Wednesday, February 10, 2016

FREE Events at Theatre Week Central, February 11 – 21, 2016

League of Chicago Theatres to host FREE series of engagement events at Theatre Week Central, February 11 – 21, 2016  

It's here people! Get out and see a show and/or explore these FREE special events. Here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows we're endlessly enamored  with the Chicago Theatre scene. In fact we're reviewing 6 shows this week alone. Check back with us frequently for our full reviews, theatre news, and lots of original content.

Value-priced tickets for over 115 Theatre Week productions now on sale!

Chicago Theatre Week, an annual celebration of the rich tradition of theatre-going in Chicago, will take place February 11 – 21, 2016, spanning a week and two full weekends. Now in its fourth year, Chicago Theatre Week is a program of the League of Chicago Theatres in partnership with Choose Chicago. In addition to offering tickets at $30, $15, or less to over 115 productions across the city the League will also host a series of FREE audience engagement events at Theatre Week Central, located in the historic Water Works Building, 163 East Pearson in Chicago. 

The League of Chicago Theatres will be hosting a series of FREE special events as part of Theatre Week to help audiences further engage with Chicago's extraordinary range of theatrical offerings.  Events include lunchtime Showcases featuring short performances, artist chats, and more; a Staged Reading of Stage Left Theatre’s The Body of An American by Dan O’Brien, directed by Jason A. Fleece; and Playwrights at Work, which allows audiences to watch the creation of the next great Chicago play in real time.  All events are free, open to the public, and will take place at Theatre Week Central (163 E. Pearson, along the Magnificent Mile).

The Theatre Week Central event schedule is as follows:

Fridays, February 12 and 19 at 12 pm
Lunchtime showcase events featuring short performances, artist chats, and more. Audiences are encouraged to arrive early and bring a lunch. These events will be no longer than 45 minutes.

Friday, February 12, 2016 at 12 pm
Hosted by Benno Nelson from The Common Room
Barrel of Monkeys – That’s Weird, Grandma
American Blues Theater – Looking Over the President’s Shoulder
Rivendell Theatre and Waltzing Mechanics – Body/Courage

Friday, February 19, 2016 at 12 pm
Featuring songs from 3 musicals
BoHo Theatre – Fugitive Songs 
Filament Theatre – Pinocchio: A Folk Musical
Porchlight Music Theatre – Far From Heaven

Stage Left Theatre’s production of
The Body of an American
Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 2 pm
Stage Left Theatre will present a free staged reading of The Body of an American by Dan O'Brien. Directed by Jason A. Fleece, the cast includes Don Bender and Ryan Hallahan.
In 1993, Canadian photojournalist Paul Watson took a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of a dead American soldier being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu. In 2007, writer Dan O’Brien was struggling to finish his play about ghosts. A chance encounter over the airwaves sparks an extraordinary friendship that sees the two men journey from some of the most dangerous places on earth to the depths of the human soul. Flying from Kabul to the Canadian Arctic, The Body of an American sees two actors play more than thirty roles in an exhilarating new form of documentary drama.

February 11 – 21, 2016
Tuesdays-Saturdays from 10am to 6pm, and Sundays from 11am to 4pm
Following the success of the Storefront Playwright Project in 2013-2015, the League of Chicago Theatres is again supporting and providing space for nearly 20 emerging and established playwrights to work on a current writing project in view of the public.  From a large screen facing outward, visitors will be able to read what the playwright is writing and watch the creation of the next great Chicago play in real time. The aim of the project is to raise the visibility of playwrights in Chicago and encourage audiences to engage more deeply with Chicago theatre and the creative process of writing a new play for the theatre. Participating Playwrights at Work include: Randall Colburn, Philip Dawkins, Ike Holter, Evan Linder, Jessy Lauren Smith, Laura Stratford, Regina Taylor, Calamity West, and more.

The League will also present a variety of public tours of the Belmont Theater District, the Auditorium Theatre, Broadway in Chicago, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Please note that the Theatre Tours will take place on location, not at Theatre Week Central.

The Chicago Theatre Week Tour Schedule is as follows:

Belmont Theater District - Open House Tour 2016
Saturday, February 13, 2016
Celebrate Chicago Theatre Week with the Belmont Theater District at our 2016 Open House Tour on Saturday, February 13. It's cold outside, but it's warm in our Belmont Theater District theaters, where throughout the day you will experience behind-the-scenes access to theaters, show excerpts, and complimentary drinks, snacks and goodies from BTD Partner restaurants, bars, cafes and businesses. Reserve your place for the Belmont Theater District Open House Tour by registering your information here. And stay tuned to for up-to-the-minute information on event timings, directions and enticing event details!

Auditorium Theatre Tours
Thursdays, February 11 and 18, 2016 at noon
Monday, February 15 at 10:30am
Tickets: $12
Go behind the scenes of this National Historic Landmark, built by Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan, and view it as few do. Enjoy the radiant 24-karat gold-leafed ceiling arches, hundreds of Sullivan’s beautifully restored intricate stencil patterns, ornate gilded and bas-relief designs, and the endless floor and wall mosaics and murals by Charles Holloway and Albert Fleury. February 11, 15 and 18. For reservations and more information visit

Broadway In Chicago Historic Theatre Tours
Saturdays, February 13 at 20 at 11am
Tickets: $12
Each public tour visits two of the three Broadway in Chicago theatres: the Oriental Theatre, the Cadillac Palace and The PrivateBank Theatre. The tour showcases the glittering vintage décor inspired by the foremost theatre designers of our time, who created through their designs in the French Renaissance styling. Visitors will also learn about the cutting edge technology that makes each theatre the home to today’s most complex theatrical productions and the recent restorations that brought beauty and elegance back to these century-old theatres. For reservations and more information visit

Glenwood Avenue Arts District
Saturday, February 20 at 2pm
Explore the burgeoning Glenwood Avenue Arts District during Chicago Theatre Week and take a special walking tour of the theatres on Saturday, February 20 at 2 pm. The tour will begin at Lifeline Theatre (6912 N Glenwood Ave) before heading north on Glenwood Ave to Theo Ubique and finishing up at BoHo Theatre. Tour each of the theatre's unique spaces and learn more about their programming and how they use their spaces. Approximately 60 minutes. Click here to register for the FREE tour. 

Lyric Opera of Chicago Backstage Tours
Sunday, February 21, 2016
Tours depart within half hour time slots between 11am and 2pm
Tickets: $45
Journey into the heart of opera at one of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Backstage Tours. This 2 hour and 30 minute 10-stop walking tour will be guided by professional staff and trained volunteers, peppered with interesting discussions and demonstrations by experts in various staging areas. For reservations and more information visit

The Chicago Theatre
February 11-21, 2015 at noon
Tickets: $13
Experience one of the country's last remaining movie palaces. Stand on our world famous stage, view the autographed backstage wall and explore the beautiful Baroque interiors. Tours are available year-round. Tour Schedule: 12pm. Tours Daily February 11 through 21. Use code THWEEK for discounted $13 tickets. Tour Duration: 1 hour. For reservations and more information click here

In February 2015, 116 productions offered value-priced tickets for performances during Chicago Theatre Week. Almost 10,000 Chicago residents and visitors spanning 40 states attended a show during Chicago Theatre Week. This coming February, visitors and residents will again have the opportunity to sample the extraordinary range of theatrical offerings throughout Chicagoland.  Over 100 participating Theatre Week shows and offer details are currently listed on the website,, with tickets on sale now. It is recommended to follow @ChicagoPlays on Twitter for CTW announcements.

Chicago Theatre Week is presented by the League of Chicago Theatres in partnership with Choose Chicago. The lead hotel sponsor for 2016 is Sheraton Grand Chicago – Special CTW hotel rates are available at the Sheraton Grand Chicago, dana hotel & spa, and Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel.

For more information about Chicago Theatre Week or Theatre Week Central, please visit

About Chicago theatre
Chicago theatre is a leader in the U.S. with more than 250 theatres throughout Chicagoland, comprising a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theaters to the most renowned resident theatres in the country, including 5 that have been honored with Regional Tony Awards, and the largest touring Broadway organization in the nation. Chicago’s theatres serve 5 million audience members annually and have a combined budget of more than $250 million. Chicago produces and/or presents more world premieres annually than any other city in the nation. In the 2014-2015 season, Chicago theatre companies produced more than 100 world premiere productions and adaptations. Each year, Chicago theatres send new work to resident theatres across the country, to Broadway, and around the world.

About the League of Chicago Theatres
The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of theatres which leverages its collective strength to promote, support, and advocate for Chicago's theatre industry locally, nationally, and internationally. The League of Chicago Theatres Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the art of theatre in the Chicago area through audience development and support services for theatres and theatre professionals.

For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions, visit the League of Chicago Theatres website,  Half-price tickets are available year-round at  Additional information about Chicago Theatre Week is available at

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