Our Team

Linda Mesnel

B.A. in Classical French literature (French literature, Latin, Ancient Greek -University of Paris 10) – Teaching Credential (French National Education)

Linda taught French literature, Latin, Ancient Greek and History of the Arts in high schools in Paris for 10 years before moving to Chicago in 2015. She is now teacher of French at the EFAC [École Franco-Américaine de Chicago]. She also teaches French as a second language at the Alliance Française of Chicago.

Linda discovered her passion for the theatre at the age of 10 when she first played Docteur Knock in school . Since then, she has acted in various plays – from classical greek theatre to comedies – and trained at the French Improv League. She also directed plays, in particular at the Avignon Festival for several years.

As a teacher of French as a second language, Linda witnesses the power of the coordination of speech and action mainly through theatre. In Chicago, she discovered the richness of the artistic scene as well as the enthusiasm of French learners . This led her to promote the French language and the Francophone cultures through different actions.


Renée-Claude Thériault

RC grew up in Grand Falls, New Brunswick, Canada and studied improv and stand-up comedy in Toronto for two years in Humber College. In January 2014, she toured French Immersion schools all across Ontario, performing a bilingual show called “O Canada!”

She moved to Chicago in the summer of 2014 to pursue her career in comedy. RC wrote and performed her One Woman Show in French called “Pardon My French.” Since January 2015, she has been performing shows all over Chicago with her improv troupe, “Hulk Spanx.” She is currently planning a tour for “Pardon My French” all over the United States.

At Francophone Youth Theatre RC helps students prepare the Festival through workshops.

Abigail Boucher

Abigail is a Franco-American actor and teacher.  Born and raised in France, Abigail moved to the United States in 1999. In 2002, she graduated with honors from Smith College, with a dual degree in government and theatre, and headed to Chicago.  For the last ten years, Abigail has been acting and teaching in the city.  Recent theatre credits include Betrayal by Harold Pinter and A Loss of Roses by William Inge, at Raven Theatre, Haven Theatre’s The Distance, The Cryptogram at Profiles Theatre, In The Garden at Lookingglass, The Language Archive at Piven, and  Old Times at Strawdog Theatre, where she was a company member for over a decade. Abigail has also worked with The House and 20% Theatre Company Chicago (which she co-founded). Film credits include Operator and Recessive by Logan Kibens and The Family by Luc Besson.  Abigail is represented by Paonessa Talent.  More information about her acting work can be found on her website.

As a teacher, Abigail has lead many acting workshops for teens and college students in Chicago (Goodman Theatre, Lake Forrest College) and in Paris (Lycée International de Sèvres, Artworx).  She is also a theatre of the oppressed practitioner, having trained and performed in Paris with the Groupe Theatre de l’Opprimé.

Abigail is thrilled to be working with FYT, sharing her passion of theatre with students, and helping them improve their French speaking skills through acting!


Sylvette Nicolini

Sylvette Nicolini, former President of the Lycée Français de Chicago, is now Conseillère Consulaire for the French community in the Midwest. She is our consultant to establish partnerships with the French community and she offers her expertise in the educational field. Her pedagogical views and her enthusiasm for the French-American culture are precious assets to our organization.


Karine Deren

Karine Deren is an academic coach. She considers Chicago as her second city at heart (with Paris!). Passionate about education and personal development, she is in charge of Francophone Youth Theatre’s communication.