Staff Directory

Carson Becker
Artistic Director

Carson Grace Becker is an an award winning, nationally produced playwright, screenwriter, dramaturg and arts educator. She earned her MFA in Playwriting from The University of Iowa, and her BA in English Literature and Women’s Studies from UCLA. She has taught Playwriting/Screenwriting at Columbia College Chicago, Roosevelt University, The Graham School, The Imagine Butte Resource Center, and Chicago Dramatists. She has been a guest artist at NYU, Ohio University, The Univ. of Nebraska, The Univ. of Illinois, and Oklahoma State University. She served as Literary Manager & Dramaturg at Honolulu Theatre for Youth, and is the founder of the The Root & The Bloom Collective, a Humanities non-profit, housed at The Historic Clark Chateau in Butte, MT.  

Marsha Estell
Tutterow Fellowship Program Director

Marsha Estell is a resident playwright alumna at Chicago Dramatists, 2010 3Arts/Ragdale Fellow, and recipient of the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for Playwriting. Her plays include Heat, which had its world premiere at Chicago Dramatists and was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Outstanding New Work and many other award-winning work. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, SAG/AFTRA and Actors Equity.

Ean Miles Kessler
Network Director & Marketing Director

Ean Miles Kessler:  BFA Acting graduate of Rutgers, Mason Gross School of the Arts. New York City Off-Broadway Playwriting Credits include:  Brotherly LoveKing’s RiverThe BcamBeautiful HandsDevil Lay Me Down. Publications:  Brotherly Love (“Shorter, Faster, Funnier,” by Vintage Books); Funny Valentine (“Plays for Two,” by Vintage Books). Beautiful Hands premiered at The Lion Theatre, on Theater Row in Manhattan, and Devil Lay Me Down premiered in Manhattan at Theater for the New City.  His plays Mountain Kings and Frankie Moon’s Long Gone have both been workshopped at the Playwright’s Center in Minneapolis. He is a former member of the Playwright Development Program of Miami-Dade, and his play Romeo y Julieta – La Tormenta was commissioned and produced by Grace Arts. Formerly, Ean was the Department Head of Theater at Conchita Espinosa Academy, where he taught Shakespeare and Playwriting. 

Glenn B. Rust
Theatre Manager

Glenn B. Rust is a playwright, actor, and theatre technician who grew up doing theatre in Eugene, Oregon. Since leaving Eugene, Glenn has received two Irene Ryan Award Nominations, a Meritorious Achievement from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for his multimedia design used in The Tempest at Linfield Collegeand created/produced the Columbia College Chicago organization Playwrights Aloud. Glenn has done internships at Remy Bumppo Theatre Company and Timeline Theatre Company for Development and Production Management respectively, and he graduated with a BA in Writing for Performance from Columbia College Chicago in 2019.

Clarke Smith

Clarke Mary-Katherine Smith is a Chicago-based emerging playwright and screenwriter. Clarke graduated with BA in Theater from the University of Tennessee. Her collegiate years were spent developing skills in acting, musical theater and wardrobe supervision. She’s interned with Hubbard Street Dance Company, Spread the Vote – TN, College Fashionista and Do312. After graduation, she stepped into the world of advertising sales and marketing. Currently, Clarke still works in corporate sales while assisting with the bookkeeping and casting needs for Chicago Dramatists. Theater has always been close to her heart and she’s excited to join the Chicago Dramatists family.

Matt Tassell
First Draft Coordinator

Matt Tassell is a Chicago-based playwright, actor, and filmmaker. His plays include Happy EndingsRighteousIn The Same Room, and The Prisoner & The Guard. He wrote and directed the short film Permanent, and is currently working to make it a feature. Matt received is BFA in Acting from Missouri State University, and he is currently working towards his MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.