BAB-Headshot1-150x150Dear Friends of Festival Theatre,

As I come to the end of my first year as Board Chair and Festival Theatre closes out another critically triumphant season I want to take a moment to thank all you continuing to make this theater our theater.

Whether in the intimate space of the Madison Street Studio or the sunset glow of an Austin Garden’s “curtain up”, the OPFT artists and the audiences see in each other as the faces of our theater. In the lobby and on the lawn, as well as all about the community, the Festival Theatre Board and staff come together with the audience to share ideas about our theater.

We believe not only in our theater but also in one another. Over the last thirty-nine season by the dint of steadfast commitment, consistently striving to work both harder and better, and with ever growing dreams, just look what we have done together, how far we have come. This past year, hand in hand in hand, we’ve shared a cell with strangers and a beach with lizards; we’ve had our souls seared in Vienna and our ribs tickled in Illyria. What together can we not see our theater produce and become.

Next year marks our 40th anniversary, a remarkable landmark for any but most especially our theatre. To all, from those first brave dreamers on Westgate to each audience who braved the summer elements in Austin Gardens—– Bravo! As well, bravo to us the planners, patrons, painters, and players who together are Oak Park Festival Theatre, our theater.

We’ve a bright and bustling year ahead to share the celebration of our theater. I look forward to our continued journey together – our past has laid the ground work for our future and it is now up to ALLof us to keep the energy and motion propelled in a forward direction.


Brad Bartels,

President, Board of Directors