Three Oaks, Michigan is a lovely town and a quiet getaway, easy weekend road trip distance from Chicago. We have friends with summer homes there and are elated to announce that some of Chicago's best theatre companies will be dropping by for one night shows this summer.
Co-Founders John Stoops, Tim Evans and Marc Grapey
announce the Inaugural Season of Three Oaks Theater Festival
presented in association with Harbor Arts
2013 season features the highly-acclaimed productions of
The Selfish Giant by Blair Thomas & Co.,
Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co.’s The Glass Menagerie,
TurnAround Theatre’s Faith Healer,
and Complicated, a world premiere musical from Poi Dog Pondering
Co-founders John Stoops, Tim Evans, and Marc Grapey proudly announce the inaugural season of Three Oaks Theater Festival, a new summer theater festival that will bring three limited-engagement runs of highly-acclaimed, professional Chicago-based productions and a World Premiere to audiences in Harbor Country, Michigan. Three Oaks Theater Festival is presented in association with Harbor Arts with special thanks to The Pokagon Fund.
For its first season, Three Oaks Theater Festival will present one-night-only engagements of Blair Thomas & Co.’s The Selfish Giant, a unique take on the Oscar Wilde classic featuring puppetry by Blair Thomas and music by Michael Smith; Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co’s acclaimed production of the Tennessee Williams classic The Glass Menagerie, directed by Hans Fleischmann (who also stars as Tom), and featuringWalter Briggs, Maggie Cain and Joanne Dubach, with an original score by Daniel Knox; TurnAround Theatre’s production of Brian Friel’s Faith Healer, directed by J.R. Sullivan and featuring Brad Armacost, Lia D. Mortensen and Si Osborne; and Complicated, a world premiere musical from Poi Dog Pondering.
Three Oaks is a community within Harbor Country, Michigan, that is rich in art galleries, restaurants and summer leisure activities. Twenty-five percent of the Three Oaks’ population is second homeowners with a permanent residence in Chicago with a median age of 39 years old, making Three Oaks an ideal destination for vacationers seeking culture and relaxation. For visitors to the area, a number of hotels, bed and breakfasts, and family-friendly cabin and housing rentals are available to people of all ages.
“As a founder of the Festival, I am excited to bring some of Chicago’s best theaters to the natural beauty and vibrant culture already found in Three Oaks, Michigan,” says John Stoops.
Co-founders Tim Evans and Marc Grapey comment, “The inaugural season is bringing some of Chicago’s best theater to Three Oaks. We are presenting three highly-acclaimed shows and a world premiere musical by the beloved group Poi Dog Pondering. We hope that these one-night-only performances will add to the cultural traditions of Three Oaks and we welcome all of the residents of Harbor Country to the productions. Since it’s only a 75- minute drive from Chicago, we also hope that theater fans in Chicago will come for a weekend to check out all that Harbor Country has to offer.”
Three Oaks Theater Festival is presented in association with Harbor Arts, with special thanks to The Pokagon Fund.
The 2013 Three Oaks Theater Festival Season is:
THE SELFISH GIANT
Presented by Blair Thomas & Co.
Puppetry by Blair Thomas
Music by Michael Smith
Saturday, July 6, 2013
1:00pm (EST); 12:00pm (CST)
Recommended for audiences of all ages and best enjoyed by children ages 2-10.
(running time: 45 minutes)
Ticket Price: $15, Children 4 and under are free.
Two Chicago theater icons—Blair Thomas and singer-songwriter Michael Smith—collaborate on this staging of an Oscar Wilde classic. Original puppets and music tell the story of a grumpy old giant who forbids the children in his village from playing in his beautiful garden. After the children are locked out, the trees and flowers refuse to grow and the garden plunges into an eternal winter. Then one morning, the children sneak back into the garden, bringing with them the joyous rebirth of spring.
The Selfish Giant was commissioned by the Chicago Children’s Theater and the world premiere was presented by the Chicago Children’s Theater in January 2008.
10:00am (EST); 9:00am (CST)
Free puppet workshop with Blair Thomas for all ages.
THE GLASS MENAGERIE
Presented by Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co.
By Tennessee Williams
Directed by Hans Fleischmann
Original Score by Daniel Knox
Featuring Walter Briggs (Gentleman Caller), Maggie Cain (Amanda) and Joanne Dubach (Laura) and Hans Fleischmann (Tom)
Saturday, July 20, 2013
8:00pm (EST); 7:00pm (CST)
Ticket Price: $25
Three Oaks Theater Festival presents Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co.’s highly acclaimed production of the Tennessee Williams classic The Glass Menagerie. Directed by Mary-Arrchie ensemble member Hans Fleischmann (who also stars as Tom), the production features the full original cast, including Walter Briggs, Maggie Cain and Joanne Dubach. Beautiful and heart-wrenching, The Glass Menagerie focuses on a man obsessed with regrets from his past. Living on the streets, he navigates an audience through the gritty back-alleys of his imagination. Truth and delusion collide in director Hans Fleishmann’s re-imagining of Tennessee Williams’ classic memory play.
Highlighted by an original score by Daniel Knox, the production team for The Glass Menagerie also includes Grant Sabin (scenic design), Stefin Sterberl (costume design), Matthew Gawryk (lighting design), Joe Court (sound design), Anna Henson (projection design), Arianna Soloway (props design), Rudy Galvan (assistant director/dramaturg), Andrew Donnelly (stage manager) and Carlo Garcia (producing director).
Presented by TurnAround Theatre
By Brian Friel
Directed by J.R. Sullivan
Featuring Brad Armacost (Teddy), Si Osborne (Frank Hardy) and Lia D. Mortensen (Grace)
Saturday, July 27, 2013
8:00pm (EST); 7:00pm (CST)
Ticket Price: $25
Faith Healer is a dramatic, mysterious and humorous work focusing on the life and times of Frank Hardy (Si Osborne), an itinerant Irish Healer. Uniquely structured, the play is presented in four monologues. The first belongs to Frank, grappling with the mystery of his gift of faith healing. Next is Grace (Lia D. Mortensen), Frank's patient but suffering wife, who knows too well the special magnificence of her husband. Frank's promoter and set-up man, a Cockney named Teddy (Brad Armacost), speaks third. His show business spin on events is both touching and comical. Frank's epilogue brings the play to a startling conclusion. In Faith Healer, Friel shows us the reality of grace, the unfolding of mystery and the healing powers of faith.
Seventeen years ago, Faith Healer, featuring Brad Armacost, Lia D. Mortensen and Si Osborne, directed by J.R. Sullivan was produced in Chicago in an acclaimed, sold-out run at TurnAround and Steppenwolf Theatres. The original team returned to this work earlier this year at The Den Theatre in Wicker Par and is, once again, returning to this beloved play for one night only to bring this acclaimed, not-to-be-missed production to Three Oaks.
A World Premiere Workshop Production
Conceived and directed by Brigid Murphy, music and lyrics by Frank Orrall and Poi Dog Pondering
Featuring alternative rock legend Syd Straw, Frank Orrall and members of Poi Dog Pondering
as well as puppets by Chicago artist Cynthia VonOrthal
Saturday, August 3, 2013
8:00pm (EST); 7:00pm (CST)
Ticket Price: $35
Complicated is a theatrical hybrid: part rock concert, part traditional book musical. It’s a mythic journey about home and your place in the world. Music and lyrics by Frank Orrall and Poi Dog Pondering, book and direction by Brigid Murphy, puppet elements by Cynthia VonOrthal, and special musical guest indie rock diva Syd Straw.
This World Premiere workshop musical is currently in development.
Tickets for Three Oaks Theater Festival
Performances will take place at The Acorn Theater, 107 Generations Drive in Three Oaks, Michigan.
Information and tickets will be available at www.threeoaksfestival.com beginning May 20. Tickets will be available online; at the Acorn Theater box office; or via phone (269-756-3879).
About The Acorn Theater
Housed in a turn-of-the-century corset stay factory, The Acorn was purchased by two Chicago residents who lovingly restored the abandoned building. The restoration was featured in multiple programs on HGTV. In 2003, the building was re-opened as a 250-seat multi-disciplinary space used for professional performances and live theater. The Acorn also houses a 1931 Barton theater pipe organ and boasts a huge acorn sculpture in front of the building.
About the Co-Founders
John Stoops is spearheading this effort based on over 15 years of experience in theater production. John began his formal education at the Second City Training Center. Soon afterward, John became a fixture in Chicago’s theater community. After performing, directing and producing numerous shows in Chicago (Sincerity Forever, Stage Left Theater; Fun and Nobody, Stage Left Theater; Buttling Butler Buttles, Second City Theater; Blind Side, Live Bait Theater; mLife Sentence, iO Chicago), John joined the cast of Boom Chicago, an Amsterdam-based comedy ensemble. With Boom Chicago, John performed over 200 shows across 5 countries. John returned to the U.S. to found Local 386, a Chicago-based comic production company described by the Chicago Sun Times as “hilarity in high def.” With Local 386, John produced two critical and commercial hits (Local 386, Lakeshore Theater and Listening In, Chicago Center for the Performing Arts). Additionally, John has significant marketing experience as a Vice President-Account Director with Leo Burnett where he led the development of world class brands for several Fortune 500 companies. John is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He received a Masters of Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management where he focused on Entertainment Marketing and Entrepreneurship. At Kellogg, John won the Sittercity Buzz Marketing Competition and the S.C. Johnson Business Plan Competition.
Tim Evans is the Executive Director of the award-winning Northlight Theatre in Skokie. Since his arrival in 2007, Evans has overseen the Theatre's new branding campaign, Leadership fundraising campaign, new board development, revamped arts education initiatives and a five year strategic plan with McKinsey & Company. Prior to his arrival at Northlight, Tim spent a 20-plus year career at Steppenwolf Theatre where he served in management and producing positions. He created, curated and produced Steppenwolf's acclaimed TRAFFIC Series which included a partnership with Chicago Public Radio for subsequent broadcasts. Tim founded Steppenwolf Films, of which he is still a partner with Gary Sinise, Terry Kinney and Jeff Perry, to develop film and television projects. He produced the feature films Diminished Capacity with Matthew Broderick (premiered 2008 Sundance Film Festival) and The Last Rites of Joe May with Dennis Farina (premiered 2011 Tribeca Film Festival). He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the League of Chicago Theatres, previously served on the board of the Independent Film Project (IFP) and was a charter member of the Governor's Task Force for Media Development.
Marc Grapey is a Chicago-based Jeff Award-nominated actor and Jeff Award-winning director. He was a co-founder and three-time Artistic Director of Famous Door, which during its 17-year history was one of Chicago’s most respected and celebrated theaters. His Chicago credits include The Iceman Cometh, Race and the world premieres of Eric Bogosian’s Griller and Noah Haidle’s Vigils at the Goodman; The Birthday Party, Mizlansky/Zilinsky Or Schmucks, The Chosen, Antigone, Dead Man’s Cell Phone and Oblivion at Steppenwolf Theatre Company; Equivocation, I Sailed with Magellan, Class Dismissed and Edward Albee’s At Home at the Zoo (Jeff Award nomination) at Victory Gardens Theater; Richard III and The Taming of the Shrew at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre; Picnic at Writers’ Theatre; Funny Girl at Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace; The Odd Couple at Northlight Theatre; The Metal Children at Next Theatre Company and Early and Often, The Homecoming, Beautiful Thing and Hitting for the Cycle (Jeff nomination) at Famous Door Theatre. Regionally, he has appeared at the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville and the HBO Comedy and Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado. He made his Broadway debut in 2005 opposite Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick in the hit revival of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple. Film credits include At Any Price, Superbad, Adventureland, Ali, While You Were Sleeping, A Piece of Eden and The Daytrippers. Television credits include The West Wing, Arrested Development, Two and a Half Men, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and most notably as publicist J.J. Mitchell on HBO’s Sex and the City. He was the recipient of a Jeff Award for Best Director (with David Cromer) for Famous Door Theatre’s epic two-part production of The Cider House Rules.
About Three Oaks, Michigan
Three Oaks, Michigan, located about 70 miles from Chicago, has 1,600 residents. Approximately 25% of those residents name Three Oaks as their secondary resident, most of whom are from Chicago. The Village, remarkably well-developed in the arts, boasts two theaters, the live-performance Acorn Theater and the Vickers Theater, which shows independent and foreign films. The quaint downtown has four art galleries featuring the work of established and emerging artists. Chamberlain Path, located steps from the main street, has been turned into a sculpture garden featuring monumental sculptures by local and national artists. The town also hosts two annual art festivals; the Art Attack weekend and Art in the Park. Meanwhile, Dewey Cannon Park is home to Music in the Park, a free concert series held every Saturday during the summer. Perhaps most indicative of the town’s quirky, artistic spirit, Three Oaks is one of the few villages in the country with the official position of Village Poet Laureate. Each year, the reigning Poet Laureate is asked to write a Flag Day poem and a winter poem as well as participate in readings throughout the year. In 2013, Three Oaks Theater Festival was born.
For more information about Three Oaks Theater Festival visit www.threeoaksfestival.com.