Theater on the Lake Announces 62nd Season


The Chicago Park District has announced the 62nd season of Theater on the Lake. This Summer, the Theater will take performances on the road while its historic lakefront venue undergoes renovation. The season will run June 18th through August 10th.

Theater on the Lake’s 2014 season entitled Chicago Summer Theater Festival is presented as part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks series. Launched last year, Night Out in the Parks is part of Mayor Emanuel’s citywide vision for art and culture. It is also a key component of the Chicago Cultural Plan, which was launched by Mayor Emanuel and DCASE in 2012 and is the first plan of its kind in more than 25 years. Through the Cultural Plan, the City is making investments in public art, music festivals, films, concerts, exhibitions and performances.

In November, Mayor Emanuel and the Park District announced that they are converting the historic Theater on the Lake building at Fullerton Avenue and Lake Shore Drive from a summer-only programming site to a year-round program and event facility. Due to the conversion of the facility, the show will go on the road at three locations across the City.

Six encore presentations from artistically diverse Chicago theater companies will run Wednesdays - Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 6:30 p.m.  Each production will be presented for five evenings only. Each performance location was carefully selected to fit the needs of each production and to introduce the Festival to new neighborhoods citywide. One production will be held at Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph in the Near West community; another at the Washington Park Refectory, 5531 S. King Drive in the Washington Park/Woodlawn community and in keeping with Theater on the Lake’s 62-year tradition, four productions will be hosted lakeside at Berger Park Cultural Center, 6205 N. Sheridan in the Edgewater community.

Night Out in the Parks is a series of more than 1,000 cultural events and activities at parks across the city featuring 50 neighborhood arts and theater organizations; more than 90 percent of the events are offered with free admission.

As a gift to Theater on the Lake’s devoted patrons, this season subscriptions and flex passes are being suspended and ALL ticket prices are reduced to $10.  All individual tickets go on sale May 19, 2013. For ticket information, visit or call 312-742-7994.

This season is selected by co-artistic curators: Halena Kays, artistic director of The Hypocrites, and Reginald Lawrence, executive director of MPAACT.

The 2014 Theater on the Lake Festival season:

Six Hours Short, LP’s site-specific production of The Lockout: A Musical
Book, Music, & Lyrics by Ben Fort & Jason Gallagher
Directed by Joe Giovannetti
June 18-22 at Union Park basketball gymnasium
THE LOCKOUT: A MUSICAL follows NBA owner Phil Goodman’s attempts to sign a franchise superstar to save the struggling Wichita Water -- all while battling a bitter labor dispute, his analytics-minded general manager, a scheming Commissioner, and his urge to sign his new best friend… who is definitely not a superstar.

UrbanTheater Company’s First Class
ByCándido Tirado
Directed by Juan Castañeda
June 25-29 at Berger Park Cultural Center’s coach house
FIRST CLASS is set on a bench in New York gang territory, where we meet two brothers: Apache, set on fighting to protect what’s there’s and Speedy, ready to leave it all behind. As discoveries are made, tensions grow, and they learn their chances of survival are reliant on one another.

Stage Left Theatre’s A Day in the Death of Joe Egg
By Peter Nichols; Directed by Greg Werstler
July 9-13 at Berger Park Cultural Center’s coach house
Brian and Sheila always make the best of a bad situation—he cracks jokes, she plays the caretaker. But after ten years of raising their severely disabled daughter, Josephine, Brian and Sheila’s best isn’t quite good enough. A DAY IN THE DEATH OF JOE EGG is a highly theatrical, heartbreaking, and hilarious look at the love that brings people together and the strains that rip them apart. 

Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre’s A Cole Porter Songbook
Directed by Fred Anzevino; Musical Direction and Arrangements by Aaron Benham; Choreography by David Heimann
July 23-27 in honor of their 25th anniversary at Berger Park Cultural Center
Aaron Benham's arrangements of Cole Porter’s vast repertoire comes alive in unique Theo Ubique style under the direction of multiple Jeff-award winning director Fred Anzevino! Theo's sold out 2013 hit garnered ★★★½ from the Chicago Tribune; was “Highly Recommended!" by the Sun-Times; and called "a must see… not to be missed!“ by ShowBiz Chicago.

The Neo-Futurists’ Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind (30 Plays in 60 Minutes)
Created by Greg Allen; Written and performed by Jessica Anne, Bilal Dardai, Lily Mooney, Jay Torrence, and Malic White.
July 30 – August 3 at Washington Park Refectory
Combining sport, comedy, poetry, spectacle, politics, and personal honesty, TOO MUCH LIGHT MAKES THE BABY GO BLIND has been exciting audiences for 25 continuous years with its ever-changing slate of 30 plays performed in random order against a relentless 60-minute timer.

Strawdog Theatre Company’s Great Expectations
By Charles Dickens; adapted by Gale Childs Daly; Directed by Jason Gerace
August 6-10 at Berger Park Cultural Center
A cast of six quick-change their way through nearly 40 characters as the classic novel is reinvented as a fast-paced theatrical feat. An orphan is plucked from poverty and thrust into the upper class, his benefactor's identity and motives hidden by lawyers and other minions. As Pip tries to find love and a living in his radically changed circumstances, he untangles a fascinating web of secret identities and hidden pasts.

About Theater on the Lake
Constructed in 1920, the Theater on the Lake building was originally a recuperation ward for babies suffering from tuberculosis and other diseases.  During World War II, the structure was then used as a USO Center.  After the war, the Chicago Park District used the lakefront venue for then-popular barn dances.  In 1952, it was converted into the Theater on the Lake performance venue and showcased productions staged by the Chicago Park District’s many community theater organizations.  In 1996, the programming evolved into its current format, and the Chicago Park District began inviting professional theater companies to remount their best works. 

Last year, the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee honored Theater on the Lake for its commitment to fostering live theater performed by local performing arts companies.  The Jeff Committee bestowed a Special Award to Theater on the Lake for its commitment to presenting a cross section of Chicago’s diverse theater scene.

For more information about the Chicago Park District, visit or call (312) 742-PLAY. 


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