About Us



Adventure Stage Chicago, a program of the Northwestern Settlement, creates and tells heroic stories about young people. We do this to engage our community and inspire all of us to be heroes in our own lives.


We believe:NewKidGallery_7

  • The world needs more heroes.
  • Being a hero in your own life can take many different forms: doing the dishes without being asked, standing up to a bully at school, coaching your son's baseball team, mowing a neighbor's lawn, volunteering in your community, teaching our children, greeting the world with a smile. Powerful stories can inspire all of us to live heroically.
  • Young people are inherently curious, imaginative and intelligent, and it is our responsibility to ensure that these attributes are respected and cultivated.
  • Featuring heroic stories with young protagonists provides our audience with an empowering, self-reflective and participatory experience that is relevant to their lives now.
  • Conversation is key. Our pre-show audience questions and post-show curtain talks are structured to stimulate vital family discussions that continue long after leaving the theater.
  • Artists should be valued and encouraged to take risks in a supportive environment.
  • Our ensemble is our core, guiding the creation of new work and supporting the growth of the company.
  • Our work must reflect the complexity and diversity of the communities in which we live.
  • We must utilize our resources responsibly to ensure sustainability.
  • We must engage the field of Theatre for Young Audiences on a local and national level.
  • We must always serve the mission of the Northwestern University Settlement House.




Tom Arvetis, Producing Artistic Director
Mary Kate Barley-Jenkins, Managing Director
Anne McNamee-Keels, Education Manager
Laura Kollar, Audience Services Manager
Scott Wagner, Venue Manager
Mariaelena Morales, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Christian Helem, Community Engagement Coordinator
Carlos Murillo, Mellon Playwright-in-Residence


Dani Bryant
Sarah Rose Graber
Laura Kollar
Jessica Kuehnau Wardell
Allison Latta Lashford
Brandon Wardell
Sindy Castro
Matthew Scott
Stephanie Chavara
Andrew Marikis
Anne McNamee-Keels

Associate Artists

Kitty Campbell
Phil Claudnic
Rives Collins
Danielle Davis
Mikhail Fiksel
Michael Huey
Simon Lashford
Emilio G. Robles
Nelson Rodriguez

Teaching Artists

Stephanie Chavara
Andrew Marikis
Anne McNamee-Keels
Jamie Olah
Skyler Schrempp
Matthew Scott
Levi Holloway
Sarah Rose Graber
Sindy Castro

Emeritus Company Members

Brian Bell
Jana Liles
Merissa Stewart
Brandon Campbell
Matthew Reeder

Northwestern Settlement

For nearly 125 years, Northwestern Settlement has nurtured, educated, and inspired children and families in need in Chicago. Focusing on changing lives through education, social services, and the arts, Northwestern Settlement’s programs are fully integrated to meet the complex needs of our neighbors. Northwestern Settlement’s comprehensive approach to community building provides our neighbors:

  • Immediate assistance for short-term emergencies
  • Knowledge, opportunities and support to disrupt generational poverty
  • Access to a rich, city-wide network of additional programs and services