Ron Kellum, Cirque du Soliel's Artistic Director for VOLTA, joins the CONVERSATION during the hit show's Chicago run to discuss Cirque's development process and the extraordinarily gifted performers in the company.
Season 4 Episode 7 Originally posted June 22, 2019
Former State Senator William Marovitz joins the CONVERSATION to talk about the 2016 Chicago Cubs World Series victory and the upcoming world premiere of “MIRACLE-The Musical” at the Royal George Theatre in Chicago.
Season 4 Episode 6 Originally posted May 6, 2019
The talented Chicago actor and vocalist Sharriese Hamilton joins the CONVERSATION to discuss the Chicago Children's Theatre production of "The Watsons Go To Birmingham-1963" and what's up next: the role of Hannah in the Australian company of the international hit "Come From Away."
Season 4 Episode 5 Originally posted April 28, 2019
Cory Lippiello, Artistic Administrator for Lyric Opera of Chicago, joins the CONVERSATION to talk about casting the highly-anticipated production of West Side Story.
Season 4 Episode 4 Orginally posted April 15, 2019
Director Louis Contey joins the CONVERSATION to discuss the Shattered Globe Theatre production of Kate Foder’s “Hannah and Martin” tracing the relationship—and passionate love affair—between the German-Jewish political theorist Hannah Arendt and her mentor, the celebrated German philosopher Martin Heidegger and the impact that the rise to power of the Nazi party had on the course of their lives.
Season 4 Episode 3 Originally posted April 8, 2019
Dana Tretta and Christopher Kale Jones, the two powerhouse stars of the Mercury Theater Chicago production of “Little Shop of Horrors” directed by L Walter Stearns with musical director Eugene Dizon, join the CONVERSATION to talk about just how fiendishly desperate—and painfully real—things are for the star-crossed lovers in the macabre 1982 hit with music by Alan Menken and book and lyrics by Howard Ashman.
Season 4 Episode 2 Originally posted March 19, 2019
Renowned soloists Alfreda Burke and Rodrick Dixon join the CONVERSATION to talk about Too Hot To Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah, the universality of Handel’s work and the power of music to inspire and uplift our lives in advance of the 2019 concert at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago.
Season 4 Episode 1 Originally posted January 8, 2019
Tony Award-winning director and playwright Mary Zimmerman joins the CONVERSATION to discuss her new work The Steadfast Tin Soldier based on the Hans Christian Andersen children's story presented in pantomime at Chicago's Lookingglass Theatre Company. In an extraordinary career that has spanned the worlds of theater and opera, Zimmerman received the 2002 Tony Award for directing Metamorphoses.
Season 3 Episode 21 Originally posted December 17, 2018
Janet Ulrich Brooks, one of Chicago’s most gifted actors working in theater, film and television, joins the CONVERSATION to discuss her role as the legendary opera diva Maria Callas during the run of the TimeLine Theatre Company production of Master Class at Stage 773.
Season 3 Episode 20 Originally posted November 23, 2018
Historian Neil Hanson joins the CONVERSATION in London for a fascinating look back 100 years to the end of World War I and the events that followed. His book, UNKNOWN SOLDIERS: The Story of the Missing of the First World War (Knopf 2005) recounts the life and combat history of three soldiers – an American from Chicago, George Seibold, an Englishman, Alec Reader and a German, Paul Hub – representing the over 3 million who fought and died on all sides whose remains have never been accounted for.
Season 3 Episode 19 Originally posted November 10, 2018
Recorded in London.
The award-winning UK-based musical writing team of Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie joined the CONVERSATION in London to discuss their new project, HI, MY NAME IS BEN, an international collaboration with Dundee Repertory Theatre and Goodspeed Musicals, and the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where MY LEFT/RIGHT FOOT-THE MUSICAL, produced by Birds of Paradise Theatre Company and the National Theatre of Scotland, received the Fringe First Award and the Herald Angel Award.
Season 3 Episode 18 Originally posted November 7, 2018
Recorded in London.
Award-winning actor Larry Yando joins the conversation to discuss the American premiere of “Nell Gwynn” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater and his 25 year association with the company. Yando, who played Scar in the national tour of “The Lion King” for three years and recently toured Europe in Peter Brooks' "Battlefield," returns as Ebenezer Scrooge in the Goodman Theatre Holiday Classic “A Christmas Carol” in November 2018.
Season 3 Episode 17 Originally posted October 25, 2018
Greg Cameron, President and CEO of The Joffrey Ballet, joined the conversation on October 5th to discuss Christopher Wheeldon's Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, developing colaborative partnerships, and what's ahead for the 2018-2019 season and beyond.
Posted October 10, 2018 Season 3 Episode 16
Michael Weber, Porchlight Music Theatre's Artistic Director, joins the CONVERSATION to discuss the new production of GYPSY starring E. Faye Butler and what’s ahead in the 2018-2019 season for one of Chicago’s most innovative and successful musical theatre companies.
Season 3 Episode 15 Originally published October 4, 2018
Lili-Anne Brown, the accomplished actor, director, educator and Northwestern alum joins the conversation to talk about the Firebrand Theatre/TimeLine Theatre partnership for the upcoming Tony Kushner/Jeanine Tesori musical "Caroline, or Change","BUDDY: The Buddy Holly Story" at Stage 773, and in 2019, "The Total Bent" at Haven and "Lottery Day" at Goodman. (NOTE: Multiple Jeff nominations to American Blues Theater's "Buddy" including Best Director of a Musical for Lili-Anne Brown were announced on 8/28/2018.)
Season 3 Episode 14 Originally posted August 28, 2018
Award-winning actor, vocalist and director Rob Lindley talks about performing in Fun Home at Victory Gardens, Dark Café Days: Foiled Again Sings Joni Mitchell with his long-time musical partners Anne Sheridan Smith and Allison Bazarko Kirk at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre and joining the 2018-19 US tour of Phantom of the Opera.
Season 3 Episode 13
Originally posted July 9, 2018
Director Kimberly Senior, whose credits include the 2012 Broadway production of Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Disgraced, joins the conversation to discuss developing new works for the theatre and the world premiere of Ellen Fairey's Support Group For Men at Goodman Theatre.
Season 3 Episode 12
Originally posted June 28, 2018
Actors Leah Morrow and Jackson Evans join the conversation to talk about their return to the roles of Kate Monster and Princeton in the 2018 revival of the 2014 Mercury Theater Chicago smash hit production of the Tony Award-winning musical AVENUE Q that played for 169 performances.
Season 3 Episode 11
Originally posted June 18, 2018
Award-winning actor Edward Gero joins the conversation to discuss his portrayal of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in John Strand's The Originalist during the Chicago run at Court Theatre. The compelling and provocative Asolo Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage, Pasadena Playhouse production is directed by Molly Smith with Associate Director Seema Sueko.
Season 3 Episode 10
Originally Posted May 31, 2018
Producer|writer|lyricist June Finfer and composer|lyricist Elizabeth Doyle joined the conversation to talk about the development process and debut of their new musical, Burnham's Dream: The White City.
Season 3 Episode 9
Originally posted May 29, 2018
When 20-year-old Rishi Sharma joined the conversation in March 2018, he had already conducted over 850 interviews with combat veterans of World War II, all part of an ambitious plan to preserve their stories for generations to come.
Season 3 Episode 8
Originally Posted May 23, 2018
Director, Actor and Northwestern University professor Henry Godinez joined the conversation to talk about the Chicago Children's Theater premiere of the new musical Last Stop on Market Street, his professional career and the expanding Latino theater community in Chicago.
Season 3 Episode 7
Originally posted May 9, 2018
Tony Macaluso, Director of the WFMT Radio Network and Director of the Studs Terkel Radio Archive, joined the conversation to talk about the May 2018 launch and the work that has been done to make over 5,600 programs available online for future generations of scholars, journalists, and the general public. This program includes clips from a 1960 interview with Studs Terkel and Buster Keaton.
Season 3 Episode 6
Originally Posted May 7, 2018
William Massolia, Griffin Theatre Company's Artistic Director & Founder joined the conversation on March 23rd to discuss LETTERS HOME & GHOSTS OF WAR examining the Iraq & Afghanistan wartime experiences of servicemen and servicewomen, and their families. Written and directed by Massolia, Letters Home has been seen by more than 100,000 people in more than 100 cities since its first performance in 2007. Ghosts of War was adapted from the book by Ryan Smithson. The productions will be presented in rotating repertory at The Den Theatre in Chicago.
Season 3 Episode 5
Originally Posted March 28, 2018
Spertus Institute President & CEO Dr. Hal M. Lewis discusses the principles of leadership and the new series Critical Conversations featuring former Governors Jennifer Granholm and Mike Huckabee with moderator Frank Sesno.
Season 3 Episode 4
Originally Posted March 13, 2018