ANITA has been working in the world of child development for over 20 years. In addition to working with toddlers, she works with teenagers to create ensemble generated performances, and elementary aged children in her arts and science Curiosity Club camp. She is a co-founder/director of NeuroKitchen Arts Collective, a nonprofit which engages youth in creative projects where they develop emotional and mental health skills to build extraordinary lives. She is a Certified Yoga Teacher and has experiences working with children diagnosed with behavioral and learning challenges. She enjoys practicing mindfulness and body awareness with the children and nurturing their playful curiosity.
SHEA is a professional actor and freelance photographer with a passion for children and play. In addition to working at Hoyne Street Playgroup (HSPG), they have experience in tutoring, babysitting, and teaching children’s theatre classes. Originally from Houston, Texas, they moved to Chicago in 2013 to study acting at The Theatre School at DePaul University. In 2017, they graduated with honors, received their BFA in acting and has worked professionally in Chicago with The Goodman Theatre, First Floor Theatre, Story Theatre, Windy City Playhouse and several independent filmmakers. They are passionate about plants, yoga, and community engagement (check out the Love Fridge!). They believe in empowering the next generation to create a better society for the future. They are inspired by the kids at HSPG (kids are teachers just as much as adults are), nature, and play. They are so excited and grateful to be at HSPG and are thrilled to welcome more friends to the Playgroup family.
LAURA is euphoric and honored to be a teacher at Hoyne Street Playgroup! She has her B.S. in Elementary Education, with a Jr. High/Middle School Theatre endorsement and M.A. in Communication, Media and Theatre. She taught theatre for about ten years (ages 18 months – senior citizens) in a variety of environments, including the Chicago Park District, a public inner city middle school, a private inner city high school and more. She also plays piano and sometimes teaches kids how to be fairies. She was a 2008 Golden Apple semi-finalist and is a published, produced and commissioned playwright. One of her plays, “Punk Grandpa,” is published/licensed by PlayScripts Online and has been presented throughout Chicagoland as well as twice in New York City and internationally. She is a Resident Playwright at Three Cat Productions in Chicago, where she is writing a play about Jane Addams’ work with children and the impact of childhood upon us, to be produced in 2022/2023. She also produced and directed a documentary about the late Chicago toy store, Uncle Fun, and its creator, Ted Frankel, called “Uncle Fun: You’re The One,” which has been featured at several festivals and other venues and has won numerous awards, among them being a tie for Best Documentary at The Lonely Seal Festival. Laura has always played roles such as: Wendy in Peter Pan, Sophie in BFG and Pierrette in Maker of Dreams. She also loves playing with her nieces and nephews, thrift shopping, creative reuse centers and social justice.
If you’d like to know more about Hoyne Street Playgroup or schedule a tour, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get back to you soon!