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STAFF

Vanessa Bamber, Executive Director

Vanessa Bamber has a strong background in managing and producing for the arts. She was General Manager of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival in Normal, IL, Managing Director for Queens Theatre in the Park in Flushing, NY, and Managing Director for Dad's Garage Theatre Company in Atlanta, GA. She is a former professor of Arts Administration & Business Leadership at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, GA and Founder and CEO/Executive Producer of Spellcast Entertainment LLC, a theatrical production company. Bamber earned a Master of Business Administration at Illinois State University and a Bachelor's in Theatre Performance from the University of Florida.

To contact Vanessa, vbamber@chicagodramatists.org.

Dana Lynn Formby, Interim Artistic Director

Dana Lynn Formby is an award-winning playwright and beloved veteran faculty member at Chicago Dramatists. She has been a Resident Playwright here since 2009, taking up the reins as Interim Artistic Director in November 2017. Formby possess a deep passion for nurturing playwrights and their work with a rare ability to help writers identify the tools they need to create and finish new plays. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting from Ohio University and is represented by Samara Harris of the Robert A. Freedman Dramatic Agency. 

To contact Dana, dformby@chicagodramatists.org

Tanuja Jagernauth, Operations Manager

Tanuja Jagernauth is a playwright and dramturg who believes in the necessity of creation during times of destruction. Tanuja’s 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. Her recent dramturgy credits include Pegasus Theatre's production of "THE GREEN BOOK" by Calvin A. Ramsey, Sideshow Theatre's Freshness Initiative, Cloudgate Theatre's production of "ANOTHER JUNGLE" by Kristin Idaszak, and Stage Left's production of Robert Schenkkan's "BUILDING THE WALL". 

To contact Tanuja, tjagernauth@chicagodramatists.org.

Tara Branham, Artistic Producer

Tara Branham is a Chicago-based freelance theatre and opera director, producer, casting director, and extreme voice teacher. Recent credits include: director for the world premiere of Kristin Idaszak's "ANOTHER JUNGLE", "octagon" by Kristian Rae Colón at Jackalope Theatre, "good friday" by Kristiana Rae Colón at Oracle Productions and "BARS and MEASURES" by Idris Goodwin at Prop Thtr. Tara is also the casting director at Chicago Dramatists. 

To contact Tara about Producing or Marketing, email tbranham@chicagodramatists.org.

For casting submissions, email casting@chicagodramatists.org.

Marsha Estell, The Tutterow Fellowship Program Director

Marsha Estell is a resident playwright alumna at Chicago Dramatists, 2010 3Arts/Ragdale Fellow, and recipient of the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for Playwriting. Her plays include Heat, which had its world premiere at Chicago Dramatists and was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Outstanding New Work and many other award-winning work. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, SAG/AFTRA and Actors Equity.

To contact Marsha, mestell@chicagodramatists.org

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