The story behind the most famous holiday story

November 25 – December 24

Recommended for ages 10+

A DICKENS CAROL 

written by Ned Crowley         
directed by Kevin Theis

Before Scrooge.  Before Jacob Marley.  Charles Dickens had his own ghosts to contend with.

Announcing the world premiere of “A Dickens Carol”.  An all-new holiday tradition that re-imagines the story of Scrooge from Dickens’ point of view and real-life events.

It’s 1842 Victorian London, and Dickens popularity is on the wane.  His marriage and finances are in trouble and he has become embittered towards life itself.   Yes, in a way, Dickens has become a bit of a Scrooge.   A character he has yet to even create! But on a cold Christmas eve, his fortunes take a dramatic turn when a train crash sends Dickens into the icy Kent river. There, in a sinking carriage, Dickens is visited by three Spirits who lead him on a journey through his past, present, and future.  A journey that transforms his life and inspires him to write his most celebrated work ever. “A Dickens Carol” is not only the carol behind the most famous carol of all time.   It’s an all-new twist on a family ghost story that promises to melt the heart of any Scrooge out there.

DATES

November 25 – December 24, 2017

Thurs-Sat at 8pm  |  Sun at 3pm

1st PREVIEW Saturday, November 25th at 3pm | 2nd PREVIEW Saturday, November 25th at 8pm
OPENING NIGHT Sunday, November 26th at 7pm

RUNNING TIME 90mins

TICKETS

General admission $30 | Seniors $25 | Students & Children $15
Preview: General admission $10

Questions: Call our Box office 708-445-4440

PERFORMANCE VENUE

MADISON STREET THEATRE
1010 Madison Street
Oak Park IL 60302

Only 25 minutes from downtown Chicago!

Writer Ned Crowley has been part of the Chicago theater scene since the mid 80’s as a founding member of the comedy group White Noise where he co-wrote, co-directed, and co-starred in such infamous productions as The Book of Blanche, Stumpy’s Gang and Ad-nauseum. He later went on to direct others on stage including Amy Poehler and Matt Walsh in The Upright Citizens Brigade and, more recently, writing and directing his own feature film; the award-winning dark-comedy Middle Man starring his friend and star of TV’s Parks and Recreation, Jim O’Heir. Middle Man recently took top honors at the Seattle International Film Fest and the Edmonton International Film Fest before going onto a national theatrical release.  Today, Middle Man can be seen on iTunes, Amazon and Netflix. Ned is also the writer of the festival favorite and award-winning dramatic comedy Parting Words. A published children’s book author and illustrator, Ned currently serves as the U.S. Chief Creative Officer for mcgarrybowen advertising where he has written, produced, and overseen hundreds of commercial productions.Ned currently and happily lives in Oak Park with his wife and 3 daughters.

A DICKENS CAROL 

written by Ned Crowley
directed by Kevin Theis

Before Scrooge.  Before Jacob Marley.  Charles Dickens had his own ghosts to contend with.

Announcing the world premiere of “A Dickens Carol”.  An all-new holiday tradition that re-imagines the story of Scrooge from Dickens’ point of view and real-life events.

It’s 1842 Victorian London, and Dickens popularity is on the wane.  His marriage and finances are in trouble and he has become embittered towards life itself.   Yes, in a way, Dickens has become a bit of a Scrooge.   A character he has yet to even create!

But on a cold Christmas eve, his fortunes take a dramatic turn when a train crash sends Dickens into the icy Kent river.

There, in a sinking carriage, Dickens is visited by three Spirits who lead him on a journey through his past, present, and future.  A journey that transforms his life and inspires him to write his most celebrated work ever.

A Dickens Carol” is not only the carol behind the most famous carol of all time.   It’s an all-new twist on a family ghost story that promises to melt the heart of any Scrooge out there.

DATES

November 25 – December 24, 2017

Thurs-Sat at 8pm  |  Sun at 3pm

1st PREVIEW Saturday, November 25th at 3pm | 2nd PREVIEW Saturday, November 25th at 8pm
OPENING NIGHT Sunday, November 26th at 7pm

RUNNING TIME 90mins

TICKETS

General admission $30 | Seniors $25 | Students & Children $15
Preview: General admission $10

Questions: Call our Box office 708-445-4440

PERFORMANCE VENUE

MADISON STREET THEATRE
1010 Madison Street
Oak Park IL 60302

Only 25 minutes from downtown Chicago!

 

Writer Ned Crowley has been part of the Chicago theater scene since the mid 80’s as a founding member of the comedy group White Noise where he co-wrote, co-directed, and co-starred in such infamous productions as The Book of Blanche, Stumpy’s Gang and Ad-nauseum. He later went on to direct others on stage including Amy Poehler and Matt Walsh in The Upright Citizens Brigade and, more recently, writing and directing his own feature film; the award-winning dark-comedy Middle Man starring his friend and star of TV’s Parks and Recreation, Jim O’Heir. Middle Man recently took top honors at the Seattle International Film Fest and the Edmonton International Film Fest before going onto a national theatrical release.  Today, Middle Man can be seen on iTunes, Amazon and Netflix. Ned is also the writer of the festival favorite and award-winning dramatic comedy Parting Words. A published children’s book author and illustrator, Ned currently serves as the U.S. Chief Creative Officer for mcgarrybowen advertising where he has written, produced, and overseen hundreds of commercial productions.Ned currently and happily lives in Oak Park with his wife and 3 daughters.

PRESS PHOTOS 

Press photos are below and are also available for download here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/10gn9Q9vvCpznxrXtCy5XFB2tOplEgOhy?usp=sharing

THE CAST

Kevin Theis (Dickens) Kevin’s association with Festival Theatre goes back to 1990, where he first appeared as Prince John in Tom Mula’s production of Falstaff.  Since then, he has appeared in numerous productions as a performer- both indoors and out-  and has staged seven show for OPFT as a director.  Favorite roles include Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, George in Of Mice and Men, Edward in Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, (Jeff nomination), Frank Hardy in Faith Healer, the title role in Richard III and Salieri in Amadeus. As a director, he has worked on Picnic, Robin Hood, Henry V, The Glass Menagerie, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Importance of Being Earnest and The Fair Maid of the West (which he also adapted).  In addition to his work at OPFT, Kevin has worked as a performer at the Goodman Theatre, Next, Theater Wit, Peninsula Players, Buffalo Theatre Ensemble and the Irish Theatre of Chicago (formerly Seanachai Theatre) where he was a member of the Jeff Award winning ensemble of 2014’s The Seaferer.  He has directed at Seanachai, CT20 Ensemble, Lifeline Theatre, City Lit and greasy joan & co. and has been nominated for three Jeff Awards for his directing work.  He has two published plays, adaptations of Thomas Heywood’s The Fair Maid of the West and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Sign of the Four (the latter in conjunction with Shanghai Low Theatricals) and two novels, “Confessions of a Transylvanian” with co-author Ron Fox and “Invading Nirvana: a Chicagoan in the City of Angels”.  He has been seen on NBC’s “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago P.D.” and ABC’s “Betrayal.”

Jhenai Mootz (Kate/Catherine) is honored to have been working with OPFT since 2006 as an actor where she has been seen as Lady Macduff/Hecate in Macbeth, 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 joined the staff in 2016 as OPFT’s Managing Director and 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, Northwestern hospital gift shops and on her website at JhenaiMootz.com

Matt Gall (Assistant Director/ Ratchford) is an Artistic Associate at OPFT, appearing in Macbeth, Hamlet, and Taming of the Shrew. Past Chicago productions include New Country (Den Theatre.), Design for Living (Pride Films & Plays), Misalliance, Major Barbara, Pygmalion, Saint Joan (ShawChicago), Dial “M” for Murder (Metropolis), Enchanted April (Citadel), Wrong Mountain (Rare Terra), The Pillowman (Spartan), and The Blue Room (Stage 773). Regionally, Matt appeared recently in Ah, Wilderness! (A Noise Within, Los Angeles) and in the 2014 National Tour of Griffin Theatre’s Letters Home. Matt is a New Hampshire native and a graduate of Ithaca College.

Matty Robinson (Chapman/Forman/Vendor 2/Rescue Worker/Ensemble) As an actor he appeared in in OPTF’s production of The Taming of the Shrew as Grumio, and worked on The Fair Maid of the West and To Kill A Mockingbird. An OPFT Artistic Associate, Matty also was OPFT’s Internship Coordinator in 2017. Matty is a proud Illinois State University alumni holding a Bachelor of Science degree in theatre. You can find him Friday nights during Pimprov as Prince Midas, doing shows around Chicago with The Moonsharks, or performing stand-up around the city.

Erica Bittner (Female Prisoner/Mrs.Ratchford/Dilbert/Past/Ensemble) Erica Bittner returns to OPFT where she is an Artistic Associate and has appeared in Pygmalion and Love’s Labours Lost.  Favorite credits include: King Charles III (Cardinal Stage Company); Bad Jews (Theatre Wit); The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe (First Folio Theatre); A Christmas Carol (Drury Lane); Richard III: No Beast So Fierce (Oracle Theatre); and work with Piven Theatre, Music Theatre Works, Redmoon, One Year Chekhov, GreatWorks, Chicago Dramatists, Victory Gardens, and Chicago Shakespeare Theater. International: The Two Noble Kinsmen (RADA) and Momentary Opera (Redmoon).  Television: Chicago Fire, American Greed.  Erica holds a BFA from the Chicago College of Performing Arts and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Represented by Gray Talent Group.

Mark Lancaster (Father Christmas/Winterfezz/Ghost of Christmas Present) Mark Lancaster 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. Mark is an Artistic Associate with OPFT where his credits include the 2017 productions of Macbeth and The Fair Maid of the West. This is his third time performing in a version of A Christmas Carol, but only the first time doing so in a language other than Klingon.

Robert Koon (Shakespeare/Seargent Joe/Ensemble) Robert is pleased to be working with OPFT once again, after appearing in 2016’s The Taming of the Shrew.  Recent appearances include Seminar for Spartan Theatre Company, The Woman in Black for WildClaw Theatre Company, Chagrin Falls for The Agency Theatre Collective (Jeff nomination), and Human Terrain for Broken Nose Theatre.  He is a Resident Playwright Alumnus at Chicago Dramatists, where his plays Homecoming 1972 and St. Colm’s Inch were produced; and he is a former Playwright Resident at the William Inge Center for the Arts.  Robert is an Associate Artist with 16th Street Theatre and Broken Nose Theatre, and he is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Gwendolyn Theis (Charlie/Peter/Ensemble) – Gwen is thrilled to return to OPFT, where she appeared earlier this season as Fleance in “Macbeth.”  Previous OPFT credits include “Richard III,” “Midwinters Tales” and “Mrs. Coney.”  She was a member of CAST while at Percy Julian Middle School where she appeared as Svetlana in “Chess,” Margo in “The Diary of Ann Frank,” Esperanza in “House on Mango Street” and Jacques in “As You Like It.”

Frederick Harris (Conductor/Future/Ensemble) Frederick Harris is happy to be making his OPFT debut! Frederick’s most recent productions include LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS: William Street Repertory Theatre (Audrey II) RAGTIME: Griffith Theatre (Booker T. Washington) THE WIZ: Kokandy Productions (The Wiz) DIRECT FROM DEATHROOW THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS: Raven Theatre, winner of the Jeff Award for Best Ensemble (Piano Player) NUNSENSE: Beverly Arts Center (Sis Hubert) HANDS ON A HARD BODY: William Street Repertory Theatre (Ronald). Frederick has received his M.F.A. from The Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Frederick was also nominated for a Black Theatre Alliance Awards for Best Featured Actor in a Musical (The Wiz). Frederick is thankful to God and the Spirit of his Ancestors for continuing to give love and light this life. T.E.

Laura Resinger (Georgy/ Musician/ Ensemble) Laura is excited to be working with OPFT for the first time!  With an enthusiasm for physical and devised theatre, Laura was recently seen in the  immersive show Cursed: an American Tragedy at The Foxhole, and is a member of the Birch House Artist Residency.  Other Chicago credits include work with Remy Bumppo, ATC, Strawdog, Cor Theatre and Cock and Bull.  Laura is a graduate of the MFA program at DePaul University.

 

Magaret Garofalo (Mrs. Winterfezz, Hall/Mrs. Oliver/Vendor 1/Ensemble)  This is Margaret’s first appearance with OPFT She holds a BFA in Dramatic Writing from SUNY Purchase and an MA in Classical Theatre from Kingston University – London. Margaret has performed professionally in London, Italy, Scotland, and the USA. Her Chicago area credits include Metropolis’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” (Horatio), JPAC’s “Nevermore” (Muddy) and Citadel Theatre’s “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” (Gymnasia). Some of her New England credits include” The Pirates of Penzance” (Director) Stowe Theatre Guild, “School for
Lies” (Dubois) Waterbury Festival Players, “Oliver!” (Widow Corney) Lyric Theatre Company, “Hamlet” (Rosencrantz) Champlain Theatre, “Sweeney Todd”(Mrs Lovett) Stowe Theatre Guild, and “Secret Garden” (Martha) STG.

Evan Coles (Blackie/Walter Ratchford/Ensemble)  Evan is excited to make his debut in the Oak Park Festival Theatre presentation of A Dickens Carol. Evan has been performing on stage since the age of three, starting programs as a toddler at Chicago’s Emerald City Theatre in a production of The Magic Tree House.   He continued his training in Chicago for the past six years at Infinity Arts Academy (IAA).  While at IAA he has participated in medleys from various Broadway productions such as Les Misérables, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King while also starring and working behind the scenes on several independently produced films.
Delilah Lane (Little Kate/Little Belle/Ensemble) Delilah Lane is a fourth grader at the British International School of Chicago, South Loop.  Her theater credits include Neverbird Project’s Pinocchio at Chicago Children’s Theater and shows with the Lookingglass Theater Youth Ensemble. She enjoys outdoor summer performances as the youngest member of Chicago Beatbox Limited with her father, Yuri Lane.  Delilah is very excited to be a part of the Oak Park Festival Theater production of A Dickens Carol.

Magdalena Keberlein (Understudy Little Kate/Little Belle/Ensemble) Magdalena is 8 years old. This is Magdalena’s debut theatre performance. Magdalena enjoys many activities like gymnastics, softball, swimming, dancing, singing, and piano. She is in 3rd grade at Willard Elementary.  She is very excited to be a part of this cast.

Gus Zaruba (Understudy Blackie/Walter Ratchford/Ensemble) Gus Zaruba is excited to be working with OPFT for the very first time.  Other Chicago credits include: The Heavens Are Hung in Black (Shattered Globe), and The Adventures of BB & Pepe (The Billy Goat Experiment Theatre Company). Gus is a student at Mitchell Elementary School where he has just entered the sixth grade.

BOX OFFICE

708-445-4440

PERFORMANCE VENUE

AUSTIN GARDENS
167 Forest Avenue
Oak Park IL 60301
Only 25 minutes from downtown Chicago!

MAIN OFFICE

125 N Marion, Suite 301
Oak Park, IL 60301
708-445-4440

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