First Folio continues its Season of Suspense with the British thriller The Woman in Black. Adapted by Stephen Mallatratt from the novel by Susan Hill, this tale of the supernatural has been electrifying audiences in London for over two decades. Now Chicago area audiences can experience the thriller the London papers call, "One of the most brilliantly effective spine-chillers you will ever encounter" (London Daily Telegraph). Directed by Alison C. Vesely and featuring Kevin McKillip and Joe Foust, this promises to be another in a string of hits for First Folio. Tickets are available online at www.firstfolio.org or by calling the box office at 630-986-8067.
Proud and solitary, Eel Marsh House surveys the windswept reaches of the salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway. Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, is summoned to attend the funeral of Mrs Alice Drablow, the house's sole inhabitant, unaware of the tragic secrets which lie hidden behind the shuttered windows. It is not until he glimpses a wasted young woman, dressed all in black, at the funeral, that a creeping sense of unease begins to take hold, a feeling deepened by the reluctance of the locals to talk of the woman in black - and her terrible purpose. Years later, he recounts his experiences to an actor in a desperate attempt to exorcise the ghosts of the past. The play unfolds around the two characters as they act out the solicitor's experiences on Eel Marsh all those years ago...with chilling consequences. This long-running London hit "sends shock waves through the audience with splendid thrills and chills" (London Independent).
Kevin McKillip returns to First Folio for his 19th production, having appeared in the title roles inHamlet and Richard III (Jeff nomination - Leading Actor), as well as appearing in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Jeff Nomination - Supporting Actor), Jeeves Intervenes (Jeff Nomination - Supporting Actor), The Importance of Being Ernest,12th Night, and many others. Last spring First Folio presented the world premiere of Kevin's original one-man show, Will Rogers: An American Original, based on the life and writings of one of America's greatest humorists. Kevin's work has also been seen locally at The Goodman Theatre, Court Theatre, and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and regionally at Milwaukee Rep, The Boarshead Theatre in Lansing, Michigan, and American Players Theatre, and over 15 productions with The Peninsula Player's Theatre in WI. Kevin was named a Chicago Fellow to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, Canada, where he appeared in Antony and Cleopatra, Troilus and Cressida, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The White Devil and was the recipient of a Tyrone Guthrie Award.
Joe Foust is making his First Folio debut with The Woman in Black. Joe has appeared in almost all of Chicago's top theaters, including The Goodman (The Beard of Avon), the Court (What the Butler Saw and Endgame), Steppenwolf (Mother Courage and Her Childree), Remy Bumppo, and Next. He has appeared in fourteen productions with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, including The Winter's Tale, Hamlet, Timon of Athens, Twelfth Night, and Henry IV parts 1 and 2. Regional credits include Hamlet at Nevermore Theatre, The 39 Steps and Around the World in 80 Days at the Cleveland Playhouse, five productions with Milwaukee Shakespeare, and twelve seasons acting and directing with Peninsula Players.
All performances take place in Mayslake Hall, a 30-room Tudor Revival style mansion originally built by coAl Baron Francis S. Peabody. Completed in 1922, the mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places. Mayslake Hall is located on the grounds of the Mayslake Peabody Estate, which is owned and operated by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. Located at 31st St. and Rt. 83 in Oak Brook, First Folio is easy to get to from either the East-West Tollway (I-88) or the Stevenson Expressway (I-55). Free parking is available on the grounds. First Folio Theatre is supported in part by grants from the Illinois Arts Council, a State Agency, and the DuPage Community Foundation.