Alumni of the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department are featured in the third annual Chris’ Birthday Belt Fest, a benefit concert for Howard Brown Health, on Monday, May 15, at Uptown Underground, 4707 N. Broadway, in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. The concert is a celebration of the birthday of Chicago theatre director Christopher Pazdernik, artistic director of the Refuge Theatre Project. Columbia College Chicago alumni performing in this year’s show are Callie Johnson ’12, Courtney Mack ’15, Elya Faye Bottiger ’17, and Darren Patin ’17, all graduates of the Columbia College Theatre Department’s BFA Program in Musical Theatre Performance. Also performing is former Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department student Bethany Thomas. Johnson, Mack, and Thomas are all winners of the Joseph Jefferson Award, Chicago’s top theatrical prize, for their musical-theatre performances.
Founded in 1974, Howard Brown Health is one of the nation’s largest health care and research organizations, primarily serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) community and its allies. It is the largest such organization in the Midwest and serves adults youth and children throughout the region. An innovative and patient-centered health home, Howard Brown provides primary medical care, behavioral health services, and specialty chronic and infectious disease services, and conducts nationally-renowned clinical and behavioral research.