Patricia Rusk, musical director, pianist, arranger, and coach for both musical theatre and cabaret, has been performing professionally since age thirteen and teaching since age sixteen. She has been an integral part of The Academy since 1997. In 2011, she became Musical Theatre Chair Emeritus at the Academy after fifteen years of heading the department. 

She received a Bachelor of Arts with distinction from the Eastman School of Music and a Master of Arts from Northwestern University, with additional musical study at Villa Schifanoia, Florence, Italy. A musician who has worked in almost every area of entertainment, Rusk remains active in both classical and pop fields, moving easily from the recital hall to the theatre and cabaret. She has been seen or heard in almost every theatre in Chicago and is probably best remembered as the singing, pianist, musical director of the long running Forbidden Broadway in the 1980’s.

National tour credits include: A Chorus Line, Annie, Bob Fosse’s Dancin, Side by Side by Sondheim with Hermione Gingold, and Sugar Babies with Ann Miller and Mickey Rooney. She has played for Carol Channing, John Raitt, Patrice Munsel, and David Copperfield. She has performed twice at the Kennedy Center, in Washington, most recently with her students from The Academy. A member of the Musicians Club of Women, she currently serves on the board. A founding member of Chicago Cabaret Professionals, she also belongs to the Music Teachers National Association, and the National Guild of Piano Teachers. She continues to musical direct productions and team teach with Andy Robinson in the musical theatre studio classes.