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Jeff Award-Winner on his Love of Chicago

Ethan Korvne shares his favorite memories of DePaul

​​Student Ethan Korvne plays the piano

Ethan Korvne in The Theatre School. (Keeton Holder/DePaul University)

Ethan Korvne, The Theatre School
Degree: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sound Design
Hometown: Akron, Ohio

What is your favorite memory of your time at DePaul?

My favorite memory of my time here was the “advisor run” of the first main stage show I designed at The Theatre School — “Meeting Points” by Morris McLennan. An advisor run is the first time in the tech process of a show where the advisors of every department come together and watch a run-through of the show. Afterward, every department goes out into the lobby with their advisor and discusses what went well, what needs improvement, and what stood out. 

The first time I experienced this, I was struck by seeing all my peers of different disciplines gathered in this big circle — listening intently and furiously writing down the advice being fed to them. There was so much passion in one place and such intense focus. I’ve had many advisor runs since then, but that one will always be special because it was a big moment of clarity for me. It was confirmation that The Theatre School was exactly where I needed to be.

What was your favorite DePaul class? 

My favorite class was Theatrical Collaboration with Toy Deiorio and then Tara Mallen in my last quarter. Theatre designers often have a problem connecting with people outside of their specific discipline because our work is so compartmentalized. This class challenged that by putting all of us together — costume designers, sound designers, lighting designers and MFA directors — in one room, open to discussion of any topic. I learned a lot about my peers through that class that I would have missed out on if I just worked on shows. In the last quarter of the class, Tara took us around the city to visit tech rehearsals for all kinds of professional productions at many different budget levels. It’s precisely why I love the connections at The Theatre School — the city becomes your classroom.

Who do you look up to and why? 

I look up to Stephanie Farina. She’s the current head of Sound Design at The Theatre School and, in my opinion, one of the greatest sound technicians, mixers and musical sound designers this city has ever known. She is absolutely dead set on making sure all of her students learn about anything they want to, even if it doesn't directly correspond to any curriculum we have. She will invent new ways of teaching things if we don’t have a good way to do so. And if she personally doesn't know how to teach it, she'll read the entire manual for a piece of gear so that she can answer questions about it. Above all of that though, she cares for every student at The Theatre School deeply and constantly. I plan to teach someday down the line, and you best believe I will be taking a lot of cues from how she does it.

What are you doing next? 

I’m firmly planted in Chicago because it is the place to be for exciting, important theatrical work. Try to convince me there's a better laboratory anywhere else. I’ll be pursuing a career in composition and sound design for theatre and making music that means something to myself, the people I want to work with and as many audiences as I can reach. If you want to hear what I've done so far and follow that journey, check out

Meet more of the class of 2024 here.