Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Down to business with… Second-act playwright Ed Krystosek

When Ed Krystosek graduates in June of this year, it will be the end to a college experience spanning two decades. The 37-year-old Communication undergrad attended Northwestern from 1991 to 1995 and returned in 2009 to finish a theatre degree as well as a second major in English literature. As a highlight of his final year, a production of Krystosek’s first full-length play “Thank You, Everything,” opens today, with a story mirroring his own.

The Current: Define your college experience in one sentence.

Krystosek: I’ve gotten to do college in two different centuries in two totally different ways.

The Current: What are the differences?

Krystosek: College in the 1990s was a lot more like college in the 1920s than it is like in the 21st century. I credit a lot of it to technology. The Internet existed when I was first here but only in a loose sense. The World Wide Web was invented as I was first here, and so everything about how everybody here does absolutely everything did not exist when I was first here. Really, the access to the totality of all human knowledge at any given point and the access to instantaneous communication have utterly transformed what education is.

The Current: How have you liked Northwestern’s theatre program?

Krystosek: Northwestern’s theatre program was incredible in the 1990s and is even more incredible nowadays primarily because of the growth of the student theatre companies on campus. It’s really a unique situation, as far as I understand, the largest student theatre community in the world and tremendously vibrant. What the average student gets out of just their interaction with other students or student theater at Northwestern is above and beyond what most students gets out of the actual academic and school-oriented productions they do anywhere else.

The Current: What’s your play about?

Krystosek: It’s a play primarily set in next summer but with flashbacks to the 1990s. It’s a group of people traveling, seeing their favorite rock band on tour. They’re rediscovering exactly who they are and how they fit into the world and what part of their old life made sense now that they are people in their late 20s and 30s in a world that they used to enjoy in their late teens and 20s.

The Current: What has been the best part of your college experience?

Krystosek: Anything worth doing is worth doing in two decades. The opportunity to actually produce this play and see it come to life, definitely without question, has been the most exhilarating part of my entire Northwestern career.

The Current: What is the best part of Northwestern’s campus?

Krystosek: Really, the lake and the city. The idea that you can have one of the major world cities in one direction and 70 endless miles of nature in the other direction is pretty freaking incredible.

The Current: If you could give advice to yourself 20 years ago, what would you say?

Krystosek: Have patience. Simple as that.

“Thank You, Everything” will be shown in the Louis room in Norris University Center, Thursday through Saturday, $5 student admission, $10 general admission.

[email protected]

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Down to business with… Second-act playwright Ed Krystosek