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 Brian "Fox" Ellis. The annual Springdale Cemetery Tours continue this weekend. Ellis and others will portray notable residents of Peoria who are buried at the cemetery. This year, they will be re-visiting several figures they've portrayed over the last ten years. The tours continue Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 and 4:00 p.m.

Just in time for Halloween, a musical at Corn Stock Theatre parodies the standard tropes of horror movies, with its production of “Evil Dead: The Musical.” 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 Jim Babrowski, from Peoria Players Theatre's production of Neil Simon's "Barefoot in the Park." The play depicts a pair of mismatched newlyweds and their different expectations for married life. He also talks about other productions coming up in Players' 2013-14 season. "Barefoot in the Park" opens tonight and continues through October 13th at Peoria Players Theatre.

Review - "Scapin"

Oct 2, 2013

Illinois Central College opens its theatre season with the comedy Scapin. An adaptation of the story by Moliere adds contemporary flavor to classic character types. Douglas Oakey has this review for Peoria Public Radio and the Live Theatre League.

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

The Peoria Symphony Orchestra opens its 2013-14 season with a concert Saturday night. We talk with PSO Music Director George Stelluto, and with soloist Olga Kern. They talk about the works on the program, and about the the connections between "high" classical music and "pop" culture. Kern also talks about how winning  the Van Cliburn competition in 2001 affected her career path.

This week, we're talking with the Peoria Art Guild's Beth Reusch. The 51st Annual Fine Art Fair runs September 28th and 29th on the Peoria Riverfront. The fair features the work of 150 artists, selected from a pool of 600 applicants. Reusch talks about one of the artists appearing for the first time this year--he's coming all the way from Israel--about some of the interactive art experiences the fair offers, and about all of work that goes into organizing the event each year.

Peoria Players Theatre opens its 95th season with the musical “Les Miserables.” Stan Strickler 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, Artistic Director of the Heartland Festival Orchestra. Their new season opens this weekend with a concert, "Very Mozart." It features Mozart's "Jupiter" Symphony, the Flute and Harp Concerto, and a set of Ancient Airs and Dances by Ottorino Respighi. Commanday talks about some of the pieces on the program, the soloists featured in this concert, and the distinctove appeal of Mozart. The concert is Saturday night at 7:30 at Five Points Washington

Charlie Brown is playing Jean Valjean in Peoria Players Theatre's upcoming production of "Les Miserables." He talks his own interest in the long-running musical, the specific story arc of his character, and how he's approached the character. "Les Miserables" runs September 6th through the 15th.

Nate Downs joins us to talk about Corn Stock Theatre's production of "Company." A fan of composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, Downs says this was one of his "bucket list" shows. Through the stories of perennial bachelor Bobby, his girlfriends and his married friends, the show presents multiple takes on love, marriage and relationships. "Company" runs August 23rd through 31st at Corn Stock Theatre in Peoria.

This week, we're talking with Lee Wenger, organizer of the concert Peoria Public Radio's Concert in the Park. He talks about how the event was first developed last year to replace the station's annual record sale. Like last year's concert, this year's event features a variety of musical entertainers -- cast members from musical theatre productions, two choirs, vocalists and instrumentalists. The concert is Friday night at 7:00 at the Glen Oak Amphitheatre. Gates open at 6:00.

This week, we're talking with Eric Mills, from the Fogelberg Foundation of Peoria. Their annual Dan Fogelberg Celebration Weekend is August 30th and 31st (Labor Day Weekend). It features a Friday night concert of acoustic musicians paying tribute to Dan Fogelberg. Saturday night's concert features The Don Campbell Band. Eric talks about both concerts, and about the nationwide "Fogelberg family" that the event brings to Peoria each year.

Review - "The Wiz"

Aug 8, 2013

Corn Stock Theatre’s summer season is currently presenting “The Wiz.” 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 Bryan Blanks. He's directing Corn Stock Theatre's production of "The Wiz." It's the first time this show has been staged at the Corn Stock Tent. Blanks talks about his own history with the show, what he looked for in casting his production, and about the work he did ahead of time to ensure a strong turnout at auditions.

This week, we're talking with Jimmy Ulrich about Peoria Players' upcoming youth production of "All Shook Up." The "jukebox" musical features music made famous by Elvis Presley, and a story about a small Midwestern town, thrown into disarray by the arrival of a motorcycle-riding drifter. Ulrich says the music -- along with the fact  that it's a newer musical --  makes the show a treat for both the performers and the audience. "All Shook Up" runs August 7th through the 11th at Peoria Players Theatre.

Arc Light Productions is currently presenting the musical “The Music Man.” Stan Strickler 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 photographer Scott Cavanah. He and Matt Buedel are the creators of the exhibit "Every Other." Over the course of a year, the two took turns creating photographs based on a theme suggested by the other. The resulting photos are now collected in the exhibit. "Every Other" is on display through July 30th at the Peoria Public Library Main Branch. A reception with the artists is Saturday morning from 10:00 to noon.

Corn Stock Theatre is presenting the musical “Anything Goes,” as part of its summer season. Douglas Okey 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.

OutThis week, we're talking with Erin Craig. She plays Reno Sweeney in Corn Stock Theatre's upcoming  production of "Anything Goes." The show features a treasure-trove of Cole Porter music and a heavy dose of tap-dancing. "Anything Goes" opens tonight, and runs through July 20th under the tent at Upper Bradley Park.

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.

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