By Jessica Dickey
Directed by Melanie Keller

Performed by Lydia Berger Gray

Conceived in the wake of the 2006 school shootings in the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, Jessica Dickey’s fictional exploration of a real-life tragedy allows us to glimpse into the world of Amish culture and to come to grips with the true limits of compassion and forgiveness. Praised by The New York Times as “extraordinary,” The Amish Project is a devastating and beautiful one-woman performance that compels us to question the paths we take at the crossroads of grief, rage, and clemency.

Originally created as part of First Folio Theatre‘s Dark Night project in April, 2016, This production is made possible through the generosity of Producer Tim Klein, and is a brought to you as a co-benefit with Pleasant Home. Oak Park Festival Theatre and Pleasant Home are both proud non-profits serving the Oak Park River Forest area.


JULY 8 – 30, 2017 – ADDITIONAL PERFORMANCES AUGUST 5th, 12th & 13th at 4pm

Saturdays & Sundays at 4pm
One hour performance with no intermission


General admission $22.50 special co-benefit price

Questions: Call our Box office 708-445-4440


217 Home Avenue
Oak Park IL 60302

Only 25 minutes from downtown Chicago!

“Lydia Berger Gray, the solo performer, is incredible. She appears in a fresh linen bonnet and an Amish woman’s modest outfit. Her sharp interpretations are stunning and brave. The actress completely inhabits the characters. She never cuts corners or takes an easy approach. Each person she becomes is vivid and credible, and she makes flawless transitions from character to character. “ – The Wednesday Journal

“a riveting meditation on evil, recovery, and the myriad paradoxes of the human psyche. Lydia Berger Gray, directed by Melanie Keller, portrays everyone in the story with remarkable range and power” – The Chicago Reader

Chicago Reader Recommended.

Read full article here:…/the-amish-project/Event…


Lydia Berger Gray (Velda, Anna, Carol, Bill North, Sherry Local, America, Eddie) is so grateful she gets to share this beautiful play with all of you!  Oak Park Festival Theatre audiences last saw Lydia as Rosaline in Loves Labours Lost, June in Fifth of July and Rosie in one of her favorite productions of all time, Dancing at Lughnasa.  Lydia is an Artistic Associate at First Folio, where her performances include The Amish Project, Love, Loss and What I Wore, Mistress Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Vivienne Duckworth in Jeeves Takes A Bow, Gertrude in Jeeves Intervenes,  and Queen Elizabeth in Richard III.  Other Chicago credits include work with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (most recently as Maria in Twelfth Night – Short Shakes! and the 2016 Shakespeare in the Parks), several productions with ShawChicago (favorites being Eliza in Pygmalion, Gwendolyn in The Importance of Being Earnest,  Louka in Arms and the Man and Epifania in The Millionairess and most recently, Aradine in Heartbreak House), as well as productions with Northlight, Silk Road Rising, and Drury Lane.  Lydia last performed in Chicago as the Princess in Shakespeare Project’s Loves Labours Lost.  Regionally, Lydia worked with Artists’ Ensemble for several seasons (favorites including Collected Stories, Red Herring, and the world premiers of Jeeves Intervenes, Jeeves in Bloom and Jeeves Takes A Bow), and with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks for three tours and Montana Shakespeare in the Schools for two.  Lydia is a proud graduate of the BFA acting program at NIU.  She would like to extend special thanks to Jessica Dickey for writing this beautiful play, to David and Alison at First Folio for the space & love to first produce it in 2016, to Tim for being the catalyst and for the cubs tickets, to Jack for planting the idea, to Jhenai who is an angel and made this a dream come true, to the Board for saying yes, to Mom for everything, to Christian, also for everything, and finally to Melanie, my partner in crime and my sister in life.  This is for you.


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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