The Illinois Shakespeare Festival in Normal, Illinois, is heading into its 40th anniversary season with a new production from the Q Brothers, a new take on "William Shakespeare's amazing Cymbeline," and a new managing director. A product of Illinois State University, the festival will lead off with an old favorite, Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
William Prenevost assumed the position of managing director at the beginning of this year, Janet Wilson, producer of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival (ISF) and director of the Illinois State University School of Theatre and Dance, announced. As managing director, Prenevost will oversee the festival's business operations.
Prior to his position with the Festival, Prenevost was a senior consultant with Arts Consulting Group, a national agency. As a consultant, he has worked with Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, Adelphi University Performing Arts Center (Long Island, New York), and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, among others. Previously, Prenevost served as the managing director of the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, an in-residence professional theatre at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. With more than 25 years of experience in arts management, external affairs, and fundraising, he has served in such positions as director of marketing and communications for Northlight Theatre in Chicago, Boston's Huntington Theatre Company, the Cleveland Play House, and the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Prenevost, an alumnus of Illinois State University where he studied theater and holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees, will work in tandem with Artistic Director Kevin Rich in producing the 2017 season.
That season kicks off with A Midsummer Night's Dream on June 30 at the Ewing Cultural Center, the festival's outdoor theater. Cymbeline joins the repertory the next night in an adaption by Chris Coleman featuring five actors and a musician playing all the parts. The festival continues its fruitful relationship with the Chicago-based rappers, the Q Brothers—the talents behind the masterpiece, Othello: The Remix—with their take on Romeo and Juliet, I Heart Juliet. The Q Brothers previously debuted Two Gents at ISF and this time will use 10 actors instead of four plus deejay (the unit is now called the Q Brothers Collective) in staging its world premiere of I Heart Juliet at Illinois State's indoor Westhoff Theatre beginning July 9. The festival runs to August 11.
For more information on the various season ticket options available, visit IllinoisShakes.com or call the ISU Center for the Performing Arts Box Office at 309-438-2535, Monday–Friday 11:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
February 21, 2017