Home is Where Our Story Begins


Took place Friday, November 2, 2018 at the Evanston Golf Club

Northlight Theatre’s Board of Trustees proudly presented the Theatre’s premier fundraising event for the 2018-19 Season. It was an evening of cocktails, food, and music as we celebrated Northlight’s commitment to providing intensely entertaining theatre – and so much more – to the community we call home. At the event Northlight honored one of its founders and two-time Tony award winner Frank Galati with the Speak Up! Award, and former board chair, Tom Stringer, with the Leadership Award.

Northlight Theatre distinguishes itself in the landscape of Chicago theatre through it’s compelling and compassionate work onstage and dynamic and impactful work off-stage. We invite you to embrace our mission of using theatre to build strong communities. Join us as we celebrate Northlight – intensely entertaining theatre and so much more!




Gala Co-Chairs:
Julie Chernoff and Susie McMonagle

Host Committee:
Candace Corr and BJ Jones
Jane and Timothy J. Evans
Catherine Hayden
Betsy Hohman
Karen Hunt
Ann Jennett
Pat Price
Trimmy Stamell
Marcia Mead Stillerman
Mark Tendam

Speak Up! Award

The Speak Up! Award is rooted in Northlight Theatre’s Speak Up! theatre for social change program—an initiative for middle and high school students throughout the Chicago area. Northlight’s fastest growing arts education program, Speak Up! brings a custom-designed residency program to increase students’ participation in the arts by making theatre accessible while building creativity, reflection, confidence, and collaboration skills. Topics that have been addressed by past Speak Up! residencies include bullying, gang violence, police brutality, role models, and stereotyping.


Award Recipient: Frank Galati

FRANK GALATI is a cofounder of Northlight Theatre, and an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago. His adaptation of John Steinbeck’s East of Eden opened the theatre’s 40th anniversary season. Over the years, he has received nine Joseph Jefferson Awards for his work in Chicago theatre. He has directed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Berkley Rep, Mark Taper Forum, Long Wharf Theatre, Chicago Opera Theatre, San Francisco Opera, Dallas Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, The Metropolitan Opera, The Stratford Festival in Canada, and the Roundabout Theatre in New York. For twenty years he was an Associate Director at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. He won two Tony Awards in 1990 for his adaptation and direction of the Steppenwolf production of The Grapes of Wrath on Broadway and was nominated again in 1998 for directing Ragtime on Broadway. In 1989, Mr. Galati was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay (with Lawrence Kasdan) of The Accidental Tourist. In 2000 he was inducted into The American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Mr. Galati is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University. He lives in Sarasota, Florida and is an Associate Artist at the Asolo Repertory Theatre.

Leadership Award

The Leadership Award recognizes those individuals who have been extraordinary champions of Northlight Theatre. Outstanding leadership may be demonstrated in a variety of ways and impacts all aspects of the theatre including our Interplay new play development program, arts education initiatives, audience and community engagement efforts, endowment program and main stage productions.


Award Recipient: Tom Stringer

TOM STRINGER founded his eponymous multi-disciplinary firm more than 20 years ago to conceive and deliver unique design solutions for residences, restaurants, and yachts around the globe. Stringer’s design approach is externally inspired and internally driven, largely informed by his great life passion for exotic travel.  Filtering his experiences through the prism of design allows him to bridge styles and cultures, expanding his imagination into innovative layers of colors, textures, and function. With the same energy that inspires his own love of travel and collecting, Stringer and his creative team bring this rigorous planning, enthusiasm and joy of discovery to the comfortably glamorous homes they create.

Widely lauded and published, Stringer recently released his first book, An Adventurous Life: Global Interiors by Tom Stringer, a compendium of his world travels, personal photography and observations intermingled with over half a dozen of his most unique projects. He anticipates bringing his global sensibility to original product design, expecting to debut integrated collections of furniture, fabric, and accessories in 2019.

Stringer holds a Bachelor’s degree in design from the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Arizona State University and began his career working for Charles Pfister designing product for Baker Furniture, Brown Jordan, and Casella Lighting.  He served as Design Director for the renowned Chicago firm Branca, Inc. before forming Tom Stringer Design Partners in 1995. Inducted into the Merchandise Mart Hall of Fame for Interior Design in 2015, Stringer and his team of professionals, all highly qualified in design, architecture, and project management, are headquartered in a brand new chic office on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.

Gala 2018 Sponosors


Underwriting Sponsors

Bridgeview Bank 



Legacy Sponsors

BMO Harris  



Landmark Sponsor

Northwestern University   



Benefactor Sponsors

  LionBird  Hagerty 


Community Sponsors




Season Sponsors

BMO Harris ComEd