The Resident Theatre at Edge of the Wood produces family-friendly shows across genres, bringing professional-caliber theatre to the Edgebrook community, and engaging and inspiring young people as performers and theatre-goers.
Meet the Artists
John Chambers, Artistic Director
John holds a degree in Vocal Performance with a certificate in Musical Theatre from Northwestern University. As an actor, John has appeared at Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace, Invictus Theatre, Theatre at the Center, Shakespeare on the Green, Court Theatre, and Light Opera Works, among others. John joined Edge of the Wood as an instructor in 2003 and teaches classes for students ages 6-12, as well as private voice (singing) lessons for all ages. As Resident Theatre Artistic Director, he has produced and directed The Secret Garden (where he appeared as Albert), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon), Into the Woods, The Man Who Came to Dinner (Beverly Carlton), She Loves Me, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Meet Me in St. Louis, and Light Up the Sky (2023 Lou Award nominations for Best Director and Best Production). Onstage roles with the Resident Theatre include Johnny Case in Holiday, Orsino in Twelfth Night, Noakes in Arcadia, Emilia Bassano Lanier in The Book of Will, and Mr. Carp in The Minutes.
Jeanann Power, Producer
Jeanann is a co-founder of Edge of the Wood and an instructor at the theatre school. She holds a B.A. in Theatre from Rollins College and a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre from the Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training/FSU. In Chicago, she trained with the Victory Gardens Theatre, The Players Workshop of the Second City, Del Close Workshops, and Sarantos Studios. She has performed with the Asolo Theatre, the State Theatre of Florida, the Annie Russell Summer Theatre, and the Festival Playhouse; and has appeared in numerous commercials and industrial films. At Edge, Jeanann appeared in The Secret Garden (Mrs. Medlock), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Quince), Into the Woods (Stepmother), Our Town (Mrs. Webb), The Man Who Came to Dinner (Harriet Stanley), She Loves Me (Waiter), The Seagull (Arkadina/Polina), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (The Princess Puffer), The Belle of Amherst (Emily Dickinson), The Book of Will (Ed Knight/Anne Hathaway Shakespeare), The Crucible (Rebecca Nurse), and The Minutes (Ms. Matz). She was also the Assistant Director for Arcadia and Pride & Prejudice.
Janet Rourke, Producer
Janet is one of the co-founders of Edge of the Wood and an instructor at the theatre school. She majored in Theatre at Northeastern Illinois University. She has fifteen years of training in theatre, voice and dance, at Tom Thumb Players, a children’s theatre company in Chicago, where she taught Creative Dramatics for three years. She has directed and/or appeared on the stage of The Goodman Theatre, the Marriott, the Barn, CenterStage Theatre, and OOCC, where she worked with Rick Snyder, Steppenwolf ensemble member, and Broadway favorite Karen Mason. Janet appeared in the Resident Theatre’s productions of The Secret Garden (Dreamer/Mrs. Winthrop), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Snout), Into the Woods (Jack’s Mother), Our Town (Mrs. Gibbs), The Man Who Came to Dinner (Mrs. Stanley), She Loves Me (Ensemble), The Seagull (Arkadina/Polina), Twelfth Night (Maria), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (The Princess Puffer), Meet Me In St. Louis (Katie), The Beautiful People (Harmony Blueblossom), Pride & Prejudice (Lady Catherine/Mrs. Reynolds), and Light Up the Sky (Stella Livingston–Lou Award nominee for Best Actor in a Leading Female Role). Janet directed The Minutes for November 2023.
May Bayot, Choreographer
After graduating from DePaul University, May studied jazz, ballet, modern & hip-hop at the Joel Hall Dance Center. With a passion for salsa, bachata & other Latin dances, she’s been spicing up the dance floor at Latin Rhythms, Latin Street Dancing & Chicago’s salsa clubs for over 20 years. An eternal dance student, she added west coast swing, hustle & ballroom from MayIHaveThisDance studio. After having performed with the Philippine Performing Arts Foundation & Roski Fernandez (both led by former Bayanihan Dancers) & DePaul’s ACE Club, May established the Filipiniana Dancers in 2000 as a Philippine cultural dance company. May has choreographed musical theater with Edge of the Wood & Silhouette Players for 15 years. Fave on-stage musical theater credits: The Secret Garden (Ayah); Hairspray (Dynamite) and The King & I (Eva/Wife).
Mark Burrows, Costume Designer
Mark’s roles at Edge include Neville in The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Sir Toby in Twelfth Night. Behind the scenes, Mark is a costumer; his work on The Crucible at North Riverside Players placed first at the 2019 ITA AACT Festival. For the Resident Theatre, he designed the costumes for Pride & Prejudice, The Book of Will, and Light Up the Sky. Even further behind the scenes, Mark is a writer. Past projects include Crossroads, Downtown (TBC Monday Night Reading Series), and Love Affairs and Wedding Bells (2015 Fullerton Playwright Festival winner). His most recent show, Zuleika the Great, in Oxford is currently being readied for its premiere, and you can learn more about his most recent project by visiting zuleikamusical.com.
Adrienne Grove, Vocal Coach
Adrienne is proud to be a Vocal Coach for the Resident Theatre. When not helping with costumes and painting rocks on sets, Adrienne sings opera, music theater and sacred music and teaches others to do so. Adrienne played Lily in the Resident Theatre’s inaugural production of The Secret Garden and was also its vocal coach. She subsequently coached singers in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Into the Woods, Our Town, The Man Who Came to Dinner, The Fantasticks, and Meet Me In St. Louis. Adrienne also appeared as Helena Landless in The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
Michael Hanley, Set Designer
Michael has designed multiple Edge of the Wood productions including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Charlotte’s Web. He designed the Resident Theatre productions of The Secret Garden, Into the Woods, The Man Who Came to Dinner, She Loves Me, Arcadia, and Light Up the Sky. When he’s not designing sets, he’s designing buildings as a licensed architect.
Tim Kwasny, Composer and Sound Designer
Tim is a composer, sound designer and visual artist based in Chicago. He has an MFA in Sound Art from Columbia University. He also holds a BM in music composition from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music. Tim was the Sound Designer for Light Up the Sky and has composed music for multiple shows at Edge including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Our Town, Arcadia, The Book of Will, and The Crucible.
Stacey Lind, Director
Stacey trained at the University of Southern California, the University of Washington, the Université de Paris, and also studied Stanislavski with a Russian master in Seattle and Japan. Favorite roles include Varya in The Cherry Orchard and Feste in Twelfth Night. Directing credits include Much Ado about Nothing, Love Letters, and She Loves Me. At the Resident Theatre, Stacey directed The Book of Will, Pride & Prejudice, The Belle of Amherst, Arcadia (where she appeared as Hannah), Our Town, The Fantasticks, The Seagull, and Middletown, co-directed and designed costumes for The Secret Garden, co-directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream (where she also appeared as Philostrate), and appeared as Linda Seton in Holiday, Maggie in The Man Who Came to Dinner, and Olivia in Twelfth Night.
Natasza Naczas, Set Designer
Natasza is a graduate of the DePaul Theatre School where she excelled in the art of faux wood grain and the property arts. She has received her Masters in Interior Architecture at Rhode Island School of Design and has since practiced Interior Design. While her MIA has made her MIA to the theatre, she was guided to Edge of the Wood to assist in scenic painting for She Loves Me and has never left! With the Resident Theatre Natasza designed The Fantasticks, worked as the scenic painter for She Loves Me, Arcadia, and Light Up the Sky, designed the combined and convertable set for The Seagull and Holiday in rep, and designed The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Meet Me In St. Louis, The Beautiful People, Pride & Prejudice, Middletown, The Book of Will, The Crucible, and The Minutes.
Chris Toft, Director
Chris has performed in six Resident Theatre productions, most recently as Mr. Bennet in Pride & Prejudice in 2019. Other roles include Editor Webb in Our Town, Nick Potter in Holiday, Malvolio in Twelfth Night, and The Chairman in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. He also leapt into Edge’s Zoom theatre performances during the height of COVID, appearing in four and directing one. Chris directed The Crucible and our Studio Series production of Betrayal and was the Assistant Director for The Book of Will.
Brad Whaley, Music Director
Brad is a pianist and vocal coach, specializing in opera, oratorio, and art song. He is a classically trained baritone, a vocal coach and accompanist for Edge of the Wood, and a member of the American Guild of Organists and the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. He was the music director for the Resident Theatre’s productions of The Secret Garden, Into the Woods, She Loves Me, The Fantasticks, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and Meet Me In St. Louis.
R. Scott Purdy