Wednesday, June 29, 2011

38,000 Reasons

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been 10 months since we launched the new website. On Monday evening we led a website workshop at the League offices for a dozen lucky member companies. The workshop was intended to give a greater understanding of all of the features on and that are available to members to engage theatre-loving patrons, to promote their company and production information and help sell tickets. Before the workshop we pulled some site analytics, and we were very happy with what we discovered: During the month of June we had nearly 38,000 unique visitors on compared with only 23,000 during the same month last year. Our average number of page views per visitor is now 4.5, up from only 1.3 before, and visitors now spend nearly 3 minutes on the site looking around, compared with barely a minute last year. We also found it interesting that Safari is now the most popular browser used by visitors on our website. So if you’re wondering why it's a good idea to have lots of engaging content on your theatre page and show pages: there are at least 38,000 reasons. We’ve continued to work on the site throughout the year making improvements, and even this week you may have noticed some helpful changes on the backend in your theatre-account. As it is a work in progress, we hope that you’ll continue to email us or comment to share feedback and suggestions on how we can make the site better for everyone. And if you weren’t able to attend the workshop on Monday but you would like some help taking advantage of all the bells and whistles, contact

Thursday, June 23, 2011

3 Years!!

I was reading over some of my past blogs, including blog #1, which was super long so if you read that, thanks. It’s one of those things that seem like just yesterday and ever so long ago. Next week will mark my third year at the League. The League board and staff have accomplished a lot over the past three years. I love this job, it affords me the great privilege of being able to know so many of you and to see so many extraordinary productions. I feel lucky indeed.

Here’s the thing, I don’t think we hear enough from our members. What are some things you think we should be doing that we don’t? What do we not do enough of? Are there programs that you think we should not do anymore? Is there a pressing issue that you feel is not being adequately addressed? I’m not a big fan of surveys for all sorts of reasons, but should we do one?

I realize most of you just don’t have time to give this question a lot of thought but if there is one thing you have been thinking of or maybe talking about or hearing from your friends – leave a one word comment or email. And, as I said in that very first blog, I’d love to hear from you.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Industry Ticket Offer

Middletown by Will Eno - Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St. is offering $10 tickets now available for performances Saturday, June 25th at 3 p.m. and Tuesday, June 28th at 7:30 p.m. To redeem $10 tickets call Audience Services directly at 312.335.1650 and use code “8661.” Tickets must be reserved at least one hour before performance. Subject to availability.

Faith Healer - Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. is offering $10 industry tickets for all performances July 7 to 24. Actor’s tickets are available with headshot and resume and designer tickets are available with business card or resume. Subject to availability. For more information call (630) 942-4000.

Stockyards Theatre Project Seeks Participants for Play for Keeps

Launched in 2007, Stockyards Theatre Project’s “Play for Keeps” continues to fulfill the Stockyards mission of giving volume to the voice of women by creating positive, substantial roles in plays for women performers.

In “Play for Keeps,” participants begin by bringing in any ideas they have for scenes, characters or scenarios and begin developing a play structure, style and character. Through the workshop they bring their voice into a dramatic structure and begin to share their work for facilitated group feedback. Stockyards Co-Producing Artistic Director, Francesca Peppiatt, who created the initiative, facilitates these critique sessions. Participants include emerging playwrights as well as actors who have never written or who are working on a show for themselves and need somewhere to develop. This program is also helpful for actors who may not be ready to start writing but would like to participate in the creative process while strengthening their cold reading skills.

In this season, Stockyards Theatre Project will for the first time be using The Think Tank space for “Play for Keeps.” The Think Tank is run by Brikenbrak Theatre Project; watch their official website,, for upcoming audition notices.

WHERE: The Think Tank, 1770 W. Berteau, suite 207
There is a parking lot in addition to street parking and easy CTA access.

WHEN: 4:00-6:00 p.m. - Sundays
July 3
July 10
July 17
July 24
July 31

For further information please contact

Staged reading location dates and times – TBD

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What's on Your Mind?

We are excited to announce that we're co-sponsoring the Chicago Theatre (anti) Conference this August 5-7 along with Theater Wit. We love being involved with just about any opportunity that brings members of the community together for networking and knowledge-sharing, so we were thrilled when Jeremy approached us about being a partner this year. Advance registration is open if you'd like to confirm your spot at the conference, but we're also looking for topic and speaker submissions right now. Speakers can attend the entire weekend conference for free and are encouraged to propose any subject of interest related to theatre in Chicago. Possible topics could include, but are not limited to: new work development, fundraising, audience building, online strategies, selling your work outside Chicago, grant applications, local government interactions, season programming, venue management, rental challenges, etc. More information about proposing a speaker or panel topic can be found here. It should be a fun and enlightening weekend so we hope to see you all there!

CPS Arts Partner Survey Convening

Please join us Wednesday, June 29 OR Thursday, June 30 to discuss the results of the CPS Arts Partner Survey.

The League of Chicago Theatres invites theatre-specific and multi-disciplinary organizations to join us for this next step in our process, whether or not you were able to complete the survey earlier this year.

On Wednesday, June 29 from 10am to 12pm and Thursday, June 30 from 6pm to 8pm at Goodman Theatre (170 N. Dearborn), we will be sharing the results of the survey and asking for your reactions, feedback, and recommendations on where our sector can go from here. You need only attend one of these two sessions; light refreshments will be provided at each.

Please RSVP to Jess Hutchinson ( with your name, organization, and the date and time you’ll be joining us; you will receive an e-mail confirming your RSVP. If you have any questions, feel free to send them to Jess as well.

Last winter, the Chicago Community Trust enlisted four institutions to work together and within their different artistic disciplines in creating recommendations for the improvement of arts education experiences of every student in the Chicago Public Schools. The first step in that task was to create and distribute the CPS Arts Partner Survey, designed to help us understand the current depth and breadth of arts partners’ work in CPS.

After working with many of you to create that survey, enlisting your help in spreading the word about it, collecting responses, and analyzing that data, it’s time to share the findings with you, and gather your input as we begin to draft our sector-specific recommendations.

Please Save The Date: TUESDAY, JULY 19th – we’ll again host two sessions at 1pm and 6pm respectively where we’ll present a draft of our final recommendations, informed by your feedback, before submitting them to the Trust.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Industry Ticket Offers

Romeo and Juliet - First Folio Theatre at Mayslake Hall, Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W 31st St, Oak Brook, is offering $10 industry tickets every Weds. & Thurs. evening at 8:15 PM from July 6 through August 4. Tickets may be purchased at the box office upon arrival, as there are always tickets available. Professionals must bring a union card, a headshot/resume, tech resume, or business card indicating employment in the theater business. Tickets may be purchased by calling 630-986-8067.

Yellow Face by David Henry Hwang - Silk Road Theatre Project at The Historic Chicago Temple Building, 77 W. Washington St., Pierce Hall, is offering $10 industry tickets on Thursday, June 23rd at 7:30 p.m. and Friday, June 24th at 8:00 p.m. ADVANCE PURCHASES on-line at or by calling the Goodman Theatre box office at 312-443-3800. Use coupon code "INDUSTRY." DAY OF PERFORMANCE DOOR PURCHASES – Industry Tickets available up to one hour before curtain. Must present headshot and/or resume. For more information visit

Friday, June 10, 2011

Industry Ticket Offers

Mother Bear by Jayme McGhan - Mortar Theatre Company at The Athenaeum, 2936 N. Southport Ave., is offering $15 tickets for all Friday and Sunday performances until June 19. Get the deal at the box office with headshot or business card.

Fifty Words by Michael Weller - Profiles Theatre , 4147 N. Broadway, is offering $15 industry tickets for the performance on Thursday, June 16 at 8 p.m. There will be an audience talk-back following the performance featuring the cast and director. Call 773-549-1815 to reserve and mention this Industry discount. Visit for more information.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

On Participation

I was at a Symposium this week where some of the talk was about the need for our work to become more participatory. The idea is that everyone is an artist now and so everyone needs to create, not just sit and watch and so we, as arts organizations need to create opportunities for people to create. Here’s what I say to that: No we don’t.

Our responsibility is to provide the opportunity to see something beautiful and transcendent and life-changing. Something not everyone can do. If everyone can do it, I don’t want to see it. I create stuff. I write on this blog and I presented earlier this week at Pecha Kucha and I make ceramics and I LOVE to sing (but I wouldn’t subject anyone to it, nor would I make a you tube video of myself doing it). I don’t consider myself an artist with something to say that is so far above the fray that I should be presented in the Museum of Contemporary Art or on the stage of the Goodman. Maybe someday, you never know, but certainly not now.

I depend on the MCA and the Goodman and all of you to nurture and experiment and continue to search for and find those voices that carry expressions of the soul in a profound and moving way.

I love public and community art projects that draw people in to something that is larger than them, that results in a creation that asserts our humanity. And I think places where creativity is encouraged are magical – places like Lill Street where I make my pots and Old Town School of Folk Music.

We are not those places, we are the places where we hear the voice of another, where we set aside our own need to be heard and listen and are uplifted and fortified because we have seen something that truly had something to say – something that spoke to us like nothing else before.


CTI Investor Relations Webinar

Wednesday, June 22, 2011, 12:00pm - 3:00pm
Price: $75


12:15pm - 1:00pm
Secrets of the Hunt
Debbie Bisno

1:00pm - 2:00pm

2:00pm - 2:45pm
Finding, Soliciting, & Fussing
Jed Bernstein

2:45 - 3:00pm
Questions and Wrap-up

Click here to register online.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rehearsal Space Availability at Remy Bumppo

Remy Bumppo's rehearsal space at 3717 N Ravenswood is available for rental July 23 - Sept 4; also October and beyond. Rates vary from $11 - $16 per hour, depending on hours scheduled per week. Approximately 800 sq ft, air conditioned, close to Addison Brown Line. Contact Amy Schultz at or 773-244-8119.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Industry Ticket Offers

Million Dollar Quartet - Apollo Theater, 2540 N Lincoln in Chicago is offering a limted number of $20 industry tickets for the following performances: Thursday, June 9 - 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 12 - 6:30 p.m. Call 773-935-6100 to redeem this offer. Visit

TROGG! A Musical - Hell in a Handbag Productions at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St. is offering $10 industry tickets for all Thursdays and Sundays until June 30. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. & 3 p.m. Use code word ‘industry’. Available online, at the box office or call 1-800-838-3006. See for show details.

People We Know - the side project, 1439 W. Jarvis is offering free tickets to the staged reading of Robert Tenges' critically acclaimed and Jeff-Nominated play on Wednesday, June 8, 7:30 p.m. Reservations:

United Sounds of America: New York City Concert - Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Center, is offering industry professionals up to two (2) complimentary tickets on Friday, June 10, at 8pm. To order your tickets email with your name, address, phone number, and requested number of tickets by noon on Thursday, June 9, 2011. All tickets will be held at the Symphony Center Box office for pick-up on Friday, June 10. For more information on the United Sounds of America, visit

Friday, June 3, 2011

Call for Scripts for 2012 Dionysos Cup Festival of New Plays

Deadline: July 7, 2011

Polarity Ensemble Theatre is now accepting scripts for the fifth edition of our Dionysos Cup Festival of New Plays, running May 10 through May 20, 2012. The festival will feature staged readings of four new full-length works.

The selected playwrights will benefit from an extended development period before rehearsals begin for the staged readings. The staged readings will be followed by open discussions that provide the playwrights with feedback from the cast, crew and a live audience. Past participating playwrights have hailed the Dionysos Cup as one of the most valuable script development processes of its kind.

The four scripts will each be performed twice over two weekends. These will be polished workshop readings to bring out the best qualities of the scripts. Playwrights must be available to attend performances as well as some earlier meetings and rehearsals. The festival is open only to Chicago area playwrights.

Plays need not follow our mission statement. We are open in terms of subject and style, but we accept only full-length plays.

To Submit a Script:
Mail a hardcopy of your script to Polarity Ensemble Theatre, 135 Asbury Avenue, Evanston, IL 60202. Enclose a synopsis of the script. Make sure your contact information including phone and email is on the title page. Please also enclose an electronic version (Word or PDF preferred) of your script on disk or email it to

Let us know if the play has had any previous performances or staged readings. We are considering only full-length scripts. We will read only one script per playwright. Scripts will not be returned, so do not send your only copy of a script. Postmark deadline is July 7, 2011. The festival is open only to Chicago area playwrights. What does "Chicago-area" mean? We only want to work with playwrights who can come in for meetings and some rehearsals and the performances. We want to work with the playwrights directly, across the table, and build a relationship with them. If you are willing to drive into town several times from February through May, you qualify. If you'd have to fly into town, you don't qualify.

Click here for more information.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Inspiration and Conversation

There have been a lot of exciting opportunities for anyone seeking inspiration and community conversation recently. The Chicago Theatre Symposium took place a couple weeks ago at Columbia College. The schedule included three jam-packed days filled with presentations, panels, and discussions covering just about any topic related to Chicago theatre that you can imagine. The list of Chicago theatre artists, administrators, critics and educators past and present that were involved was impressive.

Last week the One State Together in the Arts Conference, organized by Arts Alliance Illinois and the Illinois Arts Council, took place in Bloomington-Normal. They also had an incredible line-up of presenters, and live streamed it for those who couldn't attend in person. A wrap up and links to live blog posts can be found here.

For those of you who attended the Symposium and the One State Conference, what were your biggest takeaways or favorite speakers? Any Aha! moments or discussions that you'd like to continue at another forum?

The Theatre School at DePaul University Breaks Ground on new Theatre School Facility

The Theatre School at DePaul broke ground on June 1 for a new home – a 165,000 square-foot multipurpose facility designed by internationally renowned architectural firm Pelli Clarke Pelli.

The airy, five-story building is designed to showcase the varied and dynamic activities that characterize the school, its students and faculty. It will house a 250-seat theatre, a flexible 100-seat black-box theatre as well as administrative and faculty offices, classrooms, rehearsal spaces, design studios, workshops and the school’s script library. The flexible theatre will be named for longtime DePaul supporters Sondra Healy (a 1964 alumna of the Goodman School) and her husband, Denis.

The structure will be located on the southwest corner of West Fullerton and North Racine avenues and serve as the western gateway to the university’s Lincoln Park Campus.

DePaul announced its intention to build a new Theatre School facility – as well as new and renovated facilities for its School of Music – in fall 2009. Click here to read more information.

University Theater at the University of Chicago announce their Summer Incubator Series

The Theater and Performance Studies program (TAPS) in collaboration with University Theater at The University of Chicago is very happy to announce their 2011 Summer Incubator collective. This summer residency program was developed six years ago to promote and develop the creation of new work through the provision of rehearsal facilities in addition to staff and technical support. Through two, 2-week residencies involving six Chicago arts organizations, we foster a synergetic laboratory environment, with the hope of summer work resulting in subsequent performance.

The groups selected this summer represent the city's boldness in its artistic approaches. All of the new work developed reflects the University's commitment to interdisciplinary collaborations. Many of the pieces developed already have performance dates set for the upcoming season, and what began as an experiment in experiments has become an anticipated event.

2011 Participating Companies Include:

Luck Plush Productions
American Theater Company
Ann Boyd with Chelsea Warren
10 Star Theatre
NightBlue Performing Arts Company
LiveWire Chicago Theatre
Stockyards Theatre Project

For all the details regarding Summer Inc. 2011 and full descriptions of the participating companies visit the Summer Inc. 2011 page HERE

Eclipse Theatre Lunar Eclipse Event on June 18

LUNAR ECLIPSE a Chicago Theatre Networking Mixer
Saturday, June 18, 2011
8 p.m. and into the night
at the Eclipse Theatre Rehearsal Space
4001 N. Ravenswood, Suite 402
Chicago, IL 60613

It's that time again.... Come celebrate the 2011 Summer Solstice and network with Eclipse as well as friends and colleagues from the Chicago theatre community

Variety of Summer Solstice specialty drinks, beer, and wine
Summer Solstice astrological readings
Lots and lots of great summer food
DJ music and dancing
Network and mingle with Chicago artists

To learn more about Lunar Eclipse click here

Chicago Dramatists Summer 2011 Classes start Tuesday, June 7th

As the national leader in playwright training, Chicago Dramatists offers a variety of professional playwriting classes designed for both beginning and experienced playwrights. Classes are focused on building practical skills and stage worthy scripts, and are conducted in a supportive, positive manner. Most classes include a mix of lecture, discussion, writing assignments, and reading and critiquing participants’ work. Beginning playwrights enroll in classes to learn the basics and write their first plays. Working playwrights enroll in classes to review basic skills, attack a specific problem, and explore new or specialized techniques.

Have questions about a particular class or which would be best for you? Read the full class descriptions on our website at or call 312-633-0630.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Industry Ticket Offers

Skylight - Appetite Theatre Company at The Second Stage, 3408 N Sheffield Ave is offering $10 industry tickets for every Thursday performance at 8 p.m. through June 18. Use code word ‘industry’. Reserve via email at or call (773) 239-6036. See for show details.

Smart by Robert Fieldsteel- the side project, 1439 W. Jarvis is offering free tickets on Saturday, June 4 as part of the side project's 10th Anniversary Season Staged Reading Series. General admission is free and open to the public to each of those series, but donations to our “$10 for 10” are welcome in-person or online. Email for reservations or visit for more information.