About Us




Theatre-on-the-Hill was established to be a completely unique playground for performers and we serve the theater community with just a few simple principles.

Our first and primary goal is to stage the absolute finest community theater productions, and to do whatever it takes to achieve that goal.

Second, we strive for inclusiveness and to be clique and rancor-free, in an effort to create a safe haven for performers and reach out to professionals and newcomers alike. There is a place for everyone here, regardless of experience.

Third, we adhere to the Golden Rule, and treat everyone involved with our group with respect and humor. This philosophy starts with our leadership. We realize we are involved in a collective effort to participate something bigger and better than ourselves, with the reward of memories, camaraderie, and a great artistic experience. Yet we also know the trade-off in community theater is a huge time commitment and little financial reward. Following the Golden Rule makes the commitment worth the investment.

Fourth, and nearly as important as all the other principles, is to have as much fun as possible doing Principles One, Two, and Three!

We encourage you to learn more about our fine organization. Theatre-on-the-Hill has been cherished destination for all types of theater talent and you might just find your creative home here.

Whether you are a seasoned performer or just want to be involved behind the scenes, we have a place for you. All it takes is the first step—so go ahead—come out to an audition or roll up your sleeves and get involved backstage!

Theatre-on-the-Hill, Bolingbrook, was officially reborn in the fall of 2004 under the leadership of Craig J. Engel with its production of ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST, and has continued to produce highly-acclaimed shows ever since. Michael A. Fudala joined the board as vice-president in the summer of 2005, and Theatre-on-the-Hill is honored by the continued commitment of treasurer Robin Bockus, Sharon Hand, Lorrisa Julianus, Matthew Bockus, Dennis Paul, Nancy Davies, and Gary Handwerg.


The Guiding Principles of Theatre-on-the-Hill


Craig J. Engel (Executive Producer/Director)

Since 2003, Craig has overseen dozens of productions at Theatre-on-the-Hill, and has directed the world premiere of  Zenobia, God of Carnage, Den of Thieves, End Days, Amadeus, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Dangerous Liaisons, A Flea in Her Ear, the Illinois premiere of Escanaba in Love, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot and Escanaba in da Moonlight. Craig is well-known throughout the Chicago area as an acting coach,  set designer, make-up artist, photographer, writer, mentor, director and producer. His innovative work to integrate video and multi-media in his productions has influenced theater companies across Chicagoland. He has extensive stage experience as well, including roles as Paul Sheldon in Misery, Sidney Bruhl in Deathtrap, Mordred in Camelot, the Devil in The Devil and Daniel Webster, Billis in South Pacific, and Lt. Col. Henry Blake in MASH. When not toiling on TOTH’s latest production, he works as a professional speaker teaching best financial practices and effective investing philosophies for Edelman Financial Services.

Michael A. Fudala (Director/Music Director/Producer)
A student of theatre and music at the University of Miami and Columbia in the 80's & 90's, Michael has been regularly involved in regional productions for several decades. Over the years he has been involved as producer, director, music director, performer and technician. THE 39 STEPS marked Michael’s 53rd production overall and eleventh season producing and directing at Theatre-on-the-Hill. TOTH credits include CITY OF ANGELS, MISERY, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, THE RULING CLASS, THE WHO'S TOMMY, CLOSET LAND, THE MUSIC MAN and WE WILL ROCK YOU to name a few. Other area productions have included JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR at the historic Arcada Theatre, Paramount’s production of RENT, WORKING at Steel Beam and the world premiere of ZENOBIA in Bolingbrook . Serving as Co-President of TOTH since 2005, Michael is also owner of Mere Image Productions, which provides professional graphic, photographic and A/V services to the art, educational and corporate communities as well as musical orchestrations, sound, set and light design for theatres throughout the Chicago land area. He holds a BS and MBA from Loyola University and is a BFA candidate at Columbia.

Our Co-Presidents: