Illinois Theatre Association
Illinois High School 
Theatre  Festival
ITA's 40th Annual Statewide  Professional Theatre Auditions
ITA's Statewide Community
Theatre Festival:
January 25-26, 2019
Eureka College Theatre

S tevenson High School  is looking for an individual to plan and support  Odyssey , a biennial, two-day fine arts festival. 

Parkland College, in Champaign, Illinois, is now hiring a full-time tenure track theater director position for the Fall of 2019.

Resurrection College Prep, an all-girls Catholic high school on the Northwest side of Chicago, is looking for a Music Director for their Spring Musical,  Hunchback of Notre Dame

Oswego East High School seeks a Costume Designer with experience in costume design, sewing and working with costume rentals for the Spring musical,  Cinderella!

Eastern Illinois University Department of Theatre Arts seeks qualified applicants for an Instructor of Musical Theatre Performance to teach undergraduate courses.  
Click Here for ALL 
Job Details, or to Submit a Job Posting.


ITA's 40th Annual Statewide Non-Equity Professional Auditions
Click here for details!

Aurora University 
Scholarships  Auditions can be scheduled online.

Marquette University Theatre Arts Program/Scholarship Auditions & Visit Day at Marquette University's Helfaer Theatre, Milwaukee, WI, on Saturday, February 16, 2019. 

Millikin University 
announces its Theatre & Dance Campus Audition Dates & Pre-screen Submission Deadlines for 2019 Admission. 

Western Illinois University's Department of Theatre and Dance
announces Musical Theatre BFA Auditions for the incoming class of 2019.

Click here for ALL Audition Details, or to Submit an Announcement.

Beauty & the Beast Jr.
Indian Valley Theatre
1/18/19 - 1/21/18
Fri. & Sat. at 7:30 pm
Sat. & Sun. at 2 pm

Songs for a New World
Aurora University
1/17/19 - 1/19/18
Thurs. - Fri. at 7:30 pm

Northern Illinois University 
2/13/19 - 2/17/19
Wed. & Sat. at 7:30 pm; Sat. and 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!

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    top    December , 2018

This year's three-day Festival will take place at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
January 10-12, 2019

ITA's 40th Annual
Statewide Non-Equity
Professional Theatre Auditions
February 2-3, 2019 
University of Illinois at Chicago 
Registration is Now Available for
Casting Directors and Actors
2/2/19 - Musical Theatre
2/3/19 - Non-Musical Theatre
Click Here  for Details
ITA's 3rd Bi-Annual Statewide 
 Community Theatre Festival 

It'll Play in Peoria -- Illinois AACTFest 
March 29-31, 2019 
Now Accepting Proposals for Workshops... 
Want to Lead a Workshop?  Click here!

Individual Registration
Will be Available by January 2nd.
Stay Tuned and Visit
for details. 


Is there a story behind your unique first name? 
My name is the Finnish spelling of a combination of some of my great grandmothers' names. My parents wanted something special and unique, and I think they found it!

Please tell us about your education/training in theatre. 
Well since you asked about my name story, I'll go way back to answer this question. I first discovered music, movement, and the stage when I was in pre-school -- I climbed up on a chair to sing "Yankee Doodle" at a school showcase because I was too short to reach the mic. That's where it all started! I truly joined the theatre in middle school though and fell in love with being on stage. From there, I took as many classes as possible and worked on every show in high school as an actor or technician. I later earned my Bachelor's in Musical Theatre Performance and Theatre Education at Illinois State University, and my Masters in Theatre Directing is from Roosevelt University.

What inspired you to choose a career in educational theatre?
I have a deep passion for social justice and community development, and I think theatre has the power to move people and change the world. I initially thought that I wanted to create art myself, but in college I found that I wasn't fulfilled solely as a performer. I discovered that teaching others how to be an artist empowers them to be the change they want to see, and that was so much more interesting! There's something very special about youth; there's a raw energy, enthusiasm, and vulnerability to teenagers. It's endlessly rewarding to work with students and witness them growing into themselves and their art.

What is the best thing about your job? 
Oooh I think I just said it! I love watching students make connections and grow as artists and human beings.

What is the biggest challenge you face related to your work in the theatre? 
I think that work-life balance is a huge challenge.  n order to create life on stage, we need to live it ourselves. It's important to fill our own wells in order to help fill others', but it's really hard to fit it all in.

Of what theatrical accomplishment are you most proud? 
I am most proud of two productions -- A Flea In Her Ear, which was my thesis show for my graduate program, and The Little Prince, which I directed last year. I think that each of those pieces has their own unique challenges, and I think I grew significantly as a director during each of those productions, though for different reasons.

Describe your personal history with the Illinois High School Theatre Festival. 
I'm a proud All-State alum. I remember sitting in a warm-up room for The Pirates of Penzance and hearing someone tell us to look around because we were sitting with people who would be our colleagues and arts collaborators for the rest of our lives. I found great power in that statement. Though we each followed our own path in college and after, I have found that many of my closest friendships and work relationships somehow come back to Theatre Fest. It's not just the folks who were in that rehearsal room that day, but it is my teachers, professors, mentors, colleagues and now, even my former students, who help make the Illinois High School Theatre Festival something special. I've served on the Committee in various positions, and am thrilled to have this opportunity as Executive Director.

What inspired the theme you have chosen for Theatre Fest 2019?
We are at a pivotal moment in American theatre.  As an arts community, we are making choices to give voice, presence, and power to groups who have historically been underrepresented. I believe all of our artistry is better and our world richer for the growing diversity on stage, backstage, and in positions of decision-making. Communities are rising up and telling their stories, and I think it's critical that we stop, listen, and help everyone around us take flight.
Describe the most challenging/rewarding parts of being the Executive Director for the Illinois High School Theatre Festival. 
See number 5! Work-life balance is huge, and I'm definitely looking forward to fewer emails come the end of January!

I think the most rewarding part of my job as Executive Director is all the work behind the scenes; there are opportunities to involve new schools, to make bold choices, and to (I hope) inspire and inform future Festivals. These plans are not glorious or always visibly 'out there,' but I truly hope to have a lasting impact on this organization and the Festival, despite the relatively short tenure of my position.
How can members from ITA divisions other than Secondary get involved in next year's Theatre Festival?
Talk to me or to Vic Pillola if you are interested in getting involved with the Committee. Workshops are a wonderful way to share your talent or knowledge with high school students, and we are always in need of teachers, directors, and theatre folks from any division to help respond to high school productions submitted to the Festival.

ByJacqui Siegel
ITA Creative Dramatics Representative

Special Gifts Theatre is an educational and therapeutic theatre company for children, teens and adults with disabilities. SGT uses the stage as a platform to teach speech and language skills, social skill development and emotional literacy.  All of our students are paired 1:1 with a Peer Mentor who undergoes 3 weeks of Disability Awareness Training. The staff team is comprised of therapists, special educators, and theatre arts professionals.

There are locations in Winnetka, Libertyville, Chicago, and Palatine. Click here  to learn more or to get tickets to an upcoming show! 

When Blake found out she was going to play the role of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, she was beyond excited! Her parents, on the other hand, were a little nervous. Blake happens to have special needs and has very limited verbal skills. Her mom asked the staff at Special Gifts Theatre how Blake could carry the lead in a show when she's non-verbal.  But we promised to make sure Blake would shine - and that's exactly what happened. We edited the script in such a way that the other characters were able to support her role (such as the Lion asking Dorothy, "Is this the way down the Yellow Brick Road?" and then Dorothy could nod, or lead the way.) It was beautiful!  And it's what Special Gifts Theatre is all about - giving individuals with special needs the chance to shine.  

By Joan McGrath
ITA Professional Theatre Representative

Oscar accolades, Tony honors, Emmy tributes: the recognition by one's peers is an indelible -- maybe indescribable -- career high.  
Imagine if you could be a major factor in deciding who receives those coveted, breathtaking awards!
As an Illinois Theatre Association member, you are in the potent position of determining the nominees for another highly esteemed industry acclamation: the Annual ITA Awards of Excellence.  
When you joined the ITA, you acquired a number of valuable perks, like exclusive access to an on-line membership directory, newsletters, job and audition announcements; discounted event pricing and the ability to communicate with fellow members through our various Facebook group pages.
One particular perk you might not be aware you have acquired is the "Nominator Privilege." You have the prerogative of being the forerunner in selecting the individuals and/or organizations singled out for state-wide recognition.  
Annually, ITA members nominate movers-and-shakers in nine categories who have profoundly impacted quality theatre and theatre education throughout Illinois. These noteworthy nominees are then approved by ITA's divisional representatives and voted upon by the ITA Board of Directors. The winners are celebrated at the festive Annual ITA Red Carpet Gala. 
Among the prolific professionals ITA members have designated in recent years for outstanding career achievements are Jackie Taylor of Black Ensemble Theater, Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune, Dean Richards of WGN Radio, The Albany Park Theater Project and Victory Gardens Theater.
Some of the awardees at this year's festive event held on August 25th at Drury Lane Theatre, Oakbrook, were:

Skyline Studios, provider of top notch children's theatre programming in Chicago and Northern suburbs, received the Award for Excellence in Creative Drama,

Jeremy Schaefer, Artistic Director of Imagination Theater, who is known as a strong theatre facilitator statewide, was named for Excellence in Theatre for Young Audinces.

Chicago Shakespeare's Education Department, which unites the skills of theatre artists and classroom educators to "bring Shakespeare to life," garnered the Award of Honor for a Non-ITA Member.
At the podium, the 2018 recipients expressed heartfelt thanks to their nominators and to theITA.  Several claimed this singular recognition and career validation has helped revitalize them individually and has strengthened the fundraising efforts of their organizations. One recipient, Skyline Studios, subsequently organized a tribute to its local community, re-dedicating their award to the Winnetka Community House. Clearly this accolade is most treasured.
You have the opportunity to be a vital part of the award process.  ITA invites you to exercise the special privilege inherent in your membership and nominate a colleague, mentor or visionary you respect for recognition in 2019.  
And, next season, the winner is....of your choosing.

To nominate an individual or organization for a 2019 Award of Excellence, please click here.
By Tristen Pate, December 9, 2011 
Forward by Jason Narvy, 
ITA College, University Representative 
Throughout the last decade, there has been an increasing pressure put on companies to find ways to obliterate that fourth wall and remind audiences precisely why live  performance cannot be replaced with a digital device. Or at the very least, remind people that theaters are not meant to be quiet and column, but rather lively and powerful. One of the many answers to these questions has been the viability of the Actor-Musician. Venues large and small have made performances into visceral, powerful audience interactive experiences through the addition of one or more actors who double as musicians - be it for straight plays, plays with music, or a traditional musical. Sometimes these Actor Musos double as specific characters (who happen to play an instrument) or they serve onstage in lieu of a traditional pit orchestra.  The one thing they always do in a show is remind us that we are seeing something live and highly theatrical.
This brings to the forefront questions of how these performers should be trained, where they should be trained, what their marketability is, and what they sacrifice by dedicating a
large portion of their actor training to the study of a musical instrument(or two)? This article, though originally published a few years back  examines what it means for one actor and how she has tried to walk that fine line between theatricality and truthful storytelling.
Click here for the full article by Tristen Pate.
By Marsha Norman
Forward by Don Shandrow - 
ITA Community Theatre Representative

The Count is "an ongoing study by the Lilly Awards in partnership with the Dramatists Guild" to answer the question "who is being produced in American theatre?" Gender and racial disparity in the plays presented on stages across the country continues to be an ongoing issue and one that can   only be resolved by recognizing that there are voices that are underrepresented and making parity a part of season selections. Community theatres in particular are in a position to lead in taking on this concern. As an ITA Community Theatre Representative, my  challenge to ITA member community theatres is to be mindful in our play selection processes as we strive for parity.

For the complete article, click here
By Stacy Deemer, ITA Member
When was the last time you updated your resume? Ten years ago? Two years ago? Never? You don't have a resume?! Whether you have been teaching in the same position for one year or thirty years, there is no better time than the present to prepare a current resume. An exciting opportunity might appear when you least expect it. Summer camp theatre director, adjunct professor, education director, artistic director, or a commercial director position may pique your interest. Are you ready to apply?
There are a variety of resume formats that can be utilized. Personal preference coupled with the amount of content for the resume may direct the writer to the appropriate format. The drama teacher's resume should include the following information: name and contact information, objective/summary, education and certification, current and past work experience including responsibilities and accomplishments, professional organizations/affiliations, technical skills, published articles, awards, conference presentations, languages, and hobbies and interests. 
Personal information should be placed at the top of the resume. The name can be highlighted and have a larger font than the other text on the resume. Contact information can include: personal email address, home address, cellular number, and Twitter, LinkedIn, and the educator's teaching website address. 
Include the university attended and the degrees earned. The grade point average is optional. The major in which the degree was earned in addition to any secondary academic discipline is relevant too. Finally, add all state and city certifications and endorsements.
Most educator resumes have an objective or summary in the top portion of the resume. This is a one to two sentence statement that defines the educator's goals for the teaching position and/or school.
The current work experience portion of the resume should be listed in reverse chronological order with the most recent job listed at the top. Use bullet points rather than full sentences to describe responsibilities and achievements in each position. Start each bullet point with a strong action verb such as created, facilitated, developed, supervised, authored, produced, directed, chaired, launched, pioneered, integrated, showcased, etc. to highlight your accomplishments. Finally, include the start and end dates for each position.
Professional organization on the resume features the educator's interest in their vocation as well as their field. National, state, and local affiliations such as the National Education Association, Illinois Teachers Association, and local district memberships can be included. Drama/theatre specialists should also include their professional organization memberships such as SAG-AFTRA, Make-Up Artists & Hair Style Guild, Directors Guild of America, Association of Lighting Designers, Dramatist Guild of America, etc.
Teachers should be proficient in both word processing and excel programs. Thus, in the technical skills portion of the resume, the educator can list their aptitude for programs and applications that specifically pertain to creative drama/theatre, playwriting, directing, lighting designing, make-up, set design, and costume design.
Published articles, awards, and leadership positions at conference presentations are distinguished criteria on the resume. These professional accomplishments feature the educator's talents outside of the classroom. Depending on the amount of publications, awards, and presentations, a supplemental document may need to be furnished upon request.
Other features that highlight the educator's talents include languages spoken and hobbies/interests.  Listing participation in an orchestra, for example, shows self-motivation, collaboration, and value for the arts. These transferable skills demonstrate how the educator relates to other artistic and learning environments.
There are also common resume oversights made by educators. Electronic resumes should be saved in multiple formats such as pdf, docx, doc, etc. When applying for a job, check for specific guidelines concerning the format of the resume.  
The current employer's email and phone number should be included on an application but not on the resume. Consider eliminating a date when a degree was earned because the year might reveal one's age. Again, dates of degrees earned can be included on an application.
Forego placing a picture on the resume. A photo on a resume can lead to discrimination, bias, and favoritism. Most human resources departments spend less than one minute perusing a resume. Thus, a picture could possibly distract from one's knowledge, skills and experience.
Weird fonts, color or anything that could distract a reader from the content should be excluded. Before sending out a resume, check for grammar and spelling errors.  Finally, avoid listing one's entire work history and try to keep the resume to one page. 
For more information about writing a job winning resume, go to: