Marketing & Communications Director; House & Box Office Manager
Maria likes hats, which is good because she wears a lot of them. A marketing and communications professional in both her theatre and muggle lives, Maria has also been known to write, direct, act, produce, stage manage, design a prop or two and manage up — a concept she learned in her former life as a journalist. In Chicago, she's worked with such companies as TUTA, Otherworld, Hobo Junction, New Millennium, Strangeloop, Nothing Special Productions, Zero Fox Coalition, Stockyards Theatre Project and Red Theater. Behind it all is a love of storytelling. Sometimes whimsical, sometimes dark, always subtly dissident, the stories Maria tells shine light in places people rather leave dark.
Email Maria at maria(at)ghostlightensemble.com.
Jean E. Burr
Jean moved up to Chicago during the Polar Vortex of 2014 after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with degrees in Film Studies and Japanese. Some of her favorite roles include Winifred (Once Upon a Mattress), Sally Brown (You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown), Cassie Hack (Hack/Slash: Strange and Unbalanced), Margalo (Stuart Little: The Musical), Paulina (The Seagull) and Linda (Blood Brothers). You can also catch her burlesque persona, Trash Bandicooch, performing with PS...Burlesque, Bad Taste, Smudged Lipstick, Vaudezilla and Plan 9.
For her Muggle job, Jean works as a receptionist at a law firm where she greets people, answers phones and drinks far too much Lemon La Croix. Jean loves traveling, cooking, running, writing, painting, watching TV, seeing movies, drinking good beer and having fun adventures. Love to her family, friends, Ghostlight Ensemble company members, her cat and Chippo. Check out her shtuff at www.jeaneburr.com.
Email Jean at jean(at)ghostlightensemble.com.
Keith comes to us from Rockford, Illinois, by way of Southern Illinois University (with a few stops in Florida). Since 2005, Keith has worked tech at various theatres, including The Goodman, Collaboraction, Teatro Vista, Victory Gardens, Pegasus Players and Blue Man Group. Most recently, he was a stage manager at the Uptown Underground and a company member with Strangeloop Theatre. He was also a writer for Big News at IO and Second City, and contributor to several of Strangeloop's Loopshop productions, as well as Strangeloop's Our Perfect Holiday 2012 with the cast, and just recently, Thinking Caps.
Email Keith at keith(at)ghostlightensemble.com.
Miona is originally from St. Louis, Missouri, and received her BFA in Theatre Performance from Missouri State University. She has worked with Forget Me Not Theatre, The Unrehearsed Shakespeare Company, Strangeloop Theatre, Geopolis Theater, National Pastime Theater and The Living Canvas.
In addition to acting, she toured the United States with the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps and performed with National Avenue and The Pride of Missouri State Winterguards. She is passionate about physical theatre storytelling and is always looking for new ways to bridge the gap between movement and text.
Email Miona at miona(at)ghostlightensemble.com.
Holly has been living and working in Chicago for several years, both as a performer and director. Favorite roles include Ellen (In the Wake), Jo (Independence), Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice) and Martha (The Children’s Hour). She has directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as well as several smaller productions. You can also see her exercising her comedy chops as a member of Improvised Jane Austen.
She has studied with Chicago organizations including Remy Bumppo, TUTA Theatre, Victory Gardens, Second City and First Folio Technique with Susan Hart and Jeffrey Carlson. Additionally, she recently completed the program A Practical Approach to Directing at Yale School of Drama. When not acting or directing, she can probably be found reading, watching British costume dramas, eating too much Indian food and/or talking to her cat (don't judge, OK?).
Email Holly at holly(at)ghostlightensemble.com.
Michael is Co-Artistic Director and a founding member of Ghostlight Ensemble. He has acted with Strangeloop Theatre (The Maid of Orleans, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mitera), The Saint Sebastian Players (Cash on Delivery), Nothing Without a Company (Some Air) and Genesis Theatricals (The People’s Choice) among others. He has also appeared in a Stawski beer commercial — one of his parents’ prouder moments — and studied acting, writing and improv at such institutions as Second City, iO, Black Box Acting Studio, Carlson & Hart and Acting Studio Chicago. As a playwright Michael’s plays have been produced at the 2012 Chicago Fringe Festival (Shadows and Lust), Donny’s Skybox (Santa Claus vs. the Easter Bunny, which he also directed) and at various short play festivals. Michael holds a BFA in Playwriting from The Theatre School at DePaul University.
Email Michael at michael(at)ghoslightensemble.com.
Chad has wanted to make exciting theatre with these fine folks for several years now, but only if their talents, abilities and energies were managed well. When the opportunity came along to have a direct hand in that, he jumped at the chance. Chad is no stranger to managing a theatre company. He founded New Millennium Theatre Company in 1998 and served as its artistic director for many years, bringing experiences like The Texas Chainsaw Musical, Miyagi! A Karate Kid Musical and Silent Night of the Living Dead to Chicago stages. Along the way he’s worked with the likes of The Public House Theatre and Terra Mysterium as well.
He is excited to contribute his organizational wizardry, his pop culture affinity and his desire to create shows his 6-year-old son wants to see to Ghostlight Ensemble.
Email Chad at chad(at)ghostlightensemble.com.
Norman J. Burt
Norman, being from a military family, had lived in many different cities by the time he was a teenager. However, it was in a small town in South Carolina where he discovered his love for performance. Beginning with speech and debate in high school and transforming itself into theater in college, he was eventually inspired to make the pilgrimage to the mecca of Improvisation during the fall of 2014. He has had the great privilege of performing with such companies as Shakespeare Carolina, OnQ Productions, The Under the Gun Ensemble, Ignition Theater Project, Theater Charlotte and LongWalk Productions.
Norm says that nothing would make him happier than to, one day, perform as Tiny Tim in a production of A Christmas Carol to a completely unaware audience.
Song Marshall is originally from Los Angeles, California. She has a Bachelor's degree in Theatre from Flagler College. She is an ensemble member with Terra Mysterium, where she performs original works involving mythology, faerie tales and steampunk stories. She has worked with The Other Theater Co. in their debut show Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 as an understudy. Blue Goose Ensemble Theatre’s SWEET SIXTEEN EXTRAVAGANZA!!! as the Sister. Song has had the pleasure of working with Ghostlight Ensemble a few times, starting with fulfilling a childhood dream of being a Spice Girl, in their live reading of Spice World the movie. She was also Gina the Giantess in Rock Show, and Jennifer in the live reading of WKRP in Cincinnati’s episode Turkey’s Away. She is excited to be a part of the upcoming production of Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband as Lady Basildon. She is also excited to be joining the Ghostlight family!
When not acting, Song is sometimes a vocalist with Lakeside Pride’s Wilde Cabaret. She also attends various comic conventions in her River Song or Martha Jones of Doctor Who cosplays. Or she can be found gallivanting in bustles and corsets through various steampunk events throughout Illinois and Wisconsin. She enjoys baking, knitting, bookbinding and soapmaking and learning new crafts. When in doubt go to the library!
Christopher Paul Mueller
Christopher is honored to be a part of Ghostlight Ensemble! Chris has been in such Ghostlight productions as KRAMPUS! and EVERY SINGLE STAGED READING EXCEPT FOR 9 TO 5. In addition to being an ensemble member for Red Theater, Christopher can be seen around town and has performed with Red Tape, Collaboraction, The Scooty and JoJo Show, First Floor Theater, etc. Christopher also is one half of the probably successful podcast, THE REVIEWNIVERSE WITH CHRIS AND STEVE. Check it out wherever you get podcasts! Much love to his friends and family and bun.
Lisa is a founding member of Ghostlight Ensemble. She typically works as a director and stage manager, so you’ll rarely ever see her onstage. She received her BA in Theatre, with a focus on directing, from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. In Chicago, she has worked with Strangeloop Theatre, The Gift, The Hypocrites, Project 891, Muse of Fire Theatre Company and others. She is also a company member with Muse of Fire Theatre Company in Evanston. She has a fondness for Shakespeare, musicals and new work.
During the weekdays, she can be found managing an office on the northwest side of the city. When she’s not in a theatre, or at work, you’re most likely to find her with her cats.
Email Lisa at lisa(at)ghostlightensemble.com.