Department of Theatre Department of Theatre Department of Theatre Department of Theatre Department of Theatre
College of Arts & Sciences

Department of Theatre

Questions?

John Warrick
+1 630 637 5624
jawarrick@noctrl.edu

Theatre Department

At North Central College you can shine onstage or learn the ropes backstage. We nurture talents and interests in performance, dance, music, management, design, and technical theatre. Our students act, sing, and dance. Students also direct shows, design lighting and even produce plays and musicals they have written.

Major in Theatre or Musical Theatre 
The centerpiece of North Central College's program is the Theatre Practicum. Theatre majors, minors and Musical Theatre majors are required to participate in multiple faculty-directed, main-stage plays. Your training in our state-of-the-art facilities will prepare you for professional and personal pursuits in performance and technical theatre.

We encourage theatre majors to specialize. You may concentrate your studies in such areas as performance, technical theatre, directing, or Playwriting through our array of course offerings or independent study options.

As a musical theatre major, you can continuously hone your craft while taking traditional performance classes. You may study voice or dance technique in upper-level courses while taking classes in contemporary acting styles, the business of theatre and acting on camera.

You don't have to be a theatre major to be a theatre student!
All students are invited to participate in North Central's theatre program. Anyone can audition for a show—first-year students are as likely to land roles as seniors; History majors are as likely to be scholarship recipients as theatre majors. Our faculty thrives on developing talent in anyone who brings a passion and our program is rich in diversity and openness.

Mission Statement 
The Department of Theatre is a community of artists/scholars/citizens dedicated to provoking and sustaining interest in theatre, as a source of insight into the human condition; through both skills and inquiry-based learning in our classrooms, and public performances on our stages. 

The Theatre program at North Central College is designed to engage students in a wide array of theory, technique, scholarship, and aesthetics that constitute the Theatre Arts. The programs serves: 1) majors and minors preparing for careers in theatre, and allied careers where knowledge of theatre production is required; 2) students who take academic courses to meet general education requirements or who find courses in theatre, musical theatre, and dance to be attractive components of a liberal arts education; and 3) those who participate in campus musical and non-musical productions as a way of enriching their lives. 

The department offers a broad spectrum of courses in acting, dance, design, direction, music, and production. The co-curricular program, supervised by the faculty, offers students opportunities for creative expression and skills practice through both the fully mounted main stage season and several student-directed productions.

Our Majors

  • B.A. Theatre- Acting Track
  • B.A. Theatre- Directing and Dramaturgy Track
  • B.A. Theatrical Design and Technology 
  • B.A. Musical Theatre

Our Minors

  • Theatre 
  • Dance 

Theatre, Acting Track, B.A.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Theatre.

Major Requirements

Core Courses

Acting Courses

Two of the following:

Theatre Practicum

Six semesters of the following:

Note:

*Theatre Practicum may be taken for zero credit hours, or for credit in partial satisfaction of elective credits, up to College limits. These hours are in addition to, not part of, the hours required for the major.

Additional Requirements for the B.A. Degree

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.A. Degree Requirements within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

Theatre, Directing and Dramaturgy Track, B.A.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Theatre.

Major Requirements

Core Courses

One of the following:

Advanced Electives

Four credit hours from the following:

Theatre Practicum

Six semesters of the following:

Note:

*Theatre Practicum may be taken for zero credit hours, or for credit in partial satisfaction of elective credits, up to College limits. These hours are in addition to, not part of, the hours required for the major.

Additional Requirements for the B.A. Degree

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.A. Degree Requirements within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

Theatrical Design and Technology, B.A.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Theatre.

Major Requirements

Core Courses

Acting Courses

One of the following:

Theatre Design Courses

Two of the following:

Theatre Technology Courses

One of the following:

Theatre Practicum

Six semesters of the following:

Note:

*Theatre Practicum may be taken for zero credit hours, or for credit in partial satisfaction of elective credits, up to College limits. These hours are in addition to, not part of, the hours required for the major.

Additional Requirements for the B.A. Degree

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.A. Degree Requirements within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

Musical Theatre, B.A.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Theatre.

Major Requirements

Core Courses

Advanced Theatre Courses

Two of the following:

Dance Courses

One of the following:

Voice Lessons

Six semesters of:

Piano Lessons

Six semesters of:

Theatre Practicum

Six semesters of the following:

Note:

*Voice lessons, piano lessons and theatre practicum may be taken for zero credit hours, or for credit in partial satisfaction of elective credits, up to College limits. These hours are in addition to, not part of, the hours required for the major.

Additional Requirements for the B.A. Degree

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.A. Degree Requirements within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

Dance Minor

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Theatre.

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 24 credit hours, including:

Core Requirements

Electives

Eight credit hours from the following:

Theatre Practicum Requirement

Three semesters of Theatre Practicum (THEA 115 , THEA 116 , THEA 117 and/or THEA 118 ). Practicum credit is given to students participating in departmental productions. Students may get credit for: 1) Being in a show as a dancer 2) Working on a show in a production assignment having to do with dance. Examples include: Choreographer, Assisstant Choreographer or Dance Captain. Practicum courses may be taken for credit or no credit, and a maximum of six hours may count towards the 128 hours required for graduation. These hours are in addition to, not part of, the hours required for the minor.

Theatre Minor

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Theatre.

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 24 credit hours, including:

Core Requirements

One of the following:
One of the following:

Electives

Eight additional credit hours from any Theatre courses. With prior advisor approval this requirement may be satisfied by non-departmental drama courses.  A maximum of three credit hours of Dance may be completed in partial satisfaction of this requirement.

Theatre Practicum Requirement

Three semesters of the following:

Note:

Theatre Practicum may be taken for zero credit hours, or for credit in partial satisfaction of Cellege electives credits, up to College limits. Practicum credit is given to students participating in any of our departmental productions. Students may get credit for: 1) Being in a show 2) Working on a show in a production assignment or crew position 3) Taking on a managerial role within the production (producer, assistant director, stage manager. These hours are in addition to, not part of, the hours required for the minor.)

NOTE: This page contains all of the regular course descriptions for this discipline or program. Not all courses are offered every year. Check Merlin, our searchable course schedule, to see which courses are being offered in upcoming terms. 

Theatre Faculty

John Warrick
John Warrick

Professor of Theatre; Chairperson, Department of Theatre
Theatre
+1 630 637 5624
Laura Lodewyck

Associate Professor of Theatre; Assistant Director of College Honors Program; Head of Acting
Theatre
+1 630 637 5297
Brian Redfern

Assistant Professor of Theatre
Theatre
Mitzi Smith

Assistant Professor of Theatre
Theatre
+1 630 637 5270
Jeremy Ohringer

Half-time Assistant Professor of Theatre
Theatre

Student Opportunities

Chicago's Professional Theatre
Take advantage of our proximity to one of the greatest theatre cities, and join classmates and faculty in attending theatrical performances in Chicago. See work ranging from Equity companies, professional touring shows, and the imaginative "storefront" theatre productions for which Chicago is well known.

Design and Technical Opportunities
Technical theatre students work closely with faculty to pursue their individual professional interests and develop the skills and portfolio necessary to work as theatre professionals. Unlike many other institutions, advanced students are given the responsibility of working as a designer on a full production with a departmental budget.

Guest Artists 
North Central College is committed to bringing in Chicago professionals each year to teach, direct, or design. It is imperative to your growth as an artist to continue learning new perspectives during your college career. This also allows you to build relationships and extend your range of networking.

Independent Study 
Working alongside a faculty member, you can create a specialized topic of interest that may not be offered as a course. Subjects range from commissioned playwriting and solo performance to costume design and European performance art. Independent studies place the learning in the students' hands. Hear alumnus Nick Wehrwein describe how independent study helped him achieve his dream.

Internships
Our excellent reputation and long-standing relationships within the Chicago theatre community enable several annual opportunities to apply for internships with prominent theatre companies. North Central College is one of the few institutions from which the Equity theatre companies of American Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, and The Other Theatre Company regularly cast students as understudies, ensemble interns, or cast members. Students have also received internships at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, First Folio Theatre, and TimeLine Theatre.

Master Classes and Workshops
You’ll be able to meet professional actors, singers, dancers, technicians, agents, and casting directors. You will learn from these seasoned professionals in weekend workshops, one-day intensives, and advanced seminars. Ask questions, trade stories, and develop an understanding of what it takes to make it in the professional world.

Regional Auditions 
North Central College faculty actively support your professional development. They will assist you with one-on-one coaching of songs and monologues, provide advice on completing applications and design portfolios, and help to find summer internships and opportunites. Faculty also help prepare interested students for large annual regional auditions, such as the University/Resident Theatre Association (URTA) auditions.

Richter Grants
This program provides grants of up to $5,000 for for individual research projects and accompanying travel. Theatre students have received money to visit locations such as the following:

  • Ireland - to learn the regional dialect in preparation for work as a dialect coach
  • France - to study Ensemble Theatre and relate it to U.S. practice
  • London and New York City - to analyze the differences of musical theatre performance styles
  • U.S. Regional Theatre Festivals - to propose strategies for actor success at a "cattle call"

SEA Conference
Housed at North Central College, Self-Employment in the Arts (SEA) assists artists of all kinds in advancing their entrepreneurial skills and knowledge. Through SEA, performing artists learn key business concepts that help promote success. SEA also hosts an annual regional conference that focuses on career development for creative professionals, to which NCC students are provided a substantial discount.

Student Initiatives: The Company
The Company is a student-run organization that mounts a variety of activities annually, such as storytelling and snacks at the Pfeiffer Hall "Ghost Night," original student-produced One-Acts and Monologues, and improv nights. The Company receives college funding for student-proposed ideas. It is a wonderful opportunity to try out new work, or to experiment in a different creative capacity, within the supportive community of your peers.

Theatre Scholarships 
Scholarships are available to all students, regardless of major. Scholarships are merit-based, and vary in amount depending on the quality of your audition or design/technical portfolio and interview. If you receive a full theatre scholarship, you are required to work on one show per term in some capacity (cast or crew). You also must sign up for one technical term per year. This will allow you to obtain additional production experience. When you are not on tech term, you are expected to put in ten hours of production work (shop hours) per term. (This is part of, not in addition to, the shop hours required for courses such as THE 115 - Practicum.) Limited theatre scholarships with fewer requirements are available to students who are Music or Music Education Majors; these enable you to complete your obligations to both Music and Theatre. Participating in multiple aspects of production through the scholarship program gives you broader experience and deepens your knowledge as a theatre practitioner.

Senior Showcase 
North Central College hosts an annual showcase in Chicago featuring graduating Theatre Performance and Musical Theatre majors. This popular event is well attended by established local agents, casting directors, and other theatre professionals. Hear alumna Lauren Omelson describe how pivotal this opportunity was to her commercial success.

Student Directed Series
Students are selected from a competitive proposal process to direct a fully staged production that is mounted as part of North Central College's Theatre season. These students receive department support to direct their work in one of our state-of-the-art spaces, including original plays or work by emerging local playwrights.

Study Abroad 
If you wish to expand your education abroad, the Office of International Programs can help match you with one of over fifty programs worldwide. For instance, you may join North Central classmates in London and participate in an international exchange program to experience the theatrical culture of England.

Theatre News

Musical theatre major dances her way into "Dance Nation" at Steppenwolf Theatre

Ariana Burks ’21 is already a seasoned theatre professional in Chicago and most recently built upon her experience as Sofia in “Dance Nation.” Burks has a long list of impressive credentials, including other roles at the Steppenwolf, the Goodman Theatre, the Writers Theatre, House Theatre of Chicago, Chicago Children’s Theatre, the Paramount Theatre and Drury Lane Oak Brook...

'Wellesley Girl' and the year 2465

Have you ever wondered what life might be like in the future? Written by Brendan Pelsue and directed by Jason Gerace, “Wellesley Girl” fast-forwards to the year 2465. Set in Weston, Massachusets, the play portrays an imagination of what American politics could become...

North Central College Summer Music Theatre Is Set To Present Disney's 'The Little Mermaid'

North Central College Summer Music Theatre presents Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” Based on the Hans Christian Anderson story of the young mermaid who longs to live in the magical world above the waters, come and see the power of Triton, the dark magic of Ursula, the wily antics of Sebastian, and, of course, Ariel and Eric to name a few...

Behind the scenes with “Sweeney Todd” choreographer Carter Sherman ’19

With dress rehearsals underway for North Central College theatre program’s senior musical “Sweeney Todd,” we managed to steal some precious time from the show’s choreographer, Carter Sherman ’19, who gave us a glimpse behind the curtain in a Q&A...

Our Hot New Faces of Chicago Theater: Here come the next names to know, Class of 2018

They’ve impressed us at TimeLine. Knocked us out at Victory Gardens. Made us chortle at Second City. Blown us away at the Lookingglass. They’re a diverse crew but they all are into truth and creativity, ensemble and commitment, theater and Chicago...

North Central’s partnership with Chicago theater recognized in 50th annual Jeff Award nominations

Twenty-four world-premiere plays and musicals are among the nominees for the 2018 Equity Joseph Jefferson Awards, which recognize exceptional theatrical productions in the Chicagoland area. Among the 178 nominations in 31 categories, North Central stands alone as the only college amid the competition...

Wyoming field research inspires commemorative performance of “The Laramie Project”

As the house lights dim, a deafening silence sweeps over the stage. The absence of sound allows stirring, dynamic character work to come to the forefront...

Students Work With Chicago Theater Company In Summer Production

Up with the curtain and on with the show! Fourteen North Central College theatre students were selected for understudy and production assistant positions in the 2017 summer production of “Machinal” by Greenhouse Theater Center, as part of the College’s recent collaboration with the organization...

View Photographs of Past Productions

 

North Central College 2022-2023 Season

Constellations

by Nick Payne

Directed by Jeremy Ohringer

Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall

October 6 at 7:30 pm

October 7 at 7:30 pm

October 8 at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm

October 9 at 2:00 pm

 

Witch

by Jen Silverman

Directed by John Warrick

Madden Theatre

November 3 at 7:30 pm

November 4 at 7:30 pm

November 5 at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm

November 6 at 2:00 pm

 

next to normal

Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey

Music by Tom Kitt

Storefront Musical Directed by Jacob Rehling

Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall

December 1 at 7:30 pm

December 2 at 7:30 pm

December 3 at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm

December 4 at 2:00 pm

 

Renascence

Book by Dick Scanlan

Music by Carmel Dean

Lyrics by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Directed by Mitzi Smith

Madden Theatre

February 16 at 7:30 pm

February 17 at 7:30 pm

February 18 at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm

February 19 at 2:00 pm

 

SHOW 5

Directed by Jeremy Ohringer

Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall

March 30 at 7:30 pm

March 31 at 7:30 pm

April 1 at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm

April 2 at 2:00 pm

 

The Wolves

by Sarah DeLappe

Storefront Series Production Directed by McKenna Kreiling

Madden Theatre

April 27 at 7:30 pm

April 28 at 7:30 pm

April 29 at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm

April 30 at 2:00 pm

Interested In Theatre Studies?

Our Facilities

Madden Theater

171 East Chicago Avenue

The Madden Theatre is a versatile black box theatre located in North Central College’s impressive arts facility, the Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center.  

Because of its flexible stage configuration, it features experimental work, new plays, and productions that emphasize student designs.

 

The Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall

31 South Ellsworth Street

Renovated and modernized in 2007, this former historical church building features our intimate 239-seat theatre with a thrust stage. 

Pfeiffer Hall

310 East Benton Avenue

Pfeiffer Hall first opened in 1926 as one of the largest theatres in Illinois.  It is a grand and illustrious theatre featuring large-scale musicals.  Its legacy is impressive too, with renowned speakers such as Dr. Martin Luther King appearing here throughout its history.

 

Wentz Concert Hall

171 East Chicago Avenue

Musical Theatre students who take part in choirs and choruses often perform in the Wentz Concert Hall, also located in North Central College’s impressive arts facility.

Contact Us

Have any questions? Contact the Chair of the Theatre Department:

John Warrick

jawarrick@noctrl.edu

(630)-637-5624

Our Location

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