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Winter in Summer: Oak Park Festival Theatre Announces "The Winter's Tale" July 16 - August 20, 2022

Following Devastating Fire, Beloved Theatre Re-Opens in Austin Gardens with Shakespearean Romantic Tragedy

OAK PARK, Illinois – The Oak Park Festival Theatre today announced its summer show, William Shakespeare’s THE WINTER’S TALE, opening July 16 and running through August 20 at Austin Gardens (167 Forest Ave., Oak Park), with previews July 14 and 15. Tickets are on sale now at

THE WINTER’S TALE marks Oak Park Festival Theatre’s return to the stage after a devastating fire destroyed its offices and archives last winter. After two years of a global pandemic disproportionately impacting the financial and artistic health of the entire theatre community, the fire threatened to end Oak Park’s premier equity theatre entirely. Fortunately, its supporters helped nurture resilience and, once again, outdoor theatre-lovers have a place to gather and enjoy classic works.

“Theatre explores tragedy, loss, comedy, and drama, and Shakespeare’s works speak to the human condition in unique and timeless ways,” said Barbara Zahora, Oak Park Festival Theatre Artistic Director. “It is in keeping with Oak Park Festival Theatre’s roots that THE WINTER’S TALE is our first performance back after our own fiery tragedy last winter.”

William Shakespeare’s romance play plunges into tragedy before finding joy and redemption. THE WINTER’S TALE follows a once-beloved king, Leontes, beginning to veer toward autocratic, tyrannical rule, blinded by a self-deluding jealousy. After accusing his faithful queen of infidelity with his best friend and nearly destroying his family and his kingdom, the Delphic oracle turns the tables by proclaiming that “the king shall live without an heir if that which is lost be not found.” THE WINTER’S TALE is a story that shows us miracles and mercy, and joyously brings that which is “dead” back to life.

Oak Park Festival Theatre’s production of THE WINTER’S TALE is adapted and directed by Artistic Associate Kevin Theis, and stars Dylan Baxter(“Cleomenes”), Brian Bradford (“Florizel”), Georgia Dibs (“Mamillius” / “Perdita”), North Homewood (“Camillo”), David Gordon Johnson(“Polixenes”), Artistic Associate Mark Lancaster (“Leontes”), Song Marshall(“Time”), Dina Perez (“Gentlewoman”), Brian Rooney (“Antigones” / “Autolyces”), Rebecca Swislow* (“Hermione”), Carlos Wagener-Sobrero(“Jailer”), Claire Yearman (“Emilia”), and Artistic Director Barbara Zahora* as “Paulina.” The design team includes Ryan Fox (Scenic Design), Julane Sullivan (Costume Design), Liz Cooper (Lighting Design), and Artistic Associate George Zahora (Sound Design/Original Music). The production will be stage managed by Artistic Associate Leigh Barrett*.

Tickets to THE WINTER’S TALE are on sale now at; general admission tickets are $38, with discounts for seniors, students, and industry. Group tickets are available for groups of 10 or more; call the Box Office to inquire. Children under 12 admitted free with an adult. The production opens July 16, 2022 and runs through August 20, with previews July 14 and 15, at Austin Gardens, 167 Forest Ave. in Oak Park.

* Denotes membership in Actor’s Equity Association.


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