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Our People

What makes us uniquely Corn Productions?
These faces right here.

Justin Oliver Lance: Artistic Director

Justin Oliver Lance is the Artistic Director of Corn Productions. He has been with the company since 2011 and has performed in close to 100 shows here. He lives, breathes, and eats Corn. He even met his wife working here.


Deanna DeMay: Managing Director

Deanna DeMay has been a part of Corn since her first show in 2014, the classic "Death Toll: a drinking game performance". She's loved herself some Corn ever since. It's helped that she officially met her husband there. She stars as Rosie the Riveter in Corn's feminist musical-sketch show, "The Vagina Melodies". She's also ran around and jumped, kicked, used witchcraft all over the Corn stage. Outside of Corn, Deanna practices for the next circus to sweep her away by (barely) riding a unicycle, and is ever training for the impending zombie apocalypse/downfall of civilization by updating her axe throwing and archery skills. 


Michael Brooks: Resident Designer/ Artist

Michael Brooks has been a Corn company member since 2001. He has designed and painted sets for many productions, including Bat-Hamlet, Spiderman the Musical (the Musical), and Bodily Functions: The Musical. MB is a contributing writer, sometimes an actor, and is often seen painting the sign in front of the building. His first Corn mainstage show was Drunk and Drunker in 2002.


Jamie Link: Marketing & HR Manager

Jamie Link was most recently seen in "Death Toll: The Halloween Drinking Game Sketch Show" and was the winner of the most recent Corn Lip-Sync battle. She also directs Corn's annual show "The Vagina Melodies" and leads the marketing team.

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Rebecca Husk: Grant Manager

Rebecca Husk is a project manager by day and performer by night who's been lucky enough to work with Corn Productions since 2022. You may have seen her in "Titus Andronikids" or the inaugural "Drink! Pride Edition", or seen some of her sketches in "Happy Holly-daze". She currently resides in Washington, DC, where she spends her free time convincing unsuspecting locals to try Malört. 


Deana Velandra

Deana Velandra was most recently seen at Corn in "Death Toll: The Halloween Drinking Game Sketch Show", "Storefront Theater: The Musical", "Rezoned: Sketches from the Twilight", and "The Vagina Melodies." She is also a contributing writer.


Tom Cannon

Tom Cannan (he/him) is an actor and writer in Chicago. Joining the Corn company in late 2022, he has been seen in Dazed and Corn-fused, Rosie the Riveter’s Variety Hour, and multiple iterations of Happy Holly-Daze. Most recently, he directed, wrote for, and performed in Drink! S.A.D. Edition. Tom graduated from Shenandoah Conservatory in 2015 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre and still gets nervous singing in front of anyone other than his cat.


Olivia Sieck

Olivia is ecstatic to be a part of the Corn family. She's slowly coming back to performing and writing after dealing with the panini for 2 and a half years. One of her plays has been featured on NPR. If you are a nerd, go check out her TikTok @forgerfamily. It's pretty awesome!

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Sydney Hanson

Sydney Hanson (she/her) is a Chicago-based actor and fight choreographer. She studied at the University of Mississippi and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, and she is an advanced actor combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors. When not working on a show, you can find her playing video games poorly, watching anime, and generally avoiding going outside.


Zachary Denmark

Zachary Denmark has not provided a bio. It is what it is. Maybe one day they will.


Zoe Nemetz

Zoe Nemetz (she/her) is a Chicago actor with experience in TV/Film, Commercial, Theatre, and Sketch Comedy. She holds a BFA in Acting from Illinois Theatre and has trained at The Annoyance Theatre, The Second City, Acting Studio Chicago, Actors Training Center, and Vagabond School of the Arts. Her most recent credits at Cornservatory include: DeathToll, Holidaze, and S.A.D. When not on set or the stage, you can find Zoe on her yoga mat teaching Pilates. Check out Zoe’s website for up-to-date project info and her acting resume.


Shannon Burke

Shannon Burke has studied theatre for years and has yet to understand how to do it. He currently knows how to wipe himself and compliment others sweaters when deemed appropriate. Catch him doing shows are your local Cornservatory or at your local police line up. 

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Kristina Newcomb

Kristina is a writer and actor based in Chicago originally from the state of Maine. She graduated Loyola University with a degree in Theatre in 2020 (whomp whomp). She's a proud company member and can be seen in Corns sketch drinking shows or in the shows for young audiences, or she can be seen working on a number of new works in the city of Chicago. You can take the girl out of corn, but you can't take the corn out of the girls poo- nevermind. 

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Paul Kaufmann

Paul Kaufmann is a New England-born Actor, without the wealth and hair. Paul joined Corn in late 2023, and played creepy possible villains in Graveyard’s Ghost and Pietanic (gang, you can just tell me). He studied at Virginia Wesleyan College with a degree in Theatre, and enjoys acting around the city, and stargazing not so much in the city.

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Cooper Lyke

Cooper Lyke (He/Him) is an actor, writer, director, and radio host based in Chicago. Joining the company in early 2023, he made his Cornservatory debut in The Bog Witch Variety Hour and Pie-Tanic: A Musical Adventure for Young Audiences. Most recently he has staged Corn sketch shows Vaguely Familiar and Lost Dog with the Official United States Improv Team and has written/performed in multiple incarnations of the Almost 24 Hours Sketch Show. Graduating from the Second City Conservatory Program in 2022, he is now finishing his BFA in Comedy Arts at The Theatre School at DePaul University.

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