Family comes ‘Full Circle’
By Angela Bender For The Beacon-News March 15, 2013 3:36PM
Full Circle Scenic painting during the set construction. | Submitted by RJ Olgren.
Updated: March 15, 2013 4:28PM
When given the opportunity to create a set for a play, RJ Ogren jumped at the chance. But he is not the only family member getting in the act. RJ’s son Sean is the director and his wife, Suzy, is the assistant director of the Wheaton Drama production of “Full Circle.”
It is not the first time the artistic family has worked together. Sean and his sister, Dawn, had performed with their parents as children when the adults worked at Disney World. And at Wheaton Drama they have all appeared in shows.
“Our family has been involved in over 100 productions since 1959,” said RJ, who is an artist with his own gallery in Geneva. He also gives private art lessons to high school students and adults in his home studio in Naperville.
Sean submitted “Full Circle” for the 2012-2013 season at the volunteer-run Wheaton Drama. After the play reading committee selected it, Sean was chosen the director. Knowing that his father has 50 years experience in set design and 40 years of studies in history (the play is set in Berlin during its fall to the Russians), he turned to his father for help. The dad used pictures of Berlin at the end of the war, as well as creating some original buildings, to craft the 48-foot long and 16-foot high mural of war ravaged Berlin.
The set took about four weeks to design. The play opened Friday for its three-week run. But there is no resting. RJ is already hard at work designing the set for Wheaton Drama’s next production of “Into the Woods.”
To learn more about Wheaton Drama or to purchase tickets, go to www.wheatondrama.org or call 630-260-1820.