Amadeus presented by Oak Park Festival Theatre

190Peter Shaffer's Tony-award winning drama Amadeus will open the 39th summer season at the Oak Park Festival Theatre on June 15, 2013 at 8:00pm in Austin Gardens, 167 Forest Avenue in Oak Park.

The winner of both the Drama Desk and Tony awards for Best Play when it was produced on Broadway in 1981, Amadeus tells the story of the death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as told through the eyes of his confessed murderer, Court Composer Antonio Salieri.

Having devoted his life to God in exchange for the ability to become His musical voice on earth, Salieri is stunned to discover that the boorish and infantile Mozart is the instrument through which God has chosen to speak. Consumed with jealousy, the vengeful Salieri turns upon his Creator and sets about trying to silence “the Creature,” destroy Mozart's career at Court and, ultimately, end his life.

Adapted into the Academy Award-winning Best Picture of 1984, Amadeus has stood as one of the finest dramas of the late 20th century and the epic struggle of Man vs. God that is the centerpiece of this musically-infused piece has made this play one of the most popular shows of all time.

Oak Park Festival Theatre's production of Amadeus will be directed by Chicago theatre veteran Mark Richard and will feature Kevin Theis as Salieri, Christopher Daley as Mozart, and Meg Warner as his wife Costanze. The ensemble will also feature Jonathan Nichols, David Elliott, Joe Bianco, Chris Aruffo, Mark Plonsky, Pat King and Callie Johnson.

Amadeus will mark Mr. Richard's fourth outing with OPFT, having appeared in Betrayal, Beyond the Fringe, and Richard III, but his first as director. As artistic director of City Lit Theater for seven years he adapted and staged novels and stories by a wide range of classic and contemporary writers including Donald Barthelme, Martha Bergland, Raymond Carver, Franz Kafka, Somerset Maugham, Frank O'Connor, Saki, James Stephens, Edith Wharton, and P.G. Wodehouse, picking up three Joseph Jefferson citations for his adaptations. He also directed the revival of Sharon Evans's Portrait of a Shiksa for Live Bait Theater.

Mr. Theis (Salieri) has appeared in numerous productions at OPFT over the years and was last seen in the theatre's Jeff recommended production of Someone Who'll Watch Over Me and in the title role in last summer's critically acclaimed staging of Richard III. He has also worked at the Goodman Theatre, Next, Lifeline, Seanachai, Peninsula Players and Buffalo Theatre, among others.

Mr. Daley (Mozart) and Ms. Warner (Costanze) make their OPFT debuts with this production. Mr. Daley recently worked on Stones in His Pockets at Northlight Theatre, Glass Menagerie with Redtwist and has appeared with Lifeline Theatre, Fox Valley Repertory, Noble Fool Theatricals and Circle Theatre. Ms. Warner (Costanze) recently appeared in Rivendell's smash hit production of Wrens under the direction of Karen Kessler and is a 2011 B.F.A. graduate from Ball State.

Previews for Amadeus will be performed on June 13-14 at 8:00pm. Opening Night is Saturday, June 15 at 8:00 pm. The show will run Thursday – Saturday at 8pm, Sundays at 7 pm. There will be no performance Thursday July 4. There will also be special Wednesday performances on July 3rd and 10th at 8pm. Amadeus will close on July 13th. For tickets or to otherwise contact the theatre, call (708) 445-4440 or e-mail

Oak Park Festival Theatre was founded in 1975 by Oak Park resident Marion Karczmar. A line of distinguished subsequent artistic directors has remained true to the mission of the theater with popular productions of the greatest works in the Bard's language. Next year, the theatre will celebrate its 40th anniversary.

Press Release

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June 15 – July 13
Previews: June 13 & 14
Opens June 15

Thursday – Saturdays @ 8 pm
Sunday's @ 7 pm

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Oak Park Festival Theatre – Oak Park's only Equity theatre and the Midwest's oldest professional theatre performing the classics outdoors – is currently celebrating its 39th year of theatrical excellence and is embarking on its ninth year-round season producing outstanding productions of the plays of William Shakespeare and other classical authors, as well as important contemporary plays by some of the world's greatest playwrights.