New Workshops Added for Adults this Fall!

September 13th, 2014

Calling all Chicago actors who are looking for something new and exciting to add to your acting chops and toolbox.


A cutting edge three weekend workshop designed to tap into the ACTOR in new and innovative ways.

Blending 20 years of acting experience with amazing cutting edge personal empowerment and growth techniques, this course is designed to help you tap into your passion and skill like no where else.


Get ready to play the greatest role of your life.  Discover how to break down and develop the most exciting character you could ever play.


Play with tigers, dig into your brains, breathe new life into your acting.

Discover the single most powerful technique you can apply to your acting/audition/anything and create deep powerful connection and confidence


You have untapped power, passion and potential.  It’s like the Matrix.  Once you see your true power, you will be unstoppable.

And it all happens at Wheaton Drama 2 – 5 pm September 27, October 4 and 11. Register by calling the ticket line at 630.260.1820 or email

Payment is due on the first day of class.

Each individual class is $40 or get all three for $97.

Instructor bio:

Ben Dooley has been a professional working actor for over 20 years, bringing his full self, range and excellence to nearly every medium in the business—theater, voice over and on camera for commercial, industrial, radio, television, toys, books on tape, video games, print jobs, motion capture and traveling in the circus.

For the last 11 years, Ben has also been working full time as a certified Life Coach, skilled in the arts of helping people tap into their full power, their best selves and their deep unshakable confidence so they can create their success and achieve their dreams.

Audition Notice for The Secret Garden

August 30th, 2014

In his rambling manor house in 1906 England, widower Archibald Craven yearns for his beautiful wife. He blames his son, Colin, for her death and has isolated and neglected the boy. Young Mary Lennox  comes to live with them after her parents’ death and finds a hidden, walled garden. She releases the magic within, changing their lives forever.


Children (under 18): Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, noon to 3PM

(If the child is not available on Sept. 20, please specify his/her availability)

Adults: Sunday/Monday, Sept. 21-22, 2014, 7PM to 10PM

Callbacks: Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, 7PM to 10PM—by invitation only

(If you are not available for callbacks, please alert director when requesting your audition slot)

All auditions/performances will be at 111 N. Hale St., Wheaton, IL

Show runs Nov. 14 through Dec. 7, 2014; no performance Thanksgiving Day.

Audition slots can be requested starting Sept. 1, 2014. Please email the following to

  • Name
  • Phone number and email address
  • Age (if under 18)
  • Parents’ names and phone (if under 18)
  • Which role(s) are you most interested in?
  • Are willing to accept any role?
  • How did you hear about the auditions?

Walk-ins will also be seen (as time allows) on a first-come, first-served basis.

Auditioners should prepare 16–32 bars of a musical theater song in the style of “The Secret Garden” but not from the show itself. Please provide sheet music in the proper key. An accompanist will be provided.

Auditioners may not sing a cappella, nor with recorded music.

If you are auditioning only for a non-singing role, you will read from the script at your initial audition and you will not be required to sing.

A short dance call will be part of the preliminary audition. Please dress for freedom of movement.

CHARACTERS (unless specified, all roles require a standard British accent)

Archibald Craven (30s–50s) Tenor. Hunchbacked man overcome with grief over the loss of his beloved wife. Father to Colin. He takes in Mary, who reminds him of his late wife. He longs for reasons to move on and live again.

Lily Craven (25–35) Soprano. Dies in childbirth having Colin. As a spirit she watches over Archie and Colin, wanting only love and happiness for them.

Colin Craven (8–13) Soprano. Though Colin is basically healthy, his father’s overprotective nature has kept him bed-ridden and weak. Spoiled and demanding, Colin craves parental love and friends his age.

Dr. Neville Craven (30s–50s) Baritone. Archie’s brother. Was in love with Lily. Oversees the manor’s management and Colin’s care.

Capt. Albert Lennox (30–50) Tenor. Mary’s father. Dies of cholera early on and follows Mary as a spirit.

Rose Lennox (28–40) Mezzo. Mary’s mother. Dies of cholera early on and follows Mary as a spirit.

Mary Lennox (8–13), Mezzo. The heart of the story. After her parents die of cholera, she goes to live in a strange , new home with her Uncle Archie. Curious and astute, yet subject to childish tantrums. Needs to feel loved and at home.

Martha Sowerby (18–early 30s) Mezzo. Chambermaid at Misselthwaite Manor who takes a liking to Mary. Dickon’s sister. Yorkshire accent/dialect.

Dickon Sowerby (14–mid-20s) Tenor. A sprightly young fellow who loves nature and can charm animals. Martha’s brother. Fascinated by Misselthwaite’s gardens and mazes. Yorkshire accent/dialect.

Ben Weatherstaff (40+) Tenor. Head gardener at Misselthwaite Manor. Yorkshire accent/dialect.

Mrs. Medlock (35-60+) Head housekeeper for Misselthwaite. Busy, no-nonsense woman.

Fakir (18+) Tenor/alto/soprano. Indian chanter. (Open on gender and ethnicity).

Ayah (18+) Alto. Mary’s Indian nanny. (Open on ethnicity.)

Lt. Ian Shaw (25–35+) Tenor. Officer in Capt. Lennox’s unit. Dies of cholera and aids the spirit of Capt. Lennox by watching over his family.

Lt. Peter Wright (25–35+) Baritone. Officer in Capt. Lennox’s unit and discovers Mary alive. Dies of cholera and aids the spirit of Capt. Lennox by watching over his family.

Major Holmes (35–45+) Bass. Officer in Captain Lennox’s unit and discovers Mary alive. Dies of cholera and aids the spirit of Capt. Lennox by watching over his family.

Claire Holmes (25–40+) Soprano. Major Holmes wife. Dies of cholera.

Alice (25-40+ years old) Soprano. Rose’s friend. Dies of cholera.

Major Shelley (35–50+) Officer in Captain Lennox’s. Takes care of Mary before she moves in with Archie.

Mrs. Shelley (35–50+) Wife to Major Shelley. Takes care of Mary before she moves in with Archie.

Mrs. Winthrop (40s–60s) Head Mistress of an all-girls boarding school. Neville asks that she come to see Mary.

Non-age-specific characters:

Nurse (non-singing)

William. Tenor

Betsy. Alto

Timothy. Bass

Ensemble: 2 men, 2 women (possibly more or fewer)


Professional Teachers Add Vitality to Workshop Program

July 1st, 2014

Whether your child is a seasoned performer or a “newbie”, Wheaton Drama’s summer theater workshop is designed for all kids. Enroll now and enjoy watching him or her develop skills that could be life changing. Lauren Blane will be choreographing week one students. Her training began at the Faubourg Ballet Academy under Watmora Casey. She has been featured in the Marriott Theater’s productions of “SHOUT!” and “Now and Forever and Mary Poppins”.

Cyndi Bringer will be teaching one section of 6-8 grade in week two. Cyndi has taught drama at Westfield Middle School for the past ten years and has her MA in directing from Roosevelt University. She is on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Theatre Association as the “Theatre for Young Audiences” representative.

Amy Brockman will be teaching music during week one and has been musical director for WDI summer workshop for the past five years. She has a degree in vocal performance and music education from Coe College. Amy is this year’s workshop coordinator.

Kelly Buesse will be teaching vocal music in the week two session. She has performed off Broadway, in national tours and regional theaters. Kelly has a degree in music from Westminster Choir College and a master’s degree in voice from NIU.

Becky DeDecker will be teaching week one for third through fifth graders and week two as choreographer. She currently teaches drama classes at Waubonsie Valley H.S. and was the choreographer for the 2013 Illinois All-State production of “Memphis”.

Vicky Giannini will be teaching week one for the first and second graders. She has worked as a teaching artist at Goodman Theatre and with the General Theater Program. She also has extensive stage experience.

Lisa Schmela will be teaching week two high school students. Lisa is a professional actor and holds membership in SAG and AFTRA. She was classically trained by Nicholas Pennell from Stratford and Gillian Eaton of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Week One: July 7 – 11: Destination: Adventure! Grades 1 – 5 (two sessions offered, only sign up for one) Morning session 8.30 – 12.00, Performance July 12 at 10.30 am Afternoon session 1.00 – 4.30, Performance July 12 at 2.00 pm $100 per student

Week Two: July 14 – 18 Life Upon The Wicked Stage Middle School and High School 9.00 am – 4.30 pm, (Note: Bring a sack lunch) Performance July 19 at 10.00 am $200 per student For more information: call 630-260-1820 or go to

Looking for some summer fun?

June 24th, 2014

WDI’s Summer Children’s Workshop is an outstanding week of theatre for student grades 1 -12. Our teachers are all highly trained individuals and have worked on national tours, soap operas, local professional theaters (like Marriott Lincolnshire and the Goodman) and are generally just exceptional instructors. I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of fun you will have at this workshop!

Sign up today!

Grades 1-5 are July 7-11, either morning (8.30-12) or afternoon (1-4.30) with a performance on Saturday July 12 for the ridiculously low price of $100.
Grades 7-12 are July 14-18 ALL DAY (9-4.30) with a performance on Saturday July 19 for only $200!

Directors selected for our 2014-15 season

March 29th, 2014

Congratulations and best wishes to all our fine directors!

Mad Mid-Mod MusicalsPam Turlow. June 26-29

The Last Five YearsKathleen Dooley. Aug 8-17

AmadeusRandall W. Knott. Sept 19-Oct 12

The Secret GardenAnthony Berg. Nov 14-Dec 6

It’s A Wonderful Life – Radio ShowSuzanne Ogren. Dec 11-14

The 39 StepsKen Kaden. Jan 30-Feb 22, 2015

Enchanted AprilMarge Uhlarik-Boller. Mar 27-Apr 12

SpamalotPeter Lemongelli. May 22-June 14


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