Theatre Building Chicago

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Theatre Building Chicago
Theatre Building Chicago
Address 1225 West Belmont Avenue
 United States
Coordinates 41°56′22″N 87°39′36″W / 41.93951°N 87.660017°W / 41.93951; -87.660017
Opened 1977
Architect Crombie Taylor

The Theatre Building Chicago is a theater located in Chicago's Lake View neighborhood. A major part of Chicago theatre, it has been the home to many theatre companies and actors which have gone on to have great success. The Theatre Building Chicago refers to both the three theatres that reside in the space, as well as the producing organization that resides on the premises.

Over the past 30 years, Theatre Building Chicago has hosted over 800 plays; 9,000 events; 500 theatre companies; 1,078,000 audience members; 29,400 actors, designers, directors and other theatre artists appearing in over 25,000 performances. This goes to show you that opportunity and perseverance are the two virtues that epitomize the history of Theatre Building Chicago.

The show that opened the theatre on March 15, 1977 was Cap Streeter, a musical about a Chicago legend, produced by the Dinglefest Theatre Company. Byrne Piven, Chicago actor and teacher as well as Jeremy Piven's Father, appeared in The Man in 605 by Allan Gross. The show also featured Aidan Quinn and was produced by the Theatre Building Chicago in 1979.

Steppenwolf’s first show in the city of Chicago, Say Good Night, Gracie, opened November, 1979 at the Theatre Building Chicagoand performed through early 1980 and featured John Malkovich and Austin Pendleton.

Morning Call was the first televised play in Chicago in 1982. Tony Randall was the MC in this NBC and Steppenwolf Theatre joint endeavor.

Tooth of Crime by Sam Shepard, a Remains Theatre presentation in 1982, featured Gary Cole and William Petersen.

Most troupes use the Theatre Building Chicago as a space for one long-running play. In 1988 in response to several companies’ requesting a seasonal home base rather than a spot for a single hit, they initiated “United Stages at Theatre Building.” Six companies comprised United Stages: Absolute Theatre Company, American Blues Theater (now American Theater Company), Chicago Shakespeare Company, Commons Theatre, Immediate Theatre and Touchstone Theatre, “United Stages at Theatre Building” lasted through the 1989 and 1990 seasons.

Jeremy Piven, prior to achieving fame in TV's Entourage, performed in the Next Theatre Company’s presentation of Knuckle in 1989.

American Blues Theater (now American Theater Company) presented Keith Reddin’s Peacekeeper in 1990. The play was directed by David Petrarca, now a director on Aaron Sorkin’s NBC’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. The play also featured company members Kate Buddeke, Jim Leaming and Carmen Roman.

Lookingglass Theatre Company presented West in 1991 with David Schwimmer.

In 1997 the Illinois Theatre Association honored the Theatre Building Chicago with an Outstanding Contribution Award for twenty years of service.

Many companies have called the Theatre Building Chicago home for several seasons in a row. It has hosted: Bailiwick Repertory Theatre, Chicago Theatre Project, City Lit Theater, Congo Square Theatre, Emerald City Theatre, Famous Door Theatre Company, Griffin Theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre Chicago and Provision Theatre.

Mark Hollmann joined a Theatre Building Chicago workshop for musical theatre writers in 1987. He won the 2002 Tony Award for Urinetown and TBC presented his new musical Wild Goat in 2004.


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