Philip Lynch
Theatre

Current Season

Dear Theatre Patron,

Our 44th year brings a very exciting and diverse lineup of productions for  our wonderful playgoers, and for the educational experience of our hardworking and passionate students and summer community volunteer performers.

We are thrilled to be one of the first amateur theatres in the area to present the joyous hit, Mama Mia! The fall semester finds two shows that explore, in very different ways, the power of women – 2016’s The Wolves and, seventy years earlier, 1946’s Born Yesterday

The first part of 2020 brings to the Chet Kondratowicz Stage the 2015 Tony Award winner for Best Play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. The season ends with the rollicking sci-fi jukebox musical, Return to the Forbidden Planet which has become a cult hit in the UK. Also, don’t forget our popular Christmas Spectacular and other Heritage Theatre Productions presented in our Studio Theatre.

Our gratitude goes out to our subscribers, many of whom have been with us for decades watching generations of our students grow in their self-confidence and theatrical abilities. We hope all of you will join us this season either as a subscriber or by attending individual productions of your choice.

See you at the PLT with new  performances beginning at 7:30 pm,

Keith White,  Director of Theatre

Lewis University’s Philip Lynch Theatre Presents Smash Hit Musical "Mamma Mia!"

Mamma Mia!

Pictured: “You can dance and you can jive” with ‘The Dynamos’
Tanya (Elizabeth Keller), Donna (Olivia Gerk) and Rosie (Johanna Jacobson).

ABBA’s hit songs tell the story of young Sophie Sheridan (Elena Gerk of New Lenox) searching for her birth father. Who could it be? Harry Bright, the high- strung banker (John Garza of Chicago), the happy wanderer Bill Austin (Christopher Hueg ‘11 of Lockport) or Sam Carmichael, the nostalgic architect (Charles Kay of Homewood). On the eve of Sophie’s wedding to marry the handsome Sky (Matthew Rello of Plainfield) her quest to discover the identity of her father is met with resistance by her free spirited mother, Donna (Oliva Gerk of New Lenox). Donna’s best friends arrive for the festivities and, relive their singing ‘Dynamo' moments. Fun loving Rosie (Johanna Jacobson ‘97 of Evergreen Park) and stylish Tanya (Elizabeth Keller of Wilmette) strive to once more become dancing queens. A mother, a daughter, three possible dads, non-stop laughs, and explosive dance numbers combine to make “Mamma Mia!” a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget.

Ali (Sarah Richardson of New Lenox), Lisa (Gianna Totani of Joliet), Eddie (Luke Murphy ‘17 of Darien), Pepper (Christopher Tinoco of Bolingbrook) and, the Pastor (Allison Chamberlin of Homer Glen) all join in on the fun. The “Mamma Mia!” cast also includes: Bradford Bingham of Chicago, Calista Plodzien of Plainfield, John Kladis of Palos Hills, Sydney Hartman of Plainfield, Noah Marvo of Shorewood, Kalista Roling of Lockport, Alexander Schedel of Bolingbrook, and Brianna Knutsen of Plainfield. The story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter, friendship, and family creating an unforgettable theatre experience.

The sunny and funny tale is directed by Keith White ‘77 and choreographed by Jeni Donahue, both of Joliet. Jeremy Landig is the vocal director; Christy Carlson ’19 is the assistant to the choreographer, and both reside in Lockport. Technical Director and theatre professor Andrew Nelsen ‘04 of Joliet brings the Greek island paradise to life with his bright lighting and set design. Resident costumer, Celeste Mackey of Crest Hill, is building the iconic ABBA finale costumes and designing the colorful beachwear. Working behind the scenes are Julia Egizio of Plainfield (stage manager), Eric Redmon of Yorkville (assistant stage manager), Dave Pomatto ’71 of Naperville (assistant technical director), Joe Meskin of New Lenox (properties manager), Vanessa Peinado of Schaumburg (sound board operator), Austin Jones of Steger (microphone operator), Daniel Staggs of Minooka (light board operator), Rob Kornas ’16 and Nate Novak of Plainfield, both of Plainfield (follow spot operators). Haley Marchewka of Love’s Park, IL and Kayla Feigl of Shorewood (dressers). Hannah Krause of Mazon is the box office manager, Jessica Plewa of Joliet and Heather Lyon of Morris are the front-of-house staff.

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Mamma Mia! Roles Performed by Real Life Mother and Daughter at Lewis University

Mamma Mia!
Pictured: Mother Daughter Duo, Olivia and Elena Gerk

There are plenty of sub-plots that swirl and weave around the crowd-pleasing ABBA musical "Mamma Mia!" which hits Lewis University’s Philip Lynch Theatre (PLT) on July 19-21 and July 25-28, and tickets go on sale June 24.  Who's Sophie's real father? Will Donna reunite with one of her old boyfriends? And just who is the "Dancing Queen"?

OK, that's not really a mystery, but one of the things that makes this musical resonant with fans beyond the Swedish group's iconic '70s pop tunes is the mother-daughter bond that is displayed by characters, Donna and her daughter, Sophie. It's the emotional core of the story.

Olivia Gerk and daughter Elena Gerk both reside in New Lenox and enjoy spending time together. They also share a love for performing, particularly shows at the PLT. Elena performed in last summer’s production of “The Little Mermaid,” and Olivia was last seen on the PLT in “Chicago” performing the role of Velma Kelly.

They love the music, the infectious energy of this wildly popular hit musical based on the songs of ABBA. But they also connect to the sometimes strained, but always close, relationship between the mother and daughter characters. “It’s the closeness of the relationship I really love and can really relate to,” said Olivia, who is an English teacher and Speech team coach at Minooka Community High School.

Her daughter, Elena, who will be starting esthetician school in September, agrees.  “My mom and I are both free spirits like the characters in the show. We make each other laugh more than anyone else, much like the characters in the show,” Elena said.

The show remains irresistible for mothers and daughters who see a little bit of themselves come to life onstage. For the Gerk mother daughter duo as adults, their relationship has deepened and sweetened. They are not only mother and daughter. They are also the best of friends.

“Mamma Mia!” will be performed on July 19-21 and July 25-28 and tickets go on sale June 24. Evening performances are 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees are 2:30 p.m. In addition, there is a 3:30 p.m. matinee performance on July 27.  Ticket prices are $15 for an adult, $14 for students and seniors. Lewis students pay $3 with an ID. Group tickets are available for parties of 10 or more. Tickets are non-refundable.  For more information patrons can follow us on social media @pltlewisu, call the box office (815) 836-5500 Monday through Friday 1-4:30 p.m., or purchase tickets online with a credit card on the PLT Website at www.lewisu.edu/plt.  Click the “buy tickets” link to select your seats. The theatre is located on the main campus in the Oremus Fine Arts Center on Route 53, Romeoville.

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Announcing the Philip Lynch Theatre 2019-2020 Season!

Renew your subscription online with a credit card today! Renewal deadline: May 13, 2019. 2019-2019 New Showtimes & Pricing! Evening shows: 7:30 pm Subscription: $50

MAMMA MIA!

ABBA’s hits tell the story of a young woman’s search for her birth father. This sunny and funny tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. The story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter, friendship, and family creating an unforgettable theatre experience. A mother, a daughter, three possible dads, non-stop laughs, explosive dance numbers combine to make Mamma Mia! a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget!

JULY 19-20 & JULY 25-28, 2019
Directed by Keith White
Recommended for patrons of all ages. $15 single tickets go on sale June 24, 2019!              

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The Wolves

A girls indoor high school soccer team warms up. The team navigates big questions and wages tiny battles with all the vim and vigor of a pack of adolescent warriors. A portrait of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for nine American girls who just want to score some goals on and off the field. These women are facing the world with the upmost fortitude and set an example of sisterhood. Amidst the rivalries and tragedies, they are warriors tested, ready, and uphold their title for the Wolves.

“DeLappe has created an ensemble of distinct female characters without leaning on romantic partners or traditional feminine tropes to define them.” - Theatremania.

SEPTEMBER 27-29 & OCTOBER 3-6, 2019
Directed by Jo Slowik

Recommended for patrons 13 and up. $13 single tickets go on sale June 24, 2019!             

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Born Yesterday

The vulgar, egotistic junkman Harry Brock has come to a swanky hotel in Washington to make crooked deals with government big-wigs. He has brought with him the charming but dumb ex-chorus girl Billie, whose lack of social graces embarrasses even Harry. Billie must be taught some of the amenities, and a few basic bits of information. The young, idealistic magazine reporter Paul Verrall, who has been investigating political skullduggery and is interested in Brock’s activities, agrees for a salary, to educate Billie. He finds Billie has a natural honesty and she begins to learn about history, politics, and what Harry really is.

NOVEMBER 15-17 & NOVEMBER 21-24, 2019
Directed by Keith White

Recommended for patrons 13 and up. $15 single tickets go on sale June 24, 2019!             

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

15-year-old Christopher has an extraordinary brain. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched, and he distrusts strangers. Now Christopher stands beside his neighbor’s dead dog, Wellington. Finding himself under suspicion, Christopher is determined to solve the mystery of who murdered Wellington, and he carefully records each fact of the crime. But his detective work, takes him on a thrilling journey that upturns his world. Simon Stephens’s adaptation of Mark Haddon’s bestselling, award-winning novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time offers a richly theatrical exploration.

FEBRUARY 14-16 & FEBRUARY 20-23, 2020
Directed by Kevin Trudeau

Recommended for patrons 13 and up. $13 single tickets go on sale June 24, 2019!

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Return to the Forbidden Planet

Inspired by Shakepeare’s The Tempest, this jukebox musical is packed with rock ‘n’ roll classics such as Heard it Through the Grapevine, Young Girl, Good Vibrations, and Gloria. Blast off on a routine flight and crash into the planet D’Illyria where a sci-fi version of The Tempest set to rock and roll golden oldies unfolds with glee. The planet is inhabited by a sinister scientist, Dr. Prospero; his delightful daughter Miranda; Ariel, a faithful robot on roller skates; and an uncontrollable monster, the product of Prospero’s Id, whose tentacles penetrate the space.

“The BEST ROCK AND ROLL SHOW in town.... You just have to laugh at the death defying puns... ” - Daily Express.

APRIL 17-19 & APRIL 23-26, 2020
Directed by Keith White

Recommended for patrons of all ages. $15 single tickets go on sale June 24, 2019!

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