Statera Mentorship | Chicago Chapter

The Chicago Chapter was the first ever regional Statera Mentorship program and has been in operation since January of 2017. The chapter was founded by Erika Haaland and Minita Gandhi. The Chicago chapter is currently preparing for Class IV in the winter of 2020. Applications to become a mentee or mentor in the next class will open on January 1, 2020. To receive information about the next round of classes, please sign up for the Statera Newsletter. If you have any questions, please contact our National Co-Directors at

Chicago Regional Coordinators


Lanise Antoine Shelley (she/her/hers) is presently the Advanced Movement teacher at The ChiArts High School, recently assisted David Schwimmer in the world premiere of Plantation, and was last seen playing Katherine in Bob Falls' production of, An Enemy of the People at Goodman Theatre. Other Chicago credits include: the titular role in King Liz (Windy City Playhouse), SS! Macbeth, Parks!A Midsummer Night’s Dream, SS! Comedy of Errors (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), Tempest (Backroom Shakespeare). Victory Gardens and Lookingglass Theatre. Regional: American Repertory Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theater, Book-It Repertory Theater, Kansas City Rep, Seattle Repertory Theater, Outside the Wire, Shakespeare Santa Cruz. Favorite productions during her five years as resident company member at Milwaukee Repertory Theater include Eurydice, The Night is a Child, The Glass Menagerie, Gem of the Ocean, King Lear, Intimate Apparel, Sueno, …Young Lady From Rwanda, Lady Windermere’s Fan, The Crucible, and I Just Stopped By to See The Man. International Theatre: Macbeth, Aeneid, and All My Sons at (Stratford Shakespeare Festival) where she was the Chicago Fellow and Moscow Art Theatre. TV/Film: Chicago Fire (NBC), Discovery World, Stop.Reset. Training: MFA from ART/MXAT at Harvard University, BFA from Cornish College of the Arts, certificate from BADA in Oxford, England.


Christine Vrem-Ydstie (she/her/hers) is an actor, writer and producer born and raised in Washington, DC. She received her BA with honors from Barnard College and has called Chicago home for the past 7 years. Christine co-created and starred in the web series Actress. She’s appeared on-screen in multiple feature films, including, most recently Come As You Are, which is scheduled for release in 2019. On stage, she’s worked with Steppenwolf Theatre, Theater Wit, Griffin Theatre and others, and is a regular player with One Year Chekhov and The Backroom Shakespeare Project. She’s worked on commercial campaigns for Walmart, Pampers, Ace Hardware, Halls and McDonald’s, among others, and has guest starred on Chicago P.D. and Chicago Fire. Christine has trained as an actor at School at Steppenwolf, Black Box Acting Academy, The Annoyance, iO Chicago and The Green Room Chicago. For more information on Christine’s work, check out


Susaan Jamshidi (she/her/hers) is an actor in the Chicago area. Chicago credits include Yasmina's Necklace at 16th Street Theater, Faceless at Northlight Theatre, The Life of Galileo with Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, The Who and The What at Victory Gardens Theater, Seven Homeless Mammoths Wonder New England at Theatre Wit, The Mecca Talesat Chicago Dramatists, Bethany at The Gift Theatre, The Arabian Nights at Lookingglass Theatre Company, Idomeneus with Sideshow Theatre Company (Jeff Award for Best Ensemble) and productions with Lifeline Theatre, Collaboraction, Erasing the Distance, Stage Left Theatre, Oracle Productions and The Inconvenience, as well as workshops and readings at Goodman Theatre and Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Regional credits include The Arabian Nights at Arena Stage and Berkeley Repertory Theatre; A Winter's Tale, Much Ado About Nothing and Tartuffe at the Michigan Shakespeare Festival and The Crucible with Pittsburgh Public Theater's Young Company. She recently traveled to Vancouver, Toronto and London to perform the solo show Oh My Sweet Land with Silk Road Rising. Film credits include Cicero in Winter, The Wallet and A Cadaver Christmas. Television credits include Chicago P.D. and Sirens. Ms. Jamshidi received her MFA in acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University, has studied with The Second City and is represented by Paonessa Talent Agency. 


Dana Black (she/her/hers) is a a Chicago theater/film/TV and voiceover actor in Chicago. Recent theatre credits include Anne de Bourgh in TheatreSquared’s production of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley directed by Keira Fromm, Northlight Theatre’s The Book of Will, Steep Theatre’s The Few and About Face’s Abraham Lincoln Was a F@gg@t (Jeff Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress). Dana has also worked with Goodman, Steppenwolf, Victory Gardens, American Blues, Jackalope, Strawdog and Timeline Theatre. She is a graduate of The School at Steppenwolf and represented by Grossman & Jack Talent. She also proudly worked as the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director of the Goodman Theatre in Chicago for almost 6 years. 



Maureen Sanderson is an actress, writer, and public relations specialist from Downers Grove, IL. She just graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a BA in Communication and minors in Theatre and Public Relations. She currently works as a Marketing and Social Media Assistant for Broadway In Chicago. She will be performing in her first Chicago production this spring in the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival, and she is currently in Class III of Statera Mentorship: CHICAGO. 


Zoë DePreta is an actress, writer and comedian from Stamford, CT. She holds a BA in Theatre and Creative Writing from Oberlin College and is a company member at Red Tape Theatre. Select Chicago credits: Queen of Sock Pairing (RTT's [working title]), Anna Karenina (Lifeline Theatre), May Day (Rhinofest 2018), and La Ronde (ATC CORE). Zoë is a graduate of iO's improv program and performs stand-up comedy throughout the city.