Paul joined Oak Park Festival Theatre in 2009 and has specialized in grant writing. Paul is a founding member of Strawdog Theatre Company in Chicago and has performed there and at various venues throughout the city, including Prop Thtr, Get Away With Murder and Chicago Actors Ensemble. Favored roles include: Lincoln in The Lincoln and Douglas Debates (Directed by Chuck Smith), Prof. Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes and the Incredible Murder of Cardinal Tosca, and Marty in House of Yes. He is currently the Regional Director of Murder Mystery Players (a national murder mystery company). He has an extensive list of publications and produced works – among them his darkly comic sequel to It’s a Wonderful Life entitled It’s a Mediocre Life performed in the Danny’s Sky Box Theatre at Second City by Posin’ at the Barr Productions and at Strawdog Theatre Company. He received a Bachelor’s degree from Lindenwood College and a Master’s Degree from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. In April of 2016, Paul was elected to ‘board member at large’ on the board of FACET (Fellowship Administrators of Cardiovascular Education Trainees), a national organization for Cardiovascular fellowship coordinators.
Board Vice President
Len Grossman, now a resident of River Forest following nearly 20 years in Oak Park, is currently enrolled as a student at the Osher Life-long Learning Institute at Northwestern where he participates in and coordinates classes in everything from writing to politics and theater. In addition to the board of OPFT, he is currently president of the Oak Park-River Forest Community of Congregations and active in West Suburban Temple Har Zion, which his family joined 60 years ago. In addition to these activities he maintains various websites and blogs and tries to keep up with political issues. With his wife, Cindy Barnard, he frequently attends theater and opera performances throughout the Chicago area, always looking forward to the next Festival Theatre production. His most important activity is babysitting for his grandson Gavin. Fortunately, he retired in 2009 after more than 30 years as a lawyer for the U.S. Department of Labor. Before that he taught school in Lawndale for ten years and drove a taxi.
Douglas Kelner is a 25 year resident of Oak Park. He retired in 2012 from a 40 year career in banking, holding positions at Continental Illinois, LaSalle, and Bank of America. During his career he held positions primarily in financial analysis, credit risk management, interest rate risk management, long range and short range income forecasting. Mr. Kelner has an extensive musical background, having been a professional member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus for 11 years, and also has been a member of several other local singing groups (Chicago Choral Artists, Bella Voce, Ars Musica), various professional church choirs as well as innumerable non-professional choirs. In addition, he has performed with the Evanston Savoyaires in productions of 11 out of the 14 Gilbert and Sullivan operas. He is a season subscriber to Court Theatre and Lyric Opera and regularly attends Oak Park Festival Theatre, Timeline and other local theatre events. Mr. Kelner has been active on the Boards of several arts, religious and homeowners organizations: Apollo Chorus of Chicago – President , Board member, and Treasurer. Chicago Choral Artists (formerly the James Chorale) – Board member and Treasurer. Savoyaires – Board member and Treasurer. Bella Voce (formerly His Majesties Clerkes) – Board member and Treasurer. Oak Park Club Condominium Association – President, Treasurer, Board member. Congregation Rodfei Zedek (Hyde Park) – Board member and member of Finance Committee.
Brianne Wilson first joined Oak Park Festival Theatre as an actor in 2008, playing Hero in Much Ado About Nothing and later as Assistant Director for The Glass Menagerie. Brianne graduated with a BFA in Acting from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. While there she studied at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. Brianne later spent time in Charleston, South Carolina pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in Arts Management. While there, she also began her career in software development as a software engineer and product manager, building software solutions for grantmakers, nonprofits, and charities. Brianne now works as a CRM Consultant for Slalom Consulting, focusing on architecting technology solutions for Enterprise customers. When not working or spending time at OPFT, Brianne can be found finishing up her Master’s in Science in Software Development from Boston University and playing with her dog, Maddie.
Board Past President
Brad joined the Board of Directors in 2011. He is what every non-profit board needs, a “numbers” and “marketing” guy. Brad graduated from The University of Iowa in 1985 with an Economics degree and joined the Proctor & Gamble Company in sales and eventually sales management. In 1989 he joined the Coca-Cola Company in national and regional food service account management. He later worked in bottler relationship management and eventually became the Special Assistant to the Senior Vice President for Global Diversity & Culture. After 13 years he left Coca-Cola to relocate back to Oak Park and concentrated his efforts on real estate development and sales. In 2007, Brad shifted more into finance and became a consultant. He is currently with North Community Investments based in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. In Oak Park, Brad currently sits on the Executive Board of Visit Oak Park and has been involved with a variety of Oak Park based community organizations. He also served two terms on the Village’s Community Relations Commission
Patricia has been attending Oak Park Festival Theatre productions since the 1980’s and joined the board in 2016. She has worked in nonprofits almost her entire life starting with political campaigns and organizations in the 70’s and switching to higher education in the 80’s. She spent 23 years working with adults returning to college at Loyola University Chicago and since 2006 has continued doing so at North Park University. Along with her husband and daughter she attends theater throughout the Chicago metro area and looks forward to their yearly trip to the Stratford Festival in Canada. She earned three degrees from Loyola – a BA in Political Science, an MA in English, and an MA in Spirituality.
Anne Rooney, a 35-year resident of Oak Park, has a long-standing passion and appreciation for the Chicago arts and music scene. She and her husband Richard Means, an election attorney, frequently attend the marvelous theaters throughout the Chicago area, including of course, Oak Park Festival Theatre. Anne currently serves as President of Anne Rooney and Associates, Inc., a consulting and technical assistance organization focused on health system strengthening in developing countries. She brings more than thirty years of executive experience to her Board role, as well as a strong commitment to supporting the vitality and sustainability of non-profit organizations. Anne serves on several other Boards, including RefugeeOne in Chicago, a resettlement agency serving refugees from around the world to begin new lives in Chicago. She enjoys writing creative non-fiction, especially when it combines her passions for travel, theater, art, film, architecture, and social justice. Anne and her husband are members of Unity Temple in Oak Park.
167 Forest Avenue
Oak Park IL 60301
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1024 N BLVD
Oak Park, IL 60303
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Oak Park Festival Theatre is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, charitable organization. Donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.
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