Who We Are
At Cloudgate Theatre, we believe that caring for and listening to the artists we work with engenders vibrant, dynamic experiences for our audiences. With every new undertaking, we start by asking how best to serve the needs of our collaborators and to take our audience on a unique, wildly theatrical journey.
Cloudgate Theatre is: Kristin Idaszak, Artistic Director; Shane Kelly, Executive Director; Lila Gilbert, General Manager; and Artistic Associates Tara Branham, Dominic DiGiovanni, Sarah D. Espinoza, Gregory Geffrard, Tanuja Jagernauth, and Anna Wooden. We produce on a project-based model.
Kristin Idaszak, a two-time Playwrights’ Center Jerome Fellow, has received the Kennedy Center’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award and the Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award for her play Second Skin. Her play Another Jungle (Relentless Award Honorable Mention) received its world premiere with Cloudgate Theatre and The Syndicate in April 2018. She was the Shank Playwright in Residence at the Goodman Theatre and a member of the 2017-2018 Goodman Playwrights Unit. Her play The Surest Poison was commissioned by EST/The Sloan Foundation. Kristin is an adjunct instructor at the Theatre School at DePaul University. Previously, Kristin served as Associate Artistic Director/Literary Manager of Caffeine Theatre and Associate Artistic Director of Collaboraction. MFA: UC San Diego. kristinidaszak.com
Shane Kelly is the co-author, with Jay O. Glerum, of the upcoming 4th edition of Stage Rigging Handbook. He is co-founder and Executive Director of Chicago’s Cloudgate Theatre. Recent Chicago credits include production management for Welcome Yule! at Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Society, DePaul School of Music Opera, and Taizé Pilgrimage of Trust. Nationally he has worked as the Opera Technical Director and Sound Design Instructor at University of Northern Colorado, Assistant Technical Director at American Repertory Theatre (A.R.T.) in Cambridge, MA, Carpenter and Rigger at Guthrie Theatre and a freelance scenic, sound and lighting designer. Internationally he was the Associate Director of Education for SpaceLab at the 2015 Prague Quadrennial and Technical Director for Six Acts at the 2011 Prague Quadrennial Scenofest. He has an MFA in Technical Production from the Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP) at the University of Delaware.
Lila Gilbert is a Chicago-based freelance production manager. She holds a BFA in Theatre Technology from The Theatre School at DePaul University and serves proudly as the General Manager for Cloudgate Theatre. She is also an ensemble member with The New Colony. Other production management credits include work with Steep Theatre, WildClaw Theatre, and Niles West High School. Day-to-day, she functions as a Labor Coordinator at Production Resource Group. In her spare time, she advocates for mental health education and suicide prevention, practices yoga, and admires local birds.
Tara Branham is a theatre and opera director, producer, and casting director in Chicago. Recent Directing Credits: Another Jungle, Cloudgate Theatre; octagon, Jackalope Theatre Company; good friday, Self-Produced with Oracle Productions; Bars and Measures, Prop Thtr. Assistant Directing Credits: La Traviata, Opera Theatre of St. Louis; The Consul, Long Beach Opera & Chicago Opera Theatre. Tara is the former Artistic Producer at Chicago Dramatists where she served as Casting Director and curator for Monday Night Drama. She is the teacher and creator of the Unbridled Sound - a physical/vocal technique for actors. Tara is a graduate of Ball State University (cum laude) and a student of Black Box Acting Studio. www.tarabranham.com
Coming to theater after a relatively 'drama-free' childhood in Oakland, California, Dominic turned a Bachelor's in Engineering into a decade of work in major production houses on both coasts (with a brief foray as a boardgame bar manager). He is currently the Scene Shop Foreperson for The Theater School at DePaul, as well as the school Safety Coordinator.
Sarah D. Espinoza is a theatrical sound designer in the city of Chicago who speaks both English and Spanish. Originally from Boulder Colorado, she came to Illinois to study theatre at Loyola University Chicago. Since, she has designed over 200 productions including plays, musicals, escape rooms, radio dramas, and more. In 2015 she won the non-equity Jeff award for her sound design for The Arsonists (Strawdog).Some of her past works include: The Displaced (Haven), Sickle (Red Theatre), Damascus (Strawdog), Another Jungle (Cloudgate Theatre), Futute Echoes (Wildclaw), Epic Tale of Scale (Chicago Children's Theatre), Little Red Cyrano (Red Theatre), Night in Alachua County (WildClaw Theatre), The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Red Theatre), The Woman in Black (WildClaw), Megastasis (Eclipse), I Am My Own Wife (About Face Theatre), and You On the Moors Now (The Hypocrites), Borealis (The House Theatre of Chicago) and Second Skin (WildClaw Theatre). She was also the associate designer for Heartbreak Hotel (Broadway Playhouse).
Sarah D. Espinoza
Gregory Geffrard is a Haitian American who was born and was raised in Miami. After earning his M.F.A from the University of Iowa and relocating to Chicago, Greg feels blessed that in his six years of living in Chicago he has had the opportunity to work consistently in the multifaceted Chicago theatre scene. Gregory is a Teaching Artist with Steppenwolf’s Young Adult Program and is humbled to also be a Sexual Assault Prevention Educator with Catharsis Productions, teaching classes to sailors at Great Lakes Naval Base. Gregory will always find time for his first love and the primary reason he began performing in the first place: spoken word poetry. The stage has served as the best platform to help Gregory decipher and explore his fascination with the intricacies that make us all so unique but is excited to delve more into the cinematic world of television and film.
Recent Chicago credits include include Tilikum (Sideshow Theatre); Another Jungle (Cloudgate Theatre); Smart People (Writers Theatre; u/s); Puff Believe It Or Not (Remy Bumppo), Pass Over (Steppenwolf; u/s), Earthquakes In London (Steep Theatre); TV Credits: Chicago Justice.
Tanuja Jagernauth is a playwright and dramaturg who believes in the necessity of creation during times of destruction. She is honored to have her new play, FIRST DATA GOLD, presented as part of Our Perspective: Asian American Play Readings at Steppenwolf Theatre. Her short play, BATTLEGROUND, was recently part of Revolutionary Acts, the 6th National Asian American Theater Conference & Festival, and her short play, SKIN, was recently part of the Our Perspective: Asian American Play Readings at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and workshopped by The Pulp Stage in Portland, OR. Tanuja is currently serving as dramaturg for Prop Thtr's NEVERLAND and looks forward to serving as dramaturg for Kristin Idaszak's STRANGE HEART BEATING. Recent dramaturgy credits include Pegasus Theatre's production of ECLIPSED, Sideshow’s Freshness Initiative workshop and staged reading of PRO-AM by Brynne Frauenhoffer, Stage Left's production of Robert Schenkkan's BUILDING THE WALL, Pegasus Theatre's production of THE GREEN BOOK by Calvin A. Ramsey, and Cloudgate Theatre's production of ANOTHER JUNGLE by Kristin Idaszak.
Anna Wooden is a costume designer, craftsperson, and maker. Recent credits include Second Skin with Wildclaw, Another Jungle with Cloudgate Theatre, First Dance with Project Blue Light, and The Shepherd with Vertical Church. She also is co-owner if the crafts company Craftiga Ltd. She is drawn to stories that encourage empathy and examine socio-political themes. Most days, she can be found working in her Rogers Park studio with her best dog Banjo. Look for her designs at upcoming The Man Who Was Thursday with Lifeline theatre and Pinocchio with The House. Website: annawoodendesign.com
Cloudgate Theatre is a non-profit corporation in the state of Illinois with 501c3 status.
Board members include Joe Idaszak (President), Kristin Bernstein, Shane Kelly, and Sarah Slight. If you are interested in joining our board, please reach out to us at email@example.com.