Many colleges in the Chicago area offer professional and low-cost theatre productions. Seeing a drama production at the college level is a great way to experience the arts without having to spend a lot of money or driving long distances. Attending a college production is also a great way to support local community colleges and four-year universities; many of the colleges and universities allow their students to see the productions free of charge. The following college drama productions are some of the best to see this year in the Chicago area.
Elgin Community College Theatre
1700 Spartan Drive
Elgin, IL 60123
Date: Nov. 1-17, 2013
In this Noel Coward classic comedy, a novelist decides to hold a séance to research his next book and the examination of the paranormal has some disturbing side effects. This theatre production will be held on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from November 1 through the 16 at Elgin Community College Theatre. Tickets are $11 for adults and $9 for students and seniors.
Northern Illinois University
Huntley Middle School Auditorium
1515 S. 4th St.
DeKalb, IL 60115
Date: Oct. 17-20, 24-26, 2013
The production was written by the Tony Award-nominated actor John Cariani (“Law and Order”) and consists of 11 linked vignettes about romantic love, the trials and tribulations that are involved with being in love and also the heartfelt connections and hope that happen when in love. While the theatrers at NIU are going through renovations until 2015, this drama production will be held at the local middle school (Huntley Middle School). The production will run from Thursday, October 17 through Saturday, October 26, 2013. Be sure to check back frequently on the website as a printable 2013-2014 season brochure will be available soon.
1151 N. State St.
Elgin, IL 60123
Date: Oct. 24-26, 2013
The fall theatre production of “Brew Ha-Ha” will be held October 24 through October 26, 2013 in Thulin Performance Hall in the Thompson Center. The “Brew Ha-Ha” concept is created and directed by Kellee Stall. “Brew-Ha-Ha” consists of seven, 10-minute comedic plays that are being placed in a coffee shop. The play begins with two baristas opening the coffee shop who discover there is some sort of critter in the duct work. As more customers arrive throughout the day, the audience will see scenes of first dates, confrontations and misunderstandings. The audience will meet a stalker, a cantankerous blind man, a claustrophobic and an awkward poet. The Judson stage will be converted into a semi-functioning coffee shop. The audience can come on stage during intermission for a cup of Judson’s own Jerry’s Cafe Brew Ha-Ha blend coffee. Cast members will be playing live music throughout, during transitioning times of the scenes and during some of the musical scenes. There will be a cafe resident hipster who will tweet live for the audience to follow. The audience will be encouraged to use their phones to follow tweets or take photos and post them at the cyber cafe.
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Concordia University Chicago
7400 Augusta St.
River Forest, IL 60305
Date: Nov. 14-24, 2013
This theatre production will run from November 14 through November 24, 2013. This production by Aristophanes was originally performed in Athens in 411 BC. This comedy is about Lysistrata, a strong and brave women who wants the Peloponnesian War to end and tries to end the war by persuading the women of Greece to withhold sex from their husbands and lovers in hopes the men would be willing to come to a quick, peaceful end. However, this strategy brings upon another war which is the one between men and women. The production will be directed by Mellissa Lorraine, Artistic Director of Theatre Y.
Getz Theatre Box Office
72 E. 11th St.
Chicago, IL 60605
Date: Nov. 13-23, 2013
This production is based in the 1960s Baltimore area and tells the story of plump teen Tracy Turnblad and her eventual success in landing a spot on the local dance show, “The Corny Collins Show.” Tracy quickly finds newfound fame and uses it to fight against racial discrimination. This college drama production will run November 13 through November 23, 2013 with specific performance times listed on the website. Cost of the tickets are $15 for general admission, $5 for seniors and students from other schools and Columbia College Chicago students are free.
Michelle Guilbeau is an elementary teacher living in Chicago, Illinois. She has also experience in school administration and literacy coaching. Michelle enjoys sharing her knowledge of education and parenting issues with her readers. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.