2018 - 2019 Season

Handicap This!

After earning standing ovations around the globe Handicap This! which originated at Oakton, comes home! Mike Berkson and Tim Wambach light up the stage with humor, honesty, and a chemistry fueled by friendship in a show that provides an inside look at what is actually holding us back—ourselves. Discover the importance of breaking down barriers and building community. Experience the value of inclusion, challenge stereotypes, and celebrate the power of diversity. Whatever your background, if excuses hold you back, this show will change your worldview and make your self-imposed barriers disappear.
Thursday, Aug. 30, 2 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 31, 7:30 p.m.
Footlik Theater, Des Plaines
$10 general admission; free to Oakton students, faculty and staff.
Proceeds support performing arts scholarships.
This performance is supported by the Oakton Community College Education Foundation.
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(Q&A and photo opportunity with Berkson and Wambach follows the show.)

Guitar Festival

Oakton brings some of the world’s great guitarists to campus for its third annual celebration of guitar virtuosity. This year’s festival features Billy Mclaughlin, Brad Richter, Michael Gulezian, Kim Perlak, Matt Schroeder, and Jack Wilson. Each afternoon, students and community members are welcome to attend free guitar clinics, offered by performers and Oakton faculty members.

Workshop with Billy McLaughlin
Friday, Sept. 14,  2 p.m.
Studio One, Des Plaines
Free

Concert Featuring Matt Schroeder, Jack Wilson, and Brad Richter
Friday, Sept. 14,  8 p.m.
Studio One, Des Plaines
$12 general admission; $6 students and seniors
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Workshops
10 a.m. with Kim Perlak
11:30 a.m. with Michael Gulezian
1 p.m. with Matt Schroeder
2:30 p.m. with Jack Wilson
4 p.m. with Brad Richter
Saturday, Sept. 15
Studio One, Des Plaines
Free

Concert Featuring Kim Perlak, Michael Gulezian, and Billy McLaughlin
Saturday, Sept. 15, 8 p.m.
Studio One, Des Plaines
$12 general admission; $6 students and seniors
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The Skin of Our Teeth

By Thornton Wilder
Directed by John Frisco
Meet George and Maggie Antrobus of Excelsior, New Jersey, who after 5,000 years of marriage, bear more than a casual resemblance to that first husband and wife, Adam and Eve. They have two children, Gladys (perfect in every way) and Henry (formerly known as Cain, who likes to throw rocks). While their garrulous maid, Sabina (the eternal seductress) takes it upon herself to break out of character and interrupt the drama at every opportunity. Whether he is inventing the alphabet or merely saving the world from apocalypse, George and his redoubtable family somehow manage to survive. Combining farce, burlesque, satire, and elements of the comic strip—the play depicts a typical family as it narrowly escapes one end-of-the-world disaster after another.
Thursdays, Oct. 4 ($5 preview) and 11, 7:30 p.m.
Fridays, Oct. 5 and 12, 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays, Oct. 6 and 13, 7:30 p.m.
Sundays, Oct. 7 and 14, 2 p.m.
Footlik Theater, Des Plaines
$12 general admission; $10 students and seniors; $8 group rate
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Jazz Lounge

The Oakton Jazz Band performs exciting jazz standards under the direction of Robert Evans. Come enjoy the sumptuous sounds of jazz in this intimate setting with many of the musicians stepping out for featured solos. This popular event is held in the Performing Arts Lounge. A reception follows.
Friday, Oct. 19, 8 p.m.
Performing Arts Center lobby, Des Plaines
$8 general admission; $5 students and seniors
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The Art of Music/The Music of Art

Experience the talents of Oakton’s art and music students. Hear performances and see original paintings, drawings, collage, photography, and 3D art, while you mingle with the talented young artists as well as your neighbors who enjoy the arts.
Friday, Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m.
Performing Arts Center lobby, Des Plaines
Free

Doubt: A Parable

By John Patrick Shanley
Directed by Mary Ringstad-Gagliano
Set against the turbulent 1960s, this brilliant and powerful drama, pits Sister Aloysius, a conservative Bronx school principal against the progressive young Father Flynn who she suspects of improper relations with one of the male students. As she takes matters into her own hands, scrutiny and suspicion mount, and the two are drawn into a battle of wills with dire consequences 
for all involved. Winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play, it was turned into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Philip Seymour Hoffman as Father Flynn and Meryl Streep as Sister Aloysius.
Thursdays, Nov. 8 ($5 preview) and 15, 7:30 p.m.
Fridays, Nov. 9 and 16, 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays, Nov. 10, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and
Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 18, 2 p.m.
Studio One, Des Plaines
$10 general admission; $8 students and seniors; $6 groups
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Pop-Up Film Festival

Oakton’s fifth annual film festival explores the work of regional and national filmmakers, followed by a post-show discussion with Oakton film instructors and special guests. Expect great things and put this on your must-see calendar now.
Monday, Nov. 26 - Friday, Nov. 30
Check back for complete film schedule information.
Free admission

Disgraced

By Ayad Akhtar
A Staged Reading
Directed by Jason A. Fleece
Amir Kapoor is a successful Pakistani-American lawyer who is rapidly moving up the corporate ladder while distancing himself from his cultural roots. His wife, Emily, is white and an artist whose work is influenced by Islamic imagery. When the couple hosts a dinner party, what starts out as a friendly conversation escalates into something far more damaging.
Saturday, Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m. 
Sunday, Dec. 2, 2 p.m. 
Studio One, Des Plaines
$8 general admission 
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Speaker Showcase

If you love TED Talks, don’t miss Oakton’s best speech students and speech team members as they present the finest of the semester’s public speaking. Showcase director, Bob Gynn introduces student speakers as they enlighten you on topics that span the spectrum from educational, to inspirational, to comical, and deeply personal.
Tuesday, Dec. 4, 8 p.m.
Footlik Theater, Des Plaines
Free

Dancing in the Snow*

Guitar and Strings Concert
In this winter concert, the Oakton Guitar Ensemble, under the direction of Tom Clippert, and the Oakton String Ensemble, under the direction of Daniel Golden, present a variety of joyous string music. Talented violin students Susan Werth and Gloria Liu will perform J.S. Bach’s Double Concerto. Jim Kendros and Tom Clippert will join forces in a unique 
double concerto by Vivaldi for Viola D’ Amore and Lute. Nina Hart Melon and Amy Welz will take lead roles in Handel’s Concerto Grosso, Op. 6 No. 1. The program concludes with a lively tango, Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, and a few more surprises.
Wednesday, Dec. 5, 8 p.m.
Footlik Theater, Des Plaines
$8 general admission; $5 students and seniors
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Songs of the Season Concert

This festive program will leave you inspired with the joy of the season as the Oakton Choir sings works of choral chamber music accompanied by strings, featuring an ensemble of students and community members under the direction of Sara Torbeck. 
Torbeck’s vocal students will also perform solo works from classical, jazz, pop, and musical theater accompanied by pianist Manigirdas Motekaitis.
Thursday, Dec. 6, 8 p.m.
Footlik Theater, Des Plaines
$8 general admission; $5 students and seniors
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Jazz Invasion*

Whether you already love this truly American art form or you don’t know a Be Bop from a Swing, the Oakton Jazz Band under the direction of Robert Evans, will inspire you with their virtuosity and provide an evening of musical enlightenment. Many of our lead players will be featured on charts from Charlie Mingus, Bill Holman, Eubie Blake, Jeff Jarvis, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, and Chris Magee.
Friday, Dec. 7, 8 p.m.
Footlik Theater, Des Plaines
$8 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 popular Chicago comedy venues, OMG Improv invites you, the audience, to join the fun by suggesting the unique situations that the players will explore.
Saturday, December 8, 7:30 p.m.
Studio One, Des Plaines
$10 general admission
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Jazzin' Around

Have a be bopping good time! Oakton’s fantastic jazz combo warms up the winter season with a big band bang. Oakton music faculty and friends take to the stage for a jumping and jiving night of jazz hits. Led by instructor of music, Mark Olen, Jazzin’ Around features classic and contemporary favorites, with something for everyone.
Friday, February 1, 8 p.m.
Footlik Theater, Des Plaines

$8 general admission; $5 students and seniors 
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The Vagina Monologues

By Eve Ensler
A Staged Reading
Directed by Simi Khurana
The award-winning play is based on V-Day founder/playwright Eve Ensler’s interviews with more than 200 women. It celebrates women’s sexuality and strength with humor, honesty, and grace. 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.
Thursday, February 14, 8 p.m.
Friday, February 15, 8 p.m.
Saturday, February 16, 8 p.m.
Studio One, Des Plaines
$12 general admission; $8 students and seniors 
Presented by Oakton Performing Arts and the Women and Gender Studies Program. Proceeds go to Northwest CASA and Apna Ghar to provide services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
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A Streetcar Named Desire

By Tennessee Williams
Directed by Margaret Knapp
Blanche DuBois is a fading Southern belle, who is forced by circumstances to live with her pregnant sister Stella and brother-in-law, Stanley, in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Blanche is disdainful of the couple’s cramped quarters, although the DuBois family home has been lost and she has nowhere else to go. Her genteel sensibility and judgmental nature bring out the worst in the hot-tempered, working-class Stanley. Blanche, ever hopeful, sparks a romance with Stanley’s friend Mitch, until Stanley goes digging through her seamy past to destroy her hopes of a fresh start. When Stella goes into labor and leaves for the hospital, Stanley and Blanche are left alone in the apartment, and things come to a violent head.
Thursday, March 7, 7:30 p.m. ($5 preview)
Friday, March 8, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 9, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 10, 2 p.m.
Thursday, March 14, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 15, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 16, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 17, 2 p.m.
Footlik Theater, Des Plaines
$12 general admission; $10 students and seniors; $8 groups
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String Ensemble

Get up close, and personal to hear beautiful and exciting music being made. The Oakton String Ensemble members will perform solos, duos, quartets and larger pieces in an informal salon-style setting. Directed by Daniel Golden. Light refreshments will be served following the performance.
Wednesday, March 13, 8 p.m.
Performing Arts Center lobby, Des Plaines
$8 general admission; $5 students and seniors
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The Shadow Box

By Michael Christofer
Directed by Tim Curtis
This dramatic triptych follows three cancer patients who dwell in separate cottages on a hospital’s grounds. Winning the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1977, it is a play of great subtlety that without melodrama or romanticism, explores the lives of individuals who are faced with clear expiration dates. Taking place within a 24 hour period, it portrays the humanity of these patients and their visitors doing what people do when confronted with questions that are too large to answer—speaking bluntly, laughing at dark humor, reminiscing, and showing concern for the future of others.
Thursday, April 4, 7:30 p.m. ($5 preview)
Friday, April 5, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 6, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 7, 2 p.m.
Thursday, April 11, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, April 12, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 13, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 14, 2 p.m.
Studio One, Des Plaines
$10 general admission; $8 students and seniors; $6 groups
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Six Piano Ensemble

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 as well as symphonic repertoire transcribed for six pianos. The rich, layered sound of the ensemble is comparable to that of an orchestra as the melody transfers from pianist to pianist. Widely acknowledged as one of the unique musical groups in the world, critics from Vienna to Glasgow have hailed the Six Piano Ensemble as “innovative,” “technically superb,” and “musical.” Enjoy an extraordinary concert experience and get your tickets early for this annual favorite! A reception will follow the concerts.
Saturday, April 27, 8 p.m.
Sunday, April 28, 3 p.m.
Footlik Theater, Des Plaines
$17 general admission; $14 students and seniors; $12 group rate
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Glengarry Glen Ross

By David Mamet
A Staged Reading
Directed by Kate Harris
Winner of the 1984 Pulitzer Prize, this scalding comedy took Broadway and London by storm. Here is Mamet at his very best, writing about small-time, cutthroat real estate salesmen trying to grind out a living by pushing plots of land on reluctant buyers, in their tight-fisted scramble for a share of the American dream.
Saturday, May 4, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 5, 2 p.m.
Studio One, Des Plaines
$8 general admission
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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 listen as our students showcase their presentation skills on topics that span the spectrum from educational to inspiring to comic.
Tuesday, May 7, 7:30 p.m.
Footlik Theater, Des Plaines
Free admission

Fandango!*

Guitar and String Concert
Celebrate the spring with a Latin-flavored musical journey through time and space. Led by noted
violinist Daniel Golden, the String Ensemble features Oakton’s own members as well as outstanding area guest artists. Under the direction of Yale School of Music trained Tom Clippert, the guitar ensemble features guitarists of all styles. Highlights are Flamenco-driven dance pieces by Luigi Boccherini and Michael McLean and the perennial favorite Capriol Suite by Peter Warlock.
Wednesday, May 8, 8 p.m.
Footlik Theater, Des Plaines
$8 general admission; $5 students and seniors 
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Broadway Bound!

Choral and Vocal Concert
The Oakton Choir takes the stage with show-stopping numbers from beloved American musical theater.
Featuring classic numbers from Rodgers and Hammerstein to contemporary selections from the Tony-award winning best musical—Dear Evan Hanson—and everything in between. Vocal students of instructor and choir director, Sara Torbeck, also perform solo works from classical, jazz, pop, and musical theater accompanied by pianist Manigirdas Motekaitis.
Thursday, May 9, 8 p.m.
Footlik Theater, Des Plaines
$8 general admission; $5 students and seniors 
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Jazz Invasion*

The Oakton Jazz Ensemble provides the finale to our concert week under the direction of
music instructor, Robert Evans. The big band will delight music lovers with jazz classics and
big band hits. This will be a musical journey through many style periods in the history of jazz.
Many of the members will be featured in solos.
Friday, May 10, 8 p.m.
Footlik Theater, Des Plaines
$8 general admission; $5 students and seniors
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OMG Improv and Speech and Debate Readings

Enjoy side-splitting laughter with Oakton’s student improvisational comedy troupe and experience the energy of powerful Speech and Debate Society performances of rhetoric, poetry, and prose. These performances demonstrate why OMG! Improv is a frequent performer at local comedy venues and a headliner at the 2018 Grand Rapids Improv Festival, and why our speech team is nationally ranked. OMG Improv invites you to join the fun by suggesting the unique situations that the players will explore. While our speakers will share words to delight and inspire you.
Saturday, May 11, 7:30 p.m.
Studio One, Des Plaines
$10 general admission
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Play On

Student Playwriting Festival
Now celebrating its ninth year, Play On gives community college playwrights a chance to shine! Be the first to see these one-act plays written by students from Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Proceeds benefit performing arts students at Oakton.
Monday, July 22, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, July 23, 8 p.m.
Wednesday, July 24, 8 p.m.
Studio One, Des Plaines
$10 general admission; $5 students and seniors 
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*Take Note Conversation

Just before the performance, join Oakton Jazz Band director Robert Evans for a discussion to help you learn more about the featured music.
7:30 - 8 p.m.
Performing Arts Center lobby, Des Plaines
Free