Lookingglass Theatre Company

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Lookingglass Theatre Company is a non-profit, ensemble-based theater company located in Chicago, Illinois. Their pieces tend to focus on the spectacular and the physical.

As of June 2011, Lookingglass has won 42 Joseph Jefferson Awards.


From its inception, Lookingglass has shown an interest in image-heavy, physical theatrical pieces. An early critic noted that "[m]ost Lookingglass work has revolved around explorations of the mythic and ritual roots of theatre and the symbolism of storytelling" and their "utiliza[tion of] live music and film, ritual movement and acrobatics, heightened language (and long stretches of silence), and non-realistic visual imaging that are characteristic of its technique".[1]

Each Lookingglass season is chosen by the ensemble members, who vote yearly on submitted proposals. According to ensemble member Andy White, their decision ultimately rests on which story most needs to be told. He emphasizes that "'need' is the operative word... [t]here has to be a real imperative for telling each story".[2]

Lookingglass is currently in its 25th season, and its present Artistic Director is founding ensemble member Andy White.


Lookingglass was founded in 1988 by David Catlin, David Schwimmer, Lawrence DiStasi, David Kersnar, Eva Barr, Joy Gregory, Andy White, and Thom Cox. Their first production Through the Lookingglass was directed by David Kersnar and took place at the Great Room in Jones Residential College on the Northwestern University campus in the fall of 1988.

They have since performed more than fifty world-premiere original works (their most recent being Andy White's Eastland: A New Musical in 2012).

Lookingglass was the recipient of the 2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award.[3]


The historic water pumping station building that houses the Lookingglass Theater Company

An itinerant theater company for years, Lookingglass finally moved into a permanent home on June 14, 2003—a brand-new theater in the newly renovated Water Tower Water Works on Chicago's Magnificent Mile.

Its first production in the new space was an adaptation of Studs Terkel's Race, adapted and directed by ensemble member David Schwimmer.

Morris Architects Planners designed the new space in the black-box style, meaning that the seating area may be completely rearranged for each production. The maximum capacity is 270 persons, counting those in the removable balcony. There is also a studio space located in the second floor of the facility for smaller events and productions.[4]

Production history[edit]

2013-2014 season[edit]

  • The North China Lover
  • The Little Prince

Past seasons[edit]

  • 2012-2013
  • Metamorphoses
  • Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
  • Still Alice
  • Big Lake Big City
  • 2011-2012
  • 2010–2011
  • 2009–2010
  • 2008–2009
  • 2007–2008
  • 2006–2007
  • Clay
  • Argonautika
  • The Wooden Breeks
  • Black Diamond
  • Lookingglass Alice
  • 2005–2006
  • Hephaestus
  • Manuscript Found in Saragossa
  • Sita Ram
  • The Old Curiosity Shop
  • Wants and Needs
  • 2004–2005
  • 1984
  • Lookingglass Alice
  • Hillbilly Antigone
  • 2003–2004
  • The Secret in the Wings
  • Great Men of Science Nos. 21 and 22
  • The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World
  • 2002–2003
  • Hard Times
  • Race: How Blacks and Whites Think and Feel About the American Obsession
  • 2001–2002
  • They All Fall Down: The Richard Nickel Story
  • La Luna Muda
  • Summertime
  • 2000–2001
  • 1999–2000
  • Her Name Was Danger
  • Eleven Rooms of Proust
  • Lookingglass Hamlet
  • 1998-99
  • 1997-98
  • 1996-97
  • The Vanishing Twin
  • Eye Plus One: In the Eye of the Beholder Plus Lookingglass Works in Progress
  • 28: Pictures of Life in a High-Tech World
  • 1995-96
  • The Naked King
  • S/M
  • 1994-95
  • Dreaming Lucia
  • HereAfter
  • 1993-94
  • The Master and Margarita
  • Up Against It
  • 1992-93
  • 1991-92
  • Eurydice
  • All Soul's Day
  • Lookingglass Lab: Slap My Bald Head and The Third Voyage
  • 1990-91
  • 1989-90
  • 1988
  • Through the Looking Glass

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Lookingglass Theatre web site


  1. ^ Abarbanel, Jonathan. “Be On the Lookout for Lookingglass,” Backstage, 6 September 1991, p 13, 43.
  2. ^ Spiselman, Anne. “Two-Way Mirror” Stagebill, March 1992. pp. 16–17
  3. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regional_Theatre_Tony_Award
  4. ^ About the Water Tower Water Works