Student Spotlight: Christopher Kriz
Major: Theater and Music
Christopher Kriz attributes the successful combination of his musical and theatrical interests to his experiences as a student at College of DuPage.
“When I enrolled at College of DuPage, my interests were divided between music and theater. Eventually, those interests collided,” he said.
A composer and sound designer for the past 20 years, Kriz has worked primarily in theater but also has credits for film and television as well as original compositions for the concert stage. During his career, he has worked with more than 50 Chicago area theater companies, including Writers Theatre, Northlight and Steppenwolf. Kriz has been nominated for Jeff Awards five times in the past for his work in sound design and original composition.
In 2012, he earned two 2012 Jeff Awards in the sound design category for his work in “Opus,” presented at Redtwist Theatre, and “The Turn of the Screw,” presented at First Folio Theatre. Established in 1968, the Jeff Awards committee evaluates over 250 productions in the Chicago area in dozens of categories. Two awards ceremonies are held annually: the Equity Jeff Awards, which recognizes productions operating under union contracts, and the Non-equity Jeff Awards, which recognizes productions operating without union contracts.
While studying music theory and composition at College of DuPage with music professor Lee Kesselman, Kriz also worked under the guidance of Richard Holgate as a theater technician for the McAninch Arts Center. In addition, he had the opportunity to mix sound for world-class touring artists as well as resident groups such as the College of DuPage Jazz Ensemble, directed by music professor Tom Tallman.
“This exposure to so many musical and theatrical experiences was an education that simply could not be found elsewhere,” he said.
After being asked by Theatre Director Connie Canaday Howard to compose original music for a student production of "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," something clicked.
“While still a student, I began designing sound and composing music for Buffalo Theatre Ensemble productions. Being able to work so closely with a professional theater company was the best education I could have received,” he said. “Without the broad range of artistic experiences and opportunities I gained at College of DuPage, I wouldn’t be the artist I am today.”
Kriz has demonstrated his talents and his exceptional work ethic in Chicago area productions such as “The Letters” at Writers Theatre and “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” at Steppenwolf Theatre, as well as regionally in “Fall of the House” with Theatre Squared and the national tour of “America Amerique” with Jena Company. Kriz is also an artistic associate for First Folio Theatre and Redtwist Theatre.
In addition to his many projects, Kriz has recently worked as sound designer for the College Theatre’s production of “A Christmas Carol,” a duty he started as a student and has continued for many years.
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