The Company

Benjamin Brownson

(Artistic Director, Co-Founder)

Benjamin is a director, producer, playwright, and founding artistic director of Broken Nose Theatre. He holds an MA in the Humanities from the University of Chicago, and has worked with a wide variety of Chicago theatres, including Steep, Court, Chicago Dramatists, Halcyon, Waltzing Mechanics, Theatre Seven of Chicago, and the Greenhouse Theater Center. As a playwright, his work has been performed by BNT, Chicago Dramatists, Park Theatre (Holland, Michigan), and 5th Wall Productions (Charlotte, South Carolina). When he is not making theatre, he is facilitating civic engagement and working to effect social change in the region as the Director of Programs for Leadership Greater Chicago. CREDITS: My First Time (Director), Beautiful Broken (Writer, Producer), ROOMS: a rock romance (Director, Producer), Bechdel Fest (Producer, Curator, Writer), From White Plains (Producer), My First Time: The Remount (Director), Bechdel Fest 2 (Producer, Director, Curator), Bechdel Fest 3 (Producer, Director, Curator) A Phase (Producer), Human Terrain (Director, Producer), Bechdel Fest 4 (Producer, Co-Curator), At The Table (Leif, Production Manager).

Elise SpoerleinElise Spoerlein

(Associate Artistic Director)

A graduate of Ball State University and former acting intern at Simon Casting, Elise is elated and proud to be a BNT company member. Most recently seen in Tympanic’s production of Today We Escape, her other Chicago credits include working with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Profiles Theatre, Strawdog, Waltzing Mechanics, Knife and Fork, CIC, The Arc Theatre, Street Tempo Theatre, the side project theatre company, and the ATC 10th Big Shoulders Festival. When not on stage, she serves as Profiles Theatre’s assistant literary manager and has assistant directed three of their past productions. She is also a company member with Waltzing Mechanics and is the head project author on a marriage documentary play currently in development with WM called Forever Hold Your Peace. Elise is represented by Talent Group, Inc. CREDITS: Bechdel Fest (Producer, Ensemble), From White Plains (Producer), My First Time: The Remount (“Woman #2”), Bechdel Fest 2 (Producer, Ensemble), Bechdel Fest 3 (Producer, Writer), A Phase (“Sam,” Producer, Writer), Human Terrain (Producer), Bechdel Fest 4 (Producer), At The Table (Chris, Casting Director).

MichaelMichael Allen Harris

(Resident Playwright)

As a playwright, Michael has collaborated with Chicago Theatre companies such as Jackalope Theatre, Arc Theatre, Stage 773, Fine Print Theatre, Chicago Home Theater Festival, and The New Colony. His play, Rocky Road, received its world premiere at the New Studio Theatre of Columbia College Chicago in March of 2013. It was the first production featured in the Main Stage season that was authored by an alumnus. His play The Velvet Tabernacle was featured in a development series on behalf of Fine Print Theatre. His most recent play, Kingdom, is currently involved in a season long development on behalf of BNT, and received its first stage reading at the Richard Christiansen Theatre of Victory Gardens. In winter of 2016, he was part of The New Colony’s: Writer’s Room, and completed the first draft of his full length play Ascension.  His short plays include: House of Samurai, They Let Him Bleed, Project Agatha, and The Woman Who Stared Into The Eyes of The Red Horseman. As an actor he has worked with Adventure Stage, Eclipse Theatre, Gift Theatre, Teatro Vista, The-Massive, Stone Soup Theatre Project, Infusion Theatre, Broken Nose Theatre, and Cold Basement Dramatics. He was nominated for a BTAA for his performance as Fortune in Eclipse Theatre’s Jeff nominated production of Ruined. He is proudly represented by Lily’s Talent. He is a proud ensemble member of Eclipse Theatre Company. CREDITS: My First Time (“Man #2”), Bechdel Fest 3 (Playwright), The Paper Trail: Kingdom (Playwright).

spenser bio picSpenser Davis

(Director of Programming)

As an actor, Spenser’s Chicago theatre acting credits include Zombie Broads (Factory Theater), American Buffalo (Mary-Arrchie), We’re Fine (Shattered Globe), Tiger at the Gates (Promethean), The Coward (Stage Left), The President (Oracle Theatre), Dylan (Red Theater Chicago), Pilgrim’s Progress (A Red Orchid Theatre), along with shows at BNT. As a director, he has worked with Stage 773, Otherworld, Strawdog, Pride Films and Plays, First Floor Theatre, The Den Theatre, Indie Boots, Arc Theatre and Tympanic. As a playwright, his work has been produced at various theaters around Chicago, across the country, and in Canada and Scotland, as well as published by Smith & Kraus. He also serves as the Artistic Director for Hobo Junction. His first original full-length play Merge closed The New Colony’s 2016 season. CREDITS: My First Time (“Man #2”) , Beautiful Broken (“Alex”), ROOMS: a rock romance (Producer), Bechdel Fest (Producer), From White Plains (Director, Producer), My First Time: The Remount (“Man #2”), Bechdel Fest 2 (Director), Bechdel Fest 3 (Producer), A Phase (Producer, Director, Scenic, Projections), Human Terrain (Producer), The Paper Trail: Kingdom (Producer), At The Table (Director, Scenic).

David Weiss

(Company Dramaturg)

A proud member of the Broken Nose family, David received his B.A. in Drama and English from Washington University in St. Louis, attended the School at Steppenwolf in 2009, and has studied at London’s Globe Theatre. Since arriving in Chicago three years ago, he’s been lucky enough to engage with the Chicago theatre community as an actor, dramaturg, and freelance theatre critic.  CREDITS: Beautiful Broken (Dramaturg), Bechdel Fest (Curator), From White Plains (“Dennis”), Bechdel Fest 2 (Curator), Bechdel Fest 3 (Curator), A Phase (“Zack,” Dramaturg, Projections), Human Terrain (Co-Dramaturg), The Paper Trail: Kingdom (Dramaturg), Bechdel Fest 4 (Co-Curator), At The Table (Elliott, Dramaturg).

Jen PoulinJen Poulin

(Development Director)

A Chicago based director and dramaturg, she has served as Artistic Programs Apprentice at American Theater Company and Associate Artistic Director of BackStage Theatre Company. Recently she directed Yet To Be for Broken Nose Theatre’s Bechdel Fest 3. She has worn many hats since earning her Theatre Studies BFA from University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: educator, box office assistant, blood mopper, script mistress, stage and production manager, producer, and performer. But her heart belongs to directing, especially new work. She has recently served as a play reader for Stage Left Theatre, Artemisia Theatre, and Kitchen Dog Theater. She’s worked with many fine Chicago companies, including Strawdog Theatre Company, Redtwist Theatre, Eclipse Theatre, Steep Theatre Company, Mary Arrchie Theatre Company, and WildClaw Theatre. She is also an Artistic Associate with No Stakes Theater Project. CREDITSBechdel Fest 3 (Director), Human Terrain (Audience Services), Bechdel Fest 4 (Audience Services), At The Table (Audience Services, Donor Main Contact).

Jennifer Blackmer

Jennifer Blackmer

(Resident Playwright)

The 2015 PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theatre Emerging American playwright, Jennifer is a Professor of Theatre and Associate Provost for Entrepreneurial Learning at Ball State University. Her plays have been seen in New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Berkeley and St. Louis, and her work has been developed by Seven Devils, Activate Midwest, Nashville’s Ingram New Works Lab, Illinois Shakespeare Festival and The Lark. Jennifer’s screenplay for Human Terrain is a 2016 winner of the Tribeca Film Institute/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Filmmaker Fund. Her work has been a finalist for the David Charles Horn Prize for Emerging Playwrights (Yale Drama Competition), the Fratti-Newman Political Play Contest, the Firehouse Festival of New American Theatre, the O’Neill National Playwrights’ Conference and Jennifer was shortlisted for the Princess Grace Award and the Shakespeare’s Sister Fellowship.
CREDITS: Human Terrain (Playwright)


Benjamin Brownson
Laura Burgos
Tim Wolfe


Scott Johnston
Leslie Ruettiger

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