The Valiant Theatre Team
Executive Artistic Director
Nich has worked in Chicago theatre for the better part of the last twenty years; performing and directing for companies like Boxer Rebellion Ensemble, the old Bailiwick, Light Opera Works, Prologue Theatre, Chicago Script Works, and many, many more. Nich holds a BA in acting, with a emphasis in Shakespeare, from National-Louis University and an MFA in directing from Southern Illinois University. In a career that spanned roles in everything from farcical operettas to Shakespeare Nich has worked with and studied under multiple Tony winners and nominees. Favorite roles include Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar, Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire, and Benedic in Much Ado About Nothing. Nich’s directing resume is equally diverse; running the gamut from opera, and musical theater (The Music Shop, The Music Man), to classic American drama (Beyond the Horizon, Blue Blood), well-known plays (The Elephant Man, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, The Crucible), and several world premieres. Nich’s favorite directorial effort is his own adaptation of Macbeth, which he staged as a PTSD induced, pre-death nightmare.
Director of Production Design
M.K. Hughes holds an MFA in Scenic Design for the Theater from Southern Illinois University. She has done scenic art for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the Black Hills Playhouse, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and also done set and props design at the McLeod Summer Playhouse, Point Park University, & City Theater. Additionally she has worked as an instructor/designer at the University of Dubuque and Kansas State University. Currently residing in Pittsburgh, M.K. has worked with several companies as a set/props designer, and works full time as the staff scenic artist at Point Park University.
Director of New Play Development
Daniel is a director, dramaturg, and playwright. He also serves as the Managing Director of The Passage Theatre, where he was the dramaturg for Spirits to Enforce and Happy Birthday Mars Rover. Born and raised in Chicago, he completed his M.A. in Theatre and Performance Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. With Steppenwolf Theatre, Daniel has assistant directed The Children, provided dramaturgical support for The Rembrandt and The Doppelgänger, and script supervised Lindiwe and a workshop of La Ruta. He is an advocate of social justice theatre and is particularly interested in the Forum Theatre methods of Augusto Boal and David Diamond.
Helena is a graduate of Western Michigan University where she earned her BFA in Stage Management. Following graduation, Helena worked at the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, NY in stage operations and production administration. Since moving to Chicago, Helena joined Valiant working as the Production Stage Manager for the First Annual New Works Festival and as an Assistant Stage Manager for Windy City Playhouse. Helena also enjoys producing and directing staged readings with local playwright Claire Bernstein.
Box Office Manager
Sarah has been working as an actor in Chicago since she graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a BFA in Music Theatre. She has balanced that with her full-time position as one of the Box Office Mangers at Blue Man Group Chicago for over ten years. As a performer, Sarah has worked with a variety of companies in the area including Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Mercury Theater, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Porchlight Music Theatre, Griffin Theatre, Raven Theatre, Kokandy Productions, Pride Films and Plays, and Theo Ubique. In 2001, Sarah had the pleasure and honor of performing in the Ensemble of Sweeney Todd at the Ravinia Festival alongside George Hearn, Patti LuPone and Neil Patrick Harris. Favorite roles include Widow Quin in The Playboy of the Western World with Raven, Virginia Noyes in It's Only a Play with PFP, Aldonza in Man of La Mancha with Theo Ubique and Emma Goldman in the Jeff award winning Ragtime with Porchlight. Sarah is a two-time non-Equity Jeff nominee and a two-time co-host of the non-Equity Jeff Awards ceremony.