Featured Festival




The 2015 Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival (June 17 -21) brings daringly moving acts and shows from around the world to perform, teach, and network from . The festival showcases genre-defying companies and performers creating circus in an entirely new, and completely inspiring way.


View Circus Event Calendar



Current & Upcoming Shows

Main Stage
2015 Annual Saints Grant Presentations and Celebration
Monday, May 11, 2015

It’s time again to celebrate the companies that keep us ushering as we will present $115,000 in grants to 22 Chicago area performing arts organizations at our second annual Saints Grants Awards Presentation and Celebration Mon. May 11 at the Athenaeum Theatre mainstage, 2936 N. Southport. We open at 6 p.m. with a cash bar and networking, with the presentation starting at 7 p.m. After the presentation the bar will remain open and light refreshments will be available. Our hosts for the evening are “Dueling Critics” Jonathan Abarbanel and Kelly Kleiman, currently heard on their weekly podcast and on WDCB-FM’s Sunday morning The Arts Section. And the best part is that you will be able to meet and chat with representatives from every one of our grant recipients

We are very excited about this special evening which reminds us what the Saints are all about and shows why we have membership dues (and perhaps if you’ve been stalling on renewing, it might just get you to recommit). You can’t miss it if you’re a Saints member.

MORE INFO: Trudy Meltzer, grants@saintschicago.org
The Saints present
2015 Annual Saints Grant Presentations and Celebration
2015 Annual Saints Grant Presentations and Celebration

It’s time again to celebrate the companies that keep us ushering as we will present $115,000 in grants to 22 Chicago area performing arts organizations at our second annual Saints Grants Awards Presentation and Celebration Mon. May 11 at the Athenaeum Theatre mainstage, 2936 N. Southport. We open at 6 p.m. with a cash bar and networking, with the presentation starting at 7 p.m. After the presentation the bar will remain open and light refreshments will be available. Our hosts for the evening are “Dueling Critics” Jonathan Abarbanel and Kelly Kleiman, currently heard on their weekly podcast and on WDCB-FM’s Sunday morning The Arts Section. And the best part is that you will be able to meet and chat with representatives from every one of our grant recipients

We are very excited about this special evening which reminds us what the Saints are all about and shows why we have membership dues (and perhaps if you’ve been stalling on renewing, it might just get you to recommit). You can’t miss it if you’re a Saints member.

MORE INFO: Trudy Meltzer, grants@saintschicago.org
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Main Stage
Monday, May 11, 2015
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One Grand Dance
May 15 & 16
One Grand Dance is both the title of the 30th Anniversary Concert and the linking of select, iconic works from Jan Bartoszek’s repertoire. The evening is a retrospective and reflection on 30 years of creating dances under the banner of Hedwig Dances (and 40 years of work as a choreographer). The performance also includes a world premiere by company member and choreographer Edson Cabrera entitled Bangweulu. The word “Bangweulu” is of African origin and means literally where the water meets the sky or the infinite horizon or timelessness. The dance will be structured as three separate duets based on the theme of relationships between friends, family members and lovers.
Hedwig Dances presents
One Grand Dance
Hedwig Dances' 30th Anniversary Concert
One Grand Dance
One Grand Dance is both the title of the 30th Anniversary Concert and the linking of select, iconic works from Jan Bartoszek’s repertoire. The evening is a retrospective and reflection on 30 years of creating dances under the banner of Hedwig Dances (and 40 years of work as a choreographer). The performance also includes a world premiere by company member and choreographer Edson Cabrera entitled Bangweulu. The word “Bangweulu” is of African origin and means literally where the water meets the sky or the infinite horizon or timelessness. The dance will be structured as three separate duets based on the theme of relationships between friends, family members and lovers.
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Main Stage
May 15 & 16
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Playing Our Part: an Evening with the Chicago Artists Chorale
May 19 - 7:30
This 90-minute choir concert features works by Vaughan Williams, Stanford, Rutter, as well as great choral works from the musical theatre genre.
Playing Our Part: an Evening with the Chicago Artists Chorale
Playing Our Part: an Evening with the Chicago Artists Chorale
This 90-minute choir concert features works by Vaughan Williams, Stanford, Rutter, as well as great choral works from the musical theatre genre.
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Main Stage
May 19 - 7:30
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Spring Affair
May 23
Once again Nomi Dance Company’s annual spring engagement includes the commissioning of Chicago’s finest talents. Monique Haley, (formerly of River North Dance Chicago), Stephanie Martinez, (founding member of River North Dance Chicago and one of Chicago’s most sought after choreographers) Giordano Dance Chicago’s Joshua Blake Carter, and Nomi’s own Katie Carey. This performance of <i>Spring Affair</i> will run the gamut of emotions and themes while at the same time engaging the audience with what Nomi is best known for– a high regard for dynamic risk-taking, athleticism, beautiful intricacies, and the dancers’ unique flavor when performing each vibrant and challenging work. Join us for an inspiring evening of dance!
Spring Affair
Spring Affair
Once again Nomi Dance Company’s annual spring engagement includes the commissioning of Chicago’s finest talents. Monique Haley, (formerly of River North Dance Chicago), Stephanie Martinez, (founding member of River North Dance Chicago and one of Chicago’s most sought after choreographers) Giordano Dance Chicago’s Joshua Blake Carter, and Nomi’s own Katie Carey. This performance of <i>Spring Affair</i> will run the gamut of emotions and themes while at the same time engaging the audience with what Nomi is best known for– a high regard for dynamic risk-taking, athleticism, beautiful intricacies, and the dancers’ unique flavor when performing each vibrant and challenging work. Join us for an inspiring evening of dance!
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Main Stage
May 23
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The Simpsons & Onion Writers In-Conversation
May 30
The Onion Panel: 2:00pm – 3:15pm

The Simpsons Panel: 3:45pm – 5:15pm

We are proud to present an afternoon of panel discussions and Q&As with writers from The Simpsons and  The Onion.

The Simpsons are wrapping up their 26th season and are sending out Emmy Award-winning writer/producers Al Jean, Rob Lezebnik, Carolyn Omine and a few others from the show to regale us with tales both big and small from behind the scenes of America’s longest running television sitcom.

Since its founding by a Prussian tuber farmer in 1756, The Onion has attracted millions of loyal fans drawn to its fearless reporting and scathing commentary on world events, human behavior, and journalistic convention. Its omnipotent news empire now includes the Peabody Award-winning Onion News Network video wing and multiple best-selling books. In a rare peek behind the scenes of America’s Finest News Source, the core writing staff of The Onion will gather for a discussion focusing on how the world’s most popular satirical news is created and how the publication has evolved over the years before fielding questions from any of the slobbering dopes in attendance.
The Simpsons & Onion Writers In-Conversation
Part of The 2nd Annual 26th Annual Comedy Festival
The Simpsons & Onion Writers In-Conversation
The Onion Panel: 2:00pm – 3:15pm

The Simpsons Panel: 3:45pm – 5:15pm

We are proud to present an afternoon of panel discussions and Q&As with writers from The Simpsons and  The Onion.

The Simpsons are wrapping up their 26th season and are sending out Emmy Award-winning writer/producers Al Jean, Rob Lezebnik, Carolyn Omine and a few others from the show to regale us with tales both big and small from behind the scenes of America’s longest running television sitcom.

Since its founding by a Prussian tuber farmer in 1756, The Onion has attracted millions of loyal fans drawn to its fearless reporting and scathing commentary on world events, human behavior, and journalistic convention. Its omnipotent news empire now includes the Peabody Award-winning Onion News Network video wing and multiple best-selling books. In a rare peek behind the scenes of America’s Finest News Source, the core writing staff of The Onion will gather for a discussion focusing on how the world’s most popular satirical news is created and how the publication has evolved over the years before fielding questions from any of the slobbering dopes in attendance.
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Main Stage
May 30
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Circo Tap
June 27
Chicago Tap Theatre is proud to present CircoTap, a collision of tap dance and circus arts that concludes CTT’s year of the circus.
Audiences will be treated to acrobats, escape artists, and clowns in an evening of danger and rhythm, all performed live by some of the finest musicians in Chicago and interpreted by the witty and accomplished dancers of CTT.
Circo Tap
All-ages. Performance lasts 90 minutes including one 15-minute intermission.
Circo Tap
Chicago Tap Theatre is proud to present CircoTap, a collision of tap dance and circus arts that concludes CTT’s year of the circus.
Audiences will be treated to acrobats, escape artists, and clowns in an evening of danger and rhythm, all performed live by some of the finest musicians in Chicago and interpreted by the witty and accomplished dancers of CTT.
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Main Stage
June 27
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New Dances 2015
July 18 & 19
Thodos Dance Chicago celebrates 15 years of dance creation with its annual New Dances series. Be part of an amazing evening of new dance discovery when TCS’s Ensemble Members and Guest Choreographer, Brian McGinnis present their World Premiere works.
New Dances 2015
New Dances 2015
Thodos Dance Chicago celebrates 15 years of dance creation with its annual New Dances series. Be part of an amazing evening of new dance discovery when TCS’s Ensemble Members and Guest Choreographer, Brian McGinnis present their World Premiere works.
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Main Stage
July 18 & 19
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Studio One
Crimes of the Heart
May 8 - June 14
At the core of this play are the Magrath sisters, Meg, Babe, and Lenny, who reunite at Old Granddaddy’s home in Hazlehurst, Mississippi after Babe shoots her abusive husband. The trio was raised in a dysfunctional family with a penchant for ugly predicaments and each has endured her share of hardship and misery. Past resentments bubble to the surface as they’re forced to deal with assorted relatives and past relationships while coping with the latest incident that has disrupted their lives. Each sister is forced to face the consequences of the “crimes of the heart” she has committed.
Crimes of the Heart
Crimes of the Heart
At the core of this play are the Magrath sisters, Meg, Babe, and Lenny, who reunite at Old Granddaddy’s home in Hazlehurst, Mississippi after Babe shoots her abusive husband. The trio was raised in a dysfunctional family with a penchant for ugly predicaments and each has endured her share of hardship and misery. Past resentments bubble to the surface as they’re forced to deal with assorted relatives and past relationships while coping with the latest incident that has disrupted their lives. Each sister is forced to face the consequences of the “crimes of the heart” she has committed.
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Studio One
May 8 - June 14
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Batty Old Biddies
July 10 - August 2
Bessie and Louise didn’t die or go into the nursing home when they were supposed to. In fact, these salty seniors are trying to take their fading neighborhood back from the drug dealers, gang members, and, especially, the scheming developer and his city hall cronies. Above all, Bessie wants it quiet, and she has perfected a subversive method of turning down the music on gang members’ stereos.
Batty Old Biddies
Recommended for ages 13+. Performance lasts 90 minutes with no intermission.
Batty Old Biddies
Bessie and Louise didn’t die or go into the nursing home when they were supposed to. In fact, these salty seniors are trying to take their fading neighborhood back from the drug dealers, gang members, and, especially, the scheming developer and his city hall cronies. Above all, Bessie wants it quiet, and she has perfected a subversive method of turning down the music on gang members’ stereos.
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Studio One
July 10 - August 2
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The Dueling Gentlemen
8/9 - 9/20
Our love letter to old vaudeville is performed entirely in silence and accompanied by live original piano composition. Witness the story of two vaudeville performers whose friendship begins to decompose during their long-running successful act.

Issues of insecurities and lack of communication, alcoholism and professionalism, betrayal and attempted murder all play factors on and off stage as their act, “The Ugly Blond” takes an even uglier turn.

Vaudeville has never been dicier!
The Dueling Gentlemen
a Love Letter to Vaudeville
The Dueling Gentlemen
Our love letter to old vaudeville is performed entirely in silence and accompanied by live original piano composition. Witness the story of two vaudeville performers whose friendship begins to decompose during their long-running successful act.

Issues of insecurities and lack of communication, alcoholism and professionalism, betrayal and attempted murder all play factors on and off stage as their act, “The Ugly Blond” takes an even uglier turn.

Vaudeville has never been dicier!
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Studio One
8/9 - 9/20
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Studio Two
Twisted Melodies
May 11 - June 14
“We must be able to have these conversations with our community. The intent of Twisted Melodies is to open up a safe and healing conversation about mental illness in our community and ways we can help each other cope. Donny (Hathaway) was a musical genius coping with schizophrenia, it was a part of him and a part of his music and brilliance. Maybe through seeing this illness through a beloved artist will allow us to view it differently than we have viewed it before. ” -Samuel Roberson
Congo Square presents
Twisted Melodies
Twisted Melodies
“We must be able to have these conversations with our community. The intent of Twisted Melodies is to open up a safe and healing conversation about mental illness in our community and ways we can help each other cope. Donny (Hathaway) was a musical genius coping with schizophrenia, it was a part of him and a part of his music and brilliance. Maybe through seeing this illness through a beloved artist will allow us to view it differently than we have viewed it before. ” -Samuel Roberson
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Studio Two
May 11 - June 14
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Matawan
June 26 - July 27
In the summer of 1916, a series of freakish and fatal shark attacks paralyzed the Jersey Shore. Further inland, a polio outbreak plagued Philadelphia, while the cloud of World War I loomed over the entire nation. As the forces of nature, disease, and war close in, people struggling to adapt must face a monster whose evolution has led to millions of years of survival–a monster who now faces some terrors of her own. Spanning several cities and the infinite depths of the ocean, Matawan conjures an unusual moment in American history and the ways in which our hidden selves can wreak just as much havoc as catastrophe.
The Ruckus presents
Matawan
This performance features strong language, and is recommended for ages 13+; and lasts two hours with a 15-minute intermission.
Matawan
In the summer of 1916, a series of freakish and fatal shark attacks paralyzed the Jersey Shore. Further inland, a polio outbreak plagued Philadelphia, while the cloud of World War I loomed over the entire nation. As the forces of nature, disease, and war close in, people struggling to adapt must face a monster whose evolution has led to millions of years of survival–a monster who now faces some terrors of her own. Spanning several cities and the infinite depths of the ocean, Matawan conjures an unusual moment in American history and the ways in which our hidden selves can wreak just as much havoc as catastrophe.
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Studio Two
June 26 - July 27
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SubUrbia
July 30 - August 8
SubUrbia is a coming of age story three best friends who are trying to find their purpose in life within their lost world of the American suburb. They struggle with the trials and tribulations of growing up with an uncertain future while desperately clinging to the memories they long to relive.

A reunion with their successful high school friend tests the best friends relationships, dreams, and lives. Will they find their purpose in life or will they find that the dreams they once had will never come true?

Join Level 11 Productions this summer for this comedic and drama-thrilled journey!
SubUrbia
SubUrbia
SubUrbia is a coming of age story three best friends who are trying to find their purpose in life within their lost world of the American suburb. They struggle with the trials and tribulations of growing up with an uncertain future while desperately clinging to the memories they long to relive.

A reunion with their successful high school friend tests the best friends relationships, dreams, and lives. Will they find their purpose in life or will they find that the dreams they once had will never come true?

Join Level 11 Productions this summer for this comedic and drama-thrilled journey!
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Studio Two
July 30 - August 8
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Studio Three
Lips Together, Teeth Apart
Apr 16 - May 24
Eclipse Theatre’s 2015 Terrence McNally Season opens with Lips Together, Teeth Apart. In a gay community on Fire Island, two straight couples reveal a desperate sense of individual isolation. Ted Hoerl makes his Eclipse directorial debut.
Lips Together, Teeth Apart
part of the 2015 Terrence McNally Season
Lips Together, Teeth Apart
Eclipse Theatre’s 2015 Terrence McNally Season opens with Lips Together, Teeth Apart. In a gay community on Fire Island, two straight couples reveal a desperate sense of individual isolation. Ted Hoerl makes his Eclipse directorial debut.
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Studio Three
Apr 16 - May 24
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La Raison d’Être
May 28 - June 7
After the sun goes down, La Raison d’Être, a classy Chicago nightclub, starts to heat up – the libations are flowing, the patrons are dancing, the servers are friendly, and the Maître D’ croons out a tune now and then. The club’s Owner and his wife seem to have it all, but there is a betrayal in the works that threatens to tear it all apart.

La Raison d’Être showcases Tapman Productions talent mixing two distinct dance styles, both tap and modern dance, with music and live singing from the past and the present including Jitterbug Waltz, Between the Bars, The Way You Look TonightCome Fly With Me, When Your Mind’s Made Up, and more. The performance’s choreography, containing several individual pieces, is by Mike Ford, Kate O’Hanlon, Tristan Bruns and Javier Villamil.

This unique presentation’s cast includes Tristan Bruns, Megan Davis, Star Dixon, Mike Ford, Cindy Hsu, Gloria Mwez, Kate O’Hanlon, Carmen Paquette, Kelsey Schlabaugh, Tyler Sheets, Javier Villamil and Jessica Williams.
La Raison d’Être
a Tapmen Dance Co. Repertory Performance
La Raison d’Être
After the sun goes down, La Raison d’Être, a classy Chicago nightclub, starts to heat up – the libations are flowing, the patrons are dancing, the servers are friendly, and the Maître D’ croons out a tune now and then. The club’s Owner and his wife seem to have it all, but there is a betrayal in the works that threatens to tear it all apart.

La Raison d’Être showcases Tapman Productions talent mixing two distinct dance styles, both tap and modern dance, with music and live singing from the past and the present including Jitterbug Waltz, Between the Bars, The Way You Look TonightCome Fly With Me, When Your Mind’s Made Up, and more. The performance’s choreography, containing several individual pieces, is by Mike Ford, Kate O’Hanlon, Tristan Bruns and Javier Villamil.

This unique presentation’s cast includes Tristan Bruns, Megan Davis, Star Dixon, Mike Ford, Cindy Hsu, Gloria Mwez, Kate O’Hanlon, Carmen Paquette, Kelsey Schlabaugh, Tyler Sheets, Javier Villamil and Jessica Williams.
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Studio Three
May 28 - June 7
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Modrun Dance: All Comedy All the Time
June 10 - 13
Ninety minutes of fun-filled modern dance hilarity: guaranteed ANGST-FREE. Featuring DanszLoop Chicago performing Paula Frasz’s classic comic dances AND featuring stand-up comedian AJ Lubecker. Nothing like the “modrundance” you have suffered through in the past!!!!

“Side splitting!” — Drew Frasz, Paula’s Brother
“Don’t miss this!!” — Marie Frasz, Paula’s Mom (deceased)
“I thought all modern dance was boring and pretentious.” — Martha Graham (deceased)
Modrun Dance: All Comedy All the Time
Modrun Dance: All Comedy All the Time
Ninety minutes of fun-filled modern dance hilarity: guaranteed ANGST-FREE. Featuring DanszLoop Chicago performing Paula Frasz’s classic comic dances AND featuring stand-up comedian AJ Lubecker. Nothing like the “modrundance” you have suffered through in the past!!!!

“Side splitting!” — Drew Frasz, Paula’s Brother
“Don’t miss this!!” — Marie Frasz, Paula’s Mom (deceased)
“I thought all modern dance was boring and pretentious.” — Martha Graham (deceased)
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Studio Three
June 10 - 13
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A Perfect Ganesh
Jul 16 - Aug 23
The 2015 McNally Season continues with his Pulitzer nominated play, A Perfect Ganesh.
Two American women embark on a comic and tragic spiritual journey through India with the Hindu god Ganesha. Artistic Director, Nathaniel Swift directs.
A Perfect Ganesh
part of the 2015 Terrence McNally Season
A Perfect Ganesh
The 2015 McNally Season continues with his Pulitzer nominated play, A Perfect Ganesh.
Two American women embark on a comic and tragic spiritual journey through India with the Hindu god Ganesha. Artistic Director, Nathaniel Swift directs.
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Studio Three
Jul 16 - Aug 23
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The Lisbon Traviata,
Nov 5 - Dec 20
The 2015 Season concludes with the sharply funny yet deeply tragic play,The Lisbon Traviata, in which personal tragedy unfolds on an operatic scale. Ensemble Member and Goodman Theatre Artistic Associate, Steve Scott, directs.
The Lisbon Traviata,
part of the 2015 Terrence McNally Season
The Lisbon Traviata,
The 2015 Season concludes with the sharply funny yet deeply tragic play,The Lisbon Traviata, in which personal tragedy unfolds on an operatic scale. Ensemble Member and Goodman Theatre Artistic Associate, Steve Scott, directs.
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Studio Three
Nov 5 - Dec 20
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