Widely considered to be the premier venue for long-form improvisational performances and classes, the iO Theater (formerly known as the ImprovOlympic Theater) was founded in 1981 by Charna Halpern and the late great improvisational teacher and director, Del Close.
After almost 20 years in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood, Charna Halpern bought a building in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood and moved the iO Theater to it’s new home at 1501 N. Kingsbury St.
The new iO Theater now boasts 4 theaters, 2 bars, and an expanded Training Center, a kitchen, and an Events space.
- The Del Close Theater – iO’s biggest stage and host to their biggest shows
- The Jason Chin Harold Cabaret – One of iO’s more intimate cabaret theaters, located upstairs and named after the late improviser/Director Jason Chin.
- The Chris Farley Cabaret – One of iO’s more intimate cabaret theaters, located upstairs and named after one of iO’s most influential Alumni, the late Chris Farley.
- The Mission Theater – A stage previously operated by acclaimed improv duo TJ and Dave. Now back under iO’s direct creative purview. Currently hosting the rest of iO’s biggest shows.