associate Director

After Carmen completed her BS in Psychology at Syracuse University, she spent the next 10 years managing retail businesses and ultimately creating her own personal business. After selling that business she took a career change to resume studies at the graduate level at Erikson Institute, pursuing an M. Ed. early child education and managing multi-site childcare centers on the west and south side. Several years later when her kids arrived, Carmen stepped down to care for her growing family, volunteer, and care for her mother. Presently, she is enjoying working in administrative support for Still Point, rebooting her career.

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Emma Lou Andrews
Associate Director

Emma Lou Andrews is a recent graduate of Otterbein University where she received her BFA in Acting and her BA in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies. While there, she was a part of the MainStage Improv troupe, and performed in several plays including Butterflies are Free (Jill) and School for Scandal (Lady Sneerwell). She also had the opportunity to direct a workshop production of Reasons to be Pretty, by Neil LaBute. She is currently taking improv classes at Second City and performs comedy around Chicago.

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Vanessa Aguilera 
Financial Manager

Vanessa Aguilera, recent graduate from Dominican University with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration concentrated in Accounting. Vanessa is just starting her accounting career this year at both Itasca Country Club and StillPoint. She lives in Chicago with her husband of 2 years. At present moment, she leads the Children’s ministry and participates in the worship ministry for her church ,Sublime Gracia.

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Joy Valdez-Pappas
Actor

 Joy Valdez-Pappas is inspired to be a part of Still Point Theatre Collective as they continue to use theatre to uplift, inform and share humanity’s epiphanies’. As a producer, writer, improviser, actor, and musician in Chicagoland, she has performed and/or had collaborative works produced in both film and theater in Los Angeles and Chicago.  Her training includes Black Box Studio, The Acting Studio, Second City Music Conservatory and UCLA’s Extension Entertainment & Screenwriting Program.  Joy also has a B.S. in Business Management and a minor in biology. She works as a clinical actor at various medical schools and corporations and during the holiday season you may find her in Dickensian attire singing carols with the Frozen Robins. Joy lives in Chicago with her husband, Dean and her son, Peter.

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Daphne Agosin
Intern

Daphne (she, hers) is a theater designer for lighting, with previous experience in urban design. She is interested in the relationship between theater and community engagement, in how design can heighten an event, create better experiences, and improve people's quality of life. She is doing an internship in Still Point while participating in different outreach workshops. She co-founded the outdoor performance group Grass Studio Theatre with director Hamid Dehghani, experimenting with retaining passerby audiences and public space interactions after the months of isolation during the height of the pandemic. Some of her designs include the US premiere of Tebas Land [2022], and co-designed Intimate Apparel at Northlight [2022].

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Héctor Pasqual Álvarez
Project Manager/ Facilitator

Héctor Álvarez is a writer, actor and director from Spain. He loves travel and all things theatrical, and in his work as a performer and teaching artist he seeks to generate inspiring conversations around works of art, ideas and artistic practices. In 2009 he received a Watson Fellowship to study community theater companies in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil that served populations who had suffered from trauma. He has studied at Augusto Boal’s Center for the Theater of the Oppressed in Rio de Janeiro and has an MA in English Literature from University College London. He recently presented his one-man American epic about gun violence “The Ghoul Exhibition” in Chicago, New York and Austin. He’s thrilled to be part of Still Point Theater Collective.

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Margie Gallaway
 Marketing Director

Recently retired after 30 years with Nestle Purina in sales and marketing, Margie is excited to combine her expertise with theatre.  A frequent volunteer as a “theatre mom”, she loves the welcoming and inclusive spirit in theatre communities. Her interests also include music, sports, travel, wine, and spending time with family and friends.  Margie received a BSJ in Advertising from the University of Kansas.  

Laura Callahan-Hazard  

Senior Facilitator

Laura Callahan-Hazard holds a degree in Directing from Barat College, and has a background in Chicago theater working as a designer, dramaturg, and director. She is the lead facilitator for the Ravenswood Players, and has also led other Imagination Workshop programs with Still Point, including partnerships with SEARCH Inc., L’Arche Chicago, and Orchard Village.

 In Memoriam 

Nate Smith Actor/Booking/
Facilitator

Nate Smith is an actor in three different documentary pieces with Still Point: The True Cost: Stories of Human TraffickingVisionary at the Helm; and the soon to perform He Walks Through Lightning: St. Norbert Speaks. He is also an outreach program facilitator who has worked in Cook County Jail, in programs with adults with developmental disabilities, and began two programs as part of the Sage Workshop working with the elderly.

In 2020 he began a new initiative, The 6th Festival, an international fringe festival of all types of events where anyone, anywhere can contribute to be part of raising awareness and solving the greatest issue our species has ever faced: the climate crisis.

To find out more, visit www.thesixthfest.org

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James Cornolo Program Facilitator

James has been teaching music for over 15 years to a wide range of people including very young children, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities. He has studied jazz at the American Conservatory of Music and currently holds a B. A. in Classical Guitar Performance and Pedagogy from Northwestern Illinois University. James has a strong professional background in World Music including Latin and Caribbean styles in addition to rock, jazz, and classical. James uses his rich experience to find the best approach for each individual student’s growth and enjoyment.

Mónica Sánchez

Program Facilitator

Mónica Sánchez is a writer, artist, and student from Chicago, IL. She graduated from Lane Tech College Prep and is a first year student at Knox College in Galesburg, IL. She is currently an undecided major but is interested in Bilingual Education. She wrote a play that was selected and performed at Lane Tech’s Play Festival and has performed at the worlds largest youth poetry slam competition Louder Than A Bomb. Mónica has interned with Chicana-Latina writer Denise Chávez that has inspired Mónica to incorporate her writings with social justice topics and embrace her Latinx background.

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Lindsay Porter
Program Facilitator

Lindsay Porter has been acting, directing, teaching and writing plays in Chicago for over 20 years. At Still She has been a facilitator for the Persephone Project at Lake County Jail since 2008. She co-directed Feeling Beautiful All Over, performed by Sisters Rising. Lindsay has directed and performed at dozens of Chicago theatres and was a founding member of Running With Scissors where she appeared in The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon and wrote and directed her adaptation of Lysistrata. Lindsay recently forayed into Chicago’s Live Lit and storytelling scene, where she’s performed her own writing with Story Sessions, True Story, Tellin’ Tales and Loose Chicks. Lindsay’s plays and monologues have been performed at Trap Door, Chicago Dramatists, Organic, Running with Scissors, and Collaboraction in Chicago and at Live Girls in Seattle and Riverside Theatre in Iowa. She also directed and performed in The Conscience Monologues, a project of the Eighth Day Center for Justice, with Still Point Founder Lisa Wagner. Lindsay lives in Chicago with her husband and son.

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Adam Villani
Videographer

Adam Villani is a Chicago-based documentary filmmaker and artist from the suburbs of Washington, DC. He is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago where he received a degree in Cinema Art and Science with a concentration in documentary film. He freelances as a director and DP for documentaries, commercials, music videos, and corporate films. Through his films, Adam likes to explore ideas and perspectives that have yet to be looked at with an open mind.

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Abby Pajakowski

Facilitator

Abby Pajakowski is a director, writer, and performer who believes in using art to foster community and connection. She received her M.A. in Applied Theatre in the Criminal Justice System from The Central School of Speech and Drama and her B.A. in Theatre from Northwestern University. She has created theatre with currently and formerly incarcerated artists with Prison Creative Arts Project, Shakespeare Behind Bars, Unlock Drama, and Storycatchers. She produces the bi-monthly event Potluck Variety Hour at The Frontier while also creating and performing her own original work.

Devon Glover
Facilitator & Guest Artist

Devon Glover is a teacher, rapper, poet, playwright, and actor from Brooklyn, New York. He performs Shakespeare's Sonnets through Hip-Hop as The Sonnet Man in schools and theaters worldwide. Devon has appeared on NBC, MSNBC, BBC, and Conferences and Shakespeare Festivals worldwide. He has taught collaboratively with multiple theatre companies, including Stratford Shakespeare, Passion in Practice, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and Southern Shakespeare. Devon has written adaptations of Shakespeare for various theatre companies. In Spring 2019, Devon was commissioned by the University of Warwick and Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to write a hip-hop adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” for high schools. In summer 2022, Devon made his professional directorial debut at Flagstaff Shakespeare, directing "Othello" 

 

New to Still Point Theatre Collective, Devon is performing a variety of duties including as a member of the Steering Committee for our Artworks Project, developing a curriculum to “train the trainer” as we develop facilitation skills designed for artistic programming.  Learn more about Devon at http://sonnetman.com/

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Lisa Biggs
Guest Artist

Bio: Lisa Biggs is an actor, playwright, and performance studies scholar. She currently works as an Assistant Professor of the Arts and Africana Studies at Brown University. Originally from the Southside of Chicago, Lisa worked for more than a decade as a professional actress and teaching artist in local and regional theatres before earning a PhD in Performance Studies at Northwestern University (2013). At Brown she teaches courses in African American culture, Black theatre, and performance studies. Her forthcoming book, The Healing Stage: Black Women, Incarceration, and the Art of Transformation, will be published in late 2022 by the Ohio State University Press. 

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Stephanie Browning 
Facilitator

Stephanie learned to sing from her grandfather, a multi-talented musician and storyteller who played a singing cowboy on the radio.  As a little girl Stephanie adored the album Ella Swings Brightly with Nelson and loved singing her favorite song "Mean to Me." Growing up she sang in every choir and begged to take piano lessons at an early age.  She has since used the instrument to fully realize her own unique "point-of-voice" and develop as a songwriter.  After getting her start singing jazz at the Wazee Supper Club in Denver, Colorado she moved to Chicago to pursue the dream in earnest. In the Windy City Browning paid some dues and eventually landed a cherry gig as Artist-In-Residence at the world-renowned Gold Star Sardine Bar where she recorded her first CD. Browning has been featured at Chicago’s most notable jazz clubs, including Andy's, The Green Mill, Pete Millers, Pops for Champagne, and performed around the world.  Learn more about Stephanie on her website https://stephaniebrowning.com/

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Katherine Bellantone

Actor

Katherine Bellantone is humbled to be joining such a talented group to help shine light on the tragedy of human trafficking. Previously she has worked with Her Story Theatre in Chicago to educate at-risk middle schoolers about sex trafficking in performances of “Money Make Em Smile.” Other recent credits include “L’imitation of Life” with Hell in a Handbag, “Mr. Moral’s Guide to Surviving Dark Times without Losing It” with El Bear Productions, and “The Wood” with the Imposters Theatre Company. She has a BFA in Theatre from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Debbie Baños 

 Actor

Debbie Baños is a Chicago actor and graduated from the University of Arkansas with an MFA in Acting. Some of her Chicago credits include “Titus Andronicus” with Babes with Blades, “Adoration of the Old Woman” with Urban Theatre Company, Juan Francisco Villa’s “Don Chipotle”, “A Streetcar Named Desire” with Pulse Theatre, and Eleusis Collective’s production of “King Lear”. Debbie is a Southern first-Generation Salvadoreña-American who is in love with theoretical physics.

Clearie McCarthy
Facilitator

Clearie McCarthy received a BFA in acting from Wayne State University. Before graduating, she worked as a student-facilitator for Detroit Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in Prison program at the Huron Valley Correctional Facility. Clearie studied theatre and improvisation at the Moscow Art Theatre, Planet Ant Theatre in Detroit, and the Annoyance Theatre in Chicago. She received training in Theatre of the Oppressed facilitation from the Center for Theatre of the Oppressed in Rio de Janeiro and the Kuringa Center in Berlin. Since 2017 she has worked with Still Point’s Persephone Project facilitating theatre programming with women held at Cook County Jail and Metropolitan Correctional Center. She also facilitates theatre programming with adults with developmental disabilities through Still Point's Imagination Workshops as well as Senior Citizens through the Sage Workshops.

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Heather Rivett

Actor/Co-Facilitator

Heather Rivett (actor) hails from Hammond, Indiana. She joined Grace House in 2016 and, despite her fear of public speaking, she participated in Still Point’s Persephone Project. Two years later, she continues to work with Still Point as a performer and writer of poetry and spoken word pieces. Heather is still affiliated with Grace House and was hired by St. Leonard’s Ministries in the maintenance department. She visits her family in Indiana every weekend and gets to share the work she has composed with Still Point with them. In the words of Heather: “If you ever get the chance to come see one of our performances I promise you will enjoy our rollercoaster!”

Steve Grossman 

 Director, Technical Theatre Support

Steve has an M.A. in Theater and Film, and has directed scores of amateur and professional productions. In 1966, he was founding director of the Creede Repertory Theatre in Creede, Colorado. He has been a Peace Corps volunteer and staffer, a screenwriter and journalist, and has taught at universities in Kansas and Missouri.

Virginia Smith Director

Virginia is the Head of Directing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and until recently was the Artistic Director of Nebraska Repertory Theatre. She received the Mayor’s Choice Award from Lincoln’s Mayor Chris Beutler and the Lincoln Arts Council in 2015. She has been working with Lisa Wagner-Carollo and Still Point since the very beginning of the company, and directed Haunted by God, Deep Listening, and Living Water.

Board of Directors

Patrick Wojtak

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After graduating with a BA in Computer Science from UW-Whitewater, Patrick moved to Chicago to pursue a career in technology and explore the city’s thriving music and theater scene. As a software engineer he realized the importance of investing in people over technology and applied this concept at multiple tech companies in the Chicagoland area. He currently works as an organizational coach, facilitating workshops on effective communication and change management. Finding similarities between his life’s work and Still Point, he is honored to be a part of a community that creates space for voices that struggle to be heard.

Steve Grossman, Secretary

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Steve has an M.A. in Theater and Film, and has directed scores of amateur and professional productions. In 1966, he was founding director of the Creede Repertory Theatre in Creede, Colorado. He has been a Peace Corps volunteer and staffer, a screenwriter and journalist, and has taught at universities in Kansas and Missouri.

Sara Moslener

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Sara Moslener is a former tour manager for Still Point whose love for theatre and social justice
work has remained strong even as she pursued graduate work in religious studies. Today, Sara
is a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Central Michigan University where
she teaches course on religion, racism, and sexuality.

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