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A CurtainUp Feature
Though it's called the "Second City,""Chicago is a first-rate theater town. The list of theater companies below include successful regional theaters like Steppenwolf and smaller, storefront theater companies like the Neo-Futurists. If a company has its own performance space, the address of the theater is included.
Action-based theater that combines circus arts with traditional plays.
About Face Theatre
This company creates new works that deal with issues of gender and sexual identity.
American Theater Company
ATC produces both new and classic American plays, or works dealing with the American identity. During the holiday season, they perform It's a Wonderful Life as a live radio play.
4802 N. Broadway St.
Irreverant, often ill-mannered comedies, musicals, and sketch shows.
BackStage Theatre Company
Original plays and updated classics.
1229 W. Belmont Ave.
A diverse billing of plays and musicals, including works on gay themes.
Barrel of Monkeys
A company of teaching artists that performs works created by the children in their school programs.
Black Ensemble Theater
4520 N. Beacon St.
The Black Ensemble Theater's mission is to produce African American theater that reaches a diverse audience.
Brown Couch Theatre Company
A small company known for their shows and their snacks.
1105 W. Chicago Ave.
A playwright-centered company that offers full productions as well as opportunities for development.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater
CST both produces their own shows (not just Shakespeare) and presents shows by other professional theater companies.
Collaboraction Theatre Co.
Edgy theater that crosses genres and involves different forms of media.
Congo Square Theatre Company
1001 W. Roosevelt Rd.
An ensemble theater whose critically-acclaimed productions focus on the African Diaspora.
5535 S. Ellis Ave.
The Court Theatre is the professional theater in residence at the University of Chicago.
Dog and Pony Theatre Co.
Daring literary works with a leaning towards current social themes.
Eclipse Theatre Company
Eclipse Theatre produces the work of one established playwright each season.
ETA Creative Arts Foundation
7558 S. South Chicago Ave.
ETA supports African American theater, as well as visual arts.
4802 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Gift's ensemble tackles classic and contemporary plays. The company also supports a short film program.
170 N. Dearborn St.
The Goodman is one of Chicago's oldest and most prestigious theater companies.
House Theatre of Chicago
The House Theatre is a young, adventurous company producing their own new plays.
6912 N. Glenwood Ave.
Lifeline's programming includes shows for adults and children.
Lookingglass Theatre Company
821 N. Michigan Ave.
Housed in Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, Lookingglass is known for its contemporary plays and reimagined classics.
35 W. Sheridan Rd.
Mary-Arrchie's interests lie in the edgy, the controversial, and the non-conservative.
MPAACT's work is inspired by Afrikan and Afrikan-American culture.
5153 N. Ashland Ave.
The Neo-Futurists have a cult following with their show Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind.
927 Noyes St. (Evanston)
Next Theatre, located north of Chicago in Evanston, is a critically-lauded company with an interest in socially-provocative theater.
1145 W. Wilson Ave.
This company's mission is to bring high-quality theater to both traditional audiences and underserved populations.
Porchlight Music Theatre Chicago
Porchlight has been presenting musicals in Chicago for more than ten years.
4741 N. Broadway St.
Profiles Theatre strives to present character-driven plays with a strong focus on narrative and creative use of language.
3502 N. Elston Ave.
New works and new adaptations of literature.
6157 N. Clark St.
American classics and new plays on the "American Experience." Raven Theatre also runs a program for children.
1438 W. Kinzie St.
Red Moon produces "spectacle" -- visually innovative performances often involving masks and puppetry -- on their mainstage and in public spaces.
A Red Orchid Theatre
1531 N. Wells St.
New plays and contemporary interpretations of theater classics.
3717 N. Ravenswood Ave.
Professional productions of the great playwrights.
Sandbox Theatre Project
Sandbox performs site-specific theater around Chicago.
Serendipity Theatre Company
Producing original and established works.
Shattered Globe Theatre
Shattered Globe is an ensemble theater company interested in contemporary and classic works and their relation to the American experience.
Silk Road Theatre Project
77 W. Washington St., Pierce Hall
Silk Road features plays by writers with Asian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean backgrounds.
Stage Left Theatre
3408 N. Sheffield Ave.
StageLeft focuses on plays with political and social relevance.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company
1650 N. Halsted St.
Steppenwolf has been one of Chicago's premiere theater companies for more than thirty years.
3829 N. Broadway St.
Strawdog is interested in telling great stories. Their productions include radio dramas.
Teatro Luna is a company devoted to supporting Latina and Hispanic women in theater.
The Hypocrites tackle highly theatrical plays and established plays in experimental forms.
The Second City
1616 N. Wells St.
Chicago's historic center for comedy and improv.
Theater Wit looks for smart and funny plays.
TimeLine Theatre Company
615 W. Wellington Ave.
TimeLine Theatre presents historic stories that reflect today's issues.
Trap Door Theatre
1655 W. Cortland St.
Bringing new life to obscure works, especially European plays not usually seen on the American stage.
2257-63 N. Lincoln Ave.
The prestigious Victory Gardens Theatre has been presenting theater and aiding in the development of new works for more than thirty years.
As the name stands for "What No One Else Produces," WNEP sticks to theater on the fringe.
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