Contact Us

The new Paramount School of the Arts will open June 1, 2019. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to school staff with questions and feedback.

Address: 20 S Stolp Ave, Aurora IL 60506
Phone: 630-896-6810
Email: school@paramountarts.com

Employment Opportunities

CONTACT US

Please use the form below to contact us directly.







  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Back to Top

School Staff

School Administration Staff

Liz Hilsabeck

School Manager

Liz is so excited to be a part of the Paramount School of the Arts!  She began teaching dance and musical theatre after earning her BA in Theatre from The University of Wisconsin-Madison and has taught and directed at several different schools throughout the Chicagoland area.

Paul-Jordan Jansen

Musical Theatre Administrator

Paul-Jordan Jansen serves as the Musical Theatre Administrator for PSA, as well as Associate Artistic Producer for Paramount Theatre. Jordan has been performing on stages across the world for over a decade. Aside from his career performing, Jordan has spent equal time becoming an educator. When he was 19, Jordan developed a program in North East, Ohio that focused on preparing students for their collegiate theatre auditions. Since then, he has worked at various different universities on Song Analysis while continuing to prepare students for their journey to the collegiate and professional world of theatre.

 

Jessica M. Duplessis

Director of Education and Community Engagement

Jessica M Duplessis holds a degree in Theater, Dance and Film with a specialization in Theater and Dance education from Keene State College. Jessica is a firm believer that everyone is a dancer. She enjoys teaching all styles to all “levels” of dancers. Whether you are a first time tiny dancer, to an experienced musical theater artist taking dance for the first time since elementary school, she loves connecting with you through movement and music.

Andrea Pikscher

Programs Manager

Andrea Pikscher is thrilled to be a part of Paramount School of the Arts. She earned her BFA in Musical Theater from Millikin University and has worked as both a performer and theater educator in the Chicago area, as well as many other areas of the United States.

Last March, Andrea was very excited to work towards and receive her official certification in WERQ. Having been a fan of the fast paced, cardio dance fitness class for years – taking her first classes from the founder of WERQ in Chicago – she can’t wait to bring this joyful class to Paramount School of the Arts.

Andrea also has experience in the start up world, where she worked to create companies that specialized in making the arts accessible to all. She is thrilled to bring that expertise to Paramount Theatre and Paramount School of the Arts when working on creating community engagement events for both the theatre and school.

Back to Top

Teaching Artists

Teaching Artists

Alayna DeVar

Teaching Artist/Private Voice

After vocal directing for Celebrity Cruises for a number of years in Miami, Alayna is excited to make the transition back to Illinois. Alayna holds a degree in Vocal Performance from Millikin University where she studied vocal pedagogy and received excellent ensemble training during her time in the internationally recognized University Choir. She has been teaching private lessons for all ages and skill levels since 2013, and began both music directing and orchestra conducting for musicals in 2014.

Annie Jo Fischer

Masterclass Guest Instructor

Annie Jo Fischer is a Chicagoland performer, educator, and choreographer, holding a BFA in Dance from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee.

Annie Jo has choreographed close to 100 musicals on various Chicagoland stages as well as taught various styles of dance at studios, schools, and in master class workshops across the Chicago area suburbs, specializing in tap and musical theatre. She is currently an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College, teaching all levels of tap in the musical theatre program, and on faculty at the Lincolnshire Academy of Dance, owned and operated by Brenda Didier.

Breon Arzell

Masterclass Guest Instructor

Detroit native, Breon Arzell, is a critically acclaimed and award winning performer and artist. He has been recognized as one of NewCity Magazine’s 50 Players of Chicago Theater, twice (2018 & 2020), and has won 6 Joseph Jefferson Awards, and 2 Black Theater Alliance Awards. He is currently a Lead Teaching Artist with About Face Theatre and a teaching artist for Goodman Theatre and Joel Hall Dancers & Center. A career spanning 23 years (and counting), his talents have allowed him to work and perform all across the U.S., Canada, Italy, Germany, Denmark, London, & Singapore, and be a voice for inclusion, equality, and the upliftment of his community.

Dyanna Daniels

Teaching Artist/Dance

Dyanna has had a wonderful career of performance, choreographing, teaching, and directing. Over the years, her choreography has been featured at World of Dance Chicago, Midwest Wizard World Conventions, Carnival Choreographer’s Ball Chicago, Prelude Midwest, Going Dutch, MotorCity Casino Detroit, Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, and The Chicago Auto Show! Dyanna also had a long career of choreographing Flash Mobs where she received the opportunity to choreograph for Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition in 2013. She recently co-directed North Central College’s Spring Dance Show ‘Surrender’ and choreographed ‘Don’t Say Me’ for Aurora University’s Spring Musical ‘Fugitive Songs’.

Liz Hilsabeck

School Manager

Liz is so excited to be a part of the Paramount School of the Arts!  She began teaching dance and musical theatre after earning her BA in Theatre from The University of Wisconsin-Madison and has taught and directed at several different schools throughout the Chicagoland area.

Mallory Maedke

Masterclass Guest Instructor

Mallory Maedke is an original Broadway cast member of SIX the Musical as an alternate queen and the Dance Captain. She has also performed at The Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, Citadel Theatre, and during the Pre Broadway Engagement of SIX at Ordway Centre of the Arts she took over the role of Jane Seymour.

Megan E. Farley

Masterclass Guest Instructor

Megan E. Farley is a director/choreographer currently serving as Associate Director for SIX on Broadway. Before making her Broadway debut with SIX, Megan held an extensive career in the Chicago and Regional theater circuits.

Paul-Jordan Jansen

Musical Theatre Administrator

Paul-Jordan Jansen serves as the Musical Theatre Administrator for PSA, as well as Associate Artistic Producer for Paramount Theatre. Jordan has been performing on stages across the world for over a decade. Aside from his career performing, Jordan has spent equal time becoming an educator. When he was 19, Jordan developed a program in North East, Ohio that focused on preparing students for their collegiate theatre auditions. Since then, he has worked at various different universities on Song Analysis while continuing to prepare students for their journey to the collegiate and professional world of theatre.

 

Sarafina Vecchio

Teaching Artist/Acting

Sarafina has been working as a performer and teaching artist in Chicago for nearly 20 years. She holds a Post Graduate …

Susan Gosdick

Wednesday Workshop Guest Teachers

Susan teaches voice / dialects at Columbia College Chicago and Roosevelt University, and has taught at U of I, Urbana-Champaign and UIC. She also coaches dialects in Chicago (Paramount Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Music Theatre Works, Shattered Globe, Artistic Home among others), and is a proud member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA.

Tom Vendafreddo

Teaching Artist

Tom Vendafreddo is a Chicago-based music director, conductor, and actor. Chicago credits include: The Secret of My Success, Newsies, August Rush, The Producers, Once: The Musical, Cabaret, Elf: The Musical, Jesus Christ Superstar, Sweeney Todd (Jeff Award for Outstanding Music Direction), Little Mermaid, Mamma Mia!, West Side Story, Hairspray, A Christmas Story, Oklahoma!, Les Misérables, The Who’s Tommy, Mary Poppins, and In the Heights (Paramount Theatre); On the Town and Godspell (Marriott Lincolnshire); Madagascar, RoadShow and Shrek (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); Company and Sweet Charity (Writers Theatre); and A Little Night Music and The Spitfire Grill (Bohemian Theatre Ensemble). Select regional credits include: 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Capital City Theatre), The Who’s Tommy (Music Theatre Heritage), Murder for Two and In the Heights (Mason Street Warehouse), Rent (San Diego Musical Theatre), The Wedding Singer (Red Mountain Theatre Company), and Odyssey (Old Globe Theatre).

Tommy Novak

Teaching Artist/Acting

Tommy Novak (they/them/their) is a non-binary, Chicago-based Equity actor, director, teaching artist and an adjunct professor of music theatre at Carthage College in Kenosha Wisconsin. In addition to being on faculty Tommy holds a Masters in Music and Music Theater Vocal Pedagogy from Carthage. Tommy has worked as an actor and director for both regional and international theater companies.

Wai Yim

Wednesday Workshop Guest Teacher

Wai Yim is an Actor, Director, Choreographer, a proud member of Actors’ Equity and SAG-AFTRA. Originally from Hong Kong, he immigrated to Omaha, NE and started his acting career there. He now resides in Chicago and splits his time between both cities. He is the Managing Director for Token Theatre in Chicago and the Artistic Director for aetherplough, a performance art company in Omaha. Wai toured nationally with The White Snake directed by Mary Zimmerman. In Chicago, he has worked with: The Goodman Theatre, TimeLine Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Victory Gardens Theater, and Silk Road Rising.
TV credits: Chicago PD (NBC), neXt (Fox), Patriot (Amazon) and The Chi (Showtime).
Social Media: @whyyim

Kali Libby

Teaching Artist/Dance

Kali is a Chicago based dancer who is so excited to join Paramount School of the Arts family! Kali has performed in over 30 productions in the Chicagoland area as well as several dance films. She studied at  Columbia College in Chicago, and Northern Illinois University where she majored in Dance Production and Performance. She has had extensive training in Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Partnering, Ballroom, Hip-Hop, Jazz, and Musical Theater. Kali’s also had the privilege to choreograph several productions with Christian Youth Theater, and College of DuPage.  Her works included Beauty and the Beast, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Aside from choreographing, Kali has been involved in award-winning choreographic works with Szabo Productions, College Theater Productions Grease, the Musical (Marty, Dance Cap.) and Addams Family (Dance Cap.), and was company member in The Kate Jablonski Statement.

 

Jason Pikscher

Teaching Artist /Technical Theater

Jason Pikscher is the Technical Director for Paramount Theatre’s Broadway Series. Jason’s fabrications have been seen across the country including work for Houston Grand Opera, The Kennedy Center, Florida Grand Opera, Ford’s Theatre and Michigan Opera Theatre.  Corporate displays: TLC, Animal Planet, Walgreens and Microsoft.

Jessica M. Duplessis

Director of Education and Community Engagement

Jessica M Duplessis holds a degree in Theater, Dance and Film with a specialization in Theater and Dance education from Keene State College. Jessica is a firm believer that everyone is a dancer. She enjoys teaching all styles to all “levels” of dancers. Whether you are a first time tiny dancer, to an experienced musical theater artist taking dance for the first time since elementary school, she loves connecting with you through movement and music.

Jenny Showalter

Teaching Artist/Dance

Jenny Showalter is a dance educator and choreographer whose work has been performed in Sweden, France, and various locations nationwide.  She has served as a full time or adjunct faculty member at 8 universities and been a guest artist for over 15 college and high school programs. She is Artistic Co-Director of Treeline Dance Works, based in NYC, and continues to dance on a project basis with the Bill Evans Dance Company.  Her love for dance pairs with her love of fitness and wellness, specializing in training and injury prevention. Showalter holds an MFA in Dance from The College at Brockport and a BS in Exercise Science from Western Illinois University. She is a certified Pilates instructor, personal trainer and Registered Somatic Movement Therapist.

Back to Top

ACCA Board & City of Aurora

AURORA CIVIC CENTER AUTHORITY BOARD

Aurora Civic Center Authority is the owner and operator of Paramount School of the Arts.

Chairman
Jonathan Hylton

Vice Chairman
Gina Moga

Treasurer
John Savage

Secretary
Mike Baum

Members
Kevin Fitzpatrick, Hon. R. Peter Grometer, Cynthia Latimer, Christine Goerlich Weber

Legal Counsel
Bruce Goldsmith

CITY OF AURORA

Paramount programming is partially funded by the City of Aurora.

MAYOR
Richard C. Irvin

ALDERMEN
1st Ward Kristina “Tina” Bohman
2nd Ward Juany Garza
3rd Ward Ted Mesiacos
4th Ward Bill Donnell
5th Ward Carl Franco
6th Ward Michael B. Saville
7th Ward Scheketa Hart-Burns
8th Ward Richard B. “Rick” Mervine
9th Ward Edward Bugg
10th Ward Judd Lofchie
At Large Robert J. O’Connor

Back to Top