Our Team

MARGO PROEH

Margo started her career at a young age as a child actress appearing in multiple national commercials, print ads and television programs. She has been a member of SAG-AFTRA for 38 years. Margo founded the Children's Theatre Company (formerly The Lake Forest Children's Co.) in 1993 and she switched her focus to follow her true passion of educating and inspiring young talent. As a creator, writer and producer of dramatic programs, Margo is recognized as a specialist in children’s theatre. She advocates for empowerment and building confidence and authenticity through life skills education. With over 25 years of expertise, Margo has created nationally recognized programs that transform lives.  She started teaching at The Gorton Center in Lake Forest, Eileen Boevers Center for The Performing Arts/Apple Tree Theater in Highland Park, The Winnetka Community House and The Principal Scholars Program at the University of Illinois Chicago Campus. With years of experience teaching musical theatre and more than 1000s of shows later the company has now expanded to locations in Highland Park, Vernon Hills, Libertyville, Chicago, Elgin, Oak Park/River Forest, Vernon Hills, District 214, and Norridge. The Children's Theatre Co. is also a program provider for After School Matters.  Margo also founded and produces the Chicago Youth Dance Exhibition.

 

GABRIELLE GARZA

Gabrielle is an actress and musician raised in Naperville, IL. She grew up watching old movie musicals like “Funny Girl” and “Hello Dolly” and instantly fell in love with musical theatre. After attending Emerson College and receiving her BFA in Musical Theatre, she moved to New York City to pursue her dream. Shortly after she booked the role of Anna in the Tony award winning musical “Spring Awakening”. She had the pleasure of working with the original creative team including Michael Mayer, Bill T. Jones, Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik, and exploring the country touring with this ground breaking and provocative show. After returning to New York, she also had the pleasure of working with Joe Mantello on the workshop production of Dogfight at Second Stage. After taking a break from acting,Gabrielle was fortunate enough to dive back into work with the Tony award winning theatre company Deaf West in LA on their unique production of “Spring Awakening” featuring deaf actors. She played a swing and understudied all the female roles having to learn American Sign Language and the guitar. After many years in NYC and LA, it was time to return home to Chicago.When not auditioning or teaching, she also sings in the cover band “Uptown Shakedown”. She is happy to be apart of The Children’s Theatre team, and hopes to inspire confidence and a love of the performing arts in her student

 

JENNIFER LUDWIGSEN

Jennifer has been a professional actress and teacher since graduating form Northwestern University in 1999.  She has taught at Northwestern University, for Evanston School Disctrict #65, and the Eileen Boevers Center for Performing Arts at Apple Tree Theatre in Highland Park. She also was an associate teaching artist with Free Street Programs where, in partnership with the Fiction Writing Department of Columbia College, she helped with the Write/Act program in Chicago public schools. Jennefer is the founder and director of Doorways: Creating Theatre for Children in Door County WI where she serves as the Director of Education for Door Shakespeare. As an actress, Jennfer has performed on stages in Chicago, Seattle, and Los Angeles, and most recently spent her 11th summer as a company member with Door Shakespeare. Her TV credits include CRIMINAL MINDS, CSI, KEY & PEELE, and numerous commercials. Currently airing is a sketch on-line for The Onion. As a writer, she is currently a staff writer with jokes4miles.com, creating content for children diagnosed with cancer. Her stories have been heard on KCRW and NPR, and various storytelling venues in Los Angeles. Jenn holds a MFA from the Professional Actor’s Training Program (PATP) at the University of Washington.