Trap Door Theatre, Led by Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department Alum, Receives Special Jeff Award

Nicole Wiesner
Nicole Wiesner

The Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department congratulates Chicago’s cutting-edge Trap Door Theatre, whose managing director is Columbia College alum Nicole Wiesner ’00, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s BA Program in Acting. As reported May 22 by, Trap Door will receive a 2019 Non-Equity Special Award from the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee to honor the company’s endeavors in opening a magical door to an evocative and surreal world over the last 25 years.

Since it was founded in 1990 by artistic director Beata Pilch, Trap Door has produced 116 shows, including 35 American premieres and 17 world premieres. Based in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood, the company has also undertaken 10 European tours in six countries, and has stretched its boundaries beyond Chicago with the recent formation of Trap Door International, a sister company that produces out of Barcelona, Spain. The Jeff Awards — Chicago’s top theatrical prize — will celebrate Trap Door’s mission to bring challenging and often obscure works of dramatic literature to startling life on stage, illuminating challenging language through myth, ritual, and revolution. The award to Trap Door will be presented at the Non-Equity Jeff Awards ceremony on Monday, June 3, at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, in Chicago’s Belmont Theatre District.

Nicole Wiesner in various roles at Trap Door Theatre.

Trap Door’s managing director Nicole Wiesner received a Jeff Award in 2011 for her performance in Trap Door’s production First Ladies. And, as previously reported in this blog, many alumni, faculty, and current and former students of the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department, the Columbia College Chicago Communication Department, the Columbia College Chicago Music Department, and the Columbia College Chicago Cinema and Television Arts Department have been nominated for 2019 Joseph Jefferson Awards. For a complete list of Columbia College-connected people nominated for Jeff Awards this year, click here.