Allen Actors Visit Chicago


Tony Piazza of the Allen Theater Department took this photograph of the group visiting Chicago during spring break. Pictured are, front from left, Jeri Troyer, Carley Nelson, Lauren Perez-Engel, Heather Kropf, and Matthew Wynn; back row from left, Terri Piazza, Alexandria Lynn King, Jordan Garcia, Anna Mammedova, and Barry McAnulty.

Anna Mammedova, News Editor

During spring break of March 17-20, Allen Community College Theater Department made a road trip to visit Chicago, Illinois. A group of nine students and two instructors, Tony and Terri Piazza, spent two full days in the Windy City.

Travelers were chosen as representatives of Allen’s Theater Department because they were in their sophomore year of study and on good academic standings. The trip was sponsored by Allen Theater Department and carried a purpose to expose students both to the famous Chicago shows and metropolitan area of the city.

The academic part of the trip contained a workshop held in Green Shirt Studio by one of its coaches, Andrew Gallant. Certified in Meisner Approach, he was able to equip students with some techniques to make their acting look more qualitative and professional. The other side of it were two productions on the stages of high-level acting institutions. One of them was the SteppenWolf Theater who, which featured the play “Maria Antonieta” on the first night of the visit. The second production was an improvisational comedy enterprise “Panic on Cloud 9,” which provided its visitors with a fun time.

Tony Piazza, the organizer, said, “I’m glad we were able to show these kids ‘the other world’ and broaden their horizons on acting in a big city.” He shared that the exposure to Chicago’s acting talent definitely left a big impression on students. Moreover, he added, students were able to see famous places of Chicago.

One of the students, Jordan Garcia, said, “The trip was absolutely amazing; it totally surpassed all my expectations.” Asked his favorite part of the trip, he stated, “I think I will probably remember the shows the most. They were just incredible.” Garcia added that the most memorable place of Chicago for him was the “Cloud Gate” monument in Millennium Park that reflected Chicago’s skyline.

Piazza is looking forward to next year to give his acting students another opportunity to travel and to experience something unique. The trip for 2016 is going to be to Minneapolis, Minnesota for the American College Theater Festival , where students will be able to develop new acting skills and enjoy that metropolitan area.