Vanessa Stalling

Photo credit: Ryan Bourque

VANESSA STALLING: Artistic Director

Why Public Access Theatre?

Art is not a “nicety,” it’s a necessity. By eliminating ticket prices and providing theatrical events to the public for free, Oracle erases one of the principle barriers to our community’s access to art. But, the aim of Oracle’s Public Access Theatre is much more than a free ticket; it is to provide accessibility by dismantling cultural, structural, and physical barriers. One of my primary goals as Artistic Director of Oracle Productions will be to create theatrical programming that is inclusive and representative of all the people who make up our city. Lack of representation in theater is a barrier to accessibility, just as a lack of experiencing representations of individuals different than oneself may perpetuate barriers. The work at Public Access Theatre will ask audiences to open their perceptions, to consider the world around them, and most importantly, to recognize they are a part of a community much larger than they’ve imagined; a community that has the potential to celebrate, to question, to laugh, and to cry together.


Vanessa Stalling is the Artistic Director of Oracle Productions. She began work with Oracle as a guest director in 2015, directing a production of The America Play, by Suzan-Lori Parks. Vanessa’s Chicago area directing credits include: The House Theatre, Stage Left, Red Tape, Actors Gymnasium, TimeLine Theatre Company, and Redmoon Theater. She is also the current Michael Maggio Directing Fellow at The Goodman Theatre. Most recently, Vanessa adapted and directed United Flight 232 from Laurence Gonzales’ Flight 232  for The House Theatre. Vanessa is also known for her work as a core artist of Redmoon where she enjoyed performing, directing, and serving as Associate Artistic Director. Her Redmoon directing credits including a remount of The Cabinet, which toured Brazil as part of the FILO Festival, Last of My Species, Winter Pageant, Princess ClubTwilight Orchard, and roaming performances for President Obama’s White House Halloween Celebrations. She is a Resident Artist at The University of Chicago.