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
Photographer Michael Brosilow talks about his extensive career in theater photography and the extraordinary artists, directors and designers in Chicago whose work he has captured since his first assignment with Steppenwolf in 1986.
Season 3 Episode 3
Originally Posted March 6, 2018
Speaker/Writer/Activist/Actor Clifton Truman Daniel, the oldest grandson of President Harry S. Truman and Bess Truman and son of author Margaret Truman, recently embarked on a new project, portraying his grandfather in a one-man show Give 'Em Hell, Harry by playwright Samuel Gallu. Daniel, who has contributed to expanding our understanding of Truman’s pivotal era with a national lecture series, two books and a continuing association with the Harry S. Truman Library and Institute in Independence, Missouri, joined the conversation on February 23, 2018 to talk about the show, his 2012 trip to Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Truman presidency.
Season 3 Episode 2 Originally posted February 28, 2018
Actress Linda Reiter received the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Solo Performance in the role of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy in the 2016 Chicago Premiere of ROSE: An Intimate Evening with Mrs. Kennedy. Ms. Reiter, who returns to the Greenhouse Theater Center on January 12th to reprise the role, joined the conversation on January 2nd to talk about her preparation, working with director Steve Scott and playwright Laurence Leamer and how the Kennedy family legacy was influenced by this remarkable woman.
Season 3 Episode 1 Originally posted January 4, 2018
Chicago Scenic Studios Founder/CEO Bob Doepel joins the conversation to talk about 40 years of collaborating on major projects like the Grant Park celebrations for Barack Obama and the Chicago Cubs World Series, the new American Writers Museum and set pieces for the Joffrey Ballet's Nutcracker.
Season 2 Episode 31 Originally posted December 13, 2017
Deb Clapp, Executive Director of The League of Chicago Theatres joined the conversation to talk about a wide range of topics including the mission and important work of the League, the HotTix program, the 2017 Holiday Theatre Guide and a preview of the 2018 Chicago Theatre Week to be held February 9th -18th.
Season 2 Episode 30. Originally published December 7, 2017.
For over 4 decades, Rich Daniels and his orchestra have been featured together with a long and distinguished list of music greats including Ray Charles, Mel Torme, Burt Bacharach, Dionne Warwick, The Four Topps, Smokey Robinson, Frankie Laine and many more. Daniels has been touring recently with the Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration and has been engaged with the hit TV series “Empire” for the past four years. Daniels joined the conversation on November 2nd to talk about his career and upcoming Auditorium show on November 17th for ELLA & LENA: The Ladies and Their Music, a centennial concert celebration of Ella Fitzgerald and Lena Horne. Chicago vocalist and producer Joan Curto will be joined by many of Chicago’s top artists including E. Faye Butler, Beckie Menzie, Tammy McCann, Paul Marinaro, Tom Michael and Sophie Grimm with Daniels’ 17-piece orchestra featuring songs from the Great American Songbook.
Season 2 Episode 29. Originally published November 9, 2017.
Author Glen Shuld joins the conversation to discuss his book The Color of Character, a work of fiction based on a journal he kept of his grade school experiences growing up Jewish and gay in an integrated system in the early '70s.
Season 2 Episode 28. Originally published October 24, 2017.
Longtime Goodman Producer/Director Steve Scott joined the conversation in October 2016 to talk about the 2016 production - and 39th Annual - of A Christmas Carol and his career in Chicago theatre. Scott, who retired from the Goodman after 40 years service earlier this year, will be honored at the 2017 Joseph Jefferson Awards on November 6th, 2017.
Season 1 Episode 13 Recorded October 24, 2016
Ashley Wheater, Artistic Director of the Joffrey Ballet joins the conversation to discuss the new partnership with Lyric Opera, the PBS filming of Orphée et Eurydice and the 2017-2018 opening production of Giselle at the Auditorium Theater. Along the way, he reflects on co-founders Robert Joffrey, Gerald Arpino, working with Rudolph Nureyev, John Field and Helgi Tomasson, among others, and the 1996 career-ending injury, surgery and the aggressive physical therapy that followed.
Season 2 Episode 27 | Originally published October 11, 2017
Award-winning dancer, choreographer and director Brenda Didier joins the conversation during rehearsals for Billy Elliot, the opening production of Porchlight Music Theatre's 23rd season and first at The Ruth Page Center in Chicago.
Season 2 Episode 26 | Originally published September 19, 2017
Award-winning actress, singer and entertainer E. Faye Butler joins the conversation during a break in rehearsal of Barbara Gaines upcoming all-woman production of Taming of the Shrew at Chicago Shakespeare Theater and her recent Jeff-nominated appearance as Mama Morton in Chicago at Drury Lane.
Season 2 Episode 25 | Originally published September 13, 2017
Producing Artistic Director, Wendy Whiteside, and Foley artist and designer, Shawn J. Goudie, joined the conversation to tell us more about their wonderful lives in Chicago … and Bedford Falls. The 2017 Jeff nominated live radio show opens at Stage 773 on November 16, 2017.
Originally published December 14, 2016 | Season 1 Episode 17
Chris Jones, chief theater critic and a Sunday culture columnist for the Chicago Tribune, joined the conversation at the Hubbard Inn on November 19, 2013 to discuss his new book Bigger, Brighter, Louder. Also featured in this episode of CONVERSATIONS FTA (From The Archives) is a performance by World War II veteran JUDY BRUBAKER, who played the role of Ms. Leach in the original Chicago cast of Grease in 1971.
Originally published August 21, 2017 | CONVERSATIONS FTA
Ethan Michaeli is an award-winning author, publisher and journalist based in Chicago. He was a copy editor and investigative reporter at The Defender from 1991 to 1996. Ethan joined us for the debut of conversations with Ed Tracy at the Skokie Theatre to discuss his new book, The Defender.
Originally published July 15, 2016 | Season 1 Episode 2