Meet the Summer Youth Workshop Instructors
Mark Baer (Director of Hypnosis) is excited to return to Towle Theatre having directed The Nightmare Room and Perfect Wedding. A lifelong actor and director of live theatre, Mark’s recent projects have included Vanya for Theatre Northwest, Clue: the Musical for St. Croix Festival Theatre, As You Like It for Gary Shakespeare Company and Sweeney Todd for City Circle Acting Company. Mark has recently been promoted to Associate Professor of Theatre at Indiana University Northwest. He holds an MFA in Directing from Illinois State University and is an Associate Member of SDC. Mark lives with his wife Kelly and daughter Samantha in Crown Point, IN.
Lauren Demerath graduated form the University of Illinois at Chicago where she earned her bachelor of fine arts degree in theatre performance. While Lauren is primarily an actor, her love for teaching started at UIC when she taught Voice and Speech workshops to her peers. Shortly after graduating, Lauren began teaching Voice and Speech and Dialect classes at the Second City Training Center. In addition to her work with Second City, Lauren has also acted as a dialect coach for various theatrical productions around the Chicagoland area and is still teaching private voice lessons today.
Colin Funk is a Actor, Singer, Dancer, and Teacher in Chicago. He has been performing professionally in the Chicagoland area ever since graduating Millikin University with a BA in Theatre, working with companies like Metropolis, Porchlight Music Theatre, Kokandy, Chicago Kids Company. He has both performed and choreographed for the Towle Theater. He also writes and performs his own cabarets at Davenport's Cabaret Bar.
As a teacher, he has been working with the company Stages, teaching musical theatre in the West Loop, Lincoln Park, and River North. He is also a substitute teacher at the Imagination Children's academy. He has worked as a nanny, a tutor, and birthday performer for the last 3 years.
Elizabeth has been teaching and directing performing arts in Illinois and Indiana since before she was licensed 10 years ago, including at the Towle for 7 years. When her warmth and personability combines with her expertise and expectations for excellence, her students and casts continue to create amazing performances. When she isn’t directing at the Towle, Elizabeth can be found singing with the Chicago Chorale, teaching blues dance with her partner Curtis, competitive pole dancing, settling into her lovely new home with her lovely new husband Ryan, and life coaching.