Illinois Theatre Association
Audition Registration for the 2020 IHSTF All-State Production of Aida is now available. Click here  
IHSTF 2020  Website updates will be available at the beginning of May.
Click here
Travel With the ITA President
to Ten Chimneys
Click Here

The AACT 2019 
National  Design Competition  will showcase the best 
of community theatre 
in this country. AACT 
member theatres and 
their designers may enter.  Designs must be 
of projects occurring 
between July 2017 
through June 2019. 
Click here for entry 

USITT Midwest Section  upcoming member  events: 
June 1 at  Lyric Opera of  Chicago Tech 
staff will  conduct an  in-depth  technical tour of the  Lyricand 
appropriate  show elements prior to the  matinee of West Side  Story . The Section has  purchased a very limited  number of discounted  main floor tickets for those  who join us for the tour.  Please e-mail Steve  Jacobs at  
to check availability. 


New Trier High School, in Winnetka, IL, is looking for a part-time (one-fifth) teacher to teach one section of Theatre 2 or Technical Theatre and Design. 

Stevenson High School (Lincolnshire) is seeking a Theatre Arts Teacher for the 2019 Summer School session. 

Timber Lake Playhouse,
is seeking an experienced Technical Director for its 2019 season. 

Timber Lake Playhouse seeks qualified applicants for CARPENTER positions for their 2019 summer and fall season. 

Grand Stage Co. has a full time Service Technician position available at the N. Knox, Chicago, IL location. 

Grand Stage Company is looking for motivated self-starters to join our sales team! 

Paramount School of the  Arts will be home to over 40 summer camps and is seeking to employ teaching artists in all areas of the arts.
Dunes Summer Theatre is  hiring a Stage Manager fo its summer season. This is an ideal position for a junior or senior in college. 
Parkland College, in 
Champaign, Illinois, is now hiring a full-time tenure track theatre director position for the Fall of 2019.

Click Here for ALL 
Job Details, or to Submit 
a Job Posting.


eta Creative Arts Foundation 
announces auditions for 
Stand Up! Auditions are by appointment only during the week of April 22-27. 

Theatre-on-the-Hill announces open auditions for  Legally Blonde, the musical on May 2, 7-10 pm, and on May 4, 11-2 pm.

Lewis University's Philip Lynch Theatre (PLT)  will hold auditions for Mamma Mia! on Tuesday, May 28 and Wednesday, May 29 at 7 pm.

Dunes Arts Foundation 
(DAF) and Dunes Summer Theatre hosts general non-equity auditions for its 2019 Summer Season.
Click here for ALL Audition Details, or to Submit an Audition.
(Bring Your Own Play)
Western Illinois University
5/1/19 - 5/3/19
Wed. - Fri. at 7:30 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!

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


The Illinois Theatre 
Association is partially 
supported by a grant from 
the Illinois Arts Council, 
a state agency.  
eFOLLOWSPOT   April , 2019
It Played in Peoria! 
By Carmel DeStefano,  ITA Second VP
From March 29th  through  the  31st,  over  100 
representatives from Illinois theatre communities converged on Peoria  for a whirlwind Festival: the Illinois Theatre Association's 3rd Bi-Annual Statewide Community Theatre Festival, It'll Play in Peoria, Illinois AACTFest. The days were filled with dynamic workshops, engaging roundtable discussions, compelling keynote presentations, and wonderfully diverse group of mainstage performances. Although I'm not involved in community theatre, I was able to attend this worthwhile event. (Just another perk of retirement!)
Friday and Saturday started out bright and early at the Peoria Park District with a variety of workshops (18 in total). With three separate sections (each session focusing on performance, administration, and technical theatre), I was able to learn about funding methods, the art of dramaturgy, engaging volunteers, new methods in lighting design, and applying drag makeup!  

In the afternoons the event moved to Peoria Players Theatre. Friday afternoon keynote focused on "Gender Identity" and "Consent and Collaboration" through two keynote speeches presented by Amy L. Wright, Ph.D. (ISU) and Gaby Labotka (Fight and Intimacy Choreographer). The insight from these two women was   oth inspiring and timely. On Saturday we observed and participated in an enjoyable performance of Playback Theatre, led by Jessi Hersman (Buffalo Grove Park District, Big Deal Productions). 

The evenings centered on performances for the AACTFest play competition, where companies sought to represent Illinois in the AACT regional Festival in April.
We were fortunate to view six very different plays: Creative Dramatics Workshop's Adams and Jefferson and The Marriage Proposal, Pec Playhouse Theatre's Private Eyes, Coalescence Theatre Project's Walking With My Ancestors, North Riverside Players The Crucible, and Mandi Theatre's Fourteen. Each show was followed by an oral critique from Allan Kimball and Marty Lynch, the AACT adjudicators. 

After our evening of theatre, the festivities moved to the Par-a-Dice Hotel adjacent to the riverboat casino for a chance to lift a glass, socialize, dance to the tunes of DJ Hogan, and experience the Miss Flo No Mo' Drag Show! 

The Festival culminated with a brunch on Sunday. During the award's presentation, it was announced that North Riverside Players and Coalescence Theatre Project's productions would advance to the Regional Competition.

This event was a wonderful experience thanks to the hard work of the Festival Committee, volunteers from Peoria Players Theatre , and AACT. A special THANK YOU to all who made this event a success! 

Dear Illinois Theatre Association Members and Friends,
It is with great pleasure that I have created an event, "Travel With the President to Ten Chimneys."
Ten Chimneys is the estate lovingly created by theatre legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. Those who visit, like guests of the Lunts, are welcomed into the Lunt's extraordinary home without the fuss of ropes or barriers.  
Tours of Ten Chimneys not only celebrate the one-of-a-kind collection the Lunts amassed during their lifetimes, but also honor the values found in every corner of the Lunts' lives, both on the stage and in the house they called home for more than half a century.

Date of the Trip: 
Sunday, June 2, 2019

Check-in: 10:00am
Harper College -- 1200 W. Algonquin Rd., Palatine, IL; 
please park in Lot 2 or 2A

Depart: 10:30am (via luxury bus)

Arrive: 12:00pm

Lunch/Brunch: 12:00pm - 1:00pm
(Ten Chimneys Lunt/Fontanne Center)

Tours: 1:00pm; 1:15pm; 1:30pm

(They also have exhibits set up for us to explore. There is a museum store -- which we must visit -- and there are outside nature trails we can leisurely walk through while we wait).

Depart: 4:00pm or so 
(we still need time to stop in the museum shop!)

Return Home: 5:30pm or so

About the Tours 
Full Estate  Tours provide  the optimum Ten Chimneys
experience, and feature the eclectic rooms of the elegant three-story Main House(including the Entry Hall, Garden Room, Flirtation Room, Drawing Room, Library, Belasco Room, Helen Hayes Bedroom, Laurence Olivier Bedroom, Noël Coward Bedroom, Master Bedroom, Lynn's Dressing Room, Lynn's Sewing Room, Dining Room, and Kitchen), the Swedish-style Cabin Studio, and the enchanting Cottage, as well as the exteriors of the Poolhouse, Greenhouse, Creamery, and other outbuildings.

Guests should allow two hours for this comprehensive tour.

Please note:
  • All tours guests should be comfortable walking and standing for the duration of their tour.
  • Purses and/or bags are not allowed to be carried on the tour and can be placed in lockers in the lobby prior to the tour.
  • Full Estate Tour guests need to navigate multiple flights of stairs and traverse lovely, but sometimes uneven, terrain.
  • Since the majority of the tour is indoors, weather does not greatly impact the experience. Tours run, rain or shine.Due to the estate's fagility, we regret that children under the age of 12 are not permitted to tour
$80 - ITA Members
$95 - Non-Members

*Includes round-trip transportation via luxury bus, lunch, tours, and a few special surprises!

Registration is limited to 30 so please register today! 

The final deadline for registration is May 25, 2019.

Ten Chimneys is really a wonderful place to visit. I can't wait to spend the day with you. It's truly magical! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact the ITA office.

Kevin Long, ITA President

Coalescence Theatre Project to Represent Illinois at National AACTFest
By Don Shandrow, ITA Community Theatre Rep & 
Executive Artistic Director of Coalescence Theatre Project
It is with great excitement that Coalescence Theatre Project announces that our entry into the Region III  AACT - American Association of Community Theatre Festival will be proceeding to the National AACTFest held in Gettysburg, PA.
Coalescence Theatre Project will be one of twelve companies that have participated in state and regional level festivals to earn the opportunity to present at this week long festival. We are proud to be representing Illinois and Region III of AACT (Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio) 
More details will be coming soon, but until then we are so very proud of the Walking With My Ancestors team on their accomplishments:
  • Outstanding  Actor in A Leading Performance - Ama Oforiwaa Aduonum 
  • Outstanding Direction - Kim Pereira
  • Outstanding Overall Production - Walking With My Ancestors by Ama Oforiwaa Aduonum

    Featuring Ama Oforiwaa Aduonum
    Directed by Kim Pereira
    Stage Manager - Tabitha Miller
    Stage Crew - George Jackson and Kojo Aduonum.

    Walking With My Ancestors was produced by Don Shandrow, Executive Artistic Director of Coalescence Theatre Project and ITA Board Community Theatre Representative.
To coalesce means to bring together. It can mean anything that comes together including events as they merge together to form something greater. Chosen first to represent Illinois at the Regional AACTFest, Walking With My Ancestors is now going to represent Illinois at the NationalAACTFest in Gettysburg, PA. The historical coalescence of this moment cannot go unnoticed. 

In a ritual of purification, Ama Oforiwaa enters and cleanses the stage of spiritual impurity as she prepares to reach out to her Ancestors who began their journey to the Americas as enslaved Africans in Ghana. Seeking guidance from the spirits of her Ancestors in order to come to terms with her life in America and her roots in Ghana, she takes a ritual   journey with the dead and discovers help, truth and peace while sharing in the depths of their pain and the exhilaration of their celebration in her communion with the dead

A play with these themes chosen to represent Illinois, the land of Lincoln, in Gettysburg, PA. Gettysburg where in 1863 our country saw the turning point in a war to end slavery. A war that tore our country apart and continues to be an underlying part of our discourse as a nation. A nation still disconnected and emotionally raw. 

As the subject matter of this production coalesces with Illinois' connection with Abraham Lincoln and the emotional rifts that still exists between races, the convergence at this historic location that means turning point adds a new question to its already rich themes. Can we be brave enough now at this turning point in our nation's history to confront and face these issues directly. We are admonished to listen, learn and purify ourselves. . Walking With My Ancestors includes music and dance as it presents a story of revelation, reconciliation and renewal.

The Coalescence Theatre Project, located in Bloomington Illinois, exists to incite our community to thoughtful action. Our logo, an abstract representation of the genetic tree of life, reminds us that we all come from one common Ancestor. We focus on unheard stories and offer a place where the silent and the underrepresented have a voice. 
The Coalescence Theatre Project aspires to be a home where play, discovery, and learning are celebrated and our audience reflects all of the people we serve. Our mission is equity and inclusion in the exploration of identity and our place in a global community.

For information on membership in the ITA and future play festivals and future ITA activities contact Aimee-Lynn Newlan, Executive Director of ITA, at

Why You Should Enroll Your Child 
in a Musical Theatre Class
By Laura Dumbleton, On Stag Blog, March 19, 2018
Introduction by  Jacqui Siegel, 
ITA Creative Dramatics Rep. 

In the fast paced world we live in, take some time to allow your children to explore the Arts! While STEM is on the brain of so many schools and educators, we need not forget the basics that our children need today; confidence, working with others, communication, and responsibility. 

Many people often think that theatre classes aren't right for their child. Perhaps your son has never expressed a  
Plano Children's Theatre.
desire to act or your daughter isn't interested in dancing, so you've never explored the possibility of them trying those hobbies. But what if there were other things for them to learn, underneath the tap dancing or acting out a part in a play?

Theatre doesn't just teach you to act, or dance, or sing. It can also instill in your child things they might not effectively learn elsewhere! 

Click here for the rest of the article.
Resource Guide "Under, Not Under, and Around Music Rights in Community Theatre"
By Lucinda Lawrence, ITA Member

You already know there are many variables for our uses of music. Since my Resource Guide "Under, Not Und er, and Around Music Rights in Community Theatre" covers areas of law, it is thorough and therefore not brief...  but YOU can understand the tangled 'bundle of rights' and use your understanding effectively with this guide to copyright, moral rights, public domain, which permission s and licenses apply, and where to find and acquire them. 
Click here  for the resource guide which 
is now linked in red font from my page in both slides format (perhaps easier to navigate and easier to digest in smaller bits) and printer-friendly PDF. (Refresh the page if a link is broken: updated PDFs get new URLs.) Please feel free to share this.
Amid Push for STEM Education, Arts  Instructors Stress Value of Theatre
By Laura Barack
Education Dive, Feb. 6, 2019
Introduction By Cassandra Quinn, 
ITA Secondary Education Rep

"Students who participate in theater can gain a number of soft skills - communication, listening skills and self-confidence, to name just a few - which can't be easily measured by standardized tests and yet play crucial roles in how graduates may fare when they enter the workforce. Most students who participate in are in middle and high school, as just 4% of elementary schools have theater programs."

As schools continue to expand science, technology, engineering and math opportunities, theater programs are proving beneficial in fostering soft skills and enhancing academics. Click here to read the entire article.

Back to Top 
By Stacy Deemar, ITA Member
Many drama teachers over the course of their careers morph into a professional director, actor, costume designer, make-up artist, playwright, lighting designer, program designer, choreographer, and set designer for each production.  Although each theatre responsibility can be a full time job, the drama teacher can use simple, easy and affordable backdrops to create impressive settings.
With advanced technology, photographic backgrounds are an easy and affordable way to bring any setting to the stage.  The best place to find a photographic background is on the internet.  There are a variety of vendors who carry a wide array of products and most companies can have deliver backdrops to your door within one to two days.
Photographic backdrops are printed on fiber material, plastic, polyester, vinyl, wrinkle free cloth, and/or velvet fabric.  Many digital high resolution prints are nonreflective, fade resistant, durable, waterproof, lightweight, and seamless.  Thus, the materials and features make this type of backdrop easy to assemble, disassemble, and store.
There is no standard size for a photographic background.  Each vendor carries a wide variety of sizes.  While searching for the perfect backdrop for a production, consider the size of the backdrops, the dimensions of the stage/performance space, and the number of backdrops needed to suit the stage/performance space.  
In performance areas without battens, the best display option for a backdrop is to use a backdrop support stand and crossbar, studio support clamps, and sandbags.  This type of support system requires minimal assembly and can be placed anywhere on the stage.  The disadvantages to using the support stand is that it may consume too much of the stage and the actors need to be careful not to bump into the fixture.
Backdrops can easily be hung from the battens on the stage.  Since the backdrops do not come with any type of hanging supplies, grommets, a flexible loop that serves as a fastening, support, or reinforcement, will need to be inserted.  Grommets should be placed approximately one and a half inches from the top of the backdrop and every four to five inches apart across the top.  
For those new to grommets, it is recommended to invest in at medium grade hand press grommet machine that includes the grommet and washers and the machine is adjustable for at least three different mounting holes.  There are resources available on how to use grommet machine including YouTube and grommet manufacturing companies websites that have videos and blogs. 
After the grommets are secure, zip ties, a type of fastener for holding items together, can be used to hang the backdrops.  Zip ties come in multiple sizes so measure the circumference of the batten before purchasing zip ties.  In order for the backdrop to hang straight, the zip ties need to be at the same length.
Enjoy the simple, easy, and affordable backdrops to creative impressive settings.  The audience will love them too!