MICHAEL WEBER - Artistic Director

Michael previously served as artistic director for the inaugural season of Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place (now The Broadway Playhouse) and at Theatre at the Center (1998-2004). His productions of Sweeney Todd, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Pal Joey, Assassins and Side Show at Porchlight Music Theatre, Grand Hotel at Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place and She Loves Me at Theatre at the Center were each nominated for the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Production-Musical. Directing credits include Living the History-125 Years of The Auditorium Theatre starring Patti LuPone, John Mahoney, Fifth of July and Talley’s Folly at the Oak Park Festival Theatre,The Petrified Forest at Theatre at the Center, Beauty and the Beast at Marriott Theatre, Over the River and Through the Woods at The Mercury Theater, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at Pheasant Run Theatre, and Cirque du Symphony at Sears Center Arena. The recipient of two Joseph Jefferson Awards, he has written and directed the past nine Joseph Jefferson Awards ceremonies. Weber’s regional acting credits include Annie Get Your Gun and Gypsy (both starring Patti LuPone) at Ravinia, Disney’s My Son Pinocchio at First Stage Milwaukee, Around the World in 80 Days at Cleveland Playhouse, The Winter’s Tale and Henry V at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, It Had To Be You (starring Cindy Williams and Eddie Mekka) at Little Theatre on the Square, Angel Street at First Folio Shakespeare, and The Gifts of the Magi at Indiana Repertory. Weber is proud to serve as a pledge host on WTTW, Channel 11, and he is author of the play, WAR of the WELLES.

 

JEANNIE LUKOW - Executive Director  

Jeannie is a founding member of Porchlight's board of directors, serving on the board for 19 years and as its president from 2008 to 2015. At the beginning of the 2015-2016 season, she was thrilled to join the staff as the company's first Executive Director. Jeannie co-founded Bespoke Cuisine, one of Chicago's leading cooking party venues, which she co-owned for 12 years before selling the business in 2015. Prior to Bespoke, Jeannie built a 15-year career in marketing communications, much of it spent in association management. Her most recent position in that field was as Managing Director of Marketing Communications for the National Association of Realtors, with over 1 million members. She is a native Michigander and graduate of Michigan State University, as well as an extensive world traveler, avid foodie and dog lover - mostly her own pooch, Simon, who joins her regularly at the Porchlight office.

 

DON SPRAGUE - Development Director

From July 2006 to October 2009, Sprague served as Operations Manager. In this capacity, he coordinated Porchlight's office and subscriber relations operations as well as development, grants, communications, community outreach programs, and marketing efforts. Sprague previously served as administrator for the 2004-2005 season, since which time he has been coordinating grants. After many years as a high school teacher and administrator with experience in budgeting, communications, public relations, and development activities, he is currently a professor at Kennedy-King College and an editor for Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers. Sprague served as president of the Chicago Classical Club for four years and as treasurer of the lllinois Classical Conference for fourteen.

 

DANA MROCZEK - Audience & Development Manager

Dana comes to Porchlight after spending time at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre and Victory Gardens Theater. A native of Chicago, Dana graduated from New York University-Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in theatre. She spent a year in college working for Broadway producer, Liz McCann, but ultimately wanted to return to the Chicago theatre scene because, let's be honest, Chicago is the greatest city in the world. Dana is a member of the League of Chicago Theatre's Young Professionals Board and the Chicago Cabaret Professionals. A long time lover of musical theatre, Dana is happy to call Porchlight home. 

 

 

MARK WEST - Marketing Communications Coodinator

Mark West joins Porchlight Music Theatre after serving as Marketing Coordinator at Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center in Rockford, Illinois. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BFA in theatre and since has been acting, writing, directing and teaching in theatres, schools and churches across the midwest. Locally he has been seen on the Gorilla Tango, Pride Art Center and 16th Street Theater stages, to name a few. He is thrilled to be a part of the Porchlight team and to be a part of the continued success of the arts in Chicago.


 

 AUSTIN PACKARD – Marketing Design Associate

Austin previously served as Marketing Director for two student organizations at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in Theatre Technology and Design, and comes to Porchlight after finishing three years in Live Entertainment at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. In addition to Porchlight, Austin is a freelance graphic designer and theatrical technician, with a longstanding passion for music, theatre, and improv comedy. A newcomer to Chicago, Austin is proud to be a part of the Porchlight team, and the Chicago theatre community. 

 

 

 

JILLIAN ABBINANTI - Education Director 

Jillian is a product of arts education in Chicago Public Schools. Growing up in a household with a dance teacher mother and a musician father showed her from a young age what it was like to be a working artist. She soaked in every opportunity her schools gave her to use the arts to her advantage. She then attended North Park University and obtained degrees in both Early Childhood Education and Theatre and Performing Arts in hopes of becoming an administrator and mentor to children much like the ones she had growing up. She has worked with Chicago Fringe Festival as their Education Manager and taught with Emerald City Theatre, Mudlark Theater, Barrel of Monkeys, and as a classroom teacher in various schools. Jillian has performed with InGen Productions, Puppet Mechanics, Barrel of Monkeys, The New Colony, and Corn Productions. She has also worked with Haven Theatre Company as their Production Coordinator. Off stage and out of the classroom she enjoys watching TV with her Boston Terrier Bosley. Jillian can't wait to develop the future of Porchlight's Education Department and use musical theatre to inspire the youth of Chicago.

 

SHOUT! MARKETING & MEDIA RELATIONS

Marketing and PR Representative

SHOUT Marketing & Media Relations specializes in individualized client campaigns for theatre, restaurant and other leisure activities. The partners, Jill Evans La Penna and James Juliano, excel in partnering with each client and work endlessly to identify their specific needs to make each project a success. SHOUT strives to utilize the most up-to-date media relations and marketing approaches including social, online and grassroots campaigns as well as unique strategic advertising plans that are successful and beneficial to all.