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Northlight Theatre
Mission: Northlight Theatre is dedicated to enhancing the cultural life of the North Shore and Chicago, presenting life-affirming theatrical works which reflect and challenge the values and beliefs of the community it serves, and engaging community members, young and old, in the theatrical experience.

History: Mike Nussbaum, Frank Galati, and Greg Kandel founded Northlight Theatre in 1974. The first season included Tom Stoppard’s Jumpers, The Au Pair Man by Hugh Leonard, and Nourish the Beast by Steve Tesich. The theater’s subscriber base grew to over 6,000 in just three years, making it one of the largest not-for-profit theater companies in Chicago. Outreach programming evolved in tandem with the productions: in 1975 the Veterans’ Access Program began, and the Student Theatre Arts Resource (STAR) program followed in 1984. In 1983, Michael Maggio accepted the reins from Northlight’s founders, and as Artistic Director oversaw productions of City on the Make and Heart of a Dog (1984/85), Dealing (1986/87) and many others. Russell Vandenbroucke then served as Artistic Director from 1987-1997.

In 1990, Northlight moved to Evanston’s Coronet Theatre for four years. From 1994-1997, Northlight produced theater in various spaces in Chicago and on the North Shore. Despite the lack of a home base, several notable productions were staged during this time including The Rhino’s Policeman (1991/92), which won the prestigious Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays award, Jar the Floor (1992/93), the world premiere of Steven Dietz’s Lonely Planet, and Unmerciful Good Fortune (1995/96), which garnered a grant from AT&T OnStage. The organization also joined forces with National Jewish Theatre, which was valued by the community but no longer independently viable, and Northlight’s search for a permanent home intensified.

Northlight Theatre’s nomadic existence ended when it became the resident theater company at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie in 1997. A permanent home permitted Northlight to enter a new era of growth – in size and quality – which was galvanized by a new Artistic Director, B.J. Jones. Audiences and critics recognized the increasingly sophisticated productions, and the theater grasped opportunities to expand educational programming. Northlight Kids, a series of classes and camps, was implemented in 1998 as were the Open Door Ensemble, a playwriting group for senior citizens, and Northlight…To Go, a mini-touring company.

In its 32-year history, the organization has mounted over 150 productions, including over 33 world premieres. Northlight has earned 132 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations and 22 Awards. As one of the area’s premier theater companies, Northlight is a regional magnet for critical and professional acclaim, as well as talent of the highest quality.

 

John Mahoney & Michael Nussbaum
in the 2007-08 Northlight world
premiere of Better Late by
Craig Wright and Larry Gelbart.
Photo Credit: Michael Brosilow

 

NORTHLIGHT THEATRE PRESENTS THE CHICAGO PREMIERE OF ELLA, CELEBRATING THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF JAZZ GREAT ELLA FITZGERALD

NORTHLIGHT THEATRE PRESENTS THE MISER, MOLIÈRE’S CLASSIC PERIOD COMEDY WITH A CONTEMPORARY TWIST

NORTHLIGHT THEATRE ANNOUNCES 2007-08 SEASON

 

+ American Theater 04.01.08
+ Chicago Tribune 12.07.07
+ Chicago Sun Times 12.07.07
+ Pioneer Press 08.30.07
+ Pioneer Press 08.16.07
+
New York Times 02.28.07

 
 

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