Rylie Ann Taylor
Birch House's Janie Killips & Lauren Fields
Lindsay Cummings - Owner, Co-Founder, Head of Music
Lindsay Cummings is a Chicago actor, singer, music director, and teaching artist. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and a Master of Musical Theatre and Opera Performance from Arizona State University. She’s worked in theatre and television throughout the country, but teaching young artists has always been her passion. Lindsay has been seen on stages from L.A. to New York City working in musical theatre and television, and as a vocal coach for "The Voice." For the last six years, she's been a professor of Musical Theatre Voice at North Central College and most recently at Roosevelt University's CCPA. She is also on the board of The National Association of Teachers of Singing.
Tanner Bradshaw - Co-Founder, Head of Acting
Tanner Bradshaw is a Chicago based actor, director, and teaching artist. He owns a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting with a minor in Directing from Oklahoma City University. Tanner has acted as the artistic director for Oklahoma City University’s ‘Acting for the Stage and Screen’ high school camp in 2016, and has been the main teaching artist and director for the teen company at Windy City Performs for their 2018-19 season. Having grown up being parented by two school teachers, education holds a warm and important place in his heart. He hopes that this conservatory acts as a place for young artists to explore their talents, develop their skills, and provide a safe space for anyone who wants to come play and learn about theatre. He hopes to teach his students how to see the beauty in this world, how to know their own worth, how to embrace their imperfections and see them as assets, and how to be vulnerable and honest not only as an actor but as a person.
Isabella Coelho - Head of Education and Curriculum Development
Isabella Coelho has proudly worked as a theatre teaching artist since 2012 all over Chicago creating original programming and directing student performed work with organizations including Raven Theatre, Windy City Performs, Emerald City Theatre, Act Two at St. Paul’s and more. Isabella has served as a resident teaching artist at Free Street Theater since 2013 where she helms the Park Kids program as well as created capsule programming with the Chicago Park District and The Boys and Girls Club of West Pullman. As a performer, she has worked with Nashville Children’s Theatre, Broadway in Chicago, Lifeline Theatre, Raven Theatre, Commission Theatre, Cock and Bull Theatre, Filament Theatre, and Birch House Immersive. Isabella is graduate of the Theatre School at DePaul University.
Kara Leman - Teaching Artist
Kara Leman's passion for storytelling led her to Millikin University where she earned a BFA Musical Theatre degree. While living in New York City, she continued to hone her theatre skills with various directors and began working professionally. Kara is thrilled to have landed back in Chicago and loves teaching students both the art and importance of storytelling.
Chris Tozzi - Guitar Instructor
Chris Tozzi is a Chicago-based guitarist, and has been playing electric and acoustic guitar for 19 years. Chris is trained in blues and classic rock in both lead and rhythm guitar, and also specializes in acoustic fingerstyle and percussive-style guitar. He has played with several Chicagoland bands, and most recently performed with The Soapbox Standoff in 2017. Chris holds a Bachelor's degree in Marketing from Illinois State University, and while he works as a Financial Analyst during the day, he is extremely passionate about music and working with guitarists of all skill levels. He brings a fun and welcoming environment for students, covering fundamentals and theory, while allowing students to explore their creativity and learn the songs & music that inspired them to pick up the guitar and begin playing.
Andrew Baldwin - Guest Instructor
Andrew Baldwin is a classically trained percussionist hailing from Wisconsin who decided to take up sketch and improv comedy. Since moving to the Windy City, he has trained at the Second City Conservatory, The Annoyance, and Comedy Sportz. He can be seen all over Chicago performing sketch and improv, as well as behind various percussion instruments.
Rylie Ann Taylor - Guest Instructor
Rylie Ann Taylor is a Chicago-based actor, dancer, choreographer, and teaching artist. She received her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Musical Theatre and Theatre Performance from North Central College. She currently trains in various dance styles as a work study at Visceral Dance Center. She grew up in Indianapolis, IN with her dad, two younger sisters, and their little mutt named Max. In her spare time you can catch her at a local coffee shop with a cold brew in hand, attempting to do yoga from home, or huddled away at home with the latest true crime podcast. Her goal as a performer and teaching artist is to create art that reminds our younger selves of the original spark of passion we had to join this crazy wonderful profession in the first place. She is so thrilled to be joining the CMAA team!