Shows and directors for our 2017-18 season

March 21st, 2017

Wheaton Drama is excited to announce next season’s shows and directors.

The season will open with the classic musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” a
story of maintaining traditions and transitions in an ever-changing
sociopolitical climate—a message as important today as when the show was
written. “Fiddler” will be directed by Carrie Dabelow, who has directed
productions for Steel Beam Theater, Riverside Theatre, and Woodstock
Musical Theatre Company, as well as in public schools in Illinois and

Next on the schedule is an adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic romance
Sense and Sensibility,” in which we follow the Dashwood sisters, Elinor
and Marianne, as they seek love and happiness in 1790s England. This
promises to be a show for families and Jane Austen aficionados alike and
will be directed by WDI veteran Randall W. Knott, who last directed “Play
It Again, Sam” and “Amadeus” for Wheaton Drama and “One Flew Over the
Cuckoo’s Nest” at Woodstock Opera House.

Wheaton Drama will continue its tradition of holiday radio plays by
presenting that childhood classic “The Cinnamon Bear.” This old-time radio
show was first produced in 1937 and became popular nationwide, particularly
in Chicago when it was broadcast on WGN radio. It will be directed by Ben
Dooley, who has done numerous radio show reproductions with his own
company, Those Thrilling Days of Yesteryear, and who directed the Christmas
classic “Miracle on 34th Street” for Wheaton Drama.

Kicking off the new year, WDI will present a modern farce, “Sex in the
Title” by local playwright George Zahora. It concerns two playwrights whose
shows always have the word “sex” in the title, though their shows have
nothing to do with sex. This farce involves doors and windows—and lots of
people coming and going through them. It will be directed by Jay
Fontanetta, a newcomer to WDI who has directed extensively at North
Riverside Community Theatre, at Circle Theatre and in numerous area high

Following up in stark contrast, WDI will present a searing drama, “A Piece
of My Heart,” which tells of the role women played during the Vietnam War.
Like many of their male counterparts, their service went largely
unappreciated and unrecognized. This show will be directed by WDI veteran
Mike Boyna, who last directed the hilarious and successful “Shrek: The

The season will conclude with the perennial Stephen Sondheim favorite
Company.” Though it debuted on Broadway in 1970, its theme of coping with
cultural changes and social upheavals remains relevant today. “Company”
will be directed by Pam Turlow, who has directed “A Christmas Carol” and
“Mad Mid-Mod Musicals” for Wheaton Drama.

Easy access to the AACT newsletter

March 17th, 2017

It’s now easier than ever to stay atop trends in local theater.

Rich Gannon, from the board of the American Association of Community Theatre, writes:

In the past, SPOTLIGHT, AACT’s bimonthly newsletter, came to you by two methods: by mail to your official address and online. To access online you needed to log in as a member at the AACT website.

SPOTLIGHT can now be viewed by the public without being a member. Each of you will still receive the hard copy in the mail. If you have others in your organization who want to check out the magazine they can now do so.

Go to www.aact.orgClick on NETWORKING, and from the drop down click on SPOTLIGHT.


March 15th, 2017

Your theater needs you, members.  Please volunteer to usher for Outside Mullingar (March 24 – April 15).  For more information, and to sign up, contact:

Wheaton Drama a ‘Best of Wheaton’ winner!

March 13th, 2017

For the second time in four years, Wheaton Drama has been recognized as a leader in the arts field, winning a “Best of Wheaton” award.

Grabbing top honors as the Wheaton Chamber of Commerce’s Not For Profit Arts Organization of the Year, Wheaton Drama continues its 85-year tradition of excellence in entertaining and enlightening members of its community.

Wheaton Drama rounds out its 2016-17 season with John Patrick Shanley’s newest romantic comedy, “Outside Mullingar” (running March 24 through April 15), and Mel Brooks’ hilarious musical comedy “The Producers” (running May 26 through June 18).

Our 2017-18 season blends classic favorites and new offerings to delight and inspire theatergoers of all ages: “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Sense and Sensibility,” “Sex in the Title,” “A Piece of My Heart” and “Company.”

See why our audiences and the community at large agree that Wheaton Drama leads the pack in providing professional-caliber theater with a familiar touch.


Auditions for ‘The Producers’ set for March 26-27

February 26th, 2017

Wheaton Drama announces auditions for its 2016-17 season closer, “The Producers”—one of the funniest and most popular musical comedies of all time–to be held March 26-27.

Craig Gustafson is directing. Music Director: Joni Kotche. Choreographer: Katy Smith. Production Managers: Elyse Wadzinski and Leah Rae Witt.

To best utilize the time of actors auditioning for “The Producers,” auditions are by appointment only at Playhouse 111, located at 111 N. Hale
St., Wheaton.

This show is rated R and will not be diluted in any way. Actors must be completely comfortable with content that is bawdy, politically incorrect, deliberately offensive and bawdy. Did we mention “bawdy”? Actors must be 18 or older to audition.

The process is as follows:

To schedule an appointment, please email State your name and which day you would like to audition. Attaching a headshot and résumé is acceptable but not required. Details on what you will be asked to sing and read will be provided when your appointment is scheduled.

  1. Actors will be scheduled for March 26 or 27. If all slots fill up on those dates, other dates will be added.
  2. Actors will be assigned a call time, either 7, 8 or 9 p.m.
  3. Actors will be assigned to a group and will spend 20 minutes in the singing audition, 20 minutes in the dance audition and 20 minutes in the reading audition. Everyone who attends will get to read.
  4. Walk-ins will be seen only if there are any cancellations or open slots, so making an appointment is strongly encouraged.
  5. Those cast or called back will be called by noon on Wednesday, March 29. Actors who are not cast or called back will be contacted by email. Callbacks will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29.

Performances of “The Producers” are May 26 through June 18, 2017. Shows are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.

“The Producers” is presented by special arrangement with Music Theatre International.

For tickets and information, please visit:

Character breakdown

(Character ages listed are guidelines only. If you’re not that age, but you want a part, convince us.)


The consummate con man. Naturally animated and bombastic, he is never at a loss for charm and deviousness.

Gender: Male

Age: 35 to 55

Vocal range top: F#4

Vocal range bottom: A2


An accountant. Lovably boring and mousy, he is a hesitant optimist who longs for something more.

Gender: Male

Age: 25 to 45

Vocal range top: F4

Vocal range bottom: A2


Unrepentant Nazi/sensitive playwright. German accent required.

Gender: Male

Age: 30 to 55

Vocal range top: G4

Vocal range bottom: F2


New York’s most flamboyant stage director. Doesn’t stand out in a crowd; he is the crowd.

Gender: Male

Age: 35 to 60

Vocal range top: G4

Vocal range bottom: G#2


Roger Debris’ common-law assistant. Prissy, caustic and slavishly devoted. He may appear younger than he actually is, thanks to skilled surgeons.

Gender: Male

Age: 25 to 35

Vocal range top: A4

Vocal range bottom: C3


A young and hopeful actress. A sex bomb, which frequently explodes. Swedish accent required.

Gender: Female

Age: 18 to 35

Vocal range top: G5 NOTE: Must have a strong belt.

Vocal range bottom: A3


Accountants; Bavarian Peasants; Convicts; First Nighters; Little Old Ladies; Storm Troopers; Chorus Girls; Girl Prisoners; Usherettes

About “The Producers”

Adapted from the Academy Award winning screenplay by Mel Brooks, the original production of “The Producers” opened at the St. James Theatre on April 19, 2001, and ran for 2,502 performances, closing on April 22, 2007, and winning 12 Tony Awards (including Best Musical)—more than any other show in Broadway history. The cast album won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.

For a synopsis of the show, go here:

To hear samples of the music, go here:

“Everybody who sees ‘The Producers’ is going to be hard-pressed to choose one favorite bit from the sublimely ridiculous spectacle… ‘The Producers’ is as full of gags, gadgets and gimmicks as an old vaudevillian’s trunk. But the show, which has a book by Mr. Brooks and Thomas Meehan with songs by Mr. Brooks (you heard me), is much more than the sum of its gorgeously silly parts. It is, to put it simply, the real thing.”—New York Times

“Extraordinary tickling power… it is irresistible.”—LA Times

“Entirely irresistible and irrepressible confection.”—The Stage (UK)

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