To nurture small to mid-size theater companies toward continued growth and expression in an artists’ space at the heart of the Chicago theater community. We strive to provide an epicenter for diverse artistic points of view and excellent entertainment through area partnerships, annual programming, educational events, careful selection of resident theater companies, affiliations with the League of Chicago Theaters, and local Chambers of Commerce.
Founded in 2008, The Greenhouse Theater Center, NFP, continues its commitment to maintain a theater building and artists’ space rich in Chicago theater tradition. Located at 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue in Chicago’s prominent Lincoln Park neighborhood, it was the original home for such theater luminaries as the groundbreaking Body Politic Theater and Victory Gardens Theater.
The Wendy and William Spatz Charitable Foundation purchased the theater building from Victory Gardens Theater with a promise to maintain the current function of the building as a multi-stage theater space. The Greenhouse Theater Center is as an “incubator” for small to mid-size theater companies. Its name is a natural progression with a nod to its historic roots and its concept renews the promise of attracting new and diverse art and artists to the center of Lincoln Park. The Greenhouse Theater Center is proud of its commitment to this tradition and to its mission.
This multi-stage artists’ space provides four stages, dressing and staging areas, as well as, office space for resident companies to grow. The Greenhouse’s in-house performing arts renters produce and present their own plays and seasons of theater, educational activities and alternative forms of entertainment which provide an environment lush in support, healthy levels of peer competition, communication and a place to make fundamental associations with other companies, their members and their patrons. The result of this “greenhouse effect” is the ability to, literally “grow” theater companies from the ground up in size of budget, membership, board affiliations, patronage, and audience attendance. The Greenhouse Theater Center’s residency program offers further benefits to resident theater companies by offering prime performance slots, rehearsal opportunities, supplementary marketing privileges, and fiscal savings in addition to the common benefits shared by all renters.
The Greenhouse Theater Center maintains its focus on being a community center, not only for the Lincoln Park neighborhood, but also for the larger community of Chicago and beyond. Providing warm and welcoming spaces for groups to meet, perform, communicate, and learn is central to our mission. All of the Greenhouse’s lobbies and performance spaces function in a variety of different ways and accommodate a number of different group sizes. As accessibility to the four stages is essential, the building meets ADA standards.
The Greenhouse Theater Center would be nothing but brick and mortar without the history, creative energy, drive, unbridled talent, and vision of the artistic community in which it exists. The Greenhouse Theater Center honors the artistic impact of each, and every theater company that has graced its four stages over the past decades, and looks toward a future where the heartbeat of Chicago theater can be heard around the world.