Philip Lynch Theatre

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Little Mermaid Audition
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Coming of Age Story “13, The Musical” Hits the Lewis University Philip Lynch Theatre

Pictured are the 13 Lewis students in the cast of 13 the Musical. Bottom row: Jennifer Glynn, Jessi Sheppard, Aileen O'Carroll, Kayla Carson and Michael Palmero. Middle row: Robert Rigler, Christy Carlson, Andrew Wainscott, Conrad Sipiora, and Estefania Flores. Top row: Luke Murphy, Bradford Bingham, and Jacob Rodriguez.

Geek. Poser. Jock. Beauty Queen. Wannabe. These are the labels that can last a lifetime. Thirteen-year old, Evan Goldman is plucked from his fast paced, preteen New York City life and plopped into a sleepy Indiana town following his parent's divorce. Surrounded by an array of unsophisticated teenagers, he needs to establish his place in the popularity pecking order. Can he situate himself on a comfortable link in the food chain... or will he dangle at the end with the outcasts?! With an unforgettable bright, catchy pop score from Tony Award winning composer Jason Robert Brown, (Parade, The Last Five Years) comes a musical about fitting in – and standing out!

If Evan (Andrew Wainscott of Mokena) can't get the coolest kids, Kendra (Jessi Sheppard of Peotone) and Brett (Conrad Sipiora of Chicago) to come to his bar mitzvah, how is he going to survive the school year, not to mention, the rest of his life?  As Evan navigates the world of nerds, jocks and cheerleaders, first kisses and heartbreak, he comes to understand “What it Means to Be a Friend.” The show provides equal doses of humor and pathos, and is irresistible to grown ups and almost-grown ups alike.  The cast includes: Aileen O'Carroll of Orland Park, Michael Palermo of Westchester, Robert Rigler of Rigler Lemont, Kayla Carson of Oak Lawn, Jennifer Glynn of Mount Greenwood, Estefania Flores of Tinley Park, Christy Carlson of Lockport, Luke Murphy of Darien, Bradford Bingham, and Jacob Rodriquez of Chicago.

The musical takes the audience to the transformative preteen years with “A Brand New You” and is directed by Theatre Department chairperson, Keith White of Joliet. Jeremy Landig of Lockport is the vocal director, and Jordin Richards '16 of Tinley Park is the choreographer.  Theatre professor and designer, Andrew Nelsen of Joliet brings the stagecraft magic, and resident costumer, Celeste Mackey of Crest Hill, is designing the colorful, playful costumes. Working behind the scenes are Zackary Abu-Shanab of Plainfield (stage manager), Ashley Stajura of Lockport (assistant stage manager), Eric Redmon of Yorkville (master electrician), Zue Balquin of New Lenox and Briana Knutsen of Plainfield (microphones and sound reinforcement), Natalia Bednarczyk of Burbank (light board operator), Olivia Ferrari of Peru and Chris Pupik of Naperville (follow spot operators), Dave Pomatto of Naperville (assistant technical director), and Mike Nutter of LaGrange (baskstage assistant). Jamie Voustros of Chicago and Hannah Krause of Mazon (box office and subscription managers), Sean Gallagher of Mokena and Ted Vermeils of Elk Grove Village (house managers).

13, the Musical is running from April 20-22 and April 26-29 and is recommended for patrons 10 years old and up. The evening performances are 8 p.m. and the Sunday matinees are 2:30 p.m. In addition, there is a matinee performance at 4 p.m. on April 28 which is a benefit performance for Regional CARE Association in Joliet.  Advanced tickets purchases are strongly encouraged. Ticket prices are $12 for an adult, $11 for students and seniors. Lewis students pay $2 with an ID. Group tickets are available for parties of 15 or more. Running time of the show is approximately 90 minutes and tickets are non-refundable.  For more information patrons can call the box office (815) 836-5500 Monday through Friday 1-4:30 p.m. The theatre is located on the main campus in the Oremus Fine Arts Center on Route 53, Romeoville.

Lewis University is an innovative and entrepreneurial Catholic university offering market-relevant undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,500 students.  Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis University is nationally recognized for preparing intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected and socially responsible graduates. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.

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Pictured (left to right): Andrew Nelsen, Sean Gallagher, Zackary Abu-Shanab, Theodore J. Vermis-Dernekzis, Kayla Carson, Keith White, Jessi Sheppard, Jennifer Glynn, Bradford Bingham, Jacob Rodriguez, Michael Palmero, Robert Rigler, Andrew Wainscott, and Conrad Sipiora.

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 collegiate-level assessment for each production.

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 9-13 in Indianapolis, IN.  Twelve Lewis students in total, along with theatre professors, Keith White and Andrew Nelsen both of Joliet attended the festival.

Three Lewis students, Kayla Marie Carson of Burbank, Sean Gallagher of Mokena and Bradford Bingham of Evergreen Park participated in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Auditions.  The students competed with a partner performing a monologue and a scene in a 3-minute time period.  The Lewis student acting partners were respectively Andrew Wainscott of Mokena, Jessi Sheppard of Peotone and Robert Rigler of Lemont. 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" on television show “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

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Pictured: The PLT represents Lewis University at the Illinois
High School Theatre Festival.

Jo Slowik ‘88 and resident costume designer, Celeste Mackey, along with Lewis students Jamie Lynn Voustros and Hannah Krause attended the Illinois High School Theatre Festival 2018.  Produced by the Illinois Theatre Association, the festival is the largest and oldest non-competitive high school theatre festival in the world.  The 3-day festival held on the campus of Illinois State University hosted over 4000 students, educators, university representatives, exhibitors and workshop leaders.

The festival featured over 25 different high school productions and over 150 workshops.  Highlights included: a Meisner acting technique workshop entitled “Don't Act! Act Truthfully!” presented by Slowik, attendance at college auditions for high school juniors and seniors, and the All-State production of Big Fish.  Special effects makeup research for the upcoming production Frankenstein was conducted by attending a DIY Horror Make-up & Blood Effects Workshop.

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Pictured: Dr. Kevin Trudeau with
Jose Lagunas in front of the
LA Upright Citizens Brigade.

Former Lewis University student, Jose Lagunas walked into his first day of improv class at the Upright Citizens Brigade in LA on January 29.  Who else entered the class?  None other than, Lewis University theatre professor Dr. Kevin Trudeau on his Spring 2018 semester sabbatical.

They haven't seen each other in 11 years and now they're both in LA in the same improv class!  Small world!  

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Mike Frale '17 performed the role of Player 3 in Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe by Jonathan Christenson, produced by Black Button Eyes Productions. The show was Jeff recommended!!!