About Bernie G. Yvon (1964-2014)
Bernie was raised in Old Town, Maine and after graduation from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, quickly became a fixture in Chicago-area live theater. For three decades, he was the consummate song-and-dance man, performing in such classics as Cabaret, Mary Poppins, The Music Man, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The majority of his career was in Chicago, but he played the role of Harry Houdini in the national tour of Ragtime, and also worked on Broadway and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
Chicago theater audiences, from Munster to Marriott Lincolnshire, all knew Bernie Yvon, and loved him, both on the stage and off. He could play all types of roles, from leading man to character and in some cases, both. When we lost Bernie, we lost a part of our theater community that will never be replaced. But, thanks to the Bernie C. Yvon Memorial Fund, young performers will, in his memory, have the opportunity to get their start in the wonderful world that he loved! Here are the winners from last year, and some information on how you can have your opportunity to keep his memory alive in our theater community!
Winners of the 2016 Bernie Yvon Scholarships
JACKSONVILLE, Florida – Two promising performing arts students have received the first college scholarships from a fund honoring Bernie G. Yvon, a beloved Chicago-area actor who passed away in 2014. The scholarships were made possible through the Bernie G. Yvon Memorial Fund, which was established at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida by his parents and supported by contributions of hundreds of friends and colleagues.
Inaugural awards of $1000 each have been presented to Kamilah Lay of Greendale, WI (Greendale High School) and Emma Swain of Gurnee, IL (Warren Township High School).
Kamilah was deemed the most outstanding performing arts applicant by the scholarship committee, and will be a sophomore at Illinois Wesleyan University. Emma was deemed the most promising performing arts applicant by the scholarship committee, and she will attend Carthage College in Kenosha, WI.
“Bernie was pretty good at just about any part of the performing arts—singing, dancing and acting,” his father, Professor Bernard Rene Yvon, noted when asked about his son, and the scholarship he and his wife Gail established. “He was pretty much an All-American person, playing a wide variety of characters. He had a happy life, and he made many other people happy. We want to give others the opportunity to do the same.”
The Bernie G. Yvon Memorial Fund will make scholarships annually in Bernie’s memory; if you would like to donate to the fund, please go to www.jaxcf.org/give/memorials and type Yvon in the search box.
To apply, go to www.bernieyvon.com/application.
I know that Bernie will be in my memory for the rest of time! I, like many other theater people thank the lord for the time we did have Bernie gracing our stages!