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 4: Episode 2 – Elementary! My Dear Watson, and Frida too

  • Buffalo Theatre Ensemble Director Ron May talks with Diana about the upcoming play, Holmes and Watson, a mystery that throws audiences off the trail at every imaginable turn. The pair chat about Ron’s debut with BTE and why he chose this play as his first directing piece in his home town. They also give you a few hints that might be helpful to solving the case when seeing this edge-of-your-seat thriller.
  • In celebration of the Frida Kahlo exhibit coming in 2020, and among a plethora of events, programming, and artwork being displayed throughout the year, Kim has constructed a must-see 3D printed sculpture, and costume to match. Diana talks with her about the process of designing and creating the sculpture as well as where and when you’ll be able to view it in person.

Season 4: Episode 1 – Art at Frida Fest & New Phil LIVE

  • Artist, Illustrator and Author, Mike Venezia stops by Backstage Buzz to share his excitement for the upcoming Frida Fest, as well as the interactive artwork he’ll be providing for children. He goes further to talk about his illustrations and artistic visions that won’t only be seen during the event, but also in the newly renovated gallery during the Frida Kahlo exhibit.
  • Then, Maestro Kirk Muspratt takes the stage with the New Philharmonic Orchestra for the third year in a row! College of DuPage and the McAninch Arts Center aired an entire New Philharmonic Orchestra concert LIVE on WDCB-TV and online with their YouTube and Facebook pages. now, on Backstage Buzz, the maestro leads his musicians as they expertly provide their extraordinary sound in a few of our favorite tunes from this memorable evening.

Season 3: Episode 11 – Summer Fun in DuPage

  • College Theater and BTE Artistic Director Connie Canaday Howard chats with Diana about the College Theater summer offering, Godspell, a timeless tale of friendship, loyalty, and love. Then the pair continue to talk about the ambitious Buffalo Theatre Ensemble’s 2019-2020 season coming to the MAC this fall.
  • Director of Arts DuPage, Debbie Venezia drops by to highlight the ample and diverse amount of art forms that can be enjoyed all around DuPage County this summer.  She and Diana discuss the importance of art in the community and how amazing it is to have access to these events, especially with most being free to the public.
  • New Philharmonic Maestro Kirk Musprattjoins us to talk everything New Philharmonic coming to the MAC. From the free summer pops concert at the Lakeside Pavilion, to each show you can catch throughout the year, Diana and Kirk share their excitement for what is looking to be one excellent season.

Season 3: Episode 10 – Frida Kahlo. It’s Getting Closer!

  • 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 Summer 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.

Season 3: Episode 9 – Fashion, Theater, and Motion Pictures

  • Diana talks with Eva Stevens, COD’s Fashion Studies Program Coordinator about a replica of a dress once worn by the iconic and world-famous artist, Frida Kahlo, which was designed and threaded from scratch. They discuss the complicated work and efforts she and her students put into creating this dress, along with how rewarding it was to display at a press event that announced the Frida Kahlo exhibit, coming in 2020.
  • Last year Steve Scott took on directing BTE’s wonderful production of Outside Mullingar, and now he’s back again to direct what is sure to be a great performance, Miracle on South Division Street. He talks about his process for pacing and comedic timing, and then gives a little insight about the characters and the hysterical struggles they endure throughout the show.
  • We introduce you to two of COD’s Motion Picture Television students, Abbas Hussain and Mirza Annas. Every year in May, the Motion Picture Television Program (MPTV) hosts an Animation Night, where students are able to premiere their hard work at a film fest with their peers. Abbas and Mirza talk with Diana about their different styles of animation and preview their festival videos, still in progress.

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 8 – College Theater and a Trio of Talent

  • Amelia chats with Diana about the upcoming student performance of George Orwell’s 1984, providing background on the play and a synopsis of the story set in a dystopian future. The two go further into what it takes to connect current students to the themes and history of this novel turned stage play, published in 1949.
  • Special guests, Miray McElroy, Haley Mae Mott, & Morgan Mott make their first appearance on Backstage Buzz. Last year, at the MAC’s annual student talent show, the talented trio of artists wowed the crowd, and took home 2nd place. Diana talks with them about how they got started singing together and what their experience was like with the talent show as well as their follow-up performance at the Lakeside Pavilion. Then, the three give us a brief sampling of their entrancing vocals in an acapella rendition of Adele’s “Someone Like You.”

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: Frida2020.com

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!