Williams Street Repertory announces Summer Theater Festival in Crystal Lake!

Summer is heating up!

WSR & Raue Center for the Arts team up for TheatreFEST, offering exciting summer deals for McHenry County’s only professional theater company!

Williams Street Repertory takes a huge leap forward this season after joining Actors Equity Association, the most distinguished body of professional actors and stage managers in the United States. WSR is now the only professional theater company in McHenry County and very excited to start its most exciting and diverse season yet!

Founding Artistic Director, Richard Kuranda explains why a summer TheatreFEST in Crystal Lake is good for the community.  ”After years of rapid economic growth in Downtown Crystal Lake and all of McHenry County we are dedicated to increasing cultural tourism and cultivating a summer attraction for theater goers of all ages.  It’s never been a better time to enjoy this quaint town with its eateries, breweries, and spectacular scenic areas. A truly wonderful spot for great art! We hope that people from all over Chicagoland and beyond will enjoy a riveting weekend of theater ”

On July 8th, TheatreFEST goes into high gear with the opening of Yasmina Reza’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy “Art” about three men whose longtime friendships are put to the test when one of them buys an expensive piece of modern art. The show stars James Turano as Marc, Tod Kent as Serge, and Ivan Ewert (WSR ensemble member) as Yvan, and is directed by WSR ensemble member Michele Vazquez.

On July 15, WSR opens “[title of show]” —yes, that’s the titleBroadway’s surprise hit musical about 4 friends who have 3 weeks to write 1 award-winning musical! The show features the musical talents of Joel Bennett, Sarah Jordan, Bill Seger, and Amanda Flahive (WSR ensemble member) and is directed by ensemble member, Regina Belt-Daniels.

Williams Street TheatreFEST will also feature award-winning playwright Jeff Sweet in “You Only Shoot the Ones You Love,” on July 10th at 3pm. One of the hits of 2011’s New York Fringe, Sweet’s show is a 75-minute yarn about how the Cossacks almost killed his grandmother and what that has to do with a generation of Jews (think Mike Nichols, Elaine May, Mel Brooks) helping to invent modern American satire.  It’s the story of mad geniuses, outrageous behavior onstage and off, and how it all led to Saturday Night Live, Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert. Finally, WSR’s Comedy troupe brings its crazy mix of sketch and improv to Raue Center’s mainstage on July 21st at 8pm!

Life imitates art (and vice versa) with these three great shows running in rotating rep at downtown Crystal Lake’s Raue Center for the Arts. With WSR TheatreFEST, WSR realizes a dream many regional theater troupes share: Companies of actors performing plays in rotation, with a different show every night. Actors get to exercise their acting muscles and audiences get the benefit of diverse programming options. A little something for everyone!

In celebration of its new summer programming, WSR & Raue Center are offering fantastic discounts and ticket packages. Patrons who are members of Raue Center’s RaueNOW membership program (or who join before 8/17/16) receive up to 55% OFF regular ticket prices for the entire season! For more information about WSR’s amazing ticket offers, visit www.wsrep.org and click on Ticket Options.

WSR is proud of its partnership with Raue Center for the Arts, which has provided a creative home for the company for the last 6 years. “After 6 years of hard work, it’s amazing to see an in-house program which started as a series of stage readings grow into a fully developed professional theater with so much diverse programming,” shares Richard Kuranda, WSR founding artistic director. WSR has something for everyone!

For more information about ticket options and season passes visit


EquityLogo_CMYKcolor*Member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Actors’ Equity Association (“AEA” or “Equity”), founded in 1913,  is the labor union that represents more than 50,000 Actors and Stage Managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theater as an essential component of our society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions and provides a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans, for its members. Actors’ Equity is a member of the AFL-CIO and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions.