North Central College - Naperville, IL

Students perform original production “Canon Fire,” co-authored by theatre faculty

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North Central College presents “Canon Fire,” a composite of feminist re-imaginings of the literary and dramatic canon.

Four performances of “Canon Fire” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. April 26, 27 and 28, and at 2 p.m. April 29, in the College’s Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S. Ellsworth St., Naperville. Tickets are $10/adults and $8/students and senior citizens; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit The show is intended for mature audiences only.

Devised by Carin Silkaitis, assistant professor of theatre and chairperson of art and theatre, along with Chicago playwright Nic Wehrwein, “Canon Fire” weaves two short plays by Carolyn Gage and Susan Miller with new, original monologues about race, gender and sexuality authored by Silkaitis and Wehrwein. The show features original music by Chicago acoustic-rock artist Christine Kent.

In “Louisa May Incest,” Gage conjures a conversation between Louisa May Alcott and her famous “Little Women” character Jo March in a showdown that raises historical questions about Alcott’s sexuality as well as her relationship with her father. In “It’s Our Town, Too,” Miller pays tribute to Thornton Wilder’s moving play “Our Town,” but this time it’s young Emily and Elizabeth who fall in love, setting in motion this tale of desire and friendship in the face of homophobia, fear and the losses of daily life.

The bringing together of these two shows shines a spotlight on how differences in identity and belief often upstage our shared longings.

The cast for “Canon Fire” features (role, actor, town, year, major):

The Preface: Lauren Smith of Byron, a senior double majoring in psychology and theatre
The Musician: Christine Kent, a musician from Chicago
The Singers: Tina Naponelli of Crystal Lake, a freshman majoring in choral music education, Garrett Lutz of Aurora, a senior majoring in musical theatre, Bryan Renaud of Sugar Grove, a junior majoring in theatre, and Daryn Harrell of Peoria, a senior majoring in musical theatre
The Host: Savanna Rae Richardson of Terre Haute, Ind., a sophomore majoring in musical theatre
The Welcomed: Evan Michalic of Elburn, a sophomore majoring in theatre
The Sharer: Daryn Harrell

“Louisa May Incest”

Louisa: Ali Ledbetter of Coal Valley, a senior double majoring in theatre and psychology
Jo: Emma van Ommeren of Lake Mills, Wis., a junior majoring in musical theatre

“It’s Our Town, Too”

Stage Manager: Garrett Lutz
Emily: Bethany Schick of Yorkville, a sophomore majoring in theatre
Elizabeth: Rachel Lindenberg of Wilmette, a freshman majoring in theatre
George: Colin Loeffler of Sun Prairie, Wis., a sophomore majoring in English literature and theatre
Louis: Patrick Loftus of Elk Grove Village, a sophomore majoring in art education
Molly: Olivia Crary of New Glarus, Wis., a freshman majoring in musical theatre
Chance: Bryan Renaud
Doc: Katie Legner
2 Angry Citizens/Parent Voices:  Kevin Williams of Nashville, Tenn., a junior majoring in theatre and psychology, and Tina Naponelli

North Central College offers majors in theatre or musical theatre and a minor in dance. A full range of acting and dance classes is available, as well as opportunities to direct a full-length production. Students of all majors can participate in musical and nonmusical performances, actor showcases and one-act plays and performances in the College’s four theatre venues. Full-time professors and active professionals who are artist-teachers serve as faculty. Visit to learn more about studying theatre at North Central College. 

This performance is one of many ongoing programs at North Central College to enrich and broaden the cultural and academic outlook for the College and community. North Central offers a variety of venues accommodating a rich range of local and world-class events, performances and space needs for the public. For a comprehensive schedule of musical performances, theatrical and dance productions, art exhibits and lectures, visit or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).