The Playground Theater
3209 N Halsted St Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 871-3793
For questions regarding internships and volunteering, please contact our Associate Director.
Kaydee Dolan –

Leadership Board

Executive Director
Matt Barbera

Matt Barbera has been the Executive Director of The Playground since 2004. Matt started at The Playground as a member of the incubator team Dr. Fondu and currently performs on House Team Mustang Repair. Matt worked for 5 years as a program coordinator for the TBS Just For Laughs Festival, where he created the ALONE show, featuring the best and...

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Associate Director/ Internship Coordinator
Kaydee Dolan

Kaydee is the Associate Director at The Playground Theater and performs with the Incubator team Daddy and the community outreach team RECESS. She performs with Shade, an iO Harold Team. Kaydee can also be seen at Annoyance with the ladies of Burlesque is More and the dudes of Sacred Cow. Kaydee produces a variety show at the PG called Sketch...

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Head of Productions
Allison Martone

Allison is very excited to be assuming the role of Head of Productions at the Playground Theater. Allison graduated from DePaul University's Theatre School in 2012 with a B.F.A. in Acting. Since then she has become heavily involved in Chicago's comedy scene, and most recently graduated from the Second City's improvisational conservatory. Currently, Allison is the producer/director...

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Creative Director
Laina Stassines

Laina currently attends Columbia College Chicago and is from Michigan. She is on the incubator team Angelyne, two independent teams (The Windbreakers and BREASTMILK), and a college team at the Annoyance Theatre called DOPEamine. She also loves pizza and pop.

Training Center Director
Bill Meincke

Bill Meincke is a writer and performer from Chicago, IL. He has studied in the Second City Conservatory, iO Chicago, Annoyance Theatre, and holds a B.A. in Performing Arts Management from Columbia College Chicago. He performs every Sunday with Delirious Confetti and is the former host of Sketch On The Rocks at The Playground Theater. Bill can also be seen...

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MOSAIC Resident Producer
Felicia Simpson

A Chicago native, blogger, freelance writer, motivational speaker, five time self-published author of God, Do I Hear Wedding Bells (book), Women Devotionals & Personal Journal, Another Chance to Live, Forgiven, but Not Forgotten and No Love Lost. Felicia is the lead storyteller, playwright, director and producer of Felicia T. Simpson Productions which include the following theater shows God, Do...

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Production Scout
KJ Whitehead

KJ (They/Them) is a Columbia College Chicago Alumni (BA Comedy Writing and Performance), Comedy Studies Alumni and comedian. You can find them performing across Chicago at Second City, Annoyance Theater, and Playground Theater. KJ is also an open and fearless supporter of diversity in the Chicago Comedy Scene and hopes to help provide more opportunity to comedians of color and...

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Intern Liason
Morgan Csejtey

Morgan is a nineteen year old student at Columbia College Chicago, studying Comedy Writing and Performance who has been active in the Chicago comedy community for almost a year. She would like to thank her friends at The Playground for welcoming her with open arms and warm, warm hearts.

Board Secretary
Rebeccah Singer

Rebeccah is the Playground Theater Board Secretary and a proud Cardinal's Fan. She plays on RECESS and the Incubator Team Riff Raff and hopes to see you at one of their shows!

Head of Collegiate Comedy
David Knoell

David Knoell is the Head of Collegiate Comedy for The Playground Theater and currently runs College Improv Night, a weekly performance that showcases the best college troupes in the city of Chicago and beyond. David studied Theatre at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (BA), the University of Central Florida (MFA), and the Second City Training Center Chicago (Directing Program, Conservatory...

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Incubator Committee
Yasmine Baharloo

Yassi has lived in Chicago for 11 years and improvising for the past 3. She can be seen performing with her Playground Incubator team, Outlaw, CIC House team, Phantom, and with her independent teams Butthead and Mantis, all around the city. She loves Dolly Parton and being right.

Incubator Committee
Michael Gomez

Incubator Committee
Shantira Jackson

Shantira Jackson is a graduate of The Florida State University and moved to Chicago from Tallahassee, FL to pursue a career in comedy. She is so honored and grateful to be teaching at The Playground Training Center. She has trained at The Second City, iO Chicago, The Annoyance and Comedy Sportz. She is an inaugural Bob Curry Fellow and...

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Director of Playground Theatricals
Jo Cattell

Jo Cattell is a producer/director/writer who has worked in theatre and television in the UK, Germany, France, Canada and the USA. She currently works with Collaboraction in Chicago as Managing Director, as well as Resident Director for terraNOVA Collective in Chicago and New York City. Jo’s main focus as a director has been on developing new writing. She has been working...

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Community Director
Kevin Reader

Kevin Reader holds an M.A. in Theatre from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the founder of the Nerdologues. He also serves as the Artistic Director at Cards Against Humanity. You can see him improvising around town with the Blue Angels - Wednesdays at the Playground. He also runs the Mixer with Bryan Duff on Monday nights at...

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Resident Producer
Lydia House

Director of PR
Thomas Einstein

Yes, Thomas Einstein is the Playground’s Head of PR. He started doing improv in Boston, then moved to Chicago to study at Second City, iO and The Annoyance. He has been on a Playground Incubator team, Second City House Co, an iO team, and Gulp, a musical improv team that had a weekly run at Stage 773 for two...

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Director of Ticket Sales
Ashton Tregoning

Ashton Tregoning holds a B.A. in Comedy Writing and Performance from Columbia College Chicago. Ashton is the Director of Ticket Sales and a member of PG's production team. She has been producing The Comfort Zone, a supportive alt variety hour, for nearly 2 years. Ashton is the former Associate Producer for Jimmy Carrane's Improv Nerd. She has produced several shows...

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