Staff Artist Spotlight
To work at a place like Lyric, it’s important for a person to be passionate about the performing arts. But the Lyric staff’s dedication to the arts doesn’t stop at our stage! Read below to learn more about nine of our staff members and their own artistic summer plans and projects.
When not behind the 8th floor reception desk, Sharai moonlights as a prolific and very successful playwright. This summer, her work will be read, workshopped, and premiered at The Nola Project's Rough Draughts (New Orleans), Fade to Black Play Festival (Houston), Women’s Theatre Alliance of Chicago, Women’s Theatre Festival (Raleigh), and Ain’t I A Woman Playfest (Louisville). Sharai is also a Company Member at Eclectic Full Contact Theatre and an Artistic Associate at Artemisia.
Donor Engagement and Stewardship Coordinator
Anna is a classical singer who performs frequently as both a chorus member and as a mezzo soprano soloist in concert repertoire throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. Anna sings with the Chicago Symphony Chorus, Music of the Baroque, Bella Voce, and the Grant Park Chorus, and has recently been a featured soloist with Wicker Park Choral Singers, North Shore Choral Society, Elgin Master Chorale, and Bella Voce. This summer, she’ll perform in two concerts as part of the Grant Park Music Festival: Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and The Envelope Please, a collection of the greatest hits from Broadway shows.
Production Manager – Lyric Unlimited and Ryan Opera Center
Madeleine is the production manager of The Fly Honey Show, a re-imagined cabaret show meant to elevate and empower the voices of queer and femme performers. As production manager, she schedules rehearsals and meetings, handles cast and crew contracts, and oversees design plans and budgeting. Her own schedule will become especially busy in July, when load-in and tech rehearsals begin, and she is eagerly looking forward to the show’s opening in August.
Roger will take his opera expertise all the way to San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program, where he will give a co-presentation on historically important singing through a physiological lens in July. SFO will feature him again in October for three lectures on Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. He’ll continue his freelance writing for Opera News and Opera Magazine during the summer. Roger is also excited to start his second series of improv classes at Second City!
Marketing Associate, Special Programs
Outside of work, Sarah is an active, freelance violinist. She stays busy year-round with concerts and various masterclasses and workshops. Her primary ensemble is the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra; this summer, she’ll start preparing for their upcoming season. Sarah will also perform with Chicago Philharmonic for their Side by Side concerts through the Chicago Park District's "Night Out in the Parks" initiative. In August, she will travel to Birch Creek Music Performance Center for a chamber music retreat. Sarah is also classically trained in ballet and plans to continue attending classes this summer.
Lyric Unlimited Coordinator
LaRob sings at North Shore Baptist Church and elsewhere, including at Chicago Fringe Opera’s recent Pride celebration. However, his summer will be preoccupied with fundraising for his own organization and concert series, Hearing in Color. He founded Hearing in Color as a platform for musicians — both performers and composers — of marginalized identities. The upcoming season will feature Filipinx, Latinx, and African-American musicians, and they plan to highlight women and LGBTQ+ musicians in future initiatives.
Lyric Unlimited Marketing Associate
Margaret is both an actor and a screenwriter. Recently, she enjoyed understudying for Bloomsday at Remy Bumppo. This summer, she’s taking an acting class under Chicago theater icons Caroline Neff and Kirsten Fitzgerald. She’ll also experience a screenwriting first: directing her own work! Her screenplay, this is not the morning I thought I was going to have, centers on two estranged sisters as they are crammed into a car together on a hot Chicago day.
Executive Assistant to the Chief Development Officer
Marisa is the Executive Director of Red Theater Chicago, a theater with strong accessibility initiatives that provide free access performances, such as Touch Tours and ASL performances.
On July 21st, Red Theater will host Chicago's Annual Unified Accessibility Auditions, which gives disabled actors a chance to show off to local theater companies on a stage catered to their needs — complete with an accessible entrance and ASL interpreters. Marisa is also overseeing hiring, casting, and translating You Are Happy into ASL for Red Theater’s upcoming performance in late October at Edge Theater Off Broadway.
Tabitha spends her weekends as a professional DJ. She works birthday parties, vow renewals, corporate events, and weddings: her busy wedding season runs from April until right before Thanksgiving. She loves performing in all sorts of interesting venues, from local zoos to museums like the Art Institute. She stays busy year-round, but her summer will be made special by the weddings, where she’ll get to help her clients enjoy the happiest days of their lives.