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BrightSide Theatre Announces 2017-18 Season

Artistic Director Jeffrey Cass and Executive Director Julie Ann Kornak are proud to announce BrightSide Theatre's 2017-2018 Season - "Season Seven- Cinema to Stage" "Join us as we celebrate three entertaining pieces of theatre created from three award winning films. From romance to farce to family fun, this season has something for everyone!" explains Executive Director Julie Ann Kornak.

West Suburban Area of Chicago Premiere of a Broadway Musical

November 3-19, 2017

Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall at North Central College, 31 S. Ellsworth Avenue in Naperville

Directed by Artistic Director Jeffrey Cass | Musically Directed by Jon Neuhoff

Brightside Theatre is excited to present the West Suburban Area of Chicago premiere of recent a Broadway musical to open our new season. Though timing currently prevents us from formally announcing the title, this show is based on a beloved film and book. Join us in autumn when this sweeping, romantic new musical soars across our stage.

The 39 Steps

March 9-25, 2018

Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall at North Central College, 31 S. Ellsworth Avenue in Naperville

adapted by Patrick Barlow

directed by Magdalene Spanuello

Mix Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 adventure film masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have The 39 Steps, a fast-paced whodunit farce for anyone who loves the magic of theatre! This two-time Tony® and Drama Desk Award-winning treat is packed with nonstop laughs with over 150 zany characters played by a ridiculously talented cast of 4 actors, sometimes changing roles in the blink of an eye. Richard Hannay, a man with a boring life meets a mysterious woman spy with a thick accent. When he takes her home, she is murdered! A mysterious organization called "The 39 Steps" is hot on his trail and launches him on a cross-country mission to exonerate himself of a murder charge and save his King and country all leading to a death-defying finale! Dangerous femme fatales, dastardly villains, deadly assassins, an on-stage plane crash, and some good old-fashioned romance all provide an unforgettable evening of pure pleasure!

HAIRSPRAY the Musical

June 8-24, 2018

Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall at North Central College, 31 S. Ellsworth Avenue in Naperville

book Mark O'Donnell & Thomas Meehan | music Marc Shaiman | lyrics Scott Whitman & Marc Shaiman

directed by Artistic Director Jeffrey Cass and Barry R. Norton

The 1950s are out, and change is in the air! Based on the 1988 John Waters film and then inspiring a return to the big screen in 2007 Hairspray, a winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, is a family-friendly musical, piled bouffant-high with laughter, romance and deliriously tuneful songs. It's 1962 in Baltimore, and the lovable, pleasantly-plump teen, Tracy Turnblad, has only one desire - to dance on the popular "Corny Collins Show." When her dream comes true, Tracy is transformed from social outcast to sudden star. Can she use her newfound power to dethrone the reigning Teen Queen, win the affections of heartthrob, Link Larkin, and integrate a TV network... all without denting her hairdo?

Affordable tickets starting at $20 are available for BrightSide Theater's 2016-2017 Season, providing opportunities for Season Subscribers, Groups and Individuals to enjoy our Season Seven - Cinema to Stage as only BrightSide Theatre can produce. Subscriptions on sale now. Individual tickets will go on sale in August 15, 2017. For more information on purchasing tickets, visit us at or call the Box Office at 630-447-TIXS (8497)

BrightSide Theatre Youth Project

BrightSide Theatre continues its commitment to young artists with the belief that involvement in arts programs increases the development in children on both an academic and social scale while building self-esteem. We designed The BrightSide Theatre Youth Project to provide a professional and educational learning experience for grade school to high school students aged 8-18 interested in exploring musical theater. In this program, children work directly with professional directors, musical directors, choreographers, designers, and artists to develop their own theatrical skills. (Our staff has/currently works with professional theatres including, Paramount Arts Center, First Folio, Chicago Shakespeare, Broadway in Chicago, Drury Lane Oak Brook.) After very successful productions for the last five seasons, we are happy to announce that this year's BrightSide Theatre Youth Projectproduction will be Disney's High School Musical, Jr.


March 9-18, 2018

Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall at North Central College, 31 S. Ellsworth Avenue in Naperville

book by David Simpatico |songs by Matthew Gerrrard | songs by Bryan Louiselle, Faye Greenberg, David N. Lawrence, Greg Cham, Robbie Nevil, Ray Cham, AnDrew Seeley, Randy Petersen, Kevin Quinn, Adam Watts, Andy Dodd, Jamie Houston | music adapted, arranged and produced by Bryan Louiselle

Based on a Disney Channel Original Movie written by Peter Barsocchini

directed by Megan E. Farley | choreographed by Jeni Donahue| musically directed by Sarah Giordano

Disney Channel's smash hit movie musical comes to life on your stage in Disney's High School Musical JR. Troy, Gabriella and the students of East High must deal with issues of love, friends and family while balancing their classes and extra-curricular activities. The show's infectious, danceable songs are sure to engage performers and audiences alike.

It's the first day after winter break at East High. The Jocks, Brainiacs, Thespians and Skater Dudes all find their cliques. Basketball team captain and resident jock, Troy, discovers that the brainy Gabriella, a girl he met singing karaoke on his ski trip, has just enrolled at East High. The couple causes an upheaval when they decide to audition for the high school musical. Although many students resent the threat posed to the "status quo," Troy and Gabriella's alliance might just open the door for others to shine as well.

Auditions for BrightSide Theatre's Youth Project will be in December 2017 and tickets will be on sale in January 2018 - $12 for Adults and $10 for Students. For more information on the program, auditions or purchasing tickets, visit us at or call at 630-447-8497.

About the Artistic Director/Co-Director of HAIRSPRAY:

Jeffrey Cass a Joseph Jefferson Nominee will be directing BrightSide's Guys and Dolls (June 2017) and most recently directed Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Spamalot, The Sound of Music, It's a Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play, Cabaret, RENT, Company, BrightSide Theatre's inaugural production - Run For Your Wife. He has also directed for BrightSide Theatre's Youth Project inaugural production Disney's Alice in Wonderland, Disney's The Little Mermaid, Disney's Aladdin, Legally Blonde Jr. the Musical and Thoroughly Modern Millie, Jr. He holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theater Performance from Roosevelt University. He previously served as the Producing Director for Circle Theatre where he directed The Who's Tommy (6 Joseph Jefferson Nominations including Best Musical and Best Director) Neil LaBute's Bash and The Distance From Here (Midwest Premier), Burning Blue (Midwest Premier), Crazy for You, Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Urinetown, Peter Pan and for the New Plays Festivals.

About the Co-Director of HAIRSPRAY

Barry R. Norton holds a B.A. in Directing/Musical Theatre from Columbia College where he studied under the late Sheldon Patinkin and the Steppenwolf Theatre Ensemble. Barry has over 25 years of Theatre experience both directing and on stage. He previously held a position as Artistic Director/ Board Member for The Woodstock Musical Theatre Company/ The Woodstock Opera House. Some of his directing credits include Joseph...Dreamcoat, Oliver(Broadway World nomination for Best director), Annie, Crazy for You, Always Patsy Cline, Oklahoma, Bye, Bye Birdie, The Wiz, Hello, Dolly!, The King and I, Cinderella, The Outsiders, and Seussical. When not on stage performing, directing, and set designing/painting he can be found teaching his 4th graders in Chicago.

About the Director of THE 39 STEPS

Magdalene Spanuello is a Chicago-based theatre director and choreographer and an adjunct instructor of music theatre at Carthage College. Her international credits include Next to Normal and Seussical, the Musical! (Shanghai Conservatory of Music). Among her regional credits are The Tempestdirected by Aaron Posner and Teller of Penn & Teller (Associate Director-Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Smith Center; Las Vegas, South Coast Repertory),A Midsummer Night's Dream (Chicago Civic Orchestra-Shakespeare 400 Festival), A Christmas Carol, Gutenberg! The Musical!, Forever Plaid (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre), Arms and the Man (Ten Chimneys), Completely Hollywood (Old Creamery Theatre) and two seasons as the Artistic Director of Shawnee Summer Theatre.

About the Director of DISNEY'S HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, Jr.

Megan E. Farley is a director/choreographer/actress based out of Chicago. She recently choreographed a production of Shrek at Ball State University under the co-direction of Tony Award Winner Sutton Foster. Megan has also been Amber Mak's Associate Director/Choreographer on numerous productions at Paramount Theatre including: Hairspray, Disney's The Little Mermaid, and their Winter 2017 production of Elf. This summer, Megan heads to New York as Assistant Director for the New York Musical Festival production of Numbers Nerds. Other professional choreography credits include: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, All Shook Up, The Wizard of Oz, Pinkalicious! and Beanstalk!: The Musical (Director/Choreographer).

BrightSide Theatre (Jeffrey Cass, Artistic Director and Julie Ann Kornak, Executive Director) currently just completing its 6th season, is Naperville's only professional theatre performing in the historic downtown district. BrightSide Theatre is committed to Enlighten, Educate, and Entertain through comedies and inspirational stories from across the globe. A unique blend of award-winners, premieres, modern works and timeless classics meant to reflect upon and inform our community inhabit BrightSide's stage. BrightSide Theatre is partially supported and funded by a generous SECA Grant. For more information on BrightSide Theatre, please visit

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