Scout & Birdie
Scout & Birdie

Meet the artists!


Vince Amlin

Vince Amlin is co-pastor of Bethany UCC ( and co-planter of Gilead Chicago ( He is a contributor to the Stillspeaking Writers Group and its Daily Devotional ( He misses birding.

Check out Vince’s work:


Rev. Rebecca Anderson

Rev. Rebecca Anderson comes to storytelling via stand-up comedy, playwrighting, and preaching. She's a founding pastor at Gilead Chicago, a new church in Rogers Park built around storytelling (, as well as at Bethany UCC in Ravenswood. She's been on Snap Judgment (radio), The Broad Experience (podcast), and a Risk! live event. In Chicago, Rebecca has worked with companies and events like 2nd Story, The Moth, This Much is True, and Do Not Submit. As founder of Earshot Stories (, Rebecca leads workshops, retreats, and helps create events with congregations and non-profits. She loves to host potlucks for people who don't know each yet, gardening, and running outside year-round (but she won't bike into a headwind).

Check out Rebecca's work:


Mia Arevalo

Mia Arevalo is an Actor, Singer, Writer, and Nightlife Personality. She has been living in Chicago since 2011, and loving it still! When she is not spending most of her time writing and singing for her band ‘MAGIN’, you can find her dancing her life away with her “bbs” at any popular Queer/Queer-Friendly venue in Chicago. Mia Arevalo is an openly Queer Latina Trans Woman who advocates for self love and respect for the Trans Queer POC community. She enjoys calling herself a jack of all trades because when you’re a master at something your journey has ended. That is something she never wants to happen!

Instagram: @doitmiamanemiamane


Check out Mia’s work:

  • Mirror from Issue XXIV: Better Half


Zach Bartz

Zach Bartz
is a painter, performer, and producer in Chicago, IL. A self-taught visual artist, he creates vibrant portraits, anxious critters, and comedic scenes from repurposed art found in thrift stores. Zach's work has been showcased in the offices McGarrybowen, at Columbia College Chicago, Star Lounge, Dimo's Pizza and more, and his large-scale murals can be seen around Chicago, as well, most notably at Cards Against Humanity, Cork Lounge, Kite String Cantina, and the Playground theater. Zach also uses his improv training to crank out paintings live before an audience at concerts, comedy shows, and private events, often creating more than thirty pieces in under two hours. He is the co-founder of the word of mouth variety show The Shithole, and teaches improvisation and painting to children attending Chicago Public Schools through Columbia College Chicago's Community Schools program. Instagram: @ImZachBartz

Check out Zach's work:


Hal Baum

Hal Baum is a writer/performer/musician from the south side of Chicago. He has performed in theaters across the city including: The Laugh Factory, The Playground Theater, and The Neo-Futurists. He just released his first EP “Holding Hands Underwater” on Preserve Records, and is currently working on a full-length album. You can hear his music on Spotify, iTunes or at https://halbaum.bandcamp.comIf you want to see pictures he draws of people on the CTA you can go to:

Check out Hal's work:


Matt Beard

Matt Beard is a musician/novelist from Colorado whose art has been seen on stages across the country and internationally in Canada, Scotland, and South Korea. Hear his music at and Recruit him to work at your vegan restaurant here: Follow him on Insta: @venderandthecobras

Check out Matt's work:

Zodiak of the Forest from Issue XVIII: Red Flag


Kailyn Hope Bennett

Kailyn Hope Bennett is a singer/songwriter from Colorado. She rekindled her childhood passion for music when she moved to Chicago and taught herself guitar three years ago. Kailyn has a record on the horizon that will be released in early 2019 called Loving and Losing. When Kailyn isn't penning music, she enjoys yoga, meditation, essay and screenwriting, watercolor painting, and performing amateur tarot readings. In addition, Kailyn works as a Creative Project Manager for a natural health company and loves to share her passion for holistic health. You can follow her journey @kailynhopebennett on Instagram.

Check out Kailyn's work:


Elliot Besmann

Elliot Besmann identifies as a self-loathing narcissist. Originally from Tennessee, they started doing stand-up storytelling when they realized it meant people would have to quietly listen to them talk for 7-10 minutes without a single interruption. They've gone through two names and three pronoun sets over the course of their career but are too lazy to go back and amend the older ones.

Elliot's work focuses on queer issues, Jewish identity, the inherent folly of conflicting cultural norms, and being a giant nerd. They perform frequently at storytelling shows around Chicago, including the Filet of Solo Storytelling Festival two years in a row and the premiere of 'Am I Man Enough?'.

In their spare time they enjoy cross stitching swear words, dressing up as a supervillain, and trying to remember the third thing on this list.

Check out Elliot’s work:


Maura Bilek

Maura Bilek is a writer and singer, born and raised in the south Chicago suburbs. She loves Harry Potter, wine, slam poetry, classic rock, cooking and karaoke. She is an advocate for animal rights and can never resist the urge to meet and greet each dog in her path. She considers herself a spiritual empath, and feels best when she is helping others. She hates speaking in third person, loves purple pens, laughs at herself frequently, and would choose pie over cake any day.

Check out Maura's work:



Max Henry Boudman

Max Henry Boudman spent four and a half years at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as a “floater”. He never stuck to any specific department for very long. After completing all of his required credits and attending his allotted 15 free counseling sessions at the Wellness Center he is now stuck this way. He is unbalanced, half well, stuck in the middle of the tunnel with no light at the end and fully determined to make you feel the same way. His work is invested in examining masculine rage, working though trauma, voicing queer love, and building new queer landscapes and lineages.

Check out Max's work:


Joseph Buechel

Joseph Buechel is a sound designer and composer based in Chicago, IL. He has provided music and sound for short documentaries, commercials, and video games.

Check out Joseph’s work:

  • Wasp from Issue XXVI: Folk


Ethan Burk

Ethan Burk was raised in bum fuck nowhere and hell: Indiana. Ethan graduated from Columbia College Chicago in Comedy Writing and Performance. There he founded and ran Sketch Club. Then eventually Ethan would help create College Night at The Annoyance. Since graduating, Ethan has tried to find an original and abstract comedic voice in hopes to make something truly unique. Currently, you can see Ethan 20th sketch show and Directorial debut “Problem Child: An experimental Sketch show” at The Annoyance on Wednesdays at 9:30 (till August 15th.)

INSTA: Ethaniel323

Check out Ethan's work:

The Fable of the Sun and the Moon from Issue XVIII: Red Flag


Terrence Carey

Terrence Carey is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago where he received a a degree in Theater: Acting. He has been performing all over Chicago for the past 5 years. He can be seen performing in his very diverse improv groups, ’99 Problemz, Chicago’s improvised 90’s sitcom, as well as his improvised spoken word group, PREACH. Terrence is repping the south side of Madison, Wisconsin. Find him on Tumblr:

Check out Terrence's work:


Ariella Carmell

Ariella Carmell is a fourth-year student at the University of Chicago whose writings can be found in Spry, Words Dance, Up the Staircase Quarterly, and other publications.

Check out Ariella Carmell:

  • Newborn from Issue XIX: Lost & Found


Emma Casey

Emma Casey is a writer and performer from Chicago.  She is a member of the ShowParty ensemble and has performed at the Fly Honey Show, Salonathon, the Potluck Variety Hour and more.  You can find her selling her zines at the Kansas City Zine Con in September and enjoying a small sliver of internet space year-round on Instagram as @tinroses.

Check out Emma's work:


Ada Cheng

Ada Cheng is a professor-turned storyteller and performing artist. She has been featured at storytelling shows in Chicago, Atlanta, Cedar Rapids, New York, Asheville, and Kansas City. She debuted her second solo show, Breaking Rules, Broken Hearts: Loving across Borders, with Fillet of Solo in January 2018. In addition to performing it at The Exit Theatre in San Francisco in June, she will also bring it to the United Solo Theatre Festival in New York in October. Ada is the producer and the host of the new show, Am I Man Enough: A Storytelling/Podcasting Show, where people tell stories to critically examine the culture of toxic masculinity and the construction of masculinity and manhood. Her motto: Make your life the best story you tell. Her website:

Check out Ada's work:


Jennifer Chukwu

Jennifer Chukwu is a writer and visual artist based in Chicago. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in English Language and Literature and Gender & Sexuality studies. She has presented her writing, art, and research at University of Wisconsin-Madison, National Louis University, and UC Berkeley. She is currently co-hosting “Connections” a reading series at Beans Gallery.

Overall, her writing is rooted in examining the everyday strangeness of race, gender, and class. You can find her contact information at

Check out Jennifer's work:


Sarah Cohen

Sarah (or Sar) Cohen is a recent Columbia College Chicago graduate with a major in Acting and a minor in Stage Combat. She is originally from Mexico City and currently exploring poetry, solo performance and dance in addition to acting in Chicago.

Check out Sarah's work:


Shi-An Costello (世 安)

Shi-An Costello (世 安) is a writer, actor, musician and activist based in Chicago. Shi-An has written articles for FOCI Arts, chicshifter, NewMusicBox, has submitted live performance reviews to Performance Response Journal (PRJ) and Cacophony Magazine and has contributed poetry and prose to Riksha and Art Matters. As an actor, you can regularly find Shi-An at The Parlor at Colvin House. Shi-An has recorded two albums with Blue Griffin Records, and is a community organizer at A Just Chi of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago.

Check out Shi-An's work:


Ryan Dale

Ryan Dale is a halfway filmmaker (only ever finishes half of the movies he starts to make) and halfway novelist (only ever halfway done with the goddamned writing process) that lives in Edgewater (Chicago) and frequently feels Underwater (everywhere). Tweet him so he stays afloat: @ryandalefeels.

Check out Ryan's work:

  • A&Q from Issue VIII: The Witching Hour


Jasmine Davila

Jasmine Davila is the co-host and co-producer of Miss Spoken, a monthly lady-centric live lit series. She has appeared in venues small and medium sized, reading in live lit shows such as Tuesday Funk, 20x2 Chicago, Funny Ha Ha, and Feminist Happy Hour. You can find her on Instagram and Twitteras @jasmined.

Check out Jasmine's work:


Olívia de Amores

Olívia de Amores is a Brazilian singer, born in Manaus, a capital in the middle of Amazon Rainforest. After the experience of being a lead singer and songwriter in a rock power trio for 10 years, she decided to bring the guitar into a more intimate concept and talk more openly about feelings in a more personal way. She learned to make beats and studied more about synths, got along with a producer and is now recording a whole album by herself, named “Entre mim, entrementes". 
As a last move in this artistic transition, she gave herself a new identity, making an anagram out of her surname: “de Moraes” turned into “de Amores", which means “of Loves" in portuguese. Olívia de Moraes becomes Olívia de Amores.
Meet "Olívia of Loves".

Fanpage on Facebook

Olívia de Amores is available on all streaming platforms (Spotify, Deezer, iTunes, Google play, Tidal and others).

Check out Olívia's work:

  • Post-It from Issue XIII: At First Sight


Sam Dedian

Samantha Dedian is so honored and excited to be a part of Scout and Birdie. Hailing from New England, Sam is a singer, performer, playwright, and poet. She is an avid football fan and a lover of all things ice cream.

Check out Sam's work:


Bonnie Fan

Bonnie Fan asks readers to follows the unconnected line, "memory-telling" the image of self in transit, blood and fantasy.

Check out Bonnie's work:


David Gordezky

David Gordezky is a clown and puppeteer from Los Angeles. He is a company member with Rough House Theater, a Chicago based puppet theater company. He is also the creator of The Dolphin Show, his solo clown act. In his free time he draws and if he’s gonna post it online, it’ll be on his Instagram: @gorde_ky. Feel free to follow!

Check out David's work:


Monica Guzman

Monica Guzman is a writer of essays, poems, stories, and songs, which she performs at shows around Chicago. She hosts The Nightside, a live lit live music salon that takes place every second Thursday of the month at Uncharted Books in Logan Square. If she's not writing, she's probably playing a board game.

Check out Monica's work:

  • Euth from Issue VII: Passing Notes


Charlotte Hamilton

Charlotte Hamilton is a writer and performer in Chicago. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney's Online Tendency and Chicago Arts Journal. Recent storytelling performances include the Lady Laughs Comedy Festival in Madison, Wisconsin, and The Election Monologues.

Check out Charlotte's work:


Miranda Hane

Miranda Hane is a Los Angeles based comedic actress/writer/student. She is currently completing the UCLA Extension Web Development program to pursue a new and exciting career. 

When she's not busy coding, you can find her...coding some more, seriously all of her time is spent coding. Sometimes, she takes a break and cuddles up with her loving boyfriend and their two puppers.

Check out Miranda's work:


Jillian Hansen-Lewis

Jillian Hansen-Lewis is an artist living and working in Chicago. Her work focuses on women’s relationship to power, hunger, and love through text and photography. As a suburbanite and she has always understood affection through mass-produced objects. By transforming these consumer objects into self-portraits, her work creates meaning in the artificial.  She likes to think about food, sex, intimacy, as a means of dealing with the underlying violence of pleasure and maybe even pleasure of violence.

Check out Jill's work:


Cory Hardin

Cory Hardin is a graduate of Western Kentucky University and the School at Steppenwolf. As an actor he has worked with Lifeline Theatre, The Gift Theatre, Steep Theatre, Theater Wit, and Chicago Dramatists. He has written and performed solo pieces for No Stakes Theatre’s “Wingspan Series”, MOZAWA, and participated in The New Colony’s new play development workshop The Writer’s Room. He’s a Co-Founder and the Artistic Director of The Passage Theatre and is represented by Actors Talent Group. IG: @coryhardin

Check out Cory's work:


Em Haverty

Em Haverty (They/Them) is a performer, storyteller, and writer living in Chicago. Read more of their writing at

Check out Em's work:


Lydia House

Lydia House moved to the city with a little suitcase and big dreams!  She started interning at the Shithole, helping produce shows and performing regularly.  After interning at the Annoyance, she was cast in Burlesque is More and sticks around for Skinprov. She is very excited to be playing Ingebor in Splatter's 30th Anniversary. Lydia is also a freelance illustrator.

Check out Lydia's work:


Ian Michael James

Ian Michael James is an actor, playwright, and dramaturg living and learning in Chicago. Ian is the Associate Artistic Director of No Stakes Theater Project and a Resident Playwright at Mercy Street Theatre Company. Recent credits include MERRY CHRISTMAS, MULCH PILE! (Tree), CABARET (Dramaturg), BURN (Playwright), and HORNET, or THE KIDNAPPING OF MARTIN SHKRELI BY THE TOTALLY JUSTIFIED AND NOT AT ALL CRAZY PERSON EVIE RYERSON (Playwright).

Check out Ian's work:


Khloe Janel

Khloe Janel is an award-winning poet, actor and singer from Little Rock, Arkansas. She has read her poetry all over the city and has appeared in several Television and Theater productions as well. You can catch her poetry reading series every week on her YouTube channel. You can also find her on all social media platforms at Khloe_Janel.  More information about her work can be found at

Check out Khloe’s work:


Sebastian Jiménez Galindo

Sebastian Jiménez Galindo is an interdisciplinary artist born and currently residing in Mexico City. His writings have been published online and in print on different sites in the United States, Mexico and Spain. He has worked on devised theater, solo work, sound poetry and performance. In 2015 he began working on experimental film and video projects, which have been shown on international festivals and underground cable access TV in the United States. He is currently pursuing a BFA in Literature at Centro de Cultura Casa Lamm.

Check out Sebastián's work:


Sara Kanwal

Sara Kanwal is a PhD student in Curriculum Instruction: Math and Science Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) with a bachelor's in Mathematics and master's in Education from the University of Chicago. Sara identifies as a Pakistani-American woman. Her research interests include identity formation of Muslim-American teachers and children in k-16 STEM fields along with actively seeking to create opportunities for South Asian women and girls that combat gender violence, patriarchy and oppression.

Check out Sara's work:


Rebecca Keeshin

Rebecca Keeshin is an actor, musician and writer. She attended the Theatre School at DePaul University and graduated in 2017 with a BFA in Acting. Favorite school credits include Peter Pan and Wendy, Mrs. Phu's Cleansing Juices (and also salads!), and The Lady from the Sea. Chicago credits include A Little Night Music (Writers Theatre), Mill Girls (CORE at American Theater Company), A Midsummer Night's Dream and Shrew'd! (First Folio Theatre), 33 to Nothing (A Red Orchid Theatre), and Mother Goose's Garden and Fantastic Mr. Fox at Emerald City Theatre. Regionally, she has performed the lead roles in Mockingbird and Tuck Everlasting at Nashville Children's Theatre. Film credits include Silver Horizons Music Video (Stephen Cone), The Red Leotard (Columbia College Chicago) and she just completed her first feature film, Itchy Fingers (Nilles and Jake). She is represented by Grossman and Jack Talent. Instagram: beckykeeshin

Check out Becky’s work:

  • Better from Issue XXIV: Better Half


Jennifer Kiehl

Jennifer Kiehl is a Chicago-based, Japanese-American writer and performer from California. She is the founder, editor, and co-host of Scout & Birdie. Additionally, she is the Director of Development, Grants & Corporate Relations for A.C.H.E. (Abused Children Heard Everywhere), a non-profit agency dedicated to providing support and legal guidance to survivors of sexual violence. Jennifer is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago where she received a BA in Acting. When not writing or performing, she spends her time giving cookies to dogs, eating baguettes, and hanging out with her plant, Plant, and her dog, Rhubarb. Keep up with her on Instagram @jenniferkiehl.

Check out Jen's work:


Randy Kim

Randy Kim is a queer Southeast Asian-American, born from a father who is a Cambodian genocide survivor and a mom who is a Vietnam War survivor. These experiences have inspired Randy to explore the effects of intergenerational trauma through storytelling and writing. Currently, he serves as a board member with the National Cambodian Heritage Museum in Lincoln Square, and has done past work relating to non-profit relating to Asian American advocacy, elder care, LGBTQ, among other issues. He has performed at other storytelling events which includes Pour One Out, Is That A Thing?, TenX9 Chicago, You're Being Ridiculous, and PREACH. 

Check out Randy's work:


Kathleen Kinlin

Kathleen Kinlin is a performer, improviser, writer, and teacher. She’s proud to produce Resilient, a monthly variety show that showcases and raises money for survivors of sexual assault. You can catch her most frequently improvising at iO Theater with her Harold team Gideon and iO’s first all-queer ensemble Dreamboat.

Twitter: @KathleenKinlin
Instagram: @kathleen_withitrockwithit

Check out Kathleen's work:


Ola Klimczak

Ola Klimczak is a photographer, poet, retail intellectual, journalist in it for the best conversations and the wonderful questions that follow, a brainstormer, dancer, hiker, lover, poly, queer. Ola strives to grow, learn, and ask perpetually. Instagram: @developerandfixer

Check out Ola's work:


Annabel Lang

Annabel Lang is a writer living in Chicago by way of the Carolinas. She is the co-founder and co-curator of Junior Varsity, a public workshop and variety show. She also participates and leads writing workshops through Wasted Pages, the workshop series formerly housed at CHI-PRC and in 2019 she will begin co-facilitating RAVEL, queer creative writing workshop series. She has essays featured or forthcoming in Jet Fuel Review, American Chordata, and Cosmonauts Avenue. In all likelihood, if you are from Chicago, she has served your coffee or sold you a book sometime in the last four years.

Check out Annabel's work:


Rosamund Lannin

The product of nine years in San Francisco and eight years in St. Paul, Rosamund Lannin is pleasantly surprised to have lived in Chicago for over a decade. During that time, she has been published by Internet periodicals, performed stories around the city, and consumed many carne asada burritos. These days she co-hosts lady live lit show Miss Spoken, edits Story Club Magazine, and tries to write essays that make you feel things, or at the very least laugh. Come out to Miss Spoken on 11/29 for the last show of the year - the theme is Meet the Parents.

Check out Rosamund's work:


Michael LaVallee

Michael LaVallee is a Chicago native singer/songwriter and actor. A lover of music and marketing, he is teaching himself to produce his own music to share in the near future. He lives his life embracing every moment and learning from all his surroundings in hopes to inspire living life to the fullest.

Check out Michael's work:

  • When I Woke Up in Putney: A European Sexcapade Series


Philip Lindsey

Philip Lindsey is an artist with an eye for the absurd, serene, and contradictory nature of the constructed world. He is a bilingual artist born in Rome, Italy and raised in Turkey, Senegal, South Africa, and Egypt.

In the four years spent working in Chicago he has become an ensemble member of Imagination Theater, worked as an installation performer at the Museum of Contemporary Art, expanded into a position with Global Voices Initiative as a teaching artist in high schools on the South Side, and found a family of friends and supporters with whom he shares his passions, Dungeons and Dragons included. For more updates follow iinthesky_ on instagram.

2nd CIP Festival, Blank Wall Gallery, Chania, Crete
Suburbs, LoosenArt, Rome, Italy
The Nook, Agitator Gallery, Chicago, IL
TIME, Jackson Junge Gallery, Chicago, IL
Artist Statement #4, CICA Museum, Gimpo, South Korea
Best in Class, Rockwell Artist Collective, Chicago, IL
Conception Art Show I, Conception Arts, Chicago, IL

Online Exhibitions:
Peripheral ARTeries Biennial Edition, Peripheral ARTeries Art Review
Folk, Scout & Birdie
Better Half, Scout & Birdie
Pins and Needles, Scout & Birdie 
Issue 1, Collective Terrain

Check out Philip’s work:


Kai Love

Kai Love is a PhD, writer, podcaster, small business owner, singer songwriter, poet, actress, comic, sapiosexual, and super nerd depending on the day. She brings presence and leaves audiences thoroughly entertained with her version of spoken word, poetry, singing, comedy, and interpretive dance. Her debut EP, “Little Star” was released in March 2016 and has been well received locally and internationally. Whether performing as a solo act or with live musical accompaniment, Kai Love is certainly a crowd pleaser. She is also the host of the Eye Recite Open Mic Night, held every third Tuesday at Iona’s on the Blu in Blue Island, IL.

Check out Kai's work:


Joey Lubelfeld

Joey Lubelfeld is a freelance producer and director with a background in devised work. Chicago: work with The Whiskey Rebellion, Skokie Theatre, Headline Theater, Israel Horivtiz’s Beirut Rocks and Paula Vogel’s The Baltimore Waltz. London: Stop, And… (a devised documentary piece in collaboration with Anna Herman of Clean Break) and Queervolution (a devised piece produced as a part of the ZU-UK’s House of Healing). Assistant directing: Grant James Varjas’ Accidentally, Like a Martyr (A Red Orchid Theatre; dir. Shade Murray) and Tom Weber’s Genomenon (Piven Theatre Workshop; dir. Benno Nelson) among others. NYC: work with the Brooklyn Actor’s Troupe. 

Administratively, Joey has worked with A Red Orchid Theatre and Northlight Theatre (Chicago) as well as The TEAM (NYC) in casting, literary, education, and development positions. Currently, Joey serves as the Managing Director for Red Theater Chicago ( He is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago and University of East London.

Check out Joey's work:

  • Clay from Issue VIII: The Witching Hour


Emily Madapusi Pera

Emily Madapusi Pera is a writer based in Providence, Rhode Island. Her poems and stories have been published by Tuck Magazine, Litro, Dissident Voice, Storgy Magazine, A3 Review, and Scout & Birdie, among others. She is a native of Chicago.

Check out Emily's work:


Carolyn Malloy

Carolyn Molloy is a Chicago based actor, portrait artist, and singer-songwriter who spends her time between Chicago, NYC, and Southern Illinois. She is a graduate of The School at Steppenwolf and was recently seen in TUTA Theatre’s one-woman Adam Rapp play The Edge of Our Bodies. Theatre credits include work with Roundabout Theatre's New Play Reading Series, TUTA, and The Other Theatre Company. TV credits include USA Network's SIRENS and Me-TV's GREEN SCREEN ADVENTURES. Molloy holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is represented by Gray Talent Group.

Check out Carolyn's work:


Ari Marion

Ari Marion is a twenty-five year old poet and amateur singer/songwriter from Logan Square. Ari has taken classes and workshops to transform her long-time ramblings into fluid poetry and prose. She has sang and read at The Nightside at Uncharted Books, performed slam poetry at The Green Mill, and continues to edit and prepare her poetry for submission to literary magazines. 
Instagram: @arioftherevolution

Check out Ari's work:


Maddy Marsan

Maddy Marsan is a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter and oboist with a degree in oboe from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. She currently teaches at School of Rock and has a private teaching studio in Elmhurst, IL. In her songs she strives for the oboe to be used in the limelight to experiment with mixing classical and folk genres. She performs this music solo and with a full folk rock band in and around Chicago. She has released a full-length album, Nocturnes, available on Spotify, a self recorded album, Folkin’ Around, and 2 EPs with her funk side project, Square Donuts. Aside from her solo music Maddy freelances on oboe for different Chicago bands and plays with the Stargate Music Productions Orchestra. Her work can be found here: and

Check out Maddy's work:


Ty Maxon

Ty Maxon was born and raised in Michigan, a stone’s throw away from the train tracks, a sprawling wood, a cemetery and a modest farm that grew sweet corn and peaches. Summer afternoons would find him frequenting these places; sleeping in the cemetery trees, plundering the farmer’s crops, traversing the train tracks and hiding out in the woods. It was in these places that he began to make up stories, sing songs and cultivate a world in which he was the sole inhabitant. Life made sense in this world. When there was trouble or suffering, when the grasp of anxiety grew tight, the further he’d go into this world and the more expansive it became.

In his work, provincial and pastoral imagery still bleeds through from time to time and while he doesn’t consider what he does to be all that naturalistic, he recognizes this as the entry point into creativity and expression for him. It was less a means to pass the time and more a means of survival and sanity. This world has grown a bit and a cityscape can now be seen beyond the boundaries of a small town. It’s a world that he inhabits, still.

Ty Maxon’s new record, Rooms Within Rooms will be released later this year.

Check out Ty's work:


Sarah McCarten

Sarah McCarten is a Chicago-based actor, comedian, and writer. She is currently in The Second City's Conservatory Program. A graduate of Columbia College Chicago, she can be seen around the city making jokes and telling stories.

Check out Sarah's work:


Maura McDanel

Maura McDanel is a Jill-of-all-trades: metal smith, poet, improvisor, story collector, co-founder of Hay Nonnie is her passion project that she started with one of her best friends in June 2016. It's a collection of true personal essays and host of funass monthly live shows.
Find her performing at iO with Duchess, CIC with Proud Parents, or on Insta @themaurathemerrier

Check out Maura's work:


Grace McLeod

Grace McLeod is a Chicago-based playwright and screenwriter. She has developed her full-length plays with First Floor Theater, The New Colony, and Commission Theatre, and has had the pleasure of writing short plays for Chimera Ensemble, American Blues Theater, and the Victory Gardens College Night series. Grace was a 2017-2018 playwright-in-residence at the Greenhouse Theater Center as part of the Trellis Residency Initiative, where she developed her play “Herland,” which will have its Rolling World Premiere across three cities in 2018-2019. Her debut short film "Under the Table" premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and her films have screened at venues and festivals nationwide. Grace is currently a writing and research assistant to playwright Young Jean Lee. She is a recent graduate of the University of Chicago.

Check out Grace's work:

An Excerpt from 2007 from Issue XVIII: Red Flag


Matt McNish

Matt McNish is a little monkey body trying his best. He lived in Los Angeles for three years, writing and performing comedy. He now lives in Chicago and performs what he lovingly refers to as "whatever". His album I Don't Feel At Home In The Garden is available now.

Check out Matt's work:


Nire Nah

Nire Nah is a multidisciplinary artist whose primary work is writing songs about wellness and recovery. She is proud to have recently released her first album, Coeur Age, with Preserve Records. The album, streamable now on Bandcamp, is a riveting and deeply personal compilation of story-songs, anthems, tantrums, lullabies and laments. Visit Nire's website to discover more of her creative twists and turns:

Check out Nire's work:


Emily Nikfar

Emily Nikfar is an actor, storyteller, and solo performer. When she is not performing Emily is either at the gym or brunching it up with friends.

Check out Emily's work:


Lauren O'Connell

Lauren O'Connell is a poetry lovin' Astrologer living in Chicago. Owner of The Modern Astrologer, Lauren loves taking the eye rolls out of Astrology with a fun, non "woo-woo" vibe. She describes herself as part Mystic, part Creative and part Basic Bitch with a never ending thirst to dabble in all of the things. One thing that remains constant throughout her ever changing interests is her affinity towards understanding the depths of people and learning their stories to inspire her work.
Also remains constant... the tune of Paul Simon's You Can Call Me Al in her head. 

Check out her recent write up in Voyage Chicago!

Check out Lauren's work:


Liam Ze’ev O’Connor

Liam Ze’ev O’Connor is a Chicago-based artist and educator. Liam grew up on a small suburban island near San Francisco, and received a BA from Lewis & Clark College and a MFA in Sculpture + Expanded Practice from The Ohio State University. Through sculpture, video, and photo­-based installation, Liam’s work explores the complexity of American-­Jewish identity, the Israel­/alestine conflict, and how we can access the divine through digital media.

Check out Liam's work:


Kelley O'Leary

Kelley O’Leary was born and raised in Massachusetts. She pursued studies in Art and Anthropology and received her BA from University of California, Santa Cruz in 2011. Her collage practice is unified by an overarching interest in architectural space as it relates to human experience and connection. Primarily sourced from Google Street View images of San Francisco, her recent work explores questions of public/private space and our changing relationship to physical space due to emerging digital environments. O'Leary lives and works in San Francisco.
@kelley__oleary (instagram)

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Tarnynon Onumonu

Tarnynon (Ty-yuh-nuh) Onumonu was born and raised in the Jeffery Manor neighborhood on the southeast side of Chicago, IL where she still resides today. She is extremely proud of and humbled by her southside citizenship and West African lineage. Within the last year, she has established herself as an emerging spoken word artist, published writer and performance artist. Her other published works can be found with Lesbionyx Blog and the Elevated Chicago Initiative.

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Roni Packer

Roni Packer is a colorist. With color, she traces the relations between painting, memory, and space. Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Packer completed her BFA and a BA in Humanities in Israel. In 2014 she moved to the U.S and received her MFA from The University of Illinois-Chicago. Packer was a BOLT resident at the Chicago Artists Coalition in 2017-2018. Her work has been shown in the United States and in Israel, in spaces including Hyde Park Art Center, 6018 North, UIMA, Aspect/Ratio, Chicago Artists Coalition, Roots and Culture, Heaven Gallery, and Gallery 400, and, as well as Benyamini House and Mani House in Tel Aviv, and the Open Museum in Tel Hai, Israel.

Check out Roni’s work:


Hatie Parmeter

Hatie Parmeter is a writer and musician who enjoys spending time outdoors. Her publication Whoa Mag features inspiring women who work and play outdoors. You can find her music on Soundcloud and her dog, Norah Jones, on Instagram.

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Perfect Posture

Perfect Posture is the songwriting and music production project of Patrick Budde (Friends of the Bog, Preserve Records)

Perfect Posture's debut EP, WINDOW, features songs spanning 4 years of writing, scrapping, and revising. On WINDOW, simple melodies, textured keyboards, and hypnotic drum machines provide a bed for Budde's intimate reflections on self-image and other matters of the heart. Simultaneously wide-eyed and world-weary, pensive and poppy, the music celebrates meeting hardship head-on and in good company. 

[WINDOW does not yet have an official release date.]

To hear more

Check out Perfect Posture’s work:


Abigail Phelps

Abigail Phelps is Columbia College graduate with a major in Acting and a minor in Art History. She is vegan, loves dogs, smokes socially, and dreams of moving to a secluded cabin in the mountains to whittle and grow old. Swipe right if Terrace House means anything to you.

She also has a nasty habit of using her Tinder bio for professional purposes.

Check out Abigail's work:


Phyllis Porché

Phyllis Porché grew up on the south side of Chicago and is a writer, storyteller, teacher, and fiber artist.  She is a Moth StorySlam winner and has told stories at Literate Ape, First Person Live, This Much is True, and other local live lit events.  She is currently working on a collection of short stories and crocheting scarves for donation through her church.  Her secrets to writing are late nights, good wine, chunky peanut butter, strong coffee, and writing by hand, but not all at the same time.

Check out Phyllis' work:


Megan Powell

Megan Powell is a writer, performer, and proud native of Lexington, Kentucky who has performed / written / read / improvised around Chicago everywhere from that one place at the top of the stairs and the backroom at that one bar where we had to change into costumes in the surrounded by cases of MGD in the storeroom, to Navy Pier and the Double Door, The Second City Training Center, io Chicago, the Playground, Chicago Sketchfest, Chicago Improv Festival, Time Out Chicago, Wing & Groove Theatre Company, TenX9, Paper Machete, and Mortified. Learn more at or fill up on photos of birds and trees on Instagram at @mego610

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Jerome Riley Jr.

Jerome Riley Jr. is a queer actor/ writer/ performer, who is just trying to figure it out. They are a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, where they earned a BFA in Musical Theatre with a minor in Women & Gender Studies. They were most recently seen in the world premiere of Trevor the Musical at Writers Theatre.

Check out Jerome's work:


Al Rosenberg

Al Rosenberg is a queer Jewish writer on the west side of Chicago. Al's work has appeared in places like Alma, Argot, Autostraddle, as well as places that don't start with "a."

Check out Al’s work:


Jeff Schaffer

Jeff Schaffer is a multi instrumentalist hailing from the snowy wonderland of Michigan. He's currently in the process of recording a full length album with his band Cascader, which is due later in the year! He also manages to make time for creative writing and making slow (but fulfilling) progress on his first novel.

Check out Jeff's work:

  • Windows from Issue VIII: The Witching Hour


Sarah Schultz

Sarah Schultz is a Chicago based artist working in a diverse range of media from sculpture, print, and drawing to performance and installation.
They received their Masters of Fine Art from The Ohio State University and Bachelors of Fine Art from Michigan State University.
They enjoy punk rock, bad 80's movies, and embroidering Nirvana lyrics on everything. They own way too many articles of clothing that have cats on them. Sometimes they draw comics. / IG: comicbunbun

Check out Sarah's work:

  • Possum from Issue XX: In The Shadows

  • BUN BUN from Issue XI: Diving In



Seigar is an English philologist, a high school teacher, and a curious photographer. He is a fetishist for reflections, saturated colors, details and religious icons. He feels passion for pop culture that shows in his series. He considers himself a travel and an urban street photographer. His aim as an artist is to tell tales with his camera, to capture moments but trying to give them a new frame and perspective. Traveling is his inspiration. However, he tries to show more than mere postcards from his visits, creating a continuous conceptual line story from his trips. The details and subject matters come to his camera once and once again, almost becoming an obsession. His three most ambitious projects so far are his “Plastic People", a study on anthropology and sociology that focuses on the humanization of the mannequins he finds in the shop windows all over the world, "Response to Ceal Floyer for the Summer Exhibition" a conceptual work that understands art as a form of communication, and his "Tales of a city", an ongoing photo-narrative project taken in London. He usually covers public events with his camera showing his interest for social documentary photography. He has participated in several exhibitions, and his works have also been featured in international publications. He writes for The Cultural Magazine (Spain) about photography and for Memoir Mixtapes about music (L.A.). 

Check out Seigar's work:


Levi Shrader

Levi Shrader is a playwright, musician, actor and educator living and working in Chicago. He has been seen previously in productions with (re)discover theatre co. and the Barrens Theatre Co., the curated art show the Sh*thole, and various music venues around the city. When not writing or performing, Levi is a first-grade teacher.

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Abhi Shrestha

Abhi Shrestha is a Chicago based director/ dramaturg/ teaching artist/ writer 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 at Haven Theatre, and the Resident Dramaturge and Community Organizer with the Chicago Inclusion Project.

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Jorge Silva

Jorge Silva is a humorist specializing in devised works and solo performance. In addition to S&B, the native Chicagoan has had the privilege of presenting his work with The LIVINGroom, Pivot Arts, Salonathon, Junior Varsity, and is a contributor to the Neo-Futurists' experimental essay show, THE ARROW. Jorge also is a part of the Artistic Staff of the Goodman and an Affinity Group Leader for the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund. Learn more about Jorge at

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Tyler Anthony Smith

Tyler Anthony Smith is the shrewd, undomesticated, and Chicago-based author of this piece. He is absolutely composed of several woodland creatures and glitter/fake grapes found on the floor of a Jo-Ann Fabrics. Tyler is the writer and star of the soon-to-be touring Mein Comps, a gaaaaay fantasia on irrational international themes, in which a certain dictator sells discounted theatre tickets. For dates and deets, head to His new character cabaret Tyler Anthony Smith is THIN will premiere in Chicago in 2019. Instagram: @tyreranfernee

Check out Tyler's work:


Aviva Stein

Aviva Stein is a naturalist, educator, and living-thing lover who spends her time talking about politics and looking for birds. She writes fiction and poetry about bodies and weirdos and is happy to have found a space to share some of it.

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Kendra Stevens

Kendra Stevens is a Chicago-based Live Lit performer, writer and rapper. She produces and hosts Serving the Sentence the second Tuesday of each month, regularly reads in shows all over the city, and is a member a She's Crafty, Chicago's All-Female Beastie Boys Tribute. More at

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David Stobbe

David Stobbe is an actor and poet from the Joliet, Illinois, which is known for its prisons and high school symphonic bands. With a B.A. in Musical Theater, he finds a passion in writing about over-exposure. Whether that be sex, information, toxic masculinity, or the self he wants to explore the ridiculous and laughable nature of it all; In our everyday friendships, hookups, the material, all directly affected by casino-like universe in our hands. Through collaboration he wants to harness the potential of the internet, with all of its free content and explore the slow and naive nature of self actualization, romanticized history, selling yourself, and the ever vanishing line of sexuality.

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Billy Sullivan

Billy Sullivan is an actor, writer, solo performer and story teller. A familiar face on Chicago stages, he appears Saturday night with the Chicago's CUPID PLAYERS in their long running hit "Cupid Has A Heart On," every Saturday at Stage 773.   Hasalso been seen at The Public House Theatre, 906 Theatre, Cowardly Scarecrow theatre company and with the New American Folk Theatre.  His solo work has been performed with  LIVING ROOM and LIMULNALITY. An accomplished storyteller with Chicago's growing storytelling community.  He has appeared at 10x9(Uncommon Ground Wrigleyville), co hosted/produced SUNDAY MORNING STORIES at Second City and competed at The Moth Story Slam.

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Super King Reza

Super King Reza is a Chicago based Recording Artist/Alien From The Planet Earth 5. His project "We Don't Have To Go NoWhere" [October 2017] briefly explores his past. WDHTGN is the story of a peasant who loses his love to the land of NoWhere, and is forced to flee his home and find his own. 

Within the heart of every peasant lies the spirit of 1000 Kings. Forever a peasant, how will he craft his own Kingdom? 

Available @

Check out Super King Reza's work:



Swellshark is an Atlanta-based music duo from Chicago, IL that incorporates lush lyrics, intricate drums, electric ukulele, and the occasional mouth trumpet. They have been featured on High Clouds Magazine, Ohestee, and the official Bob Ross Twitter page, in addition to artist campaigns for PORTRAIT Eyewear of Italy. They made their live debut in 2014, opening for anti-folk icon Jeffrey Lewis at Schubas Tavern in Chicago.

Members Shélan O’Keefe and Henry Kellam were introduced to each other at a "Lord of the Rings" themed potluck in 2012, immediately bonding over their shared love of music (and pecan pie.) Their subsequent relationship eventually found its way to musical collaboration, when Kellam began playing jazz and metal-inspired drums with O’Keefe’s backlog of confessional lyrics and ukulele riffs. Since then, the duo has independently released two EPs, their debut album, In the Beginning, and toured the entire perimeter of the U.S. (and parts of Canada) in a 2012 Scion XB.

Currently, Swellshark are hard at work on their Sophomore album and are enjoying their new surroundings and friends in Atlanta.

Check out Swellshark's work:

  • Wolves from Issue XVIII: Red Flag


B.J. Tindal

B.J. (Bato) Tindal is a playwright and poet from Philadelphia, PA. BJ graduated Oberlin College with a BA in Theater and Africana studies, and earned their MFA from Northwestern's Writing for the Screen + Stage program. They have interned at a number of organizations dedicated to the success of early playwrights, including the Goodman Theater, New Dramatists, and Philadelphia Young Playwrights. BJ is also a member of Greenhouse Theater’s Trellis Residency Initiative 2017 - 2018. BJ is the winner of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition, and their play Goodnight, Tyler will receive its world premiere at the Alliance Theater in February 2019.

Check out B.J.’s work:


Eileen Tull

Eileen Tull is a writer, theatremaker, and arts educator. Her work has been seen on stages throughout the country, from San Francisco to New York City. In Chicago, she has worked with Salonathon, Collaboraction, Broken Nose Theater, You're Being Ridiculous, among others. Eileen co-hosts Sappho's Salon, a semi-monthly performance series at Women and Children First bookstore.

Check out Eileen's work:


Danny Turek

Danny Turek is an actor/playwright/poet originally from Columbus, Ohio. He has worked with theatres throughout central Ohio and has begun working in Chicago at places like The Passage Theatre, Waltzing Mechanics, and The Neighborhood. He writes poetry also.

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J Van Ort

J Van Ort is a Chicago-based writer and theater-maker. They've performed with the Neo-Futurists, Facility Theater among others. You can find their writing at Newcity Stage or on their website: They like cats and coffee, nature and ghosts.

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Hannah Verdon

Hannah Verdon is a playwright based in Chicago. A native of Illinois, her work has been presented in collaboration with theaters such as Victory Gardens Theater, The Greenhouse Theater Center and Writers Theatre. She has been an Agnes Nixon Playwrighting Award recipient, a Eugene O’Neill Playwright’s Conference semifinalist, and a member of the Trellis Residency Initiative. B.A. Northwestern University, summa cum laude

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V.V. Lightbody

V.V. Lightbody (Vivian McConnell from Chicago bands Santah/Grandkids) is playing music that is self-described as nap-rock. V.V. released her debut LP, 'Bathing Peach'', in June of 2018. Her songs have cocktail lounge vibes; layered with flutes & lyrics about dried fruit. Think of glitching mermaids; dozing and comfortable songs. V.V. has been floating in the Chicago music world for ~5 years.

Check out V.V. Lightbody's work:


Bec Willett

Bec Willett is an Australian Chicago-based director, designer, and writer. She has written about the Chicago theatre experience for The Clyde Fitch Report and is proud to currently be part of the reviewing team at In 2016, her short play The Queen of Lakeview was featured in 20% Theatre’s Snapshot’s Festival. To find out more about Bec's work and upcoming projects, please visit

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Anna Rose Wolfe

Anna Rose Wolfe is a writer, performer, and teaching artist. She is the co-founder and Outreach Director of Scout & Birdie. She is an alumna of Columbia College Chicago where she earned a BA in Acting and a minor in Gender Studies, graduating magna cum laude. Anna is currently a resident playwright with the Greenhouse Theater Center’s Trellis Initiative where her solo play In Her Footsteps was presented, as a reading, in 2017. Her work has been featured in Fillet of Solo, Greenhouse Theatre’s Solo Celebration, Abbie Fest, Greenhouse Theater’s Solo Performance Lab, The Election Monologues, and SheFest.

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Catherine Woods

Big Mama Red (Catherine Woods) is a Chicago-based painter and special effects makeup artist. She studied Interdisciplinary arts at Columbia College Chicago, where she received her Bachelors in 2015. In the studio, she is intrigued by the balance between the beautiful and the disturbed. 

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