Lewis University Theatre Department Attends Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival
|Zackary Abu-Shanab of Plainfield presents his lighting design project at the KCACTF 2017. |
The Lewis University Theatre Department annually participates in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF). A page in each Philip Lynch Theatre (PLT) production playbill is devoted to this worthwhile student opportunity. The KCACTF experience offers student artists the opportunity to showcase their work and receive outside assessment for each production by theatre faculty from other universities.
KCACTF festivals showcase university productions and offers a variety of activities, including workshops, symposia, and student artists’ individual recognition through awards and scholarships in playwriting, acting, criticism, directing, and design. The festival was held January 10-15 in Indianapolis, IN.
Twelve Lewis students, along with theatre professors, Keith White of Joliet and Kevin Trudeau of Chicago Heights attended the festival which was held January 10–15 in Indianapolis, IN. Third year student, Zackary Abu-Shanab of Plainfield participated in the KCACTF Awards for Theatrical Design Excellence with his 2016 lighting design for the PLT production of “Clybourne Park.” The purpose of the KCACTF Awards for Theatrical Design Excellence is to provide student designers with feedback from professionals working in the field and to provide the possible opportunity for student designers to exhibit their work at the Kennedy Center.
Three Lewis students, Christy Carlson of Lockport, Taylore Cephas of Chicago and Michael Frale of Elk Grove Village participated in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Auditions. They competed with a partner performing a monologue and a scene in a 3-minute time period. The Lewis student acting partners were respectively Luke Murphy of Darien, Kayla Marie Carson of Burbank and Sean Gallagher of Mokena. Since 1972, the Irene Ryan Foundation of Encino, California, has awarded scholarships to the outstanding student performers at each regional festival. These scholarships are made possible by the generosity of the late Irene Ryan who is best remembered for her portrayal of the lovable and feisty "Granny Clampett" in television show “The Beverly Hillbillies.”
Other students who also attended KCACTF were Kevin Bukauski of Tinley Park, Tyler Senjanin and Bradford Bingham both of Evergreen Park, Jamie Voustros of Chicago, and Adam Jezl Sikorski of Burbank.
Chad Tallon ‘08
is the new Drama teacher at Metcalf School in Normal, IL. Previously, he was the production manager for Red House Arts Center, Inc. in Syracuse, New York. He teaches in the Allied Arts Program that was developed in the fall of 1980.Students at Metcalf receive K-8 instruction in Music and Visual Art, and 1-8 instruction in Creative Drama. Because of this early preparation, many of the students are ready for more extensive theatre production experience at an early age. Chad is directing Lion King
, Jr. in the Spring. Fun fact: the music teacher Chad works with is Aundrea Wells, who was featured as the Wicked Witch and Mama Orge in the 2014 PLT production of Shrek the Musical
. PLT patrons may remember that Chad played the title role in that production.
Joseph Heaton ‘01
is a production assistant with 321 Theatrical Management, Inc. He is currently a production assistant for the new Broadway musical, A Bronx Tale
. Previously, he worked on Fully Committed
featuring performances by Jesse Tyler Ferguson. In this photo Joe is taking a selfie with his colleagues Michael Rico Cohen, Alice Pollitt, Andrea Cibelli and Lisa Schwartz.
Christopher Flowers ‘94
is a SAG Voice Actor at AVO Talent and Voice Actor at WGBH. He has co-written with Wade Bradford a hilarious original comedy, Change the Station
! The plot revolves around a 1930s radio producer who tried to get his tiny station from backwater to bright lights. He just needs one big night to do it...but the stars aren’t aligning. In fact, they may just ruin the whole deal. The Big Sandwich Theatre Company at Repertory East Playhouse in Santa Clarita, CA produces the show and the world premiere is November 4. Christopher is also directing and acting in the production.
Jonathan M. Boehle ‘16
was the stage manager and assistant director for William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors
produced by Saltbox Theatre Collective. The production featured a 90-minute performance, the use of masks, and an all-female cast.
Christopher Hueg ’11 ’16
has recently been named the first ever campus minister at St. Mary Immaculate Parish in Plainfield. Having found a meaningful career in education and his true calling in life, he has big plans to inspire and empower children of all ages, both personally and spiritually. In this new position, Chris creates faith development exercises for students, teachers, and staff through engaging activities and classroom instruction. Chris’ dedication to performing arts inspired him to become the director for the school’s spring musical, and last year he directed Seussical
, Jr. In the Spring 2017, he is directing Lion King
Laura Wisniewski ‘07
began a new teaching career in Clewiston, Florida. Located in the south central part of the state, Laura teaches at Clewiston High School. She teaches Theatre I, Theatre II, English I Honors, and English I. Her classroom is right behind the stage, so literally backstage.
Emma McGee ‘16
is the stage manager for the season of productions with Brightside Theatre in Naperville. The company produces on the campus of North Central College, and the season includes: Beauty and the Beast, Moon Over Buffalo and Guys & Dolls
Thank you to everyone who attended the annual Fall concert held Saturday, October 22 in the intimate setting of the Studio Theatre.
Andrew Nelsen ‘04
, PLT theatre professor, designer and technical director attended Live Design International (LDI) October 19-22 in Las Vegas. His trip was made possible by the Dean’s Office of Arts & Sciences as a Faculty Development experience. Now in its 29th year, LDI is the leading tradeshow and conference for live design professionals from all around the globe. Attendees from more than 88 countries attended LDI to see the latest technical gear in action, refresh their knowledge, and replenish their creativity. More than 350 companies exhibit, providing live demos and the opportunity for face-to-face discussions about the cutting edge gear they debut exclusively to LDI attendees. LED lighting is trending in stage technology because it is energy efficient and low maintenance. Andrew reconnected with his lighting professor from graduate school at the University of Iowa, attended the Criss Angel’s Mindfreak
show, and got a backstage tour with the lighting designer on the show KÀ by Cirque du Soleil.
The following alumni, subscribers and friends of the PLT made recent donations to the costume and prop shops. Thank you for your support!
Joy Dahlberg Family
Congratulations to the following students for their Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Irene Ryan Acting nominations for the PLT October production, The Day They Shot John Lennon
(from left to right) Christy Carlson who performed the role of Fran and Taylore Cephas who performed the role of Laura.
Congratulations to the following students for their Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Irene Ryan Acting nominations for the PLT November production, Inspecting Carol
(from left to right) Kayla Carson who performed the role of Zorah Bloch and Sean Gallagher who performed the role of Luther Beatty.
Congratulations to the following students for their Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Certificates of Merit for the PLT November production, Inspecting Carol
(from left to right) Adam Jezl-Sikorski who served as the Lighting Designer and Bradford Bingham who served as the Sound Designer.