Sunday, November 8, 2015



Experience Chicago’s Landmark Theatre Up Close and Personal with an Exciting Free Day filled with Interactive Performances, Crafts, Tours and More

The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University is excited to open its doors to the public for Family Fun Day, a fun-filled afternoon of free events for the whole family. This open house will take place from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 15 at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway. Using jazz, as well as the legacy of jazz great Billy Strayhorn, Family Fun Day gives guests of all ages a behind the scenes look at Chicago’s landmark theatre with interactive activities, unique performances, fun arts and crafts, special tours and more. For more information, or to pre-register, visit or call (312) 341-2300.

The Billy Strayhorn Festival is a three month long city wide music festival, presented by the Auditorium Theatre, celebrating the 100th birthday of the late Billy Strayhorn. The Festival began with the Chicago Jazz Festival, Friday, Sept. 4 in Millennium Park, and continues with performances and educational panels at various jazz clubs and other locations throughout Chicago before its final performance, and gala celebration, on the Auditorium Theatre’s landmark stage with Lush Life: The Music of Billy Strayhorn. For more information on the Billy Strayhorn Festival visit

“We held our first Family Fun Day last fall as part of our 125th Anniversary Season and welcomed almost 1,000 guests into our historic theatre,” said Executive Director Brett Batterson. “Sharing our space with Chicago families is always exciting and we are jazzing up this new tradition as part of our Billy Strayhorn Festival. It’s never too early to introduce children to jazz music, and through teaching artists and professional dancers and musicians, we will be using interactive approaches to get kids and kids-at-heart excited about jazz.”

The Lead Foundation Supporter for The Billy Strayhorn Festival is The Chicago Community Trust with additional support provided by The Joyce Foundation.

FAMILY FUN DAY EVENTS – It’s Time to Shine at 
the Auditorium!

During the course of Strayhorn’s career, he made the transition from classical music to jazz. As part of the company’s 20 for 20! Initiative, celebrating the Auditorium Theatre’s resident dance company’s  20 years as Chicago’s premiere ballet company, Erica Edwards from The Joffrey Ballet leads family dance workshops that show how traditional jazz movements can be incorporated into classical ballet technique.

BeMoved dance instructor Jennifer Edgcomb will get the whole family movin’ and groovin’ with a fun class featuring jazz-inspired movements. 

Missi Alston, one of the Joel Hall Dance Company members performing in Lush Life: The Music of Billy Strayhorn, will offer jazz dance classes fit for all ages.

If walls could talk, the Auditorium Theatre would have quite a story to tell. A storyteller will share the musical lore of Auditorium Theatre’s past jazz musicians and rock legends that have graced the historic stage.

Guests will experience what it’s like to walk on the historic Auditorium stage with 3,901 seats before them.

From indoor baseball games to bowling, learn about the history of the Auditorium Theatre and some of its many uses through the years. Guests will be given their own personal passports in order to collect stamps as they visit various spots throughout the theatre with a self-guided tour and scavenger hunt!

The craft station will give everyone the opportunity to create their own musical instrument.
Many of the famous Auditorium Theatre performers left a doodle for the theatre crew backstage. Many of these doodles will be available for viewing and Family Fun Day participants are invited to add to the collection.

About Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University
The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, located at 50 E. Congress Pkwy, is an Illinois, not-for-profit organization committed to presenting the finest in international, cultural, community and educational programming to Chicago, and to the continued restoration and preservation of the National Historic Landmark. In September of 2014, the Auditorium Theatre was awarded the inaugural Fifth Star Award by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. On December 9, 2014, the Auditorium Theatre celebrated its 125th Birthday with a proclamation from the City of Chicago declaring it “Auditorium Theatre Day.”

The 2015 – 2016 Auditorium Theatre Season includes The Billy Strayhorn Festival, through – November 21; Twyla Tharp – 50th Anniversary Tour, November 5-8;  Chicago Jazz Philharmonic – Scenes from Life: Cuba!, November 13; Lush Life: The Music of Billy Strayhorn Gala and Performance, November 21;  Thodos Dance Chicago, January 9; Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah, January 16 – 17; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, March 8 – 13; Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal – Leonce and Lena, April 1 – 3; and Giordano Dance Chicago, June 11.  

For a complete listing of events at the Auditorium Theatre, please click here.

The Auditorium Theatre is generously supported by the MacArthur Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council, the Sage Foundation, and the Palmer House Hilton. For more information about programming, volunteer and donor opportunities or theatre tours, call (312) 341-2310 or visit

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