OCTOBER 19-20, 2018


The Theatre Reunion Weekend features a special performance of our 2018-19 Mainstage season opener, The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood and directed by AJ Ware ’09, as well as receptions, industry breakout sessions with distinguished alumni, building tours, and a keynote talk by Anna D. Shapiro ’90, HDR ’15, artistic director of Steppenwolf Theatre.

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Photo by Frank Ishman

Photo by Frank Ishman

Artistic Director, Steppenwolf Theatre, Tony Award and Jeff Award-winning director (Chicago and Broadway, August: Osage County). Shapiro will give a keynote talk on Saturday, October 20 at 10 a.m.

Photo courtesy of Jim Jacobs

Photo courtesy of Jim Jacobs

Co-creator of the hit Broadway musical Grease. Chicago, Broadway, and national tour actor. Co-author of Island of Lost Coeds, Bats in the Belfry, and Remember the Night. He will speak at the opening performance of The Penelopiad on Friday, October 19.

Photo courtesy of DCASE

Photo courtesy of DCASE

Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and former Vice President of Student Success at Columbia College Chicago. Kelly will give opening remarks at the opening performance of The Penelopiad on Friday, October 19.


All events take place at
The Getz Theater Center

72 E. 11th St., Chicago


Alumni Night: Performance and Reception
(registration required)

5:00 p.m. Evening alumni reception
7 p.m. Remarks from Mark Kelly HDR '17, Jim Jacobs HDR ’14, and special guests
7:30 p.m. Performance of The Penelopiad
9:30 p.m. Activities conclude

Saturday, October 20

Alumni Open House
(registration required)

9 a.m. Alumni breakfast
10 a.m. Featured speaker: Anna D. Shapiro ’90, HDR ’15
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Industry breakout session panels (times and details below)
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tours of the Getz Theater Center
2 p.m. On-campus activities conclude

Post-event opportunities at local theaters will begin at 6 p.m.
(more information below, not included in reunion event pricing)

Pre-registration is required for all activities.
Space is limited. Pricing and additional event details listed below.


Support Columbia Theatre

Your tax-deductible gift will help foster the future of Columbia theatre. You can specify on the form that you want your gift to support the Theatre Department or the Sheldon Patinkin Award.

Saturday Industry Breakout Sessions

11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Two panels available during each session, attendees choose one.
All panelists listed below are subject to change.



Session ONE

11:15 a.m.–Noon

Panel OnE: Chicago Theatre

Moderated by Stephanie Shaw ’92, MFA ’09, professor of instruction

Carol Cohen, founder and executive director, Haven Theatre
Rachel Damon ’05, founder and artistic director, Synapse Arts; stage manager at Blue Man Group
Alison Dornheggen '01, actor, director, producer; artistic director, Wilmette Center for the Arts Theatre; ensemble member, Babes With Blades Theatre Company
Ilesa Duncan '99, artistic director, Lifeline Theatre; executive and artistic director, Pegasus Theatre Chicago; associate artist, Chicago Dramatists; 2007 Joseph Jefferson Award nominee
Almanya Narula ’12, actor, stage combat choreographer; editor and publisher, Chicago Theatre Now
Alex Rhyan ’15, production manager, Windy City Playhouse
Tiffany Keane Schaefer ’12, founder and artistic director, Otherworld Theatre Company
BrittneyLove Smith '11, actor and Eclipse Theatre Company ensemble member
Mandy Walsh ’99, actor and director; designer in the art department at The Second City

PANEL TWO: Playwriting/Writing for Performance

Moderated by Paul Amandes, associate professor

Preston Max Allen ’13, musical theatre writer, 2018 Joseph Jefferson Award nominee
Alex Fortune ’17, playwright and member of the Bittersweet Arts Company
Aaron Muñoz ’01, playwright, screenwriter, actor; artistic director, Nashville Story Garden
Cassandra Rose ’10, playwright, artistic director of the Chicago Theatre Marathon, Chicago Dramatists 2017-2019 Tutterow Fellow
Christopher M. Walsh, actor and playwright, Joseph Jefferson Award nominee



Session TWO

12:15–1 p.m.

PANEL ONE: Film and TV

Moderated by Jason Buyer ’95, adjunct faculty

Sam Hubbard ’12, actor and fight director
Christian Litke '05, stunt performer/coordinator (Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, Empire)
Aaron Muñoz '01, actor, writer, producer (Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, Tennis Tips with Freddy Love)
John Zuiker ’05, scenic designer, 2010 Joseph Jefferson Award Award Winner, 2017 Emmy Award nominee

PANEL TWO: Musical Theatre

Moderated by Jermaine Hill, assistant professor

Preston Max Allen ’13, musical theatre writer, 2018 Joseph Jefferson Award nominee
Jon Martinez, director, choreographer
Aaron J. Nelson ’12, Broadway actor (The Lion King)
Alex Newkirk ’11, actor, musical director, Columbia Theatre faculty
De’Jah Perkins ’18, musical theatre actor
Janissa Rose Saracino ‘13, actor, choreographer
Hannah Starr '14, actor, 2018 Joseph Jefferson Award nominee



Session THREE

1:15–2 p.m.

PANEL ONE: Comedy Writing and Performance

Moderated by Anne Libera, assistant professor

Pam Klier ’94, former member, Second City National Touring Company; former comedy touring agent, Creative Artists Agency
Angie McMahon ’98, teacher, The Second City; contributor, Funny or Die; founder, Chemically Imbalanced Comedy, Under the Gun Theater, and Snubfest comedy festival; producer-host, Talk to Me Like an Idiot (podcast)
Hannah Starr ’14, actor, 2018 Joseph Jefferson Award nominee
KJ Whitehead ’15, comedian, writer, and improviser'; Second City Training Center instructor; Playground Theater production scout

PANEL TWO: Theatre Design and Technology

Moderated by Jacqueline Penrod, associate chair and associate professor

Carol Cohen, founder and executive director, Haven Theatre
Devon Green ’18, scenic/prop designer; Broken Nose Theatre artistic associate
Rose Hamill ’16, managing director, Broken Nose Theatre
Michael Alex Joseph ’16, lighting designer
Jesse Klug ’05, lighting designer; Joseph Jefferson Award winner (2009 and 2017)
Jessica Harpeneau-Krometis ’09, lighting designer; 2008 John Murbach Columbia College Chicago Prize for Collaborative Design recipient
Brandon Lewis ’08, scenic and lighting designer
Alaina Moore ’13, production designer and costumer; 2014 Joseph Jefferson Award nominee
Alex Rhyan ’15, production manager, Windy City Playhouse
Therese Ritchie ’18, scenic and puppet designer; 2018 John Murbach Columbia College Chicago Prize for Collaborative Design recipient
Grant Sabin ’05, set designer; Joseph Jefferson Award Nominee (2006, 2008, 2015, 2017); 2015 Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award recipient; Columbia Theatre faculty
John Zuiker ’05, scenic designer; 2010 Joseph Jefferson Award winner; 2017 Emmy Award nominee

Additional Event Information

Pricing: $55 special weekend registration includes all the above. Friday only: $45. Saturday only: $20.
A portion of the proceeds benefits the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department.

Location: All activities take place at the Getz Theater Center of Columbia College Chicago, 72 E. 11th St., Chicago, IL 60605.

Questions: Please contact Amanda Clayton, Manager of Special Events, at or 312-369-8673.

Hotels: Columbia College Chicago alumni receive a discounted rate at the following hotels. Pricing varies. Contact the hotel for more information.

Parking: Public transit is best; Roosevelt Red Line stop nearby. Some metered street parking is available on Wabash Ave., as well as in parking garages and lots nearby. We encourage you to use a parking app such as Park Wiz, Spot Hero, etc.

Programming presented by Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department and Development and Alumni Relations.

Post-Event Opportunities

(not included in above pricing)

Oklahoma!: Winner Takes All

2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Studio 404 at the Getz Theater Center

After the reunion, check out Oklahoma!: Winner Takes All, the first performance by the inaugural cohort of the Columbia College Theatre Department’s MFA Program in European Devised Performance Practice. The program launched in 2017 as the department's first graduate-level program in partnership with the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA). A radical departure from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, this original performance piece weaves together a collage of new work created in response to nostalgia, desire, and the cost of victory.

Admission is FREE.

Theatre Reunion Weekend alumni and guests will also receive special discounts to two Chicago productions featuring Columbia College Chicago alumni on Saturday, October 20.

Otherworld Theatre

3914 N. Clark St.

All I Want Is One More Meanwhile, featuring Dylan Schaefer ’12

Otherworld Theatre, a company founded and led by Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department alumni, is the world’s first venue dedicated to the performance of science fiction and fantasy oriented theatre.

All tickets are PAY WHAT YOU CAN.

Raven Theatre

6157 N. Clark St.

Crumbs From the Table of Joy, featuring Terence Sims ’13 and Brandi Jiminez Lee ’15

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage's drama about family, faith, and revolution.

Tickets are $15 for Columbia College Alumni: use code COLUMBI6