Here’s the press release from Oak Park Festival Theatre:
Oak Park Festival Theatre Announces
OAK PARK, IL-Oak Park Festival Theatre announces its 2011-2012 performance season. Following last year’s successful four-play season, there will be two productions indoors, in addition to the two outdoors in Austin Gardens.
In the fall of 2011, OPFT will produce Tennessee Williams’ American classic The Glass Menagerie, directed by Kevin Theis, in the studio space at the Madison Street Theatre. A spring production of Stones in His Pockets by Marie Jones, directed by David Mink and starring Alan Ruck and OPFT Artistic Director Jack Hickey, will play in the same location. The summer season in Austin Gardens will be two highly charged political masterpieces: Lawrence and Lee’s Inherit the Wind, directed by Steve Pickering, and Shakespeare’s Richard III, directed by Belinda Bremner.
Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, a beloved classic, is an endearing, yet heartbreaking, portrait of the fragile Wingfield family. Tom aspires to untether himself from his family to become a writer, as his genteel mother, Amanda, worries about the future prospects of his shy and sensitive sister, Laura. Considered by many to be one of the greatest American plays, we see a glimpse into a family searching for a path to security after a long and embarrassing detour of family hardship. Kevin Theis returns to direct after his triumphant production of Henry V in the summer of 2011. Belinda Bremner plays Amanda Wingfield. The Glass Menagerie opens Sunday, October 9, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. and runs through Sunday, November 13, 2011, with previews October 6 to 8.
An award-winning hit comedy with successful runs on Broadway and London’s West End, Stones in His Pockets has “emerged over the past few years as one of those plucky little dark horses so cherished in the theater,” according to the New York Times. Set in a rural town in County Kerry, Ireland, the local townsfolk are overrun by a Hollywood film crew whose efforts to create the romanticized proper “Irish feel” often conflicts with the reality of daily life. This production features film and TV star Alan Ruck and OPFT Artistic Director Jack Hickey. David Mink, who directed five shows for OPFT (All My Sons, Tartuffe, Blithe Spirit and others), returns to head this ingenious two-hander. Stones in His Pockets opens on Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. and runs until Sunday, May 6, 2012, with previews March 29 to 31.
Based on the real-life Scopes “Monkey” Trial in 1925, Inherit the Wind is a classic courtroom drama between two great lawyers who argue the case of a science teacher accused of the crime of teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution. The ethics and issues at the heart of this work-particularly intellectual freedom-are just as relevant today as they were when the play premiered in 1955. Veteran Chicago actor and director, and former Next Theatre artistic director, Steve Pickering directs this towering 20th century classic. The production features OPFT Artistic Director Jack Hickey. Inherit the Wind opens in Austin Gardens on Saturday, June 16, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. and runs until Saturday, July 14, with previews on June 14 and 15.
One of the consummate showmen in the Shakespearean canon, Richard III uses his intelligence and skills of deception and political manipulation to overthrow his older brother Edward for the throne of England. Richard III deftly navigates between humor, terror, eroticism, and courtly nobility in Shakespeare’s timeless tale of political ambition. Belinda Bremner directs after her highly praised production of Faith Healer last year. Kevin Theis stars as the title character and David Skvarla returns to the OPFT stage. Theis and Skvarla played the leads under Bremner’s direction in OPFT’s richly praised Of Mice and Men in summer 2010. Richard III opens on Saturday, July 21, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. and runs until Saturday, August 25, with previews on July 19 and 20.
Indoor performances will be Thursday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 5:00 p.m. Outdoor performances will be Thursday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 7:00 p.m. There will be occasional Wednesday performances, as well. The full schedule will be posted at OakParkFestival.com. Ticket prices are $25 for adults and $20 for students and seniors. Four-play season subscriptions are available for $80 (full price) and $60 (students, seniors, and preview performances).
Oak Park Festival Theatre-Oak Park’s only Equity theatre and the Midwest’s oldest professional theatre performing the classics outdoors-is proud to present its 38th year of theatrical excellence and to provide Chicagoland with the greatest classical plays ever written. Since 1975, the greatest playwrights have illumined our stage and enlightened our audiences. More information on Oak Park Festival Theatre is available at OakParkFestival.com or by calling 708-445-4440.