Steep Announces New Ensemble Members

Steep Announces New Ensemble Members

Clockwise from top left: Amber Sallis, Brandon Rivera, Nate Faust, Sasha Smith

Nate Faust, Brandon Rivera, Amber Sallis, and Sasha Smith are the newest members of Steep’s acting ensemble.

Long-time Artistic Associates Matt Chapman, Maria DeFabo Akin, Thomas Dixon, and Lauren Lassus have taken on new roles in the ensemble as Company Members, and Catherine Allen, Jon Ravenscroft, and Ellen Willett have joined the company as Steep’s newest Artistic Associates.

Biographies below from the press release:

Company Members

Nate Faust

Steep Credits: Earthquakes in London

Nate Faust is an actor. After studying theatre at University of Dayton, earning his MFA in Acting from The New School for Drama in New York City, and training at The School at Steppenwolf, he is honored to collaborate with such a talented group of individuals and to have found his creative home at Steep Theatre. Nate is a member of SAG-AFTRA and represented by Paonessa Talent.

Brandon Rivera

Steep Credits: Brilliant Adventures

Brandon Rivera is thrilled to be able to call Steep Theatre Company his artistic home. He made his professional debut at Steep in 2015 with Brilliant Adventures, directed by Robin Witt. Other Chicago credits include Round Heads and Pointed Heads (Red Tape Theatre), Akeelah and the Bee (Adventure Stage Chicago), Into the Beautiful North (16th Street Theatre), Dog Sees God (Eclectic Theatre), and The Memory Tour (Pivot Arts). Brandon received his BFA in Acting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2016.

Amber Sallis

Steep Credits: Earthquakes in London, Hinter (Understudy), Birdland

Other theatrical credits include The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Eclectic Full Contact Theatre), Covenant (Creating Justice Conference), and A Snowy Day and Other Stories (Emerald City Theatre). She has participated in staged readings at the Goodman and Chicago Dramatists. TV credits include Empire, Shameless, Chicago Fire and The Chi. Amber was named one of the Chicago Tribune’s Hot New Faces class of 2017. She is a 2016 Graduate of Northern Illinois University with a BFA in Acting and studied at MXAT theatre school in Moscow, Russia.

Sasha Smith

Steep Credits: Bobbie Clearly (Extension), Hookman, Hinter

Sasha Smith is a Chicago-based actor and violence and intimacy choreographer. Recent acting credits include Johanna Faustus (The Hypocrites) and Stay Lit (The Roustabouts). She will appear in the upcoming production of The Aristophanesathon (The Hypocrites). She has been seen on television in Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, and Green Screen Adventures. Recent choreography credits include The Toilet (Haven Theatre), A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Gynecologic Oncology Unit At Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer Center Of New York City (Route 66), Ideation (Jackalope), and Octagon (Jackalope). She is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago.

Matt Chapman

Steep Credits: Harper Regan, 2000 Feet Away, The Knowledge, Motortown, If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet, The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle, The Cheats, Posh, The Few, Earthquakes in London

Matt Chapman is a sound designer whose recent work includes Give It All Back (Sideshow), The Burials (Steppenwolf SYA), Prowess (Jackalope), American Beauty Shop (Chicago Dramatists), Kill Floor (ATC), Ten 2016 (The Gift), The Orchestra (Akvavit) Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 (Backroom Shakespeare), Butcher (Signal), Body and Blood (Gift), and Balm in Gilead (Griffin). He is the Technical Coordinator for Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre.

Maria DeFabo Akin

Steep Credits: 2000 Feet Away, Pornography, Moment, Making Noise Quietly, Fallow, strangers, babies, The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle, Brilliant Adventures, The Few, Lela & Co.

Maria DeFabo Akin is the Director of Properties and Scenic Art by day at Lyric Opera. Before that she was the props designer at Lookingglass Theatre, and also designed props for over 60 Chicago storefront productions. Maria is a member of S.P.A.M., the Society of Prop Artisans and Masters.

Thomas Dixon

Steep Credits: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, A Brief History of Helen of Troy, Pornography, The Receptionist, Luther, A Small Fire, Martyr, Wastwater, Bobbie Clearly, Lela & Co., The Invisible Hand, Hinter, Birdland

Thomas Dixon is a sound designer and composer whose work has been seen in Chicago and regionally at Victory Gardens Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Jackalope Theatre, First Floor Theater, Silk Road Rising, Windy City Playhouse, and others. Thomas teaches at DePaul University and Columbia College Chicago, and he is a member of the Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association.

Lauren Lassus

Steep Credits: Lakeboat, Love and Money, Making Noise Quietly, Luther, Fallow, Motortown, strangers, babies, Martyr, Brilliant Adventures, The Few, Bobbie Clearly, Hookman, Lela & Co., Invisible Hand, Hinter

Lauren is a stage manager who has worked with theatres throughout Chicago, including Emerald City, Jackalope, Facility, WildClaw, The Inconvenience, Writers, and Lookingglass.

Artistic Associates

Catherine Allen

Steep Credits: The Few, Bobbie Clearly, The Invisible Hand, Hinter, Birdland

Catherine Allen has production managed with Steep Theatre, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, About Face Theatre, Griffin Theatre, Route 66, Congo Square, Oak Park Festival Theatre, Pegasus Theatre Chicago, Haven Theatre, Chimera Ensemble, and many circuses with Actors Gymnasium where she is the staff Production Manager. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she received a BFA in Acting.

Jon Ravenscroft

Steep Credits: Harper Regan, Pornography, Moment, The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle, Earthquakes in London, Birdland

Jon Ravenscroft is a stage manager and cultural event programmer and the Creative Director of the Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase. He loves being behind the table and in the booth at Steep, where Birdland is his sixth collaboration. His other artistic homes include Griffin Theatre (Violet, London Wall, Pocatello, Balm in Gilead, Golden Boy, Flare Path, The Burnt Part Boys, Spring Awakening, Port and Company), and past work with Haven, Caffeine, Theater Seven and Strawdog, among others.

Ellen Willett

Steep Credits: In Arabia We’d All Be Kings, The Hollow Lands, Festen, The Receptionist, The Knowledge, A Small Fire, Martyr, Posh, Earthquakes in London

Ellen Willett is a production manager, company member with The Inconvenience, and regularly makes theatre and events with Remy Bumppo, Sideshow, Strawdog, E.D.G.E. Theatre, the Grant Park Music Festival, and many more. She serves on the board of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).

About author


PerformInk is Chicago's entertainment industry trade publication.