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+ A Red Orchid Theatre
+ American Blues Theater
+ Black Ensemble Theater
+ Chicago Shakespeare Theater
+ Court Theatre
+ League of Chicago Theatres
+ Lookingglass Theatre Company
+ Million Dollar Quartet
+ Northlight Theatre
+ Rivendell Theater Ensemble
+ Three Oaks Theater Festival
+ Victory Gardens Theater
+ Writers’ Theatre


+ About Face Theater
+ American Theater Company
+ Comic Relief
+ Congo Square Theatre Company
+ the Doyle and Debbie show
+ The House Theatre of Chicago
+ Immediate Family
+ The Joyce Awards
+ Looks Like Chicago
+ Piven Theatre Workshop
+ Riverfront Theater
+ Silk Road Theater Project
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American Theater Company
American Theater Company is an ensemble of artists committed to producing new and classic American stories that ask the question: "What does it mean to be an American?"SM We provide a truly intimate home for the community to experience meaningful stories. We foster a nurturing environment for artists to take risks and create essential work.

The History of American Theater Company

Founded to affect the average Chicagoan: American Theater Company (ATC) was founded in July of 1985 as American Blues Theatre when playwright Rick Cleveland, director William Payne, actor Ed Blatchford, and designer Jim Leaming founded a theater dedicated to exploring, nurturing, and developing theater that addressed and affected the real working-class people of Chicago. From 1986 to 1993, American Blues Theatre produced such critically acclaimed productions as Eugene O'Neill's The Hairy Ape; Rick Cleveland's Bad Moon; and Monsters and Monsters II, collections of commissioned monologues by Chicago playwrights including Doug Post, Dwight Okita, David Mamet, and Paula Killen. The Hairy Ape was hailed by Richard Christiansen of the Chicago Tribune as one of the three best shows of the year, important for uncovering a forgotten O'Neill classic, and a stirring tribute to the power of Chicago-style theater.

A permanent home in a vital neighborhood: In August of 1993, the company leased a warehouse in the primarily working-class neighborhood of Northcenter, and in an amazing 38 days, with an outpouring of support from the neighborhood and the theater community, transformed it into an intimate 134-seat theater. From the beginning, the theater was a community center, playing host to Chamber of Commerce meetings and neighborhood events. From 1994 to 1997, the theater presented such critically acclaimed productions as On the Waterfront, the world premiere of The Flight of the Phoenix (awarded two Joseph Jefferson Citations), and Stalag 17 (awarded five Jeff Citations).

Professionalism and Growth: In March of 1997, Brian Russell became the company's first full-time, paid artistic director, and the theater changed its name to American Theater Company. Mr. Russell ushered in a new era of growth and professionalism, producing four-play subscription seasons, growing the budget from approximately $70,000 to $385,000, increasing the audience ten-fold, and growing the full-time staff to three. Among the highlights were Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera, David Mamet's American Buffalo, and Samuel Beckett's Endgame. It was during this period that ATC helped reestablish the ranks of vital mid-sized professional theaters in Chicago.








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