The Mercury Theater Prepares To Reopen

Apr 7, 2021

Mercury Theater Chicago announces reopening with new leadership. Mercury Theater owners have restructured for the future and are preparing the theater for a reopening. With this announcement comes exciting new leadership. Mercury Theater Chicago introduces Christopher Chase Carter as Artistic Director.

Incoming Artistic Director Christopher Chase Carter returns to Mercury Theater Chicago where he collaborated on the hit productions of Little Shop of Horrors and the Jeff Award nominated musical Hair. Originally from Muskegon Michigan, Carter began his theater career in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he attended Grand Valley State University on scholarship. In 2005 Carter studied at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles. He continued his studies at the Edna Manley School in Kingston, Jamaica which inspired him to establish the Christopher Carter Arts Scholarship for underprivileged artists. Recently in Chicago, Carter has collaborated on the world-premiere musical Skates and is preparing to choreograph Children of Eden. He has been nominated and received the Joseph Jefferson Award, the Black Theater Alliance Award, Broadway World Award, the Black Excellence Award, and the Grand Rapids 'Grand' Award.

During the months ahead, Artistic Director Carter will layout his exciting new vision for the future of Mercury Theater Chicago. "Mercury Theater Chicago will offer a platform for artists of all backgrounds to tell stories unapologetically," states Carter. "We will create art that represents the world in which we live. I am determined to create a safe and fair environment while focused on equality and inclusivity. We look forward to welcoming and supporting a new generation of artists. At Mercury Theater Chicago, we hear you and we see you. I am excited about the evolution of performance and artistry in this ever-changing great city. And I am excited to reveal our ambitious season in the coming months."

In July 2020, it was announced that Mercury Theater Chicago would close permanently. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the theater owners received unsolicited offers to purchase, but they held onto the property. "I have a unique responsibility, a stewardship, with this arts center," explains Executive Producer Walter Stearns. "When we closed, we shut down every expense with the hope that someday we would be able to re-open in better times. By conserving resources along with federal support and refinancing, we have been given the opportunity to remake theater into something better for the future. I am extremely excited for the new ideas, vitality and passion brought by our new artistic leadership."

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed lives forever. It has struck the arts community on a disproportionate level, forcing closures, career changes, financial and health emergencies. There are so many unknowns about the future, but Mercury Theater Chicago is committed to opening when it is safe to do so. Pending a new agreement with Actors' Equity Association, Mercury Theater Chicago is committed to producing first-rate, professional live theater under the safest conditions possible.