Tom Dzurison has been a theater enthusiast from a young age. His teaching career began at Oak Lawn Community High School in 1977, and by the following year, he was heading the Theater and Speech extra-curricular department. He remained in that position until 2008.
After his retirement, he returned to OLCHS to co-direct (with the new Head of Theater) for an additional eight years. At OLCHS he directed over 100 productions including such favorites as Dark of the Moon, The Crucible, Beauty and the Beast, West Side Story, American Idiot, The Normal Heart, David and Lisa, Romeo and Juliet and Tribes. In 2002, Oak Lawn participated in the IHSA Contest Play/Group Interpretation program where they proudly won 7 State Titles for Contest Play. Under his tutelage, the OLCHS Speech team grew and developed seven State Champions.
Tom also directed at such south side community theaters as The Drama Group, Beverly Theater Guild and 99th Street Summer Theater. On the Community Theater level, he directed such productions as Two Gentleman of Verona, Gypsy, Man of La Mancha, Cabaret and Butterflies are Free. In the nineties, he was integral in the development of two theater programs such as The Performers and the Oak Lawn Park district program. These innovative theaters performed in such diverse spaces as tents, football fields, gym spaces and The Sabre Room.
Eventually he moved on from the Community theater atmosphere to focus on educational theater and speech productions. For his 32 years at OLCHS, he was a Special Needs teacher with a primary focus on Learning Disabilities as well as Behavior Disorder students.
He recently purchased a condo in Bloomington and now splits his time between Chicago’s South Loop district and the Bloomington/Normal area. He is proud and honored to have the opportunity to work with Heartland Theatre Company on this innovative and impressive season.