- Adjunct Professor of Music Theatre
Tommy Novak (they/them/their) is a non-binary, Chicago-based actor and director, and an adjunct professor of music theatre at Carthage. At Carthage, Prof. Novak directs music theater workshop productions, coaches repertoire and thesis projects, and provides special workshops on voice/acting integration and the profession of music theatre.
A specialist in theatre and music theatre, Prof. Novak has toured with the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and has been in residence with the Arkansas Shakespeare Festival. They have performed regionally with the Milwaukee Rep, Marriott Lincolnshire, Skylight Music Theatre, Metropolis, Shawnee Summer Theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre Chicago, and First Stage Milwaukee. Prof. Novak earned a 2016 Jeff Nomination for their performance as Max Bialystok in Night Blue’s production of “The Producers.” They are represented by Paonessa Talent.
As a director, Prof. Novak has worked with the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre Young Playwrights Festival, First Stage Young Company (“Godspell,” “Into the Woods,” “Time of Your Life,” “Songs for A New World”), Orlando Repertory Theater (“Sideways Stories from Wayside School”), Up and Coming Theatre Company (“Footloose”), Shawnee Summer Theatre (“Idaho James and the Stone of Desire”), and iMusical Shanghai (“Peter Pan Jr.”). Prof. Novak has been a long-time teacher with the Buffalo Grove Park District Performing Arts Summer Camp, teaching summer camp theatre classes and directing (“Bye-Bye Birdie,” “Dear Edwina,” “Seussical”). Prov. Novak is also the artistic director and founder of the Coastline Theatre Company, where they directed and produced “Danny and the Deep Blue Sea.”
Prof. Novak has performed and directed in China for two performance tours, including a 2018 cabaret and 2016 performance festival. They are the directing specialist with Jinan Music Theatre School of the Arts in Jinan, China. Prof. Novak has also led educational workshops in Shanghai, Xi’An, Beijing, and Huairou.
A multi-talented theatre artist, Prof. Novak has worked as a costume designer and wardrobe head for First Stage and the Milwaukee Rep, and has been a scenic designer for Up and Coming Theatre. Their research interests include vocal pedagogy for the actor and arts integration.