Cultural Events


ยป Cultural Events

The Spring 2014 Cultural Season

Welcome to the spring season of arts and ideas, excitement and wonder on the arboretum campus of Elmhurst College. This season we're taking a close look at (among other things) the complex ways that science and technology are changing how we see culture, society and life itself. All cultural events are open to the public. Lecture tickets are available online or at the door, depending on availability. For more information or to check ticket availability, call (630) 617-3390.


Black History Exhibition
"Here We Go"
Max Sansing: Paintings

The theme expressed in this group of works is the struggle to deal with the difficult issues of poverty, injustice or death, and progress through life even when facing unequal odds. Sansing's portraits are inspired by people he has met and those close to him who have either helped him overcome his own struggles or have defied their own odds. Through a juxtaposition of painting techniques and a variety of color palettes, he wishes to invoke a mood of calm, optimism and reason in the face of struggle. A public reception will be held on Wednesday, February 19 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with the artist's talk at 5:00 p.m.

January 27–March 1
Monday–Saturday 8:00 a.m.–12:00 midnight; Sunday 12:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

Frick Center, Founders Lounge

For more information, contact Suellen Rocca at or (630) 617-6110.

Theatre: Gruesome Playground Injuries
By Rajiv Joseph
Directed by Amanda Wicklund

This dark comedy of friendship tells the story of Doug and Kayleen and their unconventional connection. Milestones are marked by the injuries they accumulate over their 30 years of companionship. Witness and explore the calamities and absurdities of love and the human condition.

Thursday–Saturday, February 6–8, 8:00 p.m.
Mill Theatre

For more information and tickets, contact the Mill Theatre Box Office at or (630) 617-3005.


The Science Guy’s Big Blast of Science
Bill Nye

William Sanford Nye is an author, inventor, engineer, occasional stand-up comedian and visiting professor at Cornell. For a generation of college students, he is Bill Nye the Science Guy, the engaging host of a TV series that taught science to children and won 18 Emmys. Today he has emerged as what The New York Times calls “a warrior for science,” defending the scientific evidence on climate change, explaining the facts on the age of the earth, and otherwise seeking to build a more scientifically literate electorate and society.

The Roland Quest Lecture Series
Sunday, February 9, 7:00 p.m.
Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel


We Shall Overcome . . . When?
Shaun R. Harper

Shaun Harper examines the enduring racial inequities in American higher education. A professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where he serves as director of the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education, he is the author of 10 books and more than 80 academic articles on race, gender, college access and student engagement.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Intercultural Lecture
Wednesday, February 12, 4:00 p.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge


Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus
Reza Aslan

Jesus is not just an object of faith; he also was a figure in history. In his New York Times best-selling study, Zealot, Reza Aslan draws imaginatively on centuries of scholarship to present a portrait of Jesus as an unlettered Jewish peasant who emerged as a political revolutionary, a rebel against Rome and its representatives in Palestine, including the Temple priests. Dale Martin, a scholar of religion at Yale, calls the book “a serious presentation of one plausible portrait” of the person at the center of the New Testament story.

Thursday, February 13, 7:00 p.m.
Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel


The 47th Annual Elmhurst College Jazz Festival

One of the oldest and best college jazz festivals in the United States, Elmhurst’s annual celebration features some of the top names in the industry and the leading college bands from around the nation. This year’s headliners include the Legendary Count Basie Orchestra, Ryan Truesdell’s Gil Evans Project Big Band, Andy Martin, Bobby Shew, Gary Smulyan and more.

Thursday–Sunday, February 20–23
Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel
Tickets and information:


Einstein’s God
Krista Tippett

Albert Einstein did not believe in a personal God. But he left behind a legacy of writings on the bonds between science and religion and on his own profound reverence for the “order deeply hidden behind everything.” Krista Tippett is the host of On Being, the Peabody Award-winning public radio show on which she explores “the most essential questions” of life and faith. She uses Einstein’s science as a starting point for exploring his perspective on ethics, eternity and mystery.

Sponsored in part by BMO Harris Bank.

The Rudolf G. Schade Lecture
Thursday, February 27, 7:00 p.m.
Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel
Admission $10


Women's History Exhibition
Gilgamesh: A Drawing Installation
Rebecca Wolfram

Rebecca Wolfram's large mixed-media drawings depict scenes from the ancient Sumerian epic of Gilgamesh. Her theme was inspired by the presence of the Kevatron Accelerator in the Kieft Accelerator ArtSpace. Though there is an obvious contrast between the extreme antiquity of the epic poem and the modern world represented by the accelerator, there are ways in which the two exemplify some of the same concepts. Both, she feels, attempt to answer the big questions about the future of the universe. A public reception will be held on Tuesday, March 4 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with the artist's talk at 5:00 p.m.

March 1–March 29
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 12:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

Barbara A. Kieft Accelerator ArtSpace

For more information, contact Suellen Rocca at or (630) 617-6110.


Brave New Media World
Chris Hughes

By the age of 25, Chris Hughes had helped to create two of history’s most successful startups, Facebook and the social media machine that made Barack Obama president. At 28, Hughes bought The New Republic, the stately, serious, century-old magazine that he aims to transition successfully into the digital age. Hughes believes in the future of considered, meticulous, in-depth journalism and its crucial role in a free society. With his latest venture, he will learn first-hand if his belief is warranted.

The Roland Quest Lecture Series
Thursday, March 6, 7:00 p.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge
Admission $10


Illinois’ Reckoning
Governor James R. Thompson, Moderator

The fifth most populous state in the Union, Illinois is an agricultural and industrial giant, a major source of human talent and natural resources, and a center of the nation’s corporate and cultural life. It also is famous for highly visible and well-documented political corruption, crippling debt and civic dysfunction. The state’s 37th and longest-serving governor leads a lively panel discussion on a great state’s problems and promise.

The Seventh Annual Elmhurst College Governmental Forum
Friday, March 7, 7:00 a.m.
7:00 a.m. Registration; 7:30 a.m. Breakfast; 8:00–10:00 a.m. Program
Drury Lane Conference Center, Oakbrook Terrace
Admission $25 (includes full breakfast)


Lessons of Columbine
Dave Cullen

On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered 12 fellow students and a teacher at Columbine, their high school in suburban Denver. Then they turned their guns on themselves. It was not the first and was hardly the last school massacre in American history, but it was among the most lethal, and it lent itself to misinformation and mythologizing. Dave Cullen spent a decade researching and writing the definitive story of an American tragedy that continues to haunt our schools and society.

Sunday, March 9, 7:00 p.m.
Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel
Admission $10


Theatre: Isn’t It Romantic
Written by Wendy Wasserstein
Directed by Frank Del Giudice

This funny, touching play by playwright Wendy Wasserstein, winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award, follows two friends in their 20s who are navigating careers, friendships, relationships and parents as they establish their identities and journey toward adulthood. “Isn’t It Romantic is romantic—also bright, funny, sentimental, and throughout, inching toward wisdom,” wrote Time magazine.

Thursday–Saturday, March 13–15, 8:00 p.m.
Thursday–Saturday, March 20–22, 8:00 p.m.
Mill Theatre

For more information and tickets, contact the Mill Theatre Box Office at or (630) 617-3005.


Islam Is a Foreign Country
Zareena Grewal

Zareena Grewal is a historical anthropologist and documentary filmmaker who teaches American studies and religious studies at Yale. Her films include By the Dawn’s Early Light, about the scrutiny of the patriotism of American Muslims. Her research centers on issues of race, gender, religion and nationalism within a wide spectrum of Muslim communities in the United States. Her forthcoming book examines the global dimensions of Islam’s “crisis of authority,” and examines the transnational teaching networks that connect American mosques with the intellectual centers of the Middle East.

The al-Ghazali Intercultural Lecture
Monday, March 17, 7:30 p.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge
Admission $10


Gender, Race and the Future of Education
Shannon Sullivan

Shannon Sullivan teaches and writes at the intersections of feminist philosophy, critical philosophy of race, American pragmatism and continental philosophy. A professor of philosophy, women’s studies and African American studies at Pennsylvania State University, she is the author of Revealing Whiteness: The Unconscious Habits of Racial Privilege and the forthcoming Good White People: The Problem with Middle Class White Anti-Racism. She currently is completing a book on the physiology of racist and sexist oppression.

The Genevieve Staudt Intercultural Lecture
Tuesday, March 18, 4:00 p.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge
Admission $10


Human Nature Between Philosophy and Anthropology
John Protevi

John Protevi is Phyllis M. Taylor Professor of French Studies and Professor of Philosophy at Louisiana State University. He is the author of five books, including most recently Life, War, Earth: Deleuze and the Sciences (Minnesota, 2013). Protevi was the Scots Philosophical Association Centenary Fellow for 2012.

The Niebuhr Lecture
Friday, April 4, 4:00 p.m.

Illinois Hall
Admission $10


The Irish Literary Renaissance
Colm Tóibín

A former altar boy from County Wexford, Colm Tóibín is the celebrated author of seven novels and several acclaimed collections of stories and essays. He has been short-listed twice for the prestigious Man Booker Prize, and his play, The Testament of Mary, was nominated for the Tony Award. A regular contributor to The Dublin Review, he describes the flowering of Irish literary talent and the renewed international interest in it.

Thursday, April 10, 7:00 p.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge
Admission $10


Science and Art: All Together Now
Julia Keller

Julia Keller is a novelist, journalist, teacher and determined polymath. As the cultural critic of the Chicago Tribune, she won the Pulitzer Prize and wrote essays and stories “about just about anything,” including literature, music, television, science and sports. She has taught at Princeton, Notre Dame, the University of Chicago and Ohio University. With the skills and perspective of a natural synthesizer, she uncovers the commonalities of science and art.

Wednesday, April 23, 7:00 p.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge
Admission $10


Adapted and Performed by Susan Stein
Directed by Austin Pendleton

Set in 1943, Susan Stein's one-woman play Etty is based on the diaries and letters of Esther “Etty” Hillesum, a young Dutch Jewish student living in Amsterdam, who is deported out of Holland to a Nazi concentration camp. Etty's words and insights reach beyond her writings and allow us to witness the power of hope and individual thought during one of history's most horrific periods. During her confinement, Etty faces an ethical dilemma and struggles between her instinct to live and her willingness to die. Esther “Etty” Hillesum was 29 years-old when she was murdered at Auschwitz/Birkenau.

Service of Remembrance and Holocaust Education Project
Sunday, April 27, 7:00 p.m.
Yom Ha Shohah service begins at 7:00 p.m., Etty performance follows at 7:30 p.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge


Theatre: Dames at Sea
Book and lyrics by George Haimsohn and Robin Miller
Music by JIm Wise
Directed by Scott Uddenburg and Amy Lyn McDonald

The season ends as we began, with a play in rehearsal. This time we are on Broadway, complete with a temperamental star, a small-town girl with nothing but tap shoes and a dream, and a director who needs a hit show before his theater is demolished. Add a chorus of sailors and dames for what The New York Times called "a little gem of a musical" in the style of legendary director Busby Berkeley. It's fun for the whole family.

Thursday–Saturday, May 1–3, 8:00 p.m.; additional performance at 3:00 p.m. on May 3
Thursday–Saturday, May 8–10, 8:00 p.m.
Mill Theatre

For more information and tickets, contact the Mill Theatre Box Office at or (630) 617-3005.


Being the Sheriff with an Innovative Outlook
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart

Since becoming Cook County Sheriff in 2006, Tom Dart has introduced sweeping changes at the Cook County Jail—the nation’s largest single-site jail—aggressively re-structured the Sheriff’s Police force, and improved operations of the Court Services Department. In 2009, Time magazine named Sheriff Dart one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

The Andrew K. Prinz Guestship for Political Awareness
Monday, May 5, 7:00 p.m.

Frick Center, Founders Lounge


Harvey Milk, Proposition 8 and Me
Dustin Lance Black

Dustin Lance Black is a director, producer and screenwriter, and a social activist in the tradition of Harvey Milk. In 2009 Black won the Academy Award for his screenplay for Milk, the film starring Sean Penn that chronicled the momentous final months of the assassinated early advocate for LGBT civil rights. Black’s writing credits also include the movie J. Edgar and the play 8, which portrays the closing arguments in the federal trial that led to the overturning of California’s Proposition 8 and the establishment of marriage equality in the nation’s largest state.

Thursday, May 8, 7:00 p.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge
Admission $10


Why Teach? In Defense of a Real Education
Mark Edmundson

Mark Edmundson teaches English at the University of Virginia. For him, teaching is a vital endeavor in which the very souls of his students are at stake. In his recent book, Why Teach?, Edmundson “reminds us of the power strong teachers have to make students rethink who they are and who they might become,” says Michael S. Roth, president of Wesleyan University, in a New York Times review. “This is what a real education is all about.”

Thursday, May 15, 7:00 p.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge
Admission $10

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