The Columbia College Chicago Development and Alumni Relations office reports on its Facebook page that on November 3 and 4, 2018, Columbia College Chicago’s Board of Trustees Chair Bill Wolf, his wife Meredith Bluhm-Wolf, and Columbia College President Kwang-Wu Kim hosted a “New York City Broadway Experience” for a group of Columbia College trustees, donors, alumni, and special guests in New York. The weekend included a performance of the hit musical The Band’s Visit, directed by former Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department student and faculty member David Cromer HDR ’17. As previously reported in this blog, Cromer — who studied acting and directing at the Columbia College Theatre Department and later taught and directed shows there, and who received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Columbia College in 2017 — won the 2018 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for his direction of The Band’s Visit, which also won the 2018 Tony Award for Best Musical.
The weekend also included a talk-back with cast and crew members of The Band’s Visit and an intimate Sunday breakfast with Cromer as guest of honor at the Yale Club of New York City, at which Cromer discussed how his Columbia education prepared him for a successful career on Broadway and beyond. At the breakfast, President Kim presented Cromer with a framed copy of a poster of the Theatre Department’s 1994 mainstage production of Jesus Christ Superstar, which Cromer co-directed with Columbia College alum and faculty member Stephanie Shaw ’92, MFA ’09. That production, incidentally, featured then-student Chester Gregory ’95, HDR ’15 in the title role. Gregory graduated from the Theatre Department’s BA Program in Musical Theatre in 1995 and received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Columbia College in 2015.
“David is one of our most esteemed alumni and he continues to stay connected to the Columbia theatre alumni network across the country,” said President Kim. “I was particularly heartened to hear him talk about the many ways in which Columbia has impacted his career trajectory—his story is a wonderful affirmation of our mission to prepare students for success.”
To participate in the “New York City Broadway Experience” weekend, guests were encouraged to make a donation to the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department in Cromer’s honor. As a result, more than $15,000 was raised to support current and future Theatre students.
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