By William Shakespeare
Directed by Barbara Zahora
Arrogance. Ego. Pride. Madness.
The order of the land has been upended. Uncertainty and fear are the new constants.
400 years ago, during a time of great political transition and upheaval, Shakespeare gave us a vehicle to pick up a mirror and examine the chaos and destruction that could be created by a tyrannical ruler.
Macbeth, Shakespeare’s blood-soaked and shortest tragedy, tells the story of a brave general who, consumed by ambition and fated promises, murders the King and seizes the throne for himself. Racked with guilt and fear, immediately he becomes a tyrannical ruler as he is forced to commit heinous crimes to protect himself from hostility and suspicion.
Full of furious battles and murderous whisperings, this summer Oak Park Festival Theatre brings you this timely, action-packed story of a country at war, and the bone-chilling lengths one man will go to for the sake of his own pride.
MACBETH is Jeff Recommended
“Suddenly Shakespeare is relevant again. And not just because a few rabid supporters of our current thin-skinned Chief Executive—and the fearful corporate sponsors they intimidated—got their boxers in a twist over a recent staging of Julius Caesar. Even in this apolitical take on the Scottish play by Oak Park Festival Theatre, where Matthew Fahey’s callow, shaved-headed Macbeth couldn’t seem less like the president who shall not be named, there are moments when a canny audience member still can’t help but flash on our contemporary scene. (Sample line: “Alas, poor country! Almost afraid to know itself.”) But that may also be because the current production, adeptly directed by Barbara Zahora, is so simple and direct, and the bard’s poetry so deftly and fluidly conveyed, that we feel all the dark power in this tight, taut, tragic tale.“— Chicago Reader (Recommended)
“Matthew Fahey’s Macbeth and Melanie Keller’s Lady Macbeth move quickly from sensual passion at their reunion to seizing the opportunity to move the witches’ words into action.” – Chicago Tribune, Three Stars
“Oak Park Festival Theatre’s energetic new production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth is set in medieval Scotland, yet we can relate to the damaging effects of both excessive pride and ruthless political ambition.” -The Wednesday Journal
“The production, directed by Barbara Zahora, is stunningly well-crafted, a swift-moving epic featuring lots of battling and bloodshed.” -The Wednesday Journal
“Macbeth is a nightmare vividly brought to life, illustrating the tragic consequences of all-consuming ambition in a self-centered leader. This production offers lots to think about. “ -The Wednesday Journal
“Barbara Zahora’s taut and skillful direction focuses attention on the language of the play, and beautifully finds the moments of humor that allow a release from the more tense moments in the action.” – Perform Ink
“Michael Lasswell’s evocative set looks to have been hewn directly from damp Scottish stone, which gives the feeling that the players actually inhabit the space rather than simply perform on it. George Zahora’s modern yet traditionally influenced sound design offers a fresh take on 11th century Scotland with pipes, flutes, and drums, and perfectly creates a haunting background to Dunsinane Hill.” – Perform Ink
“The talented cast and crew at OPFT have created a fantastic and memorable show for any season. Pack yourself a picnic, head over to Austin Gardens, and visit medieval Scotland to see one of the highlights of this summer.” – Perform Ink
JUNE 15 – JULY 22, 2017
Thurs-Sat at 8pm | Sun at 7pm | PLUS Wed July 18th at 8pm
1st PREVIEW June 15th at 8pm | 2nd PREVIEW June 16th at 8pm (Community Appreciation night, free admission)
OPENING NIGHT Saturday, June 17th at 8pm
General admission $30 | Seniors $25 | Students $15 | Children under 12 & dogs free
Questions: Call our Box office 708-445-4440
167 Forest Avenue
Oak Park IL 60301
Only 25 minutes from downtown Chicago!
Matthew Fahey (Macbeth) Matthew grew up in Oak Park attending OPFT and is delighted to make his debut in Macbeth. He frequently works with The Shakespeare Project of Chicago in their theatrical readings and educational outreach tours. He has worked with ShawChicago, Remy Bumppo, Lookingglass Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Court Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Drury Lane Evergreen Park, Organic Theatre, Victory Gardens, Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, Shakespeare on the Green, Prop Thtr and The Free Associates, among others. Regionally, he has worked with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Michigan Shakespeare Festival, Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, Theatre Banshee (Los Angeles) and Timberlake Playhouse. Love to T and H.
Melanie Keller (Lady Macbeth) Melanie is thrilled to be making her OPFT debut. An artistic associate at First Folio Theatre, her acting credits there include Salvage, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, Turn of the Screw and Private Lives. As member of Signal Ensemble Theatre, credits include East of Berlin and The Russian Play (Jeff Award, Best Actress), The Weir (Jeff Nomination, Best Supporting Actress) and Much Ado about Nothing. Additional credits: Feathers & Teeth at Goodman, Tom Jones at Northlight, seasons at the Stratford Festival of Canada, Lakeside Shakespeare and Michigan Shakespeare Festival and productions with Peninsula Players, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Shakespeare Project of Chicago.
CHRISTOPHER W. JONES (Macduff) is thrilled to make his OPFT debut! Other Chicago credits include Captain Blood! (First Folio Theatre), Romeo & Juliet (Teatro Vista), and Miss Holmes (Lifeline Theatre). In 2016 he received an MFA in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University where he appeared in The Translation of Likes, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, The Day John Henry Came to School, Elemeno Pea, and In The Heights. Regional credits include: Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Spotlighters Theatre); Superior Donuts and Stop Kiss (Fells Point Corner Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing, Comedy of Errors, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, (Baltimore Shakespeare Factory). TV credits include: APB (FOX).
ELYSE DAWSON (Witch 1) Elyse is proud to be making her OPFT debut! Elyse is an actor as well as Co-Artistic Director of Babes With Blades Theatre Company, where she recently directed the Jeff Recommended production of The Promise of a Rose Garden. Previous acting credits with BWBTC include Titus Andronicus, L’Imbecile, and Patchwork Drifter. She has also worked with many other Chicago companies, including Otherworld Theatre, WildClaw Theatre, Akvavit Theatre, and The Conspirators.
Savanna Rae (Witch 2) is thrilled to return to OPFT, where she was last seen in Richard III and Inherit the Wind. Most recently, Savanna played Bianca Minola in Shrewish at Artemisia Theatre. Other Chicago credits include Julius Caesar (Chicago Shakespeare Theater) and Dating and Dragons (The Factory Theatre). Savanna’s solo show, Daughters of Ire, was nominated for Best New Work of 2015 (Broadway World Chicago) and continues to tour through The Other Theatre Company, of which she is a member. Savanna is represented by the incredible ladies of Shirley Hamilton Talent.
Mark Lancaster (Witch 3) moved to Chicago in 2007 from Dallas, TX. He completed an MFA in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University in 2012, and has since been working as an actor, burlesque emcee/performer, creature effects model, and is currently pursuing a path up the ranks of the Society of American Fight Directors. Favorite credits include performing in Commedia Beauregard’s A Klingon Christmas Carol in 2012 (and returning as performer and fight director for the 2013 production), and as hapless Sam Lowell in Bo Thomas and the Case of the Sky Pirates with Babes with Blades.
Bryan Wakefield (Banquo) is thrilled to be returning to Oak Park for his fourth season. An actor and director in Chicago, Bryan also teaches at Elmhurst College and is the Development Director for the Organic Theater Company. Recent credits include Love’s Labours Lost, Twelfth Night, Cyrano de Bergerac (Oak Park Festival Theater), Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Bartleby the Scrivener, Macbeth, and Theophilus North (Organic Theater Company), Mine and Yours (Chicago Dramatists), You Can’t Take it With You (Village Players), The Devil’s Arithmetic – TYA (Apple Tree Theatre); Character Sheet (Chicago ScriptWorks). Bryan is an actor/combatant with the Society of the American Fight Directors and an exotic bird handler from the California-based Carvalho’s Friends of a Feather. He holds an MFA in Acting from Northern Illinois University and a Certificate of Acting from the Moscow Art Theater School.
Matthew Gall (Malcolm) is an Artistic Associate at OPFT, appearing previously in Hamlet and Taming of the Shrew. Recent credits include Ah, Wilderness! (A Noise Within, Los Angeles). In Chicago, past productions include New Country (Den Theatre.), Design for Living (Pride Films & Plays), Major Barbara, Pygmalion, Saint Joan (ShawChicago), Dial “M” for Murder (Metropolis), Enchanted April (Citadel), Wrong Mountain (Rare Terra), The Pillowman (Spartan), The Blue Room (Stage 773), and the 2014 national tour of Griffin Theatre’s Letters Home, as well as ads for Motorola, Midas, Ford, and Four Loko. Matthew is a New Hampshire native and a graduate of Ithaca College.
Jack Hickey (King Duncan/ Porter) Last year Jack played Col. Pickering in Pygmalion and Gremio in The Taming of the Shrew. The Macbeth is his 23rd production with the company and this season marks his 15th year as Artistic Director. Acting roles with the Festival include Sheriff Heck Tate in our acclaimed production of To Kill A Mockingbird, King Claudius in Hamlet, Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night, Charlie in Seascape. He was nominated for an Equity Jeff Award playing Michael in Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, other roles have been Henry Drummond in Inherit the Wind, Falstaff in The History of King Henry the Fourth, Fluellen in Henry V, Teddy in Faith Healer, Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet, Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the title role in Cyrano de Bergerac. Jack is company member of ShawChicago and appeared there last season as John Tarleton in Missaliance, Sir Rupert Watlington Pipps in Jeeves Intervenes, and Alfred Mangan in Heartbreak House. In other seasons he appeared as William the Waiter in You Never Can Tell and the Russian Commissar in Geneva. Andrew Undershaft in the critically acclaimed, Major Barbara, The Devil in Don Juan in Hell, Alfred Doolittle in Pygmalion, Lickcheese in Widower’s Houses, as well as roles in Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Man and Superman, St. Joan, Androcles and the Lion, Candida, The Philanderer, The Doctor’s Dilemma, The Apple Cart, and John Bull’s Other Island. He played Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor with The Shakespeare Project. Prospero in The Tempest with The Backroom Shakespeare Project and Claude in Heroes with the Illinois Theatre Center. TV credits: Chicago Med and Unsolved Mysteries.
Jhenai Mootz (Lady MacDuff/ Hecate) is honored to have been working with OPFT since 2006 as an actor, and joined the staff in 2016 as OPFT’s Managing Director. . Other performances at OPFT: Kate in The Taming of the Shrew, Osric in Hamlet, Olivia in Twelfth Night, Lady Anne in Richard III, Raina in Arms and the Man, Chrissie in Dancing at Lughnasa, Margaret in Much Ado About Nothing, Christine in Murder by the Book and Madge in Picnic. Other credits around town: Saint Joan, Man & Superman, Pygmalion, The Widowers’ Houses, The Millionairess, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Arms and the Man (ShawChicago), Sparky!, Jane Eyre, The Moonstone (Lifeline Theatre), The Mystery of Edgar Allen Poe (First Folio Shakespeare Company), The Women and The Philadelphia Story (Circle Theatre). Jhenai holds a B.F.A. from the University of Utah’s Actor Training Program. Also a visual artist, Jhenai’s artwork can currently be found in the lobby of the Lifeline Theater & Andersonville Galleria, O’hare Airport and on her website at JhenaiMootz.com
Jaq Seifert (Ross/ Mentieth) is excited to make their OPFT debut! Jaq is an actor and fight director in Chicago, and the Producer of Tom Boi Theatricals, which recently produced The Buttcracker: A Nutcracker Burlesque to a sold-out crowd last December, returning Nov. 29th. Chicago acting credits include Captain Blood (First Folio), Twelfth Night (Gary Shakespeare Company), and The Greenbird (Cuckoo’s Theatre Project). Fight Directing credits at Theater Wit, Milwaukee Rep, Teatro Vista, Oracle, A Red Orchid, Pride Films and Plays, Porchlight, Victory Gardens, and Halcyon Theater. They adjunct at Roosevelt University and teach at Chicago High School for the Arts.
Gwendolyn Theis (Fleance/MacDuff Daughter)
Gwen is thrilled to return to OPFT, having previously appeared as Prince Richard in Richard III as well as a number of annual Midwinter’s Tale performances over the years. Soon to be a Freshman at Oak Park/River Forest High School, Gwen has appeared in a number of CAST shows, including performing the roles of Svetlana in Chess, Jacques in As You Like It, and Margot in The Diary of Anne Frank. Gwen has also enjoyed two summers participating in the Viola Project and is looking forward to performing in high school next year.
CHLOE BALDWIN (Understudy) Chloe makes her premiere at OPFT after graduating from The Theatre School at DePaul this June. She has recently appeared as Phebe in Arc Theatre’s production of As You Like It and as Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing at Gorilla Tango Theatre. Chloe is both an actress and violence designer, teaching fight choreography to young women as part of OPFT’s Viola Project and, most recently, designing violence for The Waltzing Mechanics’ epic Cosmic Events Are Upon Us. chloebaldwin.net
Tim Kough (Understudy) Tim is thrilled to be working with OPFT again after being an understudy for Taming of the Shrew last summer. Tim has also worked at Wild Life Theatre, European Repertory Company and the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.
167 Forest Avenue
Oak Park IL 60301
Only 25 minutes from downtown Chicago!
125 N Marion, Suite 301
Oak Park, IL 60301
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