Route 66

Where the road Begins

Company Members

Stef Tovar Founder and Artistic Director
Alana Parvey Zalas Business Manager
Frances LimoncelliLiterary Manager
Matthew Bonaccorso Company Manager
Kelly ParkerCasting Director
John Mohrlein Consigliere

Board of Directors

Jennifer BaumannPresident
Nicholas StoneVice President, Treasurer
Deborah HaimesVice President, Communications
Molly CrabtreeSecretary
Elizabeth Derrico
Laurie Hamilton
Stef Tovar Founder and Artistic Director
Leonora DicksonAuxiliary Board
James FrenzelAuxiliary Board
Patricia TurnbullAuxiliary Board
Robert VeaseyAuxiliary Board

Artistic Associates

Our Mission

Route 66 Theatre Company introduces, develops, produces, and exports new work for the stage that embrace the American spirit of exploration and risk.


The Road Begins with our new play development process and reaches west, where our World and Chicago Premiere shows are given an advocate for further regional productions along the road less traveled from Chicago to Los Angeles.


Since the company’s founding, Route 66 has produced eight productions, two in two cities including an Off-Broadway New York premiere, been nominated for five Jeff Awards and won two. 2015 is Route 66’s second full season of new work.

Stef Tovar Founder and Artistic Director

Stef Tovar founded Route 66 Theatre Company in 2008 with its inaugural production of ON AN AVERAGE DAY, playing the role of Jack in both Los Angeles and Chicago in association with VS. Theatre in Los Angeles. Other Route 66 credits include Rob in HIGH FIDELITY and most recently as Miller in the critically acclaimed production of THE DOWNPOUR at Greenhouse Theater Center. Stef also created the role of Noah in the world premiere of A TWIST OF WATER, which had a sold-out run in Chicago before transferring Off-Broadway to 59E59 Theaters in New York. Stef recently completed a run as Peter Stossel in Mercury Theater Chicago’s production of THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER. He was nominated for a Jeff Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical as Luther Billis in SOUTH PACIFIC at the Marriott Theatre in 2013. Some of Stef’s other Chicago credits include Franz in APPROPRIATE at Victory Gardens directed by Gary Griffin; Harold Hill in the critically acclaimed Paramount Theatre production of THE MUSIC MAN directed by Rachel Rockwell; Bernard in BOEING BOEING directed by Dennis Zacek at Drury Lane Theatre;  Jeffrey Skilling in ENRON for TimeLine Theatre; Kenneth Tally Jr. in FIFTH OF JULY for Oak Park Festival Theatre; David O’ Selznick in MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS at Fox Valley Rep, as well as shows at Chicago Shakespeare, Northlight, American Blues and Apple Tree Theatre, where he won a Jeff Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Play for his portrayal of Vinal in BLADE TO THE HEAT, also directed by Gary Griffin. His Los Angeles credits include George in SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, Jamie in THE LAST FIVE YEARS (L.A. premiere); Homer in FLOYD COLLINS (L.A. premiere) and Che in EVITA. On television, Stef was seen as Daniel Schwartz the premiere season of CHICAGO FIRE, Gary on BOSS and upcoming on SIRENS as “Cubs Doctor”. Film credits include Kenny in EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH directed by Mitch Rouse, with Matt Dillon, Steve Zahn and Christina Applegate–which premiered at Sundance in 2004; Dan in the award winning THE GYMNAST, directed by Ned Farr and CONTAGION, directed by Steven Soderbergh, giving some very bad news to Matt Damon as Dr. Arrington. Stef will play Edward Bloom in the Broadway musical BIG FISH for Theatre at the Center this spring and the proud father of Sam.

Alana Parvey Zalas Business Manager

Alana Parvey Zalas proudly joined Route 66 Theatre Company in the spring of 2012, after serving as production manager for The Consortium Project.  She graduated from the Theatre Department of Northwestern University and later from the writing program at the Second City Training Center.  Alana also serves as the bookkeeper for TitanVisuals, a photography and graphic design business.  Before turning to arts administration, Alana constructed props and set pieces for theatre productions throughout Chicago, including Hillbilly Antigone (Lookingglass Theater),The Man of LaMancha (Court Theater), Silk (Goodman Theater), and Charlotte’s Web (Emerald City Theater).

Matthew Bonaccorso Company Manager

Matthew Bonaccorso has proudly called Route 66 his home since his serendipitous encounter with the Company in 2009 and is humbled to be surrounded by such amazingly talented, dedicated, and inspiring individuals. In addition to serving as the Company Manager of Route 66 Theatre, Matthew is a Collective Member with Dead Writers Theatre and a resident stage manager and performer with Chicago Kids Company, where he has spent the past six years introducing children to the magic of live theatre. In 2010, Matthew concluded a seven year run with Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding where he performed as Tony, served as the male swing, stage managed the production, coordinated off-site tours, and did just about everything else imaginable to keep the show running smoothly and maintain his sanity. Matthew has had the honor of working with numerous theatre companies throughout Chicago and hopes to continue to be a part of the theatrical landscape that he loves so dearly. Matthew has also had the pleasure of working with Dog & Pony Theatre, Immediate Theatre, Lincoln Square Theatre (where he also performed in Chicago’s first annual Fringe Fest), Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company, and Simple Theatre. Matthew thanks God everyday for blessing him with his incredible family, his wonderful friends, his love for theatre, Matthew has enjoyed this wild ride and eagerly await what the future holds for Route 66 knowing that he wouldn’t change a thing about it.

John Mohrlein Consigliere

John Mohrlein has been with Route 66 Theatre since its inception and is also a member of American Blues Theater. Chicago credits include: The Glass House (The Art Institute of Chicago), nine productions at Goodman Theatre, Williamstown Theater, Cripple of Inishmaan, Heart of a Dog, and Murder of Cardinal Tosca(Northlight Theatre). His extensive television and film work includes “Golden Boy,” “Good Night Sweet Wife,” “Dillinger,” “Killing Floor,” “Early Edition,” “Untouchables,” “Devil’s Dominoes,” “Stranger Than Fiction,” “Hellcab,” “Cold Justice,” and a recurring role on “Crime Story.” He received a Joseph Jefferson Award nomination for Actor and an After Dark Award for Outstanding Performance (A Stone Carver at ABT).