Theater students at Moraine Valley Community College learned first-hand effective approaches to successfully continue their studies at four-year university theater programs.

Hosted by Dr. Craig Rosen, professor of Theater and Theater Program coordinator, and Jenni Lamb-Hetherington, Theater Outreach liaison, a virtual panel discussion was held to enlighten participating students on conducting auditions, completing applications and the qualities four-year universities are seeking outside of academic and acting talents.

“Keeping our students connected is part of our mission,” Lamb-Hetherington said. “We want them to keep going with their studies at four-year schools so we continue to work with them on transfers. We have done several panels, but this is the first one we did virtually. It was important to do this. There was a lot of interest, and our students learned a great deal. The people on the panel talked about what else they are looking for, like work ethic, curiosity, empathy and what kind of person they are, over and above just pure talent.”

Providing the students guidance and tips of the trade were Carin Silkaitis, theater department chair at Columbia College; Janice Pohl, associate professor of theater and chair at Elmhurst College; Lysa Fox, head of the Musical Theatre Program at Western Illinois University; and Adam Goldstein, assistant professor and Artistic Director of Stage Center Theatre at Northeastern Illinois University.

“I am proud our program helps to mold well-rounded artists,” Rosen said. “Our alumni have had great success upon transferring to programs throughout the country, and this panel was one more way to better prepare them for the challenges that await.”

Tommy Glodo, one of the students who participated in the panel discussion, said he found the event to be very valuable.

“The professors were really helpful. We got to ask a lot of questions, and they gave us some great tips on the ‘dos and don’ts’ for auditioning. It was so much more beneficial to have this kind of face-to-face meeting instead of just looking at a website,” he said.

After a projected 2021 graduation from Moraine Valley, Glodo, of Oak Lawn, plans to transfer to a four-year school to hone his craft, which includes theatrical performances, singing, stand-up comedy, sketch and improvisation.

“The classes I’ve taken at Moraine Valley have been great. I’ve learned so much from Doc (Rosen) and Dan (Scott, theater instructor). I’ve taken classes at Second City, and these classes at Moraine Valley are on the same level of professionalism,” Glodo said.

Micaela Wagner, of Oak Forest, was excited to be part of the panel. “It was perfect timing because right now we are thinking about our future and where we’re going to go after Moraine Valley. We got a lot of valuable information that can be applied to so many institutions,” she said.

Wagner and Glodo are collaborating on plans to form a Drama Club at Moraine Valley.

“There is so much talent that could be showcased in a Drama Club, whether the other students are into theater or just interested in watching. A Drama Club would be a really cool opportunity for everyone,” she said. “With everything happening in the world, I think theater and art, in general, are becoming more popular because everyone just wants a feel-good story, and theater and art, in general, are just the perfect ways to do that.”

For more information on theater classes at Moraine Valley, contact Rosen at (708) 974-5432 or