The Steve and Karen Jaffe Aspiring Thespian Scholarship Fund was started to provide aspiring theatre artists a resource to learn and grow. It also provides scholarship opportunity to those training for a career in the theatrical arts. What makes this site unique is the access to relevant/real time information from working actors in the business. We will tackle topics that increase artistry as well as prepare you for the business side of the art form.
Our Board of Directors
Karen can’t remember a time when theatre wasn’t a part of her life. For over 20 years, she has dedicated herself to sharing the importance of the Arts by teaching Theatre to Middle School students. She has directed over 30 musicals and plays in her extra-curricular program. She earned a BFA in Musical Theatre Performance from Otterbein College and Master’s degree in Teaching from DePaul University. She is on the Board of Porchlight Theatre. As much as Karen loves Theatre, it doesn’t compare to the love she has for her husband and their four children.
Matt Crowle is a Chicago-based, Jeff Award-winning actor and choreographer. His favorite Chicago performances include The Santaland Diaries at Goodman Theatre; A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Merrily We Roll Along, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Jeff Award – Best Supporting Actor in a Musical) at Porchlight Music Theatre; Singin’ in the Rain, Spamalot, Bye Bye Birdie, and South Pacific (Jeff Award – Best Supporting Actor in a Musical) at Drury Lane Theatre; Mary Poppins at Paramount Theatre; and The Producers at Mercury Theater Chicago. He also performed in the Broadway company of Monty Python’s Spamalot and toured the country, tap dancing alongside Tommy Tune, in the National Tour of Doctor Dolittle. As a director and choreographer, Matt has helmed such shows as Crazy For You (Jeff Award – Best Choreography), White Christmas, Singin’ in the Rain, Peter and the Starcatcher, and The Drowsy Chaperone.
In addition to performing and directing, Matt has steadily built a secondary career as a tap dance instructor, teaching at The American Rhythm Center and The School at Porchlight Music Theatre, as well as privately. His passion has grown over the last 10 years in imparting, to students of all ages, his approach and style towards performing. He believes in the power of community and personal growth through the performing arts and is delighted to be on this board, cultivating and encouraging the future of American Theatre.
For more about Matt, click: http://www.mattcrowle.com/
Before moving to Chicago, Erin was a longtime resident of Nashville, TN where, in addition to performing, she also worked behind the theatrical scenes in many capacities, as a Production Manager, Associate Artist, Costume Designer, Stitcher, and Dresser for various theatre companies. She is a recipient of the Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artists Fellowship Grant in Theatre, a grant which allowed her to found the performing group “MAS Nashville” with four of her very different, very irreverent, very funny fellow actor-singer-girlfriends. This delightfully irreverent combination of comedy, cabaret, concert has gathered a cult following in the Nashville area and beyond.
Erin is a native of Southern Illinois and a graduate of the University of Evansville in Indiana where she received a degree in Theatre with Associated Studies in Music & Art. Additionally, she spent over two years in Abingdon, Virginia, in the resident acting company of the historic Barter Theatre. She has lived and worked in NYC and regional theatres throughout the US, and to her, the collaborative process of creating theatre and telling stories never gets old.
For more about Erin, click: http://www.erin-parker.com/
Passionate about Musical Theater
Supporter of the Arts
Entrepreneur / Owner of Several Businesses
Father of Four Children
Husband of a Goddess of a Wife