Our Mission

The Chicago Inclusion Project exists to facilitate inclusive experiences and hiring practices throughout Chicago theatre.

Artistic Staff

Emjoy Gavino (Founder, Executive Director, Casting Associate)

She / Her / Hers

Emjoy has performed with The House Theatre of Chicago, The Hypocrites, Court Theatre, Second City, Northlight Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Victory Gardens, Remy Bumppo, Broadway Playhouse, Lookingglass, Goodman Theatre, Studio Theatre, ACT, 5th Avenue Theatre, Village Theatre and The Getty Villa. Emjoy is an associate artistic director and the casting director at Gift Theatre, a 3Arts Make A Wave grantee and a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf.

www.emjoygavino.com

Elana Elyce  (Business Manager)

She / Her / Hers

Elana is from Detroit, MI and has been living, performing, writing, coaching and directing in and around Chicago since 2007. She is a company member of The House Theatre of Chicago and Interrobang Theatre Project, where she also serves as Artistic Producer. 

elanaelyce.net

 Abhi Shrestha (Community Organizer / Literary Manager)

They / Them / Theirs

Abhi Shrestha is a Chicago based director/ dramaturg/ teaching artist originally from Kathmandu, Nepal. Abhi has recently assistant directed HOW WE GOT ON (Haven Theatre), WIT (The Hypocrites), PICNIC (American Theater Company), and We’re Gonna Die (Haven Theatre).  He is the Literary Manager and Community Outreach Coordinator at Haven Theatre, and the Resident Dramaturg and Community Organizer with the Chicago Inclusion Project. 

Stephanie Díaz (Casting Associate / Grant Writer)

She / Her/ Hers

Stephanie is a multidisciplinary artist based in Chicago. She divides her time between acting work, puppetry projects and writing short fiction and poetry. She is an Associate Artist and Casting Director with the award-winning 16th Street Theater. Her work as an actor has been recognized by Chicago Magazine, WBEZ, and with two consecutive nominations (and one Honorable Mention) for Chicago’s prestigious 3Arts Award. Her casting work champions diversity and was recognized in Chicago Magazine’s 2013 “Best Of” issue. She is a proud member of SAG/AFTRA and Actors’ Equity Association.  

Jessica Vann (Facilitator)

She / Her/ Hers

Jessica is a multi-careered woman who is an actor, entrepreneur, singer and podcast host (Red, Hot and Coconut Oil) from Lansing, MI.  She received a B.S. in Theatre and interpretation from Central Michigan University and an M.A. in Training and Development from Roosevelt University.  She balances her time running her business Creative Saces which provides arts based leadership and professional development workshops/keynotes for emerging veteran leaders in various work sectors.  ACting, being a body positive blogger, and singing with her band, it would be safe to say she wears many hats and continues to find self discovery and joy in all of them.  Chicago credits include, but are not limited to 1776 and Billy Elliot (Porchlight); Homos, or Everyone in America (Pride Films and Plays); Disaster: The Musical (Chicago Theatre Workshop); Story of a Story  (Underscore Theatre Company); Hair and Ragtime (Big Noise Theatre) jessvanncreates.com

Arti Ishak (Facilitator)

She / Her/ Hers

Arti Ishak is an actor, writer and teaching artist originally from Detroit. Recent Chicago theatre credits include Witch (Writers), Buried Child (Writers), Men On Boats (American Theater Company), Johnny 10 Beers’ Daughter (Chicago Dramatists), Venus in Fur (Circle Theatre), Fantastic Super Great Nation Numero Uno (Second City), Harbur Gate (16th Street Theatre) and A Story Told in Seven Fights (Neo-Futurists). A graduate of Western Michigan University's Theatre and Business schools. She serves on the board of the Muslim Writers Collective Chicago Chapter. Repped by Shirley Hamilton. www.artiishak.com

*staff portraits photographed by Joe Mazza at Brave Lux Photography

Staff Emeriti

Jeff Trainor, Program Coordinator
Charlie Hano, Casting Associate

Founding Collective

Danny Bernardo
Ben Chang
Behzad Dabu
Stephanie Diaz
Elana Elyce
Emjoy Gavino
Todd Garcia
Delia Kropp
Yunuen Pardo

Artistic Advisors

Anish Jethmalani
Sandra Marquez
Michael Patrick Thornton

 

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© 2019 by THE CHICAGO INCLUSION PROJECT