Illinois Theatre Association
In This Edition...
Community Theatre Festival
The ITA will be producing its 3rd Bi-Annual Statewide Community Theatre Festival in March, 2019 and is now accepting submissions from theatres/venues to serve as the Festival Host.

If interested in having YOUR theatre host this fabulous event, please take a moment to review our venue criteria and submit the Request to Host Application Form. 
Board of Directors 
The ITA is seeking candidates for its 
2018-2020 Board of Directors. Terms begin in late August, 2018. For more information,  click here. Be sure to fill out the "On-Line Interest Form." 

Awards of Excellence The ITA is accepting nominations for its Annual Awards of Excellence! Each year the Illinois Theatre Association recognizes both individuals and organizations for their significant contributions of promoting quality theatre throughout the state of Illinois.  Recipients are nominated by the Illinois theatre community, approved by ITA's divisional representatives, and accepted by ITA's Board of Directors.  For details,  click here. The deadline for nominations is May 15th. 
IHSTF 2021 Executive Director  The ITA is now accepting submissions for the  2021 Illinois High School Theatre Festival Executive Director  position. The deadline for all applications is June 7, 2018.   Click here  for details.
Save the Date!

August 25-26, 2018
ITA's 3rd Annual Gala and Awards Celebration
at Drury Lane Theatre, Oakbrook
Stay Tuned for Details.

Citadel Theatre proudly announces its first 10 Minute Play Contest! All submissions will be read by a panel of judges comprised of professional theater artists.  Awards: First place:  $350, second place: $100 and third place prize of $50.  The top 10 plays will be included in  Citadel Theatre's 1st Annual Ten Minute Play Festival. Click here to link to submission guidelines.    


Guilford High School is seeking a full-Time Technical Theatre teacher beginning the 2018-19 school year.

Guerin Prep High School, 
located in River Grove, Illinois, is accepting resumes for a Theatre/English Teacher & Co-Curricular Director/Technical Director for the 2018-2019 school year.

New Trier High School  is seeking a dynamic, visionary leader to chair its Media, Speech, and Theatre Department, staffed by eight teachers (including the Chair) and two support staff members.

Lakes Community High School District 117 is searching for a full-time Fine Arts/Theatre teacher.
Click Here for all Job Details, or to Submit a Job Posting.

Saint Genesius Productions announces auditions for Titanic the Musical 5/16-5/17.

Aurora University announces Theatre Scholarship Auditions and Interviews for a BA in Theatre or Musical Theatre on 
Sat., April 21, 2018. 
Click here for All Audition Details, or to Submit an Audition Announcement.
Heartland Theatre Company
Floyd Collins 
4/19/18 - 4/22/18 
Thurs. - Sat. at 7:30 pm
Sun. at 2 pm (no performance on 4/8/18)

Aurora University
Into the Woods
4/18/18 - 4/21/18
Wed. and Thurs. at 7:30 pm
Fri. and Sat. at 7:30 pm
Sat. at 2 pm 

University of Illinois Springfield (UIS Theatre)
Six Characters in Search of an Author
4/19/18 - 4/21/18
Thurs. - Sat. at 7:30 pm
Sun. at 2 pm

Glenbard West High School
Almost, Maine
4/19/18 - 4/21/18
Thurs - Sat. at 7:30 pm

Fenton High School
In the Heights
4/19/18 - 4/21/18
Thurs. - Sat. at 7 pm
Saturday at 1 pm (Senior Citizen Matinee)

Victor J. Andrew High School
West Side Story
4/19/18 - 4/21/18
Thurs. and Fri. at 7 pm
Saturday at 3 pm

Kaneland High School
The Addams Family
4/20/18 - 4/22/18
Fri. and Sat. at 7 pm
Sunday at 2 pm

Millikin University
The Phantom of the Opera
4/20/18 - 4/22/18
Fri. and Sat. at 7:30 pm
Sunday at 2 pm 
Illinois College TheatreWorks
The Robber Bridegroom
4/20/18 - 4/29/18
Thurs. - Sat. at 7:30 pm
Sunday at 2 pm

Lewis University
13 The Musical
4/20/18 - 4/29/18
Thurs. - Sat. at 8 pm
Sunday at 2:30 pm
Saturday, 4/28 at 4 pm

Want your performance to be featured here?  
Visit the    ITA Performance Calendar  for details.

Illinois Theatre Association

The ITA is a network of dedicated theatre artists and educators  advocating quality theatre throughout Illinois.  Please join us!

123 Mill Pond Dr.
Glendale Heights, IL  60139
312-265-5922 (office)
312-265-6101 (fax)


The Illinois Theatre 
Association is partially 
supported by a grant from 
the Illinois Arts Council, 
a state agency.  
eFOLLOWSPOT    top    APRIL, 2018

By Stephanie Lash Kilpatrick
Forward by  Elisabeth Westphal, ITA Creative Drama Rep.

Does theatre instruction make a difference? Sometimes in the thick of it, it can be difficult to see how much we can help our students make sense of the world.  TYA Today looks at how the challenges of today's political environment affect the choices that theatre teachers and their students make in the classroom. For the article, click here.
Back to Top
By Richard Arnold, ITA College Rep.

I just got back from attending the United States Institute for Theatre Technology Convention.  One thing that struck me this year, in fact for the last
several years, is the emphasis on safety.  USITT has created a program to inspect high school rigging systems, many of which are in need of not only inspections but maintenance.  In addition to rigging, other systems should also be inspected periodically.  Electrical systems such as lighting and sound should be inspected.  Lighting fixtures, connectors and cables should get a good visual inspection.  Sound systems need to be checked as well.  They may not have the same shock hazard that lighting does, but for it to work properly, equipment should be in good order and cables in good condition.  
Safety goes beyond these obvious dangers.  Heck, it is spring, and time for a little spring cleaning.  That goes for shops and storage areas as well.  Cleaning and organizing gives you the opportunity to examine how your space is set up.  Does the flow of materials make sense?  Is it smooth or are there bottle necks?  What tools need to be replaced because of their age or poor condition?  Well organized storage makes the process much easier and quicker.  In storage areas are things well organized?  Are the walkways or aisles clear and safe?  Can you safely reach all items?  Is the lighting adequate?   
Look at the theatre space, both backstage and in the house.  Are spaces clean and free from tripping hazards?  Is the backstage lighting adequate when work is being done onstage as well as during a performance or rehearsal?  How about the aisle lighting for the audience, is it in good working order?  Are all the emergency exit signs lit?  Also check the emergency lighting system.  Most of those battery operated lights have a test button.  Make sure they work as well.  Are there flashlights in strategic locations for crew or house staff in case of emergency?  Review the emergency procedure plans to make sure you understand them. 
Spring is a great time to do this.  For many institutions, the end of the fiscal year is the time budgets for the next year are prepared.  It is a good time to advocate for replacement tools and other large ticket items.  In addition, plans can be created to make the needed improvements to the facilities, even if it is only straightening up the storage areas and relabeling shelves.
Back to Top
By Stacy Deemar, ITA Member
Domain 4: Professional Responsibilities is one of the four domains in the Danielson Model that is used by many school districts in the United States to evaluate kindergarten through twelfth grade teachers.  Within Domain 4, there are six components including: reflecting on teaching, maintaining accurate records, communicating with families, participating in the professional community, growing and developing professionally, and showing professionalism.  
Writing lesson plans, keeping abreast of new plays and teaching techniques, writing curriculum and assessments, attending professional development sessions, directing a play, attending meetings, and teaching six classes a day can be exhausting.  And when a teacher attends to multiple grade levels in multiple school buildings and educates over three hundred students a week, how is it possible to communicate with all of the parents? 
There are many methods a drama teacher can utilize to convey information about class curriculum, rules and grading procedures, program history and mission, rehearsal schedules, upcoming performances, assignments, fundraisers, etc. in order to meet the professional responsibilities of communicating with families.   Some of the best practices to implement in reaching parents includes: emails, websites, newsletters, school community websites, open houses, and/or brochures.
Most school districts require teachers to have a website.  Some school districts have their own standard webpage while other districts allow teachers to choose their own type of webpage service such as Weebly. Regardless of the type of website service provider, websites are a great format to use in order to share information with families, students, and administrators.
A drama teacher's website might include:  grading policy, rules, program's history and mission, curriculum outline, syllabus and/or homework assignments, information about the teacher, links related to the subject, rehearsal schedules, field trip forms, resource materials, pictures of students in rehearsal and performance, and drama/theatre standards. The website should be updated regularly to reflect current information.
Another option to connect with parents and share the wonderful work being created in the class and on the stage is to send a weekly email home.  Most school districts are currently using a computerized grading system that includes the ability to email families directly through the computer system.  Sending a class email via the school grading system is an easy way to reach many parents.  The teacher should retain a copy of all emails sent to families as evidence to use during an evaluation with an administrator. 
Publishing a monthly electronic newsletter with the arts department can be beneficial too in sharing information about the work students are doing in the arts.  Teachers can create their own newsletter format or choose an existing format.  The newsletter can include brief summaries about class routines and completed assignments, field trip information, pictures, links, contact information, video segments of rehearsals/performances, etc.
Setting up a classroom community online that connects parents, teachers, and students is also a great tool to use with elementary students.  A program like ClassDojo is a user-friendly program that manages communication with parents and students.  The teacher sets up an individual ClassDojo for each class that only parents and the students in the class can access.  The teacher sends a notification, parents accept the invitation from the teacher to join the class community, and parents create a username and password to enter the account.  Each time the teacher posts to the site, an email notification is sent to the parents. In order to access the content, a parent logs on to the site using their account with their username and password.
Through a classroom community on line such as ClassDojo, the teacher can share videos and pictures of learned moments, post homework assignments, and share information about rehearsal schedules.  This site also has a place for the teacher to create a rewards system for positive behavior. Teachers who encourage being respectful, responsible, and ready to learn, for example, can assign daily points with an incentive for a reward when points are earned.  Students can log into their account and see their accumulated points as well as share their personal learning by adding pictures, videos, written assignments, etc. to their individual portfolios.
Most school districts during the first few weeks of school have an open house for parents to visit the school and ascertain information about their child's classes and extracurricular programs.  A power point presentation with pertinent course information is a good practice in communicating with large numbers of parents as well as distributing brochures with similar content for parents to keep.  Depending on the structure of the event, the teacher may have an opportunity to answer parents' questions.
Regardless of the method a drama teacher chooses to use in order to communicate with families including emails, websites, newsletters, school community websites, open houses, and/or brochures, it is important for parents to be informed about the great work being created in drama classes and school theatres.
Stay connected.
Forward by Britnee Ruscitti Kenyon, ITA Secondary Rep.
On April 27th, I'll be 30 years old. I am so incredibly lucky to live the life I do, and theatre has been a huge inspiration and driving force in my success over the past 30 years--or at least the 25 I've been doing theatre. It was my full intention to write this witty, yet sensitive article called "30 Things Theatre Has Taught Me (in the last 30 years)," but then--one of the thirty things I've learned--theatre can take over your life! In the process of directing four plays at one time--one full-length and three lengthy one-acts--my brilliant article idea slipped throug h the cracks.
That being said, I wanted to look back at theatre history on my favorite day of the year, my birthday. I was amazed to find out that I share a birthday 
August Wilson
August Wilson.
with August Wilson. The Normal Heart made its Broadway debut, and Woody Allen returned to Broadway after 10 years. This year on A pril 27th, I'll be in tech for the Rolling Meadows High Sch ool production of 1984 -- one of my favorite shows I've directed thus far -- and that will be one of the best moments in April 27th Theatre History.

1945  Birthday of playwright  August Wilson , whose massive cycle of plays about African-American life in each decade of the 20th century includes two Pulitzer winners:  Fences  and  The Piano Lesson .
1963  American author, historian, and lm producer  Kenneth MacGowan  dies at the age of 74. From 1919 to 1925 he was editor of Theatre Arts Magazine. It was also during this time that he was associated with the Provincetown Playhouse. He is the author of many books including  A Theatre of Tomorrow  and  Footlights Across America .
1978  Lanford Wilson 's  Fifth of July  plays Off-Broadway at the Circle Repertory Theatre.  William Hurt  stars as disabled Vietnam veteran Kenneth Talley. The play  makes its Broadway debut  two years later, starring Christopher Reeve.
1981  Woody Allen  returns to Broadway for the rst time in more than a decade with the play  The Floating Light Bulb , about a young would-be magician growing up amid comic family problems. It runs 62 performances a the Vivian Beaumont Theatre, starring  Danny Aiello  and  Bea Arthur .
1986  Debbie Allen  stars as  Sweet Charity  in a revival of the  Cy Coleman - Dorothy Fields - Neil Simon  musical at the Minskoff Theatre.  Bebe Neuwirth  and  Michael Rupert  win Tony Awards for their featured roles; the show itself takes home the Best Revival award.
1997  Cy Coleman  returns to Broadway with the help of  Ira Gasman  and  David Newman  with their musical,  The Life , opening at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. This show about the life of prostitutes in 1980s Times Square stars Chuck Cooper Pamela Isaacs Kevin Ramsey , and  Lillias White . Cooper and White both win Tony Awards for their performances.
2000  Just months after moving  Contact  to Broadway, director/choreographer  Susan Stroman  opens a revival of The Music Man  with  Craig Bierko  and  Rebecca Luker . It runs 699 performances.
2008  Frances McDormand Morgan Freeman , and  Peter Gallagher  head the cast of the Broadway revival of Clifford Odets The Country Girl , which ofcially opens at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. The production is directed by  Mike Nichols .
2009  The  Goodman Theatre 's acclaimed production of  Eugene O'Neill 's  Desire Under the Elms , the 1924 tale of lust, promises, property, and familial betrayal, opens at Broadway's St. James Theatre.  Robert Falls  directs the production, which stars  Brian Dennehy Carla Gugino , and  Pablo Schreiber . It runs only 32 performances.
2010  The acclaimed London production of  Lucy Prebble 's  Enron , a docudrama that uses song, movement, projections, video, masks-and naturalistic workplace scenes-to tell the real-life American corporate crime story, opens on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre. For the U.S. debut,  Norbert Leo Butz Gregory Itzin Stephen Kunken , and  Marin Mazzie  play the four principal wrongdoers at the top of the Enron foodchain in Houston. The production does not repeat its London success, and closes 12 days later.
2011  Utilizing elements from a starry
reading that was  seen in October 2010,  Larry Kramer 's groundbreaking, emotionally powerful  The Normal Heart  makes its Broadway debut at the John Golden Theatre. The drama about fear in the early day s of the AIDS crisis stars  Joe Mantello Ellen Barkin , and  John Benjamin Hickey . Barkin and Hickey both win Tony Awards for their performances, and the play wins Best Revival.
2011  Baby It's You! , a jukebox musical about record producer Florence Greenberg, opens on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre.  Beth Leavel  plays Greenberg, the New Jersey housewife who launched the 1960s girl-group The Shirelles and created Scepter Records.
2011  Marian Mercer , who won a Tony Award for her performance as Marge MacDougall in the hit 1960s musical Promises, Promises , dies at age 75. Mercer's other Broadway appearances included  Greenwillow New Faces of 1962 A Place for Polly Hay Fever Stop the World - I Want to Get Off , and  Bosoms and Neglect .
2016  Jessica Lange  plays Mary Tyrone in a Broadway revival of  Eugene O'Neill 's  Long Day's Journey Into Night  at the  Roundabout Theatre Company 's American Airlines Theatre. The cast also includes  Gabriel Byrne  as James Tyrone,  Michael Shannon  as James Tyrone, Jr., and  John Gallagher Jr.  as Edmund Tyrone. At the Tony Awards, Lange wins for Best Actress in a Play.
More of Today's Birthdays:  Jack Cole  1914.  Jack Klugman  1922.  Alan J. Pakula  1928.  Judy Carne  1939.  Patrick Page  1962.  Ari Graynor  1983.
Watch highlights from Jessica Lange's Tony Award-winning performance in the 2016 Broadway revival of  Long Day's Journey Into Night:

By Peggy Breaux Hupp, ITA Theatre For Young Audience Rep.
Corn Stock Theatre in Peoria, IL, has a youth program ranging from ages 7-18. There are two youth productions presented a year. Each year a musical and play are performed. The play gives young actors an opportunity to act. There is so much talent in our youth, whether they be acting, singing, and/or dancing. I believe the more opportunities we give our young people to perform, the stronger it makes our theater community. Corn Stock for Kids just performed  AND A CHILD SHALL LEAD last we ekend.
These young artists brought to life, under the direction of Amy Williams, the heroic true story of children coming of age in Terezin, the "Jewish City" established by the Nazis in Prague. In the face of unspeakable horror, these children use their determination and creativity to build lives filled with hope and beauty - playing, studying, making art, and writing an underground newspaper - all at the peril of being executed. 
To connect with Corn Stock Theatre and learn more about their program for kids, click here.