Philip Lynch Theatre

Current Season

Dear Theatre Patrons,

On Saturday, May 20th, the stage of the Philip Lynch Theatre was dedicated and named in honor of the theatre’s creator, Chet Kondratowicz. Chet, who began teaching at Lewis in 1965, fought in 1975 to obtain the space when the aviation department abandoned this old hangar, shops and classrooms for a new building and hangar across the street and adjacent to the airport.

You will be able to view a plaque, designed by Professor Emeritus Harold McCay, for the “Chet Kondratowicz Stage” at the top of the main stairwell leading to the theatre when you next attend a production at the PLT.  It was Chet’s admiration of the work of British director, Sir Tyrone Guthrie, which led to his design of our space.  Instead of the pervasive proscenium or “picture frame” stage, Guthrie initiated a return to a thrust style stage where the acting area sits amidst the audience, as was used in ancient Greek and Elizabethan eras.  This style brings a close association between the actors and audience and reinforces the feeling of a communal experience for all in attendance.

Since 1976, when the PLT first opened, hundreds of professional performers, including Brian Bedford and Lynn Redgrave, who have performed here, have remarked on the beauty and intimacy of the space.

We dedicate our 2017-18 season to our dear founder, teacher, mentor, colleague and friend, Chet Kondratowicz.

See you at the theatre,

Keith J. White
Chair, Director of Theatre

2017-2018 logo

The Boys Next Door Pictured: (center) Zackary Abu-Shanab as Jack, the burned-out social worker surrounded by “The Boys Next Door” (clockwise) Theodore J. Veremis-Dernekzis, Bradford Bingham, Robert Rigler and Andrew Wainscott.

Lewis University's Philip Lynch Theatre presents the Heartwarming Drama "The Boys Next Door"

Tom Griffin’s 1983 play “The Boys Next Door” is about four intellectually disabled men in a group home and their social worker.  The Philip Lynch Theatre (PLT) is staging the heartwarming comedy with a cast of talented Lewis University students directed by Theatre Department Chairperson, Keith White of Joliet.  The playwright has created characters who maintain their dignity and humanity in their neighborhood and world in which they exist. No matter how inhumane the outside world is for these residents, it is the world in which they live, and they must learn to cope with it to the best of their abilities. For example:

  1. When the neighborhood grocer tricks Arnold (Robert Rigler of Lemont) into buying nine boxes of Wheaties and Arnold has to find the courage to return them and get a refund.

  2. When the chatty Norman (Theodore J. Veremis-Dernekzis of Elk Grove) has to learn to stop eating the leftover doughnuts that his co-workers from the doughnut shop are always giving him. Norman also has a crush on Sheila (Ashley Stajura of Lockport), a resident of another group home.

  3. When Barry, (Andrew Wainscott of Mokena) full of positive conviction and a self-proclaimed golf pro, struggles to come to grips with the fear of his abusive father.

  4. When Lucian (Bradford Bingham of Chicago), who has the mental capacity of a 5-year-old, struggles with the confusion common to all 5-year-olds.

Their offbeat solutions to their day-to-day problems are supervised by the increasingly burned-out social worker Jack (Zackary Abu-Shanab of Plainfield).  Jack states: “ You see, the problem is that they never change.  I change, my life changes, my crises change.  But they stay the same.”  Completing the cast of “The Boys Next Door” are Christy Carlson of Lockport, Chris Pupik of Naperville and Conrad Sipiora of Chicago.

Assisting the director, Keith White, are Sean Gallagher of Mokena as the stage manager and Eric Redmon of Yorkville as the assistant stage manager. Assistant Professor Andrew Nelsen of Joliet is designing the scenery and lighting. Third year theatre major, Kayla Carson of Oak Lawn is designing the costumes and assisting her with costumes is Audrey Vaughn of Harrisburg, PA. Designing and operating sound is second year theatre major, Jacob Rodriguez of Chicago.  Natalia Bednarczyk of Burbank is the properties manager and assisting her with props is Cara Tumino of Lockport. The light board operator is Zue Balquin of New Lenox and backstage crew include Haley Marchewska of Loves Park, IL and Dorothy Blome of Macomb, IL.  Front-of-house staff is Jenn Glynn of Chicago, and Mike Nutter of LaGrange.

The play will run September 29-October 1 and October 5-8 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 matinee performance at 4 p.m. on October 7. 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.

Lewis University is an innovative and entrepreneurial Catholic university offering market-relevant undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,500 students. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis University is nationally recognized for preparing intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected and socially responsible graduates.

Boys Next Door
The place is a communal residence in a New England city, where 4 mentally handicapped men live. Norman, who works in a doughnut shop and is unable to resist the lure of the sweet pastries. Lucien P. Smith has the mind of a five-year-old but imagines that he is able to read and comprehend the weighty books he lugs about. Arnold, the ringleader of the group, is a hyperactive, compulsive chatterer. While Barry, a brilliant schizophrenic, fantasizes that he is a golf pro. Under the supervision of an earnest, but increasingly “burned out” young social worker named Jack, the boys experience touching moments of great poignancy, love, and laug
September 29-October 1 & October 5-8, 2017
Directed by Keith White

Recommended for patrons 13 and up. $10 single tickets go on sale June 19, 2017!

Mr. Burns A Post-Electric
Anne Washburn’s imaginative dark comedy propels us forward in time to follow a new civilization stumbling into its future. After the collapse of civilization, a group of survivors share a campfire and begin to piece together the plot of “The Simpsons” episode “Cape Fear” entirely from memory. Seven years later, this and other snippets of pop culture (sitcom plots, commercials, jingles, and pop songs) have become the live entertainment of a post-apocalyptic society, desperately trying to hold onto its past. Seventy-five years later, these are the myths and legends from which new forms of performance are created. A tribute to live theater and the resilience of Bart Simpson through the ages, Mr. Burns is an animated exploration of how the pop culture of one era might evolve into the mythology of another.
November 10-12 & November 16-19, 2017
Directed by Kevin Trudeau

Recommended for patrons 16 and up. $10 single tickets go on sale June 19, 2017!

Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in 1816, and it caught the public’s imagination almost immediately. The first stage adaptation was written in 1823, and since then countless film versions, parodies, and modern interpretations have changed the associations we have with the Frankenstein name. Shelley’s novel offers many pleasures, but fulfilling the horror-movie expectations of the modern theatre-goer isn’t one of them. This adaptation attempts to be faithful to Shelley’s original themes, characters, mood, and literary sensibility while at the same time giving an audience a little bit more of what it expects from something called Frankenstein. It’s George Bernard Shaw meets Stephen King.
February 16-18 & February 22-25, 2018
Directed by Jo Slowik

Recommended for patrons 13 and up. $10 single tickets go on sale June 19, 2017!

13 The Musical Geek. Poser. Jock. Beauty Queen. Wannabe. These are labels that can last a lifetime. With an unforgettable rock score from Tony Award-winning composer, Jason Robert Brown, (Parade, The Last Five Years, Bridges of Madison County) 13 is a musical about fitting in – and standing out! Evan Goldman is plucked from his fast-paced, preteen New York City life and plopped into a sleepy Indiana town following his parent’s divorce. Surrounded by an array of unsophisticated middle school students, he needs to establish his place in the popularity pecking order. Can he situate himself on a comfortable link of the food chain... or will he dangle at the end with the outcasts?!?
April 20-22 & April 26-29, 2018
Directed by Keith White

Recommended for patrons 10 and up. $12 single tickets go on sale June 19, 2017!

“To LIFE!” 

A Celebration of the Life and Contributions of Chet Kondratowicz

Register to the event.


Fierce Vexation of a Dream

Black Box Blowout 2017

LU PLT Attends KCACTF 2017

In Loving Memory of Chet Kondratowicz