Dear Friends of Oak Park Festival Theatre:

On Tuesday, November 23, 2021, the offices of Oak Park Festival Theatre sustained significant fire, smoke, and water damage as a result of a multi-alarm fire at the 1034 Lake Street building in downtown Oak Park, IL. The offices were on the second floor, directly above Delia’s Kitchen. We are immensely thankful that there were no injuries reported during the fire. However, there is substantial damage to the entire building, including damages to two other local businesses and two residences. Our losses are considered total: OPFT’s equipment for stage productions such as computers, sound equipment, costumes, props, and lighting in addition to office equipment, technology, and nearly 50 years of OPFT records and artifacts have been destroyed.

At this time, the OPFT staff and board leadership are still determining the impact of this crisis on our organization and 2022 programming, including our summer outdoor production in Austin Gardens. While we were insured for events such as this, our policy is likely insufficient to offset our material losses, as much of our replacement equipment will be less dated than those which were damaged and therefore more expensive to acquire. Additionally, insurance will not cover the significant amount of indirect costs, such as time and resources required to manage this setback on behalf of our staff and company.

OPFT relies on the support of generous patrons and donors such as you. Now, more than ever, we need your support. OPFT employs more than 100 artists and serves more than 5,000 patrons annually. Our community needs your help to overcome this catastrophic event.

Please consider making a gift today to support our recovery efforts at or by calling (312) 857-8813.

With your help, we look forward to overcoming this crisis and rebuilding an even brighter future for all.


Bryan Wakefield                              Barbara Zahora
Managing Director                          Artistic Director