The Trauma Brain Project Team



Aside from penning The Trauma Brain Project, Dayle Ann’s screenplay, Unspoken, could be called an “unconscious prequel” as it deals with turn-of-the-century, trauma-based anxiety, panic and depression in a character who has also been medicated and misdiagnosed with “hysteria.” A five-time finalist script, it placed in the top 15 percent of the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting and showcased at the IFP Market in NYC. The Winter House Haunting, also a multi-finalist screenplay, placed in the top 20 percent of the Nicholl Fellowships and took second place in the Cynosure Screenwriting Competition in LA; she is adapting it for the stage. Her play, Either/Or, was part of the Midtown Int’l Theatre Festival (MITF) in NY (Nom: Playwright's Award), and was a top three finalist with the Moondance Int’l Festival. She is a past presenter in the ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop for Castles (book and lyrics) based on a Herman Raucher novel, and co-authored Christmas Carol...ed!, with Dan Cooney, which had its world premiere at the Encore Musical Theatre in Dexter, MI.  Other current projects include New World Comin', a 60's musical which began development with students at the Chicago College of Performing Arts and The Long Lost Land of Color, a young readers novel.  NYU graduate, Dramatists Guild, WGA




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Project Administrator

DEBORAH BARNES was raised in a theater-centric family. In her youth, she attended drama school, did voice-overs, TV, radio, print ads, and was a member of both SAG and AFTRA. She later switched gears and embarked on a 30-year career in the banking industry, attaining the position of Senior Risk Management Officer of the Financial Crimes Investigation department of a Chicago bank holding company. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in political science and is passionate about bringing attention to issues that affect women. Deborah is grateful to be joining The Trauma Brain Project where she hopes to contribute to this vitally important cause by combining her extensive business skills and love of theater.

"I think it's very important that this piece get done again, and done again, and again and again and again...."
(Actress Marsha Mason)


Original Director (NYC)

DIAAN AINSLEE began her career as an actress and dancer, working under the direction of such luminaries as George Abbott, Herbert Ross, Peter Gennaro and Abe Burrows (also as assistant to Mike Nichols and Neil Simon). Broadway credits include Finian’s Rainbow, Fiorello, Brigadoon, What Makes Sammy Run, Fools and Agnes of God. Numerous Regional credits include Damn Yankees, Sweet Charity, She Loves Me, Guys & Dolls, Pajama Game and Showboat. TV credits include The Michael J. Fox Show, The Cosby Show, and Happy Days, among others. As a director/choreographer, Diaan has helmed numerous productions, including Jesus Christ Superstar, Vagina Monologues, Festival, Beach Blanket Babylon, Fragments and Pieces. She served as Artistic Director for Manhattan Edge Theatre Company (1991-2010) and has directed seminars on Public Speaking for Executives for corporations such as the United Way of NY and Nebraska Telephone. Diann is an acting teacher and coach in NYC to many Broadway performers, among them, Brian Darcy James, Jeff Calhoun and countless others. She is thrilled to be involved in this wonderful, important project! AEA, SAG-AFTRA, ACTRA


 " incredible piece of dramatic writing...."


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Patricia A. Gibson, MSSW, DHL, ACSW

PATRICIA GIBSON is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine where she provides individual, group and family counseling and is actively involved in medical student, nursing, patient and community education. She also serves as Director of the Epilepsy Information Service, a nationwide telephone information line for patients and their family members in operation since 1979. Ms. Gibson received her Masters of Science in Social Work degree from the University of Tennessee. In 2012 she was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Queens University in Charlotte, NC. Ms. Gibson has organized and conducted numerous state, regional, and more than 40 national and international conferences on epilepsy. She set up the Epilepsy Medication Fund for the state of North Carolina in 1987 and conducts numerous fundraisers for this Fund. She has received national and international awards for her work to improve the care of those with epilepsy. She presently serves as the volunteer Executive Director of the Epilepsy Foundation of North Carolina.

"A deeply moving experience...."

Director (Chicago)

ROBIN HUGHES is a director, actor, casting director, teacher, and private coach with a 30 year career that began in Minneapolis, MN. Robin started her professional acting career at The Guthrie Theater under the direction of Garland Wright (Christmas Carol) and acted in Joanne Akalaitis’ world premiere of The Rover, working also on The Screens with Akalaitis and Pravda with the Goodman’s Robert Falls. An Illinois State University (MFA-Acting) and a Steppenwolf School graduate, Robin was awarded the coveted Steppenwolf Acting Fellowship and was brought to Chicago to work with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, acting in the world premiere of The Ballad of Little Joe directed by Tina Landau, and also working with Anna Shapiro (Side Man), David Cromer (Orson’s Shadow), Jessica Thebus (Whispering City), John Malkovich (Hysteria), and Terry Kinney (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), which went on to Broadway and the Barbican. Other regional directing and acting credits are with Williams Street Repertory, Little Theater on the Square, Theatre in the Round, Phipps Center, New Tradition, Victory Gardens, Paramount-Copley, Bailiwick, Circle, Griffin, Dominican, Light Opera Works, Mary-Arrchie, New Millennium, and Metropolis, where she is the Resident Director. Recent directing: Love Letters (WSR), Into the Woods (MPAC), A Doll’s House (DU), Thoroughly Modern Millie (LTOS), First Date (WSR), Young Frankenstein (MPAC), Tenderly (WSR), and Accomplice (MPAC). Robin is an Actor’s Equity Candidate and also a proud and active full member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. She is currently a faculty member at Dominican University and the Metropolis’ School of Performing Arts and the casting director for Metropolis Casting. Upcoming Robin will directing A Chorus Line (MPAC), Emma (WSR), and co-directing Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (MPAC). Much gratitude to Dayle Ann for sharing her story.

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Bianka Hardin, Psy.D.

BIANKA HARDIN is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and owner of Centered Therapy Chicago. Dr. Hardin founded CTC in 2014 with the mission of helping both adolescents and adults improve their mental health and quality of life. After graduating from Miami University of Oxford, Ohio in 1994, Dr. Hardin attended the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 1995. While there, she completed her clinical training with refugees of foreign conflict and torture survivors at the Marjorie Kovler Center in Chicago, before going on to work at CAUSES in Lakeview, working with children, adolescents, and adults whose families were referred by the Department of Children and Families Services.  Next, Dr. Hardin worked as a Pre-Doctoral Intern at Advocate Family Care Network and the Childhood Trauma Treatment Program. There she provided assessments and treatment for abuse victims, while also facilitating an adolescent girls’ sexual abuse survivor group, a male sex offender group, and children’s social skills group. After completing her doctorate degree, Dr. Hardin went on to complete her Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Department of Health and Human Services at the Village of Hoffman Estates and eventually became the Assistant Director and Director of the department. Dr. Hardin has taught at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology since 2001.  She became the Associate Department Chair of the Clinical PsyD Department in 2007 with a focus on the development and oversight of the Child and Adolescent Track, and served as a full-time faculty member. In 2013, she transitioned to a part-time faculty member and is now an adjunct professor. Dr. Hardin enjoys teaching diversity and trauma classes. She provides therapy, consultation, and supervision and enjoys working with mental health providers who are interested in their own personal and professional growth. She is a  Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) and just started her training in Neuro-Affective Relational Model (NARM).