Discover the Year of Chicago Theatre

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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

Night Out in the Parks
Night Out in the Parks

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

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.

Open House Chicago theatre trail
Open House Chicago theatre trail

Explore dozens of theatres and related sites throughout the city during Open House Chicago, a free architecture festival this October.

Featured shows

Howard’s End
Aug 29 – Oct 5

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.

Thursday August 29, 2019 Saturday October 5, 2019

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company at Theater Wit
3717 N. Ravenswood Ave.

Spamalot
Now through Nov 3

Spamalot

Lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail, SPAMALOT retells the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, featuring ridiculous men in tight pants — not to mention cows, killer rabbits, and French people. SPAMALOT is an irreverent musical of the legend of King Arthur’s quest for the Holy Grail. Spurred on by a plague with a 50% chance of pestilence and famine, Arthur recruits knights to accompany him on his quest in pursuit of the salvation of Camelot, and their own destinies. Along the way they encounter crazy shenanigans, including the Lady of the Lake and her Laker Girls, flatulent Frenchmen with flying cows and blood-thirsty killer rabbits.

Now playing through November 3, 2019

Mercury Theater Chicago
3745 N. Southport Ave. in Lakeview

Whose Body?
Sep 6 – Oct 27

Whose Body?

When a dead body turns up in a bathtub wearing nothing but a pair of pince-nez, amateur detective Lord Peter Wimsey assigns himself to the case. However, when the mystery becomes labyrinthine he enlists the help of close friend Inspector Parker to follow his only lead, a teaching hospital near the scene of the crime. Could it be a harmless prank by a medical student or something more sinister? Follow the clues and uncover the truth in this beloved 1923 whodunit by Dorothy L. Sayers.

Friday September 6, 2019 Sunday October 27, 2019

Lifeline Theatre
6912 N. Glenwood Ave. in Rogers Park

Destinos: 3rd Chicago International Latino Theater Festival
Sep 19 – Oct 27

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.

Thursday September 19, 2019 Sunday October 27, 2019

Chicago Latino Theater Alliance
180 N. Michigan Ave.

The Infinite Wrench
OPEN RUN

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

Open run

The Neo-Futurists
5153 N. Ashland Ave.

Oslo
Sep 10 – Oct 20

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.

Tuesday September 10, 2019 Sunday October 20, 2019

TimeLine Theatre at the Broadway Playhouse
615 W. Wellington Ave.

Grinning from Fear to Fear
OPEN RUN

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.

Open run

The Second City’s e.t.c. Theater
1616 N. Wells St.

Bernhardt/Hamlet
Sep 14 – Oct 20

Bernhardt/Hamlet

High humor and human drama collide in a rollicking comedy “so clever it uplifts, so timely it hurts” (The New York Times). In 1899, legendary leading lady Sarah Bernhardt’s decision to assume the title role of Shakespeare’s Hamlet left critics and patriarchs aghast and indignant. Laced with forbidden romance and backstage gossip, this behind-the-scenes look at Bernhardt’s most ambitious role is a “dynamic character study” (Variety) of one of the most famous actresses — and infamous divas — in the world.

Saturday September 14, 2019 Sunday October 20, 2019

Goodman Theatre
170 N. Dearborn St. in the Loop

You Can’t Fake the Funk: A Journey Through Funk Music
NOW THROUGH SEPT 22

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!

Now through September 22

Black Ensemble Theater
4450 N Clark St

The King’s Speech
Sep 12 – Oct 20

The King’s Speech

In this inspiring true story from Oscar Award-winning writer David Seidler, Great Britain’s reluctant monarch finds a surprising ally in an unexpected place. A generation before the royal family we know today, Queen Elizabeth’s father George VI would ascend the throne, a most unlikely king thrust into the spotlight after his brother David gives up the crown to marry American divorcée Wallis Simpson. Struggling with a chronic stammer, Bertie (as his family knew him) must speak to his nation as it stands on the brink of World War II. Enter an unconventional speech therapist named Lionel Logue, whose methods are anything but common. With Logue’s help Bertie finds his voice, and forever changes the course of history.

Thursday September 12, 2019 Sunday October 20, 2019

Chicago Shakespeare Theater
800 E. Grand Ave. on Navy Pier

The Great Leap
Now through Oct 20

The Great Leap

The Great Leap tells the story of Manford Lum, a local star of the sidewalk basketball courts of San Francisco’s Chinatown who strongarms his way onto an American college team travelling to Beijing for a “friendship” game. Set amidst the friction of post cultural revolution China, this Chicago premiere explores the cultural collide of identity and politics through the game of basketball. Witty and weighty, Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap keeps tensions high right up to the final buzzer.

Now playing through Octover 20, 2019

Steppenwolf Theatre
1650 N. Halsted St. in Lincoln Park

King Hedley II
Sep 12 – Oct 13

King Hedley II

Placing his hopes and dreams on the line, a man pieces together his life in Pittsburgh after seven years in prison. Family ties are tested and crime and retribution collide in August Wilson’s ninth play in the American Century Cycle — Court’s eighth production in our ongoing commitment to producing all ten plays of the cycle. Nationally acclaimed for his direction of August Wilson’s plays, Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson brings a depth of humanity to Wilson’s interrogation of African American life in the 1980s.

Thursday September 12, 2019 Sunday October 13, 2019

Court Theatre
5535 S. Ellis Ave. in Hyde Park

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

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