Richard Jenkins tells Theatre and Dance students to believe you are enough

Richard Jenkins tells Theatre and Dance students to believe you are enough

“Be yourself.  There’s nobody else like you.  If you try to act like somebody else you can’t be yourself.”

If there was an over-arching theme in a 90 minute question and answer session between Oscar nominated actor Richard Jenkins and a crowd of more than 120 students at Northern Illinois University’s O’Connell Theatre, October 30, it was that.  The best actors have learned how to maximize the only part of the process they can truly control–their own talent.

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Alumni: Joan Allen stars in new Broadway play

Alumni: Joan Allen stars in new Broadway play

Tony Award winning, Oscar nominated actress, and NIU School of Theatre and Dance graduate Joan Allen is starring in a brand new Broadway play written by Oscar winner Kenneth Lonergan.  The Waverly Gallery opens October 25, with previews beginning September 25.

From Playbill: 

Playbill cover for The Waverly GalleryAcademy Award winner Kenneth Lonergan’s acclaimed memory play, and 2001 Pulitzer Prize Finalist, The Waverly Gallery, premieres on Broadway at the John Golden Theatre.

Directed by Drama Desk and Obie Award winner Lila Neugebauer (in her Broadway debut), the cast includes Grammy Award winner, and Academy and Golden Globe Award nominee, Elaine May, one half of the legendary comedy duo, Nichols and May, whose iconic show An Evening With Mike Nichols and Elaine May famously played the John Golden Theatre; Academy Award nominee Lucas Hedges; Tony Award winner Joan Allen; and, in his third Lonergan play, Michael Cera.

The Waverly Gallery is about the final years of a generous, chatty, and feisty grandmother’s final battle against Alzheimer’s disease. Gladys is an old-school lefty and social activist and longtime owner of a small art gallery in Greenwich Village. The play explores her fight to retain her independence and the subsequent effect of her decline on her family, especially her grandson. More than a memory play, The Waverly Gallery captures the humor and strength of a family in the face of crisis.

The Waverly Gallery originally premiered at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in August 1999, before opening Off-Broadway at the Promenade Theater in March 2000.

Allen, a Rochelle native, earned her BFA in Theatre from NIU in 1989.  She won a Tony for Best Actress in a Play in her Broadway debut in Burn This, and has been nominated three times for Oscars as Best Actress (The Contender) and Best Supporting Actress (Nixon and The Crucible).