Pallas Staff

Tracey150x150 TRACEY ELAINE CHESSUM, Ph.D.: Founder, Artistic Director
Hailing from Los Angeles, California, Tracey Elaine Chessum, Ph.D, has taught music and theatre on all levels of education, winning awards for curriculum design and performance. She is equally active in the professional theatre realm, having worked as a director, producer, technical, music director and conductor for several professional theatre groups and performing artists in the southern California and Washington D.C. areas. Tracey holds a Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Maryland, and her theatrical scholarship focuses on musical theatre between 1880 and the First World War (with a particular focus on the comic operas of John Philip Sousa). She is a founding Artistic Director at Pallas Theatre Collective, where she has directed The Many Women of Troy, The Comedy of MirrorsThe Tempest, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Yellow Wallpaper, code name: CYNTHIA, and Lost in Wonderland. She is passionate about developing new works of musical theatre to ensure the continuance of America’s great musical theatre tradition. Currently, she is Asst. Professor of Musical Theatre Techniques at Point Park University.  Tracey is an Associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
1016418_859130180787118_6558851871759819377_nCHRISTINE CALLSEN: Associate Artistic Director
Recent local credits include Taming of the Shrew (Kate u/s -performed) and Queen of Hearts in Lost in Wonderland with Pallas Theatre Collective, Domestic Animals (Lori) at the Capital Fringe Festival, Swing Time (Betty) at the U.S. Navy Memorial, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Maggie) with St. Marks Players. She also appeared in a staged reading of Perfect Arrangement with The Wild Root Company in NYC, and in the Netflix original series House of Cards. She has worked with numerous theatre companies in the Midwest, where she served as the Artistic Director for Isadoora Theatre Company and a company member at Four Seasons Theatre Company, where her acting credits included Chicago (Roxie), The Spitfire Grill (Shelby), The Sound of Music (Maria), and Side by Side by Sondheim.  Her directing credits include  Sweeney ToddAssassins, and The King and I.  Christine holds a B.A. in Acting and a Master’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin.
AB1_7027AndrewKellerMastercropANDREW KELLER: Associate Artistic Director
Andrew Keller, born and raised in St. Louis, has been working as a teacher, actor, director, designer, fight choreographer, and technician for over 20 years. He holds an MFA in Acting from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, and has performed roles in Washington, DC, Missouri, Virginia, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Illinois, North Dakota, Iowa, and the United Kingdom. With Pallas, he performed in She Stoops to Conquer (Hastings) and The Taming of the Shrew (Balladier/Pedant), and was Assistant Director for Lost in Wonderland. He has been involved in new play and musical development at the University of Missouri, Barrington Stage, and the Source Festival, and has taught at Virginia Tech, Ferrum College, and Northern Virginia Community College.
 Open Position: Managing Director
Headshot Shaffer (1)CLARE SHAFFER: Associate Producer, Casting Director
Clare Shaffer is a multi-hatted theatre artist based in DC. In addition to her work with Pallas, she is the Associate Producer and Casting Director for Nu Sass Productions, Chief Branding Officer for Flying V, and a freelance director who has had the pleasure of working with companies including Olney Theatre Center, Theater J, Mosaic Theater Company, Unexpected Stage, & Monumental Theatre Company. She works across genres and specializes in new play/musical development.
Zach Brewster-Geisz 5-2012 StandardZACH BREWSTER-GEISZ: Company Manager
Zach Brewster-Geisz has been active in the Washington, DC theatre community, onstage and off, for over twenty years. He first came to Pallas as an actor in She Stoops to Conquer, and has also performed in code name: CYNTHIA and Lost in Wonderland. He’s also recently appeared at such theatres as WSC Avant Bard, Unexpected Stage Company, Baltimore Shakespeare Factory, and NextStop Theatre Company. His award-winning short films have screened at multiple film festivals around the country, as well as the occasional cable channel. In addition to being a working actor, he is also on the faculty of the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, Washington’s only accredited professional actor training studio. 


Courteney is a BFA Musical Theatre Major at Point Park University. Originally from Tampa, FL, Courteney is thrilled to now call Pittsburgh her home. She’s been pursuing theatre from a young age, as well as other extracurricular activities. She has participated in theatre festivals such as the Florida Theatre Conference and the Florida State Thespian festival. She’s grateful for this opportunity to be working with Tracey and the Pallas Theatre Collective.
DAVID JARZEN: Artistic Intern David Jarzen0277 1
David is pursuing a BFA Musical Theatre degree at Point Park University. Originally from Alexandria, VA, David grew up performing and participating in all aspects of theatre. He has attended theatre festivals such as Edinburgh and Capital Fringe. He is excited for this opportunity to work with Tracey and Pallas Theatre Collective.
headshot PARIS NASTER: Artistic Intern                                                                                                                                     Paris is a BFA Musical Theatre Major at Point Park University. There is certainly no place like home (coming from Kansas), but she has fallen in love with Pittsburgh since being here for school. Paris is thrilled to be involved with the development of Pallas Theatre’s upcoming projects and gives thanks to the collective team for welcoming her.