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LOOKING FORWARD: Chicago Shows We're Excited About

Continuing our support of productions that embrace inclusion for artists and audiences, below are shows open or opening soon in Chicago that we feel are moving our community forward. As a staff, we have not necessarily seen all of these shows but are really glad they are happening.

We are excited to list shows that offer some or all of the following:

- Non-traditional casting

- Accessible storytelling

- Variety of perspectives on the design and production teams

- Playwrights/Directors from underrepresented communities

- Diversity in season programming

Buy tickets to shows that celebrate inclusion. Then write to producers and tell them you want more of it. Decision makers are led by numbers and this is one way you can make a difference.​

(re)discover theatre presents

Les Innocents/The Innocents

Written and Directed by Ann Kreitman

Through November 4

Inspired by a concert held in the Paris Catacombs in 1897, Les Innocents/The Innocents is an immersive queer thriller for every soul. Prowl the catacombs like ghosts and follow Gui, a composer on a quest for love as they conjure spirits, confront death, and create light. In the Empire of the Dead, chaos reigns and the hungry survive. We'll see you in the catacombs.

The cast, artistic, and production team include: Emilie Modaff, Vahishta Vafadari, Amanda Forman, Andrew Lund, Deanalís Resto, Maggie Miller, Alec Phan, Matt Lunt, Erich Peltz, Levi Shrader, Brice Baron, Amelia Bethel, Caitlin McManus, Kelly Schmidt, Mary O'Rourke, Molly Donahue, Daniella Wheelock, Berit Godo, Sarai Moore, Autumn McGar, Matt Reich, Chas Mathieu, Erika Clauson, Kate Hardiman

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here.

Shattered Globe Theatre presents

Crime and Punishment

Adapted for the stage by Chris Hannan Based on the novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky Directed by SGT Ensemble Member Louis Contey

Through October 20 at Theater Wit 1229 W Belmont

Is it possible for a crime to be justified by a higher purpose? Raskolnikov, a disillusioned former law student who is all too familiar with the injustices of the world, decides it’s time to find out. Caught in a dangerous cat-and-mouse game of his own making, redemption seems hopelessly out of reach. Dostoyevsky’s intense psychological thriller comes to life in an illuminating new adaptation featuring a cast of eleven as choir and conscience.

The cast, artistic, and production team include: Drew Schad, Daria Harper, Jazzma Pryor, Darren Jones, Brad Woodard, Christopher Acevedo, Rebecca Jordan, Ilse Zacharias, Patrick Thornton, Christina Gorman, Joseph Wiens, Tina Muñoz Pandya, Nick DiMaso, Tim Newell David Stobbe, Manny Ortiz, NIck Mozak, Hailey Rakowiecki, Shelley Strasser, Christopher Kriz, Vivian Knouse, Judy Anderson and Tina M Jach.

Tickets are $15-39 and can be purchased here.

The House Theatre of Chicago presents


Written by Bennett Fisher Directed by Monty Cole

Through October 21 at the Chopin Theatre 1543 W Division St

When a redacted and ominous letter arrives from her brother on the oil fields, thirteen-year-old Cozbi sets off for Anwar, Alaska to find him. Armed with a book on corporate communication strategy and a sharp ax, Cozbi battles her way through an Arctic wilderness in pursuit of her missing brother. But she'll have to face more than a multi-tentacled HR rep to learn the truth. Part mythic journey, part workplace satire, Borealis is a dark and funny adventure about family obligation, career aspiration and what we leave behind to make our way to the top.

The cast, artistic, and production team include: Johnny Arena, McKenzie Chinn, Desmond Grey, Ben Hertel, Paige Hoffman, Madhura Jugade, Juan Munoz, Karissa J. Murrell Myers, Oly Oxinfry, Tia Pinson, Eleanor Kahn, Izumi Inaba, Lee Keenan, Sarah Espinoza , Matthew Muñiz, Ellie Terrell , Breon Arzell , Gaby Labotka , Abhi Shrestha, Marika Mashburn and Amalie Vega.

Tickets are $20-50 and can be purchased here.

Wild Claw Theatre presents

Second Skin

Written by Kristin Idaszak Directed by Jess Hutchinson

Through October 13 at The Den Theatre 1333 N Milwaukee Ave

When Quinn discovers her estranged mother is dying, she returns to a home she fled long ago. As she cares for her mother, Quinn wrestles with disturbing childhood memories. What is her mother’s secret? What do the bedtime stories of Selkies her mother once told her really mean? Told in three interconnected monologues, SECOND SKIN (winner of the Kennedy Center’s Paula Vogel and Jean Kennedy Smith awards) investigates the fraught relationship between mothers and daughters, and how one mistake can reverberate across generations.

The cast, artistic, and production team include: Stephanie Shum, Paula Ramirez, Hilary WIlliams, Chelsea Dàvid, Alys Dickerson, Sarah Lo, Aaryanna Renee, Hannah Herrera Greenspan, Lizzie Bracken, Moira Begale, Anna Wooden, Sarah Espinoza, Krista D'AGostino, Kaili Story, Cedar Larson and Lila GIlbert

Tickets are $15-3 and can be purchased here

The Plagiarists present

Endeavor Mind

Written by Kim Z Dale Directed by Jen Poulin

Through October 27 at The Den Theatre 1333 N Milwaukee Ave

Claudine is a brilliant academic who sometimes wonders if she has settled for family and a boring job instead of pursuing her full potential. So when a new brain-enhancing technology is developed by billionaire tech genius Frances Westmore, Claudine jumps at the chance to be part of the program and pursue the dreams she had set aside. But this experiment will have unintended consequences, for Claudine and for those around her. Inspired by Faust, The Twilight Zone, and Black Mirror, Endeavor Mind is where corporate science, human biology, family dynamics, and intellectual aspiration converge.

The cast, artistic, and production team include: Michele McAtee, Lynnette, Li, Grace Hutchings, Subhash Thakrar, Corina Dougherty, Emma Cullimore, Smooch Medina, Robert Hornbostel, Charles Blunt, Jessica Renae, Christina Casano and Gregory Peters

Also note that there is strong sexual content, flashing lights, and loud sounds in Endeavor Mind.

Tickets are pay what you can with a suggested donation of $20. You can purchase tickets here

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