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CLC Theatre’s 2020-2021 season features eclectic mix of virtual and live performances

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Aug 20, 2020

College of Lake County’s theatre department announces its 51st season with productions including a classic folk tale, hair-raising radio play, farcical comedy, annual student showcase and a musical that puts a modern twist on beloved fairy tale characters.

"I am so pleased to announce that theatre will be moving forward with a 2020-21 production season,” says Craig Rich, CLC Theatre Department chair. “It will allow our students the opportunity to keep learning, building on existing skills as well as learn new ones. It is vital to keep their education on track, preparing them for transfer to four-year schools and professional careers in the arts.”

Graphic art of Edgar Allan Poe and text Twisted Tales of Poe

The theatre season includes:

  • “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” Children’s Theatre, Oct. 1-4
  • “Twisted Tales of Poe,” Nov. 13-21
  • “The Importance of Being Earnest,” Feb. 26-March 6
  • “Play On!” A CLC Theatre Student Showcase, April 9-17
  • “Into the Woods,” Summer Musical, July 16-25

“During COVID-19, performances may be different, but I think the spirit of theatre will remain intact,” said Rich. “The interaction between live performers and the audience is still there. We are all dealing with a lot right now and the arts are vital to our well-being because they enrich our lives and remind us during our isolation what it means to be a community of human beings."

Earlier this year, amidst the uncertainty of planning a theatre season during a pandemic, the theatre department dappled in new creative waters by producing a “Summer Shakes” program. This creative collaboration with CLC and University of Wisconsin-Parkside students was a series of live dramatic Shakespeare readings. It proved to be fertile ground for the inherent challenges in planning the upcoming season, which combines both virtual and live performances.

CLC theatre students involved in “Summer Shakes” embraced the challenges and difficulties of producing and presenting theatre head on. Kurt Meinhardt of Island Lake, a sophomore technical theatre transfer student said, “We are all still adapting to this ongoing change. CLC has been on top of everything since the start. When we look back at this moment in the coming years, we will be happy that we took this change head on.”

Lucero Martinez of Waukegan, a sophomore theatre performance and acting student said, “During the pandemic, the arts have been more important than ever and with the upcoming year, I hope that artists, crew and community alike grow even closer than before."

“The Emperor’s New Clothes” is adapted by Max Bush from the story by Hans Christian Anderson, and will be directed by Alicia Hall. The classic fable tells the story of a clever mother and son disguising themselves as weavers to convince a vain Emperor they can make him a beautiful and magical suit of new clothes. They explain that the clothes are invisible and can only be seen by those that are clever and capable. Everyone in the kingdom pretends they can see the clothes, until one child dares to speak the truth.

This production will be live streamed on Zoom. Performance dates are Thursday and Friday, Oct. 1 and 2 at 10 a.m.; Saturday, Oct. 3 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 4 at 2 p.m. All tickets for this production are free, and each performance requires a separate registration. To register for the performances, visit

“Twisted Tales of Poe,” is a radio play by Philip Grecian, from the stories and poems of Edgar Allan Poe. Four stories from the master of the mysterious and the macabre come together in this live radio-style drama, complete with spine-tingling sound-effects and music. “Twisted Tales” will recreate “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” “The Raven” and “The Black Cat.” This production will also be live streamed on Zoom. Performance dates are Friday and Saturday, Nov. 13 and 14 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 15 at 2 p.m.; and Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 19, 20, 21 at 7:30 p.m. Individual access for this production is $5. Each performance requires a separate access. To purchase your virtual “ticket” and to receive your performance access link, contact the JLC Box Office at (847) 543-2300.

Theatre auditions are open to the community, except for “Play On!” For audition information, visit www.clcillinois/edu/campus-life/arts. For more information, contact the Communication Arts, Humanities and Fine Arts division at (847) 543-2040, visit or become a fan on the College of Lake County Theatre Department’s Facebook page.

About College of Lake County:

The College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. The College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation.