Carole Dibo, founder of Actors Training Center (ATC) of Wilmette, took to the stage on August 24 to accept Illinois Theatre Association’s (ITA) 2019 Award of Honor
“It is true that we “train to work,” but we do it with a keen eye to the young actor and what their needs are,” she told the audience at ITA’s Red Carpet Gala at Drury Lane Theater in Oak Brook.
“We create a safe place for them to be and celebrate themselves. When they walk through our doors there are no ‘cheerleaders’ or ‘football players’ or ‘geeks.’ We encourage and expect them to just be themselves because when the industry comes looking for them they must be there.”
Each year the ITA recognizes both individuals and organizations for their significant contributions of promoting quality theater in Illinois. Recipients are nominated by the Illinois theater community, approved by ITA’s divisional representatives, and accepted by ITA’s Board of Direc- tors. This year, ITA awarded its highest honor to Dibo and the ATC for its educational contribution to the Chicago theater community.
ITA President and Harper College’s Associate Professor of Theatre Kevin Long nominated ATC for the award and presented it to the organization at the event. He spoke of the impressive history of ATC mentioning alum that have gone on to be included in theater national tours, on Broadway, and on Netflix and Amazon. They have also won Golden Globe and Emmy awards.
“Not only is the training incredible, but what separates ATC from other places is that ACT is such a welcoming and supportive professional training program,” Long said. “The atmosphere you have created truly helps any actor that steps through your doors to produce the best work possible.”
Dibo was joined at the gala by ATC board members and staff including Board President Bonnie Schoenberg and Studio Director Becky Blomgren.
“ATC encourages ‘being’ not ‘acting’ and that is a huge responsibility for those of us that work with young actors,” she said. “Our teachers are industry professionals, actors, directors, and casting directors who share our vision and who teach with a professional eye and compassion. ATC students make lifelong friends as well as professional contacts”
Dibo and her crew will be celebrating again this fall at its annual fundraiser, “Money for Funny, Music for Free,” on Saturday, Nov. 3 at Viper Alley in Lincolnshire. The fundraiser, perfect for the whole family, benefits ATC’s Scholarship Fund and Building Fund. Tickets go on sale on September 18.
For more information about ATC or the upcoming event, visit actorstrainingcenter.org.