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Nicholas Senn High School

Mr. Joel Ewing
Joel Ewing is the Lead Theatre Teacher at Senn Arts Magnet High School. He is a graduate of Missouri State University with a BFA in Theatre Performance and DePaul University where he completed his Masters in Secondary Education with an endorsement in both English and Theatre. Joel is a recipient of the Teacher Incentive Grant from the Oppenheimer Family Foundation that underwrites the outstanding efforts of CPS teachers who enhance and enrich the educational lives of their students through project-based learning.

Joel is the Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of The Yard, the student-driven Senn Arts Theatre Company. The Yard is a collective of Senn Arts High School theatre students who have formed artistic alliances with professional theatre companies throughout Chicago. Through these partnerships, the theatrical institutions will provide a professional environment and mentorship to the developing theatre artists. The Yard creates theatre relevant to young people; performed by young people.

At Senn Arts, Joel has directed numerous productions at Senn Arts including Our America: Ghetto Life 101: Remorse and Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses, both of which were selected for the 2014 and 2015 Illinois High School Theatre Festivals. Other productions include I & You (first high school production of the play), An Evening of August Wilson, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Seedfolks, Much Ago About Nothing, Our Town/The OT Project, Realize Life, Moments of Change, and Studs Terkel’s Working. Joel is the Senn Arts coach for Louder Than a Bomb team, the world’s largest youth slam poetry festival. Joel also serves as the Education Director of the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre in Grand Lake, Colorado. He is a proud educational partner with some of Chicago's finest theatrical institutions such as Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Lookingglass Theatre Company, The Goodman Theatre, American Theatre Company, Raven Theatre, Victory Gardens Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Through Steppenwolf, Joel has been trained in Aesthetic Education as developed by the Lincoln Center Institute.

Joel is also a proud community member of The Hypocrites, where has appeared recently in Three Sisters and Into the Woods. Joel recently served as the Artistic Director of LiveWire Chicago Theatre where he produced the Chicago premieres of Samuel D. Hunter’s A Bright New Boise and A Permanent Image. As an actor he appeared with LiveWire in The Mistakes Madeline Made, Oohrah! and The 13th of Paris.

Joel is thrilled to part of such a fantastic school, passionately believes in the power of arts education, and thinks that theatre can fight evil and save the world!