Nathan Irwin

Program Director

Nathan Irwin has been WCBU’ s Program Director since 2001. Prior to that, he was a talk-show producer and announcer for New Hampshire Public Radio. His first radio job was KFJM-FM in Grand Forks, North Dakota. He grew up in upstate New York, Wisconsin and Karachi, Pakistan. He graduated from the University of North Dakota with a degree in political science.

Outside the studios, Nathan spends most of his time as an actor and singer. He has performed with Corn Stock Theatre, Peoria Players and the Bradley Community Chorus.

Ways To Connect

This week, we're talking with Kristan McKinsey from the Peoria Riverfront Museum. Their exhibit, "Ansel Adams: Western Exposure" includes more than 120 of Adams' photographs, including many which have rarely been publicly displayed. Other items in the exhibit include drawings, camera equipment and Adams' personal items. The exhibit has been curated by daughter-in-law, Jeanne Adams. It continues through September 22nd. Also on display at the museum is "Lincoln: Self-Made in America," which chronicles Lincoln's early life, political career, Presidency and assassination.

This week we're talking with Chip Joyce. He's directing Eastlight Theatre's production of "Jekyll and Hyde," a musical adaptation of the classic Robert Louis Stevenson tale. The production continues with performances Friday and Saturday night.

Corn Stock Theatre’s summer season continues with a production of “The Foreigner,” starring Peoria native Steve Vinovich. Marty Lynch has this review for Peoria Public Radio and the Live Theatre League of Peoria. Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer, not those of Peoria Public Radio or the Live Theatre League.

This weekend, Corn Stock Theatre opens its production of "The Foreigner," starring Peoria native, and professional actor, Steve Vinovich. Vinovich has performed on stage, film and television since graduating from the University of Illinois; he's recently returned to New York after many years in Los Angeles. He talks about how the idea for the production came about; why he's fond of this play and this particular role; and about his 40-year career as a working actor.

This week, we're talking with Jennifer Lee, coordinator of the Art on the Promenade Fine Art Fair. It runs from 10am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday on the promenade between Costco and Target in East Peoria. She talks about some of the challenges of organizing the first-time event, some of the activities that will be going on during the fair, and why she thinks its important both to the art community and to East Peoria.

This week, we're talking with Caleb Finley. He's directing Peoria Players Theatre's production of "Bus Stop." The  play revolves around a group of bus travelers, stranded in a remote bus stop by a heavy storm. Finley talks about drew him to the script, about trying avoid over-reliance on the film adaptation of the play, and about the two characters at the center of the script's main plot. "Bus Stop" continues Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Peoria Players.

The Heartland Festival Orchestra and conductor David Commanday close their 2013-2014 season with a program of "Maestro's Favorites" -- works by Stravinsky, Wagner and Brahms. David Commanday talks about some of those pieces, and the significance they hold for him. The concert also includes an unannounced sneak preview of a special appearance at the Peoria RiverFront Museum. The orchestra performs Saturday night at 7:30 at Five Points Washington.

Corn Stock Theatre is celebrating it's 60th season this summer. Theatre Manager Cindy Hoey joins us to talk about some of the productions planned for the season, including a visit by guest artist, and Peoria native, Steve Vinovich. Corn Stock will also present "The Wiz" for the first time, with a new director. The season kicks off with "The Music Man," which runs May 31st to June 8th.

The Morton Civic Chorus is getting ready to present its annual spring benefit concert, with performances Tuesday through Sunday at the Hartmann Center at Bradley University. Director Denise Adams talks about the theme that runs through this year's concert, and some of the works on the programs. She also talks about the process leading up to performance week, and about watching her children grow up in the chorus.

The Peoria Symphony Orchestra brings its 2012-2013 to a close with this weekend's concert, "Visions of Beauty." Music Director George Stelluto talks about the concert, which  features a return visit by soprano Kara Shay Thomson. He talks about what he looks for when selecting soloists for each concert, and about the selections on the program: a Mozart overture, opera arias, and Mahler's Fourth Symphony. The concert is Saturday night at 8:00 at Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria.

Peoria Players Theatre closes its current season with the musical “Fiddler on the Roof.” Marty Lynch has this review for Peoria Public Radio and the Live Theatre League of Peoria. Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer, not those of Peoria Public Radio or the Live Theatre League.

We're talking with Bobbi Rice, from the Wheels O' Time Museum. Their 2013 season is now underway. This year, the museum has expanded to a fourth building. They've also develop a partnership with a local auto club to present a rotating display of antique cars. Bobbi also talks about some of the non-vehicular items in the museum's collection. The museum's 2013 season continues through the end of October.

This week, we're talking with Laura Garfinkel, the director of Peoria Players Theatre's upcoming production of "Fiddler on the Roof." She talks about the universal themes which permeate the show: the tension between tradition and modernity, the bonds of a small community, and the expectations family members have of one another. Those themes, and memorable score, help explain how the show has endured for almost fifty years. "Fiddler on the Roof" runs May 3rd through May 12th at Peoria Players Theatre.

This week, we're talking with Herrald Webster from Eastlight Theatre's production of "Dreamgirls." The musical tells the story of the Motown-era group "The Dreams." It closely parallels the real history of the Supremes, and features a score that ranges from R&B to early rock to disco. The Eastlight production opens tonight and continues through April 27th at the Byron Moore Auditorium in East Peoria High School.

The play “Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)” provides a comedic look at two well-known Shakespeare tragedies. Cara Rosson has a review of a production currently running at Illinois Central College, for Peoria Public Radio and the Live Theatre League of Peoria.

Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer, not those of Peoria Public Radio or the Live Theatre League.

Congressman Aaron Schock joins us this week to talk about the 32nd Annual Congressional Art Show and Competition. The show includes works of art submitted by young artists from across the 18th Congressional District; one of the pieces will be displayed in the U. S. Capitol for the next. The show opens with a reception tomorrow at 10:00 AM. Schock will deliver remarks and announce this year’s winner at 11:00 AM.

  

“Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson” presents a musical look at the colorful and controversial 13th President of the United States. A production at Eureka College opened Tuesday night and continues through Saturday. Brian “Fox” Ellis has this review for Peoria Public Radio and the Live Theatre League of Peoria. Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer, not those of Peoria Public Radio or the Live Theatre League.

This week, we're talking with the Heartland Festival Orchestra's David Commanday. The HFO welcomes legendary trumpeter Doc Severinsen and the Stiletto Brass Quintet as guest artists in their next concert. The program features highlights from the jazz age -- music of Gershwin, Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller and others. The concert is Saturday night at Five Points in Washington.

Today, we’re looking at the role of multiculturalism in the Peoria faith community. First, we’ll talk with Imam Kamil Mufti of the Islamic Foundation of Peoria, which serves Muslims from a variety of cultural backgrounds. We’ll hear from Katie Crenshaw, from the Peoria Baha’i Center, to learn about how multiculturalism is woven into the fabric of the Baha’I faith. And we’ll get perspectives on the Latino community in the Catholic church from a nun, and a Catholic immigrant from Ecuador.

This week, we're talking with Doug Day, director of "What Will Be Your Legacy?" a short play which explores issues about family farming, organic food, and land use. The play is intended to set up a discussion with the audience about policy options and personal choices. Performances in Peoria are Friday and Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. The play will also travel to Urbana and Springfield in the next few weeks.

Lindsey Cheney joins us this week to talk about Peoria Players Theatre's production of "Godspell." The show recreates selected parables from the Gospels and features music by Stephen Schwartz. Cheney talks about how the director and cast have updated and personalized the script, about some of the musical numbers in the show, and about how the rehearsal process has created a strong bond among the company. Performances of "Godspell" continue through Sunday.

Review - "Godspell"

Mar 20, 2013

Peoria Players Theatre continues its current season with the musical “Godspell.” Marty Lynch has this review for Peoria Public Radio and the Live Theatre League of Peoria.

Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer, not those of Peoria Public Radio or the Live Theatre League.

This week, we're talking with David Commanday, from the Heartland Festival Orchestra. Their concert Saturday night features the string trio "Time for Three," and their infectious, high-energy performance style. David talks about some of the works the trio will be playing; and about how they blend classical, bluegrass and jazz influences. We also listen to a few selections from Time for Three's repertoire.

This week, we're talking with Ryan Campen, the director of "Frost/Nixon," which  opens this weekend at the Corn Stock Winter Playhouse. The play tells the story of the 1977 interviews between former President Richard Nixon and British television personality David Frost. Campen talks about his working with his cast to create portrayals of such iconic historical figures, and about his decision to incorporate live, audio-visual elements into the production.

Lorraine Hansberry’s play “A Raisin in the Sun” tells the story of one African-American family in the early days of the civil rights movement. A production is now on stage at Bradley University. Reviewer Douglas Okey says the play has as much to say today as it did in 1959. He has this review for Peoria Public Radio and the Live Theatre  League of Peoria.

Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer, not those of Peoria Public Radio or the Live Theatre League.

This week, we're talking with George Stelluto, Music Director of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. Their concert Saturday night features music of Mozart, Rossini, Maurice Ravel and Jacques Ibert. Stelluto talks about the pieces on the program and how they fit together. The concert will also feature a performance by winners of the Peoria Symphony Guild's young artist competition.

Review - "Rashomon"

Feb 27, 2013

A murder trial becomes the basis for questions about credibility and truth in the classic play “Rashomon.” A production of the play opened last weekend at Illinois Central College Theatre. Cara Rosson has this review for WCBU, and the Live Theatre League of Peoria. Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer, not those of WCBU or the Live Theatre League.

This week, we talk with William Butler from the Contemporary Art Center. They're hosting their annual Fine Art Auction Saturday night from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. The event includes both a silent and a live auction, along with musical entertainment. Butler talks about some of the works featured in the auction, how it's designed to benefit both the Center and the participating artists, and some of the other ongoing activities at the CAC.

Corn Stock Theatre presents a rock-and-roll story of gender identity, set to music inspired by 1970s “glam” rock, with its production of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” Douglas Okey has this review for WCBU and the Live Theatre  League of Peoria. Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer, not those of WCBU or the Live Theatre League.

This week, we're talking with Chip Joyce. He' s playing the title role in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," which continues tonight and tomorrow night at Corn Stock Theatre. Joyce talks about the origin of the show, the process of "becoming Hedwig" each night, and what it's like fronting the Angry Inch -- the on-stage band that peforms during the show.

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