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EIU Department of

2014-2015 Guest Artists

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.



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).


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 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 CamelotThe 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 Womenwas 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. 


Musical Theatre Masterclass 
With Sal Viviano
Monday, September 15
1-3:00 pm     DFAC Recital Hall
Presented with Theatre 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. 


Guest Artist 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.



Guest Artist 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.”



Guest Artist: Ingrid Sonnichsen


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Contact Information

Department of Theatre

2080 Doudna Fine Arts Cntr.
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-3121

Box Office

(217) 581-3110

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