New OPRF theater group hits the stage

Acting for a Cause, founded by two OPRF students, will put on their first play at Open Door Theater next week

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By Devin Rose

Staff Reporter

A group of students from Oak Park and River Forest High School looking to get more people involved in theater are gearing up for their first show next week — a comedy they wrote, acted and directed themselves.

The theater group, Acting for a Cause (AFC), will perform Precarious Bonds next week at Open Door Theater on Harrison Street at Ridgeland Avenue. The play is set in New York in the late 1940s and follows the return of a World War II soldier who is surprised to find life is not the same as before the war. The production will be the first of several this school year, said Grace Zimmerman, an OPRF junior and director of the show.

Zimmerman, 16, has been involved in theater since she was 9 and said she's thinking of going into directing as a profession. When she was asked by one of AFC's co-founders to direct this show, she agreed because she liked the group's mission. The two founders wanted to expand on the opportunities offered at the high school and reach out to kids with little or no experience in theater to put shows together.

"I found that really fascinating," Zimmerman said. Anyone can get involved, whether they want to audition for a part or be on the crew.

Donation is another aspect Zimmerman was in favor of. AFC students will give most of their proceeds to charities connected with each show. Once they pay off the show's costs, the money from ticket sales for Precarious Bonds will go to the Oak Park Veterans Center, Zimmerman said.

"I just really wanted to find a way to do what I love and also spend time with friends and give back to the community — it's the perfect combination" Zimmerman said, noting that she's done pretty well so far in finding a balance between her work with AFC, directing two other upcoming shows and getting homework done in her honors classes. Since the group has not raised any money, she chipped in some of her own, in addition to using borrowed costumes and furniture.

Tickets to Precarious Bonds are available for $15. The show will be performed on Sept. 11, 12 and 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Reader Comments

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Quinn from Oak Park  

Posted: September 12th, 2012 10:23 PM

AFC was founded by Dominick Alesia, a high school sophomore at the time he wrote the script. Along with him from the very beginning were Robert Hunter- Bry and Joseph Blakey.

Daniel Hurtado  

Posted: September 8th, 2012 3:12 PM


Noreen Davidson from Oak Park  

Posted: September 8th, 2012 2:17 PM

I not only applaud the creativity and dedication of the students but also the generosity of "Open Door" for supporting their effort!

Daniel Hurtado  

Posted: September 8th, 2012 12:54 PM

So why aren't we told the names of the 2 founders?

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