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OAK BROOK, IL – First Folio Theatre, at Mayslake Peabody Estate, 31st St. & Rt. 83, will begin its 2013-2014 season with the poignant, romantic drama THE RAINMAKER, previewing July 31, opening Saturday, August 3 at 8:15 p.m. and running through September 1, 2013 on the outdoor stage. The production is directed by Jeff Award nominee and First Folio Theatre Co-Founder, Alison C. Vesely (First Folio’s A Moon for the Misbegotten).
THE RAINMAKER has been hailed as "A fable of life altering love!” (New York Times), “A cloudburst of a hit!” (New York World) and “Beautifully crafted and deeply pleasurable!” (Salon.com). The Los Angeles Time called THE RAINMAKER “A striking, specific portrait of a bygone time!” and The Huffington Post enthused that the play “Tackles timeless themes of love, passion, faith and magic!”
When a charming con man named Starbuck comes to a drought stricken Western town on a hot summer day, he sets a family’s world on end, romancing their spinster daughter and promising to change everything. This profound Depression-era tale brings out the true power of hope and humor during difficult times. THE RAINMAKER, by N. Richard Nash, originally premiered in New York in 1954 and was made into a 1956 film starring Burt Lancaster and Katharine Hepburn. The play has been translated into over 40 languages and was also made into a Broadway musical, 110 in the Shade.
THE RAINMAKER stars Hayley L. Rice as “Lizzie Curry” (“Nerissa” in The Merchant of Venice and “Edith” in Blithe Spirit at First Folio Theatre), Joseph Wycoff as “Starbuck” ( “Henry Higgins” in Pygmalion, “Longaville” in Love’s Labor’s Lost at Michigan Shakespeare Festival and Jeff Award nominee for Private Lives at First Folio Theatre), Aaron Christianson as “File” (The Taming of the Shrew at First Folio Theatre), Matthew Keffer as “Noah Curry,” David Rice as “H.C. Curry,” Alex Weisman as “Jimmy Curry” (Jeff Award winner for The History Boys at Timeline Theatre); and René Ruelas as “Sheriff Thomas.”
Alison C. Vesely is the Co-Founder (with her husband David Rice) of First Folio Theatre. In 2009 she was nominated for a Jeff Award for her direction of A Moon for the Misbegotten, which was also nominated for Best Production. Previous First Folio directing credits on the indoor stage include the acclaimed productions Underneath the Lintel and Jeeves Takes a Bow in 2013, and the world premieres of Will Rogers: An American Original and The Castle of Otranto,as well as the Chicago premieres of Jeeves in Bloom and Jeeves Intervenes and more than two dozen other productions in Chicago and around the Midwest. Before founding First Folio, Alison was the Classics Project Director for Footsteps Theatre, a women’s theater company specializing in all-female productions of Shakespeare’s plays. She earned an After Dark Award for the title role in their production of Macbeth. She has also served as an adjudicator for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and the Irene Ryan Awards and served a three-year term on the Theater Program Grants Panel for the Illinois Arts Council. Vesely is a proud graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University.
First Folio Theatre is in its 18th season of bringing high-quality performances of Shakespeare and other classics to the stage. During that time, the theater has expanded from an annual summer production to a year-round operation with three separate and distinct stages at the historic Mayslake Peabody Estate. First Folio is easy to get to from via the East-West Tollway (I-88) or the Stevenson Expressway (I-55). Free parking is available on the grounds. Preview tickets are $22. Regular priced tickets are $32 Wednesdays and Thursdays (seniors and students are $26), and $37 on Fridays through Sundays (seniors and students are $30). Three and four show subscriptions are available for $57-$105 (subscribers will receive $5 off each subscription if they are purchased by August 15, 2012). Season subscriptions and individual tickets may be purchased by calling the box office at 630.986.8067 or online at www.firstfolio.org.
THE RAINMAKER runs from July 31 through September 1. Tickets range from $30-37 and preview tickets are $22. The performance schedule is as follows: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 8:15 p.m. Season subscriptions and individual tickets may be purchased by calling the box office at 630-986-8067 or online at www.firstfolio.org.