Take pride in the unique, risky, bold, and incredible new work happening on Chicago stages year-round. Each Theatre Thursday event features an inside look at the creative process behind a never-before-seen production. See a new show each month!

OUR NEXT THEATRE THURSDAY EVENT:

Cold Town/Hotline: A Chicago Holiday Story
By Eli Newell
7:30PM, Thursday, December 5, 2019
Raven Theatre East Stage
6157 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60660
from $20
Use code THURSDAY online or by calling the box office at (773) 338-2177.

Raven Theatre welcomes Theatre Thursday audiences to COLD TOWN/HOTLINE, a world premiere holiday show for all ages written and directed by Eli Newell. Eli will lead a pre-show conversation for Theatre Thursday guests with complimentary snacks, soda, wine and beer, as well as a post-show talkback open to everyone. Tickets are $20 with the code THURSDAY and may be purchased online or by calling the box office at (773) 338-2177.

ABOUT THE SHOW:
December, 1983. Five volunteers have come together to answer calls for a hotline created to help fellow Chicagoans cope with the holiday blues. But with a record-breaking cold front sweeping across Chicago, these good samaritans are forced to hunker down for a long night together. When an unexpected visitor bursts through the doors, everyone must work to embody the season’s most valuable lessons and transform their humble hotline into a home for the holidays.

Making its world premiere at Raven Theatre, COLD TOWN / HOTLINE is a heartwarming comedy about what it means to be a family and the complex truths behind the adage: “It’s better to give than to receive.”

Verböten
Lyrics and music by Jason Narducy and book by Brett Neveu
7:30PM, Thursday, January 30, 2020
Chopin Theatre
1543 W. Division St.
Chicago, IL 60642
Event and reservation details will be announced later.

1983. Chicago. It’s do-or-die for Verböten—a band made up of outsider teens with seriously complex home lives. As they gear up for a show at The Cubby Bear that is sure to change their lives forever, can they keep their parents from destroying the fabric of their self-made punk rock family? With lyrics and music by Verböten’s original guitarist Jason Narducy (Split Single, Superchunk, Bob Mould) and book by Brett Neveu (Odradek, Pilgrim's Progress, Traitor), Verböten is inspired by the true story of Chicago's own young punks.

How to Defend Yourself
By liliana padilla
7:30PM, Thursday, February 6, 2020
Victory Gardens Zacek McCay Theatre
2433 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614
Event and reservation details will be announced later.

How to Defend Yourself circles around seven college students who gather for a DIY self-defense workshop after a sorority sister is raped. They learn how to “not be a victim", how to use their bodies as weapons, how to fend off attackers. The form of self-defense becomes a channel for their rage, trauma, confusion, anxiety, and desire--lots of desire. Challenged to determine what they want and how to ask for it, the students must ultimately face the insidious ways rape culture steals one's body and sense of belonging. Developed as part of Victory Gardens 2018 Ignition Festival of New Plays and the winner of the 2019 Yale Drama Series Prize, How to Defend Yourself is funny, raw and brutally honest - a triumph from playwright Lily Padilla. The production will be directed by Marti Lyons (Cambodian Rock Band, Native Gardens Victory Gardens, Witch Writers Theatre).

Her Honor, Jane Byrne
By J. Nicole Brooks
7:30PM, Thursday, March 26, 2020
Lookingglass Theatre
821 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
Event and reservation details will be announced later.

Chicago is “The City That Works”—but does it work for everybody? It’s 1981, the city’s simmering pot of neglected problems boils over, and Chicago’s first woman mayor is moving into Cabrini-Green. Is this just a PR stunt, or will it bring the City together? For the next three weeks, residents, activists, media, the “Machine,” and the Mayor herself will collide as the City’s raw truths are exposed. Who will come out on top? Lookingglass Ensemble Member J. Nicole Brooks creates this smoldering new take on Her Honor Jane Byrne.

The Juniors
By Noah Diaz
8:00PM, Thursday, April 30, 2020
The Den Theatre
1331 N Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
Event and reservation details will be announced later.

A class of high school juniors are tasked with a simple Home Ec assignment: parent a sack of flour for a week or fail. When the flour babies begin dying one by one, the students stop at nothing to ensure that they, and the pretend children they bore, are the last ones standing. A play with war, carnage, and genocide, THE JUNIORS is a pitch-black comedy about the ambitious and cut-throat world of high school Home Economics and the lengths we'll go to in order to protect what we think is ours.

Relentless
By Tyla Abercrumbie
7:30PM, Thursday, May 28, 2020
TimeLine Theatre Company
615 W. Wellington Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
Event and reservation details will be announced later.

Developed through TimeLine’s Playwrights Collective, this world premiere is a startling and vibrant look at the secrets we keep to protect the ones we love most.

After the death of their mother, two sisters return home to Philadelphia in 1918 to settle her estate. Annelle is a happy socialite desperate to return to the safe illusion of a perfect life with her husband in Boston. Janet is a single, professional nurse, determined to change history and propel black women to a place of prominence and respect. Upon discovering a series of diaries left by their late mother, they find themselves confronted with a woman they never really knew, exposing buried truths from the pasts that are chillingly, explosively Relentless.

Playwright and TimeLine Company Member Tyla Abercrumbie weaves a mother’s past with her daughters’ present in a complicated tale of family, legacy, and progress.

Every Waiting Heart
By Lauren Ferebee
7:30PM, Thursday, June 18, 2020
The Den Theatre
1331 N Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
Event and reservation details will be announced later.

Every Waiting Heart was the winner of Artemisia’s 2018 Fall Festival and centers on the relationship between an overworked single mother and her rebellious teenaged daughter. Sherri and Annette have been an unbreakable mother-daughter duo since childhood, but suddenly Annette’s rebelling and Sherri’s terrified. Desperate for help, Sherri goes to a speed-dating event at a Pentecostal church that unexpectedly changes the course of both of their lives and fractures the bond that has held them together for so long. A deep and intimate dive into what it means to be a strong woman, Every Waiting Heart is an unflinching examination of faith and the many variations of love.

The Fig and the Wasp
By Samantha Behr
7:30PM, Thursday, July 9, 2020
The Den Theatre
1331 N Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
Event and reservation details will be announced later.

Plague, unrest, natural disasters, a failure in leadership... societies end for many dramatic reasons. Rosaura Flagg, a politician from a political dynasty, works to project stability and the status quo while her 13-year-old daughter Cara lies in a hospital room in a coma-like sleep. She is the first to succumb to "Hopelessness" – a diagnosis given by a nurse, George, who seems to be the only one with answers. The disease spreads rapidly – after all, how do you fight hopelessness? As dramatic as the cause may be, the reality of the end to this society is beautifully mundane. What do you reach for at the end? How do you find hope at the end of the world? The Fig and The Wasp explores the destruction of isolation and the power of caring and connection in the face of a world on fire.

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