Philip Lynch Theatre

Current Season

Keith J. White
Chair, Director of Theatre
Dear Theatre Patrons,

We all love a good story. The story can be in the form of a novel, song, photograph, television half-hour, hour, miniseries, film, documentary, or (our favorite form) musicals and plays. Enjoying stories is a wonderful aspect of being human. We are intrigued, horrified, and thrilled by the tribulations and victories of our fellow human beings, whether they are real or imaginary.

We also love to congregate in a space with many people we don’t even know and share this experience together. I must admit that I would miss my remote with the “on demand” button that sits on the coffee table in the TV room. It seems that television just keeps getting better at telling a good story. However, getting dressed, driving to a theatre, entering a special room that is specifically made to tell stories with living beings, and hearing and feeling the responses to the story with hundreds of others, enforces the feeling that we are all in this journey together.

The students here, who are being trained to tell a good story, not only receive theatre training, but also become in the process wonderfully empathic individuals. A major part of an actor’s job is to experience the life of the character they are portraying –physically, mentally and emotionally. Students learn to create settings, apply sound and music, design clothing, lighting and properties that tell us who these people are and where and why they exist. A good story is often in the details.

Thank you for joining us for the previous stories we have told, and we hope to see you throughout the season for five more tales of our human condition.

See you at the theatre,

Lewis University’s Philip Lynch Theatre presents:

Urinetown - the Musical

“Urinetown the Musical,” an Admittedly Bad Title

Winner of three Tony Awards, three Outer Critic’s Circle Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards, and two Obie Awards, “Urinetown the Musical” is a hilarious satire of the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, municipal politics and musical theatre itself! In a Gotham-like city, a terrible water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought, has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity’s most basic needs. Amid the people a hero, Bobby Strong (Michael Frale of Elk Grove), decides he’s had enough, and plans a revolution to lead them all to freedom. Praised for reinvigorating the very notion of what a musical could be, “Urinetown the Musical” speaks to our time with its outrageous perspective, wickedly modern wit, and ability to produce gales of laughter. And, yes, it is a horrible title for a musical.

Director of Theatre Keith White of Joliet directs the the show called a “jubilant theatrical experience.” Assisting White in the creation of this “musical for our times” is Becky Hicks of Joliet (vocal director) and Jeni Donahue of Joliet (choreographer). The cast includes Zackary Abu-Shanab of Plainfield, Kevin Bukauski and Jordin Richards of Tinley Park, Christy Carlson of Lockport, Kayla Carson and Adam Jezl-Sikorski of Burbank, Serena Clearwater of Arlington Heights, Jake Dorencz of Romeoville, Sean Gallagher of Mokena, Amanda Mascarello of Mokena, Luke Murphy of Darien, Kawaan Panama of Chicago, Katy Papineau of Kankakee, Miguel Salazar of Crest Hill and Jessi Sheppard of Monee.

Working behind the scenes are Jonathan Boehle of Cornell (stage manager), Tyler Senjanin of Evergreen Park (assistant stage manager), Celeste Mackey of Joliet (costume design), Andrew Nelsen of Joliet (scenic and lighting design), Jill Jeffrey of Romeoville (properties), Taylore Cephas of Chicago and Robert Kornaus of Plainfield (sound reinforcement and microphones), Carole McKee of Plainfield (light board operator), Nicole and Briana Reidy of Darien (costume dressers), and Dave Pomatto of Naperville (assistant technical director). Front-of-house staff is Lauren Finnegan of Wheaton (box office) and Jamie Voustros of Chicago (house manager).

This insightful musical will run April 15-17 and April 21-24 and is recommended for patrons 13 years old and up. The evening performances are 8 p.m. and the Sunday matinees are 2:30 p.m. In addition, there is a 4 p.m. matinee performance at on Saturday, April 23. Advanced tickets purchases are strongly encouraged. Ticket prices are $10 for adult and $9 for students and seniors. Lewis students pay $2 with an ID. For groups of 15 or more tickets are $8. Tickets are non-refundable. For more information, patrons can call the box office (815) 836-5500 Monday through Friday from 1-4:30 p.m. The theatre is located on the main campus, the Oremus Fine Arts Center on Route 53 in Romeoville.

2016-17 Season Announcement

Big Fish

Music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and book by John August
Directed by Jo Slowik, July 22-24 & July 28-31, 2016

Based on the celebrated novel by Daniel Wallace and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton, Big Fish centers on Edward Bloom, a traveling salesman who lives life to its fullest… and then some! Edward's incredible, larger-than-life stories thrill everyone around him – most of all, his devoted wife Sandra. But their son Will, about to have a child of his own, is determined to find the truth behind his father’s epic tales. Overflowing with heart, humor and spectacular stagecraft, Big Fish is an extraordinary new Broadway musical that reminds us why we love going to the theatre.  It is an experience that's richer, funnier and BIGGER than life itself.

"A rollicking fantasy set in the American South, Big Fish centers on the charismatic Edward Bloom, whose impossible stories of his epic adventures frustrate his son Will. As Edward's final chapter approaches Will embarks on his own journey to find out who his father really is, revealing the man behind the myth, the truth from the tall tales."

The Day They Shot John Lennon

by James McClure
Guest Directed by Michael Bassett, Sept. 30 – Oct. 2 & Oct. 6 – 9, 2016

The play takes place in front of the Manhattan apartment building where John Lennon was shot. Many New Yorkers spontaneously assembled that day to pay tribute to their idol, and it is from the stories of these people that the author builds his play. Included are a young advertising executive and a "women's libber" who had both been at Woodstock; a group of high school students preoccupied with romantic disputes and entanglements; a pair of Vietnam vets with larceny in mind; an elderly Jewish man from a neighboring building who mistakenly thinks that the murder victim was Jack Lemmon; and a hip young black would-be comic. The relationships of these characters are sometimes humorous, sometimes moving, sometimes menacing. The author focuses on the larger significance of the event, which has brought them together—the shock wave, which was felt across the nation by the further evidence of the violence and ugliness lurking in our communal soul.

"…we're transported right back to that December 1980 day of mourning when the songs of an era took on sad, new ironies, and when no one could think of the right words to express an inexplicable loss." —New York Times

Inspecting Carol

by Daniel Sullivan and the Seattle Repertory Company
Directed by Keith White, Nov. 11-13 & Nov. 17-20, 2016

A Christmas Carol meets The Government Inspector meets Noises Off in this hilarious hit from The Seattle Repertory Company. A struggling theatre company is mounting its annual production of A Christmas Carol amid the very real threat of the funding being cut from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). They have received notice than an inspector from the NEA will be arriving to determine whether continued funding is warranted.  At the same time, a man who may very well be the worst actor ever arrives to audition for the company.  Mistaking him for the inspector, the director cast him in a leading role for the production.  Add assorted backstage alliances, dalliances, disappearances and you have a recipe for disaster and hilarity.  Inspecting Carol is a show that PLT patrons have wished to see again since the 1996 PLT production. 

"I laughed till I cried...Sheer comic genius." - Journal American
"A Dickens of a giggle." - Seattle Times
"A rollicking farce." - Everett Herald

Good People

by David Lindsay-Abaire
Directed by Kevin Trudeau, Feb. 17-19 & Feb. 23-26, 2017

Welcome to Southie, a Boston neighborhood where a night on the town means a few rounds of bingo, this month's paycheck only covers last month’s bills, and where Margie Walsh has just been let go from yet another job. Facing eviction, Margie thinks an old fling, who has made it out of Southie, might be her ticket to a fresh new start. But is this self-made man secure enough to face his humble beginnings? Margie is about to risk what little she has left to find out. With his signature humorous glow, David Lindsay-Abaire explores the struggles, shifting loyalties and unshakeable hopes that come with having next to nothing in America.

"David Lindsay-Abaire pays his respects to his old South Boston neighborhood with this tough and tender play about the insurmountable class divide between those who make it out of this blue-collar Irish neighborhood and those who find themselves left behind.” – Variety

Good People is poignant, brave and almost subversive in its focus on what it really means to be down on your luck." –New York Post

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

by William Shakespeare
Directed by Jo Slowik, April 21-23 & April 27-30, 2017

The PLT brings to the stage one of Shakespeare's most popular plays, A Midsummer Night's Dream. It portrays the adventures of four young Athenian lovers, a group of amateur actors and their interactions with the Duke and Duchess of Athens, and the fairies that inhabit a moonlit forest. A Midsummer Night’s Dream was written in 1595 or 1596. Some experts believe it was written to have its first performance in the gardens of a great country estate for the celebrations for an aristocratic wedding. As the fictional newlyweds King Theseus and Queen Hippolyta, Lysander and Hermia, and Demetrius and Helena watched Bottom and his friends performing “Pyramus and Thisbe,” a real-life bride and groom were in turn watching them! Shakespeare’s beloved comedy contains a play within a play and a world within a world, inviting audiences to enter a world of magic and fantasy and leave the theatre pondering, "was it all a dream?"

“Festival of love”  –Jennifer Kramer, Philadelphia Shakespeare
“Beautiful, powerful, magical, dangerous” – Roseanne Wells, Theatre for a New Audience


Philip Lynch Theatre 40th Anniversary Year in Review

24 Hour Theatre Festival

Philip Lynch Theatre: 40 Years Strong

Welcome to Lewis University's Philip Lynch Theatre