Emerging Theatre Award 2013


CHICAGO (April 24, 2013) – The League of Chicago Theatres announces 16th Street Theater as the recipient of the 2013 Broadway In Chicago Emerging Theater Award. 16th Street Theater 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. 16th Street Theaterhas been selected by a majority vote of their peers – member companies of the League of Chicago Theatres.

16th Street Theater is an artistic public forum for the diverse people of Berwyn and its neighboring communities, promoting reflection of their world, inspiring compassion and understanding of others, and igniting discussion. Plays presented pose relevant questions of identity and living in today’s America. Devoted to new plays and the playwright, 16th Street is a theater of engagement where audiences are invited to experience not only their own stories, but to experience their neighbors’ stories and stories of “the other.” An Equity theater, 16th Street exists to give voice to all in the community. 16th Street believes artists are skilled workers who must be paid for their craft while also being committed to keeping theater inclusive by charging a top ticket price of $18. In 2007, Chicago director Ann Filmer moved to Berwyn just as Joe Vallez, Executive Director of the North Berwyn Park District, was putting the finishing touches on the new Berwyn Cultural Center. A partnership was formed, and 16th Street Theater took up residence in the Cultural Center’s new 49-seat theater. Now in its 6th year, 16th Street has: produced 34 plays (including five Words In Motion Festivals); developed and produced seven world premieres; hosted seven playwrights-in-residence; commissioned two solo shows: Aiming for Sainthood and All Kinds of Crazy by Arlene Malinowski; created two original theater pieces: Tony Fitzpatrick’s This Train and Nickel History which performed at Steppenwolf Garage; remounted Rohina Malik’s Unveiled at Victory Gardens and Tanya Saracho’s Enfrascada at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre; hosted Illinois’ Poet Laureate Kevin Stein; co-produced five remounts with Teatro Luna and Teatro Vista; and work-shopped one international play at Goodman Theatre through Lark in New York which was subsequently produced at 16th Street (the Chicago premiere of Javier Malpica’s Our Dad is in Atlantis).

Lou Raizin, President of Broadway In Chicago says, ““We are so honored to be able to recognize the 16th Street Theater as the seventh recipient of the Broadway In Chicago Emerging Theater Award. They are representative of what distinguishes an Emerging Theatre. Celebrating their accomplishments is indicative of what Chicago is all about and what distinguishes Chicago Theatre from the rest of the country. We are proud to be a part of this rich community.”

“North Berwyn Park District’s 16th Street Theater is thrilled to receive such an honor: to be elected by our peers makes it that much sweeter. We love and respect the Chicago theater community for the depth and diversity of its talent and for its collaborative spirit. No other theater scene matches what we have here. We are honored to be a part of it,” comments 16th Street Theater Artistic Director Ann Filmer.

“We are pleased to honor 16th Street Theater with the 2013 Broadway In Chicago Emerging Theater Award,” says Deb Clapp, Executive Director of the League of Chicago Theatres. “The company, with its great work in Berwyn, exemplifies the spirit of this award and we look forward to celebrating their achievements at our annual Gala on May 20, 2013.”

Applications for the award were accepted in February and March 2013. 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 industry professionals and educators reviewed the applications and selected five finalists. The 2013 finalists were 16th Street TheaterBailiwick ChicagoFilament Theatre EnsemblePavement Group, and Sideshow Theatre Company. “Each of this year’s nominees exemplify Chicago theatre at its best. As always, 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, The New Colony, and Theatre Seven of Chicago are previous recipients of the award.

The Emerging Theater Award will be presented to 16th Street Theater at theLeague of Chicago Theatres Annual Gala, an elegant, extravagant evening celebrating the 175th Anniversary of Chicago theatre. This one-night-only event brings together supporters from the community to champion more than 200 Chicago theatre companies. This year’s event will be held on Monday, May 20, 2013, at 5:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the luxury hotelInterContinental Chicago, 505 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago.

In addition to the Emerging Theater Award, the League will honor Jeff Perry as the recipient of the 2013 Tribute Award. Writers’ Theatre’s Artistic DirectorMichael Halberstam will receive the 2013 Artistic Leadership Award. The Jeff Committee, now celebrating its 45th Anniversary, will receive the first-ever Theatre Advocacy Award. Two hundred fifty supporters of the League of Chicago Theatres are expected to attend.

The Chair of the 2013 Gala is League of Chicago Theatres board memberDiana Martinez, President of DLM Entertainment Consulting.

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 call (312) 554-9800.


Event: League of Chicago Theatres’ Annual Gala 

Date: Monday, May 20, 2013

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Location: Grand Ballroom of the InterContinental Chicago, 505 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago.

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

Featuring: Award presentations to Jeff Perry as the recipient of the 2013 Tribute Award, Writers’ Theatre’s Artistic Director Michael Halberstam receiving the Artistic Leadership Award, and the seventh Broadway in Chicago Emerging Theater Award recipient 16th Street Theater. The Jeff Committee, now celebrating its 45th Anniversary, will receive the first-ever Theatre Advocacy Award. .

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 5 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.