Chicago Theater District photography By Chad Lee

 Chicago Theater District photos for a television documentary project in 2005. https://www.chicago-theater.com/ 

Chicago Theater District Photos

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theater district today

Chicago is home to more than 200 small theatre companies.   A Red Orchid TheatreLifeline TheatreRemy Bumppo.  Theatre CompanyRedtwist TheaterTrap Door Theatre. Some have their own performance venues, while many perform in untraditional theatre spaces  .

Touring productions also visit the city regularly, mainly playing at the big theaters in the  in the Loop.

Following in the tradition of The Second City and Steppenwolf. many of these companies, including American Blues TheaterStage Left TheatreOrganic Theater Company, and Lifeline Theatre, are ensemble-based.  

Chicago theater has a long record of introducing new plays and playwrights. Many of the theaters in Chicago have new play workshop programs.  Chicago Dramatists,   was begun by a group of  students of a playwriting workshop at Victory Gardens Theater.  has an ongoing program of developing new writers, most notably Rebecca Gilman.[8]

victory gardens

The Victory Gardens Theater plays host to a dozen resident playwrights. most of the productions there are premieres of their plays. a number of which have gone on to productions elsewhere. Some of these include   Beau JestThe Action Against Sol Schumann.  Voice of Good Hope,  Jelly Belly,   PecongDeed of Trust, and   Earth and Sky.

  

  

Chicago is home to both non-union and union theater companies. Union shows adhere to strict contracts for all artists involved. Artistic trade unions such as Actors’ Equity, commonly known simply as “Equity,”.   the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society bargain for contracts guaranteeing minimum wages.  and other rights involved with the rehearsal and production process. Shows may run for a varying number of weeks, depending on ticket sales. Musicals tend to have longer runs than do stage plays. The majority of theaters in Chicago are located on the city’s North Side and in the Loop.

Both Actor’s Equity and non-Equity productions in the Chicago area receive honors from the Joseph Jefferson (or Jeff) Awards, awarded by a panel of volunteer judges.