JOE HARTNESS, Chair
Joe Hartness is a partner in the Harrick Group, a hospitality design firm founded in 1993. He has earned a degree in MA in Art History form Dominican University in Florence, Italy and an MBA from the University of Arkansas. Joe has supported small stage theater for many years and is thrilled to be part of the Interrobang family.
SANDRA SMYCZ, Secretary
Sandra Smycz has worked in education for sixteen years. During that time, she has served as a high school English teacher, theatre teacher, director, choreographer, and reading specialist. She currently serves as the Director of Literacy at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois, working with students and teachers to more fully embed literacy across all classes and curricula.
As a theatre educator, Sandra is delighted to serve as Board Vice-President for the Interrobang Theatre Project. With experience ranging from directing to dramaturgy, stage managing to producing, she is excited to help ITP move forward as a force to be reckoned with in the Chicago theatre scene. Sandra holds a Masters in Reading from St. Xavier University, and a Masters in Directing from Roosevelt University.
REBECCA LAWSON, Board Member
Rebecca Lawson has worked with the nonprofit performing arts community for the last 20 years in various capacities, both on stage and back stage. Before moving to Chicago, she worked as a director and teaching artist at Clark Youth Theatre (Tulsa, OK), touring actor and manager with National Theatre for Children (Minneapolis, MN), and as an actor and costume designer for the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival (Durant, OK). She moved to Chicago, Illinois in 2012 where she has since acted, stage managed, and directed with various storefront companies including Interrobang, 20%, Hobo Junction, and Stage Left. In the fall of 2016, Rebecca refocused her personal and professional energy toward social impact work. She now provides executive administrative support to the team at Crown Family Philanthropies and is pleased to be a board member of Interrobang Theatre Project. Rebecca has a B.A. in theatre from Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
JESSICA VANN, Board Member
Jessica Vann, MATD is coming to Chicago by way of her hometown of Lansing, Michigan, which she loves. She received a B.S. in Theatre and Interpretation: Acting from Central Michigan University and a M.A in Training and Development from Roosevelt University. She has over 10 years’ experience working in the not-for-profit sector and as an artist and performer. It would be safe to say she wears many hats and continues to grow in her dual professions. Finding balance is key to wearing may hats. Some of her professional credits include, but are not limited to, Jeff Award Nominated Underscore Theatre Company, Story of A Story (The Untold Story) (Beulah/Tania); Artists Giving Back, RENT (Joanne); New Millennium Theatre Company, Crazy For Swayze (Oda Guinan); Big Noise Theatre, HAIR and Ragtime. In October, 2017 she can be seen in the upcoming production of Billy Elliot: The Musical at Porchlight Theatre.
ELIZABETH VERZO, Board Member
Elizabeth Verzo, MS, RD, LDN earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Culinary Nutrition from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI and her Master of Science degree in Dietetics from Loyola University Chicago in Chicago, IL. She completed the dietetic internship from Loyola University Chicago and has been licensed as a Registered Dietitian since 2009. Additionally, she has certificates in weight management for children & adolescents, and adults.
Elizabeth works as an Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) Educator, serving low-resource audiences in the south suburbs and south city of Chicago, IL.
Prior to her work with Extension, she worked with a WIC program in Chicago, IL. She is deeply rooted in community nutrition and feels the greatest benefit to working with any audience, particularly limited resource audiences, is helping them achieve an improved quality of life.
She enjoys cooking, baking, traveling, and is an avid theatre goer. She spends free time becoming immersed in Chicago small stage theatre, and enjoys being transported to another time period and watching the live dynamics between actors on stage.
ELANA ELYCE, Artistic Producer
Originally from Detroit, MI, Elana is an actor, director, coach, writer and occasional producer. Her name is pronounced [el ah na]. She first met Interrobang as a cast member of The Argument in 2012 and didn’t want to leave. Subsequently, she produced Here Lies Henry (2012), Hot N’ Throbbing (2012) and Speaking in Tongues (2013). Since landing in Chicago in 2007, besides ITP, she has been honored to work with many amazing folks at lots of theatres that let her play on their stages, including The House Theatre of Chicago, Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre (Evanston), Eclipse, Remy Bummpo, Stage Left & Theatre Seven (a collaboration), The Yard/Raven Theatre, Lincoln Square, Twenty Percent, Prologue, Stockyards Theatre Project, and Strangeloop Theatre. She is also a Member/Business Manager of The Chicago Inclusion Project and likes long walks on the beach at sunset.
SARAH GISE, Casting Coordinator
Sarah has been a proud ITP company member since February 2015. She graduated from the University of Southern California (USC) with a BFA in Acting. She was previously seen in Interrobang's Fifth Season productions, Owners and Really Really. She is currently a company member with New American Folk Theatre (Chicago) and a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre (Los Angeles), with whom she won the LA Weekly Best Actress award for The Belle of Belfast in 2013. She can be seen at many film festivals around the country in the new film Halfway starring Quinton Aaron from The Blindside, which was awarded Best Feature at the Julian Dubuque International Film Festival. In February 2016, she performed the one-woman show The Amish Project with AtticRep in San Antonio, TX, and shortly after was invited to take the show to the Teatro Potlach FLIPT festival in Rome, Italy. She performed in the Midwest premiere of Still by Jen Silverman with Interrobang at the Athenaeum, followed by the remount of AtticRep's The Amish Project by Jessica Dickey with Interrobang last year.
NANCY PAYNE, Marketing Manager
Nancy comes to ITP to provide marketing support and direction as Marketing Manager. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in strategic communication and business, she has been working in marketing and advertising full-time. As a lifelong theater advocate, she is excited to help promote ITP's mission and upcoming seasons.
MATTHEW NERBER, Marketing Associate
Matthew comes to Chicago from Buffalo, New York, where he earned his BFA in theatre performance from SUNY Buffalo. He has been with ITP since 2014's Owners, which he understudied. He also assistant directed the company's production of Katrina: Mother-in-Law of 'Em All and played Andrew in 2016's Recent Tragic Events. Other Chicago credits include Her Naked Skin (Shattered Globe Theatre), Once in a Lifetime (Strawdog Theatre Company), and Assistance (LiveWire Theatre Chicago). Matthew has also assistant directed shows at Collaboraction and Redtwist.