Backstage Buzz

Director of the McAninch Arts Center, Diana Martinez, takes you behind the scenes for an inside look at upcoming shows, events and more.

Backstage Buzz is currently airing on local WDCB-TV, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11a & 7p and Sundays at 1:30p & 9:30p.

Glen Ellyn, IL (Comcast) Ch. 18
Glen Ellyn, IL (WOW) Ch. 24
Wheaton, IL (Comcast) Ch. 99
Naperville, IL (WOW) Ch. 24

Season 3: Episode 7 – Music, Drama and Laughter

  • College of DuPage’s resident jazz expert and WDCB station manager, Dan Bindert, returns to the show and chats with Diana about the upcoming pledge drive taking place at several bars and restaurants in Oak Park this spring. Dan also talks about jazz performers that fill the year’s lineup, and gives us a little insight about who his favorite act is and why.
  • Buffalo Theatre Ensemble director, Kurt Naebig joins us to discuss BTE’s upcoming show, Defiance, and lets us in on some of the moral dilemmas that characters may be faced with. Then he gives us a glimpse at the plays comedic nature and hints at some questionable choices made by the leads.
  • Connie Canaday Howard is back to give us the latest on College Theater. Connie talks about her students’ progress in preparing for the upcoming comical play, The Foreigner. She converses with Diana about the play’s characters and plot, as well as key themes that come out through he students’ relatability to the roles they are portraying.

Season 3: Episode 6 – Sights and Sounds of the New Year

  • Heena Patel (co-creator and producer of Bollywood Boulevard) reflects on her success while discussing her popular stage play, as well as what classic Hindi cinema inspirations played a role. She dives into what motivated her to create a show that not only shows the iconic, colorful dances of Bollywood, but also emphasizes the great history of the genre.
  • Janey Sarther (Coordinator of Education & Engagement at the MAC) tells Diana about her excitement for the upcoming free Global Flicks series that begins in February. The two chat about their favorite films screened this year and why the post-viewing discussions makes this such an engaging event.
  • Lisa Kristina (Choral Director, Accompanist, and Vocal Coach) is an artist of many talents, traveling internationally to perform as a vocalist and musician. She is currently directing and coaching the chorus for the MAC’s resident orchestra. Lisa talks about her multifaceted role with New Philharmonic and how she is helping the orchestra prepare for their upcoming operetta, Die Fledermaus!

Season 3: Episode 5 – Frida Kahlo is Coming to the Cleve Carney Gallery!

  • Diana sits down with Cleve Carney Director and Curator, Justin Witte, to discuss an excellent opportunity granted to the gallery. The world famous artwork of Frida Kahlo will be on display in June of 2020! The two share their excitement for this artist and discuss the energy at a press conference and kickoff party held at the MAC.
  • Hosting over 200 visitors, the event publicly announced the touring art exhibit will be at the Cleve Carney and kicked off two years of performance and educational programming based on the collection. Diana also shares clips highlighting the event, including a preview of the artwork and a special performance from Ballet Folklórico Quetzalcoatl.For more information, please visit:

Season 3: Episode 4 – Theatre and Innovation

  • Learn how Innovation DuPage might be of use to you with Managing Director, Travis Linderman. He describes what Innovation DuPage is and how they hope to impact innovators and the art scene throughout the DuPage community. The newly formed incubator is promoting economic growth and job creation, guiding entrepreneurs of all ages as they build their startups and small businesses
  • Meet Bob Cratchit and Ebenezer Scrooge, or at least the men portraying them… Nathan Dittemore and Trever Frueh discuss their immersion into the iconic characters for our biannual holiday tradition, College Theater’s A Christmas Carol.
  • Hear from globetrotting brass musician and MAC Chat speaker, Kevin Harrison… Kevin chats about the various roles he fills as an educator and musician, performing with brass groups, symphonies, and orchestras around the world, including College of DuPage’s beloved New Philharmonic. They dive into what Canadian Brass is really all about and how they break the barrier between musician and audience.

Season 3: Episode 3 – The Finer Things

  • Diana Martinez sits down with Kirk Muspratt, the Music Director and Conductor of College of DuPage’s New Philharmonic Orchestra. Maestro Muspratt discusses the upcoming classical performance featuring guest cellist Richard Hirschl from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
  • Then, Diana talks with the Supervisor of Patron Services at the MAC, Tom Murray, who entices lovers of the fine arts with a sampling of the finer things. Tom explains how to enhance your visit to the McAninch Arts Center by adding a VIP experience to select performances.

Season 3: Episode 2 – Season Kick-Off

  • The Director of Arts DuPage, Debbie Venezia drops by to share her passion for the arts, the organization’s commitment to supporting local arts and culture and fills us in on the details for the first annual Arts DuPage Month this October.
  • Then, Janey Sarther, The Coordinator of Education and Engagement at the MAC, previews a world Premiere coming to the McAninch Arts Center this Fall—The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation – Live! Just one of the many educational events coming to the MAC this year, this fun for the whole family program showcases world-changing innovations and innovators, with a focus on major turning points of the past and present in the fields of science, engineering, math, the environment and social justice.
  • Actor and Buffalo Theatre Ensemble member, Robert Bailey discusses his roles in the upcoming production of The Dingdong or How the French Kiss. This fast-paced update to a classic French farce features five actors taking on 13 roles in one hilarious evening of debauchery gone awry in Paris.
  • Finally, Ben Nadel, the Associate Conductor for College of DuPage’s New Philharmonic Orchestra reveals some of the important behind the scenes responsibilities and work that goes into perfecting each performance. Ben also tells us what to expect for the upcoming concert, Show Boat and Show Tunes.

Season 3: Episode 1 – LIVE at the New Philharmonic Summer Concert

We bring you a very special episode, recorded LIVE at the MAC’s FREE Summer Series with College of DuPage’s New Philharmonic Orchestra. This episode features preview performances from our extraordinarily talented musicians, and conversations with…

    • The maestro himself, Kirk Muspratt, describes his reaction to being named the 2018 Conductor of the Year. Then, he previews his favorite pieces from the evening’s performance and gives us a glimpse at what’s to come for the 2018 Illinois Orchestra of the Year.
    • Next up, Executive Director of the College of DuPage Foundation, Karen Kuhn talks about a new grant awarded to New Philharmonic Orchestra from the DuPage Foundation, matching all donations to New Philharmonic, dollar for dollar, up to $30,000.
    • And finally, a 2018 Apollo Live finalist, COD Alumni, singer, and future superstar, Caryna Martinez-Rios tells us about her life growing up singing in the mirror and performing, as well as how support from her family keeps her motivated. Then, see her perform a couple of choice songs live on stage!