Our Professional Staff

Jeffrey Poindexter

Conductor, Accompanist, Music Director Troupe

Jeffrey Poindexter is an active music director and pianist in the Chicagoland area, having worked with numerous theatres including FWD Theatre Project, BoHo Theatre, Griffin Theatre, the Performer’s School and Fox Valley Repertory. Jeffrey is an adjunct faculty accompanist at Roosevelt University and frequent collaborator at Columbia College Chicago. Along with his various theatre work, Jeffrey plays for numerous recitals, concerts and special events throughout the year, as well as teaches piano lessons. Jeffrey earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master’s degree in jazz piano performance from DePaul University.

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Mindy McDonald

MINDY MCDONALD  (Costume Design and Construction) has been privileged to design and construct costumes for The Performers School since 2017. Since 2017, Mindy has costumed Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Lion King, Annie, Cinderella, Elf, and Frozen.

With a commitment to service, Mindy has volunteered many hours costuming The Classics Show Choir, Shine Show Choir and the 8th grade plays at St. Michael School in Wheaton. Shows include: Godspell, Honk, Peter Pan, Bye Bye Birdie, Lion King, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Into the Woods. She has also constructed speciality costumes for Suessical, Wizard of Oz, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Frozen, Legally Blonde and Cadence Show Choir.

Prior to her costuming experience, Mindy received her BA in elementary education with several endorsements in special education. She taught middle school special education for nine years. From her teaching, while also raising her own six children, she has loved working with kids of all ages; building their self esteem and looking for the best in each child. Mindy got her start in costuming from her background with children, whether it was mending clothes or building halloween costumes, costume design and construction has always snuck a way into her life. Mindy has a careful eye and an innovative mind that gives her the ability to create and challenge each show that The Performers School puts on. She has truly loved having the opportunity to design for these performers and is excited to continue to push the boundaries of costume design and construction.

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Adria Dawn

ADRIA DAWN teaches on-camera acting at The Performer’s School, Acting Studio Chicago and Tarleton/Dawn Productions. She served on the faculty at Columbia College Chicago, and is a private on-camera acting coach. Adria is a co-founder of Revealing Media Group, which focuses on making contemporary films for social change. Working with young actors, these films have educational distribution and play at film festivals.

Adria loves working with talent of all ages and levels, and has taught workshops or spoken at SAG-AFTRA Chicago, Franklin Arts Center, University of Michigan, DePaul University, Loyola University, Columbia College Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, New Trier High School, Chicago High School for the Arts, Chicago Screenwriters Network, Camp Hollywood in Portland, Oregon, Southside School, Champaign, IL, Chicago Acting in Film, The Chicago Artists Coalition, Deerfield High School, Gray Talent Group, The Illinois High School Theatre Festival and The Actor’s Centre in London, England. She serves on the board of the Chicago Acting In Film Meetup Group.

As an actor, Adria spent many years in LA. One of her career highlights includes Ryan Murphy’s cult hit Popular (18 episodes, April Tuna) for which she was nominated as “Gutsiest Woman on Television,” by Jane Magazine. Currently you can catch Adria on Netflix (Uncle John) and on Amazon (Teenage Ghost Punk). She also starred in the film #nofilter (Cannes Story Corner).

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Lisa Pogofsky Sobelman

Lisa Pogofsky Sobelman has joined us this summer in a myriad of roles.  She teaches virtual musical theatre classes for 2nd-5th graders, joins our administrative staff as a consultant, and has re-designed our website.  She joins the Performer's School after years of working in theater, working with children and ...(surprise), working with children in theatre.  Lisa went to The University of Wisconsin - Madison for her undergraduate degree where she double-majored in both Journalism and Theater.  She has studied voice privately for more years that she can count.   After performing professionally in the Chicagoland area, Lisa went back and got her Masters Degree in Social Work at the University of Chicago.  As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Lisa spent several years working in the school system in Lake Forest, prior to having children of her own. 

 

Ten years ago, Lisa started a freelance graphic design business called Interactive Expressions, allowing her to work from home while raising her children.  You can see her portfolio at www.interactiveexpressions.com.  Lisa still loves to perform and has been doing musical theater around the area for years, including performing at venues such as  Drury Lane Oakbrook, Deerfield Family Theater, Centerstage Lake Forest, Up and Coming Theater, The Gilson Bowl, Glenview Theater Guild and many more.  She has performed the National Anthem for the Chicago White Sox and at the Schaumburg Boomers Stadium.  

Annie Fishbein

Annie Fishbein is thrilled to be back at The Performer’s School working as a Business Manager and Troupe Coordinator. Annie has been working in theatre for the past 8 years and has enjoyed every moment. Annie got her start at Unit 14 Theatre Company as a Stage Manager and eventually Production Manager. Currently, Annie is getting her BFA in Theatre Management at DePaul University. She made her debut as a Stage Manager for Pig and worked as a Producer for the FORTS Comedy Night.

 

Previously Annie has worked on many shows with us, from Annie JR at Ravinia Festival to The Addams Family at Skokie Theatre. During her time with The Performer’s School, she was also worked as Production Manager at Chicago Youth Shakespeare. She toured with CYS all over Chicago helping to produce shows such as King Lear, Twelfth Night, and Othello at venues such as Raven Theatre, The Edge Theatre, Writer’s Theatre, and many more. Annie has loved her time working with everyone at The Performer’s School and is excited to see what the future holds for her time here!

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Amanda Vander Byl (AVB)

Amanda Vander Byl is a Chicago-based Costume Designer. Her local credits include: Grease, Junie B. Jones (Marriott Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Metropolis Performing Arts Center), The Bloody Bathory (The Barons Theatre Co.), The Little Foxes (Citadel Theater). Regional credits include: The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Mason St. Warehouse), Comedy of Errors (Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre). She has also been an associate costume designer at Paramount Theater, Drury Lane, Marriott Theater, and the Illinois Shakespeare Festival on various productions. Upcoming, Amanda is designing West Side Story with Marriott Theatre. She has an M.F.A. in Costume Design from Illinois State University.