Writer & Director
Tyler has worked in New York City as the Associate Artistic Director at the multiple award- winning Off-Broadway Theatre Primary Stages in NYC from 2000-2006. His work on new plays led him to Primary Stages where he worked with playwrights such as Terrence McNally, Horton and Daisy Foote, Stephen Belber, John Henry Redwood, A.R. Gurney, Lee Blessing, Michele Lowe, Christopher Durang and many others. Other New York directing work includes several productions, workshops, and readings of new plays by Neil LaBute, Edwin Sanchez, Stephen Belber, Steven Dietz, Victor Ladato, Julia Jordan, Dan O'Brien, Anthony Clarvoe, and Lucy Thurber among others.
During his tenure at Primary Stages, Tyler was the Director of the New American Writer's Group where he worked with writers to develop and create new plays for the American Theatre. Tyler has worked at theatres such as Primary Stages, Guthrie Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Connecticut Repertory Theatre, Madison Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, Trustus, with British playwright Gary Owen's The Drowned World and Michael Wynne's The People are Friendly as part of the Old Vic/New Voices international playwright exchange in conjunction with the Old Vic in London, and served as the Associate Director of the Broadway production of On Golden Pond starring James Earl Jones and Leslie Uggams as well as the national tour starring Tom Bosley and Michael Learned. He directed the World Premiere of India Awaiting at the Samuel Beckett theatre in NYC and the World Premiere Prudence, at Connecticut Repertory Theatre. While at Primary Stages, Tyler has worked with some of the premiere actors working in NYC including Isabella Rossellini, Richard Thomas, Nathan Lane, Marian Seldes, Charles Kimbrough, Charles Grodin, Sandy Duncan, Mary Testa, Ellen MCClaughlin, George Grizzard, among others.
Tyler has received a commission from Williamstown Theatre Festival to co-conceive and direct a new play with playwright Dan O'Brien. Recent productions include Cloud 9 at Pennsylvania Center Stage, the World Premiere of the musical Anne of Green Gables (by Nancy Ford and Gretchen Cryer) at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in NYC, and Jeffrey Hatcher's A Picasso at Barrington Stage Company and the the World Premiere of Freud’s Last Session by Mark St. Germain which ran off-Broadway in New York City for two years. From 2001- 2006, Tyler served as the Vice-President of the Association of Non-Profit Theatres Companies (ANTC) in New York City. Tyler received the prestigious Doris Duke/Andrew W. Mellon/TCG "New Generations Grant" to aid and assist his work in the non-profit theatre sector. Tyler received his M.F.A. in directing at the University of South Carolina, and is a member of SSDC.
Writer & LILA Teaching Artist
Karen most recently played lawyer "Cassie Reynolds" on NBC's HARRY'S LAW opposite Academy Award winner Kathy Bates. She recently starred as Anita in the acclaimed Broadway revival of West Side Story, directed by Arthur Laurents, a role which garnered her the 2009 Tony Award for “Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical.” Karen also earned Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations for her portrayal of the iconic character. In addition, Olivo received her second straight Astaire Award nomination for Best Female Dancer on Broadway, an award she previously won in 2008.
Olivo originated the role of Vanessa in both the Off-Broadway and Broadway productions of the Tony Award- winning musical, In the Heights. Exploring three days in the lives of a group of Dominican-American characters living in Washington Heights, In the Heights was also the recipient of the 2007 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical, the 2007 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical, and the 2007 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble. Furthermore, Olivo was featured in In the Heights: Chasing Broadway Dreams, a televised documentary highlighting their road to the New York stage.
Karen made her Broadway debut as Mimi in Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning musical, Rent, a role she also performed in the first touring production of the show. Additionally, she also originated the role of Faith in the Broadway production of Brooklyn The Musical, directed by Jeff Calhoun. Additional theatre credits include the Off-Broadway production of The Miracle Brothers, directed by Tina Landau, at the Vineyard Theatre, the Public Theatre’s 40th Anniversary concert production of Hair, directed by Diane Paulus, and The Ford Theatre’s production of Children of Eden.
Olivo’s film credits include roles in Adrift in Manhattan, opposite Heather Graham, which was nominated for Best Narrative Feature at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007, and The New Twenty, following five best friends in their late 20's who discover new truths about themselves and the friendships they thought would last forever. Additionally, Olivo was also featured in Generation Um starring Keanu Reeves. Olivo’s other television credits include a recurring role on “The Good Wife”, and guest starring roles on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Conviction,” “Law & Order,” “All My Children” , "Chase', and "Criminal Minds: Suspect Intent ".
Gwendolyn Rice is a professional writer and playwright. She holds an MA in Theater Literature, History, and Criticism from UW-Madison, and a BA in English and Theater from the University of Iowa. Gwen has worked in marketing, communications, and fundraising for a variety of non- profit arts organizations including Forward Theater Company, First Stage Milwaukee, the Friends of the Coronado, and the Rockford Symphony Orchestra. She also has experience writing in the for-profit world for national premium brands, architectural firms, newspapers, magazines, and websites.
Gwen has had full-length plays, readings, and monologues produced on the East Coast and throughout the Midwest, at theaters such as Shakespeare & Co., Forward Theater Company, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Metropolis Performing Arts Center, First Stage Milwaukee, Riverside Theater, Barrington Stage Company, Polarity Ensemble, Edenfred Artists' Retreat, and Rock Valley College. She has also won several awards for short fiction. She lives in Middleton with her husband and two sons, who make her laugh every day.
For the last ten seasons, Mr. Fassl has designed lighting for well over three hundred theatrical productions across the upper Midwest. He is an Artistic Associate for First Stage Children's Theatre and Resident Lighting Designer for The Fireside Dinner Theatre. He has consumed mass quantities of electricity at The Milwaukee Ballet, The Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Skylight Music Theatre, Peninsula Players, American Players Theatre, Renaissance Theaterworks, Next Act Theatre, Forward Theatre Company, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Lawrence University, Youngblood Theatre Company, and many others.
Jason is a proud member of United Scenic Artists Local 829 and IATSE#18.
Portfolio and information at www.AntiShadows.com
Erin Crabb is a Theatre LILA collaborator and resident composer. She studied piano at Illinois Wesleyan University and it was there she first discovered her love of playing in theatrical settings, participating in numerous productions on campus. For seven years after college, she worked as a pianist and associate music director at Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre in Grand Lake, CO, in between time spent traveling, studying languages, and working in various capacities at small farms around the world. It was only upon moving to Madison that she attempted to make a full-time career as a musician, and the city's unique arts community has been a wonderful platform to make that possible! Erin has had the chance to work as music director and piano/conductor for CTM, Madison Theatre Guild, Edgewood College, and Four Seasons, in addition to teaching a private studio of students and doing freelance accompanist work all over the Madison area.
Clare Arena Haden
Teaching Artist & Performer
Clare received her MFA in Acting with an emphasis in Voice for the Actor from UW- Madison in 2009. She has since worked as a professional actor, voice and speech coach, and teaching artist throughout the Midwest, including Theatre LILA, American Players Theatre, Overture Center for the Arts, Wisconsin Story Project, Children's Theatre of Madison, First Stage, Renaissance Theaterworks, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, and Madison Opera. She participated in the 3 day Artists as Educators Seminar, Mapping the Journey: Planning Effective Residences for Students developed by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Clare currently serves as the Oral Communications Specialist at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology and is a proud member of AEA, VASTA, and TESOL.