Year of Chicago Theatre

2019 • Citywide

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Year of Chicago Theatre

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and the League of Chicago Theatres have designated 2019 the “Year of Chicago Theatre.” This citywide, year-long focus on theatre is the first of its kind in the U.S. The initiative will include theatre performances – including improv, dance, opera, puppetry and more – and special events for the public at hundreds of cultural venues, theaters, parks and neighborhood locations throughout the city. The City of Chicago and its partners will also launch a marketing campaign that leverages a powerful new brand for Chicago theatre; provide additional financial grants to theatre projects; encourage dialog around inclusion and equity; and call on civic, philanthropic, arts and business leaders to support the theatre community.


Commitments and preliminary plans include:


The Year of Chicago Theatre follows the success of 2017 and 2018 initiatives celebrating Chicago’s public art and its creative youth. Its mission is to make 2019 a year in which the city of Chicago emphasizes the prominence of its expansive and innovative theatre industry.


Additionally, a partial list of partner organization commitments includes:

  • A redesigned website (League of Chicago Theatres)
  • Theatre-themed events in all 77 community areas, as part of the Night Out in the Parks series (Chicago Park District)
  • Theatre displays and Hot Tix pop-ups during major conventions at McCormick Place (Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority)
  • Advertising for Chicago theatre at the airports (Department of Aviation)
  • Additional resources for Chicago Theatre Week – and a major marketing campaign for visitors that leverages the new brand for Chicago theatre (Choose Chicago)


To truly fall in love with Chicago, you must go to our theaters. This is where the city bares its fearless soul. From joy to heartache and every feeling in between, Chicago theatre tells stories that evoke big emotions. Stories that take risks, inspire awe, ask tough questions – and dare audiences to do the same. Through Broadway musicals or storefront plays and improv, the energy of the city comes alive in our theaters. And with a diverse collection of over 250 dynamic theaters throughout our neighborhoods, there’s always a seat waiting for you. For shows and tickets, visit


 Additional Information

Millennium Park
Theatre Series Call

Application deadline is Monday, March 25

Year of Chicago Theatre
Playwriting Series

Application deadline is Monday, March 25

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