In September, alumnus Robert Falls, Goodman Theatre’s Artistic Director, came back for a visit to Illinois Theatre. Falls was a recipient of the Distinguished Legacy Award through the College of Fine and Applied Arts. This award honors “college alumni and friends who have demonstrated courage, curiosity, and passion in their work” as well as “individuals who have impacted their fields in transformative ways—catalysts with distinguished service to the arts.” With over three decades leading the Goodman Theatre, Falls stands as a testament to the incredible impact an individual can have on the art of theatre creation.
During the visit, Swanlund Professor Daniel Sullivan interviewed Falls in an open discussion with our current students. Falls shared a host of Illinois memories spanning from his directing in the Armory Free Theatre to the first student-directed production on the stages of the newly opened Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. After the all-department talk, Falls joined the senior acting class for a deeper conversation on how to succeed in the 21st century professional theatre. Senior BFA Actor Brian Kim said “As an actor, getting a chance to talk to an acclaimed artistic director and alum like Bob Falls and to learn more of his experience, I gain a greater knowledge and empathy for the importance of collaboration in theatre.” Illinois Theatre thanks Falls for all he has done to enhance the experiences of our students.