With the conclusion of the 2019-2020 Chicago non-Equity theater season, the Jeff Awards announced the nominees for the 47th annual awards for theater excellence that include 120 theater artists across 21 categories. During this past season, which ended a few weeks early in mid-March due to government guidelines on public gatherings related to the COVID-19 virus, Jeff Awards.... Read More
Unlike the real-life Interregnum that shuttered London playhouses between 1642 and 1660, the remedy for the current halt to the spring theater season is not a simple change of venue—not when propelled by the very prospect of performers and spectators occupying the same space.
Almost as soon as the order to back off/stay inside was.... Read More
Coronavirus has made a huge impact on the theatre industry. Theatres from across the country were forced to postpone or cancel their shows. It goes without saying that a very large percentage of the revenue generated by most theatres comes from the sell of tickets and holding other events that are directly tied to people getting together in.... Read More
The Chicago theater community's annual awards recognizing non-Equity theater productions will be presented in a virtual format on Monday, June 8, 2020. In preparation for this program, the 2020 non-Equity nominations will be publicly announced, as previously planned, on Tuesday, April 28. To protect the health and safety of the community and comply with government guidelines on public.... Read More
During the period in English history known as the Interregnum, when the Puritans ruled under Oliver Cromwell, London playhouses were shuttered for a record EIGHTEEN YEARS!!! You heard that right—from 1642 to 1660, all public performances of plays were declared illegal, and miscreants subject to a fine.
Of course, this didn't mean theater disappeared altogether:.... Read More
Theatres across the Chicago-area are canceling or postponing their shows in response to conerns over the novel coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19.
We will continuously be updating this page with any news of the cancellation or the postponments of shows.
-Goodman Theatre: Has suspended all performances until further notice. This includes "School Girls;.... Read More
Theatergoers already familiar with Windy City Playhouse's "immersive theater" techniques were unperturbed when their access into its production of Mart Crowley's The Boys In The Band led them through a faux foyer, then up a trompe l'oeil elevator and down an anonymous hallway to arrive at a likewise nondescript door. Oh, but nobody, not even playgoers retaining.... Read More
The Otherworld playhouse is not a large room, by any stretch of the imagination, but the characters occupying its auditorium for Valiant Theatre's New Works Festival share a global diversity of backstories spanning centuries—supreme court justices, Episcopal ministers, Community Activists, Hollywood actresses, pro athletes and New Testament disciples.
The assembly comprises such distinguished trailblazers.... Read More
The folly of expecting human beings to behave with the efficiency of machines has manifested itself over a more than a century of unhappy consequences precipitated by the imposition of commercial paradigms upon social agendas—error constituting a major theme for playwrights from Henrik Ibsen to Arthur Miller. Female reformers, too, have protested the damage inflicted on families viewed.... Read More
The Goodman Theatre's El Cantico de Navidad (literally, "The Song of Christmas") was not conceived in a vacuum. Chicago's long history of welcoming foreign-born residents is evidenced in its abundance of public buildings, neighborhood shops, and street signs whose exterior displays reflect the cosmopolitan ethnicity of their locales.
"The Goodman has always been committed to.... Read More
That time of year is back, and what winter season is complete without a trip to the theater to take in some holiday plays? Whether you want to sit back and enjoy the classics that remind you of the true meaning of the season or you want to change things up and experience Christmas through a slightly more.... Read More
Hardly had the backpacks and lunchboxes disappeared from the store shelves than preparations commenced for the advent of the three-day festival celebrating ghoulies and goblins, Calacas and Calaveras, hyperglycemic diets and toilet-paper lawn decor.
The earliest of the seasonal offerings opened in September, only to close by mid-October, but the historical true-crime Bloody Bathory is.... Read More
Prepare to see an abundance of floor-length skirts and lintel-brushing headgear this autumn. No, theaters haven't adopted a formal dress code for their patrons, nor has Chicago been declared a "Game of Thrones" re-enactment site. A cursory overview of the theater offerings in the months between the major cool-weather holidays reveals a predominance of period plays, some depicting.... Read More
Viewing Pomona's first scene, theatergoers unfamiliar with the plays of Alistair McDowall may have wondered whether the title referred to a tunnel-ride in an amusement park. What else could explain the shabby little go-cart conveying a trio of urban night-owls—an aging-hippie philosopher, his streetwise young companion and, in the back seat, a vaguely-H.P. Lovecraft octopus-faced monster—on a.... Read More
Ask most people what a "magic show" looks like, and whether they cite a backyard birthday party, Las Vegas casino lounge or a neighborhood tavern, they will usually agree that a magic show is exclusively tricks and illusions.
Imagine, then, the unexpected thrill at the 2000 premiere of House Theatre of Chicago's original.... Read More
Some roles in Shakespeare—creatures from the world of Fancy, in particular—have a long record of exemption from binary restrictions on gender-linked infrastructure. Puck and Ariel, for example, despite being addressed as "he" and "him" in the text, have customarily been played by women, while Titania's fairy entourage typically boasts courtiers representing a wide spectrum of secondary sexual characteristics..... Read More
Shakespeare might not have been the first author to prescribe pastoral retreats as therapy for jaded mortals in need of moral realignment, but western literature in the centuries following has been virtually unanimous in its endorsement of vacations as the universal remedy.
The expansion of England's empire through offshore exploration during the Elizabethan age whetted.... Read More
The dialogue between the young and the old, between the ages of opportunity and those of experience, between "Where am I going?" and "How did I end up here?" are conversations beguiling writers from the beginning of time. Two overlapping productions in this spring's festival of plays by Steven Dietz feature the prolific playwright speaking in both voices.
HAMILTON: THE EXHIBITION - a 360-degree, immersive exhibit that will travel to select U.S. cities -- will premiere in Chicago on April 27 for a limited engagement. It will be on display in a specially-constructed free-standing, all-weather structure the size of a football field on Northerly Island in Chicago, where HAMILTON has played a sold-out run since 2016.
"Beneath the surface of stage magic, lurking beneath the displays of dexterity and skill, there is always an eerie, disquieting undercurrent, hinting at forces in the world beyond our understanding and control." says David Parr, "If you look at posters from the golden age of magic, when the great magicians were at the height of their celebrity, what.... Read More