First Folio Theatre Announces Three New Team Members

First Folio Theatre Announces Three New Team MembersFirst Folio Theatre (Mayslake Peabody Estate, 31st St. & Rt. 83.) has announced the expansion of its administrative staff, with the hiring of Melanie Keller as Associate Artistic Director, Kate Danziger as Managing Director, and Katie Cora Johnson as Director of Audience Relations. In their new capacities, each professional will assist in developing and growing the theater with each of their unique experiences.

"We are thrilled to bring on three new team members at First Folio Theatre," said Executive Director David Rice. "Having started this theater with my wife Alison so many years ago, it took several great people to even begin to replace her. I am honored to have the help of Melanie, Kate and Katie as the theater continues to thrive."

Melanie Keller, Associate Artistic Director, has been an Artistic Associate at First Folio since 2005, where her tenure has included directing Silent Sky (currently nominated for three Jeff Awards, including Best Production - Midsize Theater) and The Amish Project, as well as acting in more than a dozen productions. She is also slated to directMary's Wedding this coming spring. Keller studied at Illinois Wesleyan University, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and at the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theater at the Stratford Festival of Canada, where she was a company member for one season. She was formerly a member of Signal Ensemble, where she appeared inEast of Berlin/The Russian Play (Jeff Award - Best Actress) and The Weir (Jeff Nomination - Best Supporting Actress) as well as directing The Drowning Girls (2 Jeff Nominations). Keller looks forward to working as Associate Artistic Director with First Folio Theatre to honor the storytelling legacy of her friend and mentor, founding Artistic Director Alison C. Vesely, while exploring new voices and perspectives.

Kate Danziger, Managing Director, is excited to return to First Folio Theatre in her new capacity as Managing Director. Most recently she took a brief hiatus from theater, working as the Administration and Event Manager for the Skokie Chamber of Commerce & Industry. At the Skokie Chamber she coordinated 6-12 events a month, managed marketing and communications, and oversaw the active office. She has been connected to First Folio Theatre since 2005, when she was the assistant stage manager for The Taming of the Shrew. David and Alison actually interviewed and hired Danziger on the day she graduated from undergraduate school. She became First Folio's resident AEA stage manager and an Artistic Associate and has worked on 17 shows as part of the stage management team. Danziger has also stage managed for Circle Theatre, The Factory Theater, Serendipity Theatre Company, and Tireswing Theatre in Chicago and toured with Mikel Rouse (as company manager) and Ralph Lemon (as stage manager and company manager). She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Loyola University Chicago and a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Katie Cora, Director of Audience Relations, is thrilled to once again be a part of the First Folio Family this time as the Director of Audience Relations. After receiving her B.A. in Technical Theatre from North Central College, she assistant stage managed A Moon for the Misbegotten with First Folio and then Woman in Black a few years later. Having worked in many aspects of theatre from stage crew to box office, Cora made a name for herself in the industry as a Child Supervisor for the last 6 years. She has worked all over Chicago on many shows and multiple times with The Goodman (A Christmas Carol, Jungle Book, Wonderful Town), Steppenwolf (The Wheel, Mary Page Marlowe), Lookingglass (Treasure Island), Paramount (Annie, Music Man, Tommy) and Drury Lane (Sound of Music, Gypsy, Beaches, Billy Elliott). She was also Child Supervisor for Motown the Musical the National Tour while it sat in Chicago, then again when it toured Milwaukee and Sacramento.

For additional information on First Folio Theater, please call the box office at 630.986.8067 or visit

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