Jerry R. Soria-Foust
Artistic Director & Dean of Conservatory
email@windycityperforms.org | 312.324.3700
Jerry R. Foust is our Artistic Director & Dean of Conservatory. A master teacher with over 25 years experience in education, Jerry is responsible for ensuring the quality of classes and performances, hiring and training teaching artists, and developing curriculum. He also directs most of the Mainstage/professional productions at Windy City Music Theatre. Jerry specializes in working with young musical theatre performers, and has directed numerous productions, including Oliver! Bye Bye Birdie, The Music Man, Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Little Shop of Horrors, You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, Beauty & the Beast, The Wizard of Oz, and Annie, to name a few. He served as Executive Director and Director of Education at Berkeley Playhouse, a professional musical theatre company and school, for three seasons, where his leadership helped triple the size of the operating budget, quadruple the subscription base, and merge the education and performance programs with a new, permanent 328-seat theatre home. During Jerry’s tenure, Berkeley Playhouse became the fastest growing professional and educational theatre company in the San Francisco Bay Area. He served on the leadership & production team for nearly 30 professional and youth shows, and helped build education programs that served over 400 kids per semester in classes, camps and shows–a number Windy City Music Theatre has now exceeded in just 3 years. Jerry is a native of Northwest Indiana. He attended the Butler University’s Jordan College of Fine Arts. After receiving a Bachelor’s in Music Education and an Indiana teaching license, Jerry taught high school and elementary music for several years in Indianapolis and the Louisville, Kentucky areas. In 1996, Jerry founded the acclaimed West Clark Summer Theatre cooperative program, and the West Clark Ambassadors, a combined-schools choral group. As a teacher in the San Diego County Schools, Jerry was awarded the Classroom of the Future Foundation’s “Innovate” award for his work integrating technology into the elementary music curriculum in 2006. While in California, he completed a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership at San Diego State University. Jerry served as Artistic Director and Conductor of the San Diego Men’s Chorus from 2004-2009, and was founding director of Opus Q – A Men’s Vocal Ensemble in Berkeley. As a choral conductor and theatre director, Jerry has collaborated with Tony-nominated Sharon McNight, Grammy-nominated Broadway star Frenchie Davis (“RENT”,”The Voice” and “American Idol”), the San Diego Chorus of the Sweet Adelines, San Diego Chamber Orchestra, Nichelle Nichols of Star Trek, award-winning playwright Del Shores, Emmy winner Sharon Gless, and stage/screen legend Sir Ian McKellan, among others. In 2011, Jerry returned home to Chicago to be closer to his family and friends, and to contribute to the exciting arts education community here. Jerry’s approach to teaching is ensemble-based – every child feels an important part of the “team” and he is guided by the concept of Challenge & Support. “Meaningful student growth happens when students are given artistic, personal, and academic challenges and provided a proportional amount of support – skills, knowledge, motivation, encouragement – to meet those challenges.”
READ ABOUT JERRY HERE
Alyssa Davis
Associate Dean of Conservatory
alyssa@windycityperforms.org | 312.324.3700
Alyssa is beyond excited to join Windy City and merge her lifelong passion for Musical Theatre and experience in Education! She received her Masters of Science in Education from Northwestern University, studying internalization of story structure through theatre exercises. Since then she has worked with Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Hamilton Education Program, and the Chicago Humanities Festival. She currently improvises with her Harold team Nightingale and the DelTones at iO, and is an original cast member of Improvised Mythology, Will You Accept this Rose? and Fan/Fiction. She is a co-creator of the video group “Cedarville Community Church” and performs in XVP Comedy Shorts. She provides improv-based corporate workshops with Improve It! and has studied at iO, Second City, and Annoyance. Some of her favorite former roles include Helen of Troy in Trojan Women, Iphigenia in Agamemnon and His Daughters, an Emmy-Award Winning Documentary about the Dah Theatar in Serbia, and every character in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
READ ABOUT ALYSSA HERE
Jordan Richardson
Associate Artistic Director
jordan@windycityperforms.org | 312.324.3700
Jordan joined the WCMT family in the fall of 2015 as the resident music director. For over 15 years he has worked in professional theater all over the country, including Shadowland Stages (NY), Oregon Cabaret Theater (OR), Desert Star Theater (UT), The Great American Melodrama (CA), and The Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts (CA), where he completed an internship in music directing and began teaching. His musical talents have been used as a composer, conductor and pit musician, musical improv, and even dueling piano shows. He has written eight original musicals commissioned by the Great American Melodrama, which he also directed. He made his WCMT directing debut with the Teen Ensemble’s “Into the Woods” and the Page2Stage “Seussical the Musical” in 2016.
READ ABOUT JORDAN HERE
Vacant - Now Recruiting
Production Manager & Resident Stage Mgr
production@windycityperforms.org | 312.324.3700
Grace Schwartzenberger
Schoolsite Program Coordinator & Registrar
grace@windycityperforms.org | 312.324.3700
Grace Schwartzenberger is a theatre-maker hailing from Los Angeles, California, and a proud graduate of the Theatre for Young Audiences program at Northwestern University. A wearer of many hats, she can be found working as a producer, lighting designer, performer, & teaching artist in spaces throughout Chicago. She is thrilled to join the team at Windy City Performs in making arts education opportunities available to young folks all over the city!
READ ABOUT GRACE HERE
Hayley Nguyen
Marketing Assistant
marketing@windycityperforms.org | 312.324.3700
READ ABOUT HAYLEY HERE

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