Damage in the Oak Park Festival Theatre office. | PROVIDED

Like many of you, I have been a fan of Oak Park Festival Theatre (OPFT) for many decades. This treasure in the heart of Oak Park has been our own “mini-Ravinia” each summer with amazing productions of Shakespeare and other classics that have touched our hearts and made us think anew about these stories.

As you may have heard, on Nov. 23 there was an extra-alarm fire in the building located at 1034 Lake St. Thankfully, no one was injured. However, when I learned OPFT’s offices were located directly above the restaurant, I felt devastated. After surviving the epidemic and mounting the first post-COVID Equity production (The Tempest) in the Chicago area this past summer, this fire is a major setback for plans in the coming year.

Located in the building were their administrative offices, dressing rooms and storage containing nearly 50 years of props, costumes, financial records and company artifacts. Additionally, having closed The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe just days before, they also lost the bulk of their production equipment, including lighting instruments, speakers, sound and light boards, and computers.

I know that many of you have already reached out to help local nonprofits at this time of giving, but I have always felt that the arts make our lives worth living and sometimes are less visible at this time of giving. Can you make a donation of $100 or whatever you can afford to help Festival Theatre replace their lost equipment and stay on track for our 2022 season? It would mean so much to them and to me.

Gifts can be made online via OakParkFestival.com/donate or by mailing a check to:

Oak Park Festival Theatre
P.O. Box 4114
Oak Park, IL 60303

My personal goal is to raise $1,000 to help them get back on track. It would mean so much to me and to all of us who value local theater to have your support toward this goal. 

Teresa Powell
Oak Park

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