Theatre

Faculty/Staff

Jo Slowik
Philip Lynch Theatre Manager
Professor of Theatre

M.F.A., Northern Illinois University -1991
B.A., Lewis University -1988


Email: slowikjo@lewisu.edu

Work Phone: 815.836.5409

Office Location: Philip Lynch Theatre Box Office, Oremus Fine Arts Center Face to Face (F2F): WF 1 pm – 2 pm or by appointment.  Virtual Zoom Open Office Hrs: Fridays, 10-11:30 am.

Communications: I try to respond to emails within 24 hrs or less. In addition, I try to make Saturday an electronic free day and please always use the subject line when sending an email.

Subscribe to the Philip Lynch Theatre YouTube channel: http://youtube.com/user/theatrediva52.

I became the Philip Lynch Theatre Manager in June of 1999. Since 1997, I had served as an adjunct faculty member teaching Introduction to the Theatre Experience (face-to-face and online).  I have taught courses like Scene & Monologue Study, Meisner Acting Technique, Audition Techniques, Voice & Diction, Acting One, MakeUp and the mentored the 24 Hr. Theatre Festival.  I graduated from Lewis in 1988 and went onto receive my MFA from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. I am still the full-time Philip Lynch Theatre Manager overseeing and producing 5 main stage productions a year... until COVID-19 turned the theatre world inside out.  Pivot and we’re producing shows streaming online.

Prior to coming to Lewis, I was the production manager for the professional children’s theatre company, AlphaBet Soup Productions.  I am a founding board member and current board president of the Heritage Theatre Company (HTC) formed in 1996 in cooperation with the Lewis University Alumni Association. In September 2021, HTC will celebrate 25 years of collaboratively producing with the theatre department. With HTC, Jo has directed two outdoor Shakespeare shows, Neil Simon’s Fools and The Curate Shakespeare As You Like It. I have performed in Agnes of God and Love Letters. I served for three years as the director/production manager for the elementary education touring production of the original script and show, Illinois, Illinois!  I have also directed the previous 15 annual Heritage Theatre Company Holiday Spectaculars.

In the summer of 2018, I became an Assistant Professor of Theatre, and maintain my title as Philip Lynch Theatre Manager.   Last year, I producing seven plays, a 24 Hr. Theatre Festival, and directed Peter and the Starcatcher and The Wolves. I am an Introduction to the College Experience mentor, and serve on the Lewis Celebration of Scholarship, Alumni events committees, the University Faculty Budget Review Committee, the College of Humanities, Fine Arts, and Communication Budget Review Committee, the Institute for Catholic & LaSallian Educators Committee, Lewis Faculty Scholars, Athletic Faculty Mentor for Women's Track and Field, and I am Peace Circle Keeper trained and certified which is a restorative justice and conflict or reflection process. I have written and received grants from the Illinois Arts Council for the Summer Youth Employment in the Arts program.

My PLT directing credits include: These Shining Lives, The Wolves, Frankenstein, Big Fish, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Arabian Nights, The Drowsy Chaperone, Shrek, Clybourne Park, Leaving Iowa (twice), High School Musical, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Hollywood Arms, The Woman in Black, The Women of Lockerbie, The Underpants, Fuddy Meers, Jake’s Women, A Piece of My Heart, Dancing at Lughnasa, and To Be Young, Gifted and Black.

Some of my acting stage credits include Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire, Rosalind in As You Like It, Masha in TheThree Sisters, Dorine in Tartuffe (MFA thesis role), Dottie in Noises Off, and Ramone in A Flea In Her Ear. While in graduate school, I performed the title role in Antigone for which I received an Irene Ryan acting nomination and was a top 16 acting finalist at the American College Theatre Festival Region III. I married my college sweetheart, Ted, and have two adult children, Hannah and Noah.

Website: www.lewisu.edu/plt

  



Kevin Trudeau
Chair, Director of Theatre, Professor of Theatre History

1997, Ph.D., Theater Arts, University of Oregon
1992, M.F.A., State University of New York at Stony Brook
1989, B.A., St. Louis University

Dr. Trudeau has served on Lewis' theater faculty since 1999. His areas of interest include Native American performance, dramaturgy, dramatic adaptation, turn of the century avante garde theater, and contemporary non-realistic drama. Dr. Trudeau has worked as a dramaturge on more than twenty productions. He's also directed a number of shows.



Keith White
Professor of Theater

1991, M.F.A., Northern Illinois University
1977, B.A., Lewis University

Mr. White has served as a full-time faculty member at Lewis since 1994. Previously, he served as the department's theater manager for eleven years. Mr. White has directed more than 30 productions at the Philip Lynch Theatre. As a founding member of the Heritage Theatre Company, Lewis' alumni troupe, he's directed Romeo & Juliet and Romp. He's also performed lead roles in a number of productions at Lewis, the Rialto Square Theatre and NIU.



Andrew Nelsen
Professor of Design & Technical Theatre

2012, M.F.A., Theatre Arts, University of Iowa
2006 A.S., Show Production & Touring, Full Sail Real World Education
2004, B.A., Theatre, Lewis University

Andrew Nelsen, a Lewis alumnus, received Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) Certificates of Merit for his student scenic design of Jake’s Women and lighting design of The Laramie Project.  He went on to study live audio and lighting at Full Sail in Winter Park, Florida where he earned an Associate of Science degree along with the Advanced Achievement Award in Show Production & Touring, the Course Director’s Award in Show Light Engineering and the Course Director’s Award in Advanced Show Production.  While attending Full Sail, Andrew received live field experience in show lighting, rigging and sound production.

Andrew completed graduate studies at the University of Iowa in 2012, receiving an M.F.A. in Theatre Arts - Scenic and Lighting Design.  His thesis included a scenic design for Oliver Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer and lighting design for Caryl Churchill’s version of August Strindberg’s A Dream Play.  Other University of Iowa designs included Sarah Ruhl’s In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play | Steve Martin’s W.A.S.P. and world premiere new scripts including Jenga | The Man In The Sukkah | People of the Ditch | Salvage | and Sunshine.  Andrew was thoroughly inspired by the integration of technology and collaboration opportunities on world premiere scripts made available to him at the University of Iowa Theatre Department.

Some of Andrew’s recent PLT work includes the scenic designs of:
Moonlight and Magnolias | All Shook Up | Chicago | Disney’s Shrek the Musical

and lighting designs of:
The Life of Galileo | Leaving Iowa | High School Musical | Little Brother | A Little Night Music



Celeste Mackey
Resident Costumer

1991, BA Governors State University

Celeste Mackey has been teaching English and Literature of the Holocaust at Joliet Catholic Academy for 15 years and has been the adjunct faculty costume instructor at Lewis University since 2000. She earned her degree in English from Governors State University and has studied at California State University Chico and American River College. Some of her favorite PLT costuming credits include: Dancing at Lughnasa, Moon Over Buffalo, Singin' in the Rain, Oh! What A Lovely War, Equus, and Hay Fever. Married for over 30 years to her husband, Chuck, she is the mother of two grown children, and resides in Joliet.



Dave Pomatto
Assistant Technical Director

1971, B.A. Lewis University

Dave Pomatto returns to Lewis where his theatre career began with Joliet Drama Guild and Lewis productions at the Studio Theatre. From 1976 to 1983, Dave Pomatto was a stage manager, technical director, and lighting designer for the Chicago Ballet and The Nutcracker Ballet at the Arie Crown Theater and dance performances at Chicago Civic Opera House, Seattle Opera House, Portland Civic Auditorium, Oakland Paramount Theater, and UNLV Performing Arts Center. He was the technical director, lighting and sound designer, and maintenance supervisor for Candlelight Playhouse and Forum Theater from 1974 to 1994. He was also the building manager, project coordinator, and special effects consultant for Production Plus Technologies, Inc. from 1994 to 2009. He has been the Events Facility Coordinator, providing all infrastructures on site for temporary events headlined by The Eagles in 2008, Paul Simon in 2005, Elton John in 2003, and Bette Midler in 2001. Dave was the recipient of the Joseph Jefferson Award for Sound Design for the Little Shop of Horrors at the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse and was nominated for the Joseph Jefferson Award for Lighting Design for Nine, also at the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse.