- Call to order / Pledge of Allegiance
- Roll Call
- Agenda approval. One agenda item was moved earlier, then the agenda was approved.
- Public Comment
Chair Hamilton made a brief comment on First Amendment Rights and the right of the public to address the board.
Joseph Enders. Denied First Amendment Rights. Wants to start a student organization. Thanks BOT members for supporting him. Wants to end Breuder-era policies.
Gino Impellizzeri. Emeritus Professor and Scholar, COD. Congratulated BOT on voiding Breuder’s contract. However, motivation must be addressed. Read quote from Tribune about the lame-duck board actions. Asked board to call those board members as witnesses.
Glenn Hansen CODFA President [in separate post].
Richard Jarman, CODFA Vice President [in separate post]
Steve Schroeder. Good evening and thank you for this opportunity.
Tonight I speak to you as a member of the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee, also known as the Jeff Awards. For forty-seven years, the Jeff Awards has served Chicago like the Tony Awards serve Broadway. Last year, the Jeff Awards widened their judging boundary to include an ever-growing and vibrant professional suburban theatre scene. Unfortunately and ironically, shortly before that decision was implemented, Dr. Breuder recommended to the Board of Trustees the elimination of support for Buffalo Theatre Ensemble. That unfortunate decision has created significant missed opportunities for the College of DuPage in terms of recognition, diversity, and education.
Concerning recognition, over my past two years of service on the Jeff Committee, I have judged 355 professional theatre productions. I can honestly say that the work done by Buffalo Theatre Ensemble (BTE) stacks up to the best that Chicago has to offer. Had the Board continued support for BTE, I am positive that they would have received recommendations, nominations, and perhaps even major awards. This would have brought significant and positive attention and acclaim to our college, not to mention increased campus attendance.
Much of the deserved recognition comes from a commitment to diversity. Of the 355 productions I have judged for the Jeff Awards, I’ve seen the same show done by different companies only six times. Both Chicago and BTE are committed to producing a variety of voices, sometimes controversial, sometimes provocative, but always meaningful. BTE’s commitment to balancing popular work with more obscure offerings is one of its primary strengths both artistically and, I argue, commercially, especially here in the Chicago market. It seems that a commitment to diversity leads to a more committed audience. Whether BTE produce Neil Simon or Neil LaBute, Shakespeare or Sondheim, they always do so with the same commitment to excellence, entertainment, and education.
In fact, that commitment to both diversity and education is what truly sets BTE apart from any other Chicago theatre company I’ve experienced. I have yet to see another company in our area provide the level of educational resources and outreach as BTE, and this includes even such renowned companies as Court Theatre at the University of Chicago. From workshops and dialogues conducted directly in our classrooms to publishing study guides for the use of schools and community organizations throughout our district, BTE is committed to education, which is our top priority.
Hopefully you now recognize that investing in BTE will reap dividends like increased positive attention, increased diversity, and increased educational opportunities. Indeed, Buffalo Theatre Ensemble is an act we all need to catch.