Sit back and be enthralled by award-winning productions at these six world-class theater companies in Chicago.
Lookingglass Theatre Company’s performance of The Steadfast Tin Soldier
The Black Ensemble Theater originated as a small arts organization in 1976 and has since grown into an institution nationally recognized as one of the most diverse theaters in the country. It’s seen as a leader in the African American and mainstream arts community, and strives to eradicate racism through its work. Now playing: My Brother Langston (through Sept. 18).4450 N. Clark St.
Chicago Shakespeare prides itself on its internationally recognized productions and its arts-in-literacy program that garnered attention from former first lady Michelle Obama as a national leader during a 2014 White House ceremony. Founded in 1986, Chicago Shakespeare is a regional Tony Award recipient, and produces 20 productions and 650 performances each year across three unique theater spaces. Up next: The Notebook (Sept. 6 through Oct. 16). 800 E. Grand Ave.
Founded in 1955 as an outdoor summer theater, The University of Chicago’s Court Theatre is entering its 68th season. It’s now recognized as the university’s Center for Classic Theatre and has been home to world-premiere translations and adaptations of Invisible Man, Native Son and The Adventures of Augie March, and recently received the 2022 Regional Theatre Tony Award. Up next: Arsenic and Old Lace (Sept. 2 through Oct. 2). 5535 S. Ellis Ave.
Emma Ladji and Nate Santana starred in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s 2017 production of Romeo and Juliet.
In 1922, William and Erna Goodman gifted the Art Institute of Chicago $250,000 to build the Goodman Theatre, in honor of their late son, Kenneth Sawyer Goodman, who wrote, produced and published many plays in Chicago. Since then, Goodman Theatre has produced the world-premiere productions of two August Wilson plays—Gem of the Ocean and Seven Guitars—and celebrates the holiday season with an annual production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, a tradition many have looked forward to each year since 1978. Up next: Clyde’s (Sept. 10 through Oct. 9). 170 N. Dearborn St.
Lookingglass Theatre Company, recipient of 2011 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, inspires the imaginations of its audiences to evoke the same sense of wonder Alice experienced when she fell down the rabbit hole. The theater was founded in 1988 by a group of Northwestern University graduates, and in 2003 found its home in the Water Tower Works building on Michigan Avenue. Some of the company’s most notable premieres include Mary Zimmerman’s The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Arabian Nights, The Jungle and David Catlin’s tribute to Lewis Carroll, Lookingglass Alice. Up next: What to Send Up When It Goes Down (Sept. 24 through Oct. 16). 821 N. Michigan Ave.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company was formed in the basement of a Highland Park church in the mid- ’70s. Now located in Lincoln Park, the not-for-profit company produces nearly 700 performances each year across three stages and maintains an award-winning reputation backed up by 12 Tony Awards as well as honors from the National Medal of Arts. Up next: The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington (Sept. 1 through Oct. 9). 1650 N. Halsted St.
Photography by: FROM TOP: PHOTO BY LIZ LAUREN; PHOTO BY LIZ LAUREN; PHOTO BY JOE MAZZA/BRAVE LUX