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Featured Alumni

Julie Ganey

After graduating from St. Pius, Julie moved to Chicago to attend The Theatre School at DePaul University, and she has been living and working in the Windy City ever since. As a professional actor, she has performed with many Chicago theatres, and she spent a couple of decades doing improvisational comedy all over the U.S. with the award-winning ensemble Wavelength. Julie has also written three original solo plays, The Half-Life of Magic, Love Thy Neighbor...till it hurts, and Good Enough, which have been produced in Chicago and throughout the Midwest.

"These days, I'm what you would call "multi-disciplinary," which simply means that I do lots of different things that involve theatre, storytelling, writing and improvisation. What I've learned is that when people make art together or share their stories with each other, all sorts of barriers dissolve between individuals and groups. So, I work on storytelling projects with folks from all walks of life where they craft their own experiences into stories that are shared with an audience. Everyone, every person, has a story to tell, and when we approach our stories with care and artistry, the experience can be transformative for tellers and audience alike."

Julie is an adjunct professor at The Theatre School at DePaul, and a long-time teaching artist at the Goodman Theatre and 2nd Story. She is a tenacious advocate of arts education in schools, and she has collaborated with participants of all ages to make theatre projects that center social justice issues. She has designed original programming for organizations such as Northwestern Law School, the Illinois Holocaust Museum, and American Girl Place. She is a member of the performing arts unions, SAG-AFTRA and Actor's Equity, and is currently co-authoring a book on solo performance, which will be published by Northwestern University Press in 2024.

"When I talk with people now about my years at St. Pius, I can't quite convey how special they were. The school was a place where we could ask questions and argue points and disagree with each other, at a time in our lives when we were figuring out how to live in the world. I didn't just get an excellent education at St. Pius; I was taught by teachers and staff who cared deeply about us and modelled how to take our values out into the world to care for other people - all kinds of people.

When I say that everything I needed to know I learned at St. Pius, I'm only exaggerating a little. I learned the importance of knowing what is going on in the world from Mr. Navratil. A pragmatic, useful Catholic theology from Mr. Overberg. Patience from Mr. McCreary and Barb Charboneau; kindness and a can-do attitude from Ms. Greaving. And I learned how, as a teacher, to bring my full self to the classroom from Mr. Taylor. Though, obviously, I will never be cool the way he was."

Julie and her husband, Brad, have one daughter, who attends Washington University.


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