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Best Storefront Theatre Companies In Chicago

Chicago is well known for its risk-taking storefront theatre scene -– with companies that either have permanent homes in a gutted out storefront-type space, or transient companies that set up shop in various venues throughout the city. But with hundreds of companies to select from, where do you start? Here is a list that will get you pointed in the right direction. - Bob Bullen


Redtwist Theatre

1044 West Bryn Mawr
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 728-7529

"White hot drama, in a tiny black box, with a little red twist" is the mission for Redtwist. Though, they've been known to do comedies, too. However, whatever you see at this small, 40-seat theatre, located in the Edgewater community of Chicago, you'll be blown away. This is in-your-face Chicago theatre at its best.


Profiles Theatre

4147 North Broadway
Chicago, IL 60613
(773) 549-1815

Provocative, controversial and dangerous are words anyone who's seen a play at Profiles would use. This isn't theatre for the faint-of-heart. And the recent success of their long-running production of Tracy Lett's Killer Joe has made even the casual theatre goer take notice of this edgy group.


A Red Orchid Theatre

1531 North Wells Street
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 943-8722

Following a series of critically acclaimed and widely popular productions, this group, located in the charming Old Town neighborhood, has firmly made its mark in the city. Their production of Craig Wright's Mistakes Were Made, is transferring off-Broadway in November, which is an indication of the widespread attention this group is getting.


Teatro Vista

3712 North Broadway, #275
Chicago, IL 60613
(312) 666-4659

This is one of those many groups that doesn't have a permanent home, so you must be on their mailing list to ensure you know what's playing and where. This is one of the largest Latino theater companies in the U.S., and produces full scale, Latino oriented, theatrical productions in English. And the work they do never fails to lack in spirit or creativity.

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble crew practices ( credit:

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble

5775 North Ridge Avenue #1
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 334-7728

A professional theatre that's committed to producing works about women, Rivendell offers a theatre experience that blends surreal beauty with raw honesty. And their productions always feature stunning lighting designs, if you're into that sort of thing.


Strawdog Theatre Company

3829 North Broadway
Chicago, IL
(773) 528-9696

If it's strong, risky ensemble acting you're looking for, try Strawdog. This group excels in creativity, often blending in an unexpected element into their shows, such as a musical performance. And thanks to the immersive design approach to their productions, you'll feel that you've stepped into an ongoing party.

NewLeaf Theatre's home (credit:

NewLeaf Theatre

2045 North Lincoln Park West
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 516-3546

Nestled within the historical Chicago landmark of the Lincoln Park Cultural Center, NewLeaf's space is one of the most charming and unique around. If you see a show there, be prepared to step into a different world for a while, thanks to artists such as Nick Keenan, one of the city's best theatrical sound designers, who go the extra step to create a thrilling and involving experience.

Bob Bullen is a writer and long-time fan of Chicago's vibrant theatre scene, which he captures on his blog, Chicago Theatre Addict.

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