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Board of Directors

If you are interested in learning more about serving as a member of the Board, or would like to be considered for a future nomination, please read the "Board Job Descriptions" and "Expectations of an ITA Board Member" to the bottom left, and fill out a Board Interest Form.



President
Carmel DeStefano
expires 2024

“Carm” was born and raised in Niagara Falls, NY and moved to Chicago after graduating from SUNY College at Buffalo to attend the Goodman school of Drama. She fell into teaching theatre at the high school level by doing a favor for one of her professors and stayed with it for over thirty years, first at the Academy of the Sacred Heart and later at Reavis High School. During her early years as the Head Drama Coach at Reavis, she was able to expand the drama students ’ theatrical experiences through a variety of productions, competitions, theatre festivals, workshops, professional performances, and leadership training. Although drama was only an extra-curricular, Reavis students did it all. While teaching, her involvement with the ITA was primarily as a committee member for the IHSTF where she served in many capacities, including promotions, auditions, workshops, as All-State director and Executive Director of Festival 2016. After retiring from teaching, Carm has served on the ITA Board of Directors as Second Vice-president, President-elect, and President.



First Vice President
Mark Begovich
expires 2025

Mark Begovich is a lifetime member of the organization.  He is the Drama Director and Teacher at West Chicago Community High School. He has been a dedicated volunteer and champion of the ITA for over 20 years. He is excited to help the ITA grow and move forward as we come through the Covid-19 crisis. Mark firmly believes that the ITA is a vital necessity for all Illinois Theatre Artists.



Treasurer
Dennis Anastasopoulos
expires 2024

Dennis graduated from Saint Xavier University with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Education from Olivet Nazarene University as well as in Theatre Directing from Roosevelt University. He recently concluded his 19th year of teaching and has spent the last 17 years of his career at Reavis High School in Burbank IL. There, he served as the technical director for the first 10 years followed by Head Theatre Coach the last 7 years, working on a number of productions. In addition to his role as treasurer, Dennis has served the IHSTF and the ITA as All-State Liason, Director of Technology (3 years) and Box Office Manager(2years). In 2016, Dennis Anastasopoulos had the extreme honor of directing the All-State production of Rent.



DEI Director

Samuel Carrington

expires 2025

A lifelong lover of everything theatrical (and dramatic, if you ask their friends and family!), Samuel is passionate about making sure that theatre is accessible to everybody. They serve on the Board of Directors of Prairie Players Civic Theatre in Galesburg as Volunteers Chair, and love working with others to reimagine theatre to inspire and revive communities, relationships, and the world!



President-Elect
Judy Klingner
expires 2024

Judy Klingner retired from 34 years of teaching, directing, and choreographing from William Fremd High School in 2019. She currently freelances as the Musical Director at Palatine High School and as the Spring Play Director at Maine West High School. Judy is a lifetime member of the Illinois Theatre Association, serving on the ITA Board of Directors for fifteen years. She has been an Associate Director for the IHSTF Planning Committee in several capacities and was the Executive Director in 2021 and 2022. She was part of the production staff for the All-State Show 5 times: Director 2010, Choreographer 2002, and Associate Producer for Auditions and Casting 2012, 2009, and 2008. Judy was the 2022 Ann Thurman Mentorship Award winner. In 2019, she received an award for her Extraordinary Contributions to the Illinois High School Theatre Festival. 




Board Member at Large
Kathy Missel
expires 2024

Kathy resides in Streator and enjoys serving the Illinois Theatre Association as the board of directors secretary. She previously served the ITA as a community theatre division representative. After retiring as the general manager of WCMY/WRKS Radio in Ottawa, Illinois at the end of 2019, Kathy was ready to participate in and see more theatre - that is, before COVID turned our arts world upside down. After her theatre plans were dashed in 2020, 2021 found her participating in four shows and directing another, as well as being a happy audience member whenever and wherever possible. Kathy is active in a number of theatre groups in the central Illinois area and currently serves on the board of directors for Festival 56 in Princeton, Illinois. A proponent of strategic planning for community theatres, Kathy has presented workshops on strategic planning at the ITA's bi-annual community theatre festival and has facilitated strategic planning sessions for numerous Illinois theatres, including the ITA board.




Board Member at Large
Promila Kumar

expires 2024

Promila Kumar is a resident of Chicago and founder of Ekjut Theater, RadioPaniPoori and non for profit Sanjeevani4U. She is a senior IT professional working with a multi national company. She has been working with performing arts since 2014 having debuted more than 80 artists and staged 16 productions till 2022. She is passionate about bringing art with a cause as she believes that theater is a powerful medium in story telling and bringing a change along with entertainment. 




Board Member
Andrew Rosenblat

expires 2024 


Mr. R is a graduate of the Masters in Teaching, Secondary education from the University of Melbourne. At the UniMelb, Andrew focused on TESOL and Drama education, completing a Master's Thesis on using Drama Pedagogy to enhance language learning comprehension. Andrew studied for his undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He majored in Linguistics, focusing on Sub-Saharan African Languages (KiSwahili) and Psycholinguistics. Andrew continues to pursue education and directing connections, exploring how theatre for a young audience can be used to tackle tough questions, ideas, and topics. Andrew is writing a book for teachers to make more engaging and active lessons revolving around well-known English books. He has created dynamic story creation for texts like, The Great GatsbyTo Kill A Mockingbird, and Holes. He is continuing to work on this and advocating for better Fine Arts education programs outside school. Andrew is also a Veteran of the United States Air Force.




Division Representatives

Community Theatre


Alka Sharma | view bio
Expires 2025

Dawn Farrell | view bio
Expires 2023

Creative Drama & Theatre for Young Audiences


Chris Holling | view bio
Expires 2024

College/University Theatre


Steven House | view bio
Expires 2024


Rebel Mickelson | view bio

Expires 2025

Professional Theatre


Tracy Nunnally | view bio
Expires 2025


Paul Stancato | view bio
Expires 2024

Secondary School Theatre


Michelle Bayer | view bio
Expires 2024


Ryan Lambert | view bio
Expires 2025

IHSTF Executive Directors


Hector Hernandez | view bio
Expires 2024


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