Connie Kuntz

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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 Rockford’s Walker Park. It was a success and we are in the planning stages for next year’s Fringe which will take place on July 8, 2023. Save the date!

Until then, we hope you join us for our next event: Winter Solstice Poetry Caroling. Bundle up and meet us at Walker Park on Wednesday, December 21 at 3:00. We’ll hand out scripts, hold a quick rehearsal and then go poetry caroling in the neighborhood. It’s free!

One of Chugro’s Acolytes.

The community is also invited to learn a “snow dance” that will be taught by Chugro’s Acolytes before we go caroling! Winter Solstice Poetry Caroling — freezing fun for everyone!

Music & Comedy Director

I book the music and comedy acts for Naked Angels Tuesdays@9 Chicago and sometimes perform as A Host Of Golden Daffodils or share my stand-up comedy. If you are interested in performing, let me know.

Introducing some of my pages at Tuesdays@9 Chicago. Photo credit: Patricia Mario.

I am also a contributing playwright at Naked Angels Tuesdays@9 Chicago. We meet every week at The Annoyance Theatre and read scenes from new works. If you are ever in Chicago, I hope you come to a Tuesdays soon!

Instructor

Hear me interview the three “villages” that worked together to produce the play Man and Moon by Sienna Marilyn Ledger. Featuring the playwright; artistic directors Carson Grace Becker, Jean Gottlieb and Omar Fernandez; actors Peter Wilde and Clare Wols and a few remarks from microbiologist Heather Minges Wols.

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.

A Chicago mock show.

In the summer of 2021, I wrote, directed and produced the web miniseries The Stormy, Husky, Brawling Show. Five episodes aired on Facebook and YouTube. This Chicago-based mock show featured professional actors and musicians. Watch it here.

Podcaster

My podcasting journey started in 2018 when I hosted the Rockford Writers’ Guild literary podcast Guildy Pleasures. That led to my radio job at WNIJ where I hosted the arts series State of the Artist. Sometimes I teach podcasting classes at Chicago Dramatists or create special podcasts for different companies. You can find my most recent podcast work on the Rockford Fringe Podcast.

Hear the 8-minute podcast featuring Minneapolis artist Jim Lichtscheidl.

Radio Reporter

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.

Interviewing Paula Poundstone. Photo: Michele Vasguez.
Hear my Paula Poundstone guerilla interview.

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.

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 all free and open to the public. These pop-ups led to the Rockford Fringe.

Popping up at Wester Park in Rockford.

During the height of the pandemic, most of my events took place on Zoom, like the Quarantanniversary I conceived and directed for Tuesdays@9 Chicago. That’s when the entire Tuesdays gang showed up and hosted, wrote, sang or acted as their twin. I am so sorry for bragging, but my twin Robin Ross was there and she was magnificent.

My twin, Robin Ross.

Photographer

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.

Illinois politicians share a laugh as they update the public about infrastructure. Sen. Steve Stadelman (podium), State Rep. Maurice West, Governor J. B. Pritzker and Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara (L-R).

Thank you for stopping by my website. I hope to see you at a Rockford Fringe or Tuesdays@9 event soon! Feel free to message me if you have any questions or concerns. -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. I also sometimes teach classes about radio and podcast production for Chicago Dramatists. I am the producer of the Rockford Fringe and a couple summers ago, I wrote, directed and produced the Chicago-based talk show The Stormy, Husky, Brawling Show. During the winter and spring, I blog.


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