First Folio Theatre
Photo from firstfolio.org
Only First Folio Theatre can make Shakespeare fun. Forget the complicated language and dry readings of Shakespeare you read in school- the First Folio Theatre brings Shakespeare alive with vibrant performances.
The theatre based in the western suburb of Oak Brook is one of the premier theatres in Chicago. While many Shakespeare plays are performed, there are other plays performed, like The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe and Driving Miss Daisy. Husband and wife team David Rice and Alison Vesely founded the theatre in 1996 to bring theatre to the suburbs. The theatre is very popular with theatergoers, especially the venues. They can enjoy the plays in the outdoor main stage during the summer with a beautiful view of the regal look of Mayslake Peabody Estate. Make it a picnic by bringing snacks or buying some at the theatre. During the cooler months, plays are performed in the intimate Mayslake Hall Library Venue or at the architectural beauty Great Hall Venue.
The venues are beautiful and the plays at the theater are classic. Past performances have included Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth. The current summer production from July until August is The Merchant of Venice, the story of a Jewish merchant who loans money to an Italian merchant, but the loan quickly becomes a more complicated matter. The actors make the dialogue come alive with their skilled interpretation of the often-quoted Shakespeare’s words, like “If you prick us, do we not bleed?’’.
The play is still controversial because of its anti-Semitic overtones and stereotypes about Jewish people. The Merchant of Venice should inspire great discussion after the play’s end about prejudice and intolerance. To counter the possible controversy of the play, there is also a production of Shylock and His Daughter, a story that tells the story of The Merchant of Venice the Jewish merchant’s side.
The plays are not only enjoyable, but affordable. Theatergoers can enjoy these productions for only $32 Tuesdays- Thursdays and $ 47 on weekends. Students and seniors can get a discount for $26-30. First Folio also offers subscription deals and group sale deals for the whole season as well. First Folio not only entertains, but educates as well. The theatre often hosts productions in Oak Brook schools, libraries, and many other Chicagoland venues. The actors make the plays relatable to the students with their engaging performances. First Folio is a well-kept secret in Chicagoland theatre, but shouldn’t be for long. If theatergoers want to enjoy Chicagoland culture at an affordable price and in a beautiful venue, they must get to the First Folio Theatre.
First Folio Theatre
at Mayslake Peabody Estate Forest Preserve
1717 W 31st St
Oak Brook, IL 60523