Year of Chicago Theatre

HowILearnedToDrive_Year of Chicago Theatre

Raven Theatre‘s How I Learned to Drive. Photo by Michael Brosilow.

2019 is the Year of Chicago Theatre as declared by the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Specials Events. Below are current and upcoming shows you don’t want to miss in Andersonville!

Plus, be sure to check out the 48th Ward’s Theatre Performance Calendar and the Edgewater Andersonville Theatre District page for a full look at what’s showing near you almost every day of the week!

Excited about all of the local options? Make a pledge to see at least one show at an Edgewater or Andersonville theatre this year – you also get to enter a raffle for free tickets!

Featured Andersonville Theatres

Akvavit Theatre | More productions Coming Soon!
Akvavit Theatre is haunted by Nordic visions: deep forests and ice-blue seas, the patience of the glacier, the sudden fury of the volcano, the arctic light and silence. Seeking the universal through the voices of contemporary Nordic playwrights, Akvavit Theatre is a kind of homecoming, a connecting back to the lands whose people and cultures have for generations been a part of the great prairies of North America that we call home. And like the namesake beverage, Akvavit brings a “strong spirit” to the work that they produce.

Babes With Blades Theatre Company | Othello
April 11- May 25
Babes With Blades Theatre Company brings you their biennial production of BWBTC Shakespeare: productions which solely feature actors who identify as female, trans, and gender-nonconforming, providing the opportunity for audiences to perceive these classic stories through a new lens. Now, they bring their take on the Bards classic tale of jealousy and manipulation. Othello is a brilliant general with the support of the Venetian government and an army behind him. But when he promotes Cassio over Iago, madness and jealous takes over as Iago slanders and schemes to destroy Othello utterly. As events madly spiral, prejudice, pride, and paranoia all clash in this, one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies.  Get tickets here. See what else is being offered by Babes With Blades in the 2019 Season.

Barrel of Monkeys | That’s Weird Grandma: Star-Studded Stories
Through February 17
Barrel of Monkeys (BOM) is an ensemble of actor/educators who create an alternative learning environment in which children share their personal voices and celebrate the power of their imaginations. BOM accomplishes this through creative writing workshops and in-school performances of children’s stories. And now they’re giving you the opportunity to witness pop culture legends live onstage – or at least pop culture legends as 3rd – 5th graders imagine them! BOM performers portray stars past, present and fictional through outrageous dialogues and musical numbers. Shows are at 3pm on Sunday afternoons; everyone is welcome! See what else is being offered at Barrel of Monkeys in the 2019 Season.

Did you know you can get a Teen Art Pass for your teen ages 13-19? Barrel of Monkeys is excited to be an inaugural Teen Arts Pass (TAP) partner! TAP is a new initiative by Urban Gateways that gives young people access to $5 tickets to see professional dance, music, and theater performances in and around Chicago. Learn more about the program and sign up here.

Chicago Magic Lounge | Shows Daily
The Chicago Magic Lounge was conceived in 2015 as an homage to the historic, Chicago magic bar and restaurant scene. The aim was to reintroduce close-up and parlor magic to an adult, nightlife audience, while also creating a community of professional, working magicians. Featuring magic 7 days a week. Be sure to catch David Parr’s Cabinet of Curiosities every Wednesday through the end of February at 7:30PM. You can purchase tickets here and even add on the Two of Hearts Package which comes with Prosecco, truffles and souvenir glasses. That’s not all though – the Magic lounge will be offering several shows in the remainder of the 2019 season.

Chicago Tap Theatre | Sweet Tap
March 10
The Chicago Tap Theatre (CTT) is growing and innovating in the dance world in honor of their multifaceted mission: to preserve America’s indigenous dance form, to promote tap through story-based shows and innovative presentation, to educate the community and make tap accessible to a variety of people, and to foster relationships with other Chicago arts organizations. Since its founding in 2002, CTT has followed through on this mission in many ways. They have several shows lined up for the Year of Chicago Theatre, including Sweet Tap, a Chicago-inspired flurry of fun premiering March 10 – tickets are available here. Learn more about their upcoming performances here.

Hell in a Handbag | The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes/The Valentine Edition
February 14 – March 10
Hell In A Handbag Productions was formed in March 2002 and is dedicated to the preservation, exploration, and celebration of works ingrained in the realm of popular culture via theatrical productions through parody, music and homage. Hell In A Handbag performs regularly at Mary’s Attic and throughout Chicago. Now in its third year, Chicago’s favorite Golden Girls parody show takes on Valentine’s Day with all new ‘lost’ episodes. The show runtime is 100 minutes with one intermission and tickets are available here through March 10. See what hell is going to be unleashed in the final half of the 2018-19 season.

The Neo-Futurists  | Remember The Alamo
Previews: February 28 – March 2 | Regular Showings: March 4 – April 27
In this world premiere production, an ensemble will take over The Neo-Futurist Theater, refuse to leave, and obstruct all production in the theater until the audience, actors and management work to recreate the Battle of the Alamo in its entirety, leading to its sad bloody conclusion. Get tickets here. Learn more about what else is showing in the The Neo-Futurists’ Spring Season.

Raven Theatre | How I Learned to Drive
Through March 4
From behind the wheel of a ‘56 Chevy, a woman named Li’l Bit navigates the tangled boulevards of her adolescence, reflecting on her complex and troubling relationship with her family. But old secrets and fresh discoveries abound as she struggles to accept her past and the demons that live there. An artful, surprising, and often-funny memory play that explores how we are shaped by the people who hurt us. Get tickets here. Learn more about their upcoming shows: Yen and The Undeniable Sound of Right Now.

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble | I Wanna F#!&ing Tear You Apart
February 15 – March 23
A Midwest premier! Samantha and Leo are a team—best friends and roommates, fat girl and gay guy against the world—until a new friend upends their cozy co-dependent diet of mutual self-loathing and Grey’s Anatomy marathons. Get tickets here. Learn more about the remainder of Rivendell’s 2019 season.

Steep Theatre | Red Rex
Through March 14
A world premiere by Ike Holter, directed by Jonathan Berry. A small theater company moves into an abandoned Chicago storefront. Led by their adventurously thirsty artistic director, they embark on an explosive new play with the hope of finally breaking it big. Additional tickets released for this sold-out performance. Get tickets here. Learn more about Steep’s remaining shows in the 2019 season here or by listening to the Steep Staff on #AlwaysAndersonville: The Podcast

Kids Activities

Barrel of Monkekys | After-School Program
Dates and times vary
Barrel of Monkeys provides after-school Creative Writing Enrichment Programs in collaboration with after-school providers Youth Guidance and the Chicago Park District. Our after-school program curriculum builds their students’ confidence in self-expression and their enthusiasm for creative writing and theatre. The program is intended for 3rd-6th grade students in CPS schools. The curriculum is an extention of the BOM in-school residency curriculum, and each session is lead by 2-3 trained BOM actors/educators. Your child could learn about Story Writing, fiction writing, group story writing, theatre and drama techniques, and ensemble-based theatre. For more information about after-school programs and kid’s classes with Barrel of Monkeys, click here or contact Program Director, Shá Norman.

Chicago Filmmakers | Teen Filmmaking Workshop
Dates and times vary
Students (ages 13-17) work with professional filmmaker Joseph R. Lewis in a comprehensive hands-on experience to learn how to navigate the entire moviemaking process. This course will cover all aspects of digital video production, from initial concept to finished movie. Students will learn about pre-production planning, storyboarding, cameras, lighting, sound, shot composition, and computer editing, and will work collaboratively on group projects. Each student has the opportunity to focus on their own personal interests while building a well-rounded understanding of what it takes to make a movie. This course meets for three hours once a week for six weeks; for more details and registration, click here.

Dream Big Performing Arts Workshop | Classes & Camps
Dates and times vary
Dream Big started in 2006 with a class of four students. Now they serve an average of 1,000 students per week in and out of schools throughout the year. The mission of Dream Big Education is to enrich children’s lives with life-affirming and energizing, creative experiences in the performing arts. With a focus on fostering confidence and self-expression, these collaborative experiences led by professional teaching artists allow children’s hearts and spirits to shine bright on and off the stage. Dream Big plans to achieve this goal through their many after school programs and summer camps. Learn more about their after school enrichment, summer camps, and production camps, all open to a variety of ages.

Lil’ Buds Theatre Company | The Little Mermaid Jr.
June 17-28th 2019
The Little Mermaid Summer Camp at FXW School -HNC Campus is June 17th – June 28th, 2019 form 9am to 3:30pm. In this two-week session, students will be living the life of a summer stock performer putting on a musical! This session encompasses all aspects of the theatrical arts, including rehearsal, design, construction and performance. Students will contribute to the theatrical design of sets, costumes and props, and will bring their designs to life using skills they have mastered. They will be challenged to assist in choreography and direction. Family invited performances will be held on the final day of camp, Friday, June 28th. Can’t make these dates? Check out their website to learn more about their other options.

Raven Theatre | Take Flight
June 17-28th 2019
Take Flight is committed to sharing the importance and dynamic power of ensemble work. The Raven believes that the guiding principle of all theatrical work is that of collaboration: respecting others, feeling the confidence to contribute and the courage to try something new. Exposure to these fundamental life lessons through the lens of theatre translates into every facet of scholarship, play, and community. There are several camps and classes offered through the Take Flight program, check them out here.