Reina Hardy, a 2003 graduate of Columbia University, co-founded the Viola Project in 2003 with Ellie Kaufman. Reina is currently in Austin on a Michener Fellowship for playwriting. Her latest play, "Glassheart," was recently featured as the workshop at the Orlando Shakespeare New Play Festival. Her first play, "Erratica" made its professional world premiere in July 2009 with Sacramento's Capital Stage, and is now out from Original Works Publishing. The Chicago premiere of "Erratica" finished its run in May of 2011. Reina, a finalist for the Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission, and the Interact 20/20 Commission, has also had readings and productions with Fox Valley Rep, the House Theatre, Echo Theatre, and many others. Look for excerpts from her plays in "Audition Arsenal," "The Ultimate Audition Book" and "Best Scenes for Two Actors."
Ellie Kaufman co-founded The Viola Project in 2004, and served as Executive Director, workshop teacher, and webmistress from 2004-2009. She is currently an Ashtanga Yoga instructor in Minneapolis, MN, having moved there recently after several post-TVP years teaching in San Francisco, CA. She holds a BA in Theater Arts from Brandeis University. Find her online at www.elliekaufman.com.
Amy Malcom: Since moving the Chicago last October, Amy has performed in the musical Nobody Likes Retsina in Greektown and currently in Waking Lazarus with Endpoint Theatre. Before that, Amy toured ten states with Missoula Children's Theatre teaching a cast of kids a musical in less than a week. She has also interned/apprenticed at First Folio Shakespeare, Riverside Theatre Shakespeare, Great River Shakespeare Festival and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. Amy has a great love for theatre, Shakespeare in particular and is more than excited to be apart of Viola Project! She thanks everyone for the opportunity. Bring on the Shakespeare!
Graphic Designer, Teaching Artist
John graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in theater and has been a scene designer and actor since then. His work has been seen on the stages of Chicago's most prestigious companies: the Piven Theater Workshop, Steppenwolf, About Face, and Lookingglass, among others. John lives and works in Evanston as a successful museum exhibit designer; exhibitions of his have premiered in The Field Museum, Millennium Park, the US Holocaust Museum, and most recently at the Kennedy Space Center. His contact with The Viola Project started as a parent; his daughter began attending classes in 2007. Inspired by the amazing work of the students and teachers, he asked if he could get involved. Now, he's proud to be a Viola Project teacher and the company's graphic designer.
Artistic Director, Lead Teacher
Skyler Schrempp is thrilled to be working with the Viola Project. She is a professional teaching artist and actor and has taught with numerous non-profits in both Chicago and New York including the Striking Viking Story Pirates, Community Word Project and the Young Artist Program. She has been seen on the stages of Oak Park Festival Theatre, Griffin Theatre, Redmoon Theatre, Adventure Stage, and 16th Street Theatre. Skyler has also worked as a costume designer, most notably on the feature film The Unidentified and is the author and co-author of the plays The Heart is Victorious! and What Happened in Between. She is a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf and Hampshire College. She continues to be inspired by all the girls that want to spend their summers and weekends bringing Shakespeare to life.
Teacher, Managing Director
Catherine Gillespie is proud to be part of the educational team at The Viola Project. She graduated from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan with a degree in Music Theatre. Teaching experience has included classes in the Music Prep Division of Oakland University's Department of Music, Theatre and Dance, as well as after school theatre programs for young people in various Michigan school districts. Chicago acting credits include The Wind in the Willows and Lovers at City Lit, And Neither Have I Wings To Fly at Citadel Theatre; A Midsummer Night's Dream and Romeo and Juliet at Glass Onion Theatre; The Pirates of Penzance at the Savoyaires; and Henry V at Promethean Theatre. Michigan credits include Sarah in Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! at the Jewish Ensemble Theatre, for which she received a Detroit Wilde Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical or Opera; Sally in You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown at Meadow Brook Theatre; and TIndy in Mimi and Me at the Michigan Theatre Festival.