Metropolis Performing Arts Centre

DRAMA - FACULTY BIOS

Drama Bios

Robin Hughes is a director, actor, casting director, teacher, and private coach with a 30 year career that began in Minneapolis, MN as a young actor at Child’s Play Theatre Company in Bill Bradford’s original production of Cindy/Cinderella. After graduating with honors from Concordia University-St. Paul (B.A.-Theatre, English; Music minor), Robin started her professional acting career at The Guthrie Theater under the direction of Garland Wright (Christmas Carol) and acted in Joanne Akalaitis’ world premiere of The Rover, working also on The Screens with Akalaitis and Pravda with the Goodman’s Robert Falls. An Illinois State University (MFA-Acting) and Steppenwolf School graduate, Robin was awarded the coveted Steppenwolf Acting Fellowship and was brought to Chicago to work with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, acting in the world premiere of The Ballad of Little Joe directed by Tina Landau, and also working with Anna Shapiro (Side Man), David Cromer (Orson’s Shadow), Jessica Thebus (Whispering City), John Malkovich (Hysteria), and Terry Kinney (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), which went on to Broadway and the Barbican. Other regional and local acting credits are with Theatre in the Round, Phipps Center, New Tradition, Victory Gardens, Paramount-Copley, Bailiwick, Circle, Griffin, Light Opera Works, Dominican, Mary-Arrchie, New Millennium, and Metropolis. She is an Actor’s Equity Candidate and also a proud and active full member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. At Metropolis since 2002, Robin has operated as an education manager, company manager, production manager, and later as artistic director & producer for the company. She acted in and directed over 40 Metropolis productions and is currently a resident director and the resident casting director for the company. As a teacher and private coach for nearly three decades, Robin’s teaching credits span from Minnesota to New York for students ages 2-91. She is currently an adjunct faculty member at Dominican University and the Chicago Actors Studio, and a core faculty member with the Metropolis’ School of Performing Arts. She has taught everything from Improv to Mask and Dialect Study to On-Camera, and she enjoys them all.

Steve Leaver
is the Executive Artistic Director of Imagination Theater, a theater company that uses original, participatory theatrical programming as means to address various social issues with audiences nation-wide. Mr. Leaver oversees all aspects of the company and has been in charge of designing, writing, directing, and facilitating countless programs for schools and corporations. In addition to his work at Imagination Theater Mr. Leaver has been teaching at the Metropolis School of Performing Arts since 2002. He has taught acting classes for all ages and directed student productions of The Laramie Project and The Dining Room. From 2008-2012, Mr. Leaver served on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Theatre Association where he was representing Theater for Young Audiences. Through his work at the ITA, Mr. Leaver helped to coordinate the Theater In Our Schools conferences every March held in partnership with the American Alliance for Theatre in Education. Most recently, Mr. Leaver has been one of seven theater teachers and professionals working with Arts Alliance Illinois to adapt and adopt the National Core Arts Standards for the State of Illinois. Those new learning standards will be presented to the Illinois State Board of Education sometime late 2015. Mr. Leaver graduated Cum Laude from Illinois State University where he holds a Bachelors of Science degree in theater.

Jeremy Schaefer is an active teaching artist and performer at schools, theaters, and festivals across North America.  He currently improvises around town with Laugh Out Loud Theater, Chicago Improv Productions, Improv Playhouse, and International Stinger.  He has previously performed with companies like pH Productions, The Big Picture Group, Childsplay, Janus Theater, Piven Theatre, and The First Folio Shakespeare Festival.  He is also a storyteller and stand-up comic.

Megan Willhite has been teaching and directing for Metropolis School of the Performing Arts since 2003 and has been a teaching artist for Metropolis Outreach since its inception.  She is the lead teacher for the Outreach department’s program, Flourish in the Footlights, which gives teenagers and adults with special needs a chance to refine their acting techniques followed by the opportunity to create and perform a full scale production on the Metropolis stage.  Megan also helped develop the MetropolTots curriculum when she served as the Early Childhood Department head for SOPA from 2006-2010.  In addition to teaching and directing, Megan has previously served in several other capacities at Metropolis including Assistant Camp Director for both Lights Up! and Curtains Up!, Education Office Manager, Internship Coordinator and Child Coach for the production of A Christmas Carol.  She also directs a Reader’s Theatre program with the Special Education District of Lake County and has taught workshops for Theatrically Inclined.  Megan has a BA in Theatre and Communications from Monmouth College and has performed professionally with AlphaBet Soup Productions, Shantz Theatre Company, Morton College Theatre for Youth, and at Six Flags Great America.