First Folio Theatre Announces 2018-2019 Season
For its 23rd season, First Folio Theatre (Mayslake Peabody Estate, 31st St. & Rt. 83.) will run the gamut from the horrors of Edgar Allan Poe to the sublime comic nerdiness of the world of Star Wars. The 2018-19 season begins with the return of First Folio's most popular show ever, THE MADNESS OF Edgar Allan Poe: A LOVE STORY, which previews October 3-5, opens October 6 and runs through November 4, 2018, followed by the professional Chicago premiere of ALL CHILDISH THINGS, which previews January 23-25, opens January 26 and runs through February 24, 2019. The indoor season concludes with the political drama THE FIRESTORM, previews March 27-29, opens March 30 and runs through April 28, 2019. The season ends on the outdoor stage with one of Shakespeare's most popular history plays, HENRY V, for its Under the Stars summer series, which previews July 10-12, opens July 13 and runs through August 18, 2019.
Opening the 2018-2019 season, the madness returns with a remounting of THE MADNESS OF Edgar Allan Poe: A LOVE STORY, an original play by Executive Director David Rice. This critically acclaimed production first premiered in 2006 and has sold out all five of its previous productions. The riveting tale of life and death, love and heartbreak runs October 3 through November 4. THE MADNESS OF Edgar Allan Poe: A LOVE STORY is directed by Skyler Schrempp (As You Like It at First Folio) and stars Christian Gray as "Edgar Allan Poe" (Dr. Seward's Dracula, Rough Crossing, Jeeves At Sea at First Folio) and Heather Chrisler as "Virginia Poe" (Mary's Wedding at First Folio and Machinal at The Greenhouse Theater). The Chicago Tribune gives it three and 1/2 stars, while the Daily Herald gives it four stars calling it "a masterful take on a master's work" and Chicago Stage Review calls it "a perfect storm of theatre!" In the course of the performance, Poe and his wife Virginia guide the audience from room to room through historic Mayslake Hall, taking them from the garrets to the dungeons and deep into the madness of Edgar Allan Poe. After the 2018-2019 season, THE MADNESS OF Edgar Allan Poe: A LOVE STORY will not return to First Folio Theatre for five years.
Star Wars meets Ocean's 11 as four friends plan to steal a treasure trove of Star Wars memorabilia in ALL CHILDISH THINGS, the new comedy heist by Joseph Zettelmaier, whose previous First Folio shows include Salvage, The Gravedigger, Dr. Seward's Dracula, and The Man-Beast. The ship's controls will be in the hands of First Folio's Associate Artistic Director Melanie Keller, whose productions of Silent Sky and Mary's Wedding received universal praise from critics and audiences alike. When a cohort of life-long buddies and Star Wars fans come up with the perfect caper, everything starts off as smoothly as a Jedi mind trick until the Dark Side starts to beckon. Will divided loyalties and greed lead their partnership to implode like the Death Star or will the Force be with them? ALL CHILDISH THINGS runs January 23 through February 24, 2019.
First Folio next takes a bold look at the difficulties of running a political campaign in today's info-saturated environment with Meridith Friedman's THE FIRESTORM. Directed by First Folio Artistic Associate Rachel Lambert (Love, Loss, and What I Wore at First Folio and Natural Affection at Eclipse Theatre), THE FIRESTORM centers on Gaby and Patrick, an interracial political power couple hot on the campaign trail, who are thrust into the center of a media frenzy when a racially charged incident from Patrick's past surfaces. As the pressure intensifies, the political becomes explosively personal and the foundation of their seemingly picture-perfect marriage begins to fracture. When the past comes to haunt us, what do we do with the ghosts? THE FIRESTORM runs March 27-April 28, 2019.
The seasons ends outdoors on the beautiful Mayslake grounds, as First Folio presents HENRY V, marking the theatre's 23rd summer of presenting Shakespeare-under-the-Stars. Directed by Hayley Rice (A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Man-Beast, and The Winter's Tale at First Folio), and featuring Diana Coates (The Winter's Tale at First Folio and Natural Affection at Eclipse Theatre) as the King, HENRY V centers on one of England's most hallowed and beloved rulers. In an effort to save his country and prove himself worthy of the crown, the brash Henry V invades France, only to find himself facing an army ten times the size of his own at the Battle of Agincourt. Come thrill as this great Band of Brothers fights the greatest of English battles. HENRY V runs July 10 - August 18, 2019.
All performances take place at the Mayslake Peabody Estate, located at 1717 31st St., off Rt. 83, in Oak Brook. First Folio is easy to get to from via the East-West Tollway (I-88) or the Stevenson Expressway (I-55). Free parking is available on the grounds. Preview tickets are $25. Regular priced tickets are $34 Wednesdays and Thursdays (seniors and students are $29), and $44 on Fridays through Sundays (seniors and students are $39). Three and four show subscriptions are available for $63-$115. During the summer show, a special pricing of $10 will also be offered for children age 14 and under who are accompanied by a parent. Season subscriptions are on sale now and individual tickets go on sale June 15, and may be purchased by calling the box office at 630.986.8067 or online at www.firstfolio.org