The Hypocrites (theatre)

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The Hypocrites is an award-winning Chicago storefront theater company founded in 1997 by Sean Graney, Brandon Kruse and Christopher Cintron. Graney served as artistic director from the company's founding until 2011 when the reins were turned over to company member Halena Kays. Megan Wildebour serves as Managing Director. The company travels around various theaters in Chicago including Steppenwolf, Goodman, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chopin, and the Building Stage.

Emerson College graduates Graney, Kruse and Cintron moved to Chicago in 1995 and created a new theatre company focusing on the work of the Absurdists, underrepresented in the realism-centric 1990s Chicago theatre world. They began performing in the basement of Café Voltaire, a now defunct vegetarian restaurant in Lakeview.

The word “hypocrite” means “actor” in Greek or someone who pretends to be what they are not. However, the company's name is actually inspired by Eugène Ionesco’s Notes and Counternotes. According to the playwright, a person cannot be held to one idea. Ionesco consistently contradicts himself throughout the book, hence its title and The Hypocrites' name. The company's logo is an abstract rhino head. It is another homage to Ionesco.

In its inaugural season, the company presented Eugène Ionesco's The Bald Soprano, Georg Buchner's Woyzeck and Samuel Beckett's Endgame.

Since then, the Hypocrites have been mounting larger-scale productions around Chicago. In 2001, the company launched company memberships, formalizing a group of actors and designers involved. Productions of Marat/Sade, Blood Wedding, Machinal, Equus, Death of a Salesman, 4.48 Psychosis, and Mud garnered the company critical and popular acclaim. Their production of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, directed by David Cromer, transferred to the Barrow Theatre in New York, after a successful run in Chicago, in 2008.


  1. ^ "We Make Theater". The Hypocrites. Retrieved 2011-09-26. 
  2. ^ "PerformInk Online". Retrieved 2011-09-26. 
  3. ^ "What the Director Saw: Onstage with the Hypocrites’ Sean Graney". The Chicago Weekly. 2007-11-21. Retrieved 2014-04-17. 

External links[edit]

  • The Hypocrites Website [1]