2016 - 17 Season

Oakton Guitar Festival
The festival brings some of the world’s great guitarists to campus for its second annual celebration of six-string mastery. The festival opens on Friday night with a concert by local artists including Oakton’s own Tom Clippert a classically trained guitarist and graduate of the Yale School of Music. Local singer-songwriter Faraz Chaudry, Larry Pilotto, a critically acclaimed fingerstyle player, and Marcos Rios, who plays with a Caribbean influence round out the show.

Headlining Saturday’s concert is Don Ross, the only player to have twice won the US Fingerstyle Championship. This is a rare opportunity to experience this internationally revered player in an intimate setting. Renown jazz guitarists Freddie Bryant and Roddy Ellias also perform. When not appearing as a soloist, Bryant, a New York jazz performer and recording artist, plays with the Monk Legacy Septet, the Mingus Orchestra, and his own band, Kaleidoscope. Ellias called a “genius” by jazz legend Bud Freeman, has performed with dozens of the biggest names in jazz as well as the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.    

Technique Workshop
Friday, September 16, 2 p.m.
Free admission

September 16, 8 p.m.
Featuring Faraz Chaudry, Larry Pilotto, Marcos Rios, Tom Clippert
$8 general admission; $5 students and seniors
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Guitar Workshops
Saturday, September 17
Faraz Chaudry, 10 a.m.
Don Ross, 12 p.m.
Freddie Bryant, 2 p.m.  
Roddy Ellias, 4 p.m.
Free admission

September 17, 8 p.m.
Featuring Freddie Bryant, Roddy Ellias, Don Ross
$8 general admission; $5 students and seniors
Studio One, Des Plaines
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Staged Reading: I and You
By Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Laura Sturm
I and You is a finely crafted study on the romantic notion that opposites attract. Caroline is a tech-savvy, self-sufficient type who has become particularly defensive due to a debilitating illness that has kept her out of school for several months. Anthony is popular, athletic, of another race, and a sensitive champion of Walt Whitman and jazz. When he shows up at her bedroom door to work on a school project about Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, Caroline is reluctant. But as the two slowly let down their defenses, the heart-breaking and life-affirming power of young love begins to take over.
Saturday, September 24, 8 p.m.
Sunday, September 25, 2 p.m.
Studio One, Des Plaines
$8 general admission
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Julius Caesar
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Kathleen Carot
A Senate unites in a conspiracy against the nation’s leader. Name calling and suspicion, patriotism and dishonor, assassination and mobs incited to violence—all done in the name of righteous government. Sound familiar? No, it’s not the last 50 years of US history, it's Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. See this modernized version of the play that juxtaposes intrigue with the modern milieu—just in time for election season!
Thursday, October 6 , 8 p.m. ($5 preview)
Friday, October 7, 8 p.m.
Saturday, October 8, 8 p.m.
Sunday, October 9, 2 p.m.
Thursday, October 13, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, October 14, 8 p.m.
Saturday, October 15, 8 p.m.
Sunday, October 16, 2 p.m.
Footlik Theater, Des Plaines
$12 general admission; $10 students and seniors; $8 group rate
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The Art of Music, the Music of Art
Experience the best of Oakton’s art and music students—hear performances, see original paintings, drawings, collage, photography, and 3D art while you mingle with the talented young artists and your neighbors who enjoy the arts. Don’t miss this annual tradition.
Friday, October 21, 7:30 p.m.
Performing Arts Center lobby, Des Plaines
Free admission

Jazz Lounge
The Performing Arts Center lobby becomes a cool jazz lounge for one night as the Oakton Jazz Band, under the direction of Robert Evans, entertains you with their blend of classic and cool jazz standards.  The Oakton Jazz Combo will also showcase their improvisational skills.
Friday, October 28, 8 p.m.
Performing Arts Center lobby, Des Plaines
$5 general admission; $3 students
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Pop-Up Film Festival
Oakton’s third annual film festival explores the work of regional and national filmmakers, followed by a post-show discussion with Oakton film teachers and special guests. After last year’s packed houses, expect great things and put this on your must-see calendar now while the line up of great independent films is being finalized.
Monday, Oct. 31 - Friday, Nov. 4
Footlik Theater, Des Plaines
Free admission

Heathers, The Musical
By Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy
Directed by Jason A. Fleece
Dear Diary: Veronica Sawyer just wants life to be beautiful—but that means throwing in with the Heathers, who rule Westerberg High with an iron fist and a red scrunchie. When she meets bad boy JD, senior year takes a sudden deadly turn. Based on the 1988 cult film starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, this musical satire immerses the audience in the trauma of the high school social scene.
Thursday, November 10, 8 p.m. ($5 preview)
Saturday, November 12, 8 p.m. 
Sunday, November 13, 2 p.m.
Thursday, November 17, 8 p.m.
Friday, November 18, 8 p.m.
Saturday, November 19, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. 
Sunday, November 20, 2 p.m.
Studio One, Des Plaines
$10 general admission; $8 students and seniors; $6 groups
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Hollywood Brunch
Enjoy an afternoon of song and buffet-style brunch while reliving the golden age of Hollywood music performed by master vocalist Eileen Berman and her accompanist Jane Kenas Heller. The soundtrack of the movies will bring back wonderful memories of great silver screen performances.
Sunday, November 20, 1 p.m.
Footlik Theater, Des Plaines campus
$25, includes brunch buffet.
No discounts apply. Reservations required.
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Oakton Follies
Oakton Follies returns by popular demand to the Performing Arts Center stage. This Oakton original variety show is presented to raise needed funds for student scholarships. Cheer on brave and talented faculty, staff, and administrators as they take the stage to perform music, dance and all types of death-defying, unique and sometimes ridiculous talents all to support student success.
Thursday, December 1, 7 p.m.
Friday, December 2, 2 p.m.
Footlik Theater, Des Plaines
$10 general admission; $5 students and seniors
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OMG Improv
Get ready to split your sides with laughter as Oakton’s student improvisation group takes the stage. Frequent performers at some of Chicago’s most popular comedy venues, OMG Improv invites you, the audience, to join the fun by suggesting the unique situations that the players will explore.
Saturday, December 3, 8 p.m.
Studio One Theater, Des Plaines
$10 general admission
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The Winter Noteworthy Festival
Throw off the winter blues and enjoy the performances of Oakton students as they take the next step in their musical education. Our week-long festival highlights the college’s talented music students and gives them an opportunity to entertain a live audience. You will hear the best young musicians in the region, and they will discover how their years of practice have paid off in enthusiastic applause.
Footlik Theater, Des Plaines
$5 general admission

  • Guitar Ensemble
    Few instruments rival guitar for range of emotion, sonic texture, and variety. Enjoy selections from modern to classical with several unique arraignments and an original composition. Students perform solo and combo pieces under the direction of Tom Clippert, a former member of the Avanti Guitar Trio and graduate of Yale University School of Music.
    Sunday, December 4, 2 p.m.
    Purchase tickets
  • String Ensemble
    Under the direction of Daniel Golden, the String Ensemble plays classical and contemporary music with some theatrical surprises along the way.
    Monday, December 5, 8 p.m.
    Purchase tickets
    Take Note Conversation, 7:30 pm (free)
  • Vocal Recital
    Voice students directed by Eileen Berman perform solos and duets. Audience favorites from Broadway, opera, classical, and contemporary songbooks make for a delightful evening and provide a little something for everyone.
    Wednesday, December 7, 8 p.m.
    Purchase tickets
  • Choral Recital
    Just in time for the holidays, the Oakton Choir presents a wonderfully warm collection of seasonal, classical, Broadway, and contemporary songs directed and conducted by Eileen Berman.
    Thursday, December 8, 8 p.m.
    Purchase tickets
  • Jazz Invasion
    The award-winning Oakton Jazz Band, under the direction of Robert Evans, will get your toes tapping to the rhythms of many styles of music from blues to swing, bebop to Afro-Cuban jazz, and cool jazz to jazz-funk. Many of the Oakton Jazz Band members will be featured soloists, and each song includes historical notes and pictures as a part of this seasonal recital.
    Friday, December 9, 8 p.m.
    Purchase tickets
    *Take Note Conversation, 7:30 p.m. (free)

*Take Note Conversations. Increase your knowledge and enjoyment of the music by joining Robert Evans, Oakton Jazz Band director and woodwind instructor for these popular pre-concert discussions. Ask questions, share insights, and discover more about the Oakton’s String Ensemble, Jazz Band, and their music.
Monday, December 5, 7:30 - 8 p.m.
Friday, December 9, 7:30 - 8 p.m.
Performing Arts Center lobby, Des Plaines

Speaker Showcase
Don’t miss Oakton’s best speech students and speech team members as they present the finest of the semester’s public speaking. Join Showcase Director, Bob Gynn, and be enlightened as our students showcase their oratorical skills on topics spanning the spectrum from educational to inspirational to the comical.
Tuesday, December 6, 8 p.m.
Footlik Theater, Des Plaines
Free admission

Jazzin' Around
Oakton’s fantastic jazz combo will start your season jivin’ with their big band sound. Instructor of music Mark Olen conducts Jazzin’ Around with Oakton music faculty, friends, and featured guest artists the Niles West High School Jazz Band. Their brassy sounds will transform the Footlik stage into a showcase for classic memories and new jazz favorites.
Friday, January 20, 8 p.m.
Footlik Theater, Des Plaines
$8 general admission; $5 students and seniors

The Vagina Monologues
Staged Reading
By Eve Ensler
Directed by Tina Fakhrid-Deen
The award-winning play is based on V-Day founder/playwright Eve Ensler’s interviews with more than 200 women. With humor and grace, the piece celebrates women’s sexuality and strength. Through this play and the liberation of this one word, countless women throughout the world have taken control of their bodies and their lives. For more than a decade, The Vagina Monologues has given voice to experiences and feelings not previously exposed in public and brought a deeper consciousness to the conversation around ending violence against women and girls.
Friday, February 10, 8 p.m.
Saturday, February 11, 8 p.m.
Sunday, February 12, 2 p.m.
Studio One, Des Plaines
$12 general admission; $8 students and seniors
No discount tickets for these benefit performances.
Proceeds go to local organizations that provide services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

The Foreigner
By Larry Shue
Directed by Tim Curtis
A fishing lodge in rural Georgia is the setting for The Foreigner, Larry Shue’s hilarious farce about the difference between what people say when they think no one is listening and what they say in public. Written in 1984, the play skewers the two faces of the “moral majority” and roasts them over a growing fire of revelatory comedy. Like the best farces, the audience is in on the joke from the very beginning, but as Charlie, the main character, falls deeper into his deception, the tension builds in outrageously improbable situations and is released in uproarious laughter.
Thursday, March 2, 8 p.m. ($5 preview)
Friday, March 3, 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 4, 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 5, 2 p.m.
Thursday, March 9, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 10, 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 11, 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 12, 2 p.m.
Footlik Theater, Des Plaines
$12 general admission; $10 students and seniors; $8 groups

How I Learned to Drive
By Paula Vogel
Directed by Lauren Shouse
Paula Vogel’s 1998 Pulitzer Prize winning play is a compassionate, sophisticated, and gently humorous look at a heart-rending and all-too-common tragedy. Pedophilia, sexual predation, alcoholism, family dysfunction are issues rarely discussed in any setting, let alone on the stage. At the heart of How I Learned to Drive is a coming of age story of a bright and perceptive girl, Li’l Bit, who matures from a lonely 11-year-old into an 18-year-old who can stand up to her oppressor. It is also the story of her emotionally stunted Uncle Peck who preys on her need for affirmation, affection, and approval. Following a jumbled chronology, the play unfolds like a childhood memory that can’t be forgotten and is staged with a chorus like a Greek tragedy. Director Tara Mallen is an actor and producing artistic director at Rivendell Theater Ensemble.
Thursday, April 6 ($5 preview), 8 p.m.
Friday, April 7, 8 p.m.
Saturday, April 8, 8 p.m.
Sunday, April 9, 2 p.m.
Thursday, April 13, 8 p.m.
Friday, April 14, 8 p.m.
Saturday, April 15, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
$10 general admission; $8 students and seniors; $6 groups
Studio One, Des Plaines

Powerless Gods
Staged Reading
By Tina Fakhrid-Deen
Directed by Veronda Carey
Athoughtful, timely play that looks unflinchingly at the problems of urban education—public vs. charter, race, respectability politics, class, and identity. Powerless Gods entertains the heart while lighting the way toward hope, freedom, and empowerment in the face of bleak times and circumstances.
Saturday, April 22, 8 p.m.
Sunday, April 23, 2 p.m.
Studio One, Des Plaines
$8 general admission

Six Piano Ensemble Conducted by Glenna Sprague
The Six Piano Ensemble brings its musical virtuosity home after a triumphant performance this summer at the 32nd World Conference of the International Society for Music Education (ISME) at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. Founded and conducted by Glenna Sprague, Oakton professor and coordinator of music, the Six Piano Ensemble has amazed and delighted sold-out audiences throughout the country. The group performs classical, ragtime, and popular music transcribed for six pianos. The rich, layered sound is comparable to an orchestra as the melody transfers from pianist to pianist. Be sure to attend and help us celebrate concertmaster Beatriz Levi’s 30th year as a member of the group. Enjoy this extraordinary musical experience and get your tickets early for this annual favorite!
Saturday, April 29, 8 p.m.
Sunday, April 30, 3 p.m.
(A reception will follow the concerts.Footlik Theater, Des Plaines
$19 general admission; $16 students and seniors; $14 group rate

Get ready to split your sides with laughter as Oakton’s student improvisation group takes the stage. Frequent performers at some of Chicago’s most popular comedy venues, OMG Improv invites you, the audience, to join the fun by suggesting the unique situations that the players will explore.
Thursday, May 4, 8 p.m.
Studio One, Des Plaines
$10 general admission

The Noteworthy Festival
Celebrate the end of the spring semester with theNoteworthy Festival,featuring traditional recitals and concerts in the Footlik Theater. Join the audience as Oakton’s talented student performers and outstanding music faculty showcase their talents.
$5 general admission.

Guitar Recital
Oakton guitar students and special guests present skillful selections of classical and contemporary guitar music coordinated by Yale School of Music alumnus and instructor of music Tom Clippert. Featuring solos, duets, and ensemble selections, the program offers something for all music lovers.
Sunday, May 7, 2 p.m.

String Ensemble
The diverse String Ensemble is enjoying its third year at Oakton. Led by instructor of music Daniel Golden and performing a wide range of string selections, these talented musicians never fail to impress and surprise audiences with their mastery and showmanship.
Monday, May 8, 8 p.m.
Take Note Conversation, 7:30 p.m.*

Vocal Recital
Voice students showcase their talents with bright notes and dazzling tunes. Directed by Eileen Berman, a professionally performing member of Oakton’s music faculty, the recital features students at their best performing Broadway and classical favorites. Don’t miss it!
Wednesday, May 10, 8 p.m.

Choral Recital
Nothing makes your spirits soar after a long winter than the sounds of voices singing in perfect harmony. Oakton music instructor, Eileen Berman, leads this gleeful group of musical magicians through performances of songs both familiar and new.
Thursday, May 10, 8 p.m.

Jazz Invasion
The finale to the festival is the Oakton Jazz Ensemble. Under the direction of music instructor, Robert Evans, the big band and smaller combos will delight you with jazz classics and big band hits.
Friday, May 12, 8 p.m.
Take Note Conversation, 7:30 p.m.*

*Take Note Conversations
Join Robert Evans, Oakton jazz band director and woodwind instructor, for Take Note. These free pre-concert discussions will help you learn more about the music f eatured in Oakton’s Str ing Ensemble and Jazz Band concerts.
Monday, May 8, 7:30 - 8 p.m.
Friday, May 12, 7:30 - 8 p.m.
Performing Arts Center lobby, Des Plaines
Free admission

Tuesday, May 9, 8 p.m.
If you are a fan of TED talks and love a good argument, don’t miss Oakton’s best speech students and speech team members as Professor of Speech Bob Gynn presents the finest of the semester’s public speaking. Performances range the spectrum from educational to inspiring to comic.
Footlik Theater, Des Plaines
Free admission