About Us

(are you sure you really wanna know?) 


The Company







Chicago dell'Arte is a 501(c)3 company operating in Chicago.


The Company formed shortly after the world premiere of The Light of Love with the Promethean Theatre Ensemble.  Reviews came back containing such favorable statements as:

  "Kudos to Wootten and Record for raising the bar—we need a commedia dell’arte troupe to keep alive a worthy form of comedy" 

 It was felt that it was time to establish a company that not only hosted a troupe, but offered a range of classes in Commedia dell'Arte, as well as a few other related subjects


(Artistic Director Ned Record and Managing Director Derek Jarvis hard at work)





Derek Jarvis (Managing Director): Derek has been a Chicago native for over a decade now, after spending time in Perrysburg, Ohio and Downingtown, Pennsylvania reverse chronologically. His love of theatre started when his mother forced him in to a summer theatre program shortly after moving to Ohio so that he would have something constructive to do. He played the Barrister in the Wizard of Oz, and it was the beginning of the arts bug. Several summers of theatre later and one Bachelor of Science in Theatre from Northwestern University later (that's right, Theatre B.S.), Derek now calls Chicago home, no matter how much the weather tries to scare him away. Besides Chicago dell'Arte, Derek is also an ensemble member with Promethean Theatre Ensemble and an emeritus member of GreyZelda Theatre Group. Besides being an actor, Derek has taught theatre workshops for high-school age children, written a play called Arr! Pirates now buried in obscurity, and participated in Promethean Theatre's outreach to the Chicago Public Library Teen Volume Project. Derek has also walked four companies through the 501(c)(3) paperwork for the IRS, which should entitle him to some sort of statue or demi-godship. You can reach Derek at derek@chicagodellarte.com



Ned Record (Artistic Director):  Ned as born int he late 70's in Fort Worth, Texas, where he opted out of the lavishness of the disco-era, choosing instead to be an infant. While there, Ned was a voice actor for FUNimation, providing voices for several cartoons (including Blue Gender, Lupin, and Full Metal Alchemist). He remained in Fort Worth until he completed his BFA in Theater Performance from Texas Christian University (where he was first introduced to Commedia dell'Arte).  While searching the Internet Movie Database post graduation to see which actors shared his birthday, Ned discovered that he and Sir Lawrence Olivier were both born on May 22nd (different years...obviously).  Further research told him that Sir Olivier studied at one of the most prestigious drama schools in London, England.  Not to be outdone he moved to London and while was accepted into Olivier's Alma Matter, Central School of Speech and Drama.  It was there where he received his Master's Degree in Classical Acting under the tutelage of Rob Clare and Bob Lindsey.  His focus was predominantly in Shakespeare, but he also studied Commedia dell'Arte and various other forms masked theater. At Central he had the chance to work with Director/Master of Text (The Globe Theatre) Giles Block and voice coach Cicely Berry.  After leaving London in 2005 (or more to the point, after his student visa expired) Ned moved to Chicago with his then fiancee (now wife) and since being here has had the chance to work with several local theater companies(including Promethean Theatre Ensemble, Apex, and The Building Stage) prior to forming Chicago dell'Arte.  Ned is currently attending classes at The Actor's Gymnasium, and is a member of British Actor's equity.  He has taught a variety of workshops both in Texas and London, predominantly in Shakespeare and voice/articulation. Also, he is the other co-capocomico of Le Corone Rosse  If you wish to contact Ned, you may do so at ned@chicagodellarte.com.


 Nicole Pellegrino (Circus/Aerial choreographer) an Indiana native, is now a proud Chicagoan.  Recent Chicago credits include performance work with Victory Gardens, the New Colony, Griffin Theatre, Promethean (City Lit Adap. Festival), BoHo, Adventure Stage, Backstage, CTYA, and her own circus adaptation The Truest Tale of Robin Hood at the Actors Gymnasium.  Nicole is a proud Northwestern alum, and ensemble member of rhythmic performance group BE THE GROOVE.   She is a choreographer and sometime circus performer, and has a considerable background in many kinds of dance and movement theory, puppetry, stage combat, improv, and generally climbing upon whatever is available to climb.  She has found a home as a teaching artist with Lookingglass, Actors Gym, Be The Groove, and AfterSchoolMatters, and continues to enjoy learning about theatre herself.


Kenneth Houston (Designer/Technical Director) has been working in theater for 13 years starting in high school drama. He has worked in every aspect of theater but focuses on carpentry and lighting. He went on to receive a Bachelors for technical theater from UCLA in 2005. His most recent endeavor was working as stage staff for Royal Caribbean International on the Jewel of the Seas.



Daniel Martin Roberts (puppet designer) designed puppets for Light Of Love.  He was an Art Major at St Olaf College.  Now he has left Chicago to go spend a year working as a lumberjack in Washington (...seriously)




Jeff Semmerling (Mask Maker)- Jeff operates the Inside Out Art Studio, the home of Semmerling and Schaefer Mask Studios. Semmerling and Schaefer, www.maskartists.com  has been making the finest quality, most comfortable masks since 1986.  Inside Out Art Studio, www.insideoutarts.us, is located in Chicago (2005 W. Montrose at Damen). There they teach art as "serious fun for artists of all ages." At Inside Out Jeff teaches weekly classes and weekend intensives in mask making to artists of all ages, for a range of students from beginners to master mask makers. "We want to make exploring the magic of masks easy for you," says Semmerling the "Mad Master Mask Maker." The mask is a doorway to special time and space and in this special captivating mask presence theater can find a potent tool. Call Jeff at 773-697-5012











Jeff also performs a 30 to 90 minute performance he calls "The Magic of Masks" featuring his fun transformative masks, plus teaches workshops, speaks, and does lecture demonstration/presetations about the almost forgotten ancient form of art.


Jessica Record- Board President

Amanda Allen

Erik Pavesic