Alumni and faculty of the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department and the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago figure prominently in Newcity Stage‘s “Players 2023: Who Really Performs for Chicago Right Now” feature, published January 6, 2023. Among the Columbia College folks highlighted in the publication’s annual listing of movers and shakers in Chicago’s performing arts scene – seen here in the photos commissioned and published by Newcity for the feature:
Columbia College Theatre Department alum Tyla Abercrumbie ’98, an actor and playwright whose play Relentless, presented in its world premiere by TimeLine Theatre last year, won the 2022 Joseph Jefferson Award for New Work;
Columbia College Theatre Department Comedy Writing and Performance BA Program faculty member Jen Ellison, creative director at The Second City comedy theatre and training center and winner of a 2022 Joseph Jefferson Award for her direction of Second City’s 2022 revue Do the Right Thing, No Worries if Not;
Dance Center of Columbia College faculty member Daniel “BRAVEMONK” Haywood, a dancer and co-founder/director of BraveSoul Movement;
actor and A Red Orchid Theatre artistic director Kirsten Fitzgerald, a former Columbia College Theatre Department faculty member and winner of the 2022 Joseph Jefferson Award for Director–Play–Midsize for The Moors at A Red Orchid Theatre.
In addition, Newcity designated a “Hall of Fame” for previous years’ honorees who continue to contribute significantly to Chicago’s performing arts scene. Among them:
Columbia College Theatre Department alum Anna D. Shapiro ’90, HDR ’15, a Tony Award-winning director, former artistic director of Steppenwolf Theatre, and a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Columbia College when she spoke at the college’s commencement ceremony in 2015;
former Columbia College Theatre Department student and faculty member director David Cromer HDR ’17, a Tony Award-winning director and a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Columbia College when he spoke at the college’s commencement ceremony in 2017;
Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago alum and former faculty member Vershawn Sanders-Ward ’02, a graduate of Columbia College’s Dance BFA program and founder/artistic director of Red Clay Dance Company;
director Chuck Smith, a former longtime Columbia College Theatre Department faculty member and, for 20 years, facilitator of the Theatre Department’s annual Theodore Ward Prize for African American Playwriting;
director Kimberly Senior, a former Columbia College Theatre Department faculty member; and
Meida McNeal, a faculty member in the Columbia College Chicago Department of Art and Art History and co-artistic director of HoneyPot Chicago.