Free Readers moves to new home space
‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ by Free Readers Ensemble
2 p.m. Oct. 21
The 19th Century Club, 178 Forest Ave., Oak Park
Updated: October 17, 2012 3:23PM
The Free Readers Ensemble’s starts its 20th season Oct. 21 in a new home — Oak Park’s Nineteenth Century Club, 178 Forest Ave.
The group will present a performance adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” One of the ensemble’s co-founders, Paulette Cary, an Oak Park resident and a veteran thespian on Chicago’s theater circuit, calls the group’s presentations interesting for audience members because “it tears away veils of production values and concentrates on the written word.”
One difference that people who attend the performance will see, is the staging. The actors will have the scripts in hand, though they will call on their experience as stage performers. Audience members will see the actors react. Some reader ensembles just do readings, according to Cray.
Director David Krajecki is using John McCrite’s adaptation that was performed at Chicago’s Baliwick Repertory Theatre in 1997. Krajecki was in that production that McCrite also directed.
Krajecki believes the cast is one of the production’s strengths with 10 members playing the various roles. He points to Cary as an example; she is playing Lady Agatha, an aunt of one of the story’s main characters, and doubles as a prostitute in the opium den.
“We really do have the perfect cast for this production,” Krajecki said.
He added that the story is perfect for Halloween and the quaint nature of the Nineteenth Century Foundation’s stage makes it a great venue.
The Free Readers Ensemble performances are scheduled at 2 p.m. on the third Sunday each month and its season runs from October through May. Among the other works the group has scheduled this season are by George Bernard Shaw, Nora and Delia Ephron and “Dial M for Murder,” written by Frederick Knott.