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Welcome to the Year of Chicago Theatre

The Year of Chicago Theatre is a citywide celebration of the Chicago’s vibrant theatre scene, featuring performances, free events, and special exhibits throughout 2019.

This year-long initiative, the first of its kind in the nation, will welcome visitors and locals to experience the city’s dynamic theatre community at hundreds of cultural venues, theaters, parks and neighborhoods throughout the city.

Year of Chicago Theatre events

Summer Film Series

Summer Film Series in Millennium Park

Look for a theatre-themed film line up at this popular outdoor movie series.

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Chicago!

Chicago! The Play, The Movies, The Musical...The Murders

Explore artifacts from the musical’s evolution and the real crimes that inspired it.

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goat island archive

goat island archive – we have discovered the performance by making it

A collection of new work inspired by Chicago’s groundbreaking performance group.

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Neighborhood events

Night Out in the Parks

Choose from more than 200 free performance by local theatre groups in more than 100 parks all across Chicago.

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Art on theMART

Art on theMART

The world's largest digital art projection will feature a new season of original art, inspired by the Year of Chicago Theatre.

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Millennium Park Theatre Residencies

Millennium Park Theatre Residencies

A series of weekly residencies will bring local theatre companies into the park for free shows from July to October.

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Featured shows

Grinning from Fear to Fear

Open Run

The Second City’s e.t.c. Theater

Grinning from Fear to Fear

Dive into the e.t.c.’s latest comedy onslaught that will leave you laughing like you’re high on life – or maybe just copious amounts of Lexapro. From psycho killers to big pharma, coming out to your family to coming undone in your nightmares, The Second City’s fearless force of comedy commandos takes on everything that makes us all unfalteringly unique.

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True West

July 5 – Aug. 20

Steppenwolf Theatre Company

True West

This American classic traces the sometimes violent and always volatile relationship of Austin and Lee, estranged brothers who find themselves trapped together in their mother’s empty house with not much more than a typewriter and a set of golf clubs. In its first Steppenwolf revival, Shepard’s masterpiece is reimagined through the eyes of a new generation of Steppenwolf artists, with a little help from those who came before.

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You Can’t Fake the Funk: A Journey Through Funk Music

Now Through Sept. 22

Black Ensemble Theater

You Can’t Fake the Funk: A Journey Through Funk Music

Hop on the “Mothership” as Black Ensemble Theater journeys back when afros were big, bell bottoms were tight, and the music was out of sight. You Can't Fake the Funk: A Journey Through Funk Music guides you through a musical genre that is sure to have you groovin' in your seats… ya’ dig!

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Howard’s End

Aug. 29 - Oct. 5

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company at Theater Wit

Howard’s End

At the dawn of the 20th century, the independent Schlegel sisters seek to change the world. E.M. Forster’s beloved classic novel is now an enthralling world premiere adaptation by Chicago playwright Douglas Post. Experience the journeys of three different families as they search for love, purpose, and connection against the tide of class, money, and sex.

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The Infinite Wrench

Open Run

The Neo-Futurists

The Infinite Wrench

The Infinite Wrench is a mechanism that unleashes a barrage of two-minute plays for a live audience. Each play offers something different, be it funny, profound, elegant, disgusting, topical, irrelevant, terrifying, or a song; all are truthful and tackle the here-and-now, inspired by the lived experiences of the performers. With new plays every week, The Infinite Wrench is The Neo-Futurists’ ongoing and ever-changing attempt to shift the conventions of live performance and speak to those unreached or unmoved by traditional theatre. Recommended for ages 14 and up.

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Oslo

Sept. 10 - Oct. 20

TimeLine Theatre at the Broadway Playhouse

Oslo

When the Israeli prime minister and the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization shook hands on the White House lawn in 1993, the world had no idea what it took to orchestrate that momentous occasion. Behind the scenes, a Norwegian diplomat and her social scientist husband hatched an intricate, top secret, and sometimes comical scheme to gather an unexpected assortment of players at an idyllic estate just outside Oslo. Far from any international glare, mortal enemies were able to face each other not as adversaries, but as fellow human beings. J.T. Roger’s Oslo is a humorous, surprising, and inspiring true story about the people inside politics, and the incredible progress that is possible when we focus on what makes us human — together.

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The Band’s Visit

Sept. 3 - 15

Broadway In Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre

The Band’s Visit

The Band’s Visit is the winner of 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, making it one of the most Tony-winning musicals in history. And now it’s also a Grammy Award winner for Best Musical Theater Album. In this joyously offbeat story, set in a town that’s way off the beaten path, a band of musicians arrive lost, out of the blue. Under the spell of the desert sky, and with beautiful music perfuming the air, the band brings the town to life in unexpected and tantalizing ways. Even the briefest visit can stay with you forever. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

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The Camino Project: Your Absence Visited Me, Unannounced

Weekends Aug. 17 – Sept. 22

Theatre Y at Humboldt Park

The Camino Project: Your Absence Visited Me, Unannounced

The Camino Project is a durational, site-specific theatrical performance and collective walking experience. A play about pilgrimage in 2019, inspired by the form of medieval mystery plays, Theatre Y’s 16-person ensemble will guide audiences through this 6-hour communal experience. Part guided tour, part meal, part cabaret of happenings, The Camino Project is a theatrical event that invites you share in the joys and uncertainties of figuring out where you are, how you got there, who you are with, and where the next foot does or does not go.

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Destinos: 3rd Chicago International Latino Theater Festival

Sept. 19 - Oct. 27

Chicago Latino Theater Alliance

Destinos: 3rd Chicago International Latino Theater Festival

The Chicago International Latino Theater Festival is dedicated to showcasing the Latino experience as told by Latino theater artists from Chicago, the U.S, and Latin America; amplifying Latino voices on stages across Chicago through the power of theater that transcends boundaries, promoting and engaging cross-cultural experiences.

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The Recommendation

July 10 – Sept. 22

Windy City Playhouse

The Recommendation

Aaron Feldman arrives at college fully prepared with a charming personality, wealthy father, and plenty of connections. His freshman year roommate, Iskinder Ioduoko, isn’t so lucky. The middle class student has worked hard to get where he is, and arrived on no one’s coat tails. Despite differing backgrounds, the two young men quickly develop a strong bond and pledge to a life-long friendship. That is, until one finds himself in legal trouble, and the other in a tricky position deciding whether to help. Experience this psychological thriller up close and personal in an immersive style that invites audiences to (literally) walk a mile in these young men’s shoes.

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Women of 4G

Aug. 1 – Sept. 14

Babes With Blades Theatre Company at Factory Theater

Women of 4G

Seventy-five years in the future, an all-female crew and their male captain depart on what appears to be a routine mission to Mars until the captain is murdered and the real mission comes to light. Part murder mystery, part space thriller, Women of 4G uses a science fiction world to ask questions about women in power as well as their leadership, responsibility, and, ultimately, sacrifice.

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The Fly Honey Show

Aug. 8 - Sept. 7

The Inconvenience at The Den Theatre

The Fly Honey Show

Now entering its 10th season, The Fly Honey Show digs deep into its mission to elevate women + trans + non-binary + lgbtqia individuals and allies through a raucous re-imagination of the classic cabaret. The evening promises an intimate and explosive celebration of body + sex + self-ownership complete with high-energy dance works, raw storytelling, a rotating line-up of Chicago’s premiere performance acts, and a fierce ensemble of empowered individuals, novice + professional dancers alike — all backed by a 9-piece live band.

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For more information about the Year of Chicago Theatre and to see a full list of shows, visit ChicagoPlays.com.