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An Invitation to Innovate:

Ride the Wave Smoothly from Zoom to Classroom

Join us for three unique online immersive professional development workshops where we’ll equip you with lessons and activities to utilize, regardless of where you find yourself teaching.

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Meet our Workshop Leaders


Invitation to Innovate: Ride the Wave Smoothly from Zoom to Classroom

Join us for three unique online immersive professional development workshops where we’ll equip you with lessons and activities to utilize, regardless of where you find yourself teaching. 

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Making Shakespeare Accessible

It’s Day 1 of your Shakespeare Monologue unit! This lesson jumps right into the deep end to foster a clear understanding of Shakespeare’s text. This lesson can be delivered in a day or stretched to a week or more of follow-up activities, depending on class size and students’ experience level. Dive in with the same tools that professional actors use to make Shakespeare’s text accessible!

About Beth Wolf

Beth Wolf (she/hers) is a Chicago-based director and acting coach. She is the founder and Producing Artistic Director of Midsommer Flight, where she has directed nine Shakespeare plays in Chicago parks since the company's founding in 2012, including critically acclaimed productions of The Tempest, Twelfth Night, and Hamlet, among othersOther recent credits include The Suffrage Plays at Artemisia, The Roommate at Citadel Theatre (Equity Jeff Recommended), and Non-Player Character at Red Theater (2020 Non-Equity Jeff nomination for Projection Design). Other Chicago credits include LIAR!, which won first place in the City Lit Art of Adaptation Festival; Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, Black Magic: An Evening of Shakespeare, Bury the Dead, and The Fantasticks (Promethean Theatre Ensemble, where she was formerly the Artistic Director and co-founder); and various staged readings and assistant directing credits with Remy Bumppo, Idle Muse, City Lit Theater, and more. Beth is a proud Northwestern University graduate with a double major in Theatre and Gender Studies. She lives in Chicago with her husband and their two young children. More at:


Instagram: @bethnwolf 

@adflightlog @midsommer.flight 


Keep them Engaged: Games & Activities

How can we infuse playfulness into the students' day? Games are a great way to break up the day, re-engerize and refocus students, to hone critical problem solving skills, and allow for more opportunities for connection even over an online platform. In this session we'll explore different games and activities that translate well virtually, leave with tools to promote more playfulness and joy throughout your school day.

About Jamie Macpherson

 Jamie Macpherson is a theater educator and fight/intimacy director, specializing in working with young people. Formerly the Education Manager at Adventure Stage Chicago, Jamie has over ten years of teaching experience under her belt. Other companies she's taught for include: Mudlark Theater, American Blues Theater, Emerald City, and Dream Big. She has been an Invited Artist at Macalester College and at the Lawrence Arts Center, and served as fight director/instructor at the University of Chicago. She is a certified Actor Combatant, and a member of the Society for American Fight Directors. As a researcher, Jamie investigates stage combat, as well as pedagogical approaches to developing empathy and collaborative skill sets. Jamie holds an MFA in Theatre for Youth from Arizona State University.


Process Theatre

Want to immediately engage your virtual students? Explore the immersive techniques of process dramas to build student skills by creating a long form improvisation with the whole class building the story.

About Elisabeth Westphal

Elisabeth Westphal has a degree in theatre from Northwestern University and studied intercultural performance at New York University. She did professional training at the Ecole De Mime Corporeal Dramatic de Paris with Ettienne Decroux (the father of modern mime) and has a Masters of Arts Education from Carthage College. As an actor she has performed at The Chicago Cultural Center, the Chicago Mexican Fine Art Center and many off loop theatres. She has worked as a member of several TYA theatre companies (before it was called TYA) touring the Midwest. She served as an artist-in-residence in school districts and colleges throughout Illinois under the auspices of The Illinois Arts in Education Program . For the last 25 years she has been a middle school drama teacher, presently working in Evanston/Skokie School District 65 in Illinois. Most recently she served as a writer for the National Core Arts Standards for Theatre, the Illinois Theatre Standards, and as a committee member for the new Illinois State Theatre Licensure. She is a K-8 network chair for the American Alliance for Education and also serves as a co-chair for the Illinois Theatre Association Creative Drama Division.

Meet our Panelists


Creating Performances Online: Speaking from Experience

Join us as representatives of the Professional, Community, and College Theatre Worlds who have already produced online share their experiences, insights, victories, and what-not-to-dos for virtual shows in the age of Covid. Build your confidence, resources, and bank of ideas for your own online productions and performances for your students! 

AC Rakatoniania

AC Rakotoniaina is an actor based in Chicago, IL. Zoom productions in which they have performed include The Lion in Winter (Edge of the Wood Theatre) and Mercury Hamlet (Quicksilver Shakespeare Company). See them next in My Name Is and Tequila Herself at Occupy the Stage 2020, hosted by the Women’s Theatre Festival. Their Chicago credits include Mercury Hamlet (Quicksilver Shakespeare Company), The Tempest (Commission Theatre), Bicycle Thieves (Littlebrain Theatre) at RhinoFest, and Richard III (Muse of Fire Theatre Company). AC is an ensemble member at Quicksilver Shakespeare Company and a performer with The Shrews Improvisation. Connect and keep up to date at


Deena Cassady

Deena Cassady is currently in her 9th year as theatre teacher, production director, and thespian troupe sponsor for Kankakee School District 111. Deena holds a BA in Musical Theater Performance from The State University of New York at Cortland and a Masters degree in Theatre Education from the City University of New York at City College. In addition to teaching and directing junior high and high school productions, Deena directs and performs for Kankakee Valley Theatre Association and Acting out Theatre Company and is the proud mom to Nadia (5 y/o) and Nathan (2 y/o).


Kareem Badr

Kareem Badr is an actor, improviser, teacher, and writer based out of Austin, Texas. Recent stage credits include "Roger" in Sow & Suckling for The University of Texas, and “Nazrullah” in two productions of the Rolling World Premiere of Heartland. His fiction podcast script "Curtains" just won Austin Film Festival's script competition. Kareem is a co-owner of The Hideout Theatre and performs and teaches internationally with his improv troupe PGraph.


Alka Sharma

Alka Sharma, the founder and heart & soul of MANDI THEATER, has always had a passion for arts. Together with her mentoring skills and keen eye for detail, she has led MANDI Theater to a prominent spot in the theatre landscape. Since its inception, Mandi Theater artists have performed and staged over 40 plays. Not only this, the group has also done a lot of work to give the Traditional street theater' a distinct identity in Chicago

An actor, dancer, playwright, poet, painter and a freelance writer Alka has been actively involved in many Community Service events such as International Women’s Day, Children’s Day, Musical shows etc. and have hosted hundreds of events to strengthen the roots of our traditions and culture here in the USA.

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Steven House

Steven House grew up in a military family living across the globe for much of his childhood. After discovering theatre in high school he earned his his M.F.A. in Scenic Design from Illinois State University and his B.F.A. in Design/Technology from the University of Montevallo. 

Steven has designed scenery for: Midland Community Theatre, St Gregory’s University, Northern Arizona University, Clinton Area Showboat Theatre, Theatre Randolph, Heartland Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Illinois State University, LaCosta Theatre, University of Montevallo, and The Plagiarists. 

When not designing scenery Steven can be found painting sets across America. He has scenic painted for the Santa Fe Opera, Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre, Clinton Area Showboat Theatre, Midland Community Theatre, Birmingham Children’s Theatre and The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.


Event Bonus: Special Mini-Performance

by Professional Storyteller, Lucia Luckett-Kelly

Lucia Luckett-Kelly

Lucia Luckett-Kelly , Professional Storyteller, Creative Dramatic Instructor and Performing Artist. Mrs. Kelly is a Storytelling Artist that uses a variety of dramatic styles through her oral interpretation of telling Multicultural stories to people of all ages. Her Storytelling business is called Phantasy Staircase Education. Lucia is well-known throughout the north and northwest suburban areas as a skilled Storyteller.She has made appearances at public and private schools in Evanston, Northbrook and Palatine. The Arlington Hts. and Northbrook Park Districts, the Evanston, Skokie and Wilmette libraries and a Winnetka bookstore, as well as in private family homes.

On her personal Facebook page Lucia L.Kelly reads and recites a Storytelling audio every week called “Enlighten Moments.” Mrs. Kelly invites you to listen, enjoy and discover the variety of Stories from Around the World every week! She recently did an interview on the “Vent with Candy” podcast available on iHeart Radio.

Vent with Candy: Episode 18

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Be sure to register today - limited spots available!

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