North Central News

North Central presents student written and directed musical “Almost Living” May 3-6

May 03, 2018

Written and directed by Juan Munoz ’18, “Almost Living” is a whimsical musical following a woman named Alma who, after running away from her wedding, passes away. The story doesn’t end there. Alma wakes up shortly after in a morgue as a member of a new class of humans—the “almost living.”

Four performances will be staged May 3-5 at 7:30 p.m., and May 6 at 2 p.m. in North Central College’s theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S. Ellsworth St. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors. Call 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit

“My approach to ‘Almost Living’ was to focus on the life and joy in the piece. Even after Alma takes her final breath, the story continues,” said Munoz. “In writing the show, I thought of what it meant to be outcast as ‘the other’ and found death to be our great equalizer.”

“Almost Living” highlights the aftermath of life, including what past relationships, addictions and institutionalism mean when you aren’t quite alive anymore.

When Alma meets up with a group of strangers, they explore what it means to be alive. In addition to figuring out who they are now as the “almost living,” they have to handle the emotional and political consequences of claiming their place in a world where others might not think you belong.

It is my belief that humor and theatre allow us to find joy in our positions in the world and give us answers to the difficult questions raised by existing,” said Munoz.

The director would like the audience to know that the upbeat musical contains suggestive themes and language.


Alma: Ariana Burks ’21, Chicago, musical theatre major

U/S Alma: Michelle Ortiz ’21, Franklin Park, Ill., musical theatre and theatrical design and technology double major

Delora: Elena Mitchell ’21, Schaumburg, Ill., musical theatre and English double major

Hugh: Sam Lee ’21, Ankeny, Iowa, theatrical design and technology and theatre double major

Father Eloquent: Jake Parsons ’21, Lockport, Ill., musical theatre major

Officer Blender: Matt Lusa ’19, Orland Park, Ill., theatre and marketing major

Groundskeeper/Ensemble: Tait Martinez ’21, St. Joseph, Mich., organizational communication major

Val/Ensemble: Lauren Smith ’21, Mount Horeb, Wis., musical theatre major

Bebe/Ensemble: Alayna Laverty ’18, Glenview, Ill., musical theatre major

Newscaster/Ensemble: Leyla Foulkrod ’20, Monroe, Mich., musical theatre major


Kyra Norris ’21, Sun Prairie, Wis., musical theatre major

Rachel Mecca Davis ’20, Westmont, Ill., organizational communication major

Gillian Croasdale ’21, Middleton, Wis., musical theatre and small business and entrepreneurship double major

Norah Flaherty ’20, Oswego, Ill., theatre and organizational communication double major

Dance Captain: Kyra Norris ’21, Sun Prairie, Wis., musical theatre major

Vocal Coach: Alayna Laverty ’18, Glenview Ill., musical theatre major


Production team:

Writer and Director: Juan Munoz ’18, Coal City, Ill., theatre major

Choreography: Miranda Keating ‘19, Sun Prairie, Wis., musical theatre major

Stage Manager: Nicholas Horky ’21, Sun Prairie, Wis., broadcast communication and theatrical design and technology double major

Scenic Designer: Samuel Lee ’21, Ankeny, Iowa, musical theatre major

Technical Director: Peter O'Neill, theatre department

Props Designer: Anica Schubert ’21, Beaverton, Ore., musical theatre major

Props Master: Lauren Spitler ’20, Naperville, theatrical design major

Light Designer: Angela Kvitek ’21, Batavia, Ill., theatrical design major

Costume Designer: Shelby Slager ’20, Elgin, Ill., theatre major

Hair/Makeup Designer: Katie Tumavich ’19, Glen Ellyn, Ill., theatrical design and technology major

Publicity: Kira Savegnago ’20, Wheaton, Ill., musical theatre major

Deck Chief: Melanie Garcia ’21, Aurora, Ill., biochemistry major

Run Crew: Haley Shadden ’21, Frankfort, Ill., theatre major

Light Board Op/Programmer: Elyssa Cornejo ’21, Loves Park, Ill., health science major

Lighting Crew: Abe Lyall ’19, Chicago, a broadcast communication major

Sound Board Operator: Paige Miller ’21, Elkhart, Ind., theatrical design major

Hair/Make-up Crew Head: Reagan Scherpe ’21, Galesburg, Ill., musical education: instrumental major

Hair/Make-up Crew: Samantha Kinder ’18, Chicago Heights, Ill., speech communication major

Production Photographer: McLean Holmes ’18, Shorewood, Ill., computer science major

Dramaturg: David Peterson, visiting assistant professor of theatre

Student Directed Series Advisor: Laura Lodewyck, assistant professor of theatre

North Central College offers majors in theatre, musical theatre, theatrical design and technology, and a minor in dance. Students of all majors can participate in musical and nonmusical performances, actor showcases and one-act plays and performances in the College’s four theatre venues. Full-time professors and active professionals who are artist-teachers serve as faculty.

These upcoming events are among many ongoing programs at North Central College to enrich and broaden the cultural and academic outlook for the College and community. North Central offers a variety of venues accommodating a rich range of local and world-class events, performances and space needs for the public. For a comprehensive schedule of musical performances, theatrical and dance productions, art exhibits and lectures, visit or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).