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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Performing Arts Centers, Performing Arts Schools, Theater

Mission: Our mission is to provide high quality professional productions of Shakespeare and other classic works to the people of the western suburbs of Chicago.  In creating live theatre productions, we will enhance the cultural activities at the Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook, and bring attention to the historic and environmental site there.  Our mission emphasizes a training initiative for young theatre artists, including a college intern program.  We shall share these classic works with the youth of the area through our educational touring programs, providing a living counterpoint to their literature studies.

Geographic areas served: Midwest

Community Stories

10 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Ellen C.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I began my relationship with First Folio as an adoring member of the audience, introducing friends to Shakespeare performed flawlessly and in "my own back yard". As First Folio grew and began to perform year round with an expanded repetoire of classics and new, innovative productions, I became a volunteer and donor and yes, introduced even more friends who have become audience regulars.
I am now Vice President of the Board of Trustees and a volunteer and a donor. It's a pleasure to be able to support the organization and its incredibly talented group of Artistic Associates. It's a privilege to help bring such wonderful theatre to the Chago area.

Gail M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been to 2 different First Folio summer outdoor productions of Shakespeare plays with my teens. They loved it. My younger teen saw them perform Macbeth the summer before he read the play in school, and declared later that the First Folio production was better than the excerpts of professional audio and film performances that the teacher played forthe class.

Production values are first rate. Acting is wonderful, and they've been nominated for Jeff Awards (Chicago area theater awards). Concepts of staging, lighting, and costuming are very good. They put their own spin on each production without overpowering the Bard.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

5 Stars for talent, innovation, creativity, quality of production and wonderful Summer Camps for children! We are grateful First Folio is our neighbor in the Western burbs and we applaud their effort to keep surprising! Bravo!!

15

Volunteer

Rating: 5

First Folio is a first-rate theatre experience. Productions are consistently excellent, and I enjoy the setting, both indoors and outdoors. I'm happy to be able to support First Folio by volunteering and by giving occasional small donations.

13

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was introduced to First Folio several years ago thru a friend who mentioned Shakespeare under the stars at the Peabody Estate. She was an usher and volunteer. I had heard about First Folio for quite some time before I attended any performances there. I had also seen articles in the newspapers. I finally called to purchase a ticket for one of the summer Shakespeare performances and have become a regular member and supporter since. The quality of the acting and directing is superb! I plan to continue attending and supporting First Folio in the future as I know I will not be disappointed!

17

Volunteer

Rating: 4

First Folio Theatre is an outstaning organization. The volunteers I have worked with are always friendly, fun, and prepared to help the theatre-goers any way they can. it is a real asset to the community.

23

Volunteer

Rating: 5

First Folio consistantly provides top quality theatre under the direction of Alison Vesely and David Rice. I have been working as a volunteer for the theatre since practically the beginning and I have never been disappointed no matter what the production. Many of the shows are Jeff nominated, and, for example, their most recent show, Moon for the Misbegotten, is the best production I have ever seen of that show - and I have been involved in theatre for over 60 years. You can never go wrong by attending First Folio productions. Five + stars!

18

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member of First Folio since 1998. It has been amazing and a delight to see how much it has grown, and how much the public loves the theater, and more importantly, now much the public has been educated by First Folio. As recently as the opening of 'A Moon for the Misbegotten' early this month, and audience member remarked how he never would have seen an O'Neill play, (and had never seen a Shakespeare play before First Folio was established) were it not for First Folio. The vast majority students who see First Folio outreach shows have never seen Shakespeare, and the teachers always remark how much the presentations help the students understand Shakespeare, and subsequently other poets. First Folio is a crown jewel of Oak Brook.

19

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am an avid theatre fan. Live theatre is my entertainment of choice. Because most of my friends know I am such a fanatic one thought it might be a good idea to volunteer my time while watching the plays I love. After one play five years ago at First Folio I was hooked...and continue to volunteer my time whenever I can. I saw Hamlet a few years ago at First Folio then that Fall at Chicago's Shakespeare Theatre with my Mom. First Folio's version was better by Far. I am now sharing my experience with friends and family via my annual subscription and word of mouth. I now have many good friends either subscribing for the season or dropping by during the summer for a night under the stars. All have been pleased with their experience and the quality of work delivered for the price. I can not say enought but fear I may soon be running out of room in this review. Thanks Allison and David...I rave about both of you and your team of actors often. Your Friend and Volunteer Vida Hotchkiss

19

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Wonderful, professional, and classy. The performances there are always a joy to watch and exhibit the best talent Chicago has to offer. First Folio is just what the western suburbs needed.