Exhibition to feature work of theatre chair

By Suzie Sharpiro

An NIU department chair will have his work displayed in the United Scenic Artists exhibit in Chicago.

John Brooks, NIU theatre arts department chair, will be one of 50 designers from the Central Region of the United Scenic Artists exhibiting work in the rooms of the Cultural Center on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

In July, Brooks was elected to a three year term as chair of the Midwest Region of United Scenic Artists. The United Scenic Artists is a trade union for professionals involved with theatre, television and film.

“The reason this exhibition is taking place this year is first of all, the mayor declared theatre year in Chicago. Plus the theatre season starts in September. Also, people get a chance to see some work from past years,” Brooks said.

The show will include sketches, renderings, painters’ elevations, scale models, production photos, props and costumes.

“It has been a while since we’ve done this type of show. The last time we did this as a union was 15 years ago,” Brooks said.

As a costume designer, Brooks has worked for Victory Gardens Theater and The Body Politic Theatre. He has designed costumes for the many plays including “Earth and Sky,” “Expectations,” “Clara’s Play” and “The Whales of August.”

Brooks has designed more than 60 productions for university theatres in Alabama, Florida and Illinois. He has served as the president of the Illinois Theatre Association and now is the secretary of the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education.

He has worked as costume designer for Loyola University Theatre. He graduated from the College of William and Mary and holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Pennsylvania State University.

A big event that will take place at the exhibition is the 1993 award nominations given by The Joseph Jefferson Committee. These awards are very important in Chicago for those involved with theatre, he said.

The event is similar to the Tony Awards, the Emmy Awards and the Academy Awards. They give out the best awards in theatre for the year in Chicago.

The exhibition starts Tuesday and continues through Sept. 26. It will be located in the Chicago Cultural Center, in the Chicago rooms, the 2nd floor, 78 E. Washington.