Emerging Theatre Award 2012


CHICAGO (April 25, 2012) – The League of Chicago Theatres announcesTheatre Seven of Chicago as the recipient of the 2012 Broadway In Chicago Emerging Theater Award. Theatre Seven of Chicago will receive a $5,000 award, consultation with Broadway In Chicago staff members, and a marketing package that includes advertising support.

The award was created in 2007 to encourage, support and promote emerging theaters in Chicago that have demonstrated great ability and promise, artistic excellence and fiscal responsibility in business practices. Theatre Seven of Chicago has been selected by a majority vote of their peers – member companies of the League of Chicago Theatres.

Theatre Seven of Chicago produces new and original work that speaks directly to the diverse Chicago community with imagination and clarity. Since 2007, the company has produced fifteen standout offerings, paid over 200 artists for their contributions and three times been a finalist for the League of Chicago Theatres’ Emerging Theatre Award. The company prides itself on creating artist-supportive, diverse environments and offering auxiliary programming which creates essential dialogue about our community. Theatre Seven has produced ten Chicago premieres, hosts Shikaakwa, a free monthly reading series, and is emerging as a premiere center for new play development in Chicago. The company’s 2009 remount of Marisa Wegrzyn’s Diversey Harbor was featured in NewCity’s “Greatest Hits of the Decade,” and 2011’s The Chicago Landmark Project capped Theatre Seven’s fifth season by bringing together over 75 artists to create World Premiere short plays about twelve different Chicago neighborhoods, and were published in a collection now for sale in bookstores all over the country. The company’s other noted World and Chicago Premieres include We Live Here, Yes, This Really Happened To Me, Hunting and Gathering and Cooperstown, which earned the company nominations for one Jeff Award and two Black Theatre Alliance Awards. In each of its six seasons, Theatre Seven has produced at least one play set in Chicago, and is a resident company at the historic Greenhouse Theater Center in the heart of Lincoln Park, and can next be seen on stage in June’s Exit, Pursued by a Bear, a Chicago Premiere revenge comedy by Lauren Gunderson.

Lou Raizin, President of Broadway In Chicago says, “This marks the sixth year for the Broadway In Chicago Emerging Theater Award. We are proud to be able to recognize a Chicago emerging theatre with this award and we saluteTheatre Seven and all the emerging theatres in the community because their work is what distinguishes Chicago from the rest of the country.”

Theatre Seven of Chicago is committed to producing original work in Chicago and inspires dialogue with diverse communities. Their focus has been on Chicago premieres with many of them set in Chicago. The company’s commitment to the community and to new work inspires me and is an invigorating force to other companies, artists and audiences,” says Eileen LaCario, Vice President of Broadway In Chicago and Chair of the League of Chicago Theatres.

“We are thrilled to receive this extraordinary honor from our peers throughout the city, as well as the generous folks at the League of Chicago Theatres and Broadway In Chicago. Our company is organized around the belief that great art is both a product and creator of strong communities, and we are very grateful to have this opportunity to deepen our commitment to telling stories that matter to Chicagoans today,” comments Theatre Seven of Chicago’s Artistic Director Brian Golden.

“We are pleased to honor Theatre Seven of Chicago with the 2012 Broadway In Chicago Emerging Theater Award,” says Deb Clapp, Executive Director of the League of Chicago Theatres. “The company and its mission of producing new and original work exemplify the spirit of this award and we look forward to celebrating their achievements at our annual Gala on May 14, 2012.”

Applications for the award were accepted from January through February. Eligible companies must be a member of the League of Chicago Theatres, have been in existence at least 3 and no longer than 10 years, and have demonstrated artistic excellence, fiscal responsibility, community leadership, and potential for future growth.

A nomination committee comprised of Chicago theatre administrators, artists and educators reviewed the applications and selected five finalists. The 2012 finalists were 16th Street TheaterRed Tape TheatreSideshow Theatre CompanyThe Music Theatre Company, and Theatre Seven of Chicago. “Each of this year’s nominees exemplify Chicago theatre at its best. The voting was spirited and came down to the wire. In Chicago, we are indeed privileged to have such talent and dedication among us,” comments Deb Clapp.

The finalists were presented before the entire League membership for a vote in March and April. The award recipient was determined by majority vote from the entire League membership. Each member company is permitted to cast one vote towards the finalist of its choice. The House Theatre of Chicago, Silk Road Theatre Project (now Silk Road Rising), the side project, Steep Theatre Company, and The New Colony are previous recipients of the award.

The Emerging Theater Award will be presented to Theatre Seven of Chicago at the League of Chicago Theatres Annual Gala, an elegant event that brings together supporters from the community to champion more than 200 Chicago theatre companies. This year’s Gala will be held on Monday, May 14, 2012, at 5:30 p.m. in the Burnham Ballroom of the luxury hotel JW Marriott Chicago, 151 W. Adams St. in Chicago. In addition to the Emerging Theater Award, the League will honor Brian Dennehy and Nathan Lane as the recipients of the 2012 Tribute Award. Court Theatre’s Artistic Director Charles Newell will receive the Artistic Leadership Award. Two hundred fifty supporters of the League of Chicago Theatres are expected to attend. Entertainment will be provided by the Doyle & Debbie show. The Co-chairs of the 2012 Gala areLes Coney (Senior Managing Director and Executive Vice President, Mesirow Financial) and Kathryn Lipuma (Executive Director, Writers’ Theatre).

Tickets are available for $300 per person, and all proceeds benefit The League of Chicago Theatres which promotes, supports and advocates for theater in Chicago. To purchase tickets, or for sponsorship opportunities and participation information, visit www.chicagoplays.com or (312) 554-9800.


Event: League of Chicago Theatres’ Annual Gala 

Date: Monday, May 14, 2012 

Time: 5:30 p.m. 

Location: The Burnham Ballroom of the JW Marriott Chicago, 151 W. Adams 

Tickets: $300 per person. Sponsorships and tables available. Call (312) 554-9800 for tickets. 

Featuring: Award presentations to Brian Dennehy and Nathan Lane as the recipients of the 2012 Tribute Award, Court Theatre’s Artistic Director Charles Newell receiving the Artistic Leadership Award, and the sixth Broadway in Chicago Emerging Theater Award recipient Theatre Seven of Chicago. Entertainment for the evening will be provided by the Doyle & Debbie show.

Benefiting: The programs and services of the League of Chicago Theatres. A non-profit alliance of nearly 200 theaters that leverages its collective strength to promote, support and advocate for Chicago’s theater industry locally, nationally and internationally.

About Chicago theater
Chicago is the cultural leader in the U.S. with the largest and most diverse theater community that produces more world premieres than anywhere else in the world. Chicagoland boasts more than 250 professional theaters and consists of a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theaters to the most renowned resident theaters in the country, including 4 which have been honored with Regional Tony Awards, and the largest touring Broadway organization in the nation. Chicago’s theaters serve 5 million audience members annually and have a combined budget of more than $250 million – and no other city in the country has such a creative, respected and thriving theater community. Chicago’s theater industry, with both its exceptional theater and an extraordinary talent pool, has long been the envy of the world’s top theater cities and is second to none in number and innovation.

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

Theatre Seven of Chicago’s Mission Statement
Theatre Seven produces new plays, Chicago premieres and forgotten classics that speak directly to the diverse Chicago community with imagination and clarity.