Founded in 1974, Victory Gardens Theater
has produced more world premieres than any other theater in Chicago. One reason why: an unheard of 14-member Playwrights Ensemble that has collectively garnered six Tony Awards® and two American Theater Critics Association Playwriting Prizes, along with Fellowships from the Guggenheim and The National Endowment for the Arts. In other words, a Victory Gardens world premiere is truly premier.
Great new plays also come from the Victory Gardens Ignition Festival, which showcases new theater works, some of which have gone on to New York to become Pulitzer Prize finalists. Talk about igniting the imagination.
Victory Gardens recently relocated to the famous Biograph Theater, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. John Dillinger was shot by the FBI while leaving the theater in 1934, accompanied by a lady wearing a "red dress" as a signal. Johnny Depp, who recently starred in the movie Public Enemies as Dillinger, knows the neighborhood well.
Victory Gardens at the Biograph features two stages. The grandeur of a twenties' movie palace has been preserved, including the thousand-bulb marquee outside. If you want to try and catch dinner and a show, no problem. Dining in the Lincoln Park neighborhood surrounding the Biograph offers several unique options.
- The Chicago Premiere of Equivocation
September 14 - October 14, 2012
At once an explosive comedy of ideas and a high-stakes political thriller, Bill Cain's award-winning Equivocation deftly reveals the cat-and-mouse games in politics and art, and the craft of learning how to speak the truth in difficult times.
- The World Premiere of Failure: A Love Story
November 16 - December 30, 2012
Written by Chicago playwright Philip Dawkins, Failure: A Love Story is a magical, musical fable that traces the Fail sisters' triumphs and defeats, lived out in the rickety two-story building by the Chicago River that was the family home and clock shop. This funny, moving and profoundly wise play reminds us that in the end, all that remains is love.
- The American Premiere of Disconnect
January 25 - February 24, 2013
Anupama Chandrasekhar's Disconnect is a powerful and witty drama about the consequences of consumer culture and the intricacies of our interconnected global economy.
- The Chicago Premiere of The Whale
April 5 - May 5, 2013
Written by Obie Award-winning playwright Samuel D. Hunter, The Whale is a tough, humorous and emotionally powerful play about how we cope with loss, and how new definitions of family, friends and religion shape our lives.
- The World Premiere of Chicago Is Burning
July 12 - August 11, 2013
The multiple award-winning young playwright, Marcus Gardley, and Victory Gardens Artistic Director Chay Yew team up for a celebration of a new kind American family built across lines of race, class and gender.
Check out our Events Calendar to see what exciting productions are on stage at Victory Gardens Theater while you're here. If you want to see a world premiere play, this could be your chance.