ITC Presents Award Winning Drama ‘The Real Thing’

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The Illinois Theatre Center is one of the all-too-hidden gems of DownTown Park Forest. Go see a play. The acting is incredible. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– The Illinois Theatre Center of Park Forest will present The Real Thing, Tom Stoppard’s exciting "play-within-a-play" about love, truth and illusion, for a three week run, starting Friday, October 29.

The Real Thing revolves around Henry, a playwright, who is married to Charlotte, an actor.  Their friends Annie and Max are also actors, and when his new play about marriage and infidelity is staged, Henry’s life begins to imitate his art.  As the characters move between the fictional world of Henry’s play and the reality of their lives, both couples are ultimately compelled to re-examine their relationships and question whether the love they have is the love they want.

Frank Rich of the New York Times called The Real Thing "…not only Mr. Stoppard’s most moving play, but also the most bracing play that anybody has written about love and marriage in years", while Legendary London theatre critic Sheridan Morley described it as "…a play which reminds you why you go to the theatre and why you fall in love.  And why, just sometimes, it is all worth the effort."

Playwright Tom Stoppard was born in Czechoslovakia in 1937.  His family emigrated to England when he was a child to escape Nazi occupation. Stoppard has earned four Tony Awards for Best Play – for ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD (1966), TRAVESTIES (1974), The Real Thing (1984), and THE COAST OF UTOPIA (2002).  His other most popular works include JUMPERS (1972), HAPGOOD (1998), ARCADIA (1993) and INVENTION OF LOVE (1997).  He also won an Oscar for his screenplay for "Shakespeare in Love"(1998).  He was knighted in 1997.

The cast for The Real Thing includes Melissa Carlson, Michael Joseph Mitchell, Regina Leslie, Eric Leonard, Luke Daigle, Katherine Banks, and Jude Willis. The production is directed by David Perkovich.

The Real Thing runs Friday, October 29 through Sunday, November 14. Performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 PM, and Sundays at 2:30 & 7:30 PM. Tickets are priced at $22 on Fri. & Sat., $20 at all other times, with a $1 discount for students & seniors. The Illinois Theatre Center is located in Downtown Park Forest at 371 Artists’ Walk (off Indianwood Blvd., adjacent to Village Hall).  For tickets, call (708) 481-3510.