DePaul University Theatre School > About > Faculty & Staff > Emeritus > Bio

John Bridges

  • DePaul Emeritus Society; Former Assistant Dean, Director of Admission and Alumni Relations
  • MA Western Illinois University; BA English, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Emeriti Staff

John joined DePaul in 1978, and  began his time at The Theatre School as Box Office Treasurer, before moving into many other positions including Budget Manager, Office Manager, and eventually Director of Administration, Assistant Dean, and Director of Alumni Relations. He served as The Theatre School’s chief administrative officer and alumni relations liaison until his retirement in 2014. He supervised the school's admissions operations, served as advisor to the school’s student government association and to ST*RS (students in their final year who raise funds to help offset the costs of annual graduate showcase activities). John was insturmental in creating the Graduate Showcase program, and served as advisor to the G.O.D. Squad (school orientation program in effect since 1979) and G.O.D. Squad 2 (pairing students in their final year at TTS with an alum).

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replacement text replacement textAt The Theatre School, he has been an adjunct faculty member, has served on numerous faculty and staff search committees, and on the Dean Search committees in 1998-99 and 2000-01. He was also President of the DePaul University Staff Council for the two years he served on the council. In 1997, John created the online alumni newsletter, "Theatre School News," published monthly, and posted and archived at The Theatre School website. It has become one of the school's primary recruitment, advertising and development tools. In addition, he created "Things To Do This Weekend," a weekly listing of theatre activities in the Chicago area that have a TTS alumni/student/faculty/staff connection. In 1999, John was the first Theatre School faculty or staff member to receive a Vincentian Endowment Grant, which he used to create and implement a fine arts program at a Chicago grade school. In 2000, he was the first Theatre School recipient of a DePaul University Staff Recognition Award. In the Spring of 2009, he participated in the Vincentian Senior Leadership Heritage Tour to France, and also co-taught a Discover Chicago class at DePaul from 2008 until his retirement.

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John is a member of Mensa. He is a founding board member of the Eclipse Theatre Company and an award-winning and published photographer. In addition to having served as the production photographer for over three hundred Theatre School productions for over a quarter of a century, he has also done production and publicity photo calls for dozens of professional theatres in the Chicago area.​

Bill Burnett

  • Associate Professor Emeritus
  • MFA Ohio University
  • Emeriti Professor

Bill is a certified practitioner of the Feldenkrais® Method, and served as a member of the Performance Faculty, specializing in breathwork and dialects as well as all aspects of voice and speech. At the Griffin Theatre he directed Astounding Science Fiction, Generations, and Independence (which received a Jeff citation for Ensemble).  At The Theatre School, Bill served as the Vocal Coach for dozens of productions.  His Theatre School directing credits include Antigone, Women of Trachis, and Electra (all by Sophocles), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Anna Karenina, and many workshop and Introduction to Performance productions.

Steve Carmichael

  • Professor Emeritus
  • MA University of Cincinnati
  • Emeriti Professor

Steve Carmichael served as the Head of the Theatre Arts Department and Head of the Lighting Design Program at the Barat Campus of DePaul University​. He has designed lights for Upstream Theatre in Saint Louis, Theaterwork in Santa Fe, Chicago Ballet Arts, the University of Alabama, SUNY New Paltz in NY, and the Phoenix Theatre in Arizona (among many others). Professional lighting credits also include, among others, The American Theatre Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre, New Dramatists, Julliard School of Music, Aspen Music Festival, and the Cincinnati Playhouse-in-the-Park. He co-founded and served as the resident Lighting Designer for Shakespeare on the Green, a professional outdoor summer festival that featured Chicago equity actors and was free to the public.​​​​

Nan Cibula-Jenkins

Nan has designed costumes for opera, ballet, film, television and theatre productions. Her costume designs have been seen in David Mamet's feature films House of Games, Things Change and Homicide as well as in Mamet's Broadway production of Speed The Plow and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Glengarry Glen Ross, for which she received a Hollywood Dramalogue Award. She has designed costumes at Goodman Theatre, Court Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Lincoln Center, Alliance Theatre (in Atlanta), Kansas City Repertory Company, McCarter Theatre in Princeton, Manhattan Theatre Club, Hartford Stage Company, Arena Stage, Seattle Repertory Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre (in Seattle), the Kennedy Center, New York Shakespeare Festival, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Chicago Shakespeare Theater, where she received a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Costume Design for Much Ado About Nothing. Nan is the recipient of the Michael Merritt Award for Design and Collaboration. ​​​​​​​​​​In 2017, DePaul University granted her the Via Sapientiae Award, the institution’s highest recognition for excellent service and accomplishment.

Anastasia Gonzalez

  • DePaul Emeritus Society; Former Budget Manager
  • Emeriti Staff

Anastasia worked at DePaul University for 31 years, working at the DePaul bookstore prior to joining The Theatre School to fill the position of Accounts Manager. She was later promoted to Budget Manager/Administrative Assistant to the Dean, and worked closely with the Dean on all financial aspects of the school. In this role, Stacy manages the school's finances in compliance with DePaul guidelines while remaining flexible to meet the rigorous and sometimes unusual demands of budgeting for our theatrical productions. She moved The Theatre School forward on the various upgrades and new systems that the University has developed over these years, making sure that the school’s production life continued without any delays, and provided warm and personalized support for all members of the community. She started the practice of using accounting students as student workers, providing students with practical experiences in managing the accounting of theatrical productions, events, and academic programs at the school. She has also been involved with several smaller theatres including Zephyr Dance Company and was a board member for a sho​rt time. Stacy was also instrumental in the financial planning around the school’s transition to the new building, which opened in 2013. Over the years she has developed a great love and respect for the theatre, and is especially thankful for her participation in The Theatre School's 2013-14 production of Our Town, directed by Damon Kiely.  ​​​​​

Elizabeth (Betsy) Hamilton

  • ehamilto@depaul.edu
  • Professor Emerita
  • BFA University of Texas; Advanced Degree, Mary Wigman Schule
  • Emeriti Professor

Professor Hamilton graduated from the University of Texas with degrees in acting and dance. She went on to receive her advanced degree from the Mary Wigman Schule in West Berlin, Germany. Upon returning to the states she returned to the University of Texas as an instructor and then spent a lengthy tenure in the Dance and Theatre departments at California State University Long Beach. During that period she also was a guest professor at Penn State for two years. She also began working, for three summers at the Ashland Shakespeare Festival (in Oregon) as the assistant choreographer and lead dancer. The next 13 summers were spent as choreographer of the mainstage shows and director, designer and developer of the outdoor “Green Show” at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, Utah. Betsy joined The Theatre School in 1984. Her areas of expertise were Movement for the Actor, Choreographer/Director, Modern Dance, Musical Theatre and Historical Dance forms. In 1986 she became the Head of  Movement and was instrumental in establishing the movement curriculum for actors within the Performance Area. One of her first acts as Head of Movement was to introduce yoga and Feldenkrais into the movement curriculum. In view of this, Betsy became a certified Feldenkrais Practitioner and a life-long yoga student. In the early to mid ‘90s she became Chair of the Performance Program and during that period was given full professorship. Among the shows she directed and choreographed for The Theatre School’s Showcase Series were Terminal, Into The Woods, Women of Troy, Assassins, and A New Brain. For Chicago Playworks for Families and Young Audiences she directed/choreographed such shows as The Nightingale, The Dragon That Lived Downstairs and The Little Prince. She directed numerous other productions for The Theatre School at various levels of producion, including numerous Introduction to Performance productions, and studio/workshops. In 2003 Betsy received the Excellence in Teaching Award from DePaul University, and upon her retirement in 2008 was given the status of Professor Emeritus.

Donald W. Ilko

  • Associate Professor Emeritus
  • BA Emerson College; PhD Case Western Reserve University; Advanced Actor Training Program, American Conservatory Theatre
  • Emeriti Professor

Dr. Ilko has performed with the Utah Shakespeare Festival, the Portland Conservatory Theatre and with theatre companies in New England and New York. In the Chicago area he appeared and directed at the Court Theatre, Talisman Theatre, Stage Left Theatre, Bailiwick Repertory, the Illinois Theatre Center, the Writer's Theatre, and Noble Fool Theatre. Theatre School directing credits include Dinner At Eight, The Secret Garden, Years Ago, Some Americans Abroad, Sympathetic Magic, The Boys in the Band and numerous workshops, studio productions, and Introduction to Performance pieces. He also appeared in The Theatre School productions of The Grapes of Wrath, Noises Off, and Life’s a Dream.  In addition to teaching in the BFA Acting Program, Dr. Ilko served as the first Head of the Theatre Studies Program (which today includes BFA programs in Dramaturgy, Playwriting, Theatre Arts, Theatre Management, and the MFA Arts Leadership program).

Bella Itkin

  • Professor Emerita
  • Doctorate Western Reserve University; MFA Goodman School of Drama
  • In Memorium

In Memoriam: 1920-2011. A former chair of the Performance Program, Dr. Itkin conducted Techniques classes for senior level and M.F.A. students. Dr. Itkin was known nationally as an acting coach whose past students include Kevin Anderson, Melinda Dillon, Ann Dowd, Linda Hunt, Harvey Korman, Concetta Tomei, Joe Mantegna, Kevin O'Connor, Elizabeth Perkins, the late Lee Richardson and the late Geraldine Page. She has directed more than 200 productions for The Theatre School, including The Seagull, Romeo And Juliet, Toys In The Attic, The Cherry Orchard, A Streetcar Named Desire and the Chicago premiere of Tennessee Williams' Eccentricities of a Nightingale. During her 15-year term as Artistic Director of Chicago Playworks, formerly the Goodman Children's Theatre, she directed Treasure Island, Puss In Boots, A Doctor In Spite Of Himself and A Midsummer Nights' Dream among numerous others. She accepted the prestigious Sara Spencer Award from the Children's Theatre Association of America in 1980 for long-term contributions to children's theatre in the United States and The Joseph Jefferson Lifetime Achievement Award. She served as a visiting professor at University of Kansas in Lawrence, the Aspen Theatre Institute in Aspen, Colo. and the Classical Theatre Foundation in Boulder, Colo., was a producer and the Artistic Director of the Lake Zurich Playhouse and has lectured extensively and conducted workshops at several theatre conventions and seminars. Dr. Itkin received her M.F.A. from the Goodman School of Drama (now The Theatre School, DePaul University), studied with the late Sanford Meisner and earned her doctorate from Western Reserve University. She received the Via Sapientiae Award from DePaul University in 1990, was named to the Chicago Women's Hall of Fame in 1990, the Chicago Tribune All-Professor Team in 1993, the Chicago Park District's 1993 Senior Citizen of the Year and was honored by the Chicago Drama League. Her focus in teaching acting and directing is based on the sensorial life of the character, which is discussed specifically in her book, Acting: Preparation, Practice, Performance, originally published by Harper and Collins. Dr. Itikin passed away in February 2011, and was memoralized in numerous publications, including the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun Times.

John Jenkins

John has performed and directed professionally in England, Germany, Switzerland and Australia, as well as throughout the United States. As a member of the San Quentin Drama Workshop, he worked with Samuel Beckett as an actor in Mr. Beckett's direction of Waiting for Godot and Endgame and served as movement advisor for Mr. Beckett's production of Krapp's Last Tape. In Minneapolis, he worked for eight years as an actor, director and teacher for the Children's Theatre Company. John's film credits include a starring role in the independent feature film, Patti Rocks, which he co-wrote. He is a qualified teacher of the Alexander Technique.​​​​​​​​​​

Trudie Kessler

Trudie is a Certified teacher of the Meisner Acting Approach, a Designated Linklater Voice Teacher, and a specialist in the Lessac Voice method. She received her MFA in Directing from the University of California at Irvine in 1975, and taught acting, directing and voice at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City for nine years prior to her arrival at The Theatre School in 1984. Some of her production credits in The Theatre School's Playworks and Showcase Series include The Last Night Of Ballyhoo, Ramona Quimby, The Fir Tree, The Diary Of Anne Frank, The Miracle Worker, and Scrapbooks, a touring show for young audiences about the difficulties of teen pregnancy. In addition, Trudie has directed over 20 plays for The Theatre School's Studio and Introduction to Performance Series. Trudie has pursued advanced training in acting and voice, studying with Master Teachers Kristin Linklater, Richard Armstrong, Kevin Crawford, Cicely Berry, Andrew Wade and Frankie Armstrong in Voice and Larry Silverberg in Meisner Technique. She received her Linklater Designation in 1991 and her certification in teaching the Meisner Acting Approach in 2009. Her area of expertise is in combining the Linklater and Meisner work to help actors fully own the words they speak. Trudie is a proud recipient of The Theatre School/DePaul University's 2007 Excellence in Teaching Award.​​​​​​​​​

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