Illinois Theatre Association

Grant Community HS  Is currently seeking a choreographer for their 2020 spring musical,  Guys and Dolls

Timber Lake Playhouse, a professional Equity theatre, is seeking a Scenic Carpenter

East Aurora HS is 
currently seeking a costumer for its
upcoming production of 
Fight Girl Battle World

Evanston 2nd Act Players is
seeking a stage manager  for its November production
of  Old Ringers

Quincy Community Theatre, in is searching for a Student Theatre Director/Head of Education.  

The Beverly Art Center is searching for a Theatre Manager.
John Hersey HS is seeking a Technical Theater Director for the 2019-2020 school year.  

Sterling HS/Sauk Valley Theatre Alliance is seeking a Scenic Director.  
Click Here for ALL 
Job Details, or to Submit 
a Job Posting.


Lewis University's Philip Lynch Theatre auditions for its 45th season!

Click here for ALL Audition Details, or to Submit an Audition.
Stupid F#&king Bird 
Western Illinois University Department of Theatre and Dance
Wed. - Sat. at 7:30 pm
Sun. at 2:00pm
3rd Indian Theater Festival - One time event
Mandi Theater, Chicago
Sat. at 3 pm sharp! 

Peter and the Starcatcher
Bradley University
9/26/19 - 10/6/19
Thurs. - Sat. at 7:30 pm Sun. at 2 pm
Morning's at Seven
Independent Players 
9/27/19 - 10/12/19
Fri. & Sat. at 7:30 pm 

The Wolves
Lewis University's Philip Lynch Theatre
9/27/19 - 10/6/19
Sat. - Sun. at 7:30 pm
The Insanity of Mary Girard
Glenbard North HS
10/2, 10/3, 10/5
 7:30 pm
Mamma Mia!
Kankakee Valley Theatre Association
10/5/20 - 10/13/20
Sat. at 7 pm 
Sun. at 2 pm

Western Illinois University Dept. of Theatre and Dance
10/4/19 - 10/5/19
Fri. & Sat. at 7:30 pm
Millikin University 
10/10/19 - 10/13/19 
Thurs. - Sat. at 7:30 pm
Sat. & Sun at 2 pm 
Visit the  
ITA Performance Calendar for all performance details, and to submit YOUR performance. 

Illinois Theatre Association

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

113 Fairfield Way,
Studio 108 
Bloomingdale, IL  60108
312-265-5922 (office)


The Illinois Theatre 
Association is partially 
supported by a grant from 
the Illinois Arts Council, 
a state agency.  
eFOLLOWSPOT   September , 2019

The Illinois Theatre Association 
Presents  the
45th Annual
Illinois High School Theatre Festival

January 9-11, 2020 at Illinois State University
Click here  for Festival Registration Information.
            Looking for  Marketing, Advertising, 
                and Sponsorship Opportunities 
                       Click Here for Details.
By Joan McGrath,  ITA Professional Theatre Representative
The ruby walkway led 120 celebrating ITA members and their guests into the Drury Lane Oakbrook ballroom for the 4th annual Illinois Theatre Association Red Carpet Gala, Saturday, August 24.
Theme of the 2019 Gala, in homage to the current production of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None at Drury Lane Theatre, was mystery and intrigue.  Gala-goers attended the spine-tingling performance following the awards banquet. 
The evening's hosts, ITA President Kevin Long, Judy Klinger  and Jonathan Meier, set the stage for mayhem and enticed the crowd with Agatha Christie trivia. Gala organizer Jolaine Orlin, assisted by Carmel DeStefano, decorated the dining tables with Chr istie-themed centerpieces.  A Silent Auction of performance tickets donated by outstanding Chicago area theatres complimented the festivities. It raised over $1,000.00
The event's central purpose was to recognize "movers and shakers" who have made excellent contributions to theatre in Illinois. Hearty ovations greeted the nine individuals and theatre organizations honored for 2019 (see Award Criteria below).
The presentation ceremony highlighted the evening.  Award Ch air Joan McGrath opined, "There is no mystery to why these distinguished recipients were chosen. They killed it!"


The Award of Excellence in College and University Theatre was presented by ITA Division Representative Rick Arnold to THOMAS V. KORDER, former Chair of the University of Illinois Theatre Scenic Technology Program .
The Award of Excellence in Community Theatre was given to KANKAKEE VALLEY THEATRE ASSOCIATION.  Past President Paula Sutter presented the plaque to Courtney Casteel. 

Executive Director Elise Larsen accepted the Award of Excellence in Creative Drama for SPECIAL GIFTS THEATRE from Skyline Theatre owner Jacqui Siegel.

Actor/director/writer Cheryl Lynn Bruce presented the Award of Excellence in Professional Theatre to DEFINITION THEATRE COMPANY; Tyrone Phillips, 
Executive Director accepted. 

The Award of Excellence in Secondary School Theatre went to respected theatre educator BOBBIE KMIEC.  Executive Director of the 2020 ITA High School Theatre Festival Vic Pilolla made the presentation. 

GREATWORKS TOURING THEATRE garnered the Award of Excellence in Theatre for Young Audiences.  Founder/director Matt O'Brien accepted the honor from Executive Director of Compass Creative Dramatics Cassandra Quinn. 

ITA Second Vice President and President-Elect Carmel DeStefano bestowed the Anne Thurman Mentorship Award on educator JUDY SWIGER, a former Executive Director of the ITA's Illinois High School Theatre Festival.

The Award of Honor for a n on-ITA member was clinched by ACTORS TRAINING CENT ER in 
Wilmette.  Fo under Carole Dibo accepted the citation from ITA President Kevin Long.


JONATHAN MEIER, high school theatre educator who is long active on ITA's Board, took home the coveted Award of Honor for an ITA Member. ITA Executive Director Aimee-Lynn Newlan made the presentation.

Capturing the audience's enthusiasm, ITA 2nd VP Carmel DeStefano said, "It was a thrill being involved. During the awards ceremony, I found myself in awe of the theatrical contributions of the recipients in all the divisions. Theatre is truly alive and thriving in Illinois!" 
Chair Jolaine Orlin summed it up, "The Gala was a joy to work on with so much help from Kevin, Carm and Joan!  And of course leadership from Aimee-Lynn.  It turned out to be a beautiful and fun evening!"
The 2020 ITA Red Carpet Gala is August 29.  Don't just wish you were there. Save the 
date now! 
The honorees were nominated by ITA members along with industry professionals.  
They then were approved by ITA's divisional representatives and accepted by ITA's 
Board of Directors. 
They had to meet rigorous criteria for the prestigious awards.  
Awardees of Excellence in each of ITA's divisions must have achieved acclaim for having demonstrated:
Solid leadership among his/her peers Innovative and far-reaching contributions to the field
 of theatre Stellar standards of excellence, mentorship and passion
Advocacy for the Illinois theatre community
The benchmark for the Anne Thurman Mentorship Award additionally demands leadership
 in professional theatre organizations in Illinois and a history of embracing and supporting students and teachers of theatre.
The Awards of Honor to a Non-Member and to an ITA Member, ITA's highest distinctions, 
are given to organizations and/or individuals who are also time tested models of 
excellence in the field of theatre arts.
Interested in nominating a worthy individual or company for the ITA's 2020 Awards of Excellence? Click here.


By Carmel DeStefano, ITA President Elect 

As the new Illinois Thespian Individual Events coordinator, I was so impressed with the 17 "performances" presented at last year's Illinois High School Theatre Festival. Of the 7 "acts" that were awarded "Superiors", 4 opted to present at the International Thespian Festival held at the University of Nebraska last June. Once again, Illinois shined as three of our students achieved Superior rankings:


Tyler Sikorski from Reavis High School, Scenic Design for Beauty & the Beast;

Jack Cannon from Waubonsie High School, Lighting Design for Rent; 
and Keira Mitchell and Eve Yoder from Eureka High School, Duet Musical for "You Love Who You Love" from Bonnie and Clyde.  Isaac Leman,  a middle school student from Eureka Middle School  received an Excellent rating in Solo Musical for "Red Rider Cabine Action BB Gun" from A Christmas Story - the Musical. 
What a thrill to see how well Illinois was represented among 1,500 other students from all over the United States as well as other countries who participated in this event.

Next year Illinois students have an even greater opportunity to shine since the International Thespian Festival is moving to Indiana, practically right next door! There are so many categories for high school theatre students to demonstrate their talents. For performers there are monologues, duet acting, group acting, solo, duet, or group musical theatre. In the technical area there are costume construction, costume design, lighting design, scenic design, sound design, and stage management. There are also short film production and script writing!

It would be wonderful if every Illinois high school drama teacher would urge at least one student to present at the "Thespys" (new name for Individual Events -  International Thespian Excellence Awards) adjudication sessions at the Illinois High School Theatre Festival - 2020. Registration will begin on October 15th through December 15th on the Illinois Thespian Website. If you have any questions about these honors, their presentation criteria, or scoring method click here  for access to Educational Theatre Association's Library, or contacts me, Carmel DeStefano . I would also be willing to come to your school to explain the awards to your students. I can't wait to see even more Illinois theatre students shine at next year's International Thespian Festival!

By Sarah Mattie
Forward by Britnee Rusctti Kenyon, Former ITA Secondary Rep.

At the beginning of the school year, it's easy to get swept up in the energy of the new school year. Things are fresh, new, and--hopefully--exciting. That energy can also cause us to  be swept up in the energy of saying "yes." We may agree to 
Sarah Mattie
things we don't have time for (either mentally or physically). We may put ourselves in situations that will eventually lead to burn out--sometimes sooner rather than later. 

As a new school year begins, I challenge you to put yourself first. While most of us, as this article says, are doing the job of twelve different people, we have to remember that if we're not at our best, none of those jobs are going to be done well. Draw your lines in the sand. Set boundaries. Prioritize. In order to be the best artists and educators, we have to treat ourselves the way we want to be treated. Respect yourself and the work you do. You will love yourself more and your students and theatre program will be better for it. 

For the entire article, click here.


By Richard Arnold, Jr., ITA College/University Rep.

 It is the beginning of a new year for those of us teaching.  With the idea of new years and beginnings, a few announcements need to be made.  First, I want to welcome Steven House to the Illinois Theatre Association Board of Directors.  
Steven is the new representati ve for Co lleges and Universities.  He is Head of Design at Western Illin ois Univers ity, and has worked throughout the US designing scenery as well as scene painting. Steven's a s sociation with the state of Illinois goes back several years as he 
earned his MFA at Illinois State University.  Personally, I am excited he has joined me in supporting and promoting the theatre w ork at the college level.  If you have thoughts about how ITA can support you and your department or program, or have ideas of an event ITA can help promote or sponsor, contact me or Steven.  We are always looking for input from you.

With that in mind, we are going to promote our schools theatre seasons.  At Western Illinois University they are opening with Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe, directed by Carolyn Backinton.  Performances are September 6 and 7.  Followed by Stupid F#@king Bird by Aaron Posner, directed by Bill Kinkaid.  Performances are September 25-29.  Next is Puffs directed by Adam Lewis, with two performances October 4 and 5. Next is Moonlight and Magnolias by Ron Hutchinson, directed by DC Wright.  Performances are October 23-27. The musical First Date by Austin Winsberg, music and lyrics by Alan Zachary & Michael Weiner, directed by Lysa Fox and musical direction by Lisa Wipperling.  Performances are November 1 and 2.  Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, directed by Carolyn Blackinton, runs November 6-10.  Additionally the BFA Showcase, directed by Lysa Fox and Lara Petrin, with Sharon Nott, runs November 15 and 16.  Finally, the Winter DanceWorks Concert, coordinated by Heidi Clemmens and Lara Petrin, runs December 5-8. 

Elmhurst College Department of Theatre and Dance Opens with Cabaret, directed by Andrew Behling (an alumni of both WIU and EC).  Performances run October 3-6 and 10-12.  On the Verge, directed by Janice Pohl, follows with performances November 14-17 and 21-24.  The spring brings a student directed production of This Side of Heaven, directed by Mary Margaret Tarsitano, running February 6-8.  A Doll's House, directed by Alan Weiger, follows with performances March 5-8 and 12-14.  A Doll's House, Part 2, directed by Laura Matthews, concludes the mainstage season, running April 23-25 and 31, as well as May 1-3.  In addition to these theatre productions, the Elmhurst College Dance Ensemble, led by Amy Lyn McDonald, performs in two dance concerts, December 7 and 8, and May 16 and 17.

Let us know what your school is producing, and we will make sure to get it in the ITA Friday Finds.  Or, you can post it on the ITA's College/University Group Facebook page.
A final note.  We lost a wonderful supporter of theatre in Illinois this August when joh n C urran passed away in August.  John was the other College/University Representative on the ITA Board when I began my service to the organization.  We worked together on several pr ojects for  ITA.  He taught design and technology at Aurora University and held leadership positions  there.  He is missed by Aurora students and alumni, and by many of us in ITA as well.  

By Cat Bowen,  Romper, June 17, 20 19
Intro by Jacqui Siegel, ITA Creative Dramatics Rep.
As a busy parent, trying to decide what classes we should sign our children up for can be a challenge. Here is a great quick read of WHY you should sign your children up for a musical theatre class! For the entire article, click here.
By Stacy Deemar, ITA Member

How often do you find yourself wanting to desperately see a show, but the ticket price will break the bank?  If you had it your way, you would be in the theatre every night watching a show if money was not an issue.  Let me share some secrets with you on how to be an avid theatergoer without paying the steep prices. is an on-line discount ticket broker for theatre, comedy, symphony, opera, concerts, sports, museums, tours, cruises, movies, circus, magic, dance, and other activities.  This site categorizes tickets into dates including today, this weekend, next 7 days, and an option to select future dates.  This website offers tickets at 40% - 50% off the regular ticket price, but a surcharge is included.

Hot Tix is a half-priced theatre service of the League of Chicago Theatres.  This organization has both a website and two locations at 72 E. Randolph and 108 N. State in Chicago.  They also have opened pop-up locations this year across the Chicagoland area with varying dates and times.  Go to for specific times and dates of their pop-up locations.  Hot Tix also offers a variety of half-priced tickets to theatre productions for the current week and future performances.

Todaytix is the "digital gateway to live shows, art and cultural experiences".  This site offers tickets up to 50% off the original price.  The selection includes same day seats or up to thirty days in advance for performances.  Visit their website at

The prices are comparable across all three discount ticket websites; however, sites can offer different tickets and dates.

Purchasing a season subscription to a theatre may offer a 30% - 40% savings rather than purchasing individual seats.  Most theatre subscription packages offer lower priced seats during the week rather than on the weekend.  If you are flexible with your seat location, the balcony and side orchestra sections are usually less pricey then the center orchestra area.  There are many theatres now offering flexible memberships that provide savings and membership perks too. 

Although the shows might not be in their final form, purchasing a preview subscription usually has reduced rates because the production is continuing to make tweaks.  Some believe the adage, "you get what you pay for" but for those of us who want to be the first to see a quality performance before the reviews are out, this may be a great opportunity.

Several theatres offer "rush" tickets.  These tickets can be purchased usually one to two hours before the performance, but there is a limited amount of these tickets.  Go to the theatre's website and/or call the box office to seek information about the theatre's rush ticket policy. 

Become a member of The Saints and see shows for FREE.  The Saints is a volunteer organization that supports arts organizations and ushers at over 1 00 arts venues including theatre, dance, and music, in the Chicagoland area. Interested prospects 18 years of age and older are required to first attend an orientation with no obligation to join.  A first time membership for people 36 and older is $100 and those 35 and under can join for $45.  After the initial membership, annual dues drop to $80 for those over 36 years old.

One of the benefits to becoming a Saint is that members are not required to usher a specific number of shows.  Instead, members select the shows and dates when they want to usher on the Saints easy on-line ushering sign-up.  Members are also eligible to attend industry nights at a nominal fee. Click here for more information.

Now that you know some secrets on how to get great Chicago entertainment tickets at affordable prices, I hope you enjoy the show!

Submitted by Don Shandow, ITA Community Theatre Rep.
The Weinstein scandal has inspired several new plays ranging from sharp satire to crass comedy. As the mogul heads to trial, we gauge theatre's response. Click here to read the article.
Clockwise from top left: John Malkovich in Bitter Wheat, Rose McGowan, Steven Berkoff in Harvey and Sexy Lamp. Composite: Getty Images/Murdo MacLeod
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