Meet the Staff
Founder and Artistic Director | Jane Beachy
JANE BEACHY is the founder and Artistic Director of Salonathon (est. July 2011), as well as the Program Manager for Art at Illinois Humanities, where she founded the Elective Studies series for artists. She has produced events, performances, residencies and retreats at and/or with the University of Chicago (Chicago Performance Lab), Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (OnEdge, SummerDance), Steppenwolf Garage, Metro Chicago, The Empty Bottle, Thalia Hall, The Promontory, Land and Sea Dept., The Inconvenience, The Neo-Futurists, Columbia College, MAKE Magazine, Printer’s Ball, Bottom Lounge, Berlin Nightclub, Chicago Reader, Slideluck and more. She also runs Camp Salondawega, an artistic retreat at the acclaimed Camp Wandawega in Wisconsin, and teaches in the Theater and Performance Studies Department at the University of Chicago. She has served on grant-making panels at DCASE, Illinois Humanities, and the Charlotte Street Foundation in Kansas City, and recently spoke on a panel about place-making at the Art Institute of Chicago. Prior to founding Salonathon, Jane served as the Marketing Director at About Face Theatre, Account Executive at TheaterMania in New York City, Program Manager of the Community School of the Arts at Kansas City Young Audiences, and as a Teaching Artist and Drama School staff member at Seattle Children’s Theatre. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Iowa.
Host and Curator | Will Von VogtWILL VON VOGT is an actor, producer, casting director and co-curator of Salonathon. In addition to curating Salonathon on Monday nights, Will has also produced Salonathon Sets Sail! aboard the Tall Ship Wendy and Camp Salondawega, an artistic retreat at the famed Camp Wandawega in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.Earning his BFA from The Theatre School at DePaul, he has lived and worked as an actor and talent agent in Minneapolis and New York City. After relocating back to Chicago in 2012, Will now works as an actor and is a company member and Casting Director for Cor Theatre (www.cortheatre.org), which was recently named “Most Promising Debut” by Kris Vire of TimeOut Magazine. He is currently the Media Coordinator for the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts and was the Associate Producer of the 2015 Great Chicago Fire Festival.
Host and Curator | Joe Varisco
JOSEPH R. VARISCO is the Founder and Creative Director of JRV MAJESTY Productions, Director of Development at The Inconvenience, co-curator at Salonathon, and Resident Curator for Poonie’s Cabaret at Links Hall. He is currently working on the development of a mentorship program for LGBTQIA & Gender Non-Conforming emerging artists in Chicago via High Concept Laboratories Institutional Incubation Residency.
Performing independent develop
ment, producer, and curator Varisco has spent the last five years in Chicago working with over 1500 LGBTQIA & GNC artists and organizations to produce client-based original works in various mediums such as annual performance series, (QUEER, ILL, & OKAY), literary collections, gallery exhibits, live performance events, and educational workshops. Additionally, Varisco’s work has been recognized in the national exhibit Strange Bedfellows (2013-2014), as a featured artist for the Center on Halsted’s World AIDS Day Conference and the Chicago History Museum’s Out in Chicago exhibit. Varisco’s larger work is based on collaborative creative initiatives focused on underrepresented HIV+ and queer populations.
Varisco is based out of Chicago’s Logan Square.
Host and Curator | Bindu Poroori
BINDU POROORI is a storyteller, musician, and co-curator of Salonathon. Bindu creates work that engages with the melancholy of her immigrant experience, which is a pretty way of saying that she makes a lot of art about her mom. She is a recent graduate of the University of Chicago, and can also be found working at the Milk Room in the Chicago Athletic Association, and doing event logistics for Land and Sea Dept..
Operations Manager | Corrie Besse
CORRIE BESSE originates from Nebraska and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Arts and Communication Studies from Central College, Pella, IA. She has been working in the Production and Arts Administration fields in Chicago for the last twelve years. Currently she is the Managing Director for the Theater & Performance Studies Undergraduate program at the University of Chicago and previously the Finance Director and Production Manager at Redmoon Theater. She has been fortunate to work with Albany Park Theater Project, Teatro Vista, Roosevelt University, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theater, Hypocrites, Shattered Globe, Seananchai, Chicago Dance Crash, Mary –Arrchie, Famous Door, Chicago Humanities Festival, Barrel of Monkeys, PineBox, and the Gate Theatre, London.
Resident DJ | Ariel Zetina
ARIEL ZETINA is a Chicago based DJ/producer/performance artist/poet. DJ sets at… Rumors (Residency at Exit), Quest (Residency at Beauty Bar), Nightvision @ Wangs, Total Therapy, LQQKS, Soft Leather, OPT!ONZ @ Punch House, Girl Unit @ East Room, dfbrl8tr gallery, TCC Chicago, Stargayzer Fest (ATX), Burly, Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Empty Bottle, Township, Club Soda, Chances Dances’ Venus Envy @ the Bijou, New Ohio Theatre (NYC), Chimera @ Slippery Slope, The Hideout & Salonathon (where she has also been a frequent performer and guest curator)! Her performance group WITCH HAZEL (www.soundcloud.com/
officialwitchhazel) released their GODZILLA EP via Pedicure Records in September 2015, & she has also released individuals singles via the online label, the solo “Quiero” & “~*~dragonflies~*~” a collaboration w DEV_N_. She creates sound and text works that shed light on the trans* experience, striving to recontextualize the club setting and the performance space, often questioning barriers of intimacy and totality in both. www.soundcloud.com/ unicornflorida
Resident DJ | Danny LeRoy
DANNY LEROY, besides being one of Salonathon’s resident DJs, spins records and tracks all over Chicago, and is a Beauty Bar staff member when he’s not in the DJ booth.
Production Assistant | Maggie Vaughn
More about Maggie Vaughn coming soon!
Photographer and Web Designer | MaryBeth Stanton
MARYBETH STANTON, who also goes by MB, is a Chicago-based web designer who specializes in Ux, Ui and a little front-end coding on good days. She also does event photography for Salonathon. She is inspired by the people in her life, and especially by Salonathon, to create inclusive and safe spaces in every community she’s a part of. She’s recently developed a meetup for people who find themselves marginalized in the design community called Marginally Designed. She’s also really into occult arts, tarot and crystals. Her work and contact information can be found at mbstanton.com.
Web Developer | Sayri Suarez
SAYRI SUAREZ is currently a fourth year at the University of Chicago, pursuing a bachelors of science in computer science. In addition to her interests in programming, Sayri is an avid musical theater nerd and a member of the Chicago Raas competitive dance team at UChicago.
Resident DJ Emeritus | Swaguerrilla
SWAGUERRILLA, aka Justin Ignatius Mitchell, has been Salonathon’s resident DJ since day one. He also spins parties and shows around the country and has been an organizer for Chances Dances.
Curator Emeritus | Kelly Kerwin
KELLY KERWIN is a creative producer, director, and dramaturg based in New York. She recently graduated with her MFA in Dramaturgy/Dramatic Criticism from the Yale School of Drama where she was the literary associate at Yale Repertory Theater. She was one of the co- artistic director at the Yale Cabaret (Season 46) where she co-wrote and directed We Know Edie La Minx Had a Gun and was the producer of the 2nd and 3rd annual Yale School of Drag. Favorite dramaturgy credits include the world premieres of Deer and the Lovers (Carlotta Festival of New Plays), Hit the Wall (Steppenwolf’s Garage Rep, The Inconvenience), and The Sparrow (The House Theatre of Chicago), which received the Jeff Award for Best New Play. Kelly has worked with Steppenwolf, the House Theatre of Chicago, Collaboraction, Court Theatre, the Inconvenience, and Atlantic.
During Salonathon’s inaugural year, Kelly curated and hosted the monthly performance series “The Applied Studies Showcase” and created “Words from Our Loves, Words from our Exes.” Kelly holds a BFA from the Theatre School at DePaul University, and is currently a doctoral fellow at the Yale School of Drama.
Curatorial and Operations Associate Emeritus | Molly FitzMaurice
MOLLY FITZMAURICE is a dramaturg and theater maker interested in deepening audience engagement, reimagining the theater-going experience, and supporting new work. Molly has just joined the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s literary office after a year with the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston. While in Chicago, she was a Company Member with First Floor Theater, a freelance designer and dramaturg, and an intern with About Face Theatre and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s Performance Programs. She is an alumna of the University of Chicago and a Salonathonian forever.