Back for an encore performance after standing ovations around the country, this Oakton original will stir your senses and shake up your attitude. Handicap This! is a provocative look at valuing friendship, breaking down barriers, living with disabilities, and—most of all—meeting your potential. Mike Berkson and Tim Wambach light up the stage with humor, music, and their true story, encouraging everyone to achieve their goals and dreams. Re-envisioned for a world premiere with new material, this performance will be an experience you’ll long remember.
Music in Person Series:
Freddie Bryant & Mesut Özgen
Freddie Bryant, professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and Mesut Özgen, professor at University of California Santa Cruz, join forces for a day of guitar virtuosity, beginning with a master class and wrapping up with an evening of classical and international guitar selections. Bryant, who plays regularly with the Mingus Orchestra, is currently touring and recording with drummer Ben Riley's Monk Legacy Septet. Özgen has collaborated and toured internationally with such artists as Paul Nauert, Charles Nichols, Pablo Victor Ortiz, Christopher Pratorius, Deepak Ram, Robert Strizich, Yalçın Tura, and Benjamin Verdery.
The Amish Project (A Staged Reading)
By Jessica Dickey
Directed by John Grant Phillips
Inspired by the October 2006 killing of five girls taken hostage at an Amish school in Pennsylvania, this remarkable work recounts the path of forgiveness and compassion forged in its wake. The Amish Project explores the shooting through the eyes of seven members of the community — some fictional, some drawn from life, but all touched by the events of the day and its aftermath.
Directed by Mary Ringstad
A new translation by Nicholas Rudall.
Originally performed in Athens in 411 BCE, Lysistrata is a comic account of one woman’s extraordinary mission to end the Peloponnesian War. When Lysistrata (“Army disbander”) persuades the women of Greece to withhold sexual favors from their husbands and lovers as a means of forcing the men to negotiate peace, her strategy inflames the battle between the sexes – as both men and women face the comic consequences of going “cold turkey.
The Art and Music of Nature
Join us for a collaborative presentation and performance involving faculty and students from Oakton’s Art and Music Departments.
Relax in the transformed Lakeview Lounge and chill out with the unique personalities and musical tastes of Oakton jazz students in this intimate setting. Drinks and snacks accompany a program of smooth jazz standards—and a few surprises—during this unforgettable evening.
The Sun, Moon, and Stars: Musical Brunch
Master vocalist Eileen Berman and special guests are back by popular demand for this always sold-out brunch and concert series. From Mozart and Gershwin to Rachmaninoff and Rodgers and Hart, arrive hungry for delicious food and heavenly music!
The Winter Noteworthy Festival
Features traditional recitals and concerts. Join us for this week-long celebration of Oakton’s talented student performers and outstanding music faculty.
By Bridgette Carpenter
Directed by Brandon Bruce
Sixteen years ago, Walter Griffin floated high above the earth in a lawn chair suspended by weather balloons. Now, he tinkers obsessively with failed inventions, trying to recapture his 15 minutes of fame while his disillusioned wife Helen supports the family and his teenage son Mikey languishes. But Walter’s dream affects them all—and as Helen’s and Mikey’s own hopes take wing, this family discovers that chasing a dream can leave you up in the air—where things aren’t always what they seem.
Don’t miss this golden opportunity to hear Oakton’s speech students showcase their public speaking skills — and play an important role in their class experience.
Crossed (How Going South Flipped Our Switch)
Five diverse female performers share their own stories, accounts collected from interviews, news reports, and their experiences while traveling South in the spring of 2011. From describing what it’s like to flee one’s country to recounting the painful day a cousin went missing with 400 others in Mexico, Crossed uses wit, humor, and quirky poignancy to tackle the taboo, the uncomfortable, and some beautiful and ugly truths about living in America as an immigrant today. Presented in English with a sprinkle of Spanish.
Join the standing ovation for this annual audience favorite – guaranteed to thaw the weariest wintery soul. Oakton music faculty members join forces to burn off the cold and provide a delightful evening of jazz favorites. This year, the Niles West High School Jazz Band will join the musical mix for a double-header of jazz and big band classics you won’t want to miss. No matter what your musical taste, Jazzin’ Around is sure to get your toes tapping and your fingers snapping with warm sounds from old friends.
Singing, dancing, and hilarity ensue during this musical parody presented by the Chicago Bar Association. No one is spared as top legal minds satirize celebrities in politics, sports, and show business. Enjoy a reception and post-performance party.
Booth: A Staged Reading
By Austin Pendleton; Directed by Douglas Bryan Bean
Before reality TV stars, there were the Booths: the 19th century’s most famous – and infamous -- theater family. Despite being the greatest tragic actor of his day, Junius Booth’s success as Hamlet, Lear, and Richard III couldn’t make up for his failure as a father and husband. When Booth takes his son Edwin on tour, the two ambitious men clash as real life mirrors the tragedies they perform. This staged reading by Midwesterner and Steppenwolf ensemble member Austin Pendleton chronicles how destruction can ultimately result in progress as Edwin finds his own path.
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Music and lyrics by Frank Loesser
Book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, and Willie Gilbert.
Based on Shepherd Mead's 1952 book of the same name
Directed by Jason Fleece
Join the “Brotherhood of Man” in this timeless musical comedy—with a new twist! From the team that brought you last year’s smash, Urinetown, comes a gender-bending production of this Broadway classic that turns sexual stereotypes upside down. Determined to get ahead, young and ambitious window washer J. Pierrepont Finch rises from mail room worker to chairman of the board—and finds love along the way—at the World Wide Wicket Company, with the help of an invaluable little book: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
By Tennessee Williams
Directed by Jason Gerace
Award-winning director Jason Gerace, artistic associate at the American Theater Company, takes the helm for his first Oakton production: a Pulitzer Prize-winning American classic. Southern manners collide with greed and deceit at a birthday party for the “Delta’s biggest cotton planter” and Pollitt patriarch. Tempers explode as family members fight tooth and nail to come out on top. A powerful exploration of death, societal norms, and how the sins of the past can haunt us—woven together by some of the best-known characters in 20th-century drama: Big Daddy, Big Mama, Brick, Gooper . . . and passionate Maggie—the cat on a hot tin roof.
Six Piano Ensemble
Conducted by Glenna Sprague
The cornerstone of the spring semester, Oakton’s Six Piano Ensemble, founded by Glenna Sprague, Oakton professor and coordinator of music, has amazed sold-out audiences for more than 25 years. Performing classical, ragtime, and popular pieces, as well as symphonic music transcribed for six pianos by Professor Sprague, the group’s rich layered sound, conducted by “the maestra,” is comparable to an orchestra, with each pianist playing a different part. Join the Ensemble as it prepares to perform at the 2013 National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy. Critics from Honolulu to Vienna hail the group as “extraordinary,” “unique,” and “innovative.” The Six Piano Ensemble is the only group of its kind. Hearing is believing!
The Spring Noteworthy Festival
Welcome spring with Oakton’s annual Noteworthy Festival, featuring traditional recitals and concerts in the Footlik Theater. Join the audience and play a key role in Oakton’s music education program as the College’s talented student performers and outstanding music faculty showcase their talents.
Don’t miss Oakton’s brightest speech students as they talk the talk and walk the walk at this Performing Arts Center annual tradition. Join Showcase director Bob Gynn for an evening of thought-provoking speeches on topics the span the spectrum from meaningful and heartwarming to hilarious.
Play On Playwriting Festival
To celebrate its fifth year, Play On is expanding to include community colleges through the Midwest! Be the first to see these one-act plays written by students from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Proceeds benefit performing arts students at Oakton.