Eastern Illinois University Logo
Theatre Arts |


Message from the Chair

Production Season

Accreditation (NAST)

About the Program

Course Listing

Faculty and Staff

Guest Artists

Theatre Arts Events

Degree Programs

Involvement Opportunities

Apply Now


Scholarship Forms

Why Choose EIU

Links to Resources

Memory Lane Photo Archive


Contact Us


Guest Artists



 Ingrid Sonnichsen

Guest Artist Ingrid Sonnichsen
residency April 24, 2015
Workshop 3:00 - 5:00 pm, Friday, April 24
Globe Studio

Ingrid Sonnichsen has been an actress for over forty years, working on Broadway (Best Friend), Off-Broadway (Dylan, Measure for Measure) and in numerous regional theaters nationwide (the Guthrie, the Mark Taper Forum, Long Wharf, the Huntington, ART,  the Charles, Ford’s Theater, etc.)  She has appeared in national commercials, taught acting in Japan, directed in South Africa  (WE and Them), and has been teaching acting at Carnegie Mellon for the last nineteen years.  She taught previously at Northeastern University in Boston, Harvard, and Colby-Sawyer in New London, NH.  Recently retired, Ms. Sonnichsen taught an adjunct acting class this fall at Point Park.

In 1995,  while teaching acting at Harvard she was awarded a Certificate for Distinction in Teaching from Harvard University. In 2012, Ms. Sonnichsen received the College of Fine Arts Award for Distinguished Teaching from Carnegie Mellon.

Ms. Sonnichsen co-authored two books: Buy This Book, It’s Deductible: A Guide to Performer’s Taxes  and The Source, (a guide for theater professionals in the New England region – now in it’s 14th Edition.)  She was a member of the Shear Madness companies in Boston and at the Kennedy Center for ten years.   Locally she has appeared in Comedy of Errors at the Pittsburgh Public, The Credeaux Canvas at the City Theatre,  Major Barbara, The Dead and Hedda Gabler for the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, and The Crucible and Le Grand Meaulnes for Quantum Theater. 

In the past two seasons she directed The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs and Inky

for Off the Wall Productions in Carnegie.


Andy Hudson

Guest Artist
Andy Hudson
Performer for Good Person of Setzuan

Andy Hudson is excited to be working on his first project with the EIU Department of Theatre. An Illinois State University alum (2012, BM: Vocal Performance), he now works as a performer, director, music director, and voice teacher at a variety of venues, including frequent work at The Little Theatre on the Square in Sullivan, IL. Recent performing credits include Floyd Collins (Floyd, Station Theatre), Bat Boy: The Musical (Bat Boy, Charleston Alley Theatre), and 42nd Street (Oscar, TLOTS). www.ajthudson.com



Chris McHale

Guest Artist
Christopher McHale
Sound Designer for The Mousetrap

His comprehensive experience across all aspects of the entertainment industry give him a dynamic background in all things creative. His recent work in children’s television earned him a nomination for the coveted Annie Award for Best New Series for the global TV hit, Chuggington.

McHale’s ground-breaking production for T-Mobile, helped launch the brand in 122
countries, and with an extensive marketing resume, including soundtracks for
Budweiser, VW, Amtrak, McDonald’s, Mercedes-Benz, Burger King, Geico, Visa,
Dunkin’ Donuts & Heineken, he has received every award and recognition the industry can bestow for production, copy and music, including having his work entered into the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

As an entrepreneur McHale built the beautiful Irving Place Studios and grew his two man shop McHale-Barone into a global force. He directs and manages dynamic creative teams that set standards in the use of unexpected creative solutions.

Recently, McHale worked with Streamline Media as Chief Creative Officer, developing mobile games for Coke and a series of Mondelez Brands products.


Marnie Andrews

Marnie Andrews Public Address
Fools and Crazy People: Notes on an adventurous life
Thursday, January 29 - 6:00 pm
Doudna Lecture Hall

Residency January 12 - March 13, 2015

Marnie Andrews (Actor/Director/Writer) recently acted in the film, HITS, directed by David Cross, chosen for the 2014 Sundance Festival.  She guest-starred in numerous prime time movies and dramas including ER, Murder One, Wonder Years, and a recurring role in Reasonable Doubts. Her 40 years of stage credits include leading roles in such varied shows as Camelot, The Killing of Sister George, The Fox, Passion, and The Glass Menagerie. She was honored with both Dramalogue and Garland Awards in Los Angeles.  

The heart of her work centers on the development of new plays.  As actor, she premiered and won accolades in Los Angeles for her performance in Caffeine Society, a play she helped to develop in New York with Merely Players, the company that helped launch the careers of playwrights Jose Rivera and Jeffrey Hatcher.  Her writing received the Berrilla Kerr Playwrighting Award.  Her next role is Emily in a world premiere of “The Realization of Emily Linder,” which will run in April and May of 2015, at New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch, NJ.

A director of 30 years, her credits are wide-ranging; her production of a modern translation of Trojan Women was chosen by the Getty Museum for an international conference of theatre professionals and renowned classical theatre scholars, her directing of Fifth of July won ensemble acting and technical awards through ACTF for her students at U/Albany, and her work as dramaturge on View from the Hudson helped garner a Geraldine Dodge Foundation grant. Included in other teaching stints are NYU, Oklahoma State University, and USC Graduate Film School as well as private coaching.

A poet and writer, she often collaborates with photographer Jeff Jacobson, publishing articles both here and abroad, including What Time Is It? a multimedia piece featured in New York and Guatemalan Festivals.  Unions. AEA, SAG, AFTRA. 


Sal Viviano

 Musical Theatre Masterclass 

With Sal Viviano

Monday, September 15

1-3:00 pm     DFAC Recital Hall

Presented with Theatre Arts and Music Department’s Redden Grant funding

      A Detroit native, began his career opening for Comedy Greats of the last generation.
      After completing degrees (Eastern Illinois University), he taught High School, while earning Union cards as an actor in Chicago. Moving East, Sal made his Broadway debut in THE THREE MUSKETEERS (1984); followed-by starring roles in the Broadway hits ROMANCE / ROMANCE, CITY OF ANGELS, FALSETTOS, THE LIFE, and THE FULL MONTY. Off-Broadway, Mr. Viviano's co-starred in THE BIG TIME, as well as GOLF, THE MUSICAL * (Backstage Award), BEAU JEST, CATHER COUNTY, WEIRD ROMANCE *, CATCH ME IF I FALL *, BROADWAY JUKEBOX, and HAMLET, THE OPERA for Joseph Papp . . .

On-tour, he's starred in EVITA , ANYTHING GOES!, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, HAIR; and received a H E L E N! H A Y E S! A W A R D (Best Actor) nomination for his title-role portrayal in SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE (Washington, D.C.); having also appeared regionally at more than two-dozen theatres, Nationwide. In New York this Summer, he starred in the 20th Anniversary Production of Maltby and Shire's CLOSER THAN EVER, directed by Mr. Maltby; and also recently co-starred as Billy Flynn in the smash hit CHICAGO. Viviano's Film credits include LEGALLY BLONDE 2 *, BLACK ROSES * (newly released on DVD), THE JITTERS, SPIKE OF BENSONHURST *, and LIFE WITH MIKEY's * title song (for Disney). His Television guest appearances have included LAW AND ORDER, THE COSBY MYSTERIES, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW, RYAN'S HOPE, ONE LIFE TO LIVE, ALL MY CHILDREN; narration for THE WORLD OF FILM (PBS); his critically acclaimed portrayal of VanGogh on Disney's OUT OF THE BOX; serving as 'Opener' for COMEDY CENTRAL'S FRIAR'S CLUB ROAST OF CHEVY CHASE; and guesting on PETER JACOBSON'S UNPLUGGED (The Golf Channel). In-Concert: Mr. Viviano has sung with nearly 150 Orchestras (many for several return engagements) including: The National Symphony, The San Diego Symphony, The Hartford Symphony, The Delaware Symphony, The Youngstown Symphony, The Albany Symphony, The Anchorage Symphony, The Colorado Symphony, The Dallas Symphony, The Pittsburgh Symphony, The Virginia Symphony, The New Haven Symphony, The Conroe Symphony, The Spokane Symphony, The Cape Symphony, The Indianapolis Symphony, The Stamford Symphony, The Southwest Florida Symphony, The Arkansas Symphony, The Sioux City Symphony, The Harkness Festival Symphony, The Reading Symphony, The Princeton Symphony, The Alabama Symphony, The Syracuse Symphony, The Kansas City Symphony, The Milwaukee Symphony, The Midland - Odessa Symphony, The Annapolis Symphony, The Farmington Valley Symphony, The Gulf Coast Symphony, The Rockford Symphony, The Tucson Symphony, The Eastern Connecticut Symphony, The Pueblo Symphony, The North Carolina Symphony; The Minnesota Orchestra, The New York Pops, The Cleveland Pops, The Rhode Island Philharmonic, The Florida Sunshine Pops, The Reno Philharmonic, The Virginia Arts Festival Big Band, The Buffalo Philharmonic, The Westfalen Philharmonie (Dortmund, Germany), Orchestra del Teatro Massimo (Palermo, Sicily), The Royal Philharmonic (London, UK), and Orchestra di Teatro Verdi (Trieste, Italy) . . .

He's also appeared in-Concert at such intimate venues as The Russian Tea Room, 92nd Street Y (LYRICS AND LYRICISTS - 15 seasons), The White House (for the Reagans), The Inaugural Concert (Clinton / Gore), Carnegie Hall, Town Hall (BROADWAY BY THE YEAR - 1955*); and at such NYC outdoor venues as: Arthur Ashe Stadium - U.S. Tennis Open, Bryant Park, Snug Harbor, Prospect Park, World Trade Center Plaza, Union Square, Wolf's Pond Park, and NJ's Liberty State Park. Sal's (over 60 ) recordings include: his newly released, Solo CD entitled THE STANDARDS OF LOVE, a LIVE album recorded with full Orchestra on The FRIARecords Label, *'d titles above; several other Original Cast Recordings; a dozen Compilations for the Varese-Sarabande Label: LOST IN BOSTON (series), UNSUNG MUSICALS (series), A BROADWAY CHRISTMAS, UNSUNG IRVING BERLIN, SHAKESPEARE ON BROADWAY, PRIMETIME MUSICALS, THE PAUL SIMON ALBUM; Richard SimmonsÕ BROADWAY SWEAT, TONE-UP ON BROADWAY, BROADWAY BLAST- OFF, PLATINUM SWEAT; Harbinger RecordÕs 'TIS THE SEASON, FAMILY, WHEN I GROW UP, and LATE NITE COMIC, BROADWAY BY THE YEAR - 1955; and JAY RecordsÕ BRAVO BROADWAY II . . . among others.

As a proud member of the legendary FRIAR'S CLUB, Viviano annually participates in many notable fund-raising events for worthy charities. Recently, he served as 'the opener' for THE FRIAR'S CLUB CELEBRITY ROASTs of The Smothers Brothers, and FriarÕs Club Abbot, Jerry Lewis; and joined the 'infamous dais' for Celebrity Roasts of Donald Trump, Pat Cooper, and Don King. He's sung our National Anthem (and God Bless America) at Sports Arenas across the continent; including 27 seasons for New York's Mets (Shea Stadium and Citi Field).

Sal Viviano resides in New York City with his wife, actress Liz Larsen, and their boys, Alessandro Gian and Joseph Dante. 


 Andi Lyons

Residency Sept. 10-14, 2014

Andi Lyons (Guest Artist - Lighting Designer) is the Resident Lighting Designer and Professor of Theatrical Design and Technology at the University at Albany (State University of New York). She is the former Chair of the Department of Theatre, and continues to serve as Director of the Theatre Program in the newly formed Department of Music and Theatre at UAlbany. Professor Lyons teaches courses in design, technology, drafting, and stage management. Beyond designing more than one hundred major productions at her home campus, Andi has been involved in freelance activities with many professional companies over the years. Andi is a long-term, active member of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), the association for design, production, and technology professionals in the performing arts. She just completed a term on USITT’s Board of Directors and continues to chair the Caucus on Human Issues. She is also presently working with a group of lighting professionals to develop the Essential Skills for the Entertainment Technician (eSET) in lighting, which will result in a certification for entry-level employees through USITT.
Andi has received both the Chancellor’s Award and the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at the University at Albany. At UAlbany, Professor Lyons just completed a three-year term as Vice-Chair/Chair/Immediate Past Chair of the University Senate, and she has also received both the SUNY Chancellor’s Award and the President’s Award for Excellence in Academic Service. Andi earned her MFA at Yale University School of Drama.


Greg Poljacik 

 Residency August 18-21, 2014

Greg Poljacik, (Guest Artist - Fight Choreographer) in addition to being the inventor of the secret recipe for Gravity & Momentum’s stage blood products, Greg Poljacik has been working as a teacher and choreographer for over a decade. He has been instrumental in the training of thousands of theater students and professionals worldwide and has provided award winning choreography for over two dozen theater companies in Chicago. Currently Greg teaches stage combat at The Second City Training Center in Chicago and is a Research Assistant at the University of Chicago in the field of Cognitive/Behavioral Neuroscience. Greg also has been a guest lecturer at Columbia University Chicago and has taught at Regional workshops across the country, including co-coordinating the Winder Wonderland Workshop, the largest stage combat conference in the US. Greg is a teacher with the United Stuntmen’s Association, a member of SAG/AFTRA, the Society of American Fight Directors, AGMA, LBP stunts Chicago and Asylum Stunts. All of his work in the art of stage combat follows the principles of “Safety, Story, Substance.” www.gravityandmomentum.org



2013-2014 Guest Artists



Wil Kilroy

Wil Kilroy - artist residency

May 2 & 3, 2014

Friday, May 2 – 2:00 – 4:00 pm   Michael Chekhov Acting Techniques

in the Movement Studio

Wil is currently a Professor of Theatre at the University of Southern Maine and is also Vice President of the National Michael Chekhov Association which he co-founded with the late Mala Powers, executrix of Chekhov’s estate.  Wil presents workshops for actors and teachers around the country with recent visits to Loyola Marymount, Bowling Green University and the University of Florida.  Wil is also the director of the long running USM Summer Theatre Academy for 13-18 year olds, and has additional teaching credits for international programs in London and Greece. As an actor, Wil has appeared in a variety of roles ranging from Snowy Eagle in Tammy and Billy-Bob’s Wedding, which he co-created and directed, to Steve in Becky’s New Car.  TV/Film appearances include Jim for Norway Savings Bank, spokesperson for Maine Tax Amnesty and Release HD, a detective in The Brotherhood of Poland, NH, Empire Falls, an alien on Babylon 5, and various soaps such as All My Children.  Credits as a director range from Nunsense to Cabaret.   Wil’s productions of The Laramie Project, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Everything Sprite, and Purple Breasts were all chosen for competition in the Kennedy Center’s New England festivals, with Sprite also chosen for performance at New York’s Village Gate and Purple Breasts chosen to perform in Washington, D.C. for a National Breast Cancer Conference.  Wil has been the recipient of a national faculty scholarship to study with Uta Hagen at the Kennedy Center, the Moss Hart Award, the Maine Education Association’s Human and Civil Rights Award, USM’s Outstanding Teacher/Scholar Award, and was recently awarded his third Kennedy Center Medallion for excellence in theatre.  Wil’s screenplay, “Nana’s Slippers”, was a finalist in two film festival competitions.  He has studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Art, the Michael Chekhov Studio, and the National Shakespeare Conservatory in New York, and holds theatre degrees from the University of Rhode Island and the University of Illinois. Wil is also a certified fitness instructor.




Judith Pender

Judith Pender Workshop on staying in the moment.   A script analysis technique that helps with focus as well as the correct delivery of replies.   Followed by technical exercises addressing the application of tactical choices in pursuit of your objective.

Judith Pender headshot

Judith Pender - artist residency
February 28 - March 1, 2014

Friday, February 28

          1:30 - 2:00         Chairman Mao’s exercises for the Chinese people –
                                    a favorite total body warm-up

          2:00 – 4:00        Acting Workshop, “Staying in the Moment”

Workshop on staying in the moment.   A script analysis technique that helps with focus as well as the correct delivery of replies.   Followed by technical exercises addressing the application of tactical choices in pursuit of your objective.

 Saturday, March 1

          10:00 – noon   Director/Designer collaboration and 
                                Stage Picturization            

                                Note:   Dr. Pender is willing to continue for individual
                                           student work.

Judith Midyett Pender is a Professor of acting, directing, and theatre history in the Peggy Dow Helmerich School of Drama at the University of Oklahoma. She also serves the School of Drama as Performance Area Coordinator. She holds a BFA in Theatre and Interpretation from Missouri State University, and MFA in Acting and Directing and a PhD in Theatre History, Theory, and Criticism from the University of Georgia. While living and working in New York, she trained in the Meisner Technique. She is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, Screen Actors’ Guild, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and has studied stage combat with the Society of American Fight Directors.   Recent acting work includes Joyce in the feature film, Just Crazy Enough, starring Chris Kattan,; Mrs. Bennett in the film, The Art of Kissing; Dr. Glasscock in four episodes of the web series, FPU; and Dawn in the web series, Shambles, scheduled for release in August. As AEA Guest Artist she played Madame Desmortes in Ring ‘Round the Moon at Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park, at St. Gregory’s University, she played Beatrice in The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds; and at OU, Ouiser in Steel Magnolias. In the last two years, she has had the pleasure of directing world premiere plays under the auspices of the Faith Broome Playwright in Residence Program, and she directed Middletown, by Will Eno last fall. Her book, ACTING: What to Do, was published in 2011 and has been adopted by colleges and universities across the country. She and her husband, Dr. Thomas Pender, are the proud parents of OCCC freshman, Sam, who is studying film. Boomer Sooner!



Playwright-Director Elizabeth Wong,
anuary 29-February 1, 2014
Elizabeth Wong Lecture
Chris Wixsom, Dean Bonnie Irwin, Elizabeth Wong,
Lania McKnight, J. Kevin Doolen
Elizabeth Wong 2
 Elizabeth Wong 3
 Elizabeth Wong

January 29 - February 1, 2014

     Wednesday, Jan. 29 -
                    class visits

     Thursday, Jan. 30 - 
                    class visits
                    6:30 pm Public Address,  Doudna Lecture Hall
                                 Address on career as a creative writer in theatre,
                                 film, television.   Work includes both playwriting
                                 of award-winning adult plays and children's plays,
                                 as well as screenwriting.   Wong is a nationally
                                 renowned director and playwright.
      Friday, Jan. 31 -
               class visits
      Saturday, Feb. 1 - 
                    9:30-noon  Playwriting workshop, Doudna Movement
                                Studio.  Interested students from Theatre and
                                English should e-mail jkdoolen@eiu.edu to be
                                placed on the list to participate.   This workshop
                                will serve both the novice and more seasoned 
                                writers seeking some new tools and inspiration.

Elizabeth Wong, Los Angeles, CA, (playwright, theatre director), is known for her unique blend of comedy and social satire. She is also considered one of the foremost writers of plays for young audiences. She is a recipient of the Tanne Foundation Award for artistic achievement and she recently received a commendation from the City of Los Angeles for her themes on human rights. Her plays include Letters to a Student Revolutionary, China Doll, and Kimchee & Chitlins. As a playwright, she’s been commissioned by Dramatic Publishing Company (Does My Head Look Big in This); the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (The Happy Prince: The Musical; The Happy Prince), Denver Center Theatre (Prometheus, Amazing Adventures of the Marvelous Monkey King, Goloshes of Fortune), Honolulu Theatre for Youth (The Magic Bird: A Filipino Folktail), Cincinnati Playhouse (Boid & Oskar), Theatre Emory (Dating & Mating in Modern Times), Silk Road Rising (Finding Your Inner Zulu), Actors Theatre of Louisville (Badass of the RIP Eternal), to name a few. As a director, she’s helmed her award-winning Off-Broadway play Letters to a Student Revolutionary at the SUNY-Albany Performing Arts Center at the invitation of Director JKevin Doolen. She also coproduced Letters to a Student Revolutionary at the Center for the Preservation of Democracy in Los Angeles to benefit Amnesty International, and to commemorate the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Wong recently directed Moliere’s classic comedy Tartuffe at the Alice Austen Theatre in New York when she was the artist-in-residence at SUNY Geneseo earlier this year. Wong was a Disney Writing Fellow and a staff writer for the ground-breaking ABC sitcom All-American Girl starring Margaret Cho and she was a writing intern at the CBS soap Young & the Restless. She’s been a guest artist at the New York State Writers’ Institute, and an inaugural artist-in-residence at the Ecole Cantonale d’art du Valle, Sierre, Switzerland. Last year, she was an invited speaker at Harvard University to discuss social unrest and her play Kimchee & Chitlins at a symposium on the 20th anniversary of the L.A. riots; and she was nominated to The Hermitage Artist Retreat where she is currently in residence. She’s excited to be working on a new play about FDR and his Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, America’s first woman cabinet member. She’s also adapting for the stage Jervey Tervalon’s best-selling novel Dead Above Ground; and the memoir Traitor? By Terry Holdbrook Jr, about one soldiers’ experiences at Guantanano Bay prison, for First Flight Entertainment. She is a proud member of PEN, the Dramatist Guild, and Writers Guild West. (as of September 2013)



Milly Ringwald 

Molly Ringwald

November 14, 3:00 pm - Movement Studio

 Q and A session with singer, author, and actress of both stage and screen.