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In an attempt to someday escape the cultural black hole of Central Illinois, Chad Wise pursued a degree in Theatre Education at Illinois State University. There, his early forays into directing, Terrence McNally's 'Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune' and Frank Miller's 'Sin City: The Big Fat Kill', received great praise. After the B.S., he worked as a radio disc jockey, managed a pizza joint and taught high school until ennui and "Love Songs with Delilah" led him to the creation of New Millennium Theatre Company with fellow ISU alumnus Rob Scharlow and an escape to the Windy City.
Chad appeared in our first show 'Time After Time', and then went on to direct our second show 'Detective Story'. His unique black & white version of Sidney Kingsley's play received high acclaim from the Chicago Tribune. He then directed the world premiere of 'Personal' at the Boxer Rebellion Theater, creating the company's largest attended show in its short history.
Summer 2000 saw those records broken with New Millennium's fourth show, 'Scooby-Doo Mystery Theatre', an irreverent parody which Chad conceived and directed. Chad returned to established scripted work by directing 'Getting Away With Murder' by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth, then went back to the well for 'Scooby-Doo Mystery Theatre II'. He next took a stab at musical parody with the cult phenomenon 'Evil Dead! The Musical' and 'Miyagi! A Karate Kid Musical'.
As NMTC discovered and embraced its niche in the Chicago Theatre scene, Chad shepherded the Company’s growth by producing or directing just about every show presented from 2004-2009. Notable highlights included the partnership with Devil’s Due Publishing on ‘Hack/Slash: Stagefright’, a return to the earlier black and white style with ‘Sin-ta Claus City’ and the tour de force that was ‘The Texas Chainsaw Musical’. His greatest triumph, though, has been to see his fellow company members’ dreams come true, both in production and in life, thanks to something a couple of green college graduates (who didn’t know any better) outlined on coffee shop napkins over a decade ago.
Chad spends his free time appreciating his incredible wife, Zenna, and schooling his son Logan on all things geek-tastic. With an ear to the ground of the entertainment industry and an eye out for the next pop culture icon deserving of the NMTC treatment, Chad works to keep New Millennium breaking new ground in theatrical experiences and doing shows people want to see.