From Our President
A Letter from Carmel DeStefano
of the Illinois Theatre Association,
Dear Members of our Theatre Community;
I hope this letter finds that you are going out and enjoying this balmy summer weather. Isn’t it wonderful that we are once again going out with friends to dinners, concerts, and theatres? Although it seems that Zoom meetings are here to stay, it’s grand that we are also able to meet in person. Well, we on the ITA Board have actually been quite busy planning ways for all of us to get together again.
Improving communication with our fellow theatre artists has been one of our major projects for this year. If you haven’t yet done so, please take a moment to check out the new ITA website. It is a space where we hope to celebrate all of Illinois Theatre. With your help, we hope to become a source for performance information from the five ITA Divisions. Use the link in the weekly Friday Finds to submit your theatre season.
Our Board members have also been developing a calendar of events for the next year. Each division has set up dates for a major and minor event, as well as divisional meetings (on Zoom) to discuss and share ideas with other artists. Stay tuned, the calendar will be posted in August, so you can save those important dates well in advance. I hope you have noticed that the slate for the 2022-2024 Board of Directors has been posted on the ITA website. The election ballot will be sent on September 1 to all active ITA members. Be sure to vote!
As we enter our 50th year as an association, we are also looking at the past of the ITA as a guide and inspiration for the future. To facilitate this task, a new committee has been formed consisting of retired officers and members called The Emeritus Group. This group is hoping to construct a narrative of how the ITA began and grew through the years. These members would also like to serve as mentors and resources for the new generation of theatre artists. More on that later.
Also in the works is the Illinois High School Theatre Festival slated for January 12 - 14, 2023 at the University of Illinois. The theme chosen by the IHSTF Executive Director, Ryan Lambert, is “Are You Living or Just Existing?” Now, that’s a question we have all been asking ourselves after two years of the pandemic. With the cancellation of the last Festival, the Planning Committee is chomping at the bit to create an event that truly entertains, educates, and inspires our high school students. It will be wonderful seeing all those enthusiastic, young artists together again!
“Together Again” seems to be the theme for the ITA in the coming year. After all the Zoom meetings and virtual performances and workshops of the last two years, it’s time to meet in person! The ITA will kick off this year of live action on September 24, 2022, with “Together Again, a Day Celebrating All Things Theatre!” The day will begin with a welcome and Keynote speech by Michael Novak, the Artistic Director for the Paul Taylor Dance Company. The presentation will be followed by the Annual Membership Meeting where the 2022-2024 Board of Directors will be inducted. At noon an Awards Luncheon will celebrate Excellence in Professional, College, Community, Secondary Education, and Creative Drama theatres. An afternoon of workshops, divisional meetings, and a cocktail hour will round out the afternoon.
Please, plan to get together with us for the first major event of what I hope will be a theatrically packed year! Click on the image below!