WESTERN SPRINGS – The Theatre of Western Springs is celebrating 90 years of helping the community to laugh, cry and look at things a little differently, and it will feature five mainstage plays and two forum series performances this season to mark the milestone anniversary.
Executive Director Eddie Sugarman said the theater would not be around today if it weren’t for the support of the community and the dedication of the performers and volunteers. The theater has produced more than 600 performances in its long tenure.
“We have a tremendously committed and passionate group of people who come together to put on plays, as well as incredible support from the audiences, business sponsors and the village of Western Springs,” he said. “I think we put on exceptionally high-quality productions top to bottom. We’re a learning theater, and all our people are striving to get to the next level or to learn the next technique.”
While he said he’s looking forward to every play this season, Sugarman is especially excited for “The Graduate,” which wraps up the 90th season early next summer. He said the stage adaptation, which runs June 6 through 16, is very true to the 1967 film.
“Audiences are looking forward to seeing the iconic film on stage and how we pull it off,” he said. “In general, it’s the story we know, but there are some things that were adapted [for the play] and some weren’t. But there’s a reason this story took the country by storm. It’s funny, awkward and romantic. It’ll be a great way to wrap up the 90th season, and I think this will be our blockbuster.”
While the season wraps up with “The Graduate,” it begins with “Silent Sky,” a play that tells the true story of Henrietta Leavitt, a woman from the early 1900s who Sugarman said “changed the way we look at the night sky.” The show runs from Sept. 6 through 16.
Karen Holbert, the director of “Silent Sky,” said she’s very excited the 90th season is opening with the little-known story of a woman who changed history. She explained the Theatre of Western Springs was founded by a woman who wasn’t “typical of her time,” and “Silent Sky” has a similar theme.
“This play is written by a woman and is about women in history who forged their own path. And I get to direct it,” the Western Springs resident said. “It’s a wonderful way to start the season. It’s a story that’s interesting, humorous and is about love and connection, and is a powerful reminder about some of history’s overlooked stories. It’s about truth and discovery and is appropriate for all ages.”
The second play of the season is the thriller “Deathtrap” from Oct. 18 through 28, followed by “The Tin Woman” from Jan. 17 through 27, which tells the story of a young woman who searches for the family of her heart donor. Running from Feb. 28 through March 10 is “Ravenscroft,” a Gothic “who-done-it.”
Sugarman said this season represents a wide variety of comedies, dramas and thrillers, all of which are “wonderful” scripts.
“There are some shows you’ve heard of and some you haven’t, but all are well-told stories,” he said. “There are period pieces and contemporary plays. We’ve got it all. It’s a fantastic season. We find that our audiences love bright comedies and thrillers, but they also really like when we bring them something new and exciting.”
For information on purchasing a season subscription or individual tickets, visit the theater’s website at theatreofwesternsprings.com.