“Because I teach both acting and musical theatre, all our students are getting the same language throughout their classes, which I think is really helpful,” said Hill. “‘9 to 5’ will show the students’ development in that area—they’re starting to meld the work in their acting classes, voice lessons, our musical theatre acting classes and adding it to their performance work.”
In their personal careers, the faculty continue to push to provide a superlative example for North Central students.
“Carin and my colleagues strive to make our program stronger for our students through our course offerings and our engagement with Chicago-area artists,” said Hill. “We all remain active as performers and scholars, bringing artist-educators and real-world experiences to the classroom to educate and inspire our students who are pursuing a pre-professional track to the arts.”
Hill studied at the New England Conservatory of Music, one of the top music conservatories in the country. His professional career has taken him all over, from performing at New York’s Carnegie Hall and music directing and creating production shows for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines to recently landing an Onion commercial and project with Warner Bros. At the same time, he continues his vocal coaching and music directing career in Chicago. This past summer, he musically directed a show at the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival and will be co-music directing “Ragtime” at Griffin Theatre next spring.
Silkaitis also keeps a prolific career. She starred in a one-woman show called “I Do Today” by Sarah Myers at Greenhouse Theater this fall, played a role in the SAG feature “Unexpected” with Cobie Smulders (“How I Met Your Mother”) and Anders Holm, and had a co-star role on the NBC television show “Chicago Fire.” She is also the artistic director for The Other Theatre Company.
Other members of the theatre department include Elizabeth Bracken, assistant professor of theatre, who is coordinator of North Central’s theatrical technology and design major. Her set design for “The Magic Play” can be seen at the Goodman Theatre beginning October 21.
Laura Lodewyck, assistant professor of theatre, is working with Teatro Vista to document the world premiere of “Parachute Men,” which debuted at Carnival 2015, a festival of Latin plays held last summer at DePaul.
David Peterson, visiting assistant professor of theatre, is incorporating his summer work with Chicago Physical Theatre to expand College course offering in improvisation to incorporate clown work, a curricular innovation.
In the past two years, North Central has added two voice teachers to the theatre department. Joseph London, a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School, and Becky Wilson, who has her DMA in vocal performance from the University of Illinois.
“We’re in a really great place in terms of our peer institutions,” said Hill. “The department is in the process of seeking accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Theatre. We continue to strive to provide a well-rounded, immersive theatre training program while remaining firmly rooted in the tradition of a comprehensive liberal arts education.”
By Stephanie Snyder ’15/M’17