Board of Directors

Joan Callahan (President) was a school nurse with the Sacred Heart Schools in Chicago who recently retired. She resides with her husband, Michael Callahan, in the South Loop and SW Michigan. She was an English/Theater major in college and taught theater at a private high school on the city’s southside in the 70s’. She worked with the Blackhawk Restaurants as manager and educator, attained a Masters in Social Work and then worked as parish social worker at St. Clements in Chicago before staying home to raise their three children. She returned to school to get her RN and has combined all those previous careers to work as a school nurse. Theater has always been close to her heart and spirit. Thankfully Chicago provides well for this. Remy Bumppo has always been a favorite and appeals for its attention to language and complex ideas and being part of the board seems a perfect way to give greater support to Remy and Chicago theater.

Marilyn B. Schaffer (Vice President) has worked as a fundraiser for non-profits for the past 18 years. She is currently working as the Director of Planned Giving at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. She is also a frequent speaker on planned giving topics. Marilyn is a graduate of Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Illinois. She earned a MAT from Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois, an MA from DePaul University in Chicago, and the designation of Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® from The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Marilyn and her husband Joel have 5 grown children scattered around the country and one grandson. She began her involvement with Remy Bumppo through the Benefit Committee. She is very excited to step up her involvement by joining the Board and helping to grow this wonderful theater.

Richard Skolly (Secretary) is a technology engineer for ArcelorMittal Inc. His professional interests focus on developing high strength materials and new equipment acquisition and commissioning. After work interests encompass the wide variety offered Chicago’s artistic scene. His past not-for profit board tenures include technical and artistic organizations. Richard is married to Kate A Feinstein and lives in Chicago.

Charin Alvarez (Core Ensemble Member) More about Charin >

Ron Eisenstein has worked in non-profit fundraising for over 20 years. He is currently the Tableau Architect at EverTrue, a fundraising software company. Ron frequently presents on fundraising topics and leads a large user group of fundraising analytics professionals. He earned a BA in political science and business from Washington University in Saint Louis, and an MS in information systems from DePaul University in Chicago. Ron resides in Evanston with his husband and their greyhound, Nifty. Ron looks forward to furthering his love for the theatre through his work with the Remy Bumppo board.

Brenda Grusecki (Past President) is an English teacher who retired from Oak Park and River Forest High School where she chaired the English Division for seventeen years.  Subsequently, she has worked as instructor and supervisor of student teachers at Northwestern University and Dominican University. She spent many years teaching in the gifted program (Center for Talent Development) for middle and high school students at Northwestern.  As a Board Director of the Family Service and Mental Health Center of Oak Park and River Forest (re-named Thrive Counseling Center), Brenda served in several capacities including officer positions, gala co-chair, and co-chair of a successful endowment campaign.  In 2009,  she received the Rita Johnson Humanitarian Award from the organization.  Brenda has also served on several other Boards in Chicago. With her husband, she administers a family foundation that funds education, the arts, and housing and social service initiatives and programs. The Gruseckis enjoy and support the many cultural opportunities that Chicago offers.

Margaret McCloskey (Executive Director) has been with Remy Bumppo since 2014, and has served as Director of Development and Managing Director before becoming Executive Director in July 2020, working closely with the Artistic Director to develop and steward strategic initiatives for organizational growth. Previously, she was a fundraising consultant with Aaron Consulting in New York City, managing high-level fundraising campaigns for a number of east coast organizations, and served in the office of communications at the Ford Foundation, among other roles. Margaret started her career in Chicago, holding positions at the Chicago Opera Theater, Rotary International and the League of Chicago Theaters. Theatre is her first love, and she holds both an MFA in Playwriting from the New School for Drama in New York City and a BFA in Theatre Studies from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

Marti Lyons (Artistic Director) is the Artistic Director of Remy Bumppo and most recently directed Georgiana and Kitty: Christmas at Pemberley by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon at Northlight Theatre. She recently directed the co-world premiere of Wife of a Salesman by Eleanor Burgess at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Sense and Sensibility adapted by Jessica Swale at American Players Theatre and the world-premiere of John Proctor is the Villain by Kimberly Belflower at Studio Theatre in D.C. Lyons’s other productions include The Niceties by Eleanor Burgess at Writers Theatre; Cymbeline at American Players Theatre; The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe and both the stage and audio productions of Kings by Sarah Burgess at Studio Theatre; the world-premiere of How to Defend Yourself by liliana padilla, a Victory Gardens and Actors Theatre of Louisville co-production; Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee at Victory Gardens and City Theatre; Witch by Jen Silverman at Geffen Playhouse and Writers Theatre (LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Direction); Native Gardens by Karen Zacarías at Victory Gardens; Botticelli in the Fire by Jordan Tannahill at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company; I, Banquo at Chicago Shakespeare Theater; Title and Deed by Will Eno at Lookingglass Theatre Company; Laura Marks’s Bethany and Mine at The Gift Theatre. Marti is an ensemble member at The Gift Theatre and a proud member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

Karen Randolph is a marketing consultant. She currently serves on the Board of the American Refugee Committee, a not-for-profit organization that works for the survival, health and well being of refugees, displaced persons and those at risk. Karen was a member of the Goodman Theatre’s Discovery Board and has contributed many hours as a volunteer marketing and audience development consultant for the Goodman and the Ravinia Festival.

Charlotte Toerber is an attorney in private practice representing clients involved in the development, acquisition, construction and operation of independent power facilities, primarily in renewable energy, distributed energy and recycled energy applications. She previously was General Counsel of E.ON Climate & Renewables North America, LLC a major national developer and operator of wind and solar energy facilities. Charlotte has a passion for theater, generally, averaging attendance at 40+ theater productions a year, either locally or traveling to other cities (London, New York and Stratford, Ontario being favorites) to experience all types of theater options.

Lily Varón is a senior analyst at Forrester, a global market research firm. Her research focuses on the payments and billing technologies firms need to win, serve, and retain customers in the age of digital business. Previously, she worked as an advocate at an antipoverty nonprofit agency, providing case management for clients in areas such as housing, utilities, insurance, immigration, and financial literacy. She holds a B.A. in American Cultural Studies from Bates College. She is originally from Cambridge, MA and lived there until moving to Chicago in 2021. She is the proud daughter of artists, immigrants, and educators. She is also an avid reader, wordsmither, and animal lover.

Matthew Randle-Bent has spent the last decade working between the arts and higher education industries in Chicago and the United Kingdom, where he is from. He teaches dramaturgy at DePaul University’s Theatre School. Matt holds a PhD from Northwestern University, in addition to degrees from the University of Warwick and Queen Mary, University of London. His doctoral research focused on the International Theatre Institute, the UNESCO-sponsored organization representing theaters of the world. His scholarly and critical writing can be found in numerous academic journals. In 2022 he was an Artist in Residence at The Watermill Center, the laboratory of performance founded by Robert Wilson. In Chicago, Matt has collaborated with a range of institutions, including Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Court Theatre, Loyola University Chicago, Northwestern University Press, and Remy Bumppo as a Between the Lines speaker for Routes. Matt is thrilled to continue that partnership by joining the Remy Bumppo board.

Lynne Simon – Bio coming soon!

Rebecca Zemans – Bio coming soon!

Kate McDuffie – Bio coming soon!

Daniel Durbin – Bio coming soon!

David S. Lipschultz – Bio coming soon!

Lynne H. Mock – Bio coming soon!



Be in good company – by volunteering!

We’re looking for individuals who first and foremost love Remy Bumppo and theatre. Additionally, we are seeking individuals who have experience in the fields of finance/accounting, information technology, fundraising, program planning/development & evaluation, and/or strategic planning. Ideal candidates have diverse networks and/or ties to art-supporting companies in the Chicago area. Is this you?

Volunteers contribute, on average, about 6-10 hours a month attending board and committee meetings as well as board-related events. In exchange for your service, you have the opportunity to interact with a dynamic group of people and play a vital role in Chicago’s cultural community. From the members on our Board to our patrons, Remy Bumppo attracts a remarkable group of creative and diverse personalities.

To learn more about becoming a Remy Bumppo Board or Committee volunteer contact the administrative office at 773.244.8119 or by email at