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Dorothy Milne Dorothy Milne Artistic Director
Dorothy has been the Artistic Director of Lifeline Theatre since 1999 and an ensemble member since 1992. She has directed over twenty productions at Lifeline, receiving a Non-Equity Jeff Award (Direction) for Around the World in 80 Days in 2003; and Non-Equity Jeff Nominations (Direction) for Pistols for Two, Jane Eyre (for which she also received an After Dark Award), Strong Poison, and Gaudy Night. Outside of Lifeline, she most recently directed No More Dead Dogs for Griffin Theatre. Previously, she received an Equity Jeff Nomination for her direction of Eleemosynary at Interplay Theatre Company. Dorothy is also involved in the Chicago storytelling scene: she has been writing and performing with the storytelling collective Sweat Girls for over 20 years, directs occasionally for 2nd Story and at Lifeline leads The Lifeline Storytelling Project and co-curates The Fillet of Solo Festival.
Allison Cain Allison Cain Managing Director
Allison was the Executive Director of The Factory Theater from 2001-2008, and the Artistic Director of Studio 108 from 1991-1998. She received her training at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA and Columbia College in Chicago and has worked almost exclusively on new work since 1990, in Los Angeles, Connecticut, Scotland and Chicago. Also an actor, Lifeline audiences will recognize Allison from her performances in Johnny Tremain, Crossing California, The Mark of Zorro, Mariette in Ecstasy, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!, The One and Only Ivan, and Sparky. She has also been seen in numerous productions with The Factory Theater, Mary-Arrchie, the side project, Griffin, Live Wire, and other fine theaters throughout the Chicagoland area over the past 24 years.
Katie Cassidy Katie Cassidy Development Manager
Katie is thrilled to join the Lifeline staff after moving to Chicago in August 2016 to work with the Publicity team at Goodman Theatre. Previously, she served as the Managing Director of Endstation Theatre Company (located in central Virginia) for two seasons. She holds a B.A. in Theatre and Public Relations from Florida State University and has worked at theatres in Orlando and Tallahassee.
Erica Foster Erica Foster Operations Director & Accessibility Coordinator
As Lifeline's Operations Director, Erica is in charge of all audience services and oversees the entire front-of-house staff. Erica has stage managed numerous MainStage productions at Lifeline, including Watership Down, Neverwhere, Treasure Island, The Mark of Zorro (both the original production and the remount at Theatre Building Chicago), Queen Lucia: A Musical Romp (which she also assistant directed), Johnny Tremain, The Talisman Ring (2005), The Sirens of Titan, The Killer Angels, The Shadow, Around the World in 80 Days, Cat's Cradle and Cooking with Lard. For the KidSeries, she has stage managed Snowflake Tim's Big Holiday Adventure, Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, and The Rescuers.
Julie Ganey Julie Ganey Education Director
Julie comes to the Education Director position after teaching in Lifeline’s residency program for 6 years. She served as Director of Education at 2nd Story from 2009–2015, and Outreach Director at Next Theatre from 2007–2011, and she continues to work with students of many ages through the GeNarrations program at the Goodman Theatre. Julie has spent two decades as an artistic associate at Wavelength, an award-winning comedy ensemble that provides professional development for educators nationwide. She has created and led workshops for teachers all over the country on communication skills, using improvisation in the classroom, and professional learning communities. Julie’s bullying prevention program, Stand Up on the Schoolyard, has been presented to students and educators within the Chicago Public School system and across the country. In addition, she has performed in numerous Chicago theatre productions, including her original solo shows, The Half-Life of Magic and Love Thy Neighbor... till it hurts.
Lavina Jadhwani Lavina Jadhwani Casting Director
Lavina was recently named Time Out Chicago’s “Best Next Generation Stage Director.” She is an Artistic Associate at Silk Road Rising (Yellow Dress, Ching Chong Chinaman, Gold Boy/Emerald Girl) and Oak Park Festival Theatre (Hamlet, Twelfth Night, The Two Gentlemen of Verona). She also served as the Artistic Director of Rasaka Theatre Company from 2007-2013, where she directed Much Ado About Nothing, the Chicago premiere of Gruesome Playground Injuries, and directed and curated the Chicago premiere of Yoni Ki Baat (2009 & 2010) and culture/clash: the nation’s first fully-produced South Asian short play festival. As a casting director, her work has also been seen with Chicago Children's Theatre, The Hypocrites, and Mixed Blood Theatre. She is a recipient of Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Phil Killian Directing Fellowship, the O'Neill/NNPN National Directors Fellowship, the Drama League’s Classical Directing Fellowship, an SDCF Observership, and an LMDA Residency Award. Jadhwani is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University (BFA, Scenic Design; Masters, Arts Management) and The Theatre School at DePaul University (MFA, Directing).
Robert Kauzlaric Robert Kauzlaric Marketing Director
Robert is a member of Lifeline’s artistic ensemble and has been working with the company since 2000. Before joining the Lifeline administrative staff in 2008, he spent nearly a decade in group sales and marketing in the hospitality industry, and five years as a freelance website designer. A published playwright, Robert has written more than a dozen theatrical adaptations which have been produced in nearly forty states around the U.S., as well as in Australia, Canada, England, and Ireland.
Jennifer McClendon Jennifer McClendon Production Manager
Jennifer is a native Chicago theatre artist who received her BFA in Stage Management from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A former Steppenwolf Multicultural Fellow and Production Management Apprentice, Jennifer has worked as a freelance Production Manager and Stage Manager in Chicago since 2012. She has worked with companies such as Steppenwolf, Remy Bumppo, Theatre Seven, The Hypocrites, Mary Arrchie, and Definition Theatre. Recently, she served as the Managing Director of Prologue Theatre Company during their seventh and final season. She is both grateful and overjoyed to have found a new theatre home with Lifeline.
Sam Moryoussef Sam Moryoussef Master Electrician/AV Supervisor
This is Sam’s second season working at Lifeline, serving as the Master Electrician/AV Supervisor. Outside of Lifeline, he is the Interim Assistant Technical Director for Lookingglass Theatre Company. He also serves as the Technical Director for Rivendell Theatre. He moved to Chicago last summer from North Carolina, where he worked as the Assistant Technical Director for Performing Arts and Cultural Programs Departments at Elon University. He graduated in 2010 from the University of North Carolina Greensboro. He is excited to be in Chicago and working with such a welcoming group of artists and craftsmen.
Joe Schermoly Joe Schermoly Technical Director
Joe has been the Technical Director at Lifeline for four seasons, during which time he has designed sets for Midnight Cowboy, The Mystery of the Pirate Ghost, A Tale of Two Cities, The City & The City, and The Count of Monte Cristo. Joe is also an ensemble member with the Griffin Theatre, where he has designed many sets including Pocatello, Titanic, Spelling Bee, Flare Path, Punk Rock, Port, and Constant Wife. His other design work includes productions with Steppenwolf Theatre (Constellations), Theatre Wit (The Watson Intelligence; Mr Burns, a post-electric play; Seven Homeless Mammoths; Completeness), Sideshow (Stupid F***ing Bird, Idomeneus, The Ugly One) and Irish Theatre of Chicago (The Seafarer, Lay Me Down Softly). Joe studied set design at Northwestern University and has received two After Dark Awards and two Jeff Nominations. See more of his work at
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