Professional Theatre in Downtown Naperville

Naperville residents don’t have to drive to downtown Chicago to see professional show. BrightSide Theatre brings it right to the heart of downtown Naperville.

After years of performing together, Julie Ann Kornak, Tin Penavic, and Joe Messina decided to start their own theater company and chose to showcase their talents in Naperville.

“Naperville didn’t really have a professional theater company that is performing in the heart of the downtown Naperville district,” said Kornak. “So that was really the niche we wanted to fill.”

“We were at a point in our lives where we’d worked with enough theater companies where you kind of become a journeymen, you go from theater to theater to theater,” said Penavic. “At some point we start to go ‘we need our own. We need our own home base.’”

BrightSide Theatre is putting on the final touches to their upcoming production, Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Company.”

“It’s about human beings finding love,” said Jeffrey Cass, Artistic Director. “The central character Bobby is a confirmed bachelor.He has three girlfriends that he’s having fun with. All of his friends are pretty much paired up and married off and they want him to experience the joys of life they have found with their partners.”

The comedy will be performed at North Central College’s Meily-Swallow Hall, a location the main character is no stranger to.

Peter Sipla is a 2007 graduate of North Central and will be performing at the school not as a student, but a professional.

“Company” also features two other Naperville residents, Katy Harth, a recent Neuqua Valley Graduate, and Kornak herself.

Now in their second season, Naperville has embraced having the theater group in their hometown.

“We put a show on and it’s people we don’t know, not just our friends and family. It’s general residents and the public coming to see our work,” said Cass.

“Everything we’ve been doing with BrightSide has been very well received by Naperville,” said Penavic. “We’re very happy for the support that we’ve gotten from everybody. The businesses have been great to us, and the people have been great.”

Kornak says it’s the great downtown location that sets them apart from other theater groups in the Chicagoland area.

“You can walk to any restaurants and bars and anything, shops. So we’re at a great location for our audience,” said Kornac. “We really bring professional level, quality productions that you don’t have to drive to the city for at great reasonable prices.”

“Company” runs from November 29th through December 9th.

BrightSide Theatre will also be performing “God of Carnage” in March and “Rent” in June. Visit brightsidetheatre.com for more information.

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