First Folio Theatre Presents World Premiere of THE GRAVEDIGGER, Oct. 1- Nov. 2
To kick off its 19th season, First Folio Theatre (Mayslake Peabody Estate, 31st St. & Rt. 83) is proud to present the World Premiere of the gothic drama THE GRAVEDIGGER, which previews October 1, opens October 4 and runs through November 2, 2014. The production is written by First Folio Artistic Associate Joseph Zettelmaier, who recently opened the World Premiere of his play Salvage at First Folio Theatre to sold-out audiences. Jeff Award nominee Alison C. Vesely (First Folio’s A Moon for the Misbegotten) will direct. The cast is led by Craig Spidle (Brigadoon at The Goodman Theatre, Twelfth Night at First Folio Theatre,Fiddler on the Roof at Drury Lane Theatre) as “Kurt” (The Gravedigger), Joshua Caroll as “Anton” (The Monster), Simina Contras as “Nadya” (A Gypsy), and Doug MacKechnie as “Victor” (The Creator).
First Folio Theatre will host a special late night performance of the production on Halloween. This special fundraising performance, sponsored by First Folio’s Young Professionals Board, will include drinks and appetizers prior to the 11 PM show.
Mayslake Peabody Estate, the Tudor Revival style mansion built in 1921, serves as the perfect backdrop for the scary tale having long been rumored to be haunted by its original owner, Francis Stuyvesant Peabody. This tale of Frankenstein’s Monster takes place in the 18th century in one of Bavaria’s forgotten cemeteries, where the original novel leaves off. The spooky tale begins when a lone gravedigger finds a hideously scarred man hiding in a fresh grave. Told from the Monster’s perspective, both men soon realize how interconnected they are as their shared, gruesome pasts slowly unfold. THE GRAVEDIGGER is a chilling psychological drama, tailor made for those who love the classic Monster story.
Playwright Joseph Zettelmaier, who has a penchant for haunting tales and drama, worked on the script for THE GRAVEDIGGER for five years. He first read Frankenstein in high school and found it so engaging that he wanted to continue the story. His plays have been described by American Theater Magazine as “….infused with an idiosyncratic sense of humor, but he never shies away from darker emotions.” He is a four-time nominee for the Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association Award for best new play: 2006 for All Childish Things, 2007 for Language Lessons, 2010 for It Came From Mars, and 2012 for Dead Man’s Shoes. Other plays include Ebenezer, Salvage, And The Creek Don’t Rise, The All Childish Things Trilogy, Dr. Seward’s Dracula, Snow Angels, Blackwater Ballad, Night Blooming, Point of Origin, Invasive Species, Gravedigger, and The Stillness Between Breaths. Zettelmaier was also recently accepted for publication by Sordelet Ink publishing.
The 18th century-style set of one of Bavaria’s spooky cemeteries is designed by Angela Miller (The Merry Wives of Windsor, Salvage and Rough Crossing at First Folio Theatre). The artistic team also includes lighting design by Michael McNamara (Jeff Award for The Turn of the Screw at First Folio), costumes by Rachel Lambert (Cymbeline and The Merchant of Venice at First Folio), and sound design by Christopher Kriz (Jeff Award for The Turn of the Screw at First Folio.)
First Folio Theatre is entering its 19th 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. The Shakespeare Book of Lists names First Folio Theatre one of the “150 Great Places to See a Shakespeare Play.” The Chicago Tribune raved that theirShakespeare Under the Stars summer series “offers something Navy Pier can’t…plenty of greenery, gentle breezes and the chance to stretch out on a blanket with family and friends while being transported to Shakespeare’s otherworldly romance.”
THE GRAVEDIGGER previews October 1, opens October 4 and runs through November 2, 2014. All performances take place at the Mayslake Peabody Estate, located at 1717 W 31st St., off Rt. 83, in Oak Brook. 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 $29 Wednesdays and Thursdays (seniors and students are $25), and $39 on Fridays through Sundays (seniors and students are $35). Three and four show subscriptions are available for $55-$105 (subscribers will receive $5 off each subscription if they are purchased by August 15, 2014). Season subscriptions and individual tickets may be purchased by calling the box office at 630.986.8067 or online at www.firstfolio.org.