Theater on the Lake

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As you may have discovered by now, Chicago is home to an incredible amount of extraordinary and unique theater companies. There’s something very special about the theater scene that has developed in the city, and nothing exhibits that more than the the Park District’s Theater on the Lake summer program.

Every summer a small brick building on Chicago’s lakefront provides a home for eight productions over eight weeks, inviting the city’s world-class off-Loop theater companies to showcase their talents. The structure has been around since 1920, but only took on its role as a theater in 1952. Though it originally housed only Park District amateur community theater companies, in 1996 the Theater on the Lake began to invite Chicago’s professional theater groups to take the stage, including the famed Steppenwolf, Chicago Theatre Company and Second City. The space was also converted from an in-the-round style setup to a three-quarters thrust stage seating nearly 400 people. It remains a semi-open-air theater, taking advantage of the beautiful Lake Michigan backdrop. The Theater on the Lake truly is an original performance arts space and a special part of Chicago summers.

Curated by artistic director Hallie Gordon, this year’s productions range from musical theater to comedy to drama. Performances run Wednesday through Sunday evenings beginning June 16th. Performances begin at 7:30 pm, Wednesday through Saturday, and at 6:30 pm on Sunday. Subscribers may purchase a season pass for $110 and see each performance each week. (Subscriptions are available May 1 through June 1st.) Individual tickets may be purchased for each performance for $17.50.

For more information, to purchase tickets, or to learn about this year’s featured theater companies, visit the Theater on the Lake website.

The Essentials:
Location: Fullerton Ave. at Lake Michigan
Phone: 312.742.7994
Website: chicagoparkdistrict.com

Theater on the Lake 2010 Summer Schedule:

Dates Performance Theater Company
June 16-20 The Second City’s 50th Anniversary Revue The Second City
June 23-27 The Glorious Ones Bohemian Theatre Ensemble
June 30 – July 4 Abigail’s Party A Red Orchid Theatre
July 7-11 Baby Wants Candy, The Completely Improvised Full-Band Musical Baby Wants Candy
July 14-18 Red Noses Strawdog Theatre Company
July 21-25 Mary’s Wedding Rivendell Theatre Company
July 28 – Aug 1 The Ruby Sunrise The Gift Theatre Company
Aug 4-8 Under Milk Wood Caffeine Theatre

Jackie Berkery

About Jackie Berkery

With a strong phobia of cubicles and those three little words (“nine to five”), I am thrilled to be working on UPchicago from the comforts of my own couch at three o’clock in the morning. I love to write. I love Chicago. Hello, dream job!

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