Thursday, September 30, 2010

Critic's Eye: How the Tribune's Critics See the Fall Arts Scene

Join the Chicago Tribune's arts critics for a panel discussion and reception.

Monday, October 11, 6 p.m.
The new Broadway Playhouse, 175 E. Chestnut St.

Julia Keller - Culture Critic

Chris Jones - Theater Critic
John von Rhein - Classical Music Critic
Greg Kot - Pop/Rock Critic
Michael Phillips - Movie Critic
Howard Reich - Jazz Critic

Tickets: $25

To register, visit:

Free Night 2010

On Tuesday morning we launched the third year of Theatre Communication Group's Free Night of Theater (FNoT) program in Chicago. More than 40 theatres are signed up to participate this year. We had a very successful launch day with all of our tickets for the first week selling out within the first couple hours. Most of them were gone within the first 15-20 minutes. Each Tuesday in October we'll release a new block of tickets. The free performances begin tomorrow (October 1) and last throughout the month.

A preliminary look at the first week of reservation data for 2010 once again shows some exciting information about the average FNoT patron. The program continues to be effective at reaching new, younger, and diverse audiences. Here are just a few demographics pulled from the 2010 reservation data to date:

78% of FNoT patrons are under the age of 35
83% of FNoT patrons are new to the theatre they will be attending
46% of FNoT patrons are non-white
69% of FNoT patrons are female/ 31% of FNoT patrons are male

If your theatre isn't already signed up to participate in the program, and is performing in October, it's not too late to sign up and try it out. Email for further information.

Steppenwolf Launches iPhone App

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is pleased to announce the launch of its new iPhone App—now available for free download through the iPhone App Store. Steppenwolf is one of the first non-profit theatre companies in Chicago to create a user-friendly app for on-the-go theatre patrons. The Steppenwolf app can also be used on the iPad and iPod Touch. The new Steppenwolf iPhone App provides easy access to information about current shows, tickets, news, social media and special discounts:

· Purchase Tickets: With only three taps, users can view current and upcoming productions, check performance dates and purchase tickets with the What’s On feature. The app’s performance calendar mirrors the iPhone’s calendar, making it easy to view the run of a production.

· Stay Informed: Explore a production before you arrive at the theatre—read the latest news on Steppenwolf’s blog, watch video interviews and listen to podcasts with the artists. Quickly share information with friends and hear what others are saying with a direct link to Facebook and Twitter.

· Maintain an Account: Create a personal profile to track tickets purchases, update billing information and link directly to social media accounts.

· Directions, Dining & Parking: The Getting Here feature profiles Steppenwolf’s three performance venues (Downstairs Theatre, Upstairs Theatre and Merle Reskin Garage Theatre) links to Google Maps for easy directions, provides parking information and offers nearby restaurant recommendations.

· Special Offers: Stay up-to-date on current discount offers, including group rates, student tickets, half-priced rush tickets and other last-minute deals.

Other Steppenwolf productions currently available for purchase via the iPhone App include Detroit, Steppenwolf for Young Adults’ production of To Kill a Mockingbird and the 6th annual First Look Repertory of New Work.

Industry Ticket Offers

The Book of Liz - Chemically Imabalnced Comedy, 1420 W. Irving Park Rd. is offering $5 industry tickets on Monday, October 4th, 2010 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available online using the code INDUSTRY, at the door, or by calling 1-800-838-3006. Advance reservation is recommended.

The Comedy of Errors - Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis, is offering $10 industry rush tickets to every performance through October 17. Rush tickets are $10 per person with proof of industry one hour before curtain, subject to availability.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr, is offering $15 industry tickets for any performance Oct 15-31: Tickets must be reserved in advance by calling 773-293-3682 or emailing

Call for Script Submissions

Red Tape Theatre's The Fresh Eyes Project is a bold, new workshop process designed to create and develop plays that are innovative in form or subject. Our directors, dramaturges and actors work alongside the playwright to customize a rehearsal period best suited to the exploration of a particular play.

Here’s how it works:
Once selected, we match you with a director. Together, you design a rehearsal process best suited to your goal, whether it is to finish the play or see if all those puppets in scene 4 really make sense. We give you a cast, a dramaturg, rehearsal space and the month of March and let you go at it. At the end, we invite everyone involved in FEP and in Red Tape to come and see wherever you are in the process without the prying eyes of the public. The following week, your cast performs a selection of your new masterpiece at the Chicago Fringe Artists Networking Night (CFANN).

Here’s what we need from you:
- 10 page submission along with a full synopsis of a project that is innovative in subject or form.
- 1 page description of what they would ideally like a workshop to include at this point in the development of their project.
- If selected as a finalist, playwrights will be asked for a full copy of the script or a detailed outline and source material for an incomplete project.
- Availability for the month of March.

Submissions must emailed to by October 31st, 2010. Please put “FEP Submission” in subject of email.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Industry Ticket Offers

Night and Day – Remy Bumppo Theatre Company at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln, is offering $15 industry tickets to performances Fridays at 7:30 p.m. through 10/22 and also to Thursday matinees at 2:30 p.m. on 9/30 and 10/14. Use code INDUSTRY. and 773-404-7336.

I Do! I Do! - Light Opera Works Second Stage, 1420 Maple Avenue in Evanston, is offering half-price industry tickets for previews (regularly $21) on October 3 at 3 p.m. and October 6 and 7 at 8 p.m., and press opening (regularly $27, $34 and $42) on October 8 at 8 p.m. For tickets call 847-869-6300 or visit and use code "Honeymoon." Tickets must be purchased in advance. No door sales.

Edward Albee's At Home At The Zoo - Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln, is offering a limited number of $15 industry tickets. The discount is valid for performances from October 1-10. To claim, use code “INDUSTRY” when ordering online at, calling 773.871.3000, or in person at the Box Office.

Obscura: a voyeuristic love story - Red Tape Theatre, 621 W. Belmont, is offering $15 industry tickets to their world premiere through October 23. Tickets can be purchased online with code YHJMTI or at the door. Please provide proof of Industry when claiming tickets. For more information on Red Tape and Obscura, visit

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Blogging is Hard

I had a great idea for a blog post earlier this week and I wrote it down and then I lost the piece of paper. I find it really hard to come up with ideas every week (or every two weeks, or however often it is), I don’t know how bloggers who do it every day can come up with something new.

Over on, we are going to have guest bloggers writing about whatever they wish. That blog will be specifically for theatre patrons, although I’m sure you will enjoy it as well. This one is for you, my industry peeps, you’re so lucky to have me ramble on. Anyway if you haven’t been on Chicagoplays lately – go there, it looks really good and I think we’re getting to the point where the bugs are mostly out.

We had a great event at the Cultural Center last Sunday, it was the Dramatists Guild/League Meet and Greet. To be honest, I didn’t know how it would turn out – but I thought it might be a good idea when Dramatists Guild approached us about it. It was lovely, dramatists milled around talking to different theatres and it seemed like everyone had a good time. Every theatre reported having a sore throat when they left from talking so much about their theatres, I think that makes it a success.

I hope you are all enjoying the start of another fantastic theatre season.


Industry Offers

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark, is offering $10 industry tickets on Thursday nights to industry professionals. Proof of industry required at the box office.

Swords for Rusty Broads and Gents Workshop - Babes with Blades is offering an early bird special on their upcoming 2 day workshop focusing on weapons skills and Shakespeare, at Chase Park (4701 N Ashland Ave. Chicago, IL) on Saturday 10/23 and Sunday 10/24 from 10am to 5pm each day. Sign up before 10/10 and only pay $50 for one day, $80 for both. Prices after 10/10 will increase to $60 for one day, $100 for both. Please visit for details on each day’s workshop as well as expectations. Please note that the weapons workshop is meant for intermediate to advanced students only. No beginners for the weapons workshop please.

Chicago Muse Seeks New Musical Submissions for its 2010-2011 Season

Chicago Muse is seeking the next generation of new musicals. Composers, writers and lyricists are encouraged to submit their completed works for consideration for the 2010-2011 season. Deadline for submissions is October 15th, 2010. Chicago Muse is the new professional theatre company devoted to engaging a community in the development and production of new musicals. All works submitted will be automatically entered into consideration for the Chicago New Musical Festival June 13-26, 2011. For complete details and submission guidelines visit

Submissions will be reviewed by a prestigious artistic advisory committee of musical theatre professionals, the registered Chicago Muse membership base and staff. This unique, on-line interactive evaluation process of these groups will select a final pool of 30 works from which three finalists will be chosen. Three of these shows will be selected to receive funding up to $10,000 for staged reading in Chicago.

Chicago Muse will collaborate with the winning creators of these new works on a staged reading of their musical to bring it to life. This essential and transformative process will provide constructive feedback back to the creative teams in the development of their new musicals.

The Chicago New Music Theatre Festival June 13th -26th, 2011 will feature the most promising shows as judged by the reading committee, the staged reading favorites and input from Chicago Muse advisory board and staff. Select shows will receive up to $30,000 for a “skeletal production at the festival. To complete the cycle the highest rated show based on input from attendees will be produced by Chicago Muse for its next season with funding up to $300,000.

Anyone can submit a new musical with a complete book, musical score and lyrics along with a CD containing at least 50% of the songs in the show. Visit for details on submission guidelines or to become a charter registered member and participate in the selection process of works being considered.
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION IS OCTOBER 15TH, 2010. There is a $30 submission fee. (Chicago Muse reserves the right to hold onto submissions postmarked after 10/15/10 for the next review cycle by reading committee and the paid registered users online)

Questions regarding submissions should be directed to the following:

Chicago Muse Literary Associate
c/o Chicago Muse
407 South Dearborn, Suite 1235
Chicago, Il 60605
or email your queries to -

Gorilla Tango Theatre seeks Directors/Producers for Fall 2010 - Winter 2011.

Gorilla Tango Theatre is seeking Director/Producers who have a show or a project and are looking for a space! GTT makes producing simple – we provide all infrastructure (audition and rehearsal space, performance space, box-office, online ticketing, basic marketing), and you provide the show.

GTT is 100% legal – we’re licensed, insured, and we even have a liquor license and can serve you and your patrons alcohol. Yes, alcohol, you drunkies.

Check out our website at and click on “Producers” to learn more about producing at Gorilla Tango Theatre or contact Dan at 773.598.4549, for more info.

Theatrical Lighting For Sale

If a theater is interested in used theatrical lighting, a school in Franklin Park is looking to sell the used lights from their auditorium. If you are interested call Carleton at 847-455-4413 x1227 or email

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What's Next?

If you've gone outside today you probably noticed that the temps have dropped and it feels like Fall. While some people might already be missing those hot summer days on the beach, I look forward to the cooler weather, light jackets and the new theatre season. It's a great time of year to be in Chicago and has always been my favorite season. After a busy summer with the TCG conference and launching a brand new look and website, it's a perfect time to refocus and hit the ground running. We have some great events lined up for the next few weeks. While I am sure many of you are busy launching your season, we hope that we'll see you at one of these upcoming events.

Dramatists Guild Meet and Greet
Sunday, September 19, 2 - 5 p.m.

Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.
The League and the Dramatists Guild of America invite theatres to join members of the Dramatists Guild from throughout the Midwest for a Meet and Greet. Presented in Collaboration with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. The event is designed so that representatives of theatres, such as Artistic Directors and Literary Managers, can have an opportunity to speak with playwrights, composers, lyricists and librettists about their mission, the kind of new work they are interested in, what kind of submissions they take, etc. The format will be a "fair" type, with each theatre having a table on which they can display materials. If your theatre would like to be represented at the event please RSVP to before 5 p.m. on Friday, 9/17.

Chicago Theatre Intern Networking Event
Monday, September 27, 2010, 6 - 8 p.m.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 E. Grand
FREE, rsvp to
Meet and network with interns at other Chicago theater companies. Take part in breakout groups by job discipline led by established and emerging leaders in the Chicago theater community. Don't miss this unique opportunity to make connections and learn from the experience of leaders in the theatre community.
RSVP before Friday, September 24 to attend. Please pass on to your company's interns.

Asking Matters Presentation: What's An Asking Style and How Do I Use It?
Monday, October 4, 2010, 6 - 7:30 p.m.

League offices, 228 S. Wabash, Suite 200
Free, but space is Limited. RSVP to
Learn about Asking Matters and how to get your board more involved in fundraising by using the concept of Asking Styles. Join Asking Matters™ Co-Founder Brian Saber in this 90-minute presentation and seminar as he guides you through easy and effective exercises to help you understand your Asking Style and how to use it to full advantage. Learn how to get your board and staff talking about their Asking Styles and inspire them to get out and ask for gifts. Find out how even one 15-minute conversation about Asking Styles will give everyone the perspective and confidence they need to fundraise. Asking Matters™ is an on-line tool that teaches board members and others how to fundraise and motivates them to get out and ask.

Finally, October launches the third year of TCG's Free Night of Theater in Chicago. We have about 40 theatres participating already this year and it's not too late to sign up. Email for details.

Get in Touch with the Chicago Office of Tourism

Each month, the Chicago Office of Tourism connects with business and cultural partners throughout the city with a special enewsletter. In addition to news topics and PR highlights, this is the way we communicate special opportunities on how organizations can take part in our free programs, such as the annual online coupon book for visitors, the annual Passport to Chicago program for visiting journalists and how to get events and attractions listed on the city's tourism website To receive this enewsletter, please email Emily Long at with the subject line 'Business Enewsletter.'

Not for Profit Incorporation and Tax Exemption Workshop

Lawyers for the Creative Arts
Wednesday, November 3, 2010, 5:30-8:45 p.m.

213 W. Institute Place, Ste. 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. It will 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 DCA Theater Accepting Fall 2011 Proposal Submissions

Chicago DCA Theater is pleased to announce that they are now accepting proposal submissions for our Fall 2011 production slots in the Storefront Theater. All Chicago-based, itinerant theater companies are encouraged to apply. Selected companies receive FREE performance space in downtown Chicago, full box office, online ticketing, house management services, and more.

The deadline for proposal submissions is Friday, October 15, 2010.

DCA THEATER HAS GONE GREEN! ALL proposal submissions are now being accepted electronically via email

To begin the application process, go to to download all the necessary forms and the checklist for required application materials.

2011 Toronto Fringe Festival Applications Now Available

The Toronto Fringe is a member of the Canadian Association of Fringe ® Festivals (CAFF) and, as such, our summer festival operates under the four guiding principles of CAFF:
• Participants are selected on a non-juried basis, through a lottery or first-come/first-served process.
• 100% of the ticket price is returned to the artist.
• Fringe Festival producers have no control over the artistic content of any show.
• Festivals must provide an easily accessible opportunity for all audiences and all artists to participate.

The Toronto Fringe routinely sees ticket sales of over 55,000 and returns $400-450,000 to artists annually. Since 1989, we have returned over $5,000,000 to our participants.
To help participants, the festival provides a series of workshops that give artists and companies the tools they need to make their show a success. The Fringe also provides development opportunities through The Fringe Evolution Fund, various community initiatives and Next Stage Theatre Festival (more info on our website).

Companies that are selected to participate in the Fringe Festival are provided with the following: scheduling of performances (seven or eight performances at a variety of times) in a venue equipped with lights and sound, a technician to assist in the running of your show, full professional front of house service, including box office and support staff, festival publicity, 100% of the ticket revenue generated by the company, all in an environment that facilitates an independent creative process.

The Fringe Lottery reserves spots for general applications, dance applications and FringeKids shows. Also, replacing the contentious BYOVs, we are now accepting applications to the Site Specific Art category.

To apply to the 2011 Toronto Fringe Lottery, log on to
The deadline for applications is November 15, 2010 at 5:00pm.

The Festival will run from July 6 – July 17, 2011.

For more info visit or call 416-966-1062.

City Lit Theater Performance Space Availability

Performance space available for rent for 4 weeks, February 28 to March 27, 2011.
Please contact City Lit Theater by phone 773-293-3682 or by email

Industry Ticket Offers

The Comedy of Errors - Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis, is offering $10 industry rush tickets on Thursday, September 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, September 19 at 7:30 p.m. Rush tickets are $10 per person with proof of industry one hour before curtain, subject to availability.

Obscura: a voyeuristic love story - Red Tape Theatre, 621 W. Belmont is hosting an industry only performance on Monday, September 27 at 8 pm. Tickets are $10 and available at the door or through our website at, with code voyeur. A party will be held at Cloud 9 following the performance. Visit for details. Contact Myah Shein at with questions.

Aiming for Sainthood - Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln, is offering a limited number of $15 tickets for performances September 20-26. Use code “INDUSTRY” online, in person, or when calling 773.871.3000 to claim. Visit for tickets and more information.

A Memory of Two Mondays - Eclipse Theatre at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln, is offering $10 industry tickets on September 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. Must present a headshot, resume or business card. For tickets call 773-404-7336 and mention INDUSTRY.

CFT's Got Glee! - Chicago Fusion Theatre, 4527 N. Ravenswood, is offering $10 industry tickets to their benefit cabaret performance on September 17. Doors open at 7 p.m. and performance begins at 8 p.m. Must present a headshot, resume or business card at the door.

The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe: A Love Story - First Folio Theatre at Mayslake Hall, Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W 31st St, Oak Brook, is offering $10 industry tickets on Weds. and Thurs. evenings at 8 PM on Oct. 6, 7, 13, 14 and Sun. evenings at 7:30 on Oct. 10, 17. Tickets are on an "as available" basis and may be purchased no sooner than 48 hours in advance. 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.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Industry Ticket Offer

The Mystery of Irma Vep - Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. $5 Industry tickets for Thursday and Sunday performances Sept. 23 to Oct. 17. 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.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Industry Ticket Offer

1001 by Jason Grote - Collaboraction at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W Division presents its final preview performance on Wednesday, September 15 at 7:30PM. Tickets are 2 for $15 with the code: "VincentPrice." Visit for more information, or call the Collaboraction box office at 312-226-9633

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Industry Ticket Offers

Fulcrum Point - 12th anniversary benefit concert at Thorne Auditorium of NWU, 375 E Chicago Ave in Streeterville, is offering a limited number of $15 industry tickets for Sept 22, 7:30 PM performance. For more information & buy TIX on line, visit

Theories of the Sun - Sideshow Theatre Company at Theater Wit, 1229 W Belmont Ave is hosting a special performance for all industry professionals on Monday, September 27 at 7:30PM. Tickets are only $15. Visit for more information, or call TheaterWit box office at 773-975-8150.


He’s been Mayor since I’ve lived in Chicago, he’s been Mayor since some of the League’s staff have been alive. I’d been in town for four months and was working with a group of construction guys on a project and we had a meeting the day after Meig’s field went away. I knew next to nothing about Chicago or Mayor Daley but these guys were in absolute awe. Moving that much heavy equipment in the middle of the night is apparently not so easy, to do it in secret is nearly impossible. I was in awe too, not of the heavy equipment but of the man, who does that? That event helped to shape the way I feel about my adopted City, I love its brashness and its big shoulders, and its “we ain’t no second city” attitude. Since then, of course, I have come to admire the Mayor tremendously, I loved the Olympic bid, thinking about the photo of the plane carrying all the Chicago luminaries to Copenhagen with the American flag waving out of the cockpit – still brings a tear to my eye. I love that everything that is not in motion (and some things that are) is covered in lights during the holidays, I love Millenium Park, four years late and $300 million over budget, now our crowning glory and nobody remembers any of that. It takes vision and guts to get through that kind of thing. During his tenure Chicago theatre has become Chicago Theatre, and he has been a huge supporter. I will miss him.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Our New Look

On today’s broadcast you will see our new logo!! We are delighted to begin using it. It was actually designed months ago in anticipation of our new website. We went through several iterations of a logo and eventually wound up with one we all liked, then we showed it around to a few people and it turned out we were the only ones who liked it. So, we went back to the drawing board and I have to say this one is much better and we love it.

What about that new website you ask? Yeah, well, it is huge and it is complicated and we thought it was going to launch on August 24 but there were some difficulties that prevented us from doing that. We are launching it on Tuesday. Tuesday. It is gorgeous and fun and it will do a great job of representing Chicago theatre and generating buzz and interest around your shows and your theatres. We are very proud of it but at this point (we’ve been working on it for a year) we are also kind of over it. So we will need your input as to what we can do to make it better. Please do not hesitate to send us your comments.


Industry Ticket Offers

Detroit - Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted, is offering $10 industry tickets for the 7:30 p.m. performances on Thursday September 9 and Friday Sept 10, and the 3 p.m. performance on Sunday September 12. To redeem tickets call Audience Services directly at 312.335.1650 and use code “7419.” Tickets must be reserved one hour before performance. Subject to availability. For additional information and interactive multimedia, visit

The People’s Drum Circle Pandora – Quest Theatre, 1609 W. Gregory, is holding a limited number of industry seats for the rest of the run which ends September 19th. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. This is a free performance and your headshot, resume or business card gets you a free bag of popcorn at concessions. Don’t miss out on this unique experience where you get a percussion instrument and get to play along with the show. You must make reservations or be placed on the waiting list. To make reservations email or call 312.458.0895 x 1. Visit for more information.