The Agency Theater Collective WE ARE THE AGENCY. SO ARE YOU.

The Agency Theater Collective

Meet Your Agents

Artistic Director
Andrew Gallant

Andrew holds an MFA in Acting from DePaul University and a postgraduate diploma in acting from The Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts. He became a certified instructor of the Meisner Approach by completing the two-year certification process taught by author and master Meisner teacher Larry Silverberg. Andrew co-founded Green Shirt Studio with his wife, Sommer Austin, where they train Chicago actors in the Meisner work. In addition to Green Shirt Studio, he teaches acting at the Theatre School at DePaul University as well as theatre history at Triton College.

As a founding member and current Artistic Director of The Agency, he regularly writes, directs and performs. For The Agency he wrote and directed I Wish to Apologize to the People of Illinois and At the Center. He wrote and starred in each incarnation Out of Tune Confessional and directed Clifford Odets’ Paradise Lost, and Copi’s Four Twins. Andrew continues to act professionally and is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association.

Managing Director
Sommer Austin

Sommer is a founding member of The Agency, where she currently serves as Managing Director. Born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, she received her BA in Theatre from The University of Iowa, MFA degree in Acting from The University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is an alum of the improv and comedy writing programs at iO Chicago. She is also a certified Instructor of the Meisner Approach to Acting as trained by master teacher Larry Silverberg. Along with her husband, Andrew Gallant (Artistic Director of The Agency), she co-founded Green Shirt Studio, an actor training center in Chicago that specializes in the Meisner Approach. Sommer is an adjunct professor at Triton College where she teaches acting and theatre history.

Company Manager
Tim Touhy

Tim is a founding member of The Agency Theater Collective and has appeared in several stage productions in Chicago as well as commercial work. For the Agency he co-wrote and co-directed I Wish to Apologize to the People of Illinois and At the Center. He directed Out of Tune Confessional at the Chicago Fringe and played Phil Foley in Paradise Lost. He is also a Public Relations consultant with more than twenty years of experience in business and government.

Literary Manager
Brian D Foster

Brian is a recent transplant to Chicago and since moving here has worked with the Chicago Fringe Festival, The Hypocrites, Our Fair City (Session 6 continuity editor), Collaboraction (artistic director intern, Sketchbook 14 floor manager), and American Theater Company (Bridge playwright). For The Agency he has had the privilege to serve as ASM for I Wish to Apologize to the People of Illinois, production manager for Out of Tune Confessional,  and dramaturge for At the Center. As literary manager he runs the Chicago Reconnaissance Imperative, a monthly new play reading series.

Any time he isn’t working his day/night/in-between job he can usually be found sitting in front of his computer putting pen to paper (figuratively because he actually uses a keyboard). His fiction can be seen in The Masters Review and the Winter 2015 issue of Great Lakes Review.

Company Members

Ellie Humphrys

Ellie works primarily as a Lighting Designer in the Chicagoland area. She received her BFA in Lighting Design from The Theatre School at DePaul University in 2012. For The Agency, she has designed the lighting for I Wish to Apologize to the People of Illinois, At the Center, Truth in Context, and The Spirit of ’76. Other notable works include seasonal Lighting and Sound Designer for Triton College, Lighting Designer for Cabaret at Moraine Valley Community College, and The Velveteen Rabbit with Pennsylvania Youth Theatre.

Kate Jacobsen

Kate had her debut on-stage performance as a company member in Out of Tune Confessional. Past efforts for The Agency have been in the area of costume and wardrobe for Out of Tune Confessional, Paradise Lost, I Wish to Apologize to the People of IllinoisAt the Center, Truth in Context, and The Spirit of ’76.

Work for the Mammals Theater included Waiting for Godot and 3 Girl Frankenstein. Cirque Shanghai on Navy Pier has used Kate’s repair skills for four seasons.

Kate received training in the Meisner approach to acting at Green Shirt Studio and holds a Bachelor’s degree in theater arts.

Cody Lucas

Cody is an actor, playwright, director, and proud member of The Agency Theater Collective. He is a graduate of the University of North Texas where he received his BA in Theatre Arts. While in college, Lucas co-founded Sundown Collaborative Theatre, a successful non-profit theatre company, and served as Artistic Director for five years.

Lucas has written, directed, produced, and acted in dozens of shows appearing on stages in DFW, New York, and Chicago. As a playwright his work has been seen at the Out Of The Loop Fringe Festival and the New York International Fringe Festival. His play, Truth in Context, was nominated for Best New Wok by the Jeff Awards.

For The Agency, Cody has appeared in I Wish to Apologize to the People of Illinois  and designed posters for Out of Tune Confessional and At The Center.

Janet Magnuson

Janet Magnuson received her acting training primarily at Green Shirt Studio and the New American Theater. She has also studied at Victory Gardens and Moving Dock Theaters. She wanted to be an actor ever since she saw Richard Burton portray Edwin Booth in the movie Prince of Players. She dreamed of touring mining camps and vaudeville houses in the lost days before electronic media, standing before gas footlights with the roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd…or else, of standing backstage at the Globe making fake thunder and lightning for King Lear. Her first role was Olga Katrina in You Can’t Take it with You, and her favorite was Medea. She has a BA in Studio Arts from UIC.

Huck Poe

Huck is the executive producer of The Agency’s weekly theatrical open mic, No Shame Theatre. Hailing from Cedar Falls, Iowa, he has also applied his sturdy Midwestern gumption to providing for The Agency’s video-related needs, including video projection design for I Wish to Apologize to the People of Illinois, show previews, and Indiegogo videos. He should not be taken for a one-trick pony, however, as he is trained in improv, sketch comedy, acting, storytelling, and Neo-Futurism.

When he’s not being all dramatic, Huck is a freelance writer and video editor.

Sara Faye Richmond

All the way from Los Angeles, California, Sara moved to Chicago two years ago to explore performance arts in this great city.  Since moving here, Sara has worked as an assistant stage manager for The Agency on two productions: I Wish to Apologize to the People of Illinois and At the Center.  Sara makes regular appearances at No Shame Theatre and was featured in the Best of No Shame Theatre 2014.  Sara got her start when she was cast in her camp’s production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as part of the factory fence. Trained in the meisner technique at Green Shirt Studios and in improv at iO and in Neo-futurism at the Neo- futurarium, she recently wrote and performed the prize-winning, two-woman show, Ankle Boots: Absurd Miniature Memoirs at the 2014 Chicago Fringe Festival.  She earned her B.A. in Sociology from Western Washington University.

Jack Schultz

Jack is an actor, yoga instructor, and community organizer who has trained with The Theatre School at DePaul University, Green Shirt Studio, and Brown/Trinity Rep. He is also a proud company member at The Agency Theater Collective and serves on the staff of Sideshow Theatre Company. Past performance credits include: The Spirit of ’76 with The Agency, Beach Party at the End of the World with Walkabout Theatre Company, and ETC with The Theatre School at DePaul.

Ethan Walles

Ethan has lived in Chicago for well over a decade, but only recently re-discovered his passion for acting and performing thanks to Green Shirt Studio. A graduate of Green Shirt’s Meisner program, he has appeared in the Agency Theater Collective’s The Spirit of ’76 as well as productions for Fury Theatre and the Cuckoo’s Theater Project. He also regularly performs at No Shame Theatre where he gets to do a lot of fun stuff with masks and flashing lights, and has been featured in the Best of No Shame two years running.

Artistic Associates

Ryan Brankin

Ryan is new to the ‘dark arts’ called theatre. He began his career at No Shame Theatre where he has since become a feature player. He began working with The Agency behind the scenes as a piano player during their run of Paradise Lost by Clifford Odets.

Check out Ryan’s music here.

When approached to help create Out of Tune Confessional, Ryan’s reply was “Are you sure you have the right person?” Turns out they didn’t, but it was too late, the ball had already began to roll! And so it goes…

Patrick Burch

Patrick A. BurchPatrick A. Burch,”Wildcard”, has studied and performed in Chicago, New York City, and Las Vegas. Patrick has performed with Agency Theater Collective in I Wish to Apologize to the People of Illinois as Stuart Levine, in Paradise Lost as Pike, and “The Best of No Shame Theatre 2013” as an interpretive dancer (also as Production Mgr.).

His favorite roles include Serge in Art, O’Steinberg in The Foul Stench of Death, and Dolan in Line. His most recent film roles are Arlo in Cranae’, Lucifer in Slump, and Dr. Stone in I am Virgin.

Well versed in comedy and drama, Patrick believes one must give himself over to art.

Amanda Raquel Martinez

Amanda deems herself a storyteller who uses various modes of performance art (music, movement, theatrical play, spoken word, empanada-making to name a few) to create and retell tales. She has her BA in Theatre and Vocal Performance with a minor in English Literature from Lawrence University and has trained with various teachers in Chicago, like the lovely folks at Green Shirt Studio.

Amanda first performed with The Agency for their world premiere of At the Center and later in The Best of No Shame. A New York City native, she’s had the pleasure of making Chicago her home and working with some other wonderful theatre companies such as The Waltzing Mechanics, Lookingglass Theatre Company Collaboraction, Teatro Luna, and more. By day, she is a [insert office job here] and a RYT-200 hour yoga instructor.

When it comes to her mission for theatre, she lives by the words of Boleslawski, “To imitate is wrong, to create is right.”

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