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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. Lisa is also honored to serve on the NCPD's Council on Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities.

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.

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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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Colleen O'Doherty
Associate Director

Colleen O'Doherty is a Chicago-based writer and teacher, with an MFA in play and screenwriting from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She co-founded Anastasis Theatre Company in Omaha, was on the Nebraska Arts Council Teaching Artists roster, and continues working with many nonprofits and schools including the Nebraska Writers Collective. Her plays have been seen at festivals in many states, winning awards such as Festival Favorite, Crowd Favorite, Audience Favorite, and many achieved final or semi-final results.  Recently her Zoom-based play, Missing Ingredient was selected for NYC's Project Y Theatre Company's Zoom series and was released in November 2020. It was also nominated for best short in the first annual Young-Howze Theatre Awards, February 2021. Saul was produced as part of the Warner Theatre festival in April 2021. Her play, Stripped, was a a 2022 Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition 2nd Rounder, a quarterfinalist for ScreenCraft's 2018-19 stage play competition based out of LA and a 2018 Henley Rose Playwright Competition for Women Finalist. It was part of TheatreMidwest's Fresh Produce Concert Reading Series in October 2020 in Des Moines, IA and a 2020 semi-finalist for UP Theater’s Renewal Reading Series in NYC. Her newest full-length play, Stories: on the Brink was produced by Anastasis Theatre Company as part of the Great Plains Theatre Commons in Omaha, NE in fall 2021. Her one-minute plays were featured in Jakespeare Virtual Theatre Company's festival in February 2022.   Learn more about Colleen’s writing at https://colleenodoherty.com/

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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.

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Joy Valdez-Pappas
Facilitator & 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
"Laura Callahan-Hazard 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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Kya Rognstad
 "Andy Torres Intern"

Kya choreographs and teaches with a team that’s focused on body confidence, and creating a positive and comfortable environment to uplift women. She also spends her time performing all around the city and showcasing her arts. 

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Tarrance Weaver
Facilitator

Tarrance was born in Aiken, South Carolina. He currently resides in the Englewood neighborhood within the inner city of Chicago, Illinois where he ministers to youth, works in his church, and has completed his first book titled Face to Face Where Life Meets Reality. Tarrance works for People United to Save Urban America and is employed under Bishop Spencer Jones. Weekly, Tarrance visits three to four elementary and middle schools to be a positive role model to Chicago’s inner-city youth. He also travels to churches throughout the United States with Bishop Jones and gives his testimony to the ears of hundreds of listeners. Tarrance says that his first book, “Face to Face Where Life Meets Reality”, reveals the delivering, healing, and redeeming power of Jesus Christ to the broken, the hurting, and the lost. This book talks about our face-to-face encounters with God, life, the world, and our own personal struggles.

“Tarrance was asked to sum up his life in a few sentences and he replied, “My life has been an amazing ride from small choppy streams into the ocean of life. It hasn’t been an easy ride, but I’ve realized the true vastness and beauty that this life offers, and I’ve learned to embrace all of God’s people and creations as they bless me with their presence.” Tarrance’s mission statement for his life is to, “Live this life to the fullest. Realize that this life is not about me, but it’s about others – about saving souls, sharing love, and embracing loved ones.”

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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.

Kevin Aoussou
Facilitator

Kevin Aoussou (He/Him/His)  is a Chicago based actor, director, producer, and educator from Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire. Originally an actor, Kevin has been using his toolbox to become an effective leader and facilitator hoping to find the balance between living life and practicing life, by collaborating on projects that investigate theater, education, and social change.  Kevin graduated with a double major from Winthrop University in Theater Performance and Mass Communication in 2018. In the summer of 2020 Kevin came to Chicago to earn his MFA in Acting from Northwestern University and will be graduating this summer. He also founded The SuperHuman Collective (SHC) and The Local Lab Co. , organizations focused on artistic collaboration, reflecting current events and experiences, and creating community impact.

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Stewart Romeo
Facilitator

Stewart Romeo (he/him) is an actor, carpenter and teaching artist on the scene in Chicago. Born and bred in Chicago, he began his work at the Goodman Theatre Youth Arts Program (originally known as G.T.S.) in 2013. While studying theatre at Tennessee State University, he participated in multiple shows and honed his skills as an actor and carpenter by working on each set he performed on. Upon his return to Chicago, he began working at Black Ensemble Theatre doing the same. He is an avid lover of the arts and arts education. Stewart is extremely excited to be apart of the StepEd cohort as a new teaching artist contributing to the development of the next generation of theatre participants.

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Raj Kharvari
Financial Manager

Raj received his B.S in Finance from DePaul University in Chicago and has a strong professional background in accounting and finance. Full-time, Raj works as a portfolio manager for a large private equity real estate investment firm. As the financial manager at Sill Point, he oversees all routine accounting and finance responsibilities such as payroll, AP, AR, and budgeting. 

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Lisa Biggs
Guest Artist

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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Lily Be
Facilitator

Lily Be is an award-winning storyteller. She is the education director and senior producer at Story Collider. She is also the creator and host of Stoop Style Stories and the only storytelling Game Show in the world, Story Neighborhood. Lily Be is a storytelling force of nature. The queen of improvisational storytelling, Lily Be, never writes a story she performs and has produced two one-woman shows without scripts. Never having taken a storytelling class or performed professionally before becoming the first Latina to win a Moth GrandSLAM Champion and instructor at Second City. Her stories are used to teach storytelling to people worldwide. From the United Way to Google to The World Health Organization, this woman has taught some of the greatest minds in the world.  Dave Sedaris once called her Risk story one of his favorites of all time.  She is a trailblazer in the Chicago storytelling scene,  working with communities, companies, and organizations whose missions are aimed at helping the marginalized. Her success in the storytelling scene is that she is who she is, and there is nothing she is NOT willing to share on stage. Beyond vulnerability, Lily is here to help people help change and save lives because storytelling did that for her.

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Emma Lou Andrews
Facilitator

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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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.

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!”

Bronwyn Werner
Facilitator

Bronwyn is an award-winning attorney, practicing law in the Kansas City area for over 30 years. Honors include the Lewis F. Powell Jr. Medal for Excellence from Legal Aid of Western Missouri, the Tierra Farrow Alumni Award from the Association of Women Law Students, is in the Hall of Fame for Missouri Criminal Defense Lawyers, and was recently named one of the Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys by the National Trial Lawyers Association.

Bronwyn also was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law for many years.  She is passionate about helping others, and is involved in Still Point's work with the Johnson County (KS) Department of Corrections.  Bronwyn is also an artist, and enjoys spending time with family

and friends. 

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Raj received his B.S in Finance from DePaul University in Chicago and has a strong professional background in accounting and finance. Full-time, Raj works as a portfolio manager for a large private equity real estate investment firm. As the financial manager at Sill Point, he oversees all routine accounting and finance responsibilities such as payroll, AP, AR, and budgeting. 

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.

Andy Torres
Actor/Co-Facilitator

Andy Torres was a spectacular actor.  For over 20 years, beginning in 1991, he was part of Still Point’s Imagination Workshop at Esperanza Community Services.  He loved directing and would often co-lead our workshops.  Andy also participated in the Ray Graham Training Center and Garden Center Services. He participated in the Special Olympics for many years, was also an artist whose artwork was featured on two different Special Olympic calendars and also displayed at various charitable events. One of his pieces was on display at a local Starbucks for over a year. Andy was involved in performing arts and acted in various plays such as Phantom of the Opera (we will never forget his portrayal of the Phantom- a performance that he fully imbued with his heart and soul), Grease and the Wizard of Oz, to name a few, while being a member of Still Point.

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 In Memoriam 

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.

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 In Memoriam 

Board of Directors

Sara Moslener,
PRESIDENT

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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.

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.

Yahaira Landaverry,
TREASURER

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Yahaira Landaverry of Guatemalan descendent, came to the Windy City at the age of ten and has lived in Chicago since then.  Graduated from Fox College in 2004 with an Associate's Degree in Associate of Applied Science in Administration.  Soon before graduating, she started working for The National Federation of Priests' Councils until February of 2014 where she met Lisa Wagner.  

 

At the present moment, she volunteers as the Secretary for her church, Sublime Gracia; she's also part of the Administrative Board, and leads the Youth Group along with her husband of 14 years. They have a 7-year old boy, Nathan and a 4-month puppy, Rocket.

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