Staff

Amy Sarno, Artistic Director
Amy Sarno brings significant experience to her role at Erasing the Distance, including her nearly 20 years as a professor in the Theatre Department at Beloit College (where company member Maura Kidwell was once her student!).  Amy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from St. Andrews College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of Oregon.
 
Amy’s work in the area of theatre for social action integrates oral history, archival research, and interactive community workshops in the hopes of staging stories that help communities confront difficult dialogues.  Her most recent project was a devised piece at Beloit College, “Insider/Outsider”, which staged the journals of twelve college students as they recorded the racial biases they witnessed and experienced.  Amy was the recipient of a Fulbright Research Fellowship to work on “Plan B”, created with American ex-pat women who had married into violent relationships and wanted to tell their stories of trying to leave Florence, Italy with their children.  Amy has worked on numerous other projects and as a professional director in Washington, Oregon, and Wisconsin.
Diana Clegg, Executive Director

Diana Clegg believes in the value and transformative power of the arts to inform our understanding of one another as individuals and as part of the social and emotional fabric of our culture. She has served on the boards of directors for a variety of Chicago-area and national nonprofit arts organizations, including as president of the board of directors for the Arts of Life (a non-profit art studio for developmentally disabled adults) and Playing Out Productions (a gay and lesbian community instrumental music organization) where she facilitated and implemented 3-year strategic plans. Since 1993, Diana has also been a board member and singer with Artemis Singers and has produced numerous choral concerts and other performing arts events, including the 10th Sister Singers National Choral Festival in 2010. Diana comes to Erasing the Distance with a BS in Sociology from Eastern Illinois University, an MS in Human Services Administration from Spertus College, and 20 years’ experience in nonprofit management. She also has 40+ hours of crisis intervention and anti-violence advocacy training. As Manager of the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago RISE Children’s Center, Diana planned and directed the center’s development and expansion, establishing a city-wide reputation as a high-quality provider of specialized child sexual abuse clinical services with a program budget of close to $1 million. More recently, Diana cofounded Third Side Consulting. Her consultation and technical assistance for nonprofit organizations has focused on grant writing, policies and procedures, staff supervision and board development. She has also done significant event coordination, including multi-day conferences, professional workshops, board retreats, fundraising events, weddings and other private parties. Diana is very excited to bring her organizational skills and experience to the operational management of Erasing the Distance.

Heather Bodie, Associate Artistic Director

Heather has been working with Erasing the Distance since November 2013, and is a primary director for our custom performances. She has also directed ETD public productions of Veterans Voices, The Forgiveness Project and Through My Daughter’s Eyes. Heather graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Theatre Arts and Music. She is the Co-Founder and Associate Artistic Director of The Fine Print Theatre Company and has been engaged in the development process of over 40 new plays in Chicago. Heather brings to this position a deep knowledge of ETD, passion for the work, and exceptional artistic skills.

Jana Ross, Custom Programs Manager

Jana Ross is a documentary theatre artist, arts administrator and poet. She is overjoyed to have joined the ETD team!

Jana is interested in sharing stories that are underrepresented in mainstream media with the goal of promoting dialogue across generational, cultural, racial, religious and socioeconomic lines. To that end, she has worked with Actors Theatre Workshop, Touchstone Theatre, Cornerstone Theater Company, American Theatre Company and Sideman Productions.

She enjoys thrifting, exercise, word games, trying (burning) new recipes, and taking advantage of all the cultural events and performances Chicago has to offer!

Scott Letscher, Operations Manager

Scott Letscher is thrilled to have joined the ETD team. He has an extensive career in administrative theater. Most recently, he was Managing Director for over 8 years with Adventure Stage Chicago at Northwestern Settlement. Before that, he spent 14 years with Steppenwolf Theatre Company in the ticketing and marketing departments. He also has experience as an actor and director, primarily with the late, lamented Terrapin Theatre. He is a graduate of Marquette University with a BA in Theatre Arts.

Mali Anderson, Communications Manager

Mali Anderson joined Erasing the Distance in January 2017. Prior to becoming part of the Erasing the Distance team, Mali was the Director of Marketing at Chicago Dramatists. With a passion for engaging narratives and an eye for imagery, Mali has experience as an art director, designer, photographer, and writer. She writes about culture and parenting for various publications and believes the arts can, and do, improve people’s lives. Mali earned her BFA in Visual Communication at the School of the Art Institute Chicago.


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