Thursday, January 28, 2010

I (heart) Chicago Theatre

I was extremely proud to be asked to talk about Chicago theatre’s Haiti relief drive on Dean Richards’ show on Sunday morning. And we should all be proud of the efforts our community has put in. Not everybody has a show running but so many people have stepped up to participate. I got an email from Oracle this morning saying that they will be donating a portion of ticket sales, and that the instructors for their classes will be donating the income from that, Broadway In Chicago has collected over $75,000, lots of theatres are sending out the information in their eblasts, Greenhouse Theater has put a great piece up on their website, Chicago Cabaret Project is collecting at their performances, and the list goes on and on.

We rock. What else can I say. If you are participating and you haven’t let us know please email me or Ben so we can get a complete list.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Industry Ticket Offers

The Prisoner of Second Avenue – Citadel Theatre at Gorton Center, 400 E. Illinois Rd., Lake Forest is offering $10 industry tickets for 1/27 at 2 p.m. and 1/28 at 8 p.m. For tickets call 847-735-8554 and mention “Industry.”

Phedra - New World Repertory Theater at Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, is offering $5 industry tickets for all performances Jan. 28-31st. Thurs.-Sat. at 8:30 pm and Sun. at 3 pm. Call 773-327-5252 and use code "Actor" for this industry offer. Visit for more information.

The Island – Remy Bumppo Theater Company at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. is offering $10 industry discount tickets for Friday nights at 7:30 p.m, January 29 – March 7 and Wednesday matinĂ©es, February 10 and 24 at 2 p.m. Call the box office at 773-404-7336 or order online and use the code "INDUSTRY."

Lost in Yonkers - Village Players Performing Arts Center, 1010 W. Madison St. Oak Park, is offering $10 industry tickets for Sunday, January 31. For tickets call 866-764-1010 and mention this industry offer.

Savage In Limbo - Village Players Performing Arts Center, 1010 W. Madison St. Oak Park is offering 2 for 1 industry tickets to Thursday and Sunday performances through February 21. For tickets call 866-764-1010 and mention this industry offer.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Industry Ticket Offers

Kronos Quartet –McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd.,Glen Ellyn. is offering $10 industry tickets for the Friday, Feb. 5 performance. Tickets are available with a copy of this notice. Subject to availability. For more information call (630) 942-4000.

Love Song - Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, 425 Fawell Blvd.,Glen Ellyn. $5 industry tickets for Thursday and Sunday performances Feb. 11 to 28. 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.

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet –McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd.,Glen Ellyn. is offering $10 industry tickets for the Sunday, Feb. 21, 7 p.m. performance. Evening includes Twyla Tharp’s Sue’s Leg. Tickets are available with a copy of this notice. Subject to availability. For more information call (630) 942-4000.

Space Availability at Stage Left Theatre

Stage Left has off-night, and late-night performance space available from March - May, and primetime runs available starting in June. 3408 N Sheffield in Wrigleyville. 49 seats. Our air-conditioned space comes equipped with both sound and lighting instruments. Please contact Laura, 773-883-8830 or

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Industry Ticket Offer

The Island – Remy Bumppo Theatre at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. is offering $10 tickets to a special industry preview on Friday, January 29 at 7:30 p.m. For tickets call 773-404-7336 or order online and use the code INDUSTRY for discount. Visit for more information.

Last Minute Space Availability at Greenhouse Theater Center

Last minute rental available in the Downstairs Mainstage at the Greenhouse Theater Center. Open slot is February 22-April 11, 2010. 195 seat theater with full house staff and box office provided; sound and light package included. Rental includes theater space, back stage area, equipped dressing room and light booth. Theatre now also has liquor license to further the enjoyment of your patrons! Theatre may also be available for rehearsals or events during this time frame. For more information, including rental rates, tech specs, and contract details please contact Jenn Kincaid at, or at 773.404.7336 x 200.

Chicago Theaters Support Haiti Relief Efforts

Many people have been asking what the theatre community can do in response to the disastrous earthquake in Haiti last week. The League is organizing everyone to collect donations from our patrons in whatever way we can over the next week (technically January 22-31). There are a number of ways in which you can encourage your patrons to help:

  • Collect donations directly from your patrons and give the money directly to the American Red Cross which has set up a fund for direct relief to Haiti. A sample announcement is below.
  • Add the sample paragraph below to your patron emails.
  • Put a link on your website or facebook page.

Broadway In Chicago will be collecting donations after every performance this week of DREAMGIRLS, ANNIE AND MAMMA MIA, and they will be putting a link on their e-blast that goes out to 600,000 people; Second City will be collecting donations from their audiences and will match that contribution with their own.

Please let us know if you will be participating. We’d like to keep track of everyone who does. Email or give us a call if you have any questions.

All best,

Thank you so much for attending tonight’s performance of [name of show]. It is hard to imagine as we sit so comfortably in our seats that over 3 million people in Haiti are going without water. In response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti on Tuesday, January 13, The League of Chicago Theatres has enlisted the support of our theatre as well as the over 200 theatres in Chicago to raise funds for the people of Haiti. We will be collecting donations as you exit the theatre – no donation is too small or too large to make a difference. One hundred percent of your donation is being directed to the Red Cross. Please be as generous as you can and thank you for sharing your time with us today.

In response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti last Tuesday, The League of Chicago Theatres has enlisted the support of the over 200 theatres in Chicago to raise funds for the people of Haiti. You have always been so generous to support our theatre – now you have the chance to support over 3 million people in need of something as basic as clean water. Please click here and give as generously as you can to the Red Cross.

Technology and Collaboration

Hello, Readers! My name is Jess Hutchinson and I’m the newest member of the League of Chicago Theatres staff. I’m also a frequent user of League resources as Artistic Director at New Leaf Theatre, and have worked as a freelance director, teaching artist, and theatre education administrator with several companies around town. I asked Deb and Ben if I could use the blog to talk about technology and collaboration, especially as it relates to my new role here – and get your thoughts on that project, too.

Getting people together in a room is one of my favorite things to do – I believe that’s where the really good stuff happens. It’s where and how the art I love gets made, and where I feel we’re most well-placed to address and solve the problems we all encounter every day. When we’re together, we can share our challenges, triumphs, strategies and “please dear god don’t ever do this the way I just did it” revelations.

Using technology collaboratively is another of my favorite things. Last weekend I directed a reading of The Winter’s Tale, the script for which was cut and adapted entirely on Google docs by myself and the delightful Benno Nelson. Sometimes we were in the same coffee shop; sometimes we were hundreds of miles apart. But because of this technology, we were able to have a more effective, efficient, and oh-so-rewarding collaboration. On-line file and document-sharing is also how I’ve been having some really rich design conversations with my team for Orange Flower Water at BackStage, and how we often roll at New Leaf.

Why am I talking about collaborations and technology? Because I’m about to talk about the project I’m working on – and it requires both of those things. The Big List lets us use technology to collaborate across performing arts organization and strengthen our arts community as a whole, and it’s going live in just a couple months.

What exactly is this Big List I speak of? It’s the League’s cooperative, web-based, community database. It’s totally free (you heard me) for members of the League of Chicago Theatres. It’s going to make list trades easier than ever. It’s going to clean our patron data by running that data through the National Change of Address (NCOA) system every quarter. And it’s going to allow us to access robust research and analysis of who’s really coming to see theatre in Chicago. And did I mention that it’s free? (I actually got my first peek at the system today and some of its research and reporting capabilities. I said “Wow – really?” a lot during that phone meeting.)

Already working in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Houston, Denver, Seattle – TRG Arts (the company we’re partnering with on this project) has been collecting and analyzing a whole bunch of data about arts patronage across the country. And if the data in Chicago is anything like the data in these other cities, we’re going to see that the more arts patrons attend the arts, the more they attend – that in fact our patrons don’t get “full” of culture like they might at an all-you-can-eat buffet.

BUT – you’re only as good as your data, as they say, and the Big List will only be as good as the data we receive from the community. Which is my other not-so-sneaky agenda for this blog post! While I’m already in contact with many members of the League about this project, I certainly haven’t gotten to talk to everyone. So, as we get ready to really roll with this project (at the very beginning of February to be exact), I’m hoping that you or your company’s marketing director – or whoever is the best person for me to chat with about this project – will e-mail me at so that we can get your company on board.

If you’re still not sold on this project, you can contact me with your questions and concerns. I’m eager to hear what everyone thinks of this endeavor so that we can make it the best for all of us in our collaborative and technologically savvy theatre community.

Saints Grant Opportunity

Time is running out to apply for the 2010 grants offered to qualifying Chicago-area not-for-profit performing arts organizations by the Saints, Chicago's Volunteers for the Performing Arts. All grant applications must be received at our address by Sat. Jan. 30. To get a grant application and guidelines, go to and go to the grants application link on the home page. If you have any questions or need more information, contact Grants Committee Chair Dale Kuypers at

Space Availability at Chicago Dramatists

Main-stage Rental Space available at Chicago Dramatists for the following dates: July 12 August 22, 2010. This is a 6-week production slot. The theatre is 77 seats with a full lighting and sound package, air conditioning, dressing rooms and 24 hour access during technical rehearsals.

Theatre rental is $1,000 per week. Rehearsal space is also available at $10 per hour. Please contact Brian Loevner at or 312-633-0630.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Industry Ticket Offers

The Artist Needs a Wife - the side project, 1439 W. Jarvis, is offering 2-for-1 industry tickets to performances January 21-24. Bring an industry pal and you both get in for $6 each (regular industry price is $12). Email for reservations.

Sex Marks the Spot --- New Lincoln Theatre Productions at the Theatre Building, 1225 W. Belmont, Chicago, is offering a limited number of 2 for 1 $15 industry tickets for 7:45 p.m. Friday January 22, 4:30 and 7:45 p.m. Saturday Jan.23, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday Jan. 24. Call 773-327-5252 and mention this offer. Visit for more information.

Blue Door – Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. is offering $10 industry tickets to performances January 22-31. For tickets call 773-871-3000 and use code word INDUSTRY. Subject to availability and not valid with any other discounts or on previously purchased tickets.

Phedra- New World Repertory Theater at Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, is offering a limited number of $5 industry tickets for the 8:30 pm Thursday performances through Feb. 14. Call 773-327-5252 and use code "Actor" for this industry offer. Visit for more information.

The Ring Cycle - The Building Stage at 412 N Carpenter, Chicago (Grand Blue line) is offering a special industry performance Monday February 22, 7 p.m. The whole cycle is presented with short intermissions only, picnics still welcome! Just $20 with H/R or card, use code "EPIC". Visit

Lucid – Diamante Productions at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave. is offering $12 industry tickets for Thursday performances through February 28. Use the code word “LCT” when purchasing tickets. (Only valid at the door). Visit for more information.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Outrageous Fortune

We had an event earlier this week around OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE, the new book by Todd London and Ben Pesner about “the life and times of the new American play.” It was attended by a lot of folks, artistic directors, managers, playwrights, and funders. I don’t usually talk about artistic matters, but this was really interesting. According to the authors there is a fundamental misunderstanding between playwrights and theatres about what the wants and needs are of each. Huh. Why? According to the authors it’s because we lie to each other. Huh. For example, the theatre says we really love your work but it’s not right for our audience. The playwright reasonably takes that to mean that the theatres number one concern is audience reaction to a play. Pesky audiences. I can’t presume to understand what that might mean but, according to the authors, when theatres are asked, audience reaction is most definitely not their top concern when considering a new play.

There was a discussion after the presentation of the findings of the book that I actually found a little disappointing; I guess I was hoping for some fireworks. Maybe it was hard for people to digest all of that information. Many playwrights spoke and many of them had very positive things to say about the work they were doing. Maybe it’s different in Chicago – maybe playwrights and theatres feel like they have excellent relationships.

I offered at the meeting that if people wanted to continue this conversation I would be happy to facilitate that. So, if you are interested, shoot me an email.


Space Availability at Red Tape Theatre

Red Tape Theatre currently has prime-time, performance space available for June, July, and August 2010. Applications are available at Red Tape’s eclectic space is 25’ x 40’ x 25’ with sprung wood floor. The theatre is centrally located at 621 W Belmont (Belmont and Broadway) in St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Rates are remarkably affordable and include a unique lobby space partnership with the Chicago Underground Library. Learn more about Red Tape at

Rates: $2,000 per month. Prime-time performance spots available on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Minimum Commitment: 4 weeks

Notes: Sprung-Wood Floor (ideal for movement/dance), High Ceilings, Flexible Arrangement, Centrally Located, Large Lobby Space, Wifi Accessible

Contact: Myah Shein, Director of Marketing and Communications,

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Industry Ticket Offer

Private Lives - Chicago Shakespeare Theater is offering $20 industry tickets to Tuesday-Friday January performances. Call 312.595.5600 or visit and use code BROADCAST to order. Limit 4 tickets per order. Subject to availability.

Space Availability at A Red Orchid Theatre

A Red Orchid Theatre boasts an intimate 74-seat auditorium in Chicago's bustling and fashionable Old Town neighborhood. Our air-conditioned space comes equipped with both sound equipment and lighting instruments. Our location on nightlife-oriented Wells Street guarantees heavy foot traffic, and we are just steps from CTA buses and rail stations. Theatre available mid April through July 2010 for prime time rental. Call (312) 943-8722 or email

Rehearsal Space - Wide open 30'x18' rehearsal space available for hourly/daily/weekly rental. Basic rehearsal furniture at your disposal. Call Kirsten (312) 943-8722 or email for details and to schedule your next rehearsal.

Space Availability at Gorilla Tango Theatre

Rent a space at Gorilla Tango Theatre in Chicago (Bucktown); easily accessible by “L” or bus, ample street parking available. Basic marketing, box-office services (online and phone), and rehearsal space is included (FREE) for all weekday and weekend timeslots. GTT runs shows 7 days per week, multiple shows per day; greatest potential for profit and greatest protection from loss for any self-producing company or individual. Mainstage space has 80-seat capacity – for pictures and more information visit and click on “Producers Wanted” page, or contact Dan Abbate at 773-598-4549 or

Space Availability at Theater Wit

Theater Wit is now accepting rentals for performances starting May 1st, 2010 and rehearsal space starting March 15th. Amazing new facility at 1229 W. Belmont. Multiple black box theatres, computerized sound and lights, beautiful lobby, and competitive rates. Visit for more information.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Board Development

The topic of board development has been coming up in conversations lately. In addition to being discussed some at the last Storefront Summit meeting, it was also the focal point of our conversation at the recent Executive/Managing Director Roundtable. In an effort to continue that discussion and share some resources we're kicking off our first roundtable of the New Year with an event on the subject. We invite you to join us and hear case studies from emerging theaters and their board members and learn valuable resources from Peter Kuntz, Executive Director of the Arts and Business Council of Chicago and peers at other theater companies. We hope to see you or someone from your company there!

Monday, January 25, 6 - 8 p.m.
League offices, 228 S. Wabash, Suite 200
FREE to League members
RSVP to Space is limited!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Royal George Gallery Space Availability

The Royal George Gallery Theatre has winter/spring availability. 50 seat black box theatre. Available for hourly, nightly, or weekly rentals. Perfect for rehearsals.

All rates are negotiable. Please contact Shaun Garrett at 312-988-9105 or

Industry Ticket Offers

Yoni Ki Baat - Rasaka Theatre at Strawdog Theatre, 3829 N. Broadway, is offering $5 industry tickets at the box office one hour prior to the performance on January 7 and 8 at 8 p.m. and January 10 at 4 and 8 p.m. Visit for more information.

Jeeves in Bloom – First Folio Theatre at Mayslake Hall, Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W. 31st St., Oak Brook is offering $5 industry tickets on an as available basis for Wednesday performances January 27, February 3 and 10 at 8 p.m. Tickets must be reserved on the day of the performance and professionals must bring a union card, headshot, resume or business card indicating employment with a professional theater. Tickets may be reserved by calling 630-986-8067 on the day of the performance only.

The Wedding - TUTA Theatre Chicago at Chopin Theatre Studio Stage, 1543 W. Division, is offering $12 industry tickets to all Thursdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. through Feb. 14th. To redeem these specially priced tickets present a headshot, resume or business card at the box office day of performance. Special previews for $15 on Jan. 12 and 13. For more information

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

About Face Theatre Call for Submissions

About Face Theatre is happy to announce that it is now accepting scripts for selection for the 2010 XYZ Festival of New Works. After a highly successful inaugural festival in the fall of 2009, About Face looks forward to giving this opportunity to a broader pool of playwrights. Plays selected for the festival will be given seated or staged readings with the support of professional directors and actors. The festival will occur in the fall of 2010.

Full length scripts at any stage of development. New works that have not seen full production (readings and workshops okay). Material that challenges expectations and ideas about gender and sexuality in historical or contemporary contexts. Scripts that break traditional ideas about dramatic form, structure and presentation.

Electronic submissions only. Documents in PDF or DOC formats accepted. In your email, attach completed submission form (click here to download), full script, and resume/bio. Please remove your name and contact information from every page of your script; display only the title on the title page.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: March 15, 2010. Selections announced April 30, 2010.


Further details can be found on our website.

NFP Incorporation and Tax Exemption Workshop

Thursday, February 4, 2010, 5:30 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
Lawyers for the Creative Arts will again present its workshop on
Not-for-Profit Incorporation and Tax Exemption at its office at
213 W. Institute Place, Suite 403. The cost is $100 for one person, and $125 for two people. This workshop will discuss whether to start a NFP, how to establish a NFP, as well as certain recurring operating problems. We also cover in detail how to obtain a 501(c) (3) tax exemption and discuss several legal issues regarding maintaining tax exempt status. A full package of documents is included. Although this workshop is intended for artists of all types, it has been very popular with lawyers as well as it provides comprehensive coverage of the subject.
Please call LCA at 312-649-4111 to register.

Chicago Flyhouse Offers $10K ‘Strings Attached' Rigging Grant

Theatrical rigging specialist The Chicago Flyhouse is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for their 6th annual ‘Strings Attached’ Rigging Grant - open to all tax-exempt performing arts companies based in Chicago and its near suburbs.

In support of The Chicago Flyhouse's mission to improve the quality and application of theatrical rigging throughout the industry, this grant affords local companies the opportunity to take advantage of Flyhouse’s groundbreaking rigging developments to broaden their artistic vision and company potential.

An annual, project-oriented award not to exceed $10K, the ‘Strings Attached’ Rigging Grant is applied to a Chicago Flyhouse designed and installed flying or rigged effect for a specific event or production, or for a permanent rigging installation towards the improvement of a venue.

The application deadline is March 1, 2010. Companies interested in applying for the grant should visit the Chicago Flyhouse website ( to download a grant application. The Flyhouse can also be contacted directly at 773-533-1590.