“Sunday in the Park with George” set to be Fink’s final production | Theater | SIU

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“Sunday in the Park with George” set to be Fink’s final production

On Feb. 24, Southern Illinois University Carbondale professor and theater director Timothy Fink will close his time on campus with the finale production of “Sunday in the Park with George.”

With over three decades of directorial and performance work, Fink has had the opportunity to direct and perform in shows such as “Legally Blonde,” “Cats” and “Lend Me a Tenor.”

Directing his finale production

SIU professor Tim FinkAs a passionate artist and admirer of Academy Award winning composer and lyricist, Stephen Sondheim, it was Fink’s dream to direct one of Sondheim’s works.

 “[I saw] a production of ‘Sunday’ at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre,” Fink said. “It was so moving, so beautifully done and yet produced so simply that I thought that if the planets aligned, I’d like to take a crack at directing it.”

Sondheim productions are amongst Fink’s favorites, and directing the upcoming performance is the perfect way for him to end his lengthy career.

“Sondheim lives somewhere in the middle of operas and musicals,” Fink said. “’Sunday’ was one of his shows that I was passionate about and had not done yet. For me, Sondheim’s work represents the pinnacle of the art form in craftsmanship and the synthesis of language and drama.”

While Fink has produced many shows and productions, “Sunday” has special meaning to him. The story is personal, Fink explained. The title of the big Act II song is “Art Isn’t Easy,” which is exactly what Fink believes. Rather, art is a struggle to create something new and sustain inspiration, while also balancing relationships, finances and family.

Closing this chapter

Research has shown that exposing young learners to the arts can positively affect self-efficacy, confidence, and problem solving skills. Despite that knowledge, arts funding is consistently cut. There is continued misconception that art does not have the same economic value as STEM.

For Fink, life in the arts is not easy, but it is worth it. There is often a perception that artists are just talented, it comes easy to them, and it is just recreation, he explained. In reality, art is work, persistence, and routine, all the things necessary for every other job.

While Fink is ready to close this chapter of his life, he will always remember the family he built within the theater department. The thousands of hours together, lots of laughs and arguments, and plain old routine of work will forever stay in his heart and mind.

Tickets available now for “Sunday in the Park with George” 

“Sunday in the Park with George” will run Feb. 21-24 at the McLeod Theater. Performances will occur:

  • 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 21, 22, 23.
  • 2:00 p.m. on Feb. 24.

A pre-show lecture will be held before the Sunday matinee at 1:30 p.m.

Tickets are $18 for adults and $6 for students. Purchase:

  • By phone at 877-SALUKIS (877-725-8547).
  • Online at events.siu.edu.
  • In person at the SIU Arena or McLeod Theater box offices, Monday-Friday, noon-4:30 p.m.
  • By mail via SIU Ticket Office | Lingle Hall | Mail Code 6620 | 1490 Douglas Dr. | Carbondale, IL, 62901.