PLEASE NOTE: Evening performances now start at 7:30 PM

An oil lamp

Adopt an Artist

Oil Lamp Theater introduces our new program where YOU can adopt one of our many talented Artists from our production of “It’s A Wonderful Life- A Live Radio Play” and provide crucial funds for our theater company.

When you adopt an artist, you will be sent a signed photograph of your chosen artist, along with an artist profile. The artist profile includes a biography of their career as well as a set of answered questions we asked for this program. These questions will help you to learn more about your artist and the world of theater.

Once you’ve adopted an artist, make sure to introduce yourself to them should you see them after a show. Artists love chatting with the audience and don’t forget, they always appreciate a good treat! Our artists are well-trained, amiable, and eager to get out there and meet you!

See the artists below, and click ADOPT to get your artist today! You can also Adopt an Artist by sending in a check to the theater at 1723 Glenview Rd, Glenview, IL 60025. Please note which artist you would like to adopt, and include your email or home address so that we can send you the information on your artist!


Name: Gabe Fries
Age: 31
Day Job: Bicycle Tour Guide and Children's Theater Performer

Gabriel is a lovable, lean, short-haired human with tons of energy! He was a stray for many years, teaching English (how many pets have you had who can teach English?!) to children in Italy and France and China, before finally settling in the great city of Chicago to become an actor. He loves and knows a lot about his city, so he can share his love of all the interesting architecture and delicious food. And he’s house trained so he knows how to eat his deep dish at the table with a knife and fork and he NEVER adds ketchup to his hot dog! Adopt this fun and caring artist today!

Adopt Gabe

Name: Keith Gerth - Director
Age: 7+ Dog Years
Day Job: Executive and Artistic Director of Oil Lamp Theater

Keith is a loving 6’2” 240 lb human being (mostly German bred) who loves to play outside and go on long walks.  Keith especially enjoys playing in the snow and curling up next to a fireplace with a nice drink.  During his workdays he is the Executive and Artistic Director at Oil Lamp Theater.  Keith is a little more than seven years old in dog years so he is not as wild as he was during his puppy phase.  Adopt this artist and you will have the opportunity to see all the behind the scenes of Oil Lamp Theater.  You will see his daily routines from the initial idea of a production all the way to closing night – including casting and play selection.    In addition you will have the opportunity to hear about Board meetings, committee meetings and staff meetings.  All the excitement of running a not-for-profit is yours with your adoption of this adorable artist.

Adopt Keith

Name: Tim Kough
Age: 57
Day Job: Operations Manager - DDK Kitchen Design Group

Tim is a rambunctious goofball actor that needs strenuous exercise beginning at 5am every day in order to keep him from chewing the scenery. Tim’s love of acting began when he fell in love with Lori Partridge and thought acting would be a good way to meet her. Tim’s favorite thing about being an actor is making new friends and his least favorite thing is saying goodbye to those friends when the show ends. Tim’s most challenging role came when he was asked to replace an actor for the final weekend of a show because that actor was cast in a television show. Not only did he have to play the part without seeing the show, but the role included two sword fights and a gun fight. Tragically, Tim’s gun went off in his holster prior to the gun fight scene as the stage crew was pushing a well offstage. Tim prepares for a role by first convincing himself that it was a mistake that he got cast and the role was intended for someone else. This is followed by several weeks of self-flagellation and binge eating. After opening night (and during thunderstorms) you will find Tim cowering in the bathroom cradling his beloved squeaky bear. Tim requires daily grooming, patience and self-help advice but is friendly and plays well with others. His dream role would be to play Keith Partridge into order to get close to Lori.

Adopt Tim

Name: Travis Monroe Neese
Age: 26
Day Job: Preschool Teacher

Travis is a high energy and lovable friend with short dark brown hair (don’t worry, he doesn’t shed!) who loves going on new adventures! Far away from his home in North Carolina, he’s made Chicago his new home for the past three years. Travis is GREAT with kids — in fact, he spends every day when he’s not at Oil Lamp with ten two-year olds! Travis loves to sprawl out in the couch and relax, usually watching a movie with friends! A little accident prone, he tends to get hurt pretty often but always brushes it off with an energetic smile on his face.

Adopt Travis Monroe

Name: Chelsea Rolfes
Age: 29
Day Job: Legal Assistant

Chelsea is a German-bred actor who grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio but has made Chicago her home for the past five years. She’s been acting since she was just a pup and while she loves theatre of all kinds, her tail wags most for Shakespeare. When she’s not acting, Chelsea loves to travel and is always up for a good walk. She is a foodie and enjoys trying out new restaurants as well as baking treats herself and her friends. If you adopt Chelsea, you can learn all about the world of theatre, especially the classics, and maybe even get a homemade holiday treat!

Adopt Chelsea

Name: Stephen Smith
Age: 59+
Day Job: Retired Elementary School Principal

You can teach an old dog new tricks! Stephen comes to Oil Lamp after trailing a different scent for many years. He’s been around for a while, but enjoys blazing new trails for himself. He hopes to be adopted by those who appreciate someone who’s a little gray around the edges. He’s got life experience and a passion for more of life’s adventures. You might say he’s been around the block a few times and wants to take a few more laps. Please help him put his experience and enthusiasm to good use.

Adopt Stephen

Name: Rachel Whyte
Age: Old Enough
Day Job: Too Many...

This classy mutt is sure to have some pure-bred ancestors. She loves hosting and getting out her china tea set, but if left alone, will definitely devour everything on the table. You’ll need to keep an eye on this one, for she’s often found prancing around downtown at the theaters and best brunch spots. However, this leader of the pack still enjoys a night in, pretending to be a little lap wifey, snuggling and watching Netflix. Be careful! Clever but difficult breed to train. Husband reports she may be the alpha…responds well to positive reinforcement ie: treats (unique breed that cannot have nuts but loves chocolate). Adopt today to enjoy all the class and sass a Rachel has to offer.

Adopt Rachel

Name: Alecia Pagnotta
Age: 23
Day Job: Communication Intern and Theater Usher

Alecia is an energetic and curious brunette who jumps at the opportunity to meet new people and try new things. A bit of a world traveler, she originally hails from cold air in Canada and has made her way south to find a new home here in Chicago. With an animated spirit, you can find her always singing or dancing both on and off the stage. Alecia is an avid coffee drinker, huge Lord of the Rings fan and on a quest to find the best tiramisu in the world. Adopt Alecia now and you will get a behind the scenes look into the life of a theatrical artist!

Adopt Alecia

Name: Danny Ferenczi
Age: Young
Day Job: Full-time Dreamer

Hoping to win the friend of a lifetime? Look no further than Danny! A runt of the litter, Danny is a purebred Michigander with a hankering for hashbrowns and iced coffee. When not in rehearsals or an audition room, you can often find him studying his lines in local coffee shops, rollerblading the nature trails of Glenview, or out getting lost on the streets of Chicago, where he has often been heard unabashedly complimenting complete strangers on the sheer cuteness of their animals. This artist would be a great addition to any 1-23 (the higher the better) pet household, as he plays very, very well with others. (Danny will do exceptionally well in any households that contain hedgehogs.) When you adopt this artist, you’ll get a sneak peak into just what it means to be an understudy for Oil Lamp Theater, and all of the preparation that goes with it! You will learn just what it takes to make countless characters your own while studying the way someone else portrays them. If you’re seeking a well-trained, goofy artist with a passion for adventure and a love of animals and nature, then this is the artist for you!

Adopt Danny

Name: Taylor Murphy
Age: 28
Day Job: Grad School

Taylor is a quirky redhead who loves to play pretend! She’s also learning some new tricks to get her Master’s degree, and treats keep her motivated. She gets a little nervous on the day of an audition, but grooming and yoga help her focus. She loves acting because she loves to tell a story; it’s an opportunity to make people laugh and make people think about something in a new way. It can be difficult because she’s constantly looking for the next thing to do, but that also means she’s flexible with any schedule! She obviously likes to speak, but she’s not very good at rolling over (she’s pretty stubborn). Long walks are always encouraged, as that’s usually when she gets her ideas. If you’re looking for an artist with a lot of energy and love to give, adopt Taylor today!

Adopt Taylor

Name: Helen O'Brien
Age: 24
Day Job: Resident Stage Manager at GreatWorks Theatre

Helen is an Irish-American longhair who loves naps and treats. She spends most of her time prowling around in dark rooms and playing with yarn. She’s a little shy at first, but once you let her sniff you out, she warms up pretty quickly. This 24-year-old Libertyville gal even knows a few tricks! She can speak French and watch TV and movies (courtesy of Lake Forest College), and she can tell you approximately how many heads of lettuce were onboard the R.M.S. Titanic when it set sail! She’s good with kids (and teachers) as the Resident Stage Manager of GreatWorks Touring Theatre. Helen will let you know who’s boss—but in a way that’s just so darn lovable. Adopt her today!

Adopt Helen