The Parkland College Blog

Parkland Theatre Announces 2022-2023 Season

Parkland Theatre 2022-23 Season Show Lineup

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Parkland College Theatre announces its 2022-2023 performance calendar. Season tickets will be available starting in July.

"The Story" by Tracey Scott Wilson

  • Ambitious Black newspaper reporter Yvonne Wilson goes against her editor Pat Morgan to investigate a murder and finds the best story…but at what cost? Wilson explores the elusive nature of truth as the boundaries between reality and fiction, morality and ambition become dangerously blurred.
  • Performances run October 13–16 and 21–23.

"The Comedy of Errors" by William Shakespeare: an Actors’ Studio production

  • After both being separated from their twins in a shipwreck, Antipholus and his slave Dromio go to Ephesus to find them. The other set of twins lives in Ephesus, and the new arrivals cause a series of incidents of mistaken identity. At the end, the twins find each other and their parents and resolve all of the problems caused earlier.
  • Ticket sales directly fund the Parkland College Theatre Scholarship Program.
  • Performances run November 10–13.

"A Christmas Story" by Philip Grecian

  • Humorist Jean Shepherd's memoir of growing up in the 1940s Midwest follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker in his quest to get a genuine Red Ryder BB gun under the tree for Christmas. Ralphie pleads his case before his mother, his teacher, and even Santa Claus himself. The constant response: "You'll shoot your eye out!" All the elements from the beloved motion picture are here, including the family's temperamental exploding furnace; Scut Farkas, the school bully; the boys' experiment with a wet tongue on a cold lamppost; the Little Orphan Annie decoder pin; Ralphie's father winning a lamp shaped like a woman's leg in a net stocking; Ralphie's fantasy scenarios and more. "A Christmas Story" is destined to become a theatrical holiday perennial.
  • Performances run December 1–4 and 9–11.

"Blithe Spirit" by Noël Coward

  • A perennial favorite, the comedy "Blithe Spirit" features the frustrated novelist Charles Condomine and his wife Ruth, who host a seance in their home in hopes of conjuring up some inspiration for Charles' new book. Instead, they accidentally conjure the ghost of Elvira Condomine—Charles' first wife—who is not particularly pleased that she must compete for his attention.
  • Performances run February 16–19 and 24–26.

"The Good Doctor" by Neil Simon: an Actors’ Studio production

  • "The Good Doctor" is Neil Simon's heartwarming and hilarious tribute to Anton Chekhov. Simon expertly weaves the short stories of Chekhov into a lighthearted collection of vignettes that demonstrate both the ridiculous and sentimental elements of human nature. Exquisitely timed and often hilarious, the show incorporates a wide variety of characters: a governess, a lady of the night, a blustering general, a wild woman with a nervous disorder, a roué flirting with a new bride, a man who earns money by "drowning," and an overly eager actress. The vignettes are filled with dry humor, surprise endings, and clever common people in confrontations with superiors, ending in absurdities. "The Good Doctor" is a laugh-out-loud evening of infections humor, touching tenderness, and unending fun.
  • Ticket sales directly fund the Parkland College Theatre Scholarship Program.
  • Performances run March 23–26.

"Sweeney Todd" by Stephen Sondheim

  • An infamous tale, unjustly exiled barber Sweeney Todd returns to nineteenth century London seeking vengeance against the lecherous judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife. The road to revenge leads Todd to Mrs. Lovett, a resourceful proprietress of a failing pie shop above which he opens a new barber practice. Mrs. Lovett's luck sharply shifts when Todd's thirst for blood inspires the integration of an ingredient into her meat pies that has the people of London lining up... and the carnage has only just begun!
  • Performances run April 6–8, 14–16, and 21–23.

Become a Friend of Parkland Theatre. Your donations help us to continue to provide high quality productions. For more information, visit

"10 Out of 12" at Parkland Theatre Second Stage Starts Feb. 17

"10 Out of 12" to run February 17-27 at Parkland Theatre

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"10 Out of 12", written by Anne Washburn and directed by BJ Gailey, comes to the Parkland Theatre Second Stage from February 17–27.

Anne Washburn's "10 Out of 12" is a strikingly accurate and deeply funny record of the hardest day any theatre artist can endure: the all-day technical rehearsal, also known as the "10 out of 12." Distilled from years of production notes, the play focuses on a hopelessly-behind-schedule production during one of its last rehearsals before opening to the public. The tech crew is distracted, the actors are fighting (when they aren't missing their cues), and the director and stage manager are just trying to get through the night without killing anyone. "10 Out of 12" shows in hilarious and horrifying detail how theatre can inspire, frustrate, and madden its makers.

BJ Gailey directs a cast that includes Zoë Dunn, Mitchell Flanagin, Mathew Green, Mia-Belle Shannon, Ranae Wilson, Erin Kaufman, Ed Pierce, Marshawn Bingham, Alex Noa, Solomon Robinson, Lindsey Markel, Spencer Hazen, Mariah Smith, and Maya Baker.

Performances will take place in the Parkland Theatre Second Stage on February 17, 18, 19, 25, and 26 at 7:30 p.m., and February 20 and 27 at 3 p.m. Tickets are available at Seating is limited, and masks are required. This show is rated teen for mature language and content.

Tickets.  Adult: $20; Student/Youth/Senior/Veteran: $18; Group (10 or more): $16. Opening night is half-price!

Parkland Theatre wants all guests to have an enjoyable experience. Both theatres are wheelchair accessible and have accommodations for patrons with limited mobility and visual or hearing impairments. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation, please indicate when purchasing tickets.

"10 Out of 12" is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.

UI Astronomer to Discuss Lives, Deaths of Galaxies in February

Staerkel Planetarium to Present Kaler Lecture on Galaxies

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Galaxies will feature in February's edition of the James B. Kaler Science Lecture series at the William M. Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College.

On Friday, Feb. 4, at 6:30 p.m. Dr. Decker French, assistant professor of astronomy at the University of Illinois, will present "The Lives and Deaths of Galaxies." All Kaler lecture tickets are $2 and are free for Friends of the Staerkel Planetarium members.

While galaxies like the Milky Way are actively forming new stars, other galaxies appear to have rapidly ended their star formation after an intense starburst. What makes these galaxies stop forming stars? Researchers have some interesting evidence that supermassive black holes may play an important role.

French researches how galaxies evolve over time using telescope observations of visible light and radio waves. Since light has a finite speed, astronomers observe more distant galaxies to see how they appeared at earlier points in the history of the universe. This information gives astronomers a better sense of how galaxies behave over time.

French received her undergraduate degrees in physics and planetary science at MIT, then earned her PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Arizona. She was a Hubble post-doctoral fellow at the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, Calif., before joining the UIUC in 2020.

Kaler Science lectures are filmed by Parkland College Television (PCTV) for later viewing on the station. After the talk, the seats will be cleaned before the 8 p.m. show, "Skywatchers of Africa," a program about the astronomy of diverse African cultures. Admission to fulldome shows is $6 for adults or $5 for children, students, or seniors. Please visit for the show schedule or call 217/351-2568 for information about booking the dome.

Parkland Theatre to Hold Auditions for "The SpongeBob Musical"

Auditions for "The SpongeBob Musical" start Saturday, January 22

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Parkland College Theatre will hold auditions for its spring production of "The SpongeBob Musical" on Saturday, January 22 at the Parkland theatre.

Director Chelsea Collier is casting 20-25 performers who can sing and/or dance in a contemporary pop style. Audition sign-ups are available at this link.

Auditions will take place from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; check-in will take place in the lobby. Complete and detailed instructions for the auditioning process are available at

Call-backs will be held Sunday, January 23, time TBD. Those who are called back will receive a phone call on Saturday afternoon, after auditions.

Performances for "The SpongeBob Musical" will run in Parkland's Harold and Jean Miner Theatre from April 14 to May 1.

All members of the community as well as Parkland and University of Illinois students are invited to audition; Parkland Theatre encourages diversity. Additional questions should be addressed to operations assistant HeatherAnn Layman at For more information about the Parkland Theatre, visit

Staerkel Planetarium to Present Kaler Lecture on Evolution

"The Evolution of Family Life: A Case Study in Small Fish," December 3 at 6:30 p.m.

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This December's James B. Kaler Science Lecture at the William M. Staerkel Planetarium will be about evolution, through the lens of fish.

Friday, December 3 at 6:30 p.m., University of Illinois professor Dr. Alison Bell will present "The Evolution of Family Life: A Case Study in Small Fish." Tickets for Kaler Lectures cost $2 or are free for Friends of the Staerkel Planetarium.

Bell, who teaches in the UIUC Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior, researches the various ways families are organized in nature. Her lab focuses on the threespined stickleback, a type of fish whose family structure places the father as the sole provider of parental care. However, there are populations within the species which offer no parental care. Data from Bell's lab offers clues to this variance in social behavior.

Bell earned a bachelor's degree in history, philosophy, and social studies of science and medicine at the University of Chicago, and a doctorate in population biology at the University of California at Davis. Before joining the University of Illinois, she performed postdoctoral research at UC-Davis and at the University of Glasgow. In 2020, she was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The seating capacity in the planetarium is currently limited to 60 people. The Kaler Science Lectures are filmed by Parkland College TV. After the talk, the seats will be cleaned before the 8 p.m. showing of Season of Light, a program about the cultural traditions and astronomy of the winter solstice. Admission to fulldome shows are $6 for adults and $5 for children, students, and seniors. For a show schedule or booking information, please call 217/351-2446 or visit