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Three generations of Northwestern theatre combine talents

Three generations of School of Communication alumni and faculty are joining forces this spring at Victory Gardens Theater in the world premiere of Jacob and Jack. Directed by Victory Gardens artistic director Dennis Zacek (GC65, GC70), the cast includes assistant theatre professor Daniel Cantor and alumni Andrew Keltz (C08), Laura Scheinbaum (C07) and Roslyn Alexander (C46), who was taught at Northwestern by legendary Northwestern theatre professor Alvina Krause (C28, GC33). Current Northwestern senior Scott Weinstein is an understudy for Keltz’s role.

Dennis Zacek, Andrew Keltz, Laura Scheinbaum, and Roslyn Alexander

The alumni, Cantor said, all greatly fond of their respective years at Northwestern, have traded stories about their time spent on campus and involved in the theatre program. Especially fascinating are Alexander’s stories of her time studying with Krause. “It’s interesting how they revered her, and how her brilliance still has an effect today,” Cantor said, noting that he is also influenced by Krause’s methods in his own teaching.

“I think it’s a happy coincidence that all these people are involved,” Cantor said.

Backstage, in his dressing room, Jack confronts his challenges as an actor and as a husband to his co-starring wifeThe play, written by Victory Gardens ensemble playwright James Sherman, tells the story of Jack Shore, a well-known television personality, who is appearing on stage for one night only in a tribute to his grandfather, Jacob Shemerinsky, great star of the Yiddish Theatre. Backstage, in┬áhis dressing room, Jack confronts his challenges as an actor and as a husband to his co-starring wife. Meanwhile, 75 years in the past, Jack’s grandfather Jacob is having problems of his own. The actors reprise roles both in present day and in the past.

“It’s a great actor play for everyone,” Cantor said. “Everyone does two different roles.”

Jacob and Jack opens for previews at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater May 14-23 and runs May 26 through June 20. For more information and to buy tickets, visit