Illiana’s Drama Department presents a play every fall and a musical every spring. Over half of the student body gets involved in the productions through set design, set painting, cast, crew and pit orchestra. Performances are open to the public and tickets go on sale two weeks in advance in the school office. Students, relatives, community members, and grade/middle schoolers pour through Illiana’s doors to experience the long-standing tradition of incredible performances.
The fall play is chosen by the directors of the drama department. In the past, Illiana has put on performances ranging from Enemy of the People to Emma to the Matchmaker. This production involves students who have a passion for theater performance as well as those who want to gain tech experience. Other students, led by Jim Kamphuis, work to create sets of the highest quality. Other groups of students work on costume crews and move the sets during the performances. Certain upperclassmen also have the opportunity to experience stage directing. The culmination of these gifts create a spectacular performance that draws many people through Iliana’s doors.
The spring musical is also selected by the directors of the drama department. This performance has the same elements of the play, but adds in the musical giftings of the pit orchestra and vocal performance. We’ve put on musicals from the likes of Cinderella, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Both the fall play and spring musical showcase the abundance of student talent at Illiana. These theater experiences give students an opportunity to work hard and put on high-quality performances, gaining valuable skills and learning a lot along the way. Performances also create a sense of deep community and bond among all who are involved. The Drama department has seen many students pursue theater involvement to some capacity in the future. Performing in plays or musicals as a career, writing scripts, working in the fashion industry, choosing cosmetology, and many more careers have been chosen by Illiana alumni.