Producer & Writer
Last summer, I produced the Rockford Fringe Festival. It was a one-day celebration of original theatre (including my play Natural Life), music, poetry, parkour and dance performances on an outdoor stage in Walker Park. It was a success and we are in the planning stages the next Rockford Fringe event.
In December, the Rockford Fringe produced Winter Solstice Poetry Caroling. We poetry-caroled the Rockford Fire Department (Station No. 8) and four homes. We covered nearly two miles of Rockford’s west side and it was wonderful fun.
Winter Solstice Poetry Caroling is an annual Rockford Fringe event made possible by an Action Grant from the Rockford Area Arts Council. Next year’s event will take place on Dec. 21, 2023 from 3-5 p.m. Save the date!
Music & Comedy Director
I book the music and comedy acts for Naked Angels Tuesdays@9 Chicago and perform as A Host Of Golden Daffodils.
I am also a contributing playwright at Naked Angels Tuesdays@9 Chicago. Every week, actors, writers, musicians and comedians meet at The Annoyance Theatre to share new work.
I (sometimes) teach Radio Play & Podcast Production for Chicago Dramatists. Most recently, I hosted a special podcast It Takes Three Villages initiated by Chicago Dramatists. It features the following three artistic “villages”: Chicago Dramatists, 16th Street Theater NFP and Dragonfly Theatre Company. Listen here.
Every week, you can find me at Tuesdays@9 Chicago where I serve as music and comedy director. We meet in the little theater at The Annoyance. This is also where I have my “pages” read. I’ve been with Tuesdays@9 for two+ years as the MD/CD and three+ as a writer.
*February 14, 2023 – Performing spoken word as A Host of Golden Daffodils.
February 7, 2023 – Guest host Tuesdays@9 Chicago at The Annoyance.
*November 15, 2022 – Performed at Truths As We Speak Them: A Storytelling Open Mic at Bronzeville Historical Society.
*November 5, 2022 – Singing along to Forty-five Seconds by Robbie Ellis at Robbie’s Metric System album release party at The Annoyance.
*November 1 and 7, 2022 – Guest hosted Tuesdays@9 Chicago (with Aviva Jaye (L) and Heather Styka!)
*October 29, 2022 – Performed spoken word for Atrocious Poets at Woodstock Train Station.
*October 25, 2022 – Performed as A Host of Golden Daffodils for Tuesdays@9.
*September 13, 2022 – Performed a hybrid of stand-up and storytelling at Tuesdays@9.
As a reporter for 89.5 WNIJ, the NPR station for northern Illinois, I interviewed artists, scientists, politicians, civic leaders, survivors, environmentalists, naturalists, Paula Poundstone and a clown.
You can find more than 100 of my radio stories by clicking here. I also hosted the arts series State of the Artist. Here’s a link to my artist interviews.
I started podcasting in 2018 when I hosted the Rockford Writers’ Guild literary podcast Guildy Pleasures. That led to my radio job at 89.5-WNIJ where I hosted the arts series State of the Artist, reported on the environment and was a digital editor. Sometimes I teach podcasting classes at Chicago Dramatists or create special podcasts for theaters and companies. I am the host of the Rockford Fringe Podcast which you can find on Apple, Spotify and Anchor.
Public Events Producer
I am the producer of Now What Pop-Ups. The premise is simple: We “pop up” in a public space, write and share our work. Since 2015, we have hosted more than 200 pop-ups. We also host reading, painting and dancing sessions and they are free and open to the public. These pop-ups led to the Rockford Fringe.
In the summer of 2021 when we were all in that liminal space between lockdown and freedom, I wrote and produced a web series. This was my way of clawing myself out of the trappings of the pandemic.
We safely shot the series in person and through Zoom. If you watch carefully, you’ll notice the creative ways we maintained social distancing and mask wearing. I wrote in a “kidnapper” character who wore a ski mask (with a mask underneath) so he could safely “kidnap” and carry the “hosts” into the Stormy Studio. This was The Stormy, Husky, Brawling Show. Five episodes aired on Facebook and YouTube. This Chicago-based mock show featured professional actors and musicians. Watch here.
When I worked for WNIJ, I wrote nearly 200 articles and took pictures along the way. I love to capture moments of happiness and intensity in art and politics, especially outside.
Thanks for stopping by my website.
Subscribe to the Rockford Fringe Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Anchor FM. Stay up to date with the Rockford Fringe on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @rockfordfringe.
I hope to see you at a Rockford Fringe or Tuesdays@9 event soon! -Connie
After I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre from Cornell College, I pursued theatre and film in Minneapolis from 1991-2007. That’s also when I met my husband Jesse. We got married, started our family and moved to Rockford, Illinois in 2007 where I became the editor at Rockford Writers’ Guild for nine years and hosted the literary podcast Guildy Pleasures. From 2018-2021, I was a reporter and digital editor at NPR member station WNIJ. Now I am the music & comedy director and a contributing playwright for Naked Angels Tuesdays@9 Chicago and am the producer of the Rockford Fringe and have produced a Rockford Fringe Festival, Winter Soltstice Poetry Caroling; and Ugly Jam Session. A couple summers ago, I wrote, directed and produced the Chicago-based talk show The Stormy, Husky, Brawling Show. During the day, I plan and lead hikes into the forest preserves of northern Illinois through 815 Outside.