Sunday, January 11, 2009

Eileen Boevers, 1940-2009

I am very sad to report the death at age 68 of Eileen Boevers, founder of the Apple Tree Theatre in Highland Park. Chris Jones' obituary is here.

I was an intern at Apple Tree during the summer of 2006, when Eileen was already very ill. She had only recently started returning to the office, and then only a few hours a day, in the wake of therapy for breast cancer. I thought she had entered remission, but apparently complications from that cancer killed her.

What she did in her life was truly exceptional--founding a theatre and keeping it going in the face of all odds. She produced a challenging selection of plays and musicals in Highland Park, and won quite a few Jeff Awards in the process. In addition to the main season productions, Apple Tree's Theatre For Young Audiences plays were seen by thousands and the educational programs have trained several generations of people who went on to have careers in theatre in Chicago. She will be missed, and I hope that Apple Tree continues to survive and thrive.

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