Theater on the Lake


Theater on the Lake 2016 Schedule

Welcome to Theater on the Lake: The Chicago Summer Theater Festival.  Celebrating 64 years of Chicago’s rich off-Loop theater community.  
In November 2013, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Superintendent Michael P. Kelly announced that the Chicago Park District is converting the historic Theater on the Lake building from a summer-only programming site to a year-round program and event facility.
While preparations are being made to renovate the historic Theater on the Lake building from a summer-only programming site to a year-round program and event facility, we’ll be taking the shows on the road. Join us this summer at Berger Park Cultural Center, Smith Park and Washington Park.

Tickets on sale now!

While on the road, we are suspending subscriptions and flex passes and reducing ticket prices to $10 and even offering some performances for free.  
Click on your preferred dates below to purchase or reserve tickets.

A limited number of tickets will also be available on site, one hour prior to the start of the show.

For questions or if you need assistance, please leave a detailed message at (312) 742-7994, or email, and our box office manager will contact you within 24 hours.

For patrons with special needs, please leave a message with the box office to coordinate parking.


Theater on the Lake 2016: I & You presented by The Yard

Show 1: June 15 – 19 & June 22 - 26

Berger Park Cultural Center, 6205 N. Sheridan Rd.
The Yard presents I & YOU

Produced in artistic alliance with Jackalope Theatre Company
Written by Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Dana Murphy

One afternoon, Anthony arrives unexpectedly at classmate Caroline's door bearing a beat-up copy of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass and an urgent assignment from their English teacher. Homebound due to illness, Caroline hasn't been to school in months, but she is as quick and sardonic as Anthony is athletic, sensitive, and popular. As these two let down their guards and share their secrets, this seemingly mundane poetry project unlocks a much deeper mystery that has brought them together. I & You is an ode to youth, life, love, and the strange beauty of human connectedness.

Admission is $10

Buy Tickets Online Now:

Wed 6/15 Th 6/16 Fr 6/17 Sa 6/18 Su 6/19 Wed 6/22 Th 6/23 Fr 6/24 Sa 6/25 Su 6/26

Theater on tne Lake 2016: The Hairy Ape presented by Oracle Productions

Show 2: July 6 - 10 & July 13 - 17

Berger Park Cultural Center, 6205 N. Sheridan Rd.
Oracle Productions presents THE HAIRY APE

Written by Eugene O’Neill
Directed by Monty Cole

Six African-American actors portray multiple roles in O’Neill’s harrowing critique of class stratification. Yank is the master of his world, shoveling coal on an ocean liner. But when a wealthy woman descends to see life on the lower decks, their encounter propels Yank onto the streets of New York City, where he seeks validation, belonging and revenge. Monty Cole’s charged staging captures the caged mind of a young black man yearning to belong. Oracle’s production of The Hairy Ape examines O’Neill’s work through the lens of America’s ugly legacy of racism and oppression.

Admission to this play is FREE. Advance reservations are strongly encouraged.

Reserve Tickets Online Now:

Wed 7/6 Th 7/7 Fr 7/8 Sa 7/9 Su 7/10 Wed 7/13 Th 7/14 Fr 7/15 Sa 7/16 Su 7/17

Theater on the Lake 2016: The Awake presented by First Floor Theater

Show 3: July 20 - 24 & July 27 - 31

Berger Park Cultural Center, 6205 N Sheridan Rd.
First Floor Theater presents THE AWAKE

Written by Ken Urban
Directed by Josh Altman

Malcolm floats on a bed with his mother on an endless sea, as Gabrielle, an Eastern European actress, awakes to a new life in America. Meanwhile, Nate is on the run from a faceless interrogator. These three strangers discover that a mysterious corporation bonds them together. Moving between dreams and waking life, Ken Urban’s award-winning play The Awake explores the unspoken culture of fear that is the new normal of American life. Josh Altman returns to direct this surreal and moving show after a popular Winter 2016 run, which was hailed as “electrifying” and “intense” with a “powerhouse cast”.

Admission is $10

Buy Tickets Online Now:

Wed 7/20 Th 7/21 Fr 7/22 Sa 7/23 Su 7/24 Wed 7/27 Th 7/28 Fr 7/29 Sa 7/30 Su 7/31

Theater on the Lake 2016:  The Firestorm presented by Stage Left Theatre

Show 4: August 3 - 7 & August 10 - 14

Berger Park Cultural Center, 6205 N. Sheridan Rd.
Stage Left Theatre presents THE FIRESTORM

Written by Meridith Friedman
Directed by Drew Martin

Gaby and Patrick, an interracial political power couple hot on the campaign trail, are thrust into the center of a media frenzy when a racially charged incident from Patrick’s past surfaces. As the pressure intensifies in The Firestorm, the political becomes explosively personal and the foundation of their seemingly picture-perfect marriage begins to fracture. 

Admission is $10

Buy Tickets Online Now:

Wed 8/3 Th 8/4 Fr 8/5 Sa 8/6 Su 8/7 Wed 8/10 Th 8/11 Fr 8/12 Sa 8/13 Su 8/14

Theater on the Lake 2016: Midsummer Dream presented by The Hypocrites

Show 5: July 20 - 23 & July 27 - 30

July 20 - 23 at Washington Park, 5531 S. Martin Luther King Dr..
July 27 - 30 at Smith Park, 2526 W. Grand Ave.

The Hypocrites present MIDSUMMER DREAM

Adapted by Tien Doman and Sean Graney from William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Directed by Tien Doman

Midsummer Dreamis a re-imagining of Shakespeare’s popular romantic adventure story. In similar economic style to The Hypocrites’ 12 Nights and Romeo Juliet, four actors serve as the production designers and inhabit all characters. Roles are reversed in this fresh take on slumber’d dreams, honest fairies and offending shadows.

Admission to this play is FREE. Advance reservations are strongly encouraged.

Reserve Tickets for Washington Park Online Now:

Wed 7/20 Th 7/21 Fr 7/22 Sa 7/23

Reserve Tickets for Smith Park Now:

Wed 7/27 Th 7/28 Fr 7/29 Sa 7/30

Contact Us

Theater on the Lake Box Office (June - August)
(312) 742-7994

Samantha Rio, Managing Director

Social Media

Follow Theaer on the Lake: