Friday, July 27, 2012

Industry Ticket Offer

The Taming of the Shrew - Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks is offering free performances at Gateway Park on Navy Pier (south lawn at the front of the Pier). Performances are Monday, August 6 through Wednesday, August 8 at 6:30 pm. No reservations/tickets are needed-just come as you are and bring your blanket or lawn chair. Learn more at or call 312.595.5600.

Workaholics Weekend - UP Comedy Club, 230 W. North Ave., Chicago is offering $15 industry tickets to the Friday, August 3, 8pm and 10:30pm performances featuring Maribeth Monroe and Eric Griffin. Mention the code INDUSTRY at the Box Office or purchase online. For more information, call 312-662-4562 or visit:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What Is Important To You?

The draft Cultural Plan for the City of Chicago has been released! Have you read it? Do you have thoughts about it? Then you should go to a Town Hall Meeting. There are two more meetings July 28 from 10am- Noon at Essanay Studios, 1345 West Argyle Street, and July 31 from 6:00-8:00pm at the Chicago Cultural Center – 78 East Washington Street. The draft plan can be found at I went to the first town hall at Malcolm X College on Tuesday night. It was interesting to hear what people were thinking about the plan and about the implementation of the plan. You will be asked to vote on the priorities for the plan and then to break into groups to talk about the priorities and the initiatives (you have to choose one priority). As I am always harping on about, it is important that people read the plan and go to one of these meetings and comment on it. It may be exactly what you envisioned or it may be way off base for you – it is so important to say what you want and what is important to you. Be a part of this process, it’s likely that we will live with this plan for a long time as a blueprint for how our city interacts with our artists and our organizations.


Visit Your Federal Elected Officials

From the Performing Arts Alliance
In the next couple of weeks, Congress will adjourn for its annual summer recess. Representatives and Senators will be in their home districts and states August 4 through September 9. During this summer break, the Performing Arts Alliance would like to encourage you to reach out to your federal elected officials and visit them in their district and state offices.

A number of legislative policy issues that will impact the nonprofit performing arts community are in motion, so this is the perfect time to continue to build relationships and brief your Representative and Senators on the issues important to the performing arts field. Introduce you and your organization, add them to your mailing list, request a meeting to tell them about who you serve, and establish yourself as a powerful resource for them.

Tips for In-person Legislatiave Visits:
Share relevant, personal stories. How has your organization benefited from National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) support? What community partnerships are you engaged in? How were you first exposed to the arts?
Be prepared with talking points. What issues do you want to focus on in your meeting? Does the legislator sit on committees that oversee those issues? Most meetings are brief. Advance preparation will help you speak concisely and effectively. Visit the links to key issue briefs below.
Be prepared with leave-behinds. Though many staffers attempt to take detailed notes, a leave-behind outlining your "ask" and reasons for the "ask" will ensure your message is passed on accurately to the legislator. In addition, feel free to leave a brochure on your organization's programs and performances.

Invite Congress to Your Performance or Event
One of the best ways to convince elected officials of the public value of your performing arts organization is to show them - firsthand - a performance experience. Take advantage of members of Congress in their home districts and states this summer and invite them to a concert, reception, community event, or education program.

If you decide to invite your member(s) of Congress to a performance or event, be sure to check the Performing Arts Alliance Guide to Professional Gift Rules in advance. The Alliance has crafted clear guidelines for understanding how to invite members of Congress to your events, keeping in mind the Congressional gift rules. Your advocacy for federal arts funding and charitable giving is vital as Congress works to make budgetary choices in this difficult economic time. The arts community must raise its voice and stress the public value of federal support for the arts. The arts are cornerstones of economically-strong communities nationwide and contribute to community progress, growth, and improved quality of life. Federal policy and funding support should continue to recognize and reflect that.

Find Your Elected Officials
Click here to find your federal elected officials. When you contact them, be sure to say you are a constituent and request to schedule a meeting with your legislator or the relevant staffer.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Space Availability at Collaboraction

Collaboraction has 2 theatres in the Flat Iron Arts Building with Fall availability; Room 300 - August 13 to September 2 and September 10 - September 24 AND Pentagon Theatre August 27 - September 16. Email for more information and to set up a site visit.

Industry Ticket Offers

Adrift by David Alex - Polarity Ensemble Theatre i/a/w AZUSA productions at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, is offering $12 industry tickets to all performances, July 26-August 26 through the box office. Call (773) 404-7336.

Here Lies Henry - Interrobang Theatre Project at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, 756 N. Milwaukee Ave. is offering $10 industry tickets for its performances August 2 - 12. Available at the door or online with code “INDUSTRY.”

A Steady Rain - Chicago Dramatists Theatre, 1105 W Chicago Avenue, Chicago, is offering $20 industry tickets for Sunday, July 29nd, 2pm or 7pm . To purchase tickets, visit and use the code INDUSTRY.

Ah, Wilderness! - Eclipse Theatre Company at The Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, Chicago is offering $8 industry tickets for July 26th, 27th, 28th and August 2nd. Performances are at 7:30pm. Mention code INDUSTRY at the box office. For more info, call 773-935-6875 or visit

Gruesome Playground Injuries - Rasaka Theatre Company at The Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division, Chicago is offering $15 industry tickets for all remaining performances through August 5th. Performances are Thurs, Fri and Sat at 8pm; Sun at 4pm. Mention code INDUSTRY at the box office or purchase online. For more info, call 312-777-1070 or visit

Space Availability at the Greenhouse Theater Center

Fall space available at the Greenhouse Theater Center. Upstairs Studio - 4 week slot - Aug 27-Sep 23 - 60 seat house. Downstairs Mainstage - 7 week slot - Oct 8-Nov 25 - 195 seat house (pay for 6 weeks, load-in week is FREE!). Full front of house services staff and box office provided; sound and light packages. Rental includes theater space, back stage area, equipped dressing room and light booth. For more information, including rental rates, tech specs, and contract details please contact Jenn Kincaid at, or at 773.404.7336 x 200.

Gorilla Tango Theatre seeking Primtetime Shows

Gorilla Tango Theatre seeking Shows for Saturday Primetime Slot in September (Bucktown) and weekend primetime slots in October (Skokie).

All-inclusive producing deal includes all infrastructure for FREE - audition and rehearsal space, performance space, box-office, online ticketing, basic marketing, etc. - its all part of the deal. You produce your show/project, make sure a minimum number of tickets are sold to your show and let Gorilla Tango do the rest!

Check out our website at and click on “Producers” to learn more about producing at Gorilla Tango Theatre (1919 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Bucktown or 7924 N. Lincoln Avenue in Skokie - accessible by yellow line!) – or contact Dan at 773.598.4549.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What is Success?

Guest bloggers: Hank Boland and Jess Hutchinson
Last week’s blog posed the question ‘Why do you keep doing this?’ None of us was too shocked that the responses about pursuing and continuing a life in the arts were personal and subjective. There might be a few of us that pursue arts because it is a family business, and some that are in the mix because of the security, but mostly it seems that people are driven by their continued passion. (You can still throw your two cents in to that discussion, or perhaps like many of us, you need to keep your two cents because that money goes towards rent).

Those responses got us talking around The League about how we measure personal and individual success. Institution and organizations have a multitude of metrics to measure their successes and shortfalls, but how do you, the individual artist, administrator, theatre maker, measure your own success?

What convinces you that you can chalk one up in the win column?
Is it how you make your money?
How you spend your time?
How you live?

When it seems like the fates are conspiring against you and even strangers appear to relish in your defeat, what do you keep in the trophy case of your soul that gets you out of bed in the morning?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Industry Ticket Offers

A Scent of Flowers by James Saunders -- BackStage Theatre Company at the Building Stage, 412 N. Carpenter St, is offering a special Monday Night Industry Performance on Monday, July 23rd at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 with the discount code LOCT. Purchase tickets at the door or online at

A Steady Rain - Chicago Dramatists Theater, 1105 W Chicago Avenue, Chicago, is offering $20 industry tickets for Sunday, July 22nd, 2pm or 7pm . To purchase tickets, visit and use the code INDUSTRY.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Don't Miss Out!

It's back. Theater Wit is hosting the third annual Chicago Theater Conference August 3rd through 5th. Somewhat non-traditionally, the entire weekend is structured to maximize conversation and exploration more than presentation. Sessions are 50 minutes long (1:50 for panel discussions), with the speaker presentation limited to 12 minutes. The balance is reserved for group discussion, Q/A, etc. In addition, they'll be offering time for everyone to gather for food and some evening parties at various venues throughout the weekend.

This year, our community will be focusing on THE FUUUUTURREE! Particularly, we are interested in new experiments and models. ie, how is your organization adapting to change? What new experiments have you been running or are considering trying? What's worked? What hasn't? We're interested in the experience of organizations large and small, as well as individual artist takes on what it takes to create and maintain art and artists in today's culture.

Registration is limited to 250. You can register for the entire weekend for $45 in advance or $75 at the door.. The registration fee includes lunch both days, and our catered evening parties, including the kickoff party on the 3rd. We will be posting the schedule of presenters as they come in, but it'll be chock full o' goodness, we promise.

Interested in presenting? Contact Jeremy Wechsler, with your discussion idea.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Why do you keep doing this?

Guest bloggers: Hank Boland and Jess Hutchinson

Every day, each of us makes the choice to be a member of the Chicago theatre community.

Whether we do this consciously or not - every day - we choose.

It’s not because we can’t do anything else. There are a thousand ways that the skills we cultivate and utilize as artists and arts administrators are applicable to other pursuits, both professional and personal.

But we stay here. We continue to write the plays/cast the actors/audition for the directors/make the set models/write the grants/organize the board meetings/get the coffee/write the blog posts that are - by our own choice - contributing to the work of this community.


We’re not asking “what keeps you going when times get tough?” We see each other at the bar and on the internet enough to know that there is coffee and whiskey and cat videos and the encouragement to Hang In There. There are other things that we talk less about, too - fear, expectations of others, commitments made that need to be kept, habit.

But remember. We choose this. Every day.

So, again, why?

Why do you go back to the rehearsal hall/your writing desk/the conference room/the copy machine/the coffee shop? What is it that drives you to be part of what we and many, many others consider the best theatre community in the world?

So why? Why do you choose theatre? Why do you choose Chicago?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Industry Ticket Offers

Kokkola - Akvavit Theatre at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge in Chicago, is offering $10 industry tickets to every show during our run. July 14 - August 5. Email to reserve. Visit for more information.

Harold Pinter's The Dumb Waiter - TUTA Theatre Chicago at TUTA Studio Theatre, 2010 W. Fulton, is offering a suggested donation of $15 for all industry and free spots to theatre interns/apprentices 7/17-8/18, Thurs, Fri, Sat at 8pm and Sat mat at 5pm, and a special industry night on Wed, Aug. 1 at 8:00pm. In exchange, please bring H/R or business card, and a willingness to sign up on our mailing list. Spots are extremely limited and standing room only. Reservations are required, and must be emailed to stating your name, the date you are requesting, and the password “INDUSTRY” or “INTERN”. Spots are based on availability and must be claimed 15 minutes before show time or they will be released. For more information

Thursday, July 5, 2012

There Is No Substitute

Collective Leverage. That’s what the blog’s called. And here’s how it works: The League speaks out for what we believe to be the best interests of Chicago theatre. But there is no substitute for you speaking out for yourselves. There is true and tremendous strength in individuals and organizations taking a stand together on an issue.

Sometime in the near future, the city will be releasing the draft Cultural Plan for the City of Chicago. That will be followed by public discussions of the draft at the following dates, times and places. I encourage all of you to attend at least one of these discussions and more than one if you can. Here is a link to the document that the League submitted to the crafters of the plan with recommendations from the theatre industry.

7/24/12 - 6pm - 8pm Malcolm X College, 1900 W. Van Buren St
7/25/12 - 6pm - 8pm South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Dr
7/28/12 - 10am - 12pm St. Augustine College, 1345 W. Argyle St
7/31/12 - 6pm - 8pm Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St

The draft plan has not been released yet, but you can RSVP for meetings and download it when it is released at

I was sent a link to a survey this week by WBEZ. I would love to see more arts coverage and more theatre coverage on the air on WBEZ and would have liked to indicate that in the survey but it was incredibly long. Here’s a link if you have time or you can email station manager Tory Malatia at if you feel the same as I do.


Call for Nominations - League of Chicago Theatres Board of Directors

The League of Chicago Theatres is now accepting nominations to fill upcoming vacancies on its Board of Directors. Nominees may be from any voting budget category theatre or a civic representative. Theater representatives must be from theaters that are full voting members of the League. Board members serve for 3 year terms.

Board Member Responsibilities
The role of the League is to promote, support and advocate for Chicago theater. As a board member, you are part of a dynamic team that will help guide the programs and priorities of the League. The board meets six times per year. Board members are expected to make meaningful and appropriate personal contributions to the board and its programs and are also expected to demonstrate leadership in encouraging member participation in League programs year-round.

Nomination Requirements
If you would like to nominate someone or be considered for League board membership, please submit a letter of intent that includes interest and qualifications, a current resume, and a two to three paragraph bio. Send nominations to: League of Chicago Theatres, Attn: Nominating Committee, 17 N. Wabash, Suite 520, Chicago, IL 60602, via fax at 312-922-7202, or via email at by 5:00 PM on July 30, 2012.

What Happens Next?
The League has assembled a Nominating Committee that is representative of the diversity of the membership, including Board members from theatres of varying sizes. The Nominating Committee will consider all nominations for Board vacancies and present a slate of candidates to the membership for review. The slate of candidates, along with their qualifications and biographies, will also be emailed to all members.

Election Night Results:
The membership will vote on the slate at the Annual Meeting of the Membership scheduled for October 22, 2012.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Industry Ticket Offer

A Steady Rain - Chicago Dramatists Theater, 1105 W Chicago Avenue, Chicago 60622, is offering $20 industry tickets for previews July 9th. To purchase call 800.595.4849 and use code NIELSEN or visit

Opus – Redtwist Theatre at Theater on the Lake, 2401 N. Lake Shore Dr. is offering $10 industry tickets for performances July 6-8. For reservations call 312.742.7994 and mention this industry offer.

Noël Coward's The Vortex –Dead Writers Theatre Collective at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave, is offering $15 industry tickets for all performances July 12 - 30. Available online or at the box office with code League. More info at