First Folio Theatre

Rating: 4.8 stars   10 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture

Location: 146 Juliet Ct Clarendon Hills IL 60514 USA

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

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

growing with the Theatre and watching it become a treasured institution in the area.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find a way to overhaul/replace the outdoor stage!

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

pleasant arts experiences with my family. Making Shakespeare delightful to my kids is a great thing!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

...make them famous!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 4 stars  

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!!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

their performances and my interaction with the staff during my daughters participation in summer camps as well as their on-line auction.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

allow students in late middle school and high school to volunteer to assist with productions without pay and with a set schedule

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Rating: 5 stars  

15 people found this review helpful

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the ever larger audiences attending the plays.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I don't know. I shudder at the prospect of running any organization.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

being the volunteer co-ordinator and being able to contribute to the overall success of the theatre by lining up people to usher and sell concessions.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

for the most part friendly, helpful people.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

build its own theatre building?

Ways to make it better...

I hadn't had to work with temperamental volunteers, but that's not the theatre's fault.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

probably financial, something we all face right now.

One thing I'd also say is that...

people attending plays have told me it's hard to find. Perhaps a sign on 31st Street would help.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

13 people found this review helpful

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!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the popularity of their performances on the community.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

friendly, kind, and passionate about their "work."

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

offer oppportunities and enrichment for so many more people than it touches at the present time.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

17 people found this review helpful

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the comments patrons have made about their enjoyment of the productions.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

see what could be done about rest rooms, instead of portable toilets.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the people I have worked with.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

friendly, knowledgeable, and courteous.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

commission original works and get well-known artists. It could also set up fixed permanent lavatory facilities instead of portable toilets.

Ways to make it better...

my schedule at my job wasn't always changing.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

reaching out to young people, both as audience and as students for the classes and workshops.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I enjoy volunteerig at First Folio and oook forward to doing so again in the future.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

23 people found this review helpful

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!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

most newspapers

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

do the same

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the actors and staff

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

fabulous

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

compete favorably with the likes of Chicago Shakespeare and Goodman

Ways to make it better...

couldn't be better

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

financing

One thing I'd also say is that...

David and Alison make me proud to be associated with the theatre in my small way.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

18 people found this review helpful

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

increasing audience attendance, and the growth of enthusiasm for the theater in the community.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

continue the mission already being excellently run by Alison Vesely and David Rice.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

not only presenting great plays, but educating audiences about the human experience through our performances.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

top notch throughout. They are always open, courteous, and knowledgeable.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand its mission of education and entertainment, and solidify its very crucial existence in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Ways to make it better...

we had greater funding.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding, funding, funding!

One thing I'd also say is that...

without First Folio, the western suburbs would be grossly underserved in its cultural opportunities.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

19 people found this review helpful

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

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The beautiful experience in the summer time watching Shakespeare under the stars and the intimate setting of the Library for the winter performances. Also the quality of the actors irregardless of the price paid for the ticket.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

perhaps do more rennovations in the mansion. I would love to see more children's plays and perhaps the added spacce would provide the appropriate opportunity

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-2-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

19 people found this review helpful

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.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

INCREDIBLY hard working and sweet. Truly devoted.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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