Oak Park Festival Theatre Announces 2018 Summer Cast and Directors

Oak Park Festival Theatre has announced the cast and directors for its 2018 Summer season, which includes YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU and The African Company’s RICHARD III.

2018 Summer Season Cast and Directors (from the press release): 

YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU
By Kaufman and Hart
Directed by Jason Gerace
JUNE 14 – JULY 22

Welcome to the Sycamore household, a merry mélange of free-thinkers, eccentrics, odd-balls, and lovable others. Come in. Sit down. Don’t mind the snakes, the fireworks, the less than Bolshoi ballet performances, the typewriter, the general absence of any orthodoxy. And meet Alice, the sweet natured and sanest member of this family who has fallen in love with the son of her oh-so-conventional boss. Stay for the hilarity when the prospective in-laws arrive for dinner on the wrong night, to give their blessing to the marriage and encounter Alice’s peculiar extended family in all their glory. Can these two polar opposite families find common ground? It is madcap 1930’s comedy at its very best – but with an eternal and urgently timeless message of accepting and embracing life – your own and everyone else’s.

THE CAST
Tyler Meredith (Alice),
Debo Balogun (Tony Kirby),
Erica Bittner^ (Essie)
Jonah D. Winston (Mr. Kirby)
Barbara Zahora (Penny)
Jack Hickey (Grandpa)
Kent Joseph (Boris)
Jeri Marshall (Mrs. Kirby)
Chase McCurdy (Donald DePinna)
Sarafina Vecchio (Olga/Gay Wellington)
Gage Wallace (Ed)
Scott Westerman (Paul)
Jerry Bloom (Henderson/G-Man)
Lizzie Bourne (Rheba)

THE AFRICAN COMPANY PRESENTS RICHARD III
By Carlyle Brown
Directed by Ron OJ Parson
July 28 – Sept 1

“What you gonna do? Change the world with a play?”
Forty years before the Civil War, a little know war took place in Manhattan, NY. This war was battled not on a field, but on a stage by a group of Black actors performing the words of a dead White poet.

When the sun rises, these actors put on masks, playing the parts of maids and waiters that society has cast them in. But when the sun goes down, this groups of artists finds their voice – along with their feelings – as they discover themselves in Shakespeare’s poetry. And they are not alone. Their production of Richard III performs with such artistry and passion that it attracts white and black audiences alike, gains critical acclaim, and overflows the theatre with packed audiences six days a week. That is, until a prominent white company rents the theatre next door in order to open their own production of Richard III– and is determined to shut down the African company’s show at any cost. It is a behind the scenes story like no other – passionate, funny, uncompromising and uniquely American.

THE CAST

Johnny Lee Davenport* (Papa Shakespeare)
Velma Austin* (Sarah)
Brandon Greenhouse (James Hewlett),
Matty Robinson^ (William Henry Brown)
Ariel Richardson (Anne)
Jack Hickey*^ (Stephen Price)
Joel Ottenheimer (Constable)

For more information on Oak Park Festival Theatre visit oakparkfestival.com.

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