Student Spotlight: Erica Sandvig

Erica Sandvig

Erica Sandvig
Major: Theater

Erica Sandvig first came to College of DuPage to earn credit while still in high school and even participated in a summer theater apprentiship program.

After enrolling full-time at COD, she discovered a Theater program that provided her with invaluable experience.

"I took advantage of so many opportunities," she said. "The teachers and all of the staff are so good at what they do. You can ask questions and they have no problems answering, and often they would work with you to figure the answers out. The time I spent at COD was also hugely impactful in terms of transferring."

Sandvig received the largest talent-based scholarship possible to pursue her degree at Illinois Wesleyan University, where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater with a focus on stage management and properties design.

"The major skills I acquired I did so through COD and put into practice at Wesleyan," she said. "While I was there, I would come back periodically to COD to work, where Galen Ramsey and Michael Moon were mentors of mine. But so was everyone else -- Connie (Canaday Howard), Amelia (Barrett) and many others.

"I even met my husband, Ben (Caracello), at COD, and Production Manager Don Hood actually married us."

After earning her bachelor's degree, Sandvig immediately began working in the Chicago area, and her credits include five years at Lookingglass Theatre Company as assistant production director. She currently is the assistant director of production at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, and she proudly notes that both Lookingglass and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre are Tony Award-winning theaters.

She advises any theater students to enroll at COD.

"Take advantage of the fact that the school is so close to the city of Chicago," she said. "There's so much theater in Chicago, and that provides an opportunity to get your foot in the door while you're still at COD. The staff and faculty know so many people in Chicago and they can help get your career started.

"I have so much to say about the Theater department. The people are what make it so wonderful, and the level of craftsmanship taught there is extraordinary. I hope people continue to support the McAninch Arts Center with both their time and energy."

More about the Theater program