The Parkland College Blog

New Parkland Theatre Show Season Announced

Fantasy, comedy, drama part of next season's lineup of performances

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Parkland College Theatre announced its 2019-2020 performance calendar.
Elephant Graveyard
The Sparks World Famous Circus had finally arrived! It rolled into the muddy humdrum town of Erwin in East Tennessee via the railroad, carrying all the trappings of the spectacular—a Ring Master, a Ballet Girl, a Strongman, an Elephant on parade—and the town was filled with fervent enthusiasm. But, by turns horrific, the fervor turns in on itself when a tragic death leads to a staggering resolution in 1916 Americana. Directed by Latrelle Bright.
Performances Oct. 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13. Audience, cast and crew talkback on Oct. 3.
Peter and the Starcatcher
"Peter and the Starcatcher," adapted by Rick Elice from the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, introduces us to the young orphan who would become Peter Pan, as well as some dastardly pirates, some lost boys, and a very brave girl named Molly. A dozen actors will portray a hundred characters in sea battles, jungle adventures, and other exciting escapades. It's a wildly theatrical journey into the imagination for kids, grownups, and those who will never grow up. Directed by Mathew Green.
Performances Nov. 14, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24. Audience, cast and crew talkback on Nov. 14.
How I Learned to Drive
Our 29th Annual Student Production will feature a student director and all-student staff. Winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize, "How I Learned to Drive" explores the surprising, sometimes comedic, and devastating tale of survival seen through the eyes of a troubling relationship between a young girl and her uncle. Lil' Bit's story shows the strength it takes to steer through the chaos, no matter how challenging it may be, and how to drive through life in spite of the pain and damage encountered along the way. Directed by J'Lyn Hope. All ticket sales directly fund the Parkland College Theatre Scholarship Program.
Performances Feb 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16. Audience, cast and crew talkback on Feb 6.
Accused murderess Roxie Hart has convinced her hapless husband, Amos, to take the rap, that is, until he finds out he has been duped and turns on Roxie. Convicted and sent to death row, Roxie uses her charm and the ego of esteemed lawyer Billy Flynn to try and prove her "innocence." Set in the roaring 1920s, "Chicago" is the winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical. Get ready for jazz, prohibition, sequins, feathers, and a show full of songs you know and love! Directed by Abby Gailey.
Performances April 9, 10, 11, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26. Audience, cast and crew talkback on April 9.
Season ticket information

  • Purchase 2019-2020 Season Vouchers now and save! New prices go into effect June 1.

  • Please email for more information.

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Parkland College Spring Concerts in March

Four campus music ensembles to perform in joint concerts

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As a welcome to spring, the Parkland Chamber Singers and the Parkland Wind Ensemble will perform in concert Sunday, March 3, followed by a concert by the Parkland Orchestra and Parkland Concert Band on Sunday, March 10.
Both concerts will be held in the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre on Parkland College’s main campus at 3 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.
Chamber Singers, Wind Ensemble "Musical Voyage" Concert
Selections by the Parkland Chamber Singers will include an American folk hymn, "Wondrous Love" and the African-American spiritual "Wade in the Water." Other selections include "Movements from Mass in G" and "Ave Maria." Franklin Gallo is director for the Parkland Chamber Singers.
The Parkland Wind Ensemble, directed by Jonathan Beckett, will perform "Fantasy on a Gaelic Hymnsong," "An Irish Suite for Band" and "Ye Banks and Braes O' Bonnie Doon."
Orchestra, Concert Band "Parisian Bonbons" Concert
The Orchestra, directed by Rodney Mueller, will perform "An American In Paris Suite," "Orpheus in the Underworld," and "March Militaire Francaise," with selections from "Carmen."
Larry Stoner will direct the Concert Band's performance of "Polka and Fugue," "Black and White Rag," "The Falls," and "A Southern Hymn."

"Come Blow Your Horn" at Parkland Theatre

See the hilarious comedy that launched Neil Simon's career

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Neil Simon’s comedy "Come Blow Your Horn" comes to Parkland Theatre's Second Stage Feb. 7–17 as the 28th Annual Student Production, featuring a student director and all-student staff. 

"Come Blow Your Horn" is the story of Alan and Buddy Baker, two brothers who could not be more different. Younger brother Buddy longs for the playboy lifestyle his elder brother Alan leads. However, as Buddy transforms into the swinging mirror image of Alan, Alan finds himself falling in love for the first time. This hilarious comedy launched the career of its internationally famous playwright.

Melissa Goldman directs a cast that includes David Katz, Thom Billam, Celia Mueller, Lizz Morris, David Laker, and HeatherAnn Layman.

The Parkland Theatre will be holding a talkback immediately following the Feb. 7 show. Goldman and members of the cast and crew will be on hand to discuss the show and answer audience questions.

Performances are Feb. 7, 8, 9, 15, and 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 17 at 3 p.m. All tickets are $10.

To make reservations, visit or call the show hotline at 217/351-2528.

The Champaign County Economic Development Corporation and Parkland College will join community, regional and state partners to celebrate February as Career and Technical Education Month®, or CTE Month®, which recognizes the value and accomplishments of career and technical education programs in the U.S. 

Throughout the month of February, area entities will participate in this national celebration, created by the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE), chiefly by disseminating information on CTE programs and opportunities in and around Champaign County through the social media campaign, #CTEinIL

#CTEinIL is designed to promote CTE programs and career opportunities in Champaign County and throughout the state of Illinois. Participating organizations, schools, and employers will use the #CTEinIL hashtag throughout the month of February to build awareness about their own initiatives, while also helping to tell the story of CTE opportunities within the state.  

Participating organizations include: 

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce
Champaign County Economic Development Corporation
Champaign County Regional Planning Commission
Champaign Unit 4 School District
Champaign-Urbana Schools Foundation
Early College & Career Academy
Education for Employment System #330
ICATT Apprenticeship Program
Illinois Manufacturers’ Association
Mahomet-Seymour Community Unit School District #3
Parkland College
Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 149
Rantoul Township High School
Urbana School District #116 

What is CTE? Career and technical education, or CTE, is education that directly prepares students for high-wage, high-demand careers. CTE covers many different fields, including health care, information technology, advanced manufacturing, hospitality and management and many more. 

CTE encompasses many different types of education, from classroom learning to certification programs to work-based learning opportunities outside the classroom. 

For more details on CTE Month®, as well as partnering companies and organizations celebrating #CTEinIL, visit  

"Draped and Bundled: Paintings by Leeah Joo" at Giertz Gallery

Connecticut-based artist Leeah Joo explores cross-cultural themes in her works

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"Draped and Bundled," a solo exhibition of paintings and drawings by Connecticut-based artist Leeah Joo, will open Feb. 11 at Giertz Gallery at Parkland College. 

This exhibit runs through March 26 and includes an artist reception Thursday, Feb. 14 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The reception features a gallery talk by Joo at 6:30 p.m. and music by the Cobra Lounge Trio. Joo will provide an additional lecture earlier that day, at 1:15 p.m. in Room U140. She will also provide an Axonometric Projection Workshop at 2 p.m. in Room U140.

Leeah Joo is a Korean American painter who explores themes of cross-cultural experiences. Joo’s body of complex, realistic paintings on exhibit explores different connotations of drapery as a still-life subject, filtered through the lens of an Asian American immigrant. The fabric folds and bundles lend themselves to being read as more than just simple still lifes, while their designs conflate mythological creatures found in Asian art with contemporary figures. 

"In one sense, [my work] celebrates the simple beauty and the tradition of Korean brocades saved for special occasions, birthdays, or New Year," Joo explains. "Then the drapes and folds transform into mountains and oceans informed by recent events, such as the image of the victorious smile on an infamous dictator on top of Paektu Mountain in North Korea."

Joo will provide a workshop exploring "Axonometric Projection," on Thursday, Feb. 14 at 2 p.m. Space is limited and registration is required by calling the gallery at 217/351-2485. Axonometric projection (also called parallel perspective) is typically found in East Asian scroll paintings, which inspired her work. Unlike the linear perspective refined in the Renaissance, the parallel perspective has no vanishing point, creating a bird’s eye point of view that continues without an end. These scrolls therefore convey expansive space and time, which allows the possibility of an endless timeline for a narrative, as in “The Tale of Genji," a 12th-century scroll which took decades to create and is 450 feet long. The workshop will explore this alternate way of depicting space, which goes against the fundamental teachings of perspective drawing.

Born in Seoul, South Korea, Joo moved as a child with her family to Indianapolis, where she spent her youth. Joo studied painting at Indiana University in Bloomington (BFA ’94) and Yale School of Art (MFA ‘96). She is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions including grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. Joo lives and works in Connecticut where she teaches drawing and painting at Southern CT State University. She is represented by Andrew Bae Gallery in Chicago. 

Spring gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, noon to 2 p.m. Gallery will be closed March 16–24 for spring break.
To find the gallery we suggest using the M6 parking lot on the north corner of campus. Walk past the gym and the fountain area, enter through door X7, turn left, and follow the ramps up to the highest point of the first floor, where the gallery is located. The gallery windows overlook the outdoor fountain area.
Programs at the gallery are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. All events in the accessible gallery are free and open to the public. Parkland College is a section 504/ADA-compliant institution. For accommodation, call 217/353-2337 or email

For more information on gallery exhibits, please call the gallery office at 217/351-2485 or visit
[ImagePojagi Hope, oil on canvas, 48” x 48”, 2017]