Backstage of the Palace Theatre on Broadway after a performance of Annie, featuring Illinois State University alumna Jane Lynch ’84 as Miss Hannigan. From left: Professor Emeritus Calvin Pritner, Evamarii Johnson, Jane Lynch, Professor Sandi Zielinski, Assistant Dean Pete Guither.
Each year, the College of Fine Arts and Friends of the Arts host a very special New York Theatre Trip in June–mostly for retired university and community members who are also supporters of the arts at Illinois State University. They go for seven days and see six shows as a group, along with taking walking tours of the city, hosted by Assistant Dean Pete Guither. This year, Associate Dean John Walker and Professor Sandi Zielinski were additional hosts. The trip also gives the College of Fine Arts the opportunity to connect with lots of Fine Arts alumni.
This year’s trip was June 3–10. On the group’s Monday arrival, there was a Fine Arts alumni reception at O’Flaherty’s, with a chance to mingle, eat, and drink. Following that reception, there was a special treat. Two Fine Arts alums—Anthony Wills Jr. and Christopher Dea—met for the first time at the previous alumni gathering in New York. At that time, they realized that they had common interests and co-directed a cabaret show (The Piano is Drinking, not Me) that premiered at Don’t Tell Mama’s immediately following this alumni gathering.