Dolphin Show

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From 2006's On the Town, a musical written by Leonard Bernstein about sailors during World War II

The Dolphin Show is a non-profit student theatre organization that annually presents a large-scale student-produced musical theatre production at Northwestern University.


A group of Northwestern University men formed the Dolphin Club in 1939 to compete in Chicago area swimming meets. In 1940, the 15-member team held a swim carnival to raise money to attend a meet in Florida. The carnival and the meet were both successful, so the water show was repeated in 1941 and 1942. When World War II forced the cancellation of the annual Waa-Mu Show, the club combined their tradition with some students from Waa-Mu to present an evening of song and dance called the Dolphin Show. The 1944 Dolphin Show was a musical revue called "Wela Kahau" including women's water ballet and the men's Dolphin Club. Proceeds from this show bought war bonds. In 1948 audiences returned to see a musical-comedy revue around the original Patten Gymnasium pool. The Dolphin Show became jointly produced by the female Lorelei swimming club in 1949, but drifted away from its aquatic origin.[1] The Dolphin Executive Board gave equal representation to both clubs who chose a theme for each year's show. In 1963 the production was no longer raising funds for the swim clubs. In 1964 the show presented Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado around the pool. In 1970, the group performed the musical Mame on stage at Cahn Auditorium.[2]

Alumni include actors David Schwimmer, Warren Beatty, Richard Kind, lyricist Sheldon Harnick, musical director Keith Dworkin, singer Ardis Krainik and Kate Shindle who was Miss America 1998.[1][2][3]


The productions have been awarded Northwestern University's Center for Student Involvement's "Outstanding Theatrical Production", "Outstanding Producers", and "Outstanding Director" awards, as well as William Daniels Awards, including "Best Musical."[4]

Year Show Directors Producers Music Directors Choreographer
2019 Hello, Dolly! Isabel Perry Casey Watson
Andrew Harlan
Austin Manross
Joe Badion
Louis Danowsky
Tucker DeGregrory
2018 Ragtime Michael Herwitz Michael Kelleher
Prateek Singh
Noah Landis
Bryan Eng
Tucker DeGregrory
2017 Little Shop of Horrors Maggie Monahan Bailey Sutton
Janie Dickerson
Landon Hegedus
Matthew Burgess
Lauryn Schmelzer
2016 Gypsy Aaron Simon Gross Brandon Nadig
Alex Wolfe
Jonathan Bauerfeld
Geoffrey Ko
Rosie Jo Neddy
2015 Titanic Brendan Flynn Jack Eidson
Isabel Garcia
Jason Shuian
Andrea Swanson
2014 Shrek the Musical Marlee Rich Rachel Marchant
Brandon Johnston
Ellen Morris
Adam Rothenberg
2013 My Fair Lady Tristan Powell Louis Schermerhorn
Rachel Birnbaum
Ellen Morris
Kevin Scott
2012 42nd Street Emily Maltby Jeremey Shpizner
Lucas McMahon
Patrick Sulken
2011 Ragtime Michael Holtzman Julie Boor
Lucas McMahon
Liz Doran
Patrick Sulken
2010 Parade Scott G. Weinstein Zachary Baer
Tom Casserly
Jamie Lynn White
Ian Weinberger
2009 The Wizard of Oz Katie Spelman Zachary Baer
Tracy MacKenzie
Kyly Zakheim
Will Curry
Liz Doran
2008 Carousel Tyler G. Beattie Brittney Anne Bahlman
Deanna Hope
Eugenio Vargas
2007 Into the Woods Travis Greisler Dave Leuchter
Evyn Williams
Joel Esher
2006 On the Town Josh Penzell Abra Chusid
Whitney Frick
Keith Dworkin
2005 How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying Evan Brody Abby Wolbe
Rachael Scholten
2004 Gypsy: A Musical Fable Sloan Gordon Grenz Danna Ginsberg
Dana Oppenheim
2003 Evita Jonathan Saylors Chris Plevin
Amy Ludwigsen
Cory Hills
Daniel Singer
2002 Damn Yankees Jessica Redish Megan Felsburg
Geeta Kharker
Greg Brown
2001 The Secret Garden Matthew Trombetta Kate Webster
Karyn Meltz
2000 Kiss of the Spider Woman Mikie Garver Claire Yoon and Kim Kelly
1999 Guys and Dolls
1998 Sweeney Todd


  1. ^ a b Murphy, H. Lee (January 13, 1995). "NU Show May Provide Peek at Future Entertainers". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "About the Dolphin Show". official web site. Northwestern University. Retrieved November 14, 2012.
  3. ^ Geeta Kharker (Summer 2002). "Stepping Up to the Plate". Northwestern magazine. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
  4. ^ "Student Recognition Banquet". Norris University Center web site. Retrieved July 1, 2011.