Northern Illinois University’s School of Theatre and Dance will present “Carmina Burana” at the School of Theater and Dance’s Stevens Building beginning Thursday November 17, at 7:30 p.m. Performances continue Friday, November 18, and Saturday, November 19 at 7:30 p.m. There are matinee performances both Saturday, November 19 and Sunday, November 20, at 2 p.m.

“Carmina Burana” was composed in 1935 by Carl Orff, and is based on an 11th century manuscript of more than 250 poems. One of the songs in the cantata, “O Fortuna” is a rousing, memorable piece that has been been used in pop culture in everything from movies like “The Omen” and “Excalibur” to Old Spice ads.

The performances are directed by Paula Frasz, who is retiring from her position as professor of dance at NIU. She first choreographed “Carmina Burana” in April 1977, and recently found a videotape of that 45 year old performance and joked that, “To my dismay, there is no machine in existence old enough to play it. This is probably for the best!”

Frasz said that her choreography has changed since that time, but, “The beauty of this grand ‘scenic cantana’ has haunted me through the years.”

The performance is 75 minutes and there is no intermission.

Before the Sunday matinee performance on November 20, there be a reception held in the Stevens Building lobby starting at 1 p.m., in memory of Melanie Parks. Parks worked for nearly 30 years at NIU, first as costume director and instructor in the NIU School of Theatre and Dance before becoming costume designer. In 2013, she became the associate dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at NIU and served in that role until 2018.

NIU has established The Melanie Parks Scholarship in Costume Design, to help the School of Theatre and Dance continue its efforts to further access and opportunity, and assist costume design students in need.

Tickets for “Carmina Burana” are $17  for adults, $15 for seniors, $9 for non-NIU students, and NIU students can attend free of charge. Tickets are available through NIU’s online box office. For guided help, please contact the box office at The performances will be held in the Stevens Building’s O’Connell Theatre, located on the north side of Carroll Avenue; right across from the university parking garage.

Carmina Burana
November 17-20
O’Connell Theatre
Stevens Building 

Directed by Paula Frasz

Choreographer: Paula Frasz
Scenic Designer: Sahin Sahinolgu
Assistant Scenic Designer: Alicia Margerum
Costume Designer: Christina Leinicke
Associate Costume Designer: Lori Hartenhoff
Lighting Designer: Joshua Weckesser
Assistant Lighting Designers: Kevin Kollmann, Ben Werner
Technical Director: Ariel Mozes
Properties Designer: David Doherty
Assistant Properties Designer: Sarah Blickem
Stage Manager: Jordan Clifton
Original Costume Design: Cevron Sarayoglu
Original Lighting Designer: Joshua Weckesser
Original Properties Director: David Doherty
Original Scenic Designer: Sahin Sahinoglu
Music: Carl Orff
Recording: Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra

The performance is 75 minutes.
There is no intermission.


This concert is dedicated to Professor Melanie Parks, associate dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Melanie was the advisor to the original costume designer of “Carmina Burana.” She sewed many of these costumes and was always my creative costume muse. Melanie died on her birthday, July 20, 2022, after a valiant battle with cancer. — Paula Frasz

“ Remember my constancy.
With all my heart
And all my mind
I am with you
Even when far away.
Whoever knows such love
Knows the torture of the wheel.”
— “Ecce gratum,” “Carmina Burana,” Carl Orff


Alyssa Altadonna
Kemarion Bryant
Millicent Collins (Fortuna)
Celia Carpenter
Athei Chagai
George Curtis (Thief)
Rachel Day (Princess)
Kate Drury
Darya Ellickson (Dance Captain/Madam/Tavernkeeper)
Shannon Engel
Ashley Gale
Antonio Houston
Gwen Jones
Abigail Kresno (Luna)
Anna Lindstrom
Naava Ofri-Akman
Taylor Maurchie-Banks (Hero)
Ansley Pierce (Swan)
Kai Poe (Huntress)
Michael Rojas (Abbott)
Talia Sigismondi
Toby Thomas
Kendall Woodberry

Show Order

Ravages of Fortune – All
Victims of Fortune, Arise
All Spare Us from Wind, Earth, And Fire From the Sky – Alyssa Altadonna, Abigail Kresno, Celia Carpenter, Athei Chagai, Katherine Drury, Darya Ellickson, Ashley Gale, Gwen Jones, Anna Lindstrom, Naava Ofri-Akman, Talia Sigismondi, Kendall Woodberry
O Fortune, Why Do You Punish Me Thus – George Curtis
At the Market – All
Ladies on Horseback
– Alyssa Altadonna, Taylor Maurchie-Banks, Kemarion Bryant, George Curtis, Antonio Houston, Michael Rojas, Toby Thomas, Millicent Collins, Rachel Day, Gwen Jones, Abigail Kresno, Talia Sigismondi
Bathing in the Forest – Alyssa Altadonna, Athei Chagai, Millicent Collins, Rachel Day, Shannon Engel, Abigail Kresno, Anna Lindstrom, Talia Sigismondi
Fortune, Why Have You Made Me Poor and Plain? – Celia Carpenter, Katherine Drury, Darya Ellickson, Ashley Gale, Naava Ofri-Akman, Kendall Woodberry Procession of Ladies – Alyssa Altadonna, Millicent Collins, Athei Chagai, Rachel Day, Shannon Engel, Gwen Jones, Abigail Kresno, Anna Lindstrom, Ansley Pierce, Talia Sigismondi Country Dance – Antonio Houston, Darya Ellickson, Celia Carpenter, Katherine Drury, Ashley Gale, Naava Ofri-Akman, Kendall Woodberry
Entract – Millicent Collins, All
The Hunt – Kai Poe, Taylor Maurchie-Banks, Kemarion Bryant, George Curtis, Antonio Houston, Michael Rojas, Toby Thomas
Roasting the Kill – Celia Carpenter, Ashley Gail, Ansley Pierce, Kemarion Bryant and Antonio Houston (Spit Carriers)
The Holy Abbot – Michael Rojas, Alyssa Altadonna, George Curtis, Gwen Jones, Anna Lindstrom, Talia Sigismondi
In the Tavern – Kemarion Bryant, George Curtis, Antonio Houston, Michael Rojas, Toby Thomas, Kai Poe, Millicent Collins, Darya Ellickson, Katherine Drury, Naava Ofri-Akman, Kendall Woodberry
Fate Has Sent Me Love? – Taylor Maurchie-Banks, Rachel Day
My Wasted Life – Taylor Maurchie-Banks, Alyssa Altadonna, Millicent Collins, Athei Chagai, Shannon Engel, Gwen Jones, Abigail Kresno, Anna Lindstrom, Ansley Pierce, Talia Sigismondi
Beauty Taken – Rachel Day, George Curtis, Taylor Maurchie-Banks
Call to War – All
Soldiers March – Kai Poe, Taylor Maurchie-Banks, Kemarion Bryant, Antonio Houston, Michael Rojas, Toby Thomas Battle – All
Sleepwalkers – Millicent Collins, Darya Ellickson, Abigail Kresno, All
Around the Fire – All
Beauty Returns – All
Fate Has Sent Me Love – All
The Glories of Fortune – All

Director’s Note

I first choreographed “Carmina Burana” in April of 1977 (when just a child) in Manchester, New Hampshire. I choreographed and danced, and my then husband conducted the Manchester Choral Society, who sang the piece. An April snowstorm reduced our audience to about 10 patrons, but it was caught on the new “videotape.” I found the videotape recently, but to my dismay, there is no machine in existence old enough to play it! This is indeed for the best.

My choreography has obviously changed since that time, as has my marital status. The beauty of this grand “scenic cantata” has haunted me through the years. Since the lyrics are Germanic/Latin medieval gibberish to most of us, I decided to use my artistic license which I just recently renewed. I use the lyrics in some cases and ignore them in others.

I have titled each of the sections according to the dramatic content of the dances, not necessarily the dramatic content of the text. The lyrics were a compellation of songs and stories of the Burana, a fun group of defrocked monks and troubadours in medieval Europe. They gallivanted around the countryside, chasing women, drinking, gambling, admiring the scenery and generally having a good time. Most of the songs deal with their antics. The few lyrics that are understandable to most of us will give you the gist of their poetry. Yet choreographically, there were only so many dances about “amore,” “virginale” and “taberna” that I could devise. So, I inserted pageantry, fight scenes, hunts and other aspects of medieval life as the musical moods dictated. I hope the purists will be forgiving.

I remained true to the overlying theme of the text and glorious music. “Fortuna” or Fate, controls all. It must have seemed especially so in medieval days. Any appearance of a comet in the skies, a three-legged calf born to a cow, a “witch” in the village or any unusual occurrence was the work of Fate or Fortune. God was with them, but the gods were not far away! But is man powerless in the face of Destiny? Perhaps it is our reactions to the whims of Fate that dictate our path in life.

Cast Bios

Alyssa AltadonnaAlyssa Altadonna is a B.F.A. dance major. She has been dancing for about 16 years and is a sophomore at NIU. Prior to attending NIU, she lived in England where she trained at Cygnets and Hazelwood dance studios. Before moving to England, she lived in Germany where she trained in the Netherlands with Danzaira. She recently trained with Stephanie Saland. Altadonna hopes to move back to Europe and join a company, and particularly hopes to gain a place at The Dutch National Ballet.

Kemarion BryantKemarion Bryant is a freshman B.F.A. dance major with a business minor. He danced and put on productions with Global Girls Incorporated for three years who went by the motto, “Courageous talented girls (and guys) changing our world.” “Carmina Burano” is his first show at NIU. Bryant plans to graduate in the fall of 2025 and hopes to be a well-known background dancer for celebrities and/or in movies. He then hopes to grow into a choreographer, open his own studio and break off into other businesses adventures later down the line.

Celia CarpenterCelia Carpenter is a junior majoring in dance performance. Her dance training includes Emergence, Beth Fowler School of Dance, State
Street Dance in Geneva, Illinois with Guillermo Leyva and Vilma Machin, Dimensions Dance Academy, and Sycamore Performing Arts Academy. Her favorite performances include partnering in the candy cane dance in BFSD’s “Nutcracker” and as a demi-soloist en pointe as a Willi in “Giselle” with DDA. Carpenter looks to get her master’s degree in physical education with endorsements in math, science and dance.

Athei ChagaiAthei Chagai is a sophomore at NIU from Clinton, Iowa. she is a B.F.A. dance major and has been dancing for the past 17 years. Before NIU, Chagai received most of her dance training at the Carousel School of Dance in Clinton, where she was also a member of the Gateway Contemporary Ballet Company. She also attended summer dance programs such as Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, Ballet Quad Cities School of Dance, and Faubourg Theatre. Chagai is very excited to be back performing in this 2022-2023 school year.

Millie CollinsMillicent Collins is a sophomore B.F.A. dance major, and plans to earn a minor in nonprofit/nongovernmental studies. Before attending NIU, Collins trained with Turning Pointe Academy of Dance, in Maryville, Illinois, and was a member of TourDance pre-professional dance company. She performed in the Student Elevate Project with The Big Muddy Dance Company in St. Louis, Missouri, 2018-2021. Collins has participated in summer intensives with The Big Muddy Dance Company, COCA St. Louis, Nashville Ballet and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. In 2018 and 2019, she performed in Dance For Food, an outreach performance to benefit the Saint Louis Area Food Bank. Post-graduation from NIU, Collins hopes to combine her love of social justice, community outreach, and the performing arts, to help others and inspire them through dance.

George Curtis is a senior dance major at NIU. He had little to no experience in technical training starting his freshman year in college, but now is proud to call himself a technically trained dancer. From performing “Opus Jazz” by Joel Hall to performing live on stage at Lyrical Lemonade, he has gained versatility and the ability to flow easily in and out of dance styles, which is one of his most notable qualities.


Rachel DayRachel Day is a senior and will be leaving the program upon graduation in December. Day has an extensive background in ballet training studying under Terry Fox, Elise Flagg and Judith Chitwood. During her time at NIU, she has performed lead roles including Taglioni in “Pas De Quatre,” Michaela in “Carmen,” and The Princess in “Carmina Burana.” Day has had opportunities to perform outside of NIU, most recently at Big Muddy’s Dance Fest where she performed an original work titled “Phantom” choreographed by Marc Macaranas. She has traveled and worked with the Pas de Cheval dancers under the direction of Paula Frasz in “Spirit of The Horse” in Bell, Florida, and has also worked with DanceLoop Chicago on a film project titled “Maybe We Don’t Know Love.” Day’s post-graduate plans are to audition for ballet companies both locally and across the U.S. She is grateful for her time spent and knowledge gained here at NIU’s dance program. She would like to thank everyone who has gotten her to where she is today as she takes her final bows here on the O’Connell Theatre stage.

Kate DruryKate Drury is a senior B.F.A. acting candidate with a minor in dance. She has previously appeared in many productions across the NIU stages, with her most recent role being Hero in Kay Martinovich’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” Her most recent dance credits at NIU include appearing in the “Best of Broadway” 2021 Fall Dance Concert, as well as choreographing a Fosse-inspired piece for last year’s Art For Life concert. This summer she made her professional debut performing and choreographing for three musicals in repertory at Canterbury Summer Theatre. She is ecstatic to be a part of “Carmina Burana” and hopes you enjoy.

Darya EricksonDarya Ellickson is a junior B.F.A. dance major with an English minor from DeForest, Wisconsin. She danced at Ultimate Leap Dance Center for nine years and also performed with DeFortes, a show choir, for four years. In the summer of 2021, Ellickson attended the Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre Summer Intensive program in Chicago. In December of 2021, she performed for the Spirit of the Horse equestrian show in Lake City, Florida. In addition, she holds the role of Northern Dance Theatre secretary. Ellickson plans to graduate in fall 2024 and hopes to work on Broadway or dance with Disney.

Shannon EngelShannon Engel is a freshman B.F.A. dance major. She has been dancing at Dance Images for 12 years and her favorite styles of dance are tap and contemporary. She is very excited to perform in “Carmina Burana” and Art For Life.



Ashley GaleAshley Gale is a senior B.F.A. dance performance major at Northern Illinois University. She started dancing on her high school dance team at 15 and became captain her junior year. She started her formal training at Illinois Central College in East Peoria, Illinois, and was taught by Jennifer Hand in ballet, modern, jazz and musical theatre. In 2020, she transferred to Northern Illinois University and has performed in pieces by Paula Frasz and Marc Macaranas.


Antonio HoustonAntonio Houston is currently a sophomore in B.F.A. dance at NIU. He is 19, and has been dancing for 14 years. He is also a photographer and works in the field as a competition dance photographer. His favorite style of dance is tap, but he enjoys doing all styles of dance. NIU has been a great help with his dance studies and he can’t wait for what the future brings!


Gwen JonesGwen Jones is a senior B.F.A. dance major at Northern Illinois University with a minor in special education. A Victoria Young Scholarship recipient, she has had the opportunity to appear in pieces such as “Can-Can,” and “Pas de Quatre” as Fanny Cerrito, as well as Spirit of the Horse in Lake City, Florida with the Pas de Cheval dancers. In addition to performing, Jones is also choreographer for Penguin Players, a musical theatre organization starring a cast of adults with disabilities. She is co-directing her second show, Art For Life. After graduation, and a professional performance career, she plans to teach classes for individuals with disabilities.

Abigail KresnoAbigail Kresno is a senior dance major at Northern Illinois University. She has received the Talent Scholarship granted by NIU for the past three years. She has been classically trained in ballet and modern by Rich Grund, Judy Chitwood and Marc Macaranas. She has had the opportunity for perform as Lucile Grahn in Pas de Quatre, and was in “Mode or Motor,” choreographed by Marc Macaranas, his first piece of work at NIU. Kresno is currently the vice president of Northern Dance Theatre. She is also directing her second show this semester.

Anna LindstromAnna Lindstrom is a junior B.F.A. dance major. She is from Morrison, Illinois and danced at Jennifer’s Dance Center for 14 years and continues to help and teach students there. She trained in multiple styles with special interest in contemporary modern with a background in clogging. During high school she was involved with the dance team, where she choreographed many routines and competed in high kick. She was also involved with summer stock theatre at Timberlake Playhouse which included many dance ensemble roles. Post-graduation, Lindstrom plans to teach and choreograph for younger dancers and try out for NFL cheerleading to continue her love of field performing.

Taylor Maurchie-BanksTaylor Maurchie-Banks is from Rockford, Illinois. He has trained with Rockford Dance Company, Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, Milwaukee Ballet, HybridMotion and recently graduated from the Lines Ballet Training Program. He just finished his second season as a movement artist with Waterstreet Dance Milwaukee and decided to return to Northern Illinois University to finish his bachelor’s degree.


Ansley Pierce is senior at NIU. This is her second year after studying at a conservatory in Kansas City for two years under the direction of Paula Weber. She trained in Kansas City with notable names such as Deeply Rooted founder Garry Abbott, former renowned dancer Ronald Tice, and former Ailey dancer DeeAnna Hiett, among others. After her first year at NIU she was awarded the Jere Tulk Choreography Scholarship. This past year she has also modeled for and represented Russian Pointe, along with being a Ballet Rosa soloist, and will be graduating in December.


Kai PoeKai Poe is a senior in her last semester as a dance major at NIU. Starting her technical training four years ago, she has since had the opportunity to perform in 12 productions with the School of Theatre and Dance, with one of her most notable performances being the lead role in the ballet “Carmen” directed by Rich Grund. Outside of NIU, she has worked with choreographers such as Joel Hall, Nicole Clarke-Springer and Tracey Franklin. Working with the Deeply Rooted Dance Theater company in 2021, she performed in the 2021 Summer Dance Intensive. In the spring of 2022, she was a recipient of the Jere Tulk Choreography Scholarship. She looks forward to her last performances at NIU and hopes to leave her mark on the program.

Michael RojasMichael Rojas, senior, is working to achieve his B.F.A. in performing arts dance. While Rojas has trained, he has become an astonishing leader to other dancers while doing that. He has been president of Northern Dance Theatre since 2021. He has been dancing for three and a half years. Rojas has trained in various styles of dance while performing for the School of Theatre and Dance. He has been in six main stage performances and two virtual performances. His mission is to spread awareness to younger adults through the movement of dance. During his training at NIU he has also for the nonprofit organization program Trio Upward Bound, mentoring younger adults in the Aurora and Rockford areas. He has taught many lessons to young adults by leading them into their future paths. Rojas hopes to see all people chase their dreams, while teaching others to help one another by spreading awareness of abuse, suicide awareness, mental awareness and world issues.

Naava Ofri-AkmanNaava Ofri-Akman is a senior B.F.A. acting student. She has previously appeared in NIU’s productions of “A Bird in the Hand,” “Everybody,” “The Language Archive,” and “Melancholy Play.” She hopes you enjoy this show.



Talia SigismondiTalia Sigismondi is a freshman B.F.A dance major. She has been dancing for about 14 years and is so excited for her first shows at NIU including “Carmina Burana” and “Art For Life.”



Toby ThomasToby Thomas is a junior double major in B.F.A. dance and B.F.A. studio Art, from Normal, Illinois. He moved to Rockford in 2014, where he found his love for dance. Prior to attending NIU, Thomas danced for 12 years, and is a former Rockford Dance Company member (2014-2018) while attending Rock Valley College where he received his Associate of Arts degree befor transferring to NIU. Thomas has performed in productions of “The Nutcracker,” as a gargoyle in “Snow White“ and as Prince Lemon in “Cipollino” with Rockford Dance Company. He danced the lead role of Doctor Van Helsing in “Dracula” and has performed with Dimensions Dance Academy in DeKalb as a prince in “Coppelia. He has performed in “Dance of the Decades” with Beth Fowler School of Dance in St. Charles, Illinois as Michael Jackson and in a production of “The Nutcracker.” After graduating from NIU, his dream is to dance with the Alvin Ailey Dance Company in New York, or at Disney World.

Kendall Woodberry
Kendall Woodberry is a native of Chicago. She graduated from Walter Payton College Prep and has been studying dance since she was 5 years old. She matriculated at the Ruth Page Center of Performing Arts in the Young Artist Training Program. Her training included classical ballet, modern, jazz, tap and Afro-Cuban. Woodberry has performed in many productions throughout her years in dance and is looking forward to being involved in more in her time at NIU.

Production Team Bios

Sarah Blickem (Assistant Properties Designer) is a third year B.A. theatre studies candidate, emphasizing in stage management. Credits include stage manager for
“RUR” and “Melancholy Play” at Northern Illinois University, stage manager for “Sizwe Bansi is Dead” with Outer Loop Theater Experience, and assistant stage manager for “Escape to Margaritaville,” “Lend Me A Tenor,” “Annie,” “Legally Blonde,” “Nunsense,” and “We Will Rock You” at Timber Lake Playhouse. They are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to create with such an amazing company and team. She would like to thank her parents for their unwavering love and support.

Jordan Clifton (Stage Manager) is an alumna from the NIU School of Theatre and Dance. She is currently a full time EMT, which was definitely not something she thought she’d be doing, but now cannot imagine doing anything else. She does still stage manage whenever she has the opportunity, and will always come back for the dance program; they hold a special place in her heart. Some of her past show credits at NIU include stage manager for the Spring Dance Concert (‘22), Fall Dance Concert (’21), “Wonderfully Alice” (’19), the Spring 2018 Dance Concert, “The Glass Menagerie” (’18), “The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek” (’17), Spring 2016 Dance Concert, “Out of the Blue” (’16), and “The Balcony Scene” (’16). She is currently also the stage manager for the Elise Flagg Academy of Dance. She’s thankful for all the support she has received being back in the SoTD, and hopes you enjoy the show.

Paula Frasz (Choreographer) “has the talent and vision made infinitely clear in the sharpest and best-designed work” announced Sid Smith in the Chicago Tribune. Tribune critic Lucia Mauro calls her, “…a standout.” Her many achievements include: Mordine & Company featured dancer and featured dancer at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She has been named resident choreographer of the Bosphorus Dance Company in Istanbul, Turkey and at the Tennessee Williams Festival in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Her choreography has been commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra. She is one of the founding choreographers of Chicago’s Next Dance Festival, whose work was been called “powerfully modern” by Lynne Voedisch of the Chicago
Sun-Times. She received the 1999 Ruth Page Award for Artistic Achievement in Choreography from the Chicago Dance Coalition, and the 2002 Artists Fellowship Award in Choreography from the Illinois Arts Council. From 2002 to 2015, Frasz was the artistic director of DanszLoop Chicago, a professional dance company which the Chicago Tribune calls “…a driving force on the Chicago dance scene.” She was a faculty member at the Dance Center of Columbia College for eight years, and is currently professor of dance at Northern Illinois University. She has been in residence at many colleges and universities, including St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Southern Illinois University, Winona State University, St. Mary’s College in Minnesota, Harper College and College of DuPage. In 2002, she started DanszLoop Chicago (nfp), a theatrical modern dance company performing in Chicago and the surrounding metropolitan area.

In 2018, Frasz brought her dance ENUF to the American College Dance Regional Festival. It was selected as best in the Midwest and will be performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. at the National American College Dance Festival. The adjudicators described the work in the following way.
“ENUF reflects on the present and imagines a future rooted in the long Civil Rights movement, from the abolishment of slavery to Black Lives Matter. Through urgent athleticism, it creates collective and individual bodies of protest and power.”

For her work with the BIPOC community, Frasz was awarded the 2021 Deacon Davis Diversity Award at Northern Illinois University and was named a Presidential Engagement Partnership Professor. Frasz holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Butler University. She graduated from the University of Illinois with an M.F.A. She is also a member of Actor’s Equity Association and has served several terms on the Illinois Arts Council Dance Panel. She is an active and vital member of Chicago’s dance community. She has performed, choreographed and taught internationally in Brisbane, Australia; Istanbul, Turkey; Cannes, France; several locations in Austria; and other destinations.

“A tongue-in-cheek choreographer with a spunky stage presence” as Lucia Mauro of the Sun Times insists, Paula Frasz continues to produce her work around the United States and abroad. As one critic wrote, “This review is full of superlatives, but she deserves them. Thank you, Paula Frasz!” “Carmina Burana” is Paula Frasz’s last performance at NIU, as she is retiring Dec. 31, 2022.

Kev Kollmann (Assistant Lighting Designer) Kollmann is in his first year as an M.F.A. lighting design student. He has recently received his B.A. in theatre from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh focusing on directing and stage management. This is Kollmann’s second show at NIU. He was the assistant lighting designer on “She Kills Monsters” earlier this semester. He hopes you enjoy the show.

Christina Leinicke (Costume Designer) Off Broadway: “Othello: the Remix” (Westside Theatre). Regional Credits: “Bayard,” “Freedom Riders,” “Legendary,” “Walt & Roy” (Allen & Gray Musical Festival), “Dressing the Part” (Shakespeare Festival St. Louis), “Big Fish,” “A Little Night Music,” “Cyrano” (BoHo Theatre), “Notes & Letters,” “Proxy,” “Haymarket,” “Wife Material” (Underscore), “Birds of a Feather,” “Machinal” (Greenhouse Theatre Center), “Long Way Home” (CCC), “Shakespeare in Love,” “I Heart Juliet,” “Q-Gents” (ISF),” Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Deathtrap” (Palace Theatre), “The Importance of Being Earnest” (ASC), “Star Girl” (FSM), “Educational Tours: Taming of the Shrew,” “Macbeth,” “Romeo & Juliet” (USF). Costume shop and design associate, Paramount Theatre, Aurora. M.F.A. University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.

Alicia Margerum (Assistant Scenic Designer) is a graduate student in her first year at NIU.

Joshua Weckesser (Lighting Designer) is a lighting designer whose designs have been seen across the U.S. and internationally. Weckesser matriculated at NIU in the early aughts and considers himself the only student in the Lucrecia Blanco school of lighting design. He is completing the hat trick here with “Carmina Burana,” and is pleased as punch to be returning. Career highlights include lighting the first-ever, evening-length production of “American Tap” at the Kennedy Center, working with Karole Armitage in the Netherlands and touring internationally with Che Malambo.

Ben Werner (Assistant Lighting Designer) is in his last semester as a B.F.A. design and technology candidate, focusing on audio and lighting. “Carmina Burana” is Werner’s seventh show here at NIU. His previous NIU credits include sound design for “Melancholy Play,” “The Conference of The Birds,” “Twelfth Night, Or What You Will,” and “Angels in America,” assistant sound designer for Fall Dance Concert 2019, and assistant sound designer for “The Time of Your Life.” Werner has also worked with Northern Sky Theater in Door County, Wisconsin for the past four years where he has held the position of audio technician and was given the opportunity to design eight productions. Learn more at

Production Team

Technical Direction Advisor – Tracy Nunnally
Scenic Coordinator – Sahin Sahinoglu
Scene Shop Supervisor – Adam Rager
Run Crew – Jessica Ferreira, Mike Kozel, DaQuise McDonald

Costume Director – Lori Hartenhoff
Costume Design Advisor – Jeremy W. Floyd
Costume Shop Supervisor – Clare Richey-Kaplan
Costume Crew Head – Lizzie Ciszczon
Costume Crew – Tyra Hazziz, Sadie Matura, Darius Murray, Jalen Presley, Kairin Rozenfeld-Mayberg

Lighting Advisor – Brandon Wardell
Lighting Shop Supervisor – Chris Kurszewski
Master Electrician – Chris Kurszewski
Lighting Shop Employees – Logan Braynt, Conall Dohery, Timothy Peters
Sound Board Operator – Jordan Clifton
Light Board Operator – Mike Kozel

Properties Director – David Doherty

Stage Management Supervisors – Jordan Clifton, Kev Kollmann
House Manager Supervisor – Cornelia Hayes